Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Spinach and ricotta rolls

With the summer school holidays just about over, the Cheeky Monkeys and I have been baking up a storm of easy freeze meals they can defrost and throw into their lunchboxes on those days when we've all had enough of sandwiches.
Although my Cheeky Monkeys aren't vegetarians, they do love a good spinach and ricotta pie, so I put together a "sausage roll" version for easy lunchbox storage.
Here's how to make your own delicious lunches for yourself and your little ones.
Makes 12.

spinach and ricotta rolls vegetarian recipe diy tutorial

- 500g frozen, chopped spinach
- 500g ricotta
- 1-2 eggs
- 1 onion
- 3 sheets puff pastry
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- a pinch of sea salt
- 2 tsp dried mint
- olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Finely chop the onion and saute in a little olive oil until softened.  Add in the chopped spinach and cook until most of the moisture has cooked off.  Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix one egg with the ricotta, cheddar, pepper, salt and mint.  Add the cooled spinach mix and stir to combine well.

3. Cut each pastry sheet in half.  Place a line of spinach and ricotta filling along the long edge of pastry, leaving about 1 cm gap.  Roll the pastry to enclose the filling fully, overlapping the two long pastry edges to seal in the filling.  Repeat with remaining pastry.

4. Cut each pastry roll in half to create 12 smaller rolls.  Place the pastry rolls onto baking paper-lined trays and brush either with a milk wash or an egg wash made from the remaining egg.

5. Bake the spinach rolls for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and beautifully browned.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

A little taste of summer all year round

image summer earrings vintage glass stones turquoise blue yellow summery two cheeky monkeys

I've been enjoying creating my vintage crystal and glass earrings range for several years now, and am especially enamoured of this range for its variety of gorgeous colours with which I get to work.
My favourite pieces in the range are those with bright colours that remind me of summer holidays and tropical resort locales, so I was thrilled to be commissioned to create a pair that feature both bright yellow and turquoise blue stones.

image u-shaped bar necklace u vintage glass crystals two cheeky monkeys purple pastel blue floral boho chic

These dainty delights was what I came up with, and in the process I also created a fun, multicoloured necklace for myself.
This u-shaped bar necklace was created solely to highlight the sparkly vintage crystals in the necklaces centrepiece.
And I love the design so much that I'm considering adding a range of them to the store.  Please leave me comments if you would love to see this design in-store, and let me know what colours you love best!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Cheat's Chocolate and Nougat Ice Cream

As someone who grew up in southeast Asia and Australia, the concept of a white Christmas and all the traditional cold weather Christmas food is something I still struggle to get my head around.
Which is why I often look for food ideas that are more suited to a day that may reach 38 Celsius (20-25 C if you're lucky).
So this last Christmas, inspired by my love of nougat, chocolate, and ice cream, I whipped up a very easy summer dessert to spoil our loved ones at our various Christmas celebrations.
Here's how to make your own summer treat!

diy cheat's chocolate and nougat ice cream recipe

- 2 litres of good quality vanilla ice cream
- 150-200 g soft torrone nougat bar (I used Quaranta's strawberry nougat and country berries nougat)
- 100g dark chocolate bits
- 100g milk chocolate bits

1. Chop the nougat into 1cm cubes.  Open the chocolate packets, ready to pour into the ice cream.
2. Scoop the ice cream into the bowl of your stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if you are using a hand held mixer).
3. Place the empty ice cream tub back into the freezer.
4. Gently mix the vanilla ice cream until softened, then add in the nougat and chocolate pieces.
5. When thoroughly mixed, put the ice cream back into the original ice cream tub and freeze for at least 5 hours, or until ready to eat.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Merry Christmas!!!

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a 2019 filled with joy and peace!!!
And many thanks again to all of my supporters for making my creative journey what it is today.

"... the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)

Thursday, 20 December 2018

DIY luscious Christmas desserts

If you don't know by now, let me tell you, I am a HUGE fan of desserts!  Not just eating them, but making them too.  So what better time for me to spoil my loved ones with luscious desserts than at Christmas.

image christmas desserts

So in the mayhem that the lead up to Christmas is for many, enjoy this luxurious roundup of desserts that will wow your guests at any time of the year.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

She sells seashells by the seashore

I had the privilege this past week of working on a special bespoke order for a friend of mine, a little piece to help remind her daughter of their holiday.

seashell necklace cockles two cheeky monkeys clam vongole

This cute shell was collected as a memento of their holiday and is beautifully highlighted as it hangs on the satin-like cord necklace.
What holiday memento would you love to have turned into a piece of jewellery?

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Melbourne's Jane Austen Convention

austen con jane austen convention melbourne two cheeky monkeys domum vindemia

Melburnians, this post is for all the Jane Austen fans out there who despair at the lack of Jane Austen conventions being held in Australia, let alone Melbourne!
I will be appearing next month at the very first Austen Con being held in Melbourne, running a stall that will feature fan favourite Austen- and regency-inspired creations from both Two Cheeky Monkeys and Domum Vindemia.
So if you've been hoping for the chance to shop in person and enjoy a day of immersing yourself in regency times and Jane Austen's literature, head to the events link and book yourself a spot!
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