As things are cooling down in Cape Town I find warm soups and mugs of hot chocolate are making regular appearances at my mealtimes. Strangely I also joined The Creamery‘s ice cream club and I’m not one of those people who enjoys eating ice cream when it’s cold. Although we have had a few warm days where a bit of ice cream has gone down well.
Last night my boyfriend and I attended Taste of Cape Town. I usually like to attend the first evening to avoid the crowds, but I was lucky enough to win a double ticket from CapeTownMagazine.com for the Friday session. The crowds were manageable and the weather was pretty good. It was a bit chilly but the wind that had been blowing on Thursday night was completely gone. We had a lovely evening and got to taste some delicious dishes.
So while I’m trying to get into a more regular routine for packed lunch posts, I’m still Instagramming away. Coffee and froyo seem to be consistent themes each month. There are also some naughty sweet treats and a few memorable meals from the past month.
Here is my Instagram roundup for March.
Top: Bowl of ostrich chilli con carne, peanut butter M&Ms vs Reese’s Pieces, Akita Platter at Phad Thai
Middle: Coffee & sandwich (my de facto lunch these days), Monk’s logo, Girl Geek Dinner at Salt
Bottom: Kitty cat coffee at Arnold’s, Cinnamon froyo at Myög, Golden bunny takes in the view
So, ummm… this post is late. Really late, like nearly a whole year late. But instead of beating myself up over this I’m choosing to see this as a small part of the build up to the 2013 SA Food & Wine Blogger Indaba.
Last year at the end of *cough* June I attended the third annual SA Food & Wine Blogger Indaba. Pick n Pay were one of the headline sponsors and kindly supplied the conference facilities at their Cape Town HQ as the venue for the Indaba. We arrived bright and early, well not so bright as it was kinda still dark outside and I suspect most sane people were probably still in their warm beds. After registering we were handed our cute wooden name tags, a pen and exam pad for note taking, as well as an apron and WÜSTHOF knife courtesy of the other headline sponsor Yuppiechef. Then we had a chance to grab a cup of coffee and chat to fellow bloggers before heading into the auditorium to listen to the line up of speakers.
Jeanne from Cooksister spoke about Ethics, Etiquette & Why We Blog. She asked us whether we really need a prescribed list of ethics and used Chef John‘s tongue in cheek four point list of ethics as a guideline for her talk.
Alida from Simply Delicious spoke about Monetising Your Blog. She told us if we wished to monetise our blogs we should look at them as businesses and think of blogging as a marathon, not a sprint. Money, advertisers and sponsors aren’t really options until you have a grown your blog audience and created a loyal community.
Linda from The Squashed Tomato chatted to us about Socially Active Blogs & Brands. She told us not to feel pressured to use all social platforms, especially if not comfortable using them or if they don’t suit us. That the not so secret secret of social media is to be social. Every post is a potential first impression. Not to have a separate blog and personal account, your blog is an extension of you so why separate them.
Carine from Fresh Living spoke about Writing for the Web. Telling us that the first two paragraphs of a post are the most read and important sections. To scale pictures for the web, to use captions and alt text tags. To ensure posts are easy to read and do not contain spelling or grammar mistakes. To use meta description tags for each post, include a maximum of two keywords and to never duplicate them. She told us to get to know our audience and find out what it is about our blogs they enjoy.
John from John Brown Media spoke to use about Pinterest. How you don’t have to have a Pinterest account to have a presence there. You can easily see what content of yours is being shared by going to http://pinterest.com/source/ + your blog url (without the “http://” and “www.”), here’s mine as an example http://pinterest.com/source/wotsforlunchblog.com/. Make sure you pictures are pinnable and enable a pin button on your blog.
We then broke for a buffet style lunch prepared with items from Pick n Pay’s Finest range. After which we broke up into different groups for the afternoon workshops we’d elected to attend. I’d chosen to attend Jeanne’s photography basics workshop and the post processing workshop hosted by her and Alida.
After the workshops we headed back to the auditorium for a random draw giveaway session followed by an auction which raised R15,600(!) for the Lavendar in Lavendar Hill project.
Then after a rather long day it was time to head home. But not before picking up our goodie bags, all three of them! A few days later I recorded the unpacking of my goodie bags in a Google+ hangout on air which is embedded at the beginning of this post. It’s just under 30 minutes long, that is how stuffed the bags were.
Big thanks to Coleen (aka Browniegirl) and her team for organising another successfully Indaba. I’m sure most of the delegates would agree with me that it was a great day full of learning and comradery. If you are a food or wine blogger interested in honing your skills and have the opportunity to attend the 2013 Indaba I’d highly recommend it.
I’m not a big fan of soggy sandwiches. So when I’m packing a sandwich (or roll) where the filling might cause this to happen I like to pack the bread and filling separately. Then at lunchtime I can assemble it just before eating.
Kitka bread roll,
smoked chicken mayo with red onion and fresh mint,
I’m finally up-to-date with these posts. Yay! From now on there is only going to be one a month, which I’ll probably post on the first Monday. From my selection for February you can see that the supermarkets are gearing up for Easter with loads of chocolates and sweets on the shelves. But the weather is still nice and warm in Cape Town which is a good excuse to explore some of the frozen yoghurt bars that have popped up all over the city.
Here is my Instagram roundup for February.
Top: Sushi at Newspaper House Food Lovers Market, Lazari cake pops, Froyo at Wakaberry
Middle: Shelves full of golden bunnies, Unusual fruit and veg, Tiny carton of bantam eggs
Bottom: Rotisserie braaied pork belly, Froyo at Myög (my favourite!), Flat white at the City Bowl Market
There is a definite coffee theme to this collection of photos and I know it’s a cliché, but I can’t help taking a photo when someone has taken the time to make my coffee pretty. I think going forward I’ll limit these posts to a maximum of nine images per month so that they don’t get too long.
When I bought this spanspek (also known as cantaloupe) I knew that I wanted to eat it with prosciutto or a similar style cured ham. The only cured ham the supermarket had at the time was something called spek which I’d never tried before. That didn’t stop me from buying it though. I’m not going to lie, the alliteration in the title tickled me, but I found the flavour of the spek was too strong for the melon.
Cubes of spanspek wrapped in spek and
a salad with shredded cabbage, red onion, sugar snap peas and baby tomatoes.
Last year at the beginning of December I took part in the second annual Cape Town Cookie Swap, also known as #CookieCheer2012. Each person participating committed to baking 60 sweet or savoury creations and bringing along six copies of their recipe. In return they’d get 10 items from 6 other participants and 6 new recipes to take home. We were asked to bring along a R30 donation for Nazareth House and all met up at I ❤ My Laundry.
Below are some of my instagrams from the day.
Top: My goodies bagged and ready for swapping, mingling around the big table
Middle: I won a Yuppiechef voucher, delicious dim sum, a tiny red velvet cupcake
Bottom: Laundry cookies on the line, a selection of the cookies I went home with.