Monday, July 30, 2012

Entertaining Idea: Banana Leaf Bowls

I love the simple and creative way of serving food to guests in these gorgeous banana leaf bowls. You could even use them to display some shells, jewellery and other precious trinkets!

Before using banana leaves, always scald them in boiling water to remove any bacteria or soil that may be on the leaves. Wipe the leaves dry and air them a little before cutting them to make the bowls.

Start off by cutting a fairly square piece.
You can estimate a square by folding a triangle from the edge.

After getting your squares, fold the corners down.
Be sure to fold towards the natural grains of the leaves, not against.

After folding down the corners, fold in the top and bottom corners.
Then secure the fold with a stapler or toothpick.

And now you have yourself a beautiful little banana leaf bowl that you
can fill with a delicious dessert or some prized tropical treasures!

Source: The Peonies

Saturday, July 28, 2012

JapaMala Resort, Tioman Island, Malaysia

Malaysia’s JapaMala takes the appeal of “getting away from it all” to a new level, one that involves nothing but sun, sand, sea, and pleasure.

Not many resorts can or should make doing nothing look and feel as attractive as JapaMala does. Of course, the stunning natural Malaysian surroundings might have something to do with that. Then there are the rooms ('Sarang' in Malay, 'nest' in English). Wooden houses, hillside sarangs, and beachside villas are ripe for the picking so choose between Treetop Chalets, Seacliff Chalets, Jungle Luxe Sarang, Hillside Sarang, Seaview Sarang, and Penghulu’s House.

Pick accommodations with a private plunge pool if possible, dine on delicious fare at two impressive restaurants, escape to the spa, and explore by kayak. Oh yes, and don’t forget… to do nothing at all at JapaMala.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Welcome to Paradise...

Welcome to Paradise...where the sun sparkles across the azure waters and the sand massages the soles of your feet.  Enjoy!

Image Source: Pinterest

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Passionfruit Brulée Tartlet with Drunken Pineapple

55g brown sugar
Double cream, to serve

55g unsalted butter
110g plain flour
15g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp iced water
1 egg, beaten

Passionfruit filling
110g caster sugar
45g butter
2 tbs passionfruit pulp
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk
1 tbs cornflour blended with 1 tbs water
90ml cream

Drunken pineapple
1/2 pineapple, peeled
55g brown sugar
2 tbs dark rum
1 tbs lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease four 8cm-round loose-based flan tins.

2. To make pastry, using your fingertips, rub butter into flour and sugar until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add egg yolk and enough water to just bring pastry together. Refrigerate, covered in plastic wrap, for 30 minutes.

3. Roll pastry between two sheets of baking paper until 2mm thick. Cut out four 10cm rounds. Line prepared tins with rounds. Trim edges and prick bases. Line with baking paper and fill with baking beads or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove baking beads and brush with beaten egg (this will seal it and keep it crisp once the filling is added). Bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool. Remove tart shells from tins.

4. To make passionfruit filling, stir sugar, butter, passion fruit pulp and eggs in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, for about 10 minutes until thickened. Add cornflour mixture. Cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes or until mixture thickens and just comes to the boil. Cool completely. Whisk cream until firm peaks form. Fold into cooled passionfruit mixture.

5. Divide filling among tart shells. Refrigerate until set.

6. Meanwhile, to make drunken pineapple, heat an oiled grill pan or BBQ grill plate on high. Halve pineapple lengthways. Cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned all over. Slice thinly. Place slices on a tray. Stir sugar, rum and juice in a small jug until sugar is dissolved. Pour over pineapple. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

7. Sprinkle tarts liberally with sugar. Cook under a hot grill (or use a blowtorch) until bubbling.

8. Serve tarts with pineapple and cream.

- You could also use this fragrant passion fruit filling to sandwich a victoria sponge or fill ready made profiteroles.
- Try making drunken pineapple at your next barbecue and serving with a simple vanilla ice cream.
- The content of pulp in passion fruit varies, but look at buying 1 passion fruit per tablespoon of pulp required, with an extra one to cover any shortfall.

Source: My Kitchen Rules

Design Seeds Colour Palettes

How gorgeous are these colour palettes from the Design Seeds blog that I have recently discovered.  I especially love the beachy and lush tropical tones!

Blogger, Jessica shares with you her journey and inspiration as she continuously tracks and forecasts emerging colours and palette combinations.  Head over to the blog to check out all her other amazing colour palettes -  Very inspirational! x

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fluffy Lime Cupcakes with Lime Whipped Cream

Fluffy Lime Cupcakes with Lime Whipped Cream
Makes 24 Cupcakes

Cupcake Batter
2 ¼ Cups Cake Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 ¼ Cups Buttermilk
4 Large Egg Whites, at room temperature
1½ Cups Sugar
1½ Tablespoons Fresh Lime Zest
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Key Lime Extract
Lime Whipped Cream:
1 Cup Heavy Cream, chilled
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 TablespoonsFresh Lime Zest
Fresh Lime Zest
Fresh Lime Slices

Preheat oven to 180˚ c / 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in another bowl. Put the sugar and lime zest in a mixer bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and with the paddle attachment beat at medium speed with a stand mixer until ingredients are light and fluffy. Beat in the extract and lime juice, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Mix in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, mixing until the batter is well mixed, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Continue beating the mixture for another few minutes to ensure that the batter is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for a few minutes, and then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the whipped cream. Using a standing mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment, whip the chilled heavy cream on high until it just holds stiff peaks. Slowly sprinkle in the sugar until you reach a thick consistency. Add in the zest and whip until combined.  Fill a piping bag with a fitted tip. Pipe on the whipped cream on top of cooled cupcakes. Garnish with additional lime zest and lime slices....and enjoy!

Source: The Culinary Chronicles

Friday, July 20, 2012

HOLIDAY @ HOME: Holiday Memories Cork Board

Highlight your holiday with a cork board that serves as a scrapbook and tour guide of your recent escape to paradise. Cover the cork board frame with sandy coloured paint. Cut a map to fit the corkboard and use a craft glue to adhere it. Create travel inspired thumb tacks by gluing shells, miniature compasses, or other mementos onto flat pins to show where you've been. Add your favourite photos, ticket stubs and other souvenirs for a decor piece that will keep you reminiscing for years to come.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Escape to Paradise in the media

We have been very fortunate to have some great media coverage over the last couple of months.  Here are some of the pages that Escape to Paradise has featured in... 

Luxury Home Design Magazine

Giftrap Magazine

Renovate Magazine New Zealand

Coast Living Magazine

Real Living Magazine

Gardening Australia

Home Beautiful Magazine

If you ever come across Escape to Paradise in the pages of your favourite magazine we would love it if you could drop us a quick email with the magazines name and issue date -

Monday, July 16, 2012

Desroches Island, Seychelles

The exclusive and luxurious Desroches Island of the Amirantes Archipelgo, considered to be of the most pristine and untouched islands in the world, boasts the finest choice of dwelling in the Indian Ocean.

Situated in the outer islands, 230km from Mahé Seychelles, Desroches Island is a refuge for an indulgent private escape experience set amidst a raw island paradise of palm fringed white sand beaches and lush endemic island vegetation.

The island, an exotic land mass 6 km long and 1.5 km wide, has only one luxurious resort with an accommodation offering as diverse as the international clientele that dream of embracing its shores. Each of the Desroches Island accommodation possibilities offer unrivalled privacy in spacious luxury, tastefully modern designs that blend seamlessly into the exotic island vegetation, and artfully crafted finishes that make for a truly exclusive and bespoke island escape... your very own piece of paradise.

Image Source: