People that know me know that I don’t cook per se, but I do love entertaining, so I am the queen of finding baking short cuts.
Thank god places like Woolworths totally ‘get’ people like me and have a million products suitable for whipping quick ideas together last minute. They make it so easy!
So fear not fellow non-bakers, I’m going to share 3 ideas with you today which will have your guests thinking you are the next Martha Stewart and I think you’ll be pretty surprised how easy they are!
CUSTARD FRUIT TARTS
You’re going to die at how easy this is, and they look just like you’ve bought them from a little boutique cakery…
- Tartlet cases
- Thick custard
- Chopped fruit
- Mint leaves
Spoon your thick custard into the shells. I just picked up some pre-made thick custard in a carton from the dairy section, but you could make your own too if you like – just let it cool first.
Top with chopped fruit and a teeny sprig of mint.
Done in under 5 minutes, next!
CARAMEL CHOCOLATE TARTS
These tarts are totally moreish and look really impressive on the plate. Make sure you make lots of them as they will go fast!
- Tartlet cases
- Caramel fill
- Chocolate mousse
- Whipped cream in a can
- Chocolate bar
Pour your caramel fill from the tin into a small bowl and whisk until it’s nice and smooth. Spoon a small amount into the bottom of each tart shell.
Spoon some chocolate mousse on top and smooth over with the back of your spoon. I recommend putting in more than you think is necessary, so that it sits nice and rounded on top.
Add a little whipped cream on top then grab your vegetable peeler and simply peel down the side of your chocolate bar to create adorable little curls on top of your cream. I recommend leaving the cream step until just before serving so it stays upright for longer.
- Lindt Balls
- Mini Meringues
- Bamboo skewers
- Icing sugar
- Chocolate dipping sauce
Did you know that Lindt balls actually have a hole already through the centre? It’s like they WANT you to skewer them!
This one is rather self explanatory. Use the pointy end of your skewer and start with a strawberry, gently pop on your mini meringue, feed through the Lindt balls then another meringue and strawberry.
Dust with a little icing sugar and serve with some chocolate dipping sauce on the side.
This idea can really be done with any ingredients. Mix it up with marshmallows, banana, chopped pieces of sponge cake – get crazy with it!
Now there’s no excuse to just buy a store-bought cake for your next dinner party!
Fiona xPhotos and video by Esperanza Creative
DISCLOSURE: THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY WOOLWORTHS. I ONLY WORK WITH BRANDS AND PRODUCTS THAT I THINK ARE TRULY AWESOME. THANKS FOR SUPPORTING THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE MY CRAFT HUNTER JOURNEY POSSIBLE!
We always have fresh fruit around at our home. Alan and I are big lovers of smoothies, fruit salads and fruit topped on cereals – give me allll the fruits! I’m also a big fan of infusing regular drinks with fresh chopped fruit, especially if we have guests coming over. It’s a quick an easy way to make you the hostess with the mostess. Pulling out a big jug of fruit filled drink is always guaranteed to impress.
You can really do no wrong when putting together your own mixtures but, when in doubt, stick with a mix of berries or citrus fruits. As part of my recent spring time collaboration with Woolies, I’m sharing my fave 3 fruit infused drink ideas to get you inspired!
FRUIT, CUCUMBER & MINT INFUSED WATER
This one is perfect for a refreshing drink in the sun when you’re on a health kick. Or sit one on your desk during the work week – I guarantee you’ll reach your 2L per day quota!
- Mint leaves
Fill a big jug with ice. Add your chopped fruit and cucumber, sprinkle in a handful of mint leaves and fill with cold water. Give it a good stir and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Yummm!
This one is so super quick to do but is sure to impress on a warm day.
- Fresh and frozen blueberries
- Lemonade (or soda water)
Put some frozen blueberries in a small bowl with water, crush them a little with a fork and leave overnight. This will create an awesome purple mixture which will give your lemonade a delicious colour.
Fill a jug with ice. Add a big handful of fresh and frozen blueberries and add your infused mixture. Give it a stir and it’s ready to serve.
BERRY, GUAVA & BASIL LEMONADE
This one is my fave. It sounds like a random concoction but trust me it’s divineee.
- Guava nectar
- Basil leaves
- Lemonade (or soda water)
Fill your jug with ice, add your chopped berries and a handful of ripped basil leaves. Add about half a cup of guava nectar and fill with lemonade.
I picked up all of these ingredients just from Woolies. Obviously these are non-alcoholic but the last 2 could totally work with a splash of vodka or gin if you’re feeling jazzy.
If you give one a go make sure you let me know below what you thought of it.
Do you have a fave fruit infused drink that you love? Give me your ideas!
Fiona xImages & video by Esperanza Creative
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Woolworths. I only work with brands and products that I think are truly awesome. Thanks for supporting the companies that make my Craft Hunter journey possible!
I’m really excited to have partnered with Woolworths this week to bring you some spring time inspiration. It’s the perfect season to try something new and take your entertaining up a notch!
One of my all time fave things to do when the sun returns after winter is to rally the troops together for a picnic in the sun. Beers, snacks, good company and sunshine – does it get any better?
An awesome picnic doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money (or time) though, I’ve got a few nifty ideas up my sleeve which will help to make your next picnic even better.
- Picnic rugs are often way too small, so instead try using a table cloth. They’re usually at least 2m long and often waterproof so will keep you up off the damp ground. If you’re using a fabric table cloth, just place a basic plastic one underneath.
Use a tray to keep your drinks sturdy. Now you’ll have 2 hands to get stuck into the food!
Preparing all the food from scratch can be a boil, so mix it up with some pre-made fresh food. Woolworths actually have an awesome range of things ready to go like rice paper rolls, baguettes and sushi (who knew?!) Your friends wont be the wiser.
- For a pretty touch, wrap your sandwiches and drink bottles in matching gift wrap and add little name tags. (ohh the instagram opportunities!)
- Bring a couple of cushions and a throw blanket, it makes all the difference when you’re spending hours on the ground.
Bringing your fury friends? Be sure to pack a fold away table to keep the food up off the ground.
Some of my fave snacks to bring along which are crowd-pleasers (and also happen to look rather pretty) are things like donuts, cookies, easy-to-eat fruit like berries, grapes and cherries, cheese platters, filled baguettes and also soft drinks in individual sized glass bottles always make an impact.
Hope I’ve inspired you to amp up your picnic festivities this spring!
Do you have some tips and tricks that make your picnics awesome? Comment below I want to hear!
Photos and video by Esperanza Creative
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Woolworths. I only promote brands and products that I truly think are awesome. Thank you for supporting the brands who make this Craft Hunter journey possible!
Can you believe spring has sprung here in Aus? Bring on the gorgeous weather!
To get you inspired to try something new this spring, I’m really excited to have partnered with the guys at Woolworths to bring you a week of fun entertaining tips and ideas! I’ve also tried my hand at video content for the first time on Craft Hunter and I hope you’ll love it.
First up, I am sharing my pointers for the ultimate cheese platter. A topic close to my heart!
Cheese platters are absolutely the best go-to when you have guests to entertain. They’re easy to pull together, look impressive and, I mean, who doesn’t love cheese?!
The perfect cheese platter is all about a good mix of cheese, fresh fruit and savoury nibbles. If you’re not on the fruit and cheese bandwagon yet – you need to give it a go and I think you’ll find your life will be forever changed! Try a bit of sliced pear, fig, grapes, and add some tasty fruit paste or quince – they work really well with strong cheeses and create a magical balance of flavours.
Nibbles like pretzels, nuts, olives and dips are always a great idea too. The perfect cheese platter needs to stay moreish and the best way to do that is with a mix of delicious options.
These fruits and nibbles will make the platter extra special, but we all know that the heart of a good cheese plater is the cheeeese! My biggest tip – go for a variety. I always include at least:
Hope these tips have left your mouth watering and you’re keen to experiment a little with your next platter.
What do you love to put on your cheese platters?
Fiona xImages and video by Esperanza Creative
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Woolworths. I only work with brands and products that I personally think are truly awesome, so thanks for supporting the companies who make my Craft Hunter journey possible!
Yesterday I squealed in the supermarket like a frenzied little girl. The latest issue of Homes+ Magazine is out and the DIY projects I put together for them look INCREDIBLE after Jackie Brown worked her styling magic on them. Feeling an urgent desperation to buy a bunch of lovely blue things for my house now.
I’ve wanted to try my hand at some triangle shaped cushions for a while so was glad to finally get that one out of my system.
The wooden plant stand, leather woven baskets and pegboard shelves were all inspired by homeware items I’ve seen for sale elsewhere and thought “I could totally make that”… and this is where probably where 90% of my tutorial ideas actually come from! You should try thinking this way too – next time you spot a nice item in store, think about how it was made and if it would be easy to replicate at home. I think you’ll be surprised how many expensive-looking things are easy to pull together if you just have a go. Then you’ll have a beautiful item at home that you can look at with pride knowing that you made that with your own blood sweat and tears (..ok maybe not tears…probably just sweat).
For the full step by step tutorials of these pretties and more, pick up the September issue of Homes+ mag in shops now or you can buy it online at Zinio (my new fave site for reading online).
Also if you download the Viewa app on your smartphone, you can scan the magazine’s page to load to the how-to video where you can see my crafty hands in action.
Fiona x(All images from Homes+ magazine. Photographed by Andrew Finlayson and James Henry)
Mykonos was by far one of my fave places from my recent big trip to Europe. Aside from the obvious sun, sand and cocktails that make any holiday a blast, there is something really majestic and completely captivating about the Greek Islands. The hundreds of perfect white buildings scattered across gorgeous shorelines with bright blue doors and bougainvillea for days – it’s unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else in the world.
Despite it’s reputation, Mykonos is definitely not just a party island, nor is it designated for the gay community. My boyfriend and I spent 5 days in this beautiful place and had the most amazing time, barely touching a beach club or cocktail.
Here’s a few recommendations from me on where to stay and what to do while in this magnificent part of the planet.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Explore the Old Town (also known as Mykonos Town and Chora). Never will you find a place so photogenic in your life. Be prepared to spend here too, there are endless little boutiques jammed with treasures.
2. Hire yourself a scooter or quad bike and get exploring. There are so many incredible beaches and road-side pit stops to be found. My fave beaches were Ornos and Nammos (the “it” beach where you will most likely spot celebs – be prepared to spend a lot here though)
3. Spend (at least) one day embracing cocktails in the sun.
I recommend checking out Kalua beach club at Paraga Beach. Also Super Paradise Beach (below) if you’re up for a bit more action (it is predominantly gay men, but you’ll know you’re up for a fun dance!) If you’re more of a spring chicken, you’ll probably love Tropicana Beach Club at Paradise Beach.
4. Eat a Gyros. Once per day if possible.
5. Watch the sun go down over dinner at Little Venice. I highly recommend this below little joint called Nice n Easy which is located around from Little Venice, at the bottom of the hill at the windmills. Deliciously healthy food and prime view.
6. Go beach hopping along the southern coast. There is a ferry which leaves hourly from Ornos and Platis Yialos, and visits each of the southern beaches and then back again. Perfect way to visit a few beaches in a day, especially as the drive via bus or scooter is actually quite lengthy due to there being no coastal road. The views are obviously amazing too – cheapest scenic cruise you’ll ever go on!
7. Get yourself an ice cream from Davinci Gelato in Mykonos Town. Trust me!
WHERE TO STAY:
Personally I would recommend staying by one of the bigger beaches, so that after dark you can easily head out for a bite to eat and go for an easy swim first thing in the morning. There are hotels right in Mykonos Town too, which would be cool as another option, but personally I prefer to stay by the beach and travel the 10 minutes to town for just a few visits.
If you’re heading in peak time, which is around July/August, make sure you book well in advance if you want to nab one of the great hotels, they book up fast!
Hiring a scooter or quad bike is definitely the easiest form of transport and gives you the freedom to visit anywhere anytime. If you are getting a quad bike I recommend trying to get one with a storage compartment on the back – makes life so much easier!
From each of the main beaches there are buses that run up to Mykonos Town every half an hour, so don’t feel pressured to hire a scooter or quad bike if you don’t want to.
If you’re wondering about the recent Greek banks crisis, we didn’t notice a thing while there. All ATMs were up and running, everyone was beyond friendly and local businesses were booming. Just bring smaller notes when you go shopping in case stores don’t have change for you.
Let me know down below if you have any other pointers for a Mykonos holiday! I’d love to hear what treasures you found.
PS For those interested, I tried out the Olympus Pen E-P5 for majority of these pics. I didn’t feel like lugging around my big camera so this little guy was perfect – highly recommend! The only recommendation I have would be to opt for a lens with zoom capabilities, I went with a 17mm f1.8 lens which was still awesome, but sometimes you want to zoom in to the good stuff, ya know?