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To assemble, slice off the round tops of each cake layer to produce 2 smooth, flat layers I use a sharp long bladed knife.

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Place one layer on a plate, spread with frosting, then put remaining half on top and cover with frosting. Expect live music, great food and loads of wine. The Creamy Blue Cheese is so tangy and strong and worked brilliantly with my glass of whiskey. Yes, I love a good scotch and a good blue cheese and these two are in my eyes a perfect pairing.

I grated some Mature Cheddar and added that to a beef broth. It melted in the broth and gave it an extra layer of flavour and texture. And what is better than melted cheese? It is on my to do list — I took a pic with my cellphone to share with you.


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Have a great cheesy week everyone. Christmas arrived early this year when Woolworths delivered a large box of beautifully packaged goodies to my doorstep. Lucky me! Inside this box was a whole host of festive goodies that will be on their shelves come Christmas time. I wanted to spread the love so I handed the gifts to loved ones around me:. Teas from around the world This beautiful box of individually packed teas I gave to my mom. It has a mash strainer where you scoop your tea in and put the strainer in water to steep your favourite tea. I just have to say mom and I loved the java gunpowder flavour!

They look like macaroons! I shared them with my friend Zola. They are easy to just stash in your bag and so damm cute to take out… and show the world. Turkish Delight My friend Karin was so lucky to get this. This is my favourite gift out of the whole box. Dont you just love the beautiful container? Old tape recorder tin filled with milk chocolate coated toffees My husband and I polished off the whole tin.

The toffies were so delicious and we gobbled it up before we could press the stop button on the dummy cassette player! Luxury Christmas crackers My housekeeper Doreen was very happy to get her hands on these luxury Christmas crackers. Making the traditional addition to the festive Christmas table, they are fit for a feast. Thank you Woollies! I was blown away by the performances and the sheer talent of the singers — all round it was a fantastic night out! Poignant, nostalgic, humourous and moving.

From Grandpa Joe, to the rest of his talented family, to the car guard who just floored us with his gifted voice to the two bergies. It was Cape Town in full colour. I was brought to tears by the very remarkable tribute to Shirley Bassey. As the curtain fell, I went home with a full and happy heart… and very proud to be a South African.

The Food This is not a gourmet meal but a good buffet. Starters: When we arrived there was a Greek Salad and bread on the table. So if you are hungry you can start nibbling. It was really tasty and scrumptious.

The Importance of Form

Mains: I was still torturing myself with a low carb eating regime which is an absolute pain when a big pot of sexy samp and a tray of baked potatoes are staring at you. I opted for some veggies, baked fish and fillet with a sauce. It was delicious and more than enough. Dessert: The desserts are plated and there were cheesecake with koeksisters with a fruit skewer on our plates. Who must see it The whole of Cape Town. The whole of South Africa. And the whole world. These premium products walked off with Gold medals in three categories — 6 for Delicate, 20 for Medium and 10 for Intense.

Insane in the Brain

The competition, now in its 11th year, attracted a record entries. In addition to the 36 Gold medals, 53 Silver and 11 Bronze medals were awarded.

Plan ahead and make the most of your weekend with a little help from the Herald

A team of professional tasters meticulously scrutinized the medal contenders one-by-one according to quality, complexity and balance in terms of aroma and taste during a four-day blind tasting. Christmas trimmings, Christmas lights, lanterns and slowflake orgami will pave the way for the ideal Christmas shopping experience. The Test Kitchen took the title of Best Restaurant — for the third time in a row!


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  • Congratulations Luke you are a well deserving winner. The Test Kitchen 2. Five Hundred 3. Mosaic at The Orient 5. Jordan 6. Overture Restaurant 7. Rust en Vrede 8. DW Eleven 9. The Restaurant at Newton Johnson Eat Out S. A total of 17 exceptional extra virgin oils received gold medals in three categories. Tim Noakes and his many Banting fans will be extremely happy about this new eatery. The entire menu is based on Banting ingredients, ranging from home smoked salmon delicious!

    As is to be expected, the dishes are obviously very rich given all the cream and butter — and as you know where there is cream and butter — it is always delicious. Two things stood out for me — the bread and the dessert. But the bread I had at The Banting Kitchen was surprisingly good and tasty.

    Best toperaries images | Gardening:__cat__, Topiary garden, Topiaries

    This ukiyoe print from the nineteenth century shows people comparing flowering bonsai. In light of this, we can see that in fact the origins of Japanese bonsai date to an era not too far removed from the present. The history of Japanese bonsai as it exists today is actually quite short, going back just years or so. Bonsai is different.

    The reason for this is clear enough given the historical development of the art as I have just described it. Once an art form has come to maturity, a certain amount of time is required for the various schools and the iemoto system that controls them to form. Nevertheless, many people both inside and outside bonsai circles continue to think of bonsai as belonging to a traditional Japanese esthetic. This approach is not limited to the traditional arts: It pervades everyday life, from the correct way of exchanging greetings to the expected norms of behavior and performance within a company.

    The life of a person who has perfected the accepted forms of everyday etiquette is esteemed socially as an exemplar of beauty.

    What is of crucial importance is the acquisition and practice of a beauty of form. The expression of individuality and creativity, and with the esteem of others, comes later. Unlike other traditional arts, bonsai has never developed well-defined schools or an iemoto system to transmit the accepted forms and evaluate whether an individual practitioner has mastered them sufficiently. What takes its place in the world of bonsai is the modern social phenomenon of the exhibition, imported from the West in the Meiji era.

    It is by continually holding exhibitions that bonsai has found a way of transmitting the forms and evaluating skills, and of assessing the creativity of a practitioner as expressed in the way he or she uses those forms. As can be seen all too readily from the appearance of its cities, modern Japan has consistently preferred repeated cycles of destruction and rebuilding to a sustained effort to maintain the old. Within this cultural context, the art of bonsai, nearly two hundred years after it began, and with an exhibition itself already more than 80 years old, has managed to carve out an impressive tradition indeed.

    However, one thing that is important to remember in the context of bonsai exhibitions is that although it is not unusual, particularly in recent years, for a cultivator or nursery to receive evaluation on the merits of a particular bonsai, generally speaking the highest praise at exhibitions and other public venues goes not to the person who actually grew the bonsai but to its owner. In bonsai circles in modern Japan, the most important criterion is assessing the value of a bonsai is its ownership history—ideally consisting of several generations of socially and historically important figures, particularly if they happen to have been influential in political or economic circles.

    In an extreme case, even a tree of no particular merit might be praised as a masterpiece if it comes from a sufficiently impressive lineage. This is reminiscent of the way that tea utensils are evaluated by connoisseurs of the tea ceremony. The first step in creating bonsai is to take a young sapling, or even a small tree that has grown for some years in a natural setting, and transplant it to the pot where it will be raised. In order to realize the future tree thus imagined, the artisan nurtures and protects the tree from day to day.

    But it is the sense for form developed during the training phase that provides the model for the shape the tree will take eventually. Building on this beauty of form, the grower must display a creativity allowing him to adapt the various elements of the creation most appropriately to craft the final form of the tree. The presence or absence of this creativity is what decides whether the grower has true talent in this art. There is a fundamental difference between the art of bonsai, which took shape in the late Edo period, and simply growing potted plants. This is, of course, an approach also seen in the creation of traditional Japanese gardens.

    Interestingly, its echoes can also be discerned in the thinking that parents and teachers bring to bear on the raising and education of Japanese children.