Archive for August, 2010

SHALLOW (One Shot Wednesday)

Posted in Dreams, Emotions, Family, Fiction, Friends, Life, Musings, People, Personal, Random, Reflections on August 31, 2010 by Mandy



Dwindled  love

stormy seas

maze of lies

in wasted fields

fragments of me

are breaking off

mortal silence

in every breath

human beings

shadows of shame

forever lost

in utter darkness

of shallow seekers

for happiness


©AvdL 2010


Image from 


Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2010 by Mandy

There is nothing better than making your own Banana Bread, the smell fills every corner of the house and it is the easiest thing to make.  I use Macadamia nuts (or you can use walnuts) which compliments this recipe even more.  ENJOY!!


2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

5 very ripe bananas – mashed well

1 stick unsalted butter – melted and cooled

2 large eggs

1/2 cup whole organic yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cups macadamia nuts, (or you can use walnuts) toasted and chopped

Confectioner’s sugar – light dusting before serving.

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease with butter an 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pan
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl.

4.  In a mixer using the wire attachment whip 2 mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, yogurt and vanilla.  Mix well.. you want a fluffy and creamy banana mixture.

5.  In a separate small bowl, mash the remaining 3 bananas so they still have some chunky texture.  Then blend together with banana mixture in blender.Slowly fold the whole banana mixture in with the flour until it is combined.. but don’t over mix.  Fold in the macadamia nuts.

6.  Using a rubber spatula, pour the batter into the buttered loaf pan and smooth the edges and top.

7.  Bake until golden brown – approximately 55 minutes.  Rotate every 15 minutes to ensure all sides are baked evenly.  When you do this be delicate so you don’t upset the rising bread

8.  Remove and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Then place on rack and cool with a cloth towel over the bread for another 30 minutes before serving.

9.  To serve, cut into slices and lightly dust with confectioner’s sugar – serve!


Posted in Daily Life, Family, Friends, People, Personal, Random, Reflections on August 30, 2010 by Mandy

I got this from Cindy –   http://theonlycindy and did this last’s Monday morning here and I don’t drink during the day!!  Just saying 🙂 🙂


1. What was the highlight of your week?
Sending a parcel off the South Africa to someone very special and having lunch with my girlfriends on Wednesday after art class.

2. Whose car were you in last?
My own.

3. When is the next time you will kiss someone?
I kiss my friends often.

4. What color shirt are you wearing?

5. How long is your hair?
Very short.

6. Are you good-looking?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

7. Last movie you watched?
Hawaii – Charlton Heston

8. Who were you with?

9. Last thing you ate?

10. Last thing you drank?

11. When was the last time you had your heart-broken?
…it breaks a little every day 🙂 🙂

12. Who came over last?
My friend Karen.

13. Are you happy right now?

Yes I am. 

14. What did you say last?
Want to go to the park little one? (talking to my dog Coco)

15. Where is your phone?
On the charger.

16. What color are your eyes?
Blue Green

17. Are you left-handed?

18. Spell your name without vowels:
mnd vdlnd

19. Do you have any pets?
I have a dog called Coco.

20. Favourite Vacation?
Africa… the bush.

21. What do you dislike currently?

22. What are you listening to?
The buzz of my laptop.

23. If you could have one thing right now what would it be?
A hug.

24. What is your favorite scent?
 African bush

25. Who makes you happiest?
My family, friends and my dog.

26. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping in my warm bed.

27. When is your birthday?
27th of March.

28. Who has the same phone as you?
I would not have a clue.

29. Last time you went swimming in a pool?
Towards end of May this year

30. Do you read your horoscope?

31. Where was the last place you bought something?

32. How do you feel about your hair right now?

33. Do you bite your nails?

34. Do you have any expensive jewelery?

36. MySpace or Facebook?

37. How fast have you driven a car?
I don’t drive fast at all, if I do here, I’ll lose points on my licence 😦

38. Have you ever smoked?

39. What was or is your favorite subject in school?

History and Art

40. Do you have Verizon?
No??? (what is it?)

41. What type of boy or girl do you usually fall for?
Someone with a sense of humour and knowing who they are.

42. Do you have any hidden talents?
No, what you see is what you get…

43. Favourite Song?
Too many to choose from.

44. Do you like to sing at all?
Yes, all the time… in the shower.

45. Dream Job?
Travelling the world.

46. Where does most of your family live?
South Africa.

47. Are you an only child or do you have siblings?
Only Child.

48. Would you consider yourself to be spoiled?

49. What was the first thing you thought when you woke up?
Coffee  Coffee and more Coffee

50. Do you drink?
Oh hell yeah! 🙂

51. Know any other languages?

52. Ever write a coded message?
Yes, in school I did!

53. Have you ever been IN a wedding?
More than a number of times yes.

54. Do you have any children?
Yes I do have 2 adult children.

55. Did you take a nap today?
No, I never, ever sleep during the day…what will I do tonight?

56. Who has the same birthday as you?
Louis XVII Charles, king of France…got no idea…had to look that up.

57. Ever met anyone famous before?
Yes I have.

58. Do you want to be famous one day?
I am famous enough in my own eyes 🙂

59. Any Pet Peeves?

60. Are you multitasking right now?
Yep…having a Merlot and typing here.

61. Last supper.


62. What is your least favourite chore?
Ironing 😦 😦

63. Last place you drove your car?

The supermarket.

64. Ever been out of the country?
Yes I sure have.

65. Where were you born?
Cape Town, South Africa.

66. Could you handle being in the military?
No, but I’d love to make them awesome food.

67. What is your average mobile phone bill?
$250-$500 ..I import from China!

68. Who are you thinking about right now?
No-one …thinking what to answer here.

69. When was the last time you laughed REALLY hard?
A few minutes ago, when I spoke to a good friend on the phone.

70. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
We will NOT go there….(hiding my head)

71. Are your toes always painted?

72. How many piercings do you have?
Just 2…one in both ears.

73. What are you doing today?
Pottering around my house, cooking and having a spa later.

74. Have you ever been gambling?
Yes, but don’t like it.

75. When is the last time you updated your page?
This morning





Posted in Emotions, Fiction, Friends, Life, Musings, People, Personal, POETRY, Random, Reflections on August 29, 2010 by Mandy


Entangled heart

scattered thoughts

cluster of ruminate

I hear your voice

cold and dissociate

twilight days

twilight nights

ice tears on my cheek

my broken heart


notre amour était une fois

 c’est fini pour toujours


©AvdL 2010




Posted in Dreams, Family, Friends, Life, Musings, Personal, POETRY, Random, Reflections on August 28, 2010 by Mandy




My brush is a bird

that paints in red

loquacious and free

stroke by stroke

colour comes out

captivating me

 the dancing rain

 on my fingertips

flick of my wrist

of secrets born




©AmandavdL 2010



Posted in Friends, Musings, Personal, Random, Recipe, Uncategorized on August 28, 2010 by Mandy


My dear girlfriend  (Yvette)  a wonderful, inspiring cook that now lives in Italy, always comes up with the most amazing recipes.  She puts things together like a magician and I invite you to go and visit her here: –  You will ALWAYS find something interesting, for any occasion.


2 bunches silverbeet, leaves removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 brown onions, halved, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 eggs
300g fresh ricotta
200g feta, crumbled
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh grain breadcrumbs
11/2 tablespoons sesame seeds


Parmesan pastry
75g parmesan cheese
1 3/4 cups plain flour
125g chilled butter, chopped
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons iced water


1. For the parmesan pastry, Using the fine grater blade, grate the parmesan in the processor. Replace the grater blade with the processor blade. Add flour and butter to the bowl with the cheese. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and 1 tablespoon water and process until the dough just starts to come together, adding remaining water if necessary.

2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Cut in half and shape into a disc. Wrap in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Wash, dry and shred the silverbeet leaves. Preheat oven and large flat baking tray to 180°C.

4. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside until wilted. Transfer to a large bowl. Add eggs to the warm silverbeet mixture. Add ricotta, feta and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Roll 1 piece dough out to 30cmx25cm rectangle. Sprinkle over 11/2 tablespoons breadcrumbs. Spoon half the spinach mixture along the long edge closest to you. Roll up tightly. Repeat with remaining pastry, breadcrumbs and filling. Brush the tops with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

6. Place the rolls onto a sheet of baking paper and slide onto the hot tray. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Stand 5 minutes before slicing.



Posted in Daily Life, Dreams, Family, Friends, Life, Musings, Personal, POETRY, Random on August 27, 2010 by Mandy


African rhythm

beat of my heart

 I once was part

of her starlit night

the crescent moon

shining so bright

foreign language

whispering softly

my naked desires

in blazing fires

forever merging

on fertile ground

in true tradition

distant voices

  lustrous glint

 infinite love


part of me


©AmandavdL 2010

Duck Breast with a Confit Duck Neck Sausage

Posted in Cooking, Family, Friends, People, Personal, Random, Recipe on August 27, 2010 by Mandy


1 duck, with neck attached
1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 small head of garlic, halved
6 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
4 parsley stalks
1kg duck fat
250g pork mince
100g minced pork fat
60g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tsp cognac
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp plain flour
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
½ cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 potato, such as Desiree, peeled, thinly sliced
2tbs sour cherries
1tbs cherry sauce
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 bunch English spinach, washed, leaves picked
Mesclun, to serve
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve


1. Preheat oven to 220°C.

2. Cut the neck from the body, leaving as much skin as possible attached where the neck joins the body. Strip skin away from neck (as if peeling off a glove) it will be attached by little fibers that pull off easily. Remove the windpipe from the skin and discard. Wash it thoroughly inside and out and pat dry.

3. Place the duck on a board, breast side up. Pull one leg away from the body and cut through the skin between the body and both sides of the thigh. Bend the whole leg firmly away from the body until the ball of the thighbone pops from the hip socket.  Cut between the ball and the socket to separate the leg. Repeat with the other leg. Remove the skin from both legs and discard. Cut the meat from the leg bones, and roughly chop. Set aside.

4. Cut along the breast bone and against the rib cage to remove breasts from duck. Score skin at an angle. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

5. Roughly chop the remaining carcass and combine with olive oil, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and herbs in a heavy-based baking tray. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until browned.

6. Place chopped leg meat into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer mixture to an electric mixer fixed with a paddle. Add pork mince, pork fat, pistachios, cognac and lemon zest. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix over medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. Place stuffing mixture into a piping bag.

7. Heat duck fat in a small deep saucepan to 90°C

8. Tie the narrow end of the neck with string and pipe in stuffing mixture, filling it well. Using a larding needle and string, sew the large end of the neck, not too tightly. Place neck sausage in the duck fat and cook for 30 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, remove baking tray from the oven. Stir through the flour and vinegar. Return to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove and pour away fat. Decrease the oven temperature to 200°C.

10. Place baking tray over high heat, add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan well. Add the chicken stock in 2 batches, stirring well after each addition. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

11. Remove the sausage from the pan, place on a baking tray and crisp in the oven for 15 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the duck fat.

12. Place potato slices in a bowl, coat well with the reserved duck fat. Arrange slices without overlapping on a paper-lined baking tray. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Check occasionally.

13. Strain the stock mixture and chill in a freezer for 5 minutes. Remove stock from the freezer. Using paper towel, scrape the fat off the surface of the stock.

14. Pour the stock into a clean pan, over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes until reduced and thickened to a sauce-like consistency. Add the cherries and adjust seasoning to taste. Keep warm.

15. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Cook duck breast skin-side down for   5-7 minutes, to render fat. Turn and cook for a further 4 minutes until medium. Rest on a warm plate, loosely covered with foil.

16. Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add spinach to the pan, cover and cook for 1-2 minutes or until wilted.
17. To serve, arrange spinach on plate, top with a 2cm thick slice of the duck sausage. Slice a breast fillet on the diagonal and fan onto the plate Spoon the cherry sauce over the sliced duck. Serve with mesclun dressed with extra virgin olive oil and potato crisps scattered on top of the salad leaves.


CHOICES (One Shot Wednesday)

Posted in Daily Life, Emotions, Friends, Life, People, Personal, POETRY, Random, Reflections on August 26, 2010 by Mandy



There are words

that touch my soul

words from your mouth

that cuts like a knife

words of wisdom

words of scorn

words of a fool

words of reproach

words of poise

words of solace

words of value

words of a song

words of grace


to make or break

 it’s your choice…


©AmandavdL 2010


This is my poem for One Shot Wednesday, run by One Stop Poetry, a fast growing community for poets & writers of all genres to share their work, express and make friends.  Come join us, just click on the link!! FUN!! 

YOU ~ MY OASIS (Thursday Poets Rally Week 27)

Posted in Daily Life, Dreams, Emotions, Family, Friends, Life, People, Personal, POETRY, Random, Reflections on August 25, 2010 by Mandy

A special thank you to each and every one of YOU who are reading and have voted for me….I thank you immensely for your kindest words, your continued encouragement and invaluable comments.  I could not be here without all of you, a very special thanks to JINGLE for putting all of this together and her outstanding work in creating this community and bringing all of us together.  Thanks again from my heart and congratulations to all who contributed and won.
 This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, love to complete your life. 
 YOU ~ MY OASIS ~ (Poem for Thursday Poets Rally Week 27)

  Contours of his loving soul  

finely aligned  

 in every grain  

work of art  

in black and white   



no gray space   

is not bound   

by no fence   

mantle of love  

has no edge  

purified words  


like drops of rain   

on my window pane   

he’s my friend   

word for word   

every question   

here and now  

you’re my friend   



©AmandavdL 2010  

 I nominate the formidable theonlycin for rally 27.  



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