Way to valentine’s heart is with delicious treats

There are few things more romantic than a picnic with a loved one and Dainty Picnics that take the hassle out of it, providing ready-to-go and DIY options. That leaves more time for lovers to sit and gaze into each other’s eyes.
There are few things more romantic than a picnic with a loved one and Dainty Picnics that take the hassle out of it, providing ready-to-go and DIY options. That leaves more time for lovers to sit and gaze into each other’s eyes.
Image: Supplied

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

That’s a quote attributed to American cartoonist Charles M Schulz. Truer words have never been spoken.

Food and romance go hand in hand, and it’s been proven time and again that your menu can help set the mood.

Sharing a candle-lit dinner with a loved one fosters feelings of intimacy and, depending on what’s on your plate, can also add that extra zing in fanning passion.

With Valentine’s Day being a day away, Sowetan caught up with two women who work with food and can help you make your Valentine’s Day dinner a little extra special and hassle-free.

Nelly Dube, former account manager and now chef and owner of NELZ Cuisine, suggests that you keep the season in mind and make sure your menu reflects this.

“To me what matters the most is also the contrast and the colours of your food. It’s summer now and most of the dishes I make now are summer dishes, so it’s going to be a nice light summer dish. It must be romantic – a lot of strawberries; wine as well,” she says.

The Roodepoort-based private chef says it’s all about how you play with tried-and-tested ingredients such as champagne, whipped cream and strawberries.

“Most importantly, your dish has to have a variety of colours, [warm love colours] such as red, green – all your bright colours. That contrast is essential,” she says.

Nelly Dube suggests you keep the season in mind.
Nelly Dube suggests you keep the season in mind.
Image: Supplied

Another one of her tips is that you should take care of how the food looks on the plate.

Your partner will appreciate the effort you put into it.

For all the lovers who want to make a day out of their Valentine’s Day celebration, 24-year-old Midrand-based Leshego Maponya is the woman you will need in your corner.

Maponya owns and runs Dainty Picnics, providing picnic services to customers.

A year ago she started the business with a friend who is a qualified chef.

Customers can order a ready-to-go picnic basket packed with disposable cutlery and a bottle of sparkling wine and edible goodies for R500.

Next in her range is the set-up package, where she delivers a picnic set-up to you and you supply your own food.

The third option is for the set-up and food.

If you enjoy picnicking she suggests you head to Kyalami.

“My favourite at the moment is in Kyalami at the Beaulieu Bird Sanctuary. It seems very private.

“It’s a public park, it’s gated and is in a gated community as well,” she says.

But if you prefer an indoor picnic she suggests that you buy a bunch of roses and scatter the petals on your blankets to add a romantic mood.

“You can just close the curtains to make it dim and light a few small candles,” she adds.

Dube has supplied a quick recipe for the perfect breakfast in bed for your valentine, along with a pasta main and tasty dessert.

Simple English Breakfast

You need to fry hearty sunny side up eggs. Toast brown bread or whatever type of bread you prefer. Grill your pork bangers. Cut your avocado in triangles. Grill a thick slice of tomato with some cheddar cheese and mixed herbs on top of the tomato. Add grilled round shoulder bacon (optional).

Main

Simmer your spaghetti with olive oil and salt.Slow fry your chicken livers in a skillet pan. Add salt, pepper, ground cumin, smoked paprika and red onions until cooked evenly. Add steamed mixed veggies on the side.  Serve veggies with some red oakfield leaves and cherry tomatoes (optional).

Dessert

Get a beautiful glass dessert bowl and add blueberries and raspberries. Get a white attractive plate, put glass bowl on it and place strawberries around the plate, cut or uncut. Then add whipped cream on top of bowl. You can add chopped pecan nuts on top (optional).

We follow a rose grown on a farm in Roodepoort as it is clipped and sent overnight to a Durban warehouse, where it is arranged and delivered to Sayuri Govind from her fiancè Duran Naidoo on Valentine’s Day in 2019.

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