Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Interior Edit #3

A few weeks ago we purchased a new, made to look old, industrial style bookcase from our living room. I thought I had enough 'stuff' to display on it but shockingly I don't! Nor did I have any idea about how I should style the opening shelving unit. So `i've been on the hunt from some helpful bloggers who know a thing or two about bookcase styling and now I will show you what I've found! Originally we bought the bookcase for the living room but after many hours searching through magazines and blogs I now think it would look even better in a kitchen, so the long term plan is to find a new home with the perfect kitchen to place our beautiful bookcase (it's that good)!



My dream kitchen/dining room. I love the exposed brick and the opening shelving. This is of a restaurant but can easily be achieve in a home as well. The only negative is dusting everyday, but still very worth it in my opinion.

Caitlin from Desert Domicile has a fantastic post about a bookcase she style in her home. She explains how to break up the displays and work in 'chunks' with room to tweak here and there. Below is her display, to find out more on how to achieve this look, visit her site Desert Domicile for more details.





Simply white.


In this room, they have similar items on each individual shelf. This can easily be achieved but grouping your objects together and arrange them in color and shape. You can play around with the placement and be sure have in each shelf something that is similar in each. Here, they have kept the colours to brown and white as well as glass. You can see this in each shelf. 



Neat and precise. For the perfectionists in us all! 


I love the simple stacking of magazines in this monochrome living room. For a sleek and modern look, this is styling I would definitely recommend. 


Full, eclectic & easy breezy shelves bring this living room together. An easy way to add colour to a neutral room. 

Friday, 20 December 2013

Spiced Breakfast Muffins




As a special treat for a midweek breakfast recently I whipped up these muffins. I originally planned to use a recipe given to me by my Mum but after taking a look at the recipe, it looked way too complicated for my morning mood. Instead I made these and they were delish and super easy! I didn't measure all the ingredients properly so you may need to add more/less butter and golden syrup. Let your baking intelligence take control!

Heres the recipe -

Ingredients

1 C plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbsp melted butter
1/3 C golden syrup
1 egg
1/4 C milk

-Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius and line muffin tin with muffin liners.
-Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl and mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. 
-Once mixed, combine and evenly distribute mixture between 6 space muffin tin.
-Bake for 12 (fan forced). Once cooked, brush with butter and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar. 


Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Interior Edit #2

Kitchens have been on my mind lately and I've gathered some inspiration to share with you all. In my opinion, the kitchen is the heart of the home. I have so may fond memories of watching my mum bake in the kitchen while my siblings and I would learn her tricks, have tea and converse and sweet memories of the warm light coming form the fridge in the middle of the night in pursuit of a midnight snack. I believe a kitchen should be inviting, warm and homely and preferably with a dining table within reach. A lot of natural sunlight is desired and should more than often have a smell of freshly baked muffins.

As I live in the Middle East although there is a lot of sun, at times too much, there is a lack of natural light flooding the house as one would expect. This is mostly due to the tinted windows that all homes have which very needed to for summer months. Unfortunately for our kitchen, there is little sunlight and the kitchen is a very dark wood, with terra cotta tiled floors and a greeny-dark gray bench top, all of which make it look even darker!  So after doing some research, we are looking into changing the splashback tiles to a fresh bright white, in a subway brick tile. Do you think it will work to make the kitchen lighter? Tell me your thoughts!

All images taken from Pinterest, to get to the source click on the P button on the left hand side and find Interior Edit album on my account.


I love the simplicity and raw appeal of this black and white kitchen. The Baby's Breath add a feminine touch while the hanging bulbs give the oh so lovely warehouse feel. This is definitely a kitchen I'd love to cook in, with the condition that there should be natural light and lots of it. 


Eceltic and county, the copper pots are the perfect addition to this kitchen bringing some warmth to the olive green tile. 


Happy and Bright - this is a great modern and fun kitchen. 


Classic Country - I can see my Mum in a vintage apron, listening to Nat King Cole and baking some Madelines in this beautiful kitchen! The chandelier is perfect here. Every well loved kitchen deserves some bling. 


Simple White - Subway tiles, Le Crouset and that gorgeous oven. Perfect for the one who prefers simplicity. 


Yellow - A great way to add warmth to a cool room. Very American, very Martha. 


This is my favourite and felt appropriate to leave last as a parting vision. The gold accents with the graphic monochrome back splash is perfectly eye catching and would look great in any house. 










Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Slow Roasted Lamb


As I was growing up my Mum would make a Sunday Roast every week, sometimes chicken, sometimes beef and sometimes lamb. I could never choose a favourite between the chicken and lamb although the good thing about the lamb was that there was always leftovers for a lamb and ketchup sandwhich the next day. Since we more than often eat chicken rather than lamb now, I decided to make a Slow Roasted Lamb with a twist on Mum's classic.

Although I have always been afraid of cooking a Roast Dinner, this could not have been simpler. There is no need to worry about the meat being too dry or the timing of the vegetables. I got this recipe from a Marie Claire cookbook I've had for some years but shamefully have only tried 2 of the recipes. I fear that I may sometimes buy a cookbook for the beauty rather than the recipes. I think we are all guilty!
The image above is from the book, such beautiful photography throughout! 

I tweaked it a little by leaving out the red wine and instead using balsamic vinegar and extra vegetable stock, it worked perfectly! Also as my piece of lamb was 1kg less than the recipe called for, I used a little less liquid and cooked it for 3 hours rather than 4. If you are cooking for more than 3 people, I would suggest using a 2kg piece. 

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
2kg lamb leg
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 rosemary sprigs
1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
400g tin chopped tomatoes
100g green beans, trimmed
50g creamy feta cheese

- Preheat oven to 160C.
- Heat the oil in a deep, heavy roasting tin over a medium heat and brown the lamb on both sides.
- Remove the lamb and add the onion, cooking until it is translucent.
- Add the garlic, stock and vinegar to the onion and stir to combine.
- Return the lamb to the roasting tin and then add the tomato and rosemary sprigs.
- Cover with a lid or foil and transfer into the oven.
- Cook for 4 hours or until the meat is very tender. You can check at about 2 1/2 hours and add more liquid if needed. 
- Once the lamb is cooked, remove from the roasting tin, season with sea salt, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. 
- With a large spoon skim away any surface oil from the tomato sauce, add the green beans and stir through. Return the tin to the oven for a few minutes or allow to cook using your stove top. 
- Slice the lamb and arrange it on a warm plates. Spoon the beans and tomato sauce over the lamb, then crumble feta over the top.


Voila! Beautifully tender roast lamb. Feel free to mop up any juices with a crusty piece of bread. 


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Interior Edit


Something that I miss so much about living on the other side of the world is those days I would spend with my favourite galpal Courtney, shopping for vintage furniture then usually followed by a long chat and several cups of tea. Although it is not the same, sharing my love of antiques and interiors without her I can still easily waste a whole day strolling through furniture shops,picturing my favourite pieces in my home, or scrolling through interior design blogs, swooning over home renovations and architecture. So here I begin one of many to come regular posts on interiors that have caught my eye throughout the week.

I am a huge lover of interior design, styling, architecture and furniture and I want to celebrate the amazing talent that is out there. I find that there are so many styling options available in the market. from the affordable to excessive, all of which in someway suit the style of each individual. Although my taste may not be to everyones liking, I hope that you can gather some ideas and find your inner interior stylist. 

My first post will be about what stole my interior loving heart from the very beginning, and although I have now opened up to a wider range of design, white rooms with floorboards will always hold a special place in my heart. I think many people will agree with me that everything looks nicer in white, it helps to make a small space seem bigger, to give the illusion of increased natural sunlight and will help you to stay calm and relaxed. All pros in my opinion, save the problem of dirty small hands...

All images courtesy of Pinterest, you can click the pintrest button on the top left hand side of my blog to find more style inspo. 


















Sunday, 1 December 2013

Magnolia Banana Pudding, a Tribute...


On my first trip to New York in 2011, I made a special visit to the world renowned, Magnolia Bakery. I knew about the bakery thanks to numerous episodes of Sex and the City, where the girls often stop by the pastel colored shop for a perfectly iced cupcake. Although I went for the cupcake, of which I purchased several, the highlight of my Magnolia experience was the Banana Pudding that the baker behind the counter insisted I try. One spoonful and I was hooked, it was one of the most amazing things my taste buds had ever experienced and I will remain ever so grateful to that insistent baker.

Although we are fortunate enough to have our own little Magnolia Bakery in Dubai, it does not compare to the Manhattan shop in looks or taste. Its true what they say, you just can't beat an original. So here I have a tribute to that special banana pudding using a few different ingredients, with an intention that it would not be a copy, as it would be a insult to Magnolia's own. 


I made my own meringues using this recipe but feel free to use store bought if thats easier for you. I had a few left over from another dessert so wanted to use them up, thus this recipe was born! I would use less sugar than what it stated, as the dessert is very sweet. I know that the magnolia recipe uses Nilla Wafers, so if you want a pudding more authentic to Magnolia, you can also use them. I also used Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding in this dessert, which I am unsure if you can get all over the world but I do know that there is an equivalent in Australia called Cottees. 

Finally, the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 meringue nests
  • 100g packet of instant vanilla pudding
  • 397g tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cold water
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • banana chips for decoration


  1. To the make pudding, empty the contents into a large mixing bowl and add the water and tin of condensed milk. Whisk continually for 2mins then cover with cling wrap and leave in the fridge to set (about 3 hours, or you can leave overnight).
  2. Once pudding has set, whisk the cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into pudding mixture until completely combined. 
  3. Break the meringue into large chunks using hands. 
  4. In your serving bowl (or individual jars), begin layering the broken meringue, then the banana, then the vanilla pudding mix. Repeat 3 times or as many times as you need to fill your bowl. Garnish with extra meringue pieces and cover with cling wrap. 
  5. Leave to chill until you are ready to serve. 

Enjoy!