Monthly Archives: September 2016

Springtime in Benoni

Well maybe not the same ring to it as Springtime in Paris but it is just as wonderful. To see the new shoots on the trees and plants never ceases to amaze me. We have had no rain for 6 months but come the warmer temperatures and everything comes alive. It is truly amazing.

Unfortunately we are going through a serious drought and we need to conserve water so now all the grey water from the sinks and appliances is going to water our plants. Also starting a wormery and compost heap and will be laying down loads of mulch to keep the soil as moist as possible.

Time to get planting vegetables I think so we can have real fresh organic produce without it costing an arm leg and hip.


Day lilly showing off for just one day


Vygies showing of to the sun 

healthy nibbles

date balls

Ok I love sweets as much as anyone but with my diabetes and trying to eat healthy I really need an alternative to Mars bars and Twix bars. If you buy these in the shops they are very expensive and lets be honest you never can be 100% sure of what is in them.

Using Thermomix makes them so easy to make. The main things is get pitted dates. You can use those ones you get in a dry block but I think the loose pitted dates are better. You need a mixture of dates, nuts and maybe a couple of teaspoons of fruit juice. You can roll them expresso powder.

What I used was 200 grams dates, almonds, hazelnuts ,powdered cinnamon and coconut shavings. I put it in the Thermomix for 10 seconds at speed 8. You can make as fine or as course as you want. I like fairly fine because they are easier to squeeze together. I rolled them into balls about the size of a large marble. I rolled the finished balls in cinnamon powder, good for diabetics and hey voila, a delicious treat sitting in the fridge for me. I managed around 20 balls; if I buy from shop I think it is around R20 for 3, twenty cost me around R50.

Go try and make these delicious morsels. If you need to know about Thermomix contact me.

I love the web and Pinterest, youtube and the electronic media that you can use to source all sorts of information. I could not believe when I actually saw someone grating cauliflower with a box grater to make cauliflower rice, the latest super food which can be used instead of Carbs. With Spring here i wanted to make an easy carb free ‘salad’.

img_3472With the Thermomix it happens in 3 second and with no effort on your part. You put your cauliflower florets in and on speed 4 it is done.

Today I used the raw cauliflower and made my favourite tabouleh and I think it is even better than the original. Loads of herbs including basil, parsley, mint, rocket, cherry tomatoes and then cucumber. Lots of seasoning with salt pepper etc. oh and pomegranate and lemon oil: a few pomegranate rubies and a truly tasty plate of food waits you. What I love is you can add seasoning and adjust to what you like. 

Great for vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike. We had ours with lamb ribs which we marinated in steak house sauce and then cooked in the small thermo oven, delicious.


Spring Day

Being in the Southern hemisphere today is the first day of spring for us. The weather is stunning today at around 25 centigrade. At night it does go down though to around 6 but remember here in Gauteng it is 5000 feet up so the air is definitely thinner than at sea level. Also our water boils at around 95 instead of 100. Sorry that is just a snippet of info as I do tend to wander of the subject.


Hydrangea getting its leaves on again


Honeysuckle starting to fill the air with perfume


Fig tree greening up, but we never get the figs as the birds love them and we love the birds


The beautiful day lilies which we get all year round

By the way it is pronounced as how-teng and not gow-teng.

The leaves are bursting out but now we need serious rain as everywhere is so dry after about 6 months with no rain.

Lemon Curd bars

I got this recipe from the Good `housekeeping Brownies book but adapted it with more butter and a few minor changes. Visit their website at


These are super easy and fast. Think shortbread with lemon and almond.

Ingredients list is small

200 grams cake flour

180 grams butter

120 grams caster sugar – I use brown

1/4 teaspoon baking powder.

I put all this in the Thermomix for 8 seconds at speed 4. when it is crumbled but not clumped together it is ready. You could do this by hand or in food processor.


Line the 9 x 9 tin with baking paper and pour in 2/3 of the mixture. press this down and then spread with lemon curd. I use around half a jar but also usually make my own in the Thermomix and this makes life so much easier. Just check out that recipe. Leave a small border around the edge. (see the picture below)

Ok so the next thing to do is take the third remaining mixture and mix in some slithered almonds. I use around 50 grams and have done it with almond nibs, almond slithers or even flaked almonds. What ever you have in the cupboard

Bake for 30 minutes in a 180 c or 350 f. they should be just golden around the edges.IMG_3135

We also make them using Clemgold tangerines which are so sweet and tasty. Then I make my own Clemgold Curd using sugar, egg, butter and Glemgold juice and rind.