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September, 2009

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Organic sesame cookies kissed with chocolate!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Hi everyone!

( old blog www.giddygastronome.blogspot.com)

I would like to take this opportunity to wish my family and friends here and more  importantly abroad, a very happy and Blessed Eid Mubarak, be it on Sunday or Monday! It is during this time that I especially miss my Mom and Grandmother who made this momentous occasion so very special! I shall never forget!

To my brother and sister in South Africa, I wish you were here to be able to celebrate with us on Sunday! “Ek mis die ou dae, toe ons klein was en presente gekry het van ons ouers!!!Meestal mis ek vir Moeder!!!!

A tea convivial

There is nothing more healing than setting a convivial atmosphere for a tea ceremony. The  clinking of  pretty tea cups,  pinkie pointing upward,  congenial chatter and not forgetting those deliriously good confections are all part of this ambiance and mostly enjoyed by women, I might add! If ever you have shared this “frivolous female fetish”  ( as my sweetie puts it)  with me, then we are obviously best buds! Nevertheless, whoever,  comes to my door, there is always a cuppa waiting for ya! As a matter of fact, I even went as far as introducing this ritual to my friends at the yearly camping get- togethers.  Now, even they  remind me of the confections and the “Rooibos tee”, please! as if I would ever  forget!

After years of soul searching, I have rationalized that these very tea ceremonies are what give me my cheery disposition! LOL!

Buttery sesame cookies embraced by dark chocolate


Sometimes, I have my ” Rooibos tee”  with a spot of milk and other times with a slice of orange or lemon.

They say that one’s character is reflected in one’s  food and here I  put my own spin on this recipe by taking   some seemingly  disparate ingredients and made it work to give you a little nutty,  orangy, crispy, creamy, buttery  cookie.


Sesame cookie Recipe: (Please use organic ingredients when possible)

  1. 4 oz unsalted organic butter
  2. 2/3 cup organic brown sugar less 1 tablespoon
  3. 1 T organic orange marmalade
  4. 1 t ground ginger
  5. 1 t cinnamon
  6. 1/2 t cardamom
  7. pinches of ground nutmeg, clove
  8. 2 organic egg yolks
  9. 1 t orange zest
  10. 1 t pure vanilla extract
  11. 1 t pure orange extract or orange flower water( I used the latter)
  12. 1 1/2 c organic all purpose flour
  13. 7 pkgs  sesame snaps( picture below)
  14. Lindt intense orange dark chocolate


Pre-heat the oven to 225 degrees

Beat the butter, sugar, marmalade  and all the spices until creamy ( there has to be no sugar bits). Add the egg yolks and continue beating until incorporated. Add the zest and all the extracts and incorporate and lastly fold in the flour. The dough has to be  soft. Refrigerate the dough for half an hour, roll out to about quarter inch and then just use the sesame snap as a guide as I did and cut out cookies with a sharp knife. Bake the cookies on a silpat or parchment for about 12 mins, remove from the oven, top with a sesame snap. Remember to adjust the size of the cookie to the sesame snap at this point, especially since the cookie is still hot and soft. Place  back in the oven for three mins, just so that the sesame snap has fused with the cookie. When the cookies are cooled, dip in melted dark chocolate and enjoy! Yields about 25 cookies,


Thanks for stopping by!

Much love,


Go to Las Vegas…..when possible!

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Las Vegas travel diary

(…old blog  www.giddygastronome.blogspot.com)

I was in dire need of a  vacation after the last of my house guests in late August but  knew that this would not be possible since Ramadan(Fasting) was fast approaching. It was then that  E told me that I had to support him by going  with him  to the National Pool Team Championships, held in Vegas! What made it even more attractive was the fact that the trip plus the posh hotel was paid for by the American Pool Association( APA). I decided that I would uphold my Fasting in Vegas while walking the strip and watching  the pool tournaments.  Time would definitely fly by!!!

Their team did extremely well, they played for 4 days out of 5  and even reached a money round!!! How cool was that, considering that this was only his second year playing for the APA league. They also had to beat all the local pool teams in their district to be able to participate in this national championship  competition in Vegas!

E delighted the crowd with  three break and runs ( two,  one after the other  in a match  on the Monday and another on Tuesday night. This was not all fun and games, it was tough, but in  the end,  his love for playing the game and his team conquered all!

Polaroids of our 8 days in Vegas, a trip I shall never forget!


Congratulations to you and the rest of  your team for playing so well!!


We were not allowed to use the flash…hence the fuzzy pool pics.


I was in my element with  all the  exquisite cuisines Las Vegas had to offer!




The Encore! ( I shall never forget!!!!!! Thank you!



The gondola ride was like being right there in Venice!


Mirage Hotel where the volcano erupts often!



Patisserie inside the Mirage


Treasure Island hotel.


Do I hear Fergie and the Black Eyed peas in the background!



My head was spinning just looking up at the buildings. An impatient horn soon brought me back to reality!




Harrah’s : The neon lights are like jewels!


Inside Caesar’s Palace.


Bellagio fountains…just as beautiful during the day!


Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace hotels.


Casino inside Caesar’s Palace

“I can honestly say that I went to Vegas not to gamble( because I don’t)  but gambled with my life trying to cross the streets!!!!”


The very majestic Luxor hotel.


Jean Philippe patisserie, Bellagio hotel.


Who can resist SpongeBob? ( Excalibur hotel)


We had a stupendous time in Vegas in spite of the 110 degree days!! What a fun  town this is!!!!I would recommend buying a three day bus pass if you are going to be there for long. The buses in Vegas are beautiful and would definitely “save your aching soles.” Trust me you have a lot to see and parking your car is not always easy plus  it is also costly. Hope you enjoy your trip to Vegas just as much as I did!

Thank you for stopping by!


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