Thursday, September 29, 2011

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!


Hey all! I've been thinking about how to continue promoting my blog and how to win friends and influence people (wink). I really enjoy connecting with people and it can really make my day when I've talked to no one but my husband!


I love how the clouds peek through!
So this post, on The Real Jenty, has finally convinced me that I needed to have a new gadget for my page: Facebook “likes” and Twitter “retweets.” I hope people will start using these when they read or see something they like! You can find the buttons on the bar on the left. 


Sunset on the slopes of Devil's Peak.


Along with this, I’ve also decided to start Facebook and Twitter accounts for this blog!
So here they are: Lovely Light on Facebook and Lovely Light1 on Twitter. You can also find these buttons on the bar on the left.


Devil's Peak.


I’m a newbie at HTML code, widgets, and Twitter, so if anyone has tips or links to share, I’d be much obliged! 

Table Mountain and Devil's Peak.

And if you want me to follow you on Facebook or Twitter, let me know!



Peace out!



Song of the day: Rapture by Lio.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Old Biscuit Mill


On Saturdays , The Old Biscuit Mill, in Woodstock, Cape Town, has their “Neighbourgoods Market” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All the shops are open. The shops include some hip shops, vintage clothing, some retro furniture, and pottery. The market has food stalls and fresh produce, beer, and fro yo (frozen yogurt for those out of the loop). 

It is for is more well-to-do, slightly hipster crowd. You kinda have to dress up because it is somewhat of a fashionable crowd. 

We really enjoyed the experience, although the crowds were a little overwhelming for the hubby. We'd go back, but we fit in a little better at the Milnerton flea market. What does that say about us...?

 

Here are some images of my walk through the market area:

Mmm. Fresh butter and hunks of cheese. First thing you see when you walk in.

Fresh baked bread. They were selling it out of a small cargo trailer.

 
Mushrooms I had never seen before!


Fresh paella. These were huge pans!


Some of the first bagels we've seen here. Wonder how they taste.








Yummy looking treats.


Chocolate salami, anyone?


These were planters made out of old pitchers and strung from the ceiling. Never seen that.


Orchids. Tempting, but why buy something that I'll end up killing?


Orchid.



We had a great weekend- I hope you did too!  

 

Song of the Post: Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae as sung by Afro Blue. One of my good friends is in the group and it is currently participating in The Sing Off television show on NBC in the USA. If you like their sound, please consider watching the next show and/or voting for the group!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Fudge.


I’ve been dreaming of peanut butter flavored treats for a while…so instead of making a dessert from my list, I decided to make this instead.

I have found the perfect peanut butter fudge recipe. Why is it perfect? It has only 4 ingredients and uses only the microwave. Simple for a lazy cook like myself! I know there are more complicated recipes out there that might taste better, but I don’t care! 

This is good enough!
 
Here is the link for it, I found it on Alton Brown’s food channel website. 

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) of unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan (this can be a little hard to find, at least in SA)
  • 1 cup (236 ml) smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound (.45 kg) powdered sugar (here, they call it “icing sugar”) 

Directions

Combine the butter and peanut butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. (I didn’t do this and it was just fine.)

Peanut butter and butter.

Microwave for 2 minutes on high.

Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. (Be careful- the bowl is HOT! I used a towel.)

Hot. Hot. Hot.

Add the vanilla and powdered (frosting) sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. (I was a little unsure of how to measure my powdered sugar because it was in a 1kg package, or 2.2 pounds. So…I “winged it” and poured out a little less than half my package. Brave, I know. My powdered sugar was really lumpy, so I broke it up as much as I could with a fork, and then tried to mix it as well as I could with my spoon.)

The lumps made no difference! Phew!

The mixture will become thicker and (might) lose its sheen. 

Spread into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper.  (I used an oval Corning Ware crock, but if you want all your pieces to be perfectly cut, use a square or rectangle pan.)

Fold the excess parchment paper so it covers the surface of the fudge. (This helps the top of the fudge be flat- so it will be more “square” when you cut it.)

It would be smoother if I'd used a pan with right angles.
Refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours. 

One word. Yum.

Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. (You can cut it into bigger pieces, however it is pretty rich!)


I'll be linking up to several blog linkys and hops. Check them out here, and here.

Song of the Post: Sweetness by Jimmy Eat World.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Segway Tour at Spier Wine Estate.


So, way back when we’d only been here two months, we went somewhere really cool. And I’m only now posting about it. Go me!

We bought a Groupon for a Segway Tour and wine tasting at Spier Wine Estate

Spier has Protea gardens. I think this is a King Protea.

The drive there was fine, but we got lost because the website did not have good instructions.  I called the Segway guide and “bitchily” told them we would be late, ending with “and we’re not happy!” 


Lol. I can’t believe I said that. 


Part of the processing plant- see the wine barrels?
There was a fire in the distance. Near Spier's other vineyards.












When we finally got there, the tour guide was so laid back and friendly, it eased our tension. The three other ladies were friendly and really funny. My hubby kept laughing because he couldn’t believe we had run into “rednecks” that weren’t American!


The "rednecks."

We first learned how to ride and control the Segway and passed through an obstacle course. Then we went on the tour! We were on off-road Segways and went around the back towards the vineyards. We saw the vines, almost dried up and picked over, with just a few tiny bunches left on them. We tasted a few cabernet sauvignon grapes and realized just how sweet wine making grapes can be!

Us looking dorky. Safety first!

Then we learned about their attempts at sustainability and were pretty impressed. They have a water re-charge station, cows, and movable chicken coops that allow their poop to fertilize a patch of field, one day at a time. Their organic gardens provide most of the vegetables for the restaurants on the estate.

The chickens and roosters were so friendly!


At the end of our trip we were sad for it to end. Our feet were a little tingly from standing up for over an hour- that would literally be my only complaint! We’d do it again in a heartbeat.


The giant menus. They were dragged to each table.

The bread platter. Yummy butter!




















We then ate lunch at Eight and had amazing lunches. They served us a bread course with homemade butter, coarse salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, oil, and some kind of cold sauce that tasted like mushroom soup. The hubby had a steak and I had chicken pot pie. Of course we had wine!

Lunch!
Chicken Pot Pie. Sweet presentation.






Then we had our wine tasting. We ate it with a small cheese and cracker platter we bought. They were both excellent. While tasting, we saw that people were being “interviewed” and were getting free bottles of wine out of it. 



Wine and Cheese platter.

We luckily chosen to be the last two people chosen for the interview. They were wanting to know how to improve different aspects of Spier. We were truthful, but didn’t have much criticism. Then we got vouchers for two bottles of our choice from the estate store. We both chose to get the Pinotage, because it has undercurrents of cherries, among other flavors. 



Weird joint bathroom with multiple stalls...

Spier's cute cat in the wine shop. Making a decision about which wine he wants?

















Great day. Lots of memories!



 
Song of the day: Happy Together by The Turtles.

Here they are performing:




Here is their "music video." I'm not sure what they were thinking....


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Attack of the Ants!

Ever since we moved into our new place, we have had to deal with ants on our first floor.

I’m a killer no doubt about it. We bought some “Doom” but I’d only use it where the dogs can’t reach. I usually use a spray cleaner (for counter tops or windows) and it stops them dead in their tracks. 

They come in through the cracks in the window sills, doorways; really, they find the tiniest, teeniest spaces to crawl through.

The ants seem to be attracted to the weirdest things- sweets of course, but onions? 

I have no idea what was on this paper towel...

I decided to do a little bit of research to understand these creatures better.   
I used these sources: Wikipedia, Ant Stuff, About, and Live Science.

Fire Ant.  (source)
Facts:
  • They come from the family Formicidae belongs to the order Hymenoptera; they are related to wasps and bees.
  • Over 12,500 out of 22,000 (estimated) types of ants have been recorded.
  • Ants live in colonies that can be very small or very large.
  • The large colonies are made up mostly of sterile wingless females with jobs such as "workers", "soldiers", or other specialized jobs. Some males are fertile and called "drones". The fertile females are the “queens.”
In case you're interested....    (source)
  • There can be more than one “queen” in a colony.
  • There are types of ants that will actually raid other specie’s colonies, steal their pupa and enslave the ants once born. They make the “slave ants” do everything for them.
  • Ant homes can look like little “hills” or gigantic “mounds” that are 3 feet high and 6 feet long. However, some are nomadic and don’t stay in one place for very long.
  • Some when crush smell horrible, others smell like honey.
  • Some ants are farmers- they grow fungus in their mounds and then harvest it when its ready to eat. Yum!
  • Some ants like warm places and will crawl/colonize electronic equipment like computers, for warmth and for cooling (from the internal fans inside computers).
  • In a flood some rain forest ants will link legs and make a life raft out of their own bodies. Once they get washed onto a river bank, tree, or whatever, they unlink and go on their merry way.

Lastly….
Zombie!  (source)
  • Did you know that “zombie ants” exist? A certain type of fungus invades them and makes them leave their colony and bite/attach themselves to the underside of a leaf. Then the fungus kills them. Why? Because the fungus needs transportation so that it can grow and spread!  

And to make the zombies more real…watch this! 
But beware, its gruesome...interesting, but gruesome.




Song of the Post:   Tiger, My Friend by Psapp. No video, but the audio is great!



Sunday, September 11, 2011

A few things I've made: Cabochons.



Here are a few of the things I have been working on over the last few weeks.

My first beaded cabochon!



My third cabochon.


Beaded coin from South Africa.


The back side.

  
Beaded box. Semi-craft fail, but I may be able to improve it.


"Craft Fail" for multiple reasons. This one will be picked apart and re-done.
  

What do you think? Should I start selling my creations?



I had a great weekend! I hope you did too!


I'll be linking up to several blog linkys and hops. Check them out here, and here.
My hubby's blog is here.
Song of the Post: The Way You Do The Things You Do as sung by The Temptations.




 And as a treat...

 For those fans of UB40, here is their version of The Way You Do The Things You Do.