Put the Love back into Valentines Day

With valentines day just around the corner, people are scrambling to find the perfect present, the perfect restaurant and the perfect way not to piss off your girlfriend/wife.  I’m not the biggest fan of valentines day, I would personally never go out on that day just to avoid people trying to get the fellah I’m with to buy roses and being really pushy about it, sitting in a packed restaurant with people staring into each others eyes like they’re seeing the season premier  of  the walking dead in them, I’m all for people loving valentines day, its a rather sweet day, but lets try and put the love back into it.  So here are some random ideas for valentines day, that are inexpensive and filled with love.

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  1. Write a love letter:  Technology really has destroyed the beauty of love letters, a love email really just does not seem right.  Writing out your true feeling is something beautiful and will be cherished forever.
  2. Go for a picnic: Pack a lovely picnic for 2 and go to a beautiful place.
  3. Dressed up at home:  Get really dressed up, make dinner and play xbox all night long. Yeah, that’s how you bring the magic back in the lounge!
  4. Go to the place you first met: This will only work if its a nice place.  If I had to do this I would have to go to a club that doesn’t exist any more and be ignored or go to the bus station.
  5. Get a single heart chocolate: because why get more than one when you just want one heart and you already have it.
  6. If all else fail just propose, that’s a sure way to win valentines day.

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Those are just a couple of ways to valentines day it up.  What will you be doing this valentines day?

an instant of life captured for eternity

Life lately has been super eventful.  We’re in the process of buying a house, so all our attention has been towards that, but with all the busyness you always have to make room for some play time.

When we haven’t been pondering about house stuff, we’ve been getting in some family holiday time.  The man friends parents came over for a visit, which is always lovely. Today we went to visit an animal shelter, they have a great charity and book store on the ground.  We bought some lovely second hand books for a steal of a price.  I also went to see all the doggies, which was sad, but I did love and play with every single doggy/kitty I could find.

This is my photo dump of life lately.

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^^ Bird hide at kloofendal nature reserve.

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^^ Fluffy Belphie.

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^^ The dassie trail at kloofendal is absolutely beautiful even if I only saw one dassie.

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^^ Hiking is a dirty business.

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^^ Pretty flower.

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^^ Book haul.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Year End Function Of Dooooooom

Yes, I know I’m being ridiculously dramatic, but we all need a bit of drama in our lives…..and I’m not exaggerating that much.

Let me get to the theme, it was called the sweet escape, so of course I had no idea what that was about, turns out it was all about the candy. GAAAH, just call it candy land, you are NOT being clever.  Yes, I know I’m complaining about something silly, but when you’re surrounded by mimes that keep touching you and sneaking up to you from behind you might get a little grouchy.  There was also people on stilts, jugglers (that kept dropping the balls), magicians (that acted like that just to eager waiter that waits till you just have so much food in your mouth and now you have to say, yes I’m okay.  This guy was worse! he kept doing magic right at the table and kept asking people to pick a card when their faces were stuffed) and the balloon animal makers.

It wasn’t all bad,  I have to say the end when I could leave was my favourite part, even the hour long drive home was better than there.  Hey, at least the place was pretty.

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Happy Weekend 😀

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving to all my American friends.  I hope your day is filled with love, family, thanks and food. I on the other hand will be attending a year end function.  I lost some weight so my dress is way to big for me, safety pins to the rescue!

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an instant of life captured for eternity

Happy Tuesday.

Its been really hot here and really beautiful.  Everything is going well on my side especially my little vegetable garden that keeps expanding, as well as the flower garden that’s starting to bush out like crazy lately.  We’ve also added a pretty hanging garden to the wall, but let me just show you.

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Raw Cos lettuce tacos ( marinated mushrooms, salsa and gauc –  BEST THING EVER) Recipe to come

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The garden is moving to the wall – yes, those are strawberries

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I just love these flowers

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The goat obsession continues

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Peacock bum

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This peacock refuses to let us leave so we had to take photos until he moved along.

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This ducks got attitude

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The tortoise and the hare – I met them! starstruck for days

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Hope everyone is having a great week

 

Chocolate tart with a ginger crust

If you’re looking for an easy dessert recipe this is for you.  Bursting with flavour from the creamy custard like filling and a delicious gingersnap cookie crust that everyone will love.

CHOCOLATE TART WITH A GINGER CRUST1 tart

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GINGER CRUST

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup vegan gingersnap cookies, finely ground in the processor
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 5 tbsp margarine melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until combined.  Transfer mixture into a greased 9 inch pie dish.  Press until its evenly spread. Bake until its firm and slightly darker about 5 – 8 minutes.  Remove and let cool.

FILLING

Ingredients

  • 3 cups soy milk or any other non dairy milk
  • 1 vegan slab of chocolate of choice.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp cornflour

Directions

In a medium sized sauce pan over medium to low heat add 2 1/2 cups of milk.  When heated up slowly break in chocolate, whisking until the whole chocolate is melted in.  Add in vanilla.  In a small bowl mix the cornflour and remaining milk in and slowly add to the chocolate mixture.  Stir constantly until it starts to thicken.  Stir for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool for 2 minutes and pour over the crust.  Let sit in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.  Enjoy with banana ice cream and a good cup of coffee.

 

 

 

Holiday weekend

Its so lovely to be back in Johannesburg.  Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed my time in Durban, but wowwee no one should ever have to deal with such heat and humidity that you can’t even breathe without it feeling like you inhaled a lot of water.  This weekend was basically a family weekend, just to go visit my parents and other family, but also catch up with some friends.  I actually don’t have many photos of my actual time in Durban, but I do have photos on the trip.  So this is my trip explained with a lot of photos.

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Pretty Sunrise on the way.

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Really fat pig

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Cute goats at the one stop

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I didn’t know I was so petrified of ostriches until this lady

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Sweetest goat 😀 I just wanted to take him with me.

 

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These ducks had ducklings so they weren’t the nicest of things to see.  RUN.

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Donkey crazed

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Roadtrip kisses

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This goat just wanted the grass on the other side

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Howick falls

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The prettiest antic shop.

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Really dirty car window

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Toll road money.

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Garden update

This weekend  was a quiet one.  It involved getting really obsessed with downton abbey, its rather funny, because I didn’t think I would like it, but I LOVE this show.  Great character development, drama, romance and suspense.  Okay, I need to stop talking about it before I start getting withdrawals.

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On Saturday night we got hit by a crazy hail storm that came from nowhere.  I was really tempted to run out and try and rescue some of my potted vegetables, but it felt way to dangerous.  It destroyed most of the garden and vegetables, but I have hope for the ones that survived. I will be heading to Durban on Wednesday to visit my parents for a little weekend trip.  I wish I could say I was excited, but I would really like to enjoy my breakaway, but I’m sure I wont, but I will try to go in with a good attitude (even if you can see my attitude is not that great right now) and make the best of it.

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Have a great Monday everybody.

Vegetable curry with roti

Since I was a child I’ve always been interested in Japan.  The culture, the beautiful heritage, the amazing landscapes, but at the same time its filled with modern wonder and city life.  Yes, I know this recipe and what I’m talking about does not go together well, but hey its all part of my crazy mind being filled with numerous things at one.  If you haven’t guessed by now I’m a bit of n erd and absolutely love anime ( I wont go into detail about the horrible creators that get you hooked only to say, meh, I don’t feel like making a new season), why am I writing about this.  Well I want to learn how to speak Japanese and was wondering if any of you lovely people know a good online site that can help me with this? anyone you would recommend ?  Well that was a long rant not about the recipe, so lets hop on over to the recipe….on the next paragraph.

If you’re looking for an easy, spicy, yet affordable dinner recipe that’s served with fresh roti that will make this affordable meal look like a beautiful restaurant meal this is for you.  This is a versatile recipe that can use any vegetables you have on hand.  Lentils add a lovely flavour and protein to this delicious curry.  In the words of Carl “is their any meat in this?”, he could’t even believe how great this was, so why not give it a try.

VEGETABLE CURRY WITH ROTI serves 5

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown or black lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped – optional
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups vegetables ( I used butternut, broccoli, kale and green beans)
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes

Directions

Rinse the lentils till clean.  In a large pot bring the lentils and water to a boil.  Leave the pot uncovered and cook for 20 – 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions, garlic and chilli.  Cook for a few minutes until softened.  Add the spices and cook for 1 minute more.  Stir in the lentils, vegetables, stock and tomatoes.

Bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Season to taste with salt if needed.  Serve with fresh coriander, rice and roti.

ROTI – serves 10

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups wholemeal flour or normal flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp melted margarine

Directions

In a large bowl add the flour and oil.  Slowly add in the hot water and mix with a spoon as it will be hot.  Dust your work surface with flour.  Place dough on the work surface and knead for 5 minutes.  If the dough is sticky add a little flour until its soft and manageable.  Cover the dough and let sit for 5 minutes.

Melt the margarine on a pan and leave on low, while you’re rolling the dough.

Break off small pieces of dough and start rolling away.  Roll into a flat round disc. Make sure the roti is rolled as thin as possible.

Increase heat of your pan and place roti onto it.  Cook for 5 – 10 seconds. Flip and cook the other side for a little longer.  Remove from heat and continue.  Serve immediately.