Friday, January 28, 2011

Jamie's 30 Minute Meals… 

After watching Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals over Christmas, we thought it would be a great idea to share the book with you! Packed full of quick and easy, and also YUMMY recipes, Jamie will show us all how to whip up fabulous meals in no time at all!

About the Book:
I'm going to show you how to put a whole meal on the table in 30 minutes flat! Not just one dish, a whole spread of beautiful things. If, like me, you love food, and have hungry mouths to feed when you get home after a long day, then allow me to let you in on a totally revolutionary new way of cooking. In this book I'm going to show you how to make a complete meal in the time you'd normally spend on one dish. What you'll be able to achieve in just 30 minutes will absolutely blow your mind. It's certainly blown mine! This is not about compromising on quality. It's about being organised, working fast and using shortcuts and clever tricks to put insanely delicious plates of food on the table in no time. 

Each of the 50 meals inside has been carefully written so there's no faffing about, just good, fast cooking. I've created complete menus of food that go beautifully together and planned the recipes in a really unique, easy-to-follow way. This kind of cooking is all about using every minute wisely, having fun, and reclaiming your kitchen for the job it was meant for. You might think it can't be done, but I promise you it can. Have a look inside to see the sort of meals you're going to get. Once you start cooking this way, not only will you absolutely love it; you'll never look back.

Available from
Angus & Robertson

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Chandon and Riedel have got your romantic Valentine's Day celebration covered with a delicious Chandon Vintage Brut Rosé, as well as a stunning Riedel Bliss Decanter and Pink Toasting Flutes… perfect!

Visit Chandon and Riedel

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Caramel Cheesecake

You can't say no to this caramel cheesecake – it makes the perfect dessert or afternoon treat…

  • 250g packet Choc Ripple Biscuits
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 750g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 / 2 cup cream
  • 1 / 4 cup plain flour
Caramel Topping
  • 380g can Nestle Top‘n’Fill
  • 1 / 2 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tsps gelatine
  • 1 tblsp water
  1. Line the base and side of a deep 22cm round springform cake pan (base measures 20cm) with two layers of baking paper, extending paper 4cm above edge of pan.
  2. Process biscuits in a food processor until finely crushed. Add butter, process until well combined. Spread mixture over base of prepared pan. Then, using a flat-based drinking glass, press crumb mixture until firm. Refrigerate. 
  3. To make filling, beat cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Beat in cream and flour, until mixed well.
  4. Pour filling over biscuit base. Cook in a moderately slow oven (160C) for 1 hour, or until centre is just firm to touch. Cool cheesecake in oven with door slightly ajar. Refrigerate until cold.
  5. To make Caramel topping, whisk Top‘n’Fill, cream and golden syrup in a pan over a low heat, until smooth. Transfer to a heatproof jug.
  6. Sprinkle gelatine over water in a heatproof jug. Stand jug in a pan of simmering water and stir over heat until dissolved. Whisk into caramel mixture. Cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes, or until mixture thickens slightly.
  7. Pour caramel over cake, refrigerate to set.
  8. Remove cheesecake from pan. Decorate with chocolate ribbons to serve.
To make the chocolate ribbons, we used Plaistowe Classic Milk Cooking Chocolate. Run a vegetable peeler lengthways down the side of room temperature chocolate to form ribbons.
Source: New Idea

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Golden Globes 2011

The 2011 Golden Globes winners are…

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Winner: The Social Network
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King’s Speech

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Winner: The Kids Are All Right
Alice in Wonderland
The Tourist

Best Director - Motion Picture
Winner: David Fincher - The Social Network
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan - Inception
David O. Russell - The Fighter

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Winner: Colin Firth - The King's Speech
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
James Franco - 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling - Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg - The Fighter

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Winner: Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Halle Berry - Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy
Winner: Paul Giamatti - Barney's Version
Johnny Depp - Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp - The Tourist
Jake Gyllenhaal - Love and Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey - Casino Jack

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy
Winner: Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway - Love and Other Drugs
Julianne Moore - The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone - Easy A
Angelina Jolie -The Tourist

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Winner: Christian Bale - The Fighter
Michael Douglas - Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Winner: Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Mila Kunis - Black Swan
Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom

Cecil B. DeMille Award: Robert De Niro

Make sure you visit The Bride's Diary's Fashion & Beauty blog for the red carpet style…

Monday, January 17, 2011

Moët & Chandon Returns to Heritage in New International Advertising Campaign, starring Scarlett Johansson

Paris, January 2011– Moët & Chandon today announced a new international advertising campaign featuring Scarlett Johansson, celebrity ambassador for the brand since March 2009. Developed by Paris-based Works Advertisement Agency and shot by renowned British photographer Tim Walker in Fall 2010, the campaign consists of three photographs that embody the sense of glamour, grandeur and generosity inherent to the brand.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please visit:

Revisiting Moët & Chandon’s original advertising campaign that introduced Scarlett Johansson as the brand’s first celebrity ambassador, Walker’s new photographs bring to life the rich heritage and savoir-faire of the world’s leading champagne.

“Moët & Chandon, the most loved champagne since 1743, is a universal symbol of joie de vivre and success. This new campaign highlights a return to the immutable elegance and glamour that are inherent to both Moët and Scarlett” said Moët & Chandon President & CEO Daniel Lalonde.

Shot on occasion of Moët & Chandon’s “Tribute to Heritage” celebration in September 2010, the campaign’s three visuals depict Johansson at Trianon, an impressive residence built by Jean- Rémy’s Moët between 1805-1817 on the Moët & Chandon Estate in Epernay, France. Combining extravagant staging with romantic motifs, the images reflect Walker’s signature style.

In the first image, Johansson holds in hand a bottle of Moët, which she looks upon with warmth and sensuality, evoking the brand’s allure.

In the second image, a time-lapse photograph sequence of five spontaneous images captures the star’s playful smiles and casual gestures, revealing her extraverted nature.

In the third image, Johansson perches precariously on a wooden ladder in one of the Trianon salons, above a generous champagne cascade – a grand gesture invented by Moët, reflecting the brand’s characteristic joy of accomplishmentand accomplishment of joy.

The campaign includes print, outdoor and online advertising.

Recognized for its quality and prestige, Moët & Chandon is the champagne of cinema. Moët has been the official champagne of the Golden Globes for almost two decades, and the official champagne of the Oscars®. Generations of legendary actors, actresses, producers and directors have celebrated with Moët & Chandon.   

Campaign by British Photographer Tim Walker Highlights Grandeur and Glamour of the World’s Most Loved Champagne… 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jane Austen's Sewing Box


We just love this book, available from Amazon… it would make the perfect gift for that special lady in your life…

Jane Austen's Sewing Box opens a window into the lives of Regency women during a beautiful period in arts, crafts and design. Jennifer Forest examines Jane Austen's novels and letters to reveal a world where women are gripped by crazes for painting on glass and netting purses, economise by trimming an old bonnet, or eagerly turn to their sewing to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. Based on Jane Austen's novels and with illustrated step-by-step instructions for eighteen craft projects, this beautifully presented book will delight Jane Austen fans, lovers of history and literature and craft enthusiasts alike. 
Visit Amazon

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Furniture Makeover

Take to the furniture – whether it be wood or metal – with a wire brush and sandpaper, and finish off with paint. Include the garden umbrella in the revamp with fun polka-dot additions to its cover, and scatter matching cushions on chairs and benches. With your outdoor setting looking its absolute best for summer, you can reward yourself – with a gelato, of course! This fabulous tutorial is from Better Homes and Gardens - be sure to visit the website for more great tutorials like this one!
Gather your supplies :
  • Slat timber outdoor table
  • Tarpaulin
  • Wire brush
  • Electric sander with 120-grit sandpaper
  • Dulux Weathershield Low Sheen Acrylic in White, Featherbed (light blue), Passion Flower (pink), Cream Cake (cream), Vision (mauve) and Spatial Spirit (light green)
  • Spray gun
  • Safety gear
  • Paintbrush
STEP 1 Lie your table on tarpaulin and sweep away cobwebs and dust. Then use wire brush to remove any flaking paint.

STEP 2 Working in direction of grain, sand top, bottom and legs of table with electric sander. When table is smooth, wipe away dust and it’s ready to be painted.

STEP 3 Dilute white paint by adding 100ml water per litre of paint. Fill spray gun bottle with diluted paint. Wearing safety gear, spray entire table surface. Let dry.

STEP 4 Working with outdoor paint in gelato-like colours and using a colour sequence of your choice, brush a different colour onto each slat. Let dry. Apply a second coat of paint.
Gather your supplies:
  • Old outdoor umbrella
  • 120-grit sandpaper and sanding block
  • Tarpaulin
  • White rust-resistant spray paint
  • Safety gear
  • Assorted cups, bowls and plates
  • Polka-dot cotton fabric
  • Fray Stop
  • Scissors
  • Fabric glue
  • Pencil
  • Lint-free cloth
STEP 1 Carefully remove umbrella cover and set aside. Working on tarpaulin, sand smooth umbrella arms and pole. Dust off then lightly spray-paint arms and pole white. Let dry.

STEP 2 Draw several circles of different sizes onto wrong side of polka-dot fabric. The easiest way to do this is to use a pencil to trace around various cups, bowls and plates.

STEP 3 To prevent raw edges of fabric from fraying, run a thin line of Fray Stop around pencil outline of each circle. Let dry, then use sharp pair of scissors to cut out each circle.

STEP 4 Re-fit cover on frame. Arrange circles on cover to your liking. Working with 1 circle (wrong-side up) at a time, run glue just inside fabric edge. Position circle (right-side up) on cover.

Whip up matching cushions, too. Just stitch two 42cm fabric squares, right-sides together, leaving a gap for filling. Turn right-side out, insert cushion and stitch gap closed. Easy!

Visit Better Homes & Gardens

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


2011 has arrived so get organised this year with a fabulous diary from Notemaker. Visit the 2011 Diary selector page, to make it super easy to find the right diary for you. Notemaker travels far and wide for the very best 2011 diaries and planners to help you through the year ahead and have some spoils to share! Notemaker offers 2011 Moleskine diaries, Filofax organisers, Delfonics diaries, Quo Vadis Diaries and planners, Family Planners, diaries by Cavallini & Co, O-Check Design Graphics, MMMG and a bunch of great wall calendars and desk calendars. Get in touch with Notemaker to arrange a diary consultation as they know how important your diary is! 

Visit Notemaker

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pretty Butterfly Cakes

These cute little cakes are the perfect afternoon tea.


  • 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lemon curd (see below)
  • 300ml thickened cream, lightly whipped
  • Pure sifted icing sugar, for dusting

Lemon Curd

  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornflour
  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten


1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a 12-hole ½-cup muffin tin with patty cases. Put flour, sugar, butter, buttermilk, egg and vanilla in the small bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 3-4 minutes or until creamy and thick; don't overbeat.
2. Spoon mixture evenly into patty cases. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly pressed with the fingertips. Remove from oven and stand on a wire rack to cool.
3. Cut out a circle from each cake top using a small sharp knife; cut circle in half to make the wings. Spoon lemon curd and cream into each hole, arrange wings on top and dust with icing sugar.
4. To make Lemon curd: Put juice, sugar and cornflour in a medium, heavy-based pan and stir until combined. Stir in butter, milk and egg. Put pan over a low heat and cook, stirring continuously, for 4-5 minutes or until thick.

Visit Yahoo 7 Lifestyle for more fabulous recipes like this