Earth’s Essence Pinotage

A short while back, I entered and was the lucky winner of 4 bottles of Earth’s Essence Pinotage on Tandy’s blog, Lavender and Lime.

Earth's Essence

Traditional KWV wines are fabulous so I was excited to try this “new age” way they are preserving Pinotage:

By utilising a revolutionary natural process using indigenous Rooibos and Honeybush during the winemaking process their powerful anti-oxidants protect the wine naturally negating the use of added sulphites or preservatives.

Firstly a label on a bottle of wine will either entice me to buy it or look past it on the shelf of the bottle store and I must say the Earth Essence label is very eye catching and your eye is immediately drawn to the bottom of the label “No Sulphites or preservatives added“. Not to mention the wonderful name – Earth’s Essence. The shape of the bottle and screw top are also pleasing, so a good start before evening opening the bottle!

Now, I am not a fan of Rooibos tea so was slightly sceptical about the whole Rooibos flavour but was a greatly mistaken.  This wine truly is fantastic.  So as not to undermine this great wine, I quote the makers:

This Pinotage shows upfront fruit sweetness with prominent cranberries, Turkish delight and dark chocolate aromas.  Nuances of nuts, Rooibos, Honeybush and sweet basil are complimented by the grippy tannin structure and the intense, lingering finish.

 What a wonderful wine!  Thank you again Lavender and Lime, Earth’s Essence and Tin Can PR for the awesome prize.

In My Kitchen – June 2015

It is officially winter.  So far, so good; here’s hoping the rest of winter is as mild.  In fact, the weather has been so good that I have been spending as much time in the garden as I can so the start of this months post its just outside my kitchen, around the corner outside the back door.

Just outside my kitchen outside the back door…

I have been filling pots with a few flowering winter plants to keep things upbeat for those cold days.

Back door June 2015 4 Back door June 2015 3 My precious little boy was around to help take a few photos.Back door June 2015 6As you can see he was being very helpful!
Back door June 2015 5 Back door June 2015 1 And I have transformed the herb patch into a flower patch.Back door June 2015 2

In my kitchen…

Is a flask I have had for the better part of 15 years which I used on a daily basis for a long while and then Celia mentioned in post how she is now officially an old Chinese woman as she has an insulated flask on my kitchen bench to which I commented: “Eek! I must have been an old Chinese woman about 15 years ago when I got one of those insulated flasks – I made my tea in it for years. Hee hee.”  So Celia, not that I am Chinese but I will be honoured to be an old woman with you. 😀

Flask

In my kitchen…

Is the most precious birthday present from my cousin Renee.  I thought I was spoilt with the lovely mug and chocolates until I opened the wrapping to find a gift voucher for a pedicure!  Oh how I cannot wait to redeem it.  Thank you so much Renee for spoiling me so very much!

Birthday pressie 1

In my kitchen…

Is a wonderful birthday gift from my friends Wayne and Kelly who were also kind enough to have me over for a Spanish Omelette breakfast because my Pete was away on my birthday.  Very special to spend the morning with you both.  Thank so much for spoiling me so much.

Birthday pressie 2And if that is not enough their darling little granddaughter made me a birthday card!  Thank you sweet little Abby, you are a pure delight to be around with your sparkly personality.
Birthday card abby

In my kitchen…

Are more birthday pressies from friends.  Thank you so much Wayne and Cheryl for including me on my birthday at your home for a roast dinner!  You can make me roast potatoes any day of the week and still to get a beautiful bottle of wine was very special.  Thank you too Bertie and Mags and Tony for the the wine and chocolates.

Birthday pressie 4

In my kitchen…

Is the prettiest cake platter and server from my sweet neighbours and friends Dean and Lesley.  You guys really spoilt me with the lovely gift, thank you so much!

Birthday pressie 5

What’s in your kitchen this month?

Our dear friend Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial links all our monthly instalments on her blog so we won’t have to miss out on any of the wonderful kitchen views and as always a big thank you to Celia for the fun of being able to pop in around the world to see what everyone has to share every month.

Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up and please note Celia needs all IMK posts submitted by the 10th of every month.

In My Kitchen – August 2014

Yippee, just one more month to go until Spring.  I shall be counting the sleeps, but before we get there, here is what is in my kitchen this month.

In my kitchen…

Is a belated birthday gift from my folks.  I have been wanting a tier cake stand for a long while but couldn’t find a plain white one until I nearly tripped over one a couple of weeks ago, plus it was the last one in store (other than the display) so it must have been waiting for me.

Cupcake stand

In my kitchen…

Are egg cups.  These are something else I have been searching for and every person I ask seems to think I am mad and repeat back to me, “egg cups, you are looking for egg cups?”.  Clearly we are the only household left who enjoys boiled eggs with toast fingers.

Egg cups

In my kitchen…

Is some of the wine which I meant to share with you last month.  We bought these when we were at the wine estate.  I love that these are part of Graham Beck’s Game Reserve campaign.

Graham Beck game reserve

In my kitchen…

Is the best champagne sealer I have ever come across.  This one allows you to seal a bottle super tight by turning the handle.  The more you turn, the tighter the seal as opposed to the other clip on versions which don’t work quite as well.

Champagne sealer

In my kitchen…

Are tea-light stands.  They add a lovely low light elegance to a dinner table.

tealight holders

In my kitchen…

Are beautiful old cookery books which my Aunty Christine was kind enough to share with me for a while.  I want to read each book page for page – never know, I may even do a series on one of these, like I did with our very much loved Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book.

Old cookery books

What’s in your kitchen this month?  Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up.

Bits and Pieces

Apologies upfront for the bad quality photo’s in this post.

Pete and I enjoyed a lovely few days on a road trip away where I touched a 1000 year old yellow wood tree in the Tsitsikamma Forest…

Big Tree 00001

Imagine the stories this tree could tell!

and ran on a treadmill in a hotel gym for the first time.  I know, country bumpkin I am.  I haven’t had a gym membership for the better part of 2 decades and don’t live anywhere near a gym (great excuse) so until now, road/trail running has been it.

treadmill

Look at me go!

We also visited (sorry no pics) a wine estate in the hopes of getting some brut rosé bubbly but alas – it was insultingly expensive.  We thought it was due to there being a wine festival that weekend but on chatting with family and friends who have all visited wine estates over the last few years, all said that purchasing wines at local stores in all our provinces is much cheaper than buying directly from an estate!  That makes no sense.

The lovely Cristina over at The Blog Around The Corner , who writes about everything that inspires her from interior design, to travelling, cooking and photography awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award.  Thanks again Cris, it was such a lovely surprise receiving the award from you. 🙂

The time had come to get rid of my beloved car as she was getting a little long in the tooth and to invest in a new one.

5 series

We enjoyed many happy miles together.  I will miss her.

Fortuner

All new and sparkly. This is a pic from the brochure – mine is far too dirty from playing on dirt roads yesterday to have her photo taken but looks exactly like this when clean.

There hasn’t been must to share on the cooking front, the cooler weather has necessitated comfort food. so we have been indulging in all our favourites – oxtail casserole, vetkoek and curried ground beef, braai’s (barbecues) and roast dinners.

I promise to share something tasty next week.

Garlic, Wine & Thyme Mushroom Pasta

This is one of those meals you can have ready in 20 minutes, you know, for those evenings when you have sat behind the computer for too long AGAIN…

Garlic, Wine & Thyme Mushroom Pasta

Ingredients

Pasta of choice
250g button mushrooms sliced
Vegetable spice
2.5ml dry thyme
250ml cream
60ml dry white wine
15ml maizena (cornstarch)
2 garlic cloves crushed
Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Cook the pasta as per the package instructions.
  2. Fry the mushrooms in a little butter sprinkled with the vegetable spice and thyme until tender.
  3. Pour the cream and wine into the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Mix the maizena with a little water and stir through the cream mixture to thicken.
  5. Add the garlic and season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Serve over the pasta.