Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Hot weather, and the food I crave...Fatteh

We have been experiencing some rather strange weather here in Johannesburg. The days are really hot and some nights seem to become quite chilly. I'm not complaining though, because a cooler night means a more restful sleep!
With the hot days though, my family prefer light meals, and although a salad is fine most days, some days you just want something more substantial. Enter this chicken fatteh... It is light, though filling and perfect for summer weather. Fatteh is a popular dish throughout the Middle East. The first time I tasted fatteh, was at a tiny Lebanese restaurant in Dubai, more than fifteen years ago. It was love at first sight...umm taste! I tried to replicate it when I got home and here is my version...
 Give this beautiful recipe a go, you can thank me later!

This recipe serves 6-8.


4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons za'atar
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
A good glug of olive oil
Finely grated zest  and juice of a lemon

Combine the chicken with all the rest of the ingredients. Leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight. Heat oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Place chicken in a casserole dish, pour 1 cup of water over, cover tightly with foil,and place in the oven to bake for about 45 minutes or until done. Be careful not to let the juices dry out. If it seems to be drying out, add a splash of water. Remove from oven and tear into large pieces. Place back into the oven dish. Keep warm.

Tomato sauce: 

2 tins of chopped tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of dried mint
2 cloves garlic, crushed
A pinch of chilli flakes

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer till slightly thickened. Keep warm.


2 cups long grain rice, rinsed and soaked in hot water for about 20 minutes
1 medium onion, finely sliced
Olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
Boiling water
A knob of butter

Place onion in a large pot with the olive oil. Fry until golden. Add the salt and the drained rice. Stir
until rice is coated in the oil,then add the boiling water to cover the rice. Cook until rice is done and
all the water is absorbed. You may need to add some more water. Add the butter and gently stir through. Keep warm.


2  large Aubergines
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Cut Aubergines into 1 centimetre cubes. Place in colander, sprinkle with salt, and leave to drain
for about 1/2 an hour. Rinse and dry well and toss with the olive oil. Place in a 180 degree centigrade oven and roast until just cooked through.

Crisp flatbread:

4 lebanese flatbreads
Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried mint

 Drizzle some olive oil over the flat bread. Sprinkle with the salt and mint. Place in a 150 degree centigrade oven to toast. Once cool, break into large chunks and store in an airtight container.

500 milliliters Greek yoghurt
3 tablespoons of tahini
A sprinkle of salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients together.Whisk well. Refrigerate until required.

You will also need:

2 tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
A handful of mint leaves, chopped
A handful of pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan until golden
1 teaspoon sumac

Fatteh being layered up...
 To assemble: 

Place a  layer of crisp flatbread in a large serving platter. Top with a mound of rice.Sprinkle a generous layer of chickpeas.Now add a generous helping of chicken, together with the pan juices. Place dollops of tomato sauce over, then scatter over some aubergines cubes. Dollop the yoghurt over, then sprinkle with the parsley, mint, and pine nuts. Lastly,dust with some sumac. Serve with extra yoghurt/ tahini mixture on the side and savour every morsel...

Note; I sometimes omit the chickpeas and add a few dollops of hummus.Or you can add both! 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

If You Make One Thing This Week...A Mess You Wouldn't Mind Making...Eton Mess...

Happy Tuesday friends! I have so much planned for this week, that I hope I can accomplish it all!
Have any of you bought the new  Nopi cookbook by Ottolenghi yet? If you haven't, do yourselves a favour and get it! What a treat!
Many of you sent me messages requesting the recipe for the Eton Mess that I posted last Friday. I have adapted this recipe from the Nopi cookbook.
Whilst this recipe may seem like too much of trouble, as it has so many elements, most can be made ahead of time and simply put together at the last moment... Come to think of it, all the elements can be prepared beforehand. I made homemade meringues as I love the texture of them - crisp on the outside and gooey inside, whilst the bought ones simply crumble to nothing and only add sweetness to the dessert, without adding any texture. But, feel free to buy them if you like.
The different elements are, sorbet, meringues, pomegranate syrup, mascarpone cream, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate rubies, rose petals and pistachios.
I know it seems shocking to use pomegranate molasses and sumac in a sweet dish, but please, please, please DO NOT omit it! It adds the most amazing depth of flavour.

This recipe serves 6 to 8

Mixed berry sorbet:

1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup strawberries, hulled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup caster sugar
300 milliliters water
1 tablespoon glucose syrup
1 teaspoon rose water, optional

Place all the berries in a bowl. Add the sugar and allow to macerate for 1 hour. Add the water and glucose and purée in a blender until smooth. Strain through a sieve to remove seeds. Chill thoroughly.
Add the rose water, if using, and churn in an ice cream maker, following manufacturer's instructions.
Sorbet can be made several days ahead. Once frozen, scoop out and place in a silicone lined plastic container. Cover and return to freezer. Your sorbet is now ready to serve.


2 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar

Preheat the oven to 120 degrees centigrade. Line a baking sheet with  silicone paper.Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until thick and glossy. Add the vinegar with the last batch of sugar. Place teaspoonfuls of meringue on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off. Leave in oven to cool for several hours, or overnight.
Place in an airtight container. Meringues can be made up to three days ahead.

Pomegranate syrup:

2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon sumac

Combine the sugar and the water. Stir till sugar is dissolved. Stir in the molasses and sumac. Refrigerate till required.

Mascarpone cream:

150 grams mascarpone cheese
100 grams whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 teaspoon rose water

Whip the cheese, cream and icing sugar together, until soft peaks form. Stir in the rose water. Refrigerate till required.

To serve:

Sliced strawberries
Pomegranate rubies
Rose petals, use fresh or dried petals
Chopped pistachio nuts

Place a few strawberries and raspberries in a serving bowl. Top with few broken meringues. Add a tablespoon of the mascarpone cream,then drizzle with the pomegranate syrup. Add a scoop of sorbet,then some more fruit. Add another drizzle of pomegranate syrup, and finally sprinkle over the rubies, petals and pistachios. Serve at once.

Friday, 20 November 2015

On My Mind Right Now...Hair Ornaments...

Is it almost the weekend already? I can't believe how this week has flown by! Really looking forward to the weekend...I have loads planned! How about you all? What are you doing this weekend?
I was going through some of my pictures and I came across some gorgeous hairpieces. Have you seen how on trend they are right now? The Spring'16 runways were filled with some gorgeous ones! A great hairpiece can elevate your look from drab to fab...There are so many great options out there and I've picked out some of my fave pieces to share with you. Be it quirky and fun or floral and ornate, these pieces are sure to make a statement! Have a look and tell me which one is your favourite!
Alberta Ferretti
Diane Von Furstenburg

Dress up your tresses with these beautiful pieces...

Hair Jewels

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Spring-Summer Looks To Inspire...

Happy weekend, my loves! It's no secret, I adore fashion...Be it runway style or street style, I can't get enough. Today's post is about few of my favourite looks from the Spring '16 shows. I love taking inspiration from fashion shows and the Spring '16 shows didn't disappoint! From prints and pleats to embroidery and embellishments...They delivered tons of inspiration!  
Enjoy the pics and I hope you all have a great weekend!

Dennis Basso
Alessandra Rich
Alessandra Rich
Oscar De La Renta
Carolina Hererra

Thursday, 12 November 2015

If You Make One Thing This Week...A Chocolate Mousse Cake...

Phew! What a week it's been!!! On Monday morning we woke up to a power failure that lasted a miserable fourteen hours. As if that was not bad enough, an hour later our water was shut off without notice, until late yesterday. Add to that the scorching heat we're experiencing! What can I say? It's been a rough week... Naturally, there wasn't much cooking or baking happening in my home this week.
Has this ever happened to you that you make something regularly and then suddenly you can't stand the sight of it and can't even imagine ever making it again? Well that was the case with this choc mousse cake that I made last week. My family used to love this cake but I just couldn't bear the thought of making it.  On Friday, whilst going through my book,  I came across the recipe and decided to give it a go again. It goes without saying, that my family were really happy and surprisingly, I enjoyed it too! It took me almost five years to get over my choc mousse 'phobia"! Many of you have messaged me, requesting the recipe, so here goes...

Chocolate Mousse Cake
1 ready baked round chocolate sponge cake
1 quantity coffee syrup, see recipe below
5 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120 grams caster sugar
2 teaspoons gelatine powder
1 tablespoon water
300 grams 70% dark chocolate, melted ( I used Valrhona, but any good quality chocolate will do)
30 grams butter
500 millilitres whipping cream , whipped to soft peaks

Coffee Syrup
1/2 cup of strong black coffee
1 tablespoon of sugar
Heat the coffee and sugar together until it comes to a boil. Set aside.

Place a 23 centimetre springform ring on a serving plate. Don't use the springform base. Slice off a 2.5 centimetre layer of cake and place it in the springform ring. Brush the cake generously with the coffee syrup. (Save the remaining cake for another recipe. Wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze if desired.)
Beat the egg yolks, vanilla extract and 30 grams of the sugar, until well combined. Meanwhile place the gelatine in a small bowl. Cover with the water and leave to sponge for a few minutes. Heat in the microwave until it it liquid again and add to the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the melted chocolate and
butter. Beat the egg whites and the remaining 90 grams caster sugar, until stiff peaks form. Fold a tablespoon of the whites into the chocolate mixture, (to lighten the mixture) then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Lastly fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture over the cake and refrigerate for at least four hours to set it well. To unmold, run a small palette knife around the rim of the cake, loosen the springform catch and carefully remove the ring. Decorate as desired and serve...

Note: I dusted mine with cocoa powder and decorated it with chocolate covered coffee beans.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Hi, Darlings,
 Welcome to our little space on the internet! 
We're a mom and daughters team, from South Africa, with a passion for all things fabulous.
 Our blog consists of our love for fashion, design. food, motherhood and life in general!In February this year, we decided to take a leap into the world of blogging and so began our journey. We started this blog, to document all things happy and wonderful and have since had the fortune to experience some truly amazing experiences...From just a little idea, we are amazed at how our blog has developed. Each post, is a page from our lives that we would love to share with you. We now hold so many dreams and aspirations for The Gilded Lifestyle and we're super excited to continue sharing our journey with you! 

 The Gilded Lifestyle,

Contact Information:

Friday, 6 November 2015

If You Make One Thing This Week...A Vegetable Terrine...

It's the weekend already... Goodness! How this week has flown by! I had planned on doing so many things this week, and haven't got much done at all!
Wednesday night, as you all know was the VIP opening of H &M in Johannesburg, unfortunately I didn't go as I was on babysitting duty for MommyB. The girls had such a great time! I'm so jealous! Never mind though,  MommyB needed this much deserved break  and they bought some great presents for me! I was so disappointed to hear that they don't have a homeware range in Johannesburg. What a pity! Anyhow, I guess I had a great time too with Buddy and the Twins. They are growing up so fast. By the end of the evening , I was exhausted though! Not sure how MommyB copes...And gets so much done!
This post was meant to go up a few nights ago, but I'm going to blame the babies for the delay!
Many of you saw my Instagram pic of the veggie terrine and requested the recipe, so here goes...

This recipe needs to be made the day before you plan on serving it as it needs to set.

Roasted veggie terrine

Olive oil
300 grams ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper to season
3 cloves garlic, crushed
 2 large Aubergines, cut  lengthwise into 1 centimeter thick slices
About 3 large Roma peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
3-4 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
A handful of baby spinach leaves
A jar of basil pesto
A small jar of marinated artichokes
A tub of semi dried tomatoes, drained
A handful of fresh basil leaves
A small jar of marinated mushrooms, drained and sliced into halves

Brush the Aubergines, peppers and zucchini slices with some olive oil and grill in a ridged pan till nicely charred and done. You could use a barbecue if desired . Set aside to cool. Combine the ricotta cheese with some seasoning and the garlic. Stir until smooth. Line a 28x11 cm loaf tin with plastic wrap, allowing extra to overhang on all sides. Place a layer of Aubergines in the tin, trimming to fit the base. Follow with a layer of peppers, then the zucchini slices. Place a layer of the spinach leaves over. Spread half the ricotta cheese over, pressing down firmly. Add a thin layer of pesto. Spread it over evenly. Slice artichokes in half and place a layer over the pesto. Add a layer of semi dried tomatoes, pressing down gently (but firmly) after each layer. Now add a layer of basil leaves ( save some for garnishing later) and a layer of marinated mushrooms. Place the remaining ricotta over and another thin layer of pesto. Top with another layer of peppers and finally a layer of Aubergines.
Fold the overhanging plastic wrap on top and cover with another sheet of plastic. Cut a piece of firm
board to fit and place on top. Weigh the tin down with some weights (canned food do the trick) and refrigerate overnight. When serving, remove cardboard and plastic wrap from the top and turn over onto a serving plate. Garnish with some of the remaining basil. Slice as required and enjoy!

Hello, H&M!

Last night, Johannesburg's fashion elite were out in full force at the VIP opening of the much anticipated H&M store in Sandton City and the launch of the Balmain X H&M collection. MommyB and I were lucky enough to be invited.

I wore a beautiful abaya, designed by my talented sister, and paired it with my current fave Charlotte Olympia leopard heels. MommyB wore a stunning abaya, with some velvet detail down the back, and a lovely pair of Alexander Mcqueen shoes. She's been so tied down with the twins, it was great that she could get out for a little while!

 The shop assistants, looking snazzy in their Balmain t-shirts.

So much shopping to little time...

The minute we arrived, we headed for the Balmain section. I managed to get the last pair of the beaded sandals...They just happened to be in my size! YAY! Lucky me...I was thrilled! A lot of the range was already sold out, but we did manage to pick up some great pieces. We also managed to pick up some menswear as gifts.
By then, I was exhausted and my arms ached! But MommyB insisted on visiting the kiddies section where she picked up some really cute pieces for Buddy and the twins...

Standing guard over our treasures...
Once the evening was over, MommyB and I were totally shopped out and absolutely 'Balmainated' (is that a word? Well, it is now!!!), but thrilled, with the gorgeous pieces that we had managed to snag! It was an awesome event! The official opening is on Saturday, and it's well worth a visit.

Welcome to South Africa, H&M. Hope you love being with us as much as we love having you!