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 ;).

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/name.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon

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.

biltong, soup, recipe, nestle, good housekeeping, advertorial, rumtumtiggs, tami magnin

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.

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/DSC_0006-RS.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Leek Casserole

knorr, flavour, experience, cooking, event, diet, vegetables, products, recipe, dinner, healthy, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

“You need to eat more veggies and you need to eat more veggies! EVERBODY needs to eat more veggies!!” This was the sum total of the talk we heard from Dietician Megan Pentz-Kluytz at the Knorr Flavour Experience event I attended two weeks ago. We have all heard about how South Africa is near the top when it comes to obesity and this leads to a higher rate of heart attacks and lifestyle diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol.

knorr, flavour, experience, cooking, event, diet, vegetables, products, recipe, dinner, healthy, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsKnorr has gone out of their way to limit the amount of salt they use in their packet sauces and salad dressings and I no longer use any other stock since they brought out their stock pots. Yes, yes I know I should be making my own stock but I don’t have the freezer space. Maybe one day when I get a chest freezer I will make time to do it myself.

knorr, flavour, experience, cooking, event, diet, vegetables, products, recipe, dinner, healthy, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWe were divided into groups and started making the lunch we would be eating. I really appreciated the fact that they fed us a starter before we had to start cooking and we only cooked for about an hour or so before we could eat our meal. I’ve been to a few cook along events where the Cape Town laid back atmosphere meant we starved while we were cooking and ended up eating at 10pm. This was anything but ideal especially since 95% of us had to wake up for work the next morning.

knorr, flavour, experience, cooking, event, diet, vegetables, products, recipe, dinner, healthy, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsOur group made roasted veggies where the peeled, chopped root veg was drizzled with 15ml canola oil and 60ml honey then a veggie stock pot was plopped in the middle before a lid of foil sealed it before it was popped into the oven at 180 degrees celcius for 25 minutes. I usually roast my veg at 200 degrees without the foil lid for about an hour but the Knorr way was surprisingly easy and delicious. I will be making it this way from now on but remember to get to know your oven. When I made it at home I removed the foil halfway through and baked it at 200 degrees for about 40 minutes. This can then be served on rocket leaves with a crumble of your favourite feta cheese. YUMMY!

knorr, flavour, experience, cooking, event, diet, vegetables, products, recipe, dinner, healthy, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI’m making the Chicken, Sweet Potato and Leek Casserole for supper tonight but I have a feeling I won’t get a chance to take a picture before the light fades. The recipe is available on the What’s for Dinner cards you will find dotted around displays at your local supermarket but you can also register to be part of the Knorr community HERE . I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit me as I always do.

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Leek Casserole

Ingredients

  • 15ml oil
  • 800g chicken breasts, with skin on and bone in
  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced
  • 5ml garlic, grated
  • 5ml ginger, grated
  • 300g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 25ml tomato paste
  • 500ml cold water
  • 1 packet Knorr Chicken a la King dry cook in sauce powder
  • Cooked brown rice and steamed mixed vegatables to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and heat oil in oven safe pot that has a tight fitting lid.
  2. Brown chicken pieces in hot oil and remove from pan.
  3. Fry leeks, garlic and ginger briefly before adding potatoes.
  4. Stir well then add tomato paste, water and cook in sauce powder and mix until well combined and starting to boil and thicken.
  5. Add chicken back into pot, cover with lid or foil and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes until chicken is done.
  6. Cut chicken up into bite sized chunks and serve with rice and veggies. Serves 4-6
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/chicken-sweet-potato-leek-casserole/

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/tomato-soup.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures, writing, challenge, #writersbootcampZA, reading, chocolate, sparkly things, fluffy things, rumtumtiggs, tami magninGuilty Pleasures

CHOCOLATE…Lindt, Tomes or Godiva.

Reading young adult fiction and munching on a can of sour cream and chive Pringles.

Drooling over sky high heels that I could NEVER walk in. So many pretty but impractical shoes.

Sparkly things like Indian inspired earrings and Swarofski jewellery.

Fluffy things like faux fur wraps, vests and handbags.

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/guilty-pleasures.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon

Which insect would you choose to be?

writers boot camp, writing, challenge, animal, insect, day 17, catepillar, photography, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs, bugs, insects, creepy crawlies

If you could choose to be an animal or an insect, what would you choose to be? This is the topic for today’s #writersbootcampZA and my first thought was, “a cat”. Oh to be someone whose sole purpose was to find the next best patch of sun to sleep in all day and be treated like royalty.

Then again, this may only be the case in more well off households and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t get to choose who your owners were. When it comes to insects most of them give me the heebie jeebies but if I had to choose I would probably go with catepillar.

You get to eat as much as you want then go to sleep for a while. Then, when you wake up, you actually look better than you did before you went to sleep. Now that’s how life should be ;).

Let me know what you would choose. I’d love to know.

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/fuzzy-catepillar.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon