I am not a huge breakfast eater at home. Now I don’t mind going out to a cafè, sit, relax and eat till my tummy is satisfied but that’s a luxury we don’t have at the moment so home cooked breakfasts it shall be. I usually have egg or avo on toast, and there was a time when I enjoyed muesli, fruit and yogurt but the trend seems to wear off and I get bored with my meals.
I’ve seen some incredible creations lately of oatmeal and/or smoothie bowls so this morning I tried making something hearty and warm for myself and the kids. Luckily my pantry is stocked with rolled oats as I often use it for baking the kids’ school treats. The rest of the ingredients I sourced from the freezer and fridge. I made a mixed berry oatmeal, topped with sliced plum, almonds and additional berries. I lightly sprinkled cinnamon sugar over as I know my kids will ask if they can add some sweetner.
Breakfast took me 10 minutes to make and it was filling and satisfying. With winter approaching this will surely become a favorite in the house.
A few weeks ago we went out to dinner at a local restaurant and I had kale for the first time. I’ve heard of this greenery before as most cooking series now shows its watchers how to use kale in a hundred plus ways. I was still a bit apprehensive with what it would taste like when the plate was presented to me. They served it deep fried, so it was crunchy, crispy and I must say very tasty. What doesn’t taste good deep fried!
Over the weekend my husband needed baby spinach for a dish he was making. I couldn’t find any at the grocery store so I bought a bag of curly kale. I now understand why there’s such a fuss over it. The serving options are endless. In my husband’s dish the kale was lightly blanched and then added just before serving. There wasn’t much taste to it, but it still provided texture.
Today I decided to incorporate it into the coleslaw salad I was making for the kids’ lunchbox as a wrap filling. In its natural raw state there is a slight peppery taste to it, which adds flavour to the salad. The kids LOVED it and what a great way to get more healthy greens into them.
Experimenting with this green goddess is fully satisfactory.
Rooibos tea, also known as redbush tea, is a very popular herbal tea. It’s health benefits are that it does not contain any caffeine, it has high levels of antioxidants and has low tannin levels in comparison to normal black tea and even green tea. It is a drink that can be given to infants, the elderly and pregnant women. It is versatile and healthy.
In South Africa, rooibos tea is commonly prepared in the same manner as black tea, and milk and sugar are added to taste. Several coffee shops in South Africa have recently begun to sell rooibos espresso (which is concentrated rooibos served and presented in the style of ordinary espresso). This has given rise to rooibos-based variations of coffee drinks such as rooibos lattes and rooibos cappuccinos.
And this is where my photo of the day comes in. We sell not only the rooibos teabags in our shop, but also rooibos espresso. And I can say that it is the best way to drink rooibos tea. It is concentrated, yet not bitter. I make mine in a plunger but you can use it in an espresso machine, a stovetop moka pot or a filter machine. I add froth milk to my drink and serve it as a latte. No sugar is added, but if you do want some additional sweetness you can drop a teaspoon of honey in.
It is the type of drink you can linger on, day dream or enter a full state of relaxation. Put your feet up today and take some time to breath.
My son and I attended a fundraising event for our club’s current junior international MAG (mens artistic gymnastics) gymnast. He is in the 360 squad, a group of young and very talented gymnasts who aim to qualify for future Olympic selections. He is travelling to Berlin for an International competition and afterwards spending time in the UK for a training camp. This is an incredible opportunity for any athlete and with an excessive cost involved, any amount of money raised is very welcomed. The night consisted of light entertainment in the form of parents vs gymnasts, MAG and WAG displays, raffle auctions and a 2 course meal.
Our son is a level 3 gymnast and has been doing gymnastics since the age of 5. He isn’t the best and some apparatus are challenging for a small body with little upper body strength but he absolutely loves it. He struggles to stay focused during training and is easily distracted by others around him but I don’t think I should expect more from a 10 year old. He has been in the same team since 2014 and they are a strong team to compete against. Their ages vary from 8 – 13 and last year was their most successful year yet.
Watching him compete certainly takes me back to my gymnastics years. I was an artistic gymnast from the age of 9 and stopped when I was 17. Our gymnastics club didn’t have many boy gymnasts and it was only on limited occasions that we trained with them which means the majority of our training sessions were girls only. We formed some very strong bonds and I don’t recall ever being in arguments or disagreements with any of the girls. We supported each other, cheered during competitions, hugged, cried and bandaged each other when our blisters tore. We were a close knit group and shared a special connection that other students in the school didn’t understand. I remember clearly how we got together one night during a school dance, ran to the rugby field, formed a circle, held hands and wished each other good luck for the upcoming Vaal Triangle Championships, which was the qualifying decider for team selection for the South African Junior Gymnastics Championships.
Now I know boys are wired differently to girls, but I would hope that my son has the same opportunity to form inseparable bonds with his team mates. Those are the relationships that help you grow, mature and shapes how you interact with others in stressful situations, especially when they are competing in an individual sport and there’s only 3 podium spots to fill.
Here’s to good memories, and memories in the making.
I haven’t been on a decent walk this entire summer which is shocking and now that we are hitting cooler days and wetter weather going for a lengthy hike is few and far between. This afternoon however I had an urge to go for a walk. And not a short stroll, but a heart pumping, sweat breaking, out of breath type of walk.
Duder Regional Park is a great place to go for a walk. You have an option of 3 trails or you could go for the beach walk when it is low tide. I opted for the shorter 1 hour walk as we have already done it before. Off I went.
It was reasonably quiet and I couldn’t see anyone else on the track. The bush walk is the best part. You are surrounded by greenery and the sweet smell of autumn flowers. The air is fresh and slightly cool against your chest. The chattering of mag pies is an absolutely mystical sound and you can see far across the bay. The flat gravel path becomes a steady hill climb until you reach the second gate. At this point you can veer off and follow the yellow track, but not knowing how long it might take me I stayed on the blue marked track. The surrounding trees with their overhanging branches provides a lovely spot to have a day dream.
Half way through the walk, still keeping my eye one the marked tracks I lost the blue marker. I’m not sure if I had to turn around and walk back, but from there on out the markers only had red and yellow on them. I didn’t mind taking the longer track but I knew the climb that was ahead. It takes you all the way up the hill to the highest look out point. At this stage my lungs started burning and my knees aching, but once you make it to the top the view is worth the discomfort.
The tracks run through farm lands and the walk down, now following the red marker, takes you through paddocks with sheep and young bulls. The bulls seem to be use to people as they didn’t seem bothered with me trespassing through their field. The track also became very muddy and hard to maneuver as the damage from the flood is clearly visible. You can see where the slips happened which run down approximately 30 metres down the hill.
I finally reached the end, and a walk that is indicated as 1h50m long was completed in just over an hour. It is definitely what I needed! With the sun setting behind me, I head home with a clear head and a rush of oxygen.
We tend to have this recurring problem at home and that is to run out of bread. And it is not that we really eat a lot of bread either. The only reason we will buy bread is to make sandwiches for the kids’ lunch. I have found that looking for alternative lunch meals for them means that we are slowly moving away from buying bread on a weekly basis. Yes it is easier to just slather something on a slice of bread, but I want to not only be more creative but also give them more substance to get them through a busy school day.
A filled sandwich is yummy as I will pack it to the brim with meat, salad fillings, egg and mayo, but we don’t always have these fresh items in the fridge. Today was such a day, when the fridge was looking a bit empty and I still had two lunchboxes to fill. We had 1/2 a head of lettuce left from the weekend’s salad, so I decided to use the lettuce leaves as the bread. I had freshly cooked and packed chicken in the fridge, so I sliced it up, mixed it with mayo, hard boiled some eggs, placed them on top, wrapped the lettuce up and done. It was so easy!
And with a resounding ‘Please make that again mommy, it was so good” from the kids, I am a happy camper.
In an attempt to keep the kids interested and excited over their school lunches, I decided to make them a salad in a jar. Why a jar? Because I have a shelve stacked with jars but no Tupperware containers to put the salad in.
What at first seemed complicated, turned out to be an easy and effective way to create a salad. The salad jars contained:
They each had a small non-leak container with a balsamic vinaigrette in to drizzle over the salad. I was at first sceptical knowing my son is a bit of a fussy eater and I surely don’t want to waste fresh produce. He was however the first to say how much he enjoyed the salad and that he ate it all! One very happy mother here.