Thursday, April 8, 2010

SA FOOD BLOGGERS SHOWCASE

Good afternoon world,
Trust that you are all enjoying a magnificent day....here in Cape Town it is absolutely glorious. Clear skies, sunny weather, I dont smell any braaiing (barbequeing) meat wafting in on the breeze but all is good in here where Autumn is finally revealing her cool self. The mercury has dropped somewhat ; I have been hauling out the winter woolies and laundering them to get them all fresh and clean and have also dusted off my slow cooker and made a meal or two in my fabulous new flame coloured cocotte :o) Sounds fancy hey? I love Le Creuset...what can I say??


Talking of which....have you guys seen the fantastic new color that is being released in SA at the end of this month? I kid you not.....I am green with envy and have got to start spending less on food so that I can procure one of the wonderful looking pots in the new CASSIS range


Gorgeous photo borrowed from KIM GRAY

Following on the successful SA Food Bloggers Conference last month and the newly formed SA Food Bloggers Network (see previous post about that - we already have 48 members whoohoo) allow me to introduce you to the all new



Unlike the aforementioned Food Bloggers Network which is for food or wine bloggers and websites related to the food and wine industry, this page is for YOU!! Anyone can join as a fan and keep abreast with food blogging and trends in South Africa. I tell you......like Brain in Pinky and the Brain (I love that show!!!) we can ask are you pondering what Im pondering?? SA Food bloggers are taking over the world hehehe..........

So pop on over to the link and take a perusal at your leisure and don't be left behind. One day when we reach ONE MILLION you can proudly say I was one of the first to join :o)

OK! I'm outta here.......got more pondering & networking to do :o) You can tell I am happy and having fun can't you??? I hold food bloggers very close to my heart. Gosh I hold all of you very close to my heart and I never once realized what an amazing world I would be introducing myself and SA food bloggers to when I co-ordinated the fabulous conference we had last month.

Enjoy the rest of this short week
Colleen xx

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SA FOOD BLOGGERS NETWORK

Greetings everyone, I am just popping in with the news that following on from the SA Food Bloggers Conference last month Jane-Anne Hobbs has formed the South African Food Bloggers Network on facebook - a group for like minded people to share ideas and inspiration, showcase your blog posts and support your fellow bloggers. Access to this group is by invitation only.



This is an open invitation to you to join this group. If you fit the following criteria then you qualify to apply to belong to the group:

1. You need to be a South African

2. You may be living anywhere in the world not necessarily in South Africa. So come on you ex-pat foodies out there...now is your chance!!

3. You need to write, or co-write, a blog about food, wine or food/wine related articles.

If you are already on facebook just pop over to this page and request to join. Please give the url of your blog as well when you request to join.

I do the admin and will do the necessary to get you admitted to the group

Hmmmm, Im just sitting here wondering if you can join the group if you do not have a personal facebook page. If you try, and you can't apply you might want to consider joining facebook so that you can network your blog :o). If you do join facebook just look for me, Colleen Grove, and ask to be my friend putting in a personal message explaining who you are and what blog you have.

Thanx, see you there,
Colleen

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

SAFBC PART 2

Contrary to what Douglas (a cheeky reader on my Kitchen Diary blog) thinks I am not resting or relaxing :o) No, no, I've actually been very busy in fact - cleaning up after the conference. People to see, people to thank (sponsors and guests), I have almost 1,300 emails to wade through......places to go! My grandson had his fungym show at school on Tuesday evening, on Wednesday I had to babysit (twice - 2 hours in the afternoon and then again in the evening for parent teacher meetings) Thursday it was Taste of Cape Town seeing as we had received 2 entry tickets each in each goodie bag - WOW! Amazing....that will be a post on its own! Suffice to say it was a wonderful experience and I really enjoyed it. Ran into a lot of new friends made at the food bloggers conference so had quite a social scene going as well.


 Friday night it was cocktails in Mouille Point with Jeanne from Cooksister and a few other bloggers, Nina from My Easy Cooking, Rosemary from Homemade Heaven, Nicola from Wotsforlunch, Doula Mel from Bosom Buddies & myself. We had the added excitement of watching the Queen Mary 2 sail out of Table Bay Harbour and into the sunset.




The social life has to end soon.But not quite yet. Tomorrow evening I am donning my apron and heading off to Silwood Kitchen to cook with Le Creuset - those wonderful casserole people who also sponsored the conference. What a privilege, I am hugely thrilled by it.

 I was also invited to participate in a day with Simonsberg Cheese tomorrow out at a wine farm in Durbanville Hills but unfortunately it is Easter holidays so it means that this week I am the grandmother of two little rascals who are needing taking care of while Mommy is at work!! Aaaarrrgh. I hope everyone entered the competition they are running over on 24.com as those Simonsberg events are just fabulous. I went to one last year and it was fantastic. We were treated to a delicious luncheon with chef and author Marlene van der Westhuizen at her cooking school in Green Point. We had a fab cheese tasting with the cheesemaker from Simonsberg and it was interesting.  Their cheeses are absolutely wonderful!! And they sponsored the Food Bloggers Conference too so it would've been grand to get there and thank the right people in person.

I have finally completed editing the photographs from the first SA Food Bloggers Conference and have put them onto my personal facebook profile if anyone would like to take a look. If you are not on facebook (or not a friend) let me know and I can try and send you a link so that you can see them. But a lesson learned at the SAFBC was that you should link your blog to facebook and twitter if you want to get readership :o)


Registration and getting to meet the faces behind the bloggers

Jeanne (Cooksister) the keynote speaker, sporting a funky new short cut for Spring in the UK

A happy group of bloggers

Giggling Gourmet Jenny Morris with the Kara's Original Greek Spice Gift

I will, over the next little while, be blogging a bit about the conference and give little tips of what was learned that day so look out for those and for some more photos. If there was anyone who attended who does NOT want their photos to appear on blogs please kindly let me know as soon as possible. I am putting up a list of bloggers who attended simply because so many have asked me for links to everyone's blogs so here they all are....no wait, let me go and get a cup of chai tea and something to nibble on because the linking process is going to take the rest of the night HAHA!!

Jeanne - Cooksister


Nina - My Easy Cooking

browniegirl (oops that be me hehe) - Kitchen Diary

Jenny Morris - Giggling Gourmet

Just Griet - Griet's World

Ikey200306 - Pretty Little Thing Waiting for the King Down in the Jungle

Brightside - A Spoonful of Sugar

inspiration - Lavender & Lime

Wotsforlunch - Wots For Lunch

Janice - Janice Tripepi

Juno - Scrumptious SA

Marisa - The Creative Pot

Sigrid - Cooking And Eating With Polkadotcupcake

Sam Wilson - Editor-in-Chief food24.com Parent24.com & Women24.com

Cath - Cheque Please

Florentine - Treehouse Diary & DIY Gourmet (DIY launching mid April)

baglady - Touch of Gold

Sophia Lindop - Sophia Lindop

Michael Olivier - Michael Olivier

Sam Linsell - Drizzle & Dip

Andy - Jamie Who Blog

Pia - Mother City Living

Rose & Thorn - Homemade Heaven

Robyn Gartrell - Chocswirl

Potjie - What's Cooking

Carey - Bits of Carey

Just Me - Just Me

Kit - Food & Family

Lana - Whipping It Up

Lana - Lanalou Style

Jan Braai - Braai 4 Heritage

Chris - Whale Cottage Portfolio

Roy - Ardy53

Irma - Kapruka Oils

Cheryl - Beadz2Pleaz



Some of our fabulous sponsors attending were:

Nadia & Malu from Eat Out Magazine

Laura Swanepoel from Taste Magazine Online

Gill Macgregor from Le Creuset

Neil & Adrienne Verlaque Napper from Verlaque Fine Foods

Datje from Soulicious Chocolate

Cathy Archer from The Nut Vendor Cell: 0827880306 -
oh my word those WASABI NUTS!!! Divinely delicious!! Thank you so much for the sponsorship Cathy!

Shane Dryden - Yuppiechef

If anyone else has a website that I have omitted to put on the list please let me know the url and I will do so immediately as it will be great for everyone there to keep in touch in some way.

The rest of the guests were partners/spouses and private citizens interested in blogging or social networking. If you met anyone there that you would like to remain in contact with please let me know and I will set up email contact for you - with the other persons permission of course :o)



I told you the linking would take me a long time. I have been doing this blog post now since 9pm and look at the time now - 1.15am and way past pumpkin time.

Have a blessed and wonderful Easter everyone. Keep safe on the roads please if you are travelling this long weekend.

Hugs,
Colleen

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SA FOOD BLOGGERS CONFERENCE PART 1

Well, the sun rose and set on Sunday and the first ever SA Food Bloggers Conference has received the proverbial nod and been claimed as a resounding success by those in the know (aka those who were there!). PHEW!!! What a relief! A lot of hours of work went into the co-ordinating and I have a great new respect for those who do this on a regular basis! After neglecting my family, my blog and myself I have come out the other side and am so thrilled with the outcome. It was a new challenge to me and I was determined that it would be successful. Those who know me well know that I am very much a behind the scenes kind of girl. I will work very hard in the back ground, I like taking the photos and not posing for them. I will listen to others speak but I prefer not to speak (publically I mean!). The anonymity of blogging has been very appealing to me in the past so this was a massive step out of my comfort zone. But that is what being on the right side of 50 and the right side of 60 does for one I guess!! I really have been enjoying the newfound confidence since I turned 50 way back when. I said then that it was my very best year but I think it will be surpassed by 2010....What an amazing experience! I am thrilled at how it all turned out and I think everyone there thoroughly enjoyed their day. I personally have come away from the first SA Food Bloggers Conference with a lot more knowledge and savvy on blogging and social networking and I will be sharing some of what we learned with you all.

Today I am just giving you two small bites from our grand day........
The beginning [setting up at the Giggling Gourmet Cooks Playground]


and the finale [a surprise appearance of a fantasy macaron & nougat croquembouche
designed and made by The Roundhouse Restaurant]



And of course up on the big screen was all our fabulous sponsors

A latecomer among the sponsors and a wonderful addition to the already groaning goodie bags was


Thank you so much Kapruka for the fantastic sponsorship of a bottle of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for each delegate. I can't wait to try out all my goodies.....
A very very big thank you to every one of the fabulous sponsors for believing in me and for making my dream a wonderful reality
To the speakers Jeanne [Cooksister], Nina [My Easy Cooking], Jane-Anne [Scrumptious SA] & Sam [editor food24.com] I thank each and every one of your for your effort, for your time, for your dedication to this project. You each added so much to the day.

To the inimitable Jenny Morris - thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! The venue & the FOOD were fantastic!
And to all of those who attended - Thank you for joining us, I am so grateful for each one of you. It was wonderful to meet new friends and become reaquainted with old ones. I wish I had had more time to socialize. I hope you left there refreshed and raring to go with a new confidence and verve, as I did

I will be back with part 2 in the series of SA FOOD BLOGGERS CONFERENCE 2010

Until then,
Colleen xx

Friday, March 19, 2010

IT'S ALMOST SUNDAY!!

Good afternoon, it is a glorious day in Cape Town. I need to see a sunset but will have to wait until after the conference. There is too much to do right now.

 Life is chaotic but I see light at the end of the tunnel and it is definitely the lights at the Giggling Gourmet Cooks Playground......things are on track, the goodie bags are being stuffed as I write this. Bring shopping bags to re-inforce your goodie bags guys!! They are FULL to brimming with delightful goodies............and there is still more waiting at the venue.....I should have gone with bigger bags!!


Thank you to my two fairies Chez and Siobhan for the help today and my little elf Tyler, you have been great. Jay....you were a handful and the hardest worker of all hehe...you deserved this rest


I have got to say the biggest THANK YOU to my all my awesome awesome SPONSORS!! When I first caught the vision of this conference I only had in mind finding somewhere to have it and inviting bloggers...I had one speaker, Cooksister. But then it found a life of it's own and the rest as they say is history. Or it will be by the end of Sunday evening and each and every one of you sponsors have been amazing. I am so grateful!! This conference is going to ROCK. Can you all feel my excitement? You should be....

Here are a few more sponsors logo's. I have not got them all but couldn't wait any longer to post this blog.

Jenny, how can I ever thank you enough for all that you have done and are doing for me and this conference?? You amaze me, your energy is never ending and your enthusiasm is contagious. The food sounds as though it is going to be absolutely fantastic, and to add to all the help you have sponsored a prize for two very very fortunate delegates

A COOKING COURSE AT THE COOKS PLAYGROUND!!!! WOW!! Thank you!!!

And she has been calling on her contacts and has even got a couple of pamper sessions to give away!!

Gosh, these folk have also been amazing.....together with Taste Magazine and the 3 Jamie dvds we also have Eat Out Magazines and some fab bottles of wine. And a surprize at the end of the day!!!!!! No, don't ask me what it is, I have no cooking clue :o) And thank you Nadia for all the advice and assistance. So much appreciated!!


Thank you to Cathy from the NUT VENDOR for the snackies.....hmmmmmm


Some fabulous meals from Sauls........thank you!!!

Wonderful cheeses from Parmalat - thank you!!


I know that there is also a lovely voucher as a prize from SPAR
And I also know that Nina is cooking something up her sleeve that she won't tell me....all I know is it has something to do with photography!!

Willow Creek have donated some of their products for each goodie bag. Thank you Willow Creek!!!

To my friend Nina from My Easy Cooking and Nina's Kitchen
thank you so very much for the lovely goodie bags, for the printing, for all the help. I know how busy you are and I hope the church camp goes very well for the kids. Thank you for fitting me into your hectic schedule! MWAH!
You forgot to give me your logo Nins.....please everyone go back over the posts and see all the sponsors logos. Aren't they a great bunch??

To those who are travelling to Cape Town for the event - drive carefully, fly well and be safe.
Jeanne, no jet lag please, I need you on top form for the day hehe!!!


All that remains for me to say is SEE YOU ALL SUNDAY!!!
I dont know about you but I cannot wait...........we are going to learn so much and have a LOT of fun

To the those who are not attending. We will be back next year to rock your world!!
Looking forward very much to meeting and greeting you all,
Colleen xx

Please note that there will not be coffee or tea available at the venue..if you are a java fanatic you will have to use the 15 minute breaks to pop over to Cape Quarter for a take away :o)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MORE EXCITING SPONSORS

Good morning world,  it's a bright sunny day in Cape Town but the south easter is blowing and there is a decided Autumnal nip in the air. It is quite delicious to feel the first hair raising prickles on your skin after the mind-blowing heat of the past couple of weeks that we have experienced. Well, the holiday and wedding are behind us and we are back home with shoulders to the wheel. Had a wonderful time with family and friends and even managed to get a bit of work done via my mobile phone and the wonders of technology. My son connected me up via remote control to my pc at home and I could work on it wherever I was. I wish I had a high speed connection though. It was really SLOOOOW and frustrating!!

Today is the last day for bookings people so if you are still pondering on whether to attend the conference or not please don't wait any longer because you will be too late. There are still some seats available but by the end of business today Jenny needs to have final figures for catering and hiring purposes. So please do contact me and I will send you banking details.

If your surname is MUIR and you have already paid for a ticket please do contact me urgently with your name and contact details at the above email address so that I can add you to the list of delegates!!

Some more exciting news is that some more really great sponsors have come on board so without further ado here are the one's who have sent through their logo's.....

Hmmmm, I cannot wait to sample these goodies. I already know the Nougat intimately!! A big thank you to Paul from Wedgwood Handmade Confectionery  for the delicious sponsorship and for making me laugh while I am so stressed!! And thank you to Jane-Anne for linking us up!!

http://www.tastemag.co.za/
Woolworths TASTE magazine recently launched their online magazine. What a fabulous site. I visit it regularly and would highly recommend that you do too. It is going to be big!! Thank you Woolworths Taste for the 3 copies of your magazine for each goodie bag. An added bonus is this.......

Jamie at Home DVD's - a series of 3 DVD's that are included in the bagged magazines!!
Thank you so much Woolworths Taste and New Media Publishing 
The new Taste mag is in store now. Go get your copy.......


Another mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......I recently tasted some amazing chocolate and was so impressed that I contacted them. The delightful Datje has come on board with two giveaway hampers of some of her delicious sucrose and dairy free soulful chocolate fusions. Thank you so much Soulicious!!  


Tandy Sinclair (known to food24 bloggers as inspiration) from Lavender & Lime blog has donated her very first book, hot off the press, as a giveaway to one fortunate blogger on the day. Congratulations Tandy on the launch of your book. May it be a huge success. Thank you for your sponsorship


Need one say anything more about Tru-Cape than mention their name I wonder??? Who doesn't know their wonderful fruit?  

Thank you Tru-Cape South Africa for your sponsorship!! Chomp chomp!!

To Justine Drake and the friendly folk at John Brown Publishing a huge thank you for the Fresh Living Magazines.


Verlaque Foods have been very generous in their sponsorship and I am very grateful to Neil and Adrienne for their support. Their products are wonderful and those who have not discovered them yet are about to :o)
Congratulations to Verlaque Foods for being approved and getting a spot at FHA 2010 the Singapore Food Show. WOW!!! Wishing you guys all the best for a very successful show!!

And that's all for now folk. I have to find my way into town to collect sponsorship products so wish me luck. Living on the south side I don't go into Cape Town that often and am not all that well aquainted with her streets and with all the building and road changes going on it changes almost daily!

Please don't forget that booking CLOSES TODAY!! And to those who have booked but have not yet paid.......PLEASE do so today!! If you have not paid you will not get in to attend the conference.

Now, with a name like mine it would be very remiss of me not to say the following...........

Happy St Patty's day to all those with green blood coursing through their veins.

“May the enemies of Ireland never eat bread nor drink whiskey, but be afflicted with itching without the benefit of scratching.”

Don't overdo the Guinness :o)
Colleen xxx

Saturday, March 6, 2010

MORE SPONSORS FOR CTFBC

I was about to write good evening everyone until I looked at the time in the corner on my screen and realized with a shock that it is already tomorrow and I should actually be saysing Good morning everyone!! I have so much work still to do before I can go away on Monday on holiday for the week that I am sitting here. My mind is soactive and crammed with stuff anyway that I would not be able to sleep so what better way to spend the time than to sit here blogging? Hehe....I could think of one or two right now but will settle for the blogging as it is one of the things on my looooong list that I need to do before I can leave.

I just have to remind those who asked to put their names on the list to please let me have their deposits. I was supposed to pay for the venue and food today but had not received enough money in so I have been given grace until early Monday morning before I leave. So please please people. If you are intending to come to the conference then please do the right thing and pay your fees so that I can confirm and mark you as paid. If you have NOT booked but would like to attend please send me a mail right now to collywolly50@yahoo.co.uk and book your seat. I will then send you an email giving you the banking details and ask that you pay the fees immediately. I do still have seats available. The cost of the conference is R430.00 per person and it covers everything from refreshments to lunch and a fabulous big goodie bag stuffed to capacity with some yummy foodie products and goodies. Please look at the previous post for the agenda and other details. Thanx so much.

Now for some more great sponsorship news.....the following companies have agreed to come on board with me and are sponsoring in different ways

Kara'a Original Greek Herb Dressing due to be launched onto the market at the end of March.
We fortunate bloggers will be getting a foretaste of what is to come....this delightful dressing is described on the website thus "Do you enjoy exciting Greek or Mediterranean food? You will fall in love with Kara's! Healthy, Natural, No Additives, No Preservatives. "a family recipe brought to you by the family."


They are giving us a jar of Original Greek Herb Dressing for each goodie bag
and also a hamper of products to be given out to one lucky blogger during the course of the day.
Thank you so much Costa for coming on board and for being the very first sponsor I got.
I was so thrilled! We wish you all the best and much success with your launch onto the SA market!

The beautiful people over at Yuppiechef
are sponsoring us with a voucher in each goodie bag to the value of R100.
Thank you so much Paul Galatis for your willingness to participate in this exciting event.


Ooooooh, need I say more??? The cookware that sets a foodie's heart aflame....
Le Creuset are sponsoring TWO of their famous casseroles for give-aways
to two very fortunate guests on the day. I can only hope that I might be one of them....
Thank you so much Jamie.....appreciate your generosity and belief in my conference.

Just look at this...I found it under their new products. Isnt it just me???? I am going to save every cent
I get until I can afford one of these......
You want to see some other new colours???


Or maybe I should go for one of these colours.......gosh it's confusing!! I love them all!!!

Arent they gorgeous???? Go take a look at all the fantastic colours that they come in....



And then we have a very familiar name in the food industry, the tannie who adds the gourmet touch


Ina Paarman Products will be sponsoring us with some of their recipe booklets in each goodie bag,.
You know those handy little ones that you see hanging around on her racks at the supermarkets....have you ever looked through one of those? They are full of fabulous recipes. Thank you so much for sponsoring our goodie bags. You might not all know that Ina Paarman's beloved husband of more than 40 years, Ted, died early in January from lung cancer. Ina, our love and condolences go out to you and your family. It must be so incredibly difficult & heartbreaking dealing with the loss of your soulmate, your life partner. Hugs to you!  



Sam & Caro over at food24.com

have sponsored each goodie bag with a beautiful apron!!! An essential piece of kitchen equipment for any serious cook. Thank you very much ladies for that and also for all the assistance that you have given me in obtaining other sponsorships. I have really valued your help and direction.

Well, that is it for tonight. I hear the rest of the family snoring. The leaves are rustling outside the window in the dark so that means a bit of a south easter has picked up. At least it is cooler and I will be able to sleep more comfortably.

I will be away from Monday for the next week so it might be quiet on this site. But I will update as soon as I am back.
Have a good weekend,
Colleen xx
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