Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Christmas In July

I've always loved the idea of a white Christmas, with snow outside and a warm fire inside sipping on hot chocolate.

Well I'm never going actually have that experience or at least not in the near future so I thought I would have my own Christmas in July dinner.

But to make it a little different and to keep knocking down the 150 Nigella dishes on my list (see here) I thought I would throw a Nigella Christmas using her Christmas cookbook for myself and my husband.

First up - Entree


Title: Fully Loaded Potato Skins
Book/Page #: Nigella Christmas #40
Date Cooked: 19/07/14
Review out of 5: 4
Eat again: Yes
Notes: Little more cheese was needed - oh man was this awesome love crispy bacon

Next course - Main


A beautiful lamb roast served with Maple Roast Parsnips

Title: Maple-Roast Parsnips (see recipe online here)
Book/Page #: Nigella Christmas #130
Date Cooked: 19/07/14
Review out of 5: 2
Eat again: No
Notes: The maple syrup turned into a toffee and tasted too sweet plus the toffee got stuck in my teeth.

Now for the best part of all 3 course dinners - dessert


Title: Chocolate Pudding with Hot Chocolate Sauce (see recipe online here)
Book/Page #: Nigella Christmas #140
Date cooked: 19/07/14
Review out of 5: 5
Eat again: Yes please
Notes: None as it was completely awesome tasting. I think I might have overload on the chocolate sauce - actually no I take that back you can't overload on chocolate sauce.

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Friday, 18 July 2014

Cardmaking

It's that time of the month again - cardmaking class!!!! Yeah!!!!

Here is what our talented teacher came up with this month. I love them, so pretty and magical.

Which one is your favourite?





My favourite 


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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Oven update

When we moved into this new place the existing oven, stovetop and rangehood were terrible.

The oven door didn't close properly and cooked from the bottom up so it burnt everything.



The rangehood was filthy and every time you turned it on the smell of the previous occupants food came out (yuck).


So I got to do something I've only dreamed about - buy a new oven!!!!!

Woo Hoo!!!!!

It was so much fun shopping around for good prices and looking up what are decent brands and reviews.

We took all the measurements correctly - or so we thought! The oven ended up being too small for the space and the stovetop was too short one side and too big the other way.



Thankfully I've got a very handy dad who was able to fix it up and you wouldn't even know there was a problem. It's awesome to have helpful parents.



After 6 years of living with rental ovens, its fantastic to finally have an oven that cooks correctly and doesn't burn the bottom. Here's to many happy baking moments.


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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Do we ever grow up?


Do we ever grow up? Do we ever grow out of childlike ways? Or do we just get worse as we age?

This week I was the subject of an email - not a good subject but a subject to laugh at and complain about. Worst of all the women sending the emails were all over 40 and some of them I thought were good friends.

It felt horrible hearing them all tapping away on their keyboards and laughing about me (if you ever send a email make sure your computer screen is covered up). It wasn't a very nice moment, it felt like I was back in high school being laughed at all over again.

But it did get me wondering about something - do we ever grow up? or do we just kid ourselves?

I'm not even sure if you'd call this behaviour childlike. To me it's petty, just a sad form of entertainment and another way to feel better about yourself while putting others down.

When will our society learn that putting others down doesn't make you feel better or look better. It does nothing of the sort. Building people up on the other hand does make not only you feel better but the other person feel better too.

I know we don't always get along with everyone and things that people do annoy us (sometimes a lot) but if someone does something to annoy you, don't complain about them behind their back (especially by email) just ignore them and get on with the job at hand or maybe talk to them and find out their motive behind the situation (you might just find out there is a very good reason for it).

Has something like this ever happened to you?

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Photo from here

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Hosting a 3 course dinner

I've always wanted to host a 3 course dinner (#13) and last Friday I finally did.

My parents loved it and I had so much fun cooking and preparing all the food. I even got to use another Nigella recipe (#74).

For Entree I found a really quick and easy recipe for Tomato Bruschetta on the Taste website (see here). I've never made bruschetta before but I love eating it and now that I know it's so easy to make I think I'll be having it more often.



Main course was Bang Bang Chicken from my 4 Ingredients Diabetes book (see here). Once again so easy to make and my parents really enjoyed it.


Of course dessert is always what you want the most and I whipped up an Instant Chocolate Mousse (recipe here). It was ok but I think I added a little too much vanilla as it had a little bit of an after taste but thankfully my parents didn't notice or they were just being polite.




I always love having a special drink with special dinners and this dinner called for sparkling apple juice served in wine class to add to the sophistication (I even made a little menu too).


My review for the Instant Chocolate Mousse:

Title: Instant Chocolate Mousse
Book/Page: Nigella Express #159
Date Cooked: 4/07/14
Review out of 5: 3.5
Eat again: Maybe
Notes: I think I added too much vanilla

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