Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for cooking

The weekend what was

…what was just lovely! I got to relax, bake and cook, and run and ride and chill. I liked it! A lot! Some photo highlights..

 watching the pantomime on Saturday afternoon with JL, visiting from CT

Russian food prepared for a feast yesterday. I am still groaning!

 the inside of that cake. Yum! Napoleon cake.

a bike ride with my girl. Slaying some beasts.

Running with my buddy!

pretty flowers that has bloomed after the rains

and blue bottles after the winds…

special photo shoot before Charles goes.

She’ll kill me for this one day, but finding selfies on my phone… priceless.

Ups and Downs

…I really had a down in the dumps, woe is me kind of week last week, and just when I thought things were looking up this weekend, and I was starring to feel happy and bright, along came a cold, and really made me feel trashed. Ugh. But enough about me.

So this weekend was my pop up restaurant fundraiser for WWOTR 2020. Three of us hosted an Italian pop up, and I think everything went w=down well, I have had lots of compliments on the food, and we had a secret weapon in LJ’s husband who sang while the guests were eating – he was a treat! And everyone loved that! So our menu included

  • Amuse bouche of a smashed pea bruschetta. (having to change plans twice on this bruschetta topping, we were very pleased at the end of the day with what we created, essentially peas blitzed up with garlic, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice and some mint. Fresh and clean and green!)
  • Primi piatti – Caprese salad. (This was a triumph – lovely fresh firm tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, left to marinate in olive oil and balsamic vinegar all day, served with a drizzle of basil pesto and balsamic reduction, served with a breadstick on the side)
  • Palate cleanser with some limoncello sorbet
  • Secondi piatti – Parmesan Chicken served on a bed of linguine
  • Dolce – Lemon polenta cake

We decorated with pots of herbs and those lights you put into an empty wine bottle, and then also put a bowl of olives and a bottle of Italian red wine on the table. All in all a very beautiful and successful evening.

It was during the evening that my body began to tell me that all was not well. I starting getting that heavy feeling in my chest and started feeling a bit rotten. This was not boding well for the race I was scheduled to run on Sunday morning.

I woke up after a very poor night’s sleep and wondered if I should be running… I walked to the chest of drawers where I keep my running kit, my heart rate shot up, and after a what’s app chat with a friend, I called the whole thing off. I wasn’t feeling good, this was supposed to be another attempt to break my PB, and if things weren’t right, I was probably going to be so upset. Also, it was the kind of ill feeling, that if I did run, I was going to be really really sick afterwards. So, I put my ride in my pocket and went down to watch the runners come home… I almost cried when I left, but I did feel terrible, so I was at peace.

After a good lunchtime nap yesterday, I had a couple of moms come over to help with painting some of the decor items for the school luncheon in 2 weeks, we got through about 30% of it, so we will gather and paint again! But it was quick and it looks goo, so I think we will be great!

Ok, the week looms, let’s do this thing!



…so last night went off well!

Starters was a garlic, ginger noodle soup with bok choi. This was so easy and so tasty! Loved it! And I will definitely have a crack at it again. Mains was Hainanese Chicken rice, which is just sooooo delicious and simple, I could eat it weekly! First you poach a chicken in stock which is flavoured with ginger and spring onions, You then plunge your chicken into ice water, and then massage some sesame oil lovingly into the chicken skin. Then you prepare some  jasmine rice, using that same stock; and then you make sauces – a soya sauce based one, one with spring onions and ginger and a fiery chilli sauce. All so yum. And for dessert I made a matcha chiffon cake with a pomegranate icing, which I really enjoyed. So light and delicate in flavour.


Women’s day Weekend

…between Ballet rehearsals and running, not much else was done this weekend. But how awesome are these pictures. Each of my 3 runs this weekend took me across the same beach at more or less the same time.


Makes all the pain worthwhile. It was really beautiful.

Last night I made my first attempt at a buddha bowl for my family. I prepped some brown and wild rice, roasted some pumpkin, beetroot, peppers and tomatoes, steamed some broccoli, cooked off some chicken fillets with moroccan spice and chickpeas, and made a raita, and then topped it all off with some sesame seeds. Yum! I felt so virtuous and healthy too.


… so I hosted my annual Valentine’s dinner on Saturday night. I do love it all – thinking up a theme, designing a menu and then bringing it all together on the day. This year was no exception!

Introducing the Royal Affair – a meal fit for a king and queen.

On that menu…

  • CanapĂ© – fish and chips, with a pea sorbet
  • Starter – bangers and truffle mash with a yorkshire pud and caramelized onions
  • Palate cleanser – a G&T sorbet
  • Mains – a lamb crown roast, with steamed green veggies and fondant potatoes
  • Dessert – sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream
  • Petit four platter – miniature toffee apples, port and Stilton truffles, elderflower jellies and tiara biscuits.

It seemed to all go down well, and I think my friends may want to come again next year!

Christmas Cookies

…so in attempt to assuage some working mom guilt and to compensate for the many missed play dates because I keep her so busy, I arranged a Christmas cookie decorating party for Thandi yesterday. Extra-murals are done for the year, and so we could have a good afternoon of fun!

I spent Sunday, between electricity outages, baking up a storm. Gingerbread men, gingerbread ninjas, and some Christmas shaped sugar biscuits. I prepped various colors of icing, collected multiple sprinkles and also made some T-shirt’s for the little girls.

Once everyone has arrived, we got going. Each girl also had the chance to bake a batch of choc chip cookies (they were a simple mix – so easy to do!) and they all baked and iced to their heart’s content.

Then there was some swimming and some testing of the produce!

I was nervous, 12 girls felt overwhelming, but they were awesome. Either I have underestimated the girls, or else my daughter has really awesome friends! They sat and decorated quietly, there was peace and harmony and sharing of colors and sprinkles around the table. They were polite and kind. Such a pleasure

And I really hope I made some good memories for my girl. I had the warm fuzzies all afternoon.

Party prep

…ok, so I am exhausted, but we are nearly there – party prep is in full swing, 2:30 tomorrow and it will all be on the way, and by 4:30 done!

  • Cake – is made and dirty iced. The fondant and figures will be added today.
  • Sugar crystals – all grown and must just be dried tonight.
  • Macarons – yes, I have that child who asks for macarons for her party, seriously! Made and must just be sandwiched together tonight (I use nutella for these ones, so super easy)
  • Biscuits – made and iced and good to go.
  • Fudge and Smudge – done
  • Chicken and Ham rolls – to be done in the morning tomorrow.
  • Pin the tail on the fox – done
  • Hedgehog ring toss – done, including the rings
  • Scavenger hunt bags – to be printed
  • Necklaces – to be used as prizes for the scavenger hunt – done.
  • Sweetie jars – to take home, done
  • Decor – done – except for the moss and some pine cones.
  • Thandi’s dress – done.

I can’t wait to share the photos with you guys!