Friday, February 26, 2010

Petits Fours Deli & Décor Shop

Those of you who have been following my blog know that I just love "third places!" A "third place" is a setting beyond home and work in which people relax in good company and do so on a regular basis ("Celebrating the Third Place" - Ray Oldenburg 2001, p.2). A "third place" is an informal gathering place where people can meet, put aside the concerns of home and work and hang out simply for the pleasures of good company and some lively conversations.

I found an amazing "third place" this past week. I first became aware of "Petits Fours" on

Petits Fours is a beautiful Delicatessen and Décor shop with three branches. The first one is situated in the Lifestyle Garden Centre in Johannesburg, the second in Fourways at the Broadacres Garden Centre also in Johannesburg, and the third in Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. The founder and owner, Magdaleen van Wyk plans to open two more stores this year. Magdaleen has eight people baking for her on a daily basis in the kitchen of the Lifestyle Garden Centre shop.

Petits Fours offers delicious mouth watering foods and freshly baked delicacies. The Décor shop offers a wide variety of gifts imported from France. To appreciate the beautiful décor and taste the delightful assorted delicacies visiting Petits Fours is a must!

Petits Fours - Fourways, Johannesburg

Petits Fours - Blouberg, Cape Town

Petits Fours - Lifestyle Garden Centre

Petits Fours is the supplier of a collection of original French herbs and spices, an exclusive French Sugar range, (image above), as well as a variety of chocolate fondue sets.

I hope you enjoyed all these beautiful photographs! For more information please contact lovely and friendly Magdaleen van Wyk - founder and owner at

All images courtesy of Petits Fours

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tomato, Mozarella Salad

There are so many things in life that I like that I have taken pictures of a few of those. I would like to share those things with you like red wine, olives, mozarella cheese and flowers. I love salads and of course yellow, yellow lemons!

I would love to share this Tomato, mozarella salad with you that I found on a lovely blog   Ronell has been such an inspiration and encouragement to me. Her recipes, photographs and life's journey in the French country side has blessed me tremendously!

Tomato, Mozarella Salad


Baby Arugula salad
buffalo mozarella
basil leaves
sun dried tomatoes
broccoli sprouts
sliced red onion
extra-virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
dried oregano

Put the Arugula salad leaves into a bowl. Slice the tomatoes and add to the salad leaves. Slice the mozarella into cubes and add to the tomatoes and salad. Add the basil leaves, sun dried tomatoes, broccoli sprouts, olives, red onion and oregano. Pour some extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss the salad slightly. (I have modified the recipe a little bit.)

All images taken by me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Butternut, chicken and feta risotto - "Le Must" boutique guest house

This is one of my favorite recipe's, even my two children said to me the other day that it is one of their most favorite meals. I found this recipe in a South African cookbook and it says in there that the recipe is from "Le Must" in Upington. Upington is located in the north western part of the country. I have visited "Le Must" boutique guest house many times during business trips in the area and it was such a joy to enjoy a delicious dinner in a stylish and relaxing atmosphere. The double story boutique guest house is situated in lush gardens with exotic plants on the banks of the orange river.

The original recipe does not have chicken in the recipe so I have modified it a bit.

4 cups of butternut, peeled and cubed
4 to 6 split (2 to 3 whole) chicken breasts without the skin
3 garlic cloves minced
1 medium sized onion cut into pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
olive oil

2 T olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock

To finish:

1 1/2 cups Feta cheese
Parmesan cheese
chopped spring onions or fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper to taste
olive oil
nutmeg (optional)
balsamic vinegar (optional)
butter (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400* F. Grease an ovenproof dish or pan with butter or nonstick spray. Spread the butternut in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared dish. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until soft.

Cut the chicken breasts into pieces and sauté in olive oil in a pan for a few minutes. Add the onion pieces and minced garlic and sauté for another few minutes until the chicken is done.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains, about 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup of stock and stir gently and let simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the rest (4 cups) of stock and let it simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. The rice should be soft and creamy. Remove from the heat.

To finish:
Mix the rice with the pumpkin and add the chicken and Feta cheese. Scatter Parmesan cheese on top and sprinkle with nutmeg. Garnish with the chopped spring onions or parsley. Grind a little pepper on top and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (optional). Stir in a generous knob of butter if the risotto is not creamy enough.

Serve together with a Tomato, mozarella salad.

"Le Must" boutique guest house

Image 1 & 2: taken by me
All other images: "Le Must" boutique guest house

"Le Must" boutique guest house can be contacted at

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lamu Style - Kenya

I was so impressed with the unique Lamu interior style that I decided to share with you some images of the rich, bright colors they use. As I mentioned before, Lamu is an island situated off the East African Coast close to the northern coast of Kenya to which it belongs. 

The style instills a sense of simplicity but is graceful and stylish. All the above mentioned images were taken at the dazzling rental homes of Lamu Retreats. The houses were inspired by Swahili architecture and have beautiful neru walls (made of cement and Indian pigment). The Swahili style originated from Arabia and Persia with a strong African influence. The homes are comfortably and tastefully furnished with Swahili style items.

For more information contact Jake da Motta at


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