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.