Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Lunch in St James - Cape Town

Today we headed down the coast to St James' a lovely seaside area of Cape Town.
 - we decided to have a spot of lunch at the fish restaurant smack bang by the blue sea on one side and the docks on the other.. it had a gorgeous position.

We then wondered down along the dock which is dotted with the old, brightly coloured, traditional fishing boats..

It was possible to see right down along the coast to Cape point..on the other side

At the very end of the dock was this lovely old light house..

Although some fisherman had got his string caught up the top of it.. !

Looking back down the dock from where we came..

Getting back to the other end some fat seals were being fed fish guts by the locals, not going to lie, it smelt pretty bad!

We've got a party of 30 coming round on Saturday.. lets hope the weather lasts!

Monday, 25 March 2013

South Africa: day one!

Okay, I'm not going to lie - I haven't ACTUALLY slept since Saturday night and it's now Monday evening. I'm rubbish at sleeping on flights and the weather today has been too gorgeous to go inside and have a nap for! So, I've got heavy eyes  - but, I'M BACK!

I took this pic in the car from the airport.. blue sky, such a novelty coming from grey old London!

After escaping off the plane - Deb picked me up and brought me back to the house, after 6 years of being away and it hasn't changed one bit.. (apart from Sammy the pug who's older and admittedly a bit fatter!) 
After a long soak in the bath, a brief catch up with granny I brushed the cobwebs off my ray-bans and soaked myself in the warm late summer African sun. 

Of course it wasn't long until I was interrupted by Sammy..

The house has lovely large bay windows, a great reading spot! (when I say reading I mean flicking through heat..)

AND! ...Today is my aunt Deb's 50th birthday! these are some of the delightful roses she received..

Friday, 22 March 2013

Briouats with goats cheese or shrimp.

Briouats! They're exotic, deep fried and once you've got the method are actually really easy!
We whipped them up as  finger food for last nights supper party -these deep fried delights are perfect for welcoming guests and are uber yummy.

We made two types, goats cheese & shrimp for fishy loveerrs!

Goats cheese filling -
250g fresh goats cheese
3 tablespoons of parsley
2 teaspoons of chopped mint
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

Shrimp filling -
200g shrimp
2 table spoons of parsley
1 table spoon of finely chopped spring onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 a teaspoon of paprika
lemon juice
olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of cumin and a pinch of cayenne pepper!

Oil for frying
30 won ton wrappers
flour & water mix - (acts as sort of a glue!)

To make the cheese filling mix the cheese with the parsley, mint, paprika and pepper and a pinch of salt if needed! Stir in the beaten egg gradually - adding just enough that the mixture stays fairly stiff. If too loose the mix will be tricky to roll within the wrappers. Your cheese mix should resemble something like this...

For the shrimp filling chop up the shrimp, and simply add the parsely, spring onion, garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper some lemon juice and olive oil and toss well to mix.

Its then time to add the fillings and wrap up!

Shrimp samosa won-ton method:

Cut the won-ton wrappers into long strips - make sure you keep them in layers of two so they regain some thickness and aren't too fragile.

Make some flour glue by mixing some flour and warm water together until its about the same consistency as pancake mix.

Fold into an L shape and then again onto itself using the flour and water mix on the area that sticks to the other side to secure! A little pocket should be created - fill it up with around a teaspoon and a half..

 Place some more flour glue over the top flap and fold down securely.

If you've mastered it then you should have something that resembles this little creature..

If you have trouble with the samosa shrimp wraps use this method will help.

Goats cheese won-ton method: this is slightly easier!

To start cut into quarters..

And once more peel apart in layers of two..

Place the flour glue around the sides of the wrapper..

And put a teaspoon of the cheese mix in one of the corners

And roll up!

Fold the sides up..

And roll it over itself, ensuring all the corners are secure, add more glue if necessary.

Ready for the deep fryer!

Heat up the oil in a deep pan/ wok.. until hot and bubbling. And drop..........

Cook for 2 - 3 minutes until golden brownnn

Place on some kitchen towel to remove excess oil and to cool down slightly!

And do the same with their cheese cousins!

Serve around and enjoy!

They should be warm, light and crispy on the outside, and either rich and creamy on the inside from the goats cheese. Or fragrant and meaty from the shrimp!

I'm afraid the shrimp won-tons were gobbled up far too quickly for me to get a picture of the inside. You get the idea though..

We then all squeezed around the kitchen table and had a long red wine fulled evening..

Once you have mastered these there are dozens of fillings that can be used with the won-ton wrappers.. something to really impress your friends with!!