Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tomatoes Stuffed With Cashews & Spinach

We just love this delicious recipe from one of our favourite blogs, Kora Organics. Tomatoes are one of nature’s true super foods. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, added to soups, pastas and served up with salads. If you want to try something adventurous like the Greeks do why not try Stuffed Tomatoes? An exotic way to incorporate a host of delicious in-season vegetables into one glorious mouthful.  

5 -6 large organic tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves chopped finely
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 cup basil leaves
½ cup cashews
1 TBS nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
½ cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS lemon rind
Celtic sea salt and black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. In a little olive oil sauté onions and garlic until brown.
3. Scoop out flesh of tomatoes and set aside.
4. Put all remaining ingredients into a food processor adding olive oil slowly and mix seasoning to taste.
5. Place in baking tray and drizzle with little EV olive oil.
6. Place in oven on middle shelf for 20-25 mins until cooked through.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

Repurpose the classic Mason jar as a soap or lotion dispenser in your bathroom with these 3 easy steps…

1. First, measure and mark the center of the jar's lid. 
2. Using a 1/2" high-speed steel drill bit (about $10 local hardware store), drill a hole to fit the width of a soap dispenser pump. We used pumps from old lotion bottles. 
3. Fill the jar with liquid soap, screw the lid back on, and insert the pump. You may need to trim the bottom of the pump to fit your jar.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Decorate Your Reception With Weddingstar

Weddingstar has made decorating your wedding reception easy with their fantastic range of table decorations, favours, candles and so much more. With over 800 items for you to choose from decorating your reception will be a piece of cake! Here are some of our favourites…



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flag Bunting

Flag bunting adds an air of carnival to any celebration. Keep it simple for birthday celebrations, or dress it up with ornaments and baubles for relating to the theme of the occasion.   

What you will need
Sewing machine
Four 1m pieces of fabric
Tailor’s chalk
5cm wide soft cotton tape
Iron-on hemming tape  

Hints and Tips 
For a quicker version, use pinking shears to cut the flags and skip the sewing stage.  

How To
1. Cut the fabric into 50cm strips, fold in half again, right side in, and press.
2. Use the ruler and chalk to make a mark at 20cm intervals along the top. On the bottom edge, make your first mark 10cm in and then one every 20cm.
3. Draw lines between the upper and lower marks to make a zig-zag pattern that runs the length of the strip.
4. Cut along each line and then along the fold where each piece is joined.
5. Match triangles up in pairs and pin together, right side in. Using the sewing machine, stitch along two sides - turn right side out, tuck the unclosed edges inside the flag and press.
6. Cut the cotton tape into 5m lengths. Starting 25cm in, place the unclosed side of a flag, with hemming tape above and below, on the cotton tape. Fold the tape over and press to fuse. Leave 2cm between each flag and 25cm at the end.
7. Hang the finished bunting then tie ornaments and baubles at intervals. Choose light decorations that won’t interfere with the ‘hang’ of the bunting.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Romantic Heart Candles

Set the mood this Valentine's Day with these romantic heart candles from Martha Stewart. 

Tools and Materials
Heart-shaped craft punches in various sizes
Sheet wax
Pillar candle  

How To
1. Punch hearts from a sheet of wax using heart-shaped craft punches.
2. While holding a single wax heart with chopsticks, heat the pillar candle and wax heart using a blow-dryer (this will soften the wax heart, causing it to adhere to the candle).
3. Repeat this process until you have attached the desired number of hearts to the candle.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Truffles

Nothing says 'I love you' like these chocolate truffles. Give them to your loved one this Valentines day.

Ingredients (makes 24)
180g white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup thickened cream
1/2 teaspoon strawberry essence
Pink food colouring
180g milk chocolate, chopped
Pink heart sprinkles, to decorate
1. Place white chocolate and cream in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (75%) for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring with a metal spoon after 1 minute. Stir in essence. Tint mixture pink with food colouring. Cover. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until firm.
2. Line a tray with baking paper. Roll heaped teaspoons mixture into balls. Place on tray. Freeze until firm.
3. Place milk chocolate in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (75%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring halfway during cooking with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth. Using a fork, dip truffles in melted chocolate, shaking off excess. Return truffles to tray. Top each with a pink heart. Refrigerate until set. Serve.  

For coffee truffles, replace white chocolate with dark chocolate, adding 1 tablespoon extra cream to mixture. Omit strawberry essence and food colouring. Stir in 1 tablespoon Kahlua Mocha liqueur at the end of step 1. Replace milk chocolate with dark chocolate. drizzle with 50g melted white chocolate (optional).

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Handcrafted Valentine's Day Décor

Express your love and affection by creating these simple handmade gifts and decorations for Valentine's day. From heart-shape art to pretty Valentine's day décor for your mantle, these crafts will be loved this holiday.
These cute craft projects make great shelf decorations for Valentine's Day. To craft the collage, cut out repeating shapes from fabric and use spray adhesive to mount on white cardstock frame. For more advanced crafters, pencil a design on a store-bought canvas, and then sew over your drawing using a thick needle.
Dress up a plain throw pillow for Valentine's day by adding the word "love" with stencils and fabric paint. Cut out your own letters or buy a set of stencils, available at crafts stores, for a quick design.
Send your valentine a sweet love note with a special surprise inside: pretty handcrafted votive candle sleeves that spell out a romantic message.
Make a garland of hearts cut from fabric scraps layered and attached with iron-on adhesive. Punch small holes in the sides of the hearts and tie them together with ribbon.
To create this cute heart wreath use paper punches or scissors to cut hearts from colored lightweight decorative paper. Curl the cutout hearts by scraping them between your thumb and a butter knife just as you would with curling ribbon. Then layer them on the round cardstock base and attach each with a dab of clear-drying glue, either in the center or near one edge. Hang the wreath with ribbon.

Monday, February 6, 2012

30-minute Roast Chicken

Who says that you don't have time for a roast on a week night? This chicken will be on your table in half an hour and gone in even less time!
Ingredients (serves 4)
20g (1 tbs) unsalted butter
20ml (1 tbs) olive oil
4 large chicken pieces on the bone (preferably Maryland)
2 large desiree or pontiac potatoes, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled
6 eschallots (shallots)
1 lemon, halved
3 tbs chopped fresh tarragon
250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
2 tbs Dijon mustard  

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. 
2. Place butter and oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken and brown for 2 minutes each side until golden. Transfer to a medium baking dish (it is important that the pan is big enough so that there is plenty of room).
3. Add potatoes to the frying pan and cook until light golden. (They don't need to be cooked through yet.) Arrange them around the chicken with the garlic and eschallots. Squeeze lemon over the chicken and season. Sprinkle over half the tarragon and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter.
4. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the wine, stock and mustard and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until reduced. Pour over the chicken and garnish with remaining tarragon. Serve with a green salad.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Pamper Your Pooch

Better Homes & Gardens has shown us how to pamper your pooch by building a bed made from an unused side table. Remove the top and doors, then cut away any support pieces. After sanding rough edges, apply a fresh coat of paint that will complement your space. Finish by placing a fluffy dog pillow inside.