Tuesday, November 30, 2010

scroll out the red carpet...

Tonight I'm giving my Mum the full Hollywood experience. I'm taking her as my date to the premiere of Halle Berry's new movie "Frankie and Alice".  She'll experience the exciting pandemonium of screaming fans, red carpets, flashing lights and crowds and be the first to watch this movie with Miss HB herself.  With a full day of red carpet shopping and DIY facials ahead of us, I thought what better way to start the day than with some warm, straight out of the oven, Cinnamon Scrolls.
I adapted this recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, and let me tell you one thing, it was deeeeelicious. My neighbours even came over for a little taste test and after baking 30 scrolls, I was definitely eager to share!
Everytime I make bread I feel like some kind of magic takes place. In fear of sounding like Dr Frankenstein "it's alive"! It seriously grows right before your very eyes and that baffles me everytime! 
It really is quite easy, I promise. Make the bread. Roll it out, wash with melted butter and sprinkle with generous amounts of sugar and cinnamon.
Roll it up and slice in 1 inch pieces. Place slices in a generously buttered baking dish and then bake!
Drizzle with a maple vanilla glaze and enjoy with a piping hot cuppa jo!

xox tash

Monday, November 29, 2010

cozy cribs

How was your week lovely readers? Feeling all warm on the inside after having my mum here for a week has been absolutely wonderful.

Amongst the 800 cups of tea we consume daily, sadly not this kind, there's been lots of therapy shared: the emotional, the culinary and the retail kind :)

 © Katie Quinn Davies Photography
Call me crazy but most of our shopping {so far} actually took place before Thanksgiving... As far as I'm concerned Black Friday is reserved for one reason only, the slimming color and variety of stretch clothing you have to wear the day after consuming your weight in food! All jokes aside, the idea of waking up before dawn and screaming through shops to fight for bargains is enough to make me want to crawl deep under the covers and never get out!

Speaking of staying in bed, here's 10 fun things to do while curled up in my fav spot!

  1. Invite your girlfriends over {make sure they arrive in their pjs} 
  2. Give yourself a facial, complete with cucumber eye slices
  3. Write down the things you're grateful for on a stack of loose leaf paper and read one first thing every morning.
  4. Find that stack of magazines you hid behind/under your sofa and create an inspirational scrapbook {your dream home or dream wardrobe/style}
  5. Prank call boys
  6. TV watching marathon, load in your favorite tv show or movie and laugh and cry in all your favorite spots 
  7. Read, read, read
  8. Write, write, write
  9. Discover new music and rediscover old music and sing it out at the top of your lungs.
  10. Nap it out whenever you want, even if it's in the middle of any one of the above mentioned activities :)

Hope your week was wonderful! This week I'll be back in full force sharing lots of delish holiday recipes and a bunch of other fab finds!

xox tash

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Time

This morning I woke up when it was still dark outside with child like excitement! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning and that's all because my beautiful Mum arrived from Australia just in time for the Holidays!
My mum always talks about her love affair with streusel and her memories as a child of sneaking into the kitchen late at night and taking large chunks of this densely moist and buttery cake! So in honor of her arrival I decided to pair this traditional cake with the fall favorite flavor of pumpkin.  The results were nothing short of magic! Not only was the cake super moist but the pairings of all the pumpkin spices mixed with the crumbly streusel topping seriously made me question why this combination wasn't found everywhere! It's just insanely good!
I know that the ingredients list looks a little overwhelming but I promise you, it's not as bad as it looks! 

The Chirpy Birds Pumpkin Coffee Cake

1/2 cup of room temperature butter
1 cup of granulated sugar
3 jumbo eggs room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 cup of sour cream
1 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
2 1/2 cups of self raising flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of rolled oats
4 tablespoons of cold butter
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
3 tablespoons of maple syrup

Pumpkin Filling
1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350F
Let's start with the cake mixture first so the following steps are referencing the cake ingredients only! Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. 
Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer for around 4 minutes until it's light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time until completely incorporated.  Then add vanilla, sour cream and pumpkin. Mixture should be smooth and creamy.  Slowly add dry ingredients until just incorporated! Don't beat though! It's better if you finish bringing it together by hand than over beat it. Great now that that's taken care of head to the streusel part.

Place all ingredients apart from the maple syrup into a separate bowl. Bring them together with your finger tips until it looks like crumbs. Set aside!

Mix together pumpkin puree and sugar and set aside. Okay time to assemble!
Place half of the cake mixture into your coffee cake dish, then 3/4 of the streusel mixture onto the top of the cake. Drizzle streusel mixture with the maple syrup then top of your pumpkin puree mixture.  Finish by topping with the rest of the cake batter and top with your remaining streusel. Place into a preheated oven for around 60 minutes until the centre comes out clean!
Not only will your friends and family be thanking you, but the smell that will fill your house will kick the butt of any fall scented candle you could ever buy! Nothing can mimic the aroma of holiday home cooking!
Hope you're having a wonderful day today and showing someone you love just how much you love them! Even if that's just over a cup of tea or coffee and a smile :)

xo tash

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet Nothings

Why is it that French Macroon's always feel like your munching on a sweet slice of air? I mean as much as I love to tell myself that from time to time, trust me, you're absolutely not!
I've been having a love affair for all things snickers lately, yet have always made a bit of a deal with myself that if I'm hankering for something sweet, I can sweat it out in the kitchen and earn it myself. That way not only do I appreciate what it takes to whip up these sweet treats, I also know what's in it!
Inspired by Tartelette {my goodness she's talented} I set out to create a love child from the pairings of a good ol' American Snickers and a light and aloof Parisian Macaroon. Let me tell you, the results are nothing short of flabbergasting! The things that this naughty paring does to your taste buds is nothing short of inappropriate! :)
I like to use Martha's recipe for Parisian Macroons, found here. I also like to add 1/2 a vanilla bean to the meringue mixture.


Chocolate Ganache 
1 cup of milk chocolate
1/2 cup of heavy cream.
Bring together over double boiler and continue to mix until smooth

Peanut Butter Nougat 
2 cups of mini marshmallows
1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter
Bring together in saucepan over medium to low heat. Once smooth allow to come to room temperature. You'll then be able to then pull the mixture out of the pan and cut it to desired shapes and sizes.

Caramel Sauce
Use the caramel from this recipe, if you don't have time, a dollop of store bought extra thick caramel topping will do just fine.

Make sure that you have two Macaroons and that the flat sides are facing towards each other. Put a small dollop of caramel on first, then the peanut nougat and then top it off with a blob of chocolate ganache. Sandwich with the second Macaroon and Voila!
Here's to more fabulous and unassuming culinary pairings in the future!

xo tash

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Delta Spirit

The earth upon which we fall is the same ground which enables us to push ourselves up again.
Reality is harsh. It can be cruel and ugly. Yet no matter how much we grieve over our environment and circumstances nothing will change. What is important is not to be defeated, to forge ahead bravely. If we do this, a path will open before us. - Daisaku Ikeda

Hope this gives you a little inspiration to pat yourself on the back for all of the things you've overcome with grace :)

I shall return with a 'how to' for the perfect fall table setting and a fabulous menu! Until then, enjoy my new favorite tune... :)

xo tash

Friday, November 12, 2010

Now that measures up!

When I saw these handmade linen tea towels I immediately thought, 'why the heck didn't I think of that'? It's the type of simple yet classic attention to detail that I always swoon over... and hand dyed raw linens?  I could go on, it's just best not to get me started :)

Don't you just love this cotton measuring tape?

For a fabulously detailed work sheet visit here.
The Christmas gift guide is building!

xo tash

Thursday, November 11, 2010

my kinda thumbprint!

Quite a few of my friends have decided that smoking is no longer an option for them. Yay! To cheer them on their quest as new found 'non smokers' I decided to make some classic cookies with the chirpy bird twist!
As no two thumbprints are alike, so too stands for the baking kind. Everyone has their own recipe for this classic butter based cookie and here's mine :)

The Chirpy Birds Thumbprint Cookies

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
pinch of salt 
your favorite strawberry jam

Preheat Oven to 350F
Cream together butter and sugar in electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. 
Add vanilla extract and whip until evenly incorporated
Sift flour and slowly add to butter base.
Slowly mix until just combined.  Mixture will appear extremely crumbly, that's okay! Bring together by hand and then store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. After chilled take 1TBS of batter and roll into balls and place on baking sheet. Press your thumb into each ball and fill with strawberry jam. Bake for around 25-30 minutes until golden.
For something a little extra, top a few thumbprints with a healthy sized dollop of Nutella. Dust with confectioners sugar.
enjoy my beauties!

xo tash

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Half Full Holidays

Spotted on Poppytalk via Pigeon Toe Cermaics this morning, my heart did a little flip! I can imagine curling up on my sofa on a dreary day, watching my favorite cooking shows and drinking a hot chocolate out of one of these beauties.

I love how simple they are, not to mention the red handwriting makes it perfect for a holiday gift right?

xo tash

Monday, November 8, 2010

letters unsent...

I'm sure most of us have done it at some point - written letters to someone filled with all the unedited things we've wanted to say but never had the courage to and then of course, never sending them.  It can actually be extremely therapeutic to finally voice your true feelings without worrying about what results from sharing such raw emotions.  This is something I've done ever since I was a teenager and have diaries filled with letters. It's amazing to go back and see where I was and how I felt and then know how it all played out!

One of my best friends has started a project that actually gives you a place to send all of these letters.  It's a space for people to share their inner most thoughts and feelings about these poignant moments in life.  Not only is it cathartic to actually voice how you feel, its surprisingly therapeutic to read how other people navigate their emotions.  Think about how moving it is to read old love letters that are unabashedly raw and honest!

If you have a letter or have things that you want to say to someone without the consequences of actually saying them, visit letters unsent and get it out there!

Hope everyone had a beautiful weekend!

xo tash

Friday, November 5, 2010


"To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love." --
Jane Austen

“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it's these things I'd believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn't all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.” -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

...spending a lot of time over here... isn't it just the best?!

xo tash

Thursday, November 4, 2010

spotted and swooned!

studio foto wedding
Okay, I know I said it last week, but I REALLY mean it this week! THIS is what I want my wedding to look like! Today's romantical wedding was spotted on Style Me Pretty... Sigh... Those of you who know me know I have a serious penchant for trees.  There's something so magical about these old souls {hello Avatar? haha} and getting married around them? UGH! Yes! So when I stumbled across this picturesque woodsy wedding, complete with bon fire my jaw literally dropped...
studio foto wedding
This photo savvy couple are the masterminds behind Studio Foto and hired three different photographers to capture their big day. Which resulted in three different styles and three different moods extracted by each photographer - genius right?!
Vintage mis-matched chairs? C'mon!
I want my Bridal party in the trees!
Rustic table settings
Cuddled up by the bon fire after an evening of dancing.. 
Guests gazing up at romantic black and whites? Umm yes please!

I literally keep staring at these pictures like some crazy person. Hello! You don't even know these people and you're not getting married! ahahaha

Well, a girl can dream right?!

xox tash


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