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Archive for the ‘In the Kitchen’ Category

Country Style Kitchens | Home & Decor Inspiration

I’ve always LOVED country kitchens! My favourite bits are the centre islands, hanging brassware, fresh cut flowers, white-washed wooden cupboards and vintage additions like old kettles or tins or plates… I would love to be able to have a kitchen like that someday!

If you’re thinking of country styling your kitchen, remember the following: it doesn’t have to be super neat, a little bit of ‘artfully misplaced’ items add to the overall effect; a vase of fresh flowers always wins; source vintage items from second hand shops to add to your upper most shelves as decor (think china plates, brass tourines etc); make sure there’s an element of wood – whether white washed, natural or crisply painted a white or bright colour.

Check out these awesome inspirational ideas to make your kitchen more ‘country‘:

Natural Stone Walled Kitchen

Natural Stone Walled Kitchen | source Elle Decor

Classic Center Island Kitchen

Classic Center Island Kitchen | source Pinterest

Cosy Country Kitchen

Cosy Country Kitchen | source Pinterest

French-Inspired Cream Kitchen

French-Inspired Cream Kitchen | source Country Living

Light & Airy Country Kitchen

Light & Airy Country Kitchen | source Pinterest

At Home in the Country

At Home in the Country | source Pinterest

Romantic Country Kitchen

Romantic Country Kitchen | source Herblog.com

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Friday *Cupcakes & Kisses*

My lovely friend Taryn Farr has started her own confectionary company called Cupcakes and Kisses, and I just had to share some of the delicious treats with you! Perfect for some yummy Friday inspiration – indeed!

She does pretty cupcakes, crazy kids confectionary, beautiful wedding cakes and a whole bunch more…makes me wish I had the patience, the time and the energy – because WOW it all looks so amazing and super delicious! Also, while we are at it, please let me know if you have a great baking recipe to share – that sort of thing always goes down super well at my Book Club 🙂

Anyway if you want Taryn to cater a kitchen tea, wedding, party or anniversary of any kind, you can contact her on her Facebook page or by email on cupcakeandkisses@gmail.com.

Yummy Pink Cupcakes!

Red Flower Cupcakes

Christmas Time Cupcakes

Kids Soccer Ball Cupcakes
Flower Birthday Cake

In the Kitchen This Year – Some 2012 @Home Design Ideas

Hey all 🙂 Having a chilled weekend as my hubby is off in East London and racing the 70.3 Ironman event tomorrow, but have gotten down to some good clearing, cleaning and tidying, and just made me appreciate a clean and tidy kitchen! Oh boy, sparkling, pretty and new is all I need in a kitchen.

Maybe this year’s decor/design ideas need to go domestic, ie: stop recovering your lounge suite or painting your bedroom walls – maybe it’s adding a few awesome touches to your kitchen to make it become a place you actually LIKE to be, because whether we like it or not, we all spend a fair amount of time there!

And so without further ado, here are my Kitchen Design ideas and DIY tips for 2012:

Update Your Window Space

Update Your Window Space | source here.

Add A Pop of Colour

Add A Pop of Colour | source here.

Turn Your Kitchen into a Cafe

Turn Your Kitchen into a Cafe | source here.

Go Glamourous with a Lighting Fixture

Go Glamourous with a Lighting Fixture | source here.

Add a Quirky Touch to a Modern Space

Add a Quirky Touch to a Modern Space | source here.

Add a New Door to Your Pantry

Add a New Door to Your Pantry | source here.

Bring Out the Wrapping Paper!

Bring Out the Wrapping Paper! | source here.

Save Space & Add Removable Shelves

Save Space & Add Removable Shelves | source here.

Delicious Dessert Tables | Event Ideas

It’s a big thing in the US, but Dessert Tables are only JUST beginning to become popular in SA. While a table with your mom’s milk tart, aunt’s apple crumble and granny’s brandy pudding is great (for a family event), it’s taking this supposedly insignificant aspect of a wedding/event and turning it into a masterpiece!

The closest I ever got was displaying my wedding cake (a three tier dark and white chocolate dotted mousse cake covered in berries, blushing brides and a wire bicycle make for two on top) on a table with proteas and a beautifully ribbon-wrapped serving knife. If I could do it again and have the option for more than just cake, I might just go with one of these decadent dessert tables!

Together with your wedding/event theme, create a gorgeous table with beautiful vases, cake displays, trays and plates with seriously ‘attention-to-detail’ desserts. Check out today’s post on The Good Girls Guide for more awesome ideas 🙂

A High Tea in the Garden

A High Tea in the Garden | source here.

Green & Red Party Poppers

Green & Red Party Poppers | source here.

Butterflies and Colourful Candies

Butterflies and Colourful Candies | source here.

Sweet Love

Sweet Love | source here.

Babyshower or Birthday

Babyshower or Birthday | source here.

Wedding DIY Dessert Table

Wedding DIY Dessert Table | source here.

Lavender High Tea

Lavender High Tea | source here.

Beautiful Dessert Table Detail

Beautiful Dessert Table Detail | source here.

Nigella’s Chocolate Brownies | Friday Recipe

Ooh, Nigella Lawson – the Chef with the big ladle of cream, butter, sugar and yummy goodness. Now while it’s not a great idea to eat like that on a daily (ha, or weekly!) basis, it’s good to have a treat every now and then. I’m a firm believer that chocolate is good for the soul, body and mind.

Soul – you feel comforted, comfortable and happy

Body – you feel energized by the natural cocoa (ok, I just made that up)

Mind – you know that a gym class is just a drive away…

So today’s post on The Good Girls Guide is about a decadent little Nigella special – one of her chocolate brownies. FLOURLESS no less! Serve with ice-cream for more delishishshsness….

Nigella's Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

FOR THE BROWNIE:

  • 225g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 225g butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 100g chopped walnuts

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 75g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 125ml double cream
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons
  • Camp coffee or 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon golden syrup

Method

Serves: Makes 16 squares
  1. For the brownie:
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan.
  3. Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and let it cool a little.
  4. Beat the eggs into the pan along with the ground almonds and chopped walnuts. Turn into a 24cm square baking tin or, most sensibly, use a foil one.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, by which time the top will have set but the mixture will still be gooey. Once cooler, cut carefully, four down, four across, into 16 squidgybellied squares.
  6. For the sauce:
  7. Break up the chocolate and put into a heavy-based saucepan.
  8. Add the remaining ingredients, then place the pan over a gentle heat and let everything melt together.
  9. Once everything has melted, stir well, take off the heat and pour into a jug to serve.

See Nigella’s recipe here.

Pasta Carbonara with Baby Marrows | Recipes to Enjoy

As it’s chilly, wet and cold today in Cape Town, I’d thought I’d share a delicious easy to prepare and WARM recipe that I used last week – to great acclaim from my husband – and it tasted amazing! If you’re a pasta fan – then read on 🙂

Pasta Carbonara (this recipe taken from Pick’nPay.com) is a classic Italian dish, and one thing I did find interesting is that they say to use pecorino cheese (not parmesan) as it’s the traditional way of making it. Pecorino is a bit more expensive however, so feel free to use freshly grated parmesan (not the finely ground pre-done one) if you like.

So, from The Good Girls Guide – enjoy this awesome tummy warmer this weekend:

Pasta CarbonaraPasta Carbonara with Baby Marrows | source here.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet  spaghetti
  • 6 baby marrows, cut into thin strips
  • 1 dash olive oil, for frying
  • 1 packet back bacon, cut into strips
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or 3, finely chopped
  • 4 large free range eggs, beaten
  • 125 ml pecorino cheese, finely grated
  • 1 pinch salt and milled pepper

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Add baby marrows 2 – 3 minutes before the end of cooking. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a glug of oil in a large pan and fry bacon until crispy.
  • Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Drain excess fat from pan and fry garlic for a minute.
  • Add pasta, baby marrows and bacon to pan and toss well.
  • Remove pan from heat. Quickly stir through the eggs, mixing until they begin to thicken, but not scramble.
  • Add cheese, season and serve.
  • ** Pecorino is a hard rind cheese similar to parmesan, originally made from sheep’s milk.

Enjoy with love and have a super weekend 🙂

Cupcake Inspiration | Yummy Ideas to Impress

Here’s something gorgeous to oogle over this morningSERIOUSLY decadent and delicious cupcakes! I have a lovely group of girlfriends and we have bookclub every so often – and trust me – at least ONE will bring along a plate of superb looking cupcakes that we all applaud, take a sip of red wine and then declare:

“I could never make something that looks that good!”

The thing with baking (as I’m slowly learning) – sticking to the recipe is actually quite key. It’s not like a stirfry or curry or whatnot that you just chuck things into, it’s about ensuring your measurements are exact. Once the actual thing is made, well then all it comes down to is, creative decoration:

Cupcake Inspiration
Some great ideas for easy Wowing, Applauding, Red Wining & Declaring:

  • cute fruit like rasperries, blueberries or strawberries
  • some sparkly edible things like silver balls
  • a great recipe for delicious-tasting icing
  • food colouring
  • a dollop of cream or caramel or whipped custard
  • cute paper cups
  • a shake of icing sugar over the lot
  • a gorgeous plate to serve on

And that’s Cupcake Inspiration. Yum!

Photos from Wedding Bee, Food.Lohudblogs, Sugarbloomcupcakes, musicisart, Cupcake Inspirations, Designzzz, ireallylikefood, polyvore, and ilovemuffins