Thursday, September 27, 2012

We will never look back, at the faded silhouette

Nonstop, we have the beaten path before us
It was all there, in plain sight
Come on people, we have all seen the sign
And we never get back to
To the old school
To the old grounds, it's all about the newfound
We are the newborn, the world know all a bouts
We are the future and we're here to stay

We've come a long way since that day
And we will never look back, at the faded silhouette
Avicii - Silhouette

I'm going to have that song stuck in my head for the rest of the day!! Silhouette is such a catchy tune.

Apologies for the late outfit post, but here is a an outfit I wore the other day. It is very pink & I always avoid pink in a quest to avoid becoming too fluffy! However, for some unkown reason I actually really enjoy this dress despite its bubblegumness. I feel like the touches of black minimise the cute & barbie factor. Hmm who am I kidding, its pretty cute. Oh well! Viva la Barbie!
Dear Miss Pretty xx

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

in the garden - september

This month has been fairly quiet in my little garden.

After being shamefully neglected for the last year. Never watered, never fed. My Artichoke beat the odds & is producing pretty chokes!! Woo!

Having never grown broad beans before I didn't realise a) how long they take to grow... b) how TALL they grow. They are towering over my head (making them over 170cm tall)! Aieeee! There are hundreds of pods on the plants, but none ready to pick quite yet. They just keep on flowering too!! Patience is not my strongest quality.

Amongst other garden gossip: I have added another vegetable box to the garden!!! My plan is to completely fill the new box with tomatoes that I have grown from seed. I am soo ridiculously excited & have gone utterly overboard with the amount of tomatoes! The tomatoes I am growing from seed are the pink brandywine (from saved seed), anna russian, periforme, green zebra, black russian, black from tula, grannies throwing tomato, pineapple, anna russian, black zebra, speckled roman & yellow pear.... yeah... shush up... I just really love tomatoes ok...

Summertime is going to be very very exciting (for me & my stomach)!


How does your garden grow?

dear miss pretty xx

Monday, September 17, 2012

joyful in hope

Be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction,
faithful in prayer - Romans 12:12

cherrybos chocolate cupcakes

Another rooibos cupcake for the archives! What is rooibos you ask? Funny you should ask me! Here are a few pre prepared answers & facts for you inquisitive souls.
If you have no interest in rooibos facts & just want to see pretty pictures of cupcakes, scroll baby scroll!!!

  • Rooibos is difficult to pronounce. Just say it confidently & know your probably butchering the pronunciation regardless.
  • Rooibos is naturally caffeine free, unlike black & green teas. Sweet dreams!
  • Rooibos has a unique colour, scent & flavour. Slightly sweet & fruity.
  • In many countries Rooibos is enjoyed as a hot or cold beverage with or without milk. Making it a good black tea substitute.
  • Rooibos is South African. The mountainous area of Cederberg (north of cape town) is the ONLY place in the world where rooibos grows naturally.
  • Rooibos is the only known source of a specifically beneficial, rare & potent antioxidant called aspalanthin.
  • The complex mixture of poluphenols in Rooibos may help protect against free radicals. (Free radicals are those nasty unstable molecules that can lead to cancer by damaging cells DNA. Frown face). The antioxidants in rooibos can neutralise these free radicals & assist in limiting their negative impact. (Science degree just payed for itself. Boom.)
  • Snails don't like Rooibos, so if you sprinkle some rooibos dust (or used tea leaves) on the surface of the garden, they will run far far away. Rooibos tea can be mixed into the soil, improving drainage & helps also plants grow.
  • Rooibos can be used in cooking. Yum yum.

Information overload? 

Here are some more yummy cupcakes I made. Cherrybos chocolate cupcakes. Which are chocolate rooibos based cupcakes with morello cherries & then topped with a chocolate rooibos icing.

Cupcake = check. Flowers = check. Sunshine = check. Now just add a tea to the equation!

mmm morello cherries!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

ice on her lashes

The lone woman stands in the turning December
She's got ice on her lashes, white at her winter coat
The trees stand like soldiers around her
Dutiful wooden curse
And the heart she feared frozen
Still beats and still marches on - brooke fraser

dear miss pretty xx

Friday, September 7, 2012

apple pie rooibos cupcakes

My next attempt at baking with rooibos is the apple pie rooibos cupcake!

I made these particular cupcakes for my granddads 85th birthday! So after mulling about what constitutes as 'dude appropriate food'. I realised that trying to immortalise a steak in a cupcake was not a viable or palatable option (willing to be proven wrong though). When I remembered that every man in my family has an affinity for the humble apple pie. It only seems to make an appearance at special events & the fellas love it! I guess the apple pie is like a warm winter hug of a desert!!!

So bearing this in mind I created some velvety smooth vanilla rooibos cupcakes, sparkled up with a yummy addition of some fresh apple cubes & cinnamon swirls. Then topped with vanilla rooibos icing & a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Viola! Apple pie in a cupcake! Mmmm grandad appropriate cupcakes. In an ideal world, I probably shouldn't have iced them in a pastel green with flowers. Takes away a little bit of the DUDE factor. Ah well...

Apple Pie Rooibos Cupcake

1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter (soft at room temp)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs (room temp)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons red green vanilla rooibos
2 Apples. Peeled, cored & cut into 1cm cubes.
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Rooibos icing:
1 cup unsalted butte (soft at room temperature)
1 cup of icing sugar.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
1, In a small bowl, add the flours (sift to ensure a fluffy light even texture). Stir to combine, then set aside.
2. Now its time to make a lovely cuppa! Brew 3 teaspoons of red green vanilla rooibos in 3 cups of boiled water (as per instructions). (Make sure you enjoy a cup of tea for yourself as well as cook with it!) Set tea aside to brew strongly.
3.. In a large mixing bowl (or captain kitchen aid), cream the butter using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
4. Add the sugar gradually & beat for about 3 minutes, or until fluffy.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. I find it helps if you don't add the eggshells ;)
6. Add the milk to the rooibos tea. You will only use 1 cup of this. So drink up the rest!!
7. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the cooled milky rooibos tea & vanilla. **Keep one teaspoon of made up rooibos tea for the icing.
8. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overmix.
9. Add the cubed apple pieces to the batter, along with the remaining brown sugar & cinnamon. lightly stir. So you have swirls. Be careful to once again not overmix!
9. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 full.
10. Bake in a oven at 180 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.
11. Cool the cupcakes, before icing.

Rooibos infused icing:
1. Combine butter, icing sugar & one teaspoon of the brewed rooibos tea.
2. Cream the mixture till you get the desired consistency. *If too watery add extra icing sugar, if too dry add extra rooibos.
3. Add a drop of kelly green food colouring if desired.
4. Decorate. I chose to decorate the cupcakes with a reverse swirl, to give a rosette appearance. Then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar!!!

Dear Miss Pretty xx

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

september veggie patch update

My winter crops have been a little slow, but I presume this is more to do with lack of attention rather than anything else. Has been far too cold to be out in the patch for more than a few minutes...

insert green thumb joke here
This year my winter crops were a little experimental! So I wasn't ever going to be too fussed if nothing grew! I am trying my luck at growing the garlic & also broad beans. Both of which I am pleased with thus far. The broad beans are towering well & truly above my head, setting fruit/beans thanks to a solitary bee I see buzzing about from time to time. The garlic look fairly lush in my raised bed also. Seeing all the healthy garlic shoots makes me happy that they have survived winter, however I am concerned that my garlics are expending their energies into foliage growth rather than bulb growth. But, I don't know how to change that... Still such an amateur! Just leave it be I guess? Any don burkes care to suggest any garlic bulb magic tricks?

In other news my broccoli, romanesco calabrese & purple sprouting broccoli have been a welcome addition to the kitchen. As have my turnips & celery! Haha, actually thought I planted parsnips, but no. definitely turnips!

Now that springtime is here, I am super excited (as per normal)!!! We have torn up the veggie patch area & planted a third box! All my seedlings are sitting patiently on my windowsill waiting for the weather to be consistently warm enough to survive outside. Here is hoping for a tomatoey & basil haven this summer. Cannot wait!
dear miss pretty xx

Monday, September 3, 2012

cocoloco rooibos cupcakes

We are having a rooibos baking competition at work this month, so I am trialling a few cupcake combinations! You are going to get verrry used to seeing rooibos on my blog this week! Haha! The trick to baking with tea is to drink as much tea as humanly possible whilst baking. Its like drinking cooking sherry but with less hangover consequences! Unless you combine the tea with cooking sherry... Ok, now seriously, the trick to baking with tea (rooibos or black teas) is to infuse the tea quite strongly into either the milk or water portions of the recipe.

Let me introduce the
Cocoloco rooibos cupcake!
Its a classic vanilla style cupcake, super moist & fluffy thanks to the yummy red green vanilla rooibos tea with a desiccated coconut twist. The rooibos tea I used is a really smooth velvety green vanilla rooibos that really compliments anything cupcakey. You probably wouldn't even need to add any vanilla extract to your baking if you used this tea... But I did because I am mad about vanilla!!! The more the merrier! Yum! 
I also added the red green vanilla rooibos tea leaves to the buttercream icing (both as the water portion & also for decoration purposes).  BOSS.

Rooibos tea is high in iron! Which makes these practically medicine... Thats how it works right?

nom nom nom

hope you enjoyed your day today!
dear miss pretty xx


There are many things I wish I could be... A musician, a mathematician, a lawyer, a pastor, a poet, a scientist, a better listener, a chef, a counsellor, a surfer, a linguist, a marathon runner, an accountant, a unicorn & also I wish I was organised.

Some of these aspirations, are realistic. 
Some of these, are not.

In life people will say many things, share maaaaaany opinions. Some helpful, some not so much...
People have told me I am fat, ugly, an idiot, dumb, stupid, can't sing, can't learn, can't run, will never be loved & will amount to nothing. 
Heavy right? Yep. Well, it was easy enough to brush these comments off at the time they were spoken. However after a while of hearing these things again & again it made me think... Why would anyone say these things? Surely it can't just come from nowhere! Maybe what they said is true?!! These horrible words played on my innermost insecurities, untill eventually my thoughts changed from maybe I am an what they say? To I am an idiot, I am ugly, I am fat, I am unlovable.

You are what you emotionally eat. 
My friends, I was eating lies....

Lies are not the truth, they are a twisting of reality. Duh! We have a choice as to what we feed ourselves emotionally. It seems obvious retrospectively, but it took some great friends & opportune words to get me to believe this.

For me, I may not be world renowned or super stick thin, but DO I have a healthy body & am grateful for every opportunity that has been bestowed upon me. Even if that opportunity is just to bear witness to another beautiful sunrise, love others & catch up for coffee with a friend. 

These are just my musings, my own life experiences.
However I wished to write & share them, partly to serve as a reminder to myself, but mostly in case anyone else was like me & also has had a past.
In which case, I do truly hope that you analyse what you are feeding your brain with. Choose truth & truthful thought patterns. Remember that 'You are wonderfully & fearfully made' Psalm 139. God made you, he loves you & thinks you are an artwork exactly the way you are. You were crafted with intricacy & designed. You were created to be different from everyone else, including me, you were designed to be YOU! AND you are the very best version of YOU going round ;)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mothers womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully & wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16

At the end of the day dont say, I won't, because they said, you can't! In other words. Dont let assumptions that other people make about you, define what your capabilities are in this life. 
You can do it. Ok? Ok!
Go learn that language, go study that course, go say hi to that person you have a crush on, go learn how to cook, go live your dreams!!! Whatever the heck they may be!!!! Just GO!

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear. I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

Oops, time to get off my soapbox...

Dear Miss Pretty xx

Saturday, September 1, 2012

if I had a boat

if I had a boat, i would sail to you
hold you in my arms, ask you to be true
once i had a dream, it died long before
now i'm pointed north, hoping for the shore.
-james vincent mcmorrow

There are two types of people in this world. Those who write lists & those who don't.
I am without a doubt the kind of person who writes lists.
Lists for groceries, lists of expenses, lists of favourite songs, lists of pros & cons, lists of the pros & cons of writing lists... You get the idea.
Well, today I got to tick one of these 'things to do' off!  HIP HIP!!!
Approximately two years ago I was given the sweetest aqua blue 1950s skirt & jacket. Anyways, the skirt was amazing (blue is my weakness), but too long & had a small stain. So after immense amounts of procrastinating I finally hemmed said skirt to a slightly more modern length. Now I just need to get back into running so I can comfortably wear it without fear of frightening locals & small children...
Dont you love it when you finally achieve a goal you've set out to do!

Dear Miss Pretty xx

ps. must write a list on how to get summer ready legs...