to do.

EXPLORE all the trends – from styling to sell, the importance of art, the latest design trends, the iconic feature wall and many other ideas including what’s the latest out there…. This section will help you dress your home, throw new ideas at you and inspire you to experiment with “tried and tested” guidelines that I’m sure will arm you with the best advice to sell your property and enjoy life.

Whole mandarin and white chocolate cake


Whole mandarin and white chocolate cake

We visited the picturesque Wiseman’s Ferry area on the weekend for Mandarin picking at As you may know, fruit picking is one of my favourite pastimes and eating and cooking with seasonal fruits seems not only right but everything tastes so much better. The orchard was full of mandarins, lemons, limes and cumquats of which we collected multiple buckets (not only to eat ourselves but also to share with family and friends). The produce was so tasty and the drive and scenery so beautiful. Now what to do with all this fruit – see below for one recipe idea with the mandarins!


3 large (600g) seedless mandarins, unpeeled

180g white chocolate, chopped

6 eggs

1 ¾ cup (385g) caster sugar

1 ½ cups (175g) almond meal

½ cup (75g) self-raising flour

Thickened cream, to serve


To remove the bitterness form the mandarin peel, place whole mandarins in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to boil over high heat. Drain and repeat.

Place the mandarins back into pan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until very tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup (250ml) of the poaching liquid and set aside with the mandarins.


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base and side of a 22cm round springform pan.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmer water, being careful the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, until melted. Remove from the heat.


Place the cooled mandarins in a food processor and process until smooth. Place the eggs and 1 cup (220g) of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is pale and doubles in size. Carefully fold through the mandarin puree, almond meal and flour until just combined. Fold through the chocolate and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 mins or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.


Meanwhile, place the remaining ¾ cup (165g) of caster sugar in a small saucepan with the 1 reserved mandarin water over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, bring to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until thickens slightly. Pour the syrup over the cake and allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and serving with cream.


Serves 6-8.


Image and Styling: Kirsten Jenkins

Beef and rice noodle herb salad with Thai basil pesto


Beef and Rice Noodle Herb Salad with Thai Basil Pesto

This creation came about after bringing an ‘Asian pesto’ back from a shoot years ago. It morphed into this recipe and I have cooked it time and time again since then. The pesto is really versatile and works spooned along side a grilled piece of fish and just with the steak on it’s own.


200g (7 oz) flat rice stick noodles

2 eshallots, peeled and thinly sliced

The juice of 1 lime

400g (14 oz) skirt steak, room temperature

½ tbsp rice bran oil

1 (130g/4 ½ oz) Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced

½ cup each of coriander, mint & Thai basil leaves

salted roasted peanuts and black sesame seeds, to serve

Thai basil pesto

1 cup each Thai basil & coriander leaves

1/3 cup (50g/1 ½ oz) unsalted roasted peanuts

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tbsps sesame oil

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

¼ cup rice wine vinegar


Cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water for 6-8 minutes or until just tender. Drain, reserving ½ cup of cooking water. Combine the eshallots and lime juice in a bowl and set aside for 20 minutes to pickle.


Meanwhile, to make the Thai basil pesto, place all ingredients in a bowl of a food processor and process until roughly combined. Set aside.


Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Drizzle the steak with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Set aside for 10 minutes to rest.


Place the noodles in a bowl with the pesto (add as much or as little pesto as you like, depending on your taste you may have some pesto left over) and add some of the cooking water to loosen the pesto slightly. The rice noodles absorb a lot of water so continue to add some of the water if you need to loosen further.


Divide the noodles between serving plates and top with the eshallots, cucumber and herbs. Slice the steak and place on top and finish with the peanuts and sesame seeds.


Serves 4.

Dairy Free Recipe

You can order the full e-book at the following link : Kirsten Jenkins “One Leaf at a Time” 


Image and Styling: Kirsten Jenkins

The Best Chocolate Around Sydney For Easter


ONE of the best things about Easter is of course all the yummy chocolate you can share with your family and friends…and being that I love chocolate, I thought I would send you on a journey to the best chocolate (courtesy of Anna Cleary – chocolate blog extraordinaire “Triple Choc“) around Sydney just in time for Easter!

There are so many great chocolate shops around, but I have rounded up the Top Shops for the best Easter Eggs!


Ms Peacock (Online or Store in Bowral)

This is definitely my favourite chocolate shop!! While I generally buy online anyway, if we are down in Bowral we try to stop by here – and it never disappoints! They make the most divine Honeycomb (made with local Southern Highlands Honey) and during Easter have some fun and unique chocolate combinations and lots of yummy eggs!
Click here for their website or visit them in Bowral.

Perfection Chocolates

Perfection Chocolates in Rose Bay definitely has the best huge Easter eggs around Sydney! They also carry classic bunny moulds and individual eggs in all sizes (milk and dark). Fabulous for Easter hunts.  To top it off, they make their own handmade marshmallow and honeycomb half eggs!
Click here for their website or visit them in Rose Bay.

Haighs Chocolates

Haighs Chocolates (Westfield Bondi Junction or QVB city) always have a great selection of Australia’s best quality chocolate.  I especially love their mini eggs!

Coco Chocolate

Coco Chocolate (North Sydney) is a smaller chocolate maker with the speckle eggs and other interesting Easter gifts including hot cross bun chocolates! They produce chocolate at their harbour side Sydney studio at Middle Head, which opens to the public Friday to Sunday by appointment as The Sydney Chocolate School. Coco uses organic chocolate couverture for production of their award winning chocolates; including GOLD at The Great Taste Awards.


Cacaoette  – only on insta @cacaoette – and sells at Kings Cross Markets on Saturdays.  Beautiful organic handprinted bunnies and gift packs including homemade honeycomb.  Their salted caramel filled eggs are to die for …….

Other Favourites

Adora Chocolates – City
They have a lovely selection of eggs as well as a membership program where you receive a bundle of special chocolates each month!
Koko Black – QVB & Strand Arcade
Koko has a great lined of unexpected signature chocolate assortments – passionfruit, strawberries and cream and Hot Cross Bites!
Kakawa – William Street, Paddington
Kakawa has more fancier chocolates but do little chocolate bunnies on sticks that are very sweet!
Simon Johnson – Queen Street, Woollahra
Simon Johnson make their own eggs in nice foil and stock French chocolate maker Valrohna eggs.

If you are a real chocolate lover and want even more inspiration and ideas, head over to the Triple Choc Blog where you will find all sorts of yummy treats and recipes!

Happy Easter!!

Mexican BBQ Corn and Black Beans Salad with a Tamarind Vinaigrette


Mexican BBQ Corn and Black Beans Salad with a Tamarind Vinaigrette

I love the elements that make up this salad. A Mexican base with a curveball of a dressing, in Australia we mostly think Asian food when we think tamarind, but it’s actually used in Mexican food too. I have spent years trying to work out the recipe for the amazing tamarind dressing that used to be on one of Mike McEnearney’s salads at the original Kitchen by Mike…..I don’t know if I totally nailed it but I’m still really happy with this version.


2 (800g/1 lb 12 oz) fresh corn cobs, husks removed

1 tbsp tamarind concentrate

½ – 1 tbsp agave syrup or honey

1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

½ (360g/12 ½ oz) iceberg lettuce, shredded

400g (14 oz) tin black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (250g/8 ½ oz) avocado, halved, seed removed and sliced

6 (50g/1 ½ oz) radishes, halved

1 fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced

100g (3 ½ oz) Greek feta, crumbled

Salted blue corn chips, to serve


Preheat a chargrill pan over medium heat, cook the corn, turning occasionally, for 20-25 minutes or until well charred and tender. Remove and when cool enough cut the corn from the cob.


Place the tamarind, agave or honey, vinegar, oil and 1 tbsp of water in a screw top jar and shake well to emulsify.


Arrange the lettuce, beans, corn, avocado and radishes on a serving plate and top with the jalapenos and feta. Pour over the dressing and serve with the corn chips.


Serves 8.

Vegetarian Recipe


You can order the full e-book at the following link : Kirsten Jenkins “One Leaf at a Time” 


Image and Styling: Kirsten Jenkins