Friday, 30 October 2015

Good Food & Wine Show Cook Off

Yesterday I had an amazing experience with my fellow Durban bloggers and other media when we attended the township cook off with the Good Food & Wine Show chefs. The cook off was held at a very popular venue called Eyadini Lounge situated in Umlazi.

Eyadini Lounge in Umlazi

Bloggers and media met at Durban Tourism offices in Florida Road so that we could catch the bus that was provided for us by eThekwini Municipality. There was lots of chatting and laughter and meeting of people that I didn’t know. I also had a chance to look at the brochures available that showcase events and places of interest in our wonderful city. What was even more exciting was that we went to fetch the chefs from the beautiful Oyster Box Hotel to take them to the venue. Travelling with us was Brent Owens, Renae Smith, Peter Ayub and Siphokazi Mdlankomo. We were also joined by media personality and Top Billing presenter Lorna Maseko.

You know when you put bloggers together with their phones that there is going to be lots of picture taking, selfie taking, Snapchatting, Instagramming and tweeting.  So if you want to follow all the fun that happened just take a look at #DurbanSummer.

Welcome from Councillor Ngema

First up in the cook off were Brent Owens and Renae Smith (pilchards in sweet peanut curry sauce with pap) against Reza Mahammad and Jenny Morris (Championship boerewors in vetkoek). Our table had a taste of the pilchard’s recipe and it was delicious and I am very keen to make it myself. The next cook off was Peter Ayub (Turkish style lamb boerewors hotdog with traditional pot bread) against Siphokazi Mdlankomo (burger with roasted red pepper, bacon and mushroom sauce) and they were assisted by Lorna Maseko. It was very busy around the chef station with photographers and cameras filming for Expresso, so watch Expresso on Monday and Tuesday to see the chefs in action.
Renae Smith, Brent Owens, Reza Mahammad, Jenny Morris

Peter Ayub, Lorna Maseko, Siphokazi Mdlankomo,
Jenny Morris, Reza Mahammad and Sharen Thumboo

After the cook off we were all treated to the wonderful food prepared by the chefs of Eyadini Lounge. Beef chops, lamb chops, boerewors, pap, pot bread, chakalaka, coleslaw and butternut. It was a great experience and I must thank eThekwini Municipality, Durban Tourism, Eyadini Lounge and the Good Food & Wine Show.

Pilchard curry and my large plate of food prepared by Eyadini Lounge

The Good Food & Wine Show is on this weekend at the Durban Exhibition Centre and here is where you will find the chefs in action : Brent Owens and Reza Mahammad in the Celebrity Chefs Theatre, Jenny Morris on the Celebrity Chefs Theatre and Romancing The Stove Theatre, Peter Ayub in the Celebrity Chefs Theatre, Baking Theatre & the Slow Food Theatre, Renae Smith in the well i am Health & Wellness Kitchen and Siphokazi Mdlankomo in the Short Chef, Skinny Chef Theatre.

Good Food & Wine Show
Durban Exhibition Centre
11 Walnut Road

Friday – Saturday 10am – 9pm
Sunday 10am – 6pm
Adults R90
Students 12-18 years and Senior Citizens R60

Inge Loker and I looking rather windblown

REN Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial Review

I recently received REN Clean Skincare’s Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial to try. This cream is the latest addition to their Radiance range and it is a transforming treatment that works while you sleep.

It works in three ways to support the natural skin processes just like a facial. Phase 1 is exfoliation as the tropical fruit acids encourage natural exfoliation to leave the skin feeling smoother. There is a tingle to my skin after I finished applying it but don’t worry it didn’t last long.

Phase 2 is the massage part of a facial when minerals and sugars are delivered to the cells to energise the skin. Omega oils also boost the skin’s natural healing processes.

Phase 3 is hydration when an extract of yeast fermentation raises the skin’s pH back to its best level, drawing in moisture for hydrated and plump skin.

The product is applied onto a clean face, neck and décolleté and massaged in until it is absorbed. Use 2 -3 pumps of the product. Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial can be used 2-3 times a week and you can use it alone or under your favourite REN serum or moisturiser.

The product is suitable for all skin types, except those with a sensitive skin and avoid the eye area when applying.

These are the Bio Extracts contained in the cream : a complex of Glycolic and Lactic Acids from yeast, pineapple and passion fruit to refine and brighten skin tone. Tocotrienols from cranberry seed oil to help reduce UV damage. Omega 3 from arctic blackcurrant seed oil to repair and soothe. Sodium Lactate from yeast to moisturise and plump the skin.

I have used the product at least 10 times and I have had no skin irritations at all – only great feeling skin with a definite glow. I Wake Wonderful with REN.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Carrot Cake Muffins

Today I am sharing with you the most delicious muffin recipe and it truly does taste like carrot cake. I have never iced them but I am sure it would taste extra amazing with a cream cheese icing. The recipe comes out of a book called “The Muffin Bible” and is the most made recipe from it. There are a lot of other fabulous sounding muffin recipes and I suppose I should try something else someday.

Very easy to make and the only major work is grating the carrots.

1 ¾ cups flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
½ cup crushed pineapple in juice
½ cup vegetable oil
1 egg lightly beaten
1 ½ tsp vanilla essence
2 cups shredded carrot
½ cup raisins

In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. In a separate bowl mix pineapple, oil, egg and vanilla essence until blended. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients; add the pineapple mixture and stir to just combine. Stir in the carrots and raisins. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans and bake 200C for 15 – 20 minutes.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

SAMPAR Beauty Cannot Wait

I have finished using all but one of the SAMPAR products that I received in August and I am pleased to report that my skin enjoyed them.

Here is my short and sweet review of the products :

Daily Dose Foaming Cleanser (Pure Perfection) – A not overly foaming cleanser with a minty fragrance which I enjoyed using. I only needed a small amount to cleanse my face thoroughly.

Ultra Hydrating Fluid (Essentials) – I loved this fluid and its rose like fragrance. It was easy to apply and spread well and soaked into my skin without leaving it greasy. Can be used morning and evening.

Lavish Dream Cream (Age Antidote) – A wonderfully nourishing cream that I used at night although it can also be applied in the morning. It was easy to spread and it felt good on my skin.

Nocturnal Line-Up Mask (Age Antidote) – This anti-ageing mask was used at night after cleansing my face. I applied the Lavish Dream Cream over it. Easy to apply and my skin felt really good in the morning.

3 Day Weekend (Essentials) – This product has a moisturizing gel like consistency. You only need a small amount as it spreads very well. It stimulates the skin’s natural melanin for naturally sun kissed skin without sun. I know that it doesn’t work for everyone and I think it didn’t work on me as I haven’t seen a change in the colour of my skin. But it is very hard to say as I look at my face every day when I put on the cream.

So my overall review of the SAMPAR products is that my skin enjoyed them and I didn’t have any reactions what so ever. I didn’t need to use a lot of the product so the samples did last quite a while. I am still using the 3 Day Weekend as that is a full size product.

SAMPAR products are available from selected Edgars and Woolworths.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Ginja Food Magazine Lunner

I recently attended a media “lunner” (lunch + dinner) at Ginja Food Magazine. 

Lovely table in the Ginja diningroom

The event was to introduce everyone to the new owner of the magazine. The magazine was started by Chef Jacqui Brown and she and her team had built it up to be a high quality food magazine – the only magazine in South Africa to be owned and run by a chef. I am very pleased to say that the magazine is still owned by a chef – Chef Francois Ferreira who took over in June 2015. He will be running the magazine with his partner Denise Lindley.

Chef Francois Ferreira

Denise Lindley

Chef Francois Ferreira also owns and runs the Francois Ferreira Academy situated in George on the Garden Route, which provides training in culinary arts and hospitality management. He certainly is a very busy man as he also appears on radio and TV and has written four books.

Of course the most important part of everything was the food! Our delicious starter was Haddock & Hake Mousse served with Raisin Relish and the most divine home baked Seed Loaf. I must, must get the recipe for the Seed Loaf. Chef Francois explained that the starter was originally supposed to be made from snoek but he was unable to get snoek here in Durban. Denise paired the starter with Wolftrap White Blend wine.


Seed Loaf

Next up was a palate cleanser of Green Salad with Fynbos Vinaigrette.

Palate Cleanser

A Traditional Tomato Bredie served with Green Pepper & Onion Flavoured Samp & Beans was the main course. The meat, samp and beans were all soft and delicious – a fabulous flavour experience. Porcupine Ridge Syrah was the wine pairing. Buy the current issue of the Ginja Food Magazine for Peter Veldsman’s Tamatiebredie recipe and Renata Coetzee’s Modern Samp & Bean Stew.

Main Course

Now for the favourite part of the meal – the dessert.  A lip licking Koeksister Cassata with Blackberry Coulis. You would think that the cassata would make the pieces of koeksister soft, but no they were still crunchy and oh so sweet. A truly fabulous combination! The dessert was paired with a choice of Champu MCC or JC Le Roux Scintilla. The highlight of the evening was Chef Francois using a chef’s knife to open up (sabrage) the bottle of Champu. I have seen this on TV but it was so interesting to see it done live.


Denise Lindley is very knowledgeable about wine and she will be doing a series of Ginja Wine Classes in the magazine with the name of Carpe Vinum (Seize the Wine).

It was a wonderful evening with fabulous food and conversation and I am looking forward to seeing what Chef Francois and Denise have in store for the Ginja Food Magazine, not forgetting the talented people who make the magazine a reality. The magazine will soon be coming out monthly, filled with recipes, wine and everything to do with food. The current issue (on shelf now) is their African Edition and you can read John Aritho’s first article on Exploring Africa when he starts in Kenya his country of birth. Also in the magazine is a great article on African Coffee.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

First Thursdays at The Commune

On 01 October I attended First Thursdays at The Commune in 39 Station Drive Durban with Inge Loker and Hazel Whitehead. We went to see Jane Sews Spring Capsule collection and to meet Maria Magdalena van Wyk and see her Wild Lines solo art exhibition.
Inge Loker and Hazel Whitehead

The Commune

Jane Sews studio

This is the third time that I had been to Station Drive (a new Durban creative hub). The first time I went to a Pop Up Shop hosted by Kirsty Milne of Peg & Pencil and the second time I went to see The Morning Trade market.

I have had quite a few conversations with Magdalena on Twitter and was thrilled to be able to meet her in person. Magdalena is based in Cape Town and you can read all about her and buy her beautiful art over here. My favourite of all her work is from the Wander Collection and is called “Winona Ryder”, with the cat over her shoulders. *starts saving*

Wander Collection and some of the 100 Tiny Originals

Maria Magdalena van Wyk

Wynona Ryder (Wander Collection)

We loved looking at Magdalena's beautiful artworks and at Jane Sews flowy clothes (love the dresses). Don't be sad thinking that you have missed seeing Magdalena's artworks as they will be on show at The Commune until 31 October.

Since we were feeling hungry, we decided to go out for supper and Nadia van der Mescht told us about a restaurant in Station Drive called S43. Just out the Design Factory door and take a left, go around a corner and make our way to number 43 - easy! That was a fun experience and it was wonderful to sit, chat and enjoy delicious food together.

S43 43 Station Drive

Maria Magdalena van Wyk

The Commune

Jane Sews


Friday, 2 October 2015

Eat Greek Sunday Lunch Buffet

This past Sunday (27 September) my family and I were treated to THE BEST Sunday buffet lunch EVER!!

I was very fortunate to win a lunch for 6 people through Eat Greek Caterers on their Facebook page and everyone was excited about going as we had been told that it was a feast.

Eat Greek Caterers was established in 1991 and is owned by Nick Papadopolous and Eric Edwards. They have a wealth of experience in catering from running a restaurant on Broadway in Durban North, to owning a deli at Virginia Circle and catering for all types of Corporate, VIP and Private functions. If Mr Price, Standard Bank and East Coast Radio (to name a few) chose them to cater then you know their food must be delicious. They cater for Corporate Functions, Suite Hospitality, Lunch Packs for Trips and Tour Groups, In-house Training Menus for Offices and Private Events such as Book Clubs, Birthday Parties and Anniversaries. So if you want divine Greek meals and desserts, other cuisine or even themed menus they will cater for you.
Views from the Sea Cottage room

The Sunday lunch buffet is held on the last Sunday of the month in the Sea Cottage room Greyville Convention Centre. Now don’t expect candlelight, intricate floral displays or five star decor. No, no you attend for the five star food feast. From cold starters, hot starters, mains and desserts you will have to find someone to roll you out.

We arrived at 12pm which is the start time and were given table number 5 to sit at. The husband and daughter went on a reccie mission to discover what the starters were, but instead of reporting back they immediately grabbed plates and loaded them up.

Cold starters : salad with lots of feta, hummus, brinjal dip, cold roast beef slices, marinated brinjal slices, fish balls, smoked salmon dip, brinjal rolls with halloumi inside and skordalia. There was also various bread slices to choose from.
Cold starters

More cold starters

Such divine flavours and textures and I went back a second time for a few more of the cold starter items and I was not the only one. Loved the hummus and the brinjal dip. Well loved everything!

Hot starters : spinach and cheese pies (Spanakopita), cheese pies (Tiropita), baby marrow fritters, meatballs, spinach rolls filled with mince, peri peri chicken livers, chicken kebabs and calamari
Hot starters

As with the cold starters the hot ones were a taste sensation. The peri peri chicken livers had a bit of a bite, especially after you had swallowed it. None of the dishes were oily and everything had clean fresh flavours that left you wanting more. I was so tempted to return for more hot starters but still had the mains and desserts to tackle.

Mains : roast lamb, lemon and herb chicken, battered hake, vegetarian moussaka, mixed vegetables and roast potatoes
Delicious mains (want more of that roast lamb)

My favourite, favourite meat is lamb/mutton and I am not the only one in the family. Yes I absolutely did return for a second helping of the roast lamb. The meat was melt in the mouth divine!  I also had the chicken, vegetarian moussaka and the roast potatoes. As I have said before – everything was a taste sensation. My Mom had a piece of hake and she loved it. No worries that you would have to be first in line for the food, in case they ran out, as new dishes quickly replaced those that were running low.

Dessert : chocolate mousse, fruit salad, vanilla ice cream, rice pudding, crème caramel and Greek pastries
Dessert selection

After the fabulous cold and hot starters and the awesome mains the lunch buffet had to end on a high note and it certainly did. Rice pudding that my daughter said tasted like warm milk tart filling, dreamy creamy chocolate mousse, smooth crème caramel and the wonderful crunchy and sweet Greek pastries. I don’t know what the crunchy Greek pastries were but I could eat them all the time.
Happy family (husband ducked the photos & I was taking them ha ha)

After you had eaten your fill there was tea and (instant) coffee available. Sorry Eat Greek Caterers but instant coffee is not for me and that was your only negative, but I forgive you. If you read my blog and follow me on social media then you know that I love freshly ground coffee beans for my coffee.

The lunch buffet (last Sunday of the month) costs R175 per person and there is a bar to order drinks. Corkage is R25 if you bring your own wine. DON’T MISS OUT BOOK NOW! 25 October 2015
Nick Papadopolous and Eric Edwards

Eat Greek Caterers
Open Monday to Friday 8am – 4:30pm
Greyville Convention Centre
150 Avondale Road
Greyville Durban
Entrance through Gates 7 and 8