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Delicious Bites: Blood Orange Tea Cakes Recipe

Hi everyone, are you ready to see and taste Blood Orange Tea Cakes today? It’s Jillian here with my Delicious Bites column for March. As spring is nearly here, I decided to make some blood orange tea cakes to celebrate its arrival. Can you remember the first time you tasted a blood orange? I can. Somehow when I was 15, I managed to persuade my parents to send me on a school trip to Europe. By the time we made it to Italy; we were desperate for some real orange juice. We ordered glasses of orange juice and when they arrived we were sure the waiter had mixed up our order. We sipped our drinks and even though they looked like glasses of tomato juice, they tasted like orange juice.

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As soon as blood oranges arrive at the fruit market, I always pick up a few and all these years later I still get a kick out of their brilliant colour. Blood oranges are a little more tart than a regular orange and are great in salads and make a fantastic orange cake. If blood oranges are hard to find where you live you can replace the blood orange in this recipe with a regular orange. I added a little almond meal to the mix to make sure the cakes were nice and moist.

Blood Orange Tea Cakes

As mini bundt tins differ in size it’s a bit hard to predict how many cakes the mixture will make. I used quite large tins and made 3 cakes but I think you’d get 6 cakes if you used mini bundt tins. If you’d like to make a 9 inch bundt cake just double the recipe and the cake will take close to an hour to bake. No cake is complete without icing. Can you believe the vibrant colour of the blood orange icing? When I saw these poppies and realised they were the same shade as the blood orange icing, I had to have them.

Blood Orange Tea Cakes

Blood Orange Tea Cakes

Blood Orange Tea Cakes

Here’’s the recipe for you.

BLOOD ORANGE TEA CAKES
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
100g (3½ oz) caster sugar
Finely grated rind of 1½ small blood oranges
1 egg
1/4 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup strained blood orange juice

METHOD
Grease and flour 3- 6 mini bundt tins. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Sift the flour into a small bowl and mix together with the almond meal. Set to one side. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, orange rind and caster sugar until light and fluffy. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg then gradually mix into butter mixture. If the mixture starts to look curdled, add a spoonful of the flour mixture. Add the remaining flour mixture into the batter alternating with the orange juice to make a soft batter. If the batter looks too thick add a little more juice. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake the cake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the top is lightly golden and cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack. When the cakes have cooled completely, ice with the blood orange icing.

BLOOD ORANGE ICING
15 g (1/2 oz) softened unsalted butter
1/2 tsp finely grated orange rind
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons blood orange juice
Optional – edible flowers

I decided to decorate the top of the cake with some basil flowers. As well as being very pretty and edible I discovered that basil goes really well with orange. have you discovered any other surprising flavour combinations?

Blood Orange Tea Cakes

Blood Orange Tea Cakes

Cream the butter and orange rind together. Add in the icing sugar and enough juice to make a soft icing. Drizzle over the cooled cakes. Decorate with edible flowers if desired.

And of course, always add some fresh flowers nearby as you set your table and serve your delicious bites.

Blood Orange Tea Cakes

See you all again next month with another Delicious Bites column. Bye for now, Jillian

(images/text: jillian lieboff)

Posted in Delicious Bites on March 03, 2014
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Our New Book Has A Website!

Hello everyone! I’m so happy to be here today because when I’m not blogging, I’m thinking about blogging and all of the things that I want to share and show to you. I thought I’d first share a project I’ve been working on this week – the new website for Decorate With Flowers, my latest book in which I’ve teamed up with Leslie Shewring this time to produce a decorating book with a very floral point-of-view. I am so proud of it and what Leslie and I created together! We wrote it when I was pregnant, so I will forever cherish it based on that alone. I loved working so closely with Leslie on this title – she was my partner-in-crime throughout the entire project from beginning to end and we also were able to spend a special week together in my home when we began shooting the book back in May 2013 which has a little background story to it…

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OK so a funny side story to share: Leslie and I went out each night for dinner after our shoots and our conversations kept going back to how much I wanted to have a baby and that it’s an important “next step” for me and that maybe after the book I’d get pregnant (since I planned to do a big book tour for Decorate With Flowers). During those conversations, Leslie kept giving me great tips and encouragement and basically was my pregnancy cheerleader. The only thing was, while we were out talking about my desire to start a family, I was ALREADY pregnant with Aidan! In fact, I found out 3 weeks after she left Hannover and I couldn’t believe it. Isn’t life funny?

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So this is our new website for Decorate With Flowers… It is here that we’ll drop extra bonus content from the book, an image gallery where you can grab images to use on your blogs and pin for inspiration, press stuff (so if you write about us send your link to my assistant jessy [at] decor8blog [dot] com and we’ll link it to the press page), tour related information since Leslie and I plan to do some events in the UK, Europe, Canada and the United States… Though we won’t be doing a full on book tour together with West Elm and Chronicle Books as we had hoped since my son is only 18 days old, we will be visiting different cities to meet you guys and give workshops… And in May, in London, we’ll be together to do a lovely launch event with Anthropologie and Jacqui Small Publishing.

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Decorate With Flowers will be published in 6 editions currently as outlined here. Foreign language editions include Italian, French, German and Dutch. The UK, US and German versions are shown photographed above. Purchase information here.

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We sincerely hope that you enjoy, and will share, our book website! It’s something I thought to do for my second book but didn’t have the time so I definitely wanted to try it for the third! I find that nowadays online, you really have to look for interesting ways to promote your work that adds value and isn’t just another “look at me!” opportunity. That is why I think this website is so helpful – it makes it easy for others to find and use images from our book, find out where to buy them, the available languages, publication dates, who are publicity team is and also just background info on us and bonus content that we think readers, fans, friends and journalists who are looking for a story angle may find super helpful. It’s a good idea to pull everything together in one place. I don’t know about you guys, but these days we have social media connections all over the place and we can be found everywhere online – so I like the idea of having one spot where people can go to find out everything they need to know about Decorate With Flowers. If you are an author or due to become one, why not try creating your own book website too?

xo, Holly

(images: 1. Caitlin Sheehan 2. Screenshot 3. Leslie Shewring 4. Leslie Shewring)

Posted in Books + Magazines on February 28, 2014

Simple Times: Taste of Prague

Hello lovely decor8 friends! It’s Rincy again with another Simple Times post. I must say a very warm thank you for your comments on the last post here, it is such a comforting thing to know that we are really in this journey of growth together in 2014. (the recipe of the Lahmacun will be soon to follow, I promise) In the last few weeks since then Holly has welcomed Aidan, a beautiful new spirit into the world and aside from the qualities one hopes for another -purpose, reason, self-esteem, creative joy- in the last year I’ve begun to realize wanderlust is the most infectious of all to spread to a little soul.

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This past week I was able to take a trip to Prague. It was a breath of fresh air and really one of my most favorite trips in the last few months of travel. I’ve spoken previously about the advantages of knowing a local in adding a richness to plans while abroad and I cannot speak more highly of the Taste of Prague team for doing just that for us. I’ve heard much about the touristy aspect of Prague however, prior to arriving we had maps of suggested less travelled walking paths, countless names of tried-and-tested restaurants and a four hour walking tour revolved around food to help aid in learning more about the culture and history of this beautiful city.

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We travelled everywhere by foot coming back to tired legs and full bellies but the effect of this city lined with its myriad of architectural styles, rich history, savory meats and of course the beer (and wine!) sure did leave it’s mark. I always find it difficult summarizing travels and images to share but wanderlust will always be aplenty after even the smallest of trips.

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If you are curious, some of my favorites in Prague: EMA espresso bar Prague Castle this guide and the ToP crew also has an apartment for rent, too as shown below…

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I sincerely hope that near or far around your area, you can find a little spot that creates that spark of wanderlust for you too. – Rincy

(text/images: rincy koshy)

Posted in Simple Times on February 28, 2014

Micro Trend: Teepees

Hello decor8 readers, are you ready for another trend report? It’s Gudy again with a trend report for February. I have been wanting to write about this Micro Trend for quite some time already but I thought it could be a nice moment to be shared when little Aidan (Holly’s baby) arrived. So let’s see if we get him a mini teepee when starting his first crawling adventures! What do you think, Holly? Have you noticed too a certain Native American trend on the rise, both in fashion and interior with loads of arrows, feathers and teepees? What do you think about it? I know in fashion, there have been issues raised about whether or not showing a model wearing a headdress is culturally appropriate. What do you think? How about for interiors though? Do you think a teepee is appropriate?

I say let us embrace the latest movement no matter if you consider yourself grown up and prefer to lounge rather on day beds or sofas. The novelty here is that it is not just thought up and designed for your kids. Your inner child will love having a good time with friends and your kids chilling on cushions and throws. I am thinking here about parties, events and picnics – or how about a romantic date? Indoor teepees have grown in popularity and interior designers and boutique owners have seen the potential in it. Let’s start with some playgrounds for adults…

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Sukha – I guess we all have seen this white, simple yet wonderful teepee of the must-visit Sukha store in Amsterdam which has been all over the net for a while now. It looks like a perfect DIY idea for any inside or outdoor space to me.

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Styling Emma Persson Lagerbers / Photography Petra Bindel for Urban Outfitters: This gorgeous styling has been done by Emma Persson Lagerbers for Urban Outfitters and is a total contrast to the first image. The tribe vibe here illustrates how differently you can create your own teepee world with a wide mix & match of all kinds of fabrics and patterns.

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The Handmade Home – The Handmade Home suggests a no-sew totally self made teepee out of fabric samples which takes you not more than one day to fix. You decide on the design, it is a real low cost project and you could plan it as fun family project.

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Mary Romneys’ home on Color Issue: And then you have the kids options where I picked some rather monochromatic examples. I love the Scandinavian edge here and how easy they seem to adapt to any space starting with this striped black and white tent.

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Photo by Rolinda Windhorst, Seen on Stijlbloem: And how about a soft unisex design ready to fit into any corner? The fun thing about teepees is they are perfect for boys AND girls, and you can give them by styling a fun colorful twist or you go for a romantic look with mini flower prints, all up to you, there are so many options on the market.

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Mokkasin: Sofia from Mokkasin sells gorgeous pieces in her online shop with a very lovely color range. This would not be the typical teepee but I wanted to show you this design anyhow since the idea and look are so inspiring.

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Residence Magazine / Styling Lotta Agaton / Photography Pia Ulin: Lotta Agaton and Pia Ulin have been teaming up here again for another fantastic shooting published in Residence Magazine. The home owners live in Skivarp, Sweden in the middle of nowhere yet in a very stylish way.

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MILK magazine: This loft and former warehouse located in Amsterdam gives the perfect scenery for a more industrial feeling with furs to stay cosy and wooden crates as toy storage containers. It’s quite a different child room feeling but that makes it so interesting, don’t you think?

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April and May Styling for Zara’s Baby Collection 2014And to finish up, April and May have been styling the last mini and baby look book for Zara and it looks gorgeous. Loving the little flags on the top.

So, if you are now in the search for a teepee, Etsy is a great source, there are some there… I hope I have been able to seduce you a bit or transport you back to your childhood.
Do you believe this could be the summer party trend 2014 for adults?

(images linked to their sources above)

Posted in Top Trends, trends on February 27, 2014

Books:

Available now on Amazon

Further editions available include: Portuguese, Danish, Czech, Slovak, French

Courses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
Find out more and sign up now.

Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)