Tag Archives: food

Tasteful Tuesday: Dream Dinner Destination

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As many of you know, I spent an incredible Summer in Europe in 2013. (Can you believe that it’ll be 2 years ago soon!)… You can read about my adventures on my Contiki Tour, or see some of my travel outfits, or learn about a couple of my European Summer packing tips.

One of my most favourite cities that I was lucky enough to explore, was Florence. I had been learning about it since I was old enough to pronounce “Michelangelo”, had been oohing and aaahing over David since forever, and obviously have a very deep love affair with Italian food. Not only does FLorence offer up a plethora of art galleries and buildings – it feels alive with secrets and history. Knowing the exact streets you walk upon were once graced with the feet of those such as Dante Alighieri and Boticelli. The Arno river flows straight through the city, the Duomo sticks up above the rest of the red roofs, every hundred meters is another piazza encircled by over priced restaurants and local gelato makers who shout offers and flavours to you as you pass by, with thick, deep Italian accents. It’s simply marvelous.

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It was while spending about 5 days in this magical city in Tuscany that my mother and I decided to treat ourselves one night. We were on a backpackers budget – mostly baguettes, cheese and ham. And possibly a shared pizza or pasta here or there. But we had heard of the famous Florentinian steaks, and decided to go in search of a place to try them out. We meandered lazily through the cobbled streets, passing homes once owned by the famous Medici family, stopping here and there to gaze at the incredible architecture that adorns the city. We came across a tiny, understated entrance with a sign reading, “Little David”. Starving from a day spent wandering galleries and lying under the hot Italian sun in beautiful rose gardens, we popped inside, and ended up having what can only be described as one of the most amazing meals of our lives.

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Little David is a restaurant, wine bar and museum, run by an Italian man who is heavily passionate about what he does. You might notice that his website is entirely in Italian, and has absolutely no options to change the words to English! It’s lucky that we stumbled onto it while looking for somewhere to eat in person, and that we didn’t google search first – it may have possibly put us off from going here. We wouldn’t have had the time to ask a local to help us transcribe the words, and would simply have looked for something easier to understand. This is definitely where some international websites fail – really, they should accommodate their holiday making patrons and have the option to turn the site into english (or at least important aspects like menus, directions and contact details). Thank goodness for Little David’s Trip Advisor page!

But rest assured, website aside this is a brilliant place to go and experience some first hand flavoursome Italian food. We ordered a pretty large steak, and finished every single mouthful. The owner was quite surprised that we, two petite ladies, had managed to scoff down so much food. Florentinian steak is served rare as rare can be (which is just my style, but if you’re not into that, I’d suggest changing your order to something else. The Italians will change for no one – and why should they when they do everything so perfectly!). We got a short history lesson, while I sipped away on a glass of soft, velvet chianti, about the restaurant owner’s love of wine. He even gave us free samples to try. An interesting aspect to his wine making skills, is that he has successfully copied the exact recipes that would have been used in ancient Pompeii – vases unearthed still had traces of wine in them, that were analyzed. The owner of Little David then took it upon himself to, using these ingredients that were pinpointed, re-create the exact wines that would have been drunk by those who were covered in volcanic ash. It really is amazing.

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I was reading Dan Brown’s Inferno while I was in Venice, and had just been in Florence, so to be able to think back on every details of his book and know what it looked like in person was just incredible. There is so much of that city that I have yet to go back and discover. The gelato is sweet, the locals helpful, and the food is simply magical.

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This was our incredible view every morning from our hostel – sparrows swooped and flew over the Tuscan rooftops, and we looked at mamas hanging out the days washing to dry.RoseView

This view is from a beautiful rose garden that is situated just below the beautiful Piazza di Michelangelo. It has a wondrous view of the city, beautiful gardens to stroll through, shade to rest your weary walked-out legs and most importantly, it’s totally free.David

David’s bum is something that is never given the recognition it deserves. I sneakily took a photo while no one was looking. (But seriously, those calves though!)

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Tasteful Tuesday: Scrumptious Stew

Even though it’s positively boiling hot in Cape Town, I can’t say no to a yummy stew and mash! Even if I have to have a fan blowing on me while I eat it, to stop myself from overheating. It makes me want to run away to Alaska and live in a little wooden cabin with a fire place. Really, it does. AS with all the dishes I post on Tasteful Tuesday, this recipe isn’t too difficult to follow, it’s pretty simple. It teas a bit of time – mostly because you need to let it marinate and then you want to cook it for as long as possible so that the meat becomes super soft.

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I got this recipe off of Pintrest, which I then followed to a blog called Katie at the Kitchen Door.

Daube Provençale (French Beef Stew with Red Wine)

Recipe from Home Made Winter, by Yvette van Boven.  Serves 8.

  • 3 lb stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Cote du Rhone [I used Bordeaux and it was fine, but Yvette recommends Cote du Rhone, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, or Minervois]
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 orange, washed well and cut into 8 wedges [I substituted grapefruit]
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 3 1/2 oz. pitted black olives
  1. Season meat with salt and pepper on all sides.  Place meat in a big bowl with wine, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, orange, onion, and garlic.  Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours, and preferably 24 hours.
  2. Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot.  Remove the meat from the marinade and brown the pieces in the oil on all sides.  Pour the marinade (including the oranges, bay leaves, etc.) over the meat and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, skimming any foam from the surface.  Lower the heat to a simmer, stir in the tomato paste, and add 4 1/2 c. water.  Cover, and let stew on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. 15 minutes before the stew is ready, add the pitted olives.  Let cook for 15 minutes on medium heat without the lid to thicken the stew.
  4. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Serves 6-8.

  • 6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • salt
  • 8 cloves garlic, cut in quarters
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  1. Place cubed potatoes in a large saucepan.  Cover with cold water, salt liberally, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, skimming starch foam from top occasionally and checking to keep from boiling over – lower heat if necessary.  Drain potatoes and place in a blender.
  2. Return saucepan to heat, lower heat to low, and add garlic and heavy cream.  Heat until garlic is fragrant and cream begins to simmer, then add to blender.  Blend until potatoes are a totally smooth puree.  Add water or skim milk as necessary to even out texture.

|| On a side note: I didn’t include the olives (don’t like them!) or the grapefruit in mine…

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Tasteful Tuesday – Fabulous French Toast

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You know when you wake up one morning, and you’re all like, “I’m gonna be indulgent today.”?

Wait until the next time you feel like that, and then try out this recipe. Or if you’re like me, and you believe in every day indulgence (because well fed people with happy tummies smile more than their carrot consuming friends) then try it right . now …

Now I know that it’s common practice in Europe and America to make sweet french toast, but here in South Africa there’s loads of people who turn their noses up at the idea, and are more inclined to say “Pass the tomato sauce” (thats ketchup for you American kids) rather than “Pass the maple syrup”… I was like that too, until I tried making french toast this way, and now I’m hooked.

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Fabulous French Toast:
• Thick, day old white bread
• cinnamon
• nutmeg
• eggs (1 egg for every 3 or 4 slices of bread)
• milk
• banana, sliced
• syrup
• icing sugar to garnish

1 || Mix your eggs with a dash of milk.

2 || Sprinkle in a little nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon. (I love cinnamon, so I put loads in, and then add some more later too.)

3 || Put a non-stick pan on the stove and turn it up to medium heat.

4 || Soak each of your slices of bread in the egg and spice mixture, and place them in the pan. Two at a time should fit.

5 || Flip them over after a coupe of minutes to check whether the first side is cooking. If not, then flip it back onto the first side and wait a little longer. Repeat with the other side.

6 || Pop onto a plate and put the banana right on top. Dust with a little icing sugar, and sprinkle with some extra cinnamon if you love it as much as I do…

7 || When you’re ready to eat, pour syrup over the whole lot and enjoy!

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Tasteful Tuesday – A Simple Smoothie

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Could I just explain to you for one second about how much I hate to make a fuss and a mess in the kitchen? I can’t stand the millions of dishes that go into producing a meal, however delicious said meal might be. I can’t stand the effort that goes into wiping down counters, or re-packing refrigerators, or drying dishes (I always air dry mine in the drying up rack).

Making this yummy, awesome, delicious and really simple smoothie creates none of this mess and havoc, and is a perfect morning snack, that you can even pop into a sippy cup (yes, I just said sippy cup) and have on the way to work. No fuss or mess, and a healthy, tasty, on-the-go breakfast in return.

I can’t say that by making and drinking this smoothie your day will definitely be awesome, but I can tell you that it sure as hell probably will be.

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The Simple Smoothie:
• 1 banana
• a handful of strawberries, washed and sliced into halves
• a little bit of watermelon
• some fresh mint (Plus a little more to garnish, if you love being fancy!)• a little bit of watermelon
• 1 cup of 100% orange juice (or better yet, freshly squeezed…)

1 || Pop all of these into a plastic container and blend blend blend.
2 || Pour into an ultra fancy glass just to be indulgent (it is Tuesday after all) if you’re staying home/have time and garnish with a spring of tiny baby mint. Otherwise into the sippy cup it goes, and you can head on out to work.
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Food Stylin’

After creating such lovely images for the last edition of Spar Savour magazine, my friend Leigh and I were asked to do some more work for the online mag. We shot and styled two different pieces, although I can’t share them yet because the next edition of Spar Savour only goes live in 13 days time. But here are a few tit bits in the mean time.

The Dog’s Bollucks

Before I went away to Thailand, I had dinner at a fantastic restaurant called The Dog’s Bollucks with my fabulous friends Klaudia and Michane. They make the most overwhelmingly delicious burgers you’ve ever laid eyes on! I ate the dream-worthy New Yorker (which is very sneakily a lot more burny than you’d think, which I loved). Check out the photos below of their fantastic food and awesome, laid-back atmosphere. Continue reading

Spar SAVOUR Mag

Remember when I said I was involved in something super exciting that I couldn’t really speak about yet, because of work censorship and such? Well now I’m free to divulge all the delicious details.

I present to you, Spar Savour Magazine. The company that I’ve been interning for, Future Media Group, have developed it, and I’ve been involved in writing and design for the magazine.

I was also given the opportunity to style and photograph one of the features – a segment about ginger, including 6 yummy recipes.

My amazingly talented friend, Leigh Tobin, cooked all of the food and together we styled and shot it, using the equipment and studio at on the CPUT Graphic Design floor. Continue reading

Lunchbox Love

I still use my lunchbox from high school. As you can see, it’s a little bit worn, but I adore it. Every time I see the happy little Hello Kitty she makes me smile.

I love fruit, but only when I’m in the mood for it. I prefer to drink all of my fruit in one smoothie, it just seems to be less of a chore for me. But generally during winter it’s too cold for smoothies, so plain fruit is the way to go.

Delicious plain yogurts rock. I often add a bit of honey into the mix, to make it sweeter.

My daily staples are cashew, pecan and almond nuts, as well as sugar dusted dried fruit.

I’m obsessed with popcorn and green tea – have them everyday.

I generally bring something from dinner the night before – today it’s a left over piece of rump steak!

I also always pack the essentials – a serviette and a little spoon for my yogurt.

Food Stylin’

I’m currently involved in something very exciting at work. I can’t spill the beans yet, but I can share what I’ve been up to lately. A wonderfully fabulous friend of mine – Leigh – and I spent the whole of Thursday styling and photographing food. The recipes and amazing photos that we took will be shared soon enough (hopefully within the next week and a half-ish). So here’s a sneaky peek into what’s to come, just to wet your appetite.