Sun-dried tomato pesto twirls, current addictions, WTSIM and more


Do you ever get the feeling your mouth is developing the nasty habit of writing out cheques that your body can't cash? Or at least, that there aren't enough hours in a day to cash?

That's where I am right now. My head is fizzing with ideas and plans and schemes, but when I get into bed at the end of the day (usually way too late), all I can see before my eyes is the items that I did NOT manage to tick off my to do list today. The list is beginning to rival Jack's beanstalk (so to speak) in terms of its speed of growth and I despair of ever seeing the end of it.

One of the many symptoms of this affliction is that I always diligently plan to give various items their own post on this blog to highlight them, but then the posts spend weeks or months languishing in my drafts folder, unloved and incomplete, and I end up never mentioning them on my blog at all… It's a sad, sad situation.

So, to try and kill as many birds with one stone as possible, I am going to cram a number of announcements in to one post and reward you at the end with an easy-peasy-impress-your-friends recipe. How does that sound? Are you seated comfortably? Then off we go:

Waiter, There's Something in My… Yes folks, time for another round of your favourite monthly food blog event, WTSIM! Your charming host this time is Andrew and he has asked you to come up with "something Indonesian". Make it sweet, make it savoury, do the classics or do yuor own riff on a traditional recipe. Just make sure you get your entries to Andrew by the end of the month!

US readers – Doula Mel needs your help! My dear blog friend Mel who does such an astonishing job running the Bosom Buddies charity in Cape Town is calling for help again. Mel and her band of ladies sew and put together from donations a load of goodie bags for new moms at some of the most deprived of the Cape state hospitals. Many of these girls are teenagers, alone and scared after having been dropped off by family at the hospital to give birth alone; or HIV positive; or just desperately poor. Mel and her ladies not only make sure that each new mum gets a bag full of baby essentials to take home, but they also take the time to sit down, chat or pray with these new moms. Money for filling these goodie bags is always a problem, despite all the effort that Mel puts into fundraising, and donations are always welcome. One of Mel's contacts will soon be travelling to SA from the the US and will be able to bring back a parcel of donated baby clothes for free!  In Mel's own words:  "If you have gently used goodies up to age 6 months, then please send and enjoy the fuzzy feeling knowing some cute little African baby will be wearing that outfit. If you would like to shop for us, please only buy 0-3 month sleepers and 0-3 month onesies. As you know we want the mothers to be able to dress their babies when they go home so that is why we need small sizes."  So if you are in the US and can possibly help out wth new or gently used clothing, please send it to our mutual friend Dawnielle, who will sort and pack the donations and pass them on the the "courier" – please make sure they reach her by 3 October at the latest.  Her details are:

BB c/o Mrs Dawnielle California
1414 Cherry Valley Drive
San Jose

My article in WE Magazine again If you've kept an eye on my press page, you might have seen that another of my articles was included in the summer 2008 issue of online publication WE Magazine for Women. This one (on page 43) is about the history of cachacas, the main ingredient in moijitos.  Mmmmm, cocktails!

It's Oktoberfest time again! Oh yes, it is, and I'll be heading off to Munich this weekend. If you are doing the same, do check out my comprehensive tips for surviving Oktoberfest, and come and look for me in the Paulaner or Loewenbraeu tents on Saturday and Sunday. I'll be the one with the flashing bunny ears :).  If you aren't lucky enough to be in Munich, check out my experiences in previous years here, here, here, here and here.

South African Food and Wine Blog Directory Don't forget that I profile a new blog on the Directory site every Monday – do remember to go and check them out. This week it's the turn of Saaleha from Meals on Speed.

And what the heck, how about I throw in a meme? My lovely blog friend Gill of Gill's Jottings has apologeticalyl tagged me for the Current Addictions meme. No need to apologise, Gill: I've never yet been known to turn down a meme!

The rules:

* Post at least five current addictions (with some details, please).
* Mention the person who started this meme (Being Brazen) and also the person who just tagged you (hi Gill!)
* Type your post with the heading "Current addictions".
* Tag at least two people and pass on the above rules.

Well allrighty then – here are my five:

1.  Read My Mind by The Killers.  I cannot get it out of my head, and I listen to it over and over again.  I love the lyrics, I love the melody, I love the way it reminds me of how it felt to be 19 years old.  And they so have that boys-in-eyeliner thing going on :)

2.  Mamma Mia – the stage show, the movie, the soundtrack, the whole kit and caboodle. The world needs more ABBA in these dark times!  

3.  My ski holiday next year.  How many hours can you spend agonising over which village and which chalet and which week, without going totally bonkers?  Quite a lot, apparently.

4.  Getting through all the unread posts in my Google Reader.  To give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem, I celebrate when I get the total of unread posts below 250.  So now it's Google Reader before breakfast, after dinner, and instead of a chunk of my nightly sleep.  I need therapy!

5.  Boys in eyeliner.  Where were they when I was a teenager??  Brandon FlowersGerard Way. Alan Cumming.  Need I say more? 

Apparently I also have to tag two people, so Charlotte & Kit – you're it, dahlings!

Anybody still here?  And awake?  Bueller?  Bueller??

On to the recipe!  I've been trying to be diligent with my blog reading lately and trying to tame the wild growth of posts in my RSS reader (see 4 above!).  One of the benefits of this is that I am bookmarking loads and loads of recipes – including this one from the ever-fab, ever-amusing Katie at Thyme for Cooking.  What instantly caught my eye about this recipe was the look – ooh, twirls!  Ooh, pretty!  I'm shallow that way.  I made these for a friend's party over the weekend and they were dead easy and as pretty as I imagined (even though the really bad lighting in the photo above doesn't do them justice!).  Seeing as I have been promising to join in for the longest time, and seeing as this is a rather special edition of my dear friend Stephanie's Blog Party event, I'm submitting them as my entry.  As my accompanying drink… well, what's a birthday without bubbles??  I raised a glass of bellini, made with Spanish cava and a generous splash of Funkin' White Peach Puree.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEPHANIE!

RED PESTO TWIRLS (makes about 15)20080914 CavaBelliniE


about half a roll of ready made puff pastry
2 Tbsp red pesto


Unroll the pastry and cut off a piece about 15cm long (the roll should be about 25cm wide).  Spread the pesto evenly over the whole piece of pastry.  Lightly mark the centrepoint along the long edge of the pastry.

From the short edge, roll up the pastry to the centrepoint.  Do the same from the other short side so that the two rolls meet in the middle.  Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour – you could even put it in the freezer.

When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 200C and remove the pastry from the fridge.  Slice in 1/2cm thickh slices and lay the slices out on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes.  Serve hot with drinks.

Variations:  instead of red pesto, you could also use green pesto, olive tapenade or grated parmesan (if using Parmesan, drizzle 2 Tbsp of olive oil over the pastry before sprinkling the cheese over.

I'm also submitting this to Ruth's Kitchen's Bookmarked Recipes event, a weekly roundup of any recipe that you bookmarked on a blog or in a book and subsequently made.

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider sharing it using the social media buttons below the post. I'd also love to hear what you thought about this post so please do leave a comment below. Hope to see you again soon!

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  1. says

    Those twirls look great and dead easy – I’m sure I could get addicted to those in no time! I’ll take up te tag challenge soon but I know what you mean about the to-do list like Jack’s beanstalk, so I’m not sure when!
    I remember quite a few boys in eye-liner from university days – mostly the goth look all in black – before that the New Romantics did it pretty well and Adam Ant was quite spectacular, though eye make up wasn’t allowed for the boys at our school unfortunately!

  2. says

    I love the pigs ears (do people still call them that). I am so interested in that baby charity of Mel’s. My Aunt does something similar in East London, would love to be involved too.

  3. says

    Thanks for doing the meme! Love them because I am just plain nosey :-)
    Love the look of your twirls – I’ve got a “thing” for red pesto at the moment, so there is usually some languishing in the fridge, will have to get off my butt and make some of these!

  4. says

    The pesto twirls look great. The problem is, if they got made in our house they’d be eaten all before any of the guest arrived. By me.
    By the way, what’s your take on the Zimbabwe latest? I’d like to think some good could come of it, but it all just seems to UNLIKELY…

  5. says

    I have now a list on the fridge that I tick off! But I feel EXACTLY like that about all the books (they must be 50) that I have on and under my bedside table-WHEN will I have the time to read them? I amost wish I got ill so I had to stay in bed and could read but then I am sure I would run a high fever and only sleep all the time. Anyway, all these things are getting too much for me-Let’s run away!

  6. says

    250!!! HAH! With the impending move and computr disasters falling on top of each other I’m trying to keep mine under 750! But why, oh why, must I read every single one…. If I only have 50, I can skip a few…. but with 750 it. must. me. all.
    Maybe I should just chuck it all and go to Oktoberfest….
    Thanks for the mention! Gorgeous Swirls!

  7. says

    Oh yummy. This sounds delicious. I’m with you on the Abba addiction. BTW, there IS a house for sale on my street, come on over. Good tomato growing weather too.

  8. says

    wow, lady–you’ve a lot going on!
    things i love: the killers, skiing, sun-dried tomato anything, anyone else with an out-of-control google reader, and ferris bueller. :)

  9. says

    wow and I thought I had too many blog posts on my blog reader to get through – now I feel like a little lighter just in comparison – have just been reading through some of your posts over the last few weeks and the quality of the writing seems even more impressive given your busy life!
    and love your pesto swirls and am curious about that peach drink now!

  10. says

    I think everyone is relieved to know that they’re not alone in having too many posts in their blog readers to keep up with. I’m trying to blitz mine tonight!
    The red pesto twirls, or palmiers, look really good. I’ve done these with green pesto in the past but shamefully neglected to blog about them. They are lush, though!

  11. Browniegirl says

    I finally got here to take a look at your twirls as opposed to my twisties!! Wow, I can not believe that almost at the SAME time on two continents you and I were making very similar things…..great minds…….thanx for visiting my blog xxx