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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Cappuccino Pavlova

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Cappucino Pavlova

Another brilliant recipe from Nigella Lawson.

Coffee and Pavlova, could there be a better combination? I think not.

Ingredients

  • 250 gram(s) caster sugar
  • 4 teaspoon(s) coffee (instant espresso powder not instant coffee)
  • 4 egg white(s)
  • 2 teaspoon(s) cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) white wine vinegar
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon(s) cocoa powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a flat oven sheet with baking parchment and, using a 23cm cake tin, draw a circle on it.
  2. Mix the sugar with the instant espresso powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a clean, grease-free metal bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they are holding soft peaks. Keep whisking while you add the sugar-coffee mixture a tablespoon at a time.
  4. When you have a firm, ecru-coloured meringue, fold in the cornflour and vinegar using a grease-free metal spoon.
  5. Dollop the meringue mixture inside the drawn circle. Smooth and shape it with a spatula so that it looks rather like the crown of a boater: it must be flat on top.
  6. Put it in the oven and immediately turn down to 150°C and cook for an hour. Switch off the oven and leave inside until cool.
  7. Once the base is cool, lift it carefully in its paper and place it top-side down on a flat plate and peel off the paper.
  8. Whip the double cream until thick but soft and spread delicately over the top of the meringue. With a teaspoon, push the cocoa through a fine sieve or tea strainer to decorate the top, cappuccino-style.

Sarah Richardson’s Red Dining Room

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I am a huge fan of designer Sarah Richardson. At the risk of sounding gushy her designs are the perfect mix of old and new, and she has the most artful eye when it comes to the fabric choices in her designs.

If you are not already a fan you have to see one her many (often re-run) interior design shows on the Lifestyle Home channel or HGTV please do your self a favour and have a look at some of her beautiful work at http://www.sarahrichardsondesign.com

Being a lover of RED this dining room is my dream…..

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Colourful Outdoor Living

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Queen of love throne chairs

Queen of Love throne outdoor chairs by Italian design house Moro Pigatti

Outdoor living and entertaining is one area that you can be brave in your colour choices. If you are like me and extremely safe with your interior colour schemes, your outdoor area is something that you can experiment with by trying brighter options as this area of the house can be changed so easily.

Seasonal change dictate our outdoor living habits so Spring and Summer is the time that we entertain the most outside, so using colour  need not be permanent out here and can be changed as simply a bright dinner setting or a coat of paint to some wooden furniture. You could even be a little braver and paint a feature wall if you have one as a really bright wall outside looks fabulous as a garden backdrop but inside could be quite disastrous.

Pink wall

Pink wall nicewalldecor.com

Garden furniture designers are beginning to manufacture brighter pieces and most stores now stock really colourful cushions and table accessories to give a really vibrant look to your outdoor space.

Be brave and try something different in the warmer months to give your outdoor space a real lift, you will be glad you did.

Rattan coloured lanterns

Rattan Coloured Lanterns from Urban Spice

Bacon Wrapped Potatoes

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bacon wrapped potatoes

I just found this recipe on Martha Stewart and had to share. You would be hard pressed to find someone at a BBQ that didn’t like these and they are so simple to make.

Ingredients

  • 8 bacon slices, cut in half crosswise
  • 16 small potatoes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Wrap each bacon piece around a potato and secure with a toothpick. Place in a baking dish and bake until bacon is crisp and potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 50 min

Pottery Barn Coming to Australia

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I must admit I have long been a Pottery Barn tragic and was thrilled a couple of years ago when they started shipping to Australia. You can imagine my joy when I found that they are actually opening a store later this year in Sydney’s Bondi Junction Exchange building.

Hopefully this will mean that furniture will now be available for shipping around Australia because at present they don’t ship any larger items to Australia because of the obvious high cost involved.

Along with Williams Sonoma another American retailer of high quality kitchenware the Bondi Junction  location will be the only Australian retail outlet so here’s hoping that everything will be available online as living in Perth I wont get a chance to often visit (insert frowny face) the store.

If you aren’t yet familiar with Pottery Barn you should really check out their website http://www.potterybarn.com/ , but be prepared to waste a good couple of hours doing so.

Madge

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Australia Day Party Ideas

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With Australia Day fast approaching now is the time to get some ideas together if you are celebrating the day with family or friends.

Australia Day food means different things to different people depending on your cultural background but here are some simple classic suggestions for a lunch or dinner celebration especially for outdoor dining.

Seafood is a definite crowd pleaser so why no go for the simplest of seafood options, some whole prawns with some lemon wedges on the side to start with, just be sure to put out some finger bowls for your guests.

For a simple main course you cant get more Aussie than a burger cooked on the BBQ, why not try something a little bit more special by using lamb mince in the meat patty and using a Greek style mint yoghurt for a condiment. Let your guests build their own to suit their taste by offering a number of different filling options.

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Bowl available at Urban Spice Homewares

You really cant go wrong serving a berry Pavlova for dessert and the colours of our red, white and blue flag can be achieved using just raspberries, blueberries and of course the white of the Pavlova and cream.

Keep outdoor tables simple by using a plain white table cloth and bring in some colour with your plates, napkins and any decorations you choose. Try sticking with the red, white and blue primary colours. For a novel way to display cutlery grab some glass jars, line with a red or blue napkin and stand your cutlery in the jars.

Whatever you are doing on the day be sure to find time to relax and enjoy the holiday!

Madge

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Picture source – Pinterest

Raspberry Basil Limoncello Cocktail

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Ingredients

  • 1 pint fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 lemon, cut into sixths, plus wheels for garnish
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup, chilled (more if you prefer the cocktail a little sweeter)
  • 2 ounces Limoncello
  • 4 ounces citron vodka
  • Crushed ice
  • Sparkling rose wine, chilled

Directions

Combine the raspberries, basil, lemons and simple syrup in a small pitcher and muddle until the raspberries are mashed. Add the Limoncello and vodka. Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Put crushed ice into rocks glasses and add some of the raspberry mixture. Fill to the top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon and raspberries and basil sprigs if desired.

Recipe from – http://www.foodnetwork.com/bobby-flay/index.html