Archive | Food

#CuppaforCansa High Tea

Cuppaforcansa

Last week I had the good fortune to be invited to attend a #CuppaForCANSA high tea at the luxurious Table Bay Hotel in the Waterfront. This delightful afternoon was hosted by Le Creuset and the lovely Vicki from Iwantthat and the afternoon promised to be a real treat.

Given it’s luxurious reputation The Table Bay’s new High Tea menu did not disappoint. We were plied with teeny tiny sandwiches, posh sausage rolls, mini salmon quiches and gorgeous wraps and that was just the first course.

After that we tucked into warm scones served with dollops of thick jam and lemon curd and washed down with pots of hot tea.

Then to finish it all off we were set loose on the cake table (sadly I did not manage to take a decent photo of this marvel). The enormous pastry display was crammed with all kinds of delicious goodies, to be honest I had no idea where to start. There where every kind of cake you can imagine. There was even a multicolored cheesecake – truly the silliest cake I had ever seen!

As you may remember, Nadine was selected as my “Cake Date” for the afternoon and we had the best fun hanging out together, Turns out we have a lot of friends in common and spent a lot of the afternoon catching up on who’s who and what’s what. I couldn’t have wished for a better High Tea buddy. Thanks Nadine for putting up with my non-stop chit chat and sitting with me while my sugar rush passed! You are dynamite!

After stuffing our faces with kilograms of carbs, there was a sneaky little raffle draw (in aid of CANSA) and much to my surprise I was drawn as a prize winner, scoring, for myself, a very pretty pink Le Creuset stove top kettle. How exciting! Now Alexis and I have his and hers kettles (as we already have a baby blue kettle).

Then to top it all each guest was given a divine little party pack, filled with loads of gorgeous goodies, including the prettiest heart shaped ramekins and a perfect pink cappuccino mug (from Le Creuset) as well as the pretty pink nail polish. What a treat!

What a fantastic afternoon, I went home so happy, my belly was bulging with sweet treats and my heart was bursting with sweet love from new friends. What a delight!

Thanks Vicki for organizing a truly amazing afternoon and thank you Le Creuset for the gorgeous gifts.

Matching kettles

Win high tea at the Table Bay Hotel – #CuppaforCANSA

Cuppa for CANSA

Who can resist an invitation to tea? Especially when it comes from the very lovely Vicki from I Want That (feels a bit like being invited to tea with the Liz at Buck’ Palace). Best part of Vicki’s invite is: I get to bring one lucky ready with me!

So here is the low down:

Vicki will be hosting an Afternoon Tea, with Le Creuset, in aid of CuppaforCANSA – the cancer awareness organisation. This delicious get-together will take place at the Table Bay Hotel next Thursday 23rd October from 2.30 – 5pm.

“Le Creuset is challenging people all over South Africa to open their homes, workplaces and hearts by hosting a Cuppa For CANSA. By hosting or attending a Cuppa For CANSA or raising funds online, guests are enabling CANSA’s Care & Support Programmes to those affected by cancer – the focus for 2014 being on the Tough Living with Cancer (TLC) Programme which supports children/teens &
families affected by cancer.”

So, if you are keen to join me, Vicki and a bunch of fabulous bloggers (and their guests) here is what you need to do:

Share the following sentence on Twitter or Facebook and leave a comment below letting me know you have done so – SUPER easy!

I’ve entered to win High Tea at The Table Bay with @Pretty_Pretty & @LeCreusetSA #CuppaforCANSA – you can enter too: http://goo.gl/qvHxo7

It’s going to be a lovely afternoon filled with cake and fabulous chit chat. There will also be fabulous raffle prizes on the day and everyone who attends will automatically get entered into a draw to win R10 000 to spend at a Le Creuset – SO ENTER NOW! (you’d be daft not to!)

Vital bits of info you need to know:
– Entries close at 3pm on Friday 17th Oct 2014
– Winners will be notified at 5pm on Friday 17th Oct 2014
– Open to folks who are based in Cape Town and are able to meet for tea at the Table Bay Hotel at 2:30pm on Thurs 23rd Oct 2014.

Be sure to also follow Le Creuset on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #cuppaforCANSA

Cuppa for CANSA

If you have also been eye-balling these pretty pink Le Creuset mugs then now is the time to buy them – 30% of all sales made will be donated to CANSA.

Cuppa for CANSA

Kitchen love

Tomorrow is an important day in South Africa – we all get to cast our vote, thus doing our part to move our special country forward.

What are you planning to do for the rest of the day? Hang out with family or friends? Relax at home? Eat something delicious?

Isn’t it wonderful how food always seems to be at the center of most celebrations and special occasions. Tomorrow is no exception. We are planning a braai with friends which will naturally involve lots of laughing, a healthy supply of bubbly (our mates are celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary), lazy dogs, kids playing and general public holiday shenanigans – I can’t wait!

While looking for recipes for interesting salads to serve tomorrow I was reminded of Julie’s Kitchen – if you aren’t already following Julie Lee on Instagram, do so right away! Her photos are so delicious, and will have you totally inspired to whip up something amazing in the kitchen.

According to Julie Lee, Julie’s Kitchen is “where photography and food fall in love” – I couldn’t agree more. Her style is clean and fresh with every detail meticulously planned and executed.
Her delicate photos are edible works of art – each composition carefully assembled using produce sourced from local markets (or foraged) and never bought from a store. So beautiful!

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

Julie's Kitchen

All photos by Julie Lee

Cat Marshmallows

Okay – I hate to admit it, but winter is around the corner and thoughts will soon be turning to delicious mugs of piping hot chocolate… and to take this comforting drink to the next level this girl is going to have to get her hands on some of these cute critters – Cat Marshmallows. Aren’t they just so adorable (almost too cute to eat!)?

Perhaps its a good thing that Japanese marshmallow company Nagano don’t deliver internationally – those skinny jeans would fast become a thing of the past.

cat marshmallow

cat marshmallow

cat marshmallow

Found via My Modern Met

Alfajores Dulche De Leche Cookie Recipe

Alfajores recipe

According to Wiki the spanish word Alfajores is derived from the arabic work for “luxury” or “exquisite” – and let me assure you, this couldn’t be more spot on – these cookies are heavenly.

Alfajores are originally from South America and normally are made up of two thin buttery biscuits sandwiched together with a generous dollop of dulche de leche (or caramel).

I found this recipe on Twigg Studios (a super blog with tons of delicious recipes and mouth watering photos). Although I followed the recipe quite closely I did find the dough quite sticky so I chose to roll mine into a sausage shape and freeze it until it was hard enough to slice.

Alfajores Dulche De Leche Cookies:

For the biscuits:
250g Cake Flour
25g Icing Sugar (sounds like very little, but it’s just perfect as the filling is super sweet)
1 tsp Salt
225g Butter

For the filling:
1 Tin of Caramel
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

In a food processor combine all the biscuit ingredients and whizz about till it forms a smooth dough. Tip this out onto a floured surface and form into a long sausage shape, wrap in cling film and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours. You don’t want the dough to be frozen rock hard as you will need to slice it, but if it is solid, just leave it out for a few minutes and it should soften up making slicing easier.

Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a backing sheet with grease proof paper and set aside.

When your dough is just hard enough, slice it into 5-8mm thick slices and lay them out on your backing sheet. Don’t put them too close together as they spread a little and you want to keep their lovely roundness.

Bake for 10 -15 minutes until golden and delicious looking.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire cooling rack. Once they are completely cool dust them with icing sugar.

Now you can whip up the scrummy filling – pop all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and mix together thoroughly.

Smear a spoonful (or more) of the Dulche De Leche filling onto half of your cookies and use the remaining half to finish of the little sandwiches. Perfection.

Now pour your self a cup of tea, sit back and be prepared for pure bliss!

Original recipe from here

Ladybird Birthday cake for the twins

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Last week was my niece and nephew’s second birthday and they where having an insect themed party. Wow can you believe it’s been two years since these little critters joined us? – so to celebrate and make my sister’s life a little easier I volunteered to make them a ladybird cake. Yes, this probably was a completely bonkers idea as I had never made a proper birthday cake before. By proper cake I mean one with fancy icing and shaped like a something, as opposed to the run of mill round choccie cake I have made many a time before.

My plan was pretty straight forward – Youtube was to be my baking instructor and if all else failed I would dash off to Charley’s Bakery and buy a backup conventional cake as a substitute.

And so my adventure as a #nervousbaker began. First I watched a bazmillion Youtube videos and read a ton of forums and blogs on cake making, crumb icing and fondant covering, then I set about making my cake. The Buttermilk Cake recipe I chose was from this nifty website called Craftsy, they have all sorts of great tutorials and videos (some of which you have to pay for) but the bits I needed where all part of a free online course, so I signed up and got going.

After backing all my cakes I left them to cool in the fridge overnight, as this makes the cake much easier to work with and sculpt. So far, so good!

Next morning I made my buttercream icing – beginning of problem number one (eek!)

I followed the recipe precisely, in fact I watched the necessary video 3 or 4 times, but for some reason my egg whites did not whip up like marshmallow fluff, as in the video… oh dear! What had I done wrong?
I tried googling it again, looking at loads more Swiss Buttercream recipes till I came across good old Martha Stewart’s recipe where she said to let the eggs whip for 15-20 minutes… a lot more then the recipe I was following, they said whip for 5 minutes.
So I decided to just let the mixer go and see if anything happened. Well, after staring at the whites being sloshed about in the mixer bowl for at least 15 minutes, the egg whites finally started to look a little thicker and after 20 minutes of whipping the egg whites turned shiny and thick… yippee! Problem number one solved! I then continued to follow the recipe and successfully made the buttercream icing.

Next step was to assemble the cake, sculpt it and them crumb ice the outside. The twins chose a lady bird as the shape they wanted for a cake so off I set to make these 4 round cakes into the rough shape of a lady bird. This step was surprising easily, thanks to the fancy cake cutter and handy palette knife I bought -it always pays to have the right tools.

The neatly iced cake required lots of resting and cooling in the fridge in between layers of crumb icing, thus making sure the edges where all beautifully smooth and ready for the coloured fondant. So after another night in the fridge, my little naked lady bird was ready for her red and black outfit.

Here the real fun began. I had bought red and black fondant from Woolies so I didn’t have to mess about with food coloring, so I got stuck in straight away.
Working with fondant is fiddly and thanks to the endless tutorials I had watched I had lots of tips and tricks to fall back on. Before you knew it, the cake was looking like the real deal and I was having so much fun!

I could almost not believe my good luck, thus far there had been no problem number 2 (don’t tempt fate Jo!)

I opted to make the feelers for the lady bird out of air drying clay, so I whipped those up. I then cut up all the dots her back and made some eyes and a mouth and of course 6 little feet. WOW -the cake was was looking more and more like a success, I was so surprised!

On Saturday morning I carefully nestled my lady bird in a box in the back of the Landy and off we set to the twin’s party. This was the bit I was dreading the most and I think poor Alexis was sweating all the way there. Each corner we went around I cringed and he apologized, but all went well and all three of us survived intact.

When we got there I popped Miss Ladybird’s feelers in and she was placed in the middle of the birthday table.
WOW – I could not believe it, this was too good to be true! The cake was a success, we did not have to move to plan B and the twins where ecstatic. Oh and I had a blast! Who would have thought making cakes could be so much fun! If asked, I think I would happily do it again.

Just goes to show, if you put your mind to it (and you watch a Youtube video or two) you can do anything.

On my Christmas Wish List: Chocolate paint box

Dear Father Christmas, please can I have a box of chocolate paint. Thanks – Jo xxx

Who can forget, as a child, the delight of opening a brand spanking new box of pencils or crayons? It was possibly the only cool thing about going back to school at the beginning of the new year. I loved having a new pencil case filled with fresh goodies all waiting to be used for the first time.

Somehow the smell of fresh art supplies and stationary really has stuck with me and I simply can’t help myself around shiny new pens, plump looking novelty erasures, boxes of paperclips, pots of paint, stiff new paint brushes and magical trays of coloured pencils.

Now mix that delight with the treat of a freshly opened box of chocolates and you are in for a real feast.
Nendo have created just such a delicious delight – individual chocolate tubes of yummy gooeyness – each flavor being filled with it’s respective coloured stickiness. So good!

Chocolate PaintChocolate PaintChocolate PaintChocolate PaintChocolate PaintChocolate PaintChocolate Paint

See more of Nendo’s work here.
Photos by Ayao Yamazaki

Food Flags

Delicious flags from around the world – cleverly “cooked” by hungry designers at Aussie agency WHYBIN\TBWA – what a yummy idea!
These flags where created to promote Australia’s biggest food event The Sydney International Food Festival. Each flag represents that country’s favourite nosh – what do you think the South African flag would have been made out of?

Food Flag

USA

Food Flag

Australia

Food Flag

Brazil

Food Flag

China

Food Flag

Vietnam

Food Flag

France

Food Flag

Greece

Food Flag

India

Food Flag

Indonesia

Food Flag

Japan

Food Flag

Lebanon

Food Flag

South Korea

Food Flag

Spain

Food Flag

Switzerland

Food Flag

Turkey

All photos from WHYBIN\TBWA

Veggie Cutlery

Qiyun Deng is the clever clogs behind this collection of disposable bioplastic PLA cutlery titled Graft. Each piece serves as a reminder of the origin of it’s source material – vegetable starches, oils and fat.

Aren’t they just so lovely… I couldn’t possibly through any of them away (even on the compost heap).

Graft -  Qiyun DengGraft -  Qiyun DengGraft -  Qiyun Deng

Read more about Qiyun Deng here.
Found via This is Colossal.

Miniature Food Sculpture

As a child I was fascinated by all things miniature – my doll’s house playing home to my dinky collection. I was so proud of my itty bitty world, especially as a lot of it was hand made. Sadly my pocket money didn’t stretch far enough to purchase the mail order chandelier that lit up, nor could I afford the replica designer couch and recliner. Instead my crafty Gran would help me stitch tiny little cushions and make teeny duvets for the beds. I would paint miniature paintings for the walls and bind tiny little books for the library – I was in my element.

NOW – had Shay Aaron been creating his unbelievable food sculptures way back then, then I would definitely have made a plan to save my weekly chore money to buy a tiny creation.
Shay’s “dishes” are created at a scale of 1:12, in other words super small and super realistic. Perfect for my minature kitchen… I wonder if that doll’s house is still standing, gathering dust somewhere?

See more of Shay Aaron’s work on his Facebook page

Miniature Food SculptureMiniature Food SculptureMiniature Food SculptureMiniature Food SculptureMiniature Food SculptureMiniature Food SculptureMiniature Food SculptureMiniature Food SculptureMiniature Food SculptureMiniature Food Sculpture
Photos from here
For more minature deliciousness check out this previous post

Amish Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Amish Cinnamon Bread
Yesterday morning I was desperate for something delicious to have with my tea, so I turned to the ever trusty Pinterest to see if I could find the perfect, quick and easy treat to whip up before elevenses.

Thanks to a Redfly Creations pin, I stumbled upon this amazing recipe for Amish Cinnamon bread (cheats version). Apparently the real deal is made with yeast and takes a while to prepare, so this less fussy version suited me perfectly.

I was not disappointed. As soon as this gem went into the oven I knew it was going to be amazing – quickly the house filled with the delicious smell of cinnamon and before you knew it I was scoffing a second huge wedge of it smothered in butter – divine!

(NB – If you click through to the original recipe you will see that I halved the quantity as I didn’t have enough sugar to make two loaves. The recipe below is for one average size loaf)

Amish Cinnamon Bread

Batter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cinnamon & sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180C. Grease a loaf tin and set aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar. Once light and fluffy add in the egg. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Slowly add a third of the flour to the butter mixture and then a third of the milk mixture, continue alternating between the milk and flour until the batter is smooth. Don’t over beat it.

Pour half the batter into your loaf tin and then sprinkle half the cinnamon & sugar mixture over the top. Take a knife and swirl the cinnamon & sugar through the batter. Pour the rest of the batter on top and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon & sugar on the very top (don’t swirl this time)

Pop your loaf in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes (or until a skew tester comes out clean).
Keep your eye on this precious bread – you don’t want the sugar to brown too much. If it starts looking too dark, pop some tinfoil over the top.

Now for the hardest part – leave the loaf in the tin to cool for 20 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack. Trust me here, if you turn it out to quickly it will fall apart.

Now cut yourself an enormous hunk, spread with loads of butter and enjoy.

Original recipe from here