Yearly Archives: 2013

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Christmas Day Scenes

I hope you´ve all had a wonderful Christmas? I am back in London again after 5 days in the Netherlands to spend the holidays with my family. What I did during that time? Well, a bit of sleeping in, cooking, eating (lots and lots of eating), spending quality time my with family, walking on the beach, watching movies, blogging and generally just taking a bit of a break. It was lovely and just what I needed! Here are some photos from my Christmas Day at home.

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As you can see lots and lots of delicious food and this continued almost every day while I was at home. I will feature some of these (delicious) cooking and baking recipes on the blog over the next few weeks, so watch this space! However after all this indulgent eating and drinking over the last few months, it means a health-kick is definitely needed in the New Year. So I have decided that in in January I am going to take part in Dry January. Yes that’s right, not a drop of alcohol for 31 days! But first……….New Years Eve!

I am not in London for long because tomorrow I am off to Wales for 3 nights to ring in 2014 in a castle. Yes, you read that correctly, a castle! Me and 11 friends have rented our very own 6 bedroom castle in Wales to celebrate New Years Eve and there will plenty more good food, drinks and fun and games to had. Very much looking forward to finish 2013 with one last blow-out haha! Have you got something fun planned for NYE?

See you in 2014!

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Baked Camembert with Rosemary and Garlic

What’s better than cheese? Warm melted cheese of course! I love cheese fondue in winter for a fun and yummy meal with friends (winning recipe HERE) but there’s a faster option if you want a quick and delicious appetizer to warm your guests, which can be ready in under 15 minutes!

Baked Camembert with Rosemary and Garlic is an irresistible and aromatic creamy starter/party dish, and it’s so quick and easy, making it the perfect recipe to impress spoil your loved ones. 

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Baked Camember with Rosemary and Garlic

Ingredients:
1 box of camembert (make sure it comes in a wooden box)

Garlic (peeled)
Fresh springs of rosemary
Honey (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Remove any plastic packaging from the cheese and place back in its box, leaving the lid off. Or I once bought a camembert that came in a perfectly sized heatproof dish that I now just re-use everytime. So if you have a heatproof dish the same size, or a bit bigger than your cheese you can use this instead of the wooden box.
  2. Slice the top of the cheese in several places with a sharp knife and insert pieces of garlic and sprigs of rosemary into the slits.
  3. Place the cheese on a baking sheet, leaving the cheese in its box. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until or until gorgeous and oozy in the middle.  
  4. Allow to cool slightly, then drizzle about a tablespoon of honey all over the surface and serve with bread such as ciabatta or baguettes for dipping! 

Delicious other topping variations you can try with your gooey baked camembert; 

  • Sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and thyme
  • Chilli flakes, thyme, honey and toasted pecan nuts
  • Apricot jam and nuts (like walnuts or almonds, what ever you fancy!)
  • Slather with caramelized onions 
  • Sprinkle with spices like paprika
  • Caramalised fruit like pears or apples
  • Or make a sweet compote (or just use a jam) to be poured over the cheese once it’s been cooked. Red berries (or cranberries around christmas time) are a good combination with the tangy flavour of the camembert. To make a compote simply simmer a handful of berries of choice with a tablespoon of hot water and a tablespoon of sugar until the fruit is soft and smooth.

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Yum how good does that look right? Me and my friends polished this off very quickly so a good tip might be to pop a second one in the oven soon after you take the first one out! ENJOY!

 

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Brunch at Jamie Oliver Recipease Notting Hill

Last year Jamie Oliver brought his very popular Recipease concept to West London. At Notting Hill Recipease you can take part in an assortment of cookery lessons, but also buy Jamie Oliver kitchen equipment and ingredients, pick up some ‘food to go’ or sit down and enjoy the delicious food in the café for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I’d been to Recipease twice for a cooking lesson but had never actually tried the brunch there, what a disgrace right? So a few weeks back me and a couple of girlfriends met up for a Saturday morning brunch at Jamie Oliver Recipease Notting Hill.

First up was coffee while we decided on what to order from the menu. The menu has plenty of options – from a healthy fruit salad, to pancakes, to Jamie’s Huevos Rancheros and ‘the works’ which is the Jamie Oliver version of a full English.

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This is what we ordered that morning….

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Bacon & egg sandwich (£4.50) Outdoor-reared streaky bacon & a free-range fried egg in a Flour Station seeded bun, with Jme ketchup or brown sauce. My friend had been out the night before and this bacon sammie was perfect for her hangover haha!

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One of us felt like being healthy (it wasn’t me!) and got the seasonal fruit salad (£6.95) which was a mix of fresh fruit with sweet citrus ricotta, mint & basil sugar. The mint and basil sugar was very refreshing and something to remember to try at home.

Me and a friend both couldn’t decide between the smashed spicy avocado and the stack of American-style pancakes so what’s a girl to do? Get BOTH of course!

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Ok so we decided to get both are shared them! Check out that huge pile of smashed avocado with worcestershire sauce on toasted London bloomer bread with cherry tomatoes (£6.95). Holy moly now that’s what I call a good amount of avocado….

Next up was the winning dish for me that morning; Stack of American-style pancakes (£7.95). We there the option of mixed berries but we went for the pancakes with maple & agave syrup, outdoor-reared streaky bacon & banana.

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The combination of the salty bacon with sweet banana and maple syrup is just incredible. It reminded me of fresh toast with bacon and grilled banana how I often had this in NZ!

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It’s fair to say we LOVED Brunch at Jamie Oliver Recipease and will definitely be back! Have you been yet?

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Tartan Mini Skirt

Yes tartan is a huge trend this season but I’ve actually been a big fan of this print already for many years! The tartan mini skirt I am wearing in these photos, I’ve had since I was 16…and no it wasn’t part of a school uniform or anything ;) I bought this skirt about 13 years ago with a friend in a little boutique shop in The Hague and it’s made many appearances since then (ok it also may have been worn to a dress-up party once or twice too!)

At the moment I love making it winter-wearable by pairing it with a chunky white knitted jumper and over-the-knee boots.

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Tartan Mini Skirt ‘vintage’ – similar here and here
White chunky knit – ZARA
Leather Biker Jacket – River Island
Black tights – ASOS
Suede over-the-knee wedge boots – ZARA

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These photos were taken in mid-December when Christmas decorations were everywhere, when I get back to London this weekend they will all be gone, booo!

Do you like the tartan trend? Oh and if you are not quite sure how to wear it then read an old post I did HERE with some tips on ‘how to wear a tartan mini skirt’.

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2013 – My Favourite Beauty Looks & Products

Again another year has flown by!! I did a post last December (link) summing up my favourite beauty looks, posts and products that featured on the blog that year. So now with 2013 coming to a close I thought I’d do the same again this year. Click on the link bits to be taken back to the original posts for full details. Here we go…

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Smokey eye using NARS Dogon Palette (tutorial link) This is such a nice & easy smokey eye using just two eyeshadows// My everyday go-to bronzer this year! And even though it’s massive, I am already on my 2nd purchase of this lovely product! Bourjoir Maxi Delight Bronzer (review here) // Smashbox Liquid Halo Foundation (review + FOTD here). Definitely one of my favourite new foundation discoveries this year; medium coverage and it gives me a nice healthy glow // 1920 Inspired Makeup Look (tutorial link) I did for my office Christmas party last year. Love this dark lip and the pop of red/plum underneath the eyes // You can’t beat a good red lippie! Here is my post on ‘How to wear red lipstick’ (link) On my lips in these photos is MAC So Chaud Matte Lipstick // Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Glosses (review here) I wear these glosses a lot, my favourites are Apricot, Currant and Ginger. Have you tried these glosses yet?

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MAC Twinks and Woodwinked Smokey Eye (tutorial link). These are two of my favourite MAC eyeshadows and are an easy-go-to look for a night out // AERIN Beauty lipsticks (review here) This winter I have also been brave and rocking the dark Dahlia shade! // The perfect ‘my nails but better’ nail polish! Essie Sugar Daddy (review here) // Birthday night smouldering smokey eye (tutorial link). What a fun night that was….don’t want to think about the fact yet that in 2014 I will be turning 30 (eeeek) // Green smokey eye which is a fun and different look. This was part of my Copenhagen nights out post (link) where I showed 3 makeup looks using the Urban Decay Ammo Palette // Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow Palette in Batik Sun. All you need to create a gorgeous summery look! Review + FOTD here.

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Bronze Smokey Eye with Urban Decay NAKED Palette (tutorial link) This palette is still an every girls must-have! You can create natural and smokey looks and the quality and pigmentation is fantastic // This is my secret to healthy hair – Moroccan Oil (read my full review here) // Summery gold and coral FOTD (tutorial link) – I love using my Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminator as an eyeshadow // Clinique A different Nail Polish (review here) Gorgeous super shiny nail polishes and colourful shades like Hi Sweetie and Really Rio always bring a smile to my face // Need a good look for NYE? Check out my simple Black Smokey eye tutorial (link) or my sparkly New Years Eve Makeup from last New Years celebrations (link). Really need to start thinking about my NYE look for this year….. // SuperDry launch their Beauty collection (review here) and I now actually use their neon pink kabuki every day to apply my bronzer. Such a winner of a product!

What were some of the favourite things you read on Dutchess Roz this year or tell me about your best beauty product discoveries you’ve had – I’d love to hear!

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Christmas Peppermint Bark

In need for a last minute Christmas treat or quick present? Peppermint bark is a Christmas Classic and makes for a delicious, easy and wonderful holiday gift! I mean who can resist dark chocolate, white chocolate, and crisp bites of minty candy canes? You can make this in a matter of minutes, I quickly threw mine together last night before heading out to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve!

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Christmas Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:
1-2 bars of good dark chocolate
1-2 bars of white chocolate
3-4 minty candy canes

Method:
Break up your dark chocolate in smaller pieces and place into a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in 30 seconds intervals, on medium-high power and stirred after each interval until the chocolate is smooth (as seen here). Pour the dark chocolate over baking paper or foil lined baking sheet, spreading so it so that it is about 1/2 cm thick.

Now it’s time to melt the white chocolate so follow the same steps as above. When melted, pour this over the dark chocolate layer and gently smooth it out. Now crush up those candy cane and sprinkle it all over the melted chocolate. Place the bark into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or until the chocolate hardens. Then break it up into pieces, wrap it up into gift bags or just place on the table for your loved ones to enjoy!

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Oh and how cute are these little chocolate stars I made? Again very simple to do! I pretty much followed this recipe but with melted white and milk chocolate bars mixed with dried cranberries and pistachios. I got my two star ice cube/chocolate mould trays from eBay here for £2 each!

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I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Day filled with lots of delicious food, presents by the tree and more importantly all your loved ones around you because remember: “The best things in life aren’t things. It is the people you love, the places you’ve been and the memories you’ve made along the way!

Happy Hump Day and Merry Christmas :)

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Homemade Mulled Wine Recipe

Winter in the UK means it is Mulled Wine season again! I love this festive drink which is a delicious concoction of wine, fruit and spices. It’s served warm and is the perfect winter warmer! During winter here you can buy pre-spiced bottled of Mulled Wine at the supermarkets but did you know it is actually really simple to make yourself?

I sometimes find the Mulled Wine served in pubs and sold in stores a bit too sweet, so recently when I had a group of my girlfriends over at my place for a Christmas dinner I decided to just whizz up my own. So here is my easy homemade mulled wine recipe, I urge you to give it a try – it’s super delicious and bound to make you all warm and fuzzy inside (oh and maybe a little drunk…)

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Homemade Mulled Wine Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of red wine (no need for an expensive bottle)
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (+more for serving)
  • 3 star anise  (+more for serving)
  • 1/8 tsp of nutmeg
  • Kick it up a notch by adding a splash (or more) of brandy or rum

Method:

Pour your red wine into a medium sized saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients to the wine. You can also wrap the cloves into a piece of cheesecloth so you can easily remove them when the wine is ready but I just strained my wine before serving instead. Bring the wine to the boil and then just let it for about 30min over medium-low heat until ready to serve. Ladle your hot mulled wine into glasses and garnish each with a slice of orange, a cinnamon stick and a star anise! Then drink and be merry.

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We went through quite a few servings of mulled wine that night and all felt very festive and happy. Mulled wine is like Christmas in a glass and is definitely my favourite tipple in winter!

Have you tried making this before, maybe you should try it this week as it makes a lovely Christmas Eve/Christmas day drink!