The Galileo Open Air Cinema

I feel like I’m a little late to the party, but I felt the inner need to share this with you anyway. Everybody loves those cosy nights on the couch, with friends or your boyfriend/girlfriend, popcorn, some food, a great movie and a blanket? The Galileo brings you all of that, but outdoors in some of Cape Town’s greatest locations. You’re spoilt for choice with an incredible selection of movies against the most magical scenery of either The V&A Waterfront, Hillcrest Quarry or Kirstenbosch Gardens.

I’ve already seen two movies there, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Love Actually. We wanted to see Harry Potter as well as the Addams Family, but never got around to it or things came up. I’d recommend trying to get there a little early, as it fills up quickly. If you can’t, don’t stress, because the screen is so massive that you can see perfectly even way at the back. For something that could go either way with sight and visibility, they’ve really hit the nail on the head. And I can’t tell you how efficiently it is run.

Movies run 3 nights a week, each time at a different venue, and no movie is repeated – so you better get in there and check out the full schedule. Tickets range from R70 up, but I recommend getting a chair at least. You can bring your own blankets, but be warned – don’t let “summer” fool you – it’s freezing once the sun goes down. So bring extra blankets and jerseys in case.

Greg and I had such a wonderful time at Love Actually, one of our favourite movies. It’s really a perfect summer date night, and the greatest upgrade to a girls night at the movies. If you can do it with a picnic and wine, it’s automatically better, right? So if you haven’t checked the schedule or booked any tickets, please, go do yourself a favour.

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Yuppiechef love: The Letterpress Cookie Set

I’m really no foodie, but I do like experimenting with new recipes here and there. Particularly when they involve dessert. I made a baked alaska last week, which my guests found super fancy and I even had a friend make one the following week for her own guests. Not so long ago, I won a voucher on twitter from Yuppiechef (if you don’t follow them on social media, well, take this as a hint to do so) and finally succumbed to buying something I have been eyeing for months. Their letterpress cookie cutter set.

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I think I was more besotted by the ideas of them, because I’d never had much success with biscuits due to my lack of Kenwood/Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I’d signed up to their online baking course (which is free, so wannabe bakers like me, go do it!) and there was a whole episode dedicated to them. How could I resist?

Now I couldn’t just make biscuits. I’d eat them myself and just get fat (obviously), so I needed to come up with a cool dessert that involved biscuits (without crushing them, because I needed to create cool messages on the top). Enter – the ice cream sandwich cookie. It was pretty experimental, and I had much higher aesthetic hopes for them, but if it means anything they tasted freaking amazing (and I managed it all a la wooden spoon, as there’s no Kitchen Aid mixer in this lady’s kitchen, so I was extra chuffed!)

After deciding which of the 3 shapes I would be using (and coming to terms how massive these cookies and how delicious this dessert was going to be) I started assembling my Good Shabbos message. I was incredibly pleased so have enough letters as I was expecting to run out – but the set comes with pre-set words (Happy, Birthday, Holidays etc) and 2 of each letter as well as extras of popular ones (thinks e’s and a’s). I was even sure to dust the cookie cutter in flour, thanks to the advice of Sarah Graham and it worked a dream!

These delightfully crisp “Good Shabbos” cookies, dolloped with either chocolate or halva spread with vanilla coffee flavoured ice-cream (with some extra chocolate chips, because why not?) sandwiched in the middle made the perfect special dessert for our Friday night Shabbat supper. Guys, come now.

The final product may not look as fancy as I’d hoped (liked I’ve mentioned before, I don’t score well on food styling or photography, also I can’t for anything about our unfortunately styled kitchen) but goodness, they tasted like heaven.

(The cookie set says to use a recipe you trust, so do shout if you’d like me to update with the recipe I used.)

*update* You asked for the recipe, and I shall provide!

Sugar Cookie Biscuit Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter or margerine, softened at room temperature (I left it out overnight and then some more)
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs soy milk/milk (I think I may have even used water. Shhh)
  • cookie cutters in any shape or form that you like!

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to  180.
  2. Beat butter, eggs/margerine and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add egg yolk and vanilla. (I don’t have a Kitchen Aid or mixer of sorts, so I managed this all with a wooden spoon. If this non-kitchen-diva can do it – so can you.)
  3. Sift the flour and salt. Add half flour mixture to butter/margerine mixture. Add milk/soy milk (or water), then add remaining flour. Mix until just combined. Set aside.
  4. At this point I rolled out the dough between two pieces of baking paper and then chilled it (like I was told to in the Yuppiechef Baking Course). I found it stuck too much to the top sheet of baking paper, so eventually left that out and left it to chill (rolled out, on the baking tray)
  5. Bake for 13 minutes. Leave to cool.

For the ice cream part, just get creative. I made my standard parev (non-dairy) ice cream, but vanilla ice cream would be perfect (and probably a better consistency). I smeared some chocolate spread on the biscuits for extra yum and then sandwiched ice-cream in the middle. It got a little messy, but  you’ll pop them back in the freezer soon after and all will be alright.

Please let me know if you try your own sandwich cookies. They’re super easy and you can really use any of your favourite cookie recipes (I’m thinking to try choc-chip next!), and most of all – it tastes like heaven in your mouth. Is there anything more you could want?

Movie Review: About Time

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They told me I’d do The Ugly Cry. You know, not the one where your eyes water a little bit, or you wipe a small tear. No, no. You will heave, your heart will be wrenched and you mind will run in circles. Well, I didn’t heave, but I did struggle to keep the tears from falling, and once they did, well, let’s just say they didn’t stop, and I left the cinema hoping people would assume I’d seen a sad movie and not that Greg and I had had a huge argument.

Greg actually walked in and said “if I’m the only guy in here, I’m walking out.” I knew he wouldn’t, but I actually sat wondering for most of the movie – hello? When is this supposed Ugly Cry going to kick in? Because for the most part, Greg and I laughed our way through. The loud, hearty type of laugh. Funnily, I saw so much of us in the lead characters, Mary and Tim (minus the American accent an the orange hair). At one point I laughed so loud at a point that wasn’t funny at all because it was the exact same way Greg would have reacted.

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Initially when I heard the movie involved time travel I was all “no, man. You can’t rip off The Time Traveller’s Wife” (I haven’t seen the movie, but am in love with the book). But I was so impressed. Also from the creators of Love Actually, can you actually expect anything sub-par? I’ve never seen Rachel McAdams in a better role, you wouldn;t be able to believe she ever played a meanie like Regina George. And British films are always, ultimately better. Basically: if you love anyone deeply enough this movie will touch you. Do you love your partner? Do you want children want day? Love your family? You’ll feel all the feelings.

It’s funny, I used to pride myself on not crying in sad movies when I was younger. I think it made me seem cooler and tougher. Now that I think about it, that seems a bit heartless. But I think that when you get “older” (I’m not that old yet) you have so many more experiences, so many deeper relationships, different things are more meaningful to you, and these are universal things that you feel, but when you’re younger you might not understand. At 16 I would never have been able to really fathom true love for a partner, or appreciation of your parents/siblings and the mere concept of a day without them. Deep, right?

I don’t want to give it away. But it made me think of so many things. Even this morning while driving to gym at the crack of dawn i started tearing just thinking about it. So obviously, I stopped thinking about it. I’m not going to share why exactly this movie made me “feel all  the feelings”, but it was wonderfully sentimental and touching. There is just so much natural love in this one movie.

I need to stop thinking and writing about this movie, because the tears are starting to surface, and I’m sitting at work, so it’s quite the place for an Ugly Cry, is it?

I’m not sure when this movie is going off the circuit, but please, do go see it.

Phantom of the Opera: Round 1

Phantom of the OperaIt wasn’t quite your usual opening night in Cape Town of one of the most famous Broadway musicals, yet what happened was still entertaining and amusing, despite not exactly seeing the nights performance. Being students, we couldn’t afford more than the cheap, cheap seats (the one’s so close to the front we were sitting quite snuggly with the orchestra). We’d heard all the risky comments about opening night, but I doubt anyone would suspect a story as ridiculous as the freshly painted floors not having dried in time for the performance, being a risk for the actors and dancers, and due to which the show “would not go on” (as they tend to say in showbiz) that evening.

My mouth was as wide as yours might be right now. But its true. While the director could have sent us home and reimbursed our tickets (which we booked some 5 months previously), the audience was treated to the full performance, just without the acting and dancing (and we’d still get our tickets exchanged for a later date!). Sounds strange; but the whole allure of Phantom is of course the music. So we were happy to sit and watch them perform as best they could from their rows of seats on the stage.

Phantom of the Opera Mask and Rose on PianoThere was a good atmosphere despite the situation. We were quite giggly, ourselves, laughing at the sounds of their shoes on the sticky paint (see, we were so close we could hear it!). Even the cast were able to make light of the situation, when something fell from the ceiling of the stage one of the leads didn’t care to hide his laughter (thankfully it wasn’t mid-song) while a chorus member piped a joke that fitted in with the storyline we could follow from the music alone.

Even without the entire production involving acting, dialogue, dance and set design we were still wowed by what was in front of us. The set was so beautiful, one can only imagine how wonderful different scenes would look as actors made full use of the stage. The score was so mesmerising it kept the audience in the theatre for over 2hrs, just listening to them sing. Tonight’s audience may not have seen the entire performance, but the standing ovation was not one out of pity, but of pure admiration for what was seen in light of the given situation.

Phantom of the Opera

Well, it sure was memorable!

Was anyone else there tonight? Have similar theatre stories? Or just love Phantom? Let us know in the comments below.