Sunday, 30 December 2012

Antlers and Antidotes




Megs is South African born, but now making her way in London and documenting all the lovely and quirky things she comes across... 

Make sure to stop by her blog for her stylish, somewhat vintage-feel fashion, her beautiful photography (she has an eye for beauty hidden all around us) and for a taste of what this honest and unpretentious beauty gets up to...

Who is Megan?

This is Megan...







I was lucky enough to have Megs be my Secret Santa and was spoiled with 2 divine nail polishes and 3 (yes THREE) gorgeous rings...   

I love them so much and I couldn't have got a more suited pressie. If there are a few items in the world I never seem to have enough of it is nail polishes, rings and shoes... I just increased my collection of two of my obsessions...





Monday, 24 December 2012

Cherry Berry Pie



When I was invited to the Kinfolk dinner I was instructed to bring a pie for dessert. A pie! I jumped at the opportunity to try make something that for some reason I had never attempted and actually had been afraid to try. Why? Who knows? My fears were completely unjustified.

I searched around for a recipe that looked tasty and came across this one. I then called my mum for advice. I like easy, and all recipes were saying I must make the dough, but quite frankly I see dough at the store and couldn't I just use that. Much to my disappointment my mum was in agreement with the rest of the world. Store bought dough has nothing on fresh home made dough.

So effort it would have to be. 
Truth be told however, it was not hard at all. Time consuming but not hard. And it was well worth it.

So if you have some time, why not try this recipe out. You will NOT be disappointed.
(it is however quite  a long recipe, but don't be put off,  its not tricky)





Cherry Berry Pie

Pie Ingredients
 
About 3 cups of fresh cherries, pitted

1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

4 Tablespoons cornstarch

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon of lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon of butter (for the crust's egg wash)

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar (for sprinkling onto the crust)


All-butter Crust Ingredients

makes enough dough for one double-crust pie or two singles


2 1/2 cups (315 grams) flour

1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar

1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into bits

about 1 cup ice water (you'll probably only need 1/2 a cup, but just in case...)



Method
 
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. 
Scatter the cold butter bits over the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, (fork in my case) work the butter into the flour just until the pieces of butter are pea-sized.  (Don't worry if the dough looks shaggy. It's better not to over-mix.) 
 
Drizzle about 1/4 cup of ice water over the dough. Be gentle and don't mix...instead use folding motions to work the water into the dough until it comes together.  You may need an additional 1/4 cup of ice water. (When adding more water, add by sprinkling Tablespoonfuls over the dough.) 

As soon as the spatula starts pulling up large clumps of dough, stop folding. Use your hands to gently knead the dough just until it's one cohesive clump.
 
Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. I prepped the day before and left it to chill overnight {Note: Well-wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days.}


When you're ready to bake
 
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Have an ungreased 9-inch pie on hand, ready to use.


Grab one of the chilled dough disks from the refrigerator. (If it's too hard to roll, let it rest at room temperature for about 5 - 10 minutes.) On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle that's a bit bigger than your pie dish. Carefully place the circle of dough into the pie pan, making sure to centre it properly.  Trim the edges to a 1/2-inch overhang. Lightly cover and place the pan in the refrigerator as you prepare the filling. The colder the dough the better so try not to work it too much or roll and re-roll.


 




In a large bowl, combine the pitted cherries, strawberries, cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract. Gently stir everything together, trying not to crush the berries as you go. 


(Side note, when pitting the cherries I used a piping head I usually use for icing cupcakes and pushed the pips out the cherries using that...)

Retrieve the dough-filled pie pan from the refrigerator. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the filling into the crust (try to avoid scooping up too much juice).  Lightly cover the filled pie as you prepare the top crust.
 

 

For the top you could either just roll out a flat second circle of dough like you did for the base or you could try the lattice crust like I did. Perfect instructions how to do that here. Be sure to seal the edges well.
 

Brush a little egg/butter mixture over the top crust and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 170 C and bake the pie for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. 
 
Remove the pie from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool completely before serving.

Serve with ice cream for a delicious dessert...




Friday, 21 December 2012

Have you heard of Kinfolk Magazine?



 
  
Until very recently I had not, but when I got invited to a Kinfolk {Durban} inspired party a few of my friends were throwing I suddenly realised what I had been missing out on…


Kinfolk is “a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us”


For us, the Kinfolk dinner was a gathering of friends each bringing something to the table, from food to music to inspiring decor. We’ve seen the beautiful pics all over pinterest, so instead of just repinning, we recreated and held our own beautiful get together…


Our Durban Kinfolk dinner was held in the courtyard of the Bean Green Coffee Roastery  (Have you been? Mel has won multiple awards for her coffee, so do make it a priority a stop by there asap)


I was instructed to make a pie (my first time!) and it was a total success. Will post the recipe for my Cherry Berry Pie up asap so you can give it a try too! It was so delish (if I might say so myself…)


Derryn was there too capturing everything in photos. Derryn has a great way of capturing people in their natural beautiful selves (no freezing up and stiff smiles when she’s behind the lens).

All above pictures by Derryn Semple Photography. More pics of the evening here.

Charity Sarah also brought her video making skills and made an awesome little vid of the evening! Check it out below!


video


Monday, 17 December 2012

Moist Chocolate Brownies


I had a fairly last minute invite to a friend's place (well we kind of knew we would see them over the weekend but no details had been confirmed) and wanted a quick and easy recipe that ticked all the boxes (tasty, cost effective, quick, simple), and this brownie recipe seemed to be the ideal solution.

Tasty - Heck yes!
Cost effective - Most definitely (I actually had all the ingredients at home already)
Quick - Yup.  About 15 minutes effort and 30 minutes baking time
Simple - Too easy. All ingredients in one pot, mixed. No mess, no fuss.


Ingredients


3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts) - optional.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Grease a 9x13" pan.
Melt butter in a big enough saucepan over low heat, then stir in cocoa (all ingredients will be mixed in this pan, hence why it must be big enough)
Remove from heat and mix in sugar and vanilla then mix in eggs one at a time.
Stir in remaining ingredients then stir in nuts.
Pour into baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Cool completely, before cutting into squares.

Recipe taken from here 


Can you just see the soft gooey centre...

LOVE this sign. Seen hanging in my friend's kitchen...




Saturday, 15 December 2012

Choosing the Tree


Choosing a Christmas Tree is almost like choosing a pet, except without any of the commitment. So I suppose it's actually nothing like choosing a pet, except that you want to find one that you can welcome into your home as the newest member.

We found just that one. 

It is just taller than me, big and fluffy and actually has quite a few flaws (it totally doesn't stand up straight, not does it grow to a pointy top - for the star). 

I love our Tree... 
Top, Shorts, Wedges - Mr Price, Belt & Bangle- Truworths



Tuesday, 11 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The wreath welcoming guests into our home...

From Christmas parties, to work functions, friends festivities and decorating up the home, there is no denying that my favorite time of the year is here!!

(Now I just need to remember to take my vitamins to help keep up with all the action which tends to take its toll on us all by the time January rolls around...)

P.S. What are you listening to this Christmas? I am always on the look out for new fresh Christmas albums, and sadly hardly seem to come across too many, so please do share your favourite...

Monday, 10 December 2012

Button Up


Here's 2 minute DIY idea to update boring pins and fridge magnets.
A little super glue and a handful of different buttons (I get mine at markets for  a steal) and your boring pins and magnets are instantly updated.

I also used mine to make a hanging photo string for my fridge. I just used the same magnet and button, but glued a pretty silver ribbon in between the button and magnet.