Your new favorite cocktail for fall

Your new favorite cocktail for fall

As everything fall-related begins to flood our insta-feed, we've been looking for the perfect cocktail that sums up the season.

And with this beauty spotted on The Cookie Rookie we think we've found it!

At its base is a classic White Russian, but the addition of pumpkin spice and everything nice makes it perfect for cosying up on chillier nights.

Are you ready for your new fall favorite?

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE RIM

 

To make this cocktail, start by garnishing the rim of the glass. To do this, mix pumpkin pie spice, sugar, and crushed graham crackers on a plate.

Dip the rim of your glasses in water and then into the graham cracker mix to coat.

For the cocktail itself, combine vodka, coffee liqueur and pumpkin spice creamer to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake to combine.

Pour the drink into your pre-rimmed glasses and top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice to serve. 

Serves 2.

This cocktail will look a little bit fancy and will taste a whole lot delicious.  We hope you enjoy!

Recipe and images by The Cookie Rookie.  

Alexandra Liddy
Read more
Ready for a fright? These are our scariest tabletops yet

Ready for a fright? These are our scariest tabletops yet

After a 2020 that has been a little scary (for all the wrong reasons) we are looking forward to celebrating Halloween at home this year, and raising our spirits by making it spookier than ever.

We've already started planning some Halloween table tops - now we just need to pick which one we'll use on Halloween...or perhaps we'll spread out the celebrations over a few days and use them all. 

Are you ready to eat, drink and get scary?

For our first table we were inspired by the gold rims on our 'Going Out Skulls' plates. 

Using a simple white linen tablecloth we let the plates be the star and accessorised with new, vintage and thrifted glass bottles, a branch (spray painted black), some gold goblets and a few other pieces for a look that is sophisticated yet sinister.

For our second look we went to the dark side.  Using a black tablecloth we were able to really highlight the plates and of course, the incredible hand illustrated designs featured on them.

Filling our tables top with luscious red roses enhanced the floral design on our skull plates, with silver tableware complementing the black, white and red featured on the rest of the table.

For our final table, we pared it back to a chic monochrome black & white, with subtle hints of glamorous gold.

Gold cutlery and candles add the perfect finishing touch to a black & white table, for a look that is both chilling...and chic.

We hope our tablescapes have given you some inspiration for your own Halloween table.  

Just don't forget to BYOB (bring your own broomstick)!

Alexandra Liddy
Read more
Insta foodies you'll love to follow

Insta foodies you'll love to follow

When we're looking for inspiration for what to cook next, gone are the days when we'd scour through old recipe books.  These days we rarely have to go further than our insta feed for some amazing tips, tricks and recipes. 

We have so many favorite accounts that are constantly inspiring the way we cook, style our photos and even set our table that we can't mention them all - here are just a few that are inspiring us in particular this season.

 

Ana Zelic of @anasbakingchronicles has an amazing way of creating (and capturing) food that makes us want to dive right in and take a bite.  We love this simple, seasonal recipe using puff pastry (perfect for those of us not as experienced in pastry as Ana!)

 

 

Amie from @food.duchess certainly has the royal touch, and if you're looking for dessert inspiration you could pretty much find everything you'd ever need on her page. But this pizza babka has us looking forward to cozy nights in, a fireplace and Netflix.

 

 

Over at @stylesweetdaily is the divine Tessa, who is constantly creating the most AMAZING desserts. And if you thought cinnamon scrolls were a good option for Fall, how do Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Chai Vanilla Glaze sound? Truly a new season classic. 

 

 

Last, but certainly not least, is Tieghan of @halfbakedharvest. She's our go to girl for daily meal inspiration (sooo many amazing one-pot meals) but she also does a mean holiday cocktail.  We love this Deathly Hallows cocktail inspired by Harry Potter - perfect for Halloween.

Bottoms up!

 

Main image: Ana Zelic of @anasbakingchronicles

Alexandra Liddy
Read more
Add a little fun & whimsy to your home

Add a little fun & whimsy to your home

We are delighted to introduce our new resin wicker range to the online store.  This range brings a variety of fun, quirky shapes and designs to your home and are a great way to introduce whimsy and color to your space.

Not only that, but you wouldn't believe how versatile they are! Surprised? Read on.

Ideal for entertaining, this range will add an element of joy and surprise to your table.  In "all-weather" wicker, this range is perfect for outdoor entertaining and will make even the most casual occasion feel lively.

In a range of shapes ranging from pineapples & watermelon to flamingos & cacti, they're also ideal for a wide range of theme parties, from tropical to nautical, birthdays to bon voyage.

While we love to display ours on the kitchen bench top (they're perfect as a fruit bowl; or to corral the family's keys, phones and chargers) but being made from resin wicker they're can also be used in wet spaces like bathrooms - they make a cute talking point in a guest or poolside bathroom!

Many pieces in this range will also make adorable storage baskets in a nursery or childrens room.  Kids tend to accumulate so many small things - from toy cars to hair clips - and baskets are a great way to keep these tidy yet within reach yet.  And in these cute shapes they're more likely to be loved and used by all kids from toddlerhood up.

Being able to tolerate water also makes several pieces in this range the perfect plant holders.  The wicker design will provide drainage to your small plants while adding an individual touch to your balcony, patio or garden.

 

 

Alexandra Liddy
Read more
A St Patricks Day snack board

A St Patricks Day snack board

We love a good snack board, and for St Patricks Day we can't think of anything better than a fresh and healthy green platter! 

Of course the best thing about a snack board is you can put whatever you like (or whatever's in your kitchen) on it, but if you're after some ideas for a St Patricks themed platter, here are some of our favorite ideas.

Green is good

One way to make your board undeniably Irish is to feature only (or mostly) green foods.

On our board we've chosen grapes, capsicum/pepper, cucumber, avocado, green apple, Irish cheddar, pesto and crackers.  Other options to try include beans, olives, kiwi, rocket/arugula, pears and sugar snap peas. 

If you're not so fussed on the health aspect of your board, you can also go crazy with green-hued candy such as gummy bears and skittles.

snack board st patricks day

Taste the rainbow

Another fun way to combine food and color is to create a rainbow effect, perfect for a St Patricks Day theme. Select a range of your favorite nibbles (bright colored is the best way to go here) and arrange them according to color. 

 

st patricks day rainbow board charcuterie

(image by @thedelicious / Instagram)

Irish delights

Not crazy about color? You can create a beautiful board using a variety of traditionally Irish treats such as Irish cheeses and charcuterie teamed with rye bread.

Pair your board with a Guinness, or if beer isn't your thing you can try our fresh and zesty St Patricks Day cocktail.

CLICK HERE to shop our range of entertaining products

Alexandra Liddy
Read more
A fresh and zesty St Patricks Day cocktail

A fresh and zesty St Patricks Day cocktail

Whether you celebrate St Patricks Day or not, this fresh and zesty cocktail is the perfect excuse to enjoy a drink or two with friends.

This simple lime + mint vodka cocktail already has a pretty green hue but if you want to boost the color for St Patricks Day, you could add a drop or two of food colouring before shaking, or add a teaspoon of matcha tea powder if you prefer a natural option.

st patricks day vodka mint cocktail

Mint and lime St Patricks Day cocktail

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
  • 2/3 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup (250ml) lime juice (approximately 6 limes)
  • 1 cup (250ml) vodka
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup*
  • Soda water, to serve
  • Food coloring / matcha powder (optional)

METHOD

To make the simple syrup, place 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.  As the water approaches boiling point dissolve the sugar by stirring constantly. 

Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool completely

Place the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker with the lime juice and lightly bruise using a cocktail muddler or wooden rolling pin. Add vodka and simple syrup (and optional coloring), then fill the shaker with ice. Give it a good shake, then pour into glasses and top up with soda water.

*If you're pressed for time or would rather not bother making simple syrup, you can substitute with agave or maple syrup to taste.  If you prefer a tart drink, you can omit the sweetener entirely.

st patricks day vodka mint cocktail

After a couple of these tangy tipples you'll be feeling very festive - to be sure, to be sure!   

CLICK HERE to shop our range of barware

Alexandra Liddy
Read more
A berry, berry good pie recipe

A berry, berry good pie recipe

It's hard to beat a beautiful pie filed to the brim with juicy berries, unless perhaps you pair said pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This recipe has been our go-to for years now - originally adapted from this one over at Taste of Home, we've made some small adjustments to suit our taste and now think it's pretty much perfect.

The best thing about it is it's very easy to make a few tweaks depending on your tastebuds, and what berries you have available to you.

So whether you're about to leave berry season behind, or just heading into it, we recommend giving this recipe a go.  If you do, please let us know!

A berry, berry good pie recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

  • FILLING
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch / corn flour
  • Dash salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup halved fresh strawberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • METHOD

    • In a large bowl, mix flour and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Divide dough into two portions so that one is slightly larger than the other. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
    • For filling, in a large saucepan, whisk sugar, cornstarch, salt, water and cinnamon until smooth; add blueberries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool slightly.
    • Preheat oven to 400° / 200C. Gently fold raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and lemon juice into blueberry mixture. On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger portion of dough to a 1/8-inch (3mm) thick circle; transfer to a 9 inch / 22cm pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate. Add filling; dot with butter.
    • Roll remaining dough to a 1/8 inch (3mm) thick circle; cut into 1/2 inch (1cm) wide strips. Arrange over filling in a lattice pattern. Trim and seal strips to edge of bottom pastry. Bake 10 minutes.
    • Reduce oven setting to 350° / 180C; bake 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.

    pie recipe berry

    TIPS AND TRICKS

    If you aren't able to find any of the berries listed in the ingredients, simply substitute with more of one of the other berries. Alternatively you can use apples or cherries.

    You can use frozen berries but they will release more juice than fresh berries.  In order to stop the base of your pie becoming soggy; you should either pre-bake the pie base only for around 5 minutes and/or add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of butter to your pastry which will help repel the extra juice.

    If you would like to create a decorative upper pie crust such as ours, working with cold dough will make your life a lot easier.  Ensure dough is chilled before starting to work on your design and if it gets difficult to work with, you can re-chill it for 15 minutes or so.

    If your berries are very ripe and sweet, you can add an extra half tablespoon of lemon juice to cut through the sweetness.  Alternatively you could try slightly reducing the sugar in the filling.

    If you have any other tips or tricks please be sure to let us know in the comments.  Enjoy!

    Alexandra Liddy
    Read more
    Love popcorn? You NEED this recipe!

    Love popcorn? You NEED this recipe!

    Did you know that the second Thursday in March is Popcorn Lovers Day? Well, it is in the US - but being in the wrong country isn't going to stop us from celebrating one our favorite, salty snacks.

    While I do love popcorn as a standalone snack, it also lends itself perfectly to a dessert board (perhaps with a chocolate dipping sauce), and also as a topping for ice cream, cakes and other sweet treats.

    One of the best uses of popcorn we've seen is in Charlotte Ree's drool-worthy new cookbook, Just Desserts.  Her Shortbread Caramel Slice is truly a popcorn lovers dream.

    charlotte ree popcorn caramel slice recipe

    (image by Louisa Brimble / goodfood.com.au)

    A shortbread biscuit base combines with a salted caramel sauce, which is then topped off with dark chocolate and, of course, popcorn.  

    What could be better than the perfect combination of sweet and salty, crunchy and gooey?  Please let us know in the comments if you give this a try - we'd love to know how you go.

    Shortbread Caramel Slice

    INGREDIENTS

    8 oz / 225g plain flour, sifted

    4 oz / 115g rice flour, sifted

    4 oz / 120g superfine / castor sugar

    pinch of sea salt

    7 oz / 200g salted butter, at room temperature

    Topping

    5 oz / 150g salted butter

    5 oz / 150g caster sugar

    5 tablespoons / 80ml golden syrup*

    1 x 400g (14 fl oz) tin sweetened condensed milk

    ½ tsp sea salt, or more if you are a salt fiend like me

    7 oz / 200g dark cooking chocolate (70 per cent cocoa), roughly chopped

    caramel popcorn, to decorate (optional)

    popcorn caramel slice

    METHOD

    1. Preheat the oven to 300F / 150C. Grease and line a 30cm x 20cm x 3.5cm (8 x 12 inch) baking tray with baking paper.

    2. Combine the flours, sugar and salt in a bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingers until a crumble begins to form. Place in the tray and flatten out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and prick the shortbread with a fork. Allow to cool completely in the tin.

    3. To make the topping, place the butter, sugar, golden syrup, condensed milk and salt in a wide, heavy based saucepan and heat gently, stirring to melt the butter. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly to stop the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. When the caramel is thick and fudgy, pour it over the shortbread and smooth out with a palette knife. Leave to set for 30 minutes.

    Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (ensuring the bowl doesn't touch the water). When melted, spread it evenly over the set caramel. Leave for two hours to set, then turn out and cut into 18 pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

    Although Charlotte suggests the popcorn is optional, we think it elevates your usual caramel slice into something that little bit more special.

    If you find the caramel popcorn too sweet, you could use salted popcorn and omit the salt in the caramel sauce.  We think you could also try topping this slice with pretzels for a saltier crunch.

    To give the popcorn a little more staying power (of you didn't stick it on in time like us!) you can go over the top with a chocolate drizzle to keep everything in place.

    * in the US and Canada, if golden syrup isn't available in the baking section of your grocery store, you could try the international section, or Amazon.

    If you'd like more recipes like this, please be sure to check our Charlotte Ree's book, Just Desserts.  Her easy, user-friendly creations are designed to taste amazing, rather than just look pretty (though pretty they most certainly are!)

    charlotte ree just desserts

    Alexandra Liddy
    Read more
    How to make your best ever smoothie bowl

    How to make your best ever smoothie bowl

    Smoothie bowls are all over insta and it's no wonder - they're healthy, they're delicious and they're also a feast for the eyes (just head over to @smoothiebowls if you don't believe us).  

    But if you're never quite sure what to put in them (or what to leave out) the good news is, its completely up to you.

    smoothie bowls

    (smoothie bowls featured on @smoothiebowls instagram)

    Generally you should start with some kind of liquid base, this will help bind all your other ingredients together and give your bowl a smoothie-like consistency.  You can use water, coconut water or a milk - we like to use unsweetened almond milk for a little added protein and a good hit of vitamin c.

    For an added health kick, add some leafy greens such a spinach or kale to your liquid base.  You could also add some protein powder as well, this is a great way to ensure your bowl keeps you feeling full for longer.

    smoothie bowl how to ideas recipe

    Blend this together, then you can add some frozen fruit if desired - this will help thicken your smoothie and give it that cool, creamy texture. 

    We often use frozen bananas or berries here but really almost any frozen fruit will work - peaches, melons, mangoes and pears are all great options.

    If you don't have any frozen fruit handy, just make sure to thrown in some ice cubes to keep your smoothie bowl nicely chilled.

    To thicken up your smoothie bowl at this stage, you can add more banana or even some avocado.

    smoothie bowl recipe

    Toppings will help add additional health benefits to your bowl, and will look great as well.  You can use whatever takes your fancy, we tend to stick to those listed below. 

    Depending on which toppings you choose, they can provide added fibre, protein, vitamins and texture to your bowl.

    TOPPING IDEAS

    • Seeds - chia and flax seeds are great for fibre
    • Nuts (whole or sliced e.g. slivered almonds)
    • Fresh fruit
    • Granola / Muesli
    • Toasted coconut flakes
    • Nut butter
    • Chocolate shavings / cacao nibs

    Then all that's left to do is dig in and enjoy your tasty creation (after getting an insta-worthy shot first, of course!)

    Alexandra Liddy
    Read more
    A Sydney-siders most loved pancake

    A Sydney-siders most loved pancake

    Bill Granger's eponymous cafes are a Sydney institution, and if you haven't had their ricotta hotcakes they've been dishing up since 1993, you pretty much can't call yourself a Sydney-sider.

    Luckily enough, for those of you not in Sydney, the recipe for these heavenly 'pancakes' is readily available online, and they're really very easy to re-create at home.  

    Traditionally they're served with a moreish honeycomb butter (which we really do recommend you try some time - you can find the recipe here) and bananas, but today we're using Bill's classic hotcake recipe and adding instead fresh (or frozen) berries and maple syrup to save you a little time in the kitchen for when Pancake Day falls mid-week.

    ricotta pancake recipe ciroa bills

    Bill's ricotta hotcakes recipe

    INGREDIENTS

    • 11/3 cups (320g) fresh ricotta, drained, crumbled
    • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • Unsalted butter, to cook
    • Fresh (or frozen) berries, to serve
    • Maple syrup, to serve

    INGREDIENTS

    Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a bowl and mix to combine.

    Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a separate bowl.

    Add ricotta mixture and whisk until just combined.

    Place egg whites in a clean dry bowl and whisk to stiff peaks.

    In two batches, fold egg whites through the ricotta mixture using a large metal spoon.

    Lightly grease a large non-stick frypan with a small portion of butter. Working in batches (don’t cook more than 3 hotcakes per batch) add 1/4 cup batter to the pan.

    Cook over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

    Place a small handful of fresh (or frozen) berries over a stack of hotcakes, and drizzle over maple syrup to taste. 

    And enjoy!

    Adapted from Bill Granger's recipe for ricotta hotcakes found on Delicious.com.

    Alexandra Liddy
    Read more
    Get your taste buds tingling with this tangy tipple

    Get your taste buds tingling with this tangy tipple

    Whether you're in the Northern Hemisphere looking for a drink to herald the start of Spring, or sweltering through the end of Summer like us, our newest favorite tipple is just the thing to get your taste buds tingling.

    While we would never say no to a classic margarita, it's always good to mix things up a little, especially at the end of a long season - enter the sweet citrus-y tang of pink grapefruit.

    So to celebrate #nationalmargaritaday, we bring you a classic with a twist - the pink grapefruit margarita.  It's SO good, SO tangy and SO fresh - you'll love it!

    pink grapefruit margarita recipe

    Pink grapefruit margarita

    INGREDIENTS

    4 oz tequila

    1 cup pink grapefruit juice

    1/2 oz simple syrup (optional)

    1 cup sparkling water/soda water to top off 

    Sea salt flakes

    Grapefruit wedges, for garnish

    Crushed ice (approx 1 cup

    METHOD

    Cut a wedge of grapefruit, and run it around the circumference of the rim of your glasses.  Turn the glass upside down and press gently into salt.

    Combine ice, tequila, juice, and simple syrup (if using) into a cocktail shaker and shake until the mixture is cold.

    Fill your glasses with ice, then strain the mixture into the salted glass. Finish with a splash of sparkling water and garnish with grapefruit slices. 

    pink grapefruit margarita recipe

    And enjoy!  

    This recipe serves two but you can triple it for a 6-serving pitcher.

    Alexandra Liddy
    Read more
    A delicious, divine and delicate dessert

    A delicious, divine and delicate dessert

    To celebrate the launch of our bakeware on Amazon, we teamed up with the very clever Marcella of Modest Marce @modestmarce who was able to showcase our mini tart pans to perfection with this delicious, divine and delicate dessert.

    The subtle earl grey flavor with a slight citrus tang make these beautiful individual desserts an ideal choice for a dinner party, lunch with friends or even just a weeknight treat for someone special.

    If you love a delicate (yet flavorful) dessert, we're sure you're going to adore these!

    And if you do happen to give them a go, please let us know how you went in the comments, or tag us on instagram.

    earl grey creme brulee recipe

    Earl grey & citrus creme brulee

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon loose leaf earl grey tea (or two tea bags)
    • 5 large egg yolks, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup granulates (caster) sugar, plus more for topping
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
    • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
    • fresh blueberries, for topping
    • sliced blood orange, for topping


    METHOD

    Preheat oven to 300F / 150C. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Place four mini fluted tart dishes on a large baking pan.

    In a saucepan over medium heat add the cream and tea.  Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.  Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the tea to steep.

    In a separate mixing bowl vigorously whisk the yolks, sugar, vanilla, orange zest and salt until creamy (about 2 minutes).

    Continuing to whisk the yolks, slowly add in one cup of the cream mixture.  Once the cream has been tempered, whisk in the remaining mixture.

    Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup.

    Evenly divide the mixture among four tart dishes (or six small ramekins) and carefully pour the water halfway up the sides.

    Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the custard has a slight jiggle in the centre.

    Carefully remove the custard from the water bath and transfer to a cool baking sheet. Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.

    When ready to serve sprinkle with sugar and let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature.  Using a blow torch, melt the sugar to form a crispy top.  Top with fruit and enjoy!

    NOTE:  If you don't have a torch available simply use the oven broiler/grill to warm the sugar.Watch it very closely to ensure it doesn't burn! 

    CLICK HERE to view our full range of bakeware, now available on Amazon

    Alexandra Liddy
    Read more
    42 results