Braai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!

Braai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!
Braai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!
Braai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!
Braai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!
IMG_4236.jpgBraai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!
Braai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!
Braai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!
IMG_4164.jpg
Braai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!

Heritage day is around the corner and I have paired up with Netflorist to give away an awesome prize. It is proudly South African and it is perfect for the man in your life! Netflorist caters for all occasions, not just the one’s we remember such as heritage day! Read to the end to see the giveaway. 
I am a braai loving gal and pride myself on my ability to cook with fire. I have my father to thank for that! 
All the countless braai nights and fire builds were not in vain! 

I decided to share a fun recipe that is not only delicious but also gives you a great vegetarian option for braai day. Whether you choose to snack on it or make it the main event, that’s up to you. 

Braai broodjies (BBQ toasted sandwiches) are one of my favourite things at a braai. I mean, let's be honest, cheese on fresh bread flamed to perfection is heaven. These are no different. I’ve shared a basic cheese and tomato because I feel everyone needs that in his or her arsenal and I have also shared a slightly more fancy one. The secret is in the quality cheese and bread so try and find great sourdough that has been freshly baked and melt in your mouth good cheese. 


Serves 5

Ingredients: 

1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 large red onion, sliced
1 loaf sourdough
200 grams butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
250 grams Raclette cheese, grated
250 grams Boerekas or mature cheddar, grated
1 plum tomato, sliced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 handful fresh rocket
100 grams sundried tomatoes in olive oil
Salt and pepper 


Instructions:

In a medium frying pan over a medium heat add a teaspoon of coconut oil. 
Add 3/4 of the sliced onion and gently sauté until soft. Add the balsamic and reduce until the onions become sticky. Once ready set aside. 

Slice the sourdough into even 1cm think pieces. 
Butter both sides of each slice generously. 

Now it is time to build the sandwiches. 
Start with a smear of Dijon mustard. Then add a generous amount of both kinds of cheese. 
For half the toasties add a layer of the fresh onion that you saved. Then add the fresh tomato. Close the sandwiches.
For the other half add the sundried tomatoes and the balsamic onions. Top it with the rocket and close the toasties. 
Season the toasties and they are ready to cook! 

Add them to the braai when the fire is hot. I like to add mine to the side so that they do not burn and get a chance to melt. Once the toast is golden and the cheese has melted, about 6 minutes, they are ready! 

Feast! 

***Competition closed

Prize time: I am giving away a custom engraved biltong slicer to one lucky reader! 

Braai Broodjies for Heritage day + a prize!

All you have to do is comment below with your best braai memory and follow both Netflorist and me on Instagram and you could win! T's and C's apply. Competition for South African residents only. Entries close 21st September at 12 noon. Prize not redeemable for cash. 

Instagram handles:
@netflorist
@trufflejournal

-Melissa 

 

 

Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape

Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape
Visiting Shamwari in the Eastern Cape

For as long as I can remember I have been in love with the African bush. Going on safari has a very special place in my heart. The silence, the fresh air and of course seeing the animals is one of my favourite things in the world. I am the girl who is glued to the TV watching Nat Geo and David Attenborough specials and dreams of watching the wild migration. I have known about Shamwari Game Reserve and the phenomenal work that they do in conservation for several years now, So naturally when the opportunity came up to visit - I jumped at it.

Shamwari game reserve (meaning ‘My Friend” in Shona) is situated in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is an approximately one-hour drive from Port Elizabeth airport. Shamwari is home to the magnificent Big Five. Namely Rhino, Elephant, Leopard, Lion, and Buffalo. It is a place where animals and people live in harmony and the animals roam freely.
Once you arrive in Shamwari, vehicles are left in a parking lot and for the remainder of your stay, transportation occurs in a luxury safari 4x4 vehicle complete with a highly qualified game ranger that will share knowledge and stories of the bush. 

Shamwari has several luxury resorts, manor houses and tented camps with breath taking scenery. Whether you are traveling as a fun loving family or escaping on a quiet romantic honeymoon, there is an accommodation to suit your needs. Shamwari also hosts corporate team building events and conferences and can cater to your requirements. 
I stayed at Eagles Crag during my stay. A gorgeous luxury hotel fashioned out of stone and glass. The stone seemed to mimic the open rock faces that surrounded the camp.

The rooms are detached suites that sleep a maximum of two adults per suite. The rooms have private plunge pools surrounded with lush bush offering ultimate privacy. The rooms are fitted with air-conditioner, mini bar facilities, bird spotting scopes and a glass shower that looks out onto nature! The rooms have king sized beds that you can get lost in. 
The food at Shamwari has a local South African flair. You can experience a traditional braai night (South African BBQ) and go on a taste journey with foods such as Potjie and Pap. Breakfast is served before the morning game drive and dinner is served with the fire place crackling after the evening drive. 

There is two scheduled game drives a day to explore the reserve and find the animals. As it’s the wild and animals are on their own time and schedule - it can be quite the challenge looking for the game but with knowledgeable Rangers at hand, you are bound to have some exciting finds.  
Be sure to visit the Born Free Foundation while you are at Shamwari. It's a foundation that works with big cats giving them a forever home that is worlds better than the cruel conditions that they came from in captivity. A truly emotional experience. If you would like to support this wonderful cause and read more, click here. 
Shamwari offers world class pampering in their on site Spa and a massage or facial is a must. 
You can also undertake guided walks, which offer a unique experience of seeing species on foot. 
If like me, you are always keen to learn more about the environment and the animals then make a visit to the rehabilitation center - I highly recommend it.
It is imperative that we learn about wild life in order to protect and conserve it. Shamwari conservationists (and so many others) are fighting what can sometimes seem like a losing war against poaching. 
It is emotional to see the exhibits but education is key to future conversation efforts and centers such as this help create awareness.
If you wish to read more and would like to make a donation click here. 

I will say this now, in its own paragraph, in its own moment. Rhino horn is made from the same keratin that makes our up our nails and hair. It has NO medicinal properties what so ever and there is NO scientific evidence to support this claim. It is a cultural belief and a myth. This myth is killing our Rhino and at this stage, if you are reading this, your children will not see a live Rhino in the wild. That is a fact. Let it sink in. 
I commend Shamwari on the war that they are fighting. You can see more here on what is happening to these majestic animals. To read more and donate, click here.

Shamwari has created a five-star experience centered around conservation and the beauty of the wild. It was a magnificent trip that I long for daily. If you can go, go. 
It is worth every second.  Being beside the most sentient and awe inspiring animals in the African bush is priceless.

-Melissa 

Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek

Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
IMG_3939.jpg
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek

I recently visited one of Franschhoek’s newly launched gems that boasts clean lines, chic interior, and food that offers a familiar yet elevated flavour journey that only Reuben Riffel can take you on – meet Reuben’s restaurant and bar, Franschhoek. 

Situated in the heart of the town, this gorgeous space is roughly 40 minutes drive from Cape Town CBD and well worth the trip. Passing gorgeous wine estates and cherry blossoms (at least this time of year) along the way, an added bonus.

The space is ethereal with bright natural light filling the restaurant from the simple bold black center barred windows. The entrance is grand yet understated with a gorgeous marble floor that bounces the light and creates a feeling of space and simplicity. Perfectly chosen artwork gives the space a finishing touch. 
I fell in love with the interiors instantly. 
The restaurant accommodates for long summer lunches outside on the patio or you can make your way inside on a colder day.  There are impeccable design choices at every turn and I must say, even the restrooms impressed me with their unique black basin and gorgeous floral wallpaper. 

The food was described by Reuben as simply “Food I like to eat” with fresh local produce taking front row and center. Each course was a taste explosion and every mouthful was perfect. I couldn’t help but fall in love with every plate, not only for the food but also for the artistry that encompassed every presentation. Simplicity is key and Reuben has taken classical flavours and reimagined them. I enjoyed a glass of crisp Chenin and ended the afternoon off with decadent chocolate fondant and the perfect coffee. 

If you are undecided about the local wines on offer, try the tea and brandy cocktail to start. It will put you in the perfect frame of mind when it comes time to order your pairing partner in crime.

Reuben’s latest offering in Franschhoek, I believe, is not only a result of the natural evolution of his footprint in the valley but an inspired, considered rebirth. 

-Melissa

Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay

Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay
Exploring the Kurland in Plettenberg Bay

Would you like to step back in time into a by gone era? A place where high tea is at 3 pm, polo horses surround you and the interior engulfs you in authentic warmth and charm. 
Meet The Kurland, a luxury boutique hotel offering gracious country living. A property just a stone throw from Plettenberg bay that will transport you back in time! 

Travelling from Cape Town, The Kurland is roughly a little over 6 hours drive out on the N2, the main highway running along the Garden Route. 
If you are flying into Cape Town International you will need to rent a car and trust me, it will be well worth it! The Kurland is situated between majestic mountains and pristine beaches of Nature's Valley. 

The hotel is situated on a 700-hectare private estate that has 12 gorgeous suites offering utter privacy and luxury. The hotel is child-friendly and has several options to engage your little one on your stay including playrooms filled with wonderful toys. 
With an on site spa and tennis court, there is something for Mom and Dad, an oasis to keep the whole family happy. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy you can take a drive with the quad bikes across the property or visit the Polo horses and grounds that are perfectly manicured! You will find the staff exceptionally attentive with every need being fulfilled at a moments notice.

The rooms are lavish with a touch of yesteryear. Each room has a unique theme running through the interior and boasts a fireplace that will keep you very cozy should you visit in the winter like I did. The bathrooms are spacious with under floor heating to keep your toes warm, which is a little touch I am obsessed with! I had possibly one of the best nights sleep I have ever had with a crackling fireplace humming me into dreamland and an engulfing king-size bed!

Executive Chef Leon Coetzee provides an elevated dining experience whilst keeping country charm. A modern take on classic dishes. 
If you are in the mood for high tea then why not enjoy freshly baked scones and cucumber sandwiches. I sure did!   

You need not leave the property during your stay as it caters to every conceivable want. You can go on a hike, visit the horses, go to the spa for the day or get involved in the action packed Polo events. This property offers something for the family, which is a wonderful change to most places that don’t really accommodate the little ones. It was great seeing such a family oriented destination that doesn’t compromise on quality. 

-Melissa 

Kale Parmesan Chips

Kale Parmesan Chips

Crunch is the ultimate texture in my world. I find it utterly satisfying. I used to be obsessed with crisps that are unhealthy, oily and didn't offer any nutritional value. Once I figured out that it was the crunch I was after, I started to shift what I saw as a snack. I decided to rather go after tasty, crunchy snacks that are high in nutritional value and don't leave me with guilt after eating empty calories. A nutritional snack will also leave you satiated rather than hungry 20 minutes later. Making mindful decisions on snacking has been one of the best things I have done to support my decision in leading a healthier lifestyle. 

These kale chips are easy to make and are a fun way to use the dark green leaf. You can play around with toppings. If you are vegan why not try mixing them with some toasted pumpkin seeds and hummus for dipping? 


*Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, stalks removed 
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons coconut oil
  • salt
  • ¼ cup parmesan, finely grated

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Tear the kale leaves into bite sized portions and place them onto a roasting tray. Massage all the leaves with coconut oil until they are evenly coated. Spread them evenly on the roasting tray and crack some salt over the top.

If the roasting tray is full, rather spread the kale between two trays to give the leaves space to roast without steaming, otherwise, they’ll get soggy rather than crispy. Pop them into the oven and roast for ten minutes tossing them at the halfway point. Once ready, sprinkle with some grated parmesan and serve.

Food Tip:

Parmesan is the ultimate umami flavour and a light sprinkling can help to elevate a dish. After all, umami means yummy!

-Melissa