Friday, May 21, 2010

WELCOME MUM!... and secret someone...

It's been a while... I've been busy trying to get work done (with a super duper slow remote connection..ragh!) amongst getting the apartment ready for my mum's arrival today, washing loads of laundry, grocery planning & shopping, getting the oil changed on the car & getting it inspected, painting things, cleaning, organizing, cooking..etc.. how can I be so busy? I don't even have children yet...don't want to think about it!
It's been non-stop! Here are a couple of the projects I was working on, they were fun although last minute and a little rushed. 

Two shelves a friend let me borrow, I painted and put up all by myself :) need to add some books to them..

Wooden coffee table I spray painted this nice leafy green colour to match the flowerpot & also a framed picture in the dining area. I chose thyme, mint & a white flower to put in the pot but need to pot them properly today. I'm taking those fake flowers in the big vase back to Walmart and just going to use some foliage from outside.

Last night we had a nice meal I suppose because it's our last alone for the next 3 weeks.
We had roast sweet potato with a garlic, ginger & honey marinade, juicy green beans topped with crispy salty pancetta pieces and a deliciously seasoned chicken breast topped with a pesto sauce & parmegianno-reggiano cheese. Very tasty! oh and I also made up a refreshing lemon, ginger, honey & mint cooler.

I wish I had photo's of the fried nutella filled pastries I made the other night on a whim.. they were to die for! dusted with powdered sugar.. yum! I will be posting a couple of recipes soon that a friend requested. One is for a mushroom & thyme risotto and the other is for a cool & sweet strawberry salad with sugared almonds and a lemon poppy seed dressing. I bet there is going to be lots of yummy cooking going on with my Mum in town..

oh and I think I may be getting another secret visitor or two... :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Big Weekend...

This past weekend was perhaps one of the best, if not the best weekend I've had since living here in Lumberton. We had a good night Friday. We dressed up and went out to dinner with Marshall's Dad. I ate fried crawfish tails - very tasty, but not something I'd order often because of all the oil! We met with our friends and attended the play at the Port Arthur Little Theatre. The play was 3 hours long, a little miserable however it was a great night out. I enjoy the experience of going to a play, musical or the ballet much more than seeing a movie.
I took a lot of photo's this weekend so I figure I'll let them do the rest of the talking and just post a couple of captions.

So, first off Saturday morning we ran some errands regarding Marshall's visa application then it was off to the Mediterranean Festival! 
You can tell in this picture that I am happy to be there - it's a real smile!! The whole place smelt wonderfully delicious and comforting. It brought memories of my Greek great grandmother to mind and the delicious treats she would make us. There were also some middle eastern smells that made me reminisce about the few months I spent working in an Indian restaurant - the Curry Hit! yum!

Very tasty dolmades, basically just some meat and rice seasoned and rolled up in grapevine leaves with a bit of lemon juice. They are scrumptious!

Marshall enjoying his beef kebab..
Then we went to visit Marshall's Uncle in Vidor and took a ride on a moped. It was amazing... such a beautiful afternoon, a perfect day, a cool breeze, sunshine. Happiness :) 

fun on the moped!!! I really want one!

In the evening we relaxed with some lemon tart (recipe to follow), blood orange soda and a movie - we drag our mattress into the lounge room and sleep there, it's my favourite thing :)

Lemon Tart recipe from book 'Luscious Lemon Desserts
The 'You Could Be In Paris' Lemon Tart

serves 10 

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 pinches of salt
6 large eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream

Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350°F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir in one tablespoon of the lemon zest and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Combine the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl or your food processor. Pour the butter into the bowl in a fine stream, mixing with a fork until well blended and it holds together when pinched. If using a food processor, blend the ingredients and then pour the butter into the feed tube and blend for roughly a minute.

Empty the mixture into an 11" tart pan with a removable bottom and press it with your fingertips to evenly line the sides and bottom.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes, or until it is a light golden brown. Allow the crust to cool on a wire rack while making the filling.

Process the remaining one cup of sugar with the remaining one tablespoon of lemon zest in your food processor for about 2-3 minutes, until the zest is finely ground.

Pour the sugar into a bowl and add the eggs, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and whisk until smooth.

Beat the 1/2 cup of heavy cream to soft peaks and then whisk the cream into the sugar/egg mixture until just blended. Pour this mixture into your still warm crust and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the filling is just set in the center.

Allow the tart to cool completely.

Just before serving, dust generously with powdered sugar, cut into wedges and enjoy.