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Featured FOOD Lifestyle

The Perfect Simple Summer Salad

With the summer heat beating down, it can be hard not to give in to those cravings for a sweet icy treat like fresh-made ice cream. The good news is, with a sweet summer salad like this, you can satisfy your cravings without the added calories!

Sweet, Refreshing, and Healthy

One of my go-to recipes that is absolutely perfect for the hot weather and a healthy lifestyle is this perfect and super easy-to-make summer salad. The strawberries and dried cranberries make it taste sweet without adding too much sugar, while the cool butter lettuce and homemade balsamic vinaigrette offer a chill that feels fabulous after a day of swimming or sunbathing. Add some grilled chicken for a little protein, and you’ve got the perfect summer lunch!

Ingredients (Salad):

  • 3 cups butter lettuce
  • 1 ½ cups grilled chicken, sliced
  • 2 ½ cups fresh sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup fresh goat cheese
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • Homemade balsamic vinaigrette (to taste)

Ingredients (Vinaigrette):

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. fresh minced garlic
  • 1 pinch Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme)

The Perfect Salad to Share!

If you’re bringing this salad to share with friends, I recommend slicing the strawberries and goat cheese ahead of time and packing them in separate Tupperware containers along with the dried cranberries and chicken. Leave the vinaigrette on the side until the last moment, in a salad dressing shaker if you have one.

When you arrive at your event, simply pile on the strawberries, goat cheese, chicken, and cranberries before mixing, adding the vinaigrette, and mixing again. Waiting to prep until just before you dig in ensures that none of the ingredients get too soggy and the salad stays perfectly fresh for you and your companions.

Keeping Cool in the Hot Summer Months 

There are so many possible variations for this salad, so I’d love to hear what you come up with! What are your favorite salads to serve (and eat!) during the hotter months? Share in the comments below. And stay cool!

DYI Featured FOOD Tutorial

DIY – How To Make Pasta From Scratch

spagehtti plate blog

How To Make Pasta From Scratch

When deciding to cook a pasta dish, many of us head to our local supermarket to purchase a pre-made packet of pasta. I have to admit, before finding this delicious and easy recipe, I was quite frequently put off by the thought of making pasta from scratch, especially with so many options readily made available in our local food stores.

However, I want to share with your this quick and tasty recipe that can get you making pasta from scratch. It does help to have a few helpers handy in the kitchen, but you can easily do this by yourself!

As you begin to get familiar with the recipe and process, you can start to experiment with different shapes and recipes for a delicious pasta dish.

 

Ingredients

·      1 egg, beaten

·      1/2 teaspoon salt

·      140g plain flour

·      2 tablespoons water

ravioli

Method

1. Using a medium sized bowl, combine the flour and salt and make a well in the flour. Then add the slightly beaten egg and start to mix until it forms a stiff dough. If you are finding the mixture tough to stir, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

2. On a lightly floured source, start to knead the dough for around 3 to 4 minutes. Then using a pasta machine, or by hand, roll the dough until you reach your desired thickness.

3. Using a machine, knife or cutter, cut the pasta into the shape or width that you desire.

 

When Cooking The Pasta….

 

1. Get a large pot of slightly salted water and allow the water to start to boil.

2. Add the pasta into the pot, and cook for roughly 2 to 3 minutes. Remember that fresh pasta will cook a lot quicker than the pasta you buy from the supermarket.

3. Once cooked, the pasta will float to the surface. Drain the water and add your favourite sauces and ingredients to create a delicious pasta dish!

pasta maker

The Benefits Of Making Pasta From Scratch

By making your own pasta, you are able to adapt and tailor your recipe to however you desire. Almost all dried pasta is made using an industrial process, which stems from from the ancient artisan method. For those looking for meals that will add nutrional value, pasta is considered a very healthy meal, as it is high in fiber and low in fat and sugar. It is also full of complex carbohydrates and gives the body a slow release of energy.

Fresh pasta doesn’t develop the gluten as much so it is light and doesn’t leave you with a heavy or bloated feeling.

pasta basil

So why not try this delicious recipe at home and you can create your own tasty pasta. Great for eating fresh or storing for another time, you can tailor your recipe to create a dish that you desire.

 

Enjoy!

 

fresh pasta

 

 

 

DYI Featured FOOD Recipes Tutorial

Chill Out – with ICE CREAM DIY

self made ice

 

Vegan ice cream

This recipe is tried and tested by many of my friends and family and even though its vegan ice cream it’s really hard to realize due to its really creamy consistancy. It doesn’t contain any sugar so it’s really healthy too.

 

This portion is designed for two big scoops of ice cream

1 banana

handfull of blueberries, blackcurrants or strawberries

honey- optional

 

Blend all ingredients and freeze. It coudn’t be easier. Stir from time to time but dont freeze hard. If frozen hard remove from freezer for 5 mins and serve.

ice cream

ice pop blog

Creamy vanilla ice cream

Ice cream is one of those things that you think it’s tastier and easier to buy rather than make your own. But once you make it, you will realize that it’s much tastier than the ones from the market. This is a fantastic recipe that doesn’t require fancy equipments and doesn’t need a lot of time. Just add vanilla, cocoa, watermelon or other fruits to get your desired flavor.

 

2 eggs

300ml whipping cream

100g sugar

1 spoon of warm water that was previously boiled

 

In the first bowl, beat egg whites with half of the sugar, in the second bowl, double cream and in third egg yolks with remaining sugar and water(beat until white). Gently fold all three mixtures and transfer to freezer in plastic box. Cover with kitchen foil and freeze for 12 hours.

 

water melone ice

Ice lollies with fruits

Ideal for summer days fruit ice pops that you’ll not be able to get in shops. Made simply with water and juice.

250 ml of water

250 ml of favourite juice 100%

1 spoon of sugar

juice of half of lemon

seasonal fruit

ice lollies trays or actimel containers with ice cream sticks

pop sickle

Mix juice with water. In a pan stir sugar and lemon juice and bring to boil. Let it cool and mix with juice mixture. Into the ice cream trays insert fruit. Cover with juice mixture. Insert ice cream sticksand freeze for few hours until solid.

 

If you fancy colourfull ice lollies without fruit use 3 different juices eg orange, cranberry and crushed mint with water or squashed banana. Follow instructions above. Add juice one into the trays and freeze. Then juice two and freeze again, then juice three.

 

ice cream blog

 

Featured FOOD Lifestyle Travel

Top 5 Tea Houses in London – UK

tea

Top 5 Tea Rooms in London

 

The great scone debate ‘jam or cream first?’ is not over for many Afternoon Tea Enthusiasts. Some prefer to spread the jam first (the traditional way), while others like to get started with the cream, like butter on toast. Well, here’s something we can all agree on – tea. Scones must be accompanied by tea.

The great British tradition all started in 1840 when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford got too hungry in-between lunch and dinner. Thanks to her, the tradition is still popular today but is more of a luxury treat than a daily routine.

Whether you’re a lover of Afternoon Tea or have never tried it check out our Top 5 Tea Rooms in London…

royal opera house tea blog dream design discover

1. The Royal Opera House

The world famous 5-star Ritz Hotel offers an unforgettable quintessential, British afternoon tea experience. Tea is served in the majestic Palm Court, conveniently located at Piccadilly. The beautiful detailed ceilings, birdcage chandeliers, metal flowers, mirrors and authentic monuments make the salon a must visit! The Ritz is known for its impressive personal care and attention to detail. You will be made to feel special without a doubt.

If you like dressing up in fancy clothes you will fit in perfectly at this formal venue. Expect to pay £50+ per person… Well worth the money! Delicately homemade finger sandwiches (smoked salmon are the best), apple and raisin scones and a selection of impeccably made cakes are served on pretty chinaware. Not only are there 18 different types of loose leaf tea to choose from but an Epicurean afternoon tea tasting experience is also on offer. To top off this luxurious experience, a pianist and harpist play modern and classical music in the Palm Court.

ritz carlton high tea london 2. The Ritz

The world famous 5-star Ritz Hotel offers an unforgettable quintessential, British afternoon tea experience. Tea is served in the majestic Palm Court, conveniently located at Piccadilly. The beautiful detailed ceilings, birdcage chandeliers, metal flowers, mirrors and authentic monuments make the salon a must visit! The Ritz is known for its impressive personal care and attention to detail. You will be made to feel special without a doubt.

If you like dressing up in fancy clothes you will fit in perfectly at this formal venue. Expect to pay £50+ per person… Well worth the money! Delicately homemade finger sandwiches (smoked salmon are the best), apple and raisin scones and a selection of impeccably made cakes are served on pretty chinaware. Not only are there 18 different types of loose leaf tea to choose from but an Epicurean afternoon tea tasting experience is also on offer. To top off this luxurious experience, a pianist and harpist play modern and classical music in the Palm Court.

 

london
3. Fortnum & Mason

Tea enthusiasts this is the place for you! Fortnum & Mason serve over 80 different types of rare, exotic tea from all over the world. They also offer their own traditional blends and have lately introduced a new range of green teas. F&M even have a tea-tasting service where staff members guide visitors through all the different blends and combinations. Exciting! Of course, they serve a great selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes too.

The Diamond Jubilee Tea salon is where it all takes place and was not long ago opened in 2012 by the Queen! Visit for a relaxed and sophisticated afternoon of tea sipping.

 

tea time dream design discover
4. Shangri-La

Tuck into your scones with an amazing view of London at the Shangri-La. The most exclusive afternoon tea experience of them all…

The view from the Shard is incredible, so along with afternoon tea you really are treating yourself. Booking a birthday surprise or celebration here would never fail to disappoint a close friend or relative! Over 30 different teas are offered and the option of English or Asian-inspired afternoon tea can be selected. Both choices are £54 or £62 with a glass of champagne. If you’re feeling adventurous and go with the Asian alternative, you must try the Ube Macarons and the Lemongrass Rice Pudding!

 

sketch london blog dreamdesigndiscover
5. Sketch

Mayfair’s quirky Sketch gallery is a food, art and music hang out that does its own funky spin on afternoon tea. Not as traditional as The Ritz and The Royal Opera House, Sketch goes for a more contemporary menu (£45 pp). Mozzarella and pesto paninis are served in addition to classic salmon sandwiches, although, these can also be ordered if preferred.

The fun vibe of the gallery is aimed at children as well as adults; kids can order afternoon tea from their own special menu (£27 pc) which includes ‘sweet treats’ like Malabar marshmallows and fresh meringue. Making Sketch extra original is the mixture of music genres on the playlists – expect to hear reggae, jazz, electro-pop, house and many more…

Visit Sketch for a colourful, vibrant afternoon tea and something a bit different to your average tea and scones.

Now it’s time to choose the afternoon tea of your taste… If you are anything like me, you will want to visit them all!

Guest Writer: Charlotte Lillington

Featured FOOD Lifestyle Travel

Grotta Palazzese – Most Romantic Restaurant

grotto

Grotta Palazzese

Be enchanted as you enter the magical cavern at Grotta Palazzese, nestled in the cliffs of Polignano in the sublime Italian region of Puglia. With its classic Trullis, its simple land, and Mediterranean feel, Puglia offers a rich, diverse and inspiring experience in itself. However, a visit to Grotta Palazzese will elevate your experience of Puglia to new heights. Create memories and magic alike at this restaurant with a difference.

Grotta Palazzese is like nowhere else on earth. A traveller’s dream, and a truly unique find await you. Dining here happens literally on a cliff edge, whilst nestled within a cave, chiselled in to the rocks, and both exposed and cocooned in Adriatic glory. Having spent your days exploring the Heel of Italy, you will be rewarded with a dining experience that simply cannot be matched.

Winding down the 64 stairs to the restaurant itself, you will realise that your dining experience was just elevated to the incredible and awe-inspiring. Whether you choose to enjoy the hues of dazzling blue contrasting with the cave’s lush green reflections during a daytime visit with the bustle of Italian summer heights, or the spectacular sunsets at twilight mirrored off the sea, or a moonlit after-dark experience with ambient lighting, you simply won’t be disappointed.

 

grotta

Grotta Palazzese is a dining experience of a lifetime. You won’t forget the magical memories made here, they will be etched in your recollections for ever. Open only for the summer months between Easter and October, this is a truly stunning location which is steeped in history. If you’re in Puglia during the summer season then make sure you make time for a visit here, you won’t be disappointed.

Whilst you revel in awe at the setting and views, the dining experience itself is not to be missed. With a diverse range of local seafood such as fresh cod, tuna, mullet, mackerel, salmon and shrimp, paired with the finest local seasonal vegetables, the food here is divine, enhanced only by the incredible setting. In addition to the fruits of the sea there are heartier options of lamb or beef, as well as Puglia’s renowned pasta and rice dishes. Puglia, the ‘breadbasket of Italy’ is the Italian heartland of pasta, so this is an opportunity not to be missed. Finish off with a classic Tiramisu and an Italian coffee as you absorb your last moments in this elegant restaurant.

 

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The menus here are served with true Italian service and Puglian flair. The dishes are presented with an elegant twist that strives to compare to the natural cave setting. There is a tasting menu should it simply be too difficult to make up your mind, and the serving staff are ready to pair the very best wines with your choice of meal.

Without a doubt, Grotta Palazzese is the romance capital of Puglia, if not Italy. Your soul will be moved as you experience the stunning scenery with a vista spreading out over the Adriatic. It is obvious why many travellers choose Grotta Palazzese as their wedding venue, a unique, never-to-be-experienced-elsewhere natural haven of romance and desire. The backdrop of this divine location lends itself to wedding photography that is inspirational, remarkable and one of a kind. For an ocean wedding with a difference, Grotta Palazzese is the place.

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After dining to the sounds of the waves crashing hauntingly on the rocks below, and whilst breathing in the salty sea air, then make your way back up and out of the cave to the enclosed dramatic Sea Lounge. With magnificent windows overlooking the Adriatic, you gain a slightly different perspective than from the cave below. The Sea Lounge is a perfect place to enjoy an after-dinner cocktail and allow yourself to continue your enchanting adventure before relinquishing your experience to memory.

Grotta Palazzese is a truly beautiful dining experience, touching the heart, spirit and soul of every traveller who enters its cavern. No two experiences here are alike as the blend of weather, seas, and light all come in to play to provide a memory and experience that is as unique as you are. Puglia holds a restaurant gem in its hand: be sure to experience it.

 

Ciao !

ENTERTAINING FOOD Lifestyle

You are Invited!

invited post dream design discover

‘Tis the season for dinner parties. Enjoy a few of my favorite dinner tips…

Build excitement with the invite:

Your invitations offer peek into the style and them of your dinner. If your going glam, you’ll need an invitation to match.

The thickness of the paper, the wording and even the time of the dinner will clue guest into the formality of the event. Metallic inks and foils can add a touch of luxe and fancy to your invitation and still keep the design sophisticated.

Inform about the attire:

This will guarantee a smart look for the entire guest list. If you are planning to hold a formal dinner let your guest know how you would them to be dressed for the occasion. Nobody wants to be under-dressed.

Formal or Cocktail, Business Casual, Beach Casual or Casual are terms that are often used to described the dress code… don’t try to get to creative with describing the dress code. Otherwise your guest will feel confused and nobody wants to look out of place.

  • black tie should appear in the lower right-hand corner of the invitations, if you wish your guest to arrived dressed in formal attire.

rsvp

  • When a response card is sent with the invitation, it should be used for the reply, rather than a handwritten response.


Copy samples:

John and Barbara
cordially invite you for
a night on the terrace
to celebrate the new year

Saturday, June the sixth
at six-thirty
65 Beverly Hills

OR

The honour of
your presence is
requested
at The Country Club
117 Seaside Drive
Miami, Florida
on Sunday, April 11th
for Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres
at six o’clock in the eveningDinner immediately followingName of Host / Hosts
OR
The honour of your presence
is requested at my
Dinner & Cocktail Party
….
 Casual attire
Location

Create an ambiance :

Hosting a glamorous dinner is as much about creating a beautiful stage and being a gracious host. Make it fun by adding stylish details, music and candles. If your hosting a more intimate dinner the light can be dimmed.

If you have a beautiful centerpieces you should high light it with colors or lights.

Light up the dessert or the cocktail area. Draw attention to the beautiful things and conversation pieces of your dinner decor. Winter Chic Looks are COOL, CLEAN, SCANDINAVIAN OR SIBERIAN WINTER decoration looks.

 

Late Guests

Delay dinner fifteen (15) minutes for a late guest. When the guest arrives, he or she is served the course that is being served at the time.

 

A season of deliciousness…

 

xoxolisa

ENTERTAINING Featured FOOD Lifestyle

Dinner at the Versace Mansion in Miami

 

Could there be a better location than the Villa of Gianni Versace to host a beautiful dinner party in Miami? The answer is clearly NO!It’s simply a fabulous backdrop for any party.

I wanted to share some photos from my most recent time in Miami for Art Basel and our time spent at the mansion…plus a little fact list on the property. You will be blown away. Enjoy!

Did you know?

1. Versace bought Casa Casuarina the 1930s Villa in 1992 for $2.9 million as well as an art deco hotel next door for $4 million.

2. Two years after Versace’s death, the mansion was purchased for $19 million unfurnished.

3. The 23,000 square foot villa has 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, 54 foot long pool with 24k gold.

4. Bruce Weber shot the house and the Versaces for a 1993 “Vogue” shoot

5. Casa Casuarina is the only private residence on Ocean Drive

I was fascinated by the Italian inspired charm, mosaic details and Terra-cotta colored walls. The pool was apparently made in bella Italia and then broken down and shipped to Miami to be build up again by a team of 75. The Mansion has more than 100 million Italian mosaic tiles. After spending 33 million in renovation, Gianni did what we would do….start throwing beautiful dinners and parties!

art basel 2015 dream design discover tables scape design

 

xoxolisa

 

 

FOOD Lifestyle Travel

My Top 5 Best Macaron places in the World

macarons blue and pink

Top 5 Best Macaron places in the World

I have been fortuned enough to have traveled a lot and every where I go I look for french treats “Macarons”
From Paris to Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles…

Sometimes I include Macarons in the table decoration (edible decoration) its colorful and for every season.

If you every have the chance to visit any of these cities try to take a brake and enjoy some Macarons and coffee.

pink macarons

  1. Bouchon Bakery Los Angeles, USA
  2. La Belle MietteMelbourne, Australia
  3. Ladurée – Paris, France
  4. Pierre Herme Jardin – Paris, France (“the Picasso of pâtisserie” by Vogue.)
  5. Chantal GuillonSan Francisco 

Where are your favorite Macaron places?

xoxolisa

DYI FOOD Recipes

DIY Green Juice for a Burst of Energy

green drink ddd

My Little Daily Green Juice

I have been drinking this every morning for the past couple of days, and thought I would share it with you you all. It is really easy to prepare.

  • 1 Apple, seeded
  • Handful of kale leaves
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • Add some cinnamon for flavor
  • If you like you can add a banana for natural sweetener
  • Add chili peppers to give it an extra kick
  • Stick it all in a blender and add some ice cubes

This is the perfect juice to give you a burst of energy and perfect for detoxing. Enjoy!

xoxolisa

DYI ENTERTAINING FOOD

DIY – Create Floral Ice Cubes

How to Create Floral Ice Cubes

flower ice cubes

berry_ice_cubes

Remember the post about Edible Flowers a couple weeks ago?

It’s #FlowerFriday again… and this time I thought we should use the edible flowers to create floral ice cubes as decoration for your summer juices.

  1. Select your edible flowers (you can go to your local market and find out which flowers are edible) or check out the previous post on edible flowers.
  2. Use and ice cube trey that is silicon base, which makes it easier to to pop out the ice cubes once you are ready to use them
  3. Wash your edible flowers and place them in the ice cube tray. (to make it more fun you can use really large cubes in addition to small ones to make it look more fun)
  4. Add some water to the flowers in the tray… just enough to cover the flowers HALF ways. –
  5. Place in the ice cube in the freezer for a couple of hours
  6. Add some more water to cover up the complete flower and place in the freezer again.

OPTIONS:

To switch it up you can replace the edible flower with strawberries, cherries or any fruit of your choice.

TIP – remember once the ice melts in your beverage, it will likely flavor your beverly with the iced fruit or edible flower (so ensure the flowers are edible before serving your guest)

berries_ice_cube_frozen_

 

ice cube flowers

 

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