Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rocky Road Brownie Slice

 

Stuck for Christmas gift ideas? Friends and family will love this deliciously good rocky road brownie slice!

Ingredients (makes 15)
Melted butter, to grease 
1/2 cup plain flour 
1/4 cup cocoa powder 
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
125g butter, melted
150g pink and white marshmallows, halved
50g slivered almonds
100g salted pistachio kernels
50g banana lollies, coarsely chopped 
3/4 cup Kellogg’s Coco Pops
100g glacé cherries, halved 
1/3 cup shredded coconut
200g milk chocolate, melted
100g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, melted

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Brush a 20 x 30cm slab pan with melted butter. Line the base and 2 long sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.
2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre. Add eggs and butter. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Set aside in the pan to cool completely.
3. Combine the marshmallow, almonds, pistachios, banana lollies, Coco Pops, cherry and coconut in a bowl. Add the combined chocolate and stir to combine. Spoon mixture over the cake. Tap pan on the bench to settle the mixture. Set aside to set completely. Cut into squares to serve. 

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Limoges Breakfast Cup & Saucer Sets


Every piece of Limoges Porcelain is painted and decorated by hand by French artists before it finds its way to your table. So beautiful, so delicate and captivating, you’ll always treasure your Limoges porcelain. These stunning cup and saucer sets come in a variety of soft, pastel colours and are the perfect addition to your dinnerware!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ecoya's Fragranced Soap

 
Ecoya's fragranced soap comes in a beautiful rigid box and makes a perfect gift. This delicately fragranced botancal soap contains a firm blend of natural oils, to cleanse, moisturise and fragrance.The soap comes in 6 different fragrances including French pear, lotus flower, lemongrass and ginger, sweet pea and jasmine, vanilla bean and wild frangipani.

Visit Ecoya

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gift Wrapping Ideas


Homelife has put together a great range of gift wrapping ideas for this festive season. Make your gifts look just as good on the outside as on the inside…
Classic red and white.


Silver and gold gift wrapping is the classic and luxurious option.

Print your own patterns with stamps on brown paper bags - perfect for edible gifts.


Use eclectic wrapping options - sheet music or handkerchiefs.


Choose decorations made from patterned fabrics such as gingham, polka dots and stripes in a red and white palette.

Visit Homelife for more gift wrapping ideas.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cook Up A Storm With AURA



Cook up a storm this summer in a stylish new apron from AURA. Available in new designs and colours you are sure to impress you are sure to look the part in the kitchen!

Visit AURA

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sydney Foodies Get Ready…



The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for 2012 has arrived and it is packed with all the best places to eat! From the three-hatted Bilson's, Marque and Sepia to the great local cafes and hidden gems, this book has everything you need to know if you love good food.

The guide features fantastic reviews on restaurants, bars and cafes, authentic foreign food joints and sections detailing the best places for all of the top foodie trends for 2012 - street food, pubs, noodles, chocolate, eco-friendly joints and more. And if you’re heading out of town, there are also listings for the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, Canberra and Snow Regions, and regional areas all across New South Wales.

Browse your way through the comprehensive index, check out the maps at the back to see featured spots in your area. Whichever way you look at it, the Good Food Guide offers you pages and pages of fantastic restaurants (over 900 reviews to be precise - the largest edition ever!) and a roadmap to deliciousness! We think it would make the perfect Christmas gift to the foodie in your family.

Visit Borders

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Take Note



A beautiful diary is a must have for the year ahead so get your hands on this 2012 diary by Jonathan Saunders. With it's gold-trimmed pages and perforated corners to keep track of your calendar, this camel and red leather week-to-view piece is a super stylish way to stay organised. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas…


Make these beautiful treats as Christmas food gifts for friends and family, or give into temptation and keep them for yourself!
 

Rum balls make wonderful food gifts. They are super easy to make and this chocolate fruitcake rum balls recipe is particularly great as it uses all that Christmas fruit cake.   

Ingredients (makes 55)
800g dark fruitcake
1/3 cup (80ml) dark rum
3 x 180g blocks good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup chocolate sprinkles
2 cups desiccated coconut
2 cups crushed Digestive biscuits
 
Method
1. Line 2 large trays with baking paper. Crumble fruitcake into a large bowl. Drizzle with rum. Mix.
2. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (75%) for 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes, stirring with metal spoon every 30 seconds, or until smooth. Add melted chocolate to fruitcake mixture. Mix well to combine.
3. Working quickly, roll 1 level tablespoon of fruitcake mixture into a ball. Toss in sprinkles, coconut or biscuits (see note). Place on prepared tray. Repeat with remaining fruitcake mixture and sprinkles.
4. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Serve.


  

Buttery, lightly golden and impossibly moreish, this traditional shortbread will delight loved ones at Christmas time.
 
Ingredients (makes 2)
250g butter, softened
3/4 cup (155g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (300g) plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup (90g) rice flour, sifted
 
Method
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease 2 oven trays. Line with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, 2/3 cup sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in sifted flours.
2. Divide dough into 2 portions. Shape into 2 discs. Roll 1 portion between 2 sheets of baking paper to form a 20cm round. Carefully transfer to prepared tray. Repeat with remaining dough.
3. Using a small knife, score each round into 8 wedges, being careful not to cut all the way through. Pinch edges of rounds to form a scalloped effect. Prick top of rounds with a fork. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden, swapping the trays halfway through cooking. Cool on the trays and then serve.

 

Deliver festive gifts of joy to your loved ones – like these white white christmas tartlets. 

Ingredients (makes 20)
250g pkt Arnott’s Butternut
Snap Cookies
200g white chocolate, chopped
15g (1/3 cup) Rice Bubbles
25g (1/3 cup) shredded coconut
1/3 cup mini pink and white marshmallows, halved
 
Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place 1 biscuit over each hole of a 12-hole, 1 1/2-tablespoon capacity shallow patty pan. Bake for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Use a lime or a small ladle to carefully press softened biscuits into pan to mould into a cup shape. Set aside to cool. Transfer to a serving plate. Repeat with remaining biscuits.
2. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook for 2 minutes on Medium/500watts/50%, stirring every 30 seconds, or until chocolate melts and is smooth.
3. Add the Rice Bubbles, coconut and marshmallow and stir to combine. Divide the mixture among biscuit cases. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes or until set.

Visit Taste

Friday, November 18, 2011

Table Decorating Ideas


Are you entertaining at your house this weekend? Well Home Life have given us some handy table decorating ideas. With a few clever accessories and a little creativity, you can create a whole range of strikingly different settings to suit almost any style of entertaining.


Use a length of lustrous wallpaper as a table runner for a sleek, modern feel.
.

Match a bunch of plump grapes with a simple blue jug; use sheets of blue-lined graph paper as placemats and add a finishing touch with matching napkins.


Rather than traditional flowers, pile fruit high in classic vases. Choose accessories in one bold colour for best effect. Modern stainless-steel cutlery and napkin rings finish the look.

Visit Home Life

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New donna hay for Royal Doulton



We loved donna hay's first collection with Royal Doulton, now she has launched her second collection. Featuring timeless pieces for everyday style, including beautiful bone china tableware and teaware, plus practical kitchen essentials all available from David Jones, the donna hay general store and selected premium independent retailers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Summer Collection by Linen House


Linen House have just released their Summer 2011/2012 collection and its got everything you need to update your bedroom and add a splash of colour! 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Edible Flowers



Here is a list of some edible flowers that will add colour and taste to your summer...
  
Lavender: Use culinary lavender (English is best). Shred the flower. Put some ice-cream in a cone or bowl, sprinkle with a few lavender flowers and a drizzle of honey or use some when baking cakes.

Marigold: Comes in a range of sunny colours and will brighten up any meal. The taste can be a bit spicy for young children, so introduce them sparingly. The petals can be used in salads or sprinkled over soup and rice and pasta dishes.

Nasturtium: These flowers are crammed with vitamin C. They can be eaten whole, used in salads or as a garnish. They have a delicious sweet and slightly spicy flavour.

Rosemary: Its flowers can be used in casseroles or as a garnish over meat. You can also create barbecue skewers by cutting 15cm-long stems and stripping the foliage. Soak in water and then use to make kebabs.

Rose: Interestingly, the flavour of the petals alters (just like the perfume) depending on the type and colour of the flower. They are delicious used in jellies and syrups.

Sage: The bright red flowers of the fragrant pineapple sage are delicious sprinkled over fresh pineapple and ice-cream.

Violas and Pansies: With your child, collect a dozen or so flowers. Pop them into an ice-cube tray and fill with water. Freeze. Your child will love them with their favourite drink.

Zucchini: Stuffed with cheese and herbs, then deep-fried, these flowers are a great delicacy in Italian cuisine.

Visit HomeLife

Monday, November 14, 2011

Melon & Strawberry Lassi



Make this quick, easy and delicious smoothy to kick start your Monday morning. 

Ingredients (serves 2)
1/4 small pineapple, peeled, chopped
1/8 small rockmelon, peeled, chopped
125g strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup low-fat yoghurt
1/2 cup Golden Circle Unsweetened Pineapple Juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups ice cubes
mint sprigs, to serve
 
Method
1. Combine fruit in a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Add yoghurt, pineapple juice, cardamom and ice. Blend until creamy and smooth. Pour into glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Sarah's Gadren… New From Wedgwood


Named after and inspired by the wife of Wedgwood founder Josiah Wedgwood, Sarah's Garden echoes the colours and flavours of the traditional English garden.

Visit Wedgwood

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cottage-Style Bedrooms


Better Homes & Gardens have some great tips on how to achieve a cozy cottage style bedroom retreat! You can mix calming pastels, pretty florals, and vintage accessories.


Add depth to a classic white-and-cream cottage palette by playing with texture. An old rug remnant repurposed as artwork provides a rich backdrop for a white-painted bed frame, crisp white sheets and a mix of toile and damask pillows. The simple matte finish on a painted side table takes on an elegant patina when topped with an ornate iron candelabra crowned with petite silk shades.


Adorn the windows and headboard with soft taupe and cream toile fabric. Add an iron chandelier painted the same mocha color as the walls and a carved wooden mirror finished with off-white paint to match the romance of the fabric.


Salvaged finds, such as a dressmaker's mannequin and a cake stand-turned-jewelry display, come to life against the backdrop of crisp white walls and bedding. A distressed blue chest delivers storage and an attractive display space. An old wire shoe rack accessorised with dried bouquets of flowers works in conjunction with shutters to turn the windows in character-rich focal points.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Leek, Bacon, Brie & Mustard Quiche



Having friends round? This quiche, a green salad and a glass of wine will make it a relaxed and delicious affair!
 
Ingredients (serves 6)
1 quantity shortcrust pastry
Plain flour, to dust
40g butter
1 leek, pale section only, washed, dried, thinly sliced
4 bacon rashers, excess fat trimmed, finely chopped
2 tbs wholegrain mustard
150g brie, thinly sliced
3 eggs, lightly whisked
80ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
 
Method
1. Make pastry following the recipe above to the end of step 4. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 15 x 40cm rectangle, about 3mm thick. Line a shallow 10 x 34cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with removable base, with pastry and trim any excess. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the leek and bacon and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until leek softens. Remove from heat.
3. Cover pastry base with baking paper and fill with pastry weights, rice or dried beans. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights, rice or beans. Bake for a further 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 160°C.
4. Spread mustard over pastry base. Top with the leek mixture and brie slices. Whisk the eggs and cream together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case.
5. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until just set. Serve warm. 

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bathroom Accessories from Rockett St George

 

Beautiful bathroom accessories are hard to find and these bone accessories from Rockett St George are just beautiful! The whole collection includes four pieces – soap dispenser, soap dish, cotton pad dish and beaker. Featuring such neutral colours, these bone accessories will compliment any style of bathroom!

Monday, November 7, 2011

SlimPasta



SlimPasta is a fantastic substitute to regular pasta and noodles for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Made from a high fibre Asian vegetable called Konjac, it contains 94% less calories than white or wheat pasta. Although SlimPasta is light in texture, it expands in your stomach, leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
 
SlimPasta is available in Spaghetti or Angel Hair and is dairy, egg and fat free, and the Angel Hair pasta is 100% gluten-free.

Although SlimPasta has a slightly different taste and texture to regular pasta, it is designed to mix with your favourite sauces and dressings to create a delicious, low calorie dish. A 125gram serving of SlimPasta contains an incredible 14.1 calories!
 
SlimPasta is available in Woolworths in the health & organic section RRP $3.69.
 
Visit SlimPasta

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gifterati… Real Gifts Posted Instantly



For many of us, logging onto Facebook is a daily occurrence. As is glancing at your newsfeed, realising it’s a friend’s birthday and kicking yourself because you forgot to buy a present. Luckily, Gifterati has a quick-fix. 

Gifterati is a gifting website, with a twist – it is 100% compatible with social media and allows people to post gifts to their friends’ Facebook walls, which they then receive in their ‘real-life’ mailbox shortly afterwards. While your friend might not receive the actual gift on their birthday, they will get a present on their wall instantly. 

Gifterati operates throughout Australia and has a huge variety of gifts available from chocolates, wine, flowers, jewellery and fruit to donations, adventures and magazine subscriptions.

Gifterati successfully merges the real world with the online world, allowing users to connect with one another on a personal level, but in an unthreatening way. When the gift appears on the receiver’s wall, they are given the option to put in their own shipping address. This gives users the opportunity to give gifts to people whose address they might not know. 

Although it is compatible with Facebook, Gifterati can be used as a conventional gifting website, by notifying friends via email instead. Whether a birthday, Christmas, newborn baby or engagement, Gifterati has an instant gift for every occasion! 

Visit Gifterati

Thursday, November 3, 2011

delicious. Christmas Gifts For Foodies



Yes its that time of year already?… So start your Christmas shopping early by getting your hands on these great gift boxes. Delight your friends and fmaily this Christmas with a gorgeous delicious. giftbox. Choose from the new range of sweet and savoury products, plus a cookbook or a 2012 diary beautifully packaged in a solid black box with a silver seal. Take advantage of free shipping to anywhere in Australia to make this the easiest Christmas yet!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jane Hall Releases Her New Homewares Range



Known for her long acting career across Australian film and television, Jane Hall has added homewares designer to her credits.

"I have always been passionate about design and decoration and love helping people make their homes the best they can be” says Jane. “I believe the most beautiful interiors reflect the people that love within them...homes with heart, full of individuality, creativity and colour! Creating my first little collection has been both a labour of love and a steep learning curve. I hope to be able to keep building the range over time and see designing as the perfect adjunct to my acting career."
 
Beginning with a simple blog, Salvation Jane now offers a collection of locally screen-printed cushions, sheet sets and wall stickers in bold colours and simple, cool designs. The range will add impact in living rooms, children’s bedrooms and office spaces.

Visit Salvation Jane Home for the full range of soft furnishings. Visit The Wall Sticker Company for the full range of wall stickers and wallpapers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wallpaper by Rockett St George



At Rockett St George you will find a variety of colours, patterns, prints, textures and murals, to complement any decorating style. Adding wallpaper to your home can be a truly unique way to express your individuality as well as adding instant character to a room. If you don't want to be overwhelmed with pattern on all four walls just add wallpaper to one wall to make a statement. Use your feature wall to display artwork or co-ordinate with your furniture and surroundings.