Thursday, 20 December 2012

Who would be your dream dinner party guests?

There's a couple of things I really like;  Bears (big cuddly ones) and Ikea.  Oh and entertaining my friends.  So as you can imagine, when I saw Ikea's new advert, I fell in love!

Besides the awesome kitchen, I would really like a big grizzly bear to help me in my kitchen.  Can you imagine all the honey you'd eat - I LOVE honey!

I love all the toys around the table too - which reminded me of that fun question that you sometimes get asked at dinner parties - Who would be your dream dinner party guests be?  You know, like Winston Churchill, that kind of thing.

So it got me thinking.  Who WOULD my dream dinner party guests be?

Rick Stein - because he was the first TV chef that got me into cooking and, as I LOVE seafood, he'd be great to have around my table!

Winston Churchill - ok, yes he's a bit of an obvious one.  I admire the way he took everything in his stride and just got on with a very difficult job at a very difficult time. He didn't care what anyone thought, he just got sh*t done.  I think that was the key to his success.  He was also a very keen artist (like me) so I think we'd get on well.

My lovely blog friends from around the world;  Cathy, Shelly and Michelle - the ladies that inspire me everyday with food, creativity and optimism.  Thank you ladies!

Bill Grainger - another cool, laid back Aussie chef.  Who taught me that you don't have to be poncey to be a chef.  There is perfection in simplicity.  And no, your average Joe does NOT know what a bain marie is and does NOT care.

Sir Patrick Moore - Who very sadly passed away this week.  An extraordinary man who inspired me to see the stars and learn about the solar system when I was 8 years old.  I got given a book on astronomy one Christmas and read that book from cover to cover.  Yes, Saturn is a big ball of gas ;)  (Yes, I am a geek.)

My amazing friends back in Australia.  Last Christmas I spent it with them and had the most amazing day.  This Christmas I hope to be able to Skype them and share it with them a tiny bit, even if I'm not there in person this year.

Who would your dinner party guests be?

Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas shopping

As my kitchen at home is still in a state of repair (it's a long story!) I've been doing a bit of Christmas shopping.  Here are some lovely things I found in Next of all places - they've got a rather good christmas gift section for foodies, so I made sure I took some photos for Santa!

How cute is my new pal Jeremy the Reindeer?  Jeremy was given to me by my good friend and yoga teacher Sandra for our Secret Santa this year.  I named him Jeremy and I'm now on the look out for a little yoga mat for him so he can join our Yoga class.  Jeremy is a shower sponge actually from The Body Shop, and they have some awesome gifts this Christmas.  And I LOVE their body butters too, have you tried them?

So how is your Christmas shopping going?  I hope you're all having a healthy and happy December!
Cute and cosy cushion from

Friday, 7 December 2012


First of all it's December.  Which means that I'm not too fussed about healthy eating this month.  Weyhey!  Yep, December, for me is all about having fun with food and friends.  The gym will still be there in January ;)

There's a blog I really like called Joy the Baker.  Have you heard of Joy?  She's cool.   I've been reading her foodie baking blog for some time now and during that time I've seen her brand, her writing and her baking evolve into this really awesome blog.  I love her style - she's easy-going, not too perfect and just a real down-to-earth kind of a girl who you want to invite around for girly chats, tea and cookies.  I want to share a post she did recently with this Orange Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting which sings with the sweetness of a cold winter night.

Talking of joy, I had a whole lot of fun making sugar cookies recently.  I made a whole batch with festive shapes and icing - you could even make some to hang on the Christmas Tree as decorations.  I found this video from The Joy of Baking website ...yes it's a bit old-skool, but it's a great tutorial which is why I'm sharing it with y'all.  And maybe you can have a giggle (like I did) about the pig in the background on the counter... did you spot it?  So random.  Anyway, bake some cookies with your kids, friends, family and get creative!

Sugar Cookies...


390 g all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

225 g unsalted butter, room temperature

200 g granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Royal Icing Using Egg Whites:

2 large egg whites

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

330 g icing sugar

Watch the video above for the method!

What is everyone doing for Christmas? I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of Christmas and I will miss my friends in Australia this year.  But one thing I am looking forward to is turkey with cranberry sauce on Christmas day. And some nice crispy roast potatoes.  How DO you get potatoes THAT crispy?  Well, here's the way I do them.  Well actually, no I'm lying, this is the way a rather handsome young british chap makes them...  Focus on the roast potatoes ladies ;)