Thursday, 4 December 2014

I'm Back With A Festive Spirit & A DIY Burlap Christmas Wreath Tutorial


Hi Everyone,

I am back to blogging again…at least during this festive month. You probably noticed that I made some changes on my logo to suit this season but it's growing on me so I think I'm going to keep it.

I’m so excited for this year’s Christmas because we finally get to put up our Christmas tree and get decorative in our first house. =D. I decide to choose a burlap theme, it's simple and suits our home.
All that matters to us, our tree is fat and bushy ( I despise the anorexic looking one's), decorated simple with some of my handmade glass baubles (which I sell here) with white fairy lights and thoughtful presents under it.





It’s been a long five years since we had it up because there wasn’t enough room in our city apartment and we’d literally run out of walking space as our Christmas Tree isn’t exactly small or,  we'd be o'seas celebrating so I felt there's no point putting all that effort only to pack it up as soon as we got back.

I’m also excited because we can finally have some of the family over for a nice simple Christmas luncheon and be able to entertain them comfortably because the house is looking more presentable and equipped as we are coming to the last leg of our home renovations…at least 70% there.

I've also been allowed to freely decorate (just the top floor - main living area anyways) ..in a practical and thrifty way and exercise my french/ hampton inspired interior decor touch and skills. I can't wait to share photos with you - soon!

So... this is just ONE of the main reasons why I've disappeared from blogging, we’ve been so busy working around the clock since we came back from our last holiday trying to get the house all prepped up for this one special occasion...and truthfully, because we are so over reno's that we want it all done and dusted asap!

I had to make a solid decision to step away from blogging for a while to concentrate on higher priorities like the reno's however remain loyal to posting something on my Facebook page at least once a month but made sure to photo document everything we're doing in the house or for the house hoping that one day I'll be sharing them with you guys- soon.

Anyways, I thought I’d get into the spirit of making my own Christmas wreath to dress our front door and keep the burlap theme going throughout the house. And as usual, it’s a pleasure to share the tutorial with you.  It’s simple, cheap and easy to make and you can customize it according to your taste. So be creative..I know it’s in you!!

DIY Burlap Christmas Wreath

 

Supplies Needed:

1 Roll of Burlap

Round Styrofoam- your choice of size

Pins or Hot Glue to hold the the burlap and your decorations to the foam

Your choice of silk flowers, I chose Hydrangeas

Christmas Bells or any decoration of your choice (e.g. ideas: spray painted acorn, leaf, flowers, letters)

Scissors

Ribbon to hang wreath

Floral Pins
75 cm Round Styrofoam

Burlap Roll
Hydrangeas, Bells, Leafs as my chosen decorations
I wrapped the burlap around and around the round styrofoam evenly until it was well covered and pinned the ends  down really well. You can use hot glue but I prefer to use pins so I can pull it apart easily if ever I want to change the design.
Then I  started pinning all my silk hydrangeas and its leaves on the wreath wherever I though it would look best. Play around..be creative.
Then followed it with some Christmas bells
Almost done!
I just needed to pin two strings of ribbon and tied it as a bow so I can hang it on our front door
Tadah!
My DIY Burlap Christmas Wreath! I love it...so simple and pretty. It suits the rest of my Christmas theme decor this year.

Well, have a safe and wonderful Christmas everyone! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.


Love and Peace, xox
Mazzy









Thursday, 20 March 2014

My Tropical Adventures - Relaxing & Surfing in the Phillipines

It’s been over a week since Hubby & I came back from an amazing 2 weeks tropical island & surfing holiday in the Philippines and I still can’t seem to get out of holiday mode. I find myself dazing and reminiscing about the sun, surf , siesta’s, food and everything that came with our holiday.. I feel as if I’m having serious post-holiday withdrawals.

I just checked my blog this morning and thought this is just terrible!!.....I realized I haven’t posted anything since early Jan. So much has happened since my last post but failed to post anything after as life got really busy with reno’s (as usual), work, holiday planning and more holiday planning and I just never found time to blog anymore.

Anyways, I’m trying to settle back in as fast as possible so I’m hoping blogging will help, getting back into reno’s, weekend surfing, catching up with friends and planning our next holiday trip…..which is in 2 months time..counting down! Yayyyy!

So I thought I’d share some of our holiday like-postcards photos of where we went, what we did and hope to inspire you plan your next holiday trip...and maybe entice you to go experience these places yourself.

PEARL FARM BEACH RESORT, DAVAO, PHILIPPINES 

http://www.pearlfarmresort.com/

This is where we spent a week of relaxing, getting pampered, siesta's, indulging in Filipino traditional food, snorkeling, partying and celebrating our close friends magical and enchanting beach wedding.






SIARGAO ISLAND, PHILIPPINES 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siargao

This is where you'll find the famous surfing reef break "Cloud 9". It truly is an amazing surfing paradise.

We spent a week here relaxing but also exploring, made good friends with the local pro surfers & traveling surfers from different parts of the world...but most importantly, where we surfed and surfed till our hearts content.





And soon I’ll be posting updates and progress photos of our reno’s, which we are quite proud about. We’re actually moving along and despite of the mess and bundle of unfinished touches, our house is actually becoming “HOME”.



Peace & Love,


Mazzy
xox

Friday, 3 January 2014

Mazzy's Kitchen Festive Spirit

Happy New Year everyone!

During the holiday season, I’ve been dedicated enough to document some of my kitchen adventures so I can post them in the New Year...gosh, I still cant believe we're now in 2014. Yikes, how time flies!

Happy I ended 2013 on a good note, my kitchen and my taste buds were definitely in the festive spirit, we've been churning out rich and indulgent gourmet foods. And I’m pretty sure I've got my neighbors noses waking up to the smell of buttery goodness and probably wandering if a new cafe moved in next door.

My house had started to smell like a French patisserie from all the butter, cream, callebaut chocolates, gourmet ice creams, pastries and French biscuits I’ve been whipping up.








Strange as it seems, am usually reluctant on using refined or processed ingredients in my baking/ cooking and I always opt for organic produce but I thought since it’s the holiday season..oh why not! It’s the only time of the year I’m willing to loosen up, live a little and make a compromise. ;P....I've been worrying about my waistline though, I hope our daily surfing and gardening sessions were able to keep up with the calories...well, so far so good.

I've also been experimenting a lot with T2 Teas. I used them as flavoring in my cooking & baking. Those who know me well, I love and enjoy collecting all sorts of teas……… and I won’t hold back spending quite a bit of $ on some good quality tea. I think the most I’ve spent is about $60 on little box of an exquisite china white tea. I enjoyed every bit of it guilt free.

And all the hours I’ve clocked up in the kitchen of late is enough to justify and prove Hubby that every cent we spent for our new French Provincial Kitchen was worth it…maybe enough to even warrant a new Kitchen Aid in pastel mint color (currently highest on my wish list). I hope he’s reading this. ;P.

But I’m just so glad that our new kitchen is now fully functional after 8 months of painfully waiting for this part of the renovations to be over. I love baking and cooking so it was tough and challenging enduring the wait. But I’m so relieved it’s over and I can finally use it to my heart’s utmost desire and contentment.

So you’ll find my recipes and instructions on the provided link underneath each photo or my Kitchen Life Page, always happy to share them with you =D.



Enjoy!



Peace & Love
Mazzy
xox

French Earl Grey Ice Cream







This is the third time I have used my Frostmate ice cream maker which I bought from one of those online deals. It has served me well in the past but as I continue to experiment with different tea flavored ice creams, I’d like to replace it with a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

It was fun making it, requires a bit of patience…but it’s worth the wait. I love how creamy this turned out and the flavor is absolutely amazing! I love T2 teas!



This ice-cream is a perfect match with my Langues De Chat (recipe available on this blog),  no doubt I'll definitely make it again..cause Hubby absolutely loved it ;). 



Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Waiting Time: 6-8 hours
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients
1 cup whole milk
2 cup thickened cream
3/4 cup raw caster sugar
6x T2 French Earl Grey tea bags
5 Free-range egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

In a small saucepan, warm the milk, thickened cream and sugar over medium-heat, stirring occasionally. Once the milk/cream is steaming but not boiling, remove from heat. Place the tea bags into the pan, cover and steep for 10-15 minutes, stir occasionally. Remove tea bags.


In the meantime, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla extract until frothy. Slowly add warm milk mixture to the egg mixture, and quickly whisk in until combined. Repeat 2-3 more times with more of the milk mixture, then gradually pour the remainder of the milk mixture and whisk quickly until combined.

Return the new milk/egg mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stir and scrape the bottom of the pan constantly until the mixture thickens to custard consistency.

Immediately strain through a fine-mesh strainer, and then refrigerate until completely cooled at least 6-8 hours. 


Then freeze with an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.



Enjoy!!

Lemongrass & Ginger Infused Crème Brulee











Ingredients:


1 3/4 cups thickened cream

4x T2 Lemongrass & Ginger tea bags

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

 5 large egg yolks

 1/4 cup plus 1-3 tsp. raw caster sugar

 Pinch sea salt



Instructions:


Preheat oven to 130°C. 

Prepare a Bain Marie by using a baking dish that’s at least as deep as the ramekins. Place a folded tea towel inside the baking dish and then place 5 or 6 ramekins on top. 


Bring the cream just to a simmer over medium heat, do not boil. Remove the pan from the heat; place the tea bags and cover. Let it steep for 10 minutes.


In a medium mixing bowl lightly whisk the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and a pinch of salt just to combine. Set aside.


Remove tea bags, lightly whisk in about 1/2 cup of the cream into the yolk mixture and stir for about 30 seconds, then gently whisk in the remaining cream. Add vanilla extract, stirring for about 15 seconds to blend. Keep a gentle stirring to avoid a frothy mixture. 


Pour the custard base through a fine sieve to strain out any solids. Divide the custard base evenly among the ramekins. There should be a little more than an inch of custard in each ramekin; it should not come all the way to the rim


Boil some water, slowly pour into the baking dish (don’t get any water in the ramekins) until the water comes about two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Cover with foil and bake the brulees in the Bain Marie for 60 minutes or until set but with a slight wobble. 


Remove and rest for 20 minutes at room temperature before refrigerating for 4 hours or until cold.


To serve, sprinkle each brulees with raw caster sugar and caramelise using a blowtorch.


Enjoy!!