Friday, 27 November 2015

Ladies Who Lunch

I say good things come in threes!
My family, my siblings
and more recently, the three lunches I had with my fabulous girlfriends

First lunch was at my bestie Mary's new Bed and Breakfast
She's only been there for 3 weeks and already her business has taken off to a flying start
We're so proud of you!

Lunch numero due was at my place
I made a starter of Oxtail soup
followed by rice and all its trimmings
We ended our lunch on a sweet note of cake and pudding
and not forgetting the all-essential photo session in the garden 

Our last lunch for the season was at Beyhan's beautiful home
situated in the plush Aberdeen burbs
We were lavished with a mouth-watering home-cooked Turkish fare
of couscous allsorts
I must add - her desserts were to die for!

Soon it'll be winter
when dark December glooms the day
but it will never take my autumn joy away

Friday, 20 November 2015

Baked Courgette with Tomato and Minced Beef

A simple supper time  treat
A baked casserole of courgette, tomatoes, and minced beef under a lush layer of béchamel sauce

Cut courgette lengthwise and smother with a little olive oil. 
Season courgette with salt and black pepper.
Heat  a heavy-based grill pan and grill the courgette for 2-3 minutes on each side. 
Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

In another pan, heat 1 tbsp  of oil and fry chopped onion until soft and starting to colour.
Add minced garlic  and cook for further 2 minutes.
Add mince beef to the pan and cook until nicely browned.
Add chopped stewed tomatoes and cook for about 20 minutes.

Next, to make the béchamel sauce, 
melt butter in a large saucepan and stir in the flour. 
Cook for a few seconds, then gradually stir in milk. 
Add parmesan and simmer the sauce gently for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly. 
Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.

To assemble, 
cover the base of the casserole dish with courgette, 
fllowed by the mince meat and béchamel sauce,
finishing with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Bake in 180C oven for about 30 minutes

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Stichin' Time

Got to find me something to occupy my time
now that gardening has taken the seasonal step back.

Gosh, what is there to do?
I don't really feel like bringing out my easel and paintbrushes.
The painter/artist in me is in a deep coma and refuses to be awakened
I would love to bake something new and calorific on a daily basis
but who's going to eat them?

I was faced with a mini dilemma (insert dramatic music)
I was reminded that I used to indulge in the occasional needleworking not long ago
... about 15 years ago...
that was the last time the sewing machine was ever in use.
Even so, the sewing machine travelled with me wherever I went like a loyal puppy
hoping one day it would be of service to me!

My sewing basket has stuff that may require carbon dating:
threads that were used in my sewing classes during my school years
- we're talking about the punk rock early 80s
and they're still in good nick
What can I say, I was a weird child...