I'm going to share with you a delicious snack that I buy all the time from my favourite cafe on Melbourne Street called UR Caffe ( http://www.urcaffe.com/index.php ).
This place is a super cute, very cosy cafe with friendly and fast service, great coffee and home made everything! Food is thai inspired (I believe, I'm no conoisseur of the subtleties of asian cuisine) but they also serve nice australian/english style bacon and egg breakfasts ALL DAY and cakes. There's something for everyone :)
This is my favourite indulgence, I make it at home for friends and my partner and it always goes down an absolute treat. Great for a celebratory champagne breakfast!
WHAT YOU NEED:
Thick bread for toasting ( I like sourdough rye)
Tub of ricotta cheese
Punnett of strawberries
Flaked almonds lightly toasted
(Banana is a nice addition/subsitute too if you like)
It's a no brainer! Toast your bread, slather it with ricotta, spread sliced strawberries over it and scatter almonds on it, drizzle honey over and you're done.
Hmm ... writing this at lunch time was a bad idea, Ur Caffe here I come!
On Friday afternoon, Philippa and Scott were blessed by the arrival of little Kingston. Congratulations guys, he is perfection.
Recipe! Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake - dead easy and guaranteed to have everyone groaning with pleasure!
I'm going to share with you, ladies, my favourite cake in the world. I make this for dinner parties and events and even used to sell it to a local cafe, it's THAT good. Best of all it's SO easy to make.
This cake is so moist and delightfully dense, one of those ones you only need a small piece of, but I am betting you'll be going back for more!
1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder
1/3 cup (80ml) hot water
150g dark eating chocolate, melted
150g butter, melted
1 1/3 cups (295g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (100g) hazelnut meal
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, extra
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease deep 20cm-round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.
Blend cocoa with the water in large bowl until smooth. Add chocolate, butter, sugar, hazelnut meal and egg yolks; stir until combined.
Beat egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold into chocolate mixture in two batches.
Pour mixture into pan; bake about 1 hour. Stand cake in pan 15 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool. Dust with sifted extra cocoa.
When cooked this cake should still be slightly moist in the centre, best served warm with cream or ice cream and fruit.
Courtesy Womens Weekly
Posted by Bec xox
You have probably heard about mega actress Angelina Jolie's decision to have a preventative double mastectomy recently when she found out she carried the defective BCR1 gene. This gene is inherited from her mother who died of breast cancer at 56, and meant she had a huge 87% risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer.
Read her brave story and cautionary letter from the New York Times here:
"MY MOTHER fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.
We often speak of “Mommy’s mommy,” and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer andovarian cancer.
My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.
Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.
On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.
But I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.
My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a “nipple delay,” which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area. This causes some pain and a lot of bruising, but it increases the chance of saving the nipple.
Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.
Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant. There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful.
I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.
It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.
I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.
For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.
I acknowledge that there are many wonderful holistic doctors working on alternatives to surgery. My own regimen will be posted in due course on the Web site of the Pink Lotus Breast Center. I hope that this will be helpful to other women.
Breast cancer alone kills some 458,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. It has got to be a priority to ensure that more women can access gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment, whatever their means and background, wherever they live. The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, at more than $3,000 in the United States, remains an obstacle for many women.
I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.
Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of."
Personally I think it's an incredibly brave thing to do not only as a woman, but a woman who is constantly in the public eye and has made her living on both her acting talent and amazing good looks and sex appeal. But Angelina has shown time and time again that she is an intelligent, sensible and humanitarian woman and I can only hope her story (and us sharing it with you) inspires others to make difficult decisions or to make that overdue appointment they've been putting off...
Posted by Bec
Mothers Day is around the corner so we thought we would share some snaps of the most famous Mums and Kids around.
With a wardrobe reportedly worth over three million it is no surprise that Suri Cruise is already known as a bit of a Diva in the celebrity world.
We love Nicole Richie's daughter Harlow's cute curls and cheeky smile.
Jamie and Jools Oliver have definitely chosen some interesting baby names for their children and their latest addition Buddy Bear Maurice is no exception.
But then again they aren't alone in their interesting baby choice names - Nicole Kidman's choice of Sunday Rose was a little to close to Sunday Roast for many...
Willow and Jaden Smith are two famous kids which are quickly launching their own careers in Hollywood.
Angelia Jolie should be in for a few good gifts this Mothers Day from her ever expanding family!
One thing is for sure all these kids are already making their mark in Hollywood.
Here is a tried and true, never-fail easy-peasy Banana Bread Recipe from Donna Hay which Philippa swears by!
- 125g butter, softened
- 1 cup (175g) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups mashed banana
- 1¾ cups (255g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup (115g) golden syrup
- butter, extra, to serve
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the eggs and beat well to combine. Add the banana, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and golden syrup and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into a 26cm x 11cm (2.5 litre-capacity) lightly greased loaf tin lined with baking paper. Bake for 60–65 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve with the extra butter. Serves 6–8.
This week Mercedes Benz Fahion Week Australia has been high, high, high on my radar - I think we have some AMAZING designers here in Aus, and I love seeing what they come up with, particularly the insanely talented Dion Lee. What I would give to have a selection from his line... I could go on forever about the collections, but I think the more interesting and accessible part of any fashion week over the world is checking out the Street Style, what the show-goers are wearing.
I love to take dressing inspiration from world wide street style, it's so great that thanks to the glorious internet we have the ability to check out what people in other cities and countries are wearing right this minute, Australia is no longer relegated to bringing up the rear in the style stakes. Some outfits are utterly ridiculous (see below!) but you have to give them points for creativity!
Below are some of my favourite outfits from Vogue.com.au from their MBFWA Street Style album:
Still loving animal print, especially in this cobalt with dashes of lime, and Nicole from Gary Pepper Vintage wears it so well with her gorgeous black hair.
Effortlessly chic, these ladies know how to wear loose cuts and still look streamlined.
Christine Centenera, she can do no wrong in my mind. Love the contrast of the Burberry Prorsum biker jacket with soft pleating and print beneath.
Edwina McCann looks positively elegant, but not uptight, in this gorgeous navy outfit.
I love the rose accents on the sleeves, and seriously coveting those sunglasses.
Christine again, wearing Mary Katranzou, a designer doing the most amazing things with prints. Really inspiring - and those heels are amazing.
Fashionable pooch! What a great little hoodie, I'd love to get one for my Whippet who is seriously displeased with these cold mornings!
Awesome City Lights print, flattering and funky with a black base.
Stripes are always in, horizontal or veritical. And love the green with monochrome black and white.
A vintage inspired look, very Thelma and Louise! Yet modern, keeping it neutral and chic.
Christine Centenera, again, nails it in Josh Goot animal print.
I love this print and the colour combo, and the way she's clashed prints and textures. Gorgeous!
Finally something we can all wear, she looks put together and classic but still fashionable. I have to say jeans, leather ankle boots and a tee or jumper is pretty much my uniform so of course I like this one!
This is also part of my uniform, black, black, black and leather. Love it for how easy it is to wear, and how it makes you feel.
This could have gone so wrong but I think she is actually rocking this bizarre combination! The red socks actually make it for me. She's obviously into it!
We really do have one of the coolest fashion weeks and some internationally coveted designers, go Aus!
Posted by Bec x