Saturday, 22 February 2014

Bake Golden Smiles with Golden Cloud

Everyone has that special recipe or recipes that you love to make and the family loves to eat.  Some recipes are from your mother or grandmother or something you have made up yourself.

I have recently been sorting out a room and came across my grandmother's hand written recipe book.  I need to look at it more closely but just in the front of the book was a loose recipe for the American Mayo Clinic Cure!

Why don't you make use of those special recipes and have fun entering the fabulous competition Golden Cloud is having.  I will be entering to - I just have to decide what recipes I will be using.
Bake Golden Smiles with Golden Cloud

South Africa’s leading flour distributor, Golden Cloud, is running a three month competition from 1 March 2014 to the 1 June 2014. The Bake Golden Smiles with Golden Cloud competition is dedicated to all South African Moms and avid bakers that bake for pure enjoyment and to make other people happy.

The Bake Golden Smiles with Golden Cloud competition ( is on a three month search for the best baking recipes. People are allowed to enter as many times with different recipes. Ten winners will be chosen and announced on the basis of their submitted recipe. Three winners of the ten will be announced on the 1 April then on the 1 May, and the last four winners will be announced on the 1 June. 

There are three stages when entering the Bake Golden Smiles with Golden Cloud competition. The first stage and most important step is when entrants submit their recipes and contact information. After this step, people will be officially entered into the competition; however they will be given the chance to increase their chances of winning with Golden Cloud. The second stage allows entrants to double their entry’s chances by uploading a picture of their recipe or family with a Golden Cloud product in the background. The third stage is another chance to increase their chances by simply sharing the competition with friends.

The ten winners will receive a Kenwood Kmix Kitchen Stand Mixer valued at R4695, a double spread feature in leading magazines and have their recipes shared on Golden Clouds website and Facebook page.

Throughout the competition, those who have entered the competition will be randomly drawn for daily and weekly spot prize giveaways.  One person per week stands a chance of winning a Kenwood Kmix Kitchen Stand Mixer valued at R4695, while seven people per week stand to win baking hampers.   
There is so much to be won and all those baking enthusiasts in South Africa have to do is what they always do best; bake and share their recipes! Join the Golden Cloud Flour Facebook page for information on how to enter and go to our competition website for the Terms and Conditions and to find the entry form.

For further inquiries regarding the competition contact:



Friday, 21 February 2014

My Torrid "Affair" with Yuppiechef

I have a confession to make ........... I am in love with Yuppiechef!!  It feels so good to get this in the open and a great weight has been released.  Yuppiechef and I have had five encounters ...... I'm so sorry hubby but I just can't resist.

I first heard about Yuppiechef from Twitter and Facebook and people mentioning this great online store.  But my first encounter came about and was caused by my hubby when he won a voucher.  I went onto the online store and was lost looking at all these divine items.  What would I choose??  It was terrible!!  Ooh I am definitely going to choose this ....... ooh this ....... no no this.............

After much discussion and with hubby guidance I chose these :

Morphy Richards Toaster & Le Creuset Coffee Plunger

On my second encounter with Yuppiechef I chose this :

I HAD to have this Letterpress Cookie Set after seeing it on Sarah Graham's "Bitten" television programme.

My third encounter with Yuppiechef was entirely Sarah Graham's fault!!  I saw the advertising for her online baking course that was being hosted by Yuppiechef.  I did the whole course and I drooled over the fabulous utensils etc that she used.  Also drooled over her fabulous baking.  Was telling hubby about the wonderful recipes and mentioned this incredible electronic scale that Sarah used.  So hubby says "buy it"!  Hey 10 minutes later it was paid for!!

Why did I not buy this sooner??!!  It is incredible to use and has made baking so much easier.

My fourth encounter with Yuppiechef was when I had a R250 voucher to spend, so I put it towards this :

The Le Creuset coffee plunger was lonely!  It had to have a matching coffee canister.
My fifth (and I can't say final) encounter with Yuppiechef was around Valentine's Day.  I made heart biscuits with the Letterpress Cookie Set for my daughter's Valentine's Day bake sale at school (used Sarah Graham's recipe).  I put Be My Valentine and Choose Me on the biscuits.  I tweeted Sarah Graham and Yuppiechef the completed Be My Valentine biscuit and got this reply from Yuppiechef later in the day : "Are you asking us for real? That is a pretty big deal. We can only be one person's Valentine, you know ..."  So in reply I tweeted the picture of my other biscuit that had Choose Me on it.  I thought that was it, fun and laughter.  About 15 minutes later I had a reply of my same biscuit picture but with Choose Me erased and OK put in its place. (wish I could show the picture here but I can't save it)  I replied with LOL and left it at that.
Later on in the afternoon I received a strange phone call.  A lady phoned to check my address for a Yuppiechef delivery.  I said I hadn't ordered anything and she said perhaps it was a gift.  Told hubby all about this weirdness when he got home from work.  The next day was Friday and Valentine's Day and I had a phone call from a delivery company to check exactly where the address was.  They had Durban and I had to say no it is Kloof.  Unfortunately the truck for the Highway area had left already so the delivery was going to be on the Saturday.
At about 10:30am the intercom rang and hubby went to the gate to collect the delivery.  The whole family (2 adults 2 kids) then surrounded the counter in the kitchen to watch me open the parcel.
This is what was inside :

Talk about being blown away!!!  I had such a shocked face hubby came over and gave me a hug.  He has been extremely impressed with all the parcels that have arrived from Yuppiechef but this delivery amazed him too.  What company does something like this out of the blue??!! 

What I also love every time I receive a parcel from Yuppiechef are the cute magnets and postcards with hand written notes.  It makes buying such fun and it is so wonderful to be personally acknowledged.

So now you know all about my torrid "affair".  Are you going to have one too?? 
Here, I will make it easy for you :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

"Smitten" Book Launch

I think we have it best down here in Durban with our gorgeous weather and the beach so close, but poor Durban does miss out on the most wonderful events.  My sister Carryn was incredibly fortunate to attend the launch of Sarah Graham's new book "Smitten" on Monday the 10 February at Novel Books. 

We arrived at 10am and nibbled on delicious crunchies and had some coffee while we waited for the launch to start. The comfortable couches and chairs quickly filled up and the owner of Novel Books introduced Sarah to the audience. Sarah had launched her first cookbook, Bitten, at Novel Books two years previously, so she is a familiar face to the bookshop owners.
Sarah spoke about Smitten and how she had received such positive feedback from her last book and with new ideas, she had approached her publishers with the idea of Smitten. They had eagerly agreed and so Smitten began. An interesting fact that she shared was that all the recipes are triple tested by herself once she has perfected them. She also passes the recipes on to family and friends for them to test out and give feedback to her.

After describing some of the process of Smitten, Sarah shared her plans for the future which includes a filmed food safari, and then opened up the floor to questions. There were some delightful and funny questions asked of her, ranging from where to buy the best fish in Johannesburg to who cooks better, her or her husband. (Apparently he is a mean cook!)
It was a delightful morning getting to know such an accomplished cook and author, and interesting to note that she has no formal qualifications and is completely self-taught. I wonder how many others out there have the same drive and passion which could also result in their own cookbooks?
Of course, I could not leave without buying Smitten which she very kindly signed for me. When Nicola next comes to visit me in Johannesburg, I will have to cook a meal from Smitten for her!
Aren't you all green with envy now??  What a wonderful experience.  I can't wait to have that meal, Carryn!!
Follow Carryn @VintageKitchy and Sarah Graham @foodieliveshere


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Midmar Mile - I Did It!!

My daughter swam the Midmar Mile last year and I watched ladies of all shapes, sizes and ages emerge from the tent.  I decided that I could do it too.  Thinking back now, that was a rather impressive decision.

To make sure I followed through with the momentus decision, I told people what I planned to do and wrote about it.  No backing out!! 

The first trial was swimming the 500m fun race at the Capital K so I could see and feel Midmar Dam.  What an eye opener that was!  I battled to get to the first buoy but finished that swim.  I since discovered while I was training for Midmar that I need at least 200m to warm up, so that is why I battled at Capital K.

For training my hubby took me to Westville pool as he wanted to make certain I could make the distance.  The pool is a wonderful 50m so is a real test.  I swam the distance one Sunday morning with a few breaks and then the next weekend I swam it non-stop.  So I had confirmed to hubby and especially myself that I could do it.

Laura and I swam Race 5 at 8:30am Sunday morning.  It was the very first race of the day.  The race was for women over 31 and girls 13 and under.  I wore a white cap that signified a first time swimmer and Laura wore a green for second.  The swimmers are released in batches starting with the orange caps, then blue, then green and lastly white.  Laura stayed back to swim with her dear mother.

In the section for white caps



We lined up in the water at the start and a man blew and air horn.  Laura and I slowly put on our goggles and entered the water fully.  We started off very slowly as there were many swimmers in the water and we didn't want to get hurt.

I focussed on the first buoy and swam to that.  I did that throughout the swim as those buoys were my goals.  We swam and swam and swam.  I swam breastroke practically the whole way with just a few strokes of freestyle every now and then.  The problem with freestyle is, is that you can easily go off course.  No lanes in the dam!  Eventually the finish was in view.

My legs were a bit weak so I held onto Laura's shoulder as we walked out.  The finish is crowded with swimmers exiting and photographers snapping pictures of the swimmers.  We had to go through our age group lanes and hand over our barcode tag and our timing device.  Then we get given our medals and aQuelle water.  Neil had my cellphone with him and not long after we finished an sms was sent telling us our times.  We both finished in 54:07.

I am so thrilled that I swam this race.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  But certainly would have been extremely hard if I had not trained.  What an experience.

mmmmmm what should I tackle next???!!!


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

REVEALED - What am I Doing?

I like to be an organised person, although when you look at my house sometimes (okay most times) ....... well.  I'm a proud list maker and I love to tick things off when they are done.  Lists can be a problem though if you don't have a dedicated list book or a place to keep it.

So this year I decided that I really need to get my act together and be more organised.  I did a search on Pinterest with the search word "organising" and came up with loads of information.  What caught my eye was a pin "Home Management Binder".  I went to the source and looked at what this was about.  It looks like home management files are very well used in American households as these ladies have to cook, clean, fetch kids etc etc.  Hey! That sounds just like me!!

A Home Management Binder consists of printables for cleaning, menu planning, freezer and pantry inventory, to do lists and a lot more.  I downloaded and saved the printables that were of interest to me.  I did another search on Pinterest and came up with other blogs as well with free printables for home management.

Now I had a lot of printables to go through and decide on which ones I was going to print out!  From the original blog I found via Pinterest I had saved the coloured tabs she used to create her file.  I made my own file dividers with white card and the contact covered tabs.  As you can see I have not labelled my dividers as yet as I need to decide what pages as going to work best for me and in what order.

I love the paper that my file is covered in.  It was bought last year at an open day at Two Acres Tearoom.  It is by Lauriana Designs and it is her Cape-To-Cairo wrap.  She also does notebooks and paper placemats.

The to-do list and a few other pages will be laminated as it will be far easier to wipe off an item when complete as to-do lists can get very messy.

I was in Typo on Saturday and found this Binder Paper Refills which could work in the file for making notes and plus it is so pretty.  I also saw the prettiest file dividers that I would have loved for my file but they were too expensive and I had already made my own.

My home management file also includes our electricity and water readings.  A few years ago I started phoning in our electricity readings as we were constantly paying a guesstimate and they only seem to come every 6 months to read the meter.  When the bill comes I also make a note of how much water we have used.  I always have a stock of stationery at home for the kids as I get asked for new glue or pencils.  So in the file is my school and home stationery list and when an item is given I take it off the list.

When searching on Pinterest I was thrilled to discover a Financial Management Planner.  It is incredibly important to keep track of finances.  I already have a great system in place which I am used to working with but sometimes I can't remember what I spent cash on.  The Daily Expense Tracker will help me with that.  No more getting to the end of the month and wondering what I spent cash on!

So now you know what is was doing!!  Here are the links to some of the sites that I used :

Why don't you make your own home management file??!!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Oprah in South Africa

I know, I know this event was last year but my dear sister Carryn Paikin was fortunate to be able to attend.  The perk of living in Jhb, hey Carryn!!

Here is a brief review of the event by Carryn.

My dear, beautiful sister Nicola, has given me the wonderful opportunity of being the guest blogger today!

I would love to share with you my exciting day at the #OYouSA event through Oprah Magazine South Africa.

I was most fortunate to be blessed with tickets through Five Roses, who were one of the sponsors on the day.

I arrived at Gallagher Estate, Midrand with my friend Daniella and we were greeted at the door with lanyards and a swing tag which listed the order of events, as well as allowing us a breakfast and lunch each.

We ventured into a massive hall and enjoyed some coffee while looking around at the sponsor’s stands. There was a stand selling Oprah merchandise, a spa giving foot massages, some lovely Five Roses tea to be sample and quite a few more to stands to see.

We enjoyed our breakfast of muffins and snack bar, before proceeding into the main hall which was bedecked in the signature pink. On our chairs was a goody bag, each bursting with free samples and cosmetic delights!

The first speaker was the brilliant Ariane de Bonvoisin, followed by Julie Morgenstern and then RediTlhabi. The ladies shared with us some pearls of wisdom which really got us thinking.

We were then thrilled to see Oprah emerge and as she walked onto the stage she was greeted with thunderous applause! It was exciting to see her and she gave a short talk to the attendees, reminding us to ‘Delight yourself in the Lord’, and that ‘You become what you believe’.

After her talk she had a question and answer session and then it was time to exit for lunch. Our lunch was a large box filled with savoury and sweet treats. Much like our day, we took home a lot of food for thought!

I would love to be able to show you some of the pictures she took of the event and of Oprah herself but I cannot seem to upload them :(

Carryn will be doing another blog post for me about things to see in Jhb.

Don't forget to check back with my blog if you want to find out what I am doing with the file from my previous post.

Happy Monday!!!!