Ultimate Braai Master S3: Meet the Teams

It’s “Time for Tough” was the slogan for the 3rd season of Ultimate Braai Master and if you’ve watched the show before this should make you question the sanity of everyone who entered, since the last 2 seasons were hardly a walk in the park.

This season is once again sponsored by Pick n Pay and supported by Coca Cola, Robertson’s Herbs & Spices, Renault and South African Tourism’s Sho’t Left campaign. I’ve been a avid fan of this show from the start and you can track my virtual journey with this show by clicking through my Ultimate Braai Master articles. I’m looking forward to watching the show on ETV starting at 8:30pm on 11 September and I hope you will join the other UBM crazies and myself on Twitter during the show.

Just click on the team names below to be taken to their Twitter profiles. Be sure to show them some love by tweeting them during the show.

ultimate braai master, justin bonello, reality tv show, cooking show, south africa, proudly South African, chef, braai, BBQ, competition, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

All 15 teams. Pic credit: Louis Hiemstra – Cooked in Africa Films

Ultimate Braai Master S3: Meet the Teams

Santa Annas

Business partners Piet Marais (29) and Frik Oosthuizen (24) entered Ultimate Braai Master for an opportunity to go on the road trip of a lifetime and to get away from the grind of city life for a while. While Braai Master Piet is admittedly devastated to be missing the Western Cape wild mushroom season and Braai Buddy Frik is really going to miss his girlfriend and his dog, they have big dreams if they win, including financing their business and donating money to the Rhino Fund. They think elimination rounds will be the toughest challenge to tackle. Their team mantra? “After a good braai, one can forgive anyone. Even one’s own relatives.”

Braai Dukes

Cousins Milani Motlohi (21) and Kevin Jonas (21) are two very motivated students from Durban who want to open their own restaurant if they win. Their team mantra is “Something worth doing is worth doing well” but they do admit that they think braaiing in remote places and in difficult conditions will be the biggest challenge to face. This dynamic duo believes they will miss spending time with their friends and family, but the Braai Dukes are amped and ready for an adventure!

Bushies Gone Wild

Durban friends Sherwyn Weaich (24) and Zane Jacobs (36) entered the Third Season of Ultimate Braai Master for their love of food, good company and of course, to try and get their braai-singed-fingers on the cash! If they win, Sherwyn wants to take his family on a long holiday and Zane will use some of his share to fund their charity “Full Tummies, Happy Smiles.” Sherwyn says nothing about the competition scares him, but Zane admits that the sense of the unknown will be a little nerve-wracking. Their team mantra is “Bushies, how’s our combination?” and they’re looking forward to going on what they call the food journey of a lifetime!

Team Ala Mofepe

Pretoria chefs Freddy Buyane (43) and Jabu Mahlangu (33) are both huge Jamie Oliver fans, and they believe that competing on Ultimate Braai Master will help them improve their skills and help them become as successful as their icon. With this motivation to drive them through the competition, it makes sense that their team mantra is “Skill, taste and character.” They differ on what they think the most challenging part of the competition will be; hopeful Braai Master Freddy thinks the final round will be the toughest and his colleague and Braai Buddy Jabu is dreading preparing desserts and puddings on an open flame.

ultimate braai master, justin bonello, reality tv show, cooking show, south africa, proudly South African, chef, braai, BBQ, competition, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

The judges. Pic credit Louis Hiemstra – Cooked in Africa Films

Simply Sisters

Don’t let the fact that these are two women competing in a braai show fool you, because Busisiwe Dhladhla(32) and Thembeka Ngcobo (31) entered Ultimate Braai Master to take the title, so no wonder their team mantra is “We shall overcome!” And if they do that, Busisiwe wants to open a Shisa Nyama and Thembeka wants to open a small coffee shop. Their icons in life are two very strong women, Oprah and Princess Diana, so this team is definitely one to take seriously, although Braai Master Busisiwe says she’s not looking forward to going fishing!

Kaiings en Afval

Jozi based couple Tippie Enslin (43) and Santie Mostert (43) are both passionate about nature and food, which is why they decided to enter Season 3 of Ultimate Braai Master. Their team motto “Take it one day at a time and enjoy the ride!” is exactly the kind of attitude you need to make it through to the finals. If they win, all they want to do is travel and eat great food but first they have to survive each other, the cold and the road for two months! Braai Buddy Santie says she’ll miss her bed and under floor heating the most while Tippie says he’ll miss the company of his two dogs.

Smokey and The Bandit

Durban siblings Barend Deminey (31) and Lente Deminey’ss(26) team mantra is “You’ll never know unless you try” and that’s exactly what they did! They entered to see what they’re capable of, to pursue new challenges and to explore the unfamiliar and that’s exactly what they can expect in this season of the Ultimate Braai Master. They hope to improve and develop after each challenge and if they win, Braai Master Barend wants to use the money towards his kids’ future education and his sister and Braai Buddy Lente wants to go on a trip to Antarctica.

Team Tenacity

Cape Town based life partners Rod Hemphill (60) and Lesley Verhoef (59) entered Ultimate Braai Master for their love of adventure. While they think the most challenging part of the competition will be to keep calm while everyone else is losing their cool, Braai Buddy Lesley admits that waiting for the Judges to make a decision might be even tougher. If they win, the money will go into their bucket-list fund, and with a team motto that goes “Yes we can!” they might just have what it takes!

Sugar n Spice

Best friends Celeste Raynard (47) and Chantal Geerdes (43) don’t only share a passion for food and travelling – they also share a friendship, and now, a team motto: “Through thick and thin, sick and sin.” As first timers to the Ultimate Braai Master, they’re getting ready to be put to the ultimate test – from their cooking skills, fitness levels, intellect, integrity and embracing the unknown. If they win the competition, Braai Master Celeste wants to complete her book and get it published and Braai Buddy Chantal wants to donate some of their winnings to an animal shelter.

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Pic credit Louis Hiemstra – Cooked in Africa Films

Tong in Cheek

Johannesburg and Cape Town based friends Penny Rider (55) and Dee McCool (55) say they are “In it to win it!” and if they do, they’ll split the cash. Braai Master Penny wants to get a food truck on the road to sell organic and healthy fast food. They entered Ultimate Braai Master after watching it on TV because they realised they could successfully compete in the show – plus they love a good adventure! They think the most challenging part of the competition will be to deal with the unknown and long hours in the car.

The Fire Feeders

As the first and only Port Elizabeth team to make it into the top 15, friends Stuart Smith (42) and Bretton-Anne Moolman (45) say that Ultimate Braai Master is going to be tough but that they’re up for the challenge. Stuart entered his team for the chance to experience the road trip of a lifetime and Bretton-Anne happily joined him so that she could also share in the amazing experience. If they walk away with the title, the car and the cash, Stuart wants to use his share to set up a travelling food truck and journey across South Africa, while Anne just wants to buy a car.

Weskus Braaiers

West Coast based best friends John Stewart Grundlingh (35) and Bruno Julian Mori (34) entered for the love of the braai and in memory of their best friend who sadly passed away a year ago. If they win, John wants to build a house with a massive braai, while Julian is another contestant with the dream of opening a food truck restaurant. Their team mantra is “Never give up and live life to the full” and while on the road for two months, Julian says he’ll miss surfing and fishing the most, while John says he will miss his wife (although he admits that this might be the safest answer!)

Mix Masala

Farm store manager Sujith Singh (40) and wedding planner Prishen Maharaj (31) are both from KwaZulu Natal entered to meet different people and for their love of food experimentation. Sujith is excited to showcase Durban as a foodie capital and if he wins he wants to take his family on holiday, and buy himself some “larni” cooking utensils, while Braai Buddy Prishen wants to take his mom and dad on a well-deserved holiday. Their braai mantra is “To de- stress, start cooking now!” but when the pressure is on, they admit that the combination of any surprises that come their way, and having to use limited ingredients, might be the biggest challenge.

Delicious Foodies

As the only mother and daughter team to make it through to the top 15, Braai Master Brigitte Leclercq (24) and Braai Buddy Lynn Leclercq (48) plan to live up to their team motto, “Eat well, laugh often and love much.” They entered Ultimate Braai Master to challenge themselves and to get away from the fast-paced city lifestyle. If they win, Brigitte wants to build a small river cottage in Bonnievale while her mom would like to invest her share of the money. They think that cooking food they’ve never cooked before on an open flame will be the most challenging part of the show.

Tikka Boys (PICK N PAY’S WILD CARD)

Cape Town friends Mohamed Yusuf Sujee (26) and Stephen Nandes (26) are both junior sous chefs with big dreams. If they win, Yusuf hopes to open his own restaurant and Stephen wants to travel and spoil his family. Their team mantra is “Never say burn” so let’s hope they live up to their goal! While they hope to gain experience and use the show as an awesome opportunity to showcase their braai skills, they admit that the idea of not knowing what to expect is a little scary.

Tune in to ETV on Thursday 11 September 2014 at 8:30pm for the first episode and join the conversation on Twitter @ultimatebraai and hashtag #UltimateBraaiMaster.

 

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Hard Pressed Cafe

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Reasonably priced, delicious coffees at Hard Pressed Cafe

Maybe it’s because I’m not brand conscious or maybe I’m too honest but I don’t think much of coffee shop offerings. I love coffee. I limit myself to 1 a day and nothing after 12pm (thx insomnia) but I love good quality, ethically sourced, freshly ground java.

Hard Pressed Cafe

hard pressed cafe, coffee shop, things to do in cape town, great coffee, hard pressed, vinyl, records, retro, wifi, hipster, awesome iced coffee, cape town, south africa, bree street, review, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs, intimate venue, venue, baby shower, hen party, kitchen tea, retro vibes, cool hangoutWhen you look at the price of a cup of coffee at some coffee shops in Cape Town you might feel the need to grab some just to restart your heart! So even though I was intrigued when Hard Pressed Café opened around the corner from my office, I was almost too scared to go and look. The pictures I saw on my Twitter feed were lovely and the reviews were awesome but could I afford something delicious or would I have to walk out to prevent a heart attack?

hard pressed cafe, coffee shop, things to do in cape town, great coffee, hard pressed, vinyl, records, retro, wifi, hipster, awesome iced coffee, cape town, south africa, bree street, review, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs, intimate venue, venue, baby shower, hen party, kitchen tea, retro vibes, cool hangoutWell, I was there for a baby shower on Saturday I made a point of scrutinizing the menu board. What!? The basics were all under R20 (filter, latte, cappuccino etc) and the sandwiches where just as reasonable (R40-R60). NICE!! Of course, the proof is in the tasting and I’d heard about “The Amy” so that is what I had. YUMMY! It’s a double shot with peanut butter, white chocolate chips and ice cream and it’s served in a jam jar. That was R36 and well worth it.

hard pressed cafe, coffee shop, things to do in cape town, great coffee, hard pressed, vinyl, records, retro, wifi, hipster, awesome iced coffee, cape town, south africa, bree street, review, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs, intimate venue, venue, baby shower, hen party, kitchen tea, retro vibes, cool hangoutIf the weather we’ve been experiencing in Cape Town recently is anything to go buy we’re in for one seriously hot summer so I will be popping in to try some more of their iced coffee variations over the next few months. It’s located on the Bree Street side of the new Portside building and remember, street parking in Cape Town CBD after 1pm on a Saturday is free and yes, WIFI is available!

 

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Steam train trip to Vredenheim

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI don’t know about you but I have a list a mile long of all the things I want to do and the experiences I want my children to have. I managed to check one of those things off the list yesterday and we took the steam train to Vredenheim as a family. Once we got there the children also managed to see zebras, ostriches up close and lions for the first time but more about that later.

Steam train trip to Vredenheim

Someone tweeted something about this trip about 6 weeks ago and my interest was piqued. I immediately went to find out some more and boy, was I glad I did! I had no idea that Atlantic Rail  runs 2 steam train trips every month mainly going from Cape Town to Simonstown but every now and then they include a Winelands trip as well. To be honest I sort of knew about” Jenny” the steam train going to Simonstown since I’d seen pictures of the train going along the beach but I didn’t know about “Katie” and her wine route.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs  cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThis was the first time that Vredenheim made up a package where the return journey by steam train included lunch in their restaurant and a tour of their lion park and I hope it won’t be the last. What I lovely day out. We had beautiful weather and I’m glad we chose to have lunch at the earliest session of 11:30am. I chose this because I wanted to explore the grounds at my leisure afterwards and not have to rush through anything to get to back to the train in time for departure at 3:15pm.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWait, let me backtrack a little. We took the MyCiti bus into town at about 7:30am (just in case there were any delays on that service) and got to Cape Town CBD just after 8am. This made us WAAAAAYYY too early for the departure of the steam train at 9:35am but I hate being late for anything. It was a lovely walk to The Train Lodge just behind Jaguar on the Foreshore and it was nice to see that part of the city while it was still cool and quiet.

Getting their so early meant we had time to see “Katie” pull into the station and then had time to take loads of pictures before everyone else arrived. It was a full train with coaches 1 and 3 being reserved for those disembarking at Spier and coaches 4 and 5 for those of us going to Vredenheim with coach 2 being the “restaurant coach” for snacks and drinks.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsMy daughter quickly made friends with the family seated across the aisle from us as they also had a little girl of around the same age and this gave the kids the benefit of swapping between the windows on either side of the train as they followed the activity of the rails on both sides.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAfter about 90 minutes on the train we were getting excited for what we would see at the wine farm and lunch couldn’t come fast enough. After disembarking at Vlottenburg station we were led across the tracks and down a path for a walk through the reserve.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAfter admiring the views for a while we were just starting to get a bit tired and then we saw an ostrich. We wondered why she was giving us the beady eye until we saw the pile of eggs she was guarding. After taking a few pictures we moved along swiftly as it looked like she might make a run for the fence at any moment. Across the path we were met by the curious sight of a dazzle of zebra (or is it a zeal of zebra?) …which included an ostrich…and a donkey.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWe were glad to see to parking area of the wine farm up ahead as we were all gasping for a comfort break and some water. Once we had refreshed ourselves we headed out to the patio where tables had been allocated for each family or group. We had a choice of bobotie and rice with sambals or chicken schnitzel with basil mayo and fries.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThe kids could choose between pizza, calamari, chicken strips or schnitzel and chips with a dessert choice of Italian kisses or ice cream and chocolate sauce. Once we had placed our orders the kids ran off to climb trees or explore the garden. We were offered wines to taste while we were waiting for our food and the kids could “taste” grape juice. I love it when a venue includes children in the experience rather than expecting them to be seen and not heard. A major plus in my book!

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Once we had finished a leisurely lunch it was time to go see the big cats. So much awe and so many aaawwws. The majesty of the lion, the lionesses lounging in the shade, the Bengal tigers drinking from their pool and the leopard purring and growling at the same time. Have you heard a cheetah “talk” before? Seriously! The cutest thing ever!

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You have to experience this for yourself so book the next available wine route trip on the 2nd of November. Vredenheim  is planning to put together another package for the day and it is well worth going.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsIf you don’t want a package deal but just need the basic info, tickets for the train are R250 for adults and R150 for kids with entrance to the lion park at Vredenheim  costing R50 per adult.cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThe package is only slightly more than that and includes a 2 course lunch (from a set menu), wine/grape juice tasting and entrance to the lion park so I would recommend that you keep an eye on Vredenheim’s timeline  for more details.

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Playstation vs Playing Outside

playstation, playing outside, gaming, getting fresh air, parenting, 10 year old, which is better, gadgets, tech, tablets, how much, advice, boys, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsMy brother-in-law was horrified that my almost 10 year old couldn’t drive on X-Box. It made me think that I’m probably raising my kids a little bit differently than most. We don’t have iPads, gaming consoles or hand held gaming devices in our house. At best our kids are allowed 10 minutes each on my husband’s Lenovo Yoga or my HTC Desire where they scribble to their hearts content using digital paint brushes and canvas or see how many bananas they can collect in Banana Kong.

Playstation vs Playing Outside

I quite like the fact that my kids still wreck the garden digging up sand and filling bottles of water from the hose to make “potions”, jump on the trampoline or climb trees. On windy days they beg their dad to walk them to the park so they can fly kites or hang on the monkey bars.

My son battles to process overwhelming amounts of sensory input. This means movie theatres are too much for him to handle with the loud noise and bright flashing lights. Even TV is limited to Saturday morning cartoons from 7-8am (none at all on school days). When it comes to cellphones and tablets the same applies. We try to teach him coping mechanisms to handle the overload and he is managing admirably but it is hard for him.

He is on Ritalin during school hours only so the rest of the time he has to use every bit of self control he has to behave well despite his challenges. He is the most amazing little boy I know and I am so proud of how far he has come and how much he has achieved. It makes me think that many grownups have probably become so used to the sensory overload that we rarely stop and think what loud noises and big flashing pictures look like to a little person who still has so much growing up to do.

More often than not my kids have their noses in books or are playing imagination filled games together in their rooms on days where the weather is not ideal for outside play. They love going puddle hunting on rainy days and scootering on the non motorized transport path built between the MyCiti Bus stations.

I do wonder if they are missing out though. There were loads of things I didn’t have when I was growing up like Lego and TV games and while I knew I was missing out, I grew up to be a fairly well rounded human being. All parents worry about doing enough for their kids. The last thing I want is to make a decision that will disadvantage them in the long run.

There are so many amazing apps available for tablets and educational games available for gaming consoles. Would they be better off if I incorporated this into their lives? Does playing outside with friends not teach them enough for them to be well rounded individuals in the real world? I would love to know what you think!

 

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The Market Barrow

market, barrow, the market barrow, free range, produce, delivery, cape town, free range produce delivered to your door, online orders, great deal, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsA few weeks back I tweeted about a fantastic new service available in Cape Town. It’s called The Market Barrow and it delivers free range produce to your door. You can expect to find all your market favourites like big ass, delicious chickens from The Fowl Woman, chorizo, pork grillers, free range lamb (half a lamb at R77/kg) and a tray of 30 (THIRTY you guys) free range eggs for R50!!

I’m pretty sure no one can beat those sorts of prices and you never have to come home from a market disappointed that you didn’t get there in time to snatch up the best stuff. The deadline for orders  is every Wednesday for delivery the following Wednesday. The owner is super awesome and will do his best to get everything you need but will let you know before delivery if there wasn’t any stock of a particular product. You are only invoiced the night before delivery and payment is only expected once you have received your goods (cash or EFT).

I bought a number of items and once I tried the chicken I was sold. There is no way I am ever buying chicken from a shop again. The whole free range chickens are R66/kg and 1 medium – large (1.8-2kg) chicken made a roast, a pie and chicken mayo toasties. I mean really now!

I’m making The Food Fox’s Orzo Salad with Chorizo tonight with the chorizo I bought from The Market Barrow and I’m salivating already. My next order was going to include some of that free range lamb but when I found out they actually give you HALF A LAMB (i.e. 10kgs of it) I realized there is no way I have enough space in my tiny freezer built into my fridge. Anyone want to go halvsies with me? ;) *Note to self: Buy a chest freezer*.

I hope you’ll give this service a try and let me know what you think if you do.

DISCLAIMER: I was not asked or paid to write this post. I wrote it because I enjoyed the service and I think you will too.

 

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#CTMeetUp and a Giveaway

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Want this IPhone 5 cover? Willing to collect in Cape Town? Comment below!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was pretty sure my next blog post would be about #CTMeetUp. After debating backwards and forwards for a while I decided not to take my camera along as I was going to use public transport into Cape Town CBD after most stores had closed for the day and I was wary of the SLR making me a target. I chose to rather travel light and it was a good thing I did as I was accosted (not touched though, thankfully) by a man who wanted to tell me his life story so that I would give him some money. Thankfully I had nothing valuable with me to draw more attention to myself and got away safely.

The other reason I didn’t take my camera along was because I sometimes find my approach to events like this is less about having fun and meeting people and rather being “the photographer”. I’m trying to find a balance here and it was an interesting experiment as to how different my experience was when I wasn’t seeing the opportunity as “work”.

Since there were around 50 bloggers at this awesome event at I Love My Laundrythere will be loads of blog posts going up within the next few weeks so I’ll keep this post short. My fellow bloggers Se7enRobyn and the organizer Cindy have already put together lovely posts and you are welcome to go and read about the event some more. This will probably give you some serious FOMO if the #CTMeetUp hashtag didn’t already on Saturday so I look forward to seeing you at the next one.

The goody bag was amazing. The sponsors were generous. And the event was loads of fun. It was great to put faces to Twitter handles and it was so nice to chat face to face rather than over the internet. We are a great bunch of people. Super nice and friendly and we are ALL approachable. No egos allowed here thank you very much. It would actually be great if loads of brands and PR people can attend the next one…not to schmooze but to see how nice we are in real life. I think a lot gets lost online depending on how well we write and brands would see a whole other side to us that would make them want to partner up with us for campaigns. We are a friendly, fun and a little crazy (we are “creatives” after all) and we don’t bite, I promise.

**GIVEAWAY** Out of all the wonderful things in the goody bag, the only one I couldn’t use was the iPhone 5 cover you can see in the picture above. I am an HTC girl through and through and this is highly unlikely to change anytime soon. So, if you have an iPhone 5 and you would like the cover, so the 1st person to comment that they want it will get it :). Since you would have to come and collect it from either Tableview or Cape Town CBD, this offer is available for Cape Town readers only. There is also a complete goody bag up for grabs on Cindy‘s blog so be sure to enter ASAP.

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All the Cookies

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAll the cookies

I’m typing this while wearing a brace on my wrist thanks to a Jiu Jitsu injury. I can’t tell you exactly when and how it happened as you tend to get so involved learning a new technique that you often don’t feel it until later but now I’m not allowed back on the mat for 3 weeks. Meh! When I started out I found it a little hard to believe when the trainers told stories of guys who broke their arms in competition and didn’t notice until after they won the fight. Hardcore!

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

L to R: Zirkie, Jasmine, Teresa, Me, Jessica, Nicola

#CookieSwap4 went very well. We raised close to R30 000 for Learn to Earn and this money will hopefully go a long way to help those who are trying to claw their way out of poverty. People who apply to go on this course need to raise R200 by themselves in order to show their commitment and desire to learn new skills. The ones who show initiative are then accepted into a training course worth R9000 where they learn how to bake for profit. I love this idea and wish everyone all the best in this endeavor.

We are still working through the box of cookies we swapped over the weekend and doing our best to make it last so I won’t be putting up a recipe post this week. I also went to collect a box of cookies from Royal Dansk at the post office yesterday and will be reviewing these delicious Danish butter cookies shortly.

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI took a day’s leave yesterday to attend the Good Housekeeping Magazine #GHBakeStars event yesterday and got to learn some icing skills with Alex and Jackie from Charly’s Bakery“Gourmet Sisters” Sue Ann Allen and Ilse Fourie also demonstrated how to make a decadent chocolate swirled cheesecake that I’m hoping to try over the next few weeks. I am so grateful to be invited to attend these events. Knowing how well these events are arranged and how much fun is had; it’s a great way to spend R295 for a morning of fun and laughter with some of South Africa’s top food celebs who are willing to answer any burning question you may have about food and cooking. This year’s goodie bag was a treasure trove of everything you would need for baking and the value of the contents alone justifies the ticket price.

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

The value of the hair/grass nozzle. A worthwhile investment. Cupcake done by Alex from Charly’s Bakery.

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAugust is a crazy month for our family. It’s lovely to have something exciting to do almost every weekend and my next post will probably be about #CTmeetUp that is happening at I Love My Laundry this weekend. The following weekend we are going to Day of the Dinosaurs at Cape Town International Convention Center and at the end of the month we are looking forward to a trip on a steam train to Vrendenheim.

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

The decadent chocolate swirled cheesecake made by Sue Ann Allen which I will be trying for myself shortly.

Before you start thinking that these are all “freebies” that I’ve been given let me stop you there and let you know that all of these events were paid for. I’m sorry that I even have to say this but there has been so much hatred for bloggers in the media lately about how much we get “given” and how few of us disclose this when we write a post, it seems that it needs to be said. I will always disclose. ALWAYS!

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I loved this Brownie kit done by Kenwood and placed into the goody bag amongst loads of other things.

Before I start writing an entire blog post on whether the freebies are really free let me sign off for now. If a blogger has to say they have integrity then they probably don’t have any. It’s one of those things you should be able to see clearly in the way they write their blog and manage their social media accounts. While brands are still falling for flattery and bloggers who suck up so they can get free stuff I will quietly carry on with the job at hand and hope that one day my value gets recognized.

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Rocky Road Bites

rocky road, rocky road bites, cookie swap, recipes, recipe, #CookieSwap4, brownies, blondies, cape town, south africa, cookie swop, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWe are celebrating the 4th Cookie Swap  this year and I’ve been attending since the very first one.

It has been great to see it evolve and develop into an event where someone less fortunate benefits and sponsors like Nomu, 12 Apostles Hotel and YuppieChef have really come to the party with awesome donations for both prizes and auction items.

Every year it gets a little bit harder to outdo myself when it comes to baking. I mean, how does someone who has a blog about baking bring something mundane to the table? I didn’t think I could beat the Slutty Brownies I made for the second cookie swap but these Lemon Crinkle Cookies went down a treat last year.

After loads of searching I finally found something that sounded good and challenging enough to make it to Cookie Swap. I found this recipe for Rocky Road bars on Delish.com and once I had converted everything from pounds and ounces to grams and mls I could start on making it my own.

rocky road, rocky road bites, cookie swap, recipes, recipe, #CookieSwap4, brownies, blondies, cape town, south africa, cookie swop, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI found that adding the topping when the blondie was already baked meant that everything fell off when you tried to cut it and it got cold. I’m not sure how to fix this though because the marshmallows burn super quickly which means adding it at the start of the baking process will be a disaster. Maybe I should just mix everything together and bake the topping into the blondie. What do you think? Let me know.

Rocky Road Bites

Ingredients

  • 200g butter, melted
  • 500ml brown sugar
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 400ml cake flour
  • 15ml baking powder
  • 125ml marie biscuit crumbs
  • 100g walnuts, finely chopped
  • Topping/Filling
  • 300ml marie biscuits, broken into small chunks
  • 250g milk chocolate
  • 100g mini marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a 30x20cm roasting pan with baking paper.
  2. Beat hot, melted butter and sugar together until fudgy and add extract.
  3. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition then turn off the electric mixer.
  4. Sift flour and baking powder onto the egg mixture then add biscuit crumbs and walnuts.
  5. Stir through gently, scraping down the sides and continuing until everything is mix through well.
  6. If you want to add the topping ingredients as a filling do this now and stir through carefully.
  7. Pour mixture into prepped roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  8. If you haven’t added the topping ingredients yet remove from the oven and sprinkle biscuits, chocolate and marshmallows on top.
  9. Bake for another 10 minutes until marshmallows are toasted.
  10. Watch carefully because they burn easily – you might not need the full 10 minutes.
  11. Allow blondies to cool in the pan but make slices into the cake before the marshmallows and chocolate have become hard again (about 20 minutes after you have removed it from the oven).
  12. You shouldn’t need to add extra baking time if you have made the topping a filling. Fudgy brownies are the best and once they have cooled the residual heat will make sure they are done to perfection.
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Dinner at Caffe Villagio with TableOfATE

caffe villagio, restaurant, sable square, cape town, south africa, review, meditteranean, greek, eatery, eateries, catering, conference, eats, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI’m not sure if I mentioned it before but I don’t have satellite TV and we just recently got given a flat screen for my husband’s birthday after the tube in our 8 year old TV went “poof” in February. My son didn’t have any TV at all for the first 2 years of his life and was only introduced to Barney when his sister came along a year later.

People often ask me where I find time to blog despite being fairly busy at work, church, gym and blogging events and I guess a big part of the answer is that I rarely watch TV. My husband and I will go through a series box set in the space of a week once in a while but as far as watching TV shows I find it to be a waste of time and rarely worth it.

caffe villagio, restaurant, sable square, cape town, south africa, review, meditteranean, greek, eatery, eateries, catering, conference, eats, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsSince so many of the cooking shows in South Africa require a satellite dish I am often completely out of the loop when it comes to Masterchef, Chopped and the rest and I think I completely missed the gastronomy trend because of it. I’m not much of a cook book reader and rarely rely on anything else but the internet for recipes and I’m not even much of a magazine consumer. Every now and then I wonder if this makes me a failure at being a food blogger. I fell into this community more or less by accident when I started posting recipes that I had baked and I’m at a point now where I am questioning if I should even call myself a food blogger any more.

caffe villagio, restaurant, sable square, cape town, south africa, review, meditteranean, greek, eatery, eateries, catering, conference, eats, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

Songstress Auriol Hays and Acoustic Element

I am all for trying new things and would happily eat something weird (not Fear Factor kind of weird!) and wonderful but whether I would try my hand at making something I can’t find at my local supermarket, I would probably not do so in my own kitchen. Recipes that require a trip to a specialty market or different town would probably also be steered clear of and I often find that foodie goody bags received at events are amazing when it comes to this. Talk about bringing the unusual straight to my grubby paws! LOVE IT!

caffe villagio, restaurant, sable square, cape town, south africa, review, meditteranean, greek, eatery, eateries, catering, conference, eats, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

Falafel, dolmades and croquettes

Which brings me to restaurant reviews… Now, if I wasn’t the sole provider to my family of four and had a bit more money lying around I would definitely make new eateries a priority as I love eating out. My kids are incredibly well behaved and we have left “Spur-type” establishments behind a while ago now. Evening events are still a bit troublesome, especially during the week when they have school the next day, but this will improve as they get older.

There is a wealth of those “in between” kind of restaurants where the relaxed atmosphere makes it easy for families to enjoy a meal together without the limited franchise type “Kiddies meal” options on the menu. Caffe Villagio in Sable Square is one of those places.

caffe villagio, restaurant, sable square, cape town, south africa, review, meditteranean, greek, eatery, eateries, catering, conference, eats, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

Main course

I was invited to dine with TableOfATE with IntertwEAT last night and when they announced that Caffe Villagio was the restaurant on Twitter last week, I was over the moon. I celebrated my 30th birthday at Caffe Villagio but haven’t really been back since. This Mediterranean themed restaurant ALWAYS brings quality food to the table. They have a real talent of packing punches of flavour into bite-sized foods, tapas style, which means you can try more dishes and you don’t have to debate for ages over which delicious item on the menu will get your attention that day.

Last night we could sample prawn and feta phyllo baskets, savoury cheesecake and mini aubergine cashew & avo hummus wraps as roving canapés with the most delicious sparkling wine (I know we’re not allowed to call it champagne unless it comes from France) I’ve ever had. We then sat down and were introduced to the jars of sundried tomato and chilli pesto, tzatziki and aubergine and feta dip that was placed around the table. Baskets of mini pita breads were placed on the table and we were invited to tuck in. The sundried tomato and chilli pesto never made it to the other side of the table as two diners claimed it as theirs for the night and spread it on EVERYTHING! The main course was a plate of treats that many claimed has the best chicken and leek pie they had ever tasted. I was a fan of the mini lamb shwarma and the marquee burger. The smoked salmon wrap was also really delicious but I couldn’t really finish it all as I was so full by that stage and dessert was still coming!

caffe villagio, restaurant, sable square, cape town, south africa, review, meditteranean, greek, eatery, eateries, catering, conference, eats, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

Dessert plate

Dessert was another plate of treats that encompassed a decadent chocolate brownie which was amazing with the fresh strawberry they served it with and a pistachio nut baklava AND a white chocolate salted caramel cheesecake that went home with me because I just couldn’t eat anymore. This promptly got eaten by my husband when I got home but I was allowed a teeny, tiny taste ;). DELICIOUS!

I could go on and on but I’m pretty sure this is one of my longest blog posts EVER and at the end of the day, all you need to know is that if you are in Cape Town, get your butt down to Sable Square (down the road from Canal Walk) and have a meal at Caffe Villagio. Tell them Tami sent you …you won’t be sorry ;).

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Oat and Chocolate Cookie Bars

baking, chocolate, oats, lunch boxes, treats, recipe, recipes, cookie, bars, chocolate oat cookie bars, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsChocolate is the answer…it doesn’t matter what the question is. I’m thinking about making that my motto because chocolate is definitely what I turn to when I’m stressed or need to forget about my worries for a while.

Yes, I know chocolate isn’t good for you but it must be better than drugs or alcohol so I’d happily be a chocolate addict any day. Work and life in general has been frantically busy recently so I have stepped away from Writers Boot camp for the moment and I will hopefully get back to it if things calm down in time.

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This is the biltong soup of awesomness. It tastes even better than it looks. Go buy Good Housekeeping August 2014 issue now!

The August issue of Good Housekeeping hit the shelves on Monday and you will find me, Lexi and Emma on page 122. There isn’t actually a page numberan advertorial so find page 120 and then go another 2 pages to your right. I had such a blast doing that shoot (despite being camera shy) and met loads of awesome people. Bianca Comer is a lovely makeup artist and Neville Lockhart is a fabulous photographer (who gets a little twitch every time he is asked to shoot in a chrome filled kitchen).

I made these Oat and Chocolate Cookie Bars over the weekend because I NEEDED to bake (to make me feel sane again) and they turned out great. The recipe was originally seen on Table for Two blog but I swapped out one cup of sugar for coconut and it turned out great.

Oat and Chocolate Cookie Bars

250g butter, at room temperature

250ml sugar

5ml Nomu vanilla extract

2 eggs, at room temperature

80ml milk

625ml flour

250ml coconut

750ml oats

5ml bicarbonate of soda (1 level teaspoon)

Filling

397g condensed milk

200g dark chocolate

80ml butter

5ml vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and line 20x30cm roasting pan with baking paper leaving enough around the edges for the paper to hang over the sides. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy before adding eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Sift flour into another bowl and stir remaining dry ingredients into it. Add vanilla to milk and set aside. Scoop dry ingredients into butter mixture, alternating with small quantities of milk. Repeat until both the milk and the flour mixture has been incorporated into the butter and eggs. Press two thirds of the oat mixture into the bottom of the roasting pan and set aside while you make the filling.

Place all the filling ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on 100% power. Remove from microwave to stir well then microwave for another 2 minutes. Stir again then pour chocolate mixture onto uncooked oat mixture in roasting pan. Crumble remaining oat mixture over the top (there will be small areas that won’t be covered but mixture will spread) and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and done. Leave to cool in the tin as it will fall apart if you take it out while still hot. Lift paper out of roasting pan and cut into bars or squares and store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks. Makes 30 squares.

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