Cook Culinary & Craft Studio


#lunchboxguilt and magical memories

No Comments


Never mind homework and exams. School lunches create as much anxiety for school moms at the beginning of each school year. Trying to juggle the tuck shop, your kid’s nutritional needs, your time, the odd hangover as well as your shopping planning (or in the case of my sister, forgetting to shop and raiding my fridge in desperation) is no easy task.

A few years ago, I read countless articles on “healthy school box lunches” and laughed at the mere suggestion of sandwich fillings. Sandwich? My child ate her first sandwich at the age of 12.

Every school day, I did the walk of shame, delivering my child with her strange lunch box, wondering what the teacher thought of this so-called “cook” and her dreadful lunch boxes, sometimes filled with only white rice.
But, I downloaded  Martha Stewart’s lunch box notes and each day packed one into my tactile-defensive daughter’s blue Tupperware lunch box, along with her white rice.

She attends high School tomorrow, her eating habits and appetite are normal (often adventurous) but while she has little memory of eating the same meal, once a day for 6 months, she always reminds me of her “ lunch box love letters”.

Luckily I now have a little toddler whose favourite meal is broccoli and mealies but despite this I will continue to create magical moments and memories with her lunches. I will cut her white bread and sugary peanut butter sandwich into hearts and I will let her eat cupcakes without the icing, as she likes it, just as I let my first-born eat the icing without the cupcake. I will not stress about exams, homework or have lunch box guilt because these will not form part of her idyllic and nostalgic childhood memories.

This excerpt from the recipe book, Apples for Jam, resonated with me because as a child I remember reading the Famous Five, by Enid Blyton and wanting to try all the food she so beautifully described in each book: Tongue sandwiches, hunks of gingerbread, tinned sardines in tomato sauce, liquorice candy, fat fried sausages, potted meat and scones with clotted cream.

I ate Bull Brand (potted meat sounded better) anchovy paste, cooked tongue and gravy and spaghetti in tomato sauce because even though it did not match her description and my imagination, it made me feel sophisticated, magical and fortified to unravel any mystery.

But that was my memory.
My job as a school mom is not to create a picture-perfect balanced guilt-free lunch box but a positive relationship with food, beautiful memories of opening the lunch and magical moments spent eating it ( even if that entails only white rice).

Continue reading

Magnum & Moemas make ice-cream dreams come true with #makemymagnum

No Comments

PicMonkey Collage

PicMonkey Collage 2


The heavenly ‘Make my Magnum’ experience is back in SA and the new pop up or “pleasure” store is located at the Nelson Mandela Square for a limited time only!

I was lucky enough to test the new limited edition range of toppings, made by the distinguished and lovely Danielle (trained under Yotam Ottolenghi), one of Joburg’s top pastry chefs and owner of the fabulous Moemas Patisserie.

Sampling Danielle’s  unique creations is on par with taking a tour in Charlie’s Chocolate factory. Every dipping and sprinkle bowl is filled with  jewels of new and exotic flavours – textured, nutty, honeyed, salted, nectarous, salty and even peppered!
The luxurious and indulgent toppings, along with the with pure Magnum chocolate dip flavours are as follows:

  1. Classic – a blend of fresh crumbed chocolate cupcake and white chocolate pieces
  2. Mint – delicious crumbed mint shortcake and mint crunch
  3. Death By Chocolate – indulgent crumbed chocolate brownie and frosted rose petals
  4. Almond – a glamorous toasted crushed Almond Praline
  5. White Almond – a delightfully light mix of almond orange lace cookie and crushed ginger biscotti

I could try and describe these flavour combinations in detail, or you could simply pop along to the store and bring your own ice-cream fantasy to life and share your creation with your friends and family by taking a selfie at the Magnum Portrait Wall.

Find a specially marked 7-digit code on selected Magnum sticks and stand a chance to win M Collection accessories designed by Gert-Johan Coetzee and a shopping spree worth R100 000 in Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square, when you buy your Magnum. T&C’s apply.

Follow the signs from the entrance behind the Nelson Mandela Statue.  You only have EIGHT weeks.





Instagram: @Magnum



No Comments


Our home recently featured in the December edition of the Essentials magazine, here are a few unpublished pics of the table styling I did for the shoot. I decided on an inexpensive, local, quirky and easy-to-copy setting.

table 1 table 2 table 3

Parker Pen Giveaway

No Comments


one of 3 new retro-chic Parker pens and a recipe file for your course notes.

Select either Pink, Coral or Grey-Green from the gorgeous new retro-chic range and both gifts will be couriered to 3 lucky people in time for Valentine’s day.
Follow (see link below) , find the answer to the following question and post it on their page with “Cook and the year”


No Comments


I am not going to dwell on many descriptive words here as the beautiful interior, products and merchandising of the new Macaroon store in Greenside says it all.

The pure pleasure of the new concept is that you can browse, feel, get inspired, touch  plus shop online in the store with help (and a cup of coffee) from the Macaroon team, with designers on hand to guide you through colour charts and choices.

Once you have placed your order, pick a stylish postcard write a love note and Macaroon will simply post it off to someone special.

Browse through their range of stylish stationery and gifts on


Macaroon Macaroon Macaroon Macaroon Macaroon Macaroon Macaroon