Thursday, January 31, 2013

Four Steps To Cure Refrigerator 'Blindness'



Have you ever found yourself staring into your fridge thinking 'there's nothing to eat here'? Even if the shelves aren't bare?

Well my friend, you may be suffering from 'refrigerator blindness'. But the good news is you're not alone! 


Today we thought we'd share with you Stone Soup's 4 easy steps you can take to cure this pesky disease. It will save you extra trips to the grocery store or from 'dialling a pizza'. And it means you'll be eating what you have rather than letting it go to waste. Talk about win! win! win!

4 steps to cure refrigerator 'blindness':

STEP 1. Get all the likely suspects out in the open.
It's difficult to see what you're working with when everything is packed into the fridge. It will only take a minute or so but spreading things out on your kitchen bench top or table will make all the difference.

STEP 2. Group items which might go together.
Try looking for things that seem like they'd be nice together. Also group items which need eating up the most.

STEP 3. Quickly scan your pantry / freezer for reinforcements.
A can of tomatoes, some canned chickpeas, par-cooked rice, stock cubes, coconut milk. And in the freezer look for things that won't take ages to defrost like frozen peas, stock frozen in small containers or sliced bread.

STEP 4. Choose from one of the time-tested refrigerator meal formats below and get cooking!

i. Soup / stew
Best for cooler weather. This is the first port of call for a leftover lunch or dinner. Because the leftovers have been hanging around the fridge for a few days, your soup will often end up with surprising depth of flavour.

ii. Tapas plate
You know how you can make a whole meal out of little bits and pieces in a tapas bar. There's no reason you can't do the same at home! This is great for leftover bits and pieces that don't look like they'd be improved by simmering in a pot together.

iii. 'Composed' salad
Similar to the tapas plate but serve everything on a bed of dressed salad leaves.

iv. Sandwich or wrap
First you need to make sure you've got bread or wraps. Remember you can use lettuce leaves or collard greens for a healthy low-carb wrap alternative. This is especially good with leftover ham or turkey from Christmas or Thanksgiving.

v. Good things on toast
If you have bread and the weather is cooler, heating up leftovers and serving on hot buttered toast is a winner. For bonus points grate some cheese over the top and put everything under the grill until bubbling and golden.

Refrigerator Soup

The recipe below might seem a little 'weird' but basically it's a template to help you make a soup that's going to taste great. Make sure you check out the suggestions below for ideas of the types of ingredients to use.

Use this 'template' if you're feeling a bit nervous, but more experienced cooks can just go ahead and add things to the pot as they like...

enough for 1:
1 1/2 cups liquid
about 250g (1/2lb) solid ingredients, chopped into bite sized chunks
small handful highlight ingredient, optional

1. Add liquid to the pot and bring to a simmer.

2. Add your chosen solid ingredients. Cover and simmer until everything is hot and cooked through.

3. If you feel like a smoother or thicker soup, whizz with a stick blender until partially or fully pureed. Taste and season.

4. Serve in deep bowls topped with your highlight ingredient, if using.

EXAMPLES:
liquid - water, stock, stock or bullion cubes or powder made up with water, leftover wine (not recommended on its own, mix with water to dilute), tomato paste mixed with water, unsweetened coconut milk, curry powder (combined with water or coconut milk), vegetable juice, miso paste mixed with water, canned tomatoes (chop before using).

solid ingredients - pretty much anything goes here. Just use your judgement, if you think it will work when you try and imagine the ingredients together it probably will. Leftovers are great such as leftover risotto, salad bits, or cooked lentils, raw vegetables, cooked vegetables, cooked meats, cured meats. And don't forget to check the pantry and freezer for things like canned legumes, noodles, frozen peas, breadcrumbs etc.

highlight ingredient - natural yoghurt, sour cream, pesto, a good drizzle of olive oil, butter, toasted nuts (especially pine nuts), finely sliced prosciutto, fresh herbs, soft cheese such as ricotta, goats cheese, blue cheese, grated hard cheese such as parmesan or cheddar. Mayo or aioli are also great soup toppings (think the french classic bouilabaise).



Visit Stone Soup.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Get Wedding-Ready with fitbook!


Looking and feeling your best on your wedding day is what every bride dreams of, although it can be hard to stay motivated leading up to the big day. 

Now there is a tool to assist you in the lead up to your special day, that will also help you remain fit and healthy all year round.

Introducing fitbook, a 12-week fitness and nutrition journal…

‘Write it down, make it happen’ is the mantra of fitbook.

According to the stats, 76% of fitbook users lose weight within the first 12 weeks.

Founder Angela Manzanares says: “fitbook is redefining how people reach their fitness goals in a healthy, measurable and fun way. fitbook inspires people to live healthy, active lifestyles by helping them integrate fitness into their everyday lifestyle so they can truly ‘live life fit."


Available in classic white or snazzy black, fitbook includes weekly planning pages, daily tracking pages that include an exercise section, food log, nutrient tracker, water intake guide and sleep indicator, weekly wrap up sections, a pint-sized pen, notes pages and a slot to hold your gym card.

fitbook helps you to...

1. Have a game plan
Whether your goals are to tone up or slim down, it's important to write down your goals. Set your 12-week goals - then set smaller goals on a weekly basis so you have a plan for achieving your long-term goals.

2. Track your progress 
Record your workouts and log your food intake - research shows that the act of just putting this info down on paper is key to reaching your goals. plus - you can go back and see your progress throughout the entire 12 weeks.

3. Reach your goals 
Reflect on your 12-week goals, log your accomplishments, and reward yourself! Then get ready to plan your next 12 weeks.

In addition to the fitbook, fitlosophy also offers a 40-week fitbook mama2b for the expectant mum, fitbook junior for the wee ones, fitgear to sport your fitlosophy, and a complete line of fittools designed to support fitbookers in reaching their goals and measuring success.


Visit fitbook.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Make Your Table Your Label



Style is a blossoming of the soul. Let your table reveal your essential personality with chic new bone china patterns from Vera Wang Wedgwood.

Much like the label of a fashion house, your table tells a story. Just as you'd ground a wardrobe with a stylish LBD, start with these dinnerware patterns and accessorise for special occasions – whether you're hosting 4 or 40!

The rich platinum detailing of Vera Moderne introduces a geometric eyelet pattern that evokes the intricate workmanship of Vera Wang bridal couture. Its fresh simplicity complements an extensive array of stemware and flatware, making it perfect for both formal and non-traditional settings.

Updating a grand tradition, Vera Lace Gold embraces the resurgence of gold. Inspired by the intricate ribbons of lace that adorn Vera's dresses, this dinnerware collection combines a gold lace border with a delicate floral design for a pattern that is both exquisitely detailed and classic.

Style that's timeless and en vogue at once – from Vera Wang Wedgwood.



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Skye's The Limit


Valentine's Day is coming! At Skye's the Limit, they LOVE Valentine's Day. Above are a selection of cards available for the Valentine's Day seasonal range. There is a large selection to choose from, and all are available on the website.

Skye has been very busy designing her heart out and has come up with some truly gorgeous new ranges, set to become classics. GONE POSTAL is based on paper and postal ephemera...and has the addition of a sweet bird to 'carry the message through'. It comes in large and small square cards.


'I am very excited to announce that we have some divine new options for some personalised artworks for all our lovely followers and fans.'

Skye says, 'I did my first 'favourite places' personalised artwork for my beau....who was suitably touched by it. Then Christmas came around and I decided I wanted to do something special for my sister... so I did one for her too. '

'There are a lot of these kinds of place names artworks around at the moment so I wanted to make mine a bit different.' Skye says. 'I scoured old newspapers, vintage signs and old imagery and have just loved the process of designing them.'

If you'd like your very own or something special for a travelling friend...check out the website for more details.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Constantly tired? You could be suffering from low iron levels.



Did you know that women require up to 18mg of iron per day but most consume less than 10mg within their daily diet? To help cover this shortfall, FAB IRON has developed iron supplements which deliver just the right amount of iron, are easily digested and are gentle on the stomach.

As our lifestyles get busier, our diet is becoming more inclusive of fast and pre-prepared food. The result of this modern diet is that low iron levels and iron deficiency are becoming more common. Other factors which contribute to low iron levels include overconsumption of alcohol and caffeinated drinks, stress, menstruation, regular exercise, vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, pregnancy and breast feeding.

Low iron levels can result in feeling of tiredness, fatigue and a general lack of energy. In fact, 70% of Australian women aged between 25 and 55 years have diets deficient in iron, with low iron levels considered the single most common cause of fatigue in women. The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists iron deficiency as the most common nutrition deficiency in the world, with women, teenage girls and children being the most susceptible. 

Initial symptoms of iron deficiency include:
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Lack of energy and stamina
  • Poor work and intellectual performance
  • Decreased immune function
  • Heightened sensitivity to the cold
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Feeling weak
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness
  • Poor sleep
  • Hair loss
  • Brittle and thin nails
The inclusion of daily iron supplements can assist when diet alone does not deliver adequate iron and can be effective in preventing iron deficiencies. Taking either FAB IRON + Vitamin B Complex tablets or FAB IRON + Vitamin B Complex and Zinc capsules daily can help cover the shortfall of iron missing from the average diet. FAB IRON supplements contain just 10mg of iron, which is the ideal amount and not too much, as excessive iron intake can have negative effects such as stomach irritation, constipation and bloating.

All FAB IRON supplements contain vitamin C to assist with maximum iron absorption and vitamin B to help boost energy levels, while FAB IRON + Vitamin B Complex and Zinc also includes zinc to assist immune systems for when you feel extra run down.

Visit Fab Health.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dieticians Launch 'Fad-Free' Diet To Halt Weight Creep In Younger Woman


The majority of young Australian women have tried to lose weight in the past year, and one in four has attempted a fad diet to shift unwanted kilos, according to a new survey.

The Newspoll study of 200 women aged 18 to 24, commissioned by Australia’s peak nutrition body, the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), has prompted dietitians to develop the ‘Fad-free Diet’, specially tailored to arm young women with the right advice to improve their daily eating habits.

DAA has released the diet this week to coincide with Australia’s Healthy Weight Week, which runs from 20 to 27 January, and encourages young women to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Accredited Practising Dietitian Celeste Hankins, 25 from Sydney, has thrown her support behind the back-to-basics ‘Fad-free Diet’ approach, which she says will appeal to young women like her.

‘Young women need a diet that is both sustainable and achievable. The Fad-free Diet includes low glycaemic index carbs, protein-rich foods, and nutrients to boost energy levels and fuel the body and mind.

‘It’s a fresh, tasty approach to eating and a much better option than the quick-fix celebrity diets often targeted at young women at this time of year,’ said Ms Hankins.

Clare Collins outlines the principles of the ‘Fad-free Diet’:
  • Start the day with breakfast. Breakfast eaters are more likely to be a healthy weight and less likely to re-gain lost weight. Include a source of protein (such as an egg or baked beans) and a low glycaemic index (GI) choice (like wholegrain toast or low‐fat yoghurt). Protein-rich foods and lower GI carbohydrates provide important nutrients and also help keep you fuller for longer. 
  • Choose low kilojoule, high nutrient foods. Wholegrain breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and lower fat dairy foods fit the bill. 
  • Rediscover home cooking. By learning to cook at home using healthy ingredients you’ll boost your nutrient intake. And studies have shown that cooking stir-fries, roasts and casseroles including protein foods like beef and lamb means you’ll put more vegetables onto the plate as well. You only need 15 minutes to make a tasty, healthy meal. 
  • Eat fruit and vegetables. Build up to the recommended five serves of vegetables (around three cups) and two serves of fruit every day. Fill half your dinner plate with vegetables (which is easy when you cook at home) and eat fruit as a snack. 
  • Be portion aware. Over the past 30 years, the amount of food on our plates has increased – as have our waistlines. Shrinking portion sizes at every meal is a sure-fire way to lower energy (kilojoule) intake. 
  • Enjoy treats – in moderation. Many young women report sugary treats and take-aways as a weakness, making it more difficult to eat well. You don’t have to cut out any food, as long as you moderate your intake. Everyone’s different – so cutting back to a square or two of chocolate a day or a take-away once a week may be a step in the right direction for you. 
  • Choose healthier drinks. Water is the best choice – so have a glass, bottle or jug of water close by at all times. Too much alcohol can lead to excess kilojoules and poorer food choices, both of which contribute to weight gain. If drinking, try a wine spritzer (wine diluted with plain mineral water) or a light beer, or ask for a smaller glass when drinking. 
  • Write down everything you eat and drink. This will help you become more aware of what you're eating and drinking, and where any problem areas are. Research suggests this is one of the best ways to change your eating habits and lose weight. 
  • Be a mindful eater. Pay attention to hunger levels and how much you’re eating. Turn the television off and instead concentrate on the taste of food, as well as how full you feel. This is an easy way to trim kilojoules from your day. 
  • Recruit a support team. Everyone needs support to maintain healthy habits. Find at least one person (friend, family member, work colleague, or health professional – such as an Accredited Practising Dietitian) who will support and cheer you on. 
Professor Collins encourages women to be realistic about weight loss, aiming for a drop of around half to one kilogram a week, to be active every day, and to take on eating habits they can live with over time.

For information on Australia’s Healthy Weight Week, an initiative of the Dietitians Association of Australia, visit www.healthyweightweek.com.au 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Superfood Tips For The New Year


With the New Year in full swing, once again we all promise ourselves 'this is the year I'll focus on eating healthy and exercising more' – but it's often hard to keep focused and on track with these healthy lifestyle goals. 

Gwyneth Paltrow enlists the help of friend Dr. Frank Lipman for a list of superfoods to incorporate into her diet. See different examples below, thanks to Gwyneth's website Goop, of how to include these wonder foods into tasty recipes so that you don't have to feel like your missing out whilst achieving your health goals!

Dr. Frank Lipman on Superfoods:

"Here we are, it’s the New Year, our annual fresh start. Now’s the time for a healthy re-boot. Time to treat your body to a buffet of a different kind – one that’s packed with health-supporting vitamins, nutrients and phytochemicals. Think of it this way: we have three chances a day to boost our health or undermine it. Assuming you’re interested in the former, the simplest path to vibrant health – and a spectacular New Year – starts with these 9 Superfoods – those naturally perfect foods which support the health, growth and maintenance of your body, just by loading up your plate. Stock up on these 9 Superfoods (preferably organic) to give your body the gift of great taste, stronger immunity and better energy — all without a pill in sight."

The nine superfoods include: avocado, beans, blueberries, cruciferous veggies, spinach, walnuts, wild salmon, chocolate (dark, and in moderation!) and chia seeds.

Avocado:

“There are a myriad of nutrients found in avocados – oleic acid, lutein, folate, vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione among them. Avocados taste great and are easily integrated into any meal – or even a fruit smoothie.”
Avocado Temaki (Hand Roll)


Ingredients:
makes 2

1 sheet nori, cut in half
1 avocado, sliced into thin strips
1 small cucumber, peeled, deseeded & sliced in thin strips
1/2 cup cooked brown sushi rice
tamari or soy sauce
fresh wasabi, grated
pickled ginger (optional)

Preparation:

1.Place the nori on a bamboo mat or a piece or parchment shiny side down.

2.Wet one of your hands slightly to grab a small palmful of rice. Place the rice on the left side of your nori and press your index finger into the rice to create a small dent where you will lay your fillings.

3.Rub a bit of grated wasabi onto the rice. Place a few thin slices of cucumber and a few slices of avocado diagonally across the rice, pointing to the upper-right corner of the nori.

4.Fold the left hand corner over and roll upwards around the rice and the filling. (At this point it's best to pick up the roll and finish the rolling with your hands.) Continue rolling the long part of the nori around the rice and filling until you reach the end. Seal by rubbing the edge with a touch of water.

5.Serve with soy sauce or tamari and pickled ginger.

Blueberries

“Blueberries help tame inflammation throughout the body and reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol.”

Blueberry Salad:


With fennel, mint, cucumber and ricotta salata, this is really refreshing served alongside poultry or seafood. If you omit the cheese, this becomes a great detox or elimintaion diet dish.

Ingredients
makes 4

2 cups blueberries
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 stalk fennel, chopped
a handful of the smallest mint leaves you can find on the stalk
1/4 cup ricotta salata, shaved
olive oil
1 lime
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

1.Add blueberries, cucumber and fennel to a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and as much like juice as you like. Toss to mix.

2.Top with mint leaves and ricotta salata.

Visit Goop.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Edition 22 Collection by KAS Australia

Congo Cushion $39.95
Indio Coffee Mug $9.95

Reserve a sun lounger at the exclusive poolside of Casa KAS, rejuvinating the senses by immersing yourself in a paradise of exotic designs inspired by the life and ambience of coastal vacations. 

Embrace a style that suits you. Inject the essence of the tropics, with vibrant prints and florals. Be captured by more exotic designs that draw upon the rich cultural fabric of Morocco, Africa, Peru and India. Create a sense of calm with an inviting neutral palette.

The Edition 22 range of bedding, cushions and throws, along with our exciting new crockery and home fragrance ranges fresh to KAS!


Winona Quilt Set $199.95

Semra Beach Towel $49.95

Visit KAS Australia to view the full collection. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Waterford Mixology


Discover the newest innovation in the art of fine crystal with Waterford Mixology.

Become a crystal mixologist and 'mix it up' with Waterford Mixology: add clear to colour, mix patterns, or combine shapes to discover your own home entertaining ideal.

Confident in your own personal style, anything goes and everything works with Waterford Mixology!

Visit Waterford.