How to Make Your Food Cookbook Worthy

By Alina Sheinkman

Every time I pick up a beautifully designed cookbook and flick through the food images, my mouth instantly waters at the thought of tasting this masterpiece on a plate. Doesn’t yours? With the increasing interest in cooking shows such as MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules,  I’ve been itching to try my newly developed chef skills (if you can call visual absorption a developed skill!). So here goes…

Step 1: deciding on a recipe

With a huge variety of cookbooks available for every taste and cuisine, the task of deciding on a recipe can seem overwhelming. Our suggestion is to start with the basics. Most of us have a few cookbooks gathering dust on a shelf, so start by picking one that looks good and brushing off the dust. Have a browse to see if anything tickles your fancy and gets those taste buds juicing. If you are looking for some new inspiration, here are some great cookbook titles to refresh your collection. We chose “Delicious. Simply The Best” as it has inspiring yet accessible recipes that are perfect for novice cooks as well as experienced foodies looking for new ideas.

Now the task of deciding on a recipe. Here is a quick checklist you can use:

Do I feel like…

  1. Savoury or sweet?
  2. What cuisine?
  3. A quick meal or extravagant affair?

Skip to the right section and pick the recipe with the best pictures. Easy as pie! (yumm…pie) But not for today. We are salivating at the “Herb-rubbed lamb cutlets with pea & feta salad”.

Step 2: gathering ingredients

This is the easiest part of the whole process. You are given a list, so go shopping! Make sure to select the freshest ingredients with bright colours.

Gather the brightest and freshest ingredients
Make sure you choose the best ingredients available – bright, fresh colours are important.

A handy tip – it’s best not to enter a supermarket on an empty stomach as inevitably you will end up with a whole trolley of products that were not originally on your shopping list.

When you get back to your kitchen, organise yourself by laying out all the ingredients in their correct quantities, so you don’t have to keep going back and forth to the ingredients list. You can just focus on the method and prepare that beautiful dish!

Step 3: cooking time!

The fun part as I like to call it. This is where you can get your hands dirty and delve into the depths of the recipe. But remember – hygiene first.

Feel free to experiment with the flavours and add or remove certain (not critical) ingredients depending on your taste. We opted to eliminate the chilli in our dish, but doesn’t it look beautiful?

Step 4: how to plate your food like a pro

The secret to making your food cookbook worthy is all about the presentation. Decide on a plating style to impress your dinner guests or impress yourself. Our favourites are “rustic” and “modern contemporary”.

Rustic

  • Wooden tones
  • Pops of colour
  • The messier the better
  • Homely look
  • No fancy fillers
  • Raw ingredients make the art.
 Modern Contemporary

  • White oversized plates
  • Beige colours
  • No clutter
  • Decorative flowers as garnish
  • Lots of white space
  • Usually contain a drizzle or swirl of sauce.
How to choose a plate
Choose a plate to suit your style.

Once you have a style in mind, you can choose a plate that will make your dish pop! Look at your plate as a canvas and use your food to create art.

Regardless of your style, there are some universal guidelines to follow:

  1. Arranging in odd numbers always looks better than even numbers. Always.
  2. Play to all the senses, a feast is not only for your stomach but for your eyes too!
  3. Don’t garnish for the sake of it, the flavours should complement each other.
  4. Keep it simple – less is more.
  5. Add height, build your dish in layers or look for ways to stand food up.
  6. Don’t rush. Take it slow and drizzle or sprinkle carefully.
  7. Use contrasting colours.

Step 5: photography

All works of art must be chronicled as they are likely never to be repeated again. Or at least they’ll never be the same again so each attempt must have a pretty snap. Our resident photographers have given us a few suggestions. It’s important to think about the lighting, shadow is good if placed at the right angle. Make the dish your focal point, a little artistic mess in the background will add some colour and life to your photos.

IMG_0040 (2)
Bon Appetit!

Want to see the recipe come to life? Watch the video!

Check out these awesome cookbooks for some more mouth watering recipes!

8 Ingenious Gadgets That Solve Your Cleaning Problems and Make Cleaning Fun!

By Alina Sheinkman

Nobody ever associates cleaning with the word fun. It is usually a chore that is left to the last minute just before your parents or friends visit or has to be scheduled in with a groan. Now seriously, does anyone love cleaning? I don’t think so. But with these nifty gadgets and tips, cleaning can be easy and even fun!

1. Tackling those pesky mirrors or windows

Everybody loves looking into a clean and shiny mirror. Girls can put on their make up with ease, men can shave without squinting and cutting themselves – it’s a win-win! But have you ever tried washing your mirror or windows? You almost need a whole cleaning caddy full of things just to be able to see clearly. Most people would use a spray chemical like Windex, wear gloves, use a cloth or paper towel to wipe and scrub any super grimy spots and have a squeegee or dry cloth to wipe down any excess water.

Insert super awesome gadget – the Window Whizz! Throw away the millions of products (but keep the Windex, we’ll need that). Just slide the Window Whiz onto any spray bottle and you’ll have an all-in-one spray, reusable microfiber cloth and squeegee that you can use with one hand.

Why haven’t I discovered this earlier?!

 2. Rid yourself of stubborn fluff!

Lint Rollers are mini miracle workers that tackle those stray pet hairs or woollen knits threads that stick to your black pants. Carry a stylishly printed 3M mini lint roller in your handbag, keep one in the car, stash one in your office drawer, hide one in your home…and there’s still one more to give to your mum!

3. Getting into every nook and cranny

Ever come across that grimy corner that you just can’t seem to clean with a normal sponge or cloth? These Nook and Cranny Scrubbers will come in handy with the added bonus of looking like a ninja star. Maybe a game of ninja wars will ensue?

4. Proctecting your sacred BBQ

Speaking of scrubbers, most of us would like to avoid scrubbing if possible – too much energy wasted – especially when it comes to the grimy, greasy family BBQ. We all want our BBQs to last as long as possible and maintain their non-stick properties to produce endless delicious steaks. Keep your BBQ looking like new with a BBQ hotplate liner. Pop on this sheet and rinse when done (with hot soapy water of course!). Added bonus: your onions don’t fall through the cracks.

5. Guarding yourself in the kitchen

For those of us who don’t have the luxury of a self-cleaning oven, this is absolutely the next best thing. The oven guard is a heat resistant sheet that saves your oven floor from any spills that, without fail, become baked on grease that is ridiculously difficult to remove. Once all your baked goods are ready and cooling on your counter, carefully remove the sheet, clean it and replace! It also lasts for years, unlike the overwhelmingly smelly chemical cans.

6. The trusty dustpan

Every household needs a trusty dustpan. Why not one that looks like a peacock?  You can show off your skills when sweeping up that broken glass or pile of crumbs.

7. Get automatic with robot cleaners

If you want to go the more automated option, then the Robo Cleaner is the gadget for you. Sit back, relax and watch this cute piece of machinery do the vacuuming for you. It’s like having a pet that makes its way around the house picking up dust and dirt along the way. Perfect!

 8. The FUN part

Now we promised you that we would make cleaning fun and we know this is a hard task but we think we have just gadget to do the trick! Who could forget the staple piece of equipment for any avid cleaner avoider – the portable Bluetooth speaker.  Connect the speaker to your smart phone or another music device and pump some tunes at the loudest volume. Dance and sing while you clean and get a bonus mini workout.

Enough said.

We hope these quirky products make the chore of cleaning seem a little light and more enjoyable.

Let us know your problem cleaning areas or tips and tricks for making cleaning fun…share in the comments section!

What You’ll Need To Survive This Winter!

Don’t brave the cold without a good stock of winter warmers!

The brisk cold weather is hard enough to deal with for the sun loving folk, but it’s a great time to get snuggly on the couch and finally devour some delicious warming soups and slow cooked meals. So pour yourself a cup of chai and slip your warmest ugg boots on because this season is set to be a cold one!

8 Must-Haves For Your Winter Survival Kit

Winter Survival Kit

 

 

OZWEAR Connection Button Ugg Boot – Charcoal

Bodum Tea Maker Set With 2-Piece Glasses + Spoons – Light Blue

Coal The Lewis Beanie – Black

500 Slow-Cooker Dishes Cookbook

Happy Socks Men’s EU Size 41-46 Sock 3-Pack

Happy Socks Men’s EU 41-46 Multi Stripe Socks – Black/Blue

Chakra Chai Tea

1.7L Electric Soup Maker & Blender

For more tips to get you through this winter, our 5 Winter Style Must-Haves are great looks for the colder months.

Pop over to our Winter is Coming Pinterest Board for all the best winter inspiration including recipes and top product picks.

Excellent Quick and Easy Easter Recipes

Easter is an awesome time in the year and comes around so quick! There’s so much to do between seeing family and friends and getting everything organised. But let’s get down to business, the best part about Easter is devouring chocolate and sugar filled snacks without any guilty thoughts weighing over us. Because it’s Easter…and calories don’t count on Easter right? Good!

It’s the long weekend so it’s a perfect time to get into the kitchen and we’ve got some cracking Easter sweet snack recipes for you that the family will love and will only take you five minutes.

3 Ingredient Chocolate Birds Nests

Chocolate Nests

1 Packet (100g) of Changs noodles

250g Milk Chocolate

75g Smooth Peanut Butter

This recipe is an adaptation on the classic chocolate “spider” recipe and make for great treats for Easter.

To make; simply melt the chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave and mix until well combined. Pour the crunchy noodles into the chocolate mixture and stir until all the noodles are coated. Spoon out the mixture into large muffin tins in a nest shape, making sure the sides of the nests stand tall and there is a good well of space in the middle. Put in the fridge to chill for a few hours

5 Minute Easter Rocky Road Easter Popcorn

Rocky Road Popcorn

100g plain (or salt) popcorn

100g mini marshmallows

50g peanuts

250g milk chocolate

This rocky road popcorn is incredibly delicious and so easy to make, the whole snack can be constructed in under five minutes. Plus it’s a great way to use up chocolate from Easter eggs that are broken and give as a present, wrapped up in little bags!

To make; simply melt the chocolate in the microwave and leave for a few minute to cool slightly. In a bowl combine the popcorn, mini marshmallows and peanuts and mix through. Pour the chocolate mixture over the popcorn mix and softly fold through. Once the choclate has set, spoon the mixture into cups, or if you are giving away, into some small plastic wrap bags. If you want some extra colour you can always add some sprinkles or a crushed up Easter egg. Yum!

Inspired to get into the Kitchen? Check out the bright and colourful range of products on Catch of The Day to add some Autumn brightness to your kitchen! 

Want to try these recipes out? Let us know how they go? Maybe you’ve got an amazing improvement to make these recipes extra awesome for the long weekend!

 

Top 7 Autumn Updates For The Home!

Autumn is a season full of colour and freshness with the weather cooling down and the relaxed season of summer passing. April is a particularly busy time at home for families, with kids at home for school holidays and guests coming over for Easter celebrations.

To help you spruce up your home for this busy season, we’ve picked out our top 7 autumn updates from decor and style to activities to embrace in autumn:

Continue reading Top 7 Autumn Updates For The Home!