Party Jars….

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I love collecting Jars ( much to my partners dismay) I love all the different shapes you can get, the odder the shape the better. I now even buy products in the supermarket that have cool shaped jars, so instead of buying honey in a plastic container I buy glass Jars!

I have blogged previously about using jars and glass bottles for flowers and decorations but recently I have started to use them for food too.

 A couple of weeks ago we went out for drinks at a groovy little cocktail lounge and we were presented with Cocktails.. in a Jar.

I did sweets in Jars for my engagement party, see below. Unfortunately they didn’t all get eaten  at the party so I had a giant lolly jar in my house for a week ( YUM!)

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 Last weekend I helped a friend decorate her Art space venue for a launch night, she brought along all these Jars, They made the table look very rustic and colurful and creative. Perfect for an Arts space! Next to the jars was a jar of long wooden skewers so that you could pierce an olive or tomato for yourself and make your own antipasto skewer! we had a ball!! See top and bottom pics.

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This summer I intend to make more foods in jars, like deserts, small trifles and tiramisu in individual jars, what cute presentation and if you cant eat it all, you just pop the lid back on and pop it back in the fridge!!

As well as being Handy, they look super cool and are great because you can wash em out and use them again and again, so they are great for the environment too.

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Breakfast Quinoa porridge with sliced Nectarines, roasted almonds, seeds and coconut.

This is a fresh tropical tasting breakfast that is as filling as it is tasty!
 In this week before Christmas I decided to clean up my diet so I have set aside 4 days to eat really cleanly, removing Wheat, dairy, caffeine, Alcohol and meat from my diet. Thankfully my fiancé is on board as we have both been feeling a little sluggish.

You will need
I/2 cup of quinoa flakes, cooked with 1 cup of water.
5 smashed almonds dry roasted unsalted is best but raw great too. ( Beaten with a mortar and pestle or the handle end of a knife)
A tablespoon of shredded coconut
2 nectarines
A dash of soy/ almond or rice milk.
a teaspoon of sunflower and Pepita seeds (optional)

 This recipe is made with Quinoa flakes, You can get them from health food stores and even some supermarkets. My local Woolworths has them.Quinoa is a protein rich super food rich in Iron, amino acids and magnesium with a lower carb content than other grains or oats.

To Cook the Quinoa you just prepare like you would a bowl of oats either on stove for 3 mins until they thicken or in the microwave for 2 minutes.

 Transfer into a bowl and top with chopped fresh Nectarine, shredded coconut, smashed Almonds and some sunflower seeds.

Add a dash of Soy, Almond or Rice milk and there’s your yummy brekky!

Its tropical, light, fresh and super tasty! In fact is so yummy I chopped up some nectarines again, added some coconut and almonds for a snack in the afternoon too..

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Summer Salads: Haloumi and marinated capsicum salad w asparagus

Haloumi saladSummer is now upon us here in Australia and we are finally being graced with some warm weather! As we jump back into swimsuits it is a reminder that we need to eat a little lighter. The best way to eat lighter is to eat fresh foods with a side of protein and to reduce your fat and carb intake.

I generally like to eat really well throughout the week when I am in a more controlled environment like work and home so that on the weekends I can eat whatever I like and really enjoy it.

I realised recently that my Fiance and I had got into a bit of a healthy food rut. We were eating such basic healthy food that it was becoming less appealing and the thought of pizzas, snitzels and Thai and take away was more appealing. Both of us being a little tired after work not a lot of thought was going into our night time dishes, well not every night at least and we were eating just simple steak and veg or Tuna salads. As with all foods if you eat them too often they become less desirable and boring so I could tell… we needed to spice things up a little!
Yesterday I decided I needed to reinvigorate my tastebuds and passion for healthy foods so I popped down to the market in my lunch break and picked up some things to accompany the very boring selection of mixed leaves, cucumber and tomato on my fridge.

What do I like eating when I am out? I LOVE salads when I am out so why am I not making these yummy salads at home??
I Love roast beetroot, pumpkin and pine nut salads, rocket pear and balsamic, waldorf salads with walnuts, apple and blue cheese, greek salads with chicken and mint and of course haloumi salad!
I grabbed some Haloumi, asparagus and marinated red capsicum at the shops.

When I got home I washed my mixed lettuce leaves and dried them off roughly with a paper towel ( so important to do this or they will get bit watery and dilute the dressing)
I topped the leaves with some blanched asparagus, red onion, roast capsicum and some Haloumi I fried in the frying pan till it was gold on the outside and soft in the middle.
I dressed the salad with lemon juice and olive oil and salt and pepper and there you go.. a really yummy salad that I made in 10 minutes that was restaurant quality and healthy .
If you were quite hungry you could add some chicken or chick peas to it just to add in some protein but mine was fine without!!

Now that summer is back I am going to try and eat at least 4 big salads a week, I am experimenting with some new flavours tonight so I will let you know how I go!!

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Emus make me smile! A Very Random post!

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There was a story on the news the other night Monday the26th November about a couple of Emus wandering the suburban streets of Sydney, and then 2 days later another emu was on the loose in Devon England, trying to get into peoples homes, another unlikely place for an EMU! It reminded me how funny these big flightless birds are and how much I love them. They are peculiar creatures, I mean look at that face!! So I thought I would share some thoughts to make you smile too!

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They are truly Aussie..  they are larrikins but you don’t want to mess with them. They are very inquisitive animals,  Sometimes they curiously poke other animals and then run away after getting  a reaction, like a little game! if they are being attacked from above by Hawks or Eagles  they run off in a zig zag pattern which I think would be pretty funny to see! The Females are typically larger and they are more aggressive than the males when courting. Whilst courting they become more attractive by growing a darker plume of feathers and some of the skin patches under their eyes turn bright blue.

The female will perform a dance for the male circling him with her neck turned but rump always facing him. If the Male likes this female he will peck the ground a bit then go and sidle up to the female, swaying his body and neck from side to side and then rubs up against her!! I am sure I have seen this dance in night clubs!!

They are on our coat of arms, feature in many a childrens book, are part of Aboriginal Mythology Even have a beer named after them!

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One Aboriginal Dream time story is that the Emu Spirit used to fly above the earth in the heavens back in the time when the earth was only illuminated by stars, she noted the creation of land, rivers, plants and animals and marvelled at it s beauty.The Emu thought to herself this earth is way too beautiful to be cloaked in darkness so she sacrificed one of her eggs into the sky and tapped it open with her beak as the yoke flowed from the egg into the sky the land became illuminated in gold light and this became the first sunrise.

If you didn’t like emus before I hope you do now, quite often they get over looked because our Kangaroos, koalas and wombats are so cute but this flight less bird is true Aussie Icon!