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Want to make 2022 one of the best years yet? We’ve got 4 New Year’s resolutions worth making.

Want to make 2022 one of the best years yet? We’ve got 4 New Year’s resolutions worth making.

Want to make 2022 one of the best years yet? We’ve got 4 New Year’s resolutions worth making.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

The last couple of years have been hectic. Let’s make 2022 different with four new year's resolutions worth making.

Let’s be honest. The last two years have been challenging to say the least. We’ve seen lockdowns, unpronounceable COVID variants and have watched the world of work evolve in front of our eyes. And as the world has changed, so must we. So, let’s drop the unrealistic new year’s resolutions of hardcore diets, gruelling exercise regimes and projects we may never finish. And let’s rather focus on building do-able, wholesome habits instead? Here are four new year’s resolutions the TastyMoments team will commit to this year.

1. Instead Of the Hardcore Diet, We Want to Focus on Eating More Plants:

We all know that dieting is a psychological challenge. When we deny ourselves of something, we tend to fixate on what we can’t have to the point that we crack and give in to the temptation. Instead of demonising certain foods like chocolates and treats, we recommend focusing on getting in more of what you should be eating. Let’s say your goal is to lose weight. Encourage yourself to eat the correct amounts of vegetables and fruits so that you avoid the crashes and cravings that come with eating whatever you like. It’s a simple switch, focus on what you should and want to eat, such as, plant-based foods and develop a healthy relationship with the treats that keep you sane. Lucky for you, easy and tasty vegetarian dinners are always possible. Dr. Oetker’s Green Valley Traditional Creamed Spinach is delicious and vegetarian. Enjoy!

2. Instead Of Unrealistic Gym Regimes – Try Getting Out of The House for A Walk:

We’ve all done it. We’ve hit 1 January and decided it’s time to go our butts to the gym. If going to the gym is a part of your natural routine and something you enjoy doing – it’s easy-breezy. But if you’re not naturally inclined to gym and resist self-imposed restrictions, maybe the gym thing isn’t for you. Instead of stressing about doing weights and running on treadmills (nothing wrong if that’s your thing), look forward to daily breaks outside. Go for a walk, kick a ball in the park or go for a swim. Another astonishingly simple way of getting the blood pumping is to do housework or gardening. The benefit of that is that you end up with a clean kitchen or a beautiful garden – it’s a win-win. Try and incorporate more gentle exercise into your routine.

3. Instead of Winning At All Costs, Can We Lead With Kindness:

Over the past months, we’ve learned that everyone is going through a challenge that we don’t understand. If you feel tired, run-down, confused by all the change and uncertainty, be assured that someone else, if not, everyone else is feeling exactly the same. Let’s all resolve to lead our conversations with kindness and empathy in 2022.

4. Instead of Collapsing In Front of The TV, Let’s Read More Books:

We’ll admit that we’ve been addicted to the escape of a good series lately. However, spending hours in front of the telly isn’t great. Scientists say that adults should aim for 2 hours or less of TV per day to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and deteriorating memory. Why not read a good book instead? Remember the magic of disappearing into your own world – we call it TV for the brain. Regular Reading has been proven to reduce blood pressure, decrease age-related cognitive decline and increase your ability to empathise with others. 

What are your 2022 resolutions? Tell us in the comments below.

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Here’s how to spoil your friends with an Italian, pizzeria-style feast in your home.

Here’s how to spoil your friends with an Italian, pizzeria-style feast in your home.

Here’s how to spoil your friends with an Italian, pizzeria-style feast in your home.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Invite your friends! It’s time to celebrate summer with an Italian pizzeria-style feast.

It’s funny how the summertime brings out the best in South Africans. Winter feels like a never-ending, miserable affair, and when the blossoms come out, the relief and happiness is palpable. Suddenly, we’re keen to socialise and do chores around the house again. So, the TastyMoments team has come up with a great dinner party idea to celebrate summer hangouts.

For your next get-together, why not host a pizzeria night with La Mia Grande Pizzas?

Here’s how:

1. The Planning

Any good Italian feast needs a bit of planning. Italian food is incredibly straightforward but relies on good quality ingredients to really make the dishes shine. For starters, you could serve a light and easy Caprese salad, which is basically slices of tomato, soft mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves (or basil pesto in a pinch). Simply layer the ingredients, drizzle with olive oil and top with a crack or two of black pepper.
Tah-dah! You won’t have to spend a fortune on the pizza part if you want to give your guests a proper pizzeria-style experience at home. All you need to do is buy a couple of stone baked La Mia Grande Pizzas and pop them in the oven about 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve. These big and beautiful pizzas are perfect as is, but you can dress them up with a couple of fresh basil or rocket leaves if you want them to look even more appetising. For dessert, you can make a Panna Cota (a creamy dessert with a light and custardy texture) or some gelato made the Italian way. What a feast!

2. The Drinks

If it’s hot, you can serve Italian cocktails like a Negroni (gin, red vermouth, and Campari) or an Aperol Spritz (a bitter orange cocktail made with Prosecco). Alternatively, you can serve virgin versions of these. Another great one for a hot day is Italian Sangria, which is a combination of red wine, slices of fruit, lemon and orange juice) served in a jug. YUM!

3. The Set-Up

Creating a pizzeria at home is as simple as grabbing a red and white checked tablecloth and laying the table with some candles in old wine bottles. You can even make a centrepiece with fresh tomatoes and basil. The cool part is you can eat the tomatoes and basil afterwards. Not every centrepiece can become a meal after it has been used.

4. The Vibe

Download a bunch of contemporary and classic Italian songs to help set the tone for the evening. And ask everyone to dress up with a bit of Italian flair to make it even more fun. If you’re starting a bit earlier, you can always play a bit of Bocce in the garden while you sip away at your sundowners. For an extra bit of fun. Place printouts of some Italian words and phrases around your table so that your guests can learn la lingua perfetta (the perfect language)!

Buon appetito, my friends!

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5 Awesome Office Year-End Party Ideas Your Colleagues Will Love

5 Awesome Office Year-End Party Ideas Your Colleagues Will Love

5 Awesome Office Year-End Party Ideas Your Colleagues Will Love

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Struggling to think of year-end party ideas for the office? Here are 5 thoughts to inspire you.

December is around the corner, and we’re planning our year-end office party at TastyMoments. So, we thought we’d share 5 cool ideas we’ve been tossing around the boardroom table to help inspire you and your colleagues.

1. Scavenger Hunt and Picnic

Social distancing is still one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID. Instead of going to a stuffy, expensive restaurant, why not plan a scavenger hunt and a picnic for your department? A good old fashioned treasure hunt brings out the happy child in even the grumpiest finance person. All it takes is a little bit of planning. First, you need to scout a location, a nice big park close to your office will do. Then, plan your route and work out the clues you’d like your teams to solve. Please don’t make them too easy or so impossible you’d need to be a genius to work it out. Try and keep things exciting and even include a few puzzles to help get the team spirit going. Once the hunt is done, set up a beautiful picnic with fresh salads, cold slices of La Mia Grande Pizza and lots of cold drinks. Finish it all off with a custom cake from YourCake.co.za with your company logo printed on it.

2. Set-Up A Virtual Party with Games

If everyone is still working from home, it may be easier and safer to host a virtual office party. You can download apps like House Party and play games there or get an external supplier to arrange it for you. There are some really cool ideas out there, like getting your team out of a haunted house, pub quizzes or virtual Olympics.

3. Cooking Lessons

Why not take your team to learn how to cook a new dish and enjoy the food (and maybe a spot of wine) afterwards? You can always book the kitchen for an extra couple of hours, and party like you’re inside someone’s home. Just relax and kick back with some home-cooked food and laugh about your HR lady’s chopping skills.

4. Ugly Outfits or Dress-Up Party

One way to get everyone to let their guard down is to host a themed dress-up party. One of our favourites is the Ugly Outfit theme. We borrowed it from the American tradition of wearing ugly Christmas sweaters around the holiday season. Why not hand out prizes for the worst-dressed person. It’s hilarious! Not feeling brave enough? Try a 90’s theme party instead? Whatever the theme, make sure you have some spare props for those who might have forgotten their outfits. One year we all dressed up like Christmas Trees. It was a hoot!

5. Office Awards Ceremony

Like the Oscars but for people at the office! Poll your staff on made-up categories that will appeal to your team. Ask them to vote for colleagues in categories like “Best Dressed”, “Office Comedian”. Include some off-beat ones like “Worst Parking Skills” to make it funny without being hurtful or too personal. Trust us, no matter your age, everyone likes winning an award, regardless of how silly it may be. Ask your team to dress up for a night at the Oscars and spoil them with fancy finger foods, cocktails and mocktails.

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5 Food Trends You Won’t Want to Miss

5 Food Trends You Won’t Want to Miss

5 Food Trends You Won’t Want to Miss

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Impress Your Friends with the 5 Food Trends Everyone Is Talking About!

The TastyMoments team has scoured the globe to find the 5 must-try food trends taking the world by storm.

1. Mexican Fusion Food

Here’s an idea for a dinner party! Why not have a Mexican Fiesta now that restrictions have been lifted? No, we don’t mean bland tacos and silly hats. We’re talking about Mexican fusion food which combines essential Mexican cuisines like guacamole, tortillas, and salsa with other foods to create unique new dishes. The brand new, stone baked La Mia Grande Cheesy Nachos Pizza is the perfect example. It’s topped with crispy nachos, spicy jalapeno peppers and mozzarella. Just grab a few friends, make a jug of margarita and pop a few of these bad boys in the oven. Serve it with a spicy tomato salsa in lettuce cups, and you all be saying “olé” in no time.

2. Middle Eastern Spices and Preserved Lemons

Everyone is experimenting with new flavour profiles. Since the world has basically become a village, we now have access to a host of Middle Eastern herbs and spices to inject more oomph and zing into our food. Have you ever cooked with preserved lemons? Moroccans love this simple ingredient that packs a punch. There are a million recipes online if you want to make it yourself. It’s a simple process of taking ripe lemons, layering the pieces with salt, and topping up your pickling jar with cooled, boiled water. Trust us! “Baharat” is another one to look for. It contains black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves and paprika. Yum! 

3. Fermented Foods

Need to get some good bacteria in your gut? Fermented foods are the way. Rich in tummy-friendly probiotics, foods like Korean Kimchi (pickled cabbage and veg), Japanese miso or German sauerkraut will do the trick. Plus, fermented foods have a pleasant, zingy flavour that can help cut through the richness of fatty foods. Don’t want to eat it? Why not try brewing your own healthy Kombucha drink?

4. Magical Mushrooms

And no, not that kind! You can find all sorts of mushrooms at your grocers nowadays. Why have boring white button mushrooms when you can delight in meaty oyster mushrooms or chanterelles instead? The vegans are onto something! If you want to enjoy a meat-free meal, we recommend you try marinated mushrooms instead of meat. Don’t want to go meatless – give your immune system a boost with mushroom soup. 

5. Heritage Cooking – With A Twist!

We love a good boerie roll, but let’s change things up a bit, shall we? Instead of tomato sauce, why not top it with mango chutney or papaya salsa? Morogo will see new life as our homegrown side dish now takes centre stage as an essential ingredient in South African fusion foods. Koeksisters are good, but they’re even better when you make them with citrus and cardamom syrup. Whatever your favourite local meal, try and shake things up with a few new ingredients. You might even teach your Gogo a trick or two.

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5 Things You Can Do To Be A Better South African

5 Things You Can Do To Be A Better South African

5 Things You Can Do To Be A Better South African

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Want to be a better citizen? Why don’t you try these 5 things?

South Africa is having a little bit of a tough time at the moment. It’s time we all pull together and practice the “ubuntu” we so often speak about. Not only will the country benefit, but you’ll feel great about making a small difference in your own way.

So, with that in mind, the good people from Ital Pizza and TastyMoments have put together a list of 5 things you can do to be a better South African while you’re pondering what to make for dinner tonight.

Teach A Child the Magic of Reading

Yes, we’ve got our challenges with education – but that shouldn’t stop us, citizens, from trying to help. Many organisations offer volunteering opportunities as simple as reading stories to school children. If you’re a bookworm, then this idea should speak to your soul. So get involved. You might rediscover some of your old childhood classics and change a life at the same time.

Pick Up Your Litter

We’ve got such a beautiful country. We’re renowned for our natural beauty and biodiversity. So, let’s start with protecting our most precious asset. Encourage your kids to be litter conscious and make sure you pick up any rubbish you see floating around your neighbourhood. Join a cleaning committee, collect garbage on the beach and recycle whatever you can. If we all did our bit, the country would be spick and span in no time. When you encounter litterbugs, don’t criticise them. Instead, engage them in a conversation about the benefits of protecting our ecosystem. Remember, you catch more flies with honey – so a kind conversation can make all the difference.

Kindness Is King

With so many of our fellows in different and often difficult circumstances, the best approach is to be kind whenever possible. This is even more pertinent in a stressful time and the pandemic. We’re all tense, anxious, and a little jumpy, to say the least. Instead of defaulting to aggression when someone behaves in a way that you might not like, it’s essential to approach the matter with kindness and empathy. It’s true. You genuinely don’t know a man until you’ve walked a kilometre in his shoes. Smile when you can, greet others, laugh out loud. These are the things that make us human and South African great.

Vote!

It’s easy to roll your eyes and settle back into the couch when confronted with our political challenges. But change doesn’t happen on your couch. It happens when we’re active citizens, and we encourage others to do the same. So, participate in your local and national elections and find out what each party can offer. We’re a vibrant democracy, and all our citizens should be passionate about how our government operates. The more we get involved, the better our chances of positive change.

Learn A Language

It’s incredible what an effort some of us will make when visiting a foreign country. We learn the greetings and become enamoured with local customs and traditions. Yet, many of us can’t say the same of all the cultural richness on our doorstep. South Africa has 11 national languages, and it’s long overdue that we start learning each other’s lingo. Yes, English is widely spoken, but you cannot beat the feeling of connecting with someone in their own language. As Madiba said ““If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”

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5 Food Myths You Need to Stop Believing

5 Food Myths You Need to Stop Believing

5 Food Myths You Need to Stop Believing

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

5 Food Myths You Need to Drop

Does fat make you fat? The TastyMoments team has been debating some common myths around food. And we’ve been surprised at what had come up when we dug a little deeper! 

So here are 5 common food myths we’ve debunked in our debates.

Frozen Veggies Aren’t as Good as Fresh?

Not true! This one blew our minds, but it totally makes sense when you think about it. When fresh veggies are picked, they’re transported long distances and often kept in cold storage for extended periods. Over time, we know the nutritional value of veggies decreases the longer they’re exposed to the elements. By the time your “fresh” spinach arrives at your house, it may actually be a week old. Frozen veggies are picked and blast frozen immediately! This instant freezing process retains the “just-picked” freshness of the vegetable until it’s cooked. So, frozen veggies are often more nutritious than their fresh counterparts. Something to bear in mind when you’re shopping for Green Valley’s delicious, Creamed Spinach when you need a bit of hand making a healthy meal.

Does All Fat Make You Fat?

Not if you eat good fats! Healthy fats, AKA unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, are essential for balanced nutrition. They keep you fuller for longer can lower cholesterol to protect your heart. Good fats are present in olive oil, salmon, canola, seeds, nuts and avocados. Bad fats, like artificial trans fats or saturated fats, can be found in processed foods like pies, packaged snacks, and crisps – so definitely give those a skip. Artificial trans fats increase your harmful cholesterol levels and decrease the good. Not all fats are created equal!

Does Dairy Make You Snotty?

We’ve always believed that dairy triggered our mucus production! Not true. It’s an old wives’ tale that milk makes you snotty. According to studies, there is NO link between mucus production and dairy consumption. Experts believe that the feeling of “thickening of mucus” after consuming dairy is due to the reaction of the milk and the enzymes in your saliva, which creates dense “emulsion” that feels like phlegm.

Gluten-Free is Healthier, Right?

Also, WRONG. Gluten is merely a protein found in wheat, barley, rye grains. It’s the magic “glue” that gives bread and baked goods their bounce and elasticity. Certain people, like those with Celiac disease, must adhere to a strict gluten-free diet. Gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction in their gut and can make them very ill.

People who suffer from gluten sensitivity should also avoid it, hence the growing presence of gluten-free products on the market. BUT! Gluten-free doesn’t mean healthier. In fact, many gluten-free products contain more sugar (to help bind the ingredients in the absence of sticky gluten proteins) than their standard counterparts. So, unless you’ve got a genuine medical reason not to eat it, gluten is your friend. The bread tastes better (trust us, we know a Celiac), and you’ll save money too.

Spicy Foods Cause Ulcers

We now know that most ulcers are caused by a bacterium, which can easily be treated with antibiotics. Unless you have ulcers triggered by medications due to excessive aspirin consumption. So, it’s a common myth that spicy food creates an ulcer. Not true. An ulcer is inflamed by spicy foods, so someone may feel it more after consuming spicy foods. But an ulcer certainly isn’t caused by a large curry meal or a chilli-fest Mexican night.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in A Microwave

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in A Microwave

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in A Microwave

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

5 Microwave Hacks You Wish You Knew Earlier

Ah, the glorious microwave. What a miracle invention. And it’s not just for heating Nice ‘nEasy ready-meals! There are quite a few other things you can do with one. So, the TastyMoments team has put together a list of cool microwave hacks to consider while you’re wondering what’s for dinner tonight. Oh, and, if you need a giggle, here’s that hilarious clip of Nigella Lawson saying “microwave” as only she knows how. It broke the internet last year, but it still makes us chuckle.

Sterilise Dish Sponges

OK, so it’s no secret that our dish sponges are dirtier than the average toilet seat. A quick zap in the microwave will sort you right out. Simply immerse your sponges in water, remove them from the water and place them in the microwave for 60 seconds. And tah-dah! No more germs.

Toast Seeds and Nuts

Tired of spending extra on toasted nuts and seeds? Use the microwave instead. Simply take raw seeds or nuts in a microwave-safe bowl, add a little oil and salt and ping in the mickey for 1 minute. Then, stir and repeat until your goodies have achieved the required level of toastiness (usually about 5 minutes). You’re welcome.

BACON!

OK, so making bacon isn’t the most challenging thing. But the microwave makes it even easier! Especially when it’s for one or two people. Simply take two paper plates and place the rashers flat on one plate. We can usually manage about 6 rashers at a time. Then cover with the other plate (so the fat doesn’t spit everywhere and leave a mess) and then microwave for a few minutes. We usually only need 3-4 minutes to get the bacon to the desired level of crispiness. BOOM! Your bacon is done, and you toss the paper plates away – no washing up for us, thanks!

Sterilise Glass Jars

Are you making jam? Or looking for a sterile container? Repurpose and sterilise your old jars in the mickey.  Wash the container, fill it with a little bit of water (a few centimetres will do), and then pop it into the microwave for 2 minutes. Toss out the water, and voila, you have a sterile jar.

5. Get Gum Off Clothes

Chewing gum is great as an emergency breath freshener but not so great when it gets stuck on clothes. Now you can zap it off in the microwave with a bit of vinegar. Simply microwave a bit of vinegar and then use the warm solution to pick off the stuck-on gum. It should come off in no time.

Got any microwave hacks for us to try? Let us know in the comments below.

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How to make the best playlist for your next dinner party!

How to make the best playlist for your next dinner party!

How to make the best playlist for your next dinner party!

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Music makes the party! How to create the ultimate playlist!

Summer vibes are here! The blossoms are out, and restrictions have dropped. It’s time to have a (COVID-safe) get-together with all the people you’ve been missing. The only things you need are a couple of our brand new, ultimate pizzeria-style pizza, La Mia Grande, some of your besties and, of course, great tunes!

So TastyMoments, the kings of easy dinner ideas and other cool stuff, have come up with a couple of tips on how to make the BEST playlist for your next get-together. So, whether you’re into the golden oldies or the latest trap-rap, you can build your vibe with confidence. There is no greater compliment than someone saying, “Cool tune! Where did you find this track?”.

Know Where to Go

First things first! The easiest way to make a playlist is to subscribe to (or use the free versions of) Spotify, Tidal or YouTube Music. The free versions will contain ads, but you can go ad-free when you subscribe to the service. If you’re a music-nut, the small monthly fee is completely worth it to get access to HUGE libraries of any music under the sun.

Ask Yourself – What Vibe Are You Going For?

If it’s a driving playlist, it might be very different to a lazy Sunday-chill-out playlist. So, think about your context and where you’ll be listening to the music. If you’re building a playlist for the gym, you might want some high-energy bangers to keep the blood pumping. If you’re having a braai, you might want to balance a bit of pop with some old-school classics. While it’s tempting to build a one-size-fits-all list, you may find yourself skipping songs and getting irritated if the music doesn’t match your vibe. We’ve got playlists called “Saturday Breakfast” and “Work Zone Vibes”, which are totally different. Context matters!

Not A DJ? Borrow From Someone Who Is

Not confident? Don’t worry. You can always start with a playlist curated by one of your favourite DJs and artists if you don’t know where to start. Simply add their playlist into your app, and you should be able to customise it from there.

Variety Is the Key!

A good playlist is like a mixtape; it should contain a blend of artists and sounds. And this doesn’t contradict our first point – because you can still spice things up within a set theme. It’s about delighting your ears with a bit of variety.

The Magic Number

According to the world’s top DJs, a decent playlist is between 30-50 songs long. Any shorter, and you’ll be out of songs after a while, and any longer, you may get lost and not hear the songs you want.

A Good DJ Always Looks for New Sounds

With so many new artists being discovered every day, we recommend you get brave and explore a bit. Don’t go in with any preconceived notions and just dip your toe into some new music – withhold judgement and just listen. You might just surprise yourself!

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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.

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