Monthly Archives: June 2013

Recipe: Mexican Layer Dip


mexicanlayerdip2You may or may not have heard about Singapore’s haze situation in the past week. The pollution levels were at record levels, as a result of burning forests in Indonesia. Everyone was urged to stay indoors, there was constant talk about the “PSI” level and face masks became de rigueur. After the fourth day of stifling pollution, cabin fever well and truly set in (especially with the school holiday period at the moment). Yesterday we luckily had a day of respite. That meant only one thing…BBQ time!


We hosted a BBQ at our place, with a pretty big spread but one of the favourites was the classic Mexican Layer Dip. It was the first time I made it, with a rough recipe given to me by a friend of a friend. As usual, I put my own twist on things. Here’s the recipe…enjoy! 

Mexican Layer Dip
Serves 14
A tasty dip, great for BBQs and always a crowd pleaser.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 350g mince beef or 450g can refried beans (vegetarian option)
  2. 35g packet 'Old El Paso' taco season mix
  3. 100 ml sour cream
  4. 100g cream cheese
  5. 1 avocado diced
  6. 1/2 small lemon or lime
  7. 1 tomato, diced
  8. 1/2 diced red onion
  9. 1 clove garlic
  10. 1 small green pepper, diced
  11. 3/4 cup salsa dip (store bought or homemade - see link below)
  12. 1/4 cup grated tasty cheese
  13. 1/4 cup grated Red Leicester cheese
  14. 1/2 cup sliced jalepenos, optional
  15. 1/2 cup fresh chopped coriander
  16. 1/2 bunch green onions sliced
  17. 1 cup shredded lettuce
  18. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  19. 1 packet plain tortilla chips to serve
  1. 1. In a non-stick pan, cook the onion for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Then brown the mince meat or heat the up the refried beans (vegetarian version) with the packet of taco seasoning. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. 2. Beat the sour cream and cream cheese until well combined. Spread onto the bottom of a glass dish or bowl.
  3. 3. Spread the meat or refried beans on top of the sour cream/cream cheese mixture
  4. 4. Top the layers with salsa
  5. 5. Place a layer of tomato, green pepper, green onions, coriander and avocado over the top
  6. 6. Squeeze lemon juice over the layers
  7. 7. Sprinkle lettuce, jalepenos (optional) and cheese on top
  8. 8. Chill until ready to serve with corn chips
  1. For a delicious homemade salsa, try this recipe form the Pioneer Woman:
  2. For a low fat version, replace the sour cream, cream cheese and grated cheeses with 'light' varieties.
Red Carousel Blog
I love the idea of individual servings of this dish, for parties. How delicious do these look…

individual serve mexican layer dip

{Images from The Party Dress and She Knows}


Create this look: Abracadabra

I love this dramatic colour scheme. The red, blue and black combination is perfect for a magic themed party. Aydin’s 3rd birthday dessert table was put together by the talented Debbi from Studio Cake. Debbi made all the beautiful sweets. Create this look with decorations and partyware from Red Carousel. 


1. Favour bags   2. Cupcake toppers   3. Baking Cups   4. Wooden teaspoons  

5. Paper Straws    6. Paper plates

Tutorial: Rice Paper Lanterns

I’ve always loved rice paper lanterns, in home decor and for party decorations. At Red Carousel we stock nine vibrant colours, 12 inches in size. They’re so simple and inexpensive, but they can make a huge impact. Decorating lanterns are ever so easy – a lovely party craft project that the kids can get involved with too. Here’s how I decorated my lanterns…

lantern1 lantern2

Material and equipment:

A lantern

Fabric glue that dries clear

A paintbrush


Scrap fabric 

Twine, optional

lantern3 lantern4

1. Cut the fabric pieces out with scissors

2. Apply glue to the back of the fabric

3. Place fabric into position on the lantern

4. Brush a layer of glue on top of the fabric

5. Allow to dry. Done! 
lantern5 lantern6

Here are some other gorgeous paper lantern tutorials I found on the internet, which may inspire you. 



1. A Casarella  2. Green Wedding Shoes 3. Oh Happy Day 

4. You had me at bonjour 5. Martha Stewart

Recipe: Homemade ‘Ice Magic’ Chocolate Shell Sauce

Most Australians would be familiar with the chocolate sauce called ‘Ice Magic’, available in supermarkets. Thinking about it brings back a lot of fun childhood memories for me. It’s a sauce that quickly hardens into a crispy shell when poured onto a cold surface such as ice cream.  A similar product would be Magic Shell. 


It’s a super fun treat for kids parties! I’ve included a homemade recipe here, which is delicious and healthier than the store bought versions. This recipe uses coconut oil, an oil touted for its nutritional qualities (everything in moderation of course).

Homemade 'Ice Magic' Chocolate Shell Sauce (for thermomix and stovetop)
A delicious chocolate shell sauce, works perfectly with ice cream.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
  1. 2/3 cup coconut oil
  2. 200g block of dark chocolate, broken into cubes
  3. Pinch salt, optional
Thermomix method
  1. Pour the coconut oil into the thermomix jug. Heat at 50 degrees for 1 minute, speed 1. Add the chocolate pieces and stir at 50 degrees for 4-5 mins speed 1, or until all melted. Add a pinch of salt if desired.
Stovetop method
  1. Pour the coconut oil into a small saucepan. Heat on very low for 1 minute, stirring occassionally. Add the chocolate pieces and stir for 4-5 mins until all melted. Add a pinch of salt if desired.
  1. Dark chocolate can be replaced with milk or white chocolate. Try adding flavouring such as mint, banana, caramel etc.
  2. Chocolate shell sauce should be stored in a jar or squeeze bottle, in the cupboard. In cold weather, the sauce may harden. To bring back the sauce to a liquid consistency, reheat in microwave.
Red Carousel Blog

icemagic2 icemagic3


This sauce would make an awesome homemade gift, especially in an ice cream decorating kit like I have put together below. I’ve packaged some Kit Kat wafers, Smarties and toasted almonds in plastic bottles from the Red Carousel shop. To complete the kit, I’ve added some Candy CupsWooden Ice cream Spoons, a gift tag and twine – all available from our online shop


Yum, I know what we’re having for dessert tonight! 


Tassel love

Tassel Kits


This morning I was at the post office first thing, collecting the delivery of Tassel Garland Kits from The Flair Exchange. I couldn’t wait to open the box! I wasn’t disappointed either – the colours are gorgeous, and we have all ten styles in stock. The kits are put together really well, making the job of tassel garland creation a cinch. The tissue paper is already cut, ready to assemble.  I’ll definitely be incorporating these right-on-trend party decorations into my next events. I will also have to schedule in a time to do a tutorial for you all on the blog. We also sell the giant balloons which work perfectly with the tassels. Here are some lovely images to get you inspired… 

Tassellove1. Amy Atlas  2. Geronimo Balloons 3. Pottery Barn Blog 4. Hostess with the Mostess 

5. The Tomkat Studio 6. Geronimo Balloons