Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Roasted Figs, with Prosciutto and Danish Feta

Figs are in season right now and if you are unsure of how to use them, here's a quick and easy recipe with only 3 ingredients.  Eating fruit and vegetables when they are in season makes so much sense.  It's at it's best,  in terms of taste and flavour.  It is the most reasonably priced you will find it all year and it generally has low food miles.  Look at all that goodness right there oozing from those little bundles of joy.  A healthy diet should be high in fruit and vegetables of these bright colours and figs fit the bill, as they are low cal and high in dietary fibre and anti oxidants.

I use Danish feta. Mayer Brand is delicious and the most reasonably priced.  I have found it at Woolies and Harris Farm.  I call it the poor man's goats cheese, as I think it has all the taste and texture of goats cheese, but at half the price.

Roasted Figs, with Prosciutto and Danish Feta
(serves 2 for dinner)

Preheat your oven to 180 C
Take about 6 large figs and chop them in half length ways.  You can use small figs too, if you are serving this as an appetiser.
Put half a teaspoon of  Danish feta on the cut side of each fig half.
Wrap the fig with 1/2 a slice of prosciutto (you will need 6 slices in total, cut lengthwise)
Secure with a tooth pick and arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and watch that your prosciutto does not go too dark in the oven.

I just covered the top of my figs, as my prosciutto seemed to fall apart width wise, rather than length wise.  You can do this if you are serving the figs as a main mean, but for apertiser you will need to wrap the whole fig with prosciutto cut length wise, so they are easy to eat as a finger food parcel.

We had these ones for dinner with simple roasted potatoes (skin on for best nutrient count) and green salad.

By the way my weight loss is going well and I hope to be able to report soon that I have shed a few more kilos.  My waist measurement is reducing, but I don't own any scales so who knows.
For all my other quick and easy family recipes go here.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Picks from the Life In Style Trade Fair

Over the weekend I visited the Life in Style Trade fair in Sydney, to acquaint myself with what is on trend in interiors, fashion and kids' style for 2013.

I began Desire Empire with a view to attaching an online store at some future point.  I am not there yet, but as this blog will turn 2 on 1 March, I feel it is time to at least start getting a list of suppliers together.  I am looking for things that are different and I think you guys will love.  Here are my picks.  

The Smeg fridge in denim

The O bag, which you can design yourself from a range of handles, muffs and bag molding colours and finishes.  They are Italian and they are gorgeous.  I almost ran off into the crowd with this one, it was so divine.

I loved Nelson & Co's China tea settings and the floral display using hanging test tubes and bottles, maison jars and wire light fittings.  So very pretty, but hard to shoot in soft lighting.

Now Lunch Boxes with Love just blew me away.  Packing a school lunch box in Japan is apparently a work of art.  No clip lock bags or Gladwrap here. These cute pieces will help your kid have the cutest lunch in the playground.

There are cute toothpicks to jazz up fruit.  The question is would they make it back home?

Bands to tie up asparagus spears and biscuits.  Shapes to cut cheese slices into flowers, rabbits or teddy bears.  And best of all the boiled egg molds in the shape of teddies, cars and smiley faces on the bottom shelf.

Who could knock back some red, white and blue soft furnishings from Lullaby Linen?
Not me!!!!

Cute bendy bottles from Beautiful Spaces

I have a thing for test tubes right now, also from Beautiful Spaces

Cute canvas kitchen storage bags and chalk boards attached to pegs from Pigeonhole

And a bit of coastal love from Freshly Squeezed inc.

 And the thing I just about drooled over, was this stunning fresh water pearl and crystal couture piece. It is wired with sterling silver and I have ordered one for myself.  If you would like one too, let me know. It would be stunning for a bride.  No I'm not remarrying, but I will be wearing it everywhere.   I think it would even look gorgeous to dress up a white shirt during the day.  Retailing at only $295, this is an absolute stunner and the first piece I would put in my store.  I can't wait to show you it on.  Hannah has just shown her jewellery in New York to great acclaim and I know she will go along way with her beautiful pieces.

There was also a style lab at the trade fair.  When I walked past, Jen from Interiors Addict as giving a round table talk to a few girls on social media.  Next year I shall make a booking to join in.

The fair was alot of fun and it was great to see what is on trend for this year in style.

So what do you think?  Which one of my picks is your favourite?

Also if you haven't entered my repro vintage first aid box giveaway you can here if you would like to.

Today I am linked up with
Essentially Jess For IBOT
From Dream to Reality
Wow Us Wednesday
Transformation Thursday
Common Ground
Feathered Nest Friday
Show and Tell Friday
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Coco Republic For the Love of Vintage

Recently on a trip to Alexandria I popped into Coco Republic.  It is well worth a visit just for the eye candy. Yes they do have the usual coastal suspects, vintage ladders, crates, bottles, baskets and oars, but walk through to the back of the store and you can let your imagination run wild.  To me it is a very British influence and I love it.  Scroll down and take a look at how they do it.

The frame of this canoe hanging in a boat house or living room, would look fantastic. 

See what I mean.  I am in love with what I call masculine decorating.

Very industrial, vintage with hints of natural elements, such as leather and cow hide. 

The odd trophy and old silver platter

I love this desk made to look like the wing of an aeroplane.

And sporting memorabilia done tastefully.

Comfy chairs

and horses 

Mr Beach House would happily move in here.

The use of old plans and blue prints

Mannequins in military uniform, old gramophone parts and brass instruments

You are really only limited by your imagination

What do you think?  Does this stuff belong in Downton Abbey, or could you see it in your home?
And if you haven't entered my giveaway yet to win a repro vintage first aid box go here
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Vintage Look Alike First Aid Box Giveaway From Howards Storage World

Hello Beach Dwellers

I'm ashamed to say it, but this gorgeous reproduction vintagesque first aid box has been sitting on my desk since December.  The lovely Gillian from Howards Storage World, sent it over and I planned to do a story on packing a first aide box for Summer, but the state of my first aide cupboard was revolting and I just couldn't go there unless it was an emergency.

Have a look for yourself.  Actually I did go there everyday for a few seconds for deodorant (note the three half used bottles.......embarrassing) and sunscreen, but the thought of organising it, did not appeal at all.

What a mess.  I love a tidy house, but I usually, achieve this by cupboard shoving.

So the other day, I bit the bullet and did it.  I hauled the washing basket in front of the 2 shelves above the broom cupboard I use to put the toiletries, medicine bottles and some old videos I can't bare to part with.  Just as an aside, this is where I stored stuff I didn't want the babies to get at when they were toddling and it has just never made it back into the bathroom vanity.  That my friends, is full of towels.

 I tossed and shortened up and got a lot of the smaller bottles in to the new box.  I love the way you can lift the top bit off (it has an inbuilt handle).  If you needed to attend your patient in the back yard, you could  carry that bit out there on its own. So in here I put band aides, creams, saline solution and sterile wipes, nail scissors and tweezers.  It's kind of like a little mobile dressing station I guess.

The bottom compartment is where I stored bandages, syringes and a thermometer and some of the smaller bottles like tea tree and eucalyptus oil.

And here's how the cupboard looked after my little clean up.  Well ultimately this is what it will look like, because right now, I think this box is just too cute to hide in a cupboard, so she is sitting pretty in my bathroom.

If you would like the chance to win your own first aide box from Howards Storage World, here's what you need to do.

Follow Desire Empire on one or more of the following platforms:
Google Friends Connect (over in my side bar)
Instagram @desireempire

Leave a  separate comment for each follow, even if you have for some time.

Sharing this to each of your social media platforms will constitute another entry.  Leave me a separate comment for each share.  

And good luck

Giveaway Terms and Conditions
You MUST enter the giveaway on this BLOG by leaving a comment here. You do not need to have a Blogger account.  Just sign in as anonymous and leave an email address.
This competition is open to entrants living in Australia only.
This competition is open from now until 1 March 2013 12pm Australian EST.
The winner will be announced on this blog, Face Book and Twitter and I will contact you, as long as you have left a valid means.  The winner will have 7 days to respond, otherwise the prize will be redrawn.

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Kara Beal.  Please contact me Kara, within 7 days to avoid a redraw.  Thanks to everyone for joining in.

I was not paid to run this giveaway.  I was given this lovely box to keep.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Avalon Beach

I may not be wealthy, but coming here makes me rich.

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