little red

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

*Simple beauty at the cricket

Keyboards & Cupcakes...

*sigh, my favourite things.


Emily Moon

Emily Moon River Lodge is owned by Mark and Christine Valentine. It is peacefully gorgeous. Everywhere I looked I felt visually stimulated. The decorations are in abundance yet not overdone. Mark Valentine, owner and a leading dealer in African artifacts, has filled the restaurant, sun deck and eight luxurious lodges with treasures he has collected from across Africa, as well as beautiful bits and pieces from India.

For lunch we sat and looked over the picturesque river valley. The views are amazing. Still and calming. The juxtapose of the jumble of decorations in the restaurant and the wide open green of the valley is exceedingly alluring. I struggled to leave after the meal was done and now back in the crackling, screaming bustle of the city think back on it with great admiration and fondness.

For lunch we sipped on wine and soaked up the glory of mother nature. With short personal menu’s prepared on the day the ingredients are fresh and the meals can be concentrated on for the best possible result.

For mains we had two different things, a spicy prawn dish. It had a Moroccan feel with curly fries and a divine little salad. The other meal was a mussel and prawn pasta with a creamy white wine sauce. Both were delectable and kept us busy and our hands dirty, great fun.

For desert there were 3 options; there was a trio of ice-creams, a guava and crème angeles dish and last but not least I had a heavenly Panna Cotta. As you can see in the pictures it was small simple and elegant. With a swirl of gooseberry jus, what could be better.

I highly recommend Emily Moon for any occasion. Delicious!

PS. Before you eat or check in, take a peak at the wedding hall is too stunning for words…


The Other Side of the Story

Monday, 18 May 2009
  • Marian Keyes
  • Avon A
  • Paperback
  • 528 pages
  • April 2006

I read this book purely because it was passed onto me by my little bookworm sister. I am not really into chick-lit but when I found out my older sister was also hooked I thought id take the dive.

I had forgotten how nice it is to curl up with a good book and read about people who have bigger issues than my own. Even if the people are fabricated it is fun to get engulfed into their stories. Escapism is the best way to forget about your day to day troubles and what better why to do it that with your book?

Gemma Hogan is an event planner in Dublin who is trying to deal with the fact that her best friend’s sister, Lily stole her man. Her existence gets even more problematic when her father has a late midlife crisis and leaves her mother for his younger, prettier secretary. Gemma’s form of escapism is elaborately fabricating and creating different more unrealistic versions of her life. This leads to a succession of amusing emails she sends to a friend, who submits them to a book agent without Gemma’s knowledge.

Second is Lily who is now living with Gemma’s ex Anton and their new baby, Ema, a delightful creature. Lily, the opposite of the conniving woman Gemma has depicted her to be, has just written a book entitled Mimi’s Remedies and is trying to deal with her roaring success. Regrettably Anton has a negligence with money and with a failing career Lily’s money is the only green in his reach to throw around.

Finally, we meet Jojo Harvey, Lily’s (and eventually Gemma’s) literary manager. Jojo is trying to cope with a hectic career. She is also having an affair with her boss, a married man with two kids. Jojo is riding high on Mimi’s Remedies and trying to take the throne of partner at her office. A story this juicy can only end in tears.

Although these women’s tales remain mostly divided through the book, they relate in connecting ways, and it’s captivating to see the change between the way the characters communicate one another. It also helps that all three characters are charismatic, exposed and completely adorable in their own certain ways. A book like this (especially such a long one) could not survive without likeable characters, and this one has them in bounds. Not only will the reader wants to know what happens next in each woman’s life, but they will also be rooting for all of them to thrive up until the final chapter, some more than others.

PS. This book is big but trust me, its worth every 648 pages!


Buttermilk Bran Muffin Heaven

Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Now I know this is cheating and I don’t normally do this but I have never had muffins like these.
They are moist, fluffy and irresistibly morish! They are easy, quick, inexpensive and the perfect on-the-go snack. In fact I love these so much that I can never just have one and I must also just say that you can never get sick of something delicious and healthy. Surprisingly they are from a box! So why start from scratch when the perfect recipe comes from a box? I have no idea!
Woolworths bran muffin mix
500ml buttermilk
½ cup sunflower oil
1 egg (The box calls for two eggs but I found only one was necessary.)
Preheat oven to 180 C Pour the muffin mix into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Mix the buttermilk, oil and eggs together and slowly add the wet ingredients, to the dry, until you have a well mixed, smooth batter. Add the raisins. Grease a muffin tray and half fill each cup with muffin mix.

Place the tray in your oven and bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on muffin size and temperature of oven) until golden brown. Test weather your muffins are ready by inserting a skewer into the centre. If the skewer comes out clean they are cooked.

PS. Before I put any muffins in the oven, I always sprinkle them with a sparkly coat of brown sugar. This creates a nice sugary crust and shiny look.
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