31 March 2011

Housewarming :: Substantial Food

This is what I am serving for substantial food. Chicken Drumsticks

Sausage Rolls

Tomato and boccoccini salad with fresh basil, baby capers and olive oil balsamic dressing.


Homemade Coleslaw salad with a creamy homemade mayonnaise dressing.


Chat potato salad with crispy bacon, chives and mayonnaise yoghurt dressing.


Happy Birthday Brett



Happy Birthday to Brett!!!!!! First Birthday in the new house!!!!

Have a great day!!!

Also Happy Birthday to Grand as well!!!!

30 March 2011

Housewarming :: Atmosphere

A great and economical way to create atmosphere at your event is to use lighting. I have these glass tea light candle holders and lanterns from http://www.ikea.com.au/. I will also be using some of my “green eco chic” bees wax candles. What do I mean by green eco chic? If you have a wedding decorator in your neighbourhood you should stop by and ask if you can purchase their pillar candles (church candles) that are used. What do I mean? Every time a bride gets married they will no doubt use new candles that have only burnt for less than 2 hours (still at least 4 hours of light left in them – depending on size). I pick mine up from between .50cents and $2.00 depending on size, from local wedding decorators – they are happy to get rid of them. I have had brides that want to be “eco green” for their weddings by way of recycling etc. So that is where I came up with the idea. Also I prefer the slightly used candles as it looks more vintage and not so brand spanking new – if you know what I mean!

29 March 2011

Book - Move to Strike

Perfect home, perfect family, perfect murder...

So I am back on the "thriller" band wagon this week - needed a "chick lit" break.

I wasn't sure about this book at the start - but it GETS GOOD.... TRUST ME!


Think..... a crazy Dr Phil!
Really good book and full of twist and turns - totally worth the read!



Doctor Jeffrey Logan, daytime TV’s most loved psychologist, has a top-rating talk show seen around the world - his picture perfect life completed by his talented lawyer wife, Stephanie Tyler, their 16-year-old daughter Chelsea, and 13-year-old J.T. But this image of domestic bliss is shattered when Stephanie is killed instantly by a bullet from a big game rifle in the family’s pristine Beacon Hill kitchen – the consequences of her death catastrophic as Doctor Jeff confesses, despite all the evidence pointing decidedly towards his blood spattered son.

Now Boston criminal defence attorney David Cavanaugh faces his most gruelling case to date – as fate steps in to see him appointed to represent the man charged with murdering his old law school friend. Cavanaugh soon realises that this family has a dark secret, but it may not be the one the popular Doctor Jeff insists on revealing to the world. With the Logan children unwilling to reveal what really happened, and Doctor Jeff always one step ahead of his defence team, Cavanaugh must race to uncover the truth, before more lives, including those closest to him, are lost.

- Posted by Jazz's iPhone

Housewarming :: Signature Drinks


Signature Drinks are more of an American wedding tradition.

It’s a great way to serve alcoholic beverages at your event, with a little wow factor and as you focus on the 1 style of drink it can save you money.

I have a lot of Martini Glasses (occupational hazard) and I found Frozen Cocktail Buckets while out and about. We are going to serve Pina Colada and Pink Cosmos.

We have a NY Smoothy Maker so we will be up the cocktail mix in the blender with ice rather than put it in the freezer.

Basically with these buckets you just need to add the alcohol – I will be interested to see how they turn out.

28 March 2011

Housewarming :: Punch

I always love serving punch at parties, its colourful and can also look like a great decor feature. I use Maxwell Williams large cookie jars to hold the punch.

I am going to do a Pink Grapefruit and Lime Punch and a Lemon Water Punch.







27 March 2011

Housewarming :: Desserts

So as I have admitted in previous posts, I am a Cooking TV Show junkie!

I just love to watch Nigella – she totally cracks me up, she always has something in her mouth!

I was inspired by her mousse recipes and she served them in shot glasses – which is great for a cocktail style party (portion controlled and can be managed in hands)!

So I purchased some cute shot glasses at Christmas time for this very reason.
These little snaps shot glasses are from Ikea (http://www.ikea.com.au/)!








Instant Chocolate Mousse

150g mini marshmallows
50g soft butter
250g good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
60ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
1 x 284ml tub double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/instant-chocolate-mousse-4




White Chocolate Mint Mousse

175g white chocolate
90ml milk
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp lemon juice
225ml double cream

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/white-chocolate-mousse-2224



I also want to have a Cupcake Station where people can PIMP THEIR CUPCAKE out!

I am going for a Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese frosting.



Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. red food coloring (two bottles) or 4 oz beet juice (if you use unprocessed light cocoa you can leave out the food dyes and you'll get a warm red/brown color)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

http://bestcupcakerecipes.blogspot.com/2009/02/red-velvet-cupcake-recipe.html

26 March 2011

Lights Out

Check out our Earth Hour lighting!







- Posted by Jazz's iPhone

Earth Hour


Tonight at 7.30pm (Brisbane Time) Brett and I will be taking part in Earth Hour!

We have participated most years – but this year it’s our first in our new home!
Getting out the candles!!!!

It’s not too late to join in – turn out the lights for an hour, have dinner or drinks by candle light!

About Earth Hour


Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change.

Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating.

Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries/territories officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

On Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday 26 March at 8.30PM (local time). This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.

Read more here http://www.earthhour.org/Homepage.aspx

Housewarming :: Sausages for a Cause


For our Sunday Housewarming BBQ we are having a sausage sizzle with all the trimmings.

Our friend Byron has entered a charity ride Tour de Cure, he had one of those sausage sizzles at Bunnings last weekend, however due to the rain he didn’t get through all of the sausages.

So we have offered to take a couple of kilos off his hands and donate some more money to his charity cause.

I am glad we are able to help out Byron, not the mention the sausages are from Super Butcher and I hear they taste amazing!

Housewarming :: Use Facebook


Seeing how we are living in the social media era and most people are on Facebook, I added our events to the “event” function of FB.

People may say I am crazy – BUT I added it as a Private Event, so that only the invited can see it.

I used the invite theme as the pic and Bob’s your Uncle.

You can also send messages to those that are invited (updates/reminders).

Saturday, 19th March 2011 – Update:

Hey All,

Brett and I are busy making the final touches to the house before the housewarming weekend!

Check out the blog to see what you are install for:
http://jazzandbrett.blogspot.com/search/label/Housewarming

Looking forward to catching up! Don’t forget to RSVP by Saturday, 26 March 2011.

Cheers
Jazz & Brett



Saturday, 26th March 2011 – Reminder:

Hey Everyone,

If you haven’t already done so please RSVP for our housewarming event today.

Just needing final numbers for catering purposes.

Check out the blog to see what you are install for:
http://jazzandbrett.blogspot.com/search/label/Housewarming

Looking forward to seeing you and showing you the new house (you have heard about so much)!

Cheers
Jazz & Brett

25 March 2011

Housewarming: Bowl Covers

Shower caps?

When I was out buying the plates, forks, cups etc I came across these bowl covers.

I have seen them used at parties but never in a shop!

Good idea to help keep any flies at bay.




I guess you could use shower caps, but there are a few different sizes in a pack!






24 March 2011

RIP Liz

At around 4am this morning I woke to the news that Liz Taylor passed away.

While making dinner tonight I looked up and saw her on my Andy Warhol wall....




What a stunning lady!




I also noted that 5 of my Andy Warhol friends have passed :: total style icons - Liz, Maz, Jax, Di & Judz.

Just between you and me, I am not looking forward to the day Prince passes away - I imagine I will need to take bereavement leave!




- Posted by Jazz's iPhone

22 March 2011

Housewarming:: Nibbles

So ever since we started building the house I have been thinking about the Housewarming and what we would serve at our party.

I just love Dukkah and I have a new Bread Maker too – so I am looking forward to serving Dukkah!



I think I may need to do a bread maker test run this weekend.

Along with the usual cheese platters and the like I will be making some dips too!

As I watch 5 million cooking shows and I have decided to do a few of Curtis and Coles dishes:

Beetroot Hommus


• 150 g fresh beetroot cooked until tender, peeled
• 400 g can chickpeas drained and rinsed
• 1 clove garlic
• 2 tbsp tahini
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tsp cumin
• 6 large fresh mint leaves
• extra virgin olive oil to serve

1. Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add 2-3 teaspoons water, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top to serve.


http://recipes.coles.com.au/recipes/323/beetroot-hommus/


Cheesy White Bean Dip



• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion finely chopped
• 2 x 400 g cans cannellini beans rinsed, drained
• 1 cup grated parmesan, plus 1 tbsp extra for topping
• 1/2 cup whole egg mayonnaise
• 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
• 1 baguette sliced, to serve
• corn chips to serve (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan.
2. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion for 5 mins, until softened.
3. Place beans in a large bowl and mash lightly with a fork. Add onion, parmesan, mayonnaise, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces and mix until combined.
4. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and extra parmesan and sprinkle over bean mixture. Bake for 20 mins, until bubbling and golden. Serve with baguette slices or corn chips.


http://recipes.coles.com.au/recipes/590/cheesy-white-bean-dip/


Green Olive Tapenade



• 235 g Always Fresh Anchovy Stuffed Olives
• 50 g capers, drained
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1/2 cup chopped parsley
• 1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra to cover
• 180 g haloumi

1. Roughly chop olives, capers and garlic. Place in a food processor with parsley and process until finely chopped. Add oil and mix well. Place in an airtight container, cover with oil and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Cut haloumi into thick slices. Heat a non-stick frying pan on high. Cook haloumi, in batches, for 1-2 mins each side, or until golden.
3. Serve haloumi on crackers and topped with tapenade. crackers, to serve

http://recipes.coles.com.au/recipes/967/green-olive-tapenade-with-fried-haloumi/

Spinach, Garlic and Fetta Dip


• 1 clove garlic
• 150 g Baby Spinach Leaves
• 200 g Australian Fetta crumbled
• 1 cup light sour cream
• 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp oil, for drizzling, optional
• focaccia to serve

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add garlic and simmer for 1 min. Add spinach and blanch for 1 min, until wilted. Drain and rinse under cold water. Remove garlic and finely chop. Drain spinach again, squeezing out excess water. Roughly chop.
2. Place spinach and garlic in a bowl with remaining ingredients. Mix well. Drizzle with oil, if using. Serve with focaccia.


http://recipes.coles.com.au/recipes/308/spinach-garlic-fetta-dip/

Book - The Alphabet Sisters

Ok this is an AMAZING book!!!!

Full of ups & down, laughs & tears!

Loved it!!!!! Its about family & relationships - I could identify with this book.

Lola the grandmother is such a card and if you have a sister I am sure you will be able to relate.

Totally worth the read!




Monica McInerney's new book is something of a departure for her. Her previous three novels were romantic comedies; in The Alphabet Sisters, McInerney sharpens her exploration of contemporary women and their relationships.

We are introduced to three sisters: Bett, short for Elizabeth, Quinlan is a London-based journalist in a record company; Anna works in television commercials in Sydney; and Carrie lives in the Clare Valley. Carrie folds serviettes at the Valley View Motel, run by the sisters' parents. We soon realise Carrie is an outcast after running off with Bett's former fiance.

This caused a deep division between the sisters and they have not spoken for years. Into this silence comes Lola Quinlan, their grandmother. Lola divides her time between the motel and working in a charity shop. We soon grasp that Lola is no meek octogenarian.

Lola decides to bring the three sisters together and announces she is going to throw herself a big, belated 80th birthday party. It is to be a reunion of sorts of the Alphabet Sisters.

Lola's granddaughters reluctantly agree. The problem is that Lola is proprietorial about the girls. She believes that she, and she alone, has created their collective identity as the Alphabet Sisters and in some part, their individual identities as well.

McInerney confidently establishes the background details of the three sisters, providing mini portraits of each so we gain a clear understanding of their vulnerabilities and hopes. Lola is altogether something else; McInerney demonstrates a fine sense of the insecurities of age and how families can become possessive of achievement.

There is something forlorn about Lola living on the memories of the Alphabet Sisters. But this is not purely based in nostalgia. Lola remains a woman of ambitions, who prides herself on fostering the independent spirits of her granddaughters. She has fundamentally shaped them. As they were growing up, Lola had "discovered that three strong-minded, intelligent little girls needed more than dolls and puzzle books to stimulate them".

Although we are drawn into the lives of the sisters as adults, our attention is deflected onto Lola. Turning 80 "had hit her with a terrible shock".

But as much as we may view Lola with poignancy, if not pity, this is a momentary indulgence. We soon realise that the purpose of getting the Alphabet Sisters together again was so they could perform a musical Lola had written. The descriptions of the sisters' reactions to this announcement reveal McInerney's comic imagination.

Even so, this warmly infusing story is not without its chill of grief. Just as the girls agree to perform publicly once more as the Alphabet Sisters, the family is plunged into tragedy. Still, we believe what has been established through the reunion will endure.

The Maeve Binchyish empathy McInerney shows for the changes and chances of family life draws us into this gentle and life-affirming story. We come away feeling better about the world and, maybe, just a little more tender towards those close to us. (Fairfax Digital).

- Posted by Jazz's iPhone

21 March 2011

Cat Grass

Our little Poppy is a Grass Eating Machine!

Poppy is an indoor cat so she needs to have cat grass to supplement her diet!




Chomp chomp....




Yum grass!




She cuts them down to half their size in less than 30minutes of good chomping!




Back to chomping!




Cat grass is grass which is cultivated for cats to eat. Cereal grasses like oat, rye, barley, and wheat tend to be especially popular choices for cat grass, as these grasses are very easy to grow, and safe for cats to consume. Some pet stores sell cat grass kits, allowing pet owners to grow grass at home, and others sell cat grass which has been cultivated, so that it is ready for use.

- Posted by Jazz's iPhone



Housewarming :: To Gift or Not To?


It’s always one of those things re: gift wording on an invite.

Brett isn’t a fan of gift registries and there really isn’t much that we need for the house.

So I have used this wording on our invites:

Your presence is present enough, but if you would like to contribute a little something to our “love nest”, a Bunnings Gift Voucher would be greatly appreciated.

There are a number of projects that we have left to finish so any help by way of vouchers will be put to great use!

  • Sky Light
  • BBQ Structure
  • 2 x Whirly Birds
  • 2 x Garden Feature Walls
  • Shed

18 March 2011

Silence for Japan

Great initiative – I won’t be blogging tomorrow (as I am an Aussie and we are one day ahead of our friends in the northern hemisphere)!

event THIS will not be blogging tomorrow either.




For more information, go here and to make a donation, here.

Housewarming :: Invites


To fit in with the Bird Cage and Vintage feel, I have created an invite that features a bird cage and some vintage style carnival/circus typography.

I wanted to keep it simple – black and white with a touch of red (x marks the spot)….

I normally do handmade or custom made hard copy invites, however, this time around I am going for the electronic kind (due to my lack of time).

I think they look cute – even if I do say so myself LOL (Biased Much? LOL)….

17 March 2011

Shout Out to Melbourne Tradies


One of the blogs I read has put a call out to Melbourne Tradies……

Check out the blog: http://www.katrinaleechambers.com/2011/03/calling-out-to-tradies-in-melbourne.html

Katrina will be on the next series of “THE BLOCK” so she is looking for Tradies to work their magic and get TV exposure.

If you know of any tradie friends that would like to get involved contact Katrina ASAP!

As for me…. I will no doubt be blogging on all things to do with THE BLOCK as I did last year!

Good luck Katrina!!!!!


Housewarming :: Theme


So the first thing for me in organising any event is the theme – that is where you start.

The theme will set the mood and style of our whole event.
The list of themes and ideas is really limitless!

I have a lot of bits and pieces (event d├ęcor and props) so in the spirit of re-using things you already have I want to incorporate them.

Our events will also be held in April and Easter will be in late April this year…. So I am going to incorporate a little bit of Easter into the theming as well.

So what am I thinking?

Informal, Vintage, BBQ, Picnic………
Vintage Bird Cages
Birds nest with Easter eggs
Pink, Purple and White Peony’s
Lots of candles – tealight and church style
Lanterns
Glass Bottle Vases
White Table Cloths with some sort of natural table runner
Punch or a Drinks Station
Vintage looking drinks tubs
Dessert Station
Signature Event Drink
White, Pink, Green, Purple – pastel colours


Saturday Night - Informal Cocktail Style

Sunday Lunch - Informal BBQ Lunch Style


So there is the start of things to come....

Will you theme your Housewarming Party?

Saint Pattys Vignette

Happy Saint Patricks Day to you!

Feeling the Green Love today!