Thursday, February 25, 2010

Creative Chocolate

 They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but in my opinion so is chocolate. I found these quirky blocks of chocolate when I was wandering the aisles of the supermarket which definitely put a smile on my dial, so I thought I would share them with you! (sorry about the photos, they were taken on my phone)


For the relief of wrinkles and crows feet.

Warning: may cause weight gain if used incorrectly

Directions: Simply break off the desired dosage and consume.  You should quickly be overcome by stress relieving endorphins, and no longer concerned in the slightest about your wrinkles.

Martial Bliss Bar

(Enough said really!)

GirthControl Chocolate:

Directions: Simply break off the desired dosage and consume. You should quickly be overcome by stress relieving endorphins and no longer concerned about 'those' thoughts.

Warning: If you experience a hot flush, do not loosen clothing under any circumstances, as this may aggravate your condition.


Emergency Chocolate

For Immediate relief of: Chocolate cravings, lovesickness, exam pressure, mild anxiety

Mss  xx

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thursday is tea day!

"Would you like a tea or coffee?" I'm sure we have all been asked this question countless times in our lives, and for me the answer was always coffee, simply because I found tea to be a tad boring. I mean just go to Starbucks and there is an endless array of possibilities for the humble coffee bean- villa soy latte, mocha, iced coffee, cappuccino etc etc. In my mind tea was only ever white, black or green. However I now consider myself quite the tea connoisseur! Lately I have been noticing a very strong movement towards tea. I find that it has become almost a boutique drink, there are now hundreds of different flavours to choose from, not only that, tea is so accessible and easy to make- really the only equipment you need for a good cup of tea,  is a kettle!

T2 is fast becoming one of my favourite stores; it is a tea drinker’s paradise! The choices here are endless; seriously, if you love Chai Lattes, why not try the chocolate chip chai ? or maybe strawberries and cream, or maybe a simple green and jasmine tea. T2 is a great place to get comfortable with the idea of drinking tea. It is has plenty of mood lighting, is very cosy and I find the staff to be friendly and very knowledgeable- which is a must in a store like this as a novice could easily be overwhelmed! All you need to do to find the drink that suits you, is simply tell them what you like and they will find a tea to match your taste.  Simple!

Rosebud tea

Today I took home the Crème Brulee, and can I just say it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It really is a fantastic tea! It is a vanilla and caramel flavoured black tea and really is quite sweet, the perfect antidote to a hard day at the office. The kind gentlemen helping me suggested it is best with vanilla soy milk and a little sugar, and just quietly,  he says it works a treat after a big night out (this is always a bonus!). I whipped up a cup when I returned home and just used plain milk and it still knocked my socks off!

                                                         Creme Brulee, $12.75 per 100g

Another favourite of mine is the Turkish apple, which falls into the fruit tisane category- this is particularly sweet, they normally suggest to serve it cold, and on a hot summer day it is a god send! I have also been told that this particular flavour is particularly delicious with a splash of vodka! Who would have thought?!

If you prefer a more conventional black tea, then there is the simple English Breakfast, you can't go wrong with this classic. If you are bored with English breakfast they have tea inspired by some of the Australian capital cities. Brisbane Breakfast which has a mango flavour, the Melbourne breakfast a vanilla favoured tea and the Sydney breakfast which is a full bodied tea with a hint of bergamot.

T2 is very hands on, they have teas you can sample in store or they normally can make up a sample packet so you can take home and try a particular tea before you buy. They have little tea pots, delicate tea cups and saucers and anything else that is needed in making a perfect cup of tea!

If you do not have a store close by, do not fear! You can always  jump onto their website ( where you can buy tea and also pick up a few hints and tips on how to brew a great cuppa! T2 is defiantly worth a try!

Mss xx


Monday, February 22, 2010

A new edition to my culinary library

I am always very excited when I purchase a new cookbook; actually I think I am addicted to collecting recipe books (an addiction that like most takes a toll on my pocket book). Putting that aside, I am happy to report I have just purchased my very first Nigella Lawson cook book!! And for some strange reason, I feel like I have just become a member of a very coveted club..... the Nigella Lawson cooking society…. or something along those lines.

Now at times I can be a very indecisive person, I literally spent an hour in the "cooking" section of the book store trying to decide which of her many books to adopt- so I came to the conclusion that the best thing to do would be to start at the beginning with "How to Eat: The pleasures and principles of good food." I am very much looking forward to getting into the kitchen with my new companion!

Mss xx

Monday, February 15, 2010

Home sweet home

I am back from my little overseas trip! Although it was only 2 short weeks, I am very happy to be back in Australia, it is true what they say- there is no place like home. I say this now, but I love to travel and have the ability to experience cultures that are so different from your own, travelling to other countries really is an eye opening experience.

My first stop was Singapore- and what a lovely city it is! Singapore is a beautiful place, it is very green with trees lining main roads and massive parks, also it is very clean with fantastic shopping- although is slightly more expensive than cities such as Hong Kong.

Singapore like most large Asian cities is very faced paced and is always go go go. I loved the food in Singapore, it has a very Malay influence. I got the impression that Singaporians love seafood, all of the travel book tell you that one of the  signature dishes is the chilli mud crab- so noting this I made a bee line to a popular seafood restaurant by the name of Jumbo.

The food at Jumbo was y-u-m-m-y and the chilli crab was HOT!!! It is a very soupy dish and is quite tricky to eat, however they do give you have a very attractive and stylish plastic bib and a multitude of napkins and wet wipes- lucky we did not know anyone because it was a messy experience.

                                                      Chilli Crab

Another dish that is very popular is the black pepper crab, like the chilli crab dish it packs a punch, but is not cooked or served in a heavy sauce. The crab is slightly salty in comparison to the other dishes, but I put this down to the fact that it is absolutely covered in black pepper. I thought both dishes were amazing! If you ever go to Singapore and you are a seafood lover then these dishes are a must- although be warned, each crab dish was rather big, about 1kg of crab, so definitely eat on an empty stomach!

                                         Black Pepper Crab

Another dish that is a must in Singapore is crispy skin duck. The duck in Singapore is delicious and is everywhere! I decided to try a slight variation on the normal dish and tried crispy skin duck with slices of mango- the mango was the perfect accompaniment to the duck, it is great especially if you find the taste of duck to be very rich.

                      Crispy skin duck with mango slices

 Something I noticed when venturing around the city of Singapore was how reasonably priced the noodle dishes were.  For around $6 Australian I had a huge bowl of beef noodle soup, with a side of ginger and endless cups of green tea.  That is another thing about Asia the tea with dinner- it is fantastic!!

Well that is just a snippet of my dining experience in the beautiful Singapore, there is still more to come, but tell me dear reader what is a delicious dish you have discovered during your travels at home or abroad?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!!

As most of you know today is Valentines Day, a day that can be an unhappy one for the singletons out there (a group of which I am a proud member) but it doesn't have to be! I mean it is the one day of the year that you should not feel bad about indulging your sweet tooth; you have a license to eat things like chocolate or cake without feeling guilty. Now I am sure that a lot of you have heard how Valentines day came about- that it was a clever trick made up by greeting card companies to induce people to part with their cash in exchange for a card containing a loving message to give to their beloved, however as I found out this morning, this is not where Valentines day originated. In actual fact Valentines Day was begun by a Bishop who lived over 1000 years ago whose name was, you guessed it- Valentine. During his life the Roman emperor Cladius II banned all Roman soldiers from marrying as he believed that unmarried soldiers were far better soldiers as they did not have any emotional attachment. However Valentine, a true romantic secretly married couples without the emperor’s knowledge. Cladius of course found out about the ceremonies and locked Valentine up. During his imprisonment, Valentine purportedly had saintly powers as was able to heal the jailer’s daughter. Evidentially a close friendship manifested between Valentine and the daughter, and on February the 14th, the day of his execution, he supposedly penned a farewell note to her, signing it "From your Valentine".

So there you have it, the true beginnings of the day of love, however while most people buy chocolates and flowers, why not bake something sweet!! My butterfly cupcakes are perfect for such an occasion, they are perfect for sharing with your loved one, or simply enjoying one over a nice cup of tea ( my preferred method of consumption).

Butterfly Cupcakes


  • 120g of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 145 (2/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 185g (1 ½) cups of self raising flour
  • 125 ml of Milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml whipping cream
  • Strawberry jam
  • Icing sugar for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180 °C, and place paper patty cake cases in a 12 hole muffin tray.

In a bowl beat the butter, sugar flour, milk and eggs with an electric or stand mixer with a whisk attachment on low speed until ingredients are totally combined, then increase the speed and beat until the mixture is smooth and pale in colour.


Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Once ready cool on a wire rack.

Cut a shallow round from the centre of the cake using a sharp knife ( must be sharp otherwise the cake with crumble). Cut the small piece of sponge in half (these will later be the butterfly wings). Once the hole has been cut fill it half with jam and top with cream, then position their 2 halves of the cake to create the wings- then place a tiny drop of jam between the wings. Dust with the icing sugar and voila! a lovely little sweet treat!

A  little hint, do make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature when baking. Altough they do make 12, you will no doubt finish them off in one sitting! Enjoy!!