My Birthday

My birthday was just about a month ago now and I felt as though I couldn’t not share it. I wanted to re-cap it as something I could look back on and remember because my 2017 B-day is not something I want to forget.

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My good friend stayed the night before my B-day, and we ate pizza and snuggled up on the bed watching a movie, enough said. The ideal movie night in, in my opinion. I focused just on enjoying the night so I didn’t snap any pictures, but I kind of like it that way. Sometimes a memory is better in your imagination, and I wouldn’t have traded that night for the world… my heart was so happy. ❤

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The next morning was so special and I was spoiled rotten by my family and friends. The gift of social media allowed me to received messages from people dear to my heart who were across the ocean. And then the fun began. We got all dolled up and headed into Durban for our special tea.

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We decided on the Antique Cafe (93 Churchill Rd) and we were not disappointed. Not only did they have the most beautiful sitting area, but their food was amazing. 5-star rating from me. ^_^ There was an accordion player playing live atmospheric music and the whole morning couldn’t have been better.

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It’s not every day an accordion player plays you Happy Birthday and you get a candle in a bee sting. In case you’re confused, a bee sting is a mini cake with honey and caramelized nuts. Divine! We also indulged in some cheesecake, and oh man it was good!

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But really, I can’t think of anything more special than sitting with my friend and my parents enjoying a beautiful Durban morning celebrating another year alive

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That’s it for now

~Abby

Xx

Train Trip

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So I started this post a week after New Years and it’s March already. On New Year’s Day, I went on the Umgeni Train ride which is run completely by volunteers. We managed to go on the perfect day because it wasn’t raining and there weren’t actually a lot of people on the train. There were plenty on the first ride of the day I was told, but my parents and I went on the evening ride. We were actually able to pick our own seats!

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Apart from going on a train ride being so flipping cool, just check these views! The windows were all wide open so we got to breathe the fresh African air and catch some stunning shots.

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Once we got there we browsed the market a little bit and sat down for some supper. Of course, we had to go for some pizza.

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Me trying to be photogenic whilst eating pizza…

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At least it was delicious!

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The ride back was almost better than the ride there because it was just getting dark and there’s something so satisfying about trundling along in a train at dusk.

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Staring out of a dark train window listening to the music that you love sounds like one of the best ways to spend your time.

She took the midnight train going anywhere…

Almost for the whole ride back, my head was out of the window (being careful about overhanging branches) and I just turned up the music on my phone and enjoyed the ride.

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So I hope you enjoyed this little mid-week post about my first adventure of the year. Even though it’s March already, it’s not too late to look ahead at the year coming and make the plans that you want to make. I’m personally excited for this month because it’s my B-Day month :D, but whatever else is facing you this year, be bold enough to do the things you want to do.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I’d love to hear from you so don’t be shy and leave comment down below. ^_^

Expect more posts coming soon!!

~Abby

Xx

Spelt Gingerbread // Eggnog

The Holidays were made for baking; especially around Christmas time. I’ve decided to share a couple recipes that I made this year for Christmas. I’ve always been a fan of baking but during Christmas ,there are a couple things that are holiday staples. The first being, Gingerbread.

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Now I was never really sure if I liked gingerbread, but when the holidays roll around you feel like you at least ought to make it. It’s the same with mince pies. Unfortunately, both my mom and I are cutting back on our wheat consumption so the only things I’m able to bake now have to be made with some kind of alternative flour or oats. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing what else I make work with these ingredients. This year I wanted to try spelt gingerbread. I tried making normal gingerbread one year, (the year I went absolutely crazy with Xmas baking which I will probably not repeat anytime soon) and it took me so long to do, even though I had a friend over to help me. This recipe, however, was made quickly and relatively fuss-free provided you are able to get hold of the ingredients.

Please excuse me as I rummage through my room to actually find the recipes I wanted to share with you…

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Ahem. So in looking for a recipe specifically suited for spelt flour I found two which looked particularly promising. The one was completely vegan, using applesauce and coconut oil in place of butter and eggs. Since I didn’t feel like being THAT healthy I combined it with another recipe that also used coconut sugar in conjunction with maple syrup. The reason I didn’t just use this recipe, however, was because I liked the combination of spices in the vegan recipe which included cinnamon and cloves instead of just ginger. If you want to view both of these recipes separately the vegan one was from makingthymeforhealth.com and the other one was from myfussyeater.com. However, if you’re interested in how I combined these two recipes then keep reading!

First, I started with 2 cups of spelt flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons ginger, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, and 1/4 cup coconut sugar. Combine all these dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. (You can sift it but that would have gotten rid of a major part of the flour that I was using. It will probably depend on how fine your flour is but if you want to keep the nuttiness of the spelt I would suggest just dumping it in)

Next, grab your 1/4 cup coconut sugar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of molasses, 1 medium egg, and 50g (roughly 1/4 cup I think?) of butter. Stir all these wet ingredients together.

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Pour your wet mixture into your dry mixture, combine, and chill. Aim for an hour or more. Then all you’ve got to do is roll out your dough on a floured surface. The recipe says around 1/4 of an inch thick but since I have no idea what that means roll it out until you’re happy with the thickness. Cut out your shapes, transfer to a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. One of the recipes says 160ºC and the other says 350ºF. Since the oven I use is very cold, I just used the universal 180ºC because I couldn’t be bothered about being precise and baked them until they looked done. If you like your cookies a little crunchier you might want to bake them a little longer but it depends on what your particular oven is like. Do not make your cookies super thin, super small, bake at 180º for 10 minutes and just leave them! You’re going to want to keep an eye on any cookie you’ve got baking when you do it the first time around because if you change the portion size or your oven is slightly hotter than normal you could end up with a couple very burnt cookies. (Speaking from experience)

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Just as a disclaimer I am not a recipe genius, I’ve never created a recipe myself I’m just going off of what other people did and sharing what I made from that. They turned out great for me so let me know how yours went!

Next up is eggnog. This recipe is from my trusty Christmas cookbook: Company’s Coming for Christmas so I take no credit for this. The original recipe makes an absolute ton so I halved the recipe that fit neatly into a jug around this size:

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Alternatively, I  found it made around 8 servings. 🙂 The recipe is as follows:

Beat 6 egg whites until they start to thicken. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar and continue to beat until thick.

In a second bowl beath the egg yolks (6) and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until thick. Add the egg whites and beat until mixed and thick.

In a third bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream until it starts to thicken. add 1 tbsp of granulated sugar and a dash of vanilla (1/2 tablespoon if you want to be precise.)

Add everything together into one bowl (pour egg into whipped cream) and stir until everything is mixed in. Finally, beat in 3 1/2 cups of milk and you’re done! Of course, if you prefer to add a bit of rum you’re welcome to do that as well. 😉

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All that’s left to do is to garnish with a generous sprinkle of nutmeg and presto!

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I find Christmas baking is all a part of the festive experience so even if you don’t make these I hope you enjoyed looking through the pretty pictures. Christmas is almost here! What an exciting thought. I’ve finally got all of my Christmas shopping done (I left it super late as usual) and I’m excited to see everything under our tree. I hope you have a wonderful end to your Christmas run-up and I’ll talk to you soon!

Thanks for reading my latest blog, I hope you enjoyed it! If you did, hit the follow button for regular updates and stay tuned for more.

~Abby

Xx

Friends & Fun

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These pictures were from a Saturday that my family and some friends went up to the morning market in Shongweni. It was such a lovely day and I got so many pretty pictures that I thought it was only right to share them. I had to get up really early in order to get ready and the sun hadn’t quite reached this part of the house yet. I liked it though, it gives a sense of cosiness when it’s slightly darker, even though it turned out to be a rather warm day.

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Since it was going to be a full day filled with lots of fun and people, I decided to put a little more time and effort into getting ready, i.e. doing my hair. I love having straight hair but I can never put in the time to do it properly, plus I can never get the crown of my head at the back, it’s the bit I always struggle with. But today I put that behind me and got it done. I was pretty pleased with the result. 🙂

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Honestly, it was worth getting up that early just for the food. Because it’s quite a busy market and it’s only open until 12 we decided to set out bright and early (since it’s about an hours drive from where we are) in order to get there just in time for breakfast. Look at this amazing “full house” one of the stalls was selling. Completely blog post worthy I’d say. Needless to say, it was delicious, and the eggs were cooked perfectly.

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It turned out to be such a lovely day, and the market atmosphere is always nice to experience, especially on the weekend.

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My friend and I climbed up a hill where this tree was standing and behind us was a kid’s play station and they were making bubbles! They had the most awesome bubble maker ever. It was a rope tied into various loops between two rods and they dipped it into magic bubble solution and let the wind do its work. We had a fair amount of fun chasing after them as the wind often took them right up to our perch.

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Like I said, I would’ve woken up that early just for the food. There’s something about market/fair finger food that you just can’t replicate. My friend and I shared this back of candied nuts and it was soo amazing. Like a crunchy sugary cinnamonny goodness. I was planning on making a batch of beer nuts this year for a spot of Christmas baking but I don’t think they’ll be able to compare.

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And that was my day at the morning market. I didn’t really have much to say because the pictures speak for themselves. It completely transports me back to that warm spring day which is the best part about photography in my opinion.

Thanks for reading my latest blog, I hope you enjoyed it! If you did, hit the follow button for regular updates and stay tuned for more.

~Abby

Xx