Monday, 23 October 2017

BB Squares - Born 'n Bread in KZN

During my usual forage through the aisles of my local Superspar I came across an interesting stand located in the bread section. Soft, pillowy bread squares with an almost a quilted look about them. I bought a packet of these BB Squares thinking that my daughter would like to try them. 

The packet contains four squares which are already cut in half (no need for battling with a bread knife). My daughter decided to use the sandwich press and she made delicious toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches. Lots of gooey cheese!

The sandwich revolution is here - introducing BB Squares. The kids have spoken and the verdict is out… No more boring lunchboxes! 

The days of repetitive cringe worthy cheese and ham, or peanut butter and jam sandwiches are long gone. A new era has begun that has got KZN all fired up with BB Bakeries introducing the BB Squares.

With a rich heritage that spans over 160 years, locally based BB Bakeries is excited to be launching a first of its’ kind product with a bang. “We are all about providing great tasting products that are perfect for everyday use. BB Squares are a game changer in terms of taste and versatility, so we are thrilled to invite families to come and experience the product for themselves,” commented Premier FMCG Senior Brand Manager: Regional Bakeries, Trisha Ramdheen. BB Bread and BB Squares are exclusively baked in their Durban and Pinetown bakeries. 

Created to breathe new life into sandwich making, BB Squares are designed to fit perfectly into lunchboxes, are high in fibre and can hold an array of tantalizing fillings or toppings. BB Squares come in white and brown bread.

Serving suggestion

What better way to unveil and celebrate innovation and versatility in the Bakery category, than putting BB Squares and moms to the time and taste test?

Introducing the BB Square Off Challenge!

The BB Square Off is a creative Square making challenge that zaps the monotony out of lunchboxes. Consumers are invited to awaken their inner foodie and surprise their senses with a salivating spread of toppings and fillings; and the versatility and convenience of BB Squares.

With Durban’s most popular markets setting the stage and East Coast Radio’s Mags van der Westhuizen officiating - moms will get the chance to ‘Square Off’ with media and homegrown celebrities to make tasty Square creations in the quickest time possible. These creative innovations will be judged by a panel of junior judges, who will critique against their strict taste test criteria. You don’t want to miss it! 

The last "Square Off" is happening at :

     Date: 29 October 2017
              Venue: Wonder Market
              Time: 9am- 2pm

Deborah Andrews, Mags van der Westhuizen
& BB Squares promoters

Friday, 20 October 2017

Love Local Festival at Liberty Midlands Mall

If you are in Pietermaritzburg or surrounding areas you can #LoveLocal this weekend at the Liberty Midlands Mall from 20th-22nd October.

The #LoveLocal Festival will feature Pietermaritzburg’s local favourites – from your favourite home-grown and handmade jewellery, clothing, accessories and home wear, all the way through to your favourite foods, celebrities and chefs! The #LoveLocal Festival has an awe inspiring line up, consisting of 6 South African chefs, who will be partnering up with great celebrities, to offer Midlands a weekend to remember.

Headlining this year’s Chef’s Theatre is Kamini Pather! She is a celebrity food blogger, Radio and TV host, style icon, kitchenware creator, multiple award winner and winner of MasterChef South Africa 2013. Kamini will be returning to her home province and gracing us with a demonstration of her honest love for food through a saucy cook up! Other chefs include Granny Mouse Country House & Spa Executive Culinary Artist, Wayland Green, Lorenzo Giliomee of Fordoun Hotel & Spa, Culinary General Manager at The Midlands Kitchen, Terrence Ford, Cheryl Govender from The Cake House as well as Erica Brown from Sōlfood.

Kamini Pather

Joining in on the action and assisting the chefs during selected slots will be Stephanie Saville from The Witness, as well as celebrities such as Darren Maule and Keri Miller (East Coast Breakfast), Zola Zeelovin (Gagasi FM), Bongani Mtolo (East Coast Drive), Midlands Meander’s Marketing Co-ordinator, Stephanie Soogrin, Shirdika Pillai (Lotus FM) and a special football star from Maritzburg United.

Over the past 4 years, this Food Festival has been a huge success at Liberty Midlands Mall, and based on high demand, this annual festival has grown and adapted to become something so much more! The #LoveLocal Festival is not only about food. It has evolved, and will be celebrating everything to love about the beautiful city of Pietermaritzburg and its surrounds. Liberty Midlands Mall will be transformed into an artisanal marketplace filled with an array of local exhibitions and marketers, gathering the best of Pietermaritzburg all under one roof.

Carefully curated installations celebrating Pietermaritzburg, its history, its industry and everything to love about this great city will be seen and felt all around the mall.

The ‘Proudly Pietermaritzburg' Exhibition will showcase a number of local and impactful businesses, and through a creative and interesting display will inform the public of their importance in the economic development of the city.

The ‘Then and Now’ Exhibition by Jonathan Burton will take us on a photographic journey through the ages of Pietermaritzburg. Historical photos of the city will be juxtaposed with those of modern day Pietermaritzburg. The contrast between the historical and the contemporary masterfully expresses how vastly the city has evolved and developed over the past 150 years.

The ‘Best Of’ display is a carefully curated installation that will pay homage to beautiful design originating from KwaZulu-Natal, showcasing art, décor pottery and so much more, all of which was created by artists, designers and producers from the region. The show features the likes of HomeWood, Noush Projects, Perfect Imperfect, Arkivio, Shauna Neill, Coast, Bespoke Botanicals, Artesense, Fathima Kathrada, Conteu Magazine and Elysian Creative to mention a few.

The Artisanal Marketplace will be an area where shoppers will be able to meet the local crafters, sample fresh and locally produced goods as well as purchase locally made clothing, leatherware, homeware, baby products and jewellery.

To add to this, The KwaZulu-Natal Museum, has come on board to give visitors a taste of what the museum has to offer in two interactive displays across the Mall. Be amazed by a giant birdcage from the Natural History museum that will add pizazz to the Tread and Miller Court, featuring information about local birds.

The Clicks court is also a must visit, featuring entertainment for the little ones in an interactive kids’ exhibition which sees children ‘dig’ for archaeological items such as dinosaur fossils, keeping them busy for hours.

The kids can also be entertained at the cupcake decorating station, which will be equipped with all things fun and yummy, like icing and sprinkles to let their imaginations run wild.

The festival will run from 9am-7pm on Friday & Saturday and 9am-5pm on Sunday. The Chef’s Theatre will have 8 demonstrations at the following times: Friday at 5:30pm; Saturday at 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm as well as Sunday, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm.

Says Muhammed Varachia, General Manager of Liberty Midlands Mall: “Pietermaritzburg is rich in culture, food, and goods, but it is also very rich in its sense of community. There are many wonderful products being made in the area, and we wanted to provide the platform for these producers to exhibit their goods and share them with our community!”  

With so much on offer everyday this weekend, get down to Liberty Midlands Mall at 50 Sanctuary Road Pietermaritzburg and #LoveLocal! 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Has Nicola Run Out Of Coffee?

If you follow me on Twitter (@NicolaLMeyer) you will see that I have definitely not given up coffee! In fact I have been drinking more coffee in the last month and a half than I ever have before.

So why the title? 

Well I’m sure you have noticed (I do hope so) that I haven’t written a blog post in awhile. The reason is I have been stressed, busy, tired and with no inclination to write anything. My husband Neil had an accident on 13/14 August and after two stints in the hospital he is finally home to recuperate. I won’t go into any details about the accident but I will just say that it was serious and I’m very glad to have him home again.

He won’t be able to drive for many months so I have been driving him around and I'm so glad our son Caleb can also help out. I have also had to take on all the tasks that he used to do around the house and find myself collapsing into bed exhausted most nights.

So this is just a short post to say that I am still around and I will still Run On Coffee.

See you later!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Affordable Everyday Cooking with Stuffed Feeling

Local Durban food blogger, Megan Deane of Stuffed Feeling, made a brave move earlier this year and published her own recipe e-book. Many of us say “perhaps one day”, “when I have time” etc etc and I applaud her for achieving what she wanted to do. We see the completed product and it looks so easy to do, but a lot of hard work and I am sure very late nights were put into its creation.

The name of the recipe e-book is “Affordable Everyday Cooking” and consists of 21 recipes broken down into the following catagories : Vegetarian, Chicken, Seafood, Pork, Beef and Desserts. All the recipes were created with affordability in mind and Megan also gives advice on where to shop to get the best value for your money.

I made the Beef Pepper Hotpot and found it easy to put together and very tasty. I stretched the recipe with the addition of red kidney beans and mushrooms as she suggested and I served it on mashed potatoes. It is definitely a recipe that I would make again. The dessert section is calling and the next recipe that I have my eye on is Lemon Pudding #yummy

You will find the recipe e-book over here

If you would like to find out more about Megan Deane and see her recipes take a look at her blog Stuffed Feeling

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Plump Up Your Skin with REN Flash Hydro-Boost

There are so many products on the market for all types of skin and all types of skin concerns. Products for sensitive skin, ageing skin, tired skin and so the list goes on.  There are also many products to aid dry skin, but this is the first cream that I have seen that uses water to activate the ingredients in the product.

I only occasionally get dry skin on my face (mostly on my cheeks) so I wasn’t sure what the product could do for me. So I was very pleasantly surprised that my skin enjoyed REN Flash Hydro-Boost and it felt so much more relaxed and properly moisturised. The product was also easy to use, absorbed very quickly, didn’t make my skin greasy and it has a clean fresh smell. It also didn’t affect the application of my foundation. I have only been using the product during the day to counteract the extremes of temperature that we always experience in KZN. The product can be used both morning and evening.

HOW TO USE : Apply the cream onto cleansed face and neck. Add a tiny amount of water to your finger tips. Massage the water into your skin using circular motions until the water is fully absorbed.

Plumps, smoothes and hydrates with Hyaluronic acid, Xylitol and Germ Peptide

A water-charging hydration booster designed to work in harmony with the skin, to prevent the ageing effects of dehydration by enhancing the skin’s ability to transfer, lock and retain moisture. Long term use helps to reduce fine lines and prevent water loss from the skin.

Water is the skin’s elixir of youth and the most essential anti-ageing ingredient. New hydra technology is the key to understanding the biology of water control and capture within the skin. Hyaluronic Acid boosts water in the cells to optimise levels, plumping the skin from within whilst Germ Peptide allows the transport and circulation of water throughout the skin. Xylitol promotes water capture from the environment and ceramides, fatty acids and phospholipids create the ultimate barrier against water loss.

Skin is instantly plumped and regains a fuller, smoother appearance. Long term, skin is protected from the ageing effects of dehydration.

All skin types

Available at selected Woolworths stores and REN online


* I was sent the product for review *

Sunday, 10 September 2017

New Executive Chef at Fairmont Zimbali Resort

- If you cook, cook with passion or don’t cook at all –

That is the philosophy of Tony Kocke, the newly appointed Executive Chef of Fairmont Zimbali Resort and Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. He is experienced, passionate, a visionary in the culinary field and a breath of fresh air in his new position.

Fairmont Zimbali Resort recently held an informal cocktail and canapé function in order to introduce Tony Kocke to the media. The event was held inside the Ayoba Mexican Cantina situated at their Beach Club. With exotic looking cocktails such as the Rainbow Ma Khaza and the divine canapés he certainly made a great impression. All the food was moreish and my particular favourite was the chicken pies. A wonderful, relaxing evening chatting to the Chef and fellow media ended well with crème brulee and a black forest dessert.

Ayoba menu, lighting, Rainbow Ma Khaza cocktail,
creme brulee, black forest dessert

Tony Kocke grew up in Germany and always knew that he wanted to be a chef. It was during his apprenticeship at Restaurant Papillon in Berlin that his passion for food was amplified. He spent 3 years in Berlin before moving to London in 1985 where he gained invaluable experience as a Commis Chef for The Dorchester Hotel, The Hilton and St James Club to name but a few. His love for travel steered him to Durban where he grew passionate about all things local, including (of course) local Rugby team, The Sharks.

When Tony was offered his first Executive Chef position at the age of 25, it was evident that his career in the culinary world would be the start of many accolades. He was voted Best Young Chef Garde Manger in South Africa and in 1989 he was awarded the Hudson Knight Chef of the Year award.

After 9 years in South Africa, Tony moved back to London where he briefly held the position of Executive Chef at Harry’s Bar and Restaurant, The Savoy’s then, newly opened restaurant serving international 5 star cuisines. He then cruised the Caribbean seas and served over 1750 guests daily when he became the Executive Sous Chef for Holland American Cruise Line at the end of 1992.

Chef Tony’s greatest accomplishment came later when he opened his own restaurant in Brandenburg, Germany. It was here that he was awarded a Michelin star for his high standard of quality and exceptional cuisine. After 5 years of owning his own restaurant, he decided to sell Ma Cuisine and move to South Africa, the place that stole his heart a few years before.

He spent the next 17 years of his career working for a number of different hotels, including The Cullinan and The Beverley Hills Hotel before moving to the iconic Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Zimbali Resort.As the Executive Chef of this world-renowned property, Tony will oversee 11 kitchens and a 77 member kitchen-brigade.

Tony plans to incorporate his vast knowledge of international cuisine with his passion for local delicacies to create the ultimate dining experience. Similar to Accor and Fairmont Hotels and Resort chefs around the world, he is committed to purchasing from local purveyors and suppliers: the vegetables are grown on a farm less than 10 km away; a call as the boat pulls into the harbour alerts him to the catch of the day; and the ooh-la-la French-style cheeses are actually made by an artisanal cheese maker in the Midlands.  Curries, the best-seller, are authentically crafted by Indian and Zulu cooks, and the accompanying pickles and chutneys are made in-house.  

Food Philosophy : Local produce always leads to high flavoured, good contemporary food

Speaks : German and English

Most Famous Diners : Princess Diana, The Queen of England, Jimmy Carter, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, George Forman, Pitbull, Sigourney Weaver, The Springboks

Favourite Meal : Roast Duck with sour cherry sauce – his own delicious recipe

Fantasy Dinner Companions : Michael Schumacher, Michael Caine and Jodie Foster

Dreaming of Dining At : Grant Achatz’s 3 Michelin Star awarded Restaurant, Alinea located in Chicago 

Find out more facts about Chef Tony by following Fairmont Zimbali on social media with the #TonyTuesday 

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Delectable Carvery at Fern Hill Hotel

On the 23rd of July we celebrated my mother-in-law's 80th birthday with close family at the Fern Hill Hotel in Howick. My sister-in-law Alison chose the hotel for their Sunday carvery and she did all the organising while my daughter Laura and I made a surprise cake for Mom. The staff at Fern Hill Hotel did a fabulous job decorating the table and we were treated to five star service at all times. Fern Hill Hotel has its own hotel school and the students assist at the Sunday carvery.

The carvery consists of hot and cold starters, the regular meat (chicken, beef, lamb and pork) and vegetables, but it is the desserts that are truly sensational (yes I do look at the dessert section first when I look at a menu). The desserts change all the time (according to the photos I have seen).  We oohed and aahed our way through lemon tartlets, chocolate and caramel tartlets, chocolate mousse cake and berry cheesecake. There were a few other items and a warm bread and butter pudding with custard. The whole carvery was a taste sensation and all the food was perfectly prepared and served.

The hotel uses Skyline Coffee and I enjoyed my cappuccino before and after the carvery.

We so enjoyed our time at Fern Hill Hotel and my husband Neil keeps mentioning that we need to return. Hope to see you again very soon Fern Hill Hotel and thank you again for making Mom's birthday so special.

The carvery is very popular so make sure you book in advance.

Fern Hill Hotel
R103 Midmar, Tweedie