They are the masterminds behind White & Wander, the most fabulous, unique, eclectic approach to design I've seen in a long time.
There's something special about a mother and daughter team - and these ladies are no exception.
In their own words . . .
Introducing White & Wander's creators, mother & daughter, Lisa & Emma.
Emma, Creative Director, chief stylist and harbinger of the White & Wander signature style is author of the White & Wander blog which for four years has proven a tantalising ‘go to’ guide for friends seeking design inspiration.
Lisa, Managing Director, experienced business woman and master of the helm of the White & Wander mother ship has earnt her stripes creating beautiful interiors from the most unlikely of sources.
Emma & Lisa share a love of many things – fallow antlers, navy and white ticking, nautical themes, aged wicker, flags and their most favourite, heraldry – shown to advantage in the White & Wander logo.
Their love of and passion for design and style is contagious - it's so easy to get caught up in their enthusiasm.
Kidding. I do know when I'll be back. Sunday. And it's all too soon for my liking.
Jetting off with Emma tonight for a fabulously indulgent girls' weekend away in Brisbane. We have no plans really, just a few catch ups with a few old friends and of course a sticky beak at the gorgeous Black & Spiro studio in New Farm.
There'll be lots of laughs and lots of bubbles no doubt - watch out Brisbane, here come all the single ladies!
Cue Beyonce . . .
Oh oh ohhhhh, oh oh ohhhh, oh oh oh oh!
PS. And the relevance of the pic? I found it aaaaages on ago on Emma's twin sister's blog and it perfectly encapsulates the look I'd love to recreate for my arrival in Brisvegas. Yep, um, nope. It's not going to happen.
There's nothing like a big bowl of soup to warm you up - both inside and out.
This recipe is a fabulous take on the traditional chicken soup . . . and it's a Weight Watchers recipe. Bonus!
Chicken, sweet corn, spinach and risoni soup
ProPoints value: 9 Servings: 4 Preparation Time: 15 min Cooking Time: 30 min Level of Difficulty: Moderate
We've given a classic Chinese soup an Italian twist by using risoni pasta instead of traditional noodles.
Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil 1 small brown onion, finely chopped 2 clove(s) fresh garlic, crushed 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated 5 cup(s) chicken stock, (1.25L) 400 g lean chicken breast, (2 x 200g fillets) 500 g fresh corn, (2 cobs, husks removed) 70 g pasta, (risoni) 1 medium zucchini, trimmed, diced 2 1/2 cup(s) baby spinach 40 ml rice wine (Sake)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3–5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add stock and bring to the boil. Add chicken and corn and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and corn. Cool slightly.
Add risoni to stock mixture and simmer for 10 minutes or until just tender. Meanwhile, shred chicken breast and cut kernels from corn cobs. Return chicken and corn to soup with zucchini and simmer for 3–4 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
Add spinach and stir until just wilted. Stir in wine and remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.
Especially love it when you're at someone else's place, in your tracky dacks and they're cooking you dinner and there's great telly on!
Popped round to the loft last week to catch the first episode of Top Design with Emma.
Hmm, not sure I'm taken with it. Like the concept, don't like the execution. The judges are too high and mighty for my liking. The contestants have some great budgets to work with and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, but I do hope the judges get off their high horse.
And a bugger it clashes with Offspring!
Still loving The Block though. I'm on Team Amie and Katrina - they're hilarious!
Back to couch time . . . Emma whipped up a Raymondo. Yes, it sounds like some dodgy pool cleaner man, but it was actually a delicious pasta dish!
Bacon, onion, mushrooms, garlic, tin of tomatoes, evaporated milk, chicken, spinach . . . anything else, Em?
She also found some majorly fun pasta - looooooong spirals. They unravelled into cute curls that went on and on and on - kind of curly spaghetti!
Hardly any dishes, a few key steps and minimal ingredients.
This Donna Hay special has been a regular on my menu the last few weeks - trust me, it's GOOD!
One pot Chinese Chicken Serves 2
Ingredients 3 cups (750ml) chicken stock 6 slices ginger (I use one big heaped teaspoon of jar stuff) 4 cloves garlic halved (yep, I cheat again with the jar stuff!) 1 long green chilli, sliced 1½ cups (300g) jasmine rice 4 x 125g chicken thigh fillets, halved 4 spring onions, sliced 1 cup coriander leaves soy sauce, to serve
Place the stock, ginger, garlic and chilli in a deep frying pan over high heat and bring to the boil.
Add the rice and stir once to distribute evenly over the bottom of the pan. When the stock comes back to the boil, add the chicken.
Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the stock and the chicken is tender.
Top the chicken and rice with the onion and coriander and serve with soy sauce.
The baked camembert was a hit - kind of a posh fondue! I took the skin off the top of the cheese, left it in its wooden box and stuck some slivers of garlic and a few rosemary pieces into the top. Then, with the leftover rosemary stems, I whittled away the greenery except for a few sprigs at the end and threaded on some chunks of bread before splashing it with olive oil and sea salt and baking with the cheese - about 20 mins.
Shame it was so good - I didn't even get a chance to take a photo!
The maple pears were also a lovely treat - thin slices of pear brushed with butter and covered in demerara sugar, then fried until caremalised, stacked on the plate and drizzled with maple syrup and a dollop of King Island honey and cinnamon yoghurt (so so good!)
Such a lovely evening. And don't you love my strip of imperial trellis fabric? $2 a metre from Spotlight!
I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to cooking - I don't really like to try anything with more than eight or so ingredients, and definitely freak out at the prospect of 'preparing a day ahead'. I'm more a Donna Hay girl than a Julia Child devotee.
My darling friend Gemma though, gosh, she amazes me. She is always whipping up ah-mazing meals that I would skip straight over in a recipe book. She's not afraid to try something new and challenging and I take my hat off to her.
She impressed me with a lip smackingly good tagine last year and most recently, a rich and decadent duck ragout for our school girls get together (10 years on and still going strong!). As for dessert, she knocked our socks off with a fabulous twist on baklava a la George Calombaris.
Breaking it down, it doesn't look all that scary, so I might bite the bullet and try them both myself - the end result is definitely worth it!
Braised duck, Valpolicella, tomato and rosemary with polenta
Serves 6 | Cooking Time Prep time 35 mins, cook 3 hrs (plus brining, resting) 1 free-range duck (about 2kg) 1 tbsp vegetable oil 2 carrots, finely chopped 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 rosemary sprig 375 ml Valpolicella (see note) 800 gm canned diced Italian tomatoes 2 fresh bay leaves Pinch of finely grated nutmeg ½ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped To serve: soft polenta
Brine 300 gm fine sea salt 275 gm (1¼ cups) white sugar 5 juniper berries, coarsely crushed 2 fresh bay leaves 1 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
For brine, bring ingredients and 1.5 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve, then set aside to cool completely.
Place duck snugly in a non-reactive container, pour over brine to completely cover. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove duck from brine (discard brine) and pat dry with absorbent paper. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, cook duck, breast-side down first, then turning until fat renders and duck is golden (3-5 minutes each side). Remove duck (reserve fat) and set aside.
Heat 30ml duck fat in a large casserole over medium-high heat, add vegetables, garlic and rosemary, stir occasionally until tender (5-7 minutes). Add wine and simmer until reduced slightly (2-3 minutes), then add tomato, bay leaves and nutmeg and season to taste. Add duck (duck should be submerged), cover with baking paper, then with a lid, and cook over low heat, turning duck and skimming fat occasionally until duck is tender and almost falling from the bone (2-2½ hours). Cover and set aside to rest (30 minutes).
Remove duck from braising liquid, then, when cool enough to handle, coarsely shred meat (discard bones, skin and sinew) and return meat to sauce. Season to taste, stir through parsley and serve hot with soft polenta.
Note Valpolicella is a light red wine from the region of the same name, typically made from corvina Veronese, rondinella and molinara grapes.
100 g walnuts, chopped 100 g slivered almonds, chopped 100 g pistachios, chopped generous pinch cinnamon 1 tbs fine semolina pinch of salt 400 ml Bulla Thickened Cream 200 g dark chocolate buttons (55% cocoa) 1 x 375g packet filo pastry (approximately 18 sheets) extra virgin olive oil, for brushing melted butter, for brushing 1/3 cup honey finely grated zest of 1 orange ¼ cup caster sugar ¼ cup water 1 vanilla bean
Place walnuts, slivered almond, pistachios, cinnamon, semolina and salt into bowl. Bring 100mL of the cream just to the boil, remove from the heat, add the dark chocolate and stir until melted. Add chocolate to nuts and mix until combined.
Lay one sheet of filo pastry horizontally on a chopping board, brush lightly with olive oil, place another sheet directly on top, followed by a third sheet. Cut in half from top to bottom to form 2 sheets.
Place two heaped tablespoons of the baklava mix in a line towards the bottom edge of the sheets. Fold over bottom edge, followed by the two sides and roll into cigar shape.
Brush lightly with butter and place onto baking tray, repeat until all mix used, chill before baking.
Pre-heat oven to 190°C (fan forced).
Bake baklava ladyfingers until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes, then remove and place into a wire rack to cool.
Bring honey, orange zest, sugar and water to the boil, simmer for 3 minutes. Generously spoon the syrup over the baklava fingers until all syrup used up.
Split vanilla bean lengthways, remove seeds and place into a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining 300mL of the cream and whip till soft peaks form.
Place baklava back into oven for 3 minutes to warm through, serve hot with vanilla cream.
I tend to only try recipes that have been recommended to me by friends or family, or that I've seen demonstrated on telly. Sure, I could be accused of lacking adventure and playing safe in the kitchen, but I like it when I can be assured of a win!
Lindsey of All Things Bright and Beautiful recently posted about her favourite 'dip' and I was completely confused and intrigued by her mix of ingredients. Such a random combination, but I was willing to take the punt on her recommendation.
Black beans must be common in the US, but they're hard to find locally. Luckily I came across some at Lucia's, my local gourmet food deli
Well, the hunt was worth it as the dip was a winner sure enough! So quick and easy to put together and completely "moreish". I wanted to eat it by the spoonful! I served it with chilli and lime tortilla chips which were a great match.
Black bean, feta and coriander salsa/dip/thing This makes enough for about 3-4 people for nibbles, but the measurements can be varied according to your tastes and how much you need 1 can of drained black beans 2 sticks chopped spring onion chopped coriander (about half a bunch) about half a block of crumbled feta cheese red wine vinaigrette (use enough to have a shallow layer on the bottom)
Is anyone else as nervous as me about the next episode of Offspring?
We've been through the drama with Nina that was Dr Chris, and now that she's found the most ah-mazing guy in Dr Patrick, I just know she's going to stuff it up. AGAIN!
I realise most of the appeal of Offspring is its unpredictability but please, can we just have a happy ending!?
*** UPDATE - 10.12PM WEDNESDAY NIGHT ***
No, no, no! Just saw the preview for next week's episode and nearly threw something at the TV screen. I'm on Team Patrick! Team Chris threw in the towel a long time ago, time to move on! I don't know how I'm going to wait a whole week to see how she stuffs up AGAIN. Which team are you all on? xo
I think it's the frustrated decorator in me. Frustrated yes, because I'm hopeless and wish I had that sort of creativity and vision!
Katrina and Amie are my #1 team - I just love them . . .
Quote: "We're country chicks, not country hicks"
Did you know Katrina is a fellow blogger? A-M introduced me to her blog and I love it - it's awesome seeing a behind the scenes take on what life was really like on the 'set'. It was filmed months ago though, so I'd be interested to know whether she scheduled her posts way back when, or is typing them now in hindsight.
Regardless, she's a cack and lots of fun to follow.