Tag Archives | lifestyle

a great date night idea

It was hubby’s birthday on Friday and I booked for us to go to The Crypt for dinner and jazz. We haven’t been since we were dating (about 15 years!), but I’d recently heard that it was still a really good night out. If you’ve never been to The Crypt, it’s located in Wale Street in the basement of St George’s Cathedral, and it is just the most wonderful place. The Cape Dutch Connection were the band for the evening, and they blew us away – brilliant music played so incredibly well. We ate steak and chips, drank some good red wine and had a perfect night out. Go for your next date, you’ll love it!

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— Liza

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17/52

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“A portrait of our children, once a week, every week, in 2014”

Willow: A cousin’s sleepover
James: His sister put flowers in his hair
Bailey:
 Dressed and ready for a friend’s party
Robert: Sleeping angel boy 

— Liza

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a new kind of sunday lunch

It’s now been almost two months of living the Banting way and we’re loving it. I will admit, there have been baby showers and Robbie’s party where I have indulged in the occasional slice of lemon meringue or red velvet cake, but overall, I’ve stuck to it and I feel like it’s starting to pay off. Yesterday I made this and it was delicious. Even Bailey and Robbie ate the ribs!

sunday lunch

Pork Belly Ribs with Origanum and Smoked Paprika (serves 4)

2kg pork belly ribs
2 cups saved cooking juices (broth or stock) – I just used powdered chicken stock, but it’s not recommended
3 cloves fresh garlic, finely diced
100g can tomato paste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried origanum
black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
2. Combine all the ingredients in a deep tray, being sure to lay the ribs out flat. If the ribs aren’t fully submerged, fill the tray with some water. Cover the tray with foil and cook for two hours (I only cooked mine for an hour because I didn’t have 2kgs of ribs)
3. Remove the tray from the heat and leave the ribs to cool in the juices
4. Once cool, drain the liquid into a pot and reduce to a sticky glaze
5. Grill the ribs in the oven or on the braai and constantly baste both sides with the glaze
6. When the ribs start to go black on the edges, remove them from the heat, cut and enjoy

Avocado, Snow Pea and Mint Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing (serves 2) 

For the Dressing
juice of 1 lemon (25ml)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp poppy seeds, toasted
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic and poppy seeds in a mixing bowl. While whisking continuously, pour in the olive oil until a dressing is formed. Season to taste.

For the Salad
1 large ripe avocado, cut into chunks
200g snow peas (sugar snaps or mange tout)
1 bunch spring onion, thinly sliced
1 head butter lettuce, washed and torn

1. Cut the sugar snaps in half lengthways on the diagonal
2. Lay the lettuce leaves out on a platter. Layer with snow peas, avocado and spring onions and cover with the dressing. Scatter with mint leaves. Serve immediately.

Note: to give this salad more of a crunch, feel free to add any nut or seed

 

— Liza

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delicious dinner

This dinner from The Real Meal Revolution was relatively simple to prepare. My sauce turned out much runnier than the picture in the recipe book, possibly because I didn’t do the whole blender part. I also didn’t have any fresh coriander on hand, but it still tasted good.

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Chicken Tikka Masala 

For the Chicken
500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup extra-thick yoghurt
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and black pepper

1. Mix the yoghurt, ginger and garlic and season to taste
2. Add chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes

For the Sauce 
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1 red chilli, minced (seeds removed if you don’t like it spicy)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
7 roma tomatoes, diced (or 1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes)
1½ tsp salt
2 cups water
½ cup cream
1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1. Place a large pan on medium heat, then add the butter and olive oil. When the butter has melted, add garlic, ginger and chilli and sauté until lightly browned.
2. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in colour, about three minutes.
3. Add the paprika and garam masala and sauté for another minute.
4. Add the tomatoes, salt and water. Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cover.
5. Cook for 20 minutes, take the pan off the heat and allow the sauce to cool for five minutes.
6. Meanwhile, preheat your grill and cover a roasting tray with foil.
7. Remove the chicken thigh chunks from the marinade and place on the tray. Place under the grill and cook for about five minutes on each side, until lightly charred and cooked through. Don’t worry if the chicken is still a little uncooked but charred on the outside. It will cook in the sauce.
8. Use a blender or processor to blend the sauce until smooth. Pour back into the pan. Bring the sauce back up to a boil and add the chicken.
9. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes.
10. Add the cream and fresh coriander, stir through and serve.

As a side dish, I chose to do the Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Lemon Butter

400g green beans, topped and tailed
60g butter
3 tbsp almond slithers, toasted in a dry pan
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

1. In a small pot, bring some water to a boil and blanch the beans for two minutes. Refresh them in cold or iced water so they keep their colour and texture.
2. In a large pan or work, melt the butter and warm it until just before it turns brown, then add the beans. (If the butter is a little brown, it will add a nice nutty flavour).
3. Toss the beans until they are warmed through, then add the almonds and lemon juice.
4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Enjoy!

— Liza

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a new discovery

There is a gorgeous new cafe just up the road from where we live. We like to go there and drink good coffee (Bean There), eat breakfast and do some work (free WiFi). Four & Twenty is run by two young chefs, and friends, who while on a gastronomic tour through France, had a dream of running their own place. Which they now do really well. Besides the awesome breakfasts, there’s an ever-changing lunch menu too and a fresh produce deli section. We recommend you pay Four & Twenty a visit soon. It’s worth it.

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We also got quite a few compliments on our new Cinnamon shoes. Beautiful, genuine leather and locally handmade. They’re divine!

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— Liza

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