Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food

Archive for the tag “Durban”

Granny Mouse Winter Wonder 2016

Could you do with a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? If you answer yes, you need to meander down to the beautiful KZN Midlands to take up the Winter Wonder Special that Granny Mouse is currently offering.
Situated at the foot of the Drakensburg Mountains, Granny Mouse Country House & Spa is your ideal getaway offering award winning cuisine and a wide range of wine. Call them now to book your weekend away 033-234 4071
Granny Mouse Country House & Spa

Fry’s Thai Green Curry

I love the flavours of Thai food, especially the curries.  I enjoy spicy food despite some serious bouts of heartburn, but nothing that the trusted “Gaviscon” can’t fix.  This recipe is dead easy and versatile because you can swop the veggies to your preferences as well as the type of meat you prefer.
image

You will need:
1 box of Fry’s Crispy Prawns, thawed
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 cup of each of the following veggies (green pepper, baby corn, baby marrow, red cabbage and mushroons)
Pinch of cumin (jeera) seeds
Pinch of salt
1/2 onion sliced
2 sprigs of thyme
2 Tbsp of Thai Green Curry paste
250 ml coconut cream
Handful of cashew nuts

Instructions:
Heat oil in a medium sized pot and add mixed vegetables, cumin seeds and salt.  Allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes.   Add onion and thyme and simmer for a further 3-5 minutes.  Add Thai Green Curry paste, coconut cream and cashew nuts and stir in coriander.  Cook through and set aside. 
Using the on pack instructions, prepare the prawns.  Plate the veggies and place 3-4 prawns on top and serve.

Vovo Telo Umhlanga

To some, bread is bread. To us bread is our passion. Do you dream of the perfect loaf of bread? We do, and it is what we strive to achieve everyday at our bakeries. This perfection doesn’t end at our brands; we want each plate of food and each cup of coffee to be a magical experience. Come into our space and see where your imagination takes you – Vovo telo
Vovotelo in Umhlanga
Bread is definitely the passion at Vovo telo after experiencing it for myself with a group of friends (@nicolaLmeyer, @cuizineDurban, @beautyshoutbox) this past weekend.  The vibe was busy, busy and more busy.  In fact we were lucky to get the last available table when we arrived just before 11am.  We were greeted by an extremely lively and friendly young waitress who wore a T-shirt (in fact all the staff did) that I just wanted to rip off her and take home for myself.  It read, “friends don’t let friends drink bad coffee” and being a bit of a “coffee snob” myself thought it to be very true.  I just love the décor inside the restaurant which shouts rustic chic with large crystal chandeliers hanging from the most beautiful pressed ceiling, gorgeous wallpaper and mirrors and then large heavy wooden tables, glass dome bells covering an array of cupcakes, chalkboards, food served on wooden boards….. I could go on but don’t want to spoil it for you before you enjoy the pictures I took.
Friends don't let friends drink bad coffee
The menu is so enticing that one doesn’t actually know what to choose.  There is such a large variety of breads with different fillings, pastries, cakes, salads, antipasta boards, pasta and then the seemingly popular pissaladiere  which is a thin crusted pizza base made from ciabatta dough.  You can click HERE to view Vovo telo’s menu before you go and visit them and try there fantastic food for yourself.
Making croissants
I highly recommend Vovo telo as not only a venue for extremely delicious food, but a wonderful buzz going on and very friendly staff.  I will most certainly go back for more.
Decor at Vovotelo

Beautiful decor at Vovotelo

The bakery counter

Strawberry tartlet

Chandelier

Retro coffee machine

Lemon Meringue Pie

Salmon open sandwich

Pizza

Brie and bacon open sandwich with Strawberry Chutney

Nicola, me, Shirley and Hazel

A morning at the iHeart Market in Durban

I have never posted a “lifestyle blog” before but have decided to create a category for this purpose as it is so awesome to share the wonderful happenings in and around Durban as I experience them for myself. My Blog is predominantly food but where there’s food involved such as markets and obviously restaurant’s I feel I can include them as they are of interest to me and hopefully you’ll enjoy them too. We live in such a wonderful diverse City which is truly growing and being “put on the map” so to say in line with other more cosmopolitan Cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. We have a fantastic array of markets in Durban itself as well as in the countryside areas such as Hillcrest and the Midlands Meander. This past Saturday I spent a lovely day with friends starting off at the very popular iHeart Market with Nicola Meyer (@NicolaLMeyer) which is situated at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. It was a scorcher of a day but we managed to stay in the shaded areas as much as possible. The Market has a wide selection of “tables” ranging from clothing, soaps, jewelry, food, cakes, home décor and “white elephant” tables which is my favourite. I love rummaging through other peoples “throw away stuff” – Not junk but good stuff. The only downfall of the morning for me was that I had no cash so my advise to you is to have your purse full! Although there are ATM’s at the Stadium, most of the stalls don’t have debit card machines. I had a great morning with Nicola and have uploaded some photo’s for you to enjoy.

Beautiful Protea's for sale

Beautiful Protea’s for sale

Nicola and I

Nicola and I

Beautiful assortment of cakes from Margaret Wasserfall

Beautiful assortment of cakes from Margaret Wasserfall

Rainbow Cake made by Margaret Wasserfall

Rainbow Cake made by Margaret Wasserfall

Plum Tart also by Margaret Wasserfall

Plum Tart also by Margaret Wasserfall

Macaroons by Daniela's - info@danielas.co.za

Macaroons by Daniela’s – info@danielas.co.za

Macaroons by Daniela's - info@danielas.co.za

Macaroons by Daniela’s – info@danielas.co.za

An assortment of olives

An assortment of olives

The best cupcakes in town by Smith's Bake Shop - www.smithsbakeshop.co.za

The best cupcakes in town by Smith’s Bake Shop – http://www.smithsbakeshop.co.za

More delicious cupcakes by Smith's Bake Shop

More delicious cupcakes by Smith’s Bake Shop

Mini Tartlets

Mini Tartlets

More mini tartlets

More mini tartlets

By this time, Nicola and I were starving so at about 10:30am we made our way to Umhlanga to meet up with a few of our other blogger friends. We met at a stunning little restaurant/Bistro called Vovotelo. I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog post.

We Blog for Love Launch

Sandile Nene is an inspiration to all of us no matter how young or old or what industry of work we are in.  He is young, vibrant, trendy, driven and fascinating.  I just love his enthusiasm and caring spirit that he has for people.  Sandy (as he is affectionately known) is a blogger with a passion; to unite other bloggers, encouraging support for each other and creating a “bloggers network” via different forms of social media.

Sandy in the middle, me on the right and Cath Jenkins daughter Cameron

Sandy in the middle, me on the right and Cath Jenkins daughter Cameron

From his passion for blogging, his brain child, SA Bloggers (#WeBlogForLove) was born (http://www.weblogforlove.com).  The official launch party took place on Friday 27th September 2013 at The Xef, 124 Florida Road, Durban.  It was a well attended launch and local bloggers got to meet one another in person and exchange twitter handles.  A couple of fabulous people I met last night included:

Hazel from @beautyshoutbox (http://www.beautyshoutbox.co.za)
Cathy from @cathjenkin (http://www/cathjenkin.co.za)
Justin from @thexef (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-XEF/386510374799032)
Philippa (http://www.coffeyandcake.blogspot.com)
Megan (http://www.stuffed-feeling.blogspot.com)
Lee-Anne (http://www.blog.hellopretty.co.za)
Mbali (http://misymb.blogspot.com)
@iluvDBN – (http://www.ilovedurban.co.za)

….and then ofcourse there were Nicola (whom I came with) from http://runoncoffee.blogspot.com/ and follow her on twitter @NicolaLMeyer as well as Faeema @fayinthemaze (http://www.thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com).

Cocktails were served on arrival as well as light snacks which of course I tucked in to and enjoyed with my Ice Tea. Cath Jenkin from http://www.cathjenkin.co.za welcomed everyone and immediately announced a lucky draw of R1000.00 voucher from CAT Apparel which guess who won *wink wink*.  You guessed it, Ms Lucky herself, Nicola Meyer (www.runoncoffee.blogspot.com).  Later on in the evening another R1000.00 CAT Apparel voucher was up for grabs which Faeema (www.thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com) won.  Two very lucky ladies indeed!  Once Cathy was done with her intro’s and giveaways, she handed over to Sandy who did a wonderful job of welcoming everyone and thanking them for supporting his initiative.
After the welcomes and thank you’s, we mingled with the other bloggers swapping information, tweeting and doing our social media thing.  Such fun!  We were fed the most amazing pizza’s which The Xef prepared and which kept us all happy.  It was like a conveyer belt of deliciousness.  They just kept on coming!  Thank you very much to The Xef and staff.  You have no doubt won me over and I’ll definitely be back for more.
We Blog for Love LaunchSandy took the mic again this time giving away a fabulous Rain Africa hamper (http://rainafrica.com/) which I was hoping “had my name on it” but alas, no such luck!  The lucky winner was @iluvDBN (www.ilovedurban.co.za).  Enjoy your hamper and know that I am green with jealousy!

Even though I have a pathetic case of laryngitis, I had a great evening. I didn’t stop talking for one minute despite my “deep, husky voice”.  I’m glad I made it!

A lovely goodie bag was given to each blogger which consisted of a soap from Rain Africa (http://www.rainafrica.com), a Dermalogica sample (http://www.dermalogica.co.za/) and one of my “must have” handbag accessories, a tin of Blink mints (https://www.facebook.com/blinkmintssa).

As I’ve said earlier, Sandy you are such an inspiration to many and such a dynamic young man, you’re definitely going places and you have my full support.  I look forward to our next event!

You can follow Sandy on twitter @sandyneneSA , his personal blog http://www.sandynene.com/ and follow http://www.weblogforlove.com

The National Cookie Swap Event – Durban 2013

The day finally arrived with Durban hosting her first (of many) National Cookie Swap events.  As a first for Durban, I must say that I was immensely impressed with the turnout.  A very enthusiastic group of about 24 (out of 30) eager Durbanites turned out at the fabulous Piatto Restaurant (http://www.food24.com/Restaurants-and-Bars/Restaurants/Piatto-Florida-20120207) in Florida Road to swap their beautiful, home-made cookies with eachother for a charity in Cape Town called Khayelitsha Cookies  (click here to read more about the National Cookie Swap concept).

As the saying goes, “A picture speaks a thousand words”, I will therefore leave the pictures to do the talking.

Our fabulous venue on the Florida Road strip in Durban

Our fabulous venue on the Florida Road strip in Durban

Taking pics while we wait for the other guests to arrive

Taking pics while we wait for the other guests to arrive

Faeema (http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com/ & @fayinthemaze) with Verushka (http://spicegoddess.wordpress.com/ & @verushka143)

Faeema (http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com/ & @fayinthemaze) with Verushka (http://spicegoddess.wordpress.com/ & @verushka143)

chit chat

chit chat

Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013

Michelle and Melanie

Michelle and Melanie

Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013

Me and Nicola (Nicola is a lifestyle blogger with her own blog called http://runoncoffee.blogspot.com/)

Me and Nicola (Nicola is a lifestyle blogger with her own blog called http://runoncoffee.blogspot.com/)

Faeema explaining the charity that Cookieswap 2013 will be supporting which is Khayelitsha Cookies (http://khayelitshacookies.co.za/k2/home.html)

Faeema explaining the charity that Cookieswap 2013 will be supporting which is Khayelitsha Cookies (http://khayelitshacookies.co.za/k2/home.html)

Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013
Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013

I loved these - Indian Spice Biscuits

I loved these – Indian Spice Biscuits

Crunchies

Crunchies

Some of the gorgeous cookies

Some of the gorgeous cookies

Nicola L Meyer made these gorgeous Custard Biscuits

Nicola L Meyer made these gorgeous Custard Biscuits

Cookieswap3 - Durban 2013

Rice Crispy treats

Rice Crispy treats

My "letterpress" cookies

My “letterpress” cookies

getting to know eachother (@NicolaLMeyer, @TheDbnite, @adhirk)

getting to know eachother (@NicolaLMeyer, @TheDbnite, @adhirk)

The Durban Cookieswap3 attendees

The Durban Cookieswap3 attendees

Beautiful Faeema (@fayinthemaze) doing the raffle draw

Beautiful Faeema (@fayinthemaze) doing the raffle draw

Liz from @lizlaughalot as well as @foodevotion

Liz from @lizlaughalot as well as @foodevotion

Just love the wine rack

Just love the wine rack

Nicola and Theresa with the goodies they received on auction - Follow Nicola on twitter @NicolaLMeyer and follow Theresa @theDBNite.  Liz from @lizlaughalot and @foodevotion in the background

Nicola and Theresa with the goodies they received on auction – Follow Nicola on twitter @NicolaLMeyer and follow Theresa @theDBNite. Liz from @lizlaughalot and @foodevotion in the background

Goodie Bag - Thanks to all the sponsors

Goodie Bag – Thanks to all the sponsors

Original Cocktails – Join the Cocktail Revolution

When I recently received a call asking if I would sample some Original Cocktails and blog about it, I was delighted and no doubt said yes.

The first time I was introduced to this refreshing range of combination drinks was at the Taste of Durban event in July this year.  I was totally blown away by the variety available as well as the convenient “bag in a box” packaging.

In my “taster” package I received two samples. Firstly the Singapore Sling which is a combination of lime, pineapple and orange juice. It is a delicious and fruity mixture and bound to stir up your taste buds.  The second sample, called Mojito is bursting with flavours of lime, mint and rum and bound to quench your “cocktail” thirst.  For more information on this amazing range of drinks, log on to this website and join the Cocktail Revolution!

Singapore Sling - Image courtesy of http://www.originalcocktails.co.za

Singapore Sling – Image courtesy of http://www.originalcocktails.co.za

I am giving away an Original Cocktails Party Pack to one lucky reader.  All you have to do to receive this amazing package is to like the Original Cocktails Facebook page, follow them on twitter  (if you are a “tweeter”) and fill in the comments block on this blog with your name, region and telephone number.  The lucky reader will be contacted by the end of September to come and collect their Party Pack and to join the Cocktail Revolution.  Good luck!

Love to Bake Workshop

On Wednesday 4th September I was super lucky and I guess privileged to occupy the very last available seat at the Good Housekeeping/Love to Bake Workshop.  This well attended and “delicious” workshop was held at The Benjamin which is a beautiful little boutique hotel situation on a very trendy and vibey strip of Florida Road in Durban.

The guests were treated to a variety of fruit juices, tea or coffee on arrival.  We were spoilt with the most delicious hors d’oeuvres which were served by a group of lovely ladies walking around with platters making sure we didn’t go hungry.

The purpose of the workshop was to celebrate the Year of the Tart (2013) with Moir’s and their range of delicious baking products as well as demonstrations by our very own Queen of Tarts, Tina Bester.  Tina also endorses the colourful range of Love to Bake cookware from Clicks which was used throughout her demonstrations.

Carmen Clegg (Senior Advertising) from Good Housekeeping Magazine as well as Snowy Kruger from Moir’s were our very gracious hosts who got the “taste buds going” by explaining the concept behind “Celebrating Tarts” and The Year of the Tart”.

Tina Bester got demonstrating on 2 beautiful tarts as well as THE most yummylicious (if that’s even a word) red velvet cupcakes.  The tarts that our very talented Tina made were Chocolate and Pear tart, Apple, ginger and caramel tart and then last but not least Red velvet cream cheese cupcakes.   Click here to get the recipes.

We all had a fabulous afternoon and were thoroughly spoilt with delicious food and goodie bags. At the end of the afternoon, Carmen Clegg did a lucky draw giving away some seriously fabulous gifts and I was extremely lucky to get a Moir’s gift bag full to the brim of lovely baking ingredients.  An afternoon that I look forward to repeating again next year!

See picture gallery below.

Moir's - Once upon a Tea time entrance

Moir’s – Once upon a Tea time entrance

Seating arrangement with goodie bags

Seating arrangement with goodie bags

The demonstration workstation

The demonstration workstation

Lovely little garden setting

Lovely little garden setting

friendly waitress

friendly waitress

Tina has written 5 cookbooks and these were for sale at the workshop

Tina has written 5 cookbooks and these were for sale at the workshop

Queen of Tarts banner

Queen of Tarts banner

The Love to Bake range available exclusively at Clicks stores

The Love to Bake range available exclusively at Clicks stores

Lucky me to have a pic with the Queen of Tarts herself

Lucky me to have a pic with the Queen of Tarts herself

Meeting up with lifestyle bloggers and friends, Nicola Meyer from the blog http://www.runoncoffee.blogspot.com and Faeema from the blog http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com

Meeting up with lifestyle bloggers and friends, Nicola Meyer from the blog http://www.runoncoffee.blogspot.com and Faeema from the blog http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com

I also met Shirley from  http://cuizine.co.za/ who is also a food blogger

I also met Shirley from http://cuizine.co.za/ who is also a food blogger

Carmen Clegg from Good Housekeeping Magazine welcoming us all to the workshop

Carmen Clegg from Good Housekeeping Magazine welcoming us all to the workshop

Snowy Meyer from Moir's  explaining the celebration of The Year of the Tart

Snowy Kruger from Moir’s explaining the celebration of The Year of the Tart

Tina in action

Tina in action

Apple, ginger and caramel tart

Apple, ginger and caramel tart

Chocolate and Pear tart

Chocolate and Pear tart

Red Velvet cupcakes

Red Velvet cupcakes

The entrance to The Benjamin Hotel

The entrance to The Benjamin Hotel

beautiful little hotel

beautiful little hotel

Contents of the goodie bag

Contents of the goodie bag

The Moir's hamper that I won (yay me!)

The Moir’s hamper that I won (yay me!)

Tart casings


A box of Ultramel has just proved (recipe on box) that you don’t have to be a pastry chef to make Pâtisserie quality tartlets at home. Because of the effort level (not too much) and the patience required, the end result of these sweet, buttery little casings are very rewarding. I didn’t go into any details regarding fillings, but you can easily fill them with whatever you choose. To give you some ideas, you could fill them with fresh fruit topped with whipped cream, you could use tinned caramel topped with slices of banana and then a good dollop of fresh cream or you could just fill them with a generous squeeze of Ultramel which is my personal favourite.

When you start bringing your dough together, don’t stress if it seems very crumbly. Don’t add more butter as it won’t set. Leave it as is and press into tart tins (see images for guidance).

I’ve added 25ml of coconut to my dough for extra flavour (as per original recipe) but you can replace it with crushed almonds if you prefer.

You will need:
150g flour
90g Butter
30g castor sugar
1 egg yolk
25ml coconut

Combine all the above ingredients till they come together and a soft dough forms.
Press into tart casings, cover with foil and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes uncovered. Allow to cool and fill with your favourite fillings.

The dough will be crumbly but don't stress about it, just take pieces and press into pastry casings

The dough will be crumbly but don’t stress about it, just take pieces and press into pastry casings

Gently press the dough into the casings making sure even coverage

Gently press the dough into the casings making sure even coverage

This recipe makes 8 tartlets

This recipe makes 8 tartlets

Cover in foil, prick with a fork and bake for 10 minutes

After 10 minutes of baking, remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes uncovered

After 10 minutes of baking, remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes uncovered

Fill with your favourite filling

Fill with your favourite filling

My Taste of Durban 2013 experience

I was one of a couple of privileged Food Bloggers in Durban to receive complementary tickets to the “Taste of Durban” 2013 experience. And WOW! What an experience it was. On our (hubby and myself) “Media Cards” which we had to keep and guard like gold, we had access to taste dishes of our choice from 6 restaurants, visit the Lindt Chocolate Studio and choose a drink from 13 premium drink sponsors – needless to say I was in food heaven!
From Hartford House, our neighbour in the beautiful Mooiriver area of KZN, to the charming and gorgeous Executive Chef Jackie Cameron of Hartford House, to sampling food and alcohol, posing for photos and best of all meeting fellow foodies whom I have been chatting to and following on Twitter for some time now. I met Sue Green of Souschef2 and “himself”. What a lovely couple. Sue truly has a wonderful sense of humour and had me in stitches a lot of the time. I met the very bubbly Verushka from “Spice Goddess” and again had a great connection with her. I also met up with fellow Durbanite and very close neighbour Nicola Meyer who is an avid Scrapbooker and again our meeting felt as though I had know her for years. What a great privilege it is to make new friends which is based on a common love for food. I am a firm believer that food brings people together and that our greatest asset in our homes to unite people and to form and maintain friendships is the dining room table.

One of my favourites of the day.  I had the Strawberry Daiquiri and hubby had the Pina Colada

One of my favourites of the day. I had the Strawberry Daiquiri and hubby had the Pina Colada

Those Vuvuzela styled flutes were the "cocktail glasses" - so cool

Those Vuvuzela styled flutes were the “cocktail glasses” – so cool

Chef Jackie Cameron in action demonstrating how quick and easy it is to prepare pan seared hake (SASSI friendly)

Chef Jackie Cameron in action demonstrating how quick and easy it is to prepare pan seared hake (SASSI friendly)

Jackie demonstrating an easy three step red wine jus

Jackie demonstrating an easy three step red wine jus

Salmon fish cakes from Havana Grill (www.havanagrill.co.za)

Salmon fish cakes from Havana Grill (www.havanagrill.co.za)

My personal favourite of the day - crumbed calamari from Little Havana (www.littlehavana.co.za) I could have eaten truck loads of the stuff!

My personal favourite of the day – crumbed calamari from Little Havana (www.littlehavana.co.za) I could have eaten truck loads of the stuff!

More calamari - like I said, I could eat truck loads

More calamari – like I said, I could eat truck loads

Ice Tropez 6.5%, the original product, it's a beautiful blend of Rose wine, Fleur de Brugnon (peach flavour) and carbonated water - cooldrink in my view!

Ice Tropez 6.5%, the original product, it’s a beautiful blend of Rose wine, Fleur de Brugnon (peach flavour) and carbonated water – cooldrink in my view!

Hubby on the right purchasing his favourite........coffee!

Hubby on the right purchasing his favourite……..coffee! On the left is Sudhashan who is the national franchise holder of the Gloria Jean’s Coffee brand

At the Asara stand, I had the choice of an assortment of chocolate or a burger.........you don't have to guess what I chose

At the Asara stand, I had the choice of an assortment of chocolate or a burger………you don’t have to guess what I chose

Consol Mixology cocktail - awesomeness in a consol jar - so trendy!

Consol Mixology cocktail – awesomeness in a consol jar – so trendy!

Meeting lovely Verushka (on the left)

Meeting lovely Verushka (on the left)

What was a dark chocolate platter at Castle Milk Stout

What was a dark chocolate platter at Castle Milk Stout

Mixing liquor and beer - definitely works for me

Mixing liquor and beer – definitely works for me

aaaaaah!!!! A castle milk stout infused with hazelnut

aaaaaah!!!! A castle milk stout infused with hazelnut

Hostesses at Castle Milk stout - I'm either shrinking with age or the heels are getting higher #midget

Hostesses at Castle Milk stout – I’m either shrinking with age or the heels are getting higher #midget

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