Strawberry Picking

One of the things we were excited  to do this Spring was go strawberry picking.  A lot of my holiday memories are based around going to this one strawberry farm that had a lot of scarecrows all around the biggest, reddest, most beautiful strawberries I’ve ever seen.  This farm did not disappoint, no it didn’t have scarecrows, but it was nestled in the beautiful Magaliesberg on a scenic farm.  Tangaroa strawberry farm is great for strawberry picking, picnicking at the dam, duck watching, playing with dogs and they made a great strawberry jam to boot!

With most things in life its always best to get your little bucket at the gate and get there early, because the early strawberry picker catches the best strawberries

Organic sign

^^ Organic strawberries! Yum.

Strawberry farm

^^ lots of people getting their strawberry on.

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^^ I love the little red bucket and the strawberries.

Strawberry picking

^^ When the glasses comes off, you know its serious strawberry picking time.

Strawberry picking

^^ Happy strawberry picking.  Yes, Carl and I are basically wearing the same outfit.

Strawberry picking

^^ Kind of a Chandler smile, but still pretty cute.

Strawberry picking

Strawberries in soda bottles

Strawberry farm

^^ Yay! Strawberries. Boy, was it hot! I started feeling whoozy  at the end.

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^^ Check out these strawberry field or the I’m sitting in air pose.

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^^ Even the dogs love the strawberries.

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^^ After the strawberry picking, we headed to the little restaurant and got some much needed refreshments.  Carl really enjoyed this strawberry milkshake.  I had a delicious virgin strawberry daiquiri that really hit the spot.

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^^ On our way to the car we spotted mulberries and got our mulberry picking on.

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

Weekend are made for adventures, wait any time is a great time for adventures.  We have been in full adventures, get our fun on mode lately.  Trying to tourist the life out of our city before we leave, its been dandy to say the least.  From strawberry picking on the hottest day in the world to rowing on a dam, relaxing at home and Carl studying away a storm.  Ordinary days are the ones you remember.  Its all about making memories and having fun along the way and photos captures the moments you don’t want to forget.

Candles

^^ We had such an intense thunderstorm here on Friday.  The sky was blue and wonderful on one side and super ominous on the other, and suddenly it was a ridiculous thunderstorm.  It knocked the whole areas electricity out and started a wildfire.

Garden Roses

^^ The garden roses are really just showing off now.  These guys and the lilies are beautifying the front verandah to the max.

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^^ Spray painting the wooden ladder.  This photo is deceiving, I actually ended up spray painting the ladder.  Go ME!

sad ball

^^ I was so shocked to see someone else playing sad ball.  Sad ball is my thing! What is sad ball? Its when you end up playing with a ball all by yourself, while looking super goth/emo with a sad, sulky face.  This guy was playing sad ball hard.

Rowing

^^ a relaxing row.  Well it was relaxing when I was not rowing.

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^^ I kept rowing in a circle and I could not stop laughing.  My arms did not want to work.

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^^ Look at that form!

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^^ Walks around parks.  This park is filled with evil ducks.  They will chase you down and do odd duck things to you.  Beware.

Strawberry picking

^^ Strawberry picking. Boy, it sure was hot.  I mean really hot.  I felt like passing out and just becoming a strawberry myself.  I didn’t.  I’m still human.  Don’t worry.

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^^ They gave us a cute little bucket and I was happy as a clam.  I love containers.  Everything should have a place!

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^^ Carl wants me to do a segment on my blog all about the photos he takes of me and giant trees.  I told him  I will call it bigotry/biggatree.  I can be so punny sometimes.

Olives

^^ yummy olives spotted.  None purchased.

Vegan feast

^^ Vegan feast aka a date worthy of a thousand stars.  Dates at home can be just what the Dr ordered.

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^^ Super delicious strawberry and mint water.

hike

^^We’ve been hiking as much as we can lately and its been a dream.  Getting our sweat on while being in nature.  Just the best.

What have you been doing lately?

 

 

That Farm Life/What’s cookin’ good lookin’

Ah, the farm life sure is splendid.  We’ve been spending more time at home as Carl  goes into crunch time before his big CFA exam.  I’m sure all his hard work will pay off and we will be celebrating his success come December.  You got this soul bro!

We’ve started a yoga routine at night, because you know, a couple that does yoga together stays together and been adventuring when we have time, but most of the time we are meandering around our house.  Just soaking up those views.

Around the farm lately.

Celery plant

^^ Healthy Celery plant just growing away.  I love the vibrant green.

Pink flowers

^^ Our side garden is really ugly.  I mean like really ugly, its filled with horse poop and all the random things our landlord planted.  So you could have bowled me over with a feather when I saw these pretty flowers popping out from the side garden.  You do you side garden.

Rose

^^ The roses finally showed up for the spring party and boy, was it worth the wait.

camomile flowers

^^ I’ve got a slight obsession with camomile tea.  It my sleepy time ritual that I just can’t get enough of.  I’m really happy my camomile flowers are growing so well.  You will be tea soon my dears.

Swiss chard

^^ Big and beautiful swiss chard.  Yum!

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^^ Getting ready for planting!

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^^ These flowers will be making our back garden beautiful! The one looks like something out of alien vs predator.

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^^ Its not all about gardening around here, we also eat some really delicious food.  Carl enjoying his chickpea burger after our strawberry picking adventure.

Chickpea burger

^^ Chickpea burger with a sriracha mayo and sweet chilli sauce.  So good.  Soooo Good.

Socca pancakes

^^ The easiest thing to whip up when you really don’t feel like cooking.  Kale socca pancakes.

Carrot Steak

^^ You would never think a carrot steak would taste so damn good, but boy it tastes like heaven in your mouth.

Vegan Chocolate chip cookie

^^ I made these amazing chocolate chip cookies for my little snack attack monster.

Fresh springrolls

^^ Fresh salad springrolls.  So easy, so yummy and so fresh.  I wish I had some right now.

Do you have any plans for the weekend?

 

Baobab Smoothie

In honour of heritage day, I decided not to fire up the grill like most South Africans and go on a healthier path to celebrate our heritage.

Ah, the trusty Baobab tree, the word is fun to say, its got a jabba the hut look to it and its a great super food.  Made from the pulp of the baobab fruit this little powerhouse of nutrients is a serious contender in the super food world.  Used for centuries for medicinal uses which include; fevers, malaria, gastroenteritis and vitamin c deficiency, this is obviously a super food that is here to stay.

BAOBAB POWDER BENEFITS

  1. Helps skin look younger;  baobab is part of the anti wrinkle diet.   Vitamin C helps your body form collagen and elastin, two proteins that helps your skin support elasticity.
  2. Helps support weight loss;  Adding vitamin C rich food to your diet helps the body burn fat faster.
  3. Liver cleansing and Detox food;  Detox foods helps all the toxins escape out of your body keeping you feeling healthier and happy.
  4. Powerhouse of minerals ; Filled with calcium, vitamin c, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

(Source)

Obviously baobab is a super food to get your hands on!

BAOBAB SMOOTHIEserves 2

Baobab powder

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a papaya, peeled and seeds removed
  • 2 passion fruit
  • 3 oranges, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 a cup water or non dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp baobab powder
  • liquid sweetener to taste

Directions 

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add more water for a runnier smoothie.

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Baobab powder

What’s your favourite super food of the moment?

Aerial Cableway Fun

Its always a big surprise to see a month coming to an end, when you don’t even know how it happened. Slow down year! I’m still trying to get to stuff!    We usually get our weekend fun on, but this aerial cableway has been on the cards for a while now.  Finally we put all our maybes aside and just did it.  It was extremely cloudy at our house, but the weather report said abundant sun for the cableway.  We put our trust in technology and off we went.  During the drive the clouds started disappearing the closer we got and bam. Abundant sun right in my face.

Harties aerial cableway

^^ Paying for our tickets….If you look really closely you can spot my hat in the reflection.

Harties cableway

^^ It sure goes up, up, up.  I was kinda scared when we got out of the car.  I’m not that great with heights or putting my faith in a man made contraption.  You should see me on a plane!

Harties aerial cableway

^^ Everything you would ever want to know!

Harties aerial cableway

^^ It was reasonably empty when we paid for our tickets, but as soon as we got in the queue a whole bunch of school kids came from nowhere at all.  Must be hogwarts.

Harties aerial cableway

^^ We ended up sharing a cart with three 14 year old boys, so you know I put on my big girl pants and did not show any fear the entire way.  Carl and I must have made those poor boys real awkward.  Its a special gift, spreading awkwardness all around us.

harties aerial cableway

^^ The top is filled with panoramic views and a kaleidoscope of colours.  Just look at that dam.  Don’t you just want to go dip your toe into it?  I do!

Harties cableway

^^ Its a really, really high edge.  EEEEEEEEEK

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^^ Super windy, with a slight chance of hat getting blown off! I don’t know what I’m doing with my legs, lets just blame it on the wind.

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^^ I carried my hat the rest of the way.

harties aerial cableway

^^ They have a lot of eating option at the top.  We laughed at the mexican pizza, they plop on chillies and call it mexican.  We didn’t end up eating anything, we went home and made fresh spring rolls. Way more refreshing and yum!

Harties cableway

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Harties aerial cableway

^^ All those drinking folk getting their drink and view on.

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^^ The old cable carts.  I would not get into these.

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^^ This restaurant had amazing views and absolutely no one in it.  Not even staff so we got to soak up these views with no one around.

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^^ We got a cart all to ourselves on the way down.  My hat even got a seat.  Good hat.

Aerial cableway

^^ I took a lot of photos over my shoulder on the way down.

This was so much fun!

Anything fun you still want to do before the year is over?

 

 

That Farm life/ What’s cooking good looking

With this chapter slowly reaching its end (well hopefully we will be out of here in December) and a whole new book starting in another country.  I think its about time I wrote about the best part of my life so far.   The farm life! It sure has been good to me.  Fresh air all the time, great views, amazing sunsets, the odd rabbit sighting, horses just milling about and our little farm cottage.  I’ve really come to love this strange little cottage.  Yes, it only has one door  (no fire, no fire, no fire),  its slightly skew so you can never leave anything round on the counter or prepare yourself for a run and the frogs always seem to find a way in, but boy do I love it here.  Its the best way to forget all about your daily stress and just chill.  Falling asleep with those weird jackal sounds isnt  bad either.

Lets get to that farm life, yo!

Freshly baked bread

^^ The typical ” I live on a farm, Let’s get bread making” bread.  This is my 30 minute I have no time to waste bread.

 

Nut Free date balls

^^ Made these with my little night time snack monster in mind.  Nut Free and Oh so decadent, but really healthy date balls! Yum! Want more!

Vegan Apple Kuchen

^^ We decided to honour the Jewish new year with this apple kuchen. I also made matzo ball soup, but I really hated it.  Thank you Jewish companies for giving days off.

Rooibos Kombucha

^^ Really bubbly rooibos kombucha.  Guys, I’m drowning in scoby, what can I do with those guys.  I love them so much!

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^^ Baobab Powder green smoothie.  Apparently the big ol’ jabba the hut tree, is a superfood.  Who new?! Its got a great taste!

flowers

^^ I’ve got the greatest husband in all the land.  Pretty flowers just for me.

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^^ It seems I have a seed dropping problem.  Things have been popping out at random places.  Like these flowers on the walkway, also seen on the walkway a sunflower

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^^ Kale popping out from the lavender garden.

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^^ I don’t know the deal with this weed, but its pretty so it shall stay!

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^^ We have not given up on the raised garden! ( The horses manhandled it and kicked it constantly) Now we have a bird problem, I’ve created this rather intense string obstacle course.  I can hear the birds laughing in my face now, while eating my kale.

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^^ Pretty Calendula.

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^^ Our landlords dogs pop in a lot.  This is Luigi, he is by far my favourite. He hates Carl.

Lilly

^^ These pretty lilies opened up creating a one man nature show.

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^^ But they are not alone like they hoped.  Just take a look at that rose bush.

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^^ Soon.

sunset

^^ Everyday nature shows off with one of these.

Do you have any weekend plans?

Garlic and Herb Tofu Cream Cheese

I’ve had an extreme craving for bagel lately. A craving that no other bread  type could satisfy.  You know when you can’t find something and you wonder if it ever existed or if you just created it in your head? No? just me? Well, that’s what it felt like  It was near impossible to find a bagel anywhere and by some lucky miracle ( a lot of driving around), I found some.  They were small, and generally subpar, but I found some.  I had the biggest smile the whole day.  Yes, it doesn’t take much to make me happy, even now I can’t stop smiling, the word smile was said and that my friends deserves a big giant smile.

For a day they kept looking at me saying “eat me”, it was like I was in Alice in wonderland, but unlike Alice I waited.  I waited to make the perfect tofu cream cheese to go with my bagel.  Some cucumber slices, peppadew slivers and that rocking cream cheese, just made one happy lady out of me!  Okay, I’m really just rambling on now and I know you just want to get to the recipe.

GARLIC AND HERB TOFU CREAM CHEESE

Tofu Cream Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 package extra firm silken tofu, patted dry
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp non dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp liquid sweetener
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Directions

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours to firm it up.  This doesn’t taste exactly like dairy cream cheese, but it is a cheaper and nice alternative.

tofu cream cheese

Yum!

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Surviving the colder months/avoiding those sniffles at all costs.

We did it! We survived the colder months without getting sick.  I’m a hypochondriac, if I see someone with a red nose, sneezing or even worse come into my house sick, I will go all Sheldon Cooper on your ass, demanding to know when you got sick, your symptoms and remove myself from your presence  .Stay HOME!  Its uncomfortable for all of us!

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I don’t have time to get sick! So much to do so little time! Getting sick is just no fun at all, so I avoid it as much as I can, but you know sometimes you just get sick.  I will probably be getting sick as soon as I post this.

SURVIVING THE COLDER MONTHS/AVOIDING THOSE SNIFFLES AT ALL COSTS

tissues

 

Female washing Hands

1.Wash your hands;Such a simple thing to do,  yet so many people don’t do it.  Washing your hands is the best way to keep germs from spreading.  My motto is; wash your hands like you’re prepping for surgery.  Keep it clean guys.  Keep it clean.

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2.Clean the bathroom;  the bathroom is the room in the house you know is filled with germs. The bathroom is the perfect place for bacteria to grow, so clean good and hard.  Go all Monica on that bathroom and even clean that toilet seat up real nice.

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3.Probiotics;  Not all bacteria are bad guys, so get a healthy gut, by taking a probiotic tablet or eating ferments like sauerkraut, kombucha or yoghurt.

4.Multi-vitamins; Yes, I know a lot of people will disagree on this, but I take a multi vitamin daily and feel completely healthy.  I like knowing I’m getting all the vitamins I need even on my most unhealthy day, and I can have a lot of those at time.

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5.Stay warm;  Keep yourself warm.  Soup and herbal teas will rock your socks off! but put them back on as soon as you can! Don’t get cold now.

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6.Echinacea; This stuff is the bees knees! We grew a tiny medicinal garden this year and made our own echinacea tincture on the cheap.  I’ve seen the price for this stuff at pharmacies and its just outrageous for something so easy to make. Taking a couple of drops when you feel a slight tingle in your throat will stop those sniffles right in its tracks.

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6.Fruit and vegetables; a balanced diet is a sure way to stay healthy, so eat what you want to eat, but in moderation and you will be a healthy little flower!

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks to Jewish companies we will be having a four day Weekend so Shanah tovah to all my Jewish friends.

Spirulina Protein Smoothie

I know the last thing anyone wants to think about during the colder months is eating healthy, but when you don’t get sick during all the fun festivities rapidly approaching, you will thank your lucky stars you did.

Ah, spirulina the green- blue algae of the moment, boy does that sound disgusting and to be complete honest don’t stick your finger in the powder just to try it out….Its really bitter, but with all the health benefits this powder packs you will be chugging down this smoothie at the end of this.  Add some lemon with the peel for an extra dose of all those glorious nutrients and you have the smoothie of your dreams.  Soon you will be writing long love letters to it and serenading it in the kitchen.

SPIRULINA HEALTH BENEFITS

  1. Helps with muscle strength and endurance.
  2. Helps boost Immune function.
  3. Reduces allergic reactions.
  4. Reduces blood pressure.
  5. Helps fight certain cancers.
  6. Its a powerful antioxidant and is a great anti-inflammatory.
  7. Its extremely high in nutrients. (Protein, Vitamin B1, vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, copper, Iron, potassium, magnesium and manganese.)
  8. Protects the liver.
  9. May also help fight infections and antibiotics relates illnesses.

(Source)

LEMON PEEL BENEFITS

  1. High in nutrients 5 – 10 times more vitamins than the juice. (potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, vitamin c and carotene.)
  2. Reduce oxidative stress.
  3. Helps fight cancer.

(Source)

GINGER BENEFITS

  1. Helps with the absorption of nutrients.
  2. Clears sinuses.
  3. Helps with nausea.
  4. Helps reduce flatulence and the bloat.
  5. Helps ease tummy cramps
  6. Helps congestion.

(Source)

AVOCADO BENEFITS

  1. Helps absorb nutrients.
  2. Eases arthritis symptoms.
  3. Reduces risks of certain cancers.
  4. Lowers cholesterol.
  5. Boost eye health.
  6. Promotes weight loss.

(Source)

KALE BENEFITS

  1. High in iron.
  2. Filled with antioxidants that can help fight cancers.
  3. Great anti-inflammatory food.
  4. Helps with cardiovascular support.
  5. Great for eyes, skin and teeth.
  6. High in calcium.
  7. Detox food.

(Source)

SPIRULINA PROTEIN SMOOTHIESserves 2

Spirulina

Ingredients

  • 1/2 banana, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 a lemon with rind washed
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled with spoon
  • 1 cup kale, chopped and washed
  • 1 tsp spirulina powder
  • 1 heaped spoon protein powder of choice
  • 1 cup water or coconut water
  • liquid sweetener to taste.
  • ice

Directions

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour in a glass and soak up those nutrients.

If you don’t feel like a smoothie why not sneak a little spirulina into date balls.  Yum!

Tofu Fish Fingers

Ah, to be young again.  Playing in mud, getting into trouble for playing in said mud, and eating a whole bunch of bad for you nonsense, sometimes even the mud.  Yes, it brings back a lot of memories.  I think the reason I don’t have a sweet tooth any more, is because of the copious amounts of candy I ate as a child.  My parents are horrible cooks, so my stable food growing up was a lot of junk food and fish fingers were one of the things my parents loved to “cook”.

These tofu fish fingers are so yummy and tastes so much better than a real fish finger.  It doesn’t have that soggy factor with a side note of no flavour, that we all seemed to love so much as children.  This is crunchy and bursting with flavour,  I sprinkled more seaweed and salt over my tofu fingers for an extra fishy taste and of course I fried these for that extra naughty factor.

TOFU FISH FINGERS 

Tofu Fish Fingers

Ingredients

  • 1 package 350g extra firm tofu, pressed and patted dry
  • 1/3 cup cornflour (for drenching
  • 4 flax eggs (1/2 cup ground flax seeds with 3/4 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp dehydrated onion flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 3 tbsp nori flakes ( grind a sheet of nori in a blender)
  • 1 tsp  salt
  • couple of grinds black pepper
  • lemon for drizzling

Directions

Cut your tofu into fingers.

Whisk the flax seeds and water and let stand for a few minutes to thicken.

Combine the crumbs, garlic powder, onion flakes, dill, nori, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.

Drench the tofu fingers in the corn flour, dip into the flax seed eggs and coat in the breadcrumbs.

Heat a frying pan over medium/ high heat and shallow fry until golden brown, flip and repeat with the remaining tofu fingers.

Drizzle lemon juice over the tofu that extra yum factor!

If you want to go the healthy route:  Bake the tofu fingers at 425 Degrees F/218 degrees C for 20 minutes until golden brown.

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These are amazing served with daikon fries and a home-made sriracha fry sauce.

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