Saturday, 30 March 2013

Emerald green is the new black........

So we would have all heard by now that Emerald Green is the Pantone colour of the year 2013. And of course it's a stunning choice for all things fashion and home wares. But how does it fit in when entertaining or hosting parties? I was curious to see how this colour was trending as when I wrote my 'What's party trending for 2013' blog as there wasn't a great deal yet out there. But now a quarter of the way in to the year and Pinterest has an abundance of boards trending with all things emerald green especially when it comes to weddings and entertaining. So I thought I would throw another pin board in the mix, but focusing more on using emerald green in a subtle and sophisticated way, rather than many of the kitschy green party boards floating around out there at the moment!
Here I've selected some of my favourite images that incorporate emerald green, just to give a few ideas on how you can incorporate the colour of the year into your next party. And of course you can view the whole pinterest board and read the image credits right here.


Friday, 22 March 2013

It's all sunrises and butterflies here!

Thought it was about time for another update on my studio work as that is what I seem to be dedicating so much time to at the moment. I am seriously starting to run out of room to keep all these paintings, so please log on to my etsy shop and buy buy buy! Don't get me wrong though, I am selling my paintings which I am just chuffed about. It's hard to believe sometimes that people out there think my work is good enough to showcase in their home........blushing!! But I guess it's not everyone's cup of tea and it's hard to please everyone, especially when it comes to subject matters! I try to paint images and subjects that resonate with me in some way, that's how I create my best work. If I don't like what I'm painting, chances are it won't turn out well. The theme at the moment is definitely butterflies and sunrises/sunsets. Anyone would think I might have some issues with escapism and freedom!......what do you think?! I think I'm going to move on to some still life work though, got a burning hydrangea piece in me at the moment. The canvas is all prepped and ready to go, I can't wait!
Anyway these are some of the works I've been working on and finished recently, one of which has sold, but the others are still available in the shop. Hope it brings some serenity and peacefulness into your busy life x
"Purple Butterfly", stretched canvas, 123x92cm, $400AUD

"Woman in the Sunset", stretched canvas, 123x78cm, $400AUD

"Purple Sursise", triptych stretched canvas, 120x120cm, $500AUD

"Butterflies", stretched canvas, 120x100cm, SOLD


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Get your Ganache on!

I thought for today's post I would share with you all some simple steps to working with and using chocolate ganache. Chocolate ganache is one of those great and very versatile elements that can be used with cakes to make the perfect filling, a naughty rich sauce, or simple cake mask. It can make the simplest of cakes look divine! Below we turned a plain white chocolate mud cake into an beautifully rich white and dark chocolate Easter cake simply by filling the cake with ganache, masking it in butter cream and pouring some more ganache over the top. We finished it with a small pile of Easter eggs on top and let me tell you it was so yum!

Or for a simple and easy dessert at your next dinner party, bake a normal size cake (any flavour will do) and using ring cutters, cut mini cakes out, mask them with butter cream and decorate with ganache and berries! Too easy.

Cakes topped with chocolate ganache is a hot trend in the industry at the moment, and although it's not a new technique, it's one that many are catching on to, Bride's especially! Just yesterday we created this wedding cake that boasted rich chocolate ganache poured over each tier and piled with berries. Definitely a different style to the wedding cakes we usually see. 

So, how do you make it I hear you ask? Well just follow these simple instructions for making and pouring the perfect ganache!

You'll need:
1L pouring cream
150g glucose
150g caster sugar
1kg good dark chocolate (min 65% cocoa), chopped
150g butter, cubed

1. Put the cream, sugar and glucose together in a saucepan and bring to the boil slowly on a medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the sugars don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
2. Place your chocolate and butter into a bowl and set aside.
3. Once your cream mix has come to the boil, pour it gently over the chocolate and butter and stir until all melted and combined. Use immediately for pouring or leave to set if using for filling or masking.

Tips for pouring:
1. Ensure your cake is chilled prior to pouring the gananche on top. (N.B Pouring ganache will only work with cakes masked in butter cream or ganache as fondant wrapped cakes cannot be chilled as they will sweat). 
2. Make sure your ganache is just warm, not boiling hot otherwise it will melt the butter cream. 
3. Pour a small amount into the middle of the cake and using a palette knife, gently push the ganache towards the edges of the cake. Slowly pour more ganache in the centre of the cake and repeat until the ganache starts to run down the sides of the cake.
4. Refrigerate your cake to set. 

Monday, 11 March 2013

My Top 10 Best Easter Treats

We are on the countdown to Easter now, it's officially only two and half weeks away. So last night I began searching the web to see what sort of Easter treats are trending out there at the moment to see if I could find some inspiration for the blog. But burdened with the idea that if I make something to feature on the blog I so often find myself eating it for days following, I thought I might share what others are doing instead! Hey a girl has to try and keep her figure some times, doesn't she?! Although I'm sure all my hard work will go by the way side when Easter does come around!

So here are my top 10 recipe links for Easter treats that I think are just gorgeous and great ideas for entertaining this Easter. I absolutely love the Carrot Patch Puddings featured on the Kid Zui blog, and the Bunny's Carrot Easter Cupcakes from over at Wilton look like a winner. And who can go past the bunny bait from Sing for your Supper? Popcorn is so hot this year, you really can theme it for any occasion!

Recipe links below. Happy 'bunny' browsing x

1. Bunny Bait 

2. Carrot Patch Puddings 

3. Rice Crispy Eggs

4. Marshmallow Bunnies

5. Bunny's Carrot Easter Cupcakes

6. Easter Egg Cake Pops 

7. Chocolate Wafer Bunnies 

8. Coconut Marshmallow Nests

9. White Chocolate Lemon Truffles 

10. Sugar Cookie Bunnies

P.S Stay tuned for the Meko Monthly newsletter this month though where I may just have to break the diet and pull out the good old baking mitts and share with you my recipe for Hot Cross Cookies! You can sign up here

Monday, 4 March 2013

These pretzels are making me.......Irish!

I probably should remind you all the St Patrick's Day is upon us Sunday week and aren't we all just a little bit Irish on St Paddy's day?! Well especially Mr Meko anyway.....he likes to get his Irish passport out and sink a few Guinness in honour of his Irish roots (however far removed they are!). 
So whilst we are all drinking Guinness, no one really wants to suck on a cake pop do they? And being the sweet tooth I am, I thought I would offer a another sweet but salty (and of course green!) alternative. Has anyone actually ever tried a choc dipped pretzel before? I never had, up until 5 minutes ago when I polished all but about 35 of them off in one sitting! I've never really been a huge fan of mixing the sweet with the savoury, but thought I would give it a go today for the blog at least. And let me tell's a winner! As if pretzels aren't moreish enough covered in all that salty goodness, once you dip them in chocolate you manage to to transport your taste buds to a very happy place! So here are the pics and the process (which is all to easy). A definitely simple and festive idea for your Paddy's day celebrations! 

Enjoy x

You'll need:

A bag of pretzels
A bag of white compound chocolate
Green food colouring*
*I used 4 different types of green here, but you can just use one and make different shades
Melt your white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave on high for 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted and very runny. 
Add one or two drops of the green colouring until you get your desired green colour. 
Working quickly, dip each pretzel 3/4 of the way into the chocolate, scraping the excess chocolate off the back on the side of the bowl. Place on some baking paper and allow to set and then repeat.
If you want to make different coloured green chocolate, melt a fresh batch of chocolate and repeat the process, or alternatively add more green colouring to your existing chocolate to create a darker shade of green. 
Refrigerate for quick set and then enjoy!

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