April 2008


Yes, these are frittatas. Muffin frittatas if you want. I made some a while ago and thought of throwing the egg mixture into my muffin pans and see what the end result is and loved it. Actually, I loved it better when they were still in the oven because they become very puffy and fun, but they loose a bit of that when they are released from the heat. But I still like them, little individual muffin-shaped frittatas.

They’re super easy to make. What you need is:

5 eggs

1/3 cup pouring cream

1 spring onion- white part minced

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

salt and pepper

some grilled and sliced pepper for the topping

To make:

Preheat the oven to 200C. Have muffin pans handy, I used silicone ones, if you don’t I suggest greasing your pans a little first.

Mix the eggs, cream and spring onions together in a bowl and add slat and pepper to taste. Put the tomatoes into the pans and pour the egg over. This should be enough for 4 pans. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes or until set. Remove and let it cool slightly before serving with the sliced pepper on top. Easy, tasty and fun to look at!


And now we are almost on our way to Cambodia! My sister is visiting and we decided to spend some time there.


We’ll be re-visiting Siem Reap and the temple complexes at Angkor. Alexander and I were there last year and I went with another friend almost 7 years ago. Even so I am still looking forward to wandering around between these awesome structures. And kicking back with a cocktail at the FCC afterwards!


From Siem Reap we’ll be going back to Phnom Penh and then onto Kep and Sihanoukville along the coast. Hopefully I will have some stories and good pictures of our trip upon our return next week.


I was craving adobo again recently and decided to try my hand at a new recipe. Only recently, thanks to Joey, have I discovered this popular Filipino dish, which is also their national dish.

Adobo can be prepared in numerous ways and with a large selection of ingredients and flavors. One of my favorite aspects of adobo is the addition of a little vinegar to some of the recipes early on in the preparation. This adds a great tart flavor, different from that gained from adding lime juice to some Thai dishes. A lot of the recipes also calls for cracked or fresh peppercorns, another favorite of mine.

The dish I made was a chicken and pork adobo. I strayed a little from the recipe, I marinated my meat a little first and used coconut milk instead of stock- I did not have any available when I started cooking.

So to make my version of this dish you need to find:
– 200g pork belly, cut into cubes
– 200g chicken, cut into cubes
– 2 tablespoons vinegar
– cracked pepper
– ¼ teaspoon turmeric
– 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoons fish sauce
– 2 tablespoons oil
– 1/2 cup coconut milk (or 1 cup stock)
– fresh green peppercorns

To make:

Marinated the meat in 1tablespoon oil, the turmeric and about a ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper for an hour.
When the meat is ready, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add the meat and brown until golden. Add the vinegar, but do not stir until the vinegar boils and release it’s acidic odor. Add a little more cracked pepper if you like and the fish sauce. Add some green peppercorns and the coconut milk (or stock) and stew for a couple of minutes, while stirring regularly. Dish up and serve.


I topped the adobo with some fried plantains. It made a fine accompaniment to the stew. Note that you can completely leave out the whole marinating in turmeric part, I just felt like experimenting.


These are two other items I have sewed earlier this here, but only recently came round to sending and now posting.

The bag on the left is another diaper tube with the same features, but different contrasting fabric. I love the pink and brown bulbs and it makes a nice contrast on the inside of the bag for the side pockets.

The other item is not exactly a bag, but tube to store plastic bags in. The first time I encountered these convenient bags was when my mom made one for the kitchen. It hung behind the door and I could keep myself busy for some time pulling out bags at the bottom and stuffing them back at the top again. The fabric for this bag I also picked up ages ago at a little clothing store in Chatuchak market.

I still have lots of fabric waiting to be used, but at the moment I don’t know when that’s going to be. We’ve been very busy with this and that and we’ll be getting even busier this month. My sister is arriving on Sunday and we are going to Cambodia for a week and then later this month Alexander’s parents will come visiting. It’s most certainly an exciting and busy time for us, just sorry my poor sewing machine cannot exactly be part of the fun right now.

I was convinced that I would not make the deadline for this round of HHDD. Between extensive vacation time, traveling, quitting my job (yes!) and taking on some new tasks I experimented a bit with the theme for this round, clafoutis, but they came out more like cla-floppies. Kind of tasty, but terrible to look at.

Then industrious host and winner of the last round, Bron, notified me that the deadline was extended by a week. Phew! So Monday afternoon after work I rushed home with my new ingredients and set to work on another attempt. And I think it kind of worked.


Bron’s original Donna Hay recipe was for plum and chocolate clafoutis. As I am a big fan of chocolate I decided not to stray too far from the original recipe. I am also a big fan of dark chocolate with orange and so decided to make chocolate and orange clafoutis.

Now I don’t know anything about clafoutis to be honest, so I have no idea what the actual texture or taste should be like, wikipedia.org says it’s close to pancake batter and judging by all the pictures I’ve seen that seems to be correct. If that is the case then this was another round of cla-floppies because mine came out more with a brownie consistency even though I followed the recipe pretty closely. But it looks much better than previous attempts, so I’m entering it!


To make these clafoutis you need to collect:

– 1/3 cup all purpose flour, sifted

– 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

– 1/3 cup caster sugar, sifted

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 3 eggs

– 1 cup pouring cream

– 1 cup chopped dark chocolate- a mixture of dark chocolate and dark orange chocolate in this case

– 1 teaspoon orange zest

– a couple of glazed orange rings- quartered

– 20g unsalted butter

To make:

Preheat the oven to 180C. Sift flour, cocoa and sugar in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, cream and vanilla and then whisk together with the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate and orange zest. Melt the butter and divide between two small baking pans (ideally it should 2-cup capacity pans, mine were a bit bigger but worked fine). Place the orange slices at the bottom of the pan and pour half the batter into each, bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through, it should be puffed up. Let it cool and then flip it out onto a plate so that the orange slices are at the top and enjoy!


Now that I think about it and look at the pictures more closely, I guess that the texture might look right for a clafouti, but when you eat it it certainly has a much more brownie-like texture. I’m beginning to suspect that I unknowingly added a bit more than a cup of chocolate. So sue me for being over-indulgent.

I’m looking forward to your round-up, Bron. Thanks for hosting and introducing me to a new delight. Thanks also to Barbara for initiating this fun event. I’m looking forward to more!

It’s been quite some time since I last blogged about my sewing endeavors. Actually, it’s been quite some time since I’ve last done any sewing. Although there was a period of some prolific sewing earlier this year, I never got round to writing about it.

During this time I sewed a beach bag for Alexander’s sister, Genevieve.


It’s big enough to carry a sarong or medium beach towel and some reading matter along to the beach, plus two smaller inside pockets and one on the outside.


I never came round to mailing it, so I gave it to her when she came visiting in March. It seemed to come in handy for our beach trip to the Andaman Coast.

Most street food options in Hanoi offer only one dish, and because the cook spends all his or her time preparing only this one dish, it is pretty much invariably great. Restaurants are where you go for a more varied menu. An exception to this though is Cha Ca Thanh Long, a popular family restaurant specializing in one of my new favorite fish dishes- cha ca.

Not only does the dish meld some terrific flavors like turmeric, ginger, fennel and green onions, the preparation is an exciting interactive process. A gas camp stove gets set on the table plus a deep saucepan and the ingredients- marinated fish, fresh dill and loads of green onion. A waiter heats oil in the pan, adds the fish and cooks it for a while before lowering the flame and adding handfuls of greens.

He scoops some of this into your bowl, which already contains some vermicelli noodles, and adds some roasted peanuts and raw green onions. You flavor the dish a little more yourself with some spice infused fish sauce and dig in.

It’s a fantastic meal and one I knew I’d have to try at home. Making cha ca was much easier than I expected and for a first attempt I think it turned out really well.


So here’s what you need to collect:

– 500g de-boned fish fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces

– 250g vermicelli noodles

– 1 cup roughly chopped dill

– 1 cup roughly chopped green onions (plus a little more for serving

– 4 tablespoon roasted peanuts

– 2 tablespoon fish sauce

– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

– 2 teaspoons powdered garlic

– 2 teaspoons minced garlic

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

And here is what you do:

For the marinade- mix 1 tablespoon of the oil, the fish sauce, turmeric, garlic, pepper and ginger in a bowl and mix well. Cover the fish in the marinade and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Cook your vermicelli noodles, divide it between bowls and set aside.

Heat the rest of the oil in a wok or deep saucepan until very hot and add the fish. Fry for a coupe of minutes until cooked and lower the heat, add the dill and greens and stir through. Remove from the heat, top the noodles and serve with side dishes of peanuts and some fresh green onions.


For additional flavoring, mix together a little fish sauce (you can add some water if the strong is too much), vinegar, sugar, chili and garlic to serve on the side and add to the dish. I can unfortunately not give any accurate ingredients or explanations for this, I was not paying attention when I made it, just taste testing.

It may sound like a bit of a mission, but the dish was actually extremely easy to make and it’s something I am most certainly going to try again very soon.

I was tagged, quite some time ago, by fellow South African food blogger, and winner of TWO! South African Blog Awards, Jeanne of Cook Sister! for a Meme. Now I think I’ve mentioned before that I feel a bit awkward about doing these, but at the same time I think I get a little bit of a kick out of it. If only because I really like talking about myself.

So I’ll try to stick to the original as much as possible, but I’ve decided to veer of track a little too.

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Working at my first full-time office job and trying to finish my BA degree. Neither of the two made me very happy.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

Living in Koreatown, LA and exploring the city with Alexander.

5 Snacks you enjoy.

– Meang kham, a Thai snack of palm sugar paste, ginger, lime, chili, peanuts and toasted coconut wrapped in betel leave.

– Raw peanuts and cashew nuts.

– Brie on pear.

– Beskuit, A South African version of biscotti, only way better.

– Chocolate, if it can be considered a snack.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire

That I guess would depend on the currency. But mainly I guess I’d probably end up spending it all on one thing and that is travel-travel-travel. I’m not good with money. And yes I will try not to be selfish and donate to some good causes.

Five things you like doing

– travel

– lounging around in cafes

– cooking and baking

– travel (not a mistake)

– shopping

Five things you would never wear again

-rugby shorts

-waist coats (probably)

-turtleneck shirts


-long hair

Five personal bits of information (here’s where I veer off)

-I wanted to be princess Diana after I saw the wedding on television as a 5-year old

-I played dress-up with my sister’s Barbie when no one was home

-I was constantly sneaking into my Mom’s jewelry box and putting on her bracelets as a kid

-I was the first one of my friends as a teenager to get hair under my arms, I was mortified (if you take the above points into consideration)

-I am… a GUY.

Yep, you heard me. I decided to come out of the guy-closet publicly as I’ve come to realize that there may be some confusion as to my sexuality! The confusion resulted in lots of laughter for me and Alexander (he’s also a guy) and if you have at any point addressed me as a woman, please know that I am not at all offended and must admit to getting a bit of a kick out of the confusion I may have caused.

I know the name of my blog is probably the biggest cause of the confusion so let me explain. Marita is my mother. I’m not sure if she’s completely aware that I partially named my blog after her, but anyways. She’s Marita and I am Bordeaux. Her son.

That’s me (the guy, not the notebook or fort) and that was my Meme. Sorry for not being good at tagging, if you read this consider yourselves tagged and then you can choose to either do a Meme or not.

I know, I suck. I have not written anything in weeks. I think I have valid excuses, but maybe I don’t. And now that I am finally beginning to feel ready to write again and update and so forth, I discover that WordPress has a new layout and now I am all confused again. But I’ll try.

Last time I was here was before we left for a trip to the Andaman and I promised that I will post some more about that awesome capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. So here are some highlights and reasons why I get all misty eyed when I think off Hanoi.

We stayed in the Old Quarter for our first two nights, and even though we opted to stay around the Cathedral area near Hoan Kiem Lake after our return from Halong Bay, I found myself drawn back here a couple of times again. Walking through the old merchant’s neighborhood is kind of like walking through a really big, crazy market with people, bikes and merchandise everywhere you look. It is a frenetic and antique-feeling part of town and although I can never see myself living in such a mad quarter I can see myself wandering around the area for hours on end and just taking in the lively atmosphere.

We spent a lot of time around Hoan Kiem Lake, it’s centrally located and surrounded by a park, cafes and some lovely architecture. In the middle of the lake is Turtle Island (pictured above) with it’s lone pagoda. In the mornings and evenings the residents of Hanoi can be seen exercising and relaxing around the lake and at night the surrounding lights are beautifully reflected on the water. On our last night in the city we even saw a little owl flying around the lake.

I loved this image of Ho Chi Min holding a little girl and the dove in the background.

And speaking of HCM, on a very drizzly Sunday morning we set out to his mausoleum and museum. I was not too keen on going into the mausoleum and a few minutes standing in a terribly long line convinced Alexander too that maybe we should put it on hold for another time. Entry into the lotus-shaped museum next door was much easier and I bet the display was a lot more fascinating than an embalmed body. Intriguing and rather bizarre, I’d visit it again any time.

As can be seen from almost all the pictures, the weather was mostly overcast and gray. Which is exactly what I was hoping for when we planned our trip. I was craving a couple of days of little sun and gloomy skies. The balloon sellers that we often saw around the city made for a fun burst of color in our gray dome.

Cafes. Plentiful and all serving excellent drip coffee, Vietnamese style as well as other varieties. From top left- drip coffee on the street, Alexander enjoying an iced-Vietnamese coffee at Highlands next to the Opera House, Alexander working at a street-side coffee shop, patrons enjoying coffee and board games at Cafe Lam. This time in Vietnam we were smart and stocked up on Vietnamese drips and some excellent coffee for the house.

On our travels through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam last year we decided to do a cooking course in each country we visited. We got to do this in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand and Luang Phabang in Laos, but unfortunately not in the other two countries. This time Alexander did some research before we left for Hanoi and booked a course for us at Hidden Hanoi. We picked to make the street food menu, the delicious and new firm-favorite of mine, bun cha. There were three students and our very informative and fascinating teacher, An.

Rather than start the course with a market visit she gave us an introduction to and discussion about the food culture of Vietnam. Afterwards we got to prepare a splendid bun cha lunch with rice noodles, barbecued pork patties, spring rolls, dipping sauce and greens.

Possibly my favorite aspect of Hanoi is the street food. Mouth-watering dishes can be enjoyed at tiny tables and plastic stools just about anywhere you turn all over the city. From left-to-right are bun cha, breakfast banh cuon and a different kind of binh my pate. Of course there was much more, for more detailed descriptions and pictures of the street food delights of Hanoi, go check out Alexander’s entry on Hanoi Street Food.

I miss Hanoi, I really do, and I hope we can return there soon for more sights, food, and atmosphere.