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Decadent Chocolate Buttermilk Cake Recipe (with caramel sauce!)

Decadent Chocolate Buttermilk Cake Recipe (with caramel sauce!)

When you’re in the mood for something decadent, it’s hard to go past the classic pairing of chocolate and caramel.

Our chocolate buttermilk cake is moist and tender; cooked in a traditional fluted pan it is also a feast for the eyes…especially as you drizzle the delectable caramel sauce over the cake. 

Alex Liddy
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A delicious and decadent cookie recipe

A delicious and decadent cookie recipe

The very talented Marcy Braselton of Community Kitchen recently posted her recipe for Spiced Hot Cocoa Cookies, and aside from looking OMG amazing we were thrilled to see that she used her Liddy Lifestyle utensils to create them!

Read on to see Marcy’s recipe for these ultra tempting, ultra delicious cookies.

Spiced Hot Cocoa Cookie Recipe

spiced hot cocoa cookie recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C extra dark (63% cacao) chips
  • 3/4 C cultured butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 C light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla bean paste
  • 1 C marshmallows, chopped

hot cocoa cookie recipe 2

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees (180C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, cayenne and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, add the butter and brown sugar and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla bean paste and beat for 2 -3 minutes until creamy. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate. Beat until combined.
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
  8. Remove from the standing mixer. Add the chopped marshmallows and fold into the dough by hand.
  9. Using an ice cream scoop, place cookie dough balls about two inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks *These are SO good warm!*

Serves 18 cookies

 

Alex Liddy
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Easy (and impressive) recipes to serve up with your next cheese board

Easy (and impressive) recipes to serve up with your next cheese board

Everyone loves a cheese board, right? Easy yet eye catching, they’re an essential for any entertainers repertoire.

But if you’re looking for something different for your next get together, we have some beautiful recipe ideas to kick your cheese serving game up a notch.

marinated feta recipes

Marinated feta recipe (serves 4)

¾ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
4-5 sprigs thyme or rosemary
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves (optional)
pinch of dried chili flakes (optional)
200g block Danish feta

In a large bowl place the olive oil, herbs and spices. Mix to combine.

Break the feta into large pieces and add to the oil mixture, tossing gently to combine. Spoon the oil mixture and cheese into a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

marinated feta recipe

Allow 24 hours before serving for flavours to infuse. Serve on rustic bread or crackers. Will keep for up to a week refrigerated.

Note: Danish feta is much softer than Greek feta. Once you have added it to the oil mixture, toss gently until just combined – don’t over mix or the feta will break up too much.

warmed brie recipe

Warmed brie with honey recipe (serves 4-5)

Preheat oven to 300F / 150C.

Take a boxed brie or camembert, such as Clarines and remove the lid, keeping the cheese in the box base.

Place on an oven tray and drizzle with a little honey. Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through (do not overheat).

warmed brie with honey

Place on your cheese board with a palate knife and gently dig in. Alternatively, dollop a little cranberry sauce on top of the cheese before warming.

marinated olives recipe

Marinated olives recipe (serves 4)

¾ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
4-5 sprigs thyme or rosemary
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves (optional)
pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
200g block Danish feta

In a large bowl place the olive oil, herbs and spices. Mix to combine.

Break the feta into large pieces and add to the oil mixture, tossing gently to combine.

Spoon the oil mixture and cheese into a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

 

Looking for more tips on how to assemble the perfect cheese board? See our post HERE.
 
CLICK HERE to browse the Liddy Lifestyle collection of entertaining boards, cheese knives and spreaders.

 

Alex Liddy
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How to assemble the perfect cheese board

How to assemble the perfect cheese board

We LOVE entertaining, and one of our favorite ways to get a party started (whether for 2 or 200) is by creating a cheese board.

With minimal time, effort and expense, you can easily put together an impressive party appetizer.

The best part is, aside from a quick trip to the store for a few cheeses, you’re likely to have many accompaniments already in your fridge or pantry.

Here are our tips for creating the perfect cheese board for your next get together.

how to assemble cheese board 

Make your cheese board a feast for the eyes and taste buds

  • When planning, take into consideration balancing different flavours (smooth, sharp, strong, nutty), textures (crumbly, gooey, hard) and colors in both the cheeses and accompaniments.
  • For the cheese itself, when making your selection choose one from each type – aged, soft, firm, blue. A general rule would be 3 cheeses for a smaller board, 4-5 cheeses for larger boards. You’ll need 3-4oz of cheese per person (or around a pound per 5 people). Quality is important here! You don’t need to break the bank, but it would be preferable to pick 3 high quality cheeses than 5 mediocre ones.
  • how to assemble a cheese board

    When selecting the cheeses, select one from each type – aged, soft, firm, blue. Make sure you have a different knife for each type of cheese; you may want to consider pre-cutting harder cheeses to make it even easier for your guests to serve themselves (while juggling a drink!)

  • When it comes to serving cheese with fruit and nuts there are plenty of options. When serving fruit, go for options such as thinly sliced pear or apple (squeeze with a tiny bit of lemon juice to stop browning first). Try grapes (both red and green – leave them on the stem!), figs or stone fruit such as peaches or nectarines (perfect for Summer soirees).
  • Dried fruit is a lovely addition to your cheese board – it’s a good idea to have some of these in the pantry ready to go for impromptu get togethers. Try dates, apricots, figs or muscatels; dried cherries are also a lovely addition.
  • cheese board accompaniments

    A paste or gel such as quince, spiced pear or fig can really bring your board together. Fruit and nut logs are also a good choice.

  • A paste or gel such as quince, spiced pear or fig can really bring your board together. Fruit and nut logs are also a good choice – being made with a firm fruit paste and formed into a log means they can just be cut into slices prior to serving your guests.
  • Nuts that compliment cheese and look great on your cheese board include pistachios, raw almonds, walnuts, pecans and macadamias.
  • It’s always nice to use a variety of crackers and breads alongside the cheeses – bite sized pieces of crusty bread work well, along with rough crackers made with fruit and nuts (think cranberry and almond, or peach and pistachio), mixed grain and seeds (like sesame, linseed or pepitas), gluten free crackers, wafers, water crackers or oatcakes.
  • You might be tempted to use onion or garlic flavoured crackers, but these can be quite strong in flavor, which takes the focus off your beautiful cheese - better to stick with less heavily seasoned and more complimentary crackers.
  • cheese board serving crackers

    It’s always nice to use a variety of crackers and breads alongside the cheeses

  • Use some greenery, whether edible (like arugula) or decorative (dried rosemary or thyme leaves) to bring your board to life (and help fill in any gaps!)
  •  

    Most importantly, serving a delicious and eye-catching cheeseboard is all about helping you relax and enjoy time with your guests – it doesn’t need to be picture perfect, or follow every rule in the book!

    Aim for a variety of flavors and textures and you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect platter for your next party.

    For more recipes to server with your next cheese board, see our recipe post HERE.

    CLICK HERE to browse our full range of entertaining boards, cheese knives and spreaders.

    Alex Liddy
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    Easy food ideas for a perfect Spring picnic

    Easy food ideas for a perfect Spring picnic

    It’s starting to feel like picnic weather! Time to gather some friends, sort out some tasty treats and find the perfect spot to while away the afternoon.

    And because picnics should be about relaxing, we’ve put together some easy, portable recipes – these can all be made in advance, so you can do your prep the day before and come picnic time all you need to do is pack them in a cooler bag to enjoy at your location of choice.

    Now all you need to think about is where to go!

    Honey soy chicken drumsticks

    • 12 chicken drumsticks
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
    • 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
    • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

    picnic recipe chicken drumsticks

    Method:

    Preheat oven to 180C / 360F.

    Combine the soy, oyster sauce, cooking wine, garlic, honey and sesame oil in a large bowl. Mix together then add the chicken drumsticks.

    Marinate for 15 minutes then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

    Bake the drumsticks for 30 minutes, turning and basting a couple of times until golden brown and cooked through. Serve hot or cold.

    Note: drumsticks can be left to marinate overnight if desired

     

    Char grilled marinated vegetables

    • 2 large zucchini
    • 1 eggplant
    • 1 red pepper
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • salt and cracked black pepper

    chargrilled vegetable recipe picnic

      Method:

      Heat a stovetop grill or barbecue grill plate to high heat.

      Cut the vegetables into thin strips. Combine the oil, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix together. Brush the vegetables on one side with the oil mixture. Place on the heat and grill on one side. Brush with a little more oil mixture and turn.

      Cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until tender. Remove from heat and cool.

      Serve char grilled marinated vegetables in a salad, as a sandwich filling, or part of a mezze plate.

      Note: vegetables can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

       

      Chicken and quinoa salad

      • 1 large chicken breast fillet
      • 1 English cucumber
      • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
      • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
      • ½ cup mint leaves
      • ½ cup char grilled marinated capsicum strips
      • 3 cups cooked quinoa
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
      • salt and cracked black pepper

      picnic chicken quinoa salad recipe

        Method:

        Poach or grill the chicken breast until cooked through then cool. Shred with your fingers into small pieces.

        Slice the cucumber thinly into half moons, halve the cherry tomatoes and roughly chop the herbs. Place all in a large bowl, along with the capsicum strips, shredded chicken and quinoa.

        Combine the oil with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add to the salad and gently toss to coat in the dressing.

        The salad can be transported in a serving container or individual jars.

        When you're ready to head out the door, pop your salads in a cooler bag and they'll be fresh and tasty when it's time for lunch.

        Spiced falafel

        • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas
        • 1 clove garlic, crushed
        • 1 tablespoon tahini
        • ½ cup plain flour
        • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
        • pinch dried ground chilli
        • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
        • ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
        • ½ cup cilantro leaves
        • 1 egg
        • salt and cracked black pepper
        • vegetable oil, for deep frying

        spiced falafal picnic recipe 

          Method:

          Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place in the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic, tahini, flour, cumin, lemon juice, herbs, egg and salt and pepper. Process until fully combined and just smooth.

          Roll the mixture into small balls and chill for 20 minutes. 

          Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep fryer until hot. Fry the falafels in batches until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel then store in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

          Feeling peckish? 

          Just remember, if you’re packing cheese, meat, seafood or mayo products to pack them in a well-insulated cooler bag next to an ice pack or pre-frozen water bottle, to ensure they’re fresh when it's time to eat.

          For more tips and easy food ideas for your next picnic, see our post The Essential Guide to a Perfect Beach Picnic.

             

            CLICK HERE to browse our collection of cooler bags

            Alex Liddy
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            Festive Easter Bundt Cakes

            Festive Easter Bundt Cakes

            Impress your friends - and tastebuds - with our light and lemony Easter bundt cakes.  Perfectly proportioned, these cuties are great for celebrating with friends and family, and are just the ticket for Easter bake sales.

            Simple, and delicious, they can be eaten as-is or you can get creative decorating them with your favorite Easter colors.

            Festive Easter Bundt Cakes

            Ingredients

            • 1¼ cups self rising flour

            • ½ cup superfine sugar
            • 2 eggs
            • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
            • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
            • 2/3 cup milk 

            Frosting

            • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
            • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

              Method

              Preheat oven to 175C / 350F

              1. Preheat oven to 360F / 180c. Grease a Ciroa bundt pan liberally with softened butter to prevent sticking.
              2. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs, combined lemon juice and oil and milk. Beat until fully combined and smooth.
              3. Transfer mixture to a jug. Pour into the holes of the pan, approximately ¾ of the way up to the top of each hole.
              4. Transfer cakes to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden and coming away from the edges. Remove and set aside for 1-2 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
              5. To make the frosting, place the sifted powdered sugar in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Whisk or stir until a thick, smooth consistency. Add a couple of drops of water if the mixture is still too thick.
              6. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe the pattern onto the Easter cakes. Allow frosting to set, then serve. 

              Time to get creative!

              easter bundt cake recipe

              Add a couple of drops of food coloring to the frosting mixture once it is smooth if you’d like colored piping on your Easter cakes.

              For more Easter baking ideas, see our recipe for Easter Bunny Cookies.

              You can find Ciroa bundt pans at Marshalls and TJ Maxx stores in the US, and Winners, Homesense and Canada Marshalls stores throughout Canada.

              Alex Liddy
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              Our Easter bunny cookie recipe - it's EAResistable

              Our Easter bunny cookie recipe - it's EAResistable

              Our Easter bunny cookies are a wonderful Easter treat, and easy enough for cooks of all ages. Beware – these simple yet delicious cookies won’t last long!

              Easter bunny cookies

              Ingredients

              • 7oz unsalted butter, chilled
              • 1 ¼ cups superfine granulated sugar
              • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
              • 2 eggs
              • 2 ¾ cups plain flour

              Method

              Preheat oven to 175C / 350F.

              Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process for a minute or until well combined. Add the vanilla, eggs and flour and continue processing until mixture is fully combined and comes together in the processor.

              Transfer to a lightly floured surface, knead lightly then form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

              Roll out the dough between sheets of baking paper until about 5mm thick. Using a Ciroa Easter Bunny Cookie Cutter, cut out cookies and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

              Gather left over dough, knead gently then roll out again and cut out more cookies.

              Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden. Cool and decorate with ribbon or a dusting of icing sugar.

               easter baking cookie recipe

              Beware - these simple yet delicious cookies won't last long!

              easter cookies recipe

              You can find our Easter Bunny Cookie Cutters from Homegoods, Winners, HomeSense and Canada Marshalls stores. 

              Alex Liddy
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              The essential guide to a perfect beach picnic

              The essential guide to a perfect beach picnic

              It doesn’t get more Summer than a day spent by the beach - but if you’ve always put it in the too hard (picnic) basket, we’ve compiled our favorite easy beach picnic ideas. From food to take, to what to bring, our tips for the ultimate beach picnic will make sure it’s a breeze.

              Food. Friends. Sunshine.

              Ideally, for a beach picnic you want food that you can prepare at home in advance. Less prep time at the beach means less sand in your lunch!

              One of our favorite no-fuss options is a salad in a jar - you can get really creative with these, but if you’re stuck for ideas these always work well: 

              • Chicken salad in a jar - layered with grains like black or wild rice, char-grilled marinated vegetables, barbecued or poached chicken and a simple slaw. A great variety of flavors and textures
              • Vegetarian layered salad in a jar – try a grain like quinoa on the base, grated vegetables like carrot and beetroot, tzatziki and canned chickpeas or roughly crumbled falafel
              • Fruit salad in a jar – a sweet, layered salad, try fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, grapes, chopped orange and watermelon. They store for a couple of hours a little better than fruit like pear and apple that can start to brown

              salad in a jar recipe beach picnic
              You can assemble the salads a few hours or even a day beforehand and keep them in the fridge; just make sure you add the dressing right before eating so they don’t get soggy.

              When you're ready to head out the door, pop them in a cooler bag and they'll be fresh and tasty when it's time for lunch.

              salad jars beach picnic

              Baguettes and sandwiches are other easy options that you can prepare before leaving the house. Try using a variety of breads and rolls, whether white, grain or rye, available at delis or supermarket bakeries like:

              • French baguette sticks
              • Rustic loaf/sticks
              • Sourdough
              • Ciabatta
              • Turkish
              • Focaccia

              Dense style bread and loaves like those suggested above work well as they don’t become soggy too quickly. Wraps and pita pockets are good too, but if filled with wet fillings such as tomato or cucumber they can tend to soften quicker if not eaten for a few hours.

              beach picnic sandwich

              Need a little inspiration for filling your loaf? Here are our picks:

              • Smoked ham, potato salad, wholegrain mustard and arugula
              • Turkey, tomato, arugula, avocado and basil mayonnaise
              • Salami, cheddar cheese, tomato, baby spinach and pesto
              • Pastrami, caramelized onion relish, swiss cheese and mixed lettuce
              • Roast or poached chicken breast with lemon mayonnaise, romaine lettuce and avocado
              • Smoked salmon, cream cheese, baby spinach, cornichons and sweet onion
              • Ham, brie, tomato chutney and mixed lettuce
              • Crumbed chicken, mayonnaise, dill pickle and romaine lettuce
              • Char grilled marinated vegetables like zucchini, eggplant and red pepper with tzatziki or hummus, arugula and feta
              • Roast beef, sweet onion, semi dried tomato, wholegrain mustard and baby spinach

              If you’re using cheese, meat, seafood or mayo in your sandwiches, make sure to place them in a cooler bag next to an ice pack or pre-frozen water bottle, to ensure they’re fresh and ready to eat, when you are.

              Relaxing can really work up an appetite... 

              beach picnic cheese board

              If you’re planning to stay at the beach a little longer, it’s a good idea to pack a little extra something - this could be as simple as some watermelon or veggie sticks, or you could add a little more luxury with a simple cheese platter and a bucket of shrimp and lemon wedges. Keep these alongside an ice pack or bottle of frozen water in your cooler bag so they don’t spoil while you’re lounging about. 

              So now that the food’s sorted, what else should you pack for a beach picnic? Our list of essentials will make sure you’re prepared for every eventuality, so once you arrive at your preferred picnic spot all you need to do is relax and enjoy! 

              • A cutting board (or small bread board)
              • A small knife (preferably serrated), and cheese knife (if serving cheese)
              • Cutlery
              • Salt and pepper
              • A cooler bag 
              • Bottles of partially frozen water (if bringing food like cheeses or cured meats, pack these next to the frozen water so they don’t sweat before serving)
              • Cloth napkins
              • Bottle opener
              • A torch (if planning a twilight picnic)
              • Picnic blanket (preferably waterproof), table cloth or beach towels
              • A damp tea towel or wet wipes
              • A disposable bag for any rubbish
              • A bag for packing any plates or cups that have been used – if the items cannot be rinsed at the picnic location
              • Sun cream and insect repellant, if needed
              • Hats (and if you’re at the beach, a beach umbrella)
              • Thermos and mugs for cooler weather
              • Games – something easy and fun like bocce, croquet or paddle ball (link to games)
              • If you’d like a little luxury, some large throw pillows or portable beach chairs will make lounging for hours more enjoyable, while adding some style to your setup

               beach picnic essentials

              So now all you need to do is grab a group of friends together and head to your nearest beach...and enjoy!

              CLICK HERE to browse our collection of cooler bags

              Alex Liddy
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              Healthy lunch ideas – and not a sandwich in sight!

              Healthy lunch ideas – and not a sandwich in sight!

              It’s time to say sayonara to stale sandwiches with our collection of healthy and fresh lunch ideas - guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds and help you avoid that dreaded 3pm slump.
              Alex Liddy
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              Home for a Liddy Christmas - Tabletop Flights of Fancy

              Home for a Liddy Christmas - Tabletop Flights of Fancy

              Come December, I am completely swept up in the spirit of Christmas – from trimming the tree and the joy of late-night gift-wrapping, to conjuring up fresh ideas for a feast of festive fare.

              Above all, I love getting creative with dressing the Christmas table.

              Alex Liddy
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              Welcome to Australia this is Liddy Lifestyle!

              Welcome to Australia this is Liddy Lifestyle!

              Nothing in the world compares with living the Sydney Harbour lifestyle !
              As a designer I find endless inspiration in my everyday experience of living here - from the brilliant blue of the sky and sea on my morning coastal walk, and a vibrant local café culture, to glittering Sydney harbour by night.
              Alex Liddy
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              Create a visual feast of delicious cheeses,  the Australian way, with Liddy Lifestyle

              Create a visual feast of delicious cheeses, the Australian way, with Liddy Lifestyle

              Australians love any excuse to get together with family and friends for a few drinks and a bite to eat. For me, keeping it simple is the key to enjoying precious time together, so I have simply stunning share boards, down to a fine art!
              Alex Liddy
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