Monday, September 26, 2011

Let there be wraps

What a great weekend!

When we woke up on Saturday morning, the wind was blowing, which is fairly rare in Pretoria (the least windy city in South Africa). So we grabbed Sim's kite and walked to the nearby veld to fly it.

I didn't take the camera with on Saturday, so here's a recent photo of Sim flying the kite on the Rondebosch Common in Cape Town (a city where the wind practically never dies!)
 A craving for tofu then hit me (I haven't eaten tofu in years), so we whipped up a batch of eggless, gluten-free pancakes to act as wraps, after which we parked our behinds on the couch while it rained to eat brunch and watch Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory.

The combo of potato starch and chickpea flour is magic. 
It clings together like slime to a pond wall (that's a good thing, albeit untasty imagery).

All you do is modify the consistency with your liquid of choice.
So pancakes = thinner batter.
Flapjacks = thicker.

And the blend of flours is up to you.
A more neutral taste but chewier texture = more potato starch.
A heavier taste but softer texture = more chickpea flour.

Hint: a non-stick crêpe pan is muy importante.

Pancakes (to use as wraps)
makes 6

  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 6 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • water
Whisk the batter to the desired consistency (adding water slowly).

Lightly oil a non-stick crêpe pan, and ladel some batter into it 
over medium-high heat. Watch closely to make sure it doesn't burn, 
and flip it when you see air bubbles.

Et voilà!

  • tofu
  • aubergine
  • wild rocket
  • tomato
Slice tofu in 1cm thick slices.

Fry in a tiny bit of olive oil (just enough to coat the pan) 
till golden and slightly crispy. Add a sprinkling of your seasoning of choice 
(in this case, just a little sea salt).

Slice aubergines into 1cm thick slices.
Fry in a tiny bit of olive oil (just enough to coat the pan).
Add a sprinkling of your seasoning of choice 
(in this case, just a little sea salt).

Amass the fillings like a grand vegan army on a plate.


Friday, September 23, 2011

It's not muesli - it's chewsli!

Chewsli - a breakfast gift from my husband to me. What a sweetie :-)
 One of the great tragedies of having coeliac disease is my inability to digest oats.

There really is nothing quite like a bowl of steaming oats porridge to warm the cockles of your heart in Winter, soaking in Irish butter and lashings of sugar.
And in Summer, bowls of chewy oat-based muesli with rice milk.
But alas, I am not among those blessed few inflicted with this damnable allergy that can actually digest it.

In my search to find a palatable gluten-free muesli, I have been led astray many a time by promises of "tastes just like regular muesli" (with an exorbitant price tag to match). I think the worst experience I ever had was with a well-known gluten-free brand whose product tasted exactly like a bowl full of parmesan rice flakes with raisins, soaked in rice milk. Disgusting!

And so chewsli was born.

Chewsli is a healthy homemade breakfast dish which is nothing like muesli in ingredients, but whose texture and taste is like chewy oats and milky muesli together.

Simple and filling, it's good and good for you!

1 serving

  • 6 raw walnut halves
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 sweet apple
  • 1 ripe banana
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
  1. Zhoesh it together in your food processor and eat!
Now onto some Friday link love...
  • Check out a super cool recipe in motion for Kougelhopf cake over at Food to be good.
  • Lizzy at That skinny chick can bake has made fantastic Ghirardelli caramel brownies. I love how the brownies look like a giant slab of chocolate!
  • For cake you can eat for breakfast (!!), look no further than Giulietta's Apple and yoghurt cake. You can find the recipe at her blog Alterkitchen.
  • Ruth's vintage recipe for Parmesan and Gruyère scones (or biscuits) is perfect for Sunday afternoon tea. Find it over at Bread and Milk and Blackberries.
And now for some weekend tunes, to set the mood...

Have a great weekend!

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Spring Picnic

    When the weather changes and the garden blooms, early weekend mornings call to me as being an excellent chance to breakfast outside on the grass...picnic style!

    The Menu:
    Decaf plunger coffee, apples, bananas, aged cheddar cheese and raw cashews.
    The Reading Material:
    Popular Mechanics for him, and Country Homes and Interiors for her.

     Check out the cool heart my bu welded for me...
    I'm married to a a really talented fella!

     The bird feeders are a popular buffet style stop-in for a variety of bird species.

     The ranunculus bulbs I planted in Winter 2010 for Spring 2010 
    are only blooming in Spring 2011. Go figure. 
    I guess it's a lesson that things happen in their own time.

     The azalea is going loco with colour! It's super.

     The jasmine is planted close to our bedroom window.
    It's such a treat when the fragrant blooms waft their scent
    into the room in the early evening!

    The benefit of the bougainvillea next door is shared over a dividing wall.
    We get all the benefit without the pruning duties of this thorny delight.

    The calamondin orange tree is doing it's thing.
    Sour little oranges, but a great citrus smell!

    In honour of all the Spring blooms blossoming up a storm,
    I got crafty and made this flowery brooch.

    Happy Spring Southern Hemisphereans!

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    You make your own luck

    Best scene from LOST...

    Best song from Three Dog Night...SHAMBALA...

    Have a great weekend!

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Monday, September 05, 2011

    Bloggy Birthdays and Paper Gifts

    UPDATE: 7 Sep - Giveaway mentioned below is now live! See here.

    As of yesterday, Sunday the fourth of September, two years have passed since the inception of this blog.

    I was watching Julie and Julia for the x-th time the other day (I think Meryl Streep's performance is so striking in that movie...I mean, talk about channelling someone from beyond the grave). Simeon walked into the room at the part of the movie where Julie has just listened to a gazillion messages about people wanting to turn her blog into a book, when he remarked: "Isn't that the dream of every food blogger?"

    What do you think?
    If you're a blogger, why do YOU do what you do?

    The lovely Rebecca over at [oomph.], who is also celebrating her blogaversary this month, is running a giveaway later this week. There are a couple of heartfelt stuff items to be won, so head on over to check out the sponsored goods line-up and enter the draw.

    I was the lucky recipient of a very cool stationery hamper which I won in a giveaway from Becky the snail mailer from Leaving a Paper Trail. Check out the ooh-la-la black and white Paris greetings cards.

    The Trekkie in me was absolutely delighted to receive Spock dog cards. Thanks Becky!

    I received a surprise present from Lou of Lou La La. She makes pretty and super useful fridge-magnet-peg-holders which she sells in her Etsy shop, and she sent me some (along with a delightful letter and postcard). Thank you Lou!

    This cool paper crafting book and calligraphy how-to box came from my Mom and Dad, who have always encouraged my creative side. Thanks Parents!

    Remember the gigantic pile of dishes I was talking about in this post?
    Well, it got tackled on Friday evening...half by me and half by my hubby.
    During his time at the sink, he turned to me and said: "This is the last load of gigantic dishes we'll be washing like this."
    Et voila, the very next day, we became the proud owners of a dishwasher....YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! Thanks Schmee :-)

    So, in summary, a GREAT BIG THANK YOU:
    to Sim, my Parents, Becky and Lou for my gifts
    to my readers for reading!

    As Julia said: Bon Appetit!

    Friday, September 02, 2011

    The dishes that go along with the food

    From my couch in the lounge, I can see a looming mountain of dishes on the counter next to the sink just waiting to be washed.

    I'm in avoidance.

    I was reading a post on one pot cooking this morning, and made a comment on the benefits to cleaning-up this allowed for. Which got me to thinking about dishes.

    Perhaps it 's the universe sending me a message, but the very next blog link I clicked on was about washing dishes (avoidance, get thee hence...)

    My initial comment on the post turned into a mini essay of memories related to dishes - you know, those things that go along with all this delicious cooking food bloggers do (always two sides to a coin, right...)

    In my past, as a chef-in-training, the nights I got stuck washing the post-dinner-rush restaurant pots/pans/cooking utensils used to drive me nuts. That was until one evening when I realised that after the insanity of the dinner frenzy, washing the dishes was actually quite zen. My mind could wander and I could think about the events of the evening, or my plans for the next day. And slowly (very, very slowly), I began to get something out of the experience...not enjoyment (I wouldn't go as far as that), but definitely a mindfulness for the task at hand.

    Not owning a dishwasher at home, I would sometimes grumble at having to do the dishes in addition to having cooked the meal, until I realised that my grumbling destroyed the spirit of the event...a meal shared and enjoyed with people I love. So I changed my attitude to see the dishes as a way to pay homage to the blessings of: having the funds to buy food and share it, the good times and laughter, the warmth infused into our home.

    I believe I have my Mom to thank for this perspective on life. As a teenager, when I walked into the kitchen and saw a ton of dishes on every surface after a day of meals for people, I would always sigh loudly, and she would always remind me: "They tell a good story!"

    Please do yourselves a favour and go and read Pam's beautiful post over at Sticks Forks Fingers entitled:
    Cleaning Up: My Postprandial Grace.
    It's a very special piece of writing.

    Have a great Friday and a brilliant weekend everyone.

    Kitchen sink, here I come...