Monday, July 18, 2011

Truffle Salt Risotto

I was never very good at physics, in fact I was shocking (no pun intended). Even if I memorised the rhymes till I turned blue in the face, when it came down to a test or making something work I didn't know my positives from my negatives and failed every time. On the other hand, when it came to chemistry I was "Queen of the Lab", I loved the way things worked and how 1+1 did not always =2. Unfortunately at my school we just had "science" as a subject and so, although my chemistry scores were FANTASTIC, my physics scores were so flat I had to drop "science" as a subject.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Breedekloof Soetes & Soup 2011 weekend

Wine. Soup. Market. Cabaret. Witblitz. If any of those words make you smile then check out what Breedekloof wine estates has coming up to make you smile some more:


Beat away the wintry blues at the annual Breedekloof Soetes & Soup 2011 weekend which takes place on Friday 22 July and Saturday 23 July. Live music, a farmer’s market and Witblits tastings, as well as exhibitions of art, clothing and jewellery are on the menu.
Highlights include a Cabaret show hosted by Seven Oaks and Waboomsrivier Cellar, featuring Phantom of the Opera star Rory Rootenberg, and Bob & Sop at Opstal Estate – an evening of food, wine and music featuring covers of artists named Bob (Dylan, Marley, Geldof and Seger).

This fun-filled event hosted by wineries in the Rawsonville, Slanghoek, Goudini, and Breede River areas, combats the chills by serving cups of steaming hot homemade country soup accompanied by a glass of multiple award-winning soetes (dessert wines) including Hanepoot, Noble Late Harvest, Red Jerepigo and Port.

Visitors buy a Breedekloof Soetes & Soup enamel mug and coupon booklet for R15 per person at their first winery and use these to enjoy complimentary cups of homemade country soup and discounts of between 10% and 25% on red and fortified wines at each of the participating wineries.

Opstal Estate will host Opstal Vars - a farmers/fresh produce market with music, food stalls, jewellery, paintings and entertainment for kids.

Badsberg will offer a 15% discount on reds and selected dessert wines. There will also be homemade country soups and freshly baked bread made the traditional woodfire way by Kleinplasie Museum and a Witblits tasting hosted by Kleinplasie Museum.

Slanghoek Cellar will host red wine barrel tastings with the winemaker and cooper demonstrations - the art of wine barrel making. Daschbosh Cellar has a full programme of kiddies entertainment including Sand Art, decorate your own cupcake and braai your own “stokbrood”.

Bergsig Estate will host live music and offer Soup & Wine Pairings at R40 per person - soups include Green Pepper, Seafood, Spicy Tomato, Hungarian Goulash and Chocolate. The Bistro will serve an A’ la Carte menu.

The region’s diverse range of accommodation venues have a Soetes & Soup weekend special where you pay for two nights and get the third night free.

The Breedekloof is a family destination and the wineries cater for kids. Visit for more information, or email or call (023) 349 1791.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sour Cream Brownies - Rich and delicious

I have always been a lover of "loot", I am never one to turn down a gift for any reason. Sure, I will do the polite "aw you didn't have to" but I will be very glad you did. I am equally excited about giving gifts and often leave gift buying for the last minute to avoid having to wait to see someone's reaction to a gift I bought which I felt was perfect for them. Sometimes I make it the other person's challenge by giving them the gift early and informing them that they cannot open it until the big day arrives. On the same level I tend to wait till after a party to open my gift, a little challenge to myself, something fun to have once all the guests have left and the party is over.

Such it was with the "brownie baking pan" that Nicola, from Wots for Lunch, gave me for my housewarming. She didn't make it easy, telling me she saw it at home and thought it was something I would definitely want. She did say if she got it wrong I could exchange it but I knew it would be so right. In the time that I have known Nicola, every gift she has given me has been thoughtful and just right. 

As some may know I had a #FoodieWarming. My housewarmings are going in stages, my flat is smallish and I wasn't sure what my limit was. As usual I totally over catered for the event (except on the tortilla's side, I didn't make enough) and was left with plenty food at the end of the night. What could be frozen was and what couldn't, was used (salsa makes great omlettes). I wasn't sure what to do with all the left over sour cream but when I saw Nicola's gift I knew that somewhere in the world wide web there must be a recipe for Sour Cream brownies and I was so right.

Sour cream brownies
(recipe adapted from TLC - how stuff works)
What you need:
1/2 cup butter softned
1 cup caramel sugar (you can use light brown sugar too)
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup NoMu cocoa ( I mention brand because their cocoa is very potent, other brands use 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup milk
1 bar dark chocolate (I had a bar of Lindt Dark Chocolate Mousse - it was either that or Madagasse)
What to do:
Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter a 33X22cm pan or brownie pan.
Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until blended. 
Add egg, sour cream and vanilla; beat until light. 
Add cocoa, baking soda and salt; beat until smooth. 
Alternate flour and milk well mixed. 
Stir in chocolate.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center springs back when touched. Cool in pan on wire rack.
Cut into which ever shape you like or if you lucky like me the pan has already done that for you.

Serve with a cold glass of milk.