Mulled Apple Juice Recipe

Mulled Apple Juice Recipe

This time of year, give me mulled anything and I will be happy! There's nothing quite like a steaming hot mug of something delicious to warm you up on a winter's night. Personally, I can't get enough of mulled wine but it's not everyone's cup of tea (pun absolutely intended!). For those of you who are not fans of the tang of the classic mulled red, we have some fabulous alternatives. This week, it's Mulled Apple Juice.

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DIY Gold Oyster Shell Dish

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DIY Gold Oyster Shell Dish
This is what must be the easiest DIY in the world. It involves only two things: some oyster shells and gold paint. After a few minutes of leisurely painting you will have created these dinky gilded dishes that will add whimsy and interest to a table setting, bedside or dressing table.

I am not usually one for decorating with sea shells but removed from an overall maritime theme the gilded shells look absolutely gorgeous! I use them as little salt and pepper dishes but they would also be fabulous as a bedside ring holder.

You will need:

- clean & dry oyster shells (any other large sea shells will be perfect as well) - gold paint / liquid gold leaf (go for food-safe paint if you are using these to store salt or pepper)

DIY Gold Oyster Shell Dish DIY Gold Oyster Shell Dish
All you need to do is paint the inside of your shells with a couple of coats of your gold paint, let them dry and then fill with salt (or rings, or whatever else you want to use it for). Because it is so easy and low-maintenance it is the perfect wedding DIY - the golden shells holding salt & pepper would look beautiful on the tables!
If you try this DIY let me know how you get on in the comments below!
Alex Signature

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Coffee Table Reads: Darling Magazine

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Darling Magazine

I have been obsessed with Darling Magazine for quite some time now and I was so excited to find out that I can get it shipped to my home here in Ireland through this amazing new site called KIOZQ. KIOZQ is an Irish site that supports independently published magazines and aims to preserve printed media. The people behind KIOZQ are passionate about content and stock some fabulous collectible coffee table magazines such as Betty, Kinfolk, Life & Thyme and of course Darling.

Darling Magazine

Darling is not just any old magazine you throw in the bin after you are done. It is quite an aspirational piece of art with breathtaking photography and excellently written content. Their mission is (in their own words) to "hold the modern mold of woman up to the fire to evoke a discussion on femininity and re-shape an authentic design. Darling is... the art of being a woman".

I love Darling magazine for exactly that: it's authentic, thought-provoking and inspiring. The photography throughout the entire magazine is absolutely beautiful and makes me want to look at it over and over again. It covers everything from fashion, beauty to cooking and travel. On a more shallow note, it looks great and makes a great fabulous to my coffee table!

Darling Magazine Darling Magazine Darling Magazine Darling Magazine Darling Magazine Darling Magazine Darling Magazine

Darling magazine, like most magazines of this type, is not cheap - it will set you back €25 per issue. It is however a collectible, more along the lines of a fancy coffee table book rather than a glossy magazine that you only ever flick through once. Don't get me wrong, I sill very much enjoy Vogue, Elle or Glamour magazine but every now and then it's nice to read something that challenges me and broadens my horizons.

You can buy Darling magazine through KIOZQ and get it delivered for free if you live on the island of Ireland.

Have you ever read Darling? What is your favourite indie magazine?

Alex Signature

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Coffee Time with The Copper Collection (video)

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The Copper Collection

Like most people, I can't begin a morning without a cup of coffee, partly because of the much needed caffeine but most of all because making it is a bit of a ritual to me and feels therapeutic. I used to make my coffee in a very noisy machine at home which was great but ever since I have discovered The Copper Collection I have been loving filtered coffee and my gorgeous copper stand looks fab in my kitchen! Did I mention the stand is copper?!!

The talented ladies behind The Copper Collection, Danielle & Deirbhile, create hand crafted pour over / filtered coffee stands for coffee shops, at home baristas and lovers of modern lifestyle and decor. Copper is all the rage in interior design at the moment and the coffee stands will make your kitchen look instantly stylish. They also make fantastic birthday / wedding / house warming gifts.

The Copper Collection

If you are a lifestyle and decor enthusiast or even just a fan of pretty shiny things, make sure to check out The Copper Collection website and social media! Their Instagram account is to die for!

If you would like to buy one of the stands you can avail of an exclusive reader discount code (type PINKELEPHANT10 in at checkout, valid till Friday, 17th July).

The brewing of filtered coffee comes from Japan and is a lovely process. It doesn't take long and it produces a wonderful, flavourful cup of coffee. I love how tactile the whole experience is!

If you want to find out more about brewing coffee on one of the gorgeous copper stands make sure to watch the video below. If you love coffee you will definitely enjoy thus process!

 

Have you ever tried filtered coffee?

Alex Signature

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Cocktail Essentials: Rosemary Simple Syrup + Summer Pomegranate Gin Fizz

Cocktail Essentials: Rosemary Simple Syrup

Summer is on the way and summery cocktails are in order! I love including herbs and fresher ingredients in my cocktails when it gets warm and simple syrup is the easiest way to do it. The flavour options are unlimited (mint, basil, lavender - all fab!) and once you have your syrup done you can keep it in the fridge for about 2 weeks or 1 month if you have a sterilized container* - not that it will last that long, let's not kid ourselves.

Rosemary Simple Syrup

So... as the name suggests it is really simple to make, I wouldn't even call it a recipe!  You will need:

1 cup (or any measure) of sugar 1 cup (or any measure) of water

Boil water until the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and add rosemary. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Remove rosemary and refrigerate the syrup.

* If you want your syrup to last longer in your container you will need to sterilize it. The easiest way is running the bottle & cap through a hot dishwasher cycle. Remember not to de-sterilize the container when you are taking it out (meaning, don't put your finger inside the bottle or cap!!)

Cocktail Essentials: Rosemary Simple Syrup

Pomegranate & Rosemary Gin Fizz

1/4 cup of gin (60 ml) of your favourite gin 1 tsp lime juice 1 tbsp rosemary simple syrup 2 tbsp pomegranate juice (the real thing, not juice drink!) Club soda Ice Garnish: rosemary sprig, some pomegranate kernels - whatever floats your boat

Pour all your ingredients into a glass and stir. Add ice and fill up with club soda, give it another quick stir. Add your garnish & enjoy!

For bigger quantities just multiply the ingredients and have the main ingredients in a jug then just pour into individual glasses and top with soda water & ice. It's one of my favourite cocktails, super refreshing and so tasty!

Cocktail Essentials: Rosemary Simple Syrup

Cheers!! xx

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TGIF: Espresso Martini

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Espresso MartiniI am a big believer in the cocktail hour and it's something that helps me wind down after a busy week on a Friday night (sometimes also on a Monday... or Tuesday). Sometimes this means going to a cocktail bar (we love The Liquor Rooms and The Exchequer in Dublin) but more often than not we end up having a cocktail at home.

Cocktail mixing is not just for pros - there are some really complicated ones but others are easier than making tea! One of my favourites is the Espresso Martini. It is not only super versatile (it's a great brunch, pre- or after dinner cocktail!) but it's easy to make as well! It can be made in small batches in a cocktail shaker but is just as delicious made in a pitcher for a 10-people brunch (although it loses it's luscious foam with this method). Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini (serves 1)

30 ml coffee liquor (I have used Tia Maria but Kaluha is also amazing!) 30 ml vodka 30 ml espresso ice cubes

Put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for a minute (this is what gives you the beautiful foam!). Pour into your favourite cocktail glasses and enjoy!

When you are making a large batch in a pitcher, use whatever measure you like (a gravy boat is what I use) and make sure you have equal parts of vodka, coffee & coffee liquor. Add ice & stir well. Done!

TIP: for a sweeter, more desert style cocktail use butterscotch vodka! Delicious!

Cheers!

A. xx

New In: Considered by Helen James

Considered by Helen JamesIrish designer, Helen James, has brought out a beautiful range called Considered by Helen James, a collection of food and homewares that was created in collaboration with Dunnes Stores. There is a wide range of pieces: from stationary (€3), gorgeous copper pots (€75) to beautifully designed chairs (€150). Considered by Helen James is a great way to introduce contemporary, Irish design to your home without breaking the bank!Considered by Helen James Considered by Helen James Considered by Helen James Considered by Helen James

Both Becky & I are in love with the collection! We have already tried all of the food products - the Raspberry & Rose conserve is to die for and so are all of the chocolates!! You will be seeing a lot of this range in upcoming posts and videos!

Considered by Helen James Considered by Helen James Considered by Helen James

The range is exclusively available in selected Dunnes Stores nationwide.

Well done, Helen James!

A. xx

Autumn Flavours: Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

Autumn Flavours: Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

The time of year when leaves start to turn golden and the afternoon sun has that hazy and mellow tint to it is just my absolute favourite! We are lucky here in Ireland and usually get a few gloriously golden days this time of year. Crisp and bright weather inspires me to cook hearty and warm dishes like this one - one of the family favourites - an apple & rhubarb crumble.

Autumn Flavours: Apple & Rhubarb Crumble Autumn Flavours: Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

It is definitely one of the easier deserts to cook - it's not really a cake and requires more of an assembly job rather than full on cooking but the result is just beautiful! A fragrant, sweet and tart, hot and crunchy fruity deliciousness - the ultimate comfort food!

The Filling

4-5 stalks of rhubarb 3-4 cooking apples 50g demarera sugar cinnamon stalks vanilla pod / vanilla paste a little bit of butter a splash of water

Autumn Flavours: Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Peel and cut the apples, trim and cut the rhubarb. Put the fruit into an oven proof dish, sprinkle over the sugar and mix. Add the cinnamon, vanilla a splash of water and put a few flakes of butter on top or the fruit. Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for approx. 20 min just until the fruit has softened a tiny bit.

Autumn Flavours: Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

The Crumble

100g plain flour 50g cold butter (diced) 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 4-5 tablespoons demarera sugar 3-4 tablespoons of jumbo oats optional: sprinkle of cinnamon to taste

Autumn Flavours: Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

A crumble mix is super easy to make: just bung all of the ingredients (except the oats) into a bowl and rub together with clean fingers until the mix forms a sandy consistency. Then add the oats and mix gently to disperse them in the crumble mixture. Done! I often make a huge batch of this and freeze it in a freezer bag for times when I need comfort food in a hurry!

Autumn Flavours: Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

After the fruit has had it's time in the oven take it out, remove the foil and sprinkle the crumble over the top. I like to give the whole thing a little sprinkle of demarera sugar just for extra crunch and put a couple more small bits of butter on top (I know, I know! But it tastes so good! Totally optional though).  Bake until the top is beautifully golden and crunchy (approx. 20-25 min).

Autumn Flavours: Apple & Rhubarb Crumble

What I love about this crumble is that it's so customisable - you can bake it in a big tray or small individual dishes, with or without cinnamon or oats. It's amazing with pecans or almonds sprinkled on top... the possibilities are endless!

I love eating my crumble still quite warm with a dollop of clotted cream or custard but its also fantastic with a little bit of good vanilla ice cream.

Apple crumble is my ultimate autumn comfort food. What is yours?

A. xx

Easy Entertaining: Summer Garden Lunch

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White Ceramic Buffet Plate | White Ceramic Round Platter | Glass Tumblers all from Sophie Conran

Whenever the weather permits (I live in Ireland, so it's not necessarily that often) I jump on any opportunity to eat outdoors! I don't know what it is but everything tastes better al fresco - it must be the fresh air.

Summer Garden Lunch

For this garden lunch we have chosen food that is easy and quick to prepare, perfect for anything from a lazy Sunday brunch to a light dinner in the evening. The menu on the day was a fresh Easy Panzanella Salad (head here for the recipe and how to video), a cold meats and cheese platter, fresh sourdough bread & an elderflower and mint lemonade. There is also something sweet for dessert in the form of a doughnut & macaroon tower - it not only looks gorgeous and colourful but also doesn't take any time to prepare.

Two Tier Cake Platter from Avoca

Large Handled Band Board from Sophie Conran | Gold Cheese Knives from West Elm

You can see, that we went for speed of preparation - only one dish is actually "cooked" (in this case no real cooking involved, as we made a salad but you get the idea...) the rest is more of an assembly job. This is always what I opt for when if I'm entertaining during the week or simply don't want to spend hours in the kitchen (more on how to create the perfect cheeseboard coming soon!). I also like to have some drinks prepared for my guests and if we are not having cocktails I usually prepare a lemonade. Here we went for an elderflower cordial from Belvoir, some sparkling water & a few mint leaves. Easy and delicious!

Elderflower & Mint Lemonade

And then all you need is a nice and simple table setting, I love white tableware and simple glass, a couple of easy flower arrangements in mugs and some candles.

White Ceramic Tall Mugs from Sophie Conran

TOP TIP: When you are eating outside make sure you can serve all the dishes at once to save yourself having to run back and forth to the house if you can!

Have a look at our Behind The Scenes Video of the photo shoot!

What is your favourite "outdoors food"?

A & B. xx

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