Restaurants I tried
I love trying out new restaurants, so when one pops up in my neighbourhood, I will keep mentioning it to the boyfriend until we go. Mo-zo’s Fast Food has recently opened in Randpark Ridge. They offer a great take-away selection from their parent company Mo-zam-bik (read my review here) which is located at the same centre. We ordered the chicken for girls (a half chicken that has been deboned, which makes it so much easier to eat), the trinchado (tasty beef pieces in an amazing wine and garlic sauce), and a large chips (their large chips are LARGE, way too many for 2 people). If you feel like some Mozambiqian food to eat at home, pop over to Trinity Village on Knoppiesdoring Street.
If you would prefer a little Italian in your life (who wouldn’t), Casalotti’s has just opened their 5th branch in Northcliff at L’Corro Shopping Centre (On the corner of Bagley Terrace & Weltevreden Road). They make wood fired, thin crust pizzas (and offer bacon as a topping – hallelujah). Opt for the sourdough crust (It’s amazing, the dough is left to prove overnight to give it a more yeasty flavour) and pick up some of The Counter’s mouth-watering brownies and fudge for dessert. A large pizza costs about R80, and they also have mini pizzas for the not so hungry.
If take-out seems too pleb for you, book a table at Central One restaurant at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel. Their fine dining dinner selection will leave your taste buds dancing, and your date will certainly be impressed. Try the Carpaccio for starters and make sure you leave room for dessert. I had the opportunity to sample a menu they created for a competition – you can read all about it here.
Products I love
How absolutely adorable are these Animal Parade Spice Shakers? They are made by a Thailand Company called Qualy Design, and I bought my set locally from ilovestuff.co.za. They cost R420 (not exactly pocket change) but after staring at them for 2 days I couldn’t resist the temptation. I must say, the service from ilovestuff was amazing. I placed my order in the afternoon and received it the next morning.
Ah, Hayden Quinn, the Aussie golden boy from Masterchef Australia. My obsession with this show is borderline crazy, and since the 6th season has just finished (I won’t spoil it for those of you who have to wait 10 years for it to come on DSTV) I’m worried about what I’m going to watch at night. Hayden was a contestant in the 3rd series, and although he didn’t win, he has shot to fame and is a regular visitor to SA (he even has a TV show here). He has also released his first cookbook, called Dish It Up. It’s a beautiful book with plenty of easy recipes. I bought my copy at Woolworths (look near the magazine section) for R299.
Three words. Disposable Piping Bags. These have changed my life. I hate cleaning. I especially hate cleaning buttery icing off of anything. Since I have been buying these bags, I haven’t needed to stick my hand into a buttery cavern for a while. Life changing stuff. These bags are made by an Australian Company Multix, and along with the 5 piping bags that come in the box, you also get a coupler and some nozzles (a coupler is used to attach the nozzle to the bag, but you can just put the nozzle in the bag, and cut the tip of the bag off, if you don’t want to fuss with high tech gadgets like that). Since the nozzles are not fancy schmancy, you don’t mind if you have to throw them away either. The next box will have more! I bought mine from Game for R13 (I hope they still sell them there)
Recipes I attempted
There is a theme here. I told you my obsession with the “show that I shall no longer name” is bad. After watching George (first name basis, oh yeah) make a dessert with homemade Aero chocolate, I had to try make some bubbly deliciousness of my own. It involves some chocolate, some grape seed oil, a cream siphon and some ice cold trays to make it in. I think I should blog about this amazingness. But for now, look at the bubbles.
Not food, but still fun
I made my dog Basil a batman cape. Because Batdog. Pickle doesn’t have nice things because she chews them. #MyDogIsSad
Keeping with the batman theme, check out my batman tights and batman cookie cutter which I printed on the 3D printer we have at work. Technology is cool
In June, I went down to Durbs for a weekend. We took the dogs and they loved the sea! It’s so nice having so many places to walk your dog and let them go wild, I left wishing we lived closer, so we could make it a regular weekend outing. While we were there, we visited the Litchi Orchard Market just outside of Ballito. I bought some delicious food (marinated feta, where have you been my whole life) and a gorgeous wooden chopping board.
We also attended a wedding at Intundla Lodge (30minutes north of Pretoria). A beautiful setting in a game reserve with a lake (dam/pond?? – I’m not good at this nature thing) and a number of chalets to stay in. Not very high on the luxury scale (Is 2 ply toilet paper really too much to ask?), but the sheets and room were clean and they provided amazing hot chocolate, a hot water bottle and a heater to keep us warm. The wedding was beautiful (as was the bride), the partying was great, the food was average and the wedding favours were right up my alley (Macaroons for the ladies and whiskey and cigars for the gents).
In August I’m looking forward to the Good Food and Wine Show on the 1st, The Cookie Swap on 2nd, a potential overseas trip for work, a bachelorette party, a wedding and my Mom’s birthday. Hopefully we will also find time to revive the Chicken Wing Challenge, and try out a market we haven’t visited before.
What’s on your agenda?