A Three Course Dinner From Scratch in One Hour & Win A Year's Supply of Circa Home Candles!

Easy Three Course Meal
Recipes brought to you by Circa Home

This three course dinner will help you with entertaining without pulling your hair out. Inspired by the Circa Home fragrances, the entree is a rocket, pear and hazelnut salad with a lime and black pepper dressing. The main is a divine Asian flavoured salmon with a green papaya salad - a light but easy way to cook salmon perfectly. Dessert crosses over to the Middle East and England with an orange blossom and honey tiramisu spiked with Earl Grey tea and whipped mascarpone sweetened with honey and vanilla extract.

I recently went away on a girls getaway in the Blue Mountains with two of my gal pals Belinda and Queen Viv. During the weekend away we did super girly things like afternoon tea, spa treatments and a perfume workshop. That is, between many episodes of dodgy reality TV and episodes of Orange Is The New Black. It was during the perfume workshop that I realised something about myself.

The first is that a) smelling 60 or so scents makes me go slightly gaga and that smelling lots of essential oils can make you both hungry and sleepy (that's actually what we were told, not what I was supposing because it happened to me. And b) I have very uncomplicated tastes when it comes to scents.

Queen Viv loves complex perfumes. Often ones that are described as smelling like "sex" and "dirty laundry". Belinda likes a fruity and floral scent called "Good Girl Gone Bad" (we didn't read too much into the name ;)). As for me I like simple scents because they allow me to more easily access good memories, especially food scents. Coconut is one of my favourite scents because it reminds me of being on holiday. They say that you start forming scent memories at the age of five years old.

Easy Three Course Meal

I was recently asked to create a series of recipes for Circa Home, an Australian made home fragrance brand known for their scented soy wax candles and melts, fragrance diffusers and hand washes in mouth-watering scents. For me smell and taste are so intrinsically linked that it was a natural fit. They wanted me to make three recipes to match three candles. I wanted the recipes to be fresh and full of vitamin and nutrient rich ingredients but I also wanted the three recipes to be done in an hour. Because it is possible to do this and not lose your sanity when entertaining. Take a peek at the videos that we filmed here: http://www.circahome.com.au/notquitenigella

Easy Three Course Meal

The first item is the entree, a pear, hazelnut and lime salad inspired by the Pear & Lime fragrance (one of my favourite scents). For this recipe I picked up a fun tip from Marissa from Pinch & Swirl who massaged oil and salt into kale to soften it. I did the same to the rocket as it can something be a bit dry (especially wild rocket) but I like the peppery aspect of it. I made a garlic, honey, lime and black pepper dressing for it and added crunch with hazelnuts and sweetness with thinly sliced pear. For me pear reminds me of being little. I used to often get a pear in my lunchbox as apples were too acidic for me.

Easy Three Course Meal

The main course is using salmon because I've had quite a few of you ask for salmon recipes. I love salmon really simply cooked and slightly pink in the centre so I marinated it for 10 minutes in sweet soy, ginger and garlic and then pan fried it. It sat atop a crunchy Thai green papaya salad and this was inspired by the Mango & Papaya Circa Home fragrance. Can I just say how good this main was? I could not stop eating it! Plus the added bonus was that mango and papaya both remind me of tropical holidays (along with coconut) so that is never a bad thing at all. In fact I think that is why I gravitate towards those ingredients in everyday life (and I wonder if it will ever switch over so that they remind me of everyday life?).

Easy Three Course Meal

The last one is dessert and I used the Circa Home glass jars because people often collect them and use them to store things (see #reusecircahome). I use one to store my makeup brushes and another to place small scissors and pens in the kitchen. There are three different sizes and I used the tallest size to make a tiramisu. Tiramisu means "pick me up" in Italian through the use of coffee (or alcohol). I decided to make a version inspired by the Neroli & Vanilla fragrance by Circa Home. Neroli is another name for orange blossom so I made an orange blossom and vanilla tiramisu with Earl Grey tea as the pick me up!

And because Circa Home wants to spread the love, they are giving away some wonderful prizes to Not Quite Nigella readers. One winner will receive a whole year's supply of Circa Home Fragrance products plus there are also 3 runner up prizes (see below). For a chance to win, simply tell us what fragrance you would love to have in a candle? The competition ends at midnight, the 21st of July, 2015! Simply add your answer as a comment to the story. You can enter this competition once daily and it is open to anyone within Australia.

Easy Three Course Meal

Circa Home has a lovely range of scents from $9.95 and the scent throw on these candles, melts and fragrance diffusers is amazing. Putting one candle on perfumed our whole apartment very quickly!

First Prize Winner will receive the following Circa Home products in their preferred fragrances:
9 Classic Candles 260g RRP $29.95 each
4 Perfect Spaces Candles 165g RRP $19.95 each
7 Miniature Candles 60g RRP $14.95 each
4 Fragrance Diffusers 250ml RRP #39.95 each
1 Electric Wax Warmer RRP $39.95 each
6 packs of Scented Soy Melts 90g RRP $9.95 each
3 Hand Washes 450ml RRP $19.95 each
First prize valued at RRP $773.30

Runners Up:

Three runners up will receive the following Circa Home products in their preferred fragrances:
3 Classic Candles 260g RRP $29.95 each
1 Perfect Spaces Candles 165g RRP $19.95 each
1 Miniature Candles 60g RRP $14.95 each
2 Fragrance Diffusers 250ml RRP #39.95 each
1 Electric Wax Warmer RRP $39.95 each
2 packs of Scented Soy Melts 90g RRP $9.95 each
3 Hand Washes 450ml RRP $19.95 each
Total Prize Value for each runner up: $324.35 (total $973.05)

Competition Terms & Conditions

Pear, Hazelnut and Lime Salad

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Easy Three Course Meal

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

Serves 2

  • 2 cups rocket
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Easy Three Course Meal
Massaging rocket. Never thought that this would ever be a caption

Step 1 - Place the rocket in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of oil and salt. Massage the rocket gently coating it in the oil. In a small jug or a cup, place the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, honey, lime juice, black pepper and garlic. Muddle the garlic in the jug. Taste for balance and if it needs more sweetness add honey.

Step 2 - Dress the salad with the dressing and add the pear and hazelnuts.

Seared Salmon with Green Papaya Salad

Easy Three Course Meal

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella

Preparation time: 10 minutes marinating time and 10 minutes prep time

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves 2

  • 500g/1lb fillet of salmon, skin on or off, cut in half
  • Oil for pan frying
  • 1/8 cup kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and bashed against the flat side of a knife
  • 1/2 green papaya or mango (about 1kg in total weight)
  • 1 large red chilli, sliced
  • 2 garlic gloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoons cashews
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Step 1 - In a ziplock bag add the kecap manis, water, ginger and garlic. Marinate the salmon in this for 10 minutes.

Step 2 - Meanwhile make the salad dressing. Add the chilli, garlic, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside for the sugar to dissolve further.

Easy Three Course Meal

Step 3 - Peel the green papaya or mango and grate the flesh into a bowl. When you're almost finished, turn on the stove and place a non stick pan onto medium to high heat. Add some oil to the pan and remove the salmon pieces from the marinade and cook them on both sides until done to your liking. I like them slightly pink in the middle.

Easy Three Course Meal

Step 4 - Stir the dressing and dress the salad with it. Add tomatoes, cashews, green onions and toss. Place on a serving plate. Place salmon fillets on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Orange Blossom, Vanilla & Earl Grey Tiramisu

Easy Three Course Meal

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

Serves 4

  • 2 teaspoons loose leaf or 1 teabag of Earl Grey tea
  • 1-2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 250g/0.5lb mascarpone
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 mandarin
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 savoiardi (sponge finger) biscuits, cut in half horizontally*

*For some reason, the savoiardi biscuits that I bought for the first lot were thinner than the second bag I bought for the shoot so if they are too wide to fit in three, just add two of them.

Step 1 - Make a strong cup of tea and add orange blossom water and honey. Set aside to cool.

Step 2 - Whip the mascarpone with the honey and vanilla extract. Some mascarpones really vary in consistency; find a good Italian brand that is a little runnier as I found some are really thick like cream cheese. Taste for sweetness and add more honey if you want to (the biscuits are quite sweet already). Place into a piping bag with a plain tip (or just snip the end off a disposable piping bag).

Step 3 - Pipe a dollop of the mascarpone at the bottom and then dip three of the halved savoiardi biscuits in the tea soaking them well (but don't dip them for too long as we don't want them to disintegrate). Place the soaked biscuits upright in the mascarpone and spoon a tablespoon or more of the tea on top just to make sure that they soften. Pipe more mascarpone and repeat with the biscuits and tea and then top with the mascarpone.

Step 4 - Place a edible flower and a segment of mandarin on top.

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