“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around.
You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more.
You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you.
When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement.
They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself.
Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.
There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around.
You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.
The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever.
Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant.
Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all.
A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face.
In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby.
Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you.
You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon.
You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible.
You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you.
You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end.
Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
― Bob Marley
This quote was found on www.goodreads.com
Each week we’ll continue to post some of the lovely comments we received from our customers. Here are five of our favourite comments for this week:
1. “I would give them (The Bright Side Man Tin and Man Cave Door Plaque) both 5 out of 5, fun, funky and unusual enough to be a quirky present.” Linda, TAS.
2. “The ‘Man Tin’ was a great gift for Father’s Day. It was nice to get something funny, but also practical for practical fathers.” Tracy, Qld.
3. “Fantastic product and extremely fast delivery… thank you!” Laurice, N.S.W
4. “Just wanted to let you know I recieved the cigar gift set and how stoked I was to get it. Its a beautiful set and I couldn’t have been happier with how quickly it arrived and how nice it was! So thank you!” Lisa, VIC
5. “We have received our order and are very happy with how efficient your service was. On a scale of 1 to 5 we would definitely rate the product 5 and the overall experience a 5 as well, I can’t praise you enough on your level of customer service, it was such a refreshing experience, thank you once again.” Charlotte, WA
Read more feedback here…
Where do you like to shop for gifts for men?
Australia prawns are at their best during summer, and if you missed out on your prawn-fix over Christmas, Australia Day is the perfect occasion to throw a prawn (or half a kilo of them) on the BBQ!
- ½ kilo Australian Green Banana Prawns, peeled and deveined leaving the head and tail intact
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lime
- Good dash of Lemon Myrtle Olive Oil to taste
- Murray River salt flakes
- 1 red chilli (hot), sliced
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- Dash of sweet chilli sauce
- Fish Sauce, to taste
1. Stir all ingredients together and add the prepared green prawns. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat griddle and cook prawns on high heat – be careful not to overcook and to keep the prawns intact.
- 1 orange, segmented to avoid pith
- ½ lime, segmented in the same manner
- ½ lemon, segmented in same manner
- ½ red chilli, thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- Fresh mint, thinly sliced
Toss together and set aside in small bowl.
Mint Salsa Verde
- 5 sprigs of fresh mint
- Lemon myrtle olive oil (one glug)
- Lemon juice to taste
- ½ clove garlic
Blitz together with barmix. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- 2 ripe avocados
- Splash of lemon myrtle olive oil
- ½ clove garlic
- Lemon & lime juice to taste
- 2 tbsp pure cream
1. Puree avocado with garlic and oil. Add seasoning and juice, taste and adjust if necessary.
2. Fold in the cream to finish.
Toastettes or Bread like German vollkorn
Cut bread into rounds with a cookie cutter. Coat each piece in olive oil and put on hot barbeque. Cut in half before serving.
1. Assemble dish using shot glasses. Fill ¾ of each glass with avocado mousse.
2. Top with a spoonful of mint salsa verde and curve a full, cooked prawn into each glass.
3. Top with several segments of citrus salad and garnish with a small sprig of mint. Position a toastette behind the prawn head.
Summer and fresh seafood are a match made in heaven, and this simple Linguine will really showcase the flavours of fresh vongole, snapper and prawns.
- 320g vongole
- 100g snapper
- 8 prawns each
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 50g butter
- ½ bunch picked parsley
- 500g linguine pasta
- 320ml white wine
- Salt, pepper and chilli
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Vegetable oil
1. Place the snapper, vongole, prawns, garlic, parsley, chilli and butter on a pizza tray large enough to cover the pan you will be using for cooking.
2. Heat a pan with vegetable oil till it starts to smoke, then pour all your ingredients in, followed instantly by the white wine (stand back, it will flame up) and cover with the pizza tray.
3. Check on your seafood every minute, taking out the vongole that have opened. Repeat until all vongole have opened and seafood is just cooked.
4. Cook linguine in (salted) water – once ready, place vongole back into the pan, add salt and pepper, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to taste and add your pasta.
About Antonio Ruggerino: As the head chef at Verde restaurant, East Sydney, “Ruggerino is passionate about bringing the flavours of Southern Italy to the rest of the world” and considers food to be “more than a passion – it’s a celebration of life”.
Ruggerino is particularly passionate about food from the Calabrian region in Southern Italy, where both his parents were born. Having spent time in this area as a child, Ruggerino loves working with the signature ingredients of this region, such as: swordfish, sardines, cod and goat garnished with herbs, eggplant, olives and chestnuts.
Having worked as a professional chef since he was 16, the now 36-year-old chef has clocked quite a few years’ experience in his craft and “is widely acknowledged as one of the most exciting Italian chefs to emerge in Australia”, especially since opening Verde in 2007. Ruggerino regularly blogs at www.thecalabrian.net and can be found on Facebook:
I’m a huge fan of iced coffee in summer. However, I’ve never had the confidence to make one at home, for fear that it would never taste as good as a bought one. This recipe looks so simple (and much cheaper than buying iced coffee) that I’m now feeling inspired to make my own:)
- 2 tbsp EnerGi BLACK Healthy Coffee
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup crushed ice
- 2 cups milk
- A couple of scoops of low fat vanilla ice cream
- 3 tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Splenda sweetener (if needed)
1. Pour water into a blender to dissolve coffee.
2. Add the vanilla extract, sweetener, chocolate syrup, and half the ice. Blend to mix.
3. Add the rest of the ice. Blend on high until thoroughly combined.
4. Drop in the ice cream and give a quick blend until smooth.
5. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
This recipe is from the good folk at Healthy Coffee. The Healthy Coffee company specialises in delicious coffee, tea, hot chocolate and energy drinks in a variety of flavours. The high-quality blends also include ingredients such as reishi and ginseng for added health benefits. Learn more here: www.hcaustralasia.com
It’s going to be 35 degrees C here today. It’s days like these that I’m grateful we have a BBQ so we can cook outside and not have to heat up the inside of the house by turning on the oven. I love recipes that creatively use the BBQ to cook other things (in addition to meat), like this simple BBQ pineapple. What a gorgeous (healthy) dessert for a hot summer’s day…
- 1 pineapple
- 2 cups Greek style yoghurt
- 4 tbsp. crushed macadamias
1. Cut the pineapple lengthways into eighths.
2. Grill on the BBQ for a few minutes on each cut side of the fruit until you see nice caramelised grill marks.
3. Serve each quarter with a small bowl of Greek yoghurt topped with the crushed macadamias.
No, don’t peel it. It looks divine with the skin still on. After cooking, just run a knife between the skin and flesh and cut into segments, but serve this dish intact, on the skin.
An Australia Day BBQ wouldn’t be complete without an iconic Aussie burger. This recipe also includes decadent extras such as caramelized onion, parsley aioli and hand cut chips. YUM!
Mr. Beak’s Burger
- 4 Mr. Beak’s Burger patties
- Slices of aged cheddar cheese
- 4 round bread rolls cut in half
- 100g mesclun salad mix
- 2 ripe truss tomatoes, sliced
- 250g beetroot slices
- 4 pickled gherkins, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 red bird’s‐eye chillies, finely chopped
- 1½ tbs mustard seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of allspice
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup loosely packed flat‐leaf parsley
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 ½ tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Hand Cut Chips
- 800g Desiree potatoes, skin on and cut into wedges
- ½ cup loosely packed flat‐leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
1. Preheat the barbeque to medium heat.
2. Lightly spray the patties with olive oil to prevent them from sticking. Place on the grill once hot and cook on low for approximately 2‐3 minutes on each side, turning the patties over once.
3. Place a slice of aged cheddar on each patty and turn off the heat.
4. Spread the base of the bread roll with aioli and layer the mesclun mix, tomatoes, beetroot, burger patty, spoonful of caramelised onion and finish with the gherkins on top.
5. Place the top of the roll on and secure with a bamboo skewer. Serve the burgers with the hand cut chips and enjoy!
1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
2. Add onions, garlic, chillies, mustard seeds, bay leaf and allspice, and reduce heat to low to medium.
3. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions become soft and translucent.
4. Add the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook for 10 minutes until the onions have become caramelised and sticky.
1. Place the flat‐leaf parsley, garlic, egg yolks, dijon mustard, lemon juice in a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blend until almost smooth.
2. While the processor is running on a low speed slowly pour the olive oil in until the aioli is formed and has thickened.
3. Transfer to a bowl and cover, refrigerate until needed.
Hand Cut Chips
1. Preheat the oven to 180º.
2. On a large baking tray place a sheet of non‐stick baking paper on top.
3. Add the potatoes, parsley, rosemary and garlic.
4. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently shake the tray from side to side and place in the oven.
5. Roast for approximately 30 minutes or until the chips are golden brown and crispy.
Whilst the classic Aussie burger wouldn’t be complete without onion, tomato, lettuce and a slice of beetroot, adding a slice of blue cheese or pickles will add a gourmet twist to this classic favourite.
About Mr. Beak’s: Mr. Beak’s specialise in high quality sausages and burgers. Mr. Beak’s Beef Burgers are made from top quality marbled Australian beef. Each burger patty is handmade using carefully selected premium ground beef from the lush Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Mr. Beak’s Beef Burgers are also gluten free, MSG free and contain no artificial colours or flavours and are available nationally from Woolworths stores and select IGA stores. More delicious recipes can be on the Mr. Beak’s website: www.mrbeaks.com.au
A fresh, light summer dessert will go down well at any Australia Day BBQ. We reckon this Pavlova Roulade will even have the people who “don’t eat dessert” coming back for more!
- 8 Free range eggs (whites only)
- 270g Caster sugar
- 10g Cornflour
- 10ml White vinegar
- 5ml Vanilla essence
- 200ml Bulla Vanilla Flavoured Cream
- 5 Passionfruits (de-seeded)
- 1 Pineapple (diced)
- 100g Popping mango pearls
- 1 Punnet baby basil
- 3 Passionfruit
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine egg whites,
250g caster sugar and cornflower in a bowl, and whisk using the whisk attachment of
your electric beaters (or Kitchen Aid).
2. Whisk egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks are formed; then reduce to a low
speed, gradually adding in 20g caster sugar and cornflour mixture. Once mixture is
glossy and firm peaks have formed, add in the vanilla essence along with the vinegar.
3. Spread the meringue evenly onto the baking paper, taking it to the edges. Bake for 12-15
minutes or until slightly golden in colour.
4. Lay a sheet of fresh baking paper on the bench and sprinkle 20g of the caster sugar over
it. Once meringue is cooked, turn out onto the sugar dusted paper – gently peeling the
baking paper away and allowing to cool.
5. Pour the Bulla Vanilla Flavoured Cream into a clean bowl and whisk with an electric
whisk/beater until it’s semi-whipped. Remove and fold in the seeded passionfruit.
Spread the Bulla Vanilla Flavoured Cream evenly onto the meringue sheet.
6. Gently roll the meringue into a tight roulade.
Place the roulade onto a rectangle dish then place the pineapple, passionfruit, popping
mango pearls and baby basil on top to finish.
This recipe is courtesy of Anna Polyviou, Executive Pastry Chef, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
About Bulla: Bulla is one of Australia’s oldest family owned dairy companies, proudly making dairy products in country Australia for six generations. Bulla is dedicated to making products with more care, craftsmanship and passion from only the finest milk and cream. A time-honoured tradition to bring families nothing but the best. Check out the Bulla website here: www.bulla.com.au. They also have a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bullacream
What fruit do you like with your Pavlova?
Eugenie Pepper has “been making this stuffed pumpkin for years for all family and friends when we get together”, so this recipe is a tried-and-test favourite. One of the best things about this recipe is that you can do it vego (as below) or add bacon, as Eugenie suggests in her tips below.
- 1 x pumpkin
- 30g butter
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup of grated cheese
- 300ml pure cream
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Use a sharp knife to remove the top of the pumpkin and set aside. Scrape out and discard the seeds and fibre. Melt butter in a large frypan over medium-low heat.
3. Cook onion, stirring until it softens.
4. Add breadcrumbs and garlic, and cook, stirring, until crumbs are well coated. Season well.
5.Stir in cheese.
6. Place pumpkin on the tray and pour enough cream into the cavity to fill to the top, pouring slowly to allow cream to be fully absorbed.
7. Place pumpkin lid on top and bring sides of the foil up around pumpkin. Cover top with more lightly oiled foil so pumpkin is completely enclosed. Bake in the oven for 2-3 hours or until tender (test by piercing the flesh with a skewer).
- Sometimes I use leeks instead of onions, sometimes I add bacon. Amounts will vary depending on the size of pumpkin and don’t need to be exact – “it always works out even with different amounts,” says Eugenie.
- If there’s pumpkin left over it’s perfect to make into soup.
About Eugenie Pepper: Eugenie Pepper and her husband Shane are the founders of iconic baby and kids fashion brand, Plum. The couple have two children, Tommy (5 years) and Chloe (4 years), who inspire them and keep them active. Eugenie comes from a creative background – she studied design at university and previously worked as an interior designer and textile designer. Eugenie is passionate about design, fashion, textiles, art, food and cooking. Read more about Eugenie and Plum here…
Lamingtons are the classic Aussie treat, but if you want to stick to that New Year’s healthy eating plan, Lamingtons aren’t always the best option. We love this delicious low-carb Lamington recipe from Vision Virtual Training – it won’t blow-out your daily calorie intake in one bite…
- 6 whole eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup / stevia
- 1/4 cup macadamia nut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
- 1 cup (75 g / 2 1/2 oz) shredded or desiccated coconut for rolling
- Punnet of raspberries (optional)
- 100 g dark eating chocolate 70 – 85 % cocoa – finally chopped
- 60 ml coconut water or coconut milk
1. Preheat your oven to 160 C / 320 F.
2. Whip the eggs, vanilla and honey for 10 minutes until light and
3. Pour in the macadamia nut oil with the eggs still whipping and mix
4. Add the coconut flour and baking powder and mix until combined.
5. Pour lamington cake mix into a square 22cm baking tin lined
completely with baking paper.
6. Sprinkle the raspberries evenly over the top.
7. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until cooked through.
8. Cool for 30 minutes before lifting out from the tin to completely cool.
9. Divide cake into 25 mini squares.
Make your chocolate coating:
1. Heat the coconut water or coconut milk in a small pan until almost
boiling. Turn off the heat.
2. Add the chocolate and stir it through the coconut until you have a
smooth silky ganache.
3. Spread each square of lamington with a little chocolate ganache very
lightly and thinly with a small knife on all sides.
4. Roll in coconut and place onto a tray lined with baking paper to set.
(per single serve)
Carbs: 3.8 grams
Protein 2.8 grams
Fat: 8.2 grams
Claire Ratapu is the Nutrition and Exercise Expert for Vision Personal Training Franchises Head Office. Learn more about Vision Virtual Training here…