Friday, August 28, 2009

Delish food blogs...

OK, I didn't dissapear from the end of the world, but my internet and phone didn't work for OVER 1 week!! How did I survive?? It was horrible, and this only happens in Africa. They come to update the system and they cut me off and never got me back hooked onto the system.... so I couldn't even make a phone call to them on their free number, because I had no connection! Frustrating week, but I did a lot of beading instead... so I made a postive out of a negative!!

And this post was on my computer for a whole week, so I am going to post it now and since it is almost weekend and I love food.. I am already thinking about my dinner when I just finish my breakfast... are you like that too?

So check out these amazing food blogs, these people are not only good in cooking and baking, but also in photographing their delicious meals... I am in aw every time when I see these mouthwatering pictures. I mean I have a nice kitchen, but the lighting is not that great in there... so how do these people always get such an amazing end product? I just don't get it, I tried to take some pictures of my meals, but it always doesn't do justice to the dish I made... so I rather give you the site where I take my recipes from and let all the credit go to them, because I can't top that anyway!!

Most the time I have something in my mind that I am craving, say for instant a kind of cookie (snicker doodle). Then I go to Food Gawker and search for snicker doodle. All kinds of snicker doodles come up, and I research them all, and chose the best recipe in my eyes. That is how I came up with most of my favorite sites. A good way to start: Food Gawker or the same sort of site: Taste spotting.

Dutch Girl cooking at Kayotic Kitchen, of course I had to start with a Dutch one.. I mean I can't forget my roots! Amazing mix of recipes, and the best Hummus! She has 3 versions!! Try them all ;-) Her Indonesian Chicken salad is also to die for!

Kiss my Spatula! You have to check this out: Delicious & Gorgeous!!
A Vietnamese girl who lives on the West Coast and stirs things up in the kitchen. Yummy recipes and such a beautiful pictures!

Tea & Cookies. Mostly recipes with food bought at the farmers market. Fresh, natural, honest cooking. But not only recipes and food, also cute stories. A delish frittata & healthy zucchini noodles w/pesto dish is now this week on her site. Check it out!

What's for lunch honey? One of my latest discoveries. Meeta is from India but lives in Germany and she makes the most amazing fusion Indian with modern cooking. Love her site, so bright and amazing pictures. You will love her as well!!

Seven Spoons. Tara writes and cooks on this site. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Her blog is interesting with beautiful pictures. I like her style of photographing, very cool site. Give it a try! She gives you a collection of thoughts, family life and food. By the way she has a good looking banana cream pie on her repertoire. Not the usual 'over the top banana flavored' puddings inside. No this one is genuine!

If I am feeling I need to go back to basics and need some Natural food, I always opt for Heidi Swansons food blog named 101 Cookbooks. She amazes me every time! She lives in San Francisco, so has a lot of access to organic fruit and veggies. And this is what I crave, good honest food! Although a bit harder to find here in South Africa I still go often to her site to get inspiration! I already wrote about her and gave some of her recipes before....

Since we have Thai children and we used to live in Thailand, these dishes are just one of my favorites. So whenever I yearn for the sweet, sour, spicy and salty condiments I go to 2 Thai sites. And one of them is Chez Pim. Pim grew up in Bangkok, but lives now in the San Francisco bay area. She has a career in food and creates the most authentic Thai recipes with gorgeous pictures. Alloy Maak Maak!!

The other Thai site is more traditional Thai food from Appon's kitchen. Find the recipes you see in your local Thai restaurant and recreate it at home. Go for it, you won't be disappointed. This site is very authentic as well!

But I don't only crave Thai food, I am into all kinds of Asian dishes. This is just my preferred way of cooking... all things Asia. I grew up with Indonesian food, because my dad had an Oriental store which specialised in the early years in only Indonesian food. Now they do all kinds of food. In Holland we have a lot of Indonesian people, and so the food became a staple as part of the Dutch. For all kinds of Asian food Rasa Malaysia is THE best site I find! As the name reveals, she is original from Penang, Malaysia. She has a huge collection of Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Filipino recipes. And they are GOOD!! Very active site, with lots of guest food bloggers so you get to know more of the food bloggers through her site. I just LOVE Rasa Malaysia, and you will too, promise!!

I go through phases in my cooking life and so there are days when I really am not into MEAT, so then I check out 101 Cookbooks or Vegan Yum Yum, an award winning blog with the most delicious veggies. Such a fresh looking site, you WANT to eat more veggies and totally forget the sausages you thought you were craving...NOT!!

The creator of Food Gawker and Craft gawker (I will tell you another time about my love for arts & crafts) has also his own food blog named Sunday Nite dinner. It's about Food, Friends and a hungry bear. (I wrote about this site as well, a while back). It's a gathering of friends who cook together and share the recipes via this blog. Yummy, a fusion of East & West. I love FUSION!

And last but not least!
We all know that the Japanese have an art for beauty, for refinement, for all things delicate. They just know the art of living! If you look at Keiko's site Nordljus you know what I mean. She is a Japanese girl who lives in the UK. The blog has not so much recipes, but I didn't want to wit hold this site from you. She has some good recipes but the blog is just filled with beauty! The vibe of the blog is just magnificent, beautiful and gorgeous. Check it out, you will get hooked to her site as well! And try in the meantime some of her recipes; your taste buds will enjoy too!

OK, so now I gave all my 'secrets' away I would LOVE to hear from you!
What is your favorite top 3 or even top 5 of food blogs? PLEASE SHARE THEM WITH ME!!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!!
Love, M

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the girls love their daddy!

And they wrap him around their little fingers, he can't say NO to these Princesses, so I have to be the disciplinarian....

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Birthday parties

Jasmine and Juliet have almost every weekend another birthday party to go to. These kids have a busy social schedule!
Normally I don't take my camera, just drop them off and pick them up later again. But this party from last weekend they had a great face painting artist there, so I took some pictures of their beautiful faces before we had to wash it off.
Jasmine is a tiger, with blood on her teeth... this detail was very important to her! And Juliet is a pink Dalmatian... cute faces!! Great face painting!

The other party was from Julia, our Dutch friends who live in a horse estate. Most of the families have big plots where they have their horses. Julia had a Mama Mia/Disco party where the girls were treated to a hair and make-over. And of course some horse back riding. The girls had to dress up in glitter outfits and they got beautiful curls and make-up done. They did some dancing and of course some cake eating.

JJ, Julia and Jezz with their gift, a dress-up outfit with boa and mask.

Funny, how the girls always pose and hold their heads tilted to the side... I guess that is how you do it when you are 7 ;-)

Fun these parties!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I ♥ Faces, week 33 ~ 'Nostalgia"

We used this picture of Jasmine and Juliet as an adoption announcement, it is 6 years old, but to me it reminds me of the old Thai princesses, the olden days in Thailand... so a nostalgic and very special moment for me.

Check out the other images at I ♥ Faces, there are some great entries!

Have a Marvelous Monday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Sunday in South Africa.

The weather starts warming up so we decided to do an early walk. I saw this ad in the local newspaper and we decided to go:
Walk The Wilds
Go and walk The Wilds and take in 5km of its indigenous wonderland of one of Joburg's gems on Sunday, 23 August. Meet at 8am sharp on the corner of St Patrick Road and Houghton Drive, where you'll park.

Leaving at 8am sharp, meant we had to wake up at 6am!.... on a Sunday, but we loved the walk, and planning to go for more... every weekend. The nature was just amazing, colors popping up everywhere! See for yourself at my pictures below.

We walked with a group of 50-60 people and about 20 dogs. We just took our kids ;-) and they were a bit wondering why we chose to walk on a Sunday morning, while they rather played their Nintendo DS. We were with our friends Kashmira, Scott and their daughters Zahra and Sanaya, while the adults loved the walk, the girls weren't so sure about it. But hey, as a child you have to do what your parents do... too bad!

After that we had a relaxing lunch with some other friends, and then I just had a beading afternoon under the palm trees in my backyard.... (I started with my old hobby of beading).

So our Sunday was energetic, delicious, relaxing and above all SUNNY! The temperature even reached midday to 20C/68F, not bad for a winter day!

Hope you had a great Sunday as well!
Cheers, Mireille

Friday, August 21, 2009

Part 6 ~ Ridgefield & NYC

The last 2 weeks of my vacation we've spent in Ridgefield, Connecticut where we used to live and the Big Apple, my favorite city!!

It was so great to see all our friends again, we had some grand parties on the beach at Rainbow Lake our old hood. Although I have no pictures of that... ;-(

We stayed at our dear friends the Liu's house for most of the time, and some other good friends the Cope family where we also had a girl's night out: a Twilight movie night on the big screen. (Also no pictures)

We had a few parties; a 'welcome back' and a 'goodbye again' party at the Sabido's house hold, which is always fun to hang around!

It was just great to have some fab meals, hang out and have some wine with good old friends. We really missed them all, and it was just great to see them again.

The last 3 days I booked a hotel right in the heart of Manhattan and the girls and me met some friends, hung out in the City and enjoyed the food, the sights, the smells, the shopping.... it was good to be back!!

My dear old friend Espen who lives in Soho and his girlfriend Helen, came to visit us in Ridgefield for an evening out of Tapas in Georgetown... it was yummy!!

We met Jen, my dear blogging/email and now met in real life friend! And we had the grandest lunch in the City and just chatted... we could have talked for hours more. The girls really warmed up to her towards the end, so it would have been nice to see each other again.

We also spent a whole day with one of my best friends Marion and her 2 adorable sons Max and Sam in the Big Apple. Wow, these kids were troopers... we walked and walked and they never complained.. all of them!!

But they couldn't complain, because we had promised them a visit to the biggest toy store in town... FAO Schwartz. They were so excited!

Then we had lunch at Mars 2112, a fun Alien themed restaurant where you enter by space ship, this was a real treat for the kids.... not so much for Marion and me...

On the way back we walked past Jekyl and Hyde, JJ wants to visit this next time we go to the Big Apple!

We met Sponge bob Square Pants, Mickey Mouse, and some other 'celebrities' and of course they had to pose with some of them!

JJ and Jezz met a friend in Central Park, and look at their gorgeous dresses they got from Jen. Wanted to wear it immediately when we came back to the hotel!

And on our last day in the City we met Evelyn, a friend who lives next to Columbus Circle and Central Park, so posing with the Statue of Liberty is something you almost can't NOT do!!

Then in the afternoon we went to Helen and Espen and the 3 of them had a swim in the pool at the condo where Helen lives. Swimming under romantic chandeliers.. not bad huh?

We also went bowling in her private bowling alley... just for residents, then we had some yummy rice and Chinese tea...

And that was the end of our more than 4 weeks vacation... We had a grand time!
Thank you all dear friends to spent time with us, partied with us, shopped with us, dined and wined with us, we LOVE you ALL!!

See you next time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Since I am Dutch....

I have to show you these commercials I found on YouTube....

The language is Dutch, but it is pretty obvious... The girl is showing her new house to her friends, and last she shows the walk-in closet. While downstairs the guys gaga over the walk-in fridge!

Pretty cool huh?

And then the follow up: the walking fridge ;-)

Some Dutch humor, as long as beer is involved it is always pretty good!
Have a chuckle...

Love, M

I ♥ Faces, week 32 ~ Bubbles

Bubbles is the theme this week... so here is Jasmine under water in the pool in Orlando, Florida last month. We had so much fun with our under water camera and they tried to create as much bubbles as possible. We even took some pictures in the hot tub, but there were too many bubbles... so those pictures didn't turn out quite well.

Check out all the other contestants at the I ♥ Faces website, you will see some cute ones!

Tomorrow my last posting about our vacation and then back to normal life here in South Africa!

Have a Terrific Tuesday!
Love, M

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Part 5 ~ on the beach in Marshfield

We had a fabulous week in Marshfield on the beach, this location is just before Cape Cod. The house was direct on a private beach, so ideal for our 2 families. We arrived on 4th July, which is also Valerie's Birthday. So enough reason to celebrate, drink champagne and BBQ some food on the grill while enjoying all the fireworks on the beach. A fabulous start of a great week!!

I had more pictures of the spectaculair fireworks, but they were all blurry, was it because it is hard to photograph moving light in the dark, or was it because I had already some lovely drinks??

The 'coddage' as it was called. A 4 bedroom house, so great for the 2 families.

The view from our deck, right on the beach. No need to carry our stuff in a car, then to the beach, we just walk to the water and enjoy yourself. What a treat! I don't want EVER to go to a beach house that is NOT direct on the beach!

The girls decided to sell some home made lemonade, the only problem was nobody was buying, so in the end they gave it away for FREE.... At least they had fun!

A Jarlsberg moment! Brave start, but in the end only 2 girls went in... too chilly!

Our 2 families: Valerie and Bob, with Mia, Emmy and Ella. And Dirk and me, with Jasmine and Juliet.

When you are in the Cape, you HAVE to have some lobster dinners! Well, we DID!

And the guys couldn't wait to dig in!

The girls went almost every day at low tide crabbing. They had some amazing finds, and hundreds of sea stars. But almost all of them we threw back into the ocean. We are kind to nature!

And of course we did some dancing, singing and drinking on the deck after sunset! We had tons of fun, it was a great vacation!!


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