Zucchini, Basil and Parmesan Soup

This is a really nice quick recipe that I love making for my lunch during the week. The combination of the zucchini, basil and parmesan is such a good one. I personally don’t like garlic so I don’t add it here but it would be really good in it too. Using grated zucchini dramatically reduces the cooking time and also makes it taste much fresher. You don’t have to add as much butter or double cream as me (although it is super tasty)  – just substitute a nice olive oil, milk or single cream instead.

I’m just making this for myself today so adjust recipe accordingly:

Zucchini, Basil and Parmesan Soup

Serves 1

1 small zucchini (about 125g/4.4 oz)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil (about 1 handful of leaves)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 freshly grated parmesan
1 tbsp unsalted butter (or olive oil)
1 tbsp double cream
1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped (optional)
Pinch of salt

1. Grate zucchini and add to a small saucepan along with basil, garlic (if using), pinch of salt and a tiny bit of butter/olive oil. Let mixture soften, stirring over a low-medium heat for about 3mins. Gently heat stock in a separate saucepan.

2. Add hot chicken stock to vegetable mixture and allow it to cook for a few for minutes over a gentle simmer.

3. Take soup off heat, add butter and double cream and blend until smooth. If you are using a stick blender make sure to keep the blades under the liquid otherwise it will become very frothy!

4. Pour into serving bowl, add parmesan and stir until combined. That’s it.

The smaller the zucchini you use the sweeter and more flavour it will have, so if your using a larger one you may need to up the quantity get a good flavour.

Hope you enjoy this. What is your favourite vegetable soup to make at home?  
Have a great weekend everyone :)

White Chocolate Bath Melts

Indulgent, chocolate-scented, moisturising bath treats. These are currently my new favourite bath time addition and are so simple to make too. I prefer using refined butters and oils in all my homemade beauty products as I find they are kinder to the skin and also blend better with fragrances, but feel free to use the unrefined versions if you like. Unrefined cocoa butter will have an even stronger smell of chocolate (so its pretty nice), unrefined coconut oil will make these smell of coconuts as well. Please not that I’ve included affiliate links  in this post (more info here)


The links above are for products on Amazon available in the US. I’ve put together a list of more international online suppliers for these ingredients if you have any trouble sourcing them.

You will also need:

  • Chocolate moulds or an ice cube tray

I used these ones, if you’re in Australia they currently have them at the Reject Shop. I’ve also seen them on ebay too. I really like these Rose and Daisy ones too.


1. Shave cocoa butter into small pieces and flakes using a large, sharp knife (or you could use a grater).

2. Bring about 1 1/2 cups of water (1″ depth of water or so) to boil in the saucepan and let it simmer at a low temperature.

3. Place the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a bowl over the saucepan and stir until melted. I like to prop the bowl up on a spoon so steam can escape easily from the side.

4. Take the melted oils off the heat and add the essential oil (if using).

5. Pour into moulds and let them set in the refrigerator for a few hours.

6. Once set, gently remove from moulds and store in a cool,dry place. 

These have a tendency to melt (similar to chocolate) in warmer temperatures and can stick together too. I store mine in an airtight jar in the refrigerator (make sure to label them so that they won’t be mistaken as food!)

How to use: 

Simply drop one or two into a warm bath and enjoy. I usually add a cup or two of epsom salt as well.

*Safety Advice*

These can make the bath pretty slippery so please be really careful. Use a good quality bath mat and add the melts after you’ve gotten into the bath so that you don’t slip getting in. It’s a really good idea to give the bath a quick wipe around after you’ve finished to remove the oil too. I just use a cleaning cloth with some cheap face cleanser or shower gel.

Let me know how you like these. What are your favourite additions to a relaxing bath?


Linking up with: Monday Funday, Funday Monday,

DIY Natural Beauty Ingredient Suppliers (International)

Creating natural beauty products is another thing that I absolutely love to do and, as I’m hoping to start sharing some of my favourite recipes here on the blog, I thought I’d put together a list of some suppliers that I’ll be able to refer you to in the future. I find many of the the ingredients  (pure shea butter, jojoba oil,  beeswax, salts and clays) either really difficult or expensive to find in the usual stores so I generally prefer to buy these online. All these websites look great and carry a wide range of everything you should need to get started. 
Please note that I don’t have personal experience from these stores (apart from a couple of the Australian ones). I’ve discovered these all through other websites, books and blogs and although I  believe them to be genuine and reputable, please always take appropriate care when purchasing from any new store.
UK/EuropeThe Soap Kitchen, Fresh Oli, The Soapmaker’s Store, GracefruitG. Baldwin and Co,Everyone

Ebay, Etsy or Amazon all carry beauty supplies too.

I find health food stores, naturopathic pharmacies (drug stores) and craft stores are the best real life places to find these.

……And let me know of any more great places too :)

More Shopping Picks

Here are a few more shopping picks that I was going to include in last week’s post but ran out of time before I put them together. Just a few simple things, I’m especailly loving all the black and white that’s still around this season. Hope you enjoy :)

Please note these links are affiliated which means I may earn a few cents for your clicks. Learn more at my disclosure page :)

Roast Chestnuts

I know this will be the completely wrong time of year for many of you, but it’s chestnut season here in Australia and I’m keen to make the most of it.  Although I love the flavour of them roasted over open flames, I find it very hard to get the timing right so I generally prefer to use an oven. My favourite way to eat them is with melted butter, salt and pepper  – yum. I have a few other serving ideas below too :)

Roast Chestnuts

You will need:

– About 6 chestnuts per person

Select chestnuts that are fresh, firm (ie that they don’t have a pocket of air between the shell and the nut), fairly heavy and with a glossy, undamaged shell.

– Something yummy to serve them with (optional)

I like melted butter with salt and pepper but some other ideas include vanilla, chocolate, red wine, orange, honey, maple cinnamon sugar (also in my photos).


1. Rinse and lightly dry the nuts in a tea towel.
2. Using a sharp, serrated bread knife, cut a large cross into the flat side of the nuts, making sure to piece all the way through the shell.
3. Place in roasting pan with the cross sides facing up and bake in a 180oC (350oF) oven for abour 20-25mins.
4. Remove them from oven and wrap them in a tea towel for 5 mins (optional, but this can help them to peel more easily).
5. Serve straight away, chestnuts both peel and taste the best while still hot. You will need to remove both the outer shell and inner casing before you eat them. If the chestnuts are too hot to peel initially you can use the tea towel to break the shells apart (what I usually do). If they cool down too much to peel just throw them back in the oven for a few minutes.

Chestnuts should be a creamy yellow to white colour once peeled, sweet, yummy and have a soft, fluffy, potato-like texture. If they are rubbery and still have a bit of bite to them, just cook them for another 5 mins or so. Watch out for any blackened or greyish ones as these have gone bad (they are usually are quite shrivelled and dense too, sometimes you will be able to see mould on them).

Even though I cooked these in the oven, it’s still nice to serve them by the fire.
Do you love roast chestnuts too? What’s your favourite way to eat them?

Linking up with: Whims Wednesday,

Shopping Picks: Accessories

A few pretty things I’ve seen online this week…

Please note that some of these links are affiliated which means I may earn a few cents for your clicks. Learn more at my disclosure page :)

1. Pack of 6 Summer Flower Hair Grips ASOS $15.50
2. Dipped Ray Collar BAUBLEBAR $20 (on Sale)
3. Bow Tie ASOS $11.50
4. Aztec Studs BAUBLEBAR $34
5. Love Rocks Linked Bar Oval Pave Cuff Bracelet ASOS $49
6. Icon Do Anything Flat in Heart MODCLOTH $45
7. Sequin Foldover Grab Clutch Bag ASOS $42
8. Made Evii Brass Silver V Earrings ASOS $39
9. As Far As I Can Snazzy Heel MODCLOTH $50 (Coming Soon)
10. White Black Crocodile Leather Clutch Bag SHEINSIDE $20.65
11. Garden Floral Cosmetic Bag FOREVER 21 $6.80

Which ones are your favourite?