Spier Secret Festival…

We are delighted to let you all know that we are going to be selling our wares at the Spier Secret Festival this weekend : ) It’s always a great day out with loads of absolutely delicious foodie options, which I am looking so forward to tasting! And it’s a great opportunity to get started on that Christmas shopping (I know I just said it!!). Hope to see you there!

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“On Saturday 25 October, the Spier Secret Market showcases the full range of Spier’s wines and hosts some of the region’s best small producers, bakers, street food vendors, food trucks and restaurants.

There will be plenty of farm-style entertainment for kids. The market is open to the public from 9:00 – 15:00; entry is free.

More info: http://spiersecret.co.za/markets/saturday-market-25-october/

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

you and me and thursdays…

I am sure most of you know about First Thursdays Cape Town, but do you know about Third Thursdays Cape Town? Third Thursdays is the East city edition of First Thursdays, where you can explore Cape Town’s East city after hours for an evening of art, culture and great food.  Art galleries and stores stay open until until 9pm. One of the places you really shouldn’t miss is ANOUK Furniture and Decor situated below the Perspectives building in Roeland Street. ANOUK offers an eclectic mix of affordable furniture and décor – old and new – catering for those in need of both basic and indulgent pieces. I was in there yesterday and there are some really beautiful pieces of antique furniture available selling at really good prices. Not only do they make a bit of a fuss for Third Thursdays by having various designers showcasing their products in the shop, but they have wine…and fun…and from this Third Thursdays onwards they will also be stocking our decorative placemats. I have attached a copy of the map for this Third Thursdays 22 May. ANOUK is no 12.

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And while I’m going on about our lovely decorative placemats, this week’s YOU magazine is also giving them some love in their “We Love” feature as part of their Lifestyle section.

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Awesome Autumn Minestrone Soup in winter again : )

Some of you may remember this post (awesome autumn minestrone soup (even though it’s winter))…or possibly the fact that when I started my blog, to get more readers onto my site, I used to make soups, all kinds of soups, make them look pretty, shoot them, and then blog about them along with their recipes. I stopped doing this after while, mostly because Handmade by Me started taking off and I had way more exciting things to blog about, but also because I started getting sick of making and eating soups!

This soup below is one of my alltime favourites, and after going through a whole bunch of recipes to help me decide what to make for dinner tonight I remembered this little gem of a meal . I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, its so tasty and hearty and it needs absolutely nothing else with it! I am actually really looking forward to making it again. If you are into soups, I have loads of other delicious and super easy recipes posted in the earlier days of my blog. Here is the post I did over a year and a half ago…

awesome autumn minestrone soup (even though it’s winter)

This soup has a pile of ingredients in it but it is oh so worth every one!!! I got this recipe off jamie oliver’s website and have simplified it quite a lot otherwise you’d be there cooking all day : ) If you want to grow your own beans, and cook them for an extra half an hour, and add some more ingredients to the list, feel free to use his original recipe….or….for anyone with no time on their hands and the desire to create the perfect 1 pot meal here ya go….

The Recipe: Autumn Minestrone Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 400g tin cannellini beans
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
4 rashers smoked pancetta or bacon, preferably free-range or organic
2 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
½ a head of fennel, chopped (if you can’t find fennel crush 1 tsp of fennel seeds…don’t leave it out!)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a small bunch of fresh basil, leaves and stalks separated
2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
a glass of red wine
2 small courgettes, quartered and sliced
200g baby spinach, washed and roughly sliced (including stalks)
565ml chicken, ham or vegetable stock, preferably organic
55g dried pasta (I used spelt pasta which is great if you want something wheat-free)
a block of Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:
To make your soffrito, heat a good splash of olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped pancetta or bacon, onions, carrots, celery, fennel, garlic and the finely sliced basil stalks. Sweat very slowly on a low heat, with the lid just ajar, for around 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes, courgettes and red wine and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Now add the spinach, stock and beans. Put the dried pasta into a polythene bag, squeeze all the air out and tie the end up. Bash gently with a rolling pin to break the pasta into pieces. Snip the end off the bag and empty the contents into the soup. Stir and continue to simmer until the pasta is cooked.

If you think the soup is looking too thick, add a little more stock or some of the reserved cooking water to thin it down a bit. Then taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the torn-up basil leaves and with some extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top. Put a block of Parmesan and a grater on the table for everyone to help themselves. Heaven!

here’s to bubbly sundays…

A new market is starting at the Val De Vie Wine and Polo Estate in Paarl. Its on on certain Sundays (dates below) and its sponsored by Pongracz which for me is reason enough to go, but I hear there are going to be lots of awesome sellers with with lots of gorgeous products to sell and foods to eat and wines to taste and music to listen to and..and…and…

Handmade by me are going to there at the first of the markets this sunday with a whole lot of fresh stock, and we hope that if you head down this way you will pop in and say hi and check out what I imagine is a most gorgeous venue!

val de vie market

If you are looking for the exact address it’s Val de Vie Estate, R301, Jan van Riebeeck Drive, Paarl, 7646 or check out their website for more details.

food wine design bay harbour market woodlands eatery tjing tjing exchange…

…and thats where you can find your desired handmade by me products over the next week. Kicking off the markets, and a first for handmade by me products, there is the Sanlam FoodWineDesign Fair at the Hyde Park Corner Shopping Centre Rooftop. Its on all weekend and I am absolutely kicking myself for not being there!! It looks awesome!! Next year for sure! All handmade by me products can be found at the Room Online stall so keep a look out.

“The FoodWineDesign Fair was launched in 2010 by Artlogic and Sanlam Investment Management. The first of its kind in South Africa, this boutique outdoor market features the best local furniture crafters, artisan products, top wine labels, micro breweries and speciality foods. Top SA chefs also educate and inspire with on-site demonstrations.”

Say no more right?

Then sadly this will be the last weekend that you will see handmade by me at the Bay Harbour Market…for this year anyways. So if you’re in the area and have your eye on something now is your chance to go and get it. Its on friday evening, and all day saturday and sunday so you have plenty of time!

Monday brings The Woodlands Eatery Pop-Up Market which now has set dates for every second monday leading up to christmas. There are going to be some new exciting sellers there so it is definitely worth popping in, even if you have been before. As I always say Larry’s pizzas are worth it alone! Please note that this market is indoors so if the southeaster is blowing a gale force the market will still be happening.

And then tuesday brings the famous Tjing Tjing Exchange and I am super honoured to be selling amongst such great names and to be a part of such a great event. This is always a fun night out and there is always a great selection of sellers (as you can see by the flyer) so if you are going to pick one market event to come to, make it this one. Every month brings new and different sellers so get it while its hot : )

New evening market starting at The Woodlands Eatery

There is nothing better than dinner at The Woodlands Eatery. Well nothing except dinner AND a night market at The Woodlands Eatery of course! And this is all kicking off this Monday the 15th from 7pm with the first of their Monday evening markets. There will be beer, there will be wine, there will be pizzas! And with a great selection of sellers from fashion to decor to plants this market is going to rock! Hope to see you all there!

awesome autumn minestrone soup (even though it’s winter)

This soup has a pile of ingredients in it but it is oh so worth every one!!! I got this recipe off jamie oliver’s website and have simplified it quite a lot otherwise you’d be there cooking all day : ) If you want to grow your own beans, and cook them for an extra half an hour, and add some more ingredients to the list, feel free to use his original recipe….or….for anyone with no time on their hands and the desire to create the perfect 1 pot meal here ya go….

The Recipe: Autumn Minestrone Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 400g tin cannellini beans
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
4 rashers smoked pancetta or bacon, preferably free-range or organic
2 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
½ a head of fennel, chopped (if you can’t find fennel crush 1 tsp of fennel seeds…don’t leave it out!)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a small bunch of fresh basil, leaves and stalks separated
2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
a glass of red wine
2 small courgettes, quartered and sliced
200g baby spinach, washed and roughly sliced (including stalks)
565ml chicken, ham or vegetable stock, preferably organic
55g dried pasta (I used spelt pasta which is great if you want something wheat-free)
a block of Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:
To make your soffrito, heat a good splash of olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped pancetta or bacon, onions, carrots, celery, fennel, garlic and the finely sliced basil stalks. Sweat very slowly on a low heat, with the lid just ajar, for around 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes, courgettes and red wine and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Now add the spinach, stock and beans. Put the dried pasta into a polythene bag, squeeze all the air out and tie the end up. Bash gently with a rolling pin to break the pasta into pieces. Snip the end off the bag and empty the contents into the soup. Stir and continue to simmer until the pasta is cooked.

If you think the soup is looking too thick, add a little more stock or some of the reserved cooking water to thin it down a bit. Then taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the torn-up basil leaves and with some extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top. Put a block of Parmesan and a grater on the table for everyone to help themselves. Heaven!