Thursday
Dec052013

Team Cupcake

Nigella Lawson is having a rough trot. She divorced her loathsome oaf of a husband Charles Saatchi after THAT incident at Scott’s. Two of her former (trusted) employees are on trial for a wild unauthorised spending spree on Lawson’s and Saatchi’s dime that rivals Julia Roberts’s saunter down Rodeo Drive in Pretty Woman. Now she has had to front up to said trial and fend off accusations from her former husband that she is a full blown drug addict.

But do you know what? Instead of feeling sorry for her, we are majorly crushing on her right now. She has held her coiffed head high, kept silent on her marriage break-up until she was questioned under oath, and has generally behaved like the true Goddess she is. She strode regally into court yesterday with elegance and grit, cast some pearler statements before her swine of an ex, admitted she had taken drugs on a few occassions when her life was difficult, and looked stunning to boot.

FFFing Fantastic! We are Team Cupcake all the way x

Nigella Lawson’s Vanilla Cupcakes
from How to be a Domestic Goddess

  • 125 grams self-raising flour
  • 125 grams caster sugar
  • 125 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 packet instant royal icing
  • food colouring (for preference colour pastes)
  • cake decorations (wafer roses, sugar flowers, sprinkles, or your favourite sweets/candies)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF and line the tin with the muffin cases.
  • It couldn’t be simpler to make cup cakes: just put all the ingredients except for the milk in the processor and then blitz till smooth.
  • Pulse while adding milk, to make for a soft, dropping consistency, down the funnel. Or using a bowl and wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour.
  • Then add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
  • I know it looks as if you’ll never make this scant mixture fit 12 bun cases, but you will. I promise you this mixture is exactly right to make the 12 cup cakes, so just spoon and scrape the stuff in, trying to fill each case equally, judging by eye only of course.
  • Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top. As soon as bearable, take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and let cool, right way up, on a wire rack.
  • Once they’re cool, make up a big, uncoloured batch of royal icing, and then remove a few spoonfuls at a time to small bowls.
  • Using a bamboo skewer, add small dots of colours from the paste-tubs, stirring with a teaspoon and then adding more colouring, very slowly, very cautiously (pastel works best here, whatever your everyday aesthetic) until you get the colour you want.
  • Use teaspoons to coat the cupcakes with icing and leave each a moment to dry only slightly, on the surface, before sticking on a rose, daisy or whole stash of decorations.

images via dailymail.co.uk and foodnewtwork.com

Tuesday
Sep102013

5 minutes with Gail Elliott

Gorgeous Sydney-based supermodel and designer of luxe brand Little Joe gives us a rundown of her wardrobe needs, wants and must-haves. Her fashion philosopy is a well-edited and pared-back wardrobe of good basics and timeless indulgences.  Thank you for sharing Gail!

FFF: Gail what are your staples?

GE: Oversized cotton tees in white, black or grey marle, leather pants and jackets, jeans, blazers, striped tees, designer handbags, shoes & boots.

FFF: What are your indulgences?

GE:  Shoes & handbags.

FFF: What can’t you live without?

GE:  Gifts of jewellery from my husband.

FFF: What is past its use-by-date?

GE:  I’m good at giving away things  that I don’t need so it’s all pretty much up-to-date!

FFF: What is your wardrobe craving?

GE:  I could always do with more Azzedine Alaia shoes! 

Tuesday
Aug202013

Making like Mr Blumenthal

Channeling our inner-Heston is suddenly an FFF-ing cinch! The new Moleucle-R lets absolute amateurs and total cocktail addicts tinker with real-life molecular gastronomy and mixology, right in their own kitchens.

Learn some very smart, scientific terms like spherification, emulsification, effervescence and gelification, and toss them into conversation! Craft chocolate, create balsamic vinegar pearls or whip up tomato soup spaghetti or exquisite mojito spheres.

Dinner parties are back in vogue - let yours set the standard. 

 

Monday
Aug192013

Big bad BAG Porn!

If this scrumptious editorial in the August edition of Harrods magazine is anything to go by, then size, at least when it comes to arm candy, does bloody matter!

It’s a little bit Tim Walker in styling - whimsical and stylised with a lovely dose of Wonderland thrown in for good measure. All our faves feature - Prada, Gucci, Fendi and Mulberry, coming together in one delicious editorial guaranteed to whet our appetites for a BIG and beautiful fashion season ahead. Now to choose which one to bag?

 


Thursday
Aug152013

Fabulous Friday: 19 divas in one song...

Happy Friday FFFs! Want to see some talent that will blow your Choos off? Try this one for size…

Christina Bianco sings ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ as Adele and 18 other divas. It’s amazing. Roll the tape…

Thursday
Aug012013

The ridiculously-talented Amanda Berlund & her take on Gaultier

We knew we loved Gothenburg-based graphic designer Amanda Berlund for exquisitely-clever creations like this….

 

Now we love her even more for extraordinary dream-ups like her poster for the up-coming Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit. In her own words: 

“(This is) a poster for a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit from which vernissage cards can be pulled off. Every time someone pulls off a card, a new image, more true to Gaultier’s aesthetics, will start to appear. And just like every collection by Jean Paul Gaultier has been unique, every vernissage card will be unique part of the poster.”

                                                                                                                                          Amanda Berlund


Clever, no?

Wednesday
Jul312013

The Moss Effect


It’s official:
Kate Moss has anointed the Saint Laurent Sac De Jour bag in black leather THE bag to tote. With its top handle perfect for sitting in the nook of your elbow and its generous structured shape, Le Moss proves once again that a classic, investment piece can shack up with her edgey rock chic style to superior effect. Love!

Tuesday
Jul302013

Daily inspiration: The Sandwich Book

Polish graphic designer and artist Piotrowski Pawelart has created a delicious sandwich book with each page, a photograph representing a new layer. We think it should come with a WARNING - Do NOT open if you are feeling even remotely hungry. 

Feeling peckish just looking at it? Here are some of our all-time favourite sandwich fillings. 

  • Coronation chicken – chopped chicken mixed with mild curry powder and fromage frais.
  • Mayo, mustard, peppers, chives and tuna.
  • “The Reuben” - Corned beef, sauerkraut, cornichons, Dijon mustard, gruyere cheese on toasted rye.
  • Boccocini, tomato, pesto, rocket toasted on white sourdough.
  • tuna, butter, lemon juice and capers.
  • Leg ham, beetroot, pickles, rocket, avocado, mustard on white roll. 
  • Salmon, avocado and brie.
  • Turkey, cranberry sauce, Camembert cheese, alfalfa sprouts, avocado on white bread.
  • Roasted pumpkin, eggplant, capsicum, basil pesto, ricotta, and sundried tomatoes.
  • Prawn and avocado with creme fraiche on brown bread.
  • Roast beef, shaved parmesan, grilled pear, avocado, Dijon mustard and rocket on grainy sourdough. 
  • Bacon and avocado with mayo on wholemeal bread
  • The BLAT: crispy bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato. Add mayo or fresh tomato. 
  • Prosciutto, pear, taleggio and rocket on white baguette. 
  • Salami, ricotta, artichoke, sun-dried tomato, provolone and rocket on grainy bread. 
  • Smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, tomato and baby spinach on rye bread. 
Monday
Jul292013

Queen Kate

Rare photos and gorgeous artwork of Kate Moss are expected to net up to £1 Million (approx. $1.68 million AU) when they go up for auction in London on September 25. Here are some we’d like to our mitts on.

Thursday
Jul252013

We heart Louis Vuitton F/W 2013 - nighties et al!

The new Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2013 campaign is luxe, chic, and just a little bit Liz Taylor-esque. Those Cat on a Hot Tin Roof lace-edged sheaths mean we can ditch last seasons’ Marc Jacobs jammies and instead wear our negligees in public - choppy wig and platform sandals optional. Brilliant!

Dripping in decadent accessories that feature marabou feathers, waxed crocodile and fur, Carolyn Murphy, Gisele Bundchen, Isabeli Fontana and Karen Elson are the model line-up for the campaign shot brilliantly by photographer Steven Meisel.


 

Friday
Jul192013

Friday Flashback: Robin Thicke

If you haven’t heard of Robin Thicke and his uber hit Blurred Lines (and accompanying naughty video), then you must have been under a rock wearing ear muffs.

Robin Thicke is the so-hot-right-now musician of the moment. Which means he’s cool. He’s also the Hollywood progeny of Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) and Gloria Loring (Days Of Our Lives), which makes him even cooler in our book.

But before he was rocking that trademark quiff and snug ‘n sexy suit he could very well have been mistaken for Jesus in his second coming as a funky NYC bike courier. Watch below and you’ll see what we mean. Dare you to not dance while you’re listening…

Happy Friday FFFs xx

Wednesday
Jul172013

Wordless Wednesday: dress like a lady!

Tuesday
Jul162013

Move over Selfies, there's a new obsession in town...

In case you don’t know what a ‘Selfie’ is, the Urban Dictionary describes it as…

A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Intsagram or any other sort of social networking website. You can see the person’s arm holding out the camera, and the subject usually strikes a pose with a kissy face or duck face pout. Can also be taken with the aid of a mirror.

Anyhoo, news is that The Selfie is soooo yesterday, and The Healthie is the new kid on the cyber block.

So what’s a Healthie? Popular with ‘celebs’, the snaps are a record of the subject’s healthy lifestyle: green smoothies, workouts, healthy meals and personal mantras. It seems The Healthie is the new black, with Heidi Klum, the Kardashians, Bar Refaeli, Jennfier Hawkins and Miranda Kerr leading the charge.

Not convinced? So-called “health esteem” - including posting Healthies on social media - was found to be the No. 1 health trend in Australia, according to Pacific Magazines’ Health Trend Report.

Better dust off that blender and get snapping!

Images via instagram

Thursday
Jul112013

Guest Blogger: Miss Bunting's ultimate party cheat sheet

Hi FFFers

In case you missed the series, here is the quick guide to pulling off the perfect party every time.

Plan your time carefully and aim to have half an hour of you-time before guests arrive. That way you have time to take a breather, pour yourself a drink and there won’t be any awkward waiting while you run around taking care of last minute details.

While this sounds a little OTT, pull out all your serving platters, dishes and boards as part of the prep so you can work out what is getting used for each dish. That way, there’s less clanging around in the kitchen and you can make sure you have the right kind of dish for the type of food you’re serving.

Plan a cocktail as part of the menu that matches the food. You don’t need to be a mixologist, but this kind of detail can elevate your night from casual Friday get-together to special occasion.

The devil is in the detail, so style it up with flowers or by painting a roll of butcher’s paper to create a fun table runner in bold coloured chevron stripes or your guests names.

Bust out your best china. It’s no use gathering dust in the cupboard – if you have a special dinner service or glassware, why not use it for what it was intended for?

Aim to have your guests feel like they’re leaving their crazy day or week behind the minute they enter your door. Music is really important to creating good ambience, so have a playlist ready and going as guests arrive.

Make introductions. If you’re mixing groups of friends, go out of your way to help them feel comfortable and even mention any common connections or interests you know they share.

Your night should be planned to allow you to be yourself, as guest’s enjoyment will be directly proportional to your own. Plan and prepare as much as possible so that you’re as much as part of the party as the food, decorations and guests themselves.

Say ‘yes!’ If a close friend offers to look after the jackets, make the cocktails or help greet and seat guests, then take them up on their offer.

Overdo it! There’s nothing worse than running out of food, drinks or even toilet paper, so make sure you have plenty of everything.

Party on!

Miss Bx

PS Don’t forget to pick up your party essentials from Miss B at www.missbunting.com.

Oh and grab yourself a party frock too - Here are our Top 5. 

From left: Stella McCartney, Miu Miu, Chloe, Thakoon, Vivienne Westwood

Tuesday
Jul092013

Grace Coddington's "Steak" & Potatoes Dauphinois 

We are FFFing loving this stylish new food series for Vogue by Elettra Wiedemann (Isabella Rossellini’s daughter). We are particularly smitten with this kitchen confidential episode with fashion icon Grace Coddington. Whipping up a very non-fashionista meal of steak and potatoes (not a lettuce leaf in sight), Coddington and Wiedemann chat like old friends as they make a meal of it. Love!

Grab the recipe here.

Wednesday
Jul032013

Mad food science

Are you a budding Heston Blumenthal? Perhaps you have a friend who is itching to be the next Ferran Adrià? If so, these intriguing molecular gastronomy kits might be just what you need. The kits come with a 50 recipe ‘how-to’ DVD as well as syringes, silicone tubes, pipettes and other items you might usually find in a science lab. They also make molecular drink kits if you want to channel Tom Cruise in Cocktail and go crazy!

Slip on a lab coat, crack open a kit and start experimenting with weird and wonderful items for your next dinner party such as mint caviar beads that burst in the mouth, chocolate spaghetti, lemon foam or tzatziki spheres.

To find out more visit molecule-r.com

Sunday
Jun302013

Remembering Diana

 

Amazingly Princess Diana would have turned 52 years-old today. 

Being absolute Di-hard fans, we give you some of our most loved images of her (including some brilliant 80s fashion), as well as her former private chef’s recipe for her most requested dessert - Bread and Butter Pudd.

We can’t resist posting this video (at footer) taken on the 20th March 1983 in Alice Springs during hers and Charles first Royal Tour of Australia together. It shows Charles in the most fantastic safari suit and a divine 21 year-old, jet-lagged Di sweltering in the Australian heat whilst answering a Q&A with some very broad-accented Aussies. It’s brilliant… the running commentary is great and they look really, really happy - Charles and Di that is. Yes we know, we’re totally tragic. Bring on that royal baby! Enjoy.

CHEF DARREN’S BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING

(via dianaremembered)

Ingredients

  • 3 ozs. raisins
  • ¼ cup amaretto
  • 12 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 2 tsps. vanilla paste (see note)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsps. granulated sugar, to dust the top of the pudding
  • 3 ozs. sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 Tbsps. powdered sugar

Method

  • Soak the raisins in the amaretto, and leave covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours or over-night.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut 4 slices of the bread into ½-inch dice, and spread the diced bread on the bot-tom of a casserole dish. Sprinkle the raisins on top of the bread cubes, and pour any remaining liquid over the bread. Cut the remaining 8 slices of bread in half diagonally and then cut each half slice in halve diagonally to create 4 even triangles per slice. Dip the triangles into the butter, and arrange on the top of the raisins, overlapping the triangles slightly. Pour any remaining butter over the top of the bread.
  • Whisk the yolks, vanilla paste and sugar in a large bowl until combined. Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan over high heat, and pour the hot mix onto the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the warm egg mixture over the bread, making sure all of the bread is coated, and set aside the coated bread for 20 minutes to allow the egg mixture to soak into the bread.
  • Place the casserole dish in a roasting tray filled with hot water halfway up the sides of the casserole dish, and bake on the middle rack in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top with the filling just set.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and roasting tray, and sprinkle with the extra sugar. Broil or use a creme brulee torch to caramelize the sugar. Sprinkle with the toasted sliced almonds, and dust with powdered sugar. Cool slightly, and serve warm with a jug of cream and some fresh berries.
  • Note: If you can’t find vanilla paste, you can use pure vanilla extract. But Chef Darren suggests making some va-nilla sugar instead: Take 4 vanilla beans (preferably Bourbon because they are sweeter and contain more seeds), cut them open down the center lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, and then add the beans and seeds to 5 cups of granu-lated sugar in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake it and wait a week before using.
  • Chef Darren notes that you should replace the vanilla sugar you use with an equivalent amount of sugar, and shake the mix. The mix is good for a year before you should buy new beans and start again.

 

Friday
Jun282013

Lacoste turns 80!

 

French brand Lacoste is turning 80 years-young! To celebrate, some of the world’s most important luxury brands including Hermes, Boucheron, Goyard and Veuve Clicquot have paid tribute reworking the most famous crocodile in the world into something fresh and new. We are rather partial to Fouchon’s sweet take on the smilling croc. Who knew turning 80 could be so delicious!

 


Wednesday
Jun192013

Guest Blog: Miss Bunting goes to Rome

For many – myself included – travel and food are inextricably linked, making my recent one-month sojourn in Italy the holy grail of getaways. Which is fitting really – a landscape littered with an embarrassing amount of religious and architectural riches should also yield such a rich bounty of produce.

Our journey began in Rome, and with the aid of NY Times travel & food contributor Katie Parla and her brilliant blog parlafood.com, we aimed to eat like a local and try traditional trattoria to Michelin star.  These are the most memorable highlights:

Staying in Prati, we inadvertently managed to land right in between the best gelato and coffee we would end up having on our entire trip. Gelateria dei Gracchi was the stuff of legend: rich, creamy and traditional, we knew we were onto a winner by the fact it was only ever locals in line no matter what time of day it was, the 6 times we frequented it (yes, really.)

Sciascia has been a coffee bar since 1919. Get your head around that and you’ll see why they’ve perfected the art of the brew. Sitting here watching the regulars walk in, sip their espresso at the bar while exchanging loud pleasantries and leave all within 2 minutes flat was like watching a juggler take centre stage at the theatre – a one man barista operating 2 epic coffee machines with such deft precision, it was a pleasure just to watch.

An Elle Décor recommendation of a trattoria in Trastavere was good, the highlight being veal ravioli in an orange sauce. Like Michael Hutchence, I will never look at an orange in the same way*, the sweetness and depth it adds to a dish without it being a blunt hit of citrus was a revelation. No more will they languish at the bottom of my fruit bowl until I work out where the fruit flies are coming from.

We walked half an hour deep into suburbia to find Pizzarium, a hole in the wall pizza sold by weight and were rewarded with not only incredibly crunchy and spongy pizza base with immaculately conceived toppings, but their incredible fried pasta balls were ridiculous good.

A night wiled away at Vino & Olio was the closest we came to being locals. Literally the only foreigners in this tiny, cosy wine bar – we sampled some incredible reds from all over Italy while tucking into rustic good fare, tapas style.

A 10-course degustation at Il Pagliaccio, a 2 Michelin starred restaurant over the road from Vino & Olio  saw our final night in Rome out with a bang. The sommelier recommended an excellent rosso from Montepulciano from an overwhelming wine list. This paired beautifully with slow cooked ox tail and my other highlight dish, al-dente parcels of pasta that gave way to a burst of melted anchovy in a fresh broad bean ‘soup’.

On our way out of Rome, we stopped off at Gelateria Fatamorgana, an insanely good experimental gelato parlour and I still find myself dreaming of the Basil & Walnut and Fennel, Honey & Licorice in-your-face flavours. Worth the trip to this side of town alone.

Address Book

Gelateria dei Gracchi, Prati Via dei Gracchi, 272, 00192 Rome, Italy

Sciascia, Via Fabio Massimo 80/A, 00192 Rome, Italy

Taverna Trilussa, Via dei Politeama 23, 00153 Rome, Italy

Pizzarium, Via della Meloria 43, 00136 Rome, Italy

Vino & Olio, Pellegrino Via, Rome, Italy

Il Pagliaccio, Via dei Banchi Vecchi 129, a, 00186 Rome, Italy

Gelateria Fatamorgana, Via Lago di Lesina, 9, 00199 Rome, Italy

Miss B x

* Google it…

Monday
Jun172013

A beautiful balletic flashback

Take a quiet moment and lose yourself in this FFFers. To Philip Glass’s “String Quartet No. 3, ‘Mishima’: IV. 1962: Body Building,” NYC Ballet principal Janie Taylor wears Chloé’s dance-inspired spring/summer 2011 collection with choreographer and corps de ballet member Justin Peck. Absolutey beautiful in every way.