13 February 2011

A Delicious Little Valentine

Sorry that is has been awhile since I posted, but things have been so busy!  My birthday was wonderful and pretty relaxed this year since it fell on a Thursday and I had to be at work the next day.  Jurgen packed me a sweet little packed lunch full of goodies for work and surprised me by dropping off a cappucino and cupcakes :) 

We also had a lovely little work party and took a nice long lunch.  That night I decided not to have people over and instead we just went to one of my favorite restaurants here in Johannesburg and took a nice bottle of wine with.... I must say that it was the perfect way to turn 24. :)

It turns out that we had the dates wrong for the Rugby game and it's actually only next Saturday, which was a little bit of a downer at first, but actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise since I was so busy getting ready for Valentines Day yesterday and trying to get as much class work done as possible.  Today, however, is the U2 Concert and I cannot wait until this evening!  I will be sure and take lots of pics and let you know how it goes. 

We had a little hic-up this morning regarding parking because it is all sold out (as impossible as this may seem - you have to buy a parking ticket in advance), all the park-in-rides were also sold out and so the only option left was to buy train tickets which depart out of the city centre.  I had a minor break down at the ticket place because I don't want to be driving around the city centre at night (not a good idea), but the woman assured me that many concert go-ers had bought tickets and that it would be a fun "adventure."  We will see how it goes... this probably sounds really weird to anyone who hasn't travelled around SA yet, but trains are a no-go here... they are a cheap means of public transport and a lot of petty and not-so-petty theft/assualts occur on trains, so if you are ever here, don't take them.  But, this may be a good opportunity for me to ride on a train, since it is probably the only time I will be willing to in the near future and because it will probably be packed with other U2 concert-goers.  I will also be sure to take pictures and post about my train "adventure" too haha.

Anyways, the main reason I am posting now it because I wanted to share a very unique Valentine Recipe with you, which I tested yesterday and which came out wonderfully.  I know it is a little last minute, but you still have time to run to the store this morning and grab the ingredients... and believe me, it will be worth it!  It will also make for a great gift or treat for yourself for any occasion throughout the year, so even if you don't have time to make it for V-day, keep it in mind for the future!

Strawberry, Basil & Vanilla Syrup

This is a unique recipe I found in a South African cooking magazine.  The syrup is sooo delish and I have never tasted anything like it.  It is relatively easy to make and can be made into an adorable present by just pouring the final product into an empty glass bottle.  It's ideal for ice cream, gelatto, cocktails and (I haven't tried this yet), but I think it could also be nice drizzled over steak.

Here is the recipe:

750ml water (about 3 1/4 cups)
750ml sugar
Once handful fresh basil leaves - torn
200g fresh strewberries - hulled, i.e. top cut off, and halved (7 oz)
1 vanilla pod (can be found in the dried herb section of the grocery store)


Step 1: Place the water, sugar, basil and strawberries in a pot.  Then score the vanilla pod down the middle and with the end of your remove the vanilla seeds from the pod by scraping the inside of the pod.  Place the vanilla pod and seeds into the mixture and bring to a boil

Step 2: Simmer on a medium to high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until it reaches a sticky, but runny consistency.  Place the hot pot immediately into a sink of ice cold water to cool.  Strain into a clean steralised bowl.

Step 3: Pour final product into a clean, steralised bottle using a funnel.

And voila... there you have the final product!  I wanted to also attach a little v-day card with the recipe written on it, but am conveniently out of color ink at the moment.

Note:  I doubled the recipe to get the above amount... I also only used 3/4's of the recipe's sugar which made it a tad less sweet and little more runny.  If using as mainly a desset syrup, I would put the required amount in, but if using with steak, cocktails, or general use, I think it's nice a little runnier and a little less sweet. :)

Happy Sunday Everyone and Enjoy Valentine's Day Tomorrow!

Lots of Love,


  1. hello, nice recipe
    perfect for a gift :)
    i'm just wondering, after u strained the strawberry, what did u do to it?
    did u throw it away or eat it?
    thank u

  2. I just threw them away :/ ... they get pretty soggy from the whole boiling process.


  3. oh never mind :)
    i'll definitely make to eat with pancakes

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  5. That was so sweet of him to bring you coffee and a cupcake. Love it!

    And that recipe looks really good...I'll definitely have to try it someday soon.


  6. I will definitely have to try this recipe...I love basil and my husband loves strawberry, so this would be a win-win!

    Hope you enjoy the concert...and that you get home safely! enjoy your valentine's day--and happy belated birthday! thank you so much for all your sweet comments :) xoxo {av}

  7. Your syrup some interesting. I've noticed a lot of the fancy restaurants have been doing similar combos. I'm not sure if I am bold enough to make this at home!

    Stopping by from SITS.

  8. Thanks for the recipe. Sounds delicious and looks gorgeous!

    Ramblings of a Small Town Girl


Thanks for the love!