Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Myer Giftorium Experience: Your Christmas shopping just got a lot easier.

A few weeks ago I was invited to the Brisbane launch of Myers new in-store concept, Giftorium. Like most things Myer do, it was done beautifully; they have really put a lot of thought and effort into this concept! It was such a lovely morning, and really bought out my inner Christmas junkie (that is totally a thing, right?) I wanted to share it with you and tell you why Giftorium is going to be a game changer this Christmas.


Giftorium is a store within all 67 Myer stores, each one containing all things Christmas to give you the most unique Christmas experience possible. It reminded me a bit of the department store in Elf, and I wasn't surprised to learn that Giftorium was inspired by the great international department stores.




One of the things that make a visit to the Giftorium so magical are the staff! How many times have you been in a busy department store ready to purchase your carefully chosen item, only to find that the sales assistants are non existant? *puts both hands and eyebrows up* 3000 new jobs have been created nationally just for The Giftorium, and here are a list of services the extra cheerful staff will be doing to make your Christmas shopping experience  both easier, and more pleasant.

  • Gifticians are experts in gift giving, and will be able to make suggestions to you based on the 12 different categories that the products fit into. (more on the products later) So, if you have an 18 year old nephew/4 year old cousin/92 year old great aunt who is hard to buy for, a Giftician will be able to make suggestions for you and take you to where the item is, in the Giftorium. You can even make an appointment! 
  • Producticians will be available to provide demonstrations of a range of items, including Marvin's Magic, Sodastream, Mr Men and Little Miss, Plum wine glasses, Vista Print, and Dilmah Teas. 
  • Same Day Elf Delivery Service; if you live or work within 2 kms of the Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney or Perth stores your purchases will be delivered by a fleet of uniformed elves.
  • Shop and Drop Parcel Service, so you don't have to carry your purchases around while you shop. No more dead arms! This will ensure you have the strength to lift a post shopping coffee to your lips.
  • Gift Wrapping - I thought these guys where great, and even cheerfully offered to run to a different level of the store to find the perfect ribbon for my item. 
  • Roving Treat Street assistants in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth stores offering a range of free Christmas food to keep you (and the children) happy.
  • A Gift Registry, iPad Ordering in-store if your item has sold out, and a Shop, Wrap, Deliver service if you just can't even.  



Are you starting to see how easy it is going to be? Let's not forget the children. Of course the big man himself is going to be there, and you can make an appointment to see Santa to minimize queue angst. There are  special appearances from various characters, and childrens Christmas book readings. There will be face painting, musical performances, many of the Giftorium staff have been to Magicians School and Balloon Animal School to provide extra excitement, and lets not forget the Roving Treat Street assistants. Older shopping companions might enjoy Christmas tree and table decorating demonstrations and cosmetic workshops.



The Giftorium also has a huge range of Christmas decorations and decor available, and Myer have gone all out to make the ambiance as glittery as possible, using 15,500 Christmas decorations alone just to decorate the Giftoriums. This doesn't include the decorations on sale! 


OK, I hear you say - sounds great but I need to actually buy some Christmas presents! Times a wasting and I've got a list! There are 12 categories to choose from in the Giftorium, and at least one of them is going to blow your skirt up, I promise. They are Dapper Dad, Miracle Mum, Glamour Gran, Trendy Young Things, Kids Cubby, Food Fanatic, Stocking Fillers, Techno Freak, Fashionista, Globe trotter, Paws Corner, and Hop,Skip, Juice for healthy folk. I was super impressed with the quality of the products on offer - nothing seemed generic or uninteresting. Here are some of my favourites...



It's a cat scratching DJ pad!! Genius! I don't even have a cat but I feel the need to get one just so I can gift him with this.




At the Mr Men and Little Miss stand, an artist will customize some art for you or your little darling, based on any of the Mr Men or Little Miss characters. Am I a princess? Why yes, I have my invisible tiara on as we speak.




Just testing out these wine glasses (thanks Mrs MMM for the photo) I could totally get a job as a Giftorium Productician, don't you think?



I don't normally go in for advent calendars, but this one is from BENEFIT so I just might have to...



There is an amazing range of the most beautiful leather accessories from R&A, in Chicago, and they offer in-store embossing for this range. The embossing machine is a beautiful, vintage looking piece of machinery from Kentucky, USA; and the Sales Assistant even used his best 1920's radio announcer voice for me. I couldn't resist getting a luggage tag for Mr BC, and he loves it.

Myer Giftorium officially launch in all stores on the 8th of November. There will be a whole range of celebrity appearances as well as a whole host of fun activities to celebrate. Check here to find out what is going on in your store!  If you are on instagram, check out the hash tag #giftorium. If you are in Sydney, there will be a huge digital screen in the Myer Sydney City Windows flashing instagram images with this hash tag. Feel free to use this hash tag to share your own Giftorium experience!

NB - this is not a sponsored post, all words and Christmas Junkie enthusiasm are my own. Myer did gift me with a lovely goody bag, with the awesome surprise of a $50 voucher inside. Thanks for a lovely morning and a great shopping experience, Myer! 


Monday, October 27, 2014

Clay Pot Fish

Do you have a fussy eater in your house? Monkey Boy does not like anything with sauce, or gravy, or mixed up, or anything unusual on his plate. He generally does not like fish, apart from fish fingers, or fish he has caught himself, as long as someone else has filleted it and it has no bones or skin. I cooked this Clay Pot Fish with the understanding that he probably wouldn't like it, and was really surprised to see it disappearing from his plate. 

I LOVE this chicken Mum! 

It's fish, Darling, I said. 

Yep, it's the best chicken I've ever eaten! 

The Gentleman quickly chimed in that it was Chicken of the Sea. It's now on high rotation as the best chicken ever. 




Clay Pot Fish

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo of fish fillets, no bones or skin. I used frozen Basa from the supermarket. See note.
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • half a teaspoon of ground white pepper (use more, or black pepper if you like)
  • 3 tablespoons of Asian Caramel Sauce (this is easy to find, it is a savoury sauce that is used to give a rich brown colour to dishes)
  • 1 can of coconut milk.

Method
  • Defrost the fish, cut into large pieces and place in a large saucepan or casserole dish that has a lid.
  • Mix remaining ingredients and pour over fish, ensuring that the fish is well coated.
  • Put the lid on your 'clay pot' and cook in a medium oven for 30-45 minutes.
  • To serve, sprinkle with finely chopped spring onions, and fresh chilies if you like.

I served this with steamed broccoli and a choice of paleo fried rice, or plain steamed rice. Guess which one Monkey Boy chose?  

Also - Basa! Controversial, I know, thanks to many drama lamas who make up all sorts of stories. If you want the real deal on why Basa is a great choice, click here. We've been eating it at Casa Chaos for years with no side effects what so ever, and as we don't listen to drama lamas our blood pressure is pretty healthy as well. You can use any firm fleshed fish that you like in this recipe, and even leave the skin on if that's what you like. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Corn and Cabbage Fritters with Spicy Tomato Salad

You guys, this is so easy AND super impressive! I made it to impress the MIL, and it did, so if you have someone to impress, cook these up!




Corn and Cabbage Fritters
Ingredients

  • 4 Spring Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tin of corn kernels, drained. Or use fresh!
  • Approx 1 cup of red cabbage, chopped into pieces the same size as the corn kernels. I cut a thin slice from the cabbage then chopped that into smaller pieces.
  • 1 egg
  • half a cup of self raising flour, or use plain flour with a pinch of bicarb and half a teaspoon of baking powder.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • A splash of milk if needed.
  • Olive oil, to cook.


Method
  • In a large bowl, combine the spring onions, corn kernels and cabbage.
  • sprinkle over the flour, salt and pepper and stir well so that all the vegetables are coated evenly. This will save lumps in your fritters. No one wants a surprise lump of uncooked flour in their fritter.
  • Mix in the egg to form a dryish batter. If it's too dry, add a splash of milk, but not too much.
  • Did you add too much milk? Sprinkle in some more flour, no biggy.
  • Heat a little olive oil in a non stick pan, and place large spoonfuls of fritter batter into the pan. I could fit 3 in my pan, with a little room around each one. 
  • Leave to set on the bottom but don't let them burn. This will take a few minuets. When they are ready, turn and cook the other side.
  • Drain on paper towels if you like, but they wont be that oily. 


Spicy Tomato Salad
Ingredients
  • About 2 cups of chopped, fresh tomatoes. I used quartered cherry tomatoes because they are going off in the garden, but use what ever you like, just chop it into small pieces.
  • A big handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • a small glug of olive oil
  • a small glug of red wine vinegar
  • a big pinch of salt
  • a small pinch of sugar. 


Method
  • Mix everything into a bowl, and let sit for at least an hour to allow the flavours to marry.
  • That's it. 


To Plate. (fancy!)
  • Place a few fritters in a small stack.
  • Place a big blob of sour cream on the top.
  • ladle a big spoon of tomato salad on top of the sour cream.
  • If you are not allergic to chilies (like my MIL) place a spoon of chili jam on the top.
  • If you are feeling decadent, add some slices of perfect avocado. I wasn't feeling decadent.



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