Flavours and Flair

Monthly Archive: December 2014

Wednesday

17

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

KOURABIEDES- GREEK SHORTBREAD BISCUITS

Written by , Posted in Sweet

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One of the most popular Greek sweets around this time of year is Kourabiedes- a shortbread biscuit, which boasts lots of butter, almonds or walnuts and covered in plenty of icing sugar.

Our family recipe is a crunchy cookie featuring lightly toasted almonds, a splash of Ouzo and heavily dusted in confectionary sugar.

This recipe makes around 60 biscuits and can be made a week in advance and placed in airtight containers to retain their freshness.

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Ingredients:

- 2 cups of butter
- 1 kilo self raising flour
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks and 1 egg white
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup of Ouzo
- 200 grams chopped almonds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups confectionary sugar for dusting

Method:

- Spread chopped almonds on baking paper and place in baking tray. Toast in oven for about 10 minutes in a 150 degrees celsius oven or till lightly browned.
- Add butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat.
- In a large bowl add melted butter with caster sugar and use mixmaster to mix until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1/2 cup of ouzo, olive oil, egg white, yolks and toasted almonds and mix all together for about 5 minutes on high speed.
- In another bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture and blend until smooth.
- Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into small balls and then start forming them into a crescent shape.
- Line baking trays with baking paper and place the biscuits on paper. Bake in a 180 degrees celsius oven for about 20 minutes.
- Allow biscuits to cool for about 5 minutes and then lightly drizzle some Ouzo on top of them.
- Place wax paper on your working bench and then sift 1 and 1/2 cups of confectionary sugar over the paper. Transfer the biscuits on to paper and then sift the remaining confectionary sugar on top.
- Allow to stand until completely cool and then store in an airtight container.

Monday

15

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

RUSTIC PAVLOVA

Written by , Posted in Sweet

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Pavlova is a traditional Australian Christmas dessert, as it’s a delicious and refreshing summer sweet that can be garnished with a variety of fresh fruits.

We love this rustic style version, which you can also decorate with strawberries, figs, pomegranate, raspberries or any other seasonal fruits of your choice.

Ingredients:

- 6 free range eggs
- 350 grams caster sugar
- 3 teaspoons corn flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
- 375 grams pure cream
- cherries
- blueberries
- blackberries
- dark chocolate

Method:

- Place egg whites in a large clean bowl and whisk them until they form firm peaks.
- Add 300 grams sugar, corn flour, pinch of salt and vanilla extract and whisk on high speed for about 8 minutes.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the meringue mixture in the centre and shape it into a circle.
- Place in the oven for about an hour on 150 degrees celsius or until it looks slightly browned.
- Whip cream with 50 grams of caster sugar for about 5 minutes or until it forms soft peaks and spoon mixture on to the meringue.
- Place cherries, blackberries and blueberries on the cream.
- Grate some dark chocolate over your pavlova and serve.

Thursday

11

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

Written by , Posted in Sweet

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Rich and indulgent handmade truffles are a delicious sweet treat that can be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.

Truffles are especially popular around Christmas time as they make for a lovely gift that can be shared amongst family and friends.

Here is an easy recipe we found years back and put our own little “Nutella” twist on it, however you can add any liqueur, herb or spice of your choice.

We also used cocoa powder, coconut flakes and crushed pistachios to coat our truffles, but you can also try hazelnuts, almonds, sprinkles, icing sugar or any other coating you fancy.

This recipe makes around 20 small sized truffles.

Ingredients:

- 220 grams dark quality chocolate (we use Lindt 70% cocoa)
- 200 ml pure cream
- 1 tablespoon of Nutella
- coconut flakes, cocoa powder and crushed pistachios for coating

Method:

- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.
- Put cream in a small pot over medium heat and bring to boil.
- Pour cream over the chocolate and also add the spoon of Nutella.
- Stir until all the chocolate has melted and is completely smooth.
- Cover with cling wrap and pop in the fridge for about 2 hours to set.
- About 20 minutes before you are ready to make the truffles, pull the bowl out of the fridge and bring to room temperature.
- Place your coatings in bowls and begin scooping out the truffles with a spoon and roll them in to a ball.
- Cover them lightly with cocoa powder, coconut and pistachios.

Wednesday

10

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

LONDON CALLING

Written by , Posted in Places

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London is one of the world’s most popular destinations to travel and live in.

This beautiful and swish city appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds- as there is just so much to see, do and discover.

From fashion, food, gardens, museums and high teas- the list is endless. And today the lovely and ever- so- chic Sofia Gouveia, gives us a local’s guide on the best London has to offer for families.

Formerly from Portugal, Sofia is a mum, wife and marketeer, who has been calling London home since 2010 and she shares with us the latest and most stylish things to do around town- plus an insight on her life in this fascinating city.

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ML&S: What do you love most about living in London?

Sofia: I think only when you live in London can you really understand what it means to reside here and the impact it will have on your life if you move. The energy, the power, the culture- it’s a city that never stops and where there’s always something new to explore. I love having access to all kinds of events, trends, exhibitions- not only on a personal level but also on a professional one.

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ML&S: Can you please give us a short description of your life in London?

Sofia: Having no family at all in the UK makes everything more difficult, so we spend our time working, or with our little girl Suri. Not that we don’t love it but sometimes it does become overwhelming and tiring. We both have a challenging professional life and my husband has his own architecture company, so stress is a part of our life. However we always try to balance it out with a healthy and happy family life- to give the best we can to Suri- and by that I mean the love, time, patience and support she needs.

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ML&S: Tell us about your Instagram page and blog? 

Sofia: I’m not a big writer and I don’t have much time, as work and family take up most of that, so I found Instagram the perfect fit for me. I love taking pictures and as a Marketeer I like to network and share. I consider Instagram and the blog as a my photo journal- where I share my life and things I love. I’m planning to start writing on my blog very soon but it will always be a compliment of the photos I take, more like a documentation of my experiences and thoughts when pictures are not enough to translate it.

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ML&S: With so many stunning parks and gardens around your city,  which ones really stand out in your eyes?

Sofia: Suri loves Kensington Gardens Park- especially Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, but I would also recommend Holland Park, Hampstead or Kenwood in North London. Victoria Park in East London is also great and of course Hyde Park is one of our usual destinations.

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ML&S: London is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world- what are your fave stores for little ones?

Sofia: As multi-brands Harrods and Selfridges for sure and then Bonpoint in Sloane Street, Marie-Chantal in any of their locations, Caramel Baby & Child, Elias & Grace in Primrose Hill and for shoes I love Papouelli in Marylebone or Elizabeth Street. Although I have to admit that I buy most of Suri’s clothes from Portuguese and Spanish brands because they are exactly my style and the look I like for her.

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ML&S: And for mummy?

Sofia: I would say Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Massimo Dutti, Zara and Reiss.

ML&S: Your fave spot to grab a coffee?

Sofia: Any Aubaine or Cocomaya are always great and you will find lots of little independent cafes on most streets of London.

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ML&S: Your ideal weekend is spent?

Sofia: I always try to find events or activities to go to as a family but on a regular weekend we just go for breakfast or brunch somewhere nice and then to a place where she can play for a while. We also like to go for a walk in the countryside, Suri takes her bike or scooter and we spend good quality time together.

ML&S: When mummy gets some “me time” we will find you?

Sofia: Just reading a book or a magazine with a cappuccino and a cake. If time is not an issue, a spa is always welcome.

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ML&S: Best eatery for a date night?

Sofia: I like Nobu in Mayfair or Hakkazan in Hanway Place. To be honest that’s something that unfortunately we are not allowed to do very often because of Suri but another place that I like is Duck and Waffle- for its amazing views and food.

ML&S: When brunching or lunching with kids?

Sofia: We usually go to The Wholesomely, Berners Tavern or Baker & Spice in Elizabeth Street. If the weather is nice, we love Kenwood House in North London. And in Windsor we love Cote Brasserie in Eton and Downey Court Kitchen Garden in Dorney.

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ML&S: For High Tea with children, one should try?

Sofia: The Wolseley in Mayfair, as it’s less formal or if the weather is ok we like to go to Coworth Park in Ascot.

ML&S: What are Suri’s favourite activities around town?

Sofia: During summer- Hyde Park Lido, Hampstead Lido and Kensington Gardens are her top preferences. During winter she still loves to go to the parks and playgrounds but if it’s raining the Science Museum in Kensington is one of her favourite spots. Of course Harrods Toy Kingdom and Disney Store are also on the top of her list.

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ML&S: One should never leave London till?

Sofia: Apart from the usual London Eye, Big Ben, Piccadilly, Buckingham Palace, that everyone already has on their list as a “must see”, I would strongly suggest to go for a walk by the river. Start in Southbank and end in Tower Bridge- it’s a beautiful stroll and there’s always something going on there. Camden Canals and Camden Market is also a great experience, not suitable for every taste- but it’s something very different and unique. Then you have specific areas- Mayfair, Notting Hill, Chelsea or Kensington- I find these spots very nice to walk around and discover a little bit more- from a historical and cultural perspective.

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ML&S: Any suggestions for a weekend getaway?

Sofia: If it’s just for the weekend, try to explore different cities in the UK. The British countryside is stunning and has so much to offer. Cornwall for example is absolutely beautiful.

You can stay in touch with this amazing mummy on IG @mrssofiagouveia  and check out her fab blog www.mrssofiagouveia.com

Thursday

4

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

GC- FAMOUS FOR FUN

Written by , Posted in Places

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The holiday season is nearly here and this time of year the Gold Coast is no doubt one of the hottest spots for families to visit.

Overseas guests and people from all around Australia love this city as the weather is magical and there are so many fun things for the entire family to enjoy.

Beautiful Kylie Fraser, mum of two and the gorgeous face behind the popular blog and Instagram page- Love Little Big- reveals all her favourite  places in her current hometown.

Kylie is a Melbourne girl who has been calling the Gold Coast home from the beginning of the year and today this ever- so- stylish mum reveals her most loved spots around town- to ensure your stay in GC will be a memorable one.

 

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ML&S: Please give us a short description of your life on the Gold Coast?

Kylie: I moved to the Gold Coast from Melbourne in January this year with my husband Josh and kids Ted- 5 and Emmy- 1. My husband is a development coach for the Gold Coast Suns AFL team.

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ML&S: Tell us about your Love Little Big blog and IG?

Kylie: I started Love Little Big Instagram while I was pregnant with Emmy. I always had people asking where I bought Ted’s gorgeous clothes from, so I thought it would be a great outlet to share all my kids/baby fashion finds. It was also a good way to document and share my pregnancy with my followers. Each week I would post a “baby bump” shot. The Love Little Big blog came later- I launched this in August 2014 with my BFF Celeste, who along with her one-year-old daughter Estelle makes up the other half of Love Little Big.

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ML&S: What do you love most about living in your current city?

Kylie: The weather- it’s always beautiful, so we spend a lot of time with the kids playing outdoors.

ML&S: Favourite park?

Kylie: There are so many great parks here but it’s hard to go past the big park at Kurrawa Beach in Broadbeach- it’s fully enclosed and has lots of different things to keep the kids happy.

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ML&S: Your top 3 kids stores?

Kylie: Hurley Burley Toys in Ferry Rd, Southport have great toys. Dragonfly in James St, Burleigh- its a gorgeous little shop with beautiful clothing and LimeTree kids in Arundel have a great selection of toys and kids interior products.

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ML&S: And for yourself?

Kylie: Designer Forum at Robina Town Centre, not only do they have great clothes they also have nice jewellery and candles. Joy Hysteric in Broadbeach is a gorgeous fashion boutique; I recently bought a sheer Alice McCall skirt and top from there and St Bart’s in Ferry Rd has the most divine selection of homewares.

ML&S: Best coffee in town?

Kylie: I’m actually not a coffee drinker myself but my girlfriends love Nook at Burleigh. I usually get myself a chai latte or coconut water.

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ML&S: What do you enjoy doing most with your family on weekends?

Kylie: Heading to the park or the beach.

ML&S: When you get some “me time” you love?

Kylie: Dinner and movies dates with hubby.

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ML&S: Fave place to eat out with the little ones?

Kylie: With the kids we usually just go to the Mermaid Beach Surf Club, they have a kids room there and it’s very relaxed.

ML&S: For a nice dinner with hubby?

Kylie: Josh and I both love Hellenika at Nobbys Beach- it’s a Greek restaurant and the lamb shanks and zucchini chips are AMAZING!

ML&S: Coolest place to have brunch?

Kylie: BSKT cafe at Nobbys Beach, they have a play area for kids and yummy healthy food and juices.

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ML&S: You should never leave GC until you have?

Kylie: This will sounds cliché but you have to go to at least one theme park if you are on the GC with kids. Ted’s favourite is MovieWorld.

ML&S: A couple of non- touristy areas or sights that people should definitely visit?

Kylie: Tallebudgera Creek is a great little (inlet) beach and perfect for kids and Burleigh Rainforest Walk, for the wild life and incredible views.

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ML&S: Best weekend getaway from GC is?

Kylie: Byron Bay- it takes less than 1 hour from our place so we love heading down there whenever we can.

ML&S: If in the mood for some fine wining and dining?

Kylie: I head to Hank Dining & Bar in Broadbeach- it has delicious tapas & cocktails.

Check out Kylie’s fab blog here- lovelittlebig.com and follow on IG @lovelittlebig