How to Make the Most of Family Vacations During School Breaks

Whether you work outside your house or you’re a stay-at-home parent, you need ideas to keep your kids busy during school breaks. This will prevent them from getting too much screen time, which might not be good for their mental and physical health. Being creative about the things your kids can do during school breaks can fight off boredom and could help them develop important skills. You can join in on the fun to make things more engaging.

Check out these fun ideas for kids that you can do every week during school breaks, presented below by Anya Willis of Fit Kids.

Enjoy Nature

Take advantage of the school break to explore the natural world. First, you can go bird watching, which offers you the opportunity to take great photos and keep track of sightings. You can use a guidebook or an app to identify your feathered friends. The kids will love this. The beautiful photos can be a conversation starter later in the day.

You could also explore growing fresh herbs in containers. For this, you need milk jugs, old coffee cans, plastic cups, mason jars, or anything you have in your house that you can use to plant. Keep the herb garden on a windowsill or a patio.

Another idea for outdoor fun includes picking your own plants. Find a farm with strawberries, blueberries, veggies, raspberries, and flowers, and then get picking. If you have birds, you can make a bird feeder, or offer one for birds that visit your yard, which adds to your list of bird sightings.

For play, you can make fairy houses using moss, leaves, and bark, which help you create a dwelling ideal for Thumbelina. Alternatively, you can introduce the kids to wildlife conservation by creating a hummingbird or butterfly garden, which offers a good habitat.

Make the Most of Rainy Days

Sometimes, the weather will prevent you from enjoying outdoor activities. You need to be creative and find indoor activities you can enjoy with your kids. When it’s raining, the moment is perfect for games. You can build a fort with pillows in the living room, or you can use cardboard boxes in your yard for the game. Also, the kids will love creating a Lego castle. Just clear off your table and make this a family project, which you can work on all summer.

Another way to keep the kids engaged indoors is through a marble race. For this, you can use an old pool noodle as your track. You can cut it in half to make two tracks. Race the marbles down to see who gets the first spot. Paper airplanes are also an idea that could keep the kids busy for some time.

Explore Local Sites

School breaks also offer opportunities for staycation experiences. If you have friends nearby, you can bring them along to explore local sites. Some ideas to consider include finding a free concert near you, where you can kick back and enjoy great tunes. Also, visit a flea market to see if your kids are good negotiators. You could also take your kids to watch a dramatic performance, which could be a puppet show or a Broadway show.

While away from home, you need to ensure everything is secured. One way to secure the home is having a sturdy fence around it, which you can hire a local contractor to construct. Check reviews to make sure they’re reliable. The cost often depends on the size of the fence, materials, and where you want to install it. Only work with licensed professionals. Oh, and good news: certain upgrades can also dramatically improve your home’s appraisal value!

You have many ways to keep your kids busy during school breaks. These include indoor and outdoor ideas you can explore together. Find ways to integrate play into tasks to make everything fun and interesting. Explore things your kids can keep for the future as memories for the good moments. 

Girl On the Bus is your best resource for blogs on health, fashion, society, and more! Got something to tell us? Please email us at girlonthebusza@gmail.com.

‘Masitda’! Chatting with local foodie Halaal Asian Delights

For centuries, human beings have used the powers of good food to honour life’s many milestones. Found a new crush: eat some strawberry mochi. Got that dream job: whip up spicy garlic ramen. Celebrating your birthday week: cuddle up with warm soup dumplings. With many thanks to the ‘Korean Wave’ and the rising interest in Asian cultures, locals can now enjoy exotic flavours and dishes every day. Introducing Capetonian foodie, home cook and entrepreneur, Naslie Brock Khan from Halaal Asian Delights!

The GOTB team was invited to the Halaal Asian Delights home to sample some yummy savouries and enjoy a fun-filled conversation with the woman behind the magic.

Having always had a knack for cooking, Naslie reminisces times from her youth. Making simple microwave meals and toasted sandwiches for her younger siblings.  ‘From a young age, I loved cooking. I picked up a few tricks from a childhood friend who worked with Asian chefs, but I just love food – Asian, Moroccan, Italian, any flavour – except pineapple on pizza!’. Naslie also finds guidance and inspiration from those close to her: ‘I saw a friend of mine advertise halaal dumplings on his page and I went *gasp* ‘I need to try this because you never ever find halaal dumplings!’ I gave them a try – I was in heaven. He has been mentoring me, guiding me along my journey ever since’.

Naslie is superhuman. Her powers? The ability to recreate restaurant foods from memory! ‘I will sit quietly and taste, and rinse, and taste. I love unearthing the complex flavours of a dish. And sometimes, it’s just a combination of the most simple ingredients! There’s nothing better than having homemade takeaway food – it’s hot off the press, freshly prepared, and you can decide what goes into your food’.

Our busy lives force us to seek convenient options to fuel our bodies. Artificial products may be cheaper and satiate a quick craving, but these foods are bad for our bodies and brains. This gives us all the more reason to support local, trustworthy food businesses! 

With any venture, there is that ‘fear of the unknown’. Some succumb to it, but for Naslie it is a unique mixture of faith, family and food: ‘It’s true what they say: Allah pushes you in your direction. Coming out of a full-time job where I did sales executive work, flying from city to city and currently working in a retail environment, into selling my homemade creations. I would experiment with flavours and recipe-develop on my days off, inviting family and friends to taste test. They encouraged me to turn this passion into a business. Along the way, I have received great support from local radio stations, customers and Asian-food lovers!’. Things can get heated in the kitchen, so how does this passionate home cook deal with the pressure of it all? ‘There’s always pressure, no one can tell you there’s no pressure. Every time I go onto the radio and present something new that I made it’s always nerve wracking. You always fail and then you succeed – and that pushes me forward’. Naslie shares that one of her biggest coping mechanisms comes in the form of melodious music: ‘I love music. Especially The Rose, a Korean brand, and really old-school classics. That’s my cooking music’.

Let’s backtrack to that ‘fear of the unknown’, any entrepreneur works hard to avoid failure – but what do you do when things feel like they’re all too much? Istikhara and Tawakkal – because if it is not meant for you, it will not happen. I have a belief that everything good happens to me on a Friday, and whatever happens, even if I might not like it, something better is coming – it’s okay! The one thing about cooking is [that] if you feel sick or your emotions are in turmoil rather don’t cook – because your love is not in it and it will flop. There will always be people who want to spread hate or compare you to others, but my philosophy is; if you buy from me or you don’t, it’s all good!

Every artist has their own source of inspiration and Naslie’s is a bit on the mechanical side.  ‘Driving in my car brings the best inspiration. There’s just something about the scenery or seeing the ocean that helps me think and create tasty treats to satisfy whatever cravings I have. I’ll come home, start from scratch, and make improvements as I go along (always making sure to jot everything down)’. Naslie adds that on her bucket-list of recipe ventures lie pasta in the wake, but also more Eastern cuisines and community ventures: I want to start with making my noodles from scratch, and then delving into ravioli and making other pasta. To taste proper, fresh pasta is the best! You cannot go wrong. Another skill I hope to master is wok-handling – I have learned a lot and I would love to offer Asian-cooking lessons to people in our community.

The conversation was flowing and filled with fun that we just had to have a quick-fire question: you’re stuck on a deserted island, and you have 4 Asian ingredients with you to survive (yes, there are coconuts on the island). Naslie said, ‘I’ll pack in tteok, gochujang (red chilli paste), spring onion, sesame seeds (furikake seasoning). I’m going to fish, and dry the coconut to make a type of coconut rice. Mix the gochujang with the sesame seeds to make a sauce and sprinkle some chopped spring onion on top for garnish’. Fortunately, we’re not on a deserted island, and Naslie shares some of her favourite freezer staples. ‘Wontons are a must, you can fry them up crispy or use it in soups too. Bao buns are incredibly versatile but if you’re not sure how to use them you can buy premade BBQ Bao buns available at Asian grocery stores. Kewpie mayo – yes can keep it in the freezer! I use it for rich cheese sauces or lush pasta dishes!

Visiting Halaal Asian Delights was a vibrant time similar to getting together with friends you hadn’t seen in a while. The table (and our bellies) were filled to the brim with sticky wings, Cape Malay-Asian fused recipes (her tikka chicken dumplings are to die for) and lots of love and laughter. We definitely had the best time and hope to be seeing more of Naslie and her creations soon.

Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer #4

A few weeks later, I sat waiting for my friends in the school cafeteria. It was unusual for Katie and me to arrive there separately. When I searched for her in her classroom, she’d already left. I scanned the room, making sure I had a view of all the entrances, yet neither Katie nor any of my other friends walked through any of them. Suddenly Kasey appeared – we made eye contact, and I warmly waved at her.

Recently, I spent afternoons at her house working on our school project. Unexpectedly, she’d become a great friend of mine, even though we barely spoke to each other at school.
At most, we would acknowledge each other. However, we would speak over the phone regularly, and through this, we got to know each other better – which made me realize that Kasey was not like how we thought she’d be at all!


Katie and the rest of my friends found this new acquaintanceship super weird. They would readily make remarks whenever I would greet Kasey. Once, when Katie was feeling especially mean, she made snarky comments about our friendship – of course, I simply laughed it off. I knew she wouldn’t mean them, but the insults became annoyingly unbearable, and I tried to avoid bumping into Kasey whenever I was with my friends.


The cafeteria became a bit noisier. I looked over my shoulder to see Katie and our group of friends laughing as they made their way towards me. Katie’s face sobered up as soon as she saw me.


“Hey”


“Hi, where have you been?”


“Around,” Katie answered vaguely. She shared a look and a giggle with our friends sitting at the table.


“Around? What’s that supposed to mean?” I was confused about why they were leaving me out all of a sudden.


Katie looked at me whilst rolling her eyes. “I mean around, Emma. Do you really need to know everything?”


I was taken aback by how harsh her tone was. “Everything? I literally just asked one question, Katie, it’s not such a big deal.”


She scoffed. “I swear ever since you started hanging out with Fatty K you have been acting so weird! I don’t even know who you are anymore.”


“What are you even talking about? I don’t hang out with her.”

“Are you serious, right now,” her bitter laugh made me freeze. I started feeling queasy, fidgeting with my fingers. Katie had a blank look on her face, completely unreadable, which made me feel threatened. “Come on, Emma. We have all seen how you greet her in the hallways, even now you waved to her.”
Around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”

Looking around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”


Stunned, I felt the room spinning around me. Not saying anything – unable to find the words, Katie and the rest of the table broke out into a fit of laughter. I gulped nervously, feeling uncomfortable as they laughed at me. I could feel the blood rush to my ears as tears welled up in my eyes. My throat was closing up, making it hard for me to breathe. I couldn’t stay there any longer – I had to escape – but I couldn’t move at all. It was like I had lost complete control over my body…

What was wrong with me? Why did I just sit there like an idiot? Why didn’t I just deny it? That would have been better than to have them laugh at me.


Katie steadied herself, “well this is rich. Our little Emma is all grown up and making friends with our school’s resident Fatty.” She checked her wristwatch, putting her arm around my shoulder. Leaning in too-close-for-comfort to my ear. She whispered, with a hot breath that sent shivers down my spine, “I really think you should see what’s about to happen next. I think it’ll put you back on the right path.”


Unable to look at her, she tucked my hair behind my ear. Once she finished speaking, a commotion started on the other side of the cafeteria, right where Kasey sat. I looked up just in time to see a tray of lasagna thrown on her head. I swear I gasped, but it was lost in the raucous laughter erupting in the cafeteria. Kasey stood up to defend herself – her protests were silenced with a yoghurt cup thrown at her face.


“Go ahead, Em. Go defend your friend, she looks like she needs your help,” Katie said loudly standing up from next to me, making me look up at her. She looked at me with such malice in her eyes that made me feel so intimidated – it made me feel so small. I wanted to stand up, I really did. But I was frozen to my spot. I was scared that if I moved right then, everyone that was throwing food at Kasey would turn their attack on me in an instant.


A high pitched scream.


It was Kasey’s last warning for them to stop… and everyone did. Until Katie walked towards her at an agonizingly slow pace. Picking up a can of soda, she opened it – the slow fizz of the can synonymous with the cocking of a gun – and poured all the contents over Kasey’s head. Katie’s speciality.


My heart sank to the ground as I made eye contact with Kasey. Her entire face was covered in food, but I could easily see the humiliation on her face. But nothing stung more than her look of sheer disappointment directed at me. Kasey’s glassy eyes were the last thing I saw before she ran out of the cafeteria, fiercely pushing through the crowd that shattered the silence with a piercing, mocking laughter.


Let’s Talk About Endometriosis (En-doe-me-tree-O-sis)

Nearly 10 per cent of women experience endometriosis worldwide – you’re not alone if you have this disorder! Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterine cavity. The tissue growth can form on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel and tissues lining the pelvis. This condition can cause chronic irritation and extreme pain, and infertility.

In a conversation with Fatima Hoosain from Upswing SA; an endo-sister and all-round stunning human being, she opens up about her real-life journey with endometriosis: “I think the best way to describe what it’s like living with endometriosis is like having bribed wire wrapped around your pelvis down around your thighs all the time. It’s extremely debilitating, and if you decide to use the treatments currently available. it’s almost like you’re just numbing everything. The barbed wire is still there, you know it’s there, you can somewhat feel it, but you’re also just numb all over.”

What are the symptoms?

Some women experience moderate to severe or mild symptoms – it is important to note that the severity of your pain does not indicate the degree or stage of the condition. Some of the symptoms experienced include, but are not limited to:

  • pelvic pain, pain in the lower abdomen before and during periods
  • painful periods
  • heavy menstrual flows or bleeding between periods

Fatima says “nausea (and) IBS are the two I’d highlight most. The rest kind of just fell into my daily life…Other than that, it was and sometimes still is, that crippling pelvic pain.” Some women experience no symptoms at all – therefore, it is vital to have regular and honest check-ups with your GP or gynaecologist to monitor any changes and request guidance.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Is there a cure?

“…to answer bluntly – no – there is no cure for it. There are procedures and treatment plans you can follow to manage it and reduce it, but it is often referred to as chronic.” When left untreated, the symptoms of endometriosis can hinder women from leading a full life. Treatment can range from over-the-counter pain medications to a total hysterectomy (as a last resort option).

What led to your diagnosis?

Fatima shares: for me, it was very simple. Since I started menstruating, I experienced dysmenorrhea which is extreme period cramps – and I mean extreme. Before and during my periods, I could not walk because of the pain. As I got older, the build-up of endometrium tissue increased, which I later discovered wrapped around my intestines and kidneys As that tissue built up, the pain became more intense and didn’t go away after my period as it normally would for others. The inflammation got so bad that it started damaging my intestines, and my nutrition absorption was heavily compromised – it became life-threatening. I became so malnourished that it compromised my mental stability – all I wanted was for the pain to stop. Unfortunately, this led to an overdose of medication which landed me in the ICU for observation.

It was at that point when I realised I needed help.

I went to see a gynaecologist who suggested the idea of endometriosis, but they were not comfortable performing the surgery that would accurately confirm the diagnosis. Instead, I was placed on birth control pills and the inflammation was monitored. The treatment was not effective and my life force was dimming. I was so malnourished and surviving on painkillers – I could not even lift my head. My parents rushed me to the hospital to be seen by my gynaecologist. I don’t remember much of the first two days as I was too weak to stay awake and caught glimpses of the nurses put me on an IV drip to heal me back to life. After multiple scans, blood tests, consultations with specialists, the doctors concluded that I had a concerning amount of inflammation in my pelvic area and the gynaecologist finally diagnosed me with endometriosis.

Endometriosis vs Self Confidence

Of the symptoms that can be managed, chronic pain can prove to be very difficult for many women. Mental health issues are not uncommon for women doing their best to manage their endometriosis. “You discover new things about your body that you can choose to either love or reject. The way I perceive my body psychologically affects my physical health,” Fatima further adds, “Learning to understand how my body works, the functions and processes that take place for me to simply be has made me appreciate and allow my body to do what it needs to as I try my best to support it and look after it.”

Fatima also explains that through her bittersweet relationship with her period, she has prioritized her body’s needs over societal expectations, “loving myself extra during the times of pain and celebrating the cycle body goes through to cleanse itself out of the old to make space for the new.”

You are not alone – it is highly recommended to reach out to support groups online or fellow sisters working through their endometriosis journey. Fatima adds that Endo-Warriors South Africa has been a huge support structure in her life, “It has taught me how common this condition is, and I would recommend you (to) discuss your period with friends, family or anyone willing to listen. The more people (who) know about it, the easier it is for us to receive support.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Where are you in your endo-journey?

“I’ve moved over from recovery phase into lifestyle management phase. It wasn’t an easy adjustment, emotionally, as I have to plan my work schedules around my cycle which is difficult when you have to accommodate your responsibilities. The world doesn’t stop for you, and that is something I had to accept and work with. Make lemonade out of lemons kind of thinking.” says Fatima.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition with no cure, with no scientifically proven cause (yet) – but with various treatment options available, women can own every day!

EXTRA

What are your thoughts on the shame associated with periods, menstrual health and female reproductive organs?

FATIMA: It’s ridiculous considering that’s the only process where 100 per cent of the population has been brought into the world. Hence, the reproductive organs should not be such a touchy subject as it is the essence of human life. If we can speak about heart failure, lung disease, kidney stones, we should be able to openly speak about the functions of the uterus, endometrium, etc. just as easily. After getting sick I have tried my best to speak as frankly as possible about my health conditions, in the same way, I would if I had experienced a heart attack. I remember during my first week back to school after being discharged from hospital – in a Biology lesson we had reached the chapter of the reproductive system. Our male Bio teacher began describing a very vague version of endometriosis to a classroom full of girls. I boldly raised my hand and mentioned that I had this health condition and would be willing to share my experiences. If any of my classmates had a similar experience or needed some clarity, I wanted to talk about it – however, I was immediately shut down and told not to be so loud to discuss such private and personal matters in public. I didn’t have the energy to fight the patriarchy that day, so I just quickly let everyone know I’d answer their questions privately if they were interested. Now that I am older, I always look for an opportunity to bring it up. More talking about menstruation, thank you!

Your take on – ‘sex education is just about teaching youth how to have sex’?

FATIMA: It’s complete bull$h!t. Firstly, so what if we’re teaching kids the steps of sex? I’m pretty sure the more that kids know, the less likely they are to experiment. When you actually read through the process, you realise the weight of responsibility it carries. Instead of letting it be this elusive, mysterious thing, speak about it openly so that kids aren’t jumping into it to satisfy their curiosity. Aside from that, sex education is not just about “how to have sex”. It is a lesson about your sexual organs, their functions, risks, and necessary practices and routine to ensure that your reproductive system is healthy. Topics in sex ed include understanding the risks of prostate cancer, what happens to your body as it shifts into adulthood through puberty, understanding how to care for your body, keep it clean and healthy – which is vital information for anyone.

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

References:

Endometriosis: gene identified which could be potential treatment target – new study

Endometriosis

Where Endometriosis Can Occur

Thanks for reading!

If you, or anyone you know, would like to join us as: email us at girlonthebusza@gmail.com or send us a message on social media!

Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer #3

Kasey was nicer than I thought… she wasn’t at all how we made her out to be.

To read the previous chapter of Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer, click here. Enjoy!

Taken by @aaronburden. Courtesy of Unsplash.com

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Kasey’s house the next day was how different her house was to mine.

The smell of homemade cookies filled my nostrils as soon as I stepped into her house. It made my mouth water and gave me a warm feeling in my stomach.

The décor itself was a complete contrast to ours; our house was decorated with a modernized style, everything in Kasey’s house screamed antique. From the furniture to the colour of the wallpaper. Now this wasn’t necessarily bad, in fact her house looked so cosy that I felt more at home in the first five minutes there than I ever had in my own house.

black and white table lamp on brown wooden table
Taken by @davexmit. Courtesy of Unsplash.com


Kasey’s mother was not at all how I expected her to be either. She was a petite lady that wore glasses with a frame that seemed too small for her face, and she was one of the kindest people I had ever met (to date). She greeted me with the most welcoming, and contagious, smile.

I followed Kasey up to her room after her mom chased us up with a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. When I stepped into her room, I nearly did a double take seeing a poster of one of my favourite bands taped to her wall.

“You listen to The Gray?” I asked her, deeply perplexed at never having met anyone who liked their music or who even listened to them.

“Of course,” she replied, motioning for me to take a seat at her desk. “They’re one of my favourite bands. Why do you ask?”

“It’s surprising, that’s all.”

“Why? Because you didn’t think someone like me would listen to a band like them?” Kasey questions, accusingly.

“What? No, it’s not like that.” I replied, a bit flustered. She didn’t say anything in return, instead she motioned for us to start working, which we did, in an awkward silence.

We worked for about two hours before deciding to take a break. I sat back in the desk chair and replied to a text I got from Katie.

silver MacBook on gray textile
Taken by @mialiamani. Courtesy of Unsplash.com


are you at fatty k’s? She had texted me. I looked at Kasey who was eating a cookie, her attention focused on her phone screen.

Yeah. I replied. Katie’s response came no longer than a minute later.

don’t forget to dig up some dirt on her!

Not knowing how to reply, I locked my phone and looked at Kasey, who’s eating her second cookie. I pulled a grossed out face.

“Do you know how many Carbs are in one chocolate chip cookie?”

“I don’t know and I do not need to know,” she answered, matter-of-factly. She pushes the plate of cookies towards me. “But I do know that you should have one of these.”

Reluctantly, I took one and broke it in half before placing a small piece into my mouth. My eyes widened.

plate of four chocolate cookies
Taken by @picoftasty. Courtesy of Unsplash.com


“It’s good, right?” Kasey asks and I find myself nodding, while eating another piece. “See, there’s much more to life than the amount of carbs that are in one chocolate chip cookie.” She jokes and I find myself laughing…

Unknowingly, I started to let my guard down. Kasey was nicer than I thought she’d be and after only thirty minutes of talking to her I felt more comfortable around her than my own friends. She wasn’t at all how we made her out to be.

After rolling in laughter for a while I asked, “Why are you being nice to me?” A silent, yet warm, cloud fallen over us.

“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “Personally, I think you’re really cool. And honestly speaking, I don’t think you’re truly like Katie and the others.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I don’t know, I’ll let you figure that out.”

She refrained from saying anything else. That night, as I lay in my bed, her words replayed in my head and so did some of my memories with my friends.

For some reason, those few words made me question all my friendships.

To be continued…

Thanks for reading!

If you, or anyone you know, would like to join us as: email us at girlonthebusza@gmail.com or send us a message on social media!

Easy Weekend Crowd-Pleasers | Recipes For Any Occasion

Set the table, pull out the extra chairs and play that soft house music because these recipes are worth sharing with the ones you love! And if you’re feeling like you need some self-love, the Creamy Curried Pasta recipe is a stunner! Feeling pinched for time, then try the Cheesy Chicken and Corn Wraps! The creator of these tasty creations is the stunning Farzana Kumandan from Sprinkles and Spice, please show her some love!

Cheesy Chicken and Corn Wraps

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons butter

6 chicken fillets cubed

½ cup frozen corn

1 tablespoon Portuguese spice

½ cup water 

¾ cup mayo 

½ cup mild, medium or hot Nandos peri peri sauce (depends on your preference)

Method

Braise the chicken fillets, corn and spice in butter until golden brown

Once browned, add the water and simmer until the chicken has cooked, water has reduced and it’s cooked completely dry

Add in the sauce and mayo

Simmer for 2 minutes until sauce has thickened

Fill your store bought wraps, roll them up and place them packed tightly next to each other in a rectangle Pyrex dish

Generously sprinkle with cheese, and grill on 200 degrees for 5-10 minutes until the cheese bubbles and is grilled to perfection

If you don’t have wraps, roti works well too, make some – its so lekker!

Credit: Farzana Kumandan

Creamy Curried Pasta

Ingredients

500g pasta if your choice

2 tablespoons butter

½ finely diced onion

¼ finely diced red pepper

1 big grated garlic clove

1 punnet sliced mushrooms

3 chicken fillets cut in strips

2x 7g Curry Powder envelopes

½ tsp thyme

1 teaspoons crushed chillies

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

240g tub tomato puree

2x 250ml fresh cream

Method

Boil the pasta in salt water with a dash of olive oil until al dente, strain, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside

On a stove top on a medium to high heat, melt the butter

Add the onion, pepper and garlic and braise until light brown

Add the mushrooms and chicken and braise until dry and golden brown

Add the spices, salt, and sugar and mix well

Add the tomato puree and fresh cream bring to boil

Simmer for 5 minutes

Add in the pasta, mix and garnish with coriander

If you making it before hand, heat the sauce and mix in the pasta just before serving, this ensures your pasta is creamy and saucy

Credit: Frazana Kumandan

Show Farzana some love and let her know that we sent you her way!

We Approve This Deliciousness | Mid-Week Dessert Ideas 🧁

Is it time for dessert? Or do you fancy a mignardise course or some post-meal pastries and snacks? Farzana Kumandan from Sprinkles and Spice has you sorted! These easy-peasy Bread Pudding and Milk Tart recipes will have you asking for ‘seconds, please’.

Bread Pudding

Ingredients

6 slices of bread 

4 eggs

2 tablespoons butter

¾ cup sugar

750ml full cream milk

3 heaped tablespoon custard

¼ cup coconut 

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

½ teaspoon fine cinnamon 

Pinch of cardamom and/or nutmeg 

Pinch of salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth

Spray a medium rectangle Pyrex dish with spray and cook and pour in your mixture 

Bake on 180 degrees on the lower rack of the oven for 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and a slightly cracked crust is formed 

Once done, remove from the oven and brush over apricot jam

Turn off the oven but return the pudding to the warm oven to rest and settle for 20 minutes 

Milk Tart

Ingredients for the base

250g soft butter (not melted)

125g sifted icing sugar

2 eggs

2 heaped cups flour

Method for the base

Cream the eggs, soft butter and sifted icing sugar until smooth

Fold in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a soft dough (If the dough is too sticky, the butter was too soft, add an extra ½ cup flour)

Press into a large black oven tray, ensuring you form a crust over the sides

Pop in the freezer for 20 minutes

Ingredients for the milk custard

8 large eggs (you can use 7 if you prefer it less firm)

2 tablespoons custard powder

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons vanilla essence

1 Tin Condensed Milk

1¼ cups cold milk

1 cup cold water

3 tablespoons soft butter (cut in 12 small pieces)

Fine Cinnamon for dusting

Method for the milk custard

In mixer whisk the eggs, custard, salt, vanilla essence and condensed milk until smooth

Add in the milk and water and whisk until well combined

Lastly, add the pieces of butter

Pour over the chilled base and dust with cinnamon

Bake on 180degrees for 50 minutes on the lower part of the oven (Do not preheat the oven)

Once the custard starts to expand and bubble, it’s done!

Make sure you follow Farzana on Instagram and Facebook for more yummy recipes, all made with love! Stay hydrated.

Midweek Soup Ideas | To Feed Your Body and Soul 🥣

This right here is the definition of love. There is no other food on this planet that perfectly sums up the feeling of snuggling under a cozy blanket. Holding hands with your favourite person (even if it yourself). Warm, fuzzy socks and soft glowing Winter sunsets. A steaming bowl of soup is the perfect source of happiness and nutrition this Winter! Soups are amazing health buddies too, providing ample amounts of water and nutrients to your body. Plus, it’s low-cal!

We teamed up with Farzana Kumandan from Sprinkles and Spice to bring you a special collection of her classic Winter recipes to spice up your chilly days. You can find all kinds of delicious inspo right here – @sprinklesandspicect

butternut soup topped with a dash of cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh coriander
Credit: Farzana Kumandan for Sprinkles and Spice

Pumpkin / Butternut Soup

Ingredients

Half a pumpkin or 1 large Butternut (rough chop, save some seeds)  

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 sweet potato, chopped

 ½ green pepper, diced

Handful of celery and parsley

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 tbsp of butter

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp barbeque or Cajun chicken spice

Dash of nutmeg

1/4 cup of fresh cream (or dessert cream or ideal milk)

Method

Braise all your veg in butter, sugar, cinnamon, barbeque or Cajun chicken spice and nutmeg mixture.

Braise until all the veg is golden brown and caramelized – Don’t miss this tip it adds extra flavour

Close the lid and turn down the heat, allowing the veg to sweat for 1 minute

Top with boiling water and simmer until all the veg is soft

Once soft, liquidize until smooth using a stand blender or hand blender

Return to the pot and add either a ¼ cup of fresh cream or dessert cream or ideal milk.

Simmer until it boils

Garnish with freshly toasted pumpkin or butternut seeds and a sprinkle of fresh coriander. Serve! 🥣

delicious, thick yellow lentil soup with a light sprinkle of spice on top and finished off with fresh coriander
Credit: Farzana Kumandan for Sprinkles and Spice

Lentil Soup

Ingredients

¼ cup Olive oil

1 large Onion, diced 

3 cloves of garlic, grated

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

1 Butternut, peeled and cut into chunks

2 carrots, gated 

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 handful parsley

1 handful celery

Dash of fresh lemon juice

2 litres water or veg stock

Salt to taste

*dry roast these spices in a hot pan and grind it fine in a mortar and pestle

2 teaspoon whole jeera (cumin seeds)

½ teaspoon crushed red chillies

1 teaspoon smoked paprika 

Method

Braise the onion in olive oil until it’s translucent

Add in the garlic and braise until the tips of the garlic start turning slightly golden brown

Add in the spices, lentils and veg and Braise for 3 minutes

Add in the water and reduce the heat to low

Simmer on a low heat for 35 minutes

Add a dash of lemon juice and salt to taste and blend with a stick blender or in a liquidizer until smooth

Serve with a slice of lemon and crusty bread or flat bread

Let us know how these recipes turned out. Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below! And make sure to follow Farzana Kumandan on Instagram and Facebook. Stay hydrated!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com