Sunday, 21 September 2014

Homewares from Net-A-Porter

Some exclusive and high end home products from the Shopaholic in all of us courtesy of Net-A-Porter:

Saturday, 6 September 2014

OMG Oreos!

Some of my favourite Oreo recipes from their website:

Quick OREO Treats


18 OREO Cookies
1 pkg. (4 oz.) white baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted


DIP half of each cookie in chocolate; sprinkle with coconut. Place on waxed paper- or parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
REFRIGERATE 15 min. or until chocolate is firm.

Frozen Chocolate "Souffl├ęs"


2 pkg. (3.9 oz. each) chocolate instant pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
16 OREO Cookies, chopped (about 2 cups)
8 maraschino cherries


BEAT pudding mixes and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in COOL WHIP.
SPOON half each of the cookies and pudding mixture evenly into 8 (8- or 9-oz.) paper drinking cups; press gently with back of spoon to release air pockets. Repeat layers; cover.
FREEZE 5 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer about 15 min. before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Peel away paper from souffles. Place souffles on plates; garnish with cherries.

OREO Cupcakes


24 OREO Cookies
1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
2 cups thawed frozen whipped topping


PLACE 1 cookie in each of 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Prepare cake batter as directed on package; spoon over cookies. Bake cupcakes as directed on package. Cool in pans 5 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.
REMOVE paper liners; cut cupcakes horizontally in half.
FILL with whipped topping. Serve cookie-sides up.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Inn At The Crossroads

The best recipes from the Inn at the Crossroads blog:

Leg of Lamb, in dark beer, honey, and spices


1 leg of lamb, bone in (mine was a monster 7 pounder for Easter dinner)
2 cups dark beer, such as stout or porter
1 cup honey, divided in half
1 Tbs. juniper berries, crushed
3 bay leaves
2 tsp. whole cloves

Preheat the oven to 375F. Combine the beer, honey, juniper, bay leaves, and cloves in the bottom of a deep roasting pan, then set the leg of lamb on top. Season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper. Cook approximately 15 minutes per pound, basting every 10-15 minutes or so. The interior temperature of the lamb should reach 130F, at which point it should be done.

Remove from the oven, cover loosely with tin foil, and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

Strain the drippings into a separate bowl, and skim off as much of the fat as you can. You can either serve the remaining mix straight with the lamb as a sauce, or simmer gently with a bit of fresh mint.

Modern Elderflower Fritters

Cook’s Note: Bonus Points if you can get a hold of an elderflower cider, such as Angry Orchard makes! Also, try using smaller clusters of flowers for easier frying and eating.


1/2 bottle sparkling hard cider (6 fl. oz)
pinch of dry yeast
pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 lemon or orange
1 cup flour
6 elderflower blossom clusters, or more, as desired
oil for frying (I used canola)
sugar, for sprinkling

Mix together all ingredients except the elderflowers and oil, tweaking as necessary, until you have a nice runny batter. Bring the oil up to a nice medium heat. Gently dip a cluster of elderflowers into the batter, holding the stem upright. You can wiggle it around until all the blossoms are covered. Let any excess batter drip off, then carefully lower the battered flower into the hot oil. You should be able to cook each fritter almost entirely on this side, although you may find flipping it to finish the top side is helpful. When the fritters are golden brown, remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with some sugar, and enjoy!

Spruce Tip Shortbread Recipe


1 stick butter, room temperature
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh spruce tips

Preheat oven to 325. Beat the butter and sugar together, then add the remaining ingredients, mixing until it’s crumbly. You may need to fiddle with the proportions a bit- too soft and the shortbread will melt, but too dry, and it won’t hold together. Chill for at least an hour. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll out your dough to about 1/4″ thick, and cut into shapes with cookie cutters (Christmas tree cutters would be cute- I didn’t think of that). Place the shortbreads on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, then bake for around 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are just starting to turn golden. Let them cool

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Home Made Vinegar


Yields: 1 bottle

1 French Mother of Vinegar
1 bottle of wine


Place the French Mother of Vinegar in a plastic or ceramic crock with a lid that allows airflow while keeping out dust – eg, you can loosely attach a coffee filter over the mouth of the jar, or get a Chinese crock that has an air-hole in the lid, which works perfectly and fill up with leftover wine of any kind. 

It takes 1 month-4 months to turn to vinegar, depending on the size of the mother in relation to the wine, and how warm the crock is kept (at 70-80 degrees as in our sunny windowsill, it happens fast; at 50-60 degrees in our garage, it goes slowly). 

Taste it for doneness and when it’s ready, ladle or siphon off the vinegar and add more wine to the crock so the Mother can stay fed and healthy. To use the vinegar, you can use it straight from the crock, or filter it through a strainer or coffee filter to remove any particulate matter like a spot of dust or residue of the Mother that may be aesthetically annoying.

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