Mo-vember is nearly over..



...and I really moustache, but before I do, how did yours grow, I mean go?

I will post the recipe for these scrummy Caramel Swirl Cupcakes in a whisker.



Okay so I love corny puns..

 forgive me :)

Caramel Swirl  Mousache Cupcakes

No formal recipe, just whip up a batch of vanilla cupcakes and butter icing. Using a sharp knife cut a hole out of the centre of each cupcake ( if you look carefully you will see the piece of cake in the picture) Alrighty, then pipe a squirt of caramel into each hole. Swirl the remaining caramel through the butter icing and pipe on top of the cupcakes.

Cut out templates of moustaches from this website, and serve. Voila.

You say Dukkah, I say Dukka

What happens on a shoot doesn't always stay on a shoot...

Earlier in the week I had a shoot for an advertorial. The client loved the muffins I made for the shoot so much she asked to order some for the weekend.

So I made some for her, and I made some for me, and here is the recipe for you!  

Smiles all 'round.  Happy Sunday everyone.  x

Breakfast Berry & Sweet Dukka Muffins

Makes 16 small muffins & 8 giant muffins *

2 cups plain( I used vanilla flavoured) yoghurt

200ml sunflower oil

4 eggs

440g self raising flour, sifted

1 cup oats

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup frozen mixed berries

Sweet Dukka for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 180oC

2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, except the frozen berries. Do not over mix, just stir gently to combine using a large wooden spoon.

3. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture into the paper cases. Scatter berries over the mixture and sprinkle with Sweet Dukka.

4. Bake for approx 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

5. Serve with coffee.. yum.


• I don’t recommend the giant ones! They are too big and just wasteful.

• I also don’t think they keep well, best to bake and eat…

Sweet Dukka Recipe

1 tspn cinnamon

1 tspn nutmeg

½ tspn ground all spice

1 tblspn sesame seeds

½ cup chopped nuts, ( I used pistachio, hazelnuts and pecan nuts.)

2 tblspn brown sugar

1. Place all the ingredients in a container with a lid. Seal and shake well to combine.

2. Sprinkle over muffins as directed in recipe.


• The mixture can be doubled and stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

• I sprinkle sweet dukka over rice pudding, cooked oats, ice cream ! and even a banana loaf.




What I learnt in 2 hours over a (really good) latte.....

Yesterday morning I attended a blogging workshop hosted by former magazine editor turned social media guru Tanya Kovarsky. (and by her own admission, a Hello Kitty devotee).

"Why were you on a workshop ? " I can hear you asking,  "you dont need it, you're a natural"


No really.

I need all the help I can get. What I lack in expertise I make up for in enthusiasm.

So off I went with my NBF ( iPad) hungry tummy and high hopes.

I was not disappointed.

I love the Internet, social media and the blog-sphere. I am passionate about sharing information, discussing ideas and connecting  with creative people.

The workshop included all my favourite things, and then some. Good coffee at Manna Cafe in Fourways, plus delicious croissants, was the extra cherry on the top.

My head was spinning with all the ideas and info Tanya and my fellow bloggers shared. (I will post their URL's once I have them all.)

“So what did you learn?” I hear you ask .

I learnt that I know a lot already, which was a huge relief to me.

I learnt that everyone is different and what is one (wo)mans post is another (wo)mans poison ( if you will pardon the poor idiom; one mommy blogger was happy to write a review for a fast food chain her kids love, another declined as it was not her type of food. #eachtotheirown!)

Most importantly I came away reassured that I am on track with my vision for this blog site. "Sharing is caring" ( can you tell I've been around mommy bloggers ? )

I hope this blog site will become a place of sharing and encouragement for stylists. An online community of stylists, wanna-be-stylist, and generally-interested-in-styling peeps.

That totally inspires me!

I would love to hear what inspires you?



PS. Here's a great tip Tanya shared, and I had also read on this site; If content is king, then a catchy blog title is the queen of a good post.

Thanks to Tanya for this one :) “What I learnt in two hours over a latte …” Told you she was a whizz at this stuff.







Hail Caesar, my favorite drink !

The responses to my Facebook post about tomato juice were so entertaining. They were either " yum, delicious, " or and "eeeuw how can you drink that stuff."  Nothing in between.
It is clear, you either love or loath tomato juice.
I am in the >3 category.
I can't remember when I had my first tomato juice, or when I became sophisticated enough to order a  tomato cocktail. ( lets face it, it is a sophisticated drink)
I can recall my first Bloody Caesar; on the patio of Citta's Bistro, a bar in the ski resort of Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. Never forgotten in fact.
A Caesar is a variation of a Bloody Mary, not very well know outside of Canada,( perhaps because of the addition of an ingredient which is sure to illicit even more eeeuws.)
Clam juice is the Canadian addition to the standard Bloody Mary mix, and is a type of clam stock or extract which is added to the tomato juice, and sold as Clamato juice.

The ingredients for the Canadian Bloody Caesar or  classic BloodyMary are otherwise the same; a tot of vodka, a splash of Tobasco sauce, a dash of Worchestershire sauce, and a  squeeze of lime juice. I drink mine "virgin", without the alcohol, and add a little grated horseradish for a kick instead of the vodka.          

I fondly remember Citta's Bloody Caesar being served with a celery salt rimmed glass and a spicy pickled bean.    

I set off on a mission to recreate the Cittas Bloody Ceasar, and ended up to trying out celery salt. This is what I  came up,  three variations.

  • Commercial celery salt, which is table salt with ground celery seeds. (Made simply by grinding celery seeds in a spice/coffee grinder, and mixing into the salt)  The easiest to acquire and use
  • Celery leaf salt, which is more to my liking as it uses sea salt as opposed to tablesalt.  Dried celery leaves mixed with Malden Sea Salt, recipe here . This is my new favourite. I will be making this again, it is quick and easy, and a jar sealed well will make a fab pressie, and can be used for flavouring stocks, soups and sauces.
  • Thirdly,  celery stick salt, which is the oven dried celery stick mixed with sea salt, **recipe here .  This seasoning had the mst signifigant celery flavour, and the aroma when i ground it was very strong and "celery-like" fun if you have time to make.**note about this recipe: drying the chopped celery took over 12 hours in my oven **


  The Cittas Bloody Ceasar was served with a spicy pickled bean, recipe here. 

I didnt get around to making the beans as I spent so much time on my celery salt making. I instead made ice cubes with lemon slices and celery leaves as my garnish. Pretty stylish I think!  A note on the celery salt, when rimming the glass, use sparingly, it is very pungant.



 I wonder if any  readers in the 'dislike" categorgy can be encouraged ( challenged ) to at least give my favourite drink a try.. I would love to hear from you.

Cheers ! and Love




.all images by Taryne Jakobi styling

Behind the scenes on a decor shoot...


props, props, and more props...


One thing I’ve learnt… decor styling is not for sissies!

  In fact, it is H A R D W O R K !

Please don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I love my job, as I have said many times before.  #iLoveMyJob. 

This shoot was no exception. It was also a LOT of work.

 I was tasked by Food & Home Entertaining Magazine to compile an article for their January  2012 issue on baking items, appliances and utensils. It wasn't until I sat down to write this post that I actually realised how much time is involved in preparing for a shoot.  In fact, I’m often asked by well-meaning friends and family what a stylist does all day. Usually in a doubtful tone, implying “Not a lot, we think”.

Well, let me try to break it down for you.. 

 Receiving the brief…

  • Upon receiving the brief (this is an outline of what the magazine requires) I start making my lists. Planning is essential! This usually involves a day on the phone contacting people, writing emails, and getting in touch with suppliers to find out what products they have available and if any would be suitable for the shoot.
  • I then spend about two days planning my ideas, jotting down notes and looking for references (pictures which I like) either on the internet or in magazines. I scan or copy these into a folder to share with the photographer so that they have an idea about what’s needed regarding lighting and set-up.

 The week of the shoot...

  • It takes around two days of sourcing (this means finding, borrowing and sometimes even begging) the required items for a particular shoot. In this case baking items. Can you see the beautiful Kitchen Aid mixer in the picture? I just knew I had to include one in the shoot, and so I’m very grateful to Kitchen Passion  for lending me one from their Parktown North store, and I didn’t even have to beg!
  • It takes around half a day to deliver all the items to the studio and unpack them all. BTW: Boy we need to look at packaging of appliances… is all that plastic, polystyrene and paper really necessary?
  • One full day shooting.  
  • Another whole morning packing everything away. Ditto on the packaging comment above,
  • And lastly, another day returning everything to the shops and suppliers.

 So that’s an average week when styling. When coupled with a heatwave, climbing in and out of a hot car, pushing a heavy trolley full of goodies, and you’ll see why this job isn’t for sissies!

 Keep watching for the January issue of Food & Home Entertaining hits the shelves mid December, and post of all the pic's from the shoot.



Secrets of a stylist....


... Never under estimate the value of a good knife.

Yesterday I attended the media launch of the new Kitchen Passion store in the fabulous Sandton City extension

 Almost everything in this store belongs in my kitchen. Seriously.  My Christmas wish list tripled when I saw the pink Bamix (stick mixer) alongside the matching pink Kitchen Aid mixer , and my all time favourite, the Zwilling J.A.Henckel knives.

 I wonder if anyone noticed me drooling over all the stunning goodies ?  Golly, I hope I didnt make a fool of myself  (again.) I love and admire all the beautiful gadgets,  stunning cookware, and  stylish utensils, but my favourite, must have, can’t live without kitchen tool is a good knife! And as I was admiring all the beautiful knives I was reminded of my own small collection, and how each piece has a special memory for me.

 I graduated from Hotel School in 1989 with a set of Victornox knives which I longed to upgrade to J.A.Henckels knives, and a dream to travel the world.

I was blessed to accomplish both.

For 10 years I travelled and cooked my way  across four continents, collecting a Henckel knife as a memento at each destination.

In 2000 I decided  to park my passport and trade my back packer’s accommodation for a grown up house in the suburbs, I bought myself one last travel souvenir: a wooden knife block to store my knives in. ( pictured below)       Would you believe that until this time I had simply wrapped my knives in felt squares and packed them between my clothes in my luggage?   Prior to 9/11 airport security was not as it is today!

 My knives and their block stand on the counter in my kitchen and I use them daily, for cooking at home and preparing food for photoshoots.  A worthwhile investment with a collection of treasured memories, they are my "must have" for every good stylists tool box!

 I wonder what  your favourite kitchen tool, gadget, or appliance is?  

I would love to hear from you.



 My favourite, can't live without kitchen companions.


 My set of Zwilling Henckel knives collected over the years.

I prefer...

Thanks for popping past, I hope you enjoy your visit.

I thought I would share a bit more about myself.

In future posts I will be sharing about what I do, but first a little of who I am,

I prefer winter to summer, cold to hot and snow to sand.
I prefer tea to a tipple , and I prefer cooking to cleaning.
I prefer restaurants to take aways, and I prefer hotels to camping.
I prefer dogs to cats.
I prefer careful & calculated to risky and dangerous,
I prefer kind and considerate to stubborn and sulky, and generosity to extravagance.
I prefer well groomed to made up or made over.
I prefer living to existing.
I prefer Sundays to Saturdays.
I prefer conversation to television.
I prefer breakfast to dinner, and sunset to sunrise.
I prefer silver to gold, diamonds to pearls, and will not say no to either!
I prefer optimistic to pessimistic
I prefer safety to paranoia.
I prefer babies to children.
And finally I prefer flexible to inflexible; so, none of the above is set in stone.

I would love to hear about some of your likes and preferences.. please drop me a line.



Styling: Wordless Wednesday

I love flowers, flowers and more flowers, what else can I say...
See you Friday !



Behind the scenes on SAVOUR

From beginning to end, one rule reigns - make sure there's good coffee (and plenty of it!)

What does a food stylist do? (Part 1)

So the book is here, on the shelves of Exclusive Books (happy dance) and I am listed in the credits as food and decor stylist. Great! But what does that actually mean, and what is involved, and what does a food stylist do? It's a good question, and one I am often asked, so I'll explain my role on a food shoot and what is involved.

In January I was approached by Marc Hirschowitz and his two co-authors about an idea they had for a recipe book. They had an arrangement with the publisher Random House Struik to publish the book, but that was a long way off. First they needed a photographer and a stylist. This is where Vanessa Lewis and I came in. We have worked together for many years and although we do not have an exclusive relationship (we sometimes date other stylists or photographers), we have developed a great understanding and synergy. Our favourite Whatsapp line to each other is:

Ok, so back to the food styling: how do we go from a few recipes typed or scribbled to a magnificent 300-page bound book with glossy paper and a grosgrain ribbon? The answer is much sweat, very little sleep on my part, and much hard work, a lot of laughs ( a few tears too, I 'm not going  to lie to you), a LOT of coffee and an uncountable number of emails, SMSes and Whatsapps.

A food stylist's job is to (1) make the food that is to be photographed look as appealing and appetizing as possible,  and (2) present the prepared food in such a way that it engages the reader so that upon seeing the completed picture in the book, the reader exclaims "Oh I want to make, eat, have that!". This means not only shopping, preparing and cooking the actual ingredients for the recipes (more about that topic later), but also creating a clear vision regarding the way in which the food is to be presented. For example, is it garnished? And with what?  Are there accompaniments such as rice or bread, additional food items that give the recipe context. For example a pasta recipe is usually served with grated parmesan cheese, extra Italian bread if it has a creamy sauce to "mop up" and even a glass of wine or water. This is how you would serve it at home, and how you might be served in a restaurant, and it's what we call "lifestyle setting" and the first step for the food stylist.
...beautiful plates in the chapter Spice which I inherited from my Granny
The next question is, how will the food be presented; will it be served in a bowl, or on a plate, a serviette or board? These items are crucial to the serving of the cooked food and we call these items "soft props". Most stylists will have a basic collection of these items that they may have built up over the years in the industry, such as the beautiful plates in the chapter Spice on page 186 which I inherited from my Granny, and have added to over the years. There are other more unusual props such as the organic recycled take away containers and plates, and cutlery in the chapter Immigrant on page 242 which had to be specifically sourced from a particular supplier (thank you to Green Home). Then sometimes the perfect prop requires an extra talent, such as the hand sewn napkin in Slurp or the knitted chapter opener for the chapter Soup. Yes - I cook, knit and iron on shoots!
Then sometimes the perfect prop requires an extra talent, such as the hand sewn napkin in Slurp or the knitted chapter opener for this soup chapter.
Next come the "hard props" which are the surfaces to be used, the decor items required and the backgrounds (which although often not that obvious, are crucial to the overall look of the picture). In SAVOUR, all the backgrounds were chosen and even specially constructed so the whole chapter would have a continuous theme, for example the chapter Love is a large framed chalkboard I had in my business and actually hung in my shop for many years. It made the perfect "serving platter" on which we placed all the food in the different containers, all highlighting the Love theme: heart shaped breadboards, heart shaped bowls and beautiful heart ribbon. The chapter Spice is photographed on the plates I mentioned previously, but would you believe the surface is actually an old workbench and tool cupboard that we uncovered in a garage? After a little Handy Andy, it was good to go! And construction? Yes, that too, the surface in the braai/BBQ chapter Sizzle is a tongue and groove panel that was purchased raw from a local hardware store; it then had to be assembled, painted, distressed and sanded all by yours truly (with help in the sanding department from Vanessa and Karen) and which became our "anchor" for the design of the entire chapter.
...the surface in the braai/BBQ chapter Sizzle is a tongue and groove panel that was purchased raw from a local hardware store; it then had to be assembled, painted, distressed and sanded...
Now I hear you asking, how do you think of all these things? Um I mentioned the little sleep right? And the coffee, and all the emails?
I'll tell you more about the conceptualisation process in the next blog post, so came back soon!

Love Taryne
cheese board