Thursday, June 30, 2011

Words to Inspire by kikki.K

Words to Inspire is a gorgeous collection of quotes by kikki.K, to motivate and inspire you every day. Embrace the power of words and the wisdom of others. Choose a new quote every day or enjoy at random. Each book includes over 100 quotes.

Visit kikki.K

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Karlstad Armchair

We just love the Karlstad armchair from IKEA. With its slim lines, colourful material and functional design, this armchair will look good in any room of the house!

Visit IKEA

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Small Kitchens that Live Large

A successful small kitchen needs an efficient layout, smart cabinetry, and plentiful storage. Better Homes & Gardens show us how it's done with this beautiful country cottage kitchen…

With budget smarts and a knack for DIY adventures, homeowners transform this kitchen into a bright and cheery gathering space. Cottage and vintage-inspired details bring charm to the tight space.

Although this kitchen's floor plan is on the small side, it appears spacious and inviting thanks to a few design tricks. Blocks of darker colors (on the floor and island) ground the area, while crisp white and creamy bisque on the appliances, trims, ceiling, and walls keep the room light. Small pockets of color, in the vintage accessories, give rhythm to the space and keep your eye dancing around the room.

An oversize apron-front sink was a generous addition to this petite kitchen. With plenty of landing space on both sides of the sink, there is enough countertop space to stack dirty dishes on one side and dry dishes on the other.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quick Chicken & Tomato Cserole

Monday nights call for something quick, easy and hearty. This casserole fits the bill perfectly.

Ingredients (serves 4) 
1 tbs plain flour 
4 small (120g each) chicken breast fillets 
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil 
1 onion, thinly sliced 
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
1/2 cup pitted black olives 
2 anchovies 
1 tbs chopped mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley), plus extra to garnish 
1 tbs baby capers, rinsed 
1 tbs red wine vinegar 
2 tbs tomato paste 
2 tbs sun-dried tomato pesto 
1/2 cup (125ml) red wine 
Pasta, to serve

1. Season flour with salt and pepper, then toss fillets in flour. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based pan over high heat, add chicken, quickly brown both sides, then set aside.
2. Add remaining oil to pan and fry onion over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until softened. 
3. Add garlic, olives, anchovies, herbs and capers, cook for 1 minute, then add vinegar. Mix paste, pesto, wine and 1 1/2 cups water (or stock). Add to pan with chicken and simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
4. Serve with pasta and top with herbs.
Visit Taste

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bill's Basics by Bill Granger

Bill Granger, restaurateur, television chef and food writer, works his magic on 100 other classic dishes from across the globe. Bill draws on his fondest food memories, then simplifies techniques, minimises fussy ingredient lists and gives these dishes a modern twist that is in tune with our busy lives and passion for fresh, healthy flavours. From Thai beef salad to lamb tagine, coq au vin to chocolate brownies, Singapore noodles to jam tart, this is the cheats guide to making the recipes every home cook wants to master. 

Available at all good bookstores.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wedgwood's Countryware Dinner Set

Wherever you live you can now escape to your own private place in the country. Just set your table with Wedgwood’s Countryware dinnerware collection, and you’re done. Countryware is a calming shade of classic plain white with raised patterns of leaves that decorates each piece.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pesto Linguine With Chicken & Zucchini

It's easy to relax with this family-friendly combo of pesto, chicken and parmesan that is ready in 25 minutes!

Ingredients (serves 4)
400g dried linguine pasta
Olive oil spray
1 (about 300g) single chicken breast fillet, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, trimmed, thinly sliced diagonally
2 garlic cloves, crushed
80g (1/3 cup) bought basil pesto
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely torn
20g (1/4 cup) coarsely grated parmesan

1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet directions or until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil spray to grease. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Increase heat to high. Add the zucchini and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
3. Add the chicken, zucchini mixture, pesto and basil to the pasta and toss to combine. Divide among serving bowls and top with the parmesan to serve.
- If you like a creamy pasta, add 125ml (1/2 cup) light thickened cream to the pasta mixture in step 3.
- To give this dish a slightly different flavour, replace the basil with 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill.
- Sun-dried tomato pesto linguine with zucchini & smoked salmon: Replace chicken with smoked salmon, thickly sliced. Replace the basil pesto with sun-dried tomato pesto. Replace the basil with 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint. 

Visit Taste

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cozy Color Schemes for Every Room

Create a warm and inviting atmosphere in any room of your home with one of these colorful looks from Better Homes & Gardens

Plum + Sand
In this snug bedroom, neutral basics – a dark wood bed frame and nightstand, tan walls, ivory chair, and duvet cover – cozy up with plum accents in the rug, blanket, pillow, curtains, and art. Purple can represent either cool or warm parts of the color spectrum, depending on the hue. Look for shades of purple that have a slightly red hue to pull out the warm tones in a room.

Blue + Green
Earthy shades of blue and green are an inviting mix for a welcoming room. Blues and greens find common ground in a cozy room when combined with khaki, beige, and dark brown. Rusty orange in the curtains and a gold-colored throw are the ideal layer for the chillier months ahead.

Aqua + Brown
Warm and soothing doesn't have to be boring. Faux bois wallpaper adds visual texture while the dark brown upholstered headboard adds warmth to the room. An aqua coverlet and crisp white sheets keep the room on the fresh side of cozy. A symmetrical arrangement of furniture and accent pieces furthers the calming mood of the room.

Salmon + Rose
The warm color palette in this enchanting bedroom begins with the walls. Paint in a deep, dusty taupe with whispers of rose creates a feeling of intimacy, while salmon-color silk taffeta draperies define the window and add sheen. A floral duvet on the bed blushes in shades of pink that are echoed in the painted lampshade.

Biscuit + Beige
A monochromatic look doesn't have to be boring. Decorated in various shades of cream and beige, this living room becomes interesting through the use of texture, shapely furnishings, and interesting decorative accents. Weathered metals, woven furniture, coral pieces, and pressed botanicals enhance the uncomplicated color scheme with tactile texture.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Take a Seat With Laura Ashley

Winter is the perfect time to invest in a high quality upholstered chair, footstool or bench seat for the ideal spot to read the weekend papers or favourite book.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Give in to charming choc concoctions this weekend with chocolate lava cakes!

Ingredients (makes 8)
180g dark chocolate, chopped
250g butter, chopped
plain flour, for dusting
4 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
Double cream and cocoa powder, to serve

1. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (75%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring with a metal spoon every 30 seconds, or until melted and combined. Cool completely.
2. Grease eight 175ml-capacity ceramic ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle with flour. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar for 8 to 10 minutes or until thick and creamy. Fold in chocolate mixture, then flour. Spoon mixture into prepared dishes. Freeze for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Place dishes on a baking tray. Bake for 16 minutes or until just set (cakes will wobble when touched).
4. Stand dishes for 1 minute. Turn onto plates. Top with cream. Dust with cocoa powder. Serve.

Visit Taste

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Strachan Figaro Cutlery

Strachan make cutlery that’s so elegant and refined, it’s in a class of its own! Something about Strachan makes every meal seem like a five course banquet. Even at a backyard barbeque, Strachan’s natural beauty and grace is sure to raise standards.

Figaro Hostess Set features:
Made from 18/10 stainless steel, with a polished mirror finish 
Presented in a stunning Strachan gift box
Dishwasher safe

Set Contains:
23cm Salad Spoon
23cm Salad Fork
25.5cm Cake Lifter
22cm Cheese Knife

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sketch – For Everyday Inspiration

Freshen up your stationery wardrobe with this stylish new collection…
Laptop Bag AU$89.95
 Pencil Case AU$16.95

Compendium AU$69.95

 A4 Everyday Notebook AU$9.95

Sketch is a stylish range from kikki.K designed for everyday use. Inspired by stationery love, simple forms and shapes, Sketch incorporates hand drawn details and motifs of bunting, arrows, circles and flags using a colour palette of greys and whites, with pops of blue.

Visit kikki.K

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lemon Butter Queen of Puddings

With winter well and truly underway, this royal dessert from Taste is guaranteed to warm you up. 

Ingredients (serves 6)
60g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
85g fresh white breadcrumbs
300ml milk
300ml thin cream
Zest of 1/2 lemon
3 eggs, separated
130g caster sugar
6 tbs lemon butter


1. Grease six 200ml ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle breadcrumbs into dishes. Gently warm the milk, cream, zest and unsalted butter in a saucepan over low heat. Beat egg yolks with 60g of sugar until pale. Stir in milk mixture, then pour over breadcrumbs. Soak for 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 170°C. Place dishes in a roasting pan and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up sides of dishes. Cover pan with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until just set. Remove dishes from pan and cool (this can be done up to 1 day in advance; keep refrigerated).
3. When ready to serve, whisk eggwhites until stiff peaks form; gradually beat in remaining sugar until thick and glossy. Spread 1 tablespoon of lemon butter on top of each custard, pile eggwhites on top, completely covering base and bake for 6-10 minutes or until light golden.

Visit Taste

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cushions Galore!

Snap a bargain from Freedom Furniture with these cushions from their online store. So many sizes, textures, colours and styles too choose from!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fresh Living Rooms

Whether your living room is the setting for party time, family time, or both, it deserves to be a showstopping space you love to be in. Better Homes & Gardens have shown us how to give your living room a fresh and inviting feel to it…

Hardwood floors, a cozy fireplace, and a green-and-white color scheme are standard cottage decor features. Shake up the standard by adding your own modern touch. Here, a modern personality is added with the clean, crisp lines of the fireplace, chair, and coffee table. Keep your modern accents within a similar style for a unified look.

Violet, in several hues, flows throughout this living room. Darker shades, like the piping on the sofa and chair cushions, ground the lighter colors. Touches of white add interest to a monochromatic color scheme.

When starting to decorate, begin with the basics of comfy seating and tables. If your decor is undecided, keep your basics neutral in color and style. Then, be on the hunt for accessories that reflect you. In this space, red end tables, green throw pillows, and bouquets of flowers start to build a casual garden theme.

Don't overlook the small spaces in your home. Lemon walls and raspberry furniture are vivid touches with a big impact. Neutral colors, antique accents, and crown molding add a posh feel. Combining bold features with more sedate elements can make the most of pint-size spaces.

Creamy white walls and window treatments are the backbone of this clutter-free room. Furniture with clean lines sticks with the streamlined look. A modern table pulls out for serving food and drinks. To maintain the crisp look, pick a single accent color in a modern shade, like bright orange. Replace with a new hue to change the look.

All-white rooms need a dose of personality. Throw pillows bring in a pop of green, blue, and pink in cottage-inspired patterns. But the addition is small enough as not to disturb the ambience of the crisp, white room. Different textures, like the bowl of shells, starfish, and a sisal rug, add depth to the room.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Winter Warmers From Linen House

Mornings have been pretty cold lately so it's tempting to stay in bed that little bit longer - or go to bed a little earlier! We love these winter warmers from Linen House to make your bed oh so cosy…

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whip up a batch of these gooey chocolate chip cookies and serve with a hot cup of tea.

Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 15 minutes
Makes 20

185g butter, softened
1 cup (200g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups (300g) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
200g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
2. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and combined sugars in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until well combined. Add the flour and baking powder and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the chocolate and stir to combine.
3. Roll 2 tablespoonsful of mixture into a ball. Place on the lined tray and gently flatten. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes (or a further 5 minutes for a crisper biscuit). Remove from oven and set aside on the tray to cool completely.

Add 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste for an added flavour. Add 1/2 cup walnuts or hazelnuts for a nutty twist. Replace the dark chocolate with white or milk.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Laura Ashley Floor Rugs

Winter is the perfect time to update your home with a new floor rug to keep those feet warm and Laura Ashley has a large variety to suit all tastes and budgets…