Five Recipes : Salted Caramel

I've only made choux pastry a few times but each time it's gone spectacularly right so every time I see a recipe that calls for choux pastry, I know it's for me. 
Particularly if said recipe involves salted caramel.

It's most definitely a favourite flavour of mine & one that no menu or patisserie worth its salt appears to be without these days, decadent & delicious, it's rarely disappointing.

For this week's Five Recipes series, I've chosen some of my favourites from my "salted caramel" pinterest board. Yes, I do indeed love it enough to have a dedicated pinterest board ;)

jars of salted caramel, perfect for foodies - this recipe is in French but just use Google translate :)

all recipes link to the original bakers & creators via their websites

Sponsored Video : A2 Milk

Following a conversation with friends last week, I was reminded once again how fortunate I am that my children don't have any food allergies or intolerances.

They've always been great eaters who will try just about anything, they're completely totally adventurous & long may it continue!

I have friends with children who have all kinds of allergies - wheat, gluten, dairy, nuts....and other friends where one or more member of the family is vegetarian or has other dietary requirements.

When I grew up, I wasn't aware of anyone having particular food issues or allergies although very possibly they might have done. 
These days though it's something we are all much more knowledgeable & aware of, my children think nothing of it & it's common practice if you're hosting a play-date or a children's party to check if anyone has any allergies.

I've always been a one-meal-fits-all kind of cook &, where possible, my children have generally eaten whatever the adults have been eating, I have not encouraged them to eat any differently.

Life did become a little more challenging when my daughter began secondary school & then became a teenager....suddenly she claimed to dislike foods that she'd always loved.

She was faced with less than healthy options in her school canteen & she also started travelling home from school alone or with friends, generally stopping for a snack on the way.
I just had to cross my fingers & hope that she wouldn't eat too much "rubbish". 

And for a while, probably like many young people of her age, if I said black, she said white.
She even claimed overnight allergies to her favourite foods!

For a very short time, she seemingly refused to eat anything healthy, simply snacking & eating industrial quantities of crisps. Not eating breakfast. And yes, consuming rubbish!

For the first time ever, I started to worry about her diet....
not enough fruit & veg, calcium, proteins or, in fact, anything vaguely high in nutritional value.

I never had to disguise my children's vegetables as anything else when they were toddlers as they ate everything put in front of persuasion or cajoling was involved or required.

Unfortunately, it seems that almost all teenagers have a phase where they respond to absolutely NOTHING ; persuasion, cajoling, threats, bribes, cash & yelling, you try them all to no avail!

Eventually, I stopped driving both myself & her crazy & stopped giving her endless food lectures....
I started buying some new foods which I guessed she might feel tempted by, out of boredom if nothing else.

Healthy snacks, nuts, fruits & berrries for smoothies which she started creating for herself & some interesting granolas. 
I bought juices made of things that I'd never even tried myself & I also bought a variety of different milks - soy, goat & any other option I could find - in order to deal with my growing child.

We now appear to have reached a much happier compromise on healthy eating & she understands that it's all about balance. She has the instincts of someone who will be a good cook & I can see that she now understands the concept of eating good = feeling good.

This post is sponsored by a2 milk which is one of the milks that I tried.
a2 milk is a pure cow's milk that contains A2 protein but not A1 protein meaning that it may in fact be suitable for those who have previously been lactose intolerant.

This is a sponsored post but all words & content are my own.

House Renovations : The Bathroom.

Our bathroom was second on our list of "major works" in our home, 
but for various reasons 
(the main one being that I couldn't bear living with our current bathroom for one more day), 
it has been bumped up to the top spot....
and work on it has started today.

It is the smallest of the major projects - if that makes sense - and therefore should be the quickest to theory!

The bathroom in our house right now is on the ground floor, located next to the kitchen - which quite honestly doesn't work for any of us.

The whole room has seen better days, the shower is temperamental & is also over the
bath, the room is very brown & outdated, it houses our washing machine & it is lacking in storage.

Quite honestly, I hate using it & do so as quickly as possible.

So, our new bathroom will move up a floor to the room directly above, currently a bedroom....
the new room is a perfect square, is lighter & brighter & will work so much better.

I have never designed a room before but have tried to keep my wish-list as simple as possible & focus on just some of the things I want in a bathroom.... 

* the room is to be : light, bright, calm, warm, spa-like, clean & uncluttered

* colours : pale, ivories, creams, whites, greys

* storage : functional, simple, classic

I have chosen a traditional claw-foot freestanding bath & a walk-in shower.

Grouting in the shower will be mid-dark grey & I am using subway/metro tiles - very excited about these!

I am ordering almost all the bathroom furniture, fixtures, fittings & accessories online &, given the amount of options available, have tried to keep my choices simple 
ie, I have gone with my first or second choice & not looked at everything out there.
Too much choice is not always a good thing! 
I had a brief moment of second-guessing myself this morning as I ran through everything with the builder, but I feel pretty happy with it all.

The fact that we are starting with an empty white room is a good thing, within reason I can plan the room any way that I want. Everything will be fresh & new, it feels extremely exciting!!

The builders have just finished their first day's work & the whole project is estimated to take three weeks. 
I can't wait to share before & after photos.

all images via Pinterest, to see more from my Pinterest boards see here....

Inspiration : 5 Pins & 5 Links

....isn't this a great & very original way to display your instagram or polaroid photos, very cute! true, be it family, friends or simply those you admire from afar

i am all about a good soup. and a woolly jumper. 
going to be making this rustic nordic pea soup tomorrow. this sign from Market Lane Coffee, Melbourne coffee shop.
 a little life advice on one wall....
it's okay to be good at just one thing....
just make sure you're really good at it & that you love it. 
be passionate. love what you do. that's good enough.
The Met Museum of Art, NYC....such an inspiring space.
i really need some museum time, going to plan that for next week. promise.

+ 5 links that I've enjoyed this week

a stunning Chelsea, NYC townhouse, so much inspiration here

this greek yogurt olive oil cake with orange blossom glaze

this extraordinarily moving piece "a wedding in the shadow of cancer "

i so want to take a trip....
these gorgeous photos of a Viennese honeymoon make this look like a good place to start!

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