November 16, 2018 at 11:46 (Move, Uncategorized)

So my last post about house selling was just before what happened to be my last show house. Excellent! Super pleased to finally make some progress on the whole moving process. And it is such a process. Gosh – the steps and paperwork involved is crazy, but luckily, a lot of it done by lawyers so no actually work on my part.

Not only is the process multi-stepped, it also takes a number of weeks. And usually during this time, people would pack up their stuff. But we decided to move in February and so started the packing up process then.  We also expected the house to sell a lot faster than it did so for near a year, we’ve been living half packed, sort of out of boxes and with no furniture.

It wasn’t total madness that lead to getting rid of everything so early. The main reason for the move is a lifestyle change, and part of that change is to simplify. Many items in the house we had because we had the space, and a lot of the furniture wouldn’t fit in the smaller house we want to buy – again because big furniture was bought to fill big (and high) spaces. Strangely, one of the things I’m most excited about is having regular height ceilings. And walls made with bricks, not clay.


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Lemon Curd Cheesecake

November 8, 2018 at 14:49 (Bake, Uncategorized)

It’s delicious~!

Lemon Curd:

3 large eggs

80ml lemon juice (not from bottle)

1 tablespoon lemon zest

¾ cup white sugar

4 tablespoon butter

Whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water – do not let the water boil or the curd will crystallize.  Whisk continually for about 10 minutes until curd thickens, remove from heat and add butter and lemon zest. Curd will thicken slightly as it cools.  Cover with cling wrap and store in the fridge.

Cheese cake:

500g smooth cottage cheese

60ml cream

60ml sugar

2 tablespoons potato flour (or corn flour)

1 egg

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth.  Place on a base of your choice in a 30cm spring form tin.  Smooth out and place three or four generous tablespoons of lemon curd in different places.  Use a knife to swirl the curd into the cheese cake – do not mix it in. Pour onto a base of your choice and bake for 30 – 35 minutes at 180 C.  Cheese cake is fairy wobbly while hot so the middle will not look cooked but if the edges are firm looking, the cake is done. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Apricot Jam Glaze

October 25, 2018 at 14:27 (Bake, Uncategorized)

These are very simple and can be made at any time as no special baking goods are required.  The cocoa can be left out and replace with half a teaspoon of vanilla extract/essence for simple little vanilla cupcakes – any topping can be used for these cupcakes.

130g flour

100g sugar

100g butter/full fat marg

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons cocoa

2 eggs

about half a cup of milk

2 tablespoons apricot jam

Cream the butter/full fat marg and sugar, add the eggs and milk.  Fold in flour, baking powder and cocoa until smooth – more milk may be added.  Spoon the batter into a muffin tin and bake at 180 C for 20 – 25 minutes.  Warm about two tablespoons of apricot jam and spoon a small amount onto the hot cupcakes as they come out the oven.  Use the back of the spoon to spread the warm jam evenly over the cupcakes – leave to cool.

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Show Houses

October 24, 2018 at 08:19 (Move, Uncategorized)

As an introvert, show houses are the worst thing when selling a house. The tidying and packing up of valuables is annoying enough, but being out the house for two hours with no purpose is so draining.

And then there’s the hope that someone will say ‘I’ll take it’. But by Wednesday that hope has faded and disappointment remains. Also, I keep looking at houses in JBay and then they disappear and I’m like I wanted that one. Sigh…

I didn’t expect to still be in Cape Town in October, especially since I wanted to start some craft type thing for markets or some such thing – my half baked ideas.

It’s all so frustrating.

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Spicy Carrot Cake

September 24, 2018 at 14:51 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I love carrot cake. For this cake, the carrots aren’t grated but roughly chopped in a blender. It gives the cake a somewhat crunchy texture with a spiced cake flavour. I don’t usually ice this cake but you could if you wanted.

100g butter

3 eggs separated

4 medium carrots roughly chopped in a blender

1 teaspoons mixed spice

1 cup sugar

1.5 cups self raising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Cream the butter and suger till smooth then add the eggs yolks and vanilla essence. Add the flour, spice and carrot. Beat egg whites into soft peaks and fold into mixture. Pour into a baking tin and bake for 30 – 45 minutes at 180C.

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September 18, 2018 at 22:17 (Uncategorized)

Years ago a friend recommended a Japanese crime show called Aibou. At the time, most of the then 13 seasons weren’t subbed but season 11 and some of season 12 was. That was when I realised popular actor’s shows got subbed more often than others. Season 11 was a new partner with a cute face so subbing started from there. Though I have seen the previous partner in other shows and do his acting but he’s not as popular – anyway, I watched what was subbed and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Today I noticed that season 13 is almost completely subbed! So excited. However, I can’t remember where I had to stop in season 12. I’ve spent most of the evening trying to find my place without ruining episodes I haven’t see and have basically worked my way back to season 11, which I know I’ve watched, remembering nothing.

So now I find myself with three seasons of a show I know I’ll enjoy 🙂 And quite likely remember as I watch.

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Vanilla Custard

September 6, 2018 at 14:25 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I only enjoy custard if it’s in something else, such as a trifle – generally though, I don’t eat it all that much.

570ml milk

60ml cream

1 vanilla pod

4 egg yolks

30g sugar

2 teaspoons cornflour/potato flour

Slice the vanilla pod lengthwise and place in a heavy based saucepan with the milk and cream – bring to a simmer.  Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour/potato flour in a bowl.  Add half the hot milk mixture slowly to the egg mixture while whisking.  Return the milk egg mixture to the saucepan and simmer until the custard thickens, whisk gently and continually to ensure no lumps form.

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Lemon Meringue Cake

August 20, 2018 at 14:23 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I like lemon meringue pie but many recipes and just about all store bought pies have condensed milk in them.  I really do not like condensed milk so I made up this cake – it is very tasty.


125g flour

125g sugar

125g butter/full fat marg

1 large egg plus the two yokes from the meringue mix

1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter/full fat marg and sugar together, beat in eggs.  Shift flour and baking powder, fold into mixture – the batter will be quite firm.  Spoon into lined cake tin and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 C.  Turn out and allow to cool.

Lemon Curd:

3 large eggs

80ml lemon juice (not from bottle)

1 tablespoon lemon zest

¾ cup white sugar

4 tablespoon butter/full fat marg

Whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water – do not let the water boil or the curd will crystallize.  Whisk continually for about 10 minutes until curd thickens, remove from heat and add butter/full fat marg and lemon zest – keep whisking.   Spread curd onto the cake (there will be left over curd).  Cover with cling wrap and store in the fridge.  Curd will thicken slightly as it stands.


2 large egg whites

½ cup white sugar

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water until egg whites are silky looking and form soft peaks.  Spoon meringue onto cake and grill until golden brown.

This recipe can also be used to make individual cupcakes as the batter divides into twelve nicely.

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Custard Cake

August 10, 2018 at 14:51 (Bake, Uncategorized)

My sister actually came up with this idea.

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

125g instant custard powder dissolved in 1 cup milk

100g butter

2 large eggs

Cream together the butter and sugar,  beat in eggs and custard milk.  Shift flour and baking powder, fold into mixture.  Pour into lined cake tin and bake at 180 C for 35-45 minutes.  Usually eaten plain with no icing but you could ice it.

Chocolate Custard Cake variation:

Add 3 tablespoons cocoa to custard milk.

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August 9, 2018 at 11:52 (Move, Uncategorized)

When I stopped working full time in the later half of July, my diet changed without me realising it. Getting up later meant I drank less coffee in the morning and leaving work earlier meant less coke and snacks in the afternoon, and because I was mooching at home I didn’t feel the need for energy to get through the afternoon. This meant my caffeine, sugar and processed food intake dropped by more than half in the space of a weekend.

At first I couldn’t figure out why I felt like shit – headaches, muscle pain and lethargy, and a general feeling of argh. One early morning when the muscle pain had woken me yet again, I did a Google search of my symptoms and I had Death. Completely unhelpful so I thought about my life and tried again with life style changes instead of physical changes. After reading about crash diets and withdrawal symptoms, I took some steps to up the crap in my diet so I could slowly cut it out and not feel awful everyday.

While I now feel physical better and my usual self, I find my mental state a little adrift. The position I held had many aspects – daily and weekly tasks, ongoing tasks, maintaining tasks and general monitoring and ensuring smooth running of the campus as well as dealing with students. I have none of that now. And while it was difficult to let it go while I was trying my replacement and I don’t miss it now, I do on occasion find myself  looking for task to do at home. Or thinking I should check the progress of something. But on the other hand, I also find myself staying up later watching another episode because I don’t have to get up for work. It’s a strange place to be, and until I find a happy balance that’s how I’ll be 🙂

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