Findus stir fry

I too am participating in the #SleekGeek challenge and one way to get low fat but super flavourful meals is to use influences from the east. Oriental cuisine is full of non-fat based sauces – fish sauce, soy, mirin, rice wine vinegar – coupled with fresh veggies and nuts it really is the smart choice for summer that is hot on our heels.

I recently got sent a pack of Findus frozen veggies that are made specifically for stir frying. I decided to use the pack with carrots, mushrooms, green beans, bambo shoots AND a healthy dose of green chili. I added a few extra bits and bobs and voila – lunch a la sleekness.

Ingredients:

1 TBSP Peanut Oil

3 TBSP Soy Sauce

2,5 TBSP Mirin

1 red chili, sliced

Half a block of silken tofu, cubed

1 Clove Garlic, sliced,

2cm fresh ginger, sliced into matchsticks

a handful of cashews, toasted in a pan

a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Method:

In a searing hot wok, add a slosh of peanut oil, the ginger and chili, followed by the tofu. Allow the tofu to colour slightly before adding the Findus vegetables. Add the garlic and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Toss in the soy and mirin with the garlic. Be sure to coat everything in the pot with the sauce. Before serving, add the nuts and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

 

 

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A blacksmith walks into a bar

This is no joke: a blacksmith walked up to me at a bar last weekend. Granted, it the Deluxe Coffeeworks bar but the story still holds.

Now I’m not sure about you but when I am asked if I would like to make a knife, there is no other answer than “hells yeah”! So off I went to Conrad Hicks‘ studio in Obz to make myself a kitchen knife. The smell of burning embers, hot metal and car oil set in a warehouse with heavy metal tools on the walls and a  retro Chev truck was an unexpected sensory overload. I was quiet for a while. I tried to explain what was going on to my camera. I don’t think I managed to, so you might have to go through yourself.

Conrad is a Fine Arts major who makes tools. Bowls with worn copper undertones, rustic knives in varying sizes, chunky stools and pieces of wall art made out of molten slabs. It’s something quite incredible to behold because it’s a reality that most of us don’t bother to conceive of.

So about my knife. It started off as a bolt from a train until we turned up the heat and flattened it down. I wish I had taken more pics of this beginning process but I’m trying this whole “live in the moment” stuff. My journalistic side isn’t agreeing with the methodology.

I got to use a hammer and heavy tongs to re-heat the metal before taking it to an anvil (yes, an anvil) to beat the daylights out of it. It was a deeply satisfying process to truly create something.

It took about 2 hours to melt and reshape the bolt into a knife that is deliciously rough around the edges, a choice I made when I was polishing it. The blade is sharper than my Wusthof (my fault) and the first thing I did when I got home was dice a tomato. Cue Glomail voice: “Like a hot knife through butter” – it swanned through those tomatoes. I’m hooked.

Conrad offers blacksmithery lessons on a thursday evening and I can serious recommend that everyone tries it out. Contact him on FB or send me an email and I’ll send you his number.

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Help me design my beer label and WIN tickets to the #CTFOB

Yes, I have beer brewing in my bathroom, “loo brew” as the email thread has deemed it. The gentle gurgle has stopped in the last few days, so apparently it’s time to add the honey and bottle the golden dew. I’ve sourced some honey from the Karoo through local bee keepers and great friends at Gardeners Glory. It’s dark and viscous when compared to the honey from their Newlands, Claremont or Somerset West hives.  It also has a remarkably malty flavour to it, which is going to pair perfectly with my brew, bru.

I’ve decided to call my beer ‘Hunny’ . “Why yes, you may have a Hunny!” *chuckles to self*.

Now here’s  the part where you can get involved. I need a label for my  fine brew and YOU get to design it. Post your gesign label on your blog or email it to me at kamini.lives@gmail.com . Be sure to tweet at me, @KaminiPather, to show me where your label lives on the interwebs. The winning design will go into production and live in the hall of radness forever! Winners will be announced on the 9th of Nov and will get to win 4 tickets to the Cape Town Festival of Beer.

Here are some craft beer labels that I quite liked.

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A Sunday In The Country

I don’t get out of town often enough. While the joke is that I break out into hives if I venture too far from Bree St, I’m always willing to take the chance. Besides the wind, this is my favourite time of year. The sun is at its optimum temperature and strength making laying out in the sunshine an absolute bliss. Being a brownie, with my #365tan, spending hours in the sun means only one thing, awful tan lines, my mortal enemy.

I recently took a drive out to Franschhoek on a Sunday-after-the-night-before and picnicked at Allee Bleue. This is a large commercial farm and while the grounds are spectacular,  much like so many others in that area, the blue pillars that line that driveway draw ones attention away from the magnificent, looming trees that tower overhead. It’s quite sad, actually.

Disclaimer: this is a tad persnickety. Do with it what you will. The service at Allee Bleue was great, the setting quite lovely and it felt as though the dappled sunshine shone in all its glory for little ol’ me. However,  for a lunch picnic at an estate of such calibre, one would (I would) expect a little more from the lunch offering. The baguette was the best part of the meal and the selection of cheese and melon preserve, while not wildly out of the ordinary, did save my bacon on that treacherous afternoon.

There were 2 other families there that day and I enjoyed the childlike shrikes from the jungle gym.  The jumping castle might’ve taken it all a step too far though, for two reasons. (1) the generator drowned out any ambient sounds (birds, trees, leaves etc) or general tranquility one might’ve had in Franschhoek on a Sunday and (2) with the right company and amount of wine, I might’ve been inspired to have myself a royal bounce.

I’m not a fan of writing reviews that aren’t gushy and glowing because overall, I had a good day. It felt lovely to leave the city and free the feet from the shoes but I doubt that I would be happy to spend R145 per person for the experience. Ah well, now you know.

 

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Pretty in pink with @36boutiques

When I got the recipe for the week’s insert on the @ExpressoShow I was asked if I could wear something pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. And of course I support the cause but I’ve often battled with the colour pink. Becoming a woman wasn’t a walk in the park for this recovering tomboy and even still, I approach it with a caution that can only be likened to that post-tequila night feeling. Luckily for me, @36boutiques came to my rescue.

This dress, designed by Jo Carlin, is what is called a skater dress, which I don’t quite understand in an urban context because I doubt anyone could skate board in such a frock. But where I’m from (the ice rink) a figure skater could look delightful swanning around in little white boots with this free-flowing skirt rippling in the breeze.

www.36boutiques.com

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Win a signed copy of Gordon Ramsay’s new book

We all know that Gordon Ramsay is a multi-talented chef. He has 12 Michelin Stars, restaurants all over the world, cooking shows that all include an F-word or three and 12 cookbooks. My personal favourite fact is that he used to play professional football until he injured himself and had to retire, which was when his affair with the kitchen began. From what I gather, he has always been a saucy gent and somehow, as he gets older and those delicious lines on his face deepen, his appeal increases. [insert cold shower here]

If it isn’t clear, I’m obsessed with Gordon Ramsay. As a minor testament, my most prized possessions are my GR glassware. Somehow, drinking some regular ol’ OJ feels so much more enchanting. *Swoon*

Besides the glassware, I have a set of his pots as well. They have a certain finesse whilst still being heavy set much like his brow. Gordon and I go WAAAAY back, as I’m sure you can tell, and I am thrilled to announce that everyone will get to experience a little bit of him as well through @CheckersSA, as he has been getting involved with their butchery.

Take a look at this brawny Brit in this a sneak peak of the advert launching later this month. You’re welcome.

Because I love you all dearly, I’ve got a signed copy of Gordon Ramsay’s latest cookbook, The Ultimate Cookery Course. To enter copy and past the following words on twitter:

Yes, @KaminiPather is right, @GordonRamsay01 gets me percolating too. Thanks @CheckerSA #RamsayRatesCheckers

Winner to be announced later today, 19 Oct 2012

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Cape Town Festival of Beer

When it comes to beer appreciation, I’m a complete noob. It was only in the last year that I discovered the truly amazing qualities of the fine brew and wa-wa-wee-wah, have I been making up for lost time. So many delicate flavours and beautifully golden hues that pair perfectly with Sunday afternoons as well as they do with matured cheese or (and I shall prove this) as flavouring for ice-cream. Malted goodness. *air punch*

There are a few of us bloggers who’ve been invited to create our very own beer. @BangersAndNash dropped off our packages that included a rathe impressive beer vat with a funky anti-explosion valve thing. The package also includes sterilizers, hops, yeast and carbonation tablets, everything you need to craft your own beer. The thing I am most proud of is that I haven’t been checking the sleepy vat every 30minutes so by the time it’s being judged at the Cape Town Festival of Beer at the end of Nov, I’m sure that it’s going to be a treat.

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Demet Karatas & I on the Expresso Show

During my recent twitter interview with 36boutiques.com they asked me  to describe my personal sense of style. My answer was “effortless, body-aware and feminine” something I feel quite strongly about. I’ve often been that girl who LOVED the skin tight frock near the safety of the rail and then spent all evening sucking in her tummy or pulling down the skirt to cover her wares. It’s uncomfortable and let’s be serious, life is simply to short.

Fashion designer @DemetKaratas recently visit 2OV.fm and explained her ideas around dressing and designing for felines. I love that she uses only natural fabrics – silks of every finish and description and leathers so delicious you’d want to bathe in them. Besides being completely fabulous, she’s also particulalry generous. She graciously offered to dress me for the Expresso Show this morning AND cured me from the Rocking The Daisies Flu (yes, it’s an official disease).

So about a Demet Karats design: it’s comfortable and luxurious all at once. This dress was a dream to wear as the fabric fell elegantly and without any help from yours truly. It also looked a damn treat while cooking with Ewan in the Expresso kitchen.

www.demetkaratas.com 

Check out the Bacon and Egg Pie @Ewan_Strydom and I made this morning.

 

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Choizo lentils with baby spinach and calamari

Before I headed off to Rocking The Daisies last week I joined the @ExpressoShow team to cook some Chorizo lentils with crispy calamari and baby spinach, harvested by the ever-debonair, @Ewan_Strydom. Friday was James Bond Day and the entire team looks rather amazing.

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36 Boutiques Summer Dresses

Clearly I’ve been living under the right rock, the one with full access to 36Boutiques.com. In case you’ve not been so lucky, they’re an online fashion boutique with some of the most coveted labels around.

Their Summer Dresses campaign launched today, the one that features some of the most exquisite bloggers I know.

My dresses are by Sass, baring the fiesty coral colour. They were a treat to wear. Lucky me.

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