Thursday, 23 October 2014

Grow your own vegetables

Veggies are good for a healthy lifestyle and essential for growing kids. Growing your own will not only save you money, it'll make sure your family gets healthy meals all year round.

Planning and layout

• Start by choosing the sunniest spot in your garden. All vegetables grow in full sunlight.
• Decide what vegetables you want to grow according to your family's needs.

• Getting the soil right before you start will make all the difference in the long run. Use lots of organic matter, such as garden and kitchen waste; let it sit for a few days to enrich the soil.
• If space is a problem, grow your vegetables in pots and containers on your patio.

What to plant
Rotate your veggies according to seasons and type of vegetable. This way you should get a regular supply. Here are some of our favourite, easy-to-grow vegetables.


Tip: Takes patience as they take four to six months to mature.
Nutritional value: Moderate amounts of protein, fat, fibre, calcium, phosphorous and potassium.
When to grow: January, February and March, then again in August.

Tip: Takes up a lot of space, but just one or two seeds will produce enough for your summer salads.
Nutritional value: Low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. Good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.
When to grow: Plant from August until January.

Tomatoes are easy to grow but they can overwhelm your garden bed. Use a stick to train them to grow up or plant them in pots.
Nutritional value: High in vitamin C, contain significant amounts of vitamin A and B, magnesium, phosphorous and calcium.
When to grow: January and February and again from August onwards.

Grows well in any type of soil but will require a fair amount of water.
Nutritional value: A rich source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fibre.
When to grow: Between September and December.

Studies have shown that getting children involved right from the start of the gardening process guarantees they'll become more excited about actually eating their greens.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Home-made falafels

Falafels are tasty, meat-free and can be used in many different ways. Pop them in a pita bread with your favourite sauce for an easy lunch, or serve them with veggies and pap at supper time.

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup plain flour
1 egg white
1 tbsp olive oil
Pita bread

1. Place onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, chickpeas, parsley, flour, egg white, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until almost smooth. Or place in a bowl and mash with a potato masher.
2. Using floured hands, shape mixture into balls the size of golf balls and flatten slightly. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook falafels for four to five minutes until cooked through.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

10 questions to ask before you get married

Marriage is more than a party in the perfect dress – it's a life-long commitment. Have you asked yourself these 10 important questions?

Ask yourself:

1. Am I ready?

If you've been together for less than six months or are very young, your may still be in the infatuation stage and you might not have a real understanding of your partner yet. There's no rush, rather wait to be sure.

2. Why am I getting married?

Is it because all your friends are getting married, you're lonely, your biological clock is ticking or you want financial stability? If your reasons for marriage don't include loving, trusting and respecting your partner then you're not ready.

3. Do my trusted friends and family approve?

While it's your decision, family and friends that you trust can see through the romantic love that can cloud your vision. Consider what they have to say.

4. Do I have any nagging doubts?

Does your partner discourage you from seeing your friends and family or check up on you constantly and try to control you or put you down? Any behaviour that makes you uncomfortable could be a red flag.

5. Do I believe I can change my partner?

Don't think that you'll change your partner once you're married, only they can decide to change. There's a chances that the thing that bugs you now will become even worse once you're married.

Ask your partner:

6. Are we on the same page financially?

Money causes huge fights in marriage. Is one of you a spender and the other a saver? Will you have shared or separate accounts? Does one of your earn more than the other? If you can't discuss money matters and agree on how to handle them, then you're not ready for marriage.

7. Do we share the same views on work?
What are your work goals? Does one of you have longer hours than the other? Do you have to travel often? How are you going to handle household chores?

8. How will we deal with children?
Do you both want children? How many do you want and will you go back to work or stay at home? What are your views on discipline and education?

9. Are we compatible sexually?

What are your attitudes to flirting, infidelity and pornography? Are you comfortable to discuss things openly with no judgement?

10. Do we share spiritual values?

Do you belong to the same spiritual group or culture? If not, are you prepared to accommodate this and respect your differences? How will you raise your children?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Chicken broccoli

This is one of our favourite family meals here at Club. Serve over rice with some carrots on the side to make it go further.

200ml chicken stock
500g chicken pieces
250g broccoli
3 leeks, diced
100g butter
60g flour
350ml fresh milk
100g cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Parboil the broccoli in salted water, drain and refresh under cold running water.
3. Place 40g of the butter in a frying pan and sauté the leeks until soft. Add the chicken and stir for a minute, then add the broccoli.
4. Place the remaining butter in a separate saucepan and melt. Add the flour, cook for one minute then add the milk and chicken stock. Stir to form a smooth sauce.
5. Season well and stir in the egg and 100g grated cheese.
6. Place the chicken, leek and broccoli mixture in an ovenproof casserole dish and pour the cheese sauce over the mixture.
7. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and golden brown.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Good advice for life

A few quick tips to try:

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Marry a man or woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversation skills will be as important as any other.
3. Don't believe everything you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
4. When you say "I love you," mean it.
5. When you say "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged for at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams, don't have much.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt, but it's the only way to live life completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling or mean comebacks.

11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
12. Talk slowly, but think quickly.
13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Remember the three Rs: respects for yourself, respect for others and responsibility for all your actions.
16. Don't let a little fight injure a great friendship.
17. When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
18. Smile when you pick up the phone. The caller will heat it in your voice.
19. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
20. Spend some time alone.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Beef rissoles

The kids will love this great family meal.

12 cream crackers
2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
500g beef mince
1 heaped tbsp dried oregano
1 large egg
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil
1 bunch parsley, chopped

1. Wrap the crackers in a tea towel and smash up until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands.
2. Add to a mixing bowl with the mustard, mince, chopped parsley and oregano.
3. Add the egg and add a good pinch of salt and pepper.
4. With clean hands scrunch and mix up well. Then, divide into four large balls.
5. With wet hands, divide each large ball into six and roll into little meatballs – you should end up with 24.
6. Drizzle with olive oil and move them around to make sure they’re well coated.
7. Put on a plate, cover and place in the fridge until needed
8. Heat a large frying pan and add some olive oil and then your meatballs.
9. Stir them around and cook for 8–10 minutes until golden (check they’re cooked by opening one up – they should not be pink inside).
10. Serve with mash, gravy, peas and carrots.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Holiday season money tips

It's fun receiving a holiday bonus and splashing out on shopping and entertaining over the holidays, but in order to make sure you are not completely broke after the gifts are opened, be smart with your finances and make your money last.

• From October you should start to plan carefully and pay close attention to your budget, especially bearing in mind the additional expenses that come with the New Year.
• Establish a budget for everything – gifts, food, decorations, etc – that is realistic and affordable. You'll enjoy Christmas more if you know there are no unpleasant credit card bills coming your way in the upcoming months.
• Try not to be tempted by the flood of advertisements in newspapers and on the radio and television. It's easy to get carried away by all the great deals, but it doesn't help to fall into the debt trap in the long run.
• The holiday season brings out the giving nature in all of us, but be careful to give only what you can afford. Sometimes a gift of time is more appreciated by family members you don't see often, than material things. Don't make the mistake of buying pricey gifts for people who you know won't appreciate it.
• Spend smartly now and enjoy a financially relaxed and peaceful New Year.
• If you do decide to borrow money, ensure that you can afford the repayments.
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