Saturday, 20 June 2015

Blog Break

I am going to be quiet on the blog for a time as my Dad passed away on the morning of 12 June and has gone to be with the Lord. There are a lot of things that I need to help my Mom with.

We are all doing well and even though we are very, very sad and upset that he has gone we are also grateful that he passed away very peacefully in his sleep.

I encourage you all to spend time with your parents and appreciate and love them.


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Lynn Bedford Hall's Coffee Cake

I have wanted to make a coffee cake for quite some time now and yesterday was the day I finally made it. The first book I looked in and my favourite and most used recipe book had a recipe for coffee cake.

Neil and I are coming up for our 21st wedding anniversary in August this year and we received this recipe book from an aunt and uncle of his. The recipe book is by Lynn Bedford Hall and is called “Best of Cooking in South Africa”. There are recipes in this book that I make often as they are so delicious. One of Neil’s all time favourites and my daughter’s as well is Lemon Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce (we actually had it last week).  My Christmas cake is made from the Favourite Fruit Cake recipe and we also love her Spiced Pumpkin Soup.

My favourite recipe book

I love this book so much that I buy copies of it from the SPCA bookshop so that I can give it to friends that do not have it or know about it. I just gave a book to the mother of my son’s friend when I collected him from school after his exam this morning. I don’t have any more copies left after that so I better keep an eye out for more the next time I am at the SPCA.

Anyway! Let’s get back to the making of the coffee cake. I had never made this recipe from the book before but I wasn’t worried as I have never had a failure with any of her recipes. The recipe I used is her “Beat and Bake Coffee-Pecan Cake”. I did not add any pecan nuts even though I did have some in the cupboard. The pecan nuts are destined for pecan nut pie, which I have not made in years.

Beat and Bake Coffee-Pecan Cake

The flavours may be changed by omitting cinnamon, coffee and pecans and substituting 5ml vanilla or grated orange and lemon rind.

3 eggs separated

200ml castor sugar

100ml oil

2ml salt

150ml milk

350ml flour

10ml baking powder

5ml cinnamon

10ml pure instant coffee powder

5ml water

100ml chopped pecan nuts

Put egg yolks into bowl and add all the ingredients, except the egg whites, coffee, water and nuts, in the order listed. Dissolve coffee in water and add. Using an electric beater, mix on medium speed for 90 seconds. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and nuts. Pour into to greased and lined 18cm cake tins and bake at 180C in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Stand for 5 minutes, then invert onto a cake rack, remove paper and cool.


10ml pure instant coffee powder

25ml water

60ml soft butter

750ml sifted icing sugar

2ml vanilla

Dissolve coffee in water; add remaining ingredients and mix, adding a dash more water if necessary.

Ice the coffee cake and decorate with pecan halves.

This cake was quick and easy to make and I can guarantee that it is delicious as Neil had two slices last night after supper.

Coffee cake with decorations

Other Lynn Bedford Hall recipe books that I own are : “Scrumptious”, “Fabulous Food” and “Nice n’ Easy Cookbook”.

Do you have a favourite recipe book that you turn to time and time again?

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Skinny laMinx Launch of Diggi Dot Collection

On Tuesday 2 June I went to the launch of Skinny laMinx’s new fabric range called Diggi Dot in Walnut Interior Fabrics at 111 Peter Mokaba Road Durban.

Heather Moore is the owner of Skinny laMinx, a self-taught illustrator and designer, who started the business as a hobby in 2006. Now Skinny laMinx is to be found in stores throughout the world.

Here she tells how the collection came about :

“Last year, I went off to Jaipur at the invitation of Ritchie Ace Camps, to teach a three day course in pattern generation and design as part of a seven day experiential tour focused on traditional Indian block printing and dying techniques. My role was to teach how to design and create pattern using lino printing blocks.

We stayed in a charming old hotel in Jaipur called Hotel Diggi Palace, where I taught my course at in the leafy poolside courtyard.

While prepping for the trip, I did a lot of lino block printing in my studio, and found this method of generating pattern very exciting, because of the way the simplest shapes can generate endless combinations and variations, with just a shift of direction or colour.

Upon my return, I thought I might make an India-inspired collection, which would be vibrant, decorative and generally quite excessive, but instead, I found myself drawn to soft colours and delicate lines. I wrote this in my journal on my last day in Jaipur:

“I’ve come away with a sense of sweetness and calm beneath the clamor and chaos of the traffic. Delicate fabrics, the finest lines, the softest tones: My experience of India has been all about exquisite skill, craftsmanship and attention to the finest detail.”

The result is the Diggi Dot collection, where the simplest block printed motifs - a line, a half circle and a dot – combine with the fresh, light colours of Jaipur and Hotel Diggi Palace.

Diggi Dot collection

Heather explained to us about her fabrics and how they fit into her original range and even showed us by putting various fabric colours and designs together. Her range, new and old, is so versatile and can be used in a baby’s room to a teenager’s room.

New and old collection in red

The 2015/16 Colour Book contains the following designs and colours :

Simple Stripe

-          Lemon

-          Mint

-          Liquorice

-          Steel

-          Signal Red


-          Steel / Signal

-          Lemon / Mint

-          Liquorice / Fog


-          Steel / Signal

-          Glass / Mint

-          Lemon / Fog

Block Circle

-          Liquorice

-          Steel

-          Signal Red


Skinny laMinx fabric is priced at R545 per meter and is available from 201 Bree Street in Cape Town and online at

Refreshment table

The all important coffee!

If you are Durban based you can also go and see the new Diggi Dot collection and Skinny laMinx’s other collections at Walnut Interior Fabrics.

Thank you to Heather Moore for coming to Durban to show us the new range and to Walnut Interior Fabrics for hosting such a lovely morning.

Myself and Heather Moore

Lovely practical bag as a gift for attending

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Sparkle Loves Hill's Kitty Cuddler

Sparkle has a new “nesty”! Neil has been making a nest for Sparkle to sleep in for years. He is the only one who can make it perfectly for her and she has long sleeps in it. So when Hill’s asked whether Sparkle would like to try out their new #hillskittycuddler, my answer was of course YES. It didn’t take her long to settle into her new “nesty” which is currently on top of the diningroom table. This is so that Bolt does not worry her by sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. The wonderful people from Hill’s also included a bag of their Ideal Balance Natural Chicken and Brown Rice, which she is really enjoying.

Sparkle's old "nesty"
Sparkle with her new "nesty" and Ideal Balance food

Snuggled in #hillskittycuddler

Here is the information about the #hillskittycuddler :

This winter let your cat cuddle up in a cosy new bed from Hill’s. These #hillskittycuddler super-snuggly beds will be available in a choice of four colours with each purchase of two medium bags of Hill’s Science Plan (3kgs to 5kgs) or Ideal Balance Feline (2.72kgs to 6.8kgs) at veterinary outlets from 1 June. Hill’s Science Plan and Hill’s Ideal Balance Feline are naturally preserved, completely balanced and scientifically-formulated to meet a cat’s specific nutritional needs. This bed offer is available while stocks last and terms and conditions do apply.

For your nearest participating practice or vet shop contact, Hill’s on or 0800 228 783. For more info Become part of a community passionate about pets and learn about Hill’s latest special offers on Facebook and Twitter

Marycke Ackhurst from Hill’s has these tips on encouraging your cat to sleep in its new bed:  

·         Place the bed wherever the cat usually likes to sleep (which may even be on top of your bed J)

·         Elevate the bed in a raised spot - cats like to look down on the world

·         Place favourite toys in the bed

·         A sprinkling of catnip or valerian may make the bed more appealing


Monday, 1 June 2015

Treat Cafe at Talloula

Thursday 28 May was my Mom’s birthday and it has become a tradition to go somewhere to either have tea/coffee and cake or to have a full meal. My parents stay in Botha’s Hill so I wanted to go to a place that was fairly close to them. Just a few kilometres down the road from them is Talloula. I had not been to Treat Cafe before even though I had been to Talloula twice for their annual Christmas Fair.

Outside eating area
We arrived at 11am (the time I made the booking for) and were shown to our window table. Treat Cafe is beautifully decorated and has wonderful and restful music playing in the background. It was a very, very warm day (28 degrees when we arrived) so I decided to have a glass of homemade lemonade, Mom had cranberry juice and Dad had a glass of wine.

We perused the menu and perused the menu and .... you get the picture. It was going to be difficult to decide what to have. Mom found it easy and decided what she was going to have almost immediately – Roasted butternut and feta quiche with salad and homemade dressing.

Dad and I were trying to decide between a hamburger, mutton curry or the beef steak pie. Eventually I decided to have their hamburger (it was hamburger day) with their homemade patty, caramelised onions, salad and chips. Dad went with the mutton curry with rice and sambals.

While waiting for our meal Mom and I took a walk to the toilet and then looked around the cafe. There are beautiful decor items and stationery for sale. I saw stationery from Origin Stationery and MillaMae.

It was time to eat and even though it was a very warm day we found that we were hungry. The meals were wonderfully presented. My hamburger patty was thick and juicy and I loved the homemade dressing on the salad. Mom enjoyed the flavours of her butternut and feta quiche and her salad with the homemade dressing. Dad’s mutton curry had a bit of a bite to it but he really enjoyed it. Mom gave him some of her salad to help cool it down a bit.

Our delicious meals
After our plates were cleared away Mom and I ordered cappuccinos and a slice of their lemon meringue pie. Very good cappuccino and Mom and I enjoyed the lemon meringue with its creamy filling and crisp meringue. I only realised after having the cappy and pie that I hadn’t taken a picture.

We had a wonderful meal and very relaxing time at Treat Cafe and I look forward to returning and sitting on their big white couch. I think I shall take my sister there for a cappy, cake and chat.

Here are a few photos of the amazing interior :

Love this :)
Comfortable looking white couch
Beautiful decor
D├ęcor on the way to the bathroom and inside


Wedding venue, event planning, flowers and decor, conferences, functions and restaurant

61 Old Main Road, Bothas Hill


Monday – closed

Tuesday – Sunday  8:30am – 4pm

My parents and I