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There so much to say and even more to eat. Hence a blog for each was born.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Dessert Pizza (say what?)


I have this fantasy of having my own wood fired pizza oven (impractical, I know). Having pizza parties where everyone chooses their own toppings and then bakes their very own pizza (So you can get it just right). That smokey, cheesy combo makes it one of my fav fast foods (cause that's the only way I can get a wood fired pizza, for now).


As much as I love the smokey flavour of the take out pizza, I love home cooking more. So whenever I make homemade pizza I am faced with the make or buy your pizza base. For the longest time anything involving dough or kneading would put me off (sort of my food nemesis), it just seemed like too much work, and that is how my search for perfect, but quick pizza dough recipe started. 



Pizza Dough (serves 3 - 4) recipe adapted from Making the Best of Baking by R. Makan and V. De Beer

Ingredients

800mls (400g) Sifted White bread flour (cake or wholewheat flour can be used)
7mls salt
10g instant yeast
10mls white sugar
200 - 250mls warm water (more for wholewheat)
60mls olive oil (garlic infused olive oil adds some extra flavour)


Method

1. Add flour, salt and sugar to bowl and stir with a whisk

2. Then add yeast add stir with whisk again. Make a well in the center



It's not supposed to look like dough yet


3. Add oil and enough warm water to make a soft pliable dough (I usually start with 230mls when I use white bread flour)



Doesn't look to good right now, does it? Work in progress.



4. Knead (electronically or manually) for about 8 - 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. (Must say I start noticing a difference at about 5 to 6 minutes. Hang in there! It can be very therapeutic.)



Voila. Smooth dough. (Didn't that feel good?)



5. Place in a greased bowl (grease with olive oil) and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place till double in size (It took my dough about 30 minutes) 


They grow soo fast.


6. Divide the dough in half for a thick base and in quarters for a thin base (really just preference) Roll it into a circle to fit a 30cm round. You can roll it out to a guessitimate (made up word, I know Grammar Gastapo) of the size, place the dish upside down on the dough to make an impression and then cut it out using a sharp pointed knife. Place the rolled out base onto a greased pizza dish
         

The base of a spring form tin is a great substitute if you don't have a pizza dish


7.  Pre-bake for 10 minutes in a 180 degrees Celsius preheated oven.


Go on, take a victory lap. You deserve it.


Savoury / Dessert pizza - Add toppings and bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius and serve.


Savoury pizza - tomato sauce, yellow pepper, pre-cooked chicken cubes, fresh shopped garlic, mozzarella, freshly ground black pepper and Italian herbs (in that order).


As good as it gets

Yes I said dessert pizza. All the rage over the seas at the moment. Go on try it for yourself.
My own concoction of cream cheese and Nutella, sliced banana brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with  brown sugar. Lastly topped with dark chocolate chips.


It's healthy! It's got fruit (bananas), nuts (Nut-ella) and vegetables (chocolate)








Friday, 25 April 2014

The Design on Decorex 2014

I loved (past tense) attending Decorex (many moons ago), but it started becoming the same show every year (okay it was like two years in a row), so I stopped going. 

I am proudly South African. I believe in this country and the potential it has. I love that we are World Design Capital 2014 (WDC2014) and was intrigued that Decorex had tapped into this in their latest exhibition. I'm always on the lookout for fresh ideas to brighten the table. It doesn't always have to come from the pot or oven, but it can also come from what the meal is being served on. 

With this in mind I decided to give Decorex another try and off I went early this morning to be first in line. Except 100 other people had the same idea (Murphy's Law), but the wait to get in was definitely worth it.

I take my hat off to Decorex for showcasing such amazing South African Talent (Some of them from afar afield as KZN and EC). It's initiatives like this that will have a direct impact on job creation (This election has me going off on a tangent)

Here are my favourite picks from treasure trove at the Expo:



Bottle Decanter by Aidan Bennets - www.stable.org.za
100% Design South Africa



Tray by Julie Jue -  www.shineshine.co.za 
100% Design South Africa



Zulu inspired bowls
KZN-CDRP ART & CRAFT - mninizotrading@yahoo.co.za



Quirky Salt and Pepper Shakers
www.ceramicfactory.co.za



Creative Clay 
Zizipho Poswa - www.imisoceramics.co.za



Adding fun to mealtimes
www.Koziol.de (only imported item on my list)




Serving Dish (No it's not meant for elephant)
Meshacks Ceramics - 073 596 1341



 Bowl with Chopstick Holder (So cool that it makes me wanna cook up an oriental storm)
www.capecraftanddesign.org.za



Vintage Scale 
www.capecraftanddesign.org.za



Platter with Bowl
Eastern Cape Handmade Collection - www.ecdc.co.za



Alice in Wonderland Inspired cake stand
Laurett Russo - www.laurett.co.za



Inspiring Cutting Boards (how very Alanis Morisette)
handsdesigncollective@gmail.com

Most of theme items are only available in the WC at the expo. Go check it out and support being proudly South African (Cue National Anthem).






















Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Proudly South African (Sticky Chicken - quickie recipe)

Long weekends make me lazy, because they're usually filled with invites to weddings and parties, which means no cooking, yay! (Did I say that out loud? I have my off days too.) I tend look for quickie recipes when it's back to business , with minimal prep (Cue Woolies). 

This recipe has changed so much over time that I don't quite remember where it started. I think everyone can identify with chucking some spices and bits of all the sauces you own into your marinade and hoping for the best (Hint, hint hubby). Voila, a gorgeous dish emerges and you pretend you meant to do that all along, but then can't quite remember what you threw in, in the first place! (and you promise to send everyone the recipe. No pressure.) Chef school has taken me back to those days. All the new spices, flavours and techniques I'm discovering are taking me back to the beginning (and when chef asks what I spiced my dish with I can't promise him an email with the recipe). In the words of Coldplay "I'm going back to the start" and I think our politicians should try this too. This dish is dedicated to them.


Proudly South African Sticky Chicken (serves 4 - 5)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 teaspoons chicken spice (with salt) 
2 tablespoons Mrs Balls Original chutney (substitute with raw honey for a healthier option)
2 tablespoons Nando's Hot Marinade

1 x Free Range Pack skinned drums and thighs (approximately 800g)
1 x 300g carrot batons
1 x Gem Squash Halves 6 pack


Woolworths - All ready for action!


Method


1. Add spice, chutney and marinade to chicken

Marinated chicken (Now, now. there's enough for everyone)


2. Add olive oil to pot or deep pan 


Olive oil in pan (from the fire to the frying pan)



3. Heat oil on high heat and add chicken to brown

Get your sizzle on



4. Remove from heat once browned and turn stove down to medium heat
50 Shades of brown (To suit everyone's taste buds)



5. Quickly add carrots

What's up Doc?



6. And squash

It's finally coming together



7. Return to heat and add 30mls warm water


8. Simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes till chicken is done.


Proudly South African Sticky Chicken

Don't be surprised if you start singing the national anthem.

Friday, 18 April 2014

What's Cooking at the Women's Lifestyle Expo

It's not often that I get to go to something that is just for us girls (Always my kids, luggage, snacks and the cat in tow). I literally jumped for joy when I saw all the ads for the Women's Lifestyle Expo (even told hubby it was Ladies Only! A little white lie never killed anyone). I decided to go first thing Friday morning, having spent the entire week being sick with 2 sick kids and hubby out of town (at the least the cat was in good health) , so I don't miss anything (always one to be "voor op die wa").


This weekends must have accessory


The food at these types of expo are usually generic (Just good enough to fill your tummy), but I was pleasantly surprised at what was on offer. I found exhibitors were passionate, knowledgeable, enthusiastic masters of their respective crafts (it also helped that it tasted really good)


Leaine only uses quality ingredients for her heavenly treats. I expected her wares to taste like cardboard, even though they looked divine, so I bought take away. I expected to only taste the treats but ended up finishing the red velvet before you can say sugar free.
www.sweetlikecandi.com - Sugar free, gluten free and even diabetic friendly (Can I get a Whoop, Whoop) 


Yummy organic cocoa, chocolaty goodness. Heinrich is so passionate about his products that you want to buy one of everything (and you have this divine display giving you a come hither stare)
www.cocoafair.com - Takes the word "slab" to a whole new level

Lyn's Luscious cakes
letthemeatcake@cakediva.co - Too pretty to eat

A terrific trio of colourful, flavourful eats that cater for all palates
@AweAfrica


Vagabond Kitchen - Mouthwatering presentation ( I highly recommend the Moroccan Style chickpea and roast butternut on the left)  


Vagabond - Flat bread with Sun dried tomato pesto, topped with cherry tomatoes, chives, feta, avo, rocket and thyme infused balsamic glaze (what a mouthful)


So this is the guy I lost my virginity to at the expo (talk about extra perks)
Hot Oyster Boys (What? They offer Tabasco)

Oyster virginity people (What were you thinking? I'm a married woman! Love you hun)
Raw Oysters 

Before - Apprehensive, scared, qweezy



 During - Interesting. Not bad.
My fab make up courtesy of free make overs at NYX



So get your ass over there for an all round fabulous expo.



Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Beet the Burger (Woodie's Review)

"One burger. No tomato, onion, lettuce, garnish or cheese, please." 
"That's just the burger patty and bun?"
"Yes."
"You sure?" 
"Okay..........."
This is my standard burger order (Yes, seriously. I keep it clean).


So word on the street is that the best burger place in the world has opened at the V&A food market. Now I had been through that market, the wares look really good and it has a good reputation. I decide to give it a try. 




 Hey! Where's (the) Buzz? 
Woodies - 1st floor, V&A Market on the Wharf
(strictly halaal)





Now a massive compliment to any eatery, is if the people around you support you. I arrive at Woodie's in the wake of lunch rush (I hate waiting) and I place my order (straight off the menu, GASP. Living on the edge!). As I wait I observe that most of the other orders are for fellow food market stalls (Neighbourly support is always a good sign) 



Your burger is prepared in front of you. Even the patty is made in front of you (At Warp speed. No pressure Scotty)



The Bondi (Too big to fit in my mouth)
- white bun, beef patty, beetroot (Genius. Old fav), mozzarella, cheddar, lettuce, onions and tomato 

This burger was full bodied, chewy, cheesy, messy and really nearly the best damn burger I have ever had (My mouth is watering just thinking about it). Put it on a bigger, toasted bun and it will be the best damn burger I have ever had (Hint, hint.)


Jughead would definitely approve.

When food and fashion collide

This is not another fashion blog, but food and fashion often collide (not talking about the food stains on my clothes). The biggest collision for me is my expanding waistline, which collides with the really short shorts I want to wear.

You recall my woes of how used to be thin (I'm not talking about being a size 2 when I was a zero - wanna slap those whinny girls), so when I go shopping I still picture thin me in clothes (No, don't look in the mirror much). So I see the uber trendy boyfriend jeans on a celebrity and go try on a pair. In my mind I should look something like the celebrity, right? I did, minus a few things (long legs, svelte body, poise) and with a few things (tummy, thighs, crocs). 

So to give those of us, according to Bridget Jones, who will always just be a little (or alot) chubby more time to eat another cronut. Here is my recipe to update your wardrobe for the cooler season.


Cooler Wardrobe Update (serves just about anyone)

Ingredients


We all need a little TLC to keep warm
Mr Price (part of a set of 3)


The Owl trend - Love the twirling body of this owl
Clicks


While feathers are trending. I still prefer this little feathered friend
Clicks


Pop of pastel colour (no longer confined to winter) in my fav scarf, the snood
Cotton On (available in other colours)



 Lurv the wide bottom to hide my tummy
Cotton On (available in other colours)



Tea Length heart printed skirt (don't have to shave your legs all the way. Can I get an amen)
Mr Price


A trendy update on one of my fashion staples (Hides a multitude of sins)
Mr Price

 Edgy looking tights - Perfect to elongate short legs (hobbit genes)
Mr Price

The pleated skirt - Glam version of a classic making a comeback (slims tummy)
Mr Price (on sale nogal)

Ankle lace ups- very vesatile (slims chubby ankles)
Mr Price

Quilted knee length boot - Comfy version of a hot trend (flats are friends)
Woolworths



Method


1. I like to wear neutrals with a flash of  colour in the form of a snood perhaps
2. Incorporate 1 trend item in your outfit If you are uncertain on how to wear it
3.  If you think you look fat, you do. Lack of confidence is the biggest fashion faux pas.

(Okay, okay. I know you want your food fix. Watch this space later tonight.)


What are your fashion staples to get your lumps under control?