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.


Beef and rice noodle herb salad with Thai basil pesto

17.03.20

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

17.03.20


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

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.

TripleChoc.com.au

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

15.02.20

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

Tips for selling your home in the winter

12.06.19

Despite Covid-19, buyer enquiry has been constant and we simply can’t get enough stock to manage the demand. My clearance rate for 2020 is 97%!!

If you are thinking of selling this year, there are some great advantages that may have you have highly considering the upcoming winter months.

 

First of all, during the winter, there is a lot less competition as many people choose to sell their homes in the spring months. This means that there may be fewer properties on the market, driving up demand amongst buyers.

Your property may also stand out if it is shown to be warm and cosy.

How to prepare a home for inspection in winter

Brighten your Curb Appeal

The importance of a good first impression cannot be overemphasised. When it comes to selling your house, you’ll make your first impression based on the exterior of the property. The last thing you want is a depressing, unkempt outdoor area. You can freshen up your property by putting out potted winter flowers to breathe life into the garden. Raking leaves, mowing the lawn, and pruning bushes that may contain dead flowers will all help your home look more vibrant.

Use Winter Staging Tricks

Home staging in winter will need to be conducted with the ultimate goal of creating an atmosphere of comfort and warmth. A roaring fire can be a great asset in the winter, so you’ll want to use your fireplace during an inspection. Thick blankets can be used on couches and in the bedroom to create a cosy feeling, making buyers want to snuggle up in your home.

Clean the Windows

Having clean windows can help you enhance sunlight during the winter months. Most winter days tend to be overcast, and with clean windows you’ll ensure that any sunlight that appears is able to stream freely into the home. Another reason to keep your windows clean is to avoid muddy streaks due to winter rain showers. This could dampen what would otherwise be a top feature of the home.

Use Lighting to your Advantage

On dark winter days, you may not have as much natural lighting as you would prefer. In addition to cleaning your windows and pulling back curtains, you’ll also want to make the most of artificial light. Turn on all of your lamps and lighting fixtures to banish dark corners from the home and give the place a cosy glow. Another way to brighten up your home is by using mirrors. Place these across from windows, to open up the space and show off your cleaning and staging to its best effect.

Keep the Heating On

There’s nothing like stepping in from the cold into a warm, comfortable home. The warmth will help put buyers at ease, and will help erase any doubts about whether or not the heating system works. However, take care not to turn it up too high. You want a warm and cosy home, not a sauna.

Take Care of Home Repairs

No matter what time of year you plan on selling your house in, you’ll want to prepare for the sale by having a property that’s in proper working order. Fix issues like leaking roof tiles or gutters, to prevent water running down the walls of your property during inspection. Leaky faucets or chipped fixtures should also be replaced.

Protect Interior of the Home

Wet weather can do a number on your property’s interior as well. Provide an umbrella stand, coat rack, and welcome mat outside the door to prevent drips and mud being tracked in onto the carpet. You could even leave a polite sign asking buyers to remove their shoes when they enter the home, to protect carpets. This shows buyers that you care about protecting your property, which can be a bonus to those who rank cleanliness high on their list of positive attributes. It also helps to draw attention to your flooring, which is helpful if you’ve just installed new carpeting or floorboards.

Show Off Your Home Looking its Best

If you’re worried about buyers not being able to imagine your home in any other surroundings, you could display a photo of your home in warmer months. This will help buyers visualise what the house is like throughout the year. This could redeem your property in the eyes of buyers if the drab weather is not doing it any favours.

Planning for Open for Inspections

Although you can’t control the weather, you can try to check the forecast and pick a time of day for inspections when the sun is at its peak. This will help maximise your interior lighting.

Although selling your house during the winter season can be a bit more complicated, if you follow these basic steps you can transform your house into a cosy oasis in any storm and take advantage of less competition!

Contact me if you would like to discuss further!

Article: Local Agent Finder