Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pizza Pie


Fast, simple and delicious! A pizza pie that the whole family will love.

Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)
2 sheets (25cm) ready-rolled frozen puff pastry
1/4 cup (60ml) tomato pizza sauce
1/2 cup (55g) coarsely grated mozzarella
50g shaved ham, coarsely chopped
4 salami slices, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (40g) pitted kalamata olives, thinly sliced
1/2 green capsicum, seeded, finely chopped
40g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly whisked

1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place a pastry sheet on the tray. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the pastry, leaving a 2cm border. Sprinkle with the cheese. Continue layering with the ham, salami, olives, capsicum and mushrooms.
2. Place remaining pastry sheet over the filling to enclose. Press the edges together to seal. Brush the pastry lightly with egg. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Remove from oven; cut into quarters to serve. Serve immediately.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Le Chasseur Cookware

Anyone who truly appreciates the art of fine cuisine will love Le Chasseur cookware! For the last seventy-five years, Le Chasseur has been made in Doncherry, in the northern part of France. The recipe for Le Chasseur is pretty simple – just take a strong, heavy core made from cast iron, and then add two coats of enamel. The first coat seals your cookware, protecting it from corrosion, while the second, coloured coat not only makes your Le Chasseur cookware easy to clean – it also gives it its distinctive, colourful finish. Cookware has never looked so good!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Macaroni Carbonara

For a quick and easy delicious Monday night dinner try this mouth-watering traditional carbonara pasta with crispy pancetta.

Ingredients (serves 4)
500g dried macaroni pasta
30g butter
100g pancetta (see note), roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 eggs, lightly beaten
100g parmesan cheese, grated

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook, following packet directions, until tender.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until pancetta is crisp.
3. Drain pasta and return to saucepan. Add egg, pancetta mixture, three quarters of the parmesan and salt and pepper. Toss over low heat until well combined. Spoon pasta into bowls. Top with remaining parmesan and serve.

You can buy pancetta from the supermarket deli. Bacon is also suitable.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

T2's Pu'erh

Widely known as a tonic for the body, Pu'erh has to be one of the most distinguished cuppa's going around. It is said to also aid digestion, help reduce cholesterol, and like any good wine - it improves with age. T2 has just released five new limited edition flavours to their mix. So if your tastebuds are singing out for a beautiful strong brew with earthy and smokey flavours, the Pu'erh is for you'erh. 

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mille Fleurs Collection & Romance Towels by Laura Ashley

Larua Ashley's new Mille Fleurs collection offers a very pretty colour palette of pinks and purples on white focused around the French meaning of 'a thousand flowers' which is perfect for Spring.

The collection includes bed linen, bone china high tea range, wallpaper, custom made curtains and blinds, toiletry bags, soaps, drawer liners, scented candles, tea towels, jewellery display case, two door white cabinet and a quirky 3-tiered cake stand lamp base perfect for precious bedside trinkets.

Larua Ashley's new Romance Towel collection features a timeless jacquard design with a luxurious velour finish and contrasting combed cotton on the reverse for absorbency. The Romance Towels come in 6 colours - Gladioli, Parchment, White, Egg Shell, Willow and Whisper.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Potato & Caramelised Onion Frittata

Served with a side of crisp salad, this potato and caramlised onion frittata makes for a delicious dinner.

Ingredients (serves 4)
40g butter
4 brown onions, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs thyme leaves
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 (about 500g) desiree potatoes, thinly sliced
6 free-range eggs, lightly whisked
1/2 cup (125ml) thickened cream
Thyme sprigs, to serve

1. Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the onion and garlic and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until onion is very soft and beginning to caramelise. Add the sugar, vinegar and thyme and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Add half the oil to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Add half the potato and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until lightly golden and tender. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining potato.

3. Preheat the grill on high. Heat the remaining oil in a small (15cm base measurement) frying pan over medium heat. Layer the potato and half the onion in the pan. Whisk the egg and cream together in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the potato mixture. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes or until the frittata is golden and set underneath. Remove from heat and place under the grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and just set. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Turn onto a clean work surface.

4. Cut the frittata into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature with remaining caramelised onions and thyme sprigs. 

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Get Ready For Spring With Sienna Caribbean

The breathtaking blue of tropical lagoons, Sienna in Caribbean is an island hopping adventure. A sultry, dreamy Peacock Blue meets the florid overgrowth of ancient jungles, entwining to create a quite bedroom oasis lapped gently by exotic tides. Sienna is available in Queen and King quilt covers, Standard and European pillowcases in Scarlet, Caribbean and Blackberry.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Add Curb Appeal To Your House

If your home's curb appeal makes a great first impression, everyone - including potential homebuyers - will want to see what's inside. Check out these simple, low-cost improvements from Better Homes & Gardens, that you can do in a day, a week, or a month.

Symmetry is not only pleasing to the eye, it's also the simplest to arrange. Symmetrical compositions of light fixtures and front-door accents create welcoming entryways. This door is flanked by two sidelights. The black lantern-style sconces not only safely guide visitors to the door, but also co-ordinate with the black door and urns.

House numbers, the entry door lockset, a wall-mounted mailbox, and an overhead light fixture are all elements that can add style and interest to your home's exterior. If they're out of date or dingy, your home may not be conveying the aesthetic you think it is. These elements add the most appeal when they function collectively, rather than as mix-and-match pieces. Oiled-bronze finishes suit traditional homes, while brushed nickel suits more contemporary ones.

Your home's front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Make a statement by giving your front door a blast of color with paint or by installing a custom wood door. Clean off any dirty spots around the knob, and use metal polish on the door fixtures. 

Low-voltage landscape lighting makes a huge impact on your home's curb appeal while also providing safety and security. Fixtures can add accent lighting to trees or the house or can illuminate a walking path. Save money and electricity by using solar fixtures.

The porch railings can deteriorate quickly if not treated properly. If your railings are past their prime, look for quality wood or metal components to replace the existing material. As with other improvements attached directly to the house, make sure the color, scale, design, details, and material are compatible with the home's main features.

Friday, July 8, 2011

An Apron Fit For A Master Chef

In 16 contemporary designs AURA's Aprons have been hand-crafted, using age old screen printing techniques on soft and durable pure cotton. Featuring adjustable neck strap, wrap around ties and a large front pocket, it's perfect for any aspiring master chef.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Winter Flowers

Shrug off the chill and lift your spirits with the beauty of winter’s most delicate flowers. It is not like spring, when plants awaken and explode into a kaleidoscope of colours, nor is it like summer, when each bloom tries to outdo the other. Winter is slower, gentler, but equally as precious as seasons go, full of magical surprises and fragrance.

Lavenders thrive in well-drained parts of the garden, and only require minimal watering. Lavenders cope well in exposed, sunny, open positions, and grow to one-metre, bun-shaped balls. They flower prolifically in winter and they respond well to pruning. Conduct two good prunings a year, after flowering, to cut back, followed by a fertiliser, such as blood and bone, to encourage quick re-growth.

Winter rose 
The winter rose is actually not a rose at all, but a low ground cover with shy, nodding flowers. They are perfect to pick, good to float in bowls and last forever. Hellebores are easy to grow and not demanding, plant them in soil enriched with compost or manure and give them light-dappled shade. They’re perfect beneath deciduous trees such as magnolias, crepe myrtles and maples, where winter sunshine will encourage more flowers and the summer canopy will protect them from too much heat.

Fairy primrose 
Primrose is lovely in winter growing 30cm-high in clusters of soft, lacy flowers in white, pink, lavender and magenta. Lasting one season, from winter to spring.

Paper daisy 
Another winter-flowering native which boasts thousands of starry-white flowers is the Rhodanthe paper star, a more compact form of the species. It loves well-drained soils and spilling over walls and covering the ground. Admired for its blue-grey foliage, papery-white flower petals and yellow centres, it may grow to 50cm. 

Give it a spot with morning sun and protection from cold winds. Sweet Daphne odora has clusters of small, starry, pale-pink flowers in winter. If you plant it in filtered sunshine, and moist, cool, humus-rich soil that is well drained and slightly acid, your daphne should last 10 years. 

Hardenbergia is winter’s favourite flowering native climber with royal-purple sprays of pea-shaped. It needs well-drained soil and semi shade – grow it along the ground, up fences, over an arbour, or entwined into other shrubs. 

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Laura Ashley New Home Collection: Far From Heaven

Laura Ashley has just introduces a stunning new collection for the home, Far From Heaven. A contemporary and elegant collection with a sophisticated colour palette of smoke, marble, sable and off white. Inspired by the city skyline of New York and apartment living, the key patterns are Manhattan, Empire Marble, Brooklyn Stripe and Madison.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Apple, Berry & Rosewater Pies

Finish your meal on a sweet note with this great apple, berry and rosewater pies recipe from Taste.

Ingredients (makes 6)
3 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
300g frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp rosewater 
2 tbsp milk
Icing sugar, to dust
Vanilla ice cream, to serve

1 2/3 cups plain flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, chopped, chilled
1 egg yolk

1. Peel and core apples, then cut into 1cm cubes. Place sugar and a cup of water in a saucepan. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, or until the apple begins to soften. Add berries and cook, uncovered, for a further 2-3 minutes, until the berries start to release juices. Stir the cornflour with the rosewater and 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Add the cornflour mixture to the berries and cook, stirring, for a further minute until thickened. Cool completely.
2. To make the pastry, place the flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and a pinch of salt and process until fine crumbs form. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons chilled water and process until the mixture comes together.
3. Turn out on to a work surface and shape into a smooth ball. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease 6 holes of a Texas (185ml) muffin pan. Roll out the pastry on a lightly-floured surface to 2-3mm thick. Use a 12cm pastry cutter to cut 6 rounds, then use to line the muffin holes. Divide the berry mixture among the holes. Bring the remaining pastry into a ball and roll out to 2-3mm thick.
5. Use a 9cm pastry cutter to cut out 6 rounds. Brush the pastry edges with water and top with the smaller rounds, then press edges together to seal. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with extra caster sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and leave in pan for 10 minutes before turning out. Dust with icing sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream.

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