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

A lot has happened this week, you know when I said we pushed our travelling day back? Well, we found a good price for the day we wanted to go! How crazy is that?  We are all set to fly to Dublin on 10 December and 3 months after that we will be hitting up Peru for a couple of months!  All that’s left to do now is sell,sell sell, sell everything!

Needless to say the house is in a state.  Piles upon piles of stuff for donating.  Taking endless amounts of photos of things we own and selling them.  We ripped the house apart the other night looking for the cd that came with the record player, it was intense, we looked in ever single book we owned, in every record and now that I think about it….Why would a cd be in one of the books?  We eventually found it in my laptop.  Yes, so silly!

In between all the chaos I’ve also been saving bees left, right and centre.  I keep finding tired bees around, that will not be tolerated around me! Sugar water to the rescue.  I think I’m big in the bee community now. Maybe they will make me the queen bee soon.

You would think I haven’t had any time to cook, but you are mistaken! To the photos!

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^^ Snacking on tomatoes, because YUM.

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^^ Nut free pumpkin spice date balls.  So good.

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^^ Gluten free zucchini fritters anyone?

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^^ Green juice everyday!

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^^ Cauliflower stuffed eggplant

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^^ Really ugly scoby, but you make delicious kombucha.

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^^ Puffed brown rice cereal days.

Have you been to Dublin? Anything you would suggest to see?

I’m On A Boat…a row boat!

A while back Carl and I decided to go try our hand at rowing, technically we wanted to go paddle-boating, but we couldn’t find a place to get our leg power on.  I’ve got incredible leg strength, but I  literally have no upper body strength.  Its like two spaghetti strands just trying to make it on my body.  I didn’t let that stop me! I tried and tried, until we got dizzy from going in a circle the whole time.  Carl on the other hand was a natural, that man is an incredible rower, he even had this look of determination on his face that was just really cute.

Everything was going well until I discovered bread in the boat and decided to feed it to the ducks.  They completely ignored the bread and  paddled faster than anything I’ve ever seen trying to kill us.  No, I’m not exaggerating.  They had a look in their eye, that said ; ” We are gluten intolerant, woman! How dare you?!”  I almost tipped the boat trying to escape.  In that moment Carl could have won an Olympic medal for rowing.  Thanks for saving me husband!

Its definitely a fun, cheap and beautiful thing to do.  Take a picnic, row, run away from ducks and just go laze around in the beautiful park.

Sober Joburg things to do

^^ So beautiful and serene.  A great place to get lost in a book or just get lost.

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^^ Another photo with me and a tree.  I don’t know what Carl is trying to tell me, its obviously not that I’m tall.

Sober Joburg things to do

Sober Joburg

^^ Tree!

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^^ Danger walking.

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^^ Great form.

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^^ Not so great form.  What is my hand doing?

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^^ upper body strength.

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^^ Spaghetti arms.

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^^ The view was nice.

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^^ The light on the water was magical.

Fried Polenta Triangles with a Vegetable Stir-Fry

Going gluten free has been surprisingly easy,  except when I smell freshly baked bread, its enough to drive anyone crazy! The benefits outweigh the negatives though.  Being able to lose some stubborn pounds, get rid of bloat,  constant clear skin and my teeth feel amazing!  Yes, gluten ,you are a wiley minx, but I shall have you no longer, you harlot!

You don’t have to be gluten free to enjoy this recipe, its delicious and a great foundation for any meal.  I decided to pair it with a simple vegetable stir-fry, but you can top it with what ever you like.  Yes, its that versatile.  I also don’t let the polenta sit overnight, that’s just a ridiculously long time to wait and I have not patience.  It still works great! Some of you that can plan your meals ahead, by all means let it sit overnight, but for us procrastinators, just pop it in the fridge.

FRIED POLENTA TRIANGLES WITH A VEGETABLE STIR- FRYserves 4

Fried Polenta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 eggplant diced.
  • 1 cup sliced button mushroom
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 cup zucchini diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a small pot bring the 2 cups of water to boil.  Lower heat and slowly add the polenta.  Continue to stir until, the polenta is thick.

Pour or spoon the mixture into a greased 9 inch baking dish.  Place in fridge and let sit, until firm.

Cut polenta into triangles.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan.  Place the triangles on the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Flip and cook the other side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Fried Polenta

In a large frying pan heat 1 tbsp oil.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent.  Add the mushrooms, eggplant, green pepper, zucchini and tomatoes.  Lower heat and give everything a big stir.  Add spices and cover, cooking for 5 -10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Serve the polenta and vegetable stir-fry.  Sprinkle with coriander. Enjoy

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an instant of life captured for eternity

The weekend went by at a record speed.  It still feels like Friday,  It was here one second and gone the next. Weekend?! Why so short?!  I feel like I lost a good deal of time standing in a queue getting my passport and new ID, but you know what, I really didn’t mind one bit.  I was all smiles while standing in the queue, I think I was scaring everyone, no one should be that happy when standing in a queue for hours at home affairs, but I’m no longer in limbo! My surname exists and I officially took Carl’s surname.  My smile was quickly wiped away when I glanced at my new ID card and saw they used my passport photo,  apparently the whole world needs to identify me by my ears.  Thanks, weird passport rules.

On Sunday we decided to go see a play of Sweeney Todd at monte casino.  Guys, when you go to a play never expect a Broadway production or even some grand Guinol madness.  No, expect to see simple jack from tropic thunder or what ever I witnessed! Face palm galore!  For some reason the guy playing Sweeney Todd decided the look he wanted to go for was Murphy from Z nation.  Why? I can’t tell you.

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I kind of expected them to start doing zombie related things at any second.  He also sounded like he was going to announce: next time on the walking dead at any second.  Don’t even get me started on the girl playing Joanna, her voice was so thin and somehow deep that you could hardly hear her sing.  It was entertaining, even a bad play is a good play.  On our way home we did see some giraffes and ostriches, while passing the lion park, it made the shlep all the way there worth it.

Box of tomatoes

^^ We might be frugal from now on, but a box of tomatoes is always a good idea.  We bought two boxes.

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^^ Queue.  I felt really lucky to be in the queue in the shade.

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^^ I know what you’re thinking ; another sunset photo? No! I was trying to get a photo of the fire in the distance.  Also, pretty sunset!

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^^ Don’t ever give your husband sparklers.  Someone will just get hurt.  Burnt finger alert.

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^^ I’m an excellent sparkler handler.

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^^ Casinos are filled with strange things.

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^^ Like this.

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^^ and this.

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^^ This

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^^ and finally this!

How was your weekend?

That Farm life

Not a lot has happened this week on the farm.  We’re living as frugally as possible, so all the money we have left over will go into travels, who needs to eat anyway .  I’ve started selling our stuff and my passport has finally arrived. I just need to go pick it up tomorrow and hope the queue is not terribly long.  Well even if it is, who cares! I get to travel soon!

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan.  Like  home-made ginger beer that turns into a science project.  I just couldn’t wait, I wanted some right at that moment at any cost.  Or when your cat finds  catnip and goes absolutely mental for a very long time.  Belphie is already not the nicest cat in the world, but add catnip to the mix and you’ve got a stone cold killer!

I asked Carl what he would like to remember from farm life and this is what he had to say;

  1. Opening the door early in the morning and seeing a random dog staring at you.  Its a sure fire way to scare yourself awake.
  2. The cry of the jackals at night.
  3. Playing stick ball, because kick ball is too mainstream.  We just beat around a ball with a stick.
  4. Never being able to eat swiss chard, because everything beats us to it.  Here’s looking at you horses, cows and stupid birds.
  5. The amazing sunsets.  Carl is a sunset freak, he’s got a large selection of sunset photos he’s taken.
  6. Every time you get home it feels like a holiday.  We keep it clean.
  7. You know the seasons are changing when our landlord starts wearing shirts.

Photo time!

 

Dried camomile

^^ Dried camomile.  This smells like heaven!

Catnip, not even once

^^ Catnip….Not even once.

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^^ Planted some more flowers.

Storm brewing

^^ Storm brewing.

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^^ Taking photos of sunsets.

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^^ My pretty bearded husband.

What’s your weekend plans?

Maca Chia Pudding

I’m really late to the chia pudding game, but guys, I did try it and boy, that’s a consistency.  A really disgusting consistency,  I would compare  it to vomit? My solution? Blend that sucker right up! The results? a yummy pudding, that doesn’t make me want to gag.

With Carl’s CFA exam rapidly approaching, I’ve been in full help mode.  We have rosemary in the study just for the memory benefits.  Yeah, you wouldn’t want to be married to me.  After reading about all the wonderful benefits of maca, I decided to give it a try.  Guys, its like having tunnel vision focus, its amazing.

MACA HEALTH BENEFITS

  1. Increased mental clarity and focus
  2. Enhanced Memory and learning
  3. Improved circulation
  4. Reduces anxiety and stress
  5. Increases stamina and endurances
  6. Reduces chronic fatigue
  7. Increases fertility

This pudding is not just filled with one superfood.  No, that would just be boring.  What else is in it?

CACAO POWDER HEALTH BENEFITS

  1. Improves your mood.
  2. Regulates hormones
  3. Prevents premature ageing.
  4. Increases libido.

Last, but not least.

Chia seeds health benefits

  1. Provides sustainable energy.
  2. Prevents premature ageing.
  3. Reduces risk of cancer.
  4. High in protein.
  5. Helps with losing weight.
  6. High in omega 3 fatty acids.

Wow, now if that doesn’t get you going, I don’t know what will.

MACA CHIA PUDDINGserves 2

Maca Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups non dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp maca powder
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup.
  • 1 overripe banana – optional

Directions

Place chia seeds in a blender and blend until ground.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Pour into small bowls and refrigerate overnight.  Tip: place out of sight in the fridge, it causes a lot of disappointment for husbands, when you tell them they can’t eat it right away.

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Vegan Quinoa Sushi

Who doesn’t love sushi? Its one of those food items that just seems to stay trendy, its like kale and all the other healthy food  we get bombarded with daily.  Would you like some kale in your milkshake? I think not, weirdo! Maybe in a smoothie, okay, just add it.  Now if you pair sushi with quinoa, you know your heading on a trend train filled with all the other health nuts.  So hop on board and lets get cooking or rolling.

Quinoa is high in protein and filled with all the amino acids are body needs, its really nutritious, filled with minerals and  it was an important crop during the Inca empire, referring to it as the mother grain.  The Incas were obviously the hipsters of their era.

Don’t feel threatened by rolling sushi.  Its really easy once you’ve gotten the hang of it.  Just go slow and work tight.   Almost like knitting, but with eating at the end.

VEGAN QUINOA SUSHI2 rolls

Quinoa Sushi

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa.  Rinsed well
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • a splash of stevia to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 nori sheets
  • vegetables of choice, I used cucumber and carrot for one roll ( chopped into thin matchstick size) and Avocado and red pepper.
  • A bowl of hot water

Directions

Add the quinoa and cup of water to a small pot, over medium- high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for 15 – 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover with a lid that doesn’t release any steam.  Let steam for 5 minutes.  Stir in the rice vinegar and stevia.  Season with salt.  Let cool completely.

To assemble the sushi rolls, lay the bamboo mat down on the counter,  Place the nori sheet on the bamboo mat.  Spread half of the quinoa over the nori, using the bowl of water if your hands get to sticky. Leaving a slight border on the edges.

Quinoa sushi

In the centre of the quinoa lay down a thing line of your filling.  Start rolling!

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Bring the closest end to you, and start rolling over the filling, pressing it tightly in shape as you go. Press the edges together to seal.  Watch this video for rolling tips.

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Cut the sushi roll in half, cut into six slices.

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Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.  enjoy.

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I wish I had some right now!

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

I’m loving this little segment on my blog! Its a great way of remembering our little farm experience and our first real home together.  We’ve had to push our big move off for a couple weeks as I still don’t have my passport or marriage certificate or any identification, but everything happens for a reason, I say!  Now, Carl will be able to write his exam without stressing about moving to a different country a couple of days later.  We will also be able to celebrate my birthday and have a very hot Christmas.

Between getting rid of all the really strange crap that have accumulated in the house and working out how much to sell everything for, I’m really grateful for the little extra time.   In my experience its always best to just do something. Stop over thinking everything and just do it.   Time for selling all our worldly belongings is close, but the time for a new adventures is even closer!

Things about living on a farm I want to remember:

  1. I’ve seen flies have sex…Its horrible and its even worse when they decide to bang in your hair. Forever unclean!
  2. Getting flies out of your house feels near impossible.  Farm flies seem to love citronella, tea tree oil, clove incense and eucalyptus incense.  They crazy!
  3. Farm mosquitoes are huge and will find a way to suck your blood.   I’ve seen them sucking away a storm through my jeans.  I wish they were a little more hygienic.  You know, maybe go wash your sucker thing off once in a while?
  4. Horses are majestic….until you live with them.  Horse genitalia is not pretty, mountains of poop in front of your door sucks and the random rolling is crazy! They will also eat everything…Ferns included.
  5. Jackals have microphones and they will use it every night to make some utterly interesting sounds.  Falling asleep to jackal sounds sure is great.
  6. Guinea-fowl look like hovercraft’s when they run.
  7. Baby cows are the cutest things on earth! Until they eat your swiss chard.
  8. Having to take your cat outside and stay outside with him so he doesn’t feel scared.  Or he will poo on the couch when you just sit down.
  9. Farm sunsets are the most incredible thing ever!
  10. The deafening quiet.  Peaceful is an understatement.

Lets get to photos!

Homemade ginger ale

^^ Home made ginger ale.  My ginger bug worked amazingly! Next tie I’ll add more ginger, molasses and lemon juice.  It was a little bit mellow for my taste.

Gluten Free bread

^^ This bread has made going gluten free, really easy! It taste so much better than normal bread.  I’ve also started losing the pesky weight that never seemed to go away.  My face fat! and belly fat.  Getting toned!

Lettuce wraps

^^ Chickpea salad cos lettuce wraps! So filling and refreshing.

Green smoothie

^^ Maca spirulina smoothie.  Pretty bubbles

Slytherin scarf

^^ I finally finished my slytherin scarf! It took forever, but its finally done.  Now I just have Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw to go!

Zombie

^^ Found this little guy in one of our junk crates.  He was a birthday present from Carl.

Darth Vader home decor

^^ Also found this Darth Vader mask in the same crate.

 

mess

^^ You have to make a mess before you see results right? Why do we have old Christmas gift bags! Someone call hoarders!

Garden oses

^^ I’m going to miss all these roses.

Bell peppers

^^ Bell peppers growing away a storm.

Spaghetti Squash flowers

^^ Spaghetti squash flower.

Dill flower

^^ I love this dill flower.  Its like tiny galaxies.

Its Friday! Do you have any plans?

Cauliflower Rice and Vegetable Skillet

I love me a good one pan meal.  Easy, hardly any clean up? Why wouldn’t I love it. This is crazy easy and crazy good for you.  I mean its packed full of vegetables and just to sweeten the pot? You don’t have to cook any rice.  Just grate up a cauliflower, and prepare yourself for the easiest, yummiest, oh so healthy and simple recipe of your life! Well  banana ice cream might be a little bit easier, but you shouldn’t limit your cooking or blending to just that.

This recipe is also really versatile so just throw in any old veggie you have around.  The hardest part of this recipe will be putting it on a plate, but all of that can be avoided by just eating it straight from the skillet! Just kidding, plate it!

CAULIFLOWER RICE VEGETABLE SKILLETServes 4

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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized cauliflower, washed, dried and grated.
  • 1 small aubergine, cut into small pieces
  • 10 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 small red pepper diced
  • 1 medium sized carrot, grated
  • corn kernels of 1 corn
  • 1 cup swiss chard, chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat.

Add onions, garlic , aubergine and mushrooms.  Cook until the onions are translucent.

Add tomato, green pepper, red pepper, corn, carrot and cauliflower.  Stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes.  Lower heat.

Add the swiss chard, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Stir and cover for a minute.  Give it all a big stir, taste and adjust seasoning.

Cauliflower rice skillet

Serve.  Easy as cauliflower rice skillet!

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Origins Centre Museum

A week ago we went to check out the origins centre museum at wits and boy, was it worth the drive.  This creatively designed museum is really something special and is all about prehistoric man, the san people, rock art and more.

When you first arrive you receive a little handset that has commentary about the specific section, so you don’t have to stand there wandering what this specific piece is about or google it .  Informative is an understatement! The best way to kill a couple of hours, see some insane trance dancing and get lost in culture!

Learning is always fun!

Origins centre museum

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^^ Over-excitement!

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^^ The only dinosaur I would want to see.  Yeah, I watched Jurassic park and World.

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^^ Galleries are always a good idea.

We don’t bar hop, but museum hopping sure is fun and way nicer on the brain.