Monday, May 28, 2012

My Cooking Diary//Recipe Two

I had a blast in the kitchen early this morning...everything slipped away as I rolled out biscuit dough and smelt the gingery smell of baking cookies wafting around the kitchen...

Mmmmm...I love ginger... It just so happens that on Wednesday I’m preparing my first complete meal of my ‘cooking course’ and the dessert I’ve decided to make is ‘ginger tart’. The recipe calls for ginger nut biscuits and preserved ginger pieces. I made the biscuits this morning to stay ahead and I am also going to try making my own preserved ginger....we’ll see how that goes – anyone have some tips???

These delicious ginger cookies make wonderful tea time treats and don’t have that dreadful ‘overly ginger’ taste to them which you find in many shop bought ginger biscuits.

To make them you will need:

270ml (250g) butter
625ml (530g) sugar Note: I used less sugar than the recipe called for as I found the biscuits too sweet...and unhealthy:0
2 large eggs
125ml (180g) golden syrup Note: You really don’t need so much
1200ml (650g) cake flour
15ml ground ginger
12.5ml baking powder
12.5ml bicarbonate of soda


Step one: Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and syrup and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients and 4ml salt together and add to the butter mixture. Mix until a soft dough is formed.
Step two: Roll out the dough into small balls and place on a greased baking tray – leave enough room between the biscuits. Bake in preheated oven (180 degrees Celsius) for 12 to 15 minutes.
Step three: Leave the biscuits to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray then transfer to a metal rack.
Enjoy with a cup of tea...

Recipe credit: Ideas Magazine January|February 2010

Cookies will stay fresh for a week or so if you keep them in an airtight container.

More from my kitchen soon,

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Cooking Diary//Recipe One

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you’ve been having a wonderful and blessed day so far.

As my school curriculum mainly consists of practical things such as photography courses, blogging, card making, cooking, etc, my mom and I have come up with a way for me to document one of my passions and learn more about it.


I have chosen to work through a recipe book containing over 400 recipes and share my experiences and photographs of the finished meals on my blog. It will be a way to document my work and hopefully inspire others to have fun in the kitchen.

Of course I cannot make all the 400 recipes listed, but I certainly can choose a few to try each month.

The book I plan to use for the rest of this year is an old South African seasonal recipe book. Each month the author gives a run down on the ingredients available for that particular month. Recipes contain a selection of those specific ingredients. Most of the recipes are savoury but there are a few sweet ones, too, as well as preserves and pickle recipes using seasonal fruit and veggies.

I also hope to grow most of my own ingredients to make my food that much more delicious, tasty, economical and healthy. 

I hope you enjoy the journey with me and feel free to join in...

Recipe One//A Breakfast.

“This morning I put together a breakfast dish for my family. I wanted to bake it in the wood oven, but, since we are a considerably larger family than the norm, we needed to double the recipe and use two ceramic dishes instead of one, which weren’t going to fit in our wood stove!
Next time I make this dish I hope I can add home grown vine tomatoes to it as well as use dairy products and eggs from our farm. Milking is on hold for now while we introduce a new calf to Molly, the cow. I miss having raw milk...

I did, however make my own bread – I popped the ingredients in the breadmaker last night to get a nice and ‘airy’ loaf. Usually we make ‘farm bread’ which is a bit denser than bread made in our little machine.”

Breakfast Bread and Butter Pudding
Butter, for greasing
12 slices homemade bread, crusts removed
Olive oil, for frying
3 chorizo or other spicy sausage, cut into chunks (I used boerewors)
1 punnet (250g) brown mushrooms (I used button)
1 packet (300g) vine or cocktail tomatoes
Salt and milled pepper
2 tbsp (30ml) thyme leaves
1 cup (250ml) milk
4 extra-large eggs, beaten

Serves 4
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease a 20-25cm ovenproof dish with butter.
Cut bread into triangles and overlap slightly in dish.
Heat a glug of oil in a pan and lightly fry sausages and mushrooms.
Scatter over bread and allow to fall between slices.
Dot with tomatoes, season and sprinkle with thyme.
Beat milk and eggs together and pour over bread.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes or until bread soaks up liquid.
Bake for 30 minutes or until egg has set.

Recipe Credit:  Pick n Pay Fresh Living - October 2010, Issue 31 was divine:)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Life of Izzie: Part Three

A big hello to all my mom’s blog readers! Remember me...? I’m Izzie, a little (or not so little anymore) Jack Russell Terrier pup. It has been over a month since my last post in which I told you about the things I normally do each day. And in this part of ‘Izzie’s Blog’ I shall tell you all about my best friends and the things we usually do together.

From left to right: Miki, me and Buta on one of our long walks on the farm!

Miki is a female short legged Fox Terrier and she belongs to Aunty Anne-Marie, our neighbour and sweet friend. Miki has a few really bad habits including (a) getting grumpy with everyone (b) ignoring humans and (c) not staying still for a split second – Mom gets SO frustrated as she can’t take a good photograph of her!

Miki as a puppy.

Miki and I go almost everywhere with our owners and sometimes we even go out together! This photo was taken when our families went to get compost from a neighbouring farm. Miki and I rolled in the dirt so much that Mom gave me a bath when we got home. I don’t like baths.

This is dear old Buta. He is a German Shepherd x Boerbul and he is like our ‘big daddy’ who stands watching us with his patient and utterly daft expression. Everybody loves him!

Buta LOVES children!

Because we live just down the road from each other, I usually see Miki and Buta every second day or so. We mostly play at Miki’s house when my family visit Aunty Anne-Mari and Uncle Terence but sometimes Miki comes to see me. Buta never comes though. He really is very big and lumbering:)

The best part of living on a farm with friends down the road is going for walks!! Mom sometimes stops to take them along or Aunty Anne-Mari will come too. I am so active that not even half an hour off-lead in the fields rids me of my seems to tire Mom and the rest of my family out...

On the whole, I love my canine friends as much as my human pets. They are fun in their own ways and make life interesting!

By the way, Mom has started giving me ten minute training sessions each day.
Things we have learnt so far:
(i) Sit – I am a pro at this important command.
(ii) Lie – just mastered this one.
(iii) Stay – this one is so tricky but I’m getting there!
(iv) Come – this command is the toughest of them all.

Mom took this photo of me for a photography course assignment. Unfortunately it didn’t work so well since the back of my head is over-exposed and you can’t see my one eye. Mom said it wasn’t such a good composition either, but that’s how you learn I suppose. I still like this photo - I look very cute in it:)

And that is me for May – I’ll be back next month with some more bits and bites! Keep your pets warm this winter with lots of cuddles and kisses.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Photography Practical -- Lanscapes

Hello everyone!  Last Saturday I went on a photography practical to a beautiful game farm overlooking the sea. 

I went with my teacher and the other teenagers from the photography course I attend once a week. 

...Here are some of the photographs I took...

These photos were taken with a Nikon D200 camera.

Have a blessed week further!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Brave Sister

My brave little sister, Beth, went in to have a hernia repair operation yesterday afternoon. 

Beth's hernia caused her so much pain and discomfort that even though yesterday was scary and not at all pleasant for her, she was glad it was fixed and she could carry on being our wonderful and active Bethy girl:)

Because Sofia is too young to be seperated from my mom and my mom didn't want her exposed to unnecessary germs, I went instead to the hospital with Dad and Beth.  I looked after her and read her stories during the wait for her operation.  Dad popped in every hour or so (he works very close to the hospital) and when it came to the time for her to go in to theatre, Dad was there with her, holding her hand while she fell asleep...

Well done, my little sister - you are so brave and I am so proud to be your sister!


UPDATE:  Beth is doing well today. She is still in a lot of pain and in bed, but having fun playing with her new paperdolls Mom and Dad bought her!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sensatioanl Sewing Challenge -- Prize!

As promised, here is a photograph of this month's sewing challenge prize! 

All you need to do in order to stand a chance to win this pretty piece of material is take part in Sensatiuonal Sewing Challenge.  the theme is 'Anything Goes'.  You can read more HERE!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Debbie’s Designer Challenge – Purses, Beads or Jewellery

 Hello friends! Deborah from Debbie’s Designer asked me to join her designing challenge for ‘Purses or Jewellery’.

I made this pink necklace some time ago for my very dear friend, Heidi-Mari.

I got the idea for this necklace from Ideas Magazine October 2006.

The instructions are as follows:

250cm Pink organza ribbon (1 cm wide)
Darning needle and embroidery needles
Selection of pink and white glass beads in a variety of shapes and sizes
Matching coloured sewing thread
Necklace clasp

1. Cut two 65cm lengths of ribbon and two 50cm lengths. To decorate each length, thread one end of the ribbon through the eye of a darning needle and use it to thread beads onto the ribbon. To position each bead, tie a knot in the ribbon and gently pull it taut before pushing the bead over the knot to secure. Continue in this way until you have the desired number of beads on the length of ribbon. Repeat on the three other ribbons.

2. Using matching-coloured thread, sew four lengths of ribbon together at either end with a few small running stitches.

3. Carefully insert the ends into the section of a necklace clasp, fold the ends of the ribbon over and secure with neat hand stitches. To cover stitching, cut a small strip of ribbon, fold it in half and place on top of stitching. Sew it in place on either side with tiny slip-stitches.

You’re done!

Please hop over to Debbie’s blog here to take part in her challenge!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Sensational Sewing Challenge - Anything Goes

Hello everyone!  I am so sorry there was no sewing challenge last month.  April was very busy for us – too busy in fact!  Because I was unable or make anything or organize any prize, I took a break and now have some news about the challenge for you...

Sensational Sewing Challenge won’t be a monthly challenge anymore, I will host it every now and again for fun.  If I receive over four entries, there will be a voting poll to determine the winner, otherwise, the winner will be chosen randomly as normal.  A prize will also be offered for each challenge.

Onto the new theme...

Your new challenge is ‘ANYTHING GOES’!!!  Doesn’t that sound like a fun and easy one to enter?

The prize for this challenge is a metre of beautiful and colourful butterfly material!

The guidelines for this challenge are as follows – please be sure to read them before linking up:)

(Please note that unless there are more than four entries, there will be no voting poll.  The randomly selected winner of the challenge will then be announced in a separate post when the challenge has closed.  If voting does takes place, entrants will then have the photographs of their projects posted separately after the challenge has closed so that others can vote for them.  Voting will remain open for one week after the challenge has closed.  The winner will be announced afterwards.

Sensational Sewing Challenge is open to anyone of any age.

You may enter once only using your blog. 

If you do NOT have a blog, then you are more than welcome to email your entry to me at  I will post your entry and link up for you.

Please make sure you link back to my blog so that others can find out more about the challenge and hopefully enter too.

There must be at least one photograph of your finished project in your post (or email).

Acknowledge where you got your inspiration or pattern from.

NO back-linking allowed please.

Link up using INLINKZ (be sure to leave the actual link to your blog post so that I can find your entry easily and leave you some love) below.

Comment on one or two entries around yours if you can – everybody loves comments:)

Entries close on the 31st of May.

I will post the prize anywhere in the world!

There you have it – the rules for entering in Sensational Sewing Challenge ‘Anything Goes’.

Now for my sample sewing project...

Gabrielle, my little blue-eyed sister, turned five on the 17th of April.  I put together this apron for her as a gift.

 A big felt flower jazzed up the apron and gave it a colourful and fun appearance, perfect for a little girl!

And there you have your sewing challenge for the month of May!  I hope you are inspired to get creative and join in the fun!!  'Anything Goes' really does mean anything goes, so be sure to try your hand at something, however large or small.  You don’t have to be an experienced seamstress to enter in this challenge:)

Blessings for the month of May!!