~Written and edited by Veronica Clark ~

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Ladies...throw your Laboutins!

Good Morning Ladies! Today we are turning Thursday's table into a Fabulous Fashion Fantasy and you are invited to wear your Laboutins! Yes...your Laboutins please.  Whatever the colour or style may be... put them on and come along to my table...

...in profusely pink....

...or radiant ruffled red...

....a snakeskin symphony....

...or a feathered plum boa .....

But, a word of warning.... beware... I might confiscate them....

....but, don't frett! I come bearing gifts for your adornement....

......fab Lipstick and Sunglasses....

.... oh, on second thoughts... keep your heels on... I have my own... on my table....

 We will have oysters......

....and bubbly aplenty....

....but, no feet on my table please....

only fabulous killer heels allowed...

Well, if I had shoes like these, I am not sure that they would ever rondevous with the pavement!!!

I am Linking with Tablescape Thursday over at  Between Naps on the Porch where you will finds loads of lovely tables.

Put on the killer heels ladies and lets rock!!!

You are most welcome to leave your Laboutins,,,,,,whatever the colour,,,,,,,



Images: Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds, Pinterest and Laboutin, of course....

Monday, 27 June 2011

On The Menu Monday


Curry Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Warm Slow-roasted Salad of Lamb on Baby Spinach
served with a Yoghurt, Mustard and Honey dressing

Pancakes with Sour Cherries and Creme Fraise

My son hosted a dinner at his digs in Stellenbosch on Friday night for an estimated 12 (it is always an estimation with students) and I had to come up with something special for him to make but not to complicated. So, we went through the options and he settled for this one. I thought roasting might be a bit far fetched for students , new to the kitchen, but this was something that he could stick in the oven while sprucing up his abode and the soup could be made ahead of time.

Roasting the pumpkin gives a richer and more robust flavour to the soup. I also use butternut on occasion.

Curried Roast Pumpkin Soup

500 g pumpkin. peeled seeded and cubed (peeled weight)
Juice of one large orange
Finely grated peel of half an orange
15 ml ( 1 tablespoon) brown sugar
butter for frying
1 large onion, chopped
5-15 ml (1-3 tsp) medium-strength curry powder
1ml ( quarter tsp) dried chilli flakes
15 ml (1 tbsp) ground coriander
5-10 ml (1-2tsp) ground cumin
2ml (half tsp) turmeric
30 ml (2 tbsp) chutney
about 1 Litre (4 cups)chicken ore vegetable stock (use 2 stock cubes)
natural yoghurt and fresh coriander to serve
Serves about 6

Butter a large roasting pan. Add pumpkin and drizzle with orange juice, peel and sugar. Cover and roast in a preheated 180 degrees oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender and golden.

Remove from oven and set aside. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add onion and sauté until glossy. Add spices and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add chutney and pumpkin and toss well to mix. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Puree, return to saucepan and heat through and serve with a swirl of yogurt and a few sprigs of fresh coriander.

This is one of those dishes that makes you feel like a domestic goddess long before you have convinced your possessive duvet to let go! You wake up and a gorgeous aroma assail your nostrils…garlic, rosemary and lamb. You think….gosh the neighbour is up early, or you have overslept the Sunday lunch, but then, you remember…. sticking a lamb in the oven at about midnight the previous night. You smile and snuggle up to duvet for a few moments more...sigh. A word of warning though! If you have wayward, hungry students, be sure to lock them in the rooms before you go to bed….

Warm Slow-roasted Lamb Salad

3kg leg of lamb
125 ml olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Baby spinach leaves
250 ml sunflower seeds toasted
250 ml olives pitted
Fresh Rosemary sprigs

Preheat oven to 100 degrees C. Place lamb in ovenproof dish. Rub olive oil and salt and pepper over. Grind over salt and pepper and insert some rosemary sprigs and garlic slivers if you wish into the flesh. Make slits with a sharp little knife in flesh. Cover with foil and roast for 12 hours. (ideal to cook overnight)

The recipe above is the original but I prefer using a Sachet of Ina Paarman's Lemon and Herb Sauce and thinning it with a bit of water when roasting instead of the olive oil. It is also great to slice in a fresh lemon or halved lemons and roasting it alongside.


250 ml olive oil
125 ml vinegar
30 ml wholegrain mustard
15 ml honey
Salt and pepper
250 ml yoghurt
125 ml good mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic crushed

To make the dressing: Mix the ingredients in a bowl and use electric beater to blend well.

Again, I often use only the yoghurt and the mayonnaise, mustard and honey and it works just as well, cutting a bit of fat.

I prefer serving the dressing seperately.

I like to cool the lamb and then tear it into shreds by hand, but if you have less barbaric inclinations just cut it how ever you want to. The lamb can be served slightly warm or cold depending on the weather and your mood.

Place baby spinach leaves (raw) on a large platter and arrange your shredded lamb over the leaves. Scatter over sunflower seeds and olives if you are using olives ( I always forget the olives.) Now splash over some of your pan juices from the roasting dish to moisten the whole lot. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and serve the dressing on the side.
Sprinkle over the toasted sunflower seed seeds and chopped olives

Some chunky bread like ciabatta or a baguette for mopping up operations from your plate and the central platter is highly recommended!!

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Pancakes with Sour Cherries and Creme Fraise

Now, I am sure you all have your own lovely and infalable pancake recipe. You migth even be a totally fabulous domestic goddess, who makes extra batches of pancakes and manages to hide them in your freezer for a quick desert when unexpected guests arrive. You whip out a tin of cherries and voilé! Madam Fab...
Me, I nip into Woolies and buy them frozen when I am not in domestic-goddess-mode but efficient- getting-the-job-done-mode!!!


1 packet of Frozen Woolies pancakes. Defrost them and unwrap them from all their plastic protective packaging (enough to start a recycling plant!!!)

Stack onto a plate ready for the microwave

Tinned sour cherries or I get mine in a bottle ( Pick n Pay, top shelf, above dried fruit)

Drain the liquid and add cherries to a pot.
Add about 2 tablespoons of your favourite berry jam
A squeeze of lemon , if you feel inclined
Heat over gentle heat and let it bubble for a bit until surypy.

When ready to serve, heat the pancakes in the microwave briefly.
Ladle some warmed cherries onto one side of the pancake
Top with a swirl of creme fraise and close over.
Garnish with a dusting of icing sugar and a sprig of mint

This dessert is ideal for camping...yes camping!
By the time you have set up camp your pancakes are defrosted. Your fire is going, you get the cherries on the boil and ask fellow campers to set up the "Skottel" and warm your pancakes on there!

"Skottel" =  Gas braai. Have a look at a skottel braai here

I hope you try the lamb salad for convenience. I have been known to put it in the oven frozen covered with tin foil and it works a treat!

The student coped quite well and apparently it was a fab party and all guests are reported to be alive and well!

Today I am linking with "On The Menu Monday" over at the The Stone Gable where you will find delectable goodies for the week!


Menu Plan Monday   over at Organizing Junkie where you will finds loads of recipes.


The Big Red Pot for Menu Inspiration Monday.

Happy Living and Cooking

Please leave me your comment or suggestions, I would love to hear them and appreciate you taking a moment to chat!


Images from pinterest and my recipe files.

Cindy ~ Peaches and Cream Bride....

Good Morning Monday and all you lovely people who will stumbled upon my dot of the cyber universe!

This beautiful photo of a friend on her wedding day captivated me when she placed it on facebook a few months back. Have a look...

She looks breathtaking, don't you think? The photographer manged to capture a very special moment in time of a beautiful young women on her wedding day...

Her youthful beauty, the delicate tulle and lace, the small roses in her bouquet, her peaches and cream complexion and the way she is framed with the light makes this images of her completely beguiling. I simply love this photo! Love it! It is one of the most wonderful wedding photos I have ever seen, and Cindy kindly allowed me to use it. Thank you, Cindy.

I am still getting to grips with all the wonderful tools at my disposal to create a blog. Quite apart from that I have also gone of on a different track, experimenting with mood boards, colour combinations, etc.

So this lovely image of Cindy, on her special day took me on a whole journey of discovery,,,,,

I think, that those luscious peaches and pink cabbage roses, reminded me of Cindy's wedding photo.

And... she inspired a few colour combinations. The delicate blooms of the Prunus fits right in...

So, I experimented a bit more...

And some more...

...and I began to imagine where such a beautiful bride might live and I can so see her descending from that stunning Nouveau Staircase looking for all the world like a princess..

Genius design....

 I am not very in to pink, but this peachy pink boudoir is a yes please!

And, who could resist this?


A huge thank you to Cindy for allowing me to use her wedding picture.
I do not know the name of the rose below, but I think we should name it ... Cindy.

I am linking with Mosaic Monday over at Dear Little Red House where I spotted some beautiful garden images. Please wonder over there and have a peek!

I do hope Monday is behaving herself immaculately!

Happy Living



Images: pinterest and Cindy Lancaster

Your comments make my day and I appreciate the time you take to leave them. Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A table with a view ~ Bush Banquet

I live in Cape Town, one of the most, if not, the most beautiful city in the world! But, I guess everyone thinks their little dot of our amazing world is wonderful...and so they should! I was not born in Cape Town but in the Bushveld as we call it here. Now, this is more Africa! Wild and a little more untouched by the human hand. And, although I love the sea, I am, for all my heart a girl from the African Bush! Nothing beguiles me more than driving through the bush looking for leopard, lion or what ever the bush banquet feels like serving up that day! That's what's so exciting, you never know what you might find. The feeling you get, sitting in an open vehicle when a lion walks past within touching distance is unparalleled magic and perfection. So for today's tablescapes I am taking you on safari with one of my favourite coffee table books, A Kitchen Safari. Stories and Recipes from The African Bush by Yvonne Short and Dumi Ndlovu.  Buy it HERE

This is one of my favourite books and always on my coffee table in the family room. It has started many a dinner conversation as visitors page through it to view the amazing pictures of the African bush and wildlife by way of a kitchen safari to some of the most spectacular Safari Resorts run by CC Africa all over the African continent and in some pretty remote places. It is a delight and demonstrates  the passion with which staff take care and pamper their guests, often in the most unusual of circumstances and and with limited supplies.

Not only, is the photography gorgeous but it includes illustrations by some of the chefs with little insets  on tracing paper with their sketches and recipes, anecdotes and stories. What happens when a hyena steals dinner from the fire, how to keep a herd of 200 elephant at bay with a pot ladle plus a myriad of mishaps ala bush kitchen confidential confessions. Of course last but most importantly some amazing recipes. Look out for them in future posts. Some include Can Can Chicken, Turkey with Pine Nuts and Sultanas and a great standby dish for me, named  Salad of Roasted Aubergine, Tomato and Mint. Quite delectable. But I am getting sidetracked. Today's post is actually about tablescapes!  So keep going...

Some gorgeous smiles to welcome you...

The local kitty...

With scenery like this and the atmospheric time of day, you do not need an elaborate table setting to distract your eye from the surrounding beauty...
Bateleur Camp at Kitchwa Tembo.

Pretty impressive for the middle of the bush...

                               A gracious hostess dressed for the setting in Phinda.

                                          A night under the stars...

Here is a little story from that night...
"We had a simple menu, that night under the stars - the trees bedecked with lanterns, the fire tossing crackles into the air and the Maasai appearing and disappearing into the darkness around us...Fillet of Kenyan Beef with an African Hollandaise, Fresh Mango drenched with Vanilla Anglaise. It all went wrong when a herd of wildebeest came rushing past for no apparent reason. We all ran for cover and the hollandaise and the anglaise bowls were swapped in the melee...funny, but no-one said a word!"

Tongomera, Ruaha National Park. Imagine a picnic here with tantalising Tanzanian dishes..

This is my personal preference. Absolutely breathtaking....
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge... Maasai meets Versailles...

Gumeti River Camp, Serengeti lies in the path of the Great Migration and offers great views of this natural phenomenon....

Tea done the Ngala Private Game Reserve way.. timeless with a soupcon of sass..

A marriage table. The caption says "The grandeur of the Ngorongoro Crater elevates every wedding to the sublime" And can you just imagine it?  A thick carpet of petals, the view, traditionally dressed Maasai choir..

Coffee break safari style

Did I pick a favourite table yet?..hmmm.. I have changed my mind... this one tops the previous...

It is an enchanting and heartwarming book that always keeps me coming back for more. I was in two minds to publish this post as the images are not perfect from being scanned in such a way as to not damage my favourite book, but in the end I decided that sharing them would be of more value. so, do accept my apologies for having you clean your glasses when they are in fact probably sparkling!

Look out for the Can Can Chickens and a few other favourite recipes in future posts. Whilst doing this post I have decided to try a few more of the delectable dishes on offer.

I do hope you enjoyed our little table safari and bush banquet. Please leave me a comment with your favourite one.

Happy Living


I am linking to Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on The Porch, so do wonder over there for some wonderful tables, please.

Wordless Wednesday...Daydream Believing...

All Things Fabulous