5. November 2015

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Designer Kitchens For Designer Cooks

I love my time in the kitchen as much as I love anything.


Cooking is a real passion for me, the thing I get to do with my hands, my creative outlet.


Having a great space to work in makes the experience so much more pleasant. Like using great produce, a great kitchen is such an important part of the experience.

I call my kitchen a designer kitchen because that’s what it is. When I started cooking it was cheap utensils and supermarket produce in my share house kitchen. Those days are long gone and finally I have a designer kitchen to match the quality I look for in things these days. Kitchens designers Melbourne really did a fantastic job of fitting all my specific demands into a really fantastic looking kitchen.


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6. September 2015

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Setting Goals and Staying Hungry With National Sterling Group

One of the most important parts of a Financial Plan is ‘being hungry for success’. A financial plan is not something that you ‘set and forget’ and it needs to move and change as your financial and personal circumstances change.

Whilst you should set reasonable and real goals with your Financial Adviser at your initial and subsequent appointments, we encourage you to always stay in touch with our Client Service Team as well. This will ensure you are provided with the advice, products and services you need regardless of whether your Financial Adviser is currently available. We have a team that is here and dedicated to you – use them!

As time goes by, this will become more and more important as you will sometimes change your goals, reach them and set new ones for yourself. Your financial plan must be adjusted to reflect these new goals and like anything else you may need to re-evaluate the steps you can take to achieve your goal, what protections you need in place whilst you are trying to achieve your goals and what steps you can take to get there faster.

The goals you set will help to establish what products and support services you need and will also establish how long you will need these products.

So, in summary;

  • Make the most of the time you spend with your Financial Adviser and ensure you spend sufficient time while you are face-to-face.
  • Always stay in touch with the Client Service Team
  • Advise us as soon as your circumstances change

Whilst there are many key factors involved in deciding what your ideal Financial Plan is, each party involved in setting up the plan should make a conscious effort to re-assess it from time to time as some products may not be appropriate for you forever. For example, you may want to decrease your insurance once you have paid off or sold a major asset/debt and on the other hand you may want to increase your cover when you have a child or secure more debt/buy another asset.

If you think you need to review of your Financial Plan, or any of your financial planning needs, you can contact a member of National Sterling Financial Management Group’s Client Service team at any time either via the Contact Us section of our website, or by phone on (03) 9533 8555. The Client Service Team at National Sterling Financial Management are available between Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm Eastern Time.

National Sterling Financial Management pride themselves on keeping our promise to you of supplying exceptional Client service and guarantee a reply within 48 business hours.

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14. April 2015

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Delicious board room catering will help get the deal done

We have to thank The Food Agency for helping us to make an outstanding impression on our recent overseas visitors. We hosted our potential clients for a boardroom meeting and lunch, and the fantastic catering really put everyone at ease and in a compromising mood.

We had a fine dining French cuisine style lunch that was nothing short of delicious. We were able to discuss our business partnership over full stomachs and decadent desserts and our corporate guests really felt like they had been given the royal treatment.

I am positive that we couldn’t have landed such a big account without Universal Restaurant’s Catering raising the bar with their food. Next time we need to sway a deal our way we know exactly who to call

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18. February 2015

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gnocchi with sage cream sauce


Gnocchi may take a lot of work to prepare, but fortunately they are served best with the simplest of cream-based sauces. This would also work well with any type of pasta, if you’re feeling indulgent.


Adapted from Epicurious.
Ingredients: 12 ounces gnocchi (frozen), 5-6 minced sage leaves, 2-3 shallots, handful of chopped walnuts, 2 Tablespoons butter, 2/3 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup white wine.
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped walnuts and saute until they start to darken, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from a slotted spoon to a small bowl.
Mince the shallots and finely chop the sage. Add them to the butter remaining in the saucepan, and cook for a minute or so, until the shallots are translucent.
Add the white wine and cream. Bring to a gentle boil, then continue to cook until the mixture has reduced by half – 5-7 minutes more.
Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in boiling water (drop them straight in from the freezer – if they thaw out they’ll stick together). They only take about 4 minutes – they’re done when they float. Drain.
Add the drained gnocchi (or ravioli or whatever you’re using) to the finished sauce. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, top with the toasted walnuts.

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5. November 2014

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Hitting The Streets With Burgers of Melbourne

It has been some time since I have posted on the this blog, and to be honest, I have been so busy I actually forgot it existed until the domain renewal came up. Being back into the eating scene, I thought I would share one of the best experiences I have had in a long time. It was one of the most unhealthy eating sessions, but it was so fun at the same time.

My friend started a blog (Burgers of Melbourne) and he was invited to go and taste the new menu at Hello Sam, an inner Melbourne city burger place that wants to be famous for their triple patty burgers.

The new menu consisted of 3 new burgers, the option was to get these single, double or triple patty, and of course we decided to go triple on every single one of them. 2 of us, 3 triple patty monsters followed by bacon and cheese fried and onion rings. Below are the 3 babies we tried!

Uncle Sam Triplehello-sam-uncle-sam Continue reading “Hitting The Streets With Burgers of Melbourne” »

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6. July 2014

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Gluten Free Meals that are Seriously Inventive

I’ve started eating significantly less gluten since Gina moved in. She’s gluten intolerant and it’s just easier than preparing two different meals at night. These are the sacrifices we make for love I guess. Lunch of course, when I’m at work is a different story and I am actually pretty happy eating a bit differently.


She has been ordering meals from Dineamic for a long time and I love the convenience and creativity of their dishes. Often dietary considerations can be an opportunity to think a little outside the square. After a long day of work I’m happy for Dineamic to do that thinking for us and for us to just reap the benefits. It’s just so handy for busy people!

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4. June 2014

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Catering to Melbourne

Catering in Melbourne is particularly challenging because of the top quality food available on every street in and around the city. It used to be you would have to be a member of some exclusive club to get a really exceptional meal around town but these days people are disinclined to settle for anything less.


We actually used to run a catering business but as things grew more and more competitive it became much harder to deliver. We always had a good relationship with The Food Agency and I still admire their work. I’ve never seen a company that handles catering in Melbourne quite so well, whatever the event or budget. Sometimes it takes an industry professional to recognise the real quality of an operator, The Food Agency are one of the best I’ve seen.

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1. April 2014

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Roast Chicken with Pancetta and Olives


Whole chicken legs (drumsticks + thighs) are so inexpensive, but I don’t know too many ways to prepare them that don’t involve breading and frying. There’s always braising, which is more time consuming, and is so rich that it reminds me too much that I’m not eating a healthier all-white-meat chicken breast. This recipe, adapted from January 2014 Gourmet magazine, is the best of both worlds: crispy skin with juicy meat (but from roasting instead of frying), and the rich, complex, salty flavour typical of braising, from the pancetta, olives and roasted garlic. I should also mention – it took less than an hour to make, start to finish.

Grocery list (note that the original calls for 2 whole chickens; instead I halved the recipe and used only leg pieces): 3 pounds whole chicken legs, 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, 5-10 peeled garlic cloves (how much do you like roasted garlic?), 1 cup white wine, 1 thick slice pancetta, about a dozen black olives.

chicken1Preheat the oven to 450. Chop the thyme, cube the pancetta, and chop the olives into big pieces. Continue reading “Roast Chicken with Pancetta and Olives” »

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17. February 2014


Green walls will make a giant impact on your small space

We have such a tiny courtyard outside that filling it up with plants would leave us with no room at all. However, I really love nature and greenery and didn’t want to compromise on having it as part of our home.  Our solution was a luscious and lively green wall from O2 Plant Walls. Continue reading “Green walls will make a giant impact on your small space” »

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1. September 2013


Quinoa Italian Bites

Yes, as I told you all, I have another Italian recipe for you this week. Sorry for the Italian over-kill, but it’s what  I was cravin’, so it’s what I was makin’. Anyone else feel like they were in the mood for Italian in particular this week? No these aren’t crazy cravings like I am pregnant, they are just cravings. Don’t get any ideas! Although Joe and I are coming up on our first wedding anniversary on September 17, 2012. I was asked what we were doing and honestly, I don’t think Joe has any tricks up his sleeve. I really don’t get that feeling. We shall see, maybe it will be a relaxing weekend at home and I’m ok with that, too! Back to the Quinoa Italian Bites, these little babies really stayed together when being baked. I was uber happy about this and think the 2 eggs in the recipe really helped with that…


These Quinoa Italian Bites were supposed to taste like pizza but overall just reminded Joe and me of a mini Italian meatball. These would be perfect for taking to a party and putting a toothpick in them. They were perfect alongside some grilled veggies and a salad. They would be perfect when you have 30 minutes and need to make something stay like I did before running out the door to take Luna (our rescue pup) to the vet. That’s all these little diddies took – 30 minutes.


Continue reading “Quinoa Italian Bites” »

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