It’s that time of the month – again! This time… I’ve mixed things up.
This month’s beauty and foodie favourites is a video. Hell. I was so nervous when I pushed the publish button on this one… You have no idea. I had (and still have) mega butterflies in my tum.
Look, this video. It’s a bit amateur. I don’t know how to edit videos (so I didn’t). I’m quietly proud, that said, that I figured out how to do an intro cover title page thingymajig. Oh, I need lighting, I need a microphone, I need a remote control doofer thingy so I can zoom in and out. But it’s a start! Let me know what you think! Thumbs up, or thumbs down?
Note: I hope you don’t aren’t lying in bed next to someone reading this. You might accidentally press ‘play’ on the vid and wake them up. I get in trouble when I do that.
Oh yes. My chocolate caramel slice recipe.
The Boy and I have been watching Zumbo’s Just Desserts on TV3 on Monday and Tuesday nights. Despite having an epic savoury tooth I can’t help but develop intense cravings whilst watching Zumbo’s for… SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR. Enough, I thought. Time to whip up something decadent to enhance our viewing pleasure. Frankly, I don’t think you can go past chocolate caramel slice, for me this is the ultimate treat, the king of home-baking.
Here’s my recipe, it’s a bit of a hodge-podge of various recipes I’ve tried over the years.
Now, don’t tell anyone… Sometimes I make it with…. Double the caramel topping. I know. I’m such a porker. But try it, don’t shake your head in disbelief at my porkiness.
Chocolate Caramel Slice Recipe
For the base
1 cup of plain flour
1 and a half teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
125g melted butter
For the Caramel layer
1 can of condensed milk (395g)
2 heaped tablespoons golden syrup
For the chocolate layer
1 tablespoon melted butter (extra)
200g dark chocolate melts
Combine all base ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Press into pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool
Combine caramel ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until boiling, reduce to the lowest heat and stir, constantly for 5 minutes until the caramel is thick. Spread caramel over the cooled base.
Bake base with the caramel layer for a further 8-10 minutes (make sure it doesn't go too golden). Cool
Combine melted dark chocolate melts and melted butter (the extra tablespoon). Spread on top of slice.
Refrigerate until set. Then cut into squares.
Hide it from your family.
TIP: If you want the slices to look pretty and 'clean', wet your knife in hot water, then slice. Then clean your knife off, then slice again. I personally can't be bothered with this step... But I can see why you would bother 🙂
PS Zumbo is Adriano Zumbo, and Australian chef and patissier, also known as the Australian Willy Wonka.
The inspiration for this kick-ass kumara, kransky and spinach salad didn’t arise from the creative depths of my foodie brain, I’d better fess up to that, right now! Nope, inspo for this dish comes from Salute Cafe and Deli in Taupo. We did a roadie down to Taupo from Rotorua recently and called in at Salute for lunch. I ordered hock and eggs, which is Salute’s version of Eggs Bene. It was it good, the coffee was hot and decent, but I had total food envy as both my Mum and Marissa, my brother’s girlfriend ordered this (rather boring sounding) ‘Kumara Salad’. When it arrived, I begged them for a taste. It was so good I took a photo, made a note of the flavours and promptly legged it to the supermarket to get the ingredients for dinner! Mum keeps asking if I’ve blogged this recipe yet. Marissa’s already emailed me from Boston (she’s now back home) for the recipe. Last night I got a photo of the end result after she dished it up for dinner for her and my brother. Best I get sharing. It’s clearly a goodie! (more…)
They say don’t judge a book by its cover. Well, I blatantly did that when I was offered the opportunity to review some of the The Organic Skin Company products. Can we just talk about the bamboo packaging for a second? Perfect and gorgeous. I haven’t seen packaging this cool for a while. Yes please, The Organic Skin Company, thanks for asking, I’ll try a few things: Your packaging is The Bomb.
Backtracking a little, I’d stumbled across some images of products from The Organic Skin Company on Facebook, but I hadn’t ventured as far as checking any products out. Why? To be honest, there so many makeup and skincare products popping up now it’s hard to try everything. My wallet is not bottom-less. Anyway, when Maryanne Gilles contacted me and introduced herself: Makeup Artist and seller of The Organic Skin Company products, she piqued my interest. I sensed (and hoped) that as a makeup artist, she’d be using products that worked. Bingo. During our correspondence Maryanne relayed to me that, as a make up artist (and a beauty therapist) she wishes The Organic Skin Company range had been around earlier in her career.
While I waited a couple of days for the products to arrive, I did some research. Who was behind this company? Where were they from? What’s the guts? First up, World Organic is a Kiwi Company, founded by New Zealander, Megan Douglas. Megan, among other jobs (like model and fashion designer) is also a qualified herbalist. Megan essentially used her background and expertise to create her own organic skincare company. There’s a few different range, including skincare, that come under the overall brand, check them out here. (more…)
I lusted after this Max Factor Masterpiece eyeshadow palette for quite some time after stumbling across it in Farmers. After playing around with the tester, making pretty swatches all over my arm, I concluded this palette a gem. I didn’t buy it though. Yes, you read that right: It got left in Farmers! Uncharacteristically restrained, right?! To be fair, at the time, I gave myself a stiff talking to: “Lou you don’t need another eyeshadow palette”. Oh, but I wanted it! It definitely passed the 24 hour test.
A month or two later a makeup loving friend’s birthday was on the horizon. I knew Lisa would appreciate an eyeshadow palette and, naturally, I knew the perfect palette. So, off I skipped back to Farmers and, boom, there was a sale on! All Max Factor items: Buy one, get one free. Well helllooooo!. One palette for Lisa (she got ‘Cappuccino Nudes‘), one for Lou. Being a blondie with green eyes, I felt the Cappuccino Nudes palette would suit Lisa better, I got myself ‘Golden Nudes’ as simply as it has all the colours I like. Happy days. Price? NZ$33.99 each (of course, I got two for this price).
This post is a review of my eyeshadow palette, Golden Nudes (02). (more…)
I’ve been whipping up this dish, scrambled eggs with cumin feta and mint, on the weekends for breakfast, or brunch, or lunch, for donkey’s years. It’s quick, simple and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. It’s got enough wow factor to serve up to guests. That’s my kind of kai: Low key, tasty and impressive! (more…)
Here’s my October round up of things that are floating my boat!
Ketz-ke Lace Core Tank
I wasn’t going to mention this singlet in this month’s faves simply as I featured Ketz-ke’s trackies in a faves blog post a few months back… I didn’t want anyone to accuse me of being in bed with Ketz-ke and being on commission! I’m not! I adore this singlet and it’s been thrashed by me for the last two months and, out of everything in my wardrobe, this is at the top of my Love List ATM. So there. By the way, it’s officially a ‘tank’ not a singlet. But I’m a kiwi, and I call it a singlet.
This is essentially a simple black singlet (95% rayon, 5% spandex) that has a feminine lace trim detailing at the bottom which makes it the PERFECT layering singlet. I particularly love wearing it with tops that are probably verging on being slightly too short. Whack this singlet on underneath a top that’s too short and your problem is eliminated as the singlet adds length. It also totally dresses up a plain singlet and a pair of jeans. I love items of clothing that can make a quick transformation.
I bought my singlet from Willow in Rotorua. Locals: Donna has these singlets in as base stock and if she doesn’t have your size, she’ll get one in for you (next day delivery). Alternatively you can buy these online. I’m dead keen on getting the white one for summer… Price NZ$59. (more…)
The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone is a book that’s lead to two firsts for me….
First up, I was compelled me to dedicate an entire blog post to a book review (I’ve never done that, I usually lump these in with my monthly faves blog post).
Secondly, I messaged the author, Charity Norman, through Facebook, to let her know that it was her fault that Tuesday morning’s makeup prep involved Clear Eyes and a bold lip to distract from my tired eyes. Why? I was up until stupid o’clock reading as this book. It was good there could have been a 5.5 shake and I’d have not noticed. I didn’t even care that my husband was snoring, despite his man cold finishing last month (FFS). I’ve never emailed an author before with positive feedback. Guess what? She replied. I did a little fan girl dance! Turns out she loves cats too. Cool.
Here’s my The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone book review which is, no contest, the best book I’ve read this year. I loaned it to my colleague Amanda, a fellow bookworm. She devoured it over one afternoon/early evening and concurred that it was “super”. I wonder what her kids had for dinner that night.