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Melktert – South African Milk Tart

29 Mar

A few of my South African friends have been introducing me to all kinds of treats, and melktert is now one of my favorite desserts! I have been playing around with the recipe (and sharing test samples with my SA friends) over the past year, and finally got it right. There are many recipes for melktert, but this one is based on the feedback of my friends. Enjoy!



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar

4 ounces plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

1 egg yolk (this leftover white not needed for this recipe)

4 tsp milk


2 cups whole milk

1 stick cinnamon

3 eggs, separated (save whites)

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1/3 cup baker’s sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tablespoons butter (regular, not unsalted)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix 1 Tbsp each ground cinnamon and powdered sugar for dusting



  1. Place flour, sugar and butter in a mixer with the flat beater attachment. Mix until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Can also be made in a food processor.
  2. Add egg yolk and milk. Mix until liquid is just combined. If dough does not adhere to itself, it is too dry, add more milk a few drops at a time until dough is moist enough.
  3. Form dough into a flat disc, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Butter your cake/tart/pie pan. I prefer to use a 10” springform pan.
  4. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan, then refrigerate for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pastry with parchment paper (not waxed paper!) and fill with pie weights, uncooked rice or dry beans. Bake for 10 minutes; remove paper and weights and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.



Measure three-quarters of the milk into a saucepan, add the cinnamon and heat to just below boiling point. Set aside to infuse for about 15 minutes.

Mix together the remaining milk, egg yolks, flour, cornstarch, sugar and baking powder. Strain the cinnamon-flavored milk and slowly add to the mixture, being careful not to cook the egg. Pour into a clean saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the custard thickens, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature.

Oven should already be set to 350°F. Whisk the egg whites stiffly and fold into the custard. Pour into pastry shell and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake for about 25 minutes more, until the filling is set but still wobbles when pan is shaken. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon mixture and serve warm.


Facts About Congenital Heart Disease**

6 Feb

Facts About Congenital Heart Disease**.

Date Night!!

3 Sep

We had such a great time on our date night as part of #30datesin30days!  Many thanks to La Jolla Mom and Details Matter for the opportunity!  The crew at Carruth Cellars is great; they make you feel like you’ve been long-time friends.  We’ll be headed back for more movie nights and may even try our hand at their bottling parties.  You should really check them out…after you download the Details Matter App!

Here is the link to our review of our date night.

Movie Night at Carruth Cellars - Solana Beach

Movie Night at Carruth Cellars – Solana Beach


In the interest of full disclosure, Movie Night is free for everyone, but we were given a bottle of very tasty wine for participating.  Though, we would have raved about this gem of an event anyway, now that we have discovered it!  We also bought more wine to bring home…it was THAT good!

New Ideas for Date Nights

1 Aug

Luke and I have been chosen by Details Matter and La Jolla Mom to try out a date night idea as part of #30datesin30days. Details Matter is a new app available on Android and iPhone where you can find great date ideas around San Diego and Sacramento, beyond the usual dinner and a movie. You can read more via this link.

We are looking forward to our date three weeks from now and excited to share our adventure with you as soon as we are done.  In the meantime, make sure to download the Details Matter App!  It’s Free!!

Coming up for air…

22 Jan

Yes, we are still here!!  I have had my nose buried in books and to the computer screen reading/watching real estate prep for the state license exam.  We have lots of fun stuff to share and will be back to posting soon!!  We hope you all have recovered from  enjoyed the holidays and are enjoying the start of a new year!!


Best wishes from,

Our Life with Kids

A Morning for Me

7 Nov

I mentioned in a previous post that I finally admitted to myself that I need to plan for some time for me, a time to recharge.  Day one of this new focus began on Saturday morning.  Everyone was awake; the little ones were being fed and were to be left in the capable hands of my wonderful hubby.  I took a quick shower, put on some comfortable clothes, pulled my hair back and headed out for MY morning.  I was on the way to Total Woman Gym and Day Spa in Mission Valley for a massage.  It has been quite a while since I had a massage, thinking back, I think it was shortly after my son was born…and he just turned 6!  Since that time I have had two more babies and I’ve acquired a very bad case of what I call mommy-back.  I’m constantly hunkering over to nurse the baby, carry the baby, change the baby, you get the idea; I carry a lot of stress in my neck and shoulders.

Since I pulled into the parking lot a bit early, I decided to take a non-rushed moment to check emails and take a quick peek at my news feed; after all, this was MY morning!  I was not about to rush this brief hiatus from my normal responsibilities.  A moment later, I got out of my car and thought, no one can see the mess of crumbled fish crackers, kids’ shoes, toys and any other number of junk items now floating around my car – I’m on a “me” day (or morning, at least)!  I walked into the lobby and asked for directions to the spa, they pointed me toward the elevator and I thought; no one knows I’m a crazy, stressed out mom of three…I may be able to pull off just being a normal person on the way to the spa!  Then, I looked into my purse, only to discover a diaper.  Yes, that’s my reality!!  Thankfully, it was clean!

I really was able to leave all of my normal stress aside as soon as I entered the building.  Though Total Woman Gym and Day Spa is also a gym, the entire facility has a very spa-like feel.  The lobby is very well appointed and one of the first things you see is the grand, sweeping staircase that leads to the gym.  This trip, I wasn’t there to work out, I was ready to be pampered; so I headed straight to the day spa!  I checked in at the spa reception desk and went into the locker room to change into the robe and sandals that were waiting for me in my locker, before heading over to the client room to wait for my massage therapist.  My therapist, Rebekah, came to greet me and asked if there was any particular spot that was bothering me.  I mentioned that I tend to carry stress in my shoulders, and she did a wonderful job utilizing trigger point release to alleviate the tension.  It was an amazingly relaxing massage and I was truly pampered!  As the massage was ending, I was already looking forward to my next visit!

In addition to the great staff, a HUGE plus for me was how spotless the entire facility was!  I’m a bit of a germ-freak, and this place scored big in that regard!  Also, when I was booking my appointment, they inquired if I would need to utilize their Kids Club.  I had already made plans to have hubby take care of the kids this time around, but it’s great to know that they offer a safe place for my kiddos while I get a bit of pampering!

Use of the gym does require a membership, but the full service day spa is open to the public.  If you are interested in trying the gym, sign up for a one day VIP pass and give it a try!  If some pampering is what you need, call the spa and schedule a treatment; you’ll be glad you did!  It really was an exceptional way to start my weekend!

*Total Woman Gym and Day Spa provided my massage complimentary. Opinions are my own.

Needing Balance…figuratively AND literally!

29 Oct

I am living my dream!  I have a wonderful husband, three beautiful children (ages 1, 3 & 6) and I am lucky enough to be able to stay home with them – it’s not easy, we sacrifice some of the things we would like in order to afford it, but it is what we want for our family.  I love knowing that I am able to make breakfast for them every morning, walk the oldest to and from school and I’m right there if they need me.  The trade-off with this is that I don’t always allow enough time for me.  I don’t get a lunch break, I don’t get breaks, I don’t have that alone time in the car driving to or from work.  Please don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining!  I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for anything!  However, I have recently come to the realization that I need to balance things better, to build that “me time” into my day.

I like order.  I like lists.  I like a plan.  I turned 39 this summer and my plan is to start my next decade in the best shape of my life.  I have always been active, I’ve never had a problem with my weight, but after three pregnancies, I can see a few places that could use some work.  I also don’t feel my fitness level is where it should be, just walking isn’t cutting it.  That was my plan, but this final year of my 30s is not starting out according to that plan.  After all of the craziness with having three kids at home with me all summer, I was looking forward to back-to-school and getting back into a health and fitness routine.  With back-to-school, comes creepy-crawly little germs and I ended up hacking for 6 weeks; I tried to convince myself that all the coughing was working out my abs!  It was tough just walking up the stairs, so my usual walks were out of the question.  Now that I have recovered from that, I was once again readying for my return to fitness and the other morning I woke up with vertigo.  COME ON!  I’m just getting ready to turn 40; my warranty can’t be expiring yet!  I am working with a doctor to treat the vertigo, but I realize that with each day that passes, it is one day lost in my plan to get in shape.  These set-backs weren’t written on a list or scheduled on the calendar!!  Don’t they know I need order?

I’ve been researching different fitness programs and have found one that really interests me.  I’ve already started following some of their eating recommendations and am really enjoying the recipes they provide.  I will post more after I begin the program.  I am looking forward to getting started and sharing my progress and results!

If you have any recommendations for how you successfully make time to focus on yourself, please share.  I’d love the input.

Man, I LOVE a good deal!

12 Oct

I have been eyeing the poufs at West Elm, but the $249 price tag has been keeping me from making the purchase.  We have been holding off on getting another coffee table since we still have one little one mastering walking, and two others who would probably knock each other’s heads into the corner of a table.  And, let’s just be honest, those same kids are the reason I can’t bring myself to spend $249 on a pouf!  In the meantime, our current ottomans have seen better days and I really need to replace them.

West Elm Pouf

I usually try to resist the ads that run on the side of my Gmail or Facebook, but something caught my eye today.  I clicked it, and I’m so glad I did!!  If you have never heard of Joss and Main, it’s a site that sells discount, brand named home goods.  I was able to find bean bag ottomans for a fraction of the cost of the ones at West Elm!

My new Majestic ottoman purchased at Joss and Main!

Now I just have to be patient until they arrive…I CAN’T WAIT!  Did I mention how much I love a good deal?!

A week in the life…

5 Sep
A week in the life…
I would love to start my first post with something witty, but it is what it is.  This week has brought many highs and lows, excitement and sibling arguments.  On a high-note, a dear friend welcomed her first baby!  Sadly, this week is also when we said goodbye to our dear, sweet, Grandma June.  First grade has now started its third week – and homework.  The invites have been sent for the Ninjago birthday party, and my children have started fighting over imaginary toys!
As I said, it is what it is.  We live, we play, we love, we do the best we can and we never stop learning.
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