Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cookie Couture



There’s no such thing as too much chocolate, but mix it up a bit this Easter with some adorable hand-iced Gingerbread eggs, bunnies and little chicks all beautifully boxed for your friends and family. Contact Cookie Couture for more information on custom made boxes.

Easter range stockists:

ALFRESCO EMPORIUM

1021 Pittwater Road, Collaroy, (02) 9972 9999
CRAVE DELI
98 Bellevue Rd, Bellevue Hill, (02) 9328 6429
32 Darling St, Balmain, (02) 9818 3354

MY LITTLE CUPCAKE
62 Ben Boyd Rd, Neutral Bay (02) 9909 3908

NUTORIOUS
QVB Building, George St, Sydney

THE DELI
Shop5, 65 Macleay Street, Potts Point, (02) 9358 1266

WE TAKE THE CAKE
59 Birrell St, Queens Park (02) 9387 8522

CHICKEN AND FISHHEAD
3 Wongala Crescent, Beecroft, 0404 201 321

Visit Cookie Couture 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trash to Treasure


Create a beautiful old mirror from an old one…
 
Gather your supplies
  • Oval mirror on stand
  • Dulux Wash & Wear 101 Advanced Low Sheen in Cool
  • 4 decorative timber mouldings
  • Wood glue
  • Adhesive size
  • Silver leaf
  • Matt varnish
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Paintbrush
  • Stencil brush

Here’s how
 
Step 1 Mask and sand, then apply 2 coats of basecoat to mirror, stand and mouldings. Allow it to dry between coats.

Step 2 Glue mouldings to top and bottom of mirror and sides of the stand. Allow glue to set.

Step 3
Apply a thin coat of size over frame and stand. Leave for about 15-20 minutes until tacky.Step 4 Lay sheets of silver leaf carefully onto surface of frame and stand. Tamp down with stencil brush and leave for 2-3 hours. Then, using same brush and a soft circular motion, remove any overhanging leaf pieces. Carefully sand silver-leaf surface, allowing a hint of basecoat to show through for a burnished and slightly distressed look. Apply a coat of varnish to protect the finish against any moisture and oxidation. 

Visit Better Homes and Gardens for more great tutorials like this one…






Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Recipes

With Easter fast approaching, now is the time to get prepared! We have found a great selection of recipes to fill your tummies over the Easter long weekend. From traditional hot cross buns through to Hot Cross Truffles and Easter Bunny Biscuits, you will be sure to have a fantastic time cooking and more importantly eating these treats! 



Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups currants
  • 40g butter
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • Flour paste

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water

  • Glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar


  • Method
    Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and currants in a large bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add milk. Heat for 1 minute, or until lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to currant mixture. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix until dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.

    Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

    Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Preheat oven to 190°C.

    Make flour paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.

    Make glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    Notes
    These buns are best eaten on the day they are made. Otherwise, freeze for up to 7 days. To defrost in microwave, place 1 hot cross bun onto a sheet of paper towel. Heat, uncovered, for 45 to 50 seconds on MEDIUM-LOW (DEFROST) (30%) power. Stand for 1 minute.


    Hot cross truffles by Taste.com.au
    Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten during Easter, but these fruity spiced chocolate truffles look just like them and taste even better!
    Preparation Time
    60 - 290 minutes
    Cooking Time
    20 minutes
    Makes
    10
    Ingredients
             2 x 100g pkts Lindt Excellence Extra Creamy milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
             80ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream
             60g (1/3 cup) dried mixed fruit
             1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
             1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
             1 x 375g pkt milk chocolate melts
             150g white chocolate melts

    Method
    Place milk chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

    Remove any whole cherries from the mixed fruit. Add the mixed fruit, mixed spice and cinnamon to chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Cover and place in the fridge for 3 hours or until firm.

    Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Use your hands to roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls. Place on the lined tray. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.

    Place the milk chocolate melts in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until chocolate melts and is smooth. Use a truffle dipper or a fork to dip 1 truffle into the melted chocolate to evenly coat. Remove truffle, tapping the dipper handle gently on the edge of the bowl to shake off excess chocolate. Place on the lined tray. Set aside for 10 minutes to set.

    Place white chocolate melts in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until chocolate melts and is smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 4mm plain nozzle. Pipe a cross on the top of each truffle. 

    Set aside for 10 minutes to set. Serve.
    Notes
    Time plan tip: Make up to 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.


    Easter bunny biscuits by Taste.com.au
    Makes
    16
    Ingredients
             125g butter, softened
             1/2 cup caster sugar
             1 egg yolk
             2 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup
             2 cups plain flour
             1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
             3 teaspoons ground ginger
             1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
             1 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
             1/2 small lemon, juiced
             ribbon, for decoration

    Method
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
    Using an electric mixer, cream butter and caster sugar until pale and creamy. Add egg yolk and golden syrup. Beat to combine. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon together over butter mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a stiff dough.
    Press dough into a 10cm round. Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Place, between baking paper, on a tray. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
    Using an 8cm rabbit shaped biscuit cutter, cut 16 biscuits from dough. Place on prepared trays. Using a chopstick or skewer, punch 1 hole at the top of each biscuit and make small indentations on biscuits to decorate.
    Bake for 15 minutes or until firm to touch. Allow to cool on trays (biscuits will firm further on cooling).
    Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Gradually add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and stir until icing is smooth. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Squeeze out air and seal. Using scissors, snip 1 corner from bag and pipe icing on biscuits. Allow icing to set. Thread ribbon through holes. Serve.
    Notes
    You can bake biscuits up to 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container.

    For more great Easter recipes visit http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/easter




Friday, March 26, 2010

Iconic Heritage and Style...


With this season’s interior trends heralding the revival of pattern and elegance, Wedgwood has turned to its incomparable design archives paying homage to its iconic heritage and style with the release of two stunning new fine bone china tableware ranges Renaissance Gold and Anthemion Blue.

In-line with today’s growing consumer desire to rediscover and celebrate the beauty of lost skills, Renaissance Gold and Anthemion Blue represents a re-birth of the Wedgwood style and a celebration of design and craft skills for which the Wedgwood brand is so renowned.

Featuring a breathtaking anthology of newly designed shapes created especially for Wedgwood’s 250th anniversary, Renaissance Gold and Anthemion Blue deliberately includes all the essential pieces for elegant dining, providing an open invitation for lovers of luxury to rediscover English craftsmanship at its finest.

Elements of architectural grandeur and artistic brilliance famous of the Renaissance era are combined with sparkling originality in Renaissance Gold, delivering an indulgent tableware range steeped in authenticity while achieving a contemporary look for today’s table.

Featuring deep blue embellished with gold gilding, the pattern design combines elegant interior design motifs, such as the laurel border favoured by neo-classical architect and designer Robert Adam with the pure oval form of the celebrated Wedgwood cameo. Bold blue accents are also used to give scale and impact, making Renaissance Gold as iconic as it is striking.

Deliberately opulent, unashamedly extravagant, Anthemion Blue celebrates 250 years of Wedgwood’s allegiance to art and fine fashion.  Showcasing the Company’s exquisite attention to detail, each piece is individually hand-decorated by skilled Wedgwood craftsmen, including the application of rich cobalt borders, classical relief ornaments and raised gold gilding.

With its traditional colonnades, laurel leaf borders, anthemion palmettes and the classical cameo figure of Terpsichore, the Greek muse, of which are all so synonymous with Wedgwood iconography, Anthemion Blue is today’s embodiment of classical and expressive design – luxurious and individual.

Renaissance Gold and Anthemion Blue are available from April 2010 in selected David Jones and Myer department stores, Peter’s of Kensington and specialty home and giftware retailers.

Stockist enquires call 1300 852 022 or visit website www.wedgwood.com.au

Sheer Leaves


Skeletal ghosts of leaves linger like memory, layering this subtle design with nature’s indelible beauty. Embroidered in a delicate pattern of bark, charcoal, cloud and sky, Sheer Leaves has the soft milky tones of a  winter’s day…  Aura by Tracie Ellis Sheer Leaves ; an escape to the great indoors.

Visit Aura

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Arrivals at Brown Button Trading...


Brown Button Trading has some great new arrivals, including these super-cute and colourful Crayon Cups - the perfect way to brighten up your morning coffee!

Visit http://www.brownbuttontrading.com.au for more great new arrivals, including gorgeous invitations, candles and piggy banks!

Cristina Re for Mother's Day

Cristina Re has everything you need for Mother's Day this year...



Gorgeous gift ideas from beautiful silk pillows to delicately wrapped chocolate and specialty teas – a flavour to suit all types of mums.

 


(Luscious Lemon with lemongrass, Ginger and lemon myrtle or forbidden fruit with blackberry, hibiscus and orange or enchanted rose with earl grey, sunflower and rose petals or exotic licorice with peppermint, ginseng and wolfberry).


OR she may prefer a gift voucher for either a high tea party with her friends or a crafty workshop (origami to personalised stationary at the ‘where a girl goes’ store in Collingwood, Vic).

Visit www.cristinare.com

Vera Wang for Wedgwood: Ikat Collection




We just love fashion designer Vera Wang, and we simply can't get enough of her new range for Wedgwood; the Ikat collection is just gorgeous…

The funky and vibrant colour tones of Ikat, married with the sparkle of Wedgwood bone china, make an irresistibly zesty combination that reflects Vera Wang's unique ability to fuse fashion chic with home wares.

A bold design that is as luxurious as it is simple and laidback; Ikat demonstrates again the ease with which Vera Wang makes the design transition from catwalk to tabletop.

Visit Wedgwood and build your own collection…

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Marie Claire Fresh And Fast: Simply Delicious Healthy Food



marie claire Fresh + Fast is the first in a sequence of three exciting new marie claire cookbooks. They will each offer the quality and style synonymous with this internationally popular brand, presented in a fresh and vibrant new format. marie claire Fresh + Fast contains more than 100 outstanding new recipes from Michele Cranston, each with the focus on fresh ingredients that can be put together quickly and easily to produce delicious and nutritious meals, snacks, desserts and drinks for good health and vitality.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Winter 2010 Collection from Aura by Tracie Ellis


Audacious prints. Unapologetic colours. Fabulous textures. The elements of AURA combine in an alchemy of beauty and enchantment.

But it's also a potent blend of luxury and comfort - high thread count fibres, sumptuous details and hand-crafted finishes.
AURA is a declaration of independence: the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness in the bedroom…

Visit AURA for more details on the new Winter 2010 range

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gorgeous Bathroom


For a truly romantic bathroom, you can't go past this one with it's antique mirrors, chandelier and curtain. Imagine coming home from work after a long, hard day at the office and relaxing in a warm bath surrounded by this! Absolute bliss…

Visit Delights by Design for more information on this beautiful bathroom…


Friday, March 19, 2010

Survival for the Active Family


http://rgr-static1.tangentlabs.co.uk/images/ar/97817423/9781742373058/0/0/plain/survival-for-the-active-family.jpg
Survival For The Active Family by Burke and Australian Institute of Sport Staff

Produced in association with the Australian Institute of Sport, a lavishly illustrated cookbook featuring recipes for healthy fuss-free, family meals as well as tips for incorporating activity into even the busiest family life. Since the first AIS cookbook Survival for the Fittest was published our understanding of the importance of food and nutrition for an active and healthy lifestyle has continued to grow. Also, many of the athletes to feature in the book have become parents and are now experiencing the pleasures, and problems, of food and family. 

A family's main interaction is often over food, and food habits develop from the family experience. But a busy life makes it challenging to eat well and be active. It can be difficult to share meals and involve your children in cooking, but it's this experience that helps them to develop healthy diets and healthy attitudes to food. This fourth cookbook is full of recipes and tips to help you create fuss-free, healthy meals for your family. Some of the AIS past and present athletes share their stories of food and family, and the Institute's activity experts share tips on incorporating activity into your family's life. The aim is to provide that extra bit of motivation to lead a healthy, active family.

Visit Angus & Robertson

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tea Party Fever...



With its charismatic characters and stunning avant-garde visuals, this month’s cinematic release of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ has seen tea party fever sweep the nation!

Yet, long before Lewis Carroll wrote his beloved story, Wedgwood has been adding beauty and glamour to this most English ritual for more than two centuries and in continuing its enduring love for tea-time, Wedgwood now introduces two delightful new ranges to its popular Harlequin Collection – bringing Mad Hatter frivolity back to the tea table!

Epitomising fashions love affair for all things past, the unashamedly romantic ‘Queen of Hearts’ tea story features delicate red heart motifs enhanced by precious 22 carat gold gilding in an assortment of delightful shapes, including a two-tiered cake stand, sugar and creamer set, 15cm set of 2 plates, teacup and saucer and teapot.

With a theme of vintage romance, the exquisitely pretty and whimsical ‘Cuckoo’ range takes its design inspiration from the nineteenth century ‘Chinese Flower and Bird’ motif from Wedgwood’s pattern archive and reinterprets it with a decorative twist.

Produced in fine bone china with 22 carat gold trimming, the Cuckoo range features a soft colour palette of pastel pink, green, blue and peach and offers all the essential items for a traditional high-tea, including teacups and saucers, teapot, sugar and creamer, cake plates, sandwich tray and a two-tiered cake stand.

Presented in gorgeous Harlequin hat box packaging, the new Wedgwood ‘Queen of Hearts’ and ‘Cuckoo’ ranges make a charming choice for gift giving and will inspire a new generation to rediscover the pleasure of tea-time without the stuffy formality.

Available now from selected David Jones and Myer department stores and independent home and giftware retailers.

Stockist enquiries call 1300 852 022 or visit www.wedgwood.com.au