Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicken Fried Rice

This tasty variation on fried rice is quick and easy and is guaranteed to please those hungry bellies.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
600g chicken breast fillets, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 brown onion, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups cold cooked rice (see note)
1 cup Thai basil leaves
4 green onions, sliced diagonally
1/4 cup fried shallots
1. Combine soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and oyster sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add 3 teaspoons oil and swirl to coat. Add half the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with oil and remaining chicken.
2. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and onion to wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Add garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add egg and rice. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until egg is well combined with rice.
3. Return chicken to wok. Add soy sauce mixture, basil and green onions. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined. Spoon into bowls. Sprinkle with fried shallots and serve. 

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Hand Made Tags

Make a statement with these gorgeous hand made tags from Etsy. They are ideal to use for place cards, on gift bags, to hang on drawers, invitations, thank you notes, labels, or anywhere you see fit!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

DIY Wall Hooks

Have a bare wall in the bedrooms? Well this simple DIY tutorial from Sew Craft Create will fill your bare walls in no time. Create these fantastic looking Shabby Chic Wall Hooks that can be personalised using the initial of your name!

What you will need:
Acrylic paint
Satin finish
Artistic appliques
Glue gun
Letter hooks
12.5" by 11" wood frame
Paint Brush
Fabric of your choice

1. Lightly brush acrylic paint over the wood applique. Let dry. Add one coat of satin finish.
2. Cut fabric slightly larger then the frame. Using the hot glue gun, glue the fabric on to one side. Pull fabric tightly on the opposite middle section and glue. 
3. Pull right corner of fabric tightly down and to the right. Glue and press fabric until dry. Repeat process on left side corner.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on remain sides, leaving outer corners un-glued.
5. Tuck corner under like you are wrapping a gift. Glue and trim if needed. Repeat for each corner.
6. Glue wood appliques onto edge of frame.
7. Glue letter onto fabric.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make Your Own Favour Boxes

Use any basic card stock for all of these small boxes and place delicious candy or chocolates inside for a favour your guests will love!

Pyramid Box1. Enlarge the template, trace it onto paper, and cut it out. Make slits as marked with a utility knife. Using a bone folder, score the paper on the dotted lines.
2. Fold up all four flaps, forming a pyramid. Cut two pieces of ribbon, each one long enough to wrap around the box. Starting on what will be the inside of the box, slip one ribbon through a slit, wrap around outside, and slip through opposite side. Pull ribbon so two sides come together; tie. Thread second ribbon through remaining two sides, wrapping around outside; pull ends together, and tie. Tuck excess ribbon into box.

Kiss Box1. Enlarge the template, and trace it onto paper. Working just outside the lines, cut out the shape with paper edgers of your choice. Punch holes through ends of flaps as marked. Using a bone folder, score paper on the dotted lines.
2. Fold up all flaps. Cut ribbon a little bit longer than the diameter of the bottom of box; thread it through all the holes. Cinch two ends of the ribbon until sides close the "kiss." Tie a bow.

Long Box1. Enlarge the template, and trace it onto paper. Cut out the left and right flaps with scissors. Using paper edgers of your choice, cut the top and bottom flaps just outside the lines. Punch holes in all four flaps as marked. Using a bone folder, score the bottom on the dotted lines.
2. Fold in the left and right flaps. Slide a short length of silk ribbon through the two holes, and tie the two sides closed. Fold top and bottom flaps in; tie with a second piece of silk ribbon. Finish with a bow and a little paper "button" or tag.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fast & Fabulous Decorating Projects

Give your home décor a lift with these easy decorating projects from Better Homes & Gardens, that are fun, fresh, and fast! 

Add intricate architectural detailing with ease. This elegant wainscoting looks like the result of hours of elaborate work, but it just calls for a visit to a home centre or hardware store. The ready-made PVC latticework panels are mounted on the wall above the baseboard and topped with a chair rail made from 1x4 and 1x2 boards. Screen molding is nailed in place to hide the joints where the panels meet. Paint the raw wood pieces with white paint color-matched to the PVC.

Don't let the inside of a wood bookcase or hutch keep beautiful display pieces in the dark. Show off the contents and lighten the decorative mood of the entire room by painting the shelves' interior. Add even more personality by wallpapering the inside with a fun pattern.

Artwork doesn't have to be expensive or hard to find to be pretty and special. Gather a handful of floating frames to hang on a wall in an abstract arrangement. Fill the frames with beautiful letterpress cards or anything that strikes your fancy and complements your décor.

Turn a plain bulletin board into a decorative accessory that's functional too. Display a bulletin board in a stylish frame -- try a chunky black frame for modern décor or gilded molding to fit more traditional décor. Then add a decorative wall decal on the cork to dress up the memo board.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pink Ribbon Day Cupcakes

We love these pretty in pink strawberry and vanilla cupcakes for Pink Ribbon Day.  

Ingredients (makes 24)
200g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk

Strawberry icing
2 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture, sifted
3 teaspoons milk
3 teaspoons strawberry essence
pink food colouring
icing flowers, to decorate
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced oven. Line muffin or mini-muffin pans with paper cases.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla and sugar in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition (mixture will separate at this stage). Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in half the flour. Stir in half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk until combined.
3. For 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pans use 2 level tablespoons of mixture. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Alternatively, for 1 tablespoon-capacity mini muffin pans use 1 tablespoon mixture. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Stand cakes in pans for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Strawberry icing 
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced oven. Line two 12-hole, 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pans with paper cases. Make Basic cupcakes (see related recipe). 
2. Make strawberry icing Place icing sugar in a bowl. Stir in milk to form a spreadable icing, adding more milk if necessary. Stir in strawberry essence. Tint icing with food colouring. Spread icing over cakes. Decorate with icing flowers. Serve.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

DIY Wedding Pillow Boxes

We came across this great idea for DIY wedding pillow boxes on Once Wed. Have your guests throw feathers, confetti, rose petals (or what ever you like), as you walk away for the first time as husband and wife! We just love love the little quote to accompany the pillow boxes… When the newly weds, walk your way, Toss the feathers and shout “HOORAY”.

What you will need
Decorative Paper 
Cardboard Pillow Boxes 
Feathers (or what ever you choose to put inside)
Paper glue

1. Use one of your pillow boxes as a template. Lay it down on your decorative paper and trace around it using a pencil. Trace two for every pillow box you will be covering.
2. Cut the shapes out using scissors.
3. Coat each side of the box with a thin, even layer of glue and stick on the shapes of paper.
4. When the glue has completely dried, close one end of the box by folding in the pre-scored flaps.
5. Cut a length of ribbon, wrap it around the middle of the box a couple of times and tie it off with a knot and finish a small bow. 
6. Fill your boxes with feathers, leaving the ends of the feathers sticking out.
7. Create a small tag for your box, on the computer, with instructions for your guests. Eg When the newly weds walk your way, toss the feathers and shout ‘HOORAY'. Cut out your tags and stick them on using a dot of glue. You can also create a larger sign with instructions to place near your displayed boxes. 
9. Arrange your pillows in a bowl or basket for your guests to take. 

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lace Tiles

We came across this great tutorial on how to create lace tiles on Martha Stewart. These tiles are permanently enameled and can be used for all sorts of projects.

Here's how it works: first spray one side of a piece of lace with spray adhesive, then smooth it onto the surface of a ceramic tile. The glue will hold it firmly in place. Then spray quickly with any spray paint or spray enamel just enough to get an even color. You don't even need to wait for the paint to dry, just carefully pull off the lace.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How To Make Stenciled Pillows

We found this great tutorial on how to stencil pillow from Home Life. Linen gives a wonderful crispness to these pillows. With careful stenciling the bird on the appliquéd panel should look as if it has been printed. Other simple shapes, such as hearts, stars, letters, or numbers, could also be stenciled. The more the merrier with pillows, as they work so well grouped together. The pillows have “envelope” closures, which are quick and easy to make because they don’t require zippers or buttonholes. The directions overleaf are for making the bird pillow, and you can simply adapt them for each style.  

Materials & Equipment
Tape measure and long metal ruler
Carpenter’s square (set square)
Pencil or tailor’s chalk
Pillow form (pad)
Scissors, paper, and pins
Muslin (US) or calico (UK)
Cardboard for stencil
Sharp scalpel and cutting mat or piece of thick cardboard
Acrylic fabric paint and stencil brush
Old plate and piece of paper
Ribbon and buttons
Sewing machine
Needle and sewing thread  

1. Mark out on the linen a rectangle twice the length of the pillow form plus 4in (10cm), and the width plus 1 1/4in (3cm). Cut out the linen exactly on the straight grain so that it can be frayed. Fray the two shorter edges by teasing out the threads parallel to the edge using a pin. Linen frays particularly well. Cut out a rectangle of muslin (calico) for the stenciled panel, and fray all four edges in the same way. 

2. Using an outline of a bird (such as the one pictured) or another motif of your choice, transfer the shape to a piece of cardboard. Cut it out using a sharp scalpel on a cutting mat. The stencil consists of the piece of cardboard with the central cut-out.
3. Put some paint on an old plate and dab the stencil brush into it. The brush should be covered but not too wet or it could leak under the stencil. Position the stencil on the muslin panel. Dab the brush on a piece of paper and, holding the stencil firmly so it won’t move at all, work the paint into the panel using a dabbing action. Build up the color so it looks solid. If there is not enough coverage it will look stenciled and mottled, whereas the aim is for it to look as though it has been printed. Carefully lift off the stencil.
4. When the panel is completely dry, place it on the linen. The easiest way to work out the position is to wrap the fabric around the pillow form temporarily. Pin the panel to the linen. Cut the ribbon to the correct length and pin it to the linen, too, making sure it is straight. Machine stitch the panel and ribbons in place.
5. With the fabric right side up, fold the top and bottom in toward the center, overlapping the frayed edges of the opening, until the length is the same as the length of the pillow form. Pin the side edges together, allowing for 5/8 in (1.5cm) seams. Stitch the seams, snip off the corners of the seam allowances, and press the seams open. Turn the cover right side out, press, sew on the buttons, and insert the pillow form through the opening. 

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Afforadable Wall Art Ideas

Have a bare wall at home and don't know what to do with it? Well Better Homes & Gardens have 22 DIY cures for bare walls. Here are our favourites…

Turned an old divided window into a frame for over the sofa. Sand, prime, and repaint a salvage-yard window, then fit a precut mat and a favorite photo into each opening. Keep them in place with framer's glazing points (find them at crafts stores). Add a vintage knob to give our new artwork old-fashioned character.

You'd be surprised how beautiful close-up photos of flowers can be, even the snapshots you take with your own digital camera. Take your favorite flower images to your local photo center and have them enlarged to enhance the details, and ask that they be printed on canvas, rather than photo paper. Crisp white frames make these pretty petals pop, but you could simply stretch the canvases over frames for a modern edge.

It's like a photo album for your wall. Use a piece of common molding to make a picture rail. Decorative golden picture hooks fitted with short lengths of hardware-store chain suspend all sizes and shapes of frames. Simply cut the chain to the desired length and top with a circular link. Then hang each piece and enjoy happy memories each time you pass by.

Find an old frame at an op shop or vintage store , that is in need of a little TLC. Clean it up, prime it, and repaint. Place an old vintage map in to the frame. Lightly sand the edges to mimic aging, then add a light coating of crackle finish to give it a time-worn appeal to match your vintage map.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thai Chicken Salad

This Thai chicken salad makes for easy and impressive entertaining.  

Ingredients (serves 4)
175g thin rice noodles
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
200g snow peas or green beans
4 spring onions, shredded
250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups Thai basil leaves
2 cups mint leaves
1 barbecued chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp grated palm sugar (available at Asian grocers)
100ml fish sauce
2 long red chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
1. Soak the rice noodles in boiling water for 4 minutes to soften. Drain, refresh in cold water, then place in a large bowl. Blanch asparagus and snow peas in boiling water for 2 minutes until just tender.
2. Drain, refresh in cold water, then add to the bowl of noodles with the spring onions, cherry tomatoes, herbs and chicken. Combine lime juice and sugar in a separate bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in fish sauce and chilli, then drizzle over salad, toss to combine, and serve garnished with chopped peanuts.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Lace-Print Stationery

We came across this easy tutorial for lace printed stationery on Martha Stewart. Elegant, airy letter-writing supplies, slipped inside a blush-colored box, will lend a dreamy feeling to every word you write. Ink, lace, paper, and a simple printing method are all you need to create this set. 

1. Practice this technique a few times on scrap paper before printing stationery or gift tags. Trim the lace 1 inch or so longer than the item to be printed, to ensure clean edges. Cover work surface with paper to avoid unwanted ink smudges. 

2. Start with a sheet of glass (cut at a hardware store). Make sure it is large enough to accommodate the lace you will use, and tape its edges to prevent cuts. Using a brayer, spread a thin, even layer of water-based block-printing ink on the glass. Place the lace with the side to be printed facedown on the ink (the front of the lace often has more relief and will make a more detailed print). Firmly run the brayer over the lace once or twice. Thin lace should be completely saturated. 

3. Use a toothpick to lift a corner of the lace. With your fingertips, peel the lace from the glass. Then lay one end of the lace just off the paper on which you wish to print, and carefully place the rest down. Put a paper towel on top of the lace and roll firmly once or twice with a second, clean brayer; be careful not to shift the lace underneath. 

4. Peel off the lace, using the toothpick. Let dry.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Broccoli & Pecorino Pasta

A quick and healthy pasta dinner made with chillies, anchovies and rocket.
Ingredients (serves 4)
3 cloves garlic (see Notes)
2 long red chillies
4 anchovy fillets
2 heads broccoli
140ml extra virgin olive oil
60g pecorino or parmesan
350g orecchiette or other short dried pasta
1 cup rocket
1 lemon (see Notes)
Crusty bread, to serve  

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, thinly slice garlic widthwise. Halve chillies lengthwise and remove seeds. Finely chop chillies and anchovies, and set aside with garlic. Cut stalks from the broccoli, peel, then cut into 1cm pieces. Cut the broccoli heads into small florets.
2. Add florets to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or until almost tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and keep water boiling. Place half the florets in a food processor with 2 tbs oil. Season with salt and pepper. Coarsely grate pecorino, add 40g to the food processor, and process to a paste. Transfer to bowl with remaining florets.
3. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Halfway through cooking, add the broccoli stalks. Drain pasta and broccoli stalks, reserving 125ml (1/2 cup) cooking water and the pan.
4. Place remaining 100ml oil, garlic, chillies and anchovies in reserved pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and anchovies have broken up. Add reserved cooking water, pasta, broccoli mixture, rocket and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, tossing, for 2 minutes or until rocket wilts.
5.Squeeze lemon over pasta, season and toss well to combine. Divide among bowls, scatter with remaining pecorino and serve with crusty bread.
• To peel garlic quickly, place on a chopping board, place the flat side of a knife over the top and hold down with one hand. Using the heel of your free hand, carefully hit the knife; the force will bruise the garlic, splitting the skin and making it easy to peel.
• To get maximum juice from a lemon, roll it on a work surface before juicing.
• For a variation on the pasta, shred the meat from a barbecued chicken and stir into the pasta.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DIY Wedding Thank You Cards

We came across this cute DIY thank you card project at My DIY Wedding Day. The thank you card includes an embossed card and the couple’s favourite wedding photos all wrapped in a pretty little pocket folder and finished off with a ribbon!

watermark ink or embossing ink
ink of your colour choice (I used black)
thermal embossing powder of your colour choice (they used gold)
rubber thank you stamp
rubber stamp of your choice for front of card (they used a custom monogram stamp)
heat gun
cards and envelopes
luggage tags
pocket folders
a selection of your favorite wedding photos 

1. Using a thank you stamp, stamp the luggage tags with the regular ink and put aside.
2. Press the rubber stamp on the watermark ink and stamp the image on the card by pressing down firmly and removing the stamp quickly.
3. Shake the thermal embossing powder over the image until it is completely covered. To remove the excess powder tap the card over some paper and then empty this back into the thermal embossing powder container. Make sure the card has no flecks of powder by brushing them off.


4. Turn on the heat tool and melt the powder this may take a few seconds.

5. Once you have filled in the cards with your note and enveloped them you can insert the card and photographs into the pocket folder and seal it.
6. Put the ribbon through the luggage tag and tie it around the pocket folder, finish it off with a tie of your choice and voila!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Cadbury Family Cake

We all love chocolate right?! So why not bake this chocolate cake from Cadbury's Kitchen? It's sure to be gone in seconds!

1 cup water
1½ cups caster sugar
150g butter
⅓ cup CADBURY Bournville Cocoa
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1½ cups self raising flour 
1¼ cups icing mixture
30g butter, softened
Vanilla essence
Hot water
1. Combine water, sugar, butter, cocoa and bicarbonate soda in a saucepan and warm, but do not boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool for 30 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour and mix well. Pour into a greased and base-lined 20cm round cake pan
2. Bake in a moderate oven 180°C for 50 minutes or until cooked. Cool for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
3. Sift the icing mixture into a bowl then mix in the butter and enough hot water to form a soft icing. Spread on the cooled cake and decorate as desired. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Personalised Cookie Favors

We came across this fabulous recipe for personalised cookie favors on Project Wedding. You simply can't go wrong with edible favors for your guests, and these super-simple cookies can even be customised with a special word or letters to make the favors even more significant.

Ingredients (makes roughly 2 dozen)
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and add the flour mixture gradually, and beat until combined. Shape the dough into two disks, wrap each one with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Roll out the refrigerated disk on a lightly floured piece of parchment or wax paper to a 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Repeat with the second disk of dough, and put both disks of dough back in the refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes.

3. Use a cookie cutter to cut out cookie rounds from the dough. We used a fluted-edge cutter here for a decorative look, but any shape will work. 

4. Then, using mini alphabet cookie cutters, cut a letter from the middle of each dough round. We chose the word "thanks" for our cookie favors, but you can use your initials, your wedding location, or whatever word you'd like. Just a hint: Keep it on the short side! 

5. Bake the cookies at about 175 degrees on baking paper for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are firm. Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack.

7. Once the cookies cool, you're ready to package them up. Slide into a glassine bag and make a label with you and your hubby-to-be's initials to affix to the back of the bag.

8. The packaging options for these cookies are endless! For something different, try a tin, a brown kraft box, clear cello bags... Anything that can hold your cookies and can be embellished with a bit of pretty ribbon and a personalised tag will work.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pressed Flower Luminaria

We just love these lanterns from Natural Home & Garden. They give off a soft, ethereal light, perfect for adding glow to outdoor gatherings or indoor suppers or even for your wedding décor. They also show off dried flowers in a spare, modern way – pressed between gauzy panels made from wax paper. As twilight fades to night, the luminaria glow brighter and brighter.
Foraged flowers or foliage, such as ferns leaves, rock rose, and Queen
Anne’s Lace (see note below)
Wax paper
Japanese washi tape (paper tape)
Votive candle in glass holder or battery-operated flameless LED
Tealight candle
Paper towels
Heavy books or a flower press
Craft knife
Clear acrylic grid ruler
Self-healing cutting mat
Iron and ironing board 

Note: Delicate leaves and flowers will dry faster than other types of specimens. Choose specimens that will allow a lot of contact between the sheets of wax paper so the sheets will adhere to each other.

Press Floral Materials 
Arrange freshly picked floral materials flat between two paper towels, and then place the paper towels between the pages of a heavy book or flower press. If using a book, stack other books on top to weigh down. Let dry completely. This will take a few days.

Make Panels  
1. Using a craft knife, cut four 9 x 4 ½" (23 x 11.5 cm) rectangles of wax paper.
2. Set iron to medium. When hot, place a flower or foilage on one side of the wax paper rectangle. You will fold the other half on top and seal to create a square panel, so arrange the flower or foliage within the rectangle accordingly. Keep in mind you can place the flower or foliage so it runs beyond the edge of the paper since you can trim after making the sealed wax paper square.
3. Fold the rectangle of wax paper in half to create a square so the pressed item is sandwiched between the two layers of wax paper. Press along the folded edge with your finger, making sure the edges are aligned.  
4. Seal with the iron, pressing over the wax paper lightly and quickly. The iron will fuse the two pieces of wax paper into one sheet.
5. Repeat steps 2–4 so you have four sealed square panels. Trim, if necessary. 

Create Lanterns 
1. Lay two floral panels side-by-side with right sides up and edges touching. Orient the panels as you want them to appear in the finished lantern.
2. Cut a 5" (12.5 cm) length of Japanese washi tape. Center the tape over the join between the panels and press in place, letting the tape extend ¼" (6 mm) at the ends. Flip the floral panels over and press the tape ends to the wrong sides of the panels.
3. Fold the panels, wrong sides together, at the join and run your fingers along the fold to make a sharp crease in the tape. This will allow the panels to be positioned at 90-degree angles in the finished lantern.
4. Continue joining the remaining floral panels in the same manner to make a floral sleeve. For the final join you may need to adjust how you tape the panels together by placing the tape along one edge of a panel so half of its width overhangs, and then attaching the neighboring panel.
5. Set the floral sleeve in the desired location and then place a votive candle in a glass holder or LED tealight in the center of the sleeve.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Agnolotti with Creamy Pesto Chicken

This creamy and delicious chicken pasta dish can be on the table in under half an hour.
Ingredients (serves 4)
600g fresh spinach and ricotta agnolotti
4 small single chicken breast fillets, trimmed
450ml thickened cream (see note)
1/2 cup (130g) store-bought pesto
salt and cracked black pepper
fresh basil leaves, to serve (optional)
1. Heat a little olive oil in a large, deep non-stick frying pan and cook chicken for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
2. Cook agnolotti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain and cover to keep warm.
3. Return the frying pan to medium heat and add the cream and pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 3 minutes then add the pasta and gently toss to combine.
4. Slice the chicken into medallions. To serve, divide pasta between bowls and top with chicken. Serve, sprinkled with basil leaves if desired.
Lite thickened cream can be used, if desired.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Make Your Own Jewellery

Transform a handful of inexpensive costume pieces into stunning jewellery for yourself or give it as a gift! Start with a handful of inexpensive costume pieces – brooches and earrings with openwork designs – and give them a new-old coppery patina using spray paint. Then link them together and add pretty pink ribbon. No one will guess you didn't break the bank.

You Will Need
Costume brooches, or earrings with openwork designs
Wire cutters
Clear nail polish 
Copper spray paint
Paper towels
1/4-inch jump rings
Needlenose pliers
1 1/2-inch-wide silk ribbon, cut into two 24-inch lengths

1. Snap off brooch or earring backs using wire cutters, and sand down any sharp bits so they won't catch on clothing. For extra protection apply clear nail polish to the area and let it dry.

2. For an antique look, coat pieces with spray paint, then quickly rub off most of the paint with a paper towel. Let dry.

3. Using jump rings (metal rings that open and close) and pliers, connect pieces in a pleasing order. Attach a ring at each end: Thread each ribbon halfway through the end rings; knot each ribbon at ring if desired. Tie behind neck to wear.