Friday, March 29, 2013

Chinese Marble Tea Eggs

With Easter right upon us, chances are you've probably seen your fair share of egg decorating ideas, but indulge me for a minute because I have one more to share. While these marble tea eggs don't necessarily classify as an 'Easter activity', they do however involves eggs, which makes them somewhat relevant.

Tea eggs are one of my favourite ways to cook eggs. Simmered in a fragrant broth of black tea, soy sauce and spices, the eggs are elevated from a humble hard-boiled egg into something beautiful and complex in flavour. The mulling process permeates the whites of the egg so that even the yolks are infused with a hint of tea and spice. These eggs are as common to Chinese homecooking as cheeseburgers are to America. Generally consumed as a snack either warm or cold from the fridge, these eggs make a great addition to any meal. Add them over ramen, in a rice bowl, or even as the basis of an Asian inspired deviled egg. Personally, I like to have them for breakfast, slice in half, warmed up and with a splash of the tea marinade over the yolk.

Chinese Marble Tea Eggs
1 dozen eggs
2x star anise
1x cinnamon stick
3-4 bay leaves
1 tsp peppercorns
2x dried orange peel
2x tea bags (any type of black tea will work)
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp five-spice powder

1. Boil eggs till soft-boiled, approximately 6 minutes
2. Bring a large pot with 4 cups water to boil. Add tea bags, spices, soy sauce and five-spice powder and let it simmer. Reduce broth by 1/4 before adding eggs.
3. Lightly crack the shell on the eggs but do not peel. Either gently tap with the back of a spoon, or roll the eggs lightly on table.
4. Place cracked eggs in tea broth, bring to a boil and continue simmering for one hour.
5. If eggs are not completely submerged, rotate after every half hour. Add more water if necessary.
6. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate the eggs in the tea broth.
7. The flavour will continue to develop overnight. Tea eggs are best consumed the next day and the day after. Peel egg just before serving.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Must-Haves

While I usually like to start the week off with a new outfit posts, this week I'll have to dazzle you with something different as my trusty little storage device died right before I started writing this post. Ah the perils of modern technology. Since my previous post was all about Spring staples that I revisit year after year, I thought it was only fair to share a few new items that's been on my radar lately. Usually I like to  steer clear of trends but this season it seems like there are a few items that could live on to become wardrobe basics. What do you think?

Distressed white jeans: minimal and chic. This season, I'm really loving all the distressed versions of this classic jean. Although white jeans are everywhere right now, chances are you'll still love them long after they're out of the spotlight.

It's been awhile since I've been this excited by a piece of jewellery. Despite the heavy price tag I have a feeling these rings are going to be on everyone's fingers, if not already. I guess it's time to retire all those bib necklaces collected over the last year. 

It feels like I am always on the hunt for the perfect pair of sandals. Something casual but not sloppy looking, something versatile and not too trendy, something comfortable but still elegant... The geniuses at Loeffler Randall have finally achieved that elusive middle ground with a sandal that's both timeless and in vogue. Now which colour? 
Loeffler Randall white sandals $295 // Loeffler Randall lucite gold sandals $325 // Loeffler Randall dark camel sandals $295

The moto trend has been around for a while and it doesn't seem to be fading anytime soon. I really love the idea of layering a white moto vest over everything for Spring. It's an instant update to what you'd normally wear and plus you get instant street cred.
Man Repeller x PJK silk moto vest $298 // Rebecca Taylor tweed moto vest $395 // F21 faux leather vest $27.80

Comfy sweatpants in a leopard print? Well now, that just ticks all the right boxes. I think by now it's obvious that anything in leopard is an instant classic. Well almost anything, let's not forget about the existence of the Shore Store, ahem. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Style Staples

Every year as the days start to get longer and the sun shines a little brighter, I dig into the deep abyss that is my wardrobe and dust off a few basic pieces to see me through the new season. I call these my Spring Staples. These are the pieces that become building blocks to the rest of my outfits. A sort of blank canvas, if you will, to add playful and seasonal touches. Here are the top five fail-safe items that I bring out year after year:

one . classic trench
What can I say about a classic trench coat that hasn't been said before? If you do not own one yet, I really recommend you consider investing. While I usually wear mine over dresses or pants, this year I'm feeling inspired to try them with slouchy boyfriend jeans and a crop top. The great thing about buying your trench coat from Burberry is that they offer complimentary tailoring to your hearts content.

two . white pumps
When it comes to shoes, I prefer a classic silhouette- pointy toes with a 4 inch stiletto heel and minimal to none platform. This year I just can't get enough of white pumps. After scouring the internet for a good few months I finally came across the perfect pair that's both lady-like and sexy. Thank you Michael Kors.

three . statement watch
I liken it to carrying the latest 'it' bag but in a less in-your-face kind of way. A good watch will make you feel 'put together' even on your most dowdiest days. I've had this Christian Dior watch for almost ten years now and I still love how relevant it is during the warmer months. I'll admit, I'm a huge fan of those Michael Kors/Marc Jacobs gold watches, but when it comes to luxury nothing beats an elegant investment piece.

four . pastel polishes
Pretty in pastel, that's how I like my nails in Spring. Actually this year I'm really loving bright white nails. For that I use an Essie polish in Blanc. Along with everything else demure, I'm also loving matching fingers to toes lately. No more two toned shades or interesting graphics. This year it's all about clean, simple, lady-like nails.

five . peachy pout
I love the look of matte lips. It's a great way to add colour without being provocative or suggestive as glossy lips sometimes do. While I prefer a pale pink or deep red in the cooler months, during Spring I love peachy tones. And it just so happens coral/peachy lips are so on-trend right now. Win-Win!

six . fresh flowers:
Although not really something wearable, I just had to throw this last item on the list. To me, fresh flowers are as essential and bread and water (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but you get the point). A simple vase of fresh cut flowers has an incredible ability to heighten the mood and atmosphere of any room. This is THE Spring staple of all time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Wardrobe Diaries: Put a Bow On It

These days I find myself leaning more and more towards easy fuss-free wear. While I love pretty dresses and multiple layers as much as the next girl, in reality most days I'm lucky if I have time to brush my hair in the mornings. Is it just me or has the busy season hit most of the world? These boyfriend jeans have been in constant rotation lately and for good reason. They're comfortable, pairs well with almost everything in my closet and I love the way they contrast with a fabulous pair of shoes. Even my baby girl loves them, although for very different reasons. She loves to stick her arms into the holes and pat my knees, hence the extra large distressing. Being St. Patty's Day this past Sunday, I just wasn't in the mood for dressing up in a leprechaun green costumey outfit. So instead I resorted to a simple white shirt and jeans ensemble accented by a brilliant green Hermes scarf tied into a pretty little bow. Sometimes a small dose of colour is just what you need.

{ wearing : jbrand boyfriend jeans // gap shirt // hermes scarf (old) // furla belt (old) // tory burch tote similar here // prabal gurung for target sandals // michael kors watch }

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Current State of Street Style Photography

image via

Please indulge me for a minute while I diverge from my usual blogging content and inject some discourse on the current state of street style and street style photography.

I watched Tim Blanks' short film on the phenomenon of street style stalking this morning and could not get the image of Anna Dello Russo parading around like a dancing monkey out of my head. Those who follow {camo meets couture} may have already come across this video via my other social networking channels but it really is such an eye opener that I thought a dedicated blog post was necessary.

While the phenomenon of dressing up in outrageous clothing is nothing new, this peacock parade during fashion week with it's herd of accidental paparazzi's has blown to such a scale over the years that street style is not only loosing its authenticity but also becoming a dangerous sport. Sooner or later someone is going to get hurt. And rather than wearing something personal, the fashion week attendees don their most attention seeking outfits, each trying to outdo one another and the photographers just eat it up. They say any publicity is good publicity right? But what if the current state of things closely resembles those reality tv stars made famous for their narcissism and bad judgement? Although I should note there are attendees who choose to remain true to themselves and avoid the peacock parade.

Tim Blanks is spot on when he mentions how 'embarressed' he was for these people. Some parts of the film really were excruciating to watch. If you have a few spare minute, I urge you to see for yourself.

TAKE MY PICTURE from GARAGE Magazine on Vimeo.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wardrobe Diaries: Classic Simplicity

Lately I've found myself more and more drawn towards wearing simple outfits that look effortlessly thrown together. Like this casual tee and denim combo offset by a sophisticated blazer, pair of polished pumps and bright red lips. Funnily enough, those very same effortless outfits are usually also the most time consuming. It's all about achieving that elusive middle ground, somewhere between looking like you spent an hour getting ready and looking like you just rolled out of bed.

The great thing about dressing effortlessly is that there are so many interpretations out there. From style messiah Kate Moss with her messy hair and vintage gowns, to the Olsens with what can only be best described as junkyard chic to Kate Bosworth and her cozy boho style. Each interpretation though different all exude that same I couldn't-care-less-about-my-outfit-yet-I-look-amazing appeal. And then we have the infamous Vogue Paris team and their less is more, simplicity is key approach. In case you were wondering, it's the later I most adhere to. These ladies just ooze effortless chic with a healthy dose of statement accessories on the side. What's not to love about that!

Perhaps it's just a mild case of fashion fatigue, or perhaps I'm finally growing up. Either way I'm putting aside my princess dresses for now and opting for classic A-lined silhouettes and borrowed from the boys aesthetics. What about you? Have you redefined your style lately?

{ wearing : who what wear t-shirt available here // paper denim & co skirt super old but also loving this and this // mango longline blazer // michael kors pumps available here . chanel bag . j.crew chain link bracelet and pave bracelet thanks to INPINK }

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sesame Crusted Turkey Meatballs

I recently attended a baby shower where the theme was 'ready to pop' and by pop I mean popcorn! The table was laden with bowl upon bowl of different flavoured popcorn while every other dish was sized down to resemble some form of a pop.

When I first learned of the theme I was so excited by the possibilities, but it soon had me racking my brain trying to come up with a dish that was 1) relatively healthy 2) savory in nature and 3) looked like popcorn. Eventually I hit upon the idea of coating mini turkey meatballs in a sesame seed crust to resemble little popcorn balls. Bloody brilliant was what I thought. That was until I realised no such recipe existed on the internet, at least none that I could find. After a little improvising and trial and error I believe I've finally perfected a recipe that was good enough to serve up at a party and more importantly, good enough to share on this blog. So here you have it- mini thai style turkey meatballs in a sesame seed crust. Enjoy!

Sesame-crusted Turkey Meatballs

1-1/2lb turkey mince
1/4 cup panko
1 egg
1tbsp ginger minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small shallot minced
3 scallions finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp chinese cooking wine (optional)
2 cups roasted sesame seeds to coat
Peanut oil for frying
Sweet chili sauce to serve

1. Combine turkey, egg, panko, ginger, garlic, shallot, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and cooking wine in a large bowl.
2. Mix with hands till well combined. Microwave a spoonful of mixture to check if more seasoning is required.
3. Shape 1tsp of meat mixture into a ball and place on tray. Repeat.
4. Once you have a full tray of meatballs, generously coat with sesame seeds. Shake tray to coat underside of meatballs.
5. Heat up enough peanut oil in a pan so meatballs are half immersed.
6. Fry meatballs on medium heat for 2 minutes on either side to crisp the sesame seeds.
7. Transfer back to tray and finish cooking in oven at 350F degrees for 5 minutes depending on size of meatballs.
8. Serve with ample sweet chili sauce or another condiment of choice.

*recipe yields roughly 30 mini meatballs

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wardrobe Diaries: Neons and Neutral

When the neon trend first debuted in 2011, I was skeptical. I just could not see the appeal in wearing safety vests if you will. There are so many great aspects of the 80's just waiting for a resurrection, but did we really have to bring back the fluro? Well that was what I thought until I saw Christian Siriano's SS12 collection of casual tees paired with floaty neon maxis. All of a sudden I didn't hate it, in fact I rather loved it! Neons were transformed 80's sporty chic to a dreamy nonchalant vision and I was enthralled.

Since then I've found myself always opting for neon accessories when the option exists. A little neon accent goes a long way. I'm especially fond of teaming it with monochrome looks or in this case, basic neutrals. The neon blue druzy necklace and acid neon sandals sit on either end of the torso balancing each other out. Instead of the eye being drawn to a particular statement piece, the dress and jacket take center stage as a result from being framed by the pops of neon.

What about you? Are you a head to toe neon kind of gal or do you shy away from this bright bold trend?

{ wearing: muuba leather jacket similar here also loving the lace version . madison marcus wrap dress also loving this maxi wrap gown . clair vivier foldover clutch . prabal gurung for target sandals . druzy necklace thanks to INPINK use code CAMO30 for 30% off all jewelry }

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday's Fancies

The weather has been so glum lately that the husband and I went ahead and purchased tickets to sunnier shores. We'll have to brave through the rest of this winter season first but it's great to have something to look forward to. I don't know about you, but I often find the lead up to a vacation just as exciting as the vacation itself. The last time I was in SoCal was almost three years ago (yikes), so if you have any tips on where to go and what to eat, send them through!

In my previous outfit post, a few of you asked about the leather wrap bracelet that I wore. Today I'm really excited to share a 10% discount for all {camo meets couture} readers at House of Gemmes. Simply enter the code CAMO10 at checkout and you'll be on your way to new additions to your arm party.

A teeny tiny vintage Speedy that now permanently belongs to the kids. My little ones love carrying it around on the crook of their arm almost as much as they love licking the little brass lock.

It's no secret that most fashion bloggers sit around in their PJ's and sweats while posting sartorial content online. While I can't say I don't do the same, I also see blogging as an excuse to crack open a bottle of red and enjoy some much needed alone time.

A new gold tray from Pier One that works great for housing my sunglasses collection. Up until now my sunglasses have lived inside their respective cases thrown into the deep abyss of my drawer. I love that this tray lends a little glamour to picking accessories. 

Since the playground has been out of the question this week, the girls and I went on a little adventure ride through some hilly streets instead. I'm not going to lie, I probably had as much fun as they did. 

Some pretty watercolours of iconic Melbourne landmarks that I brought back with me from a recent trip back home. Now to find a suitable location to house them. 

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