Drizzle and Dip

I recently purchased a new cookbook (hey, you do not have to be a good cook, or even a bad cook for that matter to have a compulsion to buy new ones before you even tried a recipe from your previous purchase!) The book is called Drizzle and Dip and is based on Cape Townian Samantha Linsells’ popular food blog of the same name. The recipes in the book are divided into three chapters based on food eaten at particular times of the day: Morning, Noon and Night. Samantha is a food stylist, so the images in the book are all very enticing. I am a huge fan of the dark backgrounds with vintage props that she uses for her food photography. Her blog is lovely! 

Our first meal from the book was her Zucchini & Prawn pizza. What made the recipe interesting is that you soak the buffalo mozzarella in cream overnight before using it on the base of the pizza. Trust me, it tastes as good as it sounds.

You can follow her blog here or like her Facebook page.

Warm & Glad

Over the weekend, on our way to Hyde Park for a wee bit of shopping, we stopped at a coffee shop located on Jan Smuts Avenue for lunch. The location struck me as a bit odd – on the first floor of a very non-descript building on a busy street. But as soon as we walked into the large space, I knew that the owner made a brilliant choice. With large glass windows (with seating), the light streams into the space creating a very cosy, yet funky room. I love the décor. It is cement screed floors covered with Persian rugs, wooden chairs and tables, a sofa in the corner and fantastic weird turquoise walls. Add to that the imported and local newspapers, books, vinyl records and art prints on display (and for sale) and you can see why it attracts the hip crowd. 

They serve breakfasts all day and lunch every weekday from 7:30am till 4:30pm and Saturdays from 8:30am till 1pm. By the way, my salad (pulled roast chicken with peas, onions, goat’s cheese and a honey and mustard vinaigrette) was just fabulous!

Alban's Square, 357 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park

You can visit their website here or like their Facebook page.

A few good books

It has been some time since I’ve posted a blog about the books I’ve read. Since then I’ve read my first Jack Reacher book by Lee Child, and have to really ration myself not to read them all one after the other! Here are a few of the books that I can recommend.

Stanley Beer Yard

Last Wednesday was a public holiday in South Africa, and after staying home for 2 weeks since the birth of our little girl, it was time to get out of the house. My parents were in town and we went to 44 Stanley, one of my favourite places in Johannesburg (see other posts here, here and here). We went straight to the newly opened Stanley Beer Yard, a loungey type bar with a fantastic outside seating area perfect to soak up the autumn sun. Indoors the décor is wonderfully eccentric with different seating areas around a fireplace. They stock the full range of craft beers from & Union in Cape Town and have a small, but quite well-structured menu. 

 You can like their Facebook page here.

PS. We had to giggle that our daughter’s first ever outing was to a beer yard. If it starts like that, where will it end??!! She slept the whole time, though.

Converse loves Marimekko

I have now been in retail for almost 9 years. Before that, I was a corporate girl. What I miss sometimes is the work clothes – beautiful suits, high heels, flattering pencil skirts and crisp white shirts. Being on my feet in the shop and doing the soccer-mum routine, I can tell you that high heels are now reserved for weddings only but I can hold my own with an impressive collection of sneakers.

I grabbed my camera the moment I unpacked my new pair at home. They are from Converse, made in collaboration with textile icon Marimekko, a Finnish company based in Helsinki. It was founded in 1951 when the owner asked some artist friends to apply their graphic designs to textiles. In order to show how the fabric could be used, the company then designed and sold a line of simple dresses using their fabric. Not only did it become an early recognition of fashion as an industrial art, but the company became a household name around the world for their designs used in fashion and home furnishings. I just love the bright and whimsical Finnish prints adorning the canvas of the iconic Converse. 

The video below tells the story of this collaboration (if you read the email and does not see the embedded video, click here). To read more about Marimekko, see their website

Image credits: Photos by me, video by Converse

A big brother is born

On the 17th of April, our little family was joined by Emma, 3.25kg at birth. She made her first high pitched sound at around 12:30. My sister, who spent the morning with me in the hospital, went to fetch Daniel from school. When that little boy walked into the room and saw his baby sister for the first time, every adult in the room’s heart just melted. His whole demeanour became soft and loving and in awe of the little person entering his life. He held her, kissed her gently and softly sang the song he made up for her a few months ago. He’s been singing his song to my stomach for months and was in wonderment when she became calm in his arms as he sang. At that moment my little baby boy became the big brother….

PS. I can’t post this blog about Emma’s birth without thanking my support team. My sister, behind the camera and slightly overwhelmed by the pinkness of the newborn (hence all the black and white photos J), and our friends, Johnny and Retha, made sure that I was kept company, that Daniel was taken care of and that for the three of us, becoming four was as smooth as possible! 


Image credits: Elanie Fourie