Monday, September 19, 2011

The good ol' days

Often, when I eat something I haven’t eaten in a while (but LOVED during childhood), I am disappointed. It seems that ‘when we were young’ isn’t a cliché for nothing. Certain things just tasted better when we were kids. 
Now, I know some people will say that its just because we’ve now developed a more mature palette so we no longer find the same pleasure in foods we adored as children but I say bollocks to that. Here's why:

When I was young I remember the distinct crunch of a Kit Kat. 4 fingers of chocolate were never enough, I always wanted more. It seems to me that these days the wafer is more air than actual wafer and the chocolate forms the thinnest of veneers over said airy wafer. Unsatisfying, to say the least.

The next on my list of disappointments in the BarOne. Again guilty of thinning the chocolate layer to such an extent that, I feel, it has lost the very essence that made it a BarOne. In the old days there was a decent chocolate coating around the entire thing but the real win was the top of the bar, which was a thick hard chocolate layer, with ridges all along its back. The memorable CRACK which was heard and felt when biting through that top layer has now vanished, and in its place is a thin, silent imposter.
One of my favourite memories of Easter during childhood is finding a whole 6 pack carton of white eggs. Back in the day you would suck on one those things for hours until your entire mouth was covered in the white candy coating. Eventually your patience would be rewarded as after wearing the shell down enough you would be able to crack the egg open with your teeth and enjoy the delicious chocolate layer on the inside of the egg. 
Pure heaven. Back then it was literally impossible to bite through the shell straight out of the packet, similar to the impossibility of biting through granite. These days, to my utter dismay, the shell of the egg may as well be made of glass. It is so fragile that one small nip means that the egg is in pieces. Fair enough, it might be better for the teeth of today’s children but I feel like the old white eggs were a lesson in patience. Nowadays, its all over in a matter of 2 minutes and the child is already stuffing the next white egg in his mouth.

In these days of declining quality it is great to know that some things are just as you remember them as a kid. I ate a bag of NikNaks this morning and they were deeelicious, the same crunch of my childhood, the same distinct cheese flavour, the same orange fingers after consuming the bag. It makes me happy that the quality of some things is so carefully maintained. Not only does it satisfy the craving. It also provides that warm and fuzzy nostalgic feeling in your tummy.

NikNaks, you rock my world.

Interestingly, the NikNaks packet design has changed again. Trying to evolve with the times.. badly, in my opinion.. but I do not want to sound ungrateful as I am thankful to them for maintaining the awesomness of what is inside the packet.

Evolution of the NikNaks packet:
             Child hood                   Teenage years                          Now

Friday, September 16, 2011

French Toast with Banana

Yay for lazy weekend mornings!

Double yay for syrupy-bananery-french-toasty goodness!

I like making this when I'm feeling a little more adventurous than cereal but a little less adventurous than full english or waffles.

Ingredients (for two people):

4 Eggs
1/2 cup of Milk
Maple syrup


Beat eggs and milk together til combined.

Soak each piece of bread in the eggy mixture.

Fry each piece of bread on both sides.

Chop the banana into discs about 2cm deep.

Fry banana discs lightly.

Pile fried banana on top of cooked french toast.

Add Maple syrup.

Kick back and enjoy your breakfast - and your weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Parmigiana

Last night I decided I needed to use up a half block of parmesan that had been in the fridge a while. In my searches I came across Pioneer Woman's recipe for chicken parmigiana. I adjusted portion size and then proceeded to follow the recipe as best I could.

The result was quite spectacular. We sat down to eat and, after a few mouthfuls boyfriend got distracted by something on his iphone. When I brought to his attention that his food was getting cold he looked down at his plate and said "Wow, I didn't realise I had so much food left. This is so awesome".

Now, that's the type of compliment that makes me smile really wide.
Be warned - this is by no means a diet friendly meal (I think I used about double the cheese pioneer woman did - if thats even possible) but making it will almost certainly make your life better.


4 chicken fillets
1 and a half cans whole peeled tomatoes (this was all I had)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup wine
mixed herbs

Chop (PW left whole) coat with flour and cook chicken - I cooked til crispy cos I like the texture.

Cook chopped onion and garlic, pour in wine and reduce til half.

Chop tomatoes roughly in the can and then add to the pan.

Simmer until reduced to your liking. PW suggested half an hour (but used double quantity). I waited around 15 mins.

Chuck chicken on top and sprinkle with parmesan (liberally, very liberally) and then cover for 5-10mins to let the cheese melt. 

Plate, serve, and sit back and wait for the compliments.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mooki Noodle Power, Brand Road, Glenwood

There has been a lot of hype around this newly opened joint. And i mean A LOT a lot. It opened while I was on holiday overseas and boyfriend, being the awesome boyfriend he is, decided to wait for me to get back before trying it out.

So we ended up having our most recent date night there. The first thing I thought when I arrived was "man, this place is TINY". I mean, it wasn't very busy so it didn't really matter but ya, it is pretty tiny. The second thing I noticed was the tables. As I mentioned the place wasn't full so I didn't see the concept in action but to me it seems as though they've taken a leaf out of Europe's book: The tables are longish and three couples, not necessarily in the same party of diners, are able to comfortably eat side-by-side at one of these tables. And so, combined with my first observation on the size of this place, you will understand the genius that is employing this seating strategy.

I couldn't stop admiring the painted mural... 

The food menu is super limited, which I LOVE because I often find it difficult to choose what to eat when I go out. Also, it is a new restaurant so I appreciate that they've chosen a few dishes in order that they may concentrate on the quality of these few items and make them sparkle.

The waitresses and the owner are fantastic hosts. Friendly and laid back, its the kind of service I imagine being the norm back in my parents' day. The employees want to make you feel as comfortable as possible and are genuinely interested in your well-being while you are there. It's this element that makes people feel at home while they're out and, I imagine, has earned this place many return customers already.

Boyfriend had the fishcakes to start and I had calamari salad. Both were fair. I thought the fish cakes were a little bit dense for my liking but I really enjoyed the taste - distinctly Thai. I always love a salad filled with fresh herbs so this one was top notch in my opinion.
(more chicken noodles than I could handle - this was my plate after I'd eaten my fill)

For main course boyfriend had chicken fried rice and I had chicken with noodles. The portion sizes were extremely generous and neither of us were able to finish. I preferred the noodles as the dish had stronger flavours and the absolute perfect amount of chilli heat for my taste.

All in all it was a lovely night. For starters, mains, a drink (and enough leftovers for lunch the next day) it cost us just over R200.00. That's pretty good value for money if you ask me.

Completely Cooked Rating: 7/10

 (White Rabbits instead of after dinner mints. Love!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Spring Day!

 For the last few days summer has been in the air around these parts.

It's a weird thing to explain, summer "being in the air" but seriously, that's how it feels! When you wake up in the morning there is a certain excitement in your tummy for no reason at all, you just wake up and it's there. That's when you know that winter is on his way out and summer is just around the corner. The sun is starting to wake up earlier and go to bed later, skies are bluer and people are extra smiley.

Love it!


 These two pictures are of plants in our garden.