this week i wrapped up a new blog design for the wonderful local food stylist, recipe developer and food blogger Sam Linsell of Drizzle & Dip. Sam and i actually live in the same neighbourhood – we are known to bump into each other at our local woolworths (she once caught me there lingering in the cheese section). so it was a lovely project for me to work on, especially because i got to look at her food photography all day long. something which you shouldn’t do when you haven’t eaten, by the way.
here’s a bit of fun for you on this fine Saturday. maybe you went out last night, had a few drinks, or smashed two bottles of great wine over dinner (yes that’s what we did). in which case it’s highly possible you’re in the mood for a big juicy burger right now to get your weekend going. Fat & Furious Burger is a project by french graphic designers Thomas & Quentin, of Studio Furious, who started putting together elaborate burger ideas during their lunch breaks.
have i ever told you how addicted we are to MasterChef? only the Australian one, mind you. we found the American one way too competitive! and the South African one is just embarrassing. so, my husband and i are complete addicts. the latest season just ended (DON’T google or go to the official website if you don’t want spoilers to ruin your day!) so i have had to fill my MasterChef gap with other food related distractions like that movie Chef, which i really enjoyed, and delving into the occasional food blog.
so last week i came down with the mother of all colds. right now i have a cough so fierce you might think i’m a seasoned smoker (i’m not). apparently they call it a productive cough. well, my cough is being super productive. me – not so much. i have been resting and drinking lots of water and playing too much plants vs zombies on my iPad.
i have been wanting to share this with you since my kitchen tea in September, my bridesmaids organised a printed book filled with a wonderful collection of recipes collected from all the women in my life. the recipes were either their favourites, ones they knew i’d love, or ones that had a special history (like the Buttermilk Sponge cake that Jessica and i have been baking since primary school, or any of the multitude of recipes my mom included). it was designed by Pauli and illustrated with sweet watercolours by Amy. you can faintly see the embossing on the cover – Miss Moss / Mrs Visser – a long running joke that i should change the name of the blog now that i’m married (i won’t!)
i thought perhaps a nice challenge for 2014 would be to try all the recipes in the book, and possibly share them with all of you. i can’t promise exceptional food photography or styling, but at least you’ll be able to try out my mom’s Malva Pudding, my mother in law’s buttermilk rusks (with coffee in the morning, just the best) or my grandmother’s fudge – which actually made an appearance at our wedding and was a sweet, sweet hit.
when we were in NYC we found it pretty easy to eat out all the time because there was so much variety, and you could eat quite cheaply on the go if you needed to (which was amazing for lazy people like us). but it made me think about when we were going to go back home, and how we’d have to get back into the routine of cooking for ourselves, and doing it without wasting – plus on a budget. cooking for 2 can produce a lot of waste if you’re not clever about it, and you have to be good about using your leftovers or re-using ingredients. i always find myself in the supermarket after work just staring at the food aisles thinking, what on earth can i cook tonight?
so when i found 1-2 Simple cooking by friends Joy and Tiffany i subscribed right away. not only do their recipes truly look simple, healthy and delicious, but they have also categorised them into handy sections like “fast food”, gluten-free (for all of us trying to avoid the carbs…), vegetarian, vegan etc etc. keep your eye on these two.
1-2 Simple Cooking wants to revolutionize the way singles and couples cook and eat at home. We understand the challenges that come along with cooking for one or one other person – food waste, meal monotony, the dreaded clean up! It’s difficult as it is to learn how to cook, and even harder to maintain on a daily basis. That’s why we’re here – to teach you basic tips, simple recipes, and techniques to simplify your life and empower you to become the home chef you’ve always wanted to be. Cooking should never be fussy and food should always be fun and approachable.
Food Studio is a Norwegian collective of food professionals, designers and photographers who love, well, food. and natural, Nordic food at that. i first came upon their beautiful design work done by Oslo based studio Bielke + Yang, and then delved a bit into what makes Food Studio tick. they host interesting events, like this one that marries food + music, and set out to challenge the daily way we think about and work with food.
Food Studio is about sharing stories of people that believe in good and honest food. With good and honest food we mean food that both tastes good, has a positive impact on our health, food that´s responsibly produced, food that´s a result of plants and animals being treated well, and food that inspires us!
if you don’t read Food52, you should. at the very least subscribe to their newsletter, where you will learn such things as how to make any burger in 5 steps, and how you can stretch one batch of tomato sauce into 5 dinners. they just launched their shop Provisions which stocks kitchen essentials and even pantry ingredients. some interesting items include a salt plate and compostable dinnerware.
We believe that great food isn’t just about ingredients, it’s about everything that makes a meal – it’s about the rolling pin you use to roll out dough for a pie; the vintage server you use to cut the pie once it’s baked; and the beautiful plates you serve it on. We wanted to create a shop that reflects this. But we knew we couldn’t stop at just products. So Provisions also gives you great recipes to make your pie — and an article showing you how to roll out dough like a pro.
Photography by James Ransom
you will no doubt remember my old friend Jessica from various posts on the blog, as well as her and husband Luke’s wonderful restaurant Nook in Stellenbosch. after some busy & hectic years they sold Nook and moved to the country for a while, but it wasn’t long before ideas began brewing for their next venture – and that came in the form of The Table at De Meye. already an established eatery, the previous owners Russell and Camilla were sad to sell this little piece of heaven in the winelands – but Jess & Luke planned to continue the tradition of family-style dining inspired by local & seasonal ingredients.
…and this past saturday was their first official lunch! we ate charcuterie, fresh bread and sunchoke soup to start, and then the table was laden with plates of braised beef shortrib, mashed potatoes with lashings of farm butter, sauteed oyster mushrooms and sugar snap peas, pickled baby beets, and a delicious baby onion tarte tatin served with micro-greens. dessert was quince served two ways – poached with celery & ginger ice-cream (!) and a picture perfect quince souffle.
if you’ve ever been to the The Table before you know that usually guests sit at rustic tables under the trees outside, but this weekend winter really arrived in the Cape, so we sat inside the main building – which used to be an old dairy shed – next to the cosy fire. you’ll see lots of pics of the lovely interior below, as well as some images of the farm itself (and the farm dogs!). De Meye is a family-owned boutique winery just outside Stellenbosch, so you can do wine tastings right next door to the restaurant to pick the wine you’re going to have with your meal (so smart).
eating at The Table really is an awesome outing, and a perfect excuse to get out of town for the day. they’re open Saturdays and Sundays for long, lazy lunches. you can contact Jessica & Luke via their website to book a table.
all photos taken by me.
it all started with cheese.
i fell in love with Taleggio cheese since Jess introduced it to me. so i made this pie on an icy cold day while on holiday with my family last winter. it was a hit – the cheese and the mushroom and the flaky pastry are a perfect combination. you can actually see my mom slapping my brother’s hand away from it in one of the photos. it was gone in 5 minutes.
it’s also a super easy recipe to make, especially since you use ready-made puff pastry that can be bought at any good supermarket. you all know i’m not the most prolific cook – so if i can get away with making something delicious with minimal effort, then that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
taleggio can be quite difficult to find*, and the imported Italian varieties are often pretty expensive. you can substitute with other semi-soft cheeses like fontina, havarti or raclette – though i would highly recommend hunting down some taleggio if you can! if you buy an imported variety from a local deli the cheese might have quite a pungent smell, don’t be put off by that – it actually has a far milder and almost fruity taste (especially once it’s cooked). don’t use mozzarella as it would probably prove too bland in this pie.
* for local readers: you can find Taleggio at Checkers or Woolies – look for the Portobello brand.
Mushroom & Taleggio Cheese Pie
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced (basically one punnet of mushrooms)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (if you can’t find fresh, freeze dried would also work)
375g fresh puff pastry (a standard roll of puff pastry)
1 small packet of fresh rocket (arugula)
300g Taleggio, sliced
1 egg, beaten
– Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.
– Reduce the heat, add the garlic and thyme leaves. Season with pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Take off the heat & leave to cool.
– Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface into a rectangular shape. Try to make it as long as you can so that you have enough space to spread the filling quite thinly.
– Scatter the rocket over 1 half of the pastry, then top with the mushrooms and sliced Taleggio.
– Brush the pastry edges with egg and fold the pastry in half over the filling, pressing to seal.
– Put on a baking sheet and prick the pastry with a fork.
– Set the pie aside to rest while you preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F
– Egg wash the pastry and decorate as you fancy. Make a few slashes in the top before putting it in the oven.
– Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Serve hot!
sweet things + sweet looks. let’s not over think it.
oh no, don’t tell me it’s another wedding related post.
to be fair, cakes are delicious and amazing – SO – i hope you don’t mind that this post kind of has to do with the wedding. because the thought of the cakes makes me very excited. if everything goes according to plan there will be more than one cake. but not fancy tiered wedding cakes, just a few normal sized yet wonderfully tasty cakes to suit everyone’s taste. and by everyone i mean the two of us because we simply can’t choose.
salted caramel… vanilla buttercream… tres leches… maybe something with strawberries in it… or perhaps a pavlova cake?! the options are endless! but here are some i like the look and sound of.
the cutest ever carrot cake by Cereal Magazine:
chocolate cake with mascarpone frosting + pink lime cake with cream & coconut cheese frosting by Call Me Cupcake:
burnt almond torte by Photissière:
chocolate brownie mousse cake by Chasing Delicious:
coconut cream cake by Always With Butter:
lemon & poppyseed cake by anna-mavritta:
chocolate banana cake with maple glazed walnuts by My New Roots:
strawberry & chocolate cake by Matchbox Kitchen:
blood orange and rosemary cake by What Katie Ate:
salted caramel chocolate fudge cake by Sweetapolita:
i discovered Australian based food blog Eat This Food thanks to The Design Files, and immediately got caught up in the fantastic combination of fun graphics, great photography and amazingly tasty looking food (of course). The blog is run by three Tasmanian creatives who are now all based in Melbourne – Pat Breen does the cooking, Sean Fennesy takes the photos and designer Jess Lillico is responsible for the graphics. everything about Eat This Food is right up my alley – especially the handy downloadable PDFs. i hope these guys are paving their way to a recipe book, because i would snap it up in a second. please click on the images to be taken to the recipe – and see all of them here.
all photographs & graphics by Eat This Food
now, i know that people love to make fun of the many, many food photos you see on Instagram these days – but i for one love them. they are usually the number 1 photo that i tend to favourite, especially when the food in question involves the simple and best things in life – bread, butter and cheese.
so i was browsing through a flickr group called Food + Film when i realised that all the pictures i really loved, and clicked through to, were taken by photographer Isabelle Bertolini. based in paris, Isabelle takes most of her photos with a variety of film cameras (see her blog for more of her work and a list of cameras in her kit). be sure to visit her flickr where you can browse through the rest of her food photos and another lovely set called simple things.
all photographs by Isabelle Bertonlini. click through for the original.
all photographs by Isabelle Bertonlini.