The Risotto of Dreams

I have cooked this Risotto many many times, I can do it with my eyes closed. It is fantastic to cook this socially. Many many nights have passed in my Kitchen with all of the girls sitting on counter tops playing cards and drinking wine, while we take turns to stir the risotto of dreams talking about our loves and lives.

You need:

Proper Risotto Rice (Arborio) I know it’s tempting, but don’t buy the cheap stuff. 2 – 4 Packets of mushrooms… Get all kinds of weird ones, because it makes the texture yummy.
Find a bottle of white wine – don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink.
Then you need stock – vegetable or chicken (I prefer the chicken)
You need one or two onions, some garlic (yes SOME, you can decide how much but SOME)
A little bit of fresh Chilli
Creme fraice / Mascarpone
Olive oil, tiny bit of truffle oil if you have. (Or even truffle shavings if you can get your hands on some)

Okay so first things first – Pour yourself a nice big glass of wine and put on some 80’s music.

You have to make this in a large deep pot, with a big surface area, because you will be doing lots of stirring. You start by chopping the onions very finely, fry that up in a bit of olive oil… crush some garlic (one or two cloves) and add that – watch the garlic, it burns quickly.

Then you want to start the risotto… however much you are making (look on the back of the box)

Start adding it to the Onions and garlic… Sprinkle it over evenly and stir… add add add until all the grains have come into contact with the oil.

Slowly start adding your stock… if you have cooked risotto before  you know the drill. Pour a cup of stock, and stir it in until it’s gone, repeat until all the stock is used. You can never use too much stock, don’t be scarred it is supposed to take this long. You need at least two hours for this whole story, so make some time – don’t rush it.

In a separate pan you want to start frying up the shrooms in some butter (very little butter) tiny bit of truffle oil and olive oil – once that is done just keep it until the risotto is almost cooked. Add the mushrooms towards the end.

You will need to use almost a bottle of wine – the longer it cooks the better.
At the very end when it looks like it’s done, add the Creme fraice… if you want, you can add some Parmesan shavings to make it sticky and thick.

The rest of the Chilli’s you can keep aside, yum yum… chop them up and put them in some olive oil with little bit of salt and a little bit of sugar – keep them in the fridge over night.

And if you struggle with any of this – mail me. I’ll talk you through the parts that I may have left out, but I think I have everything down…

Oh no, wait, you also need some fresh rocket – just to serve, but it makes it very yummy.

Hope it turns out like a dream!

The Bobby pin monster

On a morning where summer was supposed to be, the wind was whipping my hair across my face as I stood on the balcony trying to see the sea.

The sea had plans of staying in grey and melting into the sky which was grey too. My eyes were grey, to match my heart and some of the thoughts whipping with my hair, causing a sting that the hair alone would not have accomplished.

What does one wear on days such as these, my best suit of armour was in the wash, and I really just wanted to stay in my pyjamas.

After some tea and some bath, the negotiations start… “I’ll give you one sock for two bobby pins, bobby pin monster.” “What will I do with one sock…? I have many of each pair and you have no need for socks this morning, I say two bobby pins are more valuable than one sock”

“Then, I offer you six tears of frustration”

“I have no need for tears of frustration, I am not negotiating with anyone who will pity me, give me tears of joy, for those I have much need, to bathe in those would curl my toes.. And curly toes I need”

Peas in a pod

Late on Friday afternoon I pulled up to the new kid on the Block… You may have seen this stunning new structure in Argyle road, Camps Bay. I sashayed in through the Glass entrance door trailing my hand along the white grey wood panel wall, I was greeted by the smell of st Josephs Lillies, the sounds of st Germain and Micheala’s friendly smile.

Michaela showed me to my room with a view. Lovely natural colours, black slate floors, smoked glass and wood. Furnished with Flat screen TV’s (With not much to watch on the limited DSTV bouquet – although there were DVD’s available, I didn’t bother to ask) complimentary WI FI and even an iPod docking station. This boutique spot offers all the mod cons in a luxurious comfortable setting. There are also communal lounges on every floor, complete with coffee machines and board games.

Unfortunately, I could not linger to watch the Camps Bay sun sink into the Blue Atlantic from my very own Camps Bay stoep, as I had a prior engagement at the One and Only, to meet an old friend… (Where I incidentally waited about an hour, just for a whiskey)

I arrived back at the hotel, and was surprised to discover that even the access to the basement parking was controlled by my credit card like “room key” – sick.

The white linen wrapped bed with its beautiful Italian sized pillows beckoned, it had been a long week, and one glass of Moet and about a half hour of late night flat screen TV later, I was lights out. Halfway through the night, I had a run in with one of the Italians and threw him across the room… I love my own pillows, and these are so new and firm, they ended up messing with my sleep.

I woke up to the sound of the ocean, well rested (despite the pillow altercation) and quite ready for breakfast. So I started getting ready. Now I don’t know bout you, but I am not one for bathroom exhibitionism. The shower is open, separated from the rest of the bedroom by a wardrobe and a counter with a very cool basin. The toilet is enclosed in a smoked glass box, so while you are sitting on the loo you pretty much feel like a miss America Contestant in the sound proof box, while the questions are being asked, only difference is that this box is not sound proof, so this could be a deal breaker if you, like me are a bit more on the private side… the toilet lid has a cool anti slam thing though, which is quite amusing and they use super yum smelling Charlotte Rys products, which is well…super yum.

I wandered downstairs, warmly showered. The scent of fresh coffee grabbed hold of my hand and led me to breakfast, which consisted of a vast continental spread,  fresh croissants and pastries, gorgeous fruit, freshly squeezed juices and milk, and then as if that was not enough of a treat, one of the superbly trained staff members tempted me with a warm full English breakfast. How could I resist?? I had arguably one of the best cups of coffee I have had in a while, and the tempting breakfast turned out to be sublime.

The lazy, over cast morning turned into a great sunshine afternoon. The pool deck and outside entertainment area is just begging for a stunning cocktail party. We watched a glam catalogue shoot transpire and after spending the morning next to the pool and watching the model antics it was sadly time to move on and embark on the next adventure.