Scarf – H&M | Jacket – Pull & Bear | Skull sweater – Pull & Bear | Tights – Mr.Price | Brown leather boots – Woolworths.
Remember I told you about the Stork #bakebrave challenge? Well, it was World Baking day yesterday, and I did a little bit of ‘Creamy mudcake muffin with lemon frosting’ making in the kitchen. I am VERY pleased to tell you, that it was a great success! No shameful confessions here I’m afraid.
The only thing I loathe about baking is the measuring part. I am pedantic. More than pedantic, I get myself into a panic over it. I know it’s ridiculous, but I also know that if I get it wrong, the whole thing will flop and who’s got time for that? I need incredibly simple measurements, like grams and ml. That’s all please. I am NOT a good converter. Yesterday I saw the measurement ‘dl’ in the mudcake recipe *panic*. I asked some baking guru’s on twitter what it meant and even they said “no idea, google it?”. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I ended up dusting off my maths ‘skills’ and worked it out myself, old school, with my iPhone calculator, obviously. I crossed my fingers and toes, and it ended up working. SCORE!
The following recipe was created by Swedish blogger, Jenny Warsen. Well done girl.
INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE:
100 grams of melted margarine
2 1/2 dl (200g) sugar
2 dl (160g) wheat flour
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 pinch salt
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
METHOD FOR CAKE:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and set the molds on a baking sheet / muffin tin.
2. Break the eggs into a bowl and mix with the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the margarine last and stir until the batter is mixed well.
4. Pour into molds 2/3 (two-thirds full) – with batter.
5. Bake in middle of oven for about 8-10 minutes.
INGREDIENTS FOR FROSTING:
150 grams of cream cheese,
75 grams margarine (room temperature)
200g icing sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1/2 dl (40g) freshly squeezed lemon juice
METHOD FOR FROSTING:
1. Remove the margarine from the fridge in good time, so that it gets room warm.
2. Stir together all ingredients until smooth, set it aside for an hour so it cools down before you pipe the frosting on the mudcake-muffins. I didn’t ‘pipe’ the frosting, but I did improvise by grating some chocolate onto the icing to make them look prettier.
Thanks Stork, and Jenny, for this delicious and relatively easy recipe. The measurements were a little bit of a challenge, but I must admit that it was fun and so rewarding to bake something from scratch for once.
These mudcake muffins really are little handfuls of happiness. I am so proud that I didn’t stuff it up *takes a bow*. x
I found his recipe on Daily Dish, which is a wonderful concept in itself, but that’s a post for another day. I have always had a bad attitude about Quiche, as for a period of time I was in boarding school, and when we’d have Quiche it would always be swimming in water *gross*. I haven’t ever made a Quiche, but this is totally fool-proof and incredibly quick – just my vibe. It’s a bit of a cheat Quiche as it doesn’t have a crust. It will take you about 20 minutes to chop and prep everything but you’re feeling brave or have a bit of extra time then definitely try this same recipe with a crust. This recipe makes a perfect little Quiche for two. I served ours with a side salad.
250g bacon – cut into thin strips
Half an onion – chop finely
50g spinach – cut into strips
90g mature cheddar – grated coarsely
1/4 cup double cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200′C
2. Fry bacon in a dry pan over medium to high heat until done to your liking. For me – the crisper the better, it also is a nice texture in the Quiche if crispy.
3. Heat butter and olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for few minutes until translucent. Turn the heat down and add the spinach, cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until spinach wilts. Remove from heat.
4. Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add in cheese, onion and spinach mixture and the bacon and stir well.
5. Grease a pie or Quiche dish and pour in the Quiche mix. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until done. Check when it’s done by inserting a knife in the centre – it should come out clean.
Let the Quiche rest for 5 minutes before serving.
I have to split this post in two because I am very attached to my photo’s. I will simply NOT choose only the most ‘necessary’ ones cause I want you to see everything!
I left on the 17th April for a two-week holiday in Egypt. Aside for my brother who is also in Cape Town, the rest of my immediate family live in Egypt now. They moved in November last year, not forever, but they’ll be there for a few years I’m sure. An amazing excuse to travel, no? I left a rainy Cape Town and arrived in a very warm Cairo at 5am the next morning. There is no time difference between South Africa and Egypt. Convenient.
My dad bought me a ticket when he found out I was pregnant. It was so nice for me to spend such quality family time with everyone. My last big holiday alone. I spent some nice girly time with Lindy and my sisters too. I cherish those two weeks so much. I can’t wait to go back with to Egypt with Nic and our baby boy, and I can’t wait to show them everything I saw on this trip and more. I had a very interesting flight, I must say. The air host told me he liked my face, asked for my number and my facebook details and I got invited by an Egyptian man to come and sit next to him on the plane. The people are totally harmless though, they are all very friendly, they just seem to have an intrigue for blonde women as it’s a novelty I guess? I very kindly turned down the offer, obviously. On with the trip..
Egypt is incredible. I would honestly recommend it to anyone interested in traveling. There is so much history and so much to see there. I didn’t even see half of it, which is great because there will be so much for us to do when we visit as a family in the coming years. But you must do your research before you go, and plan your days. There is lot’s of inside info to know.
I have to just mention the driving. Dear god, the driving. It’s otherworldly, for lack of a better word. As in, the driving is the worst I have ever seen in my ENTIRE life, ever. Even on the travel channel in India. It’s worse than that. There are lanes painted on the roads, but people ignore them, cars just drift all over the road as if it was oily. I saw one or two traffic lights in Egypt, people ignore them as if they aren’t even there! It’s honestly a joke. DO NOT RENT a car. Rent a driver / taxi otherwise you’ll probably have an accident on your first day. Not to sound pessimistic, but unless you have the ability to drive like them, don’t even try. They drive with their side mirrors folded in so they can get closer to you. You could be the best driver in the world and SUCK at driving there. I couldn’t decide if they were brilliant or bad. Luckily my parents have a family driver, his name is Mohammed and he’s a lovely gentleman who has had many years of Egyptian driving experience. I felt very safe driving around with him. My dad also drives in Egypt, brave man. He’s just not the type of person that has the time or patience to be driven around everywhere, he’s far too independent. Ain’t nobody got time for that. There are donkeys with carts in the streets, fruit carts, people on motorbikes with no helmets, babies on laps on motorbikes with no helmets, trucks overloaded with fruit (you could probably reach out the window and grab some), container trucks on side dirt roads. Seriously, its hairy.
There is a wonderful expat community in Egypt. My parents and the girls have made some really lovely friends, whom I met while I was there. Some fellow South Africans and some lovely people from Czech. I hid some biltong and feinbos gin in my suitcase and we had a braai while I was there, needless to say the gin and biltong were a HUGE hit with all the home sick South Africans. Non of the women work corporate jobs or drive (duh) in Egypt, and between the women, they organize outings / activities with each others drivers. Whoever is available really.
My family lives in a beautiful golf and tennis resort called Katameya Heights. You would never guess that it’s in Egypt, with all its rolling green hills. Their house is a beautiful tuscan style house with a lovely garden for Sniff and Bella (the sausage dogs) and a crystal blue pool for summer. There is a little supermarket in the estate called ‘The Metro’ which is similar to a 7/11, but nicer. The resort has tennis courts, a fancy restaurant, a gym, a laundry and even a bakery. Lindy has a little golf car that she and the girls can use around the estate to go to the shops/ gym / visit friends etc. Very nifty that little thing is. The estate is massive so you can’t just walk everywhere.
On my first weekend in Egypt we went to the Pyramids. I was SO excited and I can’t tell you how surreal it was to be there in the flesh. You hear so much about the pyramids, you learn about them at school and see pictures of them often. And then all of a sudden you’re there. These MASSIVE concrete blocks in front of you. Eerie almost. I still have no idea how anyone every managed to erect those incredible things without the use of modern machinery. It’s totally mind-blowing. You can go into the Pyramids but I didn’t because it involves ladders and crouching, and well, I’m pregnant. So that’s one for Nic and I to do when we go together. There were so many guys hanging around with camels, offering rides. It’s a huge tourist attraction and sometimes the people can be quite persistent, but they’re only trying to make a quick buck, Egypt for the most part is a very poor country. I LOVE camels. It’s their comical faces I think, they are so ugly. We also saw an ancient ‘solar boat’. There are a few buried underground amongst the pyramids and the one we saw was restored about 100 years ago. If i have the story correct, the ancient Egyptians built these massive wooden boats that look like Noah’s ark kind of, as they believed the boats would transport the royal families to the afterlife after they pass away. How incredible are these glorious wonders of the world?
We did so many things while I was Egypt, and one of the most relaxing ‘outings’ was a trip down the Nile river on an old Felucca boat. The skipper and owner of the boat spoke absolutely no english whatsoever. Some of the boats along the side of the Nile river are in very bad shape and don’t belong to anyone really, and then others are shiny, new speedboats. An interesting contrast. We took snacks with us and sat in the sun on the deck of the old boat, a very relaxing morning indeed. Lucky there was some wind that day so we could actually let the sails up.
After our sailing expedition, we headed to a restaurant called Seqouia. I was blown away. Lindy had told me about it but wow, the place is amazing. It’s on the banks of the Nile river, so the view is incredible and the food. Guys, the food. We ordered a few ‘tapas’ and all shared everything. There were too many amazing things on the menu that we just had to try. Dad was very happy just with his humus and meat though. Lindy and I each had a ‘Hibiscus Crush’ to drink. It’s a smoothie with hibiscus flower and crushed ice. Hibiscus is huge in Egypt, I brought lots of Hibiscus tea back with me, it’s absolutely delicious.
This concludes part one, but I still have so much more to share with you: our day at the one and only wine farm in Egypt, our trip to the Red Sea and a swim in the ocean, more food and some shopping of coarse. It really was an incredible, and jam-packed holiday. A great experience. If you’re interested to go to Egypt and have any questions, please feel free to contact me on nikki @ nikkiandnicholas.com x
There has been so much excitement on twitter about World Baking Day, I just had to join in on the fun. My friend Lexi is taking part, she is one of my baking idols and owns a beautiful sweet shop called Ma Mere Maison, I really could learn a thing or two from her. I read about the challenge and thought, why not, I like a challenge, let’s do this.
I am not much of a baker, but that’s purely because my dear husband is not much of a sweet tooth, at all. He doesn’t even eat banana bread. It’s a joy (NOT). So quite simply, unless I’m feeling like a royal piggy, I really don’t bake. It’s a sad state of affairs.
The folks at Stork have come up with the most amazing concept for World Baking Day. They have asked 100 of the world’s best bakers to submit cake recipe’s. There are various levels, depending on how brilliant you are. Level 1 being the easiest and level 100 being the hardest – I quiver at the thought. Simply click through to the World Baking Day website, select your level and it will give you a recipe. Remember that the whole point is to be challenged, so don’t be a sissy, challenge yourself. I am a level 23, have a look at my badge, tadaaa:
I will be baking the ‘Creamy mudcake muffins with lemon frosting’ *droooooool*. How good does that sound? Nic likes lemon a lot, so here’s hoping he’ll like them too. If not, tea party at my house!
Wish me luck guys, as I’m quite literally the QUEEN of packet mixes, so this really is a first for me. This Sunday, the 19th May, World Baking Day, I will make these babies from scratch, with fresh ingredients, in my little kitchen. I will put love and time into them, the way it’s meant to be. Check back soon for my results and for this delicious recipe.
I now challenge YOU to get involved. Keep up with the hype on twitter by following @ilovebakingSA and use the hash tag #bakebrave. Head over to the World Baking Day website and get a recipe of your own to bake this Sunday. It’s the BEST excuse ever to bake something fattening, no? Happy Baking. x