Happy Valentine's Day

This cute heart tin filled with sweets is from Woollies. Although Daniel ate all the strawberry flavoured hearts and arrows that were inside, the smile on my husband’s face was truly mischievous! Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.

Petits Fours

A week or two ago, I met my friend Marita for coffee at the recently renovated Petits Fours Patisserie and decor shop, located in the Verdi centre, Northcliff. If you like pastries, cakes, tarts, quiches, cupcakes, muffins or macarons, be warned – their cake boutique’s beautiful display means the end of any form of discipline regarding those “cut-back-on-sugar” intentions. Temptation comes in the most beautiful form at Petits Fours.

The new coffee shop is decorated in bright pinks and turquoise, interesting wallpapers and bright table settings. It has a bit of a retro flair and makes you think of candy floss!

The shop also boasts a lovely French-inspired d├ęcor/gift shop. They stock beautiful linen, tableware and glassware.

Petits Fours
Cnr of Beyers Naude & Vincent Road

Verdi Centre

You can like their Facebook page here.

Rivers of Chocolate

I am still in a chocolate mood –this is the second post about chocolate in a row! Perhaps it is time to just call it a pregnancy craving and be done with it. Truth be told though, it is less about food cravings and more the “nesting phase” at this stage. I am physically exhausted, but I find myself, totally out of character, unpacking and repacking cupboards, “recycling” stuff still in boxes from our move four years ago, and making lists of foods that I can prepare in advance to freeze. If you know me well, you will worry about the hormonal imbalance so evidently on display in that last sentence!!

So, let me finish this blog so that I can do some filing and cleaning. I want to show you another innovative animation today. It is a stop frame edit done by South African photographer Russell Smith and food stylist Nikki Werner. I love the quirky music. Chocolate cake freezes well, does it not? 

PS. If you are reading the mail, click here to see the video.

Image credits: Russell Smith

A very clever brownie trick

Today’s blog is very chocolaty! Yesterday, we were lucky enough to be treated to high tea at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton – a reward for some charity fundraising my husband did recently - see here. We took our little boy along for his first experience of a chocolate fountain, and the amount of joy it gave him was priceless. He dipped strawberries and marshmallows in the fountain, but my theory is that anything you dip into a chocolate fountain just tastes great! The sugar rush afterwards was something to behold – like having that pink mechanical rabbit from the Duracell TV ads in the back of the car, but on steroids!

Incidentally, the term ‘high tea’ originates from Victorian England and originally referred to the meal we now call dinner, eaten between 5 and 7pm. Traditionally, high tea was eaten by middle to upper class children (whose parents would have a more formal dinner later) or by labourers, miners and the like when they came home from work. The ‘high’ in the name refers to the time of day – as in high noon – to distinguish it from afternoon tea, which was taken at about 3pm. Somewhere along the line ‘high tea’ must have gradually moved earlier in the day, but no one knows how!

Talking about sugar rushes, I want to share with you this clever trick that I saw on the TV show, Barefoot Contessa. If you want to make your chocolate brownies even better, spoon smooth peanut butter on the batter just before you put it in the oven. With a knife, swirl it around the brownie batter. Do not be to overzealous or your butter will disappear into the batter – you want to see it on top of the brownies. They look pretty and are very decadent!

Paris Postcard:Paris neighbourhoods

I haven’t done a weekly Paris Postcard in a while now, probably because I am running out of photos. And that only means one thing – it is time to revisit!! Sadly, the next visit will have to wait a bit …

In the meantime, I saw this video made by Havas Worldwide Paris. They made a holiday greeting card using typography and simple illustrations and animations, all in black and white, to capture the personality of the Paris neighbourhoods. It is done in a very inventive, clever way. I love it!

PS. If you are receiving the email, click here to see the video.

Image credit: Havas Worldwide Paris