Get to @Mugg_and_Bean for #SmokyFlavours!

Can you get addicted to barbecue sauce…? After the #SmokyFlavours launch last Thursday, they sent us home with a little bottle of the sauce their sauce and I am hooked! 😀

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Recently, my Glugster and I were invited to attend the exclusive launch of the Mugg & Bean #SmokyFlavours menu at Morrells Farmhouse, where we were treated to a feast and a half!

These delectable, perfect for winter dishes, will only be available will August – so don’t wait!

You know – when you head to a Mugg & Bean – that you are going to eat well, and you’re going to get a generous plate of food.

 

Here’s the official press release!

NEW ON-TREND SMOKY FLAVOURS FIRES UP THIS WINTER

There are few things as true to South Africa as the smell of a smoky summer braai, but Mugg & Bean is reimagining and introducing these aromas to a new category in its winter menu, launching on Tuesday, 05 July 2016.

In the past smoky food that is charred or burnt is a sure sign of ruined meal. Not anymore. This season, smoke is the hottest trend. Rising in global popularity in recent months, smoky food dishes are complex with their sweet and bitter undertones, where various cuts of meat are flavourfully infused with a smokehouse treatment, prepared over an open fire or smoke-filled with speciality sauces. Lesser known cuts such as brisket and flank steak are dominating the meat market using the smoky trend.

Marketing Executive for Mugg & Bean, Lee-Ann Cullingworth explains that this addition was made to satisfy their customers’ adventurous palettes, “We want to enthuse our consumers, feed their growing appetites for exciting and new dishes and take them on a flavour adventure.”

Because this smoke flavour cannot be pinned down as a specific taste, the trend is rather defined by its distinct scents, similar to a nostalgic memory of campfires and the sense of being warm and comfortable. The smoke-kissed meats are complimented with fresh salads that can comprise of ingredients like crispy onions, root-to-stem veggies and seasonal citrus flavours, perfect for the winter time.

“The new additions will see use of smoked paprika, chipotle and other smoky sauces,” says Cullingworth. “Flavour and innovation are at Mugg & Bean’s core. Our new-product development team is constantly adapting our menu to the latest trends while ensuring our food is always generous, made-from-scratch and authentic.”

Mugg & Bean has always been about generosity, which comes to life through its generous portion sizes, flavours inspired from across the globe and the warm and welcoming food experiences that has remained true to the brand for the past 20 years. “We will continue to push our culinary boundaries by bringing new ingredients and flavourful combinations to our customer’s plates and palettes,” concluded Cullingworth.

Do yourself a favour and walk into a Mugg & Bean restaurant this winter to try the newest category and let us know what you think of the new offerings on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #SmokyFlavours.

My Son, the Professional.

Wow.

I am still pinching myself.

Our knucklehead is now a fully qualified, PADI certified, Dive Instructor, passing his exams with distinctions and sporting a CV chock-full of related qualifications like Rescue Diving and Emergency First Response training.
He’s now adding Free Diving Instructor to that list, and he is on cloud nine.

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Last Sunday, the day after his exams, we went to celebrate with him and the other newly qualified candidates, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the knucklehead happier. He didn’t stop grinning, and if you asked him how he was, he threw his arms in the air and literally whooped!

If you had told me, even two years ago when he had just started his internship, that we would reach this point, I would probably have smiled, hesitant to take it as a given, even though I had all my fingers and toes crossed that he would make this work!
And it has been ALL him. He has had to work and study and look after himself – cooking, cleaning, doing his washing… We paid for his internship and supplied him with groceries, but he had to do all the work!
He has matured and grown up so much.
He is so proud of himself.
And we are so proud of him.

Feeeeed the Biiiirds…

This is the view from mi kitchen window. Doesn’t look like much, I know, but where the red arrow is I’ve hung a bird feeder in the tree, and the top of the carport roof is one HUGE bird feeder!
I don’t know why it took me so long to click to use the roof! 😀

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I put a bird bath on the wall in my front garden months ago – a big salad bowl that is fairly deep filled with round river stones – and the birds love it. I have been racking my brain to work out where I could put a bird feeder that it would be safe from the dogs and the neighbourhood cats, and still visible to me, and suddenly one morning about a month ago I saw it – the carport roof in the back garden!

So I started by chopping up bread crusts and throwing the bits up onto the carport roof. It took about three weeks for the birds to find the food and decide it was safe – and now I have a regular crowd waiting for their breakfast! Its amazing to watch and we can hardly wait to see what birds come down!
Unfortunately the roof isn’t properly flat, and its tipped away from me so I can’t see the birds when they’re on the roof unless I stand on my tippytoes – but I can see them coming and going. 🙂
To date we’ve had Crested Barbet, Bulbul, Grey Loerie, Mossies, Masked Weavers, Laughing Doves, Ringneck Doves, Glossy Starling, Olive Thrush, Black Collared Barbet, Cape White Eye, Cape Robin, and (unfortunately) Indian Mynas, all eating on the roof! The Hadeda come too, but they seem to just watch.

About a week ago we hung the bird feeder – an empty 2L cooldrink bottle with the sides cut out and a 10mm dowel through the bottom, and I put a suet ball in it. It took only a day for the birds to start eating from the feeder – mainly the Mossies and Starlings, and occasionally doves. I’ve now found a couple of suet recipes so I’m going to start making my own!
Along with the bread I now throw fruit and veggie off-cuts, and we’re going to start buying wild bird food to add as well, and I have a lovely big seed bell to hang next to the feeder!

Birds need a little extra food in the winter, and I have always loved bird watching, and my Glugster now enjoys it too, and bringing the birds to our garden is just so cool!

Daddy Darling…

Today is fathers day, and as soon as I think about it I start crying.

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My daddy darling has always been my hero.
When I got my drivers license, the first thing my dad taught me to do was change a tyre, and that has served me well a few times. If any of us got stuck somewhere, my dad would come and get us at the drop of a hat. When we lived at home, and went gallivanting, my dad would stay awake until we got home and he was sure we were safe. My dad went to school meetings with me when I was a single mom with an ADHD son and couldn’t face another judgmental panel of teachers.
I had a couple of boyfriends, and one of them described my dad as “a big oke with a gun” as my dad was wearing his big revolver when they first met. My dad loved torturing our suitors, who had to come to the house and ask my dad’s permission to take us out. My dad would sit in his chair, all big and intimidating, then going down the passage to his room and laughing his head off at the boy’s sweating in silence while trying to pluck up the courage to speak to him.
And now he looks small and frail… :'(

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My daddy darling is being stolen from us. Its a little at a time, but its happening really fast. 🙁
Special days – Christmas, birthdays, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Easter – were big occasions for my dad, and he loved celebrating them with all of us. We didn’t make plans to spend Fathers Day together this year, as it seems having too many visitors and people in and out in a day stresses my dad too much. :'(
I don’t know if he even knows its Fathers Day today.
He’s confused and fearful and sad. My mommy darling can’t be out of his sight for more than a minute without him panicking. He’s not sleeping, restless and wandering around the house. He can’t use the TV remote anymore. He keeps asking my mom when they’re going home.

I wish Dementia was a person so I could smack it upside the head and tell it to fuck off.
I’m angry and frustrated.
I don’t think I have never felt so helpless in my life.

A whilst part of me doesn’t want to talk about it, another part of me wants to talk to everyone about it.
And every time I think about what is happening to my dad, I start crying. I feel like I am already mourning my dad, but he’s still here, and it is so confusing.

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I see a rack full of Asterix comics in a bookshop and I start crying. I see a Clint Eastwood movie or a war movie on the TV guide and I start crying. I get excited about feeding the birds in my garden – a love of bird watching in instilled by my dad, and I know he won’t remember us speaking about it.
I have caught myself speaking of my dad in the past tense already, but he’s still here…

Mall Crawling!

~~~ this blog post was not solicited by any person or organisation, I wasn’t paid or asked to write it ~~~

My son and I have always been mall rats, enjoying spending time window shopping and browsing in shops, and as our knucklehead is home for the weekend, the three of us decided to go and check out the new Mall of Africa today. We were dying to try the Krispy Kreme and Starbucks, but as it was a Saturday afternoon the queues were a little crazy, so we headed for Cinnabon instead.

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We strolled around checking out the shops for hours, with my Glugster and the knucklehead getting stuck in BT Games and The Gadget Shop while I checked out places like Claire’s and Accessorize! 😀
We were very happy to note that the Ster Kinekor has a Cine Prestige (and an imax), so for future date nights we don’t have to drive for miles to see a movie in absolute comfort!
I was supposed to visit Kaz Lingerie on the mall’s opening day, but the insane traffic and crowds put me off completely, so I popped in there today. If, like me, you are particularly well endowed when it comes to boobage, and you need quality bras that won’t break the bank, Kaz is the place to go!! The ladies are incredible and they go out of their way to find the perfect bra for you! I had to giggle though- when my Glugster and I headed in there, the knucklehead waited outside! 😛

Ooh – and I was very impressed with the bathrooms! There were plenty of stalls in the ladies loo, and they were clean (which I think should go without saying in a brand new mall), but what I really liked was the one basin that has been lowered, the handbag hooks on the walls that are within reach of the loo, and the fact that the stalls are big enough to step into AND close the door behind you – without having to straddle the toilet seat! AND I wasn’t bashing my elbows on the walls of the stall!

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We spent an age in Hamleys toy shop, where I was delighted to find Schleich horses that I can add to my collection, and then we headed back to the food court for a very late “lunch”.
All the fast food places had queues for days, so since we were actually feeling like pizza we decided to try out Hello Tomato – which we had never heard of before seeing it today!

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While we waited for our pizzas, which were really yummy on thin crusts, the knucklehead went to carve his name in the wooden Africa-shaped boards they have set up in the food court for visitors to “autograph”.

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After we’d eaten we headed for the Checkers to try and take advantage of some specials they had on offer this weekend, but by then the mall had started to get REALLY busy so the queues for tills were crazy. We headed for the express tills as we only had 9 items, so we weren’t too long waiting, but the shop was uncomfortably full by then, with not a lot of room between the tills and the start of the shelves, so we decided to head home.

There is only one parking meter at each entrance at the moment, so you queue for a bit to pay for your parking, but you can pay by card – like the Gautrain ticket machines, so you don’t have to first go and find an ATM if, like us, you never carry cash anymore.

The mall itself is very beautiful, and inside it feels open and light and airy, and today we only really checked out the one level so we will definitely be heading back there, although it won’t be on a weekend if my husband has any say in the matter. 😛