Groot Constantia has long been one of my favourite spots in Cape Town, and on Friday 13 July the farm celebrated 333 years of uninterrupted wine production – quite phenomenal when you think about it! The day was marked with a special event attended by Groot Constantia trustees, staff and members of the media.
Continue reading “Groot Constantia turns 333!” →
You know when you are invited to a night out with the Entertainer crew you are in for a good time, and their 2018 launch earlier this month did not disappoint. Bloggers and influencers were invited to a night of food and laughter at the Cape Town Comedy Club at the V&A Waterfront to celebrate the launch of The Entertainer’s 2018 offerings and what a great evening it was!
Continue reading “The Entertainer 2018 launch” →
October was a rather hectic but very exciting month here at Cupcakes and Couscous HQ. Chaos continued to reign on the home front as renovations went on (we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, hooray!), my sister visited us from the U.K (double hooray!) and we had a couple of special family birthdays – my Dad, and my youngest James who turned two. He is completely obsessed with all things train related and so it was a no brainer as to what his party theme would be. I thought that this week I would share a few snaps from the day, perhaps they will give you a few ideas if you have a train party coming up.
The decor was heavily inspired by a couple of pics I saw on good old Pinterest. There were tons of train party related pins as you can imagine, such fantastic ideas that I probably would not have thought of myself. I went for a blue and green colour scheme and chose the following ideas:
- the snacks were served in a train. I painted disposable foil oven trays with blue and green craft paint, stuck black paper circles on the sides for wheels and strung them together with twine. I then used old cardboard boxes to make a train to go at the front (decorated in blue and green of course), lined the carriages with blue and green tissue paper and filled them up with delicious eats.
- a cardboard “birthday crossing” sign with paper lights underneath, and another sign that said “Platform 2”.
- “Thanks for chugging by” party packs displayed in an open suitcase marked “Baggage Claim”.
- the children played pass-the-parcel with train songs as the music.
- A train craft where the children could glue their own train pictures using shapes that I had pre-cut and cotton wool. (Apologies for the terrible photo!)
For the food I served a selection of nibbles – fruit and bran muffins, pretzels, crudités, train shaped sugar cookies, fresh fruit, cheese and train crossing biscuits made out of wafer biscuits. It looked rather sweet served up in the train carriages.
The main event of course, was the cake. I decided to make a simple round cake decorated with fondant cut outs and topped with a fondant train cake topper. It worked out great as I was able to make all of the fondant goodies a few days ahead of the party (less stress on the day!). I baked the cakes the day before the party, then on the morning of the big day I simply whipped up a batch of icing, iced the cake and popped all the decorations on.
Here are a few more details on how I put the cake together:
- I baked two 22cm vanilla cakes. I levelled off the bottom cake to make it easier to stack the other on on top, but I left the top one rounded to give it a “hilly” appearance.
- The cake was iced with a thin layer of pale blue buttercream icing.
- When it came to making the fondant train I referred to this easy tutorial, adding my own touches here and there.
- I also used fondant to make the train tracks (I used a sharp knife to score lines into them to give them a more woody look), clouds, “tunnels” with rocks around them, apple trees and hills.
- I finished the cake off by piping a little bit of green buttercream icing around the base to look like grass.
If you have a train party planned for your little one then hopefully this has given you a bit of inspiration. If you have hosted a train party lately I would love to hear about it!
Two weeks ago, after months of planning and anticipation, it was finally time to hop on a plane and fly to Bloemfontein where I had been invited to demonstrate some of my recipes to the lovely ladies of Bloemfontein Fynproewers. Exciting times! When I landed I was met at the airport by Alma, one of the committee members who took me straight to the demo venue where the other committee members were all busy in the kitchen preparing my dishes for the audience to taste the following day. I had a chance to get my bearings, check the recipes and also familiarise myself with the demonstration area. At this point the excitement and the nerves were really starting to kick in!
Continue reading “Salted caramel chocolate truffles and a food demo in Bloemfontein” →
Two weeks ago I was invited to attend an event hosted by Sasko and which took place at the South African Chefs Academy in Observatory. The Sasko Chefs Kitchen was a fun afternoon of cooking, food photography and of course eating!
Continue reading “Ten minute cheese and herb rolls” →
Last Thursday I was invited to attend the Knorr Flavourful Goodness Experience at the SA Chef’s Training Academy in Observatory. Food bloggers, nutritionists and members of the media were invited to “rediscover the joy of simple family cooking” along with familiar face Chef Wendy and the Unilever team.
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When I started blogging, one of my goals – apart from sharing my favourite recipes – was to challenge myself to try new ingredients and dishes. I certainly have done that a number of times, but last Saturday I truly stepped out of my comfort zone when this English cook from the Southern Suburbs agreed to take part in a potjiekos competition in the heart of the Boland as part of the Ommiberg “Round the Rock”
Continue reading “Radio Tygerberg potjie competition” →