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Cassandra Catsoulis

Brisbane Weddings: What The Guys Need | Brisbane Threads
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Brisbane Weddings: What The Guys Need

posted by Cassandra Catsoulis May 5, 2016 1 Comment

Everyone loves a wedding, but organising one can be one heck of a headache. So, we’re helping to make Brisbane weddings less stressful, and more enjoyable, especially for the happy couple themselves.

Over the next three weeks, we’ve got your go-to guide for everything you need to know about getting married in Brisbane. From suits for the guys and flowers to bespoke stationery and THE dress, we’re covering the best of the best when it comes to everything you will need for the big day! First and Foremost: What The Guys Need.

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Food

How To Make Greek Coffee

posted by Cassandra Catsoulis October 9, 2015 1 Comment

The easiest way to describe exactly what a “Greek Coffee” looks, tastes and smells like is to basically say it’s a very strong brewed coffee – similar to a piccolo that unfortunately looks a little bit like mud, krema on top and the grounds in the bottom of the cup. Although it can be made in various different pots, the traditional small pot (pictured) is best because it allows the proper amount of krema, which adds to the unique taste of a traditional Greek Coffee.

Some say there is an art to it, others say it comes naturally but after asking around my big Greek family the general consensus was it is all about the krema – a brownish foam that forms on the top of freshly made espresso coffee.

To make a traditional Greek coffee at home, make sure you have: 1 small pot, formally known as a Briki used to boil Greek coffee it is usually brass or copper, 1 small coffee cup, Sugar, Ground coffee and a spoon.

Here’s how to make Greek coffee at home:

  • Start with 1 cup of very cold water for each cup of coffee you’re making
  • Add 1 level tsp of ground Greek coffee for every cup your making (no sugar for a sugar free coffee – called a sketo).
  • When it comes to sugar: no sugar for a skeet (sugar free coffee); 1 teaspoon sugar for a (metrio) coffee which is not too sweet; 2 teaspoons per cup for sweet (gliko) coffee.
  • Put one teaspoon of ground coffee into the briki
  • Combine the cold water with sugar and ground coffee into the briki
  • Dissolve sugar into the water, remove the teaspoon from the briki and place on the stove until the water just starts to boil – while stirring slowly
  • The coffee starts to rise forming a krema
  • Before it comes to the boil you should take it off and there should be a thick krema forming on the top
  • Gently pour into Greek coffee cups adding a bit of krema in each

How To Make Traditional Greek Coffee At Home | Brisbane Threads

Enjoy on its own or with a Greek biscotti (paximadi) for a treat. Once you’ve finished your drinking your coffee, turn your cup upside down and read your fortune as the old Greek folk did!

Extra tips: If you want to achieve a thicker kaimaki (cream on top of coffee) then add more sugar. To read your fortune, look at the patterns the coffee left and see mountains, roads, animals (whatever your fortune may be) – some people do it for fun however many Greeks still believe in it. Finally, when talking to someone with Greek heritage about coffee, never mistake it for a Turkish coffee – we’re all friends now, but for some it’s a touchy subject.

To make the perfect Greek Paximadi here’s my Yiayia’s recipe:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 cups of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds or dates, or both!!!!

1. Add sugar and oil slowly and beat for 5 minutes. Sift flour add the orange juice and then the nuts. The dough may seem sticky, but it is ok when you start working with it (refrigerating the dough for a while will help you in handling it). 2. Divide the dough into portions. Roll into six thin loaves, about 7 inches long; place on baking sheets or if you have small bread pans, you can put each loaf in a bread pan. Beat egg brush top of loaves. 3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; while still warm cut loaves into 1/2 inch thick slices. Turn slices on their sides, put on cookie sheet, return to oven and bake these slices at 250 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes (depending on how crisp you like them), turn paximathia over, bake for another 10 – 15 minutes.

Once you have nailed the ultimate Greek coffee and Paximadi combination, reward yourself with Greek feast from one of our top five Greek restaurants in Brisbane: The Little Greek TavernaThe Yiro ShopLefkas TavernaGreek on Cav and Zeus.

Happy Coffee making!

Spotlight on: Gretel & Dexter | Brisbane Threads
Lifestyle

Spotlight On: Gretel & Dexter

posted by Cassandra Catsoulis August 6, 2015 0 comments

It’s safe to say that it is more than handy to have a good friend who is able to whip up you the perfect bohemian dress for a Sunday “soho sesh” the night before in a matter of hours. Well, that’s just how this young designer started out. This week for Spotlight On I chatted to Gretel Harvey, owner and designer of gretel & dexter who started her label in 2012 by “accident” when she made her first, perfect little black dress.

The Byron Bay lover of bohemian fashion styles started out only making the classic shoulder dress, but has now added a diverse collection to the Gretel & Dexter range that includes jewellery, accessories, bags, tops and of course dresses. That’s when Gretel needed space to work and continue expanding her brand. Inspired by loose, feminine and relaxed silhouettes gretel & dexter naturally is an elegant boho fit for every age.Spotlight on: Gretel & Dexter | Brisbane ThreadsBT: Where did it all start?

Gretel: My grandmother taught me to sew at the age of 5 and I had always spent time on the sewing machine as a child, as it used to be a huge creative outlet for me. I then started making my own clothes by the time I was 16 and began getting requests from close friends and family to make similar styles for them. One thing lead to another, and before I knew it I was selling garments to strangers.

BT: What are your favourite pieces of the collection?

Gretel: My favourite would be the Mima dress, however the Ayana Top and the Mima are two very easy to wear and versatile pieces.

BT: Would you say your personal style resembles g & d or do you have a whole separate style? 

Gretel: Yes, entirely. I have to sometimes question myself when designing new pieces and remind myself that just because it’s something I would wear doesn’t mean it’s what my customers would wear!

BT: What is the design process you go by…is there something/someone who automatically gives you inspo?

Gretel: I find a lot of my design inspiration from social media, particularly Instagram and Pinterest. I then sketch and formulate my own designs which are then passed onto the manufacturer who will compile a number of samples for me to have a look at and from there we may do another 6 or 7 samples until we get the perfect prototype which is then manufactured and then ready to sell.

BT: When did you decide to open your own shop?

Gretel: Shortly after I started the label, I was originally working from the guest bedroom of our family home and needed a space to work from and display the collection.

BT: What are your goals for the next 5-10 years?

Gretel: My first goal is to finish uni. Once I graduate, I will be able to spend a lot more of my time on the label. I will probably aim to spend a lot more time in Bali designing new pieces more regularly and see where the label goes after that.

BT: Will you come out with a winter collection soon?

Gretel: No, I will probably start offering a winter line in 2017.

BT: What is you dream for g & d?

Gretel: To be an internationally recognised house hold label for everyday wear.

BT: Where did Dexter come from?

Gretel: No relevance to the label at all, but Dexter was the name of the puppy I had as a child…gretel & dexter had a ring to it and so it goes!

BT: Which items can’t you leave home without? 

Gretel: My watch, a nice pendent necklace and a stylish bag.

Now it’s over to you guys, what is your favourite item from g & d?Spotlight on: Gretel & Dexter | Brisbane Threads Spotlight on: Gretel & Dexter | Brisbane Threads Spotlight on: Gretel & Dexter | Brisbane ThreadsFor more information or to shop visit: http://www.gretelanddexter.com/ and be splendour-luscious all year round!

Italian In Brisbane
Food

A Little Taste Of Italy

posted by Cassandra Catsoulis June 4, 2015 0 comments

We make lots of choices throughout the day; piccolo or latte, to study or watch Netflix, go to the gym or sleep in, pizza or pasta. For me, there are three decisions that reign supreme, and they revolve around breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you are indecisive like me, meal choices can be rather stressful and you end up with order envy when dining out and an uninspired dinner when eating in. The decision is made even more difficult when on the hunt for a good dose of Italian in Brisbane – how are you supposed to choose between the culinary gifts of the Italian motherland and then choose where to devour them!

Fear not, because if you fancy a bit of Italiano in Brisbane, the decision is easy and it starts with Beccofico and ends with La Macelleria. That’s right Brisbane, here’s your guide to a taste of Italy in the capital of the sunshine state. Let’s start with dinner…

Italian In Brisbane

Image from Beccofino

Located amongst the famous Wool stores in Tenerife, Beccofino is known for its authentic wood fired pizzas and northern Italian influenced dishes. They’re especially tasty as winter bears down on south east Queensland, so my advice is to keep warm with a carb-ilicious pasta overload. Yep, that’ll hit the spot.

 With lightly battered calamari, slow cooked duck ragu and handsome waiters (with accents might I add), it’s safe to say a night at Beccofino’s is sure to be a good one. They have an extraordinary wine list – even for those who “know their wine,” Beccofino’s will surprise and delight you. Accompanied by an array of aperitifs your Italian evening is near complete (Did you know an Aperitif is a small or large drink of alcoholic liquor taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal and it is usually a tasty inclusion in the Italian lifestyle).

Feeling indecisive about what to order? I’ve ordered (and loved) the Calamari fritti con rucola entree, the Woodfired pizza special (think prosciutto, mushrooms and artichoke topped with a secret cheese) and the Parpadelle al Ragu d’Anatra, a flat ribbon pasta dish with a duck and tomato ragu.

Italian in Brisbane

Image from Beccofino

And now for dessert. All hail dessert!

There is nothing better than authentic Italian gelato. Luckily for diners, La Macelleria is right across the road from Beccofino. This reinvention of the Italian gelato is nothing short of sensational. I like to marry these two Italian delights for the perfect night out. This is why after a feeding frenzy at Beccofino I highly recommend dropping into La Macellaria for some truly homemade Italian gelato.

 Their story is simple. Two dudes from Bologna, the homeland of gelato, wanted to give the cosmopolitan  city of Brisbane the real gelato experience. Not only can you watch the gelato making right before your eyes, but the array of ice-cream goodness offered is something else!  Gelato, sorbet, shakes, espresso and gelato cakes from their open-plan kitchen are just a few of the creamy delights that will make you want to squeeze a scoop (or two) in.

So what is my pick of the crop? Hazelnut gelato or the Coconut and hazelnut gelato! But of course, any flavour is bound to be undeniably, absolutely, without fail, good.

Italian in Brisbane

Image from La Macellaria

So what are you waiting for? Spread some Italian love this weekend and pop into Beccofino and La Macellaria, or even your local Italian favourite. If you’re feeling generous – we’d love to hear where you go for your Italian fix in the comments below!

P.S I suggest you don’t wear heels because you are likely to find yourself in line for a little while because this Italian hotspot is just SO good.  Also, the hustle and bustle of Teneriffe at feeding time can make it difficult to find a park, so remember it’s only a short stroll from the ferry and city cat stop.

P.P.S Brisbane is home to some great Italian restaurants. In fact, we dedicated a whole post to Italian pizzas here and you can find more Italian goodness here. I think this calls for a giant post on Brisbane’s best Italian restaurants…. what do you think?