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5 Ways To Make Your Romantic Dinner Even Better

5 Ways To Make Your Romantic Dinner Even Better

10 Perfect snack ideas to fuel up your weekend – and score points with the whole family

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Love Is in The Air – All Year Long! 5 Ways To Make Your Romantic Dinner Even Better!

We’re only starting to come out of winter. That means Valentine’s Day is still a long way off. Time to take charge!

Food, Glorious Food!

The TastyMoments team thinks that no one has to wait for the day we celebrate romance to think ‘love sweet love’ and about what food will thrill your sweetheart.

It is all so much easier than you think. Order your favourite dessert from Château Gâteaux or pop by a shop to get a pack of yummy Dr. Oetker Patisserie Baked Cheesecake, perhaps? What’s more, you’ll have double the pleasure if you serve it as the dessert after a Ristorante Pizza as your main. There is sure to be some serious affection around after such a fantastic spoil.

Then there are the other things that make for a perfect evening at home.

The Tunes:

You’ve got to set the mood for the evening! Whether you’re into jazz, rock, hip-hop or house, find a playlist that speaks to your heart and the vibe you’re trying to create. Whether you’ve made the playlist yourself or found one on a streaming app, you’ll feel a lot more relaxed when you find “the sound” you’re looking for to make the night special. TOP TIP: Many streaming apps allow you to share playlists, so why not share it with your loved one afterwards as a reminder of the date?

Candlelight

It is remarkable what effect a candle, or better yet, a fire in winter, can have on the mood. So, remember the matches to make sure you light your babe’s fire.

Flowers

It is remarkable what effect a candle, or better yet, a fire in winter, can have on the mood. So, remember the matches to make sure you light your babe’s fire.

A Special Drink

Why not make the night extra-special with a signature cocktail or mocktail? There are so many new kinds of flavours and aromatics one can play with to create a delicious, one-of-a-kind drink for your loved one.

With the cake for dessert, you are superset for a beautiful, restful evening. With social distancing still the word of the day, you don’t need to venture out to a restaurant to set the mood.

Make the most of the TastyMoments we get to spend together. They are precious. Celebrate them with the best things in life – the chef’s favourite food recipes and fun.

Enjoy these TastyTips?

PS. Have one of your own? Let us know in the comment section below.

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10 Perfect snack ideas to fuel up your weekend – and score points with the whole family

10 Perfect snack ideas to fuel up your weekend – and score points with the whole family

10 Perfect snack ideas to fuel up your weekend – and score points with the whole family

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Bite into the perfect in-between snack – complemented by a few healthy sides

Eat Your Heart Out

The TastyMoments team recommends that you get your hands on the latest innovation from Dr. Oetker – Ital Pizza Pizzetta. Think of it as snacking that just got grown-up.

Whether you favour the three cheese or chicken and peppadew flavour, here are a few mightily exciting ideas on how to turn up the heat over the weekend. Our list starts with a cheesy fondue-style sauce with pizza dippers – a fabulous and easy snack for games or movie nights.

Next up is the pizza bruschetta meze platter – an array of little eats for a bit of variety. 

And finally, the Ristorante Quattro Formaggio Pizza sandwich. When popcorn won’t fill the gap, we have the perfect TV snack sandwich.

But then we also have a list of some other ideas for sensational in between meals fillers – whether you are watching sport or just horsing around.

Sliced Red Pepper and Crudites

A little-known fact is that red pepper is choc-full of vitamin C. One red pepper offers more than 300% of one person’s daily requirement. It could probably supply 100% of the entire family’s Vit C requirements for a day. A cream cheese and tuna dip will make the red pepper magically disappear in no time. You can also include other raw veggies. Why not try some sliced celery, busting with luteolin. It is well documented as a great way to prevent a whole bunch of common diseases. So, let’s go and crunch.

Fruit with Dips

What can be easier than slicing an apple and a pear or two and arranging it on a plate? It might sound silly, but once the fruit is cut, a family seems so much more likely to tuck in. Somehow a whole fruit can be a bit intimidating and much more friendly once sliced into bite-sized pieces. What’s more, these fruits contain antioxidants that promote gut health and reduce the risk of heart disease. To sweeten the deal, you can drizzle some honey over the fruits or add a peanut butter dip (apples pair very nicely with nut butters)

Devilled eggs

Who does not love the sight of a delicious stuffed egg? Boil some of the oval delights, fill them and see them fly off the plate. Packed with protein and Vitamin B12 and K2, they are a nutritious supplement to any snack.

Dark Chocolate and Almonds

Who would have thought that choccies would have made the list? Paired with almonds, the combination is loaded with healthy flavonols. Served as the dessert to the Ital Pizza Pizzetta, the kids will love you.

Olives

A tangy must-have ingredient in a Mediterranean diet, the plant compounds are believed to reduce insulin resistance and boost the body. If the thought appeals to you, you could also serve some avocado dip on the side. Avo reduces LDL cholesterol, improves arthritis and protects the skin from sun damage. So, together, these two pack a power punch.

Most of the above side dishes could probably even sneak their way onto the leftover pizza – if there is such a thing! Let’s embrace the TastyMoments in life.

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You’re Only Human Mom – 7 Things You Should Remember

You’re Only Human Mom – 7 Things You Should Remember

You’re Only Human Mom – 7 Things You Should Remember

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

7 Things All Busy Moms Should Remember

We can all sometimes become frustrated with the demands of the family – and modern life in general. Both are excellent reasons for moms to take time out for self-care. Undoubtedly, you will be better able to take the best care of everyone around you once you have made sure that your life is relaxed and balanced.

Here are a few essential principles from the TastyMoments team – let us remind ourselves:

Accept That You Cannot Control Everything All the Time:

As mothers, we may feel that we are responsible for everyone’s wellbeing. But moms will only be able to be at their best if they are not stressed. So, spoil yourself by taking a warm bath once in a while, read that book you’ve been putting off, take a walk with or without the family, meditate and come to rest. You should still have more than enough time left for everyone else. And, what’s more, you will be a sunny, bright shining presence in their lives.

Be Flexible:

Children are littlies for only a few years of their lives. Embrace them for who they are – even if they want to wear their Superman costume to school. Be as malleable as is reasonable. If you get tense, they will too, and these emotions can create distance between family members.

Look For Agreements

Negotiate, agree, and shake on a deal. Try phrases such as “If you finish your homework, I will make your bed this morning – but tomorrow morning, you will make your bed. Agreed?” This avoids a battle of wills, and everyone understands what to expect.

Easy Dinner Ideas Make for Leisurely Evenings:

If the kids get hungry early, simply pop a few Ital Pizza Minis in the oven. Mealtimes should be relaxed, comfortable and easy. You might like to play some happy music in the background and perhaps even have a fun swirl around the dance floor together to experience the warmth and love of a happy home.

Set The Morning Alarm a Good 30 Minutes Before the Usual Wake Up Call:

Morning rushes can be overwhelming. But, if the family is up and awake early, everyone can take it easy. It also allows time for a good breakfast – an excellent start to the day. And, of course, pack lunch boxes the night before.

Let Your Partner and Kids Share the Chores:

Whether it is folding the washing or taking the little ones outdoors, the family should share the load. Every mom is entitled to some ‘own’ time, now and then. And while you’re at it, you could ask the older kids to take on dinner duty one night a week. There are some easy peasy ways for them to achieve this. They can simply choose some toppings and a side dish and use delicious pizza bases, which can then simply be popped into the oven.

Sleep and Exercise:

Adults ideally need around 7 – 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. So, make sure that you are comfortable, snug and warm so that you can capitalize on this important part of your day. A bit of exercise during the day is beneficial and helps to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Our advice is to enjoy your family every day and try to be a playful friend to your children—good food and a good mood that is the formula for happiness and joy. Enjoy.

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WHY EATING DINNER TOGETHER IS GREAT FOR KIDS

WHY EATING DINNER TOGETHER IS GREAT FOR KIDS

4 REASONS WHY EATING TOGETHER IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN

4 REASONS WHY EATING TOGETHER IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN

4 REASONS WHY EATING TOGETHER IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

4 REASONS WHY EATING TOGETHER IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN

THE GREAT BENEFITS OF EATING MEALS TOGETHER

Find out why it’s so important to eat dinner with your children.

With so much to get through in a day, the TastyMoments team knows all too well that coming up with easy dinner ideas can be a proverbial pain. So, it’s good to remember that everyone absolutely loves a crisp, fresh Ital Pizza Familia. Keep a few in the freezer, simply stick one in the oven when you’re pressed for time.

What is more important than the side dish is that there are significant benefits to eating together. Take a look.

A Sense of Belonging

By sharing a meal, you are signalling that all who sit at the table belong to the same ‘tribe’ – the same group of family and friends. It is pure proof that everyone is important and has an equal right to participate in what the family can provide.

It is also an opportunity to make your kids understand that they, too, have a responsibility toward the group. So, don’t be afraid to divvie up the chores. One person gets to set the table (even if it is in front of the TV) and another to de-set. Then everyone pitches in to wash or pack the dishwasher. Initially, they may be grumpy, but soon everyone will feel a sense of importance in knowing that they are making a useful contribution. They will also start to understand why good housekeeping is essential and how participating contributes to family bonding.

Time to Set The Example

Supper time is the ideal opportunity to teach kids good manners. Sure, table manners are essential, but other manners are equally valuable. Simple things such as allowing a sibling to tell a story without interruptions, praising a fellow family member for an achievement or expressing empathy for someone else are critical social skills. What’s more, they will stand children in good stead for the rest of their lives.

What’s News?

Being surrounded by mobile phones, TVs and other devices, your little ones are bound to hear some stories which may be disturbing to them. Mealtimes are opportunities to listen to and understand their concerns. This is your chance to guide them on how to interpret events. Now that the Don has vacated the White House, there may be less fake news out there, but with the disruptions of the ever-present virus, your children may be tense about the future. Talking openly will help. Even if you do not know all the answers, your willingness to chat about current affairs will be a great comfort to them.

Explore New Worlds and Tastes

Ask everyone to introduce a weekend theme. Take Italy, the home of pizza, for example. Everyone could bring a fact about this fascinating country to the table. Heard of the Tower of Pisa? Or the Vatican – the smallest independent state in the world, housed in the city of Rome. This information may stimulate an interest in a subject they may never otherwise have considered.

Now’s the time to set the time – for your family’s dinner date. It will soon become everyone’s favourite time of day. Now, let them slice the pizza, pass around the salad, enjoy the companionship and say thanks for the privileges of the day.

Top tip: Ask the kids to make a tomato and onion salad or another all-time favourite, beetroot salad. Make it fun, turn up some music, and they will love being involved.

Enjoy these TastyTips?

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Lockdown Food Trends That Are Here To Stay

Lockdown Food Trends That Are Here To Stay

Lockdown Food Trends That Are Here To Stay

Lockdown Food Trends That Are Here To Stay

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Lockdown Food Trends That Are Here To Stay

As we settle into the “new normal", as everyone calls it, we're seeing a few significant food trends that will stay around long after the regulations have changed.

The team from TastyMoments have scoured the web to keep you in the loop. Do any of these sound familiar?

1. Friday Fakeaways

Yes, we can order takeout and go to restaurants lately. Still, many people are opting to make their own favourite takeaway foods on Fridays. According to BBC Good Food, “there was a mammoth rise in online searches for takeaway favourites like ‘homemade sweet and sour sauce’ (up 120%), ‘chicken katsu curry’ (up 300%) and, by far the most popular, ‘how to make southern fried chicken’ (up by over 5000 %)!” One thing you won’t have to make from scratch is Dr. Oetker Ital Pizzas because their new and improved bases taste just as good as a takeaway, if not better. Thank goodness for that!

2. Sourdough Mania

Online searches for homemade sourdough bread and sourdough starter (the bacteria-based concoction you need to leaven the bread) have skyrocketed since lockdown. It’s obvious why – sourdough smells and tastes divine. The process of making the starter and baking the bread can be quite laborious and time-consuming. But, there is nothing that beats the taste of freshly baked bread that you created yourself. Besides, what has lockdown given us, if not a lot more time to bake delicious things?

3. Bake The World

Another huge at-home trend is the rise of amateur baking. Remember the banana bread everyone was making? Well, this is another trend that seems to be here to stay. Baking is a well-known stress buster and a fantastic creative outlet for those who may be feeling a little frustrated with all the restrictions.

4. Local is ALWAYS Lekker

Yes, we’ve seen a whopping increase in online shopping during the pandemic. However, some local, neighbourhood shops are also seeing an uptick in trade. People are less willing to travel to crowded malls and are much more comfortable popping into the local grocer to pick up daily essentials. Besides, we all know the economy isn’t thriving; so many people are opting to support smaller, family-owned businesses to help them survive through the lockdown.

5. Happy Hour At Home

Despite local restrictions, international booze sales have been soaring. According to new research from OnePoll on behalf of John Lewis and Waitrose in the UK, 25% of people who drink have said they’ve been drinking more since lockdown. What’s more, tequila sales have soared 175% during the lockdown, with gin and rum also popular, and liqueurs up 78% as consumers try new cocktails. Locally we do know that pineapple and yeast sales also exploded at the beginning of lockdown. There are obviously many South Africans who have tried their hand at brewing their own beer. Where there is a will, people will find a way. 

Any other lockdown trends we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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5 Ways To Zhoosh-Up Your Bacon

5 Ways To Zhoosh-Up Your Bacon

card-for-bacon

5 Ways To Zhoosh-Up Your Bacon

5 Ways To Zhoosh-Up Your Bacon

Zhoosh-Up Your Bacon

Ah bacon. To some, it’s considered the best food in the world, to others, not so much.

If you fall into the “bacon-IS-a-way-of-life” grouping of people, you will love these 5 ways to jazz up your bacon.

Paprika and Garlic:

Take 1/3 cup of water and put it into a pan. Take a teaspoon of teaspoon of paprika and a teaspoon of crushed garlic to mix into the water. Grab your bacon and place it in the spiced water mixture. Turn up the heat and let the bacon simmer until the water is evaporated. Then, drop the temperature to a medium heat and continue to fry the bacon as normal. The result will keep everyone coming back for more, trust us.

Moreish Maple or Honey:

We can thank the Americans for this insane combo: bacon and maple syrup. Whoever would have thought that something so sweet and so salty could taste so good? Just fry-up your bacon as usual and then just before its done, drizzle it with maple syrup (honey will do in a pinch). Let it caramelise slightly in the pan before removing the bacon. Bacon bliss!

Thyme to Shine:

Thyme is probably one of the most underrated herbs in our opinion. But pair it with pork (or chicken) and your taste buds will never look back. Adding thyme to your bacon while you’re frying it takes it to the next level.

Coffee and Cocoa Bacon:

This is a bit of wild one. For the brave we think. Grab your uncooked bacon and add a cup of strong black coffee and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Then grab a tablespoon of brown sugar and some cocoa and add it to the mix. Let the bacon marinate in the mixture overnight and fry as normal. It’s got a sweet, smoky and rich finish that cannot be beat.

Add Some Veggies:

If you’re looking to freshen-up your beloved bacon with some healthier options, why not try and add some fresh spinach and garlic to your fry-up? Bacon also loves potato, so why not try and make a hash with some chopped tatties, green pepper and some fresh herbs. Brussels sprouts also shine with a bit of bacon. Even the fussiest of eaters will love their greens when infused with a bit of the good stuff.

Enjoy these TastyTips?

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Five Ideas To Keep The Kids Busy

Five Ideas To Keep The Kids Busy

card-for-kids

Five Ideas To Keep The Kids Busy

Five Ideas To Keep The Kids Busy

Ice Lollies

The little people are home but what do to?

Keep them entertained with these clever ideas.

1. Make Ice Lollies

If you’ve got moulds, this one is a lifesaver for kids who need a bit of distraction. Grab the kids and ask them to make their ice-lolly flavour. Think orange juice with mango bits, yoghurt and berries or chocolate milk mixed with chopped marshmallows. Let their imaginations run wild and get creative with the flavours they want to create. Help them pour it into the moulds and let them play outside until they’re frozen solid.

2. Play Detective

If you’ve got a bit of time, think of a mystery for the kids to solve. What about the case of the missing teddy bear? Place a couple of clues around the house and get the other adults to play along. Let the kids dress-up in detective or police gear and let them solve the case. You’ll be amazed at their acting skills.

3. Make Pizzas

Who doesn’t love a pizza? Nothing is more rewarding than making and eating your pizza creation. Grab a couple of Happy Days Pizza Bases, some grated cheese, their favourite toppings and let them make the kids make their master-pizzas?

4. Make a Movie

Got a little drama queen at home? Ask your kids to come up with a movie idea that they want to film. Let them raid your cupboard to make costumes and help them with some “stage” make-up. We recommend you help them with the make-up so that your expensive cosmetics survive the experience. 

Then, allow them to rehearse the scenes before you film it on your phone. It will keep them entertained for hours. Who wouldn’t want to be the star of a movie, even if it’s made at home?

5. Bake Something Delicious

The Internet is crammed with ridiculously easy baking recipes you can find in a click. Ask the kids what they’d like to eat and find the easiest recipe to get there. Think sugar-cookies studded with chocolate chips, think jelly and custard, if it’s quick and tasty, we approve!

Have “fuuuun”!

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How to Make Trail Mix For Lunchboxes

How to Make Trail Mix For Lunchboxes

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How to Make Trail Mix For Lunchboxes

How to Make Trail Mix For Lunchboxes

trail mix

Your favourite new nibble has arrived! Ever heard of trail mix? Americans have loved this high-energy snack for decades. It's an ideal lunchbox companion, great as an energy booster while hiking the trails (hence the name) or just as a quick at-home snack.

It’s usually packed with fibre and is designed as a pick-me-up. Perfect for when you need a bit more go-go-go when your day is slow-slow-slow.

What is it?

In principle, it’s a mixture of nuts, pretzels, seeds, popcorn, bits of chocolate and dried fruit. The mix is often packed into smaller packets for lunchboxes or car-snacks.

Ingredients:

You will need (but can substitute the ingredients and play with the quantities here)

  • 1 x cup of toasted pecan nuts (we recommend dry toasting the nuts in the oven because it adds a deliciously rich flavour)
  • 1 x cup of toasted peanuts
  • 1 x cup of toasted almonds
  • 50 grams of milk or dark chocolate chopped into chunks (candied chocolates or nuts also work super well)
  • 1 x cup of pretzels (whichever shape you like)
  • 1 x cup of dried fruit (chopped into chunks if in large pieces)

How To Make It:

Mix it all together in a large bowl and portion into re-sealable packets to grab-and-go as you need it.

It will change the way you see snacking forever!

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The Easy Way To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine

The Easy Way To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine

card-for-ice-cream

The Easy Way To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine

The Easy Way To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine

ice cream

We all love a bit of ice cream. Some people call it the food of the gods but we just call it an essential part of any happy family. Plus nothing is quicker and easier than serving a couple of scoops with some fresh fruit and crushed biscuits when you’ve got guests.

Yes, ice cream is a sure-fire crowd pleaser and we’ve got a secret to making it at home without a fancy appliance. All you need is a bit of freezer space and a bit of patience.

You will need a mixer, a couple of bowls and only 3 ingredients

This recipe is ideal for school holidays when your kids want to make a sweet treat at home.

Ingredients:

  • 500ml of heavy whipping cream
  • Tin of condensed milk
  • 5ml vanilla essence/extract

How To Make It:

  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. TOP TIP: Be careful not to over whip the cream. The rule of thumb is that the cream is done when you pull the beaters out and the cream is firm.
  • In another large bowl, whisk the vanilla essence into the sweetened condensed milk. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula, slowly mixing the two together so it stays light and fluffy.
  • If making individual flavours, scoop the cream mixture into smaller bowls and gently fold in your desired mix-ins, or if making just one flavour, mix the ingredients directly into the cream mixture.
  • Transfer the mixture to an insulated tub and freeze for 4-6 hours.

Ideas For Flavour Mixes:

  • Take some chopped strawberries and add it to the mix with some strawberry milk powder – it tastes just like a milkshake!
  • Take some chopped chocolate and add it to the mix with some chocolate milk powder – you can go even further and add in some chocolate biscuits or toasted nuts if you like. YUM!
  • Add your favourite sweeties – we love jelly babies or sugar-coated chocolates.
  • Add some tinned mango and add the syrup for a fresh and tropical taste sensation.

It cannot be easier. All we can say is, GET INTO MY BELLY! Enjoy!

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Leftover cheese

Leftover cheese

card-for-cheese

Leftover Cheese? Try This.

Leftover Cheese? Try This.

Leftover Cheese

We all love a bulk deal. Especially when it comes to the best thing in the world: cheese. Some households may manage to gobble up a giant yellow brick in a couple of days. But, most of us end-up staring at the leftovers wondering what to do with them.

Well, here are a few ideas of what you can do to maximise your cheesy investment.

Grate It and Freeze It

Cheese doesn’t freeze well when left whole. It gets crumbly and doesn’t slice well once defrosted.

The solution? Grate your leftover cheese and place the cheese into a re-sealable freezer bag. Put it in the freezer and whip it out when you need it. It works like a charm to zhoosh-up frozen pizza or makes toasted cheese sarmies on a Sunday night.

Get Saucy

Leftover bits of cheese make the best sauce. Grab some milk and some flour to make a white sauce (or a béchamel for you fancy people out there). Then add the leftover cheese to make a delicious and rich sauce. Cool and pour into containers to freeze. 

Voila, there you have cheese sauce whenever you need it. Think Wednesdays pasta meals when you don’t feel like cooking after a long day. WINNING!

Make a Soup or Pasta

Broccoli is best friends with cheese. Why not try making broccoli–cheese soup that you can freeze and take to work for lunch? Pasta also freezes well. 

 

We recommend making some macaroni and cheese and freezing it in portions. Perfect to whip it out when the kids are hungry.

Make a Dip

Give your leftover cheesy bits new ooey-gooey life with a delicious cheese dip. It’s easy! Grab 2 cups of cheese, a clove of minced garlic and a cup of white wine (non-alcoholic if you prefer). 

 

Then add a half a tablespoon of fresh herbs for an extra punch of freshness. Blitz it all together in a food processor (or a stick blender) and put in the fridge. It’ll be ready to serve with some crackers or fresh bread in an hour.

Use Parmesan and Hard Cheese Rinds in Soups and Stews

Got a chunk of ancient Parmesan hanging around the back of your fridge? Toss it into a stew or a soup for an extraordinarily rich and almost meaty taste. Italian Grandmothers have been using it as their secret weapon for years and now you can too. Just make sure to remove the rind before serving and no one will be the wiser.

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