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21 December 2014 4 Days 'til Christmas - Peppermint Bark Ice Cream

Got more Candy Canes than you know what to do with? Here’s a sweet way you can use them this festive season thanks to Sweet Menu.

TIME

30 mins

SUITABLE FOR

Ages 12+

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 cup condensed milk | 1/2 cup white chocolate melts | 1 teaspoon peppermint essence | 1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy canes | 1/2 cup white chocolate pieces | 1 1/4 cup whipped cream

WHAT TO DO

  1. Pour the condensed milk into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and then whisk into the condensed milk.
  3. Add the peppermint essence, peppermint candy pieces and white chocolate pieces, and gently stir.
  4. Fold in the whipped cream.
  5. Pop into an airtight container and freezer overnight.

AND THEN

Scoop ice cream and serve in crunchy waffle cones.

Serves 4-5

TIP

Sprinkle a few extra pieces of peppermint candy over the top for an extra bit of crunch.

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20 December 2014 5 Days 'til Christmas - Orange, Maple & Five Spice Glazed Ham

Here’s a delicious glazed ham recipe, thanks to the peeps at Graze Wedding Catering. It’s the perfect centrepiece for your Christmas feast!

TIME

1 hour

SUITABLE FOR

Ages 14+

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 x 5-6kg bone in half leg ham | 2 oranges, thinly sliced | whole cloves for decoration

Glaze: 1 cup (250ml) maple syrup | 2 tablespoons of brown sugar | ½ teaspoon ground white pepper | 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder | 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard | ¼ cup water

WHAT TO DO

  1. Place all graze ingredients into saucepan and bring to boil over high heat, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  3. Gently run your fingers along the outer edge of the skin on the top of the leg of ham. You will find that you can gently peel away the skin leaving a lovely layer of fat. Cut around the hock and leave the skin intact the last 4-5 inches.
  4. Gently score the top of the fat in a diamond pattern.
  5. Brush ham with glaze, making sure to get it into all of the cuts.
  6. Let it cool a little, which will make the glaze go a bit sticky
  7. Then place the slices of orange all over the top of the fat and secure in place with the cloves (stud them through the orange slice in to the meat to hold it in place).
  8. Sit on a large roasting tray that has been lined with foil and baking paper
  9. Brush a little more of the glaze over and pop the ham into the oven
  10. Brush ham with glaze every 15 minutes or so until the ham has turned golden brown and is all warm, yummy & caramelised (about 45 minutes).
  11. If any of it starts to get a little to dark, cover with foil to protect from heat.

AND THEN

Remove from oven and place in the middle of your Christmas feast. Enjoy!

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19 December 2014 6 Days 'til Christmas - Cake in a Jar

Need a last minute Christmas gift idea? Why not make this delicious cake in a jar thanks to The Cake That Ate Paris? It’s the perfect present for your boss, colleague, teacher or friend!

TIME

10 mins + setting time

SUITABLE FOR

Ages 14+

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

285ml thickened cream | 200g good quality dark cooking chocolate | 2 egg yolks | 3 tbsp Brandy | 20g butter | 1 pack Oreos

WHAT TO DO

  1. Heat cream in saucepan until just about to boil.
  2. Stir in chocolate, butter, yolks and brandy and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture into jars and set in fridge until firm.
  4. Crush Oreos and fill jars (roughly 1 Oreo per jar).
  5. Whip cream and top jars with cream.

AND THEN

Tie ribbons and spoons onto your jar, take a pretty pic. Ensure you make enough to gift one to yourself – yum!

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19 December 2014 A Glitzy New Year’s Eve Party

This glitzy New Year’s Eve soiree consisted of five fabulous ingredients – gold, confetti, good food, speciality cocktails and loved ones. Living long distances from each other, the ladies of Bejios Events threw an intimate party as an excuse to spend some quality time together and of course, to celebrate the arrival of a new year.

The inspiration for the event was mid-century sparkle meets modern class, with a colour palette of gold, copper, white and black. Custom decorations were created, including Bejios confetti, gold piñatas, sparklers and blow horns for when the clock struck 12.

‘Once the clock struck midnight, we encouraged all our guests to toss giant handfuls of confetti into the air,’ said the Beijos girls. ‘It created a big, beautiful mess, but it was totally worth it. Every piece of confetti in the air!’

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18 December 2014 7 Days 'til Christmas - Gift Tags

Cute gift tags can sometimes be so difficult to find! And if you do find them, a lot of the time they’ll clean out the little cash you have left after your Christmas shopping. Not to worry, we’re here to help with these delightful FREE downloadable gift tags thank to Wita from Design is Yay!

TIME

2 mins

SUITABLE FOR

All ages

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Computer | printer | quality paper or card | scissors | hole punch | twine

WHAT TO DO

  1. Download the attachment below.
  2. Print on quality paper and card.
  3. Cut out the gift tags and punch a hole in the top.

AND THEN

Attach to your presents with some pretty twine!

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18 December 2014 Za'atar Spiced Spatchcock with Chimichurri

Is it your turn to host Christmas lunch this year? Celebrate the sheer joy of Christmas, an excuse (if we ever needed one?) to eat, drink and be merry, using our breezily modern interpretation of a Christmas feast that guests can munch on in between swims or backyard cricket. Here’s one scrumptious main that’s sure to be enjoyed by all – Za’atar Spiced Spatchcock with Chimichurri.

For more Christmas day recipes see ‘Spread the Cheer’ in Issue 8 of HOORAY!

TIME

1 hour

SUITABLE FOR

Ages 14+

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

3 spatchcocks (400-500g each) | Olive oil | 3 tbsp za’atar spice (freshly made is best) | Salt and pepper to taste | Crème fraîche (optional)

Chimichurri: 3-6 garlic cloves (to taste) | 2 x French eschallots, peeled | 1 bull horn chilli, chopped | 2 cups firmly packed parsley | 1 cup firmly packed coriander | 1 cup firmly packed oregano | ½ cup olive oil | 1 tbsp lime juice | 2 tbsp sherry vinegar

WHAT TO DO

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Tie legs of spatchcock together with cooking twine and fold wings underneath the bird to avoid burning the tips. Rub bird with oil and za’atar spice and place in a large roasting pan.
  3. Roast for 40-46 minutes or until juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife tip.
  4. For the chimichurri, pulse garlic, eschallots and chilli in a food processor until finely chopped. Add fresh herbs and continue to pulse.
  5. Transfer mixture into a separate bowl, add olive oil, lime juice, sherry vinegar and stir well until combined. Season to taste.

AND THEN

Arrange spatchcock on a serving plate, drizzle with chimichurri and serve with a large dollop of crème fraîche.

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18 December 2014 A Spring Feast of Food

Pop-Up Planning Co, a young event styling and planning business, held their first public event to launch their business and bring together some of the amazing talent shared amongst their friends and creative network. It was labelled ‘A Spring Feast of Food’ which the team describes as a simple, natural and seasonal dinner, with an added touch of luxuriousness.

Held at Perth’s urban farm venue, the styling of the event used natural elements combined with hand made items. ‘We live just near Kings Park in Perth and are always amazed by the array of natural foliage we discover there, so we knew this had to be reflected in the styling,’ said the team at Pop-Up Planning Co. ‘We used lots of recycled wood, rope and even an old door for the bar top, but still wanted to create a luxe feel. The hand work that went into the paper cone wall, the handmade candles and the gold cutlery all helped add to this.’

To continue the natural, spring feel, the team hung festoon lights and floral arrangements from the ceiling, and placed flowers and succulent pouches across the tables. The seasonal menu was structured around sharing, with 8 different main dishes distributed amongst the guests. ‘It was about using fresh, local and seasonal produce, but it had to be mouth watering and visually pleasing. The sharing created a great conversation starter and helped build this amazing buzz that could be felt by all,’ said the team.

We’d be more than happy to sit down to a delicious spring feast in this natural, luxurious setting with our fellow creatives!

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17 December 2014 8 Days 'til Christmas - A Festive Tablescape

OMG there are just 8 days until Christmas! We hope you’re as excited as we are!

Today we’ve got a super easy, festive Christmas tablescape to share with you, thanks to the oh-so-talented Erin from Hope & Lace. Other than the few fresh blooms, this setting can be put together using décor that we’re sure you’ll already have lying around the house, and potentially hanging on the tree right now.

Whip it together on Christmas morning for a very merry (and beautiful) lunch or dinner!

TIME

30 mins

SUITABLE FOR

All ages

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Fresh blooms of your choice (think red and green for a traditional Christmas) | berries |  florists wire | baubles | Christmas beads | cake stand | candles (different heights and textures) | downloadable template (below) | scissors | twine | dinnerware | empty everyday jars | tealight candles

WHAT TO DO

  1. Arrange the blooms in two low settings on the table using florists wire and some super Christmas-y flowers.
  2. Pop a cake stand in the centre of the table, along a variety of different sized candles and Christmas tree decorations like beads and baubles.
  3. Ombre dip the napkins green, then print and cut out the cute tags (below) and secure them around the napkin, fork and knife with twine. For an extra pop of colour add a spring of leftover greenery or berries from your floral arrangements.
  4. Place floating candles in everyday jars with water and even more greenery and berries.

AND THEN

Fill the table with your Christmas feast and enjoy!

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17 December 2014 A Kid-Friendly New Year's Eve Party

Before children, most couples (or singles for that matter) make a big production out of New Year’s Eve. Usually hitting the town, having a blast with their friends and then queuing up for a taxi at some ungodly hour in the morning.

As soon as kids come along though, those nights out on the town, tossing confetti and sipping champagne are usually exchanged with fighting sleep to watch the fireworks from your living room TV.

Why not invite your other friends with little ones around for an under 18’s friendly party? Some simple planning can go a long way to ensure that everyone has a blast (including the host!). Here are five inspired ways to spend New Year’s Eve with kids:

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17 December 2014 Sydney StyleSesh with The Flower Era

On the afternoon of Friday December 5, as the rain loudly pattered down on the roof of The Nest creative space, our StyleSesh students followed the florals over to the beautiful The Flower Era studio for their Christmas wreath making workshop. If you missed it, you can recap the entire evening, along with a whole heap of images, right here.

A huge thank you goes out to all of our amazing sponsors for the night, especially our caterers, Dan the Man, our furniture rental guys, Timbermill Rentals, our photographer Kara from Mark & Kara Photography, and our videographer Ehran from The Story of Us.

If you like what you see, we have a whole heap of amazing StyleSesh workshops planned for 2015! The first is a Valentine’s Day baking workshop in Byron Bay on February 8 with The Cake that Ate Paris. Head to our StyleSesh website to purchase a ticket or register for other upcoming classes.

HOORAY! STYLE SESH SYDNEY from The Story of Us on Vimeo.

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