Baked Yogurt Pudding

Going...going....gone.....!

Going…going….gone…..!

This pudding is fast becoming a firm favorite in our house. I make it with left over yogurt from the market and we love the dairy, creamy goodness. Eat hot with cinnamon sugar or serve cold as a tart.

*250ml sugar
*100g butter
*3 XL eggs
*250ml all purpose flour
*15ml baking powder
*500ml yogurt
*375ml full cream milk
*10ml vanilla essence or the scraped out seeds of half a vanilla pod.

-Cream the butter and sugar.
-Add the eggs one at a time. beating well after each addition.
-Sift the flour and the baking powder.
-Add the milk, yogurt and vanilla.
-Blend well till you have a thick creamy batter.
-Pour the batter into a well greased oven dish. (I used a 25x25cm square pyrex dish)
-Pop into a preheated 180*C oven for 35 minutes.
-Serve hot with cinnamon sugar.

Advertisements

Hermanuspietersfontein – Part Two : The Market

Saturday is the time for The Hermanuspietersfontein Food and Wine Market.

Saturday is the time for The Hermanuspietersfontein Food and Wine Market.

20140611-224953-82193906.jpg

Every Saturday morning the stallholders of the Hermanuspietersfontein Food and Wine Market set up their stalls with sumptuous goodies and settle in to meet new folk, welcome old customers and enjoy the music of Des that flows as smoothly as the wine on the wine table. The smell of coffee and bacon frying welcomes the early birds. This is the place to meet up with friends and family, to eat, drink and relax. The family pooch is also most welcome.

Find the Market every Saturday at the Hermanuspietersfontein Wine Cellar.The market opens oficially at 9am and closes at 1pm. For more information you can go to the Hermanuspietersfontein website.

Handmade yogurt, jams, preserves, spices and Vegetarian salads.

Handmade yogurt, jams, preserves, spices and Vegetarian salads.

Olives, oil and the best tapenade.

Olives, oil and the best tapenade.

Variety of cheeses, charcuterie and dont forget the biltong.

Variety of cheeses, charcuterie and dont forget the biltong.

Homemade pies and huge free range eggs.

Homemade pies and huge free range eggs.

Greek food, fabulously tasty lamb shwarmas and chocolate brownies.

Greek food, fabulously tasty lamb shwarmas and chocolate brownies.

Fresh produce from the garden and mushrooms from the valley.

Fresh produce from the garden and mushrooms from the valley.

Sweet temptations.

Sweet temptations.

Pancakes, quiches, homemade biscuits and rusks.

Pancakes, quiches, homemade biscuits and rusks.

Purchase fresh fynbos from the Hermanuspietersfontein Wine farm. Place your payment in the honesty box. a charming rural concept.

Purchase fresh fynbos from the Hermanuspietersfontein Wine farm. Place your payment in the honesty box. a charming rural concept.

Hermanuspietersfontein – Part One : The Farm

Panorama1 Farm

Homegrown Blogger – Accommodation Category
Stanford Tourism

Nestled up against the mountains in Stanford lies the serenely beautiful Hermanuspietersfontein farmland.

Nestled up against the mountains in Stanford lies the serenely beautiful Hermanuspietersfontein farmland.

The vineyards are getting ready for their winter rest, but are not quite flushed with autumnul colours yet.

The vineyards are getting ready for their winter rest, but are not quite flushed with autumnul colours yet.

It was a rare treat for me to visit the farm. On a crisp early winter’s day we set out for Stanford. I love the Overberg countryside so it was sheer bliss for me. From Stanford we took the gravel road out to the farm. Sheep grazed peacefully in the fields as we drove past, while their newborn little lambs skipped beside them.

The gateposts of the farm are gaurded by two alabaster lions.

The gateposts of the farm are gaurded by two alabaster lions.

The farm is signposted so you should not miss it. The road to the farm, however meanders through other farms so it is a bit confusing, so just carry on driving the road. You will know when you have arrived at the entrance to the farm, by the stone pillars with the white lions resting on top.

There are two farm dams. The water is as still and calm as the quiet of the farm that embraces you.

There are two farm dams. The water is as still and calm as the quiet of the farm that embraces you.

Above left is the second dam. We did not think Lochner was being literal when he said he would show us the 'heart of the farm' but there it is middle left. And yes... Swart Skaap does really exist!

Above left is the second dam. We did not think Lochner was being literal when he said he would show us the ‘heart of the farm’ but there it is middle left. And yes… Swart Skaap does really exist!

The Farm Manager is a lovely man who exudes good old fashioned hospitality (not found much any more these days) and a sincere love for the land he works on. He is very knowledgeable about the fauna and flora. He offered to take us on a tour of the farm, so off we went on the back of the farm bakkie with the wind blowing in our hair and the honeyed smell of fynbos all around us, it was an experience I will never forget.

Just some of the flora Lochner showed us. King Proteas, Proteas, Waboom, Besembos and Hottentotskooigoed.

Just some of the flora Lochner showed us. King Proteas, Proteas, Waboom, Besembos and Hottentotskooigoed.

The farm has several self-catering cottages that you can book. For me this would be the ultimate get away. The cottages are run on gas and oil lamps (which means you have a good excuse to leave all the technology at home). You could walk every day and discover something new, or just curl up on the comfortable couches and enjoy the views. All the cottages have indoor fireplaces and I can just imagine how that would be in the winter with a full bodied red wine, the warm glow of the fire and good company. Even the outdoor braai areas have a fantastic view.

Posmeester is set away from the other cottages and is a family unit. You can sleep two couples and two children.

Posmeester is set away from the other cottages and is a family unit. You can sleep two couples and two children.

Kleinboet and Bloos are suitable for couples and share a dividing wall. Swart Skaap stands about ten meters away from them.

Kleinboet and Bloos are suitable for couples and share a dividing wall. Swart Skaap stands about ten meters away from them.

Cattle wander down the road past the cottages. Their loud bellowing breaks the absolute silence.

Cattle wander down the road past the cottages. Their loud bellowing breaks the absolute silence.

There is much to explore in day walks around the farm.

There is much to explore in day walks around the farm.

There is a waterfall in the kloof we climbed up to. It is only a trickle at the moment but after the rains it should be fabulous. I have to imagine if you stayed on the farm for a week you would be able to do a different walk every day. There is even a picnic area in the fynbos up the mountainside. I would also just love to walk in between the vineyards that smell of earth, dust and honeybush.

20140527-121457-44097463.jpg

So next time you feel yourself flagging and need some solid peaceful rest and country air…make that booking! Find Hermanuspietersfontein at www.hpf1855.co.za , all the information you need is on the website.

2014-05-22 13.35.50

Porcini Mushroom Pasta Sauce.

Homegrown Blogger – Food Category.
Hermanus Tourism
I am wondering… how many of you know about the wonderful exotic mushrooms that are grown by our very own Nouvelle Mushrooms up the Hemel and Aarde Valley, right here in Hermanus? Well let me tell you if you have not discovered them, then you are in for a treat. You can find the fresh and dried mushrooms available in most of the Supermarkets in Hermanus. Jimmy also sells from their mushrooms on our market.

Market (480)

Market (475)

Today I am writing about the Dried Porcini Mushrooms from Nouvelle Mushrooms and the Umami Shake from Inspired Foods that we were fortunate enough to receive in our #FBI2014 (Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba) goodie bag. The dried mushrooms are very concentrated so don’t add heaps of them. They are a fabulous addition to your larder though, to use to flavor soups and stews.

20140515-130212.jpg

Ingredients:
*50g butter
*30ml all purpose flour
*15ml Umami Shake
*30ml of diced dried Porcini Mushrooms
*250ml cream
*250ml milk
*Indian Black Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste.

I made a basic roux with the butter and the flour and added the Nouvelle Mushrooms and Umami Shake. If you find the roux is a little dry just add a little more butter. After allowing it to bubble for a few minutes, get your whisk ready and add the milk and the cream. Continue to stir with the whisk as the sauce will start to thicken. If you find it is too thick add a little more milk. Season with the salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Spoon the porcini sauce over any cooked pasta of your choice.

Please note: the dried mushrooms are not to be eaten as is, but to be rehydrated with a little water, or to be added to a sauce or stock.

Reforestation in the Platbos Forest near Gansbaai.

Homegrown Blogger – Activity Category
Gansbaai Tourism

Rocking the forest...

Rocking the forest…

Everyone can and should get involved.

Everyone can and should get involved.

Dance the night away to a fabulous selection of live artists and DJs beneath the magical canopy of the Platbos Forest!

In celebration of two successful weekends of planting trees in Platbos Forest, Greenpop will be hosting a festival of live artists and DJs on Saturday the 17 May. Join the Greenpop team and 400 other revelers to catch the finest selection of artists in the Western Cape as they perform on the most intimate stage around, and dance all night in the heart of the southernmost forest in Africa!

Tickets will be available at the door for R100.

Music, fairy lights and dancing beneath the trees.

Music, fairy lights and dancing beneath the trees.

LINEUP:

18:45 to 19:30 – Simon Van Gend
19:45 to 20:30 – Zoe & Vusa
20:45 to 21:30 – TouchWood
21:45 to 22:30 – Country Conquerors
22:45 to 23:30 – Grassy Spark
23:30 to 00:30 – DJ Kimon
00:30 to late – Bobzyouruncle
Between sets – Lemonella

ABOUT GREENPOP PLATBOS REFOREST FEST:

Integrating essential reforestation efforts with an exciting showcase of Cape Town’s best
musical talent, Greenpop hosts a two-weekend tree-planting festival in the Platbos Forest from 9-11 and 16-18 May. Counting the trees planted over the past weekend, Greenpop has to date planted 10 000 trees to date in the forest since 2011, and plans to plant at least another 4000 this coming weekend.

2014-05-15 08.17.52
20140515-090737.jpg

Ultimately, Greenpop Platbos Reforest Fest combines a strong reforestation effort with the
fun and entertainment of a music festival, using the opportunity of staying in a magical forest
to inspire participants. For more information on the festival, all are welcome to email Zoe at
tickets@greenpop.org.
ABOUT GREENPOP:

Greenpop is on a mission to (re)connect people with our planet by planting trees and having fun
doing it.

Greenpop plants trees in urban greening and reforestation projects and hosts green events,
educational workshops and festivals of action to inspire people to get active about a sustainable
future.

Embark on a journey with Greenpop, and join the treevolution TODAY!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All the wonderful photographs are courtesy of Sarah Taylor. This really is a wonderful initiative to get behind and to give something back. Just think how difficult it will be to live in a world without trees to create oxygen and to use up the carbon dioxide in the air as part of their photosynthesis proccess.

On a personal level, I have always loved green living things. It must be part of my celtic heritage, that is probably why dancing under the trees appeals to me. (lol!)

Hiking in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve.

Homegrown Blogger – Activity category
Hermanus Tourism

At the Visitors Center you can find samples of flowers in bloom, maps of the trails and walking sticks on loan to be returned on completion of your hike.

At the Visitors Center you can find samples of flowers in bloom, maps of the trails and walking sticks on loan to be returned on completion of your hike.

Sometimes one just needs to turn off the cellphone and the technology and just head to the hills or in this case the mountains. Here the silence is punctuated only with birdsong, the whistle of the wind, and the crunch of stones under the souls of your hiking boots. This is the place for your batteries to recharge so that you can return to your everyday life invigorated and refreshed. It is like a soothing balm for the wary soul.

The fynbos puts on a wonderful display. It is also heartening to see that conservation is upheld in this reserve.

The fynbos puts on a wonderful display. It is also heartening to see that conservation is upheld in this reserve.

The various trails are well signposted. There are also benches for resting or enjoying the views along the way.

The various trails are well signposted. There are also benches for resting or enjoying the views along the way.

We have been hiking in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve for many years. My sons were little boys when we first came up here. We would pack a picnic lunch and hike first and eat afterwards at the benches provided. My oldest remembers us carrying him and his brother on our backs when little legs could not go any further, and believe me for little boys they could walk at least 3-4km. My youngest remembers the fact that we would not allow them to use the walking sticks provided at the Visitors Center as we were concerned they would trip over them and hurtled down the side of the mountain. The sticks were taller than them. These days they still walk in the mountain and are as sure footed as mountain goats.

20140505-234341.jpg

20140505-234528.jpg

20140505-234619.jpg

20140505-234429.jpg

My son was my companion as we hiked to the top of the Lemoenkop, sat on the bench provided and were treated to the breathtaking views down below us. From there we headed through the forest to the Waterfall. The gurgling stream, the bird calls and the frogs croaking were our orchestra as we navigated the path through the greenery. The Waterfall is just a trickle at present but is always spectacular after the rains.

The stunning views as seen from Lemoenkop.

The stunning views as seen from Lemoenkop.

The forest and the Waterfall.

The forest and the Waterfall.

Do yourself a favour and put this on your to-do-list for when you are next in this area. Just be sure to plan for a couple of hours as this experience should never be rushed. I can promise you that you will not regret it!

Such beauty to be found here in nature.

Such beauty to be found here in nature.

Dassiesfontein revisited….

I love the Overberg. I love the vastness of it, the feeling of space all around me. The mountains and the valleys make it feel like miles between the rich agricultural earth and the deep blue skies dotted with the puffy rainmaking clouds that the area produces. I love the fact that you can drive for distances and never get tired of the views that change seasonally.

One of my most favorite places in the Overberg is found between Botrivier and Caledon. I have written a blog about it before https://samscapes.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/dassiesfontein-a-modern-day-aladdins-cave/ I could spend years in this place and still find new things. From the outside it looks quite unassuming. It’s only once inside that the scope of it astounds you. All kinds of treasures are to be found here.

The eatery has a wood burning fire to keep you toasty while you eat your farm breakfast.

The eatery has a wood burning fire to keep you toasty while you eat your farm breakfast.

I am not going to go into the rabbit hole of delights to be found here but what I do want to mention is the the fresh farm bread, baked while you wait or have a meal, in an old wood burning stove. The farm meals served are a delight, especially the farm breakfast. The ambience is wonderful. A toasty fire warms the eating area which is reflected in the glass of hundreds of homemade crystal chandeliers, that hang from the dark old wooden beams overhead. Who knows what stories those old wooden beams could tell if they could but only speak?

Order your freshly baked farm bread on arrival and while you wait, browse or enjoy a fine wholesome farm meal.

Order your freshly baked farm bread on arrival and while you wait, browse or enjoy a fine wholesome farm meal.

The bread is baked in an old wood burning stove.

The bread is baked in an old wood burning stove.

If old treasures are your ‘thing’ and you love simple wholesome food, it is well worth it to take a break from your journey to make a stop here. I can well recommend it.

2014-04-28 07.52.41-crop

Practising Sustainable Gardening

There were a number of things that contributed to my love of gardening. My grandfather was a gardener who looked after the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens for many years. He had a backyard garden of note. Every holiday we would spend some time at his house and my cousin and I would help out in the garden. We never left his house without a potted plant of some kind. My favorite was a pale pink gardenia that lived in my sunny bedroom for quite a while. I think I got my love of growing things from him.

Once many moons ago, my younger self also read a book, ‘Blackberry Wine’, by Joanne Harris. In this book an older man befriends a young boy and instills in him a love of growing things and leaves him a legacy as he gets older, a compartmentalised box of seeds, rare seeds of fruit and vegetables that had become redundant as nobody used them any more, wrapped in newspapers. I completely fell in love with this book and with the idea of growing and storing my own seeds in an organic manner for future use.

As many of you who read my blog know, I have for many years been growing my garden in old crates and taking them with me everywhere I go when I move. I have grown things in those crates that you would not believe possible. Now I have a house with a garden and I am thoroughly enjoying it. My best, is the fact that I know exactly what goes into the growing of the plants as I put it in there myself. Later I got my earthworm bin and the rest as they say is history.

It was with great excitement then, that I signed up for Matt Allison’s ‘Dig for Victory’ gardening workshop at the Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba this year. Matt has been very proactive in growing his own food and helping others to do so also. He writes a wonderful Blog with recipes that he makes from food he grows. Matt is also involved with Woolworths in training of growing sustainable organic crops and working with them to create a public awareness. Matt runs his own company called Planting Thoughts. Find out more about Matt on his website http://www.plantingthoughts.com/

The inspiring rooftop garden at The Double Tree Hotel, where we had our practical, is the work of Ben from Urban Gardens.

The inspiring rooftop garden at The Double Tree Hotel, where we had our practical, is the work of Ben from Urban Gardens.

Matt teaching us practical lessons in his gardening workshop, 'Dig for Victory".

Matt teaching us practical lessons in his gardening workshop, ‘Dig for Victory”.

Plants, shrubs and even trees are grown in wooden crates in this garden.

Plants, shrubs and even trees are grown in wooden crates in this garden.

I hope you have enjoyed this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it and that you will look out for more blogposts about Matt’s workshop. Happy sustainable gardening friends, love Sam 😉

Garden Gourmet…

I love the exotic flavours the Chinese Five Spice gives to this colourful stirfry.

I love the exotic flavours the Chinese Five Spice gives to this colourful stirfry.

I had been thinking of some recipes as I recently had a huge pumpkin that grew from seed germinated in my compost heap. I wanted to make something that was healthy and nutritious, yet also colourful and flavourful. What came to mind was a lovely stirfried veggies that I often make for my family. It can be used as a side dish or a main meal. You can also add meat such as chicken or pork for those of you who are more carnivorous.

This is what I cut up into long thin strips (julienne):
*1 red pepper
*1 yellow pepper
*1 large onion
*2-3 large baby marrows
*1/4 of a purple cabage
*1/4 of a large pumpkin
*2-3 carrots

You will need to heat a glug of olive oil in a heavy based frying pan or a wok. Stir with a wooden spoon as the veggies fry as you want them evenly cooked. About half or two thirds through the cooking add a little Indian Black Salt (it will enhance the flavour, but do so sparingly) and a good sprinkle of Chinese Five Spice Seasoning. You will love the exoctic fragrances of the spice as you cook this.

You can also make your own Chinese Five Spice Seasoning by using the following spices.
*Szechuan Pepper
*Cinnamon
*Cloves
*Fennel Seeds
*Star Aniseed

Apple Donuts (Apple Crumpets)

Apple donuts sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Apple donuts sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Here is another of our well loved recipes. It is quite simple to make and the heady aromas of apples and cinnamon make it a great comfort food. I have no idea where we came on the recipe but it is handwritten in my recipe book thus making this family’s grade.

*250ml cake flour
*10ml baking powder
*30ml sugar
*2.5ml salt
*200ml milk
*1 egg
*4 large granny smith apples cut into rings and cored.
*cinnamon sugar to sprinkle.

-Sift all the dry ingredients together.
-Add the milk,egg and blend well till mixture is smooth.
-Heat a frying pan with oil for frying.
-Drop tablespoon size portions into the hot oil in the pan.
-While this is frying underneath, place an apple ring on the top section.
-Turn with a spatula and fry till both sides are golden brown.
-Place in a dish and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

Happy, homey cinnamon smells and here is hoping that you enjoy your apple donuts as much as we do. 😉