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.

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Bon Appetit!

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

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

Pretty in Pink – Floral Inspired Pieces

Inspired by pure femininity and gorgeous florals, pink hues are perfect for make up tones and accessory pieces from hot pink vibes to softer pastels. Whether you’re after a boldly glamorous look or a pretty, subtle hint of colour, pink is the ultimate colour for girly girls and edgy fashionistas alike!

Grab some pretty in pink glam to show off your girly side!

 

LessIS

 

1. NP Set Lip Primer

2. Peeptoe Women’s Miss Muse Nude Pink

3. OPI Nail Lacquer Lets Do Anything We Want

4. OPI Pink of Hearts Nail Lacquer

5. Real Techniques Blush Brush

6. Jag Women’s Toni Watch Rose Gold

7. L’OREAL Colour Riche Lipstick in Sunset Angora

8. OPI Nail Lacquer I Think In Pink  

9. Mac Tinted Lip Glass Cultured

If you love style and beauty, check out these posts:

Head over to our Pink Pinterest Board for some sweet pink inspiration!

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!

The Guy Style Guide to Accessories

The pieces you pair with your clothes play a vital part in taking an everyday outfit to the next level. If you want to get noticed in all the right ways, without busting your wallet! It’s as easy as a tight new pair of shoes, a classic tie or even some toasty headwear.

Find out what’s trending this coming season in our Guy Style Guide to Accessories:

The ultimate winter accessory – the beanie

Style For Men Tumblr Via Socratees Fashion and Luxury
Image via Pinterest

Beanies are back and adapt to many different styles. Whether you’re a sporty guy, a trendsetter or just have a great sense of classic style, a beanie is the only men’s accessory that is crucial to the winter season. If you have a classic style, opt for a traditional grey or black, or for a daring dash of colour, a burgundy beanie is the way to go. Pair with some rugged boots and a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers for the laid back “no worries” look.

Get the Look:

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Ray-Ban Wayfarers Polarized Sunglasses in Black

Coal The Fields Beanie in Burgundy

Diesel Men’s Mini Daddy Watch – Black

Windsor Smith Low Biker Boot in Brown Leather

The go-to shoe this season – desert boot

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Image via Pinterest

A desert boot is a traditional shoe that came into style around the 1950s. This casual half boot style is a versatile shoe that can be worn with jeans and weekend wear or passed off as more formal with the right outfit. Look for suede options for extra swag without effort.

Get the Look:

55120c81a69bd502148353_w306h250 desert boot ben sherman wallet

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Coal The FS Beanie in Heather Grey

Ben Sherman Men’s Duke Desert Boot – Sand

Ben Sherman Wallet

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Preston Watch – Brown

How to rock a bag as an accessory

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Image via Pinterest

Don’t go spoiling your outfit game with an ugly bag! There are plenty of great go-to bag options that won’t land you in “man bag” territory. Try a stylish duffle for a classy option or chill with Herschel ‘s hyped backpack range, especially if you’re the travelling type.  When in doubt, opt for dark colours and soft textures.

Get the Look:

Ben Sherman Belt Julius Marrow Hugo Boss 540ff20166414538791925_w306h250

 

 

 

 

Ben Sherman brown belt

Julius Marlow Boys’ Bruiser Shoes – Rust

Hugo Boss Trama Duffel Bag 

Ben Sherman Diagonal Tie – Chambray

Keep it classic – The 3 staple accessories

Men's classic accessories
Image via Pinterest

A rule of thumb for accessories that will leave a good impression on all occasions: keep it simple. All you need is a decent pair of sunnies, a standout watch and a classic tie, and you’ll be good to go with any outfit, from Saturday brunch to bar. Think black and white for accessories that will never go out of style!

Get the Look:

ray ban clubmaster

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Ray-Ban Clubmaster Classic Sunglasses

Hugo Boss Origin Watch – White/Black

Ben Sherman Men’s Plain Tie – Black

Accessories to look out for this season:

  • A good warm beanie
  • A pair of desert boots
  • Classic sunglasses
  • A basic tie
  • A standout watch

Which staple styles are you in need of this winter?

Want more Guy Style? You’ll love our Different Watches to Start Your Collection  post for more watch inspiration and check out our Gifts For The Trendy Traveller for travel accessories!

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.

Workwear Looks for Under $60

Want to make getting up for work on a Monday morning just that little bit easier? Having to choose something to wear that looks nice can quickly turn from a fun task into a nightmare. For this we suggest grabbing a new outfit to throw on the morning that is comfortable, stylish and won’t cost your whole weeks paycheck!

All of these workwear looks can be achieved for under $60 with the right essentials:

Essential skirt for the working week

Tweed is a traditional office material and has a professional look, but it doesn’t have to look old. This fitted tweed skirt from FATE is perfect for winter workwear with a pair of black tights and a plain black top. If your workplace is more corporate, pair with a plain workshirt, if it’s more casual, a fun cardigan with lift the look.

tweed skirt

Fate Women’s Twiggy Skirt – Pewter Tweed 

Fate Women’s Mia Shimmer Cardigan – Storm/Stripe

Prints in the office

Office style so often gets stuck in grey and black tones, so why not add a print into the mix? A floral printed shirt adds sophisticated colour to a plain outfit without being over the top and will even pass to wear on the weekend going out for lunch or drinks.

Floral tshirt

SASS Women’s Madeline Blouse – Spanish Rose

Colour is encouraged

Don’t be scared of bold colour at work. In the right shade, a statement colour piece will stand out in all the right ways. We love this orange blazer for the office as the colour isn’t too crazy and the cream pockets and button accents give it a sophisticated style.

workwear

Lagogo Women’s Blazer – Orange

Don’t like colour? Go for textures!

If you’ve got more of a laid back style or you’re not a massive fan of colour, a textured jacket will add an element of interest to any outfit. This textured patterned jacket can be dressed up with essential workwear items or dressed down with a pair of jeans.

workwear wants

SASS Women’s Bobbie Jacket – Black/Grey

Classic look with a modern twist

Nothing looks more elegant than classic black and white. Create a fabulous silhouette with this sheer white and black FATE blouse over a black or white camisole. Pair with a classic black pencil skirt and some on trend skinny strap sandals.

Shirt

FATE Women’s Good Intentions Blouse – Ivory

Sandler Women’s Declare Sandals – Black Glove

Want more style guides? Check out these recent Style by Catch posts:

How to Style Your Jeans or 5 Winter Style Must-Haves For This Season

Style-by-Catch

 Follow Catch Culture for all the inside tips and tricks behind Catch of the Day!