Loading...

Magazine Articles

  • Time for feasting

    Celebrate the season with a fresh take on an old festive favourite. This moreish recipe combines the sweetness of the pavlova with the with tart flavour and crunchy texture of pomegranate. It’s a winner for sure!

    Time for feasting

    Celebrate the season with a fresh take on an old festive favourite. This moreish recipe combines the sweetness of the pavlova with the with tart flavour and crunchy texture of pomegranate. It’s a winner for sure!

    Pomegranate pavlova

    (For 8 servings)

    Preparation and cooking time 1½ hours
    Difficulty Medium
    Not suitable for freezing

    For the cream filling

    475ml full-cream milk
    1 vanilla pod, split in half with seeds scraped out
    110g castor sugar
    4 large egg yolks
    2 tablespoons plain flour
    1 tablespoons Maizena cornflour
    60g unsalted butter, softened and cubed

    For the meringue

    4 large egg whites, at room temperature
    1 pinch salt
    120g castor sugar
    1 teaspoon white vinegar
    1 teaspoon Maizena cornflour

    To serve

    1 large pomegranate
    icing sugar

    1. For the cream filling Warm together the milk, vanilla pod, and seeds in a saucepan until simmering. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
    2. Meanwhile, beat together the sugar, egg yolks, flour, and cornflour in a large heatproof bowl until thick and pale, about 3 minutes.
    3. Whisk in one-third of the warm milk until incorporated and then whisk that mixture back into the saucepan of remaining milk.
    4. Cook over a low heat, whisking continually, until thickened, about 2–3 minutes. Remove the pastry cream from the heat and scrape into a bowl. Beat in the softened cubed butter.
    5. Discard the vanilla pod and cover the surface of the cream with an oiled piece of clingfilm. Chill for at least 3 hours.
    6. For the meringue Preheat the oven to 130°C (110° fan) |gas 0.5. Grease and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
    7. In a large, clean, oil-free mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff using an electric mixer. Add 1 tbsp of water and continue to beat.
    8. Continue beating while gradually adding the sugar until it has dissolved; it should feel smooth between your fingers, not grainy.
    9. Reduce the speed and continue beating while adding the vinegar and cornflour, one after the other. Stop beating when the meringue is thick and glossy.
    10. Using two damp tablespoons, form the meringue into quenelles between the spoons before dropping onto the baking tray, spaced apart. Bake for about 45–50 minutes until set and dry to the touch.
    11. When ready, turn off the oven and let the meringues cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.
    12. To serve Cut the pomegranate in half and tap out the seeds from both halves. Crush about a quarter of the seeds in a mixing bowl until juicy. Stir in the remaining seeds.
    13. Carefully peel the meringues away from the paper before arranging in a 23cm wide ring pattern on a serving platter, leaving space in the centre.
    14. Spoon the cream filling into the centre. Top with the pomegranate seeds and juice before dusting with icing sugar and serving.
    Read More
  • Eat, Drink and be Merry in your own Home

    During the hot summer months we entertain indoors and out. Lounge, dining, kitchen and patio areas are all spaces where people gather and therefore need to be ready for planned and impromptu soirées.

    Eat, Drink and be Merry in your own Home

    During the hot summer months we entertain indoors and out. Lounge, dining, kitchen and patio areas are all spaces where people gather and therefore need to be ready for planned and impromptu soirées.

    It’s known as the silly season, mainly because most people are partying up a storm. Even if you are past the phase of all-night benders, the festive season does present an opportunity to mingle with loved ones and friends. The new season doesn’t mean your entire home requires a complete revamp; it’s all about using your own space and making it fit for entertaining.

    ONE GIANT SPACE

    Most modern homes boast an open-plan layout that connects the living room, dining and kitchen spaces. While dining spaces are seen as more formal for sit-down meals, the living room is for relaxation.

    Some of the best parties are in spaces where you have enough room to move around, hang out and have the occasional intimate chat, so don’t shy away from rearranging your furniture to make a room more party friendly. And let’s be honest – seeing as a party always moves to the heart of the home… yes the kitchen – why not incorporate this space from the get-go? Here’s what you need to do:

    • Move your furniture so it does not block a view or walkway.
    • Create seating zones that are intimate but that still allow guests to use the entire space – this encourages people to mingle. You don’t have to have everyone in one space, give your guests room to move around.
    • Keep your kitchen tidy because it is actually a great place for small crowds to gather for a chat. Place snacks and chilled drinks on counters as a drawcard and people will find themselves in the kitchen. Leave some chairs in there for those who want to mill around for longer.
    • When you choose to entertain in your lounge go for informal finger foods and canapés. Spread the food out over all the seating areas you have created.
    • Bring out any ottomans you may have around the house. They work very well as makeshift seating and are easy to move around as needed.
    • Put some throws on couches and over some chairs for guests who might get chilly and for those who might set up a makeshift picnic spot in your lounge.
    • Remember this time of year it’s fun over formality.
    • Mix and match your seating – bring the kitchen chairs into the living space.

    LET’S TAKE IT OUTSIDE

    Whether it’s a compact patio or a large deck there are a couple of basic things you should look at to create the right entertaining space.

    Flooring should be durable, non-slip and low maintenance – screed concrete and non-slip tiles are popular options.

    • Before kitting out your space first decide what you will be doing in this area – if it’s mostly to prepare food or braai, get a good portable braai. A sink area is also essential for cleaning up unless your outdoor entertainment area is close to your kitchen where you have easy access to all the necessary equipment.
    • Don’t forget about ambient lighting for those hot summer nights – lanterns, string fairy lights and even candles are all ideal to create the right mood.
    • Strings of fairy lights around tree trunks or around umbrellas will also transform the space beautifully.
    • If your budget allows, have speakers fitted and linked from your main entertainment centre. That way you will always have your favourite tunes going in the background. If not, invest in some portable speakers for a similar effect.
    • When choosing outdoor furniture comfort is king – remember you’re lounging about. Outdoor pieces are usually sold individually so you can grow your set or buy what you need for what your space allows.
    • A great way to give the place a lift is by adding coloured cushions and accessories to the area. These can be changed seasonally and to suit the mood and theme of your soirées.
    Read More
  • The subtle art of hosting

    Winter has come (and almost gone) which means spending more time with the people we love. Here’s a guide on how to be the host that makes guests want to keep coming back.

    The subtle art of hosting

    Winter has come (and almost gone) which means spending more time with the people we love. Here’s a guide on how to be the host that makes guests want to keep coming back.

    Hanging out with friends and family is a great way to enjoy the warmer days that we’ve all been waiting for. Add some good food and drinks and you’ve got the perfect set-up for events to last you all the way through to the next chilly season. Being a good host, however, takes a bit more work than just inviting some people over. So to make sure that your hosting skills are up to par, we have a few handy tips to make hosting not only a breeze for you, but also a real treat for your guests.

    Perfect the setting

    Creating the perfect setting for your guests, simply means using what you have to make the visit to your place enjoyable.

    Make sure you have enough cutlery, crockery and glasses so that everyone is covered. If you can, provide two glasses for every guest. Glasses must sparkle and be located in a place where your guests can easily reach them without having to discover where you keep your tomato sauce.

    • Small details, such as swapping paper towels for real napkins, add a nice touch and make your guests feel pampered. The same goes for having fresh cut flowers around the house, ensuring there is ample toilet paper on hand so no one has to ask for it and adding some candles to the table if it is a dinner party. Attention to detail is the marking of a fine hostess.
    • Nothing says it’s time to socialise quite like music does. Play some music in the background – it will instantly relax everyone. Make sure to keep it low enough for guests to be able to chat easily and without having to shout.
    • Everything must be spotless. This is a sign of respect for your guests. Make sure the toilet is clean, none of your bras are lying around and that the kids’ toys are not going to trip guests up throughout the house.
    • Anticipate your guests’ needs. Put out the salt and pepper, have toothpicks around and make a small bowl of chopped chilli for the table. All of this cuts down on any requests because you have already thought of it all.

    Food, glorious food

    We all know that food can make or break a party so you can never underestimate its importance. Whether you’re cooking or ordering in for your guests, there are a few things to keep in mind.

    • Start preparing earlier than you think is necessary. It’s better to be the host who has 30 minutes to enjoy a glass of chardonnay before the guests arrive than to be the one who is greeting guests in between sprints to the kitchen.
    • Make sure your guests always have something to nibble on. Place bowls of snacks in convenient places where the crowds are bound to gather and make sure they stay topped up. This doesn’t have to be stressful for you as the host, just make sure you stock up on foods like roasted nuts, chips, dips and fruit platters.
    • The guest is king. It doesn’t matter that you’ve gone gluten free, make sure that there is a variety to ensure that everyone is catered for. With that said, don’t obsess over every guest’s dietary needs; it’s your home, not the Four Seasons Hotel.
    • While food preparations are a primary concern, it is also important to make sure you are done cooking when your guests arrive. Part of being a great hostess is being able to mingle with the guests instead of hiding out in the kitchen all day.
    • Whether it’s a three-course dinner or a pizza-and-beer night you’re hosting, presentation is key. Make sure your food looks good and that it’s warm – just these two things will make most guests happy.

    Mixed bag of tricks

    Don’t rely too heavily on your guests. Just because someone said they would bring the ice doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an extra stash just in case.

    • Running out of alcohol is a quick way to put a dampener on a happy occasion. Make sure you are well stocked and have a variety of drinks on offer too.
    • Keep an eye on your guests’ drinks. Top up wine as needed, get another bottle of beer when you see that Tom’s is almost finished. That attention to detail will make your guests feel special.
    • If you are hosting a sit-down dinner for more than eight guests, then seating is important. Name cards can help make sure that people are seated in a way that will make the night more festive. If you are going informal, make sure there is still enough seating so that people don’t have to stand around.
    • Relax and have fun. This will give your guests the permission to do the same. After all, hosting is meant to be fun, so go out there and have a good time.
    Read More
  • The rules of jewels

    Accessorising an outfit is a big part of what makes fashion so much fun. Learn how to do it well with these tips from a local jeweller.

    The rules of jewels

    Accessorising an outfit is a big part of what makes fashion so much fun. Learn how to do it well with these tips from a local jeweller.

    Jewellery is the missing link when it comes to achieving a well-put-together look. Often just one, perfectly placed piece, can turn an otherwise plain outfit into something spectacular. “But choosing jewellery, like other elements of fashion,” says jeweller Stephanie Peters, “is all about personal taste.”

    More or less

    It was Coco Chanel who famously said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” This is a great piece of advice to follow when it comes to your choice of jewellery – especially the louder pieces. When accessorising, people often make the mistake of pairing a statement necklace with chunky bracelets and big earrings. This could come off looking a bit tacky so opt instead for one statement piece and then add daintier items if you still wish to include more jewellery.

    While statement pieces have a place in fashion, don’t feel like you always need one. Finer jewellery, such as a thin pendant necklace or bracelet, can be elegant and striking too. However, if this trend is too subtle for you, layer up your dainty jewellery for a bigger impact. Try stacking thinner bangles or layering with three or four necklaces. This works especially well in summer when you’re showing more skin.

    Expensive tastes

    The sort of jewellery you choose to wear is all about personal taste, however there are certain selections that could be considered fashion suicide. Overly childish jewellery (think Hello Kitty) can look silly after a certain age, so it’s best to stay away from it if you are over 15. “Good jewellery adds elegance or edge to a look. Don’t ruin a perfectly good outfit by looking like you’ve been shopping in the kiddies section. It doesn’t say fun, it says cheap,” warns Peters.

    We love costume jewellery but this too has its their limits. “If you buy a costume ring with a large cubic zirconia, everyone will immediately know it’s not a diamond. Don’t do it.” says Peters. “Keep your jewellery collection simple with a few classic pieces. Add a few fun statement pieces into the mix, and you will have something to wear on any occasion and as the mood strikes you.” Another big no-no is wearing metal that rusts, tarnishes easily or worse, turns your skin green. Avoid brass and especially nickel if you are allergic to it. Invest in sterling silver and gold jewellery when you can.

    Size matters

    When choosing a watch or purchasing a bracelet, it’s important to consider proportions. “If you’re petite, avoid chunkier pieces as these could be too overpowering for your tiny frame. Similarly, larger people should avoid more delicate pieces, as there is the chance that the piece will ‘disappear’ on you.

    Menlyn Park Shopping Centre offers a wide selection of costume and fine jewellery stores to suit all tastes. We’ve handpicked a few pieces to add to your collection.

    Read More
  • Spring into style

    It’s time to ditch the jerseys and the trenches. But what should you replace them with? Our panel of fashion experts is here to help put a gorgeous spring in your step.

    Spring into style

    It’s time to ditch the jerseys and the trenches. But what should you replace them with? Our panel of fashion experts is here to help put a gorgeous spring in your step.

    A new season means new fashion and what better time of year to give your look an update? We chatted to some of South Africa’s top designers about what you can look forward to when it comes to fashion this spring, and how to rock the season like a true fashionista.

    Khosi Nkosi – It’s all about prints

    Khosi Nkosi is a well-loved designer whose garments are inspired by what the brand essence stands for; a strong, modern, African woman that loves and respects herself and pays attention to detail. She often fondly refers to her customers as Boss Ladies and her popular hashtag #bossladieskillingit is a Twitter and Instagram favourite!

    “I think this spring, women should look at clothing that does what I’ve always believed clothing should do, make her feel inspired to be the best she can be! Spring is a season celebrating renewal and I usually use a multitude of bright colours in my designs no matter the season, but for spring, I go all out. Bright African print textures, maxi and flare patterns are an African summer must-have. What I would advise shoppers to avoid is following fads and not prioritising comfort.”

    Khosi Nkosi’s designs can be found at YDE stores nationwide.
    Tel: 012 368 1224.

    Sara Chitambo – Maxi Madness

    Sara Chitambo goes by Naturelle in the fashion world. Her clothing boutique Naturelle Fibre was established in 2013. What sets her design aesthetic apart from the flurry of emerging local designers on the scene, is the fact that her garments incorporate the quirk of pockets, strings, prints and angular necklines.

    “A must-have for women this spring is a quality maxi dress, we are going to see a lot of these especially off-the-shoulder, cutouts and print,” says Sara. Another exciting spring item to look out for is tops with voluminous sleeves. There are always a lot of energetic and vibrant colours to match the mood of spring and the return of the sun. I think warm greys, buttercup yellow and classic black using sheer and nets will be a big hit. Prints are not done yet and we will see pastel florals and African prints get even more traction.”

    Thula Sindi – A classic white shirt

    One cannot talk fashion without mentioning Thula Sindi. His garments are defined simply as modern and sophisticated simplicity. Having a dress designed by Thula Sindi is a treat. So much so that, according to his website, Elle Magazine reported that The Williams’ sisters – Serena and Venus – were fighting over a Thula Sindi skirt during a recent trip to South Africa.

    “I would definitely call for every woman to invest in a bespoke dress. There’s just something about having a designer sit down with you and make your fashion fantasy come to life in a realistic, elegant and timeless way. For spring I would tell shoppers to look for something they can wear in more than one way. For example, I am a huge fan of a white shirt. It goes with everything, great jeans, a gorgeous skirt or tailored pants. Find a shirt that is good quality that won’t dull over time. Always shop thinking of quality in mind. Do not bargain hunt because you’ll end up paying double when you realise you made a bad decision in your initial purchase.”

    Amanda Laird Cherry – Dresses and white shirts

    Amanda Laird Cherry has become synonymous with a brand that has stood the test of time and trends. Classic clothes and a deep love for South Africa are some of the things she is best known for, making her ideal to ask about what to wear this spring.” For the ladies I would say your go-to is a good dress, but don’t be shy of exploring silhouettes, knee length to maxi, short sleeve to strappy. For the guys I recommend a good white shirt or t-shirt with a pair of shorts, and once again don’t be shy to explore silhouettes, above the knee to three-quarter length, fitted to relaxed.”

    The nautical theme is popular in spring and summer and the reason for this is that it’s fun to imagine yourself sailing the sea on a yacht. This spring is no different, this means any shade of blue and white stripes will be perfect. Add a pop of colour to the mix to customise this look to suit your personality. Also keep in mind that nothing says success better than a crisp white shirt. Wear this with a relaxed jogger for an athleisure day look or a wide leg trouser for a more sophisticated evening look.

    Read More