Keeping your cool - while saving electricity!

33 views August 27th, 2014 By administrator

citysearch-fridge-coolWith the cost of electricity on the rise, consumers need to save money wherever they can. Take a look at your fridge. If it’s very old, chances are it’s not very efficient and will use more electricity than those that are currently rated for their energy-saving performance.

Here are some tips from AfricanEnvironment for keeping your cool when it comes to refrigeration costs:

  • Never overload your fridge, as too many goods in it can raise your electricity usage by 10 to 20% per extra item.
  • Smaller family, smaller fridge: A fridge operates at peak efficiency when filled, so if you live alone or with just one other person, opt for a smaller fridge.
  • Only open your refrigerator door when you know what you want, and take everything you need out at once. Opening and closing the door often – or leaving the door open while you decide what you need – means the fridge has to work harder to get back to temperature.

Coffee and . . . early morning dunking recipes!

780 views August 25th, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

The great South African buttermilk rusk

This traditional yeast-baked rusk just has to be dunked in your tea or coffee early in the morning. It’s a firm favourite in South Africa, and many a baby has cut his teeth on an un-dunked rusk by chewing on its tasty goodness for hours!


375g butterbuttermilkrusks
500g sugar
2 extra large eggs
30ml (2 tablespoons) baking powder
1,5kg self-raising flour
500ml (2 cups) buttermilk or plain drinking yogurt
Instructions on how to make it
Preheat oven to 180°C.


Cream butter and sugar together well. Add eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder together, and add to the creamed mixture, using a fork to mix. Then add buttermilk or yogurt. Mix well with a fork and then knead lightly. Pack lightly rolled, golf ball sized portions of dough into the greased bread pans close together, and bake for 45-55 minutes. Rusks should be squarish-obling, rather than round. Place the pans in the middle of the oven, with a sheet of brown paper on the top shelf to protect the rusks from becoming browned too quickly. (Do not let the paper touch the oven elements.)

Remove the paper after the rusks are well risen and cooked through, to brown the tops. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Turn out on to cake racks, cool and separate them. Pack the rusks on wire racks or on cooled oven racks – air must circulate. Place in cool oven, leaving the door ajar, for 4-5 hours, or overnight, to dry out.

TIPS: If the rusks are to be kept for a long time, do not substitute margarine for the butter. If no buttermilk or yogurt is available, use fresh milk curdled with lemon juice or white vinegar.

Delicate lavender biscuitslavenderbiscuits

Ingredients & method

Cream 120g butter and 60g sugar.
Stir in 180g flour and 20ml lavender flowers.
Knead roll into a 4cm diameter tube cover with cling wrap and put in fridge until firm enough to slice. Cut into 3-5 mm circles and bake for about 15 min or until light brown.

Nothing like your first cup of coffee in the morning with a delicious lavender biscuit!

Injection of energy for music in the Midlands

133 views August 23rd, 2014 By admin


When some KZN Midlands locals recognised the need for an open mic forum where local music talent could be showcased in a friendly, accessible environment, the Midlands Music Club was born. Officially launched on March 26, 2014, the club has already established itself as a feature of Hilton life every Wednesday night at 7pm. Music Festival A special music festival, “Shake the Hills” is also being planned for Sunday the 31st of August, in order to raise funds for a permanent PA system.

Enter the Matrix

61 views August 21st, 2014 By Jacqui Thompson

matrixBy Jacqui Thompson

Not being very tech savvy I am always anxious when needing to replace some computer thingamajigs and whatsits. But what a pleasure it was getting exactly what I needed for my computer at the Matrix Warehouse Computers in Woodmead, Johannesburg.I’ve noticed staff tend to talk slowly and with little words to me when they realise I am  a) not going to spend the equivalent of a small African country’s GDP b) am clueless and don’t even know the difference between hardware and software.

I braced myself for the audible eye-rolling when I went to the Matrix Warehouse in Woodmead, Johannesburg even though I knew exactly what I wanted and had even brought along proof of what needed replacing. Holding the dead mouse up by its cord I asked if they could give me a new one as this one stopped working.

What to do with eWaste

52 views August 19th, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

ea-ewasteThe term e-Waste refers to consumer electronic devices and gadgets that are at the end of its useful life, including discarded or obsolete cell phones and computers. With the consumerisation of IT, the volume of discarded e-products are rising at an alarming rate.

According to Causes International, the volume of discarded electronic products will be 33% higher than it is today – and weigh the equivalent of eight of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. This is not only a problem for the developed world, but for developing nations as well, particularly India.

Dumping electronics in landfills are not ideal and are in fact, banned, in some countries, because the items contain substances such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and brominated flame retardants which can lead to health problems if burned or leeched into the soil.

Aware of this problem, 68% of consumers tend to stockpile their old electronics rather than dumping them.

Get herenow, South Africa - and have your say!

68 views August 12th, 2014 By Makoena Pabale


South Africa, we’ve got you covered! You can Eat, Play, Shop anywhere in the country and check out all the events before you go. On your return, you can review any or all of the places you’ve been, so everyone knows what to expect when they get there. Here’s a taste of what covers:

World’s first battery powered multi-function printer in SA

55 views August 12th, 2014 By administrator


Ricoh SA has launched the world’s first battery powered multifunction Geljet printer with print, scan, copy, fax and wireless connectivity. The SG 3120B SFNw can be used in large warehouses, outdoor events, by relief agencies in remote areas or for any other mobile function.

“The battery lasts for 500 copies or 1 000 prints and it also runs on external power if that’s available,” says Chris de Beer,  head of product marketing at Ricoh SA. “The long battery life makes it extremely useful and it still prints at 20 pages per minute in black and white and 14 pages per minute in colour, so it’s no slouch.”

It’s all about learning to love wine

330 views August 8th, 2014 By administrator
Farai Magwada

Farai Magwada

We’re bringing this article back from 2013 due to popular demand. So many South Africans enjoy a good wine, and would love to know more about it. So, here it is . . .

By Penny Haw, BDlive

Once upon a time, a sommelier was that stern-looking, older gentleman in a stiff white shirt and solemn tuxedo who handed you his restaurant’s wine list as if parting with a cherished love letter.

The closest he came to smiling was when his mouth twitched slightly as he sneered at your mispronunciation of Viognier and/or because you couldn’t afford the first of his recommendations. It wasn’t a sommelier’s responsibility to put you at ease. His motto might have been “intimidate and rule against all odds”, and certainly, for a long time, sommeliers cowed diners in up-market eateries around the world.

British Master of Wine and wine writer Tim Atkin relates a story, told to him by a Las Vegas sommelier, about a nervous young couple dining in his posh restaurant on the night of their prom. “Er, are you the Samurai?” asked the young man, as the sommelier handed him the wine list. “Some people call me that,” replied the sommelier, “but tonight I’m just your wine waiter.”

But Darwin has had his day and sommeliers have evolved. It’s as master US sommelier Roberto Viernes says: “Today’s sommelier is a new breed … (and) ‘sommelier’ isn’t French for ‘snob’.” The new-generation sommelier is younger, hipper, more accessible, and sincere about service.

They’re enthusiastic about sharing their wine knowledge and encouraging diners to try something new. What’s more, says Farai Magwada, sommelier at the Mount Nelson’s Planet Restaurant in Cape Town, sometimes sommeliers are black. He makes the point having noticed how some diners brush aside his wine suggestions but, almost immediately thereafter, respond to the same recommendations made by his white colleague, Carl Habel. It’s not, he says, necessarily because they’re racist, but rather (or also) because people are unaccustomed to black men (or women) being knowledgeable and passionate about wine.

Magwada was introduced to wine while a waiter at Riboville, in Cape Town, almost a decade ago. The restaurant, now closed, was renowned for its extensive wine collection, which comprised more than 15,000 bottles.

“Wine makers and wine reps visited Riboville all the time,” says Magwada. “We were included in wine-tasting sessions and, even though I didn’t speak ‘wine language’ at that time, I just got it. I found it easy to identify different wines, and to distinguish good from bad. Mostly, though, I learned to love wine and, the more I enjoyed it, the more I wanted to learn about it.”

Because, he says, wine is “an inexhaustible subject”, being open to new experiences and a love of learning are basic requirements for a sommelier.

To read more, click here

Republished with kind permission.

Cape Town: Capture yourself with T-Rex

81 views August 7th, 2014 By admin

citysearch-dinosaurs“They ruled the world for 100 million years. Come see moving, roaring, life-size dinosaurs.”

Visitors to the Days of the Dinosaurs exhibition at the Cape Town International Convention Centre running until the 20 August 2014 can have their ‘prehistoric day’ immortalised by having their photographs taken with T-Rex printed there and then at the official photo station using Epson’s L800 ITS (Ink Tank System) photo printers.

The highly successful exhibition, presented by Huisgenoot, You and Drum, attracted thousands of visitors during its Johannesburg leg. The photo station proved to be a huge success over the duration there, and thousands of pictures were printed using the eight Epson L800 ITS printers.

Ethiopian Honey Bread (Yermarina Yewotet Dabo)

1,831 views August 1st, 2014 By Dianne Bayley
ethiopian-honey-breadHeading way north from here, this recipe for Ethiopian Honey Bread is a delight that some South Africans rustle up as an after dinner treat, or to eat with a spicy meal.

1 pkt active dry yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 egg
4 -4½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup lukewarm milk
½ cup honey
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves

In a small, shallow bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water. Allow the mixture to stand for 2-3 minutes and then stir to dissolve yeast completely. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place for around 5 minutes or until the yeast bubbles up and the mixture almost doubles in volume.