Category Archives: Food

Getting High on Sugar at 15 On Orange

Macaron Workshop 04If you like to live life in the sweet lane (rather than the savoury) or occasionally like to dabble into the art of baking or like to hang out at the latest coffee spots or just watch the #foodporn tag closely on Instagram when you’re hungry you surely would of heard of a Macaron/Macaroon. I am not cool like the rest of you and I had certainly heard about Macaroons in the past but I have never been offically introduced to one. This weekend was my chance and it was not only an introduction but an entire crash course into the the true art of making them.Macaron Workshop 01

Being inherently lazy by nature baking in all forms always seems like a lot of hard work, or should I say, the cleaning up after baking seems like a lot of hard work! So I generally steer rather clear of messy things. With that being said though, I do silently envy all the talented people in my life who seem so domesticated I wonder where my convent school upbringing sent me on the wrong path. So, being given the oppurtunity with the group of ladies who I have grown to call friends at #BWB to go and learn the art of Making Macaroons, my heart initially skipped a beat because OMG I CAN’T BAKE TO SAVE MY LIFE and my brain said – YOU CAN DO IT. So, needless to say I jumped at the opportunity to learn and eagerly responded to Heather, the founder of #BWB from FemmeLifestyle with an eager “I’ll be there!!”.

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Upon arriving and being greeted at the breath-taking, ultra modern Crystal Towers 15 On Orange, African Pride Hotel by Executive Chef Sanel and Chef Retha – who is undoubtedly the Queen of all Things Sweet, in a beautiful set up room with counters for us to share together, they spoke about the humble beginnings of the Macaroon and that it is in actual fact called a Macaron (and do not go to France and ask for a Macaroon as you will get stared at funny) but we in SA have butchered the name a bit. They taught us (or shall I say me, as all the ladies I was with already knew) the basics of how to whip up a merengue which is the basis of any macaraon but with added ground almonds or coconut.

A macaron shell is distinctive as it has a crisp crust and a soft interior which are light and airy but still slightly chewy…. The fun is really in the fillings. We were taught how to make Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache. Not being the biggest salted caramel fan in the world, I tried it but steered clear and it was Chocolate Ganache the whole way for me. I was initially very intimidated by making either of these fillings but they are really so simple and even I could do it…. that is saying something! ;)Macaron Workshop 03

We received extra tips and tricks for making these sweet morsels and the variables that can utterly end up with them being made to be put into the dustbin like the age of eggs, the heat of the oven according to its size and make or even the humidity levels of the kitchen. We were also shown how to pipe them correctly which is an art form in itself, it’s all the wrist!

We got an impromptu tour from Executive Chef Sanel and Chef Retha where chaos was the order of the day with LOTS of photos being taken, mirror selfies, and lots of giggles with some of my favourite ladies.

The Macaroon Workshop offered by 15 on Orange, African Pride Hotels is for groups of 12 or more and is not the only workshop they offer. For more information, call the hotel and ask to speak to banqueting on 0861 11 9000.

A huge shout out and thank you to Executive Chef Sanel, Chef Retha and everyone at 15 on Orange for an unforgettable experience and for the oppurtunity to learn how to make macarons/macaroons, You will definitely be seeing me again soon!  I am not sure if any will be coming out of my kitchen in the future, for now I think I’m going to be practicing how to make merengue and take it from there.

Be sure to check out African Pride Hotels on Facebook and Twitter @APHotels

x flea143

Disclaimer: This Workshop was offered to all the ladies from #BWB or #BloggersWhoBless and has in no way altered my view in anyway.

Related: {BWB} The Art of A Perfect Macaroon {Lauren of Lipglossed Ninja}

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#MY WEDDING DAY – service providers – THE WEDDING CAKE

Good morning dahling! 🌷

Hope you’ve been following the posts about my wedding and the service providers who made that day extra special.

Today’s post is all about the WEDDING CAKE! 🎂

I didn’t want a typical 5 tiered wedding cake layered in heavy fondant. One just never knows how dry those cakes are on the day. I just wanted seperate cakes with different flavors where every guest could slice what they wanted. So don’t expect to see a typical wedding cake!

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We found a patisserie in Johannesburg called THE PATISSERIE and immediately fell in love with it. This hidden treasure is very popular among those ‘in the know’ and I could see why! Helen the owner makes the most divine macaroons. The best I’ve ever had. After Nicholas and I had them, it didn’t take much to convince us that Helen at THE PATISSERIE would be making our wedding cakes.

We had a meeting and discussed flavors, and all the other details. Of course we ordered 200 macaroons too and they were placed with the desserts at the venue.

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We decided on 6 cakes.
🍰RED VELVET
🍰LEMON CHIFFON
🍰VANILLA WITH A MARSHMALLOW 🍰FROSTING
🍰DECADENT CHOCOLATE
🍰BAKED CHEESECAKE
🍰CARROT CAKE

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(Photo credit: Christopher Munton. Venue: Morrells Boutique Venue)

Personally I loved how different our wedding ‘cake’ was to any other wedding. And I can’t describe how delicious they were!!!

Thank you Helen from The Patisserie for making the cakes extra special with your elegant touch!

Contact details:
The Patisserie
Post office center
30 Rudd Road
Johannesburg
Gauteng
011 268 0022

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Helen and her Patisserie winning an award for service excellence for best coffee shop.

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#NUTELLA, CREAM CHEESE AND BANANA PASTRY POCKETS

Hello there! 🍰

One Sunday evening I wanted to bake something ‘different’. So I walk to the kitchen, I had a look in the cupboards and fridge and thought… Hmmm. Flour, butter, banana, cream cheese, Nutella and immediately thought of a Nutella cream cheese pastry!

So I made the pastry from scratch (short crust) and started prepping all the other ingredients. This is how it all turned out.

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So as you can see I rolled out the pastry, cut out circular shapes, added the cream cheese mixed with Nutella, few pieces of banana and dotted with butter.

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I then brushed some egg whites around the pastry edges.

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Folded them over in half.

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Placed them on a floured baking tray, brushed them with egg white again and sprinkled some sugar on the top. And made little cuts to prevent them from tearing open, allowing air to escape. Then I baked them in the oven (180deg) until golden brown.

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There you go! Done!
Bear in mind that hot banana and cream cheese isn’t very palatable straight out the oven. Allow the pastries to cool down before eating them.

Enjoy! 🍰

MuchLuv, BeBlessed
Sandylashxx

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MINT CHOC CHIP ICE CREAM/SORBET

Up for a different and ever so delicious recipe?

Yesterday when I told hubby I made some choc chip mint ice cream he was very excited. When I told him it contained spinach he seemed apprehensive about the whole idea. Lol.

Once he tasted it, well, let’s say he became a huge fan! So here it is.

(The reason why I call it an ice cream and a sorbet is because it contains dairy, but has the consistency of sorbet.)

CHOC CHIP MINT ICE CREAM/SORBET

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INGREDIENTS
* 1/2 cup spinach purée
* a handful of mint leaves
* 3 cups of low fat yogurt
* 1 cup icing sugar
* 1 cup choc chips or 2 peppermint crisp chocolates chopped

METHOD

1) make the spinach purée by steaming a bag of spinach and then purée it with a blender or processor.

2) in the processor add the mint leaves to the spinach purée and give it a good mix again.

3) in a bowl mix all the ingredients together with the purée and pour into a container until solid.

And enjoy! It’s super yummy and delicious. Plus it’s really minty. You can’t tell there is spinach in it. The great thing about the spinach is the fact that it adds nutrients and of course the green color.

Enjoy!
MuchLuv, BeBlessed
SandyN

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Give Your Pet the Ideal Balance with Hill’s

 

A couple of weeks back, I was privileged to join my lovely friend Heather from FemmeLifestyle to go to a different type of launch that involved skin care, hair care and the general well-being of our hairy four legged friends at the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa. The launch was for Hill’s Pet Nutrition newest brand, Hill’s Ideal Balance.

1 Hill's Ideal Balance canine & feline logo (with sky)

The talk was led by nutritionist Dr Kathy Gross who had flew all the way from the USA for the exciting new brand to launch under the Hill’s name for the first time in about 45 years. Dr Gross explained the reasoning behind creating a pet-food which was all natural based on the expectations of a natural shopper and she really highlighted that we as humans have so much choice of what we eat and how we receive the right nutrients but our pets only get what we give them which is actually quite a huge responsibility on a pet owner. Getting the right nutrients is not the only challenge we face but getting the correct balance of nutrients is key and this is how the all-natural food, Ideal Balance was born.

HILLS IDEAL BALANCE CHART

“While I believe in natural ingredients, the more I learn, the more I wonder whether just being natural is enough to deliver the best quality nutrition. I know that ingredients are not enough and it’s the balance that’s important for a healthier pet.”

My puppy (or should I say old-lady-dog) Jess has been on Hill’s for as long as I can remember and she is 13 years old. She has never been a fan of dry food on its own, especially when she can have so many better choices available and so we have always had to mix some meat with her dry Hill’s Biscuits. I trust the Hill’s brand for my dog because the vet has always recommended it and she has lived an entirely healthy life and seems to be a happy dog. If my word is not enough, Hill’s was voted by the South African public as most trusted pet food in the Readers Digest Most Trusted Brands Survey of 2013.

The launch featured Bob & Bella, celebrity Hill’s French bulldogs that present on the Espresso Show. They happily modelled for hours with the new food and showed everyone that it got a big doggie thumbs up. Jess Treats - Ideal Balance

Prior to the launch, we were asked what animals we had and got given (THANK YOU and woof from Jess!) the new range to try out according to the animal (cat or dog) the size of the breed (small, medium or large). The selection chosen for my pooch was the Adult small breed 1.8kg dry food (RSP: R189) with Adult Poached Salmon and Vegetables Canned food (RSP: R20 per can) rounded off with some Turkey and Cranberries Treats (RSP: R49).

Jess has been in Johannesburg – can you say jetsetter? But she is now back with me in Cape Town and has only started to eat her new food this week. Despite my worry that she would lift her nose up at the biscuits, meat and treats because they differ from her norm she has quite frankly woofed every meal down and is still looking for more.

The range is available for cats too and will be available at selected vets countrywide from 1 April 2014 (this brand was launched initially overseas in 2013). If you think this range will be ideal for your fluffy friend, have a chat with your vet and they will give you the best advice.

Be sure to follow Hills on Twitter and Facebook and check out their website here for even more information.

x flea143

Disclaimer: the goodies given to me were a gift, this has however not altered my view of the products in anyway. No bribery nor corruption has been used in this post.

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