Friday, June 27, 2008
I don't know what's going on!!!! My life is full of social engagements at present, either here at my home or elsewhere at the homes of friends - or sitting on sidewalks sipping hot chocolate, lattes or cappuccinos! Life can be so hard at times, but someone's got to do it!
However, I did get time to complete the painting above, commence another together with a drawing, both of which I hope to finish in the not too distant future.
Last weekend was filled with the fun company of a circle of friends. And I didn't escape the throng mid-week or at week's end, either. Blame it on the moon!
Yesterday, I was invited by a local chocolate shop owner to visit her premises to taste-test some new delicacies of the choccie variety to hit her shelves. I ask you - how could I possibly decline such an invitation? While sipping on hot chocolate, I chatted up the artist in residence in the next door gallery and those at surrounding al fresco tables! Needless to say, I had to try many chocolates to come to a definitive decision - ummmm - I'm still not sure! I may have to re-visit and test some more, methinks!
There was a method to the proprietor's reasoning. She wants me to write something about her glorious little oasis in my next food article for the local "rag". A chore that I find is not a chore at all considering the side benefits! I don't mind being on her agenda - would you?
I have a friend visiting overnight, down from the sunny shores of Noosa Heads. We've not caught up for a while and he's been a dear friend for many a good year - and bad!
"Feed the man beef" the saying orders, so dutifully I shall oblige. I've a juicy, tender-looking whole beef rib fillet sitting a-waiting in my fridge for me to do decadently delicious things to it! Forgive me if I set your taste buds a-drooling, but I thought I'd share this recipe with you.
The red wine has been chosen - a couple of bottles of Shiraz - Rosemount and Penfolds - with a couple of back-ups of other vineyards - just in case!
ROAST BEEF STUFFED WITH SPINACH, PINE-NUTS & FETA
Pre-heat oven to 200C. Using sharp knife, butterfly whole piece of beef fillet by cutting nearly all the way through the meat, lengthways, then open it out with several long incisions. Lightly flatten beef. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add 3-4 tablespoons pine-nuts, 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 1 firmly-packed cup of young spinach leaves and 3-4 shallots, finely chopped. Cook for 2 minutes until the spinach has wilted. Transfer mixture to a chopping board and chop roughly. In a bowl, combine spinach mixture with 100g feta, 2 cups firmly-packed fresh breadcumbs and enough liquid beef stock to just bind the mixture.
Press mixture along one edge of the beef. Roll up beef tightly, encasing the filling; secure, at intervals with kitchen string. Heat a little more oil in pan over high heat; add beef and brown well on all sides. Transfer to a baking dish and roast for 25 minutes for rare, 35 minutes for medium or 45 minutes for well done. Remove from oven, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes before carving. Meanwhile make a rich beef gravy adding a splash or two of red wine to the stock during the making thereof. Serve sliced roast beef with your favourite vegetables. Pour the wine and start eating and sipping - the rest will follow automatically!
Have a great weekend everyone. I think mine is going to be a lot of fun - as long as I don't look at or read the news. All around us these days is gloom and doom. I, for one, refuse to be dragged down into the cauldron of despair.
Let's all look on the bright side of life!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Some people enter our lives and stay for the duration. Others stay long enough only for a brief moment before leaving. Albeit a short visit, some leave an indelible impression, others not. Some leave without hint nor warning. Some give a reason why. A few we willingly choose to walk away from without wasting a backward glance, feeling happiness or relief, sometimes both, that they are no longer a part of our lives.
Those who have helped forged loyal friendships and memories are dearly cherished. Anticipation for those yet to enter one's circle of existence is a part of life's wonderful mysteries. And it's a marvelous inevitability that this chain of new acquaintances will not be broken until the day we float off into the unknown blue yonder. (Well, in my and my readers' cases, anyway!)
The choices one makes of who enters, who remains, who is not welcome and who leaves one's circle of friends is purely up to one's self - to the individual. Isn't that a wonderful power to possess- particularly if recognised and utilised?
Last week, a family - an extended family came into my life unexpectedly - though it was from my own instigation. One thing is certain, they shall now be a part of who I am from this day forward, and I, a part of them.
You see, I found my long-lost, but always-known-about half-brother! I'm not an orphan after all!
However, I'm never alone, nor am I an orphan when I have my two furry rascals as pictured above by my side!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Time - sometimes our friend, other times our enemy! I have no idea where time has gone so far this year. Already we are mid-way through June and here am I posting for the first time in 2008! I guess I've lost all my regular, good-hearted readers and shall have to begin at the beginning once more!
I apologise for my absence, but I have been very busy with this and that and a bit more of that!
As you can see from above, some of my precious time has been occupied with painting in acrylics and I thought I'd show you a couple of my completed "masterpieces", just to prove to you that, in fact, I haven't had idle fingers or hands!
Where do I start in telling you what I've been doing. I think I will broach the subject/s slowly so as not to inundate you with too much information! Suffice to say all is well in my neck of the woods - the gloriously lush, green woods in which I dwell. My mountain greenery and sanctuary has benefited from much welcomed rain of late, so everything is standing sparkling tall and bright in thanks to Nature's gift.
I promise I shall not be so slothful in my jottings from this moment on. I do hope someone pays me a visit. I have missed all you wonderful folk and hope all is well in your respective lives.
The fear of not remembering how to do all of this set in for a moment or three - but I guess it's kind of like riding a bike!