Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bags and shoes and all things pretty!

Well, I can barely contain myself! Iracema Boutique is coming to DOMINICO HOUSE.
Iracema's new collection is straight off the catwalks from London Fashion Week.
Deborah Polonsky is the clever girl behind this concept. She selects pieces from the new and up and coming young designers. The clothes are unbelievably made but thank goodness for us do not have the price tags that come with the well known labels. I have sneakily already tried on a few of the dresses and could not BELIEVE the fit. It was like stepping into another world. What have I been wearing all these years?!! YAY London Fashion Week here I come!! Deborah is also launching Iracema Vintage. I have not yet seen the pieces from this range but am a bit scared at my potential upcoming hysteria. Just think names along the lines of Matthew Williamson, Diane von Furstenberg and Top Shop. (Oh dear)
Here's a sneak preview of some of the new labels we will be seeing..........

If you would like an invitation to view this collection please email me gigi@dominico.co.za

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Morning After Black Cherry Pie

Well it's all fun and all to have tons of dinner parties - but what can get tricky sometimes is finding the inspiration to cook! What to cook is always the first stumbling block. I had this particular mental block this Friday night. Darling and I were having a very low key supper at 'ours' with close friends. My last minute idea came from seeing that cherries are already on the shelves! Suddenly I remembered a recipe my mum used to make when my brother and I were really young.It's a black cherry cheese cake/pudding type thing. We used to be so excited in the morning to eat this particular pudding's leftovers after a dinner party my mum had done. She hasn't made it in years and can't quite remember it - her instructions in her treasured recipe book can sometimes be quite cryptic. So...... a few things were mentioned like the oven - which in the end I never used at all! All I can say it was a cracker!!
The quote of the evening: "This is the best pudding I have ever had!" one of our guests.

Here it is: (my version)

Black Cherry Cheese Cakey Type Thing


For Base:
Tennis biscuits(Whole pack)
Butter 100gram
Slivered almonds (Not really necessary)

For Filling:
1 x tub creme fraiche (You can also use smooth cottage cheese)
1 x tub (250ml) double cream. v. thick
1 x can condensed milk! It's making a come back!
About 50ml lemon juice (As much as you can squeeze out) Original recipe said 80ml, but I think that is quite a lot! I also ran out of lemons. 50ml was perfect.

For Topping
1 x tin of black cherries with juice
2Tbs corn flour
Small amount of water
Real cherries if pos (for presentation)


First crumble biscuits into food processor and blend until crumbed. Then add slightly melted butter and whiz until it forms a big damp clump. Have some patience I did not whiz for long enough and kept on adding more and more butter! Until mine was too wet - hence the slivered almonds I had to add in to rectify my mistake (I had no more tennis biscuits)
Pack the base into a 20cm round spring foam tin (one of those removal bottom ugly cake tin things) try pack a bit up the sides. Put in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
Mix the tin of condensed milk and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Very satisfying. Lick the rest of the condensed milk tin and feel very happy about it.
Add your cream and creme fraiche. Mix all together. You can use smooth cottage cheese instead of creme fraiche.
Put filling into your cake dish and put it back in the fridge. Go and shower and get house ready etc. 2- 3 hours is minimum time it should be in fridge. You can even make this the night before. Bonus for not feeling too overwhelmed on the day.

For the topping:
Strain only the cherry juice from tin into a pan on the stove. Mix 2Tbs maizena (corn flour) with a tiny bit of water until smooth. Add to cherry juice and stir over medium heat until thickened. Put it aside to cool.
Place your cherries over pie and then pour over the cooled sticky thickened juice. put back in fridge until ready to serve. Before serving remove tin sides and place pudding on beautiful large plate. Stack real cherries (if obtainable) on top of pudding and around the sides. It is a show stopper and very very delicious.

As Darling and I discovered in the morning, it is even better the next day.

I am so sad as in my state of euphoria of my success, I never took a photo of my beauty!!! This is a photo taken from the web to give you an idea, but does not come close to mine which was laden with a real cherry tower like Babette's Feast!

*A note from Mrs Married
When you are having a dinner party it is always polite to consider others dietary requirements.
In today's world this can sometime be challenging.You can however go with what you are in the mood for and do an extra something for the vegetarians etc. Rather don't be put off entirely by trying to make a dish that everyone can eat. The Cherry pudding for instance is certainly not for the people who are very 'strict and strong willed' when coming to watching ones waist lines. But why ruin the fun for everyone! There is nothing more exciting than a condensed milk packed pudding. The super conscientious will just have to pick at the cherry tower.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Paris is a Roll Down the Hill

Well, this week I met Darling for a cheeky cappuccino during our busy working day. Very European. Our place of rendezvous was just perfect for that cafe society that Paris is renown for; Liquorice and Lime. We took a stroll down Church street past all the antique and tat sellers, then directly into the courtyard behind The Taj hotel, and voila, we had arrived. I can't say too much about the food as sadly we were not that generous with our time, but I can say my coffee was very good and I we had a jovial time.

I love the typical cafe chairs.

Beautiful part of town with beautiful buildings.

There's nothing like a classic striped awning.

I can gladly say that the waiters were friendly than the ones in Paris!

The inside was also attractive.

I looked through some of my photos from Paris to do a mini comparison. Of course the stripe awning did not take long to appear.

My mum having a happy Parisian evening.

I love the umbrellas all lined up with huge globes like moons.

Your typical Paris street scene.

I loved this courtyard, slightly shabby - but of course the starched white table cloths.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm Back!

Oh my word!!! Have been having a shocker! Have spent the last week crying, screaming and throwing things. Not to mention the general bad look of pajamas and slippers - which became my uniform of hard done by feeling. The up side of it is when something is not going your way it opens a door of casual recklessness with all other aspects in your life. i.e suddenly you can gorge yourself and not make any effort with housey chores, exercise and all round friendliness to others. Very indulgent. But now the cable under the sea seems to be in order and I must pull up my socks and get back to the full time job of general perfection!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I am losing it!!

Well, it must be something to do with the damaged cable under the sea, but I cannot load ANY photos. Have been going mad for the last few days. I hope it is that, and not my computer packing up.

So for now I will leave you with a few fun quotes from the book I am reading - DV by Diana Vreeland. An autobiography.

Just a quick introduction to Diana Vreeland:
Vreeland reigned as the queen of the fashion world for over fifty years.
As fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and editor in chief of Vogue, she was obsesses with fashion high and low - pink plastic poodles in Palm Beach, for example - and used the pages of the magazine to bring her love of the bizarre and the absurd to her audience.

The book is absolutely fabulous to read. Let me give you some examples and quotes. All taken from the Foreword by Mary Louise Wilson.

DV : " Pink is the navy blue of India"

DV: "I see girls and I see the way their feet fall off the sidewalk when they're getting ready to cross the street, but they're waiting for the light, with their marvelous hair blowing in the wind and their fatigued eyes"

Mary Louise Wilson: "Then a photograph of her living room appeared in a magazine. Never had I seen such profusion, so much red! Red on the floor, red up the walls, and textures, textures, TEXTURES! Plaid on top of paisley, flowered chintz next to silk stripes, and silver, tortoise, ebony, conch, gilt - a magnificent explosion in the midst of a beige decade, a world in which the worst sin was to 'clash'"

DV: " I want everyone to write with quill pens!" Said on her first day as editor at Vogue

DV's son " Mom never liked to appear unless she was at full gallop"

Cecil Beaton about DV's slang and skewed syntax: " One would think she spent hours in an ambiguous Times Square drug stores"

Mary Louise Wilson: " We tune in to laugh and end up obeying her commands to never go to bed tired....always keep our shoes shined.....never look back.....go all the way all the time.....and to dream"

So if this is just the Foreword can you imagine the rest of the book, packed with brilliant anecdotes straight from the horse's mouth - the fantastically magically, spontaneous and thrilling Diana Vreeland.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The World Through Rose Tinted Glasses

Well, since the weather seems to be so gorgeous of late..... Darling and the Beags and me decided to take a stroll along the pipe track. It really is beautiful and quite refreshing with Camps Bay idling down below. I took this photo which reminded me of one of my favorite Kate Moss shoots - see very below.

I then wondered what the world would ACTUALLY look like through rose tinted glasses. Quite pretty but might eventually be a bit overbearing.

mmmmmmmmm. It makes me thirsty for something very artificial.

This is the Kate Moss shoot I was talking about. I love it. Wouldn't you like to be stranded on an island in this sort of attire.

Now I'm sort of jumping... this is a different shoot altogether. This one is an add for Cavalli. Kate obviously likes a bit of driftwood - it seems to suit her.

Oh and then..... I found this shoot in my 'look book' section in my computer (every girl should have one) A straight copy of the original!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tapas for Spain and so on

So luckily Spain did win last night. To get us into the spirit of the Spanish evening last night, I did a little Spanish supper.I remember reading Patty Boyd's autobiography and reading how when married to Eric Clapton he would always ask for a big bowl of spaghetti and a large napkin to tuck into his shirt when watching The Godfather. It makes simple affairs eventful and fun.

This photo was actually taken at our wedding. We did anti pasta starters. Quite a nice idea for all the guests to have to pass round and share which breaks the ice when first seated.

*A note from Mrs Mostess:
If you're feeling a bit uninspired about your next dinner party or even a quiet supper in, you can choose a theme for the evening.
It will be refreshing for others, without them having to dress up.
What about a Russian night with blinis and borscht. It can be quite wild with vodka of course or a low key night in with Dr Zhivago.
Chinese New Year is also easy. You have to wait for the appropriate time of year of course.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Well, I am very excited about the match tonight. Neither Spain nor Germany are my team. I have however decided to support Spain as I have spent many a wonderful day there. I have not been to Germany, and I'm sure it's lovely but the hot countryside, sangria, gazpacho and siestas is definitely helping in my choice to support Spain. They live a very civilized life indeed, one that I could happily adapt to. Darling and I spent one of our best holidays in Seville at a friend's hacienda. It's called Hacienda de San Rafael. Pronounced 'Hathienda de Than Rafael' it is very fun to say especially when said quickly.

The entrance to the 'hathienda'

Such cool (temperature) indoor spaces surrounding a central courtyard.

Old large terracotta tiles that are so nice to walk on when coming in from the hot sun.

I love the dark beams on the white ceiling.

Of course a big horsey element which always lends itself to the Spanish ranch style living.

Who knew that cotton could work so well in the sitting room.

The Spanish steps

The colloquial inner courtyard

Darling cleaning the pool

This is where I loved to read

Late dinners in the courtyard.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Camellias in Season

I'm so happy right now, as one of my favorite flowers, Camellias are in season! White or pink I love them. Red is my least favorite. They look so beautiful just plonked casually in a vase on a desk, entrance hall or bedside table.

It is also easy to keep greenery on your entrance hall table. Flowers are not essential, greenery is just as beautiful. Beautiful white Camellias.

Look at these white roses in the lobby of Le Meurice in Paris. It looks very top heavy for that table! But quite amazing and decadent.

A big arrangement of white hydrangeas at my wedding. Another one of my favorite flowers.

Pink peonies at my wedding. One of the wonderful things about getting married in November.

* A note from Mrs Married:

If you do not have a garden from which to pick flowers, or none of your flowers are in bloom - I ask Husband to do what I call 'the neighbourhood
sweep' He won't be happy about this particular task as it could lead to embarrasement. It is always so worth it though. Your house can be filled with natural looking arrangements such as Frangipanis, (which are often easy to find hanging over a neighbours wall) Bougainvillia or even Hibiscus.

Do not ask him to pick things from the mountain however tempting as it
may be as it could lead to arrest!

* A note from Mrs Mostess:

Try to make your arrangements look natural.

There is no need to group different flowers together like a store brought bunch from the 7eleven. Rather mass the same flower togther in one big generous bunch. Never add shocking accessories like twirled sticks shooting up to the moon! It is your home and not a conference centre.