Thursday, May 31, 2012

A bloggers journey :: Is it really worth it? >>from no where to foodie?

Recently I have been wanting to incorporate more about myself into my blog.

You see when I started writing this blog I never dreamed people would be reading it and I simply just rambled on about what dinner I made (with a bad photo alongside) - often not even posting a recipe. Those were happy days.
Don't get me wrong - I wanted people to read my blog but I felt no pressure to make brilliantly written posts or take great photos, I simply just chatted and posted whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
Then over time and reading other blogs I started to see beautiful blogs with thousands of readers - and oh boy did I want that! (Bloggers who got paid!) So I upped my game to better photos and started posting more recipes and less about stuff I liked. I decided if it wasn't about food it didn't belong on here. Then after some time I was invited to my first press launch and also went to my first review - YAY! I loved it! I felt so glamorous and important..  But along with those feeling I also put pressure on myself to make my blog more professional so I tried harder at my photos and only posted recipes. (No more me at all). Im still not a hugs blogger but quite a bit of time has passed and now when I look back I realise that I am blogging for different goals and some are good but a little has been lost. I am grateful for striving to take better photos, really I want to be as great as I can be. I love photography so it is to my benefit. but along the course of writing - I never knew I would enjoy writing (i didn't like it at school) but I have found it can be a creative outlet and I miss just rambling.
In a nutshell blogging has been great and I have had so many opportunities come through this little blog but I am not as happy as I first was when I first realised non family members and people I didn't even know were reading my blog - WOW (it was my first blogging thrill)
Then when companies contacted  me I was so flattered. I would have agreed to write anything then. (not any more) I have learnt so much about ethics and how to portray myself through this journey.
But most of all I have learnt that me being happy is best for me and this blog - otherwise its not fun and its not worth it.
So I have decided that if I loose invites to fancy events and followers that's tough... I should be happy. So more rambling, less seriousness but im sure there will always be FOOD!

Hope you'll still read ;)

Do you blog? do you put pressure on yourself?

Friday, May 25, 2012


With the colder weather approaching the need to each comforting bowls of warmth has drastically grown!
I then realized that our move to eating meat free and mostly animal product free too that I would have to come up with a dish to replace my usual spaghetti bolognese  I used to make  (filled with mince etc).  I can confidently say that we are 97% vegetarian and indulge in meat maybe once a month. (yay us! ;)
Replacing the meat with good quality mushrooms worked beautifully and I still got my lovely tomato pasta fix I wanted.

Autumn has been particularly beautiful this year and I couldn't help but photograph the leaves :) the seasons are changing fast and the cold is setting in!

2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 and a half punnets of mushrooms (i used porcinni ) 
2 teaspoons balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar
1 large jar of organic tomato puree 
2 teaspoons brown organic sugar
some fresh herbs - basil, oregano, thyme
Pasta (cooked) I use rice pasta

Fry onion in some olive oil and season with salt. Once it starts to change colour add a teaspoon of sugar. then add garlic and lightly brown then remove all from the pan. In the same pan fry chopped up mushrooms and then add some balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar and cook the mushrooms through. Now add the cooked onion and garlic back into the pan with the mushrooms. Add a jar of tomato puree and add sugar, salt, pepper and fresh herbs (basil, thyme and oregano) and simmer until flavors infuse. serve over cooked pasta :) I use a rice pasta.
Sprinkle with cheese if you eat dairy

So what warmer foods have you been making lately now that winter is here?


Thursday, May 17, 2012


I found this recipe on Nook eatery's website and immediately after changing some things and making it I wanted to share it with everyone. But I have a no stealing recipes policy and so I immediately emailed Jessica from Nook Eatery and said to her I wanted to write a blog post and share my version of the recipe (gluten-free and other tweaks). Jessica was very kind and said sure :) she is lovely, isn't she?
So thanks to Nook Eatery and Jessica for allowing me to take their recipe, turn it upside down and make it my own and share it with you. Some bloggers would argue that I had changed it enough that it could be my recipe now but I got the idea from reading their website and from their recipe - so give credit where credit is due. The bones of the recipe is definitely theirs - but when serving it to family and friends I will claim I made it (baked it) so I get the credit ;)

This carrot cake is incredibly moist and was still moist 4 - 5 days later, so its a great cake for a party or dessert that you can make ahead and keep (especially if you have lots to prepare - the more you can get done in advance the better)
Even though I made the sugar less in this recipe next time I will add even less as I thought it was still to sweet.


225ml Buckwheat flour
400ml Gluten-free Flour (brand of your choice)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarb
2 generous teaspoons cinnamon
3-4 large carrots peeled and then grated (when grated filled up a measuring jug to 500ml pressed down)
4 eggs
1 and a half cups brown sugar (organic if possible)
350ml sunflower oil (or oil of your choice)
zest/ grated skin of 2 small oranges
a handful of pecans (roughly chopped)
a handful of raisins(optional)

Place the flours, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon and grated carrot into a large bowl and stir to mix.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs and brown sugar until pale then add the sunflower oil and beat until incorporated
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until mixed through
Now carefully zest/ grate on fine the rinds/skins of your oranges into the mixture then add the pecans and raisins (if using)
Mix all together and pour into a well buttered and floured tins (i think mine are about 18cm)

Bake in the oven @170 degrees celcius for +/- 40 minutes or the edges start to pull away from the cake tin and is nice and brown on top

Remove from tins and allow to cool
Top and fill with lemon cream cheese icing 

Enjoy the carrot cake :) let me know how it turns out :) 


added to Bloom designs link party

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


This was one of those events that I immediately regretted not taking my "big camera"with me. (I usually take my proper camera with me to most events). Instead these photos are taken from my cellphone as I thought I wouldn't need my camera and could take a break from taking photos for at least one event.. of all the events why had i picked this one? ... Silly me!

So with that out of the way - please excuse the quality of these photos, I am sorry.. next time.

O Magazine in South Africa turns 10- yay!
The event was held at the Tablebay Hotel at the V & A Waterfront, Cape Town. As you can see in the pic above everyone got a pink goodie bag to take home filled in true Oprah style with nice things to touch and hold. Thanks Oprah Magazine :)

I love sparkly things and couldn't resist taking a pic of the chandeliers... I wander if one of these will fit in my lounge, probably not!  Anyway...

We had a lovely lunch which lasted all afternoon with talking (speeches and poetry) , entertainment (singing), eating and chatting in between.  The food comprised of:

Grilled Vegetable Terrine
Karoo Lamb Rack
Vegetarian Dish
O's 10th Birthday Cake

I opted for the vegetarian option for lunch which was seemed to be a mushroom type of lasagne which was very creamy and delicious. Many people with the lamb exclaimed how delicious my dish looked and wished they could have some. I didn't share - it was yummy.

Dessert was the very pretty and pink 10th birthday cake with sparkly jewels. It was so girly it just made me smile. *sigh* - if only cake looked like this every day. 

Congrats to the Oprah magazine team on their 10th birthday! now for the teen years ;)

NOTE: I was invited to this event and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon with food and entertainment thanks to Oprah magazine SA. All opinions are my own. Thanks O mag SA

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Sorry is that MEAT on your plate?

 A few nights ago myself and the husband watched the documentary FORKS OVER KNIVES. Now it isn't the most gripping documentary ever BUT it has enough evidence and facts in there to make you think about what you are doing to yourself every day!

WE ALL EAT EVERYDAY - whether it be for necessity to stay alive or for pleasure because you love food or to express your feelings of joy or sadness. But that means everyday we are making decisions about how our bodies will be ... We can eat for health or for sickness! It really can be that simple.
Part of the documentary that really stuck with me is how they showed evidence that how the people  ate differently their bodies could turn cancer cells off or on just from their diet. And the same for the arteries around your heart. You can ensure your body is cholesterol free from making good food choices.

I know from my own personal lifestyle of food I have been making small changes over a long period of time. This hasn't been an over night decision but a month by month and even years that I have been slowly changing.
If you look at my recipe posts from when I started this blog and compare the recipes that I cook now you will see more healthy choices, less meat and less sugar. I am now 95% Vegetarian. PLEASE don't shout at me if you see a meat post on my blog. I have meat rarely and as a treat but it isn't the norm!

Now back to FORKS OVER KNIVES : The main evidence of the documentary which they did huge studies which you should really watch is meat is a NO GO and refined sugars and refined starches and also VERY BAD! Also no dairy and eggs and only a whole food diet is recommended. Now most of this is easy for me as I have been slowly changing my lifestyle over the years and have got to a point now that I have

  •  lowered my sugar intake (barely have any refined sugars - only as a treat)
  • eating less meat
  • cutting out wheat and gluten (almost entirely - 1 treat maybe once a month!) 
  • refusing to eat MSG, and bad additives like Aspartame etc..
  • reading labels - no E numbers and bad additives etc...
  • cutting out hormones (in meat, milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs etc) no rBST in milk!
  • refusing to use anything heated or cooked or frozen in plastic (plastic mimics estrogen in your body causing hormonal problems)
  • Eating organic or if not available pesticide free (fruit, veg and salad)
I agree with the makers of FORKS OVER KNIVES eating a whole food diet is the way to go. I am not entirely sure if I'll be able to cut out all dairy and eggs. But I am going to lower my dairy intake and eggs too.

I have seen such a different in my body since giving up meat in November. I now only have it as a treat. I feel so well and healthy and barely miss it!

I urge you to try watch this movie - even if you change a little, it would be a step towards a healthier you in some way.

Its amazing how your love of food can change. I am so happy to carry on learning and being informed. I know somedays I want to pretend I am an ostrich and put my head in the sand and pretend that I do take aways and drive through but then I look at my health and I haven't regretted one decision. A few extra minutes cooking never killed anyone and I am happier for it!

*note: these are my own experiences and have nothing to do with FORKS OVER KNIVES - they don't even know I exist ;) but I am so much happier I watched it so I thought you should know about it too!