Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting

Hello all!

My last day of work for the year has arrived. (Minus a few annoying half-days next week.)

A glorious, glorious day indeed. As you can see, I have been rather quiet recently, but now my holidays are here and you won’t be able to shut me up! (You can run, but you can’t hide.)

My festive-y feeling has been kick-started with some pretty Christmas decorations at home, a box of Ninja Bread Men at work, and a countdown for the Greek family arrival next week.

I’d been set on baking some gingerbread men for the office as a little Christmas gesture, but then, to my excitement, I came across these AWESOME cookie cutters:

From that moment, I knew…. (cue epic music) that I was meant to buy these cutters and bake some ninjas for my peeps at work.

They really did go down a treat, and even as I sit here with an empty tuppaware next to me – I can still smell the gingery goodness. Maybe one day I will share my recipe with you all. πŸ˜‰

Expect more festive happiness from me in the next few weeks. :):):)

Zozette

xoxo

“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

Catch up, catch up, catch up.

How time flies when you’re deeply stressed and trying to figure out your life.

But HURRAH, I’ve actually managed to squeeze in some “me time” in this deadline-ridden life of mine. (Mind you, I am currently in bed rather sick right now… but I’ll take the “me time” where I can get it…)

Come fourth of July I am, with out doubt, temporarily American. (In preparation for my possible future residence in the US perhaps? – You know? The American dream? Picket fences and all?) My lovely American friends throw a fantastic Independence day party every year. (This is obviously an ideal way to feed my love for American pop culture and such things.) I am always guaranteed a dessert spread of note when visiting Miss Gina or Miss Megan. This year was no different.

Although Miss Megan was enjoying July fourth in AMERICA (Jealous…) Miss Gina made sure there were no rumblies in our tummies. Cupcakes in cones (Such a cute idea! Will definitely be making these sometime.), American-style choc chip cookies, ice-cream sandwiches and the ever famous Keip chocolate brownies. (Oh, how I long for these brownies on a weekly basis.)

Happy independence day to all the American peeps out there! (And especially my American buddies here in SA.) :] – even though this blog is almost a month overdue…

While we’re speaking of cakes and such delights… I thought I’d show y’all my second cake-y creation. This one was a request from my aunt who wanted to surprise my cousin with a Spongebob Squarepants cake for his 19th birthday. (What 19 year old doesn’t want a Spongebob cake?!)

My initial response was obviously (As it usually is, in my case) panic. What if my first cake was a case of beginner’s luck and now every cake hereafter will become the disaster of all baked good disasters?

However, I am glad to say, my panic was unnecessary. My skills seem to be improving! *Pats self on the back*

I’ve decided that I’d be quite happy to take orders from this day forth. Keep my little cakey business in mind, if you ever need some customized baked yummies.

As usual, I will attempt to update more often!

Until then…

Much love and light…

Zozette

xoxo

“Working nine to five, what a way to make a living…”

(Well actually, working nine to five-thirty…)

And so employment is finally upon me.Β  (Cue the Hallelujah chorus)

This is the main reason why I’ve been so quiet recently… The art of juggling work and well, anything else, is a pretty tough one.

But here I am, and I am very happy to be here, spreading a little blog-love. Let’s catch you up…

Firstly, a little while ago, Charlie Chaplin’s birthday brought on many new readers to my small, little, strange blog. Which was a fantastical surprise. Scary, but wonderful! I’m quite pleased as to how many different parts of the world accessed my blog. Very interesting to see. πŸ™‚ With many supportive and lovely new readers, came a few painfully rude ones. Luckily, the rainbows out-weighed the rain… and so I’m not really bothered about any negative feedback I may have gotten. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Let’s just keep the comments polite though, if you please?

In between the horrors of work, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few fun outings and whatnot. Exhibit A: The Market on Main.

In the middle of town, (“town” being the central point of Johannesburg. A little dodgy now, but quite spectacular in its heyday) I found it incredibly surprising to discover a lovely artsy fartsy market, filled with quirky and lovely stalls. My buddies and I enjoyed a wholewheat pancake, then browsed the thrift and food stalls. Some really interesting people out and about. (Including the dude with dreadlocks down to the floor and his equally “dreaded out” girlfriend.) Reminded me of my Camden market days. (Speaking of, I need to go back there soon, I think.)

Then we took a little walk up the road towards our parked car and stopped off at an art gallery. It was closed, but we got to see the rather interesting outdoor decor. (Including shoe-planters walking up the walls!)

As per usual, a fun day, surrounded by fun people. Hurrah!

Exhibit A – The day the coolest kids ever attacked the market on Main

A week later, my little sister celebrated her 14th birthday and I decided to channel my inner “Cake Boss”. (Which I thoroughly enjoyed!) Seriously considering doing a cake decorating course of some kind! Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you…. My Homer Simpson birthday cake – complete with squint eyes and a giant doughnut. (Exhibit B). Chocolate cake and chocolate butter cream. Yummmmy….

For my first fondant covered cake, I don’t think I did too badly! πŸ˜€


Exhibit B – Homer in his doughnut, being demolished by some hungry savages.

So, whose birthday’s next? I need to bake another one! (No, seriously…)

Hopefully work will allow me some more blog-time soon… I’m having withdrawels!

Until next time…

Zozette

xoxo

PS: Market on Main photos courtesy of Mr Danny B… πŸ˜€

“Sweet like chocolate boy”

Naughty, naughty me.

Long time, no blog. After getting a good rap on the knuckles, I am back to sharing the goings-on of my fabulously eventful life. Mind you, “eventful” doesn’t necessarily refer to productivity of any kind. It matters not. The universe has something rather amazing planned for me, I can tell. The things I do in the meantime, are but preparing me for the awesomeness that is to come!

In other news: My waist-line put it’s foot down a few weeks ago… (Foot…?) No more baking for a while… I can’t roll into job interviews… It just doesn’t look professional. (This philosophy may change, should a sudden cooking inspiration strike. Apologies to my hips in advance.)

Here are a few of my recently baked yummies:

Cookies! After my Valentines eats, I decided that I really wanted to try Annie’s eats Chocolate cookie recipe. It was a slightly stickier dough to work with, but they were, in my opinion, yummier. Not too sweet, but still cocoa-ey. I made them for my brother from another mother who has been confined to a hospital bed for over a month (Now finally home – Yay!), due to a few broken bones all over the place. Hopefully they helped reduce a bit of the crapness that hospital life brings. Feel better Massi!

I also had to make a billion (Okay…50) little gingerbread men for my sister to take to school. They were kinda adorable. (And delicious!) You can see how small they were in relation to my hand… and if you know how small my hands are, you’ll be even more impressed! – Note: Y’all should be careful. The kitchen is a scary place. (See the above collage for a photo of my tragic injury.)

Also on my list of fun things I have experienced/baked recently… My dear friend Mathapelo just celebrated her 22nd birthday (It’s ok Mattie, we’ll be geriatrics together…) and a few of us got together to surprise her with a lunch. :] The days events included; A yummy fondue outdoors. The rain pelting down onto our yummy fondue. Mathapelo deciding that “The rain’s not that bad!”. The rain finally driving an extremely soaked party indoors. A revealing of my not-so-successful-but-successful-enough-to-devour Glee themed Birthday Cupcakes. And a full-on attack of Glee karaoke.

A highly recommended day plan. Such fun!

So don’t expect any more baked goods to grace the pages of my blog for a while. Instead, I will find many other amusing things to talk about… (Trust me- endless talking is no problem for me.) Coming up soon: I have no idea, but it’s gonna be good.

Stay tuned.

Zozette

xoxo

“Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!”

Ever since the day I came across Bakerella’s blog and marveled at the perfection that was her delectable creation, Cake pops… I knew that I, too, one day had to taste these fancies and savour their yumminess myself.

I decided to try them out for my birthday party. (I’m not normally the type to test out new recipes on guests, but luckily – these came out too delicious!)

A bit finicky to make, but I would definitely do it again!

Zozette’s slightly mucked-up, but oh SO good Cake pops:

Ingredients:

One box of Ina Paarmans instant chocolate cake (I would have baked my own, but the risk of a flop was too high for my liking.)

One packet of Ina Paarmans chocolate icing (Something I had in the grocery cupboard. I normally make my own.)

A 200g bar of Cadburys milk chocolate

A 90g bar of Nestle Bournville dark chocolate

Cupcake sprinkle toppings

Popsicle Sticks

Instructions:

1. Bake the cake as per instructions.

2. Mix the icing as per instructions.

3. Finely crumble the baked cake into a large bowl. (Although you may not be able to bring yourself to crumble-up a perfectly baked cake, I assure you, it is worth it!)

4. Mix half of the icing into the cake, until all of the cake bits are glued together. (I used the other half of the icing to frost my chocolate cupcakes!)

5. Take up small portions of the mixture and roll them into balls, leaving them on a tray covered in wax paper. Place the tray in the fridge to cool and firm up the cakes.

6. In the meantime, melt down your chocolate on a double boiler. ie: The chocolate goes inside a metal bowl, which rests inside a pot filled with boiling water. Don’t stir the chocolate too much or the consistency will become lumpy and sticky. (Not good)

7. Bring out the cake balls. Take a popsicle stick, dip it in the melted chocolate and press it into the centre of a cake ball. Do this with all of them. You can place them back in the fridge for a while so that the stick… er… really… sticks. ( I didn’t really have time for this step – and also it was mid-summer- You can just imagine the horror. I highly recommend you chill them before proceeding.)

8. Then you take the Cake pops and dip them into the melted chocolate. Cover the whole ball. Let the excess chocolate drip off and leave them, cake-side-up, somewhere to set. (At this point I was fishing cake balls out of my chocolate with the aid of my popsicle sticks. Real chocolate, although much yummier, is a lot thicker when melted. Thicker=Trickier. I ended up letting them set candy apple style, cake side down.)

9. Sprinkle with edible decorations and allow to set.

10. Serve and laugh about the days when you only dreamed of eating Cake pops…

This recipe can vary greatly, depending on what cake and cake icing you decide to use. Bakerella’s original combination was Red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting. (Which sounds AMAZING, and is next on my Cake Pop try-out list.) She also uses cooking chocolate, which is a lot easier to coat things with and most probably cheaper! (My good chocolate tasted better though, I can tell you that!)

Extremely scrumptious and well-received by my party people!

Zozette

xoxo

“Ice, ice baby.”

Hiya everyone.

It is me again. (Well obviously. Who else could it be really?)

Today, we are making mini Rooibos Berry Ice-lollies for those wonderfully sweltering summer days. If you’re anything like me, you can only handle ice-creams and frozen desserts in small quantities. These are perfect for a quick, bite-sized cool down. Painfully simple to make and super flexible in terms of flavour.

I was set on making something tasty and frozen, because my sister has an unhealthy relationship with our ice-tray. (Being a brace-face, she is not allowed to chomp down on an entire ice bucket.) I thought that if the icy morsel were tastier than an ice-cube, it would be enough iciness for one day and she’d be less tempted to keep chomping. So here are my:

Rooibos and Berry Ice-lollies

Instructions:

1. So easy! All you have to do, is make a small jug of homemade ice tea. I mixed together about 250ml boiling water, 1 Rooibos tea bag and 50 ml Secrets of the valley berry juice. (This can all be adjusted. Try out different types of tea. You may want to add sugar/honey/more juice, depending on how sweet you’d prefer.)

2. While the tea is cooling down, arrange some silicon cupcake cups side by side in a freezer-safe container.

3. Place a frozen berry in each cup. (You can use almost any berry here. I used some blackberries.)

4. Poke a toothpick into each berry to create a little “lolly stick” for each lolly.

5. Fill in the cups with some of your iced-tea mixture. (If you have any tea left-over just throw it in a glass with some ice and enjoy.)

6. Put the container of prepared cups into the freezer until the iced tea is solid.

7. When frozen, pop them out of the silicon cup and enjoy! This recipe made about 12 small cups.

Zozette

xoxo

“Just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world.”

What a lovely past few days I have had. An encounter with wild animals at Wolves on Friday and then a pack of crazies at Vovo Telo on Saturday. What fun.

Vovo Telo at 44 Stanley Aukland Park. Yummy. That’s all I can say. It’s surprisingly student/unemployed budget friendly and has a nice arsty fartsy atmosphere. We went there for brunch (I was working up the appetite for a good breakfast) but alas, We were 15 minutes too late. Make sure you’re there before 11am if you want to order from the breakfast menu. I ordered a Chicken pesto focaccia sandwhich instead, which was deeeee-lish. (Loaded with garlic and many green basil bits though – so it’s a no-go during romantic outings!) The fresh juices are also to die for! Freshly pressed apple juice! So good!

But the most notable part of the meal was definitely the desserts! A morsel of heaven in the form of a Lemon meringue tart for me and the decadent Chocolate cake for everyone else. Great place. Amazing friends. Definite recommendation. :]

How does one work off a meal like this, you may ask? A very active game of Glee Karaoke Revolution afterwards of course!!! If you’re a Gleek, you have to invest in this super fun Singstar-like game. Lots of giggles, some of the best people I know and reasonably in-tune singing. Fantastic combination.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”
-Oprah Winfrey

Zozette

xoxo

“Just love yourself and you’re set.”

This post is dedicated to all my single friends out there who need a little love this Valentines day. As we all know, the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. This is why I decided to make use of the fantastic box of cookie cutters I received, from my lovely friend Mathapelo, for my birthday.

To all my single buddies out there (And to a couple not-so-single friends. I won’t name names, just in case there is any animosity among the singles.);

Have a Happy Valentines day, stuffing yourself with COOKIES!

I found quite a yummy sounding sugar cookie dough recipe from foodie blogger Annie’s Eats and decided to try it. It was a really nice dough to work with and the cookies seemed to come out really well. My sister tasted them and has now been eating them non-stop since the moment they came out the oven. So they must be at least halfway decent. The piping, on the other hand, needs some work. But I’m almost certain my second try will look much better. Those of you who are to see me this weekend; I hope you enjoy my baked treats. May they fill the loveless void that Valentine’s day brings.

On a related note, (By related, I mean there are baked goods involved and I eat them.) I went to Wolves for the first time today. Soooo lovely. Reminds me of the Camden market days, with vintage decor and quirky people. I had the scrummiest Red Velvet Cupcake ever and a perfectly yummy homemade lemonade. Five star rating people. I really loved the whole vibe. I’m definitely going back. (Soon)

Vivi and Mary-Anne also got themselves a chocolate mustache, which comes with the aptly named, Excuse me sir, but there is a mustache in my hot chocolate. A very cute idea and quite delicious too! If you’re ever driving around the Illovo area in Johannesburg and you suddenly feel like something tasty, please do yourself a favour and drop by Wolves.

A great start to what I imagine is going to be a fantastic weekend! Brunch and Karaoke Glee Revolution tomorrow! What could be better?!

Zozette

xoxo

“Happy Birthday to ya! Happy bi-irth-daaay…”

Happy Birthday to me!!! I am 22 now… and so I think that I must be old.

My most amazingest cake EVER! (Ok, it was from my 21st last year – but isn’t it amazing?)

“All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, β€˜Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.”

– J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

Peter Pan and Wendy


Zozette

xoxo

 

 

“Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic…”

What to do while one is unemployed (and willing to spend the last few pennies in their wallet…)

Have a picnic!

Grab a handful of close buddies, a blanket, board games, some yummy goodies – and stick em in your picnic basket. Skip off to your nicest botanical garden (In our case – The stunning Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden) and enjoy a nice day in the sun.

Heeeey! Look at me! Imma picnicing!

Get everyone to bring something to cut costs and make sure you take your student card with! Discount!!! – YEAH. (Let’s not mention that my student card is actually not valid anymore. I graduated over a year ago….)

Check out the spread!

Danica and Taboo (The bestest, noisiest game for a bunch of Europeans and an American to play)

Who’s happy she came on a picnic?! Vivi is! Vivi is!

I can see you Megan… (Taboo brings out the ninja within)

Yummy yummy peanut butter cups!

See? Picnics make you happy. Even when you’re broke. Join us!

Extreme Super fail at a multiple jump shot. Danica’s all “High School Musical” and Viv’s kinda celebratory. I, on the other hand, seem to be squatting. In. Every. Single. “Jumping.” Photo.

What fun indeed!

Zozette

xoxo

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