Thursday, 26 December 2013

Mango Salsa

Mango & Mint Salsa a'la Durbs!

The perfect summer salsa!

1 Mango (ripe)
1 Red onion
1 Cucumber
1 Red pepper
Pinch of dried Peppermint
1Tbsp Olive oil
Small pinch Salt

1) Cut all of the ingredients into 'half a cm' sized cubes.
2) Mix by hand in a bowl. Turning the ingredients over until they are evenly mixed.
3) Pour olive oil over the salsa.
4) Add salt.
5) Add dried peppermint.
6) Mix by hand again to spread the dressing evenly.
7) Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate (best served ice cold!)

This salsa worked incredibly well when coupled with a traditional cheesy lasagna, It also worked well alongside roasted chicken. It is light, flavourful and refreshing for a hot summer celebration meal!

Bon apetit!

Sandy Bigara

( Sorry for the awful photo! Only had my silly cellphone at hand! Xx )

Sandy Bigara

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas Cake Recipe

Christmas Cake
by Sandy Bigara

4 Eggs (250g)
Cake Flour 250g
Mixed dried fruit and nuts 250g (Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raw almonds, brazil nuts, dried cranberries, shelled pistachio nuts, raisins, cashew nuts, pecan nuts)
Mixed Spice 1tsp (Nutmeg, cinnamon & cloves)
Brown Sugar 250g
Margerine 250g
Vanilla Essence 15ml
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder

  1. Add the cake flour to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Place your dried fruit and nuts into a Kenwood blender and chop them finely until they resemble rough crumbs, set aside 50g of the crumbs for cake decoration. Add the remaining 200g crumbs to your mixing bowl.
  3. Add brown sugar and mixed spice to the bowl and mix evenly.
  4. Add margarine and vanilla essence to a microwaveable bowl and melt in the microwave (60 seconds)
  5. Add eggs to the Kenwood along with the baking powder and mix on high until blended and smooth, add melted margarine to the egg mixture, mix well. Pour into the dry ingredients.
  6. Using a handheld beater (or whisk) blend the wet and dry ingredients – try to incorporate as much air as possible.
  7. Pour half of the cake batter into a 20 x 20 cm cake tin. Bake at 180 for 20 – 30 minutes (from 20 minutes check every 5 minutes with a skewer to see if the cake is baked in the center)
  8. One the first layer is baked and cooling, repeat with the second half of the cake batter.

I made vanilla Icing using fresh whipped cream and icing sugar. I spooned it onto the top of the first layer, then placed the second cake layer on top of it. I then spooned the rest messily over the top of the cake (if it runs down the sides don’t worry!) and sprinkled the crumbled fruit and nuts on top.

"I want to make my Grandpa's life a little bit happier... so I'm taking this slice of cake to him." Savanna Bigara, 5yrs. (That's a pretty good review methinks!) 

Bon Apetit!


Monday, 9 December 2013

Choir of Silent Monks Will Make You Laugh

I loved this :) Worth sharing! CLICK HERE to see these "Silent Monks" performing the 'Hallelujah' :)

Male Voices...

Remember those school/cultural group talent contests back in the day? ...where we would have to think outside of the box, and create insane comedy sketches? 

Female Voices... 
 Do young people/teens even do these sorts of things anymore? I remember laughing till my sides hurt - seeing good friends make absolute fools of themselves... I was blessed to be a part of the KwaZulu Natal Youth Choir and some of the most incredible monologues and skits were created by the members of that cultural group!

I just love this one. As an ex school Drama teacher and current Theatre Director - I love the concept, and from the sounds of the audience it was a success :)  

Christmas Mince Pie Recipe

Christmas Mince Pies

Mince meat:
Either buy good quality fruit mince from the store or try your hand at making it yourself:


175g raisins
110g sultanas
275g currents
175g shredded suet (beef or vegetarian)
250g soft, dark brown sugar
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp mixed spice
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 apple, cored and finely chopped, no need to peel
4 tbsp brandy

Makes 3 jars of Mincemeat          

In a large roomy baking bowl combine all the ingredients except the brandy. Stir really well making sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave overnight.
Next day, heat the oven to 110°C/¼ gas. Remove the tea towel and cover the bowl with foil and place in the warmed oven for 2½ hours. The suet will have melted but don't worry, this is how it should be as the fat is what will help to preserve the mincemeat. Stir well and leave to one side to cool, stirring from time to time.
Once cool stir the mincemeat again, add the brandy and stir again.
Fill sterilised jars with the cold mincemeat, cover with a wax disc and a lid. The mincemeat will keep up to one year in a cool, dark place

Same deal, store bought short crust pastry is quicker but home made tastes better!!

For the shortcrust pastry

200g soft flour
pinch of salt
100g butter
2-3 tablespoons of water


1. Make sure your butter's at room temperature to make it easier to work with.

2. Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour.

3. Using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour, lifting the mixture up and dropping it back into the bowl - you want to keep the mixture light and airy. Keep going until all the fat is mixed with the flour and has reached a texture that resembles fine breadcrumbs.

4. Sprinkle a little cold water into the bowl and mix through with a knife. Use your fingers to bring the pastry together: it's ready when and the sides of the bowl are clean and it's formed a solid ball. You shouldn't need to add much more than a tablespoon of water so be careful not to overdo it.

5.Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the pastry to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
For the mince pies:

1. Lightly grease muffin tins

2. Flour your work surface and roll out the pastry as thinly as possible. Cut out approximately 12 rounds with a pastry cutter (most pastry cutters have two sides, one with a greater diameter than the other, use the larger side for the base) and place them in the base of your muffin pans (I usually form a 'cup' shape)

3. Prick all the pie bases with a fork to stop them rising. Fill each case with about 3 teaspoons of the mincemeat mix - don't overfill your cases or the mixture will leak through the pastry when cooking.

4. Brush the pie edges with a little milk. Stamp out another 12 'shapes' or rounds (I like using stars) for the lids and place over the mincemeat mix.

5. Pinch the pie edges together to seal. Brush over with egg wash and pierce the tops with a fork. Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes at 190 degrees until golden brown.          

8. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 1 minute before placing on a wire rack to cool.

9. Serve warm with a light sifting of icing sugar on top.

Tip: You can keep the pies for 2 - 3 days in an airtight container and re-heat them when needed.


A HUGE thank you to Amy Wilson from Durban, for this lovely recipe! I can't wait to try it out!

Take care everyone!

Sandy Bigara

Sandy Bigara

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Mandela Eulogy by a South African

My friend Tamsyn Ellaine Allison wrote this incredibly moving Eulogy:

"Tata. Brother. Peacemaker. Friend.

Father of my heart. Father of my soil. Father of my humanity.

The earth cries out with a single voice once again. The miracle of your life and the dreadful song of your death.

I have not known the texture of your hand, but I have known the call of your spirit across oceans, across hatred, across the land that gave you to us, the land of the broken-hearted.

I have heard your heart beat louder than the voice of revenge, stronger than the blood-soaked soil, softer than the weeping, childless mother. For all of us.
I have been warmed by your smile, strengthened by your humility, emboldened by the lifting of a cup in your hands over a sea of green jerseys saturated with sweat and tears.

You are my sun. I can count the days of my life inside yours. I have never lived a moment outside of your rays. Until now.

You broke open your heart and poured change across an entire world steeped with injustice. You gave us all a benchmark of hope and humanity beyond what we could have ever conceived.

You return to stardust in glory and yet all I can do is mourn.

Celebrating a life lived in service should be a gift of joy, but I am angry and sad and heartbroken.
You are mine. You belong to me. And I want you here always. Not in legacy or spirit esoterica.
In form.

You have my love, my heart, my tears."

Share Please xx


Also, regarding Mandela's death, and our fear.

People of all colours have expressed fear of 'what will come' after Madiba passes... I believe this:

If you see a great example, you follow it. Either by choice or by influence, Madiba was the initial catalyst for change - in South African hearts and minds... I believe that we will be fine. There will be no earth-stopping violent outbreak, or financial crisis, just the steady beat of a country that has survive too much to 'lose it' now. With elections coming up soon, we need to put our shoulder to the grindstone and push forward to the ideals that Madiba extolled.

I love the knowledge that the African people will mourn today with beautiful haunting melodies and song, a loving send off for a great hero.

His legacy will be our continuing on.

Love to all of my FB friends, we are one! Simunye! - Sandy Bigara

Sandy Bigara

Democratic Alliance Statement by Helen Zille Leader of the DA

Democratic Alliance Statement by Helen Zille Leader of the DA

A nation united in grief
06 December 2013

Release: immediate

Today, South Africa lost the greatest son of its soil. Today the rainbow nation lost its father. Today, we are a nation united in grief. It is with deep and profound sadness that we say: Lala ngoxolo Tata. Asoze sikulibale (Rest in peace Tata, we will never forget you).

Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Madiba's wife, Graca, his former wife, Winnie, his daughters Makaziwe, Zenani and Zindziswa, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren. May they find the strength to overcome the pain of this great loss. And may the entire Mandela family be accorded the respect they deserve at this time. May they be accorded the right to mourn in peace.

The nation mourns with them.We all belong to the South African family – and we owe that sense of belonging to Madiba. That is his legacy. It is why there is an unparalleled outpouring of national grief at his passing. It is commensurate with the contribution he made to our country. Through his humility, moral conviction and bold leadership, Madiba gave us a gift for which we, and successive generations will be forever grateful. He gave us his vision of a free and inclusive South Africa and the unwavering belief that such a society could be achieved in his lifetime. He was, quite simply, the greatest South African that ever lived. We shall never see his like again.

Let all South Africans join hands as we mourn Madiba's passing and celebrate his life. Let us re-affirm his values and recapture his spirit in all we do.Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Tata Madiba: 18 July 1918 – 05 December 2013

Sandy Bigara

Mandela Madiba Tata Dies RIP

Mandela, Madiba, Tata... RIP

Mandela, our beloved Tata, passed away this morning at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela endured 27 years of prison, before emerging as an icon globally - promoting peace, tolerance and garnering international respect. Building bridges globally, that had previously been non existent - due to the evils of Apartheid.

"As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison," Mandela said after he was freed in in 1990." -

Madiba struggled with a chronic lung infection, which drastically affected his quality of life, he died peacefully, surrounded by family members on Thursday night, 5th December.

The world mourns the loss of a great man.

Personal note:
Rest in peace Tata, I will never forget meeting you. You were gracious when a very 'young' me called out in greeting during one of your speeches... Thank you for saying "Hello there!" back at me! Xxx

Sandy Bigara

Sandy Bigara at Hinghams This Sunday!

This Sunday I will be performing at Hinghams Nursery Tea Garden, at the top of Clematis Gr, off Rinaldo road in Glen Hills. The Show and Roast Lunch will be from 12:00 till 14:00.

  • Go along Umhlanga Rocks drive (From Northway go towards Umhlanga, from Umhlanga go towards Durban North)
  • Go DOWN Longwoods, 
  • LEFT at Rinaldo rd, 
  • RIGHT at Clematis, 
  • The Tea Garden is at the TOP of Clematis. 


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Dead Reckoning at the Westville Theatre Club!

Join the cast of Dead Reckoning for a 'Murder Mystery' Supper evening. The scene is set aboard the 'SS Costa Packet' Ocean Liner. Meet Captain Hanzoff and his crew. Look forward to an evening with a difference.

Show dates 
Fri 6th December
Sat 7th 

Fri 13th 
Sat 14th 

Curtain up 

R150pp (includes a 3 course meal with the show!)

31st December  
Tickets are ONLY R160pp and the entertainment will roll into a great new year's eve bash... A fabulous deal!

For bookings please contact Venessa 031-7642559
 - Caterers need 3 days advance warning for preparation, so don't wait till the last minute.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

DA-run City of Cape Town Delivers for All

DA-run City of Cape Town delivers for all

John Steenhuisen MP
DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

The DA is pleased that the City of Cape Town has made significant strides in creating a safe, well-run, caring and inclusive city of opportunity for all its residents.

In her Mid-Term Review speech yesterday, the Executive Mayor of Cape Town Alderman Patricia De Lille, revealed:
- A 278% increase in the number of toilets provided in informal settlements, from 14 591 in 2006 to around 40 700 in 2013;
- The City has prioritised a massive allocation of resources to improve living conditions in informal settlements, specifically in the provision of electricity, water and sanitation, refuse removal, area cleaning and rodent control.
- The City is funding Eskom to the amount of R190 million to connect over 20 000 households in informal settlements and temporary relocation areas with electricity;
- The City has provided over 37 000 work opportunities created from 228 projects, with more than R60 million paid out in fortnightly wages;
- 27 separate out-dated legacy zoning schemes were integrated into a single Cape Town Zoning Scheme, reducing 1 507 pages of regulation to 185;
- The City has handed 3 710 residents keys to their newly-built units;
- The City has transferred 3 308 title deeds related to historical housing projects, as well as 404 title deeds to Council rental stock transferred to home buyers;
- Moody's International's latest Credit Rating report, released in April 2013, reaffirmed the City's strong credit rating of Aa3, the highest rating a South African municipality can obtain from Moody's;
- The 2012/13 financial year saw the City spending a record R5.78 billion, comprising 92.9% of its budget; and
- The City received its eighth consecutive unqualified audit.

The DA-led City of Cape Town remains the best-run municipality in the country, with the best record of providing basic services and financial relief to the poor - 64% of the City's budget is spent on the provision services to the poor – the most extensive cross-subsidisation in the country.

In the run-up to the 2014 general elections, the DA encourages South Africans to use their votes to elect DA governments where they live.

The DA has demonstrated that with political will and a commitment to clean governance it is possible to ensure that the poor benefit from the delivery of basic services. We want to bring the same to all of South Africa.


PLEASE SHARE THIS and help spread the message of how the DA delivers for all, and wants to deliver improved basic services in government throughout South Africa.

Sandy Bigara

ANC Minister Mthwethwa Threatens Media Over Nkandla Pictures

Minister Mthethwa should retract his comments on the publishing of photos on Nkandla residence

Dianne Kohler Barnard MP
DA Shadow Minister of Police

During a post Cabinet briefing this morning, the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, levelled a threat against members of the media when he stated that people who publish photographs of President Jacob Zuma's private residence in Nkandla could "face the full might of the law". The Minister was basing his threat on the unconstitutional National Key Points Act of 1980.

Minister Mthethwa would do well to refrain from making such threats when he has also acceded to the fact that the National Key Points Act is highly problematic in a constitutional democracy. He must now do the right thing and unconditionally retract these comments.

It is clear that the Minister of Police, like his colleagues in the Security Cluster, are hell-bent on using this unconstitutional law to hide details surrounding the inexplicable splurging of hundreds of millions of rands of public money on President Jacob Zuma.

These comments are even more worrying if one considers the steadfast refusal of Minister Mthethwa to reveal the list of National Key Points, as I have asked him to do so in numerous parliamentary questions. This means that if he were to apply this as a law of general application, members of the public could also be arrested for taking photographs of the Government Printing Works (revealed by the Minister of Home Affairs), the SABC or pictures at the opening of Parliament.

If anything, these comments highlight the need once and for all to repeal this draconian Apartheid-era law. The DA has submitted a Private Members Bill, the Protection of Critical Infrastructure Bill, to do just this. This Bill would:
- Establish an inter-departmental board to oversee the functions surrounding the protection and classification of critical infrastructure installations, as opposed to the Minister of Police having sole responsibility and discretion for declaring areas or structures that require government protection;
- Create strict criteria for the classification of critical infrastructure installations under specific sectors, based on national security and vulnerability;
- Allocate the responsibility of managing the costs associated with declaring a place or area a critical infrastructure installation to the government, and not to the owner as is the case under the current legislation;
- Ensure that there is a publicly available list of all critical infrastructure installations and that this list is regularly reviewed and tabled in Parliament; and
- Ensure that the Police Portfolio Committee oversees the implementation of the Act, allowing for, regular open committee sittings.

Minister Mthethwa must bring his Department in line with our constitutional democracy and stop levelling threats at South Africans who are committed to our Constitution.

He must now do the right thing and unconditionally retract these comments without delay. Anything less would reveal that he is more committed to Apartheid-era draconian legislation than to accountability and transparency.


Image found at

Sandy Bigara

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Rapunzel Children's Theatre Show at the Catalina Theatre

Show: Rapunzel
By: Sandy Bigara
Dates: 2nd December – 4th January
Times: 2pm weekdays,  11am Saturdays

Price Options:
1) Show Only 
Adult: R100, Child: R80

2) Show + Lunch
Adult: R160, Child: R130

3) Show + Boat ride
Adult: R145, Child: R105

4) Show, Lunch + Boat ride
Adult: R205, Child: R155

Suits ages: 1 and up.
Bar Available: Yes, drinks and snacks and other goodies available at The Cash Bar.
Bookings: Bookings are with Computicket.  Online or at any Checkers or Shoprite store.

Buy Your tickets now by clicking on this picture! 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

DA Blocks Controversial Bill Through Uniting the Opposition

DA blocks controversial Bill through uniting the opposition

14 November 2013
Release: immediate

This week, the DA, as the official opposition, with the support of opposition parties in the Police Portfolio Committee succeeded in preventing the Private Security Industry Regulation Authority (PSIRA) Amendment Bill from being debated in Parliament.

Backed by all opposition parties who participate in the Police Portfolio Committee, the DA sent a letter to the Speaker, Max Sisulu, requesting his intervention regarding the unilateral, 11th-hour re-insertion of a xenophobic expropriation clause in the PSIRA Bill.

The Speaker agreed to have the PSIRA Bill sent back to the Portfolio Committee for further deliberation on this clause.

The expropriation clause was unilaterally slipped in by the Chairperson of the Committee who was presumably acting on instruction of the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa. It allows for the state to expropriate at least 51% of any foreign-owned security-related company. The clause further stated that the Minister could at his discretion, prescribe a different percentage of ownership and control for different categories of security businesses. This could, of course, mean that 100% of any security-related company with a head office in another country, would be expropriated in their entirety.

Equally, for example, a Greek locksmith who has been a permanent resident for 30 years, would be branded a threat to state security, and have to hand 51% of his tiny business over to a South African citizen. As would any foreign owned firm that imports, manufactures or exports any security-related equipment, such as cameras that are commonly used by householders who want to see who is at the door before opening it.

As many security firms are listed on the stock exchange, the nationality of individual shareholders is unknown.

The clause had already been exhaustively debated during extensive public hearings at which time the DA raised all these and many other issues time and time again. The offending clause was then removed from the Bill.

The DA looks forward to deliberating on this clause when the Bill comes once again before the committee and with the backing of other opposition parties, ensuring that it is not included in the final version of the Bill. Expropriation, or indigenisation as it is otherwise known, is the fastest way to destroy international investor confidence and our economy.

The DA will at all times fight all Bills that are deemed unfair, discriminatory and non-beneficial to the public.

Sandy Bigara

Monday, 11 November 2013

Blue Monday @ The Catalina

The Blue Monday Platform is an initiative of PANSA – the Performing Arts Network of SA – which focuses on creating opportunities and support to the professional and newly-professional echelons of the performing arts industry.

Blue Monday Platform is on a mission to change the perception of arts, get newcomers involved in the industry and new audiences into theatre foyers, and also as a showcase for eventors, theatre managers and the public to see what is out there and available. The Blue Monday Platform is trying to make theatre universal, accessible and appropriate for all walks of life - and appealing and challenging to newcomers – and youth in particular - to engage with their culture.
Get involved in Blue Monday Platform. Entry is free and all are welcome. The bar is open, and it is a perfect opportunity for networking. 
Where: Catalina Theatre, Wilsons Wharf
When: Monday 11 November 
Time: 18h00

Entry: free and all are welcome

For more info: Radwinn on / 0312014750

Sandy Bigara

Friday, 8 November 2013

Rapunzel 2013/2014 - Meet The Cast!

It is almost time! rehearsals and preparations are in full swing :) the following is a short info burst about the show, followed by a "Meet the Cast" segment :) 


Sandy Bigara xx 

RAPUNZEL will be running at The Catalina Theatre, 18 Boatman’s Way, Wilson’s Wharf from the 2nd December till the 4th January. Shows will be daily at 2pm weekdays and 11am Saturdays. This is traditional Family Theatre fare and will suit ages 2 to 92, there will be a little bit of something for everyone! Following the lines of the original tale written in 1812 by the Brother’s Grimm, Director Sandy Bigara has used her comedy skill to weave a story that is dramatic as well as funny. There will be a prize give-away at each performance, and after the show there will be an opportunity to have a photo with Rapunzel herself! 

Adult: Show for R100
Adult Show + Harbour Boat ride for R145
Adult: Show + Lunch for R160
Adult: Show, Lunch + Boat ride for R205

Child: Show for R80
Child: Show + Harbour Boat ride for R105
Child: Show + Lunch for R130
Child: Show, Lunch + Boat ride for R155

Wilson’s Wharf … Make a day of it! 


Chanel is on Facebook! 
Chanel Meager recently matriculated from Durban Girl's High School, she has been an avid art student from Sherwood in KZN – Chanel has always shown a flair for creativity. Chanel has performed in a variety of school productions, and brings with her a fresh approach as she takes on her biggest role yet. Her goal within this role is to broaden the smiles of her young spectators and bring to life the romance that all fairytales contain, keeping their dreams alive. She is just as excited to be a part of this play, as your young ones are to watch it! Chanel is joining this fun-loving cast to play the lead role of Rapunzel.

Savanna is on Facebook! 
Savanna Bigara is from Durban North and she is almost 6 years old. Savanna is no stranger to showbiz, appearing in her first short film at the age of 3. Savanna performed in her first theatre production in December 2012’s Animal Tails II at The Catalina Theatre performing a number of roles. In February she performed alongside her sister Kelsey, singing in a Valentine show called “Songs of Love”. She has also starred in a Panado Advert for corporate marketing. Savanna has performed at venues around Durban with her Mother Sandy Bigara. Savanna has completed a year of Modelling with Model Dynamics and a year of Ballet with Janet Smith. Her clothing range Savanna Designs debuted this September with 21 ball gowns designed by herself (Sunday Tribune, pg 3, September 8th 2013). This will be her first speaking role as the young Rapunzel.

Ndalo is on Facebook! 
Ndalo Mchunu hails from Pinetown, and has just this year left the corporate world to pursue her passion for theatre and acting! She performed in a children's Literacy programme earlier in the year, where she acted out books - to encourage children to read. Her favourite character was 'Ms Leaky', who was a freaky health teacher in a primary school – “it was lots of fun playing a crazy person!” She is ecstatic to be part of Rapunzel because she absolutely adores children, and making them happy (and getting them to laugh out loud)! Ndalo is a natural talent, a dynamo on stage and grabs young children’s attention with her full bodied and rounded characterizations  She will be playing the role of The Crone Gothel in Rapunzel.

Kim is on Facebook! 
Kim Kandan is a 3rd year drama and performance studies major at Howard Collage UKZN. He comes from New Germany in KZN. His best known production was “Peace Love Recycle” that was on show at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2013. He has focussed mainly on university productions, he has a real love for everything dramatic and artistic. Kim’s enthusiasm is both enchanting and infectious, and he will woo audiences young and old. Kim will be taking on the role of Prince Mortimer in Rapunzel.

Sandy is on Facebook!
Sandy Bigara is Directing, Producing and Writing Rapunzel this year at The Catalina TheatreSandy is a longstanding Performing Artist with a colourful stage history. With a passion for all artistic endeavours, and always being called an “Ideas-man” Sandy brings a personal touch to all of her productions. Sandy sews, paints, designs, glues and creates every piece of set and most of the costumes and props by hand, spending hours painstakingly forming reality from ideas. With a Drama and Music teaching history behind her (6 years in Government and Private schools, followed by Road Shows across KZN, educating over 1 million children) Sandy brings her wealth of experience and sense of humour to her work.
For more information about Sandy Bigara, please visit her website

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

When You Lose Fat...

I saw the image below on a friends wall and thought it was rather interesting, the following dieting images and links are food for thought (punny...) and something that I struggle with personally.
The next picture is just way cool. Freaky.
This one takes a bit of thought, worth looking into each of these possible causes of weight gain.
The ever present cycle of Yo-Yo dieting...

Use it. Don't use it.

I'm under a pile of paperwork for an upcoming show, so haven't been able to write more! Forgives mee!

Have a great day people! xx

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Firecrackers Diwali and New Year

Sheraine Reddy is Miss P's Mom. Miss P is Autistic and struggles with the loud 'bangs' that come with Diwali/Guy Fawkes/New Years celebrations.

Please share. Not to spread any 'hate' but to encourage awareness and compassion for neighbours and children who don't always understand the 'loud bangs' at all hours day and night for up to SIX weeks after Diwali and New Years have passed.

Raise awareness. Be considerate. Stick to the time schedules set out by local and national government. Internationally 5pm - 10pm are considered the appropriate and respectful times to let off any fireworks - this allows for people to tranquilise their pets and calmly prepare their small children for the often scary bangs, squeals and crashes that accompany these festivals and celebrations.


“Fireworks” - that is goods that intended to be of pyrotechnic effect that are classified low hazard fireworks such as firework showers, fountains, golden rain, lawn lights, pin wheels, sparkles and volcanoes etc.

“Fire Cracker” means small fireworks with entwined fuses used solely as noise makers and not for pyrotechnic effect.

“Nuisance Fireworks” means a fireworks product that produces an effect involving a screech or noise, or is being altered   or misused that has the effect of creating fear or disturbance to residents.  These include fireworks such as air bombs, supersonic bang, sound shells, fountain whistle, screeches etc.

“Family Package”- means outdoor low hazard recreational fireworks.

An interesting quote from a Hindu gentleman:
"Fireworks has no links with Diwali whatsoever. I am an educated Hindu who read scriptures and meditate on a daily basis, so I have some authority on Hinduism. There is no instruction from any God to burn fireworks, so Hindus stop saying this is our culture. Exploding bombs (fireworks/firecrackers) amongst babies, children, animals, birdlife and ordinary human beings is not satvik (divine vibrations)." (He did not name himself and was commenting on a firecracker newspost) 

Worth thinking about xx

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Date and Caramel Balls (Truffles)

Update: I was recently enjoying this article on the 11 Health Benefits of Dates by JenReviews - inspired me to make this recipe again!

Date and Caramel Balls (Truffles)

400g bag of Dates (pitted )
2 packets Tennis Biscuits
One 3rd of a block of salted butter
200g bag of shredded coconut
1 tin Caramel Treat

You will need:
Two deep bowls
Baking tray
Mixed/blender with an S blade
A plate for coconut rolling
Space in your fridge
Clean hands

Date Balls
  1. Divide the pitted dates into 3.
  2. Divide the stick butter into half, put half aside for the caramel balls and divide the remaining butter into 3.
  3. Group your dates and butter into 3 piles.
  4. Keep the biscuits aside.
  5. Using the blender – whizz up the dates and butter in three lots. Adding each processed lot to the first mixing bowl. The consistency should be mildly lumpy but glistening and smooth (the butter will do this)
  6. Once all 3 lots of date/butter paste are done, add half a tin of Caramel Treat and mix in well.
  7. Place the biscuits into the blender and whizz until fine crumbs (I did this in 3 as well, as my Kenwood Triblade Hand Blender is small) add to the date/butter/caramel mixture and fold in with a spatula until all is sticky resembling cookie dough. Use your hands if you must – finger tips only – to get the dough uniform throughout.
  8. Using your clean hands, scoop out teaspoonfuls of the dough and roll in your palm. (You may need to wash your hands after a while because they will get sticky and stop the balls from rolling nicely.)
  9. Roll each ball on a plate that has coconut shavings sprinkled liberally on it. Place each rolled, coated date ball onto the baking tray.
(Makes 50 medium mouth-sized date balls)

Caramel Balls
  1. Remember to keep aside a liberally sprinkled plate of shredded coconut for coating the caramel balls.
  2. Pour the remainder of the bag of shredded coconut into the second mixing bowl.
  3. Add the remaining half of the stick of butter.
  4. Add the remaining half of the tin of Carmel Treat.
  5. Whizz half a packet of Tennis Biscuits in the blender until fine crumbs, and add to the mixture.
  6. Using the spatula – get the mixture to a wet and crumbling evenly blended dough.
  7. Using your clean hands, scoop out teaspoonfuls of the dough and roll in your palm.
  8. Roll each ball on a plate that has coconut shavings sprinkled liberally on it. Place each rolled, coated caramel ball onto the baking tray.
(Makes 30 medium mouth-sized caramel balls)

Once you have made all of the balls – Put them all together in a sealable fridge tub (Clip Lock/Tupperware/Addis etc) the beauty of this treat is that they are mixed together.

It looks beautiful and the flavours combine very well, my only problem was stopping my Husband and myself from eating them as I made them!

You could also soak your dates for an hour in your favourite liqueur – Amarula Cream or Sherry comes to mind. An alternative to using butter would be to use Coconut oil, which you can buy from Crede oils online (I have met the team from Crede Oils - they are amazing!) You could even add their Cashew nut butter to the mix. If you don’t like sugar but would prefer raw unrefined sugars there are many alternatives out there worth researching. Agave syrup is one option. If you are striving for a wheat free recipe – just substitute the Bakers Tennis Biscuits for any wheat free alternative. Just remember though – you may have to add some form of liquid if you use rye or rice biscuits as they tend to soak up moisture. I would not recommend using any form of potato starch with this recipe. Potato flour tends to go very gluey… You could add some chopped chocolate or chopped smarties to the Caramel Balls if you were so inclined – it would be a great idea to push a short bamboo skewer into them, dip them in melted chocolate and roll them in 100’s & 1000’s for a kids party as well!

Dates are a great source of energy and the health benefits of Coconut are also worth thinking about. The volume of balls created means that the Caramel Treat is spread out so the amount of actual sugar per ball is not high. Overindulging would end that idea though! But, the balls are very rich so it would be hard to overdo it without feeling ill!

For breastfeeding Mums - Date balls are fantastic for topping up energy levels and provide a source of nutrients while nursing.

These would be just perfect served next to a cappuccino or tea, or served on a pudding platter with other small deserts, the key is to have a few here and there.

And of course, don’t forget to cry into the empty bowl when they are finished.

You’re welcome.

Sandy Bigara

The Date Dough

My Kenwood fitted with a S blade

Try not to eat them as you make them... 

The mixed Date and Caramel Balls

Guess who was peeking into the bowl... ;) 

Happy Wanderers Holiday Resort

Just a quick post to say THANK YOU to Happy Wanderers Holiday Resort and to Butik Asia for our lovely (much needed) family holiday treat!

We arrived on Sunday the 14th October - very stressed and tired. 
Spent 5 relaxing days exploring the beach, distant rock pools, 'haunted' house and lagoon. 

The close proximity to the water was at first overwhelming but we settled in quickly and really felt the fast-paced and stressful world slip away... we departed sadly on the Friday - could have easily stayed another few days! 

Unfortunately the weather wasn't great... we had hoped for loads of swimming and tanning, but we still had a lot of fun!

We enjoyed the nearby Atlanta Spur where the manager was amazing - made us feel very welcome. 

Due to the weather, our plans to visit Croc World were not an option - so we opted to just relax, read a book, go for walks along the strand, look out for whales and dolphins, play card games with our girls, BAKE BROWNIES! and just have lots of cat naps :) 

We've missed the sound of the waves... 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Mystery Music Manuscript "True Till Death"

"True Till Death" OLD MUSIC MANUSCRIPT MYSTERY - THE FIRST SOUNDS! hear what I heard when i played back the first few bars for the first time! Amazing! After being hidden for so long... amazing. 

So... in 2005 I was given a box of sheet music. The music in the box (some of it hand written but destroyed by mould and borer, were dated by hand at about 1830 - 1850.) 

A short while ago I found a beaut
iful handwritten and decorated ORIGINAL piece of music called "True Till Death" and I felt that I wanted to program the music into my computer, learn the lyrics and tune - and do a recording of the song. So far it is delightful! A little art song inspired by marriage or unending love. I'm hoping to find out more information! 

There is not ONE error despite it all having been written and drawn with a calligraphy-type pen. SO much love went into this song - I hope that I can do it justice and give it sound for the first time in 163 years...

So lovingly written out.

Loads of detailed line drawings on the cover.

I wish I knew who this song was written for!! 

Our only clue - Initials A C P

The watermark that covers most of each page. Only visible when held up to a light. 

I've done the first page - VERY haunting and chilling to hear the music come to life. Can just imagine the person playing this song... 

“True, True till death”

By A.C. 

Here will I pledge thee, Dearest one. 
Here will I vow ere day be done. 
Deeper the shadows fall from the trees, 
Stirr’d to and fro by the evening breeze, 
True, true till death! 
True, true till death! 

Bear it, O wind! On your lightening breath! 
Bear it, O stream! On your bosom tide; 
Echo it! Carry it! Far and wide! 
True, true till death! 
True, true till death! 

Here will I pledge thee dearest one, 
For I must leave thee, all alone. 
Dark is the forrest, dark is the shore, 
Loud beats the storm and the waters roar… 
True, true till death! 
True, true till death! 

Bear it, O wind! On your lightening breath! 
Bear it, O stream! On your bosom tide; 
Echo it! Carry it! Far and wide! 
True, true till death! 
True, true till death!

(1800’s hand written musical manuscript found in a box in Durban, South Africa 2013)

I've just been asked "Who gave you the Manuscript?" - My answer: When Francis Doherty-Bigara and I were first married we were given a box of music books by an older couple from our church. 
There were lots of music books and old manuscripts like this one - I saw dates 1830 - 1850 and also 1935 on some of the manuscripts so they must have been family music passed down? I don't know. 
Most of the original hand written music was badly damaged (so much so that I couldn't see the notes) such a tragedy. I threw most of it out - too much mould and mildew to keep them with my other sheet music collection. 
This one always 'spoke' to me, made me feel wistful and dreamy. It's followed me around for over 10 years, always staying in my music cupboards or in my piano stool. The other day I saw it again and realised that I HAD to make it come to life. 
I have contacted the old man who's wife gave me the original box. I hope he responds - I have only found him on Facebook but don't know if his page is active.

I have now got a few friends looking into this for me! I hope we find out who wrote this song!