Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Could it be any more perfect?

Anna Spiro's done it again.
She's created heaven on earth.
I am drooling over these pics of her latest project - it COMPLETELY is where I want to head with my own little place. COLOUR! Ah-mazing, so divine.
My heart is racing a million miles an hour at the sight of those painted dining chairs. Yum!
Check out more pics here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hostess with the mostest

When I was a eight years old, we had to dress up for Book Week as what we wanted to be when we grew up.
Mum dressed me up as a 'housewife' - complete with baby doll, mixing bowl and wooden spoon and a set of pearls.
To this day, I still dream of perfecting the art of scones and being able to go to the gym whenever I please - it just seems so civilised at 10am! (Ha, I know I'm deluded, but just go with it!)
Anyway, I stumbled across the above pic today and loved it - here is a woman who has thrown what looks to be the most ah-mazing party and sure her feet hurt (love that she's kicked her shoes off), it's 3am and the dishes are beyond ridiculous . . . but she's still smiling! Bless!
To all of you who are preparing for Christmas Day feasts - all the very best! May your partays be full of laughs and love and you manage to keep your cool and sense of humour during what can be a stressful occasion!
And remember to wear your pearls!
Pic from flickr

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Salad season is here!

Last day of Spring and I was lucky enough to 'hire a hubby' tonight to help me get things in order around the house before Summer sets in tomorrow.
After a quick stroll along Brownhill Creek to work up an appetite, my surrogate hubby and his 'other woman' (ie. his wife!) came home with me to cook up a feast.
We set Pete to work on the BBQ - I've never seen it look so clean!

Then we girls got to work in the kitchen, frying up some chorizo with chilli, blanched almonds and kalamata olives for nibbles - aided by a lovely cold glass of wine.
On to the salad - a newbie I was desperate to try after a vox pop at work to determine which would be the most popular with male guests.
Warm salad of lamb, zucchini, asparagus and feta won.
Thank you Masterchef Magazine!

The gorgeous little patties were coated in sesame seeds and were just the perfect size.

To keep the boy happy, we also (by 'we' I mean Michelle) put together a tasty cous cous salad.

Ainsley Harriet's citrus tang as a base (yes, we cheated) but then we added craisins, pistacchios and coriander.

Job well done (if I do say so myself!)

We finished off with Eton Mess - completely unnecessary for a casual Tuesday night dinner but it was amazing. We soaked the strawberries in pomegranate juice and topped the layers of meringue with ruby red pomegranate beads for a bit of crunch and tartness to break through all that cream.

We're now resting our fat bellies on the couch, watching The Blind Side. Life is grand!

Warm Salad of Lamb, Zucchini, Asparagus & Feta
Serves 6
Preparation: 30 mins
Cookings: 20 mins
400g minced lamb
150g feta, crumbled
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbs fresh or dried breadcrumbs
2 Tbs finely chopped mint, plus extra leaves to serve
35g (1/4 cup) sesame seeds
150g peas (I used frozen)
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
80mL (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
4 zucchinis, thickly sliced
1 wedge preserved lemon, flesh discarded, skin sliced (I just used normal lemon zest)
1 1/2 cups wild rocket
1 lemon, juiced
  1. Combine mince, 100g feta, garlic, breadcrumbs and mint in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place sesame seeds on a plate. Form mince mixture into 24 x 4cm patties, then place on plate and turn to coat in seeds. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Cook peas in a pan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes, then add asparagus and cook for a further 30 seconds. Drain vegetables and refresh in iced water. Drain again and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Heat 2 Tbs oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add zucchinis and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes until golden but still crisp. Add to bowl with pea mixture. Reserve the pan.
  4. Heat remaining 2 Tbs oil in reserved pan over medium heat. Cook patties in 2 batches, for 2 mins on each side or until browned and cooked through.
  5. Add patties, preserved lemon, rocket and lemon juice to vegetables and toss gently to combine.
  6. Divide salad among plates. Top wiht extra mint leaves and scatter with the remaining 50g feta to serve.
NB. We cooked the zucchini and patties on the BBQ - essential for Summer entertaining!

Recipe from Masterchef Magazine, Issue 8, p 106

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A whooping good time

A day at the polo instantly evokes memories of Julia Roberts 'whooping' from the sidelines in her super styley polka dot outfit of Pretty Woman fame.
But what does a day at Polo in the City Adelaide style involve?

Hmm, no royals unfortunately.

But a bit of this (hello pearls!) . . .

And copious amounts of this (well - I was stoked with my one glass of French amongst far too many Bird in Hand pinot noirs)

To end up like this!
(I am so glad I had the sense to take a photo before our 'free-flowing' drinks caught up with us! Am still trying to get used to the new fringe)
We had a brilliant day on the sidelines and while no 'whooping' was involved, we were enthusiastic participants in the divet stomping and after party shenanigans at a nearby watering hole.
Trouble with a capital T.
But oh so fun.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

All I want for Christmas . . .

I've had my eye on the most gorgeous book for weeks now, and just stumbled across the behind the scenes video for it . . .

Fleur Wood's Food, Fashion, Friends is SO me.

A definite stocking filler thank you Father Christmas (Mum, I hope you're reading this!).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Peony perfection

Nothing better than receiving a bunch of flowers.

Especially when they're stunning peonies . . .

. . . is there anything more beautiful than a big bunch of peonies?

Love the touch of pink on the tight buds.

Completely adored our bouquets for Bree's stunning wedding, two years ago.

(Happy anniversary PS!).

As you can see above, it took two of us (me and Bree's divine neice Emelia) to hold up the heavy bunch!

Peony perfection.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Marvellous Melbourne

Top on my list of 'must-dos' when I visit Melbourne is a coffee and cake at Laurent in the city.
Sublime. Doesn't it just look like a Paris sidewalk above?

I have my mother to blame for this obsession which sees me indulging in a tarte au citron and cappuccino every time. So much for bootcamp this week!

There's something very special about taking time out in the middle of the hustle and bustle of city life and stealing a half hour or so at a table for one with a good magazine or book.

Just call me Carrie Bradshaw!

And I love the fact this cafe features in the 'Lose yourself in Victoria' tv ad. Gorge!

Another 'must-do' in Melbourne in catching up with Lill, my oldest friend in the world.

She was attempting her first ever triathlon on the weekend but still took time out to catch up with me at the cutest little bar/coffee shop at the bottom of the GPO.

Federal Coffee Place. It's fab.

I just love how they make the most of the most obscure of places in Melbourne, nothing goes to waste. Here in the Rad, we lack that 'outside the square' thinking.

Just love the cloisters setting here, very European.

Oh, and the chorizo and fior di latte pizza and cider were good too!
(Not to mention the shopping!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vera . . .

I want.

I need.

I have to have.

Everyone loves Vera.

Pic from here

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blooming fabulous

Nope, that 'Health' magazine is not mine (what a laugh!). But the tapas cookbook, Domino bible and Kylie Minogue book sure are!
I just love coffee table books.
Fabulous square navy coffee table care of Emma
My Granny is just the best. I popped round to visit her and Grandpa tonight after bootcamp (yep, you heard it here first - I am actually EXERCISING!) and they were so excited to see me - the telly was turned off (the VCR set for some British drama!) and I was offered all sorts of food only found in a grandparents' pantry. Nothing like a hug from your grandparents to make you smile.
The best bit about visiting Granny and Grandpa is that you never go home empty handed. Whether it's a carton of eggs, a box of tea bags or some chocolate covered licorice, there's always a treat in store.
Tonight, she presented me with a gorgeous silver tea set that my aunty left for me - a very special gift indeed. Can't wait to host a high tea with macarons and cucumber sandwiches . . . and special silver. Maybe at my sister in law's baby shower, how divine!
Love my Notting Hill photo on the mantlepiece, not happy that it fell off the wall and smashed a few weeks ago!
Granny has a gorgeous garden, she's the envy of the street and is responsible for preparing the Church flowers once a month - I used to love helping her out as a little girl.
I was lucky to spend time in the garden with Granny tonight, marvelling at her knowledge of plant names and helping her collect a few bunches to brighten my little place.

Don't ask me what it is we put together, but I was thrilled with the colours and the instant life it brought to my living room.

Oh, and the perfume . . .

Monday, November 8, 2010

New blog fave

Working in the racing industry, this blog post touched on all the right notes - and get a look at that use of pink and yellow - a girl after my own heart!
I think I'm very slow off the mark to discover Sharnel's fabulous blog, but do yourself a favour and check out My Life My Loves. Stunning.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Super Sunday

Sundays make my heart sing. I love them.

My gorge sister-in-law, brother and Toby the super dog!
Woke up to my brother's dog Cooper giving me a sloppy big kiss this morning - spent the night in the Adelaide Hills at my brother and sister-in-law's place, they always spoil me rotten and you leave feeling so refreshed and rejuvenated after a little country air.
Great lazy breakfast at a little place in Aldgate, then off on the All Paws Walk in support of the local animal shelter (with Toby the Super Dog {who thinks he's a lap dog} leading the way).
My black and white suede ballet flats are a bit worse for wear!

Okay, I know these are peonies, but it's the only pic I could find on file of me with my Granny!

The Sunday fun continued with a quick visit to drop off some of the first David Austin roses of the season to my Granny and Grandpa.

I love giving the gift of flowers, they can really brighten someone's day.

Then a fabulous afternoon followed at the pub with a dear old friend who I haven't had a proper catch up with in months. The sun was out, we enjoyed a few drinks and talked ourselves silly.

Great work to Kimbo from BBT who features in this month's Ivy & Piper online mag. LOVE her striped pillowcases

Five hours later got home to slip into crisp, clean sheets and catch up on my blog reading in bed.
Perfect Sunday!

Just got a text from the gorgeous Ace in London who's heading out for a Sunday lunch in the country. Sunday lunches in the London countryside always make me think of 'The Holiday' - one of my all time favourite movies. Could Jude Law get any more handsome?

How did you spend your Super Sunday?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ladies who lunch . . .

There's no better excuse to get the girls together than a long lunch in the sun.
The darling Es orchestrated the most fabulous celebration for the sake of a celebration last week, with seven of us girls getting together for copious amounts of bubbles and belly aching laughs.

Es and her hubby to be Ross have created a stunning home just perfect for entertaining with a kick-arse kitchen and gorgeous deck. It was such a pleasure to help out in the kitchen!
Each guest was assigned a course and I chose sides - I've stumbled across some brilliant salads lately and wanted a group of guinea pigs to test them on. I settled on quinoa with lemon, mint, fetta and peas; roasted veggies with hommous; and spinach, avocado, macadamia and lime salad. Top that off with caramelised onion sourdough and we're on to a winner!

Nibbles were by Brooke who whet our appetites with delicious dips and pita - and oh so tender marinated octopus. Lipsmackingly good with sparkling pinot noir!

Es - the hostess with the mostest - followed up with a Donna Hay salad that rocked my world - asparagus, fried haloumi, roast capsicum salad with caper and balsamic dressing. Wow.

Then Caz and Kristy joined forces with main course - the most divine lamb rack EVER. Complete with smashed roast potatoes. YES!

Yep, awesome salads if I do say so myself!

Lemon and dill atlantic salmon for Marissa.

Wow, it looks like Christmas!

To my dismay, I had to leave early and missed Ruthie's berry creme anglaise tart. She even made her own pastry (love your work!). But it looked so pretty and I managed to squeeze in a pic on my way out the door. Spring on a plate!

Lots of fun was had and I can't wait til next year's instalment. Thanks Es!


Friday, October 29, 2010

. . . with diamonds

Off to Melbourne today for Derby Day with three of my besties. Was beside myself with excitement until BK rang with the weather forecast for the weekend - Melbourne is expecting its month worth of rain in the NEXT 48 HOURS!

That was not in my 'pale pink strapless Carla Zampatti frock' plan. No, not at all, no siree. And this new fringe I'm sporting is not partial to moisture in the air. A wavy fringe is never cool. Oh no no no.

So I've packed three dresses and while waiting for my tan to develop last night, I discovered what could possibly be my new favey blog - and that's after only three posts so far! Lucy in the Sky comes from the fabulous sister of none other than the sublime Miss Emma Clements of White and Wander fame. What a talented family, I tell you!

Lucy's latest post was right on the money - I was in a frazzle about what to pack for Melbourne but she took away the mystery and explained all the rules so that I, too, can look as fabulous as Elle McPherson strolling through the arrivals lounge. Well, that's the plan.

The above pic from Miss Lucy's blog is pure class and surely worthy of an upgrade. 'Upgrade'. Who am I kidding? I'm flying Tiger, for goodness sake!

Happy Derby Day - stay dry!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Girls night in

There's nothing better than a hearty meal that really gets you involved - juice dripping up your wrist, sauce stains on your cheeks and an aching jaw from stretching too much to jam it all in at once.

The fabulous Ad emailed me the link to a taste.com.au burger recipe last week and when dear old friends JB and Bree came round for a lazy night on the couch, I knew just what to cook them.

I set up a DIY bar for the girls to load up with their own toppings and finished off with a serve of sweet potato fries. YUM! I was desperate for some gourmet burger rolls or ciabatta or turkish bread or something but when you head to the shops in Adelaide after work, most doors are closed except for mainstream supermarkets. I settled for French continental rolls from Bakers Delight which were actually really good and hit the spot.

We had such a lovely night in - JB and I have been friends for 15 years now and Bree's been on the scene for 12 so there was a lot of catching up to do . . . boys, country adventures, scandals from school and our dreams for the future. So many laughs - I thought I'd actually have to offer Bree a paper bag at one stage to catch her breath for all that giggling!

The mini mint Magnums were a perfect end to the night.

So, next time the girls pop around, give these a whirl! They were just the ticket for a night on the couch with The Block!

Best Burgers

1kg beef mince
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 egg
1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbs grated parmesan cheese
Pinch of grated nutmeg
2 tbs olive oil
4 ciabatta buns, toasted
4 tbs hummus
1 cup baby rocket leaves
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
Roasted capsicum (optional) and aioli or mayonnaise, to serve

Place mince, onion, chilli, egg, breadcrumbs, mustard, parmesan and nutmeg in a bowl, and season. Use your hands to shape into 4 patties. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a non-stick frypan over medium-high heat, then cook patties for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked to taste. Spread bun bases with hummus, add rocket, tomato, a pattie, some capsicum, aioli and top of bun.

My only hot tip would be to use less mince - I made nine burgers from the 1kg mince so can only imagine how big they'd be if you stuck to the recommended four serves!

I also threw in some avocado for good measure - just love it in a burger, but anything goes really. Sliced beetroot would be yum . . . albeit very messy!

Recipe from here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wedding waltz . . .

Today celebrates the one year anniversary of my awesome brother Sam and his beautiful wife Ange.

Such a gorgeous day last year, how time flies when you're having fun! They are now expecting a little bubs in February next year which has the family over the moon. So exciting.

Won't the little one have the shock of her life when she sees her parents in full swing on their wedding day?


(Please let me know if the video doesn't work)

Blooming fabulous

It's been decades since I last posted and I just haven't felt myself! Lots going on, but yay, the weather's finally on the up!

My camera is officially dead so during my housesitting stint at Mum and Dad's this weekend, I took the opportunity to download some pics from their camera that I've 'borrowed'.

Found this gorge pic from my visit to the Parap markets with the gorgeous Bree in Darwin a few weeks (eek, months now!) back. Loved the markets - paw paw salad, best laksa and fabulous fresh juices.

Am committing to indulging in fresh flowers at least once a fortnight - and for those in between burts of colours - there's always budget-friendly daisies. Nothing better to brighten up your life!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Masterclass Dinner

Sometimes you just have those moments that make you smile til your cheeks hurt. Your belly aches from overindulging and your head spins with giddiness.
I had one of those last week. With the divine Pete and Michelle - aka, my better halves.
We treated ourselves to an opulent night at Penfold's Magill Estate Restaurant. OMG.
Where do I start?

Gourmet Traveller hosted a fabulous reader's night and we snapped up the hottest tickets in town at the very last minute.

As a single girl who dreams of fine dining and romantic dates, it doesn't get much better than this*

* (Can we just pretend Dr Chris from Offspring was my gorgeous, attentive partner on this occasion, please!?)

So, I'll let the food speak for itself - out of this world. I'm no food critic, so consider this the review for the everyday gal!
Salinger sparkling on arrival
Hello! Gorgeous views over the city on arrival. It was all a bit dreamlike!
Pristine Coffin Bay oyster, pomelo fibres and Avruga
Beautiful, so fresh and YUM!

Kangaroo Island marron, liquid ham and pea, leek terrine and shellfish foam
Penfolds Reserve Bin 05A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2005
Wow. Talk about clever - the liquid ham and pea was so surprising

Squab, gingerbread, rhubarb, aniseed and pineapple caramel
Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
OMG. Like nothing I've ever tasted. Such an interesting mix of textures and flavours. Who would've thought I'd ever try pigeon!?
Mayura Station wagyu beef, salsa verde, fermented aioli and shallot rings
Penfolds RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz 2003
Cooked to perfection. Like marshmallows. The fermented aioli was so unique
Textures of blood orange, fennel, orange powder

Amedei Single Origin chocolae, honey crumble, cocoa husk and vanilla
Penfolds Bluestone Grand Tawny

So rich and so ah-mazing. The perfect finish

And to top it all off, I tried my first ever drop of Grange. Yay! I never thought this day would come. It's just as good as everyone says.

Yes, cheeks still hurting! Just try and wipe the smile from my face!

Life's a BREEze!

The gorgeous BREE is in town! Yay!
Nothing better than one of your besty's flying in for some quality girly time.
We've got a busy few days - movie fundraiser on Thursday (hence the popcorn reference above!) and school reunion on Sunday, will be a hoot!
Need to get as much time with the little lady before she heads back up to Darwin xo

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dotty for spots

It's no secret.

I love polkadots.

Yep, spots and dots of all shapes and shades - I adore them bright, I long for them white, they always make me smile.

Today they lived up to their reputation as a mood lifter when I made friends with a little beauty in my lunch break. We bonded, a friendship was formed and I just HAD to bring it home with me.
I salute you, hot pink silk cushion witih white felt polkadots.
(No pic - my work phone is broken, as is my camera and I have no way of capturing its beauty!)

Looks fab on my new white couch. Me thinks an orange stripe beauty will be next.
Oh and how I'd bend over backwards for a Rubie Green masterpiece.
And a Union Jack classic. Just like Emma's.
Oh, and I wouldn't mind a puppy cushion either!
Pics from weheartit, rubiegreen.com and emmaclements.com