Easter Carrot Cake Cupcakes | Perfect Tea Party

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This easter long weekend I decided to have an Easter Tea Party to celebrate. It was the perfect morning tea to begin the day with close friends and family.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes are the perfect size to enjoy the carrot-cinnamon flavour, without feeling ill off a massive piece of cake. I do my Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing (because it really is the tastiest), but they are also delicious with cream cheese icing ← I’ll link my go-to recipe.

I decorated the cupcakes with edible mini wafer flowers (which you can buy at most supermarkets) and complemented the cupcakes with warmed hot cross buns, choccy eggs and Earl Grey Tea. Delicious!

Recipe (makes 6)

You will need:

  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 grated large carrot or 1 grated medium carrot
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C, line a cupcake baking tin with patty pans.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and stir.
  3. Slowly mix in carrot and oil
  4. Beat egg in separate bowl and then mix in with all ingredients
  5. Pour mixture in patty pans (about 2/3 full)
  6. Bake for 18 minutes

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Then enjoy!! Happy Easter everybody, hope you have a lovely weekend whether you celebrate it or not 🙂

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Baby Pink – the perfect soft, Easter colour

Do you have something special you do on Easter? Leave a comment – I’d love to chat 🙂

xx

Movies in the Moonlight

Unluckily we rocked up to the Moonlight Cinema on a day that the weather decided to be super temperamental. All day the temperature was resting on a pleasant 21˚C, and then the moment we arrived to the park it started bucketing down with rain.

But, we didn’t let that take away from our fun. We took our picnic blankets and propped them over our heads and snuggled together to watch the Dance Academy Premiere.

I’m not a huge fan of the TV show Dance Academy, so I found it a bit difficult to follow the movie (and understand all the soap-opera drama) but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The real experience was eating with friends under the stars.

We bought hummus, red rock deli pesto dip, Doritos, Peckish Thins, Marvelous Creations Chocolate, Lindt 70% dark chocolate, Charlie’s Quencher lemonade, pizza shapes and donuts to snack on throughout the movie. It was a real treat night and I really let loose on the dark choccy.

If you ever get the chance to go to a Moonlight cinema I would recommend it. It’s got both a friendly and romantic atmosphere so it would be perfect for a date with your partner or for a girls night.

We had so much fun, and we’re definitely going back!

xx

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Cadmium orange for Movies in the Moonlight

 

 

Escaping to Byron Bay on a Whim

For months now my best friend and I have been playing with the idea of doing a sporadic trip away to experience something different from Sydney for a couple of days. So, about a month ago (on a whim) we just thought FUCK it and booked tickets to Byron Bay.

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Byron Bay is a coastal town in Australia and is only an hour flight (or an uncomfortably long 9 hour drive) from Sydney. It’s got beautiful beaches and bushwalks (one to the Byron Lighthouse pictured above) but is also known for its relaxed, hippie vibe and alternative culture – it has lots of vegan destinations, where you can find eco-friendly products.

We wanted to keep the trip pretty cheap since we booked last minute and didn’t have reams of cash to work with. The flights weren’t too cruel to the budget but we tried to be cost effective with accommodation. We stayed in a caravan park, only a 10 minute walk from the centre of town, and were given a sweet little cabin which had a double bed, a stove, microwave, tv, eating area and a small bathroom. Since we didn’t plan to spend that much time in our rooms it was absolutely perfect.

We stayed 7 days, and spent time swimming on the main beach, shopping, buying ice-creams from the local favourite In The Pink (I was a fiend for the chunky MARS icecream), trying restaurants and doing walks along the beach and to some of the look-out points over the ocean:

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On one of the days we took a trip to a highly recommended place called The Farm, which is a community owned farm (that you can take a look around) which uses some of its produce for a great restaurant called the Three Blue Ducks. We made the grand mistake of deciding to walk from Byron to the restaurant (in 33˚C heat I’ll add), which took about 1.5 hours, so by the time we got there we were ravenous and felt like we were going to collapse from dehydration.

Luckily, the restaurant had delicious lunch options and I indulged in sticky pork ribs with lime, and quenched my thirst with hibiscus, elderflower, ginger & tumeric kombucha. We were sitting on wooden benches right in the middle of the farm and had roosters waltzing around our feet as we ate.

A couple of nights we tried Byron’s bars (which have a huge backpacker demographic) and our favourite by far was the Railway Bar. It was very casual (I rocked up wearing flip flops) and had people all ages enjoying a drink together. Some nights we didn’t feel like going out, and instead bought ingredients to make nachos, pasta or burritos, which we would enjoy in bed whilst watching TV.

I also found the Love Byron Bay chocolate ’boutique’, and I’m still deciding if it was an amazing or concerning discovery. After I found out that they sold almost every type of chocolate under the sun (they even had 100% Ecuadorian dark chocolate) I must have spent about AU$15 every day just buying bars of choccy to taste.

All in all we had a wonderful week relaxing and enjoy our time together and we will definitely go back. It was about my fifth time to Byron, and every time I go I discover a whole lot more – I would definitely recommend travelling there if you get the chance!

xx

 

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Dodger blue for an exciting escape

 

Exploring Chocolate Heaven

If there is one thing I can’t resist its chocolate.

The other day I discovered a modern little restaurant called Passion Tree. They offer a range of delicious desserts including crepes, waffles, hot chocolates and frappes, and if that’s not enough to entice you they are all presented like works of art.

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The setting of the cafe sort of contradicts what it serves. Whilst most chocolate cafes have dark and creamy coloured interiors with tea lights flickering amidst the aroma of melted chocolate, Passion Tree had a reasonably stark setting with bleach white walls, floors and chairs.

However, this did not take away from the quality of their menu. Each dessert is so intricately designed and mouthwateringly over-the-top it was a struggle even deciding which one I wanted.

Eventually I chose their ‘Campfire Smores Epic Hot Chocolate’ (pictured above). The mug itself was the size of my head and was filled with warm, creamy hot chocolate, which had the richness and consistency of Max Brenner’s Italian Thick hot chocolate. This was topped with ice cream, whipped cream, smoked marshmallows and crushed oreo’s and drizzled in melted smooth dark chocolate.

My friend got the Triple Choc Brownie which came with vanilla ice-cream, strawberries, and was drizzled in buttery dark, milk and white chocolate. I’m not a huge brownie person but this one was so deliciously intense that one bite of hers satisfied my chocolate craving for the next year (not 100% true).

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Each dessert was around AU$10 which I think is pretty fair considering the flavour explosion you get. I definitely want to go again to try their signature ‘Bingsoo’ which is a Korean dessert with flavoured shaved ice topped with ice-cream in an oversized cocktail glass (much like a large frappe).

Definitely a place to check out if you can!

xx

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Chocolate brown for all things chocolate

 

A Day in my Life

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After pushing myself for an hour through a tough gym class (Bodycombat by Les Mills), I set off to the city mall to do some serious Christmas shopping.

My goal today was to buy presents for the main people in my life (Mum, Dad & close friends), and getting all of them under my belt felt like a massive accomplishment. I sifted through dozens of stores throughout the day and finally ended with a mix of presents I am really happy with.

For Mum, I got a satin robe with floral detail and some black cotton placemats/marble coasters to match her dining room. For dad, I got the Gillette gift pack and a new stainless steel kettle because their current one was $7 from Aldi and the plastic is already starting to crack. I also got my best friend two MAC lipsticks (Faux and M.A.C. red) and a satin nightie which I got myself as well so we can match! Satin is a huge favourite of mine at the moment because I just love the silky feel of it against my skin. Even better, the material doesn’t make me overheat on balmy nights considering we are moving into summer here in Australia.

I also had a cheeky treat myself, and bought myself a Belgian waffle at Oliver Brown which was delicious, but I have to say it did feel a little funny just hanging out in the chocolateria alone, amongst couples who were chatting and eating fondue together.

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For lunch I explored a little eatery plaza called ‘Hawker Lane’ which offers a fusion of Asian cuisines. However, feeling a little unadventurous today, I went for my go-to brown rice avocado/salmon sushi roll and some edamame beans. Yum!

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Once I got home I wrapped up all the presents and placed them under the tree. It is starting to look super festive!

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Then, I began to prepare dinner, whilst watching the Netflix movie ‘How to be Single’ which is actually incredibly funny, and I would definitely recommend. It’s also really relatable to my life right now… For dinner, I fried up some homemade falafels and paired them with a light baby spinach salad and some butter chicken. I think I’ll share my butter chicken recipe in a later post. It’s much healthier than the typical restaurant bought butter chicken but still rich with flavour and spice.

dinner-spread

xx

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Lavender for gifts, giving and productivity

Christmassy Gingerbread Truffles

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These are one of the easiest Christmas treats to make, and easily one of the tastiest. All I used was one packet of gingersnaps, half a tub of cream cheese, chocolate sprinkles, icing sugar and cream.

After blending the gingersnaps into a fine powder using my Nutribullet, I added a dollop of cream cheese and kneaded the mixture with my fingers to create a cookie dough texture. Then, still using my hands I created the round little truffle balls and laid them out on a plate. Placing them in the fridge for 15 minutes, I waited for them to cool whilst whisking up a spoon of cream cheese, plain cream and half a spoon of icing sugar into an icing paste. After taking them out the fridge I spread the icing on top and decorated the truffles with the chocolate sprinkles.

This recipe is so easy to whip up quickly for guests, or if you are just craving a christmassy themed treat. It has really settled me into the spirit of the Christmas season. Plus, their small size means you won’t over-indulge when treating yourself to one.

Happy festivities

xx

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Indian red, in anticipation of the XMAS season

 

A stroke of green for new beginnings

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Vibrant Green

This blog begins as a blank canvas, a sheen of pristine white ready for the colours of life. My first post is a stroke of vibrant green symbolic of new beginnings for this site. I have been toying with the idea for this blog for a long time, unsure whether the concept is too far-fetched for anyone interested in reading.

On first impressions this blog might seem overly pretentious and an idea that will fizzle out after a couple of posts. However, I am dedicated to continue posting for my own fun, regardless of how this idea is received. If you wanted to de-construct the idea, its basically a diary of the ups and downs of my life, which are correlated with different colours to make every post a little more engaging.

This is probably my favourite time of year, and what better time to start writing when everyone is happy and relaxed. Watching society prepare for Christmas is like watching a child fall asleep. Everyone relaxes, all worries are put aside for later, and there is peaceful indulgence in Christmas dreams surrounded by family. In my personal preparation for Christmas, I have been going to quirky new restaurants in Newtown and alike for meals with friends, eating far too many baked goods and wasting away hours of time and blocks of broadband usage on Youtube (I recommend PrankvsPrank – https://www.youtube.com/user/PrankvsPrank).

This morning I went to a local market and splurged on a small biscuit called an Alfajore which I was told was an Argentinian traditional confection. I wasn’t sure whether it was a sudden desire for chocolate, or the bakers puppy dog eyes which made me buy them, but either way it was a lovely surprise and I really loved the taste and consistency.

Unfortunately I only bought one, and these markets have different stores every week so I’m not sure how soon again I can buy these. So, I have done a bit of looking and found online a recipe for alfajores that I am going to make for our Christmas day lunch:

http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/alfajores-28373

However, I’m thinking that if I was super lazy and not feeling like creating a labour of love over making the traditional biscuits, I’m totally down for pressing two pre-bought cookies together, with nutella or dulce de leche between.

Anyway, after an eventful morning of a late sleep in and eating at the markets I’m ready to snuggle into bed with a cup of tea and my Netflix subscription as I’d love to watch the movie Masterpiece Classic: The Diary of Anne Frank (I’ve just finished reading her diary).

xx