All in a day

Sometimes it is better not to plan. Just go on a whim by the seat of your pants. This weekend was one of those.

Room with a view-Simon's Town

Room with a view-Simon’s Town

We went for a one night stay in the sleepy Naval village of Simon’s Town about 40 km from Cape Town. Browsing, shopping a bit, eating a lot and sleeping well.

Simon's Town

Simon’s Town

The next morning the full intention was to go straight home but a detour here and there and playing tourists in our own area, we ended up at Cape Point. To most it feels like the most southern tip of Africa but is is not, it is however open water from there right to Antarctica. Ahoy sailer!

Cape Point and then Antarctica!

Cape Point and then Antarctica!

A very nice weekend always has to end with a special lunch of sorts……

White and dark chocolate desert. Hotel Hohenhort Constantia

White and dark chocolate desert. Hotel Hohenhort Constantia

Random Photo: #ilovecapetown

This is how far we are

This is how far we are

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Floating Islands in the Mist?

Aside

In the mist-Cape Town

In the mist-Cape Town

On a scale of weirdness these past two months were just that, weird. I did not travel(by plane) for two months. First time in eight years. I am a commuter and work in two cities. One where my whole heart lies and where I live and the other where I need to be to do what I do. My body and mind is so used to leaving on a jet plane that at first I was at a loss as to why I felt between two worlds, as if I needed to be somewhere where I am not. The broken up weeks of the past two months with public holidays, Easter Weekend and Workers Day added to the stop-start, stop-start of normal routines. A bit like floating around in the mist really. At least I spent quality time with good people and great mini road trips in between. Just as sudden as this small hiatus started, it stopped and I am on my way again. More sudden is winter that descended with a vengeance and is now here to stay. Good soups, curries and pot pies come to mind!

Walking, walking, walking in Paris a year ago.

Walking, walking, walking in Paris a year ago.

It is now a year since I visited my friend OddlylivinginParis and I miss the walking,walking and talking, talking with her (not to mention the eating-eating…) and sitting in front of her picture perfect Parisian window putting the world to rights! Her written piece on “hands” make me weak in the knees, so beautiful.

Odette's view

Odette’s view

The floating island dessert I made and blogged on my return needs a re-mention to celebrate remembrance.

Oeufs a la Neige/Floating Islands

Oeufs a la Neige/Floating Islands

It is to remember and celebrate mothers passed, mothers around me, sisters near and far and children of my heart. One so far and one so near. Happy Mothers Day.

Thank you Boxofrecipes and lapetitartichaut with their lovely blogs for the rewards, much appreciated. This dessert is also for you!

Random Photo:

Very quirky upside down, inside out display in Paris. I like!

Upside down, inside out!

Upside down, inside out!

Cape Dutch Manor House 2 – Weltevreden Estate

Farm Weltevreden

I absolutely adore the Cape Dutch style houses which are so unique to the Western Cape. We are very fortunate to live in an area where there are literally thousands of wine producing farms and it is normally on these farms where the manor houses are so rich in the history and heritage of who whe are.

Weltevreden Estate

Weltevreden Estate

I previously blogged about such a house De Kleijne Bos in this post https://flippenblog.com/2013/06/23/guavas-in-the-glorious-cape-winelands/ and whenever we get the chance, we stay over for a night or two in a Cape Dutch house where the owners run them as B&B’s, which gives us mere mortals the chance to experience life the way it used to be. This weekend it was the manor house at the farm Weltevreden, just outside of Stellenbosch where the owner is not shy to share his heritage house with the public. Weltevreden is not a wine producing farm but is smack in the middle of wine country.

The service was downright excellent and the Congolese houseman was proud to show us around and share his pride in the owner’s house and grounds.

Weltevreden Manor House, Stellenbosch

Weltevreden Manor House, Stellenbosch

The Weltevreden house (weltevreden is Dutch for being very satisfied, I should bloody well hope so with a house like this…) was built in 1812 and the origin of these houses was during the the late 1600’s after Jan van Riebeeck arrived in the Cape in 1652. They were(and still are) all white washed and all have the typical thatched roofs which was the norm due to the then shortage of building materials in the Cape. The earlier ones had a higher beam above the front door to “lift” the thatched roof ceiling to allow for a window and more light in the attic room above the front door and were called “wolfsneus” houses (wolve’s nose).

As the settlers became more affluent( and surely more wives joined the men….) the houses and the gables became more elaborate and the “wolfsneus” became a typical Dutch “bol/bol” design, meaning round shaped like a ball.

Even later the bol/bol became “hol/bol” designs which means hollow/ball shaped, having symetrical indents and rounded shapes in the gable, followed after that with a bit of flair by adding statues, family insignia’s and so forth. Clever old Dutchmen to leave us these beauties.

I can make do with this " "cottage".....

I can make do with this ” “cottage”…..

Of course the standard straight rectangular shapes became T- shapes, U-shapes and eventually H- shaped manors as buildings were extended and the wealth increased( more children happened when more wives joined, see!).

Eventually too many fires and more availability of other building materials caused the building styles to change away from thatch and the beautiful and elaborate gables to more flat roofs which then developed into more stories and higher buildings. Damn shame.

Nevertheless, the grand old style is celebrated in the Western Cape and it never hurts to feel a bit like the lady of the manor house once in a while…..if only…..

Manor Treasures

Manor Treasures

The estate is also home to an impressive collection of Porches of the owner and there is a great restaurant where the chef understands the importance of preserving the typical Boland dishes in their original form, served with cheffy flair.

We were paying guests at the Manor House and restaurant and I gush about this place out of free will! They can be contacted at www.weltevredenestate.com

Baked fig&camembert and a Porche please

Baked fig&camembert and a Porche please

All in all “the lady of the Manor” had a tremendous weekend.

Random Photo taken at Tokara Wine Estate around the corner from Weltevreden. The nest is where children hatch.

Art at Tokara

Art at Tokara

Paternoster

A holiday needs to end, I suppose. Back to the grrrrrind for me tomorrow and no better way to end the holiday than with a short road trip up the West Coast of the Western Cape. My friend Karin and I decided to leave the husbands behind (someone needs to work!) and went on the 400 km round trip with lots of laughing and eating (shopping…) along the way.The first stop was a farm stall for some sustenance and parrot watching. Amazing what one can find on these road trips.

Farm Stall, Yzerfontein

Farm Stall, Yzerfontein

Over night in the coastal town of Paternoster consisted of eating fresh fish, browsing, snoozing on soft beds and a walk on the beach followed by more seafood! I went totally overboard with all the battered and deep fried everything, hake, prawns and calamari, end of holiday binge. Tomorrow we shall concentrate again.

Paternoster, fish on the beach

Paternoster, fish on the beach

Paternoster means “Our Father” as a prayer by and for the many a sailor meeting their end on the ships passing and hitting the Cape of Storms, for which our seas are very much known.

Voorstrand Restaurant, Paternoster

Voorstrand Restaurant, Paternoster

From there we went inland to the Riebeeck Valley Wine Region and tasted olives in every shape and form.

Tasting room, Kloovenburg Riebeeck Valley

Tasting room, Kloovenburg Riebeeck Valley

When the car boot was full of wine and olive products we returned to glorious Cape Town. Home sweet home!

Kloovenburg Wine and Olive Estate, Riebeeck Valley

Kloovenburg Wine and Olive Estate, Riebeeck Valley

At least my head is clear for the year ahead, will work on the body soonest, promise.

Home at last and Cheese Please!

I do not want to be in anything with wheels or wings soon. Back at home at last after 36 hours of continuous travel, which to say the least, was nauseating. Very. I am still dazed and confused or just more so than usual.

Seoul Airport- leg 2 of 4

Seoul Airport- leg 2 of 4

Morning coffee. Home sweet home!

Morning Cape Town!

Morning Cape Town!

Unpacking the suitcases took me two days, what with dragging an entire food isle worth of sauces, bits and bobs, Asian products and cool kitchen stuffs with me and even 2 liters of shower gel…., I liked the smell and it was on a special. What can I say, I have problems!

In my still sleepless state and a day and night body clock on the blink, I at least have time to catch up with blog reading, obsess about the recipes I am reading and put coal to the fire of my cheese craving, cheese of any kind! The South Koreans are not big on cheese and I need to catch up on my cheese backlog.

Chef Mimi posted her Easy Baked Brie recipe and I intended making it and eating it, the whole thing, even if it killed me. Full details here:http://chefmimiblog.com/2014/01/01/easy-baked-brie/

I used for the topping:

Honey and nuts with dried cranberries and cinnamon.

Tasted it and then decided that it was too sweet and added carrot and lemon chutney/ marmalade courtesy of my sister’s preserving skills.

It of course then need a punch and I added chili sauce- kid you not it all worked well!

I placed the cheese in the oven just like Chef Mimi said I should in an old and trusted glass dish that has seen better days, my sister visited and I forgot about my precious cheese!

Disaster, the dish cracked, the over-baked cheese burst open and the cheese and pieces of glass oozed and dripped all over the place. Unholy mess and I did not have another brie. But I did have a local soft blue cheese, yes I did.

Not baked blue cheese with topping

Not baked blue cheese with topping

The topping mixture went on top of the unbaked( of course) soft blue cheese and ooh it was nice! I almost forgot to take a photo(dazed) and these are the only two I have( half eaten). I do have manners, shared the cheese with the family in the end, just.

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Not cheese challenge excellence but I decided to enter it anyway in the http://fromagehomage.co.uk/cheese-please-recipe-challenge/, which by the way is one of my favourite blogs, not only the cheese bits, but the whole thing.

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Nice to be back home. New year, new experiences.

Mist rolling in late afternoon Cape Town, fog horn blaring.

Late afternoon mist Cape Town

Late afternoon mist Cape Town

Good bye South Korea

And so the last day arrived. We shall be leaving the country on New Years day and to say good bye to my daughter is leaving a hole in my soul (again).Below a few of the sights and sounds of our trip.

Seoul Station: photo by Tara

Seoul Station: photo by Tara

Old market Seoul. The photo was taken by Tara early morning and it really captures the atmosphere there.

Old market Seoul: photo Tara

Old market Seoul: photo Tara

We visited the  Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju after reading the comprehensive temple blog of Dale’s Korean Temples http://koreantemples.com/?p=245 and chose to do so on the coldest day ever! I wish I could spend time alone at this temple to absorb the tranquility.

Bulguksa Temple – 불국사 (Gyeongju)

Bulguksa Temple – 불국사 (Gyeongju)

We took a bus, trains, another bus and a taxi to get there and honestly, it was so cold I had to look down to see if I was still wearing my pants because this cold is a “nekkid” cold. I think we stood out like two blonde thumbs in a dark haired country! image This particular cold lunch consisted of dishes all unknown to me. Even the ingredients I could not decipher. Still don’t know what I ate but hey, when in Rome….or at least, when in Gyeongju…..image And last but oh so not the least! I am in love with the way the Koreans think about kitchen sinks! You can take a bath in the thing. I so want one to take home with me.

My dream kitchen sink!

My dream kitchen sink!

Happy New Year to you all. I shall be in several planes for 23h30 minutes to be exact to get home to sunny Cape Town in 2014!

Festive Greetings from South Korea

We are feasting and travelling through South Korea. Seoul was ice cold as expected but the tastes and trimmings more than made up fot the freezing cold.

Christmas trimmings Seoul

Christmas trimmings Seoul

Definitely more Christmas trimmings than expected and beautiful decorations all over  Myeongdong, Seoul.

Korean Food

Korean Food

I will need to go and read up about all of the Asian dishes I am eating as English is very limited and I am ordering blindly! I love the food, especially the cabage salads and kimchi dumplings with chicken and pork kebabs.

Ilsan Beach in Ulsan

Ilsan Beach in Ulsan

Ilsan Beach on Christmas Day kitted out in thick coats on the beach!

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A Korean barbecue for Christmas dinner and for more heat in a very cold Ulsan.

KTX train ride to the south.

KTX Train to Ulsan

KTX Train to Ulsan

I hope everyone had as much fun for Christmas as we did. I wish you a wonderful year-end.

Baked Crumbed Chicken Strips

I try to avoid deep frying and this recipe on recipe.com for the baked strips grabbed my interest. Also different ( or to me at least) is the “marinade” used in the original recipe which I adjusted. I have absolutely NO problem using blue cheese in anything and couple that with chili/pepper and I am happy.

Crumbed Chicken Strips with blue cheese dip

Crumbed Chicken Strips with blue cheese dip

Ingredients:

1/3 cup blue cheese salad dressing

(the recipe referred to the bottled variety which I am not keen on so I used my own dressing which I previously posted as Blue Cheese Salad Dressing and just made it into a thicker consistency and added to that a generous squirt of red Tabasco Sauce + chili flakes)

blue cheese salad dressing

blue cheese salad dressing

2 to 3 teaspoons of bottled hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)

4 deboned chicken breasts cut into strips

1 cup crumbed corn flakes ( the packeted crumbs works fine)

1 Table spoon chopped parsley

Salt to taste.

Salt the chicken and place in a deep bowl,mix in the blue cheese dressing.

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Coat the marinated chicken with the crumb-parsley mix and place in a foil lined (or use Spray&Cook) baking tray in the freezer for 2 hours. As usual I did not have 2 hours to do that so I left it in the fridge(not even the freezer) for 30 minutes.

Bake at 200 C for approximately 30 minutes until cooked through.

Serve with a blue cheese dipping sauce.

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Something happens when the blue cheese, hot pepper sauce and chili is combined-a deep rich creamy sauce which my husband says will work well with chicken livers.

And now the Random Photo:

Last weekend in Table Bay with Table Mountain open and clear

Last weekend in Table Bay with Table Mountain open and clear

The big fat ZERO

I turned the very ugly zero in October and still do not know if it is the big number preceding  the zero in the birthday digit that is so offensive or if it is the big fat ZERO itself. Flippet just don’t know.
However, I took my few weeks of introspection, silent tantrum throwing and general panic about the state of my age and I got over it (just) and enjoyed one hell of a birthday month! Yes month, not day, because it was spread out and celebrated.Overworked, we decided to go away for the birthday week and then to celebrate with family and friends on our return.

Road trip! With a lot of ” visits” to farm stalls along the way where they force feed people fresh scones and cream.

And what a lovely week it was in Plettenberg Bay, Eastern Cape at the Beacon Isle Hotel with a LOT OF activity every day as is evident here……..

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On THE BIRTHDAY morning my sweet husband arranged a great breakfast in bed and lunch at Bramon Wine Estate followed by a lot of doing nothing.

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All and all the perfect day.

Two weeks later my friend Fiona and I went to Stellenbosch for a one night stay over in Baruch Guesthouse to celebrate our birthday month. She had her birthday before mine and she treated me to a spectacular lunch at Babylonstoren, Franschhoek where I had their Red Salad (so befitting for my OCD that they have colour coded food!)

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Also uhmmm………a LOT of activity on this breakaway!

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This two part celebration was followed by the mother of all high teas at home with my dear and near. More later.

Random photo:Taken on the day of my High Tea held at home two weeks after my birthday.

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Cape Town sunset kitch at it’s best but oh so beautiful my town.

Blue cheese salad dressing and Nespresso Machines

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My daughter is celebrating her birthday in South Korea today and we miss her so. In celebration, complete with birthday flowers, we had a birthday lunch at home in Cape Town and skype talked to her. Such is life. I made a blue cheese salad dressing for the first time and will for sure play with the dressing to accompany all sorts of dishes in future. I did not feel like searching and reading recipes and just started mixing ingredients to taste.

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I mixed olive oil, cream and a tangy mayonaise ( use own quantities to taste)

Add fresh herbs of choice

Half a cup of blue cheese melted for about half a minute in the micro wave-I left mine a bit lumpy as it is nice to have a piece of cheese here and there in the dressing. There was more than half a cup but the other half landed in my mouth.

Mix until smooth(ish).

Add more cheese if you want a thick dressing or add a bit of water/milk if a runny dressing is called for.

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Crunch was what I was after and I layered salad leaves and baby savoy cabage which are the most beautiful and perfectly formed little things.

Next add anything you like with a lot of chrunch like cucumber, pine apple and dried onion flakes( which I am obsessed about) and lastly generous scoops of the blue cheese dressing. I did not add bacon bits this time but will certainly do that next time. We had the salad with chicken and pumkin fritters. Trust me, it is nice!

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Now, for my random photo of the day:

This is specially for chef Mimi who recently blogged “In My Kitchen” (which I thought was a great idea) on her blog www.chefmimi.com about things in her kitchen she cannot live without. She mentioned that her Nespresso machine is one of those things and I said to her that I take my obsession with good coffee to another level by taking my Nespresso with me on travels in its own travel case. Her reply quote unquote:

” Holy s&$$))))))! I need to see that!”. Well, here it is then and it saved me from depression many a time, when I just could not and would not face the tepid blueish hotel coffee that seems to go around.

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It is about the same size as a small vanity case. I will rather leave the vanity case behind……

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Enjoy Mimi! (wanted to say: Eat your heart out! hehehe).

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Ps. I was not paid for this standing ovation to Nespresso.