Monday, 30 December 2013

Recipe | Chicken Meatballs

I'm not sure if either Erin or I have mentioned it but we are off to the Woodford Folk Festival next week and we are more than a little excited. This recipe is somewhat of a clearing out of my fridge in preparation for my week away. If you decide to make this meal yourself feel free to substitute any of the vegetables or meat with whatever you have to hand. 

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Recipe | Mac and Cheese Dreams

Like I said in my last recipe, I've been in a cheesy world the last week or two. I threw a classic macaroni and cheese recipe together which turned out pretty well and thought I'd hone it down a little more before I presented it to you. This is my second attempt at the classic dish and I'm pretty impressed with myself. I've had a look at other simple recipes online and this seems fairly on par with them too. You'll notice a little greenery mixed in as well which is my attempt to make this semi-nutritious. 

Serves 4
350g small elbow pasta/macaroni/liscio piccolo, uncooked
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup plain flour
450ml milk
1 egg, whisked
1 1/4 cup strong vintage cheddar, grated
1 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated 
1/2 zucchini, grated

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place a large pot of water onto boil with a pinch of salt. Once boiling add pasta and cook until when tested, is slightly too chewy to serve. Drain and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil (if you like) and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a smaller pot melt butter over a low heat. While continually stirring, slowly add flour. A gooey paste should form. In a similar method to the flour, slowly pour in milk and stir until it starts to thicken. The gooey paste formed by the flour and butter should be dissolving into the milk and a beautiful white sauce should be appearing. Momentarily remove pan from the heat and slowly add the whisked egg. Once thickened, add 1 cup of grated strong vintage cheddar and 1 cup of parmesan. Continue to stir until it almost becomes too thick to stir and quickly remove from the heat. 

This next step is entirely up to you in the way in which you do it but this is my method. Slowly, adding a large spoonful at a time, add the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce until it is all combined. If the sauce looks to be running a bit low, you've added enough pasta and the rest can be used for another dish. I find this quantity of pasta to work fine though. 

Add in the zucchini and combine. Decant into a baking dish and cover with the remaining cheese for a beautiful crispy finish. Place in the preheated oven for 15-20minutes or until golden brown on top.

Serve up and enjoy the cheesy goodness!

Happy Holidays! 
Erin xx

Friday, 27 December 2013

OOTD | Psyched Out

Dress 'Psych Out' Dress by UNIF via DollsKill / Slip Thrifted / Shoes T.U.K. 'Mondo' Creepers

Hi lovelies! Just a quick post from me today! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Erin and I are currently in Woodford preparing for the New Year. I haven't had the chance to show you this stunning dress from UNIF, but it is definitely coming along with me to the festival.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Travel | Woodford Folk Festival Packing

By the time you're reading this post Jess and I will have set up camp for a wonderful week at Woodford Folk Festival on the Sunshine Coast of sunny Queensland. Jess has been going since she was a child and I since graduating from high school. I like to think we both know a thing or two about making the experience of camping at a music festival the best it can be. This post contains a few of the tips I think are worth sharing.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Recipe | Gluten Free Cupcakes

During the Christmas season oftentimes I opt to bake presents for friends. Recently one of my friends has been diagnosed as gluten intolerant so I have been on the hunt for a great gluten-free cupcake recipe. I decided on adapting a tried and tested vanilla sponge recipe to make it gluten-free friendly. These definitely aren't the healthiest options, but it is Christmas after all. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

OOTD | White Night

White Nightie - Vintage / Chambray Shirt - Thrifted / Black Crop - Target / Flower Crown - Sportsgirl / Birkenstocks - Birkenstocks Online Australia

I love summer. I love to become a hippie for three months and wear flowing dresses, orthopaedic sandals and put flowers in my hair. Jess and I like to camp for a week at Woodford Folk Festival and this style is embraced even more over the New Years break. We leave in a few days and I wanted to get this outfit up here because I probably won't wear it at Woodford to save it from the more-than-likely muddy environment. I found it a few years ago to use as a costume and really fell in love with the intricate detailing. 

Friday, 20 December 2013

OOTD | Hey Sailor

 'Hello Sailor' Top MINKPINK via NastyGal / 'Overload' Denim Shorts Evil Twin via NastyGal / Belt Thrifted / Lipstick NYX 'Indie Flick / Shoes UNIF 'Gosh' Boots via DollsKill

Another day, another summer outfit. I have always been a fan of the humble striped top. I have thrifted many in the past, but when I came across this one in the Nasty Gal sale recently it had to be mine. The fact that it's by MINKPINK was just an added bonus. 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Recipe | Mozzarella Meatballs

I've had a real craving for cooking homely Italian/Australian type food of late. The more cheese and carbohydrates the better (and a bit of meat doesn't hurt either). This is the first of cheesey recipes that will grace the blog in the coming weeks so I hope you're not lactose intolerant!

Serves 4
500g minced lean beef
3tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1tbsp garlic (about 2 cloves), crushed (or finely chopped) 
2tsp hot chilli paste
220g bambino bocconcini (small buffalo mozzarella)

400g can of chopped tomatoes
50g tomato paste
1/4 cup black kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 long red chilli, chopped

cooked pasta - enough for your serving requirements 
quality olive oil
sea salt and cracked peper

In a mixing bowl, place minced beef, parsley, garlic, chilli paste and salt and pepper. The best method to mix these ingredients together is with your hands; feel free to wear gloves if touching raw meat freaks you out. 

Take about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and flatten into a circle-like shape. Place one bambino bocconcini in the centre and wrap the meat around it. Continue to roll it into a round meatball shape. Repeat this process until you run out of mixture or cheese (see picture). Because this meatball recipe lacks breadcrumbs and eggs, placing these in the fridge for 2+ hours helps to hold them together whilst cooking. 

Heat oil in a large frypan over a medium heat. Brown half your meatballs, remove from the pan, brown the other half before returning all of them to the pan. Pour over canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Add olives and chilli, salt and pepper and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

Drizzle some olive oil over your cooked pasta before serving. Serve with several meat balls on a bed of pasta and a generous spooning of tomato sauce over the top. Garnish with some flat leaf parsley and salt and pepper to taste. 

Erin xx

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Happy Birthday Blog!

Just a quick post today to celebrate the anniversary of our little blog. A Rose and a Peony is officially 1 year old today. It's been a blast blogging together over the past year and we're looking forward to the next.

Thanks to everyone who's been reading our little piece of the internet. We really love getting your comments and feedback so thanks again from the both of us.

Much love, 

Jess and Erin xx

Monday, 16 December 2013

Review | NYX Highlight & Contour Duo

Hi lovelies! So today is a review of a new NYX product that I have been testing out over the past couple of weeks. You may remember from this review that NYX have recently launched in Target stores Australia wide, so I have been keen to test out the range. 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

OOTD | Gingham Style

Blue Gingham Nighty - Thrifted / Cream Button-up - Thrifted / 'Cherry Red' Dr. Martens - via Gumtree / Lips - Galaxy Apocalips by Rimmel London

On a list of fabrics perfect for days full of sun, high temperatures and humidity, seersucker ranks pretty high. This nighty, found thrifting, is one of the dresses I want to wear everywhere throughout the summer months. It might be made for sleeping in but it works as a super cute summer dress as well. However, because of my super pale skin and the lack of shoulder coverage this dress provides, I like to wear it with an over-shirt when outdoors. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

About Face | The 5 Product Face

Hi lovelies! I am a big lover of music festivals. Recently this has been my go-to face to last through the long and sweaty days. Personally I can't think of much worse than sitting in a camping chair trying to apply my usual routine with a tiny compact mirror. For festival days (and nights) I opt for a five product face that only uses one brush. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Recipe | Cayenne Chicken and Salsa

I have been becoming rather obsessed with the concept of salsas as sides lately and have been experimenting with many different variations. This recipe includes a very traditional salsa but traditional does not imply it is any less amazing. The cayenne pepper I used in my version of this recipe was incredibly hot so the tomato and avocado act as a delicious cooling agent. 

2 chicken breasts, halved
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp sea salt
1 cup uncooked quinoa 
2 tomatoes, roughly diced 
1 avocado, roughly diced
1 red onion, roughly diced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
sea salt and cracked pepper
sour cream

In a bowl, coat each piece of chicken in 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper and 1 tsp of sea salt. Cook the chicken in a large fry pan with a small coating of vegetable/sunflower/rice bran oil until cooking the whole way through.

Pour the quinoa in a small saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. Place over a low heat and cover until the water has been absorbed into the quinoa. Take off the heat once cooked. 

Meanwhile, in a bowl, coat the diced red onion in the lemon and line juice and let is soak for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked. Add the remaining tomato and avocado and mix through. Season with salt and pepper.

The chicken and quinoa should be cooked by now. To serve, place a spoonful of quinoa as a bed in the centre of the plate followed by one half chicken breast. Spoon over some of the salsa with a dollop of sour cream on the side. Again, season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve and enjoy! Tara and I found this to quite a hot dish so feel free to change the quantities of cayenne pepper you use. I loved the flavour and will probably the use the same amount again and continue to use a lot of sour cream. My preferred brand of sour cream is actually the one by Weight Watchers - it tastes the same has a lot less fat than other brands.  

Erin xx

Monday, 9 December 2013

Shoes | UNIF 'Gosh' Boot

UNIF 'Gosh' Boots via DollsKill

Hi lovelies! So I was holding off on showing you this pair of shoes, but I can't put off wearing them in outfit posts any longer. I bought this pair of shoes at the same time as the UNIF 'Lost Sole' Boots from DollsKill. I couldn't choose between the two pairs, and a sneaky 30% off code prompted me to get both. 


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