November 28, 2014

Lorna Jane sale

Hi lovelies! Today I picked up this top from Lorna Jane. 

With 20% off everything I couldn't resist. 


If you are a Lorna Jane fan you would know sales are rare so take advantage and stock up!

November 23, 2014

Last nights outfit

Morning all, for all you Sydneysiders try to keep cool today, it's expected to reach 43 degrees and we are still in Spring!

Last night for my besties birthday I stepped out of my comfort zone and opted for a pair of dressy shorts over one of my usual 'stepford wife' dresses. My friends were pleasantly surprised!

Below is a glimpse!


Top: Basque, Shorts: Zara, Shoes: Guess

November 18, 2014

Keep it fresh and avoid wastage

Keep it fresh and avoid wastage!

I'm talking about food, more specifically the food we throw away.


Food wastage in Australia is a problem, we dispose of 20% of the food we purchase every year, equating to 1 in every 5 bags of groceries. Why is this? Independent research conducted by GLAD has revealed limited information on how to best store food in the home may be one of the core reasons households are struggling to keep their food fresh.

To combat this issue, GLAD has released 'Keep it Fresh', a free digital guide for every Australian household, to teach Australians how to protect and preserve our fruit and vegetables properly to maximize nutrients, freshness and reduce our waste.

GLAD 'Keep it Fresh' digital guide
I was lucky enough to attend the 'Keep it Fresh' launch held this morning in The Atrium at the Grounds of Alexandria.
The Atrium, The Grounds of Alexandria


Guest speakers included Carly and Tresne from the 2014 season of My Kitchen Rules and International Top chef and restaurateur Angelo Sosa.

Angelo Sosa using GLAD cling wrap
Angelo prepared a nutritious omelette using ingredients that most Australians call scraps and would waste.

Using GLAD products including the new cling which has a 1.5x tighter seal he showed us simple steps to store food keeping it fresher for longer.


Some tips he shared included wrapping fresh herbs in damp paper towel followed by another wrap of GLAD cling wrap, storing and flattening portions of food in GLAD snap lock bags for freezing, allowing faster and even thawing and my favourite placing a whole egg in a snap lock bag with a sprig of rosemary, over a day the egg will absorb the flavour.


So what am I going to do to reduce food wastage in my home? As a starter I will:
  • Collect, store and freeze scraps of vegetables for later use in stocks.
  • Store and freeze left over pasta sauces, tinned tomato's in GLAD snap lock bags.
  • Wrap fresh herbs in damp paper towel and GLAD cling wrap.
GLAD snap lock bags
The 'Keep it Fresh' GLAD digital guide can be downloaded free at http://www.glad.com.au/keepitfresh/

November 16, 2014

November's Red pawpaw box


Hello, I hope you are enjoying the last hours of the weekend. Here is a glimpse of what I received in this months Red pawpaw box!
  •  Paul Newmans light ranch sauce
  • Peckish cheese flavoured rice snackers
  • Vege chips, lightly salted, cheese and lime chilli
  • Kellogg's All Bran Apple crunch 
  • White Wings Rich chocolate fondant mix
  • White Wings real apple and cinnamon pancakes mix
  • Cascade Lemon Lime and Bitters 
  • Maille Dijon
  • Imperial Leather Tahitian Retreat body wash
  • Goulburn Valley Australian two fruits
I'm looking forward to trying the chocolate fondant and Vege chips. My husband has already spotted the ranch sauce so I doubt it will last long!

November 14, 2014

Coffee, Christmas decorations and plants

Yesterday Gabby and I had a mummy daughter date at Flower Power, Glenhaven.

Banana, raspberry and coconut bread with whipped butter

We started our date in the cafe, Cafe Belle Fleur where I ordered my usual coffee and a serve of banana, raspberry and coconut bread which Gabby loved.

View from the cafe
After a little play in the play area not really equipped for babies we headed to the homeware section.

With Christmas a few weeks away the area was well stocked with decorations.

Blue Christmas decorations

Starting from a low $1.99 I bought a few blue, pink and white decorations to add to my collection.

Pink peacock chair
Quickly glancing at the children's homeware section I feel in love with this retro peacock chair, perfect for a little princess!

Our last stop was the nursery outside where I picked up four medium sized hydrangeas at the bargain price of two for $14 and a small tomato plant for $1.



Hydrangeas and a small tomato plant

November 11, 2014

Mango, banana and coconut water smoothie


Ingredients:

1/2 Mango
1 Banana
100g ice
125ml Coconut water
2 heaped scoops yoghurt (can use flavoured or plain)

Place all ingredients into a Thermomix or blender and blitz for one minute. (Thermo speed 9). Pour into a glass and garnish with mint.

Serves two.

Garlic, chive and truffle infused butter - Thermomix



This morning I finally got around to making butter in the Thermomix.

As I learnt in the class I attended a couple weeks ago the closer to the expiry date the cream is the faster it will separate, so yesterday whilst doing my grocery shop I picked up a bottle due to expire today.

Not following the recipe to a tee, I only used 300ml of cream which wasn't a problem given cream and water is all that is required to make a basic butter.

Ingredients I used

To seperate the solids and liquid I had to whisk the cream closer to the three minute mark. I could have washed the butter a second time to keep it fresh for a longer period but as I intended to freeze it I didn't think it was neccessary.

Draining liquid from solids

To flavour the butter I used 20g Truffle infused olive oil, one garlic clove, a small bunch of chives which I should have chopped (opps my bad, see the long strands) and a pinch of iodised sea salt.

Butter

I than popped the butter into an ice cube tray to freeze and use later. What didn't fit in the ice cube tray is now sitting in a little dish and will be stored in the fridge until used.



Ingredients:

300 grams thickened cream
250 grams chilled water
20 grams truffle infused oil
1 garlic clove
1 small bunch of finely chopped chives
1 pinch iodised salt

Steps:

1. Using the butterfly whisk pour cream into the bowl and set on speed 4 for around 2.5 minutes. This time may vary depending on the cream, you should see solids and liquid in the bowl.
2. Using the simmer basket drain liquid from the solids.
3. Place solids back into the bowl, add 250g of cold water and set the Thermomix back on speed 4 for 10 seconds. Again the solids and liquid will separate.
4. Strain the liquid. Step 3 and 4 can be repeated to remove any further liquid.
5. Placing the solids back into the bowl, add the garlic, small bunch of chives (make sure they have been finely sliced) a pinch of sea salt and truffle infused oil. Set Thermomix on speed 4  for 10 seconds.
6. Butter is now ready to use or store for later use.

November 8, 2014

My Thermomix

Finally my Thermomix has arrived and I am loving it!


Since its arrival I have been cooking up a storm! I'm loving how easy it is to cook meals that usually require a lot of effort, the reduction in washing up and the time it has saved me.

Most of the meals I have made are straight from the recipe chip. The recipe for the pulled pork was found on the site ifwehavetoeat.com.


Below are some snaps of my dishes:

Pulled pork, mash potato, steamed greens
Mango ice cream
Creamy tomato and salami fettucini
Cream of pumpkin soup
Layered cake with buttercream

November 7, 2014

Palings, Sydney

This Melbourne Cup week I stumbled across a winner called Palings.

Before you start thinking of horses I will stop you there. It's not a horse it's a trendy kitchen and bar located on level one at the Ivy.


Arriving at twelve noon the day after Melbourne Cup it was quiet.

With a baby in tow the staff were very accommodating quickly finding a high chair and offering to take our order from our table.

With a not so empty tummy thanks to the Rise and Dine breakfast earlier that day I was overly excited when I saw lighter options of sandwiches, rolls and salads on the menu.

After several minutes deciding what to order we chose the Bug Roll, Pork Schnitty and Red fish curry.

Bug roll - balmain bugs, celery, carrot, corriander, daikon, mayo
Pork schnitty topped with slaw
Red fish curry with beans.
As we waited for our meals the venue filled quickly. With its ultra modern decor, hip staff and affordable menu it's no surprise this place is popular. To top it our meals didn't disappoint, each being packed with flavour.

If your after an affordable, casual and trendy city eat I suggest you give Palings a go.

November 5, 2014

Rise & Dine with Bill Granger and Jordans Cereals

Jordans crunchy oat granola with berries and yoghurt

According to research conducted by Jordans Cereals almost half of the Australian population are risking their health and energy by skipping breakfast at least once a week.

Being a lover of food and raised to eat breakfast I rarely skip it, however after attending a Rise and Dine breakfast hosted by Bill Granger this morning I was shocked to learn that my usual breakfast of toast and coffee that's gobbled up quickly isn't good enough.


Me with Bill Granger
Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Exercise Physiologist Caitlin Reid says "Choosing to rush through breakfast doesn't do your body any favours. The benefits when taking closer to 20 minutes to eat breakfast are massive and can greatly impact your body in a number of ways". She also says "That it is important to balance breakfast with a mix of protein, good quality carbohydrates and fruit to provide you with enough energy to get you to lunch time".

To highlight what a satisfying, nutrious, non rush breakfast should contain all guests were served a parfait of Jordans crunchy oat granola with berries and yoghurt, poached eggs, bacon, bean tomato hotpot and toast. Platters of fruit, juice, tea and coffee was also readily available.

One protein filled brekkie
So what's for breakfast tomorrow? Perhaps a slice of toast with an egg and a bowl of  Jordans crispy oat clusters with some fresh mango.

What do you usually eat for breakfast? Does it keep you satisfied till lunch?

To launch Rise and Dine, Jordan Cereals is hosting a competition giving all Australians a chance to win an exclusive Rise and Dine Breakfast with Bill Granger at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Twenty consumers will have the opportunity to win two tickets to this private red carpet event by purchasing a box of Jordans and entering online.

For more information and how to win tickets (including full Terms & Conditions) visit facebook.com/JordansCerealsAustralia.
 
Jordans Cereal range

November 4, 2014

Melbourne Cup

Happy Melbourne Cup! I hope you are having a fantastic day!

This year for the race I'm going to be boring, with a baby I thought it probably wouldn't be appropriate to go to the races or spend all day at one of the local pubs so I will be watching the race from home with some cheese, crackers and a sneaky glass of bubbly.

To get into the spirit and celebrate Gabby's first Melbourne Cup, she is wearing a Missoni for Target playsuit and a blue headband her Auntie made her. I'm wearing a dress from Forever 21 and a large white flower in my hair from Diva.

Diva flower (few seasons ago)
Forever 21 dress
Missoni for Target playsuit
 Have a nice day everyone and good luck!

November 1, 2014

Thermomix cooking class

Torta Caprese
In preparation for the arrival of my thermomix which I ordered what seems like forever ago, on Thursday night I attended a Thermomix cooking class hosted by several local consultants.

Lemonade
The consultants cooked up a storm as myself and the other attendees sat back, watched and sampled the following dishes; Strawberry and pink grapefruit sorbet, lemonade, fruit and nut muesli, three cheeses spinach scroll, butter, guacamole, carrot salad, pumpkin soup, vegetable and rice salad, vanilla custard
torta Caprese and a chia and pepita gluten free loaf.

Spinach scroll dough
Three cheeses and spinach scroll
Despite not having my thermomix I still found the class beneficial, I learnt that you can steam eggs in the thermomix, when making butter the closer to the expiry date the cream is the better it is to use, you don't have to peel the skin on the pumpkin when cooking pumpkin soup and allowing the bread dough to rise in the fridge overnight will result in a lighter bread.
  
Guacamole
Straining the butter milk from the butter
My plate of bread, pumpkin soup, rice salad and carrot salad
Fruit and nut muesli, torta caprese topped with vanilla custard  

 If you have a thermomix and have some tips to share please do!