31 December 2012

One Day. 2012 in review

Well what a year it’s been…

The Costa Concordia capsized in Greece in January, the tragic loss of superstar Whitney Houston in February, Kony 2012 went viral in March, Matthew Newton’s rampage in Miami in April, BeeGees’ Robin Gibb’s death in May, Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in June, the horrific Batman shooting in July, Prince Harry’s nude photos that surfaced in August (poor fella was just having a good time like a regular person), Apple unveiled its iPhone 5 in September, Felix Baumgartner made history when he jumped from the edge of space in October, Barack Obama was re-elected in November and in December we all survived the end of the world according to the Mayans (personally I just think they ran out of stones to carve dates into).

It’s been a big year for me too with my final year of uni, the birth of pearls of style, graduation and a trip to the USofA. Along the way there have been quite a few ups and downs, but I’m happy to say I believe I’m coming out the other end stronger, wiser and determined to achieve a fabulously successful 2013.

Here are my top picks from pearls for 2012. Click on the links below.

Plate Up. (It’s a tie, one savoury and one sweet!) Potato and Leek Soup and Pear & Almond Tarts

Wishing you all a very happy new year and I can't wait to bring you more pearls of style in 2013.

Photo by Krissie.

29 December 2012

Must Have. Zac Posen Silk Taffeta Gown

I love Posen’s structured styling, I think it is a breath of fresh air amongst, what is currently, a rather bland fashion market. The red is worthy of any screen siren and the bombshell silhouette transports you back to old Hollywood glamour. Incredible! $6700

Photo by Zac Posen.

27 December 2012

Eat Me. Omeros Bros, Main Beach

To celebrate my graduation the other week I went to Omeros Bros in Main Beach with the family. I’ve been meaning to dine at Omeros for many years but always felt it was a bit of a ‘special occasion location’ and hadn’t gotten around to it. I have since been again and both experiences were great. Here’s an insider tip: the restaurant has four seating sections I would opt for inside or outside on the lower levels, see below:

-          Inside on the top level: not ideal as you are not by the window and hence don’t have a view.
-          Inside on the lower level: great spot, perfect view by the window and protected from inclement weather.
-          Outside on the top level: bit of a strange spot to sit, being outside you expect the view but the awning here sort of blocks it so you cannot see the boats, must suffer through any less-than delightful weather conditions plus beware of any creepy crawlies that are stalking around your feet for food – hello cockroaches.
-          Outside on the lower level: this is great spot if you don’t mind the aforementioned creepy crawlies, you are right on the water with a great view of the boats and can feed the fish below.

But back to the food… Omeros Bros as their ‘fishy’ logo may suggest is a specialty seafood restaurant but there are also other options such as soups and steaks. I ordered two entrees, wanting to make the most of the delicious dishes that were peering up at me from the menu. I had the avocado seafood which was a delightful tasting plate of smoked salmon, an oyster, prawns and, of course, avocado. I also had the barbequed prawns with worcestershire and lemon butter sauce which was delicious. As much as I wanted dessert I was rather stuffed so had to pass, but there is a crepe suzette on the menu for two that I’ve definitely got my eye on for next time! The price points are quite high but pretty standard for Marina Mirage restaurants, plus the quality of the food is well worth the expense for a special occasion.

The service was quite good although our waiter changed half way through and sometimes it was difficult to catch someone’s attention. However aside from that Omeros is a welcoming restaurant that provides wonderful broadwater views and delicious food. 4/5

Where: Shop 55 Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach QLD 4217
Bookings: recommended on weekends
Phone: (07) 5591 7222

Photos by Krissie.

Omeros Brothers Seafood on Urbanspoon

26 December 2012

Plate Up. Pavlova

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday shared with those nearest and dearest. I indulged in a seafood lunch with oysters, prawns and crab (my absolute favourite) before a more traditional dinner of turkey and ham. Needless to say, last night I was suffering from quite a food coma! Here's a little something to add to your overload, just in case you're looking for a snack today (unlikely!).

I don’t know about you, but I think it doesn’t get much better than summertime and the delicious desserts that come along with it, not to mention the divine fruit selection – mangoes, stone fruits, cherries…

The thing about being a food blogger, is that everyone turns to you for the best recipes and expects delightful dishes whenever they come around! Another thing is that I’ll be merrily cooking something up for a party and in my passion and tasting delight, I often forget to take pictures along the way. Oops. Please forgive my missing picture of the mini pav’s out of the oven, I promise they look delish.

As you can see, I love to serve mine crushed in a dessert glass with some seasonal fruits and cream. Some of my favourite Christmases and summer parties have ended with pavlova and now yours can too with this simple recipe!

What you’ll need
4 eggs whites
1 cup of sugar
½ teaspoon vinegar
Pinch of salt

What to do
Preheat oven to 120 degrees Celsius and line 2 baking trays with paper. Now I usually say fresh is best, but not when it comes to pavlova. Make sure your eggs are older, it will really make a big difference to you dessert. Place egg whites, vinegar and salt in a bowl and, using a hand beater, beat on high until soft peaks form. Gradually add in a tablespoon of sugar at a time, beating continuously, until all the sugar as been incorporated and the mixture is stiff, white and glossy. (Note: if your arm is aching by this point you'll know you've done it properly!) Gently dollop your meringue onto your lined baking trays – you should make 4 fist-sized rounds on each tray for a total of 8 mini pav’s.

Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes or until your meringues feel firm on the outside but if you press they crumble to reveal a soft centre, this should be just before they start to brown, they should still be perfectly white. Switch the power off and leave to cool in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve whole or crushed with your choice of fruit and cream. I love mine with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and a drizzle of passionfruit pulp. The perfect summer dessert!

Photos by Krissie.

24 December 2012

Must Have. Assouline Chanel Bookset

This divine trio of books written by François Baudot and François Aveline would look beautiful on my bookshelf, and I have just the space for it! The collection, presented in Chanel’s signature quilted leather and adorned with the ‘double C’, is a rare collector’s item exploring the inner workings of the French fashion house. J’adore.

This is a last minute addition to my christmas wish list, at $750 I don't like my chances.

Photos by Assouline.

21 December 2012

Eat Me. Nizza Hells Kitchen, NYC

Nizza, like Pizza but with an N, is a delightful Italian restaurant I stumbled across in Hells Kitchen during my stay in New York. After wandering the sub-zero streets for some time I was ready to feed my stomach and thaw my fingers at the next place I found, and it so happens this was it!

The restaurant takes it cues from the French/Italian Riviera with wooden accents, warm tones and European murals. A quaint little bistro, Nizza features an extensive menu and also provides an entire gluten-free menu which I’m told features dishes that are better than their gluten-packed counterparts. You can see their full menu here.

I ordered the farfalle with linguini (from the regular menu), featuring prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, peas, onion and garlic. It was packed full of flavour and a very decent sized portion (and at $16 an absolutely bargain by Australian standards). My only disappointment was that the prosciutto was little diced pieces rather than the lovely long, thin strips I’m used to in Oz.

Service was great, we had a cheery American waiter who was most fascinated by the fact that we were “from down-under”. Try to nab a booth if you can, they’re very cosy and provide the perfect vantage point for people-watching.

Overall the food at this little bistro was yummy and I’d love to return. 3.5/5

Where: 630 9th Avenue, Hells Kitchen, NYC
Bookings: not necessary
Phone: (212) 956-1800

Photos by Krissie.

Nizza on Urbanspoon

19 December 2012

Plate Up. Banana & Oat Muffins

Whilst I was in America recently I stumbled across the idea of a ‘breakfast muffin’ – a muffin that whilst sweet in nature, has some health benefits allowing it to pass as a suitable source of sustenance to break-the-evening’s-fast.

When I came to making my own I was a little unsure of what main ingredients to include. After much deliberation I decided on bananas (because they were overripe in my fruit bowl) and oats (because who doesn’t love porridge for breakfast?). Now bananas and I have always had a bit of strained relationship [although I do like ladyfingers!]; there are rare moments when I absolutely must have one, and I do like banana bread, but most of the time I’m really not into them by themselves. But, problem solved, because in these muffins, bananas (no matter how ripe), are delish! The recipe makes 12, enjoy!

What you’ll need
1 cups plain flour
½ cup wholemeal flour
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup butter milk (if you don’t have butter milk use regular milk and add ½ teaspoon vinegar)
1 egg
1 dessert spoon honey
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
¼ cup melted butter
2 mashed bananas

What to do
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line your muffin tin.

In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In a large bowl, whisk wet ingredients together. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stop as you see the last bit of flour disappear. Don’t over mix. Pour batter into muffin tin and bake for 18 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Cool in tin for 5 minutes and enjoy warm or cool for later. Muffins keep well frozen for a month.

Photos by Krissie.

17 December 2012

One Day. The Graduate

Well, I did it – I graduated from my degree! I’m so happy that after 3 years of juggling lectures, tutes, horrendously early mornings (5am wake-ups anyone?), train rides, car-park hunting, essays and exams I have finished!

Despite the long, boring speeches, my ceremony was really exciting. I was so proud to be sitting on that stage and when it was my turn in the spotlight I tried my best to picture all of my time, effort, assessment and $20,000 going into that doth of my mortarboard, shake of the Dean’s hand and piece of paper I now held in my hot-little-hands. I guess this right-of-passage actually represents a lot more than appearances give away.

So hooray for me! The next chapter begins…

13 December 2012

Must Have. Gucci 18-karat gold bamboo ring

I love jewellery with a bit of personality, without being OTT and think this is exactly what Gucci has achieved here. Usually I'm much more of a silver [white gold & platinum!] lover but for this little piece I think it could be persuaded to wear gold. Think of it as an exotic accent to compliment the tribal trend. $2250 it’s on my Christmas wish list.

Photo by Gucci.

11 December 2012

[Don't] Eat Me. Bazaar QT Gold Coast

I was so excited to eat at Bazaar after hearing so many wonderful things from people, but, unfortunately, I have no wonderful things to say. I dined at Bazaar on a Saturday night, we were greeted by a friendly waiter who walked us through the buffet before seating us. First impressions were good. The restaurant had a good vibe, the buffet looked diverse and the restaurant had some funky décor. Unfortunately it all goes downhill from there.

We ordered two glasses of wine which took over 20 minutes to arrive and Bazaar’s signature tasting plate, which you are encouraged to order, turned up after another 20 minutes even though they assured me it would instantaneous. The creations on the tasting plate were clever, there was a tuna tartare, soft-shell crab, croquetas and something unidentifiable, but whilst the crab was quite tasty, the other nibbles very heavy and left me feeling a bit sick.

As the lover of seafood I am, following the tasting plate I went straight for some oysters. When I sat down to eat them they smelt very off. When I told the waiter he smelt them, agreed and said he would tell the chef and come back.
Never saw him again.

After that I was a little off trying the seafood [my usual buffet favourite] so was already disappointed. I moved to the hot section where the food is displayed in nifty crock pots, only trouble is there are no signs so you have to catch the chef’s attention to ask what every dish is. They seemed rather annoyed at being disturbed by patrons so perhaps some signs would help us both! In the end I gave up and didn’t try anything from that section.

Next was wood-fired pizza and I will say that this was very yummy. Along side the pizza, the salad bar offers multiple choices from pear, rocket and pecorino to spiced dahl. From what I tried the salads were pretty tasty too. Finally I ordered a couple of dumplings from the Asian section but as far as dumplings go they were pretty awful; no flavour and soggy.

After being told by previous diners of the third course delights, I had left plenty of room for dessert. I tried some macaroons, tiramisu and other bits and pieces but nothing was worth writing home about. Finally I went over to Bazaar’s version of ‘cold-rock ice-cream’ were I was told they would smash my chosen flavourings into my ice-cream – not so. My scoop was merely sprinkled with my selection.

Overall I was very very disappointed with Bazaar: bad seafood, poor service and bland food, barely redeemed by a stylish design and some good pizza. I won’t be returning. 1.5/5

Where: 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217
Bookings: recommended
Phone: (07) 5584 1200

Bazaar on Urbanspoon

8 December 2012

One Day. Photobombs.

It seems ‘photobombs’ are the new ‘planking’ – the latest pointless fad to sweep the internet-world, giving bored office-workers a giggle. For those of you who may not know what a ‘photobomb’ is (hi Mum!), it’s when a perfectly good picture is spoilt by someone else sticking their head in. Whilst I don’t find them particularly funny [so you struck a funny face and ruined someone’s picture], when an animal does it, it suddenly becomes hilarious. (Seems this is the case with a lot of things, human sleeping = boring, dog sleeping = totally cute; human sneezing = icky and germanous, baby panda sneezing = hysterical.)

I mean look at these guys. The penguins are obviously loving having their picture taken; the guy on the right is a total poser whilst the others clearly like to display the flexibility of their necks. Then here’s this little guy in the corner. He’s even got the ‘awkward head-tilt’ downpat and how about that smile!? Cutie.

Photo by Buzzfeed.

6 December 2012

Plate Up. Sesame Tuiles

Tuiles are delicate, light biscuits used to garnish desserts and sometimes savoury dishes. They are known for their delightful ‘snap’. I’m not going to lie, these little guys were a bit tricky. But after a couple of failed attempts I had success! I’m sure that with my new knowledge you’ll get them first go!

What you’ll need
45g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sesame oil
45ml freshly squeezed orange juice
Grated zest of one lemon
135g golden caster sugar
35g plain white flour, sifted
50g sesame seeds

What to do
Warm the butter, sesame oil, orange juice, lemon zest and sugar over a low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and sesame and seeds. Set aside to rest at room temperature for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Place a rolling pin on a folded dish cloth to steady it and set out a wire cooling rack.

Drop level teaspoons of the batter onto your prepared baking trays, placing just four on each sheet and spacing well apart. Slightly flatten the batter with dampened fingers.

Bake one sheet at a time until the tuiles are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and firm up briefly, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, gently lift each tuile off the baking tray and drape it over your prepared rolling pin. If the other tuiles cool and harden while you’re doing this, simply pop them back in the oven for a few seconds to soften up again.

Leave each tuile to set on the rolling pin then transfer to your wire rack to cool. Tuiles are best eaten within a few hours of baking so that they retain their delicious, delicate snap. (Makes approx. 20)

Photos by Krissie.

4 December 2012

Must Have. Sunday Riley Juno Body Oil

I’m home from my trip to the USA and the first thing that hits me is the heat! I’ve just spent 2 weeks in 0 degrees so to come back to over 30 is a bit of a shock for my system, not to mention my skin. The cold weather has made me feel like a bit of dried prune so I’m definitely in need of some intensive moisture – in comes body oil to save the day!

I often flip through magazines jealously eyeing the ‘glowing’ look celebs maintain and this product might just be their secret! Used by Claire Danes and Amy Adams, to name a few, this body oil provides intensive moisture and is said to give that much-desired ‘glow’ rather than a sticky ‘glisten’. A little indulgence for $95.

Photo by Sunday Riley.

30 November 2012

One Day. Things they don’t tell you about NYC (and common misconceptions)

The saying goes that “in order to have experienced it you need to have lived it.” I think this is true of anything in life, and having spent the last week or so in NYC I thought I would impart some knowledge I have come across having “lived it” here in the city that never sleeps.

  1. Contrary to people’s perceptions, New Yorkers are actually extremely friendly! After everything I’d heard over the years I expected those living in this city to be somewhat like Sydney-siders: snarky, rude and flustered (sorry to anyone nice in Sydney but you’ve fallen into the stereotype). But it’s not true at all! Everyone I’ve spoken to has been extremely friendly, whether it’s sales assistants (whose service far surpasses anything in Australia!), random people on the street or friends’ acquaintances. It’s cheerfulness all round so I’ll have whatever they’re having!
  2. You will need a biggg wallet… because you will end up with a gazillion one cent coins! I can’t believe that such an advanced and powerful country still uses 1c’s! Apparently it costs the US economy more to make them than it’s worth to have them so here’s hoping they will be phased out soon! 
  3. Your math skills will improve out of sight what with working out tax and tips, plus not to mention the entire city runs in numbers: 35th street and 7th avenue to 16th street and 8th avenue = 20 blocks, 19 down and 1 across. 
  4. Despite many movies and television shows showing stars flitting around town in their high heels, like Carrie in her Manolo Blahniks, New York is not a place for this type of footwear! There are subway grates on every sidewalk and whilst sometimes they only take up a portion, often they occupy the entire pavement meaning, for those with heels, you must risk your life by darting onto the road in front of the city's crazy taxis!
  5. It’s not that dangerous (provided you stay out of Harlem and the Bronx). People always talk about scary stories of getting mugged or having kidneys stolen but it’s really not like that. The city is so constantly busy you will never find yourself walking alone, there are cabs everywhere and lights from every store. Sure there are bad spots to steer clear of (Lower East Side in Manhattan) but isn’t that the same everywhere. I would go so far as to say I feel safer here than I do in Sydney (certainly). 
  6. It’s cheaper than it looks! Perhaps not the rent, but everything else: groceries, clothes, eating out are all very affordable; much more so than Australia. After having the best large pizza I’ve ever tasted here for $12 I feel completely ripped off having paid $30 for an awful one on the Gold Coast. 
And a word to the wise, if you can travel alone like I did, you will have a much better experience of the city. I was never hassled by tour guides or people selling things because I was walking alone. Although I may have been heading for the Empire State Building or the Met I wandered along with no problem whilst those around me, who were heading to the same places, were stopped dozens of times by scalpers. Just avoid pulling your map or lonely planet guide out in public, it kind of gives you away!

Photo by Krissie.

27 November 2012

Suitcase. My perfect New York day.

Sunday 26th November 2012 will go down in history as one of my favourite days, I had the best time exploring the city like a local [and a bit of a tourist!].

I started the morning with a trip down to Greenwich Village with the premise of visiting SATC’s Carrie’s brownstone. I popped up out of the subway [which reminds me of a mole coming up for air] with no sense of direction but, as corny as this may seem, I heard music, so followed the sound; which led me to Washington Square Park where a pianist was playing. As a fellow piano player I was most thrilled to sit and listen whilst watching the world [and squirrels] go by. After my mind had been lulled and my fingers frostbitten I decided it was time to get moving. Wandering around I stumbled across the New York University campus before finding my way to Carrie’s iconic brownstone at 66 Perry St. Whilst I was there snapping pictures, a garbage collector came up to me and said “I’ve been collecting rubbish down this street for years and every time I pass this place there are people taking pictures, why?” I explained to him about SATC to which he gave a big smile, before hopping back in his truck, pulling out his phone and snapping some photos himself!

Moving on I went to the end of Perry St where Bleeker St lies. I headed this way with two main goals: to pick up my Marc Jacobs headphones and grab a couple of Magnolia Bakery cupcakes (again, another SATC thing). After doing that I wandered up and down the street popping into a variety of great designer and local based boutiques. Marc Jacobs has four stores all within two blocks, so if you don’t find something in one, you are sure to in another – I purchased three things from three of his separate shops! I also spent a little time [and money] in Coach, which I highly recommend, I love their accessories!

By this point, despite my cupcake, my tummy was rumbling so it was off to find Joe’s Pizza (7 Carmine St). Supposedly Joe’s has the best slice in the city and after trying it I would have to agree. The place is absolutely tiny (6 people inside and it’s packed) but the pizza is incredible, it’s the best I’ve ever had!

By now it was afternoon so I figured it was time to switch neighbourhoods, so off to Brooklyn I went. I spent some time wandering the streets, appreciating the beautiful homes and lack of crowds (definitely a pleasant change!) before finding my way up onto the Brooklyn Bridge. The view walking across was spectacular, I thought of every movie featured there as I made the 25 minute walk. I can’t wait to do it again.

I headed up to Times Square for a quick peek before heading home – nothing's changed in the five years since I was last there: it’s still packed, bright, full of people trying to sell you things and smelly.

I went home (my hotel) to rest my weary legs and by 6pm I was feeling recharged so it was off to Central Park for ice-skating. I thought I was a bit of a pro having skating in my local rink on the Gold Coast many times, but oh no, that phony indoor ice has nothing on the real New York stuff. It was horrendously slippery and it took a good 30 minutes for me to stop my legs shaking… but then I was off! I highly recommend skating there, it was just beautiful looking through the trees towards the skyscrapers of Manhattan’s skyline. And to make my experience even more beautiful, whilst I was skating, there was a marriage proposal! A fellow dropped to one knee in the middle of the rink, she said yes and everyone stopped skating, cheered and clapped, it was incredible.

Finally it was time for some dinner: P.J. Clarks at the Empire Hotel. The place was gorgeous and the food was delish, so keep your eyes peeled for a review very soon.

Well, that’s it! My perfect day, congratulations for sticking with me this far, it has been a long entry but I hope you’ve gotten as much joy out of reading about it as I had experiencing it.

Much love from the Big Apple x

Photos by Krissie.

25 November 2012

Must Have. Marc Jacobs Heart-shaped Headphones

Marc Jacobs is now a tech-sessories necessity (forgive the repetitive “ss” sounds), with a whole range of technological designer bits and pieces. And as you may have guessed from my multiple posts on his pieces I love them, particularly these little beauties! I’m off to pick up my pair from BookMarc in Greenwich Village tomorrow. $49.

Photo by Marc Jacobs.

23 November 2012

One Day. Thanksgiving

As an Aussie, to me, Thanksgiving has always conjured up images of giant turkeys, large family gatherings and hollowed-out pumpkins (yes, I’m a little confused with Halloween there, never-the-less there is pumpkin pie!). So, after 22 years of our Aussie-equivalent: rowdy Australia Day, I was ecstatic when I realised I would be in the USA for their iconic family holiday.

It’s only 8pm and I’m exhausted, but it’s been a wonderfully festive day. It started out with a morning full of cooking whilst watching the TODAY show’s parade; we made corn muffins (interesting savoury cake), stuffing (for the turkey of course), and pumpkin pie (I was a little hesitant about trying this one but I can actually say it was pretty delicious, it somewhat reminded me of carrot cake). The cooking was followed by the traditional Thanksgiving Day Dog Show, a full 3 hours of television dedicated to primped and preened pooches strutting their stuff – apparently it’s one the highest rating programs of the year. Then it was time to head to the neighbourhood’s Thanksgiving lunch/afternoon/dinner – it seems, on this holiday, regular meal times are not an influencing factor but it turns out I’m actually glad we had ‘dinner’ at 4pm because even now, 4 hours later, I’m still stuffed!

I felt like a total tourist when I first laid eyes on the turkey – here was I envisaging a bird slightly larger than a regular roast chicken. But oh no. This beast weighed 9kgs so it’s safe to say there was plenty to go around for the 15 of us at lunch.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and want to say a big thank you to those I shared the celebration with. It has been a wonderful first Thanksgiving for me and I hope to share many more in the future.

Off to New York tomorrow, more posts then.

21 November 2012

Suitcase. Jetlag

Ok, I admit it, there is such a thing as jetlag. I’m not all that experienced in the world of international travelling, however in 2007 I did go through 6 time zones in 3 weeks without any trouble (or loss of sleep) – this time, not so much. After being awake travelling for 36 hours I thought surely I would drop off into the land of dreams last night – no such luck.

It was 11pm eastern and, for this zombie, it was time for bed. I snuggled in and drifted off but 1 hour later I woke feeling as though I’d been given half a dozen red bulls and had pokers placed in my eyes. My brain was clearly asking me what I was doing trying to sleep, when at home it was still lunchtime. To make matters worse I was so tired my mind was creating all kinds of deliriums to torture me, I kept thinking I had multiple beds for various time zones that I would have to wake up and shift to throughout the night. I know, makes absolutely no sense as I write it down now, but last night I could have sworn it was a reality.

After 8 hours of fitful dozing it was time to get up again. I’ve just munched on breakfast and I can tell today is going to be a longggg day, but I get to pass the time by exploring Charlotte and from what I can see already it looks like a great place. There are autumn leaves everywhere which is so nice to see coming from Queensland which has absolutely no ‘seasonal changes’. Here’s hoping by tonight I can adjust to my new time zone and get some shuteye.

16 November 2012

Must Have. Marc Jacobs iPhone case.

If I had an iPhone, this is the case I would have. The key word here being IF, because I myself am a blackberry lover. The hearty case gets my seal of approval for being functional and flirty ($40).

So Marc, if you are reading this, would you be so kind as to craft something of this nature for my Blackberry Bold. I would be much obliged.

Photo by Marc Jacobs.

14 November 2012

Plate Up. Spring Salad

I stumbled across making this salad by accident. I’d had a long day and didn’t want a generic garden salad or plain old vegies, so after some rummaging around in my fridge I came up with the following ingredients, which together make a simply delicious salad for this trans-seasonal time of year. Enjoy!

What you’ll need
1 bunch asparagus
a dozen cherry tomatoes
½ lemon
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
100g Bulgarian fetta, crumbled

What to do
Place walnuts and lettuce in a salad bowl. Pan fry asparagus and tomatoes. When nearly cooked through, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add to salad bowl. Drizzle salad with olive oil and squeeze over lemon juice. Add fetta and toss. Serves 4 as side dish or 2 as main.

Photos by Krissie.

12 November 2012

Suitcase. New York, New York

Exciting news, I’m off to the Big Apple next week! I’m heading to the US for two weeks, stopping off in Charlotte, North Carolina to visit some family friends before heading to Manhattan for 10 days. I’m making the trip to suss out some Spring Internship/Work prospects, plus of course there will be time for exploring and shopping!

Last time I visited New York was 2007 so it will be wonderful to head back. I’ve got a whole list of things I hope to see and do whilst I’m there, several involve my all-time favourite show Sex and the City (Carrie’s apartment, Magnolia Bakery), plus some touristy things I didn’t get around to doing last time, like the Brooklyn Bridge and The Empire State Building. Courtesy of my favourite coffee table book, Taschen’s New York, I’ve got a list of cafés, delis and restaurants I want to visit (Dean & Deluca, La Bergamote Patisserie, Momofuku and Shake Shack). Not sure how fun dining-for-one will be but I’ll give it a go. And of course, since here in Australia we are truly starved of any decent retail therapy (perhaps Melbourne you are the exception), I’ll certainly be doing some shopping! 5th avenue I’m on my way.

I’ll be in the USA for Thanksgiving so I’m looking forward to seeing how this age-old American tradition transforms the country. Perhaps I’ll have a turkey lunch! Plus I’ll be in Manhattan for the lighting of the Rockefella Christmas tree – can’t wait!

I’ll keep you posted on my travels.

Photo by Taschens.

9 November 2012

One Day. And they all lived happily ever after.

I think a trip to London this December is in order. Why I hear you ask? Because this Christmas season, Harrods is indulging every girl’s childhood dream.

The world famous department store is recreating Disney’s princess gowns.

No, this is not another magical fairytale, it is actually happening! Ten international designers have each been commissioned to redesign a princess dress that will feature in Harrods' window display this Christmas. Who gets which princess gown I hear you ask? Here is a list for your viewing pleasure:

Ariel from The Little Mermaid – Marchesa
Cinderella – Versace
Sleeping Beauty – Ellie Saab
Rapunzal – Jenny Packham
Jasmin from Aladdin – Escada
Pocahontas – Roberto Cavalli
Mulan – Missoni
Belle from Beauty & the Beast – Valentino
Tiana from The Princess & the Frog – Ralph & Russo
Snow White – Oscar de la Renta

Scroll down to catch a glimpse of my favs. Once upon a time…

 Marchesa's Ariel

 Valentino's Belle

 Roberto Cavalli's Pocahontas

 Ellie Saab's Sleeping Beauty

R & R's Tiana

Photos by Harrods.

7 November 2012

Must Have. Dolce & Gabbana gold crystal jewellery set

Following the season’s latest trend, D&G’s F/W runway was all about opulence. These pieces are the perfect ode to that sentiment. The jewels feature an intricate gold design, with inlaid bronze stones and velvet threads; the perfect addition to any evening-wear outfit. I particularly love the drop earrings. Necklace - $850, earrings - $670.

5 November 2012

Plate Up. Pizza

This little beauty will have you nattering away like a true Italian. Bellisimo! Ciao bella! Mario! Luigi! Ok it’s obviously my Italian is a little restricted and I play too much MarioKart, but what is undeniable is the delicious taste of this pizza! I truly think it is worth making your own dough. You can get it as thick and doughy or as thin and crispy as you like. And it’s fresh!! I also recommend making your own pizza sauce, it’s so easy. Just schedule in an extra 30mins cooking time and you’ll thank me.

What you’ll need
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups plain flour
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

pizza sauce:
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons mixed herbs
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon chilli powder

plus your favourite pizza toppings, I’ve used:
cherry tomatoes
smoked ham
roasted artichokes

What to do
First make the dough. Combine yeast, salt and sifted flour in a large bowl and gradually stir in combined water and oil. Knead dough on a floured surface for about 10minutes until smooth and elastic (roll in with one hand and squash down with the other). Place dough in a clean bowl that is dusted with flour and cover. Stand in a warm place for about 30minutes or until dough doubles in size.

Whilst your dough is rising, make your pizza sauce. Combine tomato paste, oil, herbs and garlic. Prepare pizza topping ingredients. Preheat oven to 220degrees Celsius.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down with fist and knead again on a floured surface until smooth. Cut dough in half and roll out as preferred, placing on two oiled baking trays.

Coat pizza in pizza sauce and add desired toppings. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle on cheese. Bake in oven for 15minutes or until dough is golden brown.

Photo by Krissie.