Sign In My Basket
BLOG

SPICE4LIFE: TOP TIPS FOR HOSTING THE MODERN DAY DINNER PARTY

Apr 7, 2015 By Rachel Irvine

Dinner parties are such fun and such a great break from the daily struggle of too-much-to-do, but by their mere nature, they require planning. Planning takes time many of us don’t have. So here is a guide to putting together a fun evening with your friends without using up the little bit of petrol you have left in the tank at the end of the day or week.

Here are some great tips for hosting a dinner party that will ensure you have a great time too.

1. The most important part of the dinner party is the food. But slaving away in the kitchen is not necessary and there’s no shame at all in hiring a caterer. Serve great tasting simple foods from Bedouin Café & Deli at The Cape Quarter in Cape Town. They make their very own artisanal labneh cream cheese, which is a feature of many of their dishes at the deli, and much of the food is suitable for vegetarians, taking out the headache of making sure that everyone’s dietary needs are met. Tapas and finger foods are a convivial and fun option that requires very little complicated on-day preparation. If you’re based in Johannesburg, The Counter caters, offering seasonally and locally surced gourmet treats from truffle and risotto pops for the vegetarians to mini Asian beef salads.

2. Make serving your guests drinks a little easier. Put together a drinks tray with various beverages for your guest, where they can go and refill their glasses when they want to. All you will have to do it refill the bottles and jugs every so often. Keep a couple of extra bottles chilled and ready.

3. It is also important to make sure that your guests have the option of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks because no one wants to send a drunk guest driving home. Here is a simple recipe for a delicious and fresh cocktail, that is delicious with or without alcohol. Make a jug of each just in case.

Mango Peach Fizz

Ingredients

1 Large Peach

1 Ripe Mango

½ Cup Of Orange Juice

Peach Schnapps (To Taste)

Peach Flavoured water/Soda water (Non-Alcoholic)

Method

1.Pit and cube the fresh peach and mango
2.Place in a blender
3.Add Orange Juice and peach schnapps, to taste or add peach flavoured water or plain soda water for the non-alcoholic option

4. There is no need to go extravagant when trying to create a good atmosphere. Do something as simple as creating a playlist of great songs, and leaving it on shuffle and loop all night. Placing a few lit candles around also adds to the atmosphere.

5. Make dessert simple by providing prettily wrapped chocolates in a glass bowl and a pot of freshly made coffee. Or make it interactive with ice-cream scooped into a pretty bowl and a variety of fun toppings – like crushed nuts or grated chocolate or berries – spread around the table for guests to make up their dessert to their own preferences. Another simple after-dinner sweet is a rich, creamy liqueur.

6. Party favours are really nice but not always necessary. For something simple, guests can receive a card with a sweet note, or something even simpler like a quirky key chain.

While the food is important, nothing spoils a dinner party like a stressed-out host or hostess. The point is to have fun and fun is easier to have when the preparation is simple.

So stop making excuses, and make some fun.

This article was originally published on Spice4Life

Femme Lifestyle: 5 Ways To Use Labneh Cream Cheese

Jan 8, 2015 By Rachel Irvine

Summer is about quick and easy fresh foods , light salads and finger suppers all of which can be prepared in a matter of minutes.

Lets face it there is nothing nicer than a chilled glass of wine and a mezze platter whilst watching the sun go down over the horizon …. here are few ideas to help you spice up your dinner menu this summer using the creamiest and dreamiest Labneh cheese.

5 Ways To Use Labneh Cream Cheese

IMG_6028(1)
 

If you haven’t caught on to the labneh trend yet, then shake up your kitchen cred and show your family and friends that you know a thing or two about this Middle Eastern cream cheese, and its potential for reinventing familiar menus.

You’ll have to know the background though, because they’ll definitely ask “What’s labneh?”

Well, it’s cream cheese, but not the way they know it. Firstly, it is traditionally strained from yoghurt and has a particular tang and texture that elevates it above ordinary cream cheese, without actually tasting like yoghurt.

So, here are some ways to use Great Balls of Labneh for effect in your summer menus.

Bedouin-3525(1)
 

1. Bedouin Café & Deli at the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village make their own preservative-free signature labneh cheese in five flavours – pepper, garlic, chilli, mint and original – and labneh features in all of their dishes. Most tantalizing is the use of labneh as a dumpling in their tomato soup.

2. Who doesn’t like a bit of chip ‘n dip? Labneh makes for a great dip. Mix it with some roasted red pepper, or some spinach and you are sure to have a party favourite.

3. Spread some labneh on a bagel, or add a creamy tang to homemade hamburgers. Use labneh on your sandwiches in place of butter to add an exciting twist.

4. Labneh is great in salads, as award-winning restaurant Bistrot Bizerca has shown with its delicious summer beetroot salad(as pictured above). Savour at Protea Hotel 15 On Orange, uses labneh in its smoked salmon salad, and over at Bedouin, they roll the labneh into even smaller balls that match the girth of the yummy chickpeas that form the basis of their chickpea salad. Or you could just roll the labneh into small balls and sprinkle them on a top of a fresh salad for an added flavour burst. Oh, and don’t waste the delicious oil the labneh is preserved in: drizzle it over the salad for an easy and tasty dressing.

Bedouin-3494(1)
 

5. Labneh gives sauces new layers of yum. Use it to thicken an Alfredo sauce, or add some extra moisture to pesto penne. Not only can you use it in pasta sauces but this great cheese works for any kinds of sauces you want to add a little tang to. Labneh in gravy? Go on, give it a whirl.

Head on over to Bedouin Deli or alternatively order online but whatever you do add a bottle of these little gems to your shopping list you won’t be sorry!

For more info:
Bedouin Foods – www.bedouinfoods.co.za

This article was originally published on Femmelifestyle

Daily Fix: Cape Town Summer Outdoor Eateries

Nov 4, 2014 By Rachel Irvine

bedouin
Bedouin Café And Deli

Previously located in Woodstock, Bedouin Café & Deli recently relocated to the hotspot that is Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village piazza, where they still serve delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, incorporating their signature handmade labneh cheeses. The storefront opens up onto the piazza, where customers can enjoy delightful mezze, artisanal coffee and watch the day unfold. If you want an al fresco meeting while you’re there, grab the boardroom table for a brainstorming session like no other.
Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village, The Square, Piazza level, shop 24, 27 Somerset Road, Greenpoint

This article was originally published on the DailyFix website.