Delicious Spiced Pumpkin Cake

delicious spiced pumpkin cake

How do you feel about vegetables in your cake?  I know some people are skeptical to use vegetables or fruit in cake recipes but belief me it can be so yummy. I once ordered a red velvet cake from a coffee shop and the baker used beetroot as the main ingredient. It was absolutely divine. The other is of course my ultimate carrot cake recipe. Those who have eaten it will always come back for another slice or three.  My carrot cake recipe has never been shared on my blog and I intend keeping it that way – it is my little secret. (more…)


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Snip the puppet strings of external validation

snip puppet strings external validation

Thinking back to 31 years ago when I was very young and naïve. How I wish I could go back in time and tell that young girl that she is enough, worthy, beautiful and have so much ambition. Having no idea how to snip it; I was once controlled by the puppet strings of external validation.

Ridiculed about my race, my background and my appearances (skinny, tall, flat nose and an array of other names); my self-esteem took a knock from a young age. There is absolutely no truth in the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.  Those words hurt and it left scars. I never valued myself or thought that I was good enough or beautiful. I was greatly affected by what people said to me or thought of me.  It became my truth as I murmured many uncaring words to myself whilst staring in the mirror.

I was shy and quiet – an introvert. At school I became an overachiever forcing myself to succeed, achieve and perfect. I had no personal boundaries and would say yes for everything. I didn’t know that the power of no existed. My self-worth was based on people-pleasing.  I relied heavily on the opinions and encouragement of others; seeking validation from my parents, teachers and friends that I am competent, capable and good enough.

In my early 20’s I came out of my shell a little bit but the self-doubt continued. It consumed every aspect of my life. Not only when I transitioned into adulthood but being an undergraduate at university, hanging out with friends, being in a relationship and applying for my first job. I would question everything – am I being responsible, am I intelligent enough, what if I fail, do I fit in, am I liked, what will they think of me when I say no, does he think I am beautiful, why didn’t he call me, is he really interested in me, did I do a good job, do they think I did a good job, what if I mess up?

The inner critic never left me. I lacked self-confidence, compared myself to others and constantly strived for external validation and acceptance. Receiving that validation made me feel secure and gave me a sense of belonging. If I didn’t receive it; my ego would be bruised, leaving me feeling rejected. Causing an even harder blow to my self-esteem.

It was only during Brent and I’s premarital counselling sessions when it came to light. We had to address issues that could affect our relationship negatively. Because ultimately you can’t pour into a marriage, with an empty cup. These sessions helped me to practice self-compassion and self-care. It was a process that I worked hard at every single day. It enabled me to stop being reliant on external validation and to slowly snip the puppet strings that controlled me. Today I control the strings as my values and beliefs matter the most.  I don’t have to pretend as I know that I am enough.

So today let me be that voice of reason that says stop trying to measure up. Stop second guessing yourself. You are enough – yes I know it’s a cliché but you are truly enough. Don’t try to change aspects of who you are just to fit in. Don’t showcase yourself to please others. We all strive to put the best version of ourselves out there but remember comparison is the thief of joy.  Focus on what you have, your abilities and your achievements.

Yes people will always have opinions about you but don’t let that become your truth.  Don’t beat yourself up and tell that inner critic to take a hike. It is ok to fail, not to be liked by everyone, to go through stuff, to get angry, to be crazy and to be loud. Be kind to yourself. Internalize it and take up your space because you are worthy, enough, capable and beautiful. You are in control so snip the puppet strings of external validation that dictates you.


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Lemon Coconut and Almond Cake [Low Carb]

lemon coconut almond cake

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. To me carbs symbolises comfort food.  But sometimes we tend to eat too much processed foods and refined carbs which is not good for our health in the long run. So since April I have significantly reduced my carb intake and are trying to incorporate healthier carbohydrates into my diet.  But finding healthy alternatives to substitute sweet treats is not always that easy. The options are very limited. Therefore I decided to experiment with a few low carb ingredients when baking. Don’t worry you will still find recipes containing wheat flour on my blog but there will be a few that have alternative flour options too.  (more…)


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POTS – The Mysterious Disorder

POTS Mysterious Disorder

Before hitting the publish button, I double-checked with Lea if she was certain about sharing her story.  Getting consent from my family is imperative especially when I delve into personal issues. Her main goal is to create awareness in order to help others who might suffer too.  Lea ’s journey with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) started on 22 May. Not known by many, POTS is a mysterious disorder that is often misdiagnosed for anxiety or panic attacks. (more…)


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Stop saying that we all equal

stop saying that we all equalAs I sit in my warm bed, sipping on my coffee while the rain drops fall on my bedroom window; so many thoughts go through my mind. Recently someone posted that we are all equal in support of the racism protests that is currently happening in the USA.  Are we really? I think not; so can people just stop saying we all equal. (more…)


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Cheesy Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms

Cheesy Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms Mushroom are tasty and such a versatile veg and has great nutritional value too. It is low in calories and carbs but rich in fibre. But I must confess as a child I never liked mushrooms because of its texture. I found it to be rubbery, slimy and pretty bland. Until I reached my 20’s and it was cooked differently and let’s just say from then onwards I was hooked. (more…)


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Classic Creamy Beef Stroganoff

classic creamy beef stroganoff

With the weather getting chillier; we are all craving hearty and comforting food. And there is nothing better than my quick and easy classic creamy beef stroganoff to bust the hunger with hearty goodness.

My take on this classic meal is a one pot wonder and will literally takes 30 minutes to prepare. Made with tender beef strips, chunky mushrooms in a creamy mushrooms sauce will definitely satisfy your taste buds.  Packed with delicious flavours you can serve it on its own or with pasta, rice, couscous or creamy mashed potatoes.

This recipe is in partnership with Denny Mushrooms which is a proudly South African brand for 30 years. This Denny inspired meal is a perfect weeknight dinner winner for the entire family. 

Classic Creamy Beef Stroganoff

 

Classic Creamy Beef Stroganoff

  • Difficulty: easy
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Hearty, creamy and packed with delicious flavour

Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Serve: 4

Ingredients

30ml olive oil
800g beef stirfry or steak strips
1 large onion cut into half rings
1 green pepper cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 sachet Denny Creamy Mushroom Cook-In-Sauce
2 punnets (250g) Denny Button mushrooms (chunky slices)
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic and herb spice
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Steak and chop spice for seasoning

Directions

Season the beef strips with steak and chop spice.   Heat oil in a frying pan or pot over medium heat.  Add beef strips and sauté on a medium to low heat until brown Note don’t brown over high heat as this will make the eat tough.  Remove from pan or pot and transfer to a plate. Cover with tin foil and allow to rest. Add onions to pan or pot with onion powder. Sauté gently, then add green pepper and garlic. Sauté until the onions are golden brown and the green pepper soft. Add sliced mushrooms, season with salt, pepper and garlic and herb spice and cook until brown. Return beef to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Add Denny Mushroom Creamy Mushroom Sauce and cook until it starts to bubble. Serve and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.



 


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To my girls; thank you

to my girls thank you

To my girls,

Thank you for coping so well under these circumstances. I kinda think both of you love being at home as you can sleep late, go to bed later and enjoy the advantages of the relaxed house rules.

I know you miss your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. But when you talk to them on the phone or video call them you are so cheerful and optimistic. (more…)


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Denny Mushrooms’ initiative to support local restaurants

denny-mushrooms'-initiative-to-support-local-restaurants

Denny Mushrooms has been a Proudly South African brand for over 30 years. It has always been a trusted brand when it comes to cooking with the freshest ingredients in our household.

Hardest hit by the regulations put in place by government to combat the spread of the Coronavirus are our local restaurants. In order to support them, Denny launched the initiative #SupportYourLocal which forms part of their Add Goodness Project. (more…)


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Homemade Cheese and Onion Bread

Cheese and Onion Bread

There is nothing more satisfying than a slice of freshly baked homemade bread with a sliver of butter. Bread is one of the great joys of life. In fact, bread is life. Unless of course you have specific health issues or following a strict low-carb diet. All I can say is that you are missing out. 

The whiff of homemade bread that hovers in the kitchen as it bakes will make you salivate. And it is even more satisfying if you baked it yourself from scratch. (more…)


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