There is nothing we love more than sitting around a beautifully styled table, talking, grazing and drinking wine with our girlfriends.
Here are some foodies we rely on for simple snacks and styling tips that are sure to bring good vibes and full stomachs.
If you haven’t heard of Jessica Nguyen you can thank us later! Home-cook & dinner party extraordinaire, Jessica is the queen of spice, we look to her for flavour in food, style and life.
JESSICA NGUYEN’S CHILLI OIL
- 1 litre of neutral oil (vegetable, canola or peanut oil works best)
- 10 bay leaves
- 1 large piece of ginger, roughly sliced
- 6 cardamom pods, crushed with the side of your knife
- 6 pieces of star anise
- 4 stalks of spring onions, roughly chopped into 5cm stems
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cups of dried chilli flakes
- Heat the oil in pan and once hot, add the dry aromatics: bay leaves, star anise and crushed cardamom pods.
- After 2 minutes, add your fresh aromatics being the sliced ginger, spring onions and red onion.
- Cook for 5 minutes on medium/low so that all the flavours can infuse into the oil. If the oil is too hot and furiously boiling, you will burn the aromatics versus allowing them to slowly infuse into the oil.
- Turn off the stove and remove from the heat, allowing to cool down for 5 minutes. Once the oil has cooled down, strain the mixture into a bowl using a sieve to separate the aromatics from the oil.
- Now slowly add your dried chilli flakes into the oil, mixing to combine and allowing to infuse and impart red colour into the oil.
- Once the chilli oil has cooled down, spoon into sterilised glass jars and seal. You can sterilise glass jars by thoroughly cleaning and then boiling them on high heat fully covered in a pot for 5 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and allow to dry and return back to room temp before using.
- Store in your pantry and spoon over any food or dish that your heart desires.
If wholesome home cooking full of heart is your thing you cannot go past the moody masterpieces of Julia Busuttil Nishimura. Her styling is effortless, casual and earthy. Julia's first cookbook 'A Year of Simple Family Food' is out now, it's a must have for anyone who loves cooking and eating seasonal, nourishing and comforting meals, Julia's recipes are like a warm hug for your insides.
JULIA'S APPLE & BLACKBERRY CAKE
Makes: 6-8 Serves
Skill Level: Moderate
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- Seeds scraped from a vanilla pod or 1tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of a lemon
- 200g full fat sour cream
- 200g self-raising flour
- 2 apples
- 125g blackberries, plus extra to serve
- 1tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- crème fraîche, to serve
- Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 24cm round springform cake tin.
- In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter for 2-3 minutes or until very fluffy and pale. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add in the vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream and continue to mix. Now tip in the flour and mix on a low speed until just combined.
- Peel the apples, cut them into quarters and cut out the core (alternatively core the apples with an apple corer before you quarter them). Slice the quarters into 3mm slices and gently fold into the cake, along with the blackberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and while the cake is still hot, brush the cake with the melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over. Allow to cool completely in the tin (although eating it warm is lovely too) then transfer to a serving plate. Pile fresh blackberries onto the cake and serve slices with a generous dollop of crème fraîche.
If minimal clean lines, soft dreamy colours & streaming natural light is your thing Carla is your girl for all things styling. Her style is modern minimal with a quirky edge, she has a knack for adding a little vintage touch to a table that brings oh so much life. Taking inspiration from Carla's aesthetic will be sure to impress the girls for your next dinner party.