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karen wentzel

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5 year old memories….

October 23, 2013

So we’re back and I’m trying to get back into my routine, Shane and I have quite a bit of freelance work and the shops, which we’re not complaining about, but we’ve definitely hit the ground running.

I really had a good time overseas and my trip made me think of the last time I was in that part of the world, I flew on Emirates with 3 of my bestest friends to Amsterdam. It was just before I got married to my Shane, my friends and I decided to go on a holiday together, because when do you ever really get to go overseas with your best friends? It doesn’t happen often (well it hasn’t happened super often to me). We packed our bags and we went to Amsterdam for a few days and then to Sweeden, where we stayed with another really good friend of mine, Sara. It was such an amazing trip, we saw so much and we did so much and we ate toooo much and last night I went back to look at few of the photos we took when we were there. We all look so young ahhaha!

Man, how times have changed. We’re all so different now, but still the same, if that makes sense. It’s amazing what a difference 5 years makes. This was one of the best holidays ever and I was so happy that we went on it and even happier when we got back, because I was coming home to take one of the most important steps of my life (marrying Mr. Shane) and it was such an exciting time.

Anyway, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane, which means that some of you are coming along with me.

 

 

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baked goods, COOL STUFF, My Recipes, recipes, RECIPES

Tea time with my girls.

January 28, 2013

On Saturday afternoon I had a bit of a tea party at our flat. I baked some vegan cookies, set out some of my most colourful china and invited some friends over. I haven’t seen these 3 faces in one room all together for a while, so I was super happy to have them all at my house.

We tried out some teas from a lovely lady who came to see me the other day about her product Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour. She left me some samples and the girls and I tucked into them on Saturday. The tea was fragrant and really nice, subtle but nice and they complimented the super sweetness of my cookies well. I’m getting some of this tea into Wolves soon, you must come try it out if you like.

The vegan cookies went down a treat (Leigh I kept you some, but then we ate them. I love you. Sorry. ) I have made them before, except this time I cut them into hearts  – the recipe is at the bottom of this post if you are interested. 

I think I need more friend/tea parties in my life. They’re so easy to set up and they’re such a nice way to spend an afternoon.

 

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Vegan choc chip-pecan nut-cinnamon cookies  

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 and half teaspoons cinnamo

handful of chopped pecan nuts

handful vegan chocolate or carob chips

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup water

Instructions:

1. Very important-make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. It will work if they’re not at room temp but it works much better if they are. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in chips and nuts. Make a well in the center and set aside. In a medium size bowl, add together sugar and oil; mix well.

3. Add the vanilla and then add the water; mix well.  Add the wet to the well in the dry. Mix it well but be careful not to overwork it.  Add more chips if you need to.

4. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Put them in the oven.  Bake for 5 minutes and then flip and rotate the sheets (top to bottom and 180 degree rotation). Bake another 4 minutes and check them. The cookies are done when they seem a little bit softer then you want them to be. They will harden up some as they cool. I usually go in 2 minute increments from here until they get to where I like them.

5. Take them out when they are done and move them to wire cooling racks. If they split or come apart when you try to remove them let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring them to the racks.

I adapted this recipe.

 

baked goods, My Recipes, other cool bloggers, recipes, RECIPES

Happy birthday Karenistic

May 24, 2012

The other day it was my friend Karen’s birthday, we all got together and had the most delicious homemade mushroom pies, that were all individually marked and then we all had a slice of the vegan chocolate cake that I attempted to bake her for her birthday. Karen has been vegan for a while now and all I can say is, I don’t know how you do it friend. High-5 to you for sticking to your guns because I think I would of caved a long time ago.

 

Before this cake excercise, I thought that there wasn’t a lot that vegans could make or eat, but the big beautiful internet quickly put an end to that myth. There are loads of nice things to make and this cake is just one of them. I followed the recipe off Sweetapolita, I also used her recipe for a rich chocolate frosting, which calls for Vegan, non-hydrogenated margarine, which in english means Blossom margarine – I must be honest with you guys, I couldn’t get my head around this. The icing tasted nice and sweet and like icing should, but to me it also tasted way too much like marg, which freaked me out. A lot. The cake itself was dark and dense and moist, this is a really cool recipe if you are looking for one, my only advice would be to try out some of the other vegan margarines that are out there for the icing, apparently there are a few, or just try your damndest to forget that you are using margarine.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

275 g plain/all-purpose flour

100 g natural cocoa powder

2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking soda

1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder

a pinch of salt

450 ml/1 +3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk

2 teaspoons (10 ml) red wine vinegar

320 g caster/superfine sugar

320 ml  sunflower oil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) vanilla extract

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F) Gas 4. I used 2 normal sized cake tins and split the batter in half to make a 2 layer cake.

2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Sift twice.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soya milk, vinegar, sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until well combined.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40-55 minutes. A wooden skewer inserted in the middle should come out with almost no crumbs attached, and the middle of the cake, when pressed, should spring back slightly instead of sink. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes if necessary.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Slide a table knife all around the edge to loosen the cake, then remove from the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

• 227 g Vegan, non-hydrogenated margarine – I used Blossom • 1 cup icing sugar  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) pure vanilla extract • 145 g quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled (I used Callebaut Dark Callets 70.4 % ) • 1/4 cup (60 ml) almond or soy milk • pinch of salt

Directions

1. In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and margarine and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.

2. Add vanilla and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted & cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).

3. Add almond milk and salt, and beat on medium speed for another minute.

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And i’m back.

February 8, 2012

I have been in the Cape for the last few days, getting ready for and attending my best friend Gina King’s wedding in Stellenbosch, she got hitched there on a beautiful farm. The wedding was very very pretty and super fun and she looked amazing. I was one of her bridesmaids, Amy (you remember talented Amy?) made my bridesmaids dress for me and she did a damn good job. Thank you Gina King and Beardface for the lovely wedding and for the dancing into the dark night and thank you Amy for the dress and Luke and Jen (Shane’s cousins) for the lodgings and chats till 12:55 in the morning and thank you CT for the good times.

Shane and I spent a few extra days there for fun, we went around to a few places that we had heard about – Jason’s bakery, Clarks, Scared of Mice etc etc I even got to go to the Milnerton Market on Sunday morning. We arrived quite late, but thankfully we still found some super cool stuff – my most favourite find of the day was this food display. Now that’s marketing for you. Yikes.

Bought these hand drawn (you can till see pencil lines) framed psalms, which were hiding under a table amongst some very sad looking frames. I’m glad I rescued them. Found this amazing rabbit shaped outdoor tap. How cool is he?! I couldn’t believe my luck, I have been looking for one for ages and on Sunday he was just sitting there waiting for me. I also found this precious ceramic bunny for my collection. Shame, I think if he was real he would be crapping himself, he’s currently surrounded by about 100 other ceramic animals all staring at him.

We had a very good time in Cape Town, got to hang out with some old friends, got to eat some very nice food and see some very nice places, but I’m happy to be home. Hello Joburg, you’re awesome.

 

 

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Chocolate pudding was a hit, not that I would know. Sad face.

June 17, 2011

On Wednesday night some friends and I went to Marina’s house for supper, gluhwein, port, chocolate pudding and old episodes of Friends. Watching Friends was so funny and a little depressing because we were all actually quite young when it was first on our TV screens, which makes us oldies now ha! Man, 90’s fashion was so wrong, just plain wrong and wrong again. Jeans too high and narrow. Chiffon skirts and hotpants, yikes! Waistcoats, but bad waistcoats and the shoes, oh the shoes, i’m still shuddering when I think about the clunky shoes. But despite the onslaught of 90’s fashion eyesores, we had such a cool evening. The food was amazing and gluhwein makes me very very happy.

As you can see i’m taking full advantage of my instagram app, you can follow me if you want xx i’m called  miss_luckypony x xx

I attempted the chocolate pudding recipe I posted about a while back. It came out really nicely, or so I was told. I’ve given up chocolate for the a little tiny while, I have a bet on with my copywriter, the first one to cave and trust me their have been moments, has to come to work wearing high pigtails for the whole day (me in pigtails, not a pretty sight) and carrying cash money to take the other one out for a fancy lunch.

Well anyway I didn’t have any, but Stubs scoffed hers down in about 6 minutes, so it must of been nice.

It was a really easy dessert to make if any of you are considering making it, but do keep in mind that I had to double the recipe to make 4 decent jars of it. Cool.

RECIPE:

* 2 tablespoons cornstarch

* 1/8 teaspoon (just a pinch) salt

* 1/3 cup cocoa powder

* 1/2 cup maple syrup or sweetener of choice

* 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

* 2 cups milk

* 2 tablespoons butter

* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, salt, cocoa powder, and maple syrup until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg yolks. Slowly whisk the milk & yolks into the mixture in the pan. Set the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute  Remove from heat and stir in the butter & vanilla. Serve warm (over ice cream) or chilled (with whipped cream).

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Happy happy Mareens.

April 28, 2011

Last night I had some of my very good friends (Gina King we missed you) over for supper and to plough through 3 bottles of champagne. My beautiful friend Marina (the one on the right) got engaged a couple of days ago and i’m so super happy for her. She briefly mentioned maybe having her wedding in Italy, we pushed for that idea ALL night hahaa! That would be so awesome.

Aaaa man I love weddings and engagements and all that stuff, they make me so happy and teary that I can never have my exact wedding day all over again – what a great day xxx

Last night I cooked my very first all vegan meal too. I made sweet potato coconut Thai curry soup with jasmine rice and it came out really nicely. It’s a really thick soup, so I guess it lands up being more like a curry, it has all nice strong ingredients in it, but when I added the coconut milk (there’s a lot of that) it kind of dulled a few of the flavours, so I added 2 freshly squeezed limes and some salt and pepper, the recipe doesn’t call for it, but I think they made it better. If you do try this recipe out – happy cooking and eating, yum.

* I have forgotten how awesome sweet potatoes are. Wow.