29.3.12

Order Up

Picnic's very first order is packaged and ready to go...


5 assorted Joburg Skyline pendents are on their way to Italy... ok its with a South African but still!


After a long wait - there is a batch of jewelry out of its final firing and ready to be strung up, photographed and put online - where exactly online I haven't figured out yet.

21.3.12

Dreaming of Weekends Past

Two weekends ago, Curtis and I very spontaneously decided to join some friends in the Pilanesberg... It had been so long since I was in a game reserve and man was I amped to be going!




There is nothing quite like a weekend in the bush, camping with friends that know you back to front, explaining to foreign friends that its called a warthog and not a Pumba ;), dancing giraffes (thanks to gifs) and having the best elephant sighting experience ever - think mud bath to a frolick in the dam to a little sexy time (ya that was interesting) to coming to eat literally one metre from your face... all while sitting in a hide keeping deathly silent and ready to run in case of a change in attitude from the big guy on the other side of the wooden wall.


16.3.12

And With Cake Comes Tea

In this case, it's left-over cake...  and a warm cup of loose leaf Jasmine tea.
There is nothing quite like the combination of a rainy day and some freshly brewed tea.




 Throw some cake on the side and its a near perfect break from the books!



A cuddle on the couch with Curtis, under a thick duvet, watching 'Lie to me', immediately after tea and cake would really tick all the boxes...

Synonymous with Baking

Soooo, it was my parents birthday yesterday, my mom's thoughts on the matter: "sharing a birthday with your husband - its like having a twin" - ag cute!
So in celebration, a cake was made... I mean what other options were there really?!?


Vanilla and Caramel Layered Cake, with Vanilla Buttercream Icing and Honeycomb Crumble...


Sorry did you say it was called "Deathly Sweet and Delicious Cake"? Ah yes. Yes thats the one!

9.3.12

Meet the Twins

 


Between Mike the aspiring architect and Abi the aspiring social worker, whats not to love hey?!?


7.3.12

Grilled Aubergine, Rocket and Parmesan Pizza

It was decided while driving home yesterday, after a morning of lectures, that we simply had to have pizza... one bag of bread dough from Spar (cheating I know but good for a quick fix), some fridge searching and garden herb picking later we had fresh, warm pizza on the table.


Grilled aubergines are definitely a current favourite, and mix that with warm, crispy, bready pizza, fresh rocket and melted parmesan shavings - you cant go wrong!




Recipe (happily serves 2)


1/2 Bag of Bread Dough (standard size from Spar)
1 Aubergine
Tomato Paste
Chopped Garlic
1/2 Onion
1 Red Pepper
Parmesan Cheese
Some Olive Oil
Fresh Rocket

Slice the aubergine into half cm rounds and lightly coat with oil, fry in grill pan until you see nice grill lines and they seem cooked, thinly slice the onion and red pepper.
Roll out the dough until roughly the size of a baking tray and place on floured baking tray.
Spread the chopped garlic and tomato paste onto the base, throw on the onion, pepper and aubergine slices and sprinkle some fresh parmesan shavings on top.
Bake at about 200 deg C until the edges are slightly golden and crispy.
Throw on the fresh rocket, drizzle some olive oil and enjoy warm and fresh straight out of the oven.

You can make a focaccia with fresh rosemary, olive oil and garlic with the rest of the dough, or another pizza if there are four of you.

2.3.12

Thyme and Dark Chocolate

Who would have thought - but apparently when you toss some fresh thyme leaves into a batch of dark chocolate chip cookies, you get 34 bites of 'chewy with a slight crunch' heaven...


I wanted to make some cookies to take away to a mid-week escape to the Vaal Dam, so I was browsing for a normal chocolate chip cookie recipe and boom "Sea Salt and Thyme Chocolate Chunk Cookies" pops up - who could resist such an intriguing sounding combination?!?



The recipe is super easy and straight forward, original recipe can be found here and below with a few slight variations of my own...

Sea Salt and Thyme Chocolate Chunk Cookies

220 gr all purpose flour
3/4 tspn baking soda
1 tspn coarse salt
2 Tbspn fresh thyme leaves
200g butter, cold and in small cubes
200 gr (1 cup) treacle sugar
150 gr (3/4 cup) brown sugar
2 eggs

1/2 tspn vanilla seeds or vanilla powder
180 gr dark chocolate chunks
sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare sheet pans lined with baking paper.
2. In a bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and fresh thyme leaves. Set aside.
3. In a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
4. Gradually add the sugars to the butter, add vanilla, beat until light and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. Mix in the dry ingredients and then fold in the chocolate chunks until well-distributed.
7. Form each cookie using about two tablespoons of dough per cookie. Roll into a ball and place on the prepared pan, pressing down slightly to form a thick disc. Leave room between each cookie--they will spread. Sprinkle a small amount of sea salt on each cookie.
8. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the edges of the cookies are just turning brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan on a rack for two minutes before removing the cookies from the pan and cooling directly on a rack.