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Tuesday 30 June 2009

Old-fashioned cooking from Labour and Wait

This books looks exciting! It's a lovely looking old-fashioned thing and it's just £9.50 from Labour and Wait. Sure, you might not actually use any of the recipes in it, but cookery books like this are a great way to get that vintage farmhouse feel into a kitchen without trying too hard.

It's a bit Mrs Beeton, without doing any of the work. Making my own pastry just seems like waaaaaay too much effort. I'll flick through this while I'm waiting for my toast to cook. It was written by the Royal chef to Queen Victoria. If it's good enough for Queen V...

Cocktail Hour: Black Russian

It's officially summer, so that means every single cocktail you see is going to be be summery themed. Expect to see a lot of fruit-based sugary rubbish. Why do we need to put mango in everything? If this is your bag, that's great, but if some of you fancy something a little bit darker, you might like to try a Black Russian.

You need these things:
  • 50ml Vodka
  • 25ml Kahlua
  • Ice
You'll need to do these things:

Shake the vodka and kahlua together, pour over the ice into an old fashioned glass. Simple.

Flickr image from cogdogblog's photostream.

Shameless plug: Sianyland jewellery

It's not very often we use Domestic Sluttery to plug other stuff that we're doing. But forgive me just this once because it's not very often your lovely editor launches her very own jewellery shop on Etsy either.

Sianyland Jewellery has taken the last three months to get off the ground, so I'm really excited today and hopefully you'll like the stuff I've been making. It would be really cool if you wanted to go and check it out.

*End of shameless plug*

Sluttishly Easy: Summer pudding

We've all been there: you've bought the ingredients, guests are on their way and you're all set to make your planned recipe when - shock horror - you notice those two dreaded little words: 'leave overnight'.

This very thing happened to me on Saturday, when I'd planned to make a summer pudding for a dinner party that me and the bloke were hosting. It had seemed like the perfect seasonal dessert, and sounded easy enough to make. But what could I do with only 8 hours to go?

The answer turned out to be pretty simple: I ignored the advice and made it anyway, using a hybrid of several recipes. And I'm happy to say it was every bit as tasty as I'd hoped! Here's my recipe for a quick summer pudding.

You'll need these things:

  • A punnet of fresh strawberries
  • A pack of frozen summer fruits (these seem to come in a standard size of abour 400g)
  • Fresh basil
  • 200g white sugar (caster works best but granulated is ok)
  • berries and fresh mint to garnish
  • 5 slices of white bread (preferably going stale: we found a handy 'about to expire' loaf in the supermarket bargain bin)
  • hand blender or food processor
  • large dish or mould
And you'll need to do this with them:

First, take half of the strawberries, chop off their stalks and cut them into four. Place them in a pan.

Next, defrost the frozen fruits in the microwave and put half of them into a pan with the strawberries. Add the sugar, and gently simmer until a syrup beings to form. Don't over cook the mixture; most of the fruit should remain intact.

Meanwhile, line your bowl with a few slices of the bread, having first removed their crusts. You can add a little milk at this stage, but I found it softened nicely without.

Next, blend the remaining half of the strawberries and summer fruit mix along with a tablespoon of chopped basic leaves until it turns into a puree.

pour some of this puree on top of the bread in the bowl, then slowly add the heated fruit mixture above it. Save back a little bit of the syrup for the next stage.

Place another layer of bread on top of the fruit, then saturate it with the remaining fruit syrup.

Find a plate or other heavy object to weigh down the underside of the pudding then store it in the fridge until it's ready to serve. We found that 7 hours was more than sufficient.

Serve with creme fraiche, ice cream or whipped cream for a delicious summer treat!

Monday 29 June 2009

A taste of the Morrocan from Momo

This time of year, tea just doesn't do it for me. It's just too hot! But it might be worth switching to peppermint tea instead. And if I'm going to drink herbal tea, it should be out of these pretty little glasses from Momo Interiors.

I like these blue ones the most:

You can buy variations of these tea cups at most interiors shops. But they're not cheap, and you could expect to pay £25-30 for 6. These are just £2.49 each, and you can mix and match and have lots of different colours.

Might even get this Morrocan teapot to go with it.

The website might not be as pretty as some we've featured, but don't be fooled. There's some really unique homewares here.

Maps and paper cuts at Famille Summerbelle

If Rob Ryan designed a London A-Z, I imagine that it would look like this:

Love the little paper cut Big Ben in the corner!

Fancy Paris instead? Then maybe you'll prefer this one:

These lovely prints are from Famille Summerbelle and they're £35 unframed. I've already featured their family tree print, but these are my new favourites.

Afternoon Tea at Yauatcha

Here at Domestic Sluttery we love tea and cake. It's even better if we are in a gorgeous restaurant and nattering with friends in pretty dresses. So everything about afternoon tea at Chinese restaurant Yauatcha sounded awesome.

I went to the Soho restaurant last weekend for a friend's birthday and I literally could not stop taking snaps. Luckily the friendly staff didn't seem to mind at all, which is fortunate because otherwise I wouldn't have memories of this gorgeous tealight candle-holder. Want. Now.

Sexy candle-holders aside, what really stood out at Yauatcha was the delicious food (but if I'm being honest, they had me at those three-tier serving stands - they could've served up mini rolls and jammy dodgers in them and I still would've been thrilled).

I won't do a thorough analysis of everything that I ate (I can, if you like?) but our tea consisted of dim-sum, exotic fruit salad (including dragonfruit - first time I've seen that outside Asda), macaroons and scaled-down versions of the French cakes that Yauatcha display by the window.

Ooh and scones! It's illegal to serve afternoon tea in the UK without some sort of scone, dont'cha know. Yauatcha's green tea and coconut varieties were, predictably, full of win.

My only quibble with the food was that there should've been more in the way of savouries - all the sweet stuff meant that we staggered out of there feeling a little sick. Yauatcha apparently serves some of the best Chinese food in London, and it would've been nice to sample more of that.

Also, the staff were a little tetchy when we asked to take home the food that we couldn't finish. They got stuffed in paper bags, meaning that the delicate cakes were squashed and ruined. Considering that they had boxes available, I thought this was a little stingy.

All in all, Yauatcha's afternoon tea was very reasonably priced at £25 per head. Go there for a yummy afternoon tea with an Eastern twist in a stunning restaurant. And don't wear a waistbelt.

Giant chocolate slabs from Hotel Chocolat

After we featured Hotel Chocolat last week, I spied this tasty treat. It's a bit like Eton Mess, but it's a great big chocolatey slab instead. With strawberries, marshmallow, cookies and meringue. Yummy! I want this please!

It's only £11.75. Much better than a boring box of chocolates, don't you think? They do have other flavours as well, but this one if my favourite.

I might try them all though, just to be sure.

Art by Angelique Houtkamp

I know, I know. I promised I wouldn’t buy another thing until payday, but I just couldn’t myself. And now, I’m the proud owner of these three bad boys (or bad-ass glamorous pirate ladies, to be more accurate), by tattoo queen Angelique Houtkamp: But, be still my aching bank balance! For, in the 30%-off sale from those wondrous folks at Nude Magazine, you can get all three limited edition prints for £70. But they’re an edition of only 200, so you’ll have to be quick!

Friday 26 June 2009

See things in a new light: Hidden Art Shop Lamp

Wall lamps and sconces are usually really dull. Just white and boring. But as always, Hidden Art Shop have gone one better with this bird lamp. It's like a piece of artwork for your wall. Don't go overboard though, just one will look lovely. Which is a good thing seeing as it's £122.34.

Dress Rehearsal

You might have noticed we're having a shopping event on the 2nd July. So obviously I need a new dress. I picked up this one from a little shop in Greenwich.

Very Chanel, no? You can buy the same dress from Aspire. They're supplying little treats for the goodie bags, so make sure you're at Something on the 2nd.

Nom Nom Nom 09!

Good news people! Domestic Sluttery are in the final for the online cookery contest Nom Nom Nom! Hooray! Pat us on the back, open the bubbly and cheer lots.

So what does this mean? Well Chief Slut Siany and Baking Genius Miss Cay will be cooking a three course meal in a swanky kitchen, hoping to impress the judges. We'll also be hoping that it's nothing like Masterchef and there won't be any food/ sexual innuendo because that's just a bit gross.

There's nine teams taking part (including the lovely Lizzie and Helen who both did guest recipes for us), and we can't wait. The event is on July 12th. There's prizes for us to win on the day, but there will also be a readers vote as well so if you don't vote for us then, we'll be really sad.

We'll keep you posted about what we're doing, and of course, when we're done we'll share heaps of photos and recipes with you, but for now, we're just going to bask in our success with a cocktail.

Monkey Business - brooch

Here at Domestic Sluttery, we love the Vintage Fabric Market. Personally, I am a huge fan of monkeys (almost as much as meerkats) so to find something that joins these two passions together and merges it with jewellery makes my day!

Check out this three monkeys brooch! The best bit? It's just £3!LOVE IT!

Thursday 25 June 2009

Cocktail Hour: Sea Breeze

The sun is shining, and call me a wuss, but hard liqueur just isn't going to sit well today. So a Martini is out of the question. I want ice-laden, refreshing drinks instead! Served by a hot waiter thank you very much. This Sea Breeze cocktail will do very nicely.

If there isn't a hot cocktail waiter to hand (and why not!), you'll need these things to make it yourself:
  • 50ml Vodka
  • 75ml Cranberry juice
  • 75ml Grapefruit juice
  • Wedge of lime
  • Crushed ice
You'll need to do these things:

Pop the ice into a tall glass, pour everything in. Give it a stir, and serve. This is a very easy cocktail, but I'm guessing after five, it won't be as simple.

Tea on the Piazza

Did someone say 'afternoon tea'? I swear, my ears prick up at the mere mention of tea. Couple it with cakes and sunshine and that's the perfect afternoon. And if you're London-based, you might have a helluva time in Covent Garden this evening. Tea On The Piazza hits there this evening and it sound brilliant.

Remember I told you about Vintage Patisserie a little while ago? Well they're providing the tea and cake. All you have to do is turn up with your friends and have a gossip. Play with their dressing up box if you like. Have a bit of a dance (there's a formal tea dance at 6.30). Just have fun and forget about work. Work sucks. Tea is brilliant. Ergo, this event will be brilliant.

Tickets are allocated on a first come first served basis and you can nab them from 4pm. Just look for the white picket fence on the main piazza. If you work nearby, I suggest 'popping out for coffee' to make sure you get your tickets in time. Once you're in, the treats will set you back fiver for tea and cake, or a measly £8 if you fancy a glass of bubbly instead. Fabulous.

Hotel Chocolat - chocolate AND cocktails. Together?!

I happened to be wandering around High St Kensington the other day when I stumbled upon a branch of Hotel Chocolat. This shop in question wasn't just a shop, but a cafe too! Heaven!

Spoilt for choice I had to dedicate a good 15 minutes to a proper perusal before spotting what I imagined to be pretty awful. Chocs to Chill. Cocktail chocolates. My past experience of liquer chocolates had me ready to pass these by but I was about to be accosted by a lovely lady thrusting a tray of Margarita flavour chocolates my way. Never one to turn down a free chocolate I thought I'd give them a go - and wow! I'm glad I did. They are genuinely hard to describe but suffice to say that omnomnomnomnom would do the trick.

They are designed to be chilled for an hour or so in the fridge and then can be devoured as you please. The feast of cocktail flavours that awaits you includes the aforementioned Margarita as well as Mojito, Cosmopolitan, Chocolate Martini and Polish Kitten. They also have shelf upon shelf of other chocolate delights so if the idea of combining chocolate AND cocktails really doesn't float your boat (but give it a try anyway) there is still plenty to lust after. Mmmmmmmmm!!

Watch this space

A request on our Twitter feed got me all excited. Could we find a special watch for someone's birthday? Well take a look at this one:

This stunning charm bracelet is from Hannah Zakari. The best part? That little watch face works just fine! Watches and jewellery all rolled into one make this much more interesting than a standard time piece. The best bit? It's only £59. Wow.

New jewellery at Oliver Bonas

How exciting! Those darlings at Oliver Bonas have got new jewellery in stock! My personal faves?

This lovely Luino necklace is £19.50. It would make a perfect finishing touch to a wedding outfit.

For something a little bit more fun and funky why not get this fabulous Knickerbocker Glory brooch.

It's £14 and it makes me smile!

Stunning stationery from the Designers Guild

I've always wanted to be one of those people who always has a supply of stunning stationery to hand for any occasion. Sadly I've never ever even come close to achieving this dream, although I am thinking of remedying that after spotting these. This set of notecards is £8.50 from the Designers Guild. Incidentally, is it just me or does The Designers Guild sound like a really cool gang to belong to?

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Lovely Lombok SALE!

I love Lombok, I love it so much that I have to stop myself going in there by maintaining a good distance from their big store in Central London - a bit like a shopping version of a stalker with a restraining order. I'm doing everything I can to avoid going on their website as otherwise I might end up buying this jewellery box - it's only £16!

Or this pretty picture frame for £7.50...

Or this matching jewellery box for £11!

* Sigh *...must.stop.spending!

Robot Cake Plate

It is a universal fact that robots and cake are amazing. Which is why I'm wanting all of these Robot Cake Plates by Big Tomato. At the moment, I actually can't think of anything better than having one of these plates with a big slice of chocolate fudge cake on it and nomming away to reveal a little robot.

They cost £9.95 each from Big Tomato and they'll match the egg cups we featured a little while back. I'm finding it hard to pick just one though....

Etsy Pick: Gorgeous Gift Tags by DarlingDillyDilly

To me, stationery catalogues are the equivalent of porn. I can’t deny it: I really do get disproportionately excited by notebooks, pens gift wrap, and all other associated paper-based paraphernalia. Now, whilst that might make me decidedly uncool in a myriad of ways, it does mean I’ve cast my peepers across many a lovely item. But these gorgeous gift tags, from DarlingDillyDilly on Etsy, are some of the sweetest I’ve seen for a long time. She’s got shabby-chic romanticism down to a tee, and I think my favourite might be these vintage-style swallow thank-you designs:

I’m also a bit besotted by these ones:

They’d be perfect for when you’ve a little present to post to someone, but it isn’t for a specific occasion. Or when an ‘occasion’ card feels too formal, but you just want to let someone know you’re thinking of them for whatever reason. Or what about these:

The circus-style font is fun enough to stop these from being over-sentimental lovey-dovey, but they’d still be an affectionate finishing touch for someone special. Although, I’m not sure you’d need that many of these – unless you’re a serial adulterer (which I don’t mind, of course, your morals are your own), presumably you should only be sending items like this to your main squeeze, and they might get sick of the sight of them if they’re plastered over every token of your affections for the next few months!

Each set of gift tags is $4 for a set of six, and since the seller’s based in the UK, postage is hardly anything at all. Bargain!

Fascinating Fascinator course at The Make Lounge

I went on a fantastic course last weekend - and I'm not alone in championing this, fellow Slut Jess has also been on the course too - Its called 'Festive Fascinators' and it's run at The Make Lounge in Islington.

The sad news is that there aren't that many magic tricks, it really does involve a whole load of sewing but its a great way to spend an afternoon, learn new skills, and chat to other like-minded ladies (or men!) The courses are run for a group - at mine there were ten of us, all girls and complete strangers. At other events, some people have brought alcohol along and had them as hen do's.

Whilst I secretly love the idea of a group of ladies all arriving at a wedding wearing their own creations, I imagine it being a very quiet celebration as we were completely concentrating and in sewing silence for a lot of the time! Maybe that was because it was a warm Sunday but either way we all got on really well, everyone was really encouraging and interested in what others were making, and considering we each started with the same materials, everyone made completely different creations.

Want to know what I made? I went for a little red number that I plan to wear to the Something of a Domestic event next week! Here it is:

And here's a (slightly arty) shot of me modelling it.

The Make Lounge runs all sorts of courses, not just fascinator making workshops. I would highly recommend them to everyone - they were great. It costs £55 and I don't know about you but I'd pay that for a unique fascinator anyway, so to learn how to make one, have a nice girly day out, and come away with something perfectly tailored to your taste and needs is just great! Go check them out. We love the Make Lounge!

First photo courtesy of The Make Lounge's Flickr photostream.

Sluttishly Easy: Iced Tea

With the sun tentatively shining over the weekend, we’ve started to feel guilty about dissing the weather forecast wizards who promised us a glorious summer. Maybe they were right after all. Now, you know how much we Domestic Sluts love a tea party or two. And if the sun does start making more regular appearances, we want to be prepared with some suitable refreshing beverages. Whilst we’ll never forsake cocktails, they’ll always be a special place in our hearts for tea of all types and flavours. So, it might be simple, it might seem obvious, but iced tea is perfect for hot days, and is one of those concoctions that because it’s so easy, for some reason you just never think to make it.

All you need is: a litre jug, cold water and teabags. Here at Domestic Sluttery HQ, our current hot favourite is Ridgeways Earl Grey. Because it’s only £1.99 a packet, and was first created for Queen Victoria in 1866. We like to think we deserve to be treated like queens, so if it was good enough for Vicky, it’s good enough for us. Royal tea to make us feel like royalty, see?

All you need to do is: combine the ingredients and leave in the fridge (including the teabags) for around 3 hours. During this time you can drool over Domestic Sluttery, or have yourself a little fashion show of your favourite frocks. We don’t mind. Then serve over crushed ice. If you’re feeling fancy you can embellish with lemon and mint. Et voila!

Feeling the love for Laura Ashley

Have you noticed? Something odd has, not the sunshine. No, not the tennis. It's that four letter word that is flying around like mad at the moment...S.A.L.E!

Laura Ashley has got quite a nice little sale going on right now. Buy from their website before the end of Wednesday 24th June and you could grab yourself something lovely for more than half price! As well as their great sale, Laura Ashley has got the summery birdcage/butterfly look sussed. Check out this lovely:

They also have a nicely odd pricing system. Have you got £17.62? Then it's yours! What about £19.58? Then this gorgeous lantern is within your reach!

Need a lace edged memo board with butterfly magnets? (and quite frankly, who doesn't?) Also got £24.48? Then you are sorted!

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Sexy Storage: Garden Trading Tuck Box

How cool is this little tuck box? It reminds me of school breaktimes when you'd run as fast as you could to the tuck box and buy a 10p chomp and a packet of transformer crisps. Then you'd run off and play stuck-in-the-mud. Remember that?

This old-fashioned tuck box is £22 from Garden Trading, and I'm going to use it to keep my Love Hearts in. Breaktime at Domestic Sluttery HQ just got a whole lot more fun.

Etsy Pick: Omnom Bowl For Teh Kittehs

If you're a pet owner, you'll know how difficult it can be to buy things like beds and bowls that don't compromise your sense of domestic style.

Luckily for cat (and I guess you could use them for dogs too!) owners though, you can get these LOLcat inspired bowls from Etsy seller Gabizoidal. There's different captions to choose from though I think my own kitteh, Curly C For Cat (as named by The Daughter...), will be getting the 'MOAR!' bowl!

Kitteh Omnom bowls, $30 from Etsy

Shoe porn: Minna Parikka Patents

There's nothing more fabulous than red shoes. Or patent red shoes. Or patent red shoes with little heart cut out bits!

Is there anything more fabulous than these Minna Parikka shoes from Tatty Devine? Nope.

Sluttishly Easy: Avocado Crème

Avocado Crème is the very epitome of '80s finger food and today I'd like to bring it back!

There's nothing quite this mouth-watering dip on a crisp, breadstick or piece of pitta, and along with its simplicity this is why it's one of the vanishingly small number of recipes I know by heart. An old Rose Elliot recipe, it's been the star of every party I've held since as long as I can remember...

Here's what you'll need to make it:

1 ripe avocado
1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
1 200g tub of Philadelphia or similar cream cheese ('light' versions work fine)
Tabasco Sauce
Salt and Pepper

fork or (ideally) a potato masher

And here's what you'll need to do:

First, chop the avocado flesh into smallish chunks and put them in a mixing bowl. Crush up and add the garlic, followed by a few drops of lemon juice, then mash up the mixture using the potato masher or fork, until you have a fairly smooth paste.

I like to keep my dip slightly chunky, so don't worry if there are a few bits left in the mix.

Next, add the cream cheese, a few blobs at a time. 100g should be enough, but for a larger avocado you can use 150 or even 200 depending on how creamy you want it.

Keep mashing the mixture together and once the avocado and the cheese have blended, season with salt, pepper and enough Tabasco to give the dip a 'bit of a kick'. Definitions vary as to what this term actually means, but I tend to use at least 8 drops to make the dip nice and spicy.

Using a spoon, decant the dip into small bowls and garnish with a few shakes of paprika.

Bring on the breadsticks and serve!

Monday 22 June 2009

Strange goings on behind the scenes

*Edit* Looks like those techy people read our post yesterday! Everything is back to normal, and those of you having RSS issues probably have a billion posts in your feed now. Sorry. *Edit*

You might have noticed a few strange things going on with the site. So have we! And honestly, we're just as confused as you. Those lovely folk looking after the techy bit of the site might have had one too many glasses of bubbly last week and ever since then things have been a little bit squiffy.

You might notice that your RSS feed isn't working right now. Annoying huh? There's nothing we can do about that, we just have to sit tight and wait for it to be fixed.

And that annoying message you get when you try and jump to a different category? Yep, that's being fixed too. Just press the 'yes' button and you'll go to the page you want.

Comments are working just fine at the moment, and everything else should be working like magic. Hopefully very soon everything will be back to normal.

In the meantime, you can get sluttish updates on Twitter, and on our Facebook page too. That way you won't miss anything exciting. We'll still be typing away finding pretty things, so make sure you drop by.

Now enough about us, how is everybody?
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