Recipes: Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Ricotta Pasta

Accredited practising dietitian Emily Hartley shares one of her favourite recipes using fresh produce from Norwood Place.

Image: Matthew Kroker

Serves 6

Ingredients

400g spelt shells or farfelle pasta

1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 medium sweet potato, diced

¼ butternut pumpkin, diced and deseeded

3 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp ricotta

1.5 cup vegetable stock

Pinch ground nutmeg

3 cups baby spinach

Parmesan cheese 

Cracked black pepper and salt to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Place the diced sweet potato and pumpkin on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Roast for 45 minutes or until golden. Once cooled, place half the vegetables into a high powered blender and mix until a puree consistency is achieved. Set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside but keep warm.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, bring a large frypan to medium heat and add the olive oil and minced garlic. Cook until fragrant. Whisk in the tomato paste, roast veggie puree and ricotta until smooth. Add the reserved roast vegetables, vegetable stock, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Cook on low about five minutes.
  5. Add spinach and cook until it lightly wilts.
  6. Stir in pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with freshly shaved parmesan. 
SHOP THE INGREDIENTS

Ingredients are available from the following food retailers at Norwood Place:

Metro Fresh Norwood
Norwood Foodland

Mortgage Minefield: Are You Paying Too Much?

Fixed or variable? Sell or invest? The team at Bernie Lewis Home Loans make sense of the mortgage minefield. 

Interest rates are currently low despite the booming property market, so is now the time to invest or sell? 

Interest rates are at never-before-seen historic lows and the property market in Adelaide and many regional areas is booming. If you are considering selling your property, then now may be a great time to take advantage of potential capital gains. For investors, there is a clear shortage of rental properties available, with rental vacancy rates in most areas outside the CBD at one percent or less. 

Do these low rates also mean it’s a good time to fix your rates?

Fixed interest rates are very competitive at present with some lenders offering rates well under two percent. The decision to fix your loan is one that should be considered carefully before committing. A fixed loan generally has restrictions on additional repayments and may have less features available than a variable rate loan. Additionally, if you sell your home or need to refinance before the fixed term has ended, you may incur penalty break costs which can be considerable. A split loan, where part of the loan is fixed and part is variable, is worth considering so as to retain the ability to make additional repayments, access redraw or use an offset facility.

Refinancing is often put off by homeowners because it’s a lengthy process to find the right lender with the best rates. What should people consider when choosing a new lender?

We strongly recommend you review your loan every two years, or if there is a change in your circumstances. During a loan review we will compare your current loan with what is available in the market. We not only compare your current interest rate, but also other features and benefits that may suit your needs and lifestyle. It is surprising how many people are unaware they have a loan with an interest rate that starts with a three or even a four. They could have a loan with an interest rate that starts with a two or even a one, potentially saving themselves thousands of dollars in interest per year. Our Brokers can compare your current loan with what is available from our panel of more than 30 lenders to see how much you could potentially save. There is no fee for our service as we are remunerated by the lender.

Online lenders often offer lower rates – why?

Over the last few years, a few online lenders have emerged in the marketplace. Some of them have rates that are lower than other lenders, but their products often come with less features. Online lenders also require you to complete the application process yourself and do the running around to gather all of the required supporting information to get the loan assessed and approved. 

Is it worthwhile asking my current lender to match the interest rates of other lenders?

Most definitely. If you have had your current loan for more than a couple of years there is a good chance that your current interest rate is not very competitive. Banks are notorious for offering new customers better interest rates than what is available to their current customers. We call that a ‘loyalty tax’ – if you don’t ask then you don’t get. 

Bernie Lewis Home Loans
213 Fullarton Road, Eastwood
08 8300 8300

Transform Your Floors

There’s no doubt that natural flooring adds instant texture and warmth to any room, but it’s not one size fits all when it comes to jute, sisal and seagrass. Here’s everything you need to know thanks to the team at Natural Floors in Stepney.

Seagrass, sisal and jute are natural fibres offering great textural quality, which is important in effective interior design. Natural flooring, in the way of rugs, runners and wall to wall installations, also offers a wonderful neutral palette. For expert advice on what type of flooring should be used where (for example, high traffic areas such as living spaces and entrances require harder-wearing flooring compared to less frequented spaces such as bedrooms) the experienced team at Natural Floors can help.

Natural Floors is an Australian owned natural flooring business with offices in Adelaide and Melbourne. The team have over 30 years’ experience in sourcing and laying stunning natural flooring solutions. Working directly with interior designers, architects and private clients, each product is completely bespoke and made to order and each rug is customised and hand-binded onsite using local materials.

Sisal
Made from Agave sisalana and harvested in Africa, Brazil, Madagascar and China, sisal flooring has a flat, extra small weave. It works well in any part of the home but is particularly good for offices where desks and chairs with caster wheels might be used. 

Wool/jute
Soft to touch, wool and jute blend flooring is perfect for bedrooms and living areas. Large and luxurious boucle weaves also add texture.

Jute
Natural jute floorings are made from vegetable fibres, mostly grown in India and Bangladesh. The natural colour selections make this flooring ideal for living areas and bedrooms. A range of weaves are available. 

Seagrass
Made from flowering plants found in marine environments, seagrass flooring is ideal for high transit areas due its wavy coating that offers excellent stain resistance. 

To see Natural Floors full range of floor rugs visit their showroom at 33-33A Henry Street, Stepney.



Simple Ways to Update Your Outdoor Space

Warm weather means entertaining makes the move outdoors, so we spoke to the talented team at Presenting Beautiful Homes for tips on how to spruce up tired alfresco areas.

Image: @pbhomes
make sure you have plenty of seating

If you’re entertaining over summer, plenty of different seating options in your outdoor space is an essential. Whether you’re catering for small or large groups make sure you include table seating as well as casual seating options such as lounges so people can really relax.

add some personality

Styling with a pop of colour, soft furnishings and some of your favourite décor items will really bring your outdoor area to life. Statement pots and plants are another way to inject stylistic features into your outdoor entertaining space. 

Image: Pinterest
refresh tired areas

Taking the time to resurface or repaint tired areas in your outdoor space can make the world of difference. It might simply be a fresh lick of paint on your fence or verandah, pressure cleaning the pavers or recoating your deck. Tired areas might also include parts of your garden that are craving a bit of attention – weeding, pruning, mulching and fertilising your plants will make them feel lush and loved. 

bring some ambience with lighting

Festoon and fairy lighting always creates a lovely ambience outside and are a simple and cost-effective way to make an impact.

Words Mia Vidale

Summer Entertaining

Interior designer and the creative talent behind @thestylistloves, Marie Kargiotis, heads to Barossa Central to show us how to style the perfect entertaining area.  

Comfortable, functional and stylish outdoor seating
Has your outdoor setting had its day? Now more than ever our homes have truly become our sanctuary, so this is the perfect time to update your outdoor furniture. A comfortable and stylish outdoor setting will also encourage you to spend more time outdoors – Barossa Mitre 10 has a great three-piece wicker set that’s perfect for intimate entertaining.

Stick to a colour scheme
Set the table with your favourite china, cutlery and glassware. Don’t be too precious about it all matching, just stick with similar tones to create a cohesive look. All white or soft earthy tones make it easier to pull together. This grey and beige speckled Ladelle tableware from Barossa Homewares pairs beautiful with the timber accents. Inject that feel of luxury with crystal glasses and ornate cutlery.

Add some greenery
I love adding a touch (or a big bundle!) of nature to every table setting. It’s a great way to injected colour and add dimension to the table. Real flowers or foliage bring a table setting to life. You can get creative with the vessel too.

Create ambiance
Fairy lights and candles set the scene and will take your table setting to the next level. Candles create such a beautiful ambience. If you want to be dramatic use larger candles in clusters or if you prefer delicate and soft ambient lighting tea lights and fairy lights are a good choice. Hurricane lanterns, like the ones available from Barossa Homewares, make a great centrepiece.

A winning antipasto platter
The Barossa is synonymous with wine, and what goes hand in hand with wine… cheese! Barossa Fresh Foodland has its own cheese room that stocks more than 150 individual cheeses from over 20 of the best local and international suppliers. When creating a cheese platter start with your selection of cheeses, add variations of crackers, then fill the spaces with a combination of fresh and dried fruit and nuts.

Styled to perfection
It’s the finishing touches to a table setting that can truly enhance a dining experience. I created this table setting with products from Barossa Central, sourcing items from Barossa Mitre 10, Barossa Home Living and Barossa Fresh Foodland. Soft neutral tones mixed with the relaxed feel that nature offers creates a soft elegant style that is both comfortable and relaxed.

All products can be sourced from Barossa Central
3 Murray Street, Nurioopta
08 8568 6000

Table Setting Tips

Cutlery and its impact on a tablescape can’t be ignored. It is one of the smallest details but can make the biggest impact on the overall look and feel of your dinner party vision. We chat to the experts at Gold Cutlery Hire for some top table setting tips.

Choosing the right cutlery for your occasion. 
First of all, it’s important to make sure your cutlery is good quality. This can be determined by its strength, thickness, style and most importantly, its weight. A standard setting comprises of an entree knife, entree fork, main knife, main fork and dessert spoon. You can add or take away items depending on your menu selection. 

There is no ‘best’ style or pattern, it is all personal preference and determined by the overall look you are trying to achieve. Matte/brushed metal offers a more contemporary look, while mirror/polished metal is a more formal look. Mixing and matching can also work, as long as it’s either all gold or all silver. 

The perfect table setting 
Place dinner plates approximately 2cm from the edge of the table, this gives you an indication of spacing. Next, place the main knife on the right-hand side of the plate with the blade facing inwards, making sure the knife is beside the plate, not under the rim of the plate. The entree knife should follow the same guidelines, to the right of the main knife. The dessert spoon should then be placed 2cm from the table edge next to the knives, while the main fork belongs on the left-hand side of the dinner plate, 2cm from the edge of the table. Not under the plate, but to the side. The entree fork to follow, to the left-hand side of the main fork. 

Glass wear should be placed directly above the knives and the napkin can either be folder and placed on the fork side or you can get creative and use it as a table feature. 

Table setting tips
1. Set your table the night before 
2. Sometimes less is best 
3. Cutlery is placed in order of menu choices, beginning furthest away from the dinner plate and working your way towards the dinner plate. 
4. Use white cotton gloves when placing cutlery to avoid fingerprint marks
5. Have fun!

Gold Cutlery Hire

The Importance of Good Design

What is good design? And why is it a vital component of a beautiful home? We chat to the team at Urban Habitats to find out.

William Valimitis, architect at Urban Habitats

What separates good and bad design?
The time and effort you spend on it.

How should the location, environment, material selection and consideration of light be approached? 
Carefully and thoughtfully. The location is ultimately driven by the client, which in-turn informs the environment. Neutral and simple material palettes with large expanses of north facing glazing provide inviting and well considered spaces. 

What makes some designs really shine? 
Architecture that is responsive to its surroundings and environment often stands out from the rest. Buildings that respond to a client brief while maintaining the balance of form and function are ultimately beautiful.

Ash McCammon, interior designer at Urban Habitats

How should the location, environment, material selection and consideration of light be approached? 
These elements should be approached with great attention to detail. The location always inspires the form, the people inspire the materiality and the way that people will move through the spaces inspires how we filter and play with light. These elements enable us to create meaningful homes that promote great living.

Your designs often reference Palm Springs modernism…
We embrace the connection between the indoors and outdoors and we aim to achieve timeless, sustainable outcomes that can stand the test of time. The team at Urban Habitats, led by directors Josh Semmler and Jock Merrigan, find a lot of inspiration in architecture such as The Cree House by Albert Frey. We don’t over complicate our designs and we are drawn to clean lines and honest materials.

What is good design?
Good design is thoughtfully and carefully curated. It responds to the clients brief, the site and the surroundings. 

Urban Habitats
96 King William Road, Goodwood
08 8373 1731

Premium Adelaide Hills Homes For Sale

Park-like surrounds, timeless character and premier locations, these properties are yet another reason to make the move to the glorious Adelaide Hills. Property specialist Dee-anne Hunt shows us through.

‘hazelmere’ 396 battunga road, echunga

This grand family estate on two titles includes a Manager’s Residence, two B&B’s and an equestrian complex. Previously a wedding venue with accommodation, there is also an indoor pool, car showroom and workshop, as well as acres of lush, rich grazing country.

‘kincraig’ 17 sturt valley road, stirling

One of the finest renovations you’ll see with 15 main rooms, a tennis court and coach house, this Stirling residence has all the character that’s synonymous with early 20th century builds.

For more information and to view other exciting lifestyle residences visit dee-annehunt.com.au or all 0411 555 774.

Why You Need To Style Your Home For Sale

A perfectly styled and presented home will often sell for a higher price, in a shorter amount of time. We chat to Presenting Beautiful Homes’ director and head stylist Monika Tirrell at to find out more. 

what are the benefits of styling your home for sale?

There are many benefits of property styling – most importantly it helps to create an image of the lifestyle the property will offer the buyer and to stimulate an emotional connection, often resulting in the buyer being willing to pay more. Property styling also highlights the best features of a home and helps it stand out from the crowd in a competitive real estate market. As property stylists, our job is to focus on the property’s potential buyers’ needs and wants, work hard to create a space they will want to live in, and make money for the vendor! 

how does it work?

Our main goal is to come up with a style and layout that will best compliment the property and appeal to the demographic it is being marketed to by the real estate agent. We will look through the property and then decide on design and layout, while keeping in mind natural light, any interesting features and details that may create a challenge. 

what are the main mistakes people make when styling their own homes for sale?

People often style to their own taste, rather than styling to suit the home and the market they are targeting. For those who choose to DIY, it’s crucial to have a good eye for detail and understand what a buyer would want to see if they walked through your home. It’s also important to have a strong grasp of design elements and how to lay out a room. 

what kind of monetary returns can people expect to make on the sale when they style their home for sale?

A home styled for sale can often mean the difference between a quick sale and a property listing that goes stale, it may even add 5 percent, 10 percent or even more to the final sale price! 

if sellers can’t afford to engage a stylist what small changes can they make on their own to increase the value of their home?

A fresh coat of paint will always lift the mood of your home and it’s inexpensive if you’re willing to do the work. We always suggest going white or neutral, so that it leaves a blank canvas for the buyer and looks fresh. Updating any outdated flooring, window treatments, cabinetry and hardware can also be an inexpensive way to make an impact and increase the value of your home. Finally, adding elements to your home that make it feel more homely and welcoming is crucial. This might be some artwork in the hallway or additional lamps and lighting to create ambience in different rooms. 

Presenting Beautiful Homes 
10 Transport Avenue, Netley 

08 8297 8339 
pbhomes.com.au 

One of the World’s Most Coveted Furniture Brands is on Sale this Month at Domo

That’s right – save 15% of all ligne roset products upholstered in alcantara fabric this august at domo. To help make your decision a little easier, we’ve put together a guide for what’s trending in interiors.
TEXTURE

Rich velvet and suede are huge fabric trends. They’re both textural and luxe, emulating elegance and sophistication. The appearance of Alcantara Fabric is similar to that of suede, but its synthetic composition means functionality without compromising style.

Colour

Alcantara Fabric is available in 40 colours including a selection of neutrals, cool tones and vibrant brights. Lift a neutral space by choosing playful colours like a mossy green or mustard yellow. For a polished look, opt for minimal styling.

shape

There’s been a noticeable shift away from traditional settees, with shoppers now opting for a more relaxed style. Curves suggest comfort, cosiness and luxury – the perfect place to curl up after a long day.

Known for enhancing the design details and curves of a sofa, Alcantara Fabric can help you achieve the ultimate luxe look without compromising comfort.

DURABILITY

Choose well and a new sofa can be a ‘forever’ piece. It’s a big-ticket item, so buying something that’s enduring will last the distance. Alcantara Fabric is composed of 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane for increased durability and stain resistance.

Alcantara Fabric on sale at DOMO

Feeling inspired? We have an offer for you! One of the world’s most iconic furniture brands is on sale this month at DOMO. Interior addicts across Adelaide can get their hands on the high-end Ligne Roset sofas, with 15% off any Alcantara fabric custom order until August 31st. Shop online or visit Domo at 164 O’Connell St, North Adelaide to find out more.