Sunday, June 26, 2016

Winter in full swing!

Wow, it was cold here on Friday! It got down to 6C and it was bitter! The day before was the shortest day of the year and it was dark at 4.30pm...
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Funny, I would still prefer a freezing cold day over a stinking hot 38C day!
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You can see those clouds, that is rain coming!
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Proof on my dash board that it was 6C (that was at 1pm).
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Thank goodness our reverse cycle air-con is working again!
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I spent most of Saturday prepping for a dinner party we were having. Gee, its been a long time since we've had company over for a proper sit down meal. 
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I wanted to make a fruit coulis for my cheesecakes and had bought an expensive bag ($8.50) of mixed frozen berries (Australian). The bag contained big, pale insipid looking strawberries and not many berries at all.   What raspberries there were in there, were just crumbs and I think there was 3 blackberries! I'll never be buying that brand again.
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I went and bought fresh blue berries, raspberries and strawberries...still expensive but fresh!
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I piped these chocolate flowers too...
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I browned off the (10) lamb shanks before adding them to my slow cooker and le Creuset dutch oven.  I had to cook two batches as they were so big!
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I did bean bundles and this worked great as I knew I had the exact amount for us all.  I'll be doing that again.
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As for the mashed potato, I thought I had plenty but only just had enough...  :(
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I made the sauce base using tinned tomatoes, carrot, celery, onion and garlic. I have some Moroccan spice mix so I put in two big heaped tablespoons of that and half a cup of red wine.  Then I let them slow cook for hours until tender.
The table was set...
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Gus did the entrée on the barbecue -charred prawns with a red pepper mayonnaise...
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The lamb shanks were beautiful and tender and tasty...
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My cheesecakes with berry coulis were perfect! Such an easy dessert - prepared at 10am and popped in the fridge until needed.
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I really just made up this recipe - so here goes:

In a food processor, whizz a packet of Arnott's Marie or similar sweet biscuits until a coarse crumb, then add in 100gms melted butter and combine.   Spoon the crumb mix into large wine glasses - mine were stemless ones.
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I slightly softened a block of Philadelphia cream cheese then whipped it with electric beaters, once smooth, I added about 150 - 200 mls of cream, a heaped tablespoon of icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice - you can make it sweeter and more lemony to your taste.  Carefully spoon the cheese mix on top of the crumbs.  I made a berry coulis with fresh berries (as above) and added a little caster sugar to sweeten.  You can whiz it a bit with a stab blender or leave it more lumpy if you like.  Spoon this over the cheesecake.  Dollop with cream and add the chocolate flowers if you wish.
This is a great dessert as you can prepare it earlier and pop it in the fridge.  I would imagine a mango or apricot coulis would be yummy too! Gee, I hope yours turn out! :)
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Sitting here this morning, wishing I had made an extra one for today!
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Good food, good wine and good friends - it doesn't get better than that!
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Now I must wash all the glassware!
Cheers - Joolz xx





















7 comments:

  1. OMG it sure has been cold........winter is definitely here........

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  2. Yummy meal and flowers are very beautiful. I bet you all enjoyed it. We haven'y had a day that cold yet. But lots and lots of rain.

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  3. Brrr!! And I thought it was cold here, that's insane!

    Those desserts look very delicious Joolz, you and Gus did a great job at entertaining :)

    xTania

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  4. everything looks yummy. I am like you, prefer cooler temperatures.

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  5. Yum everything looks delish. Do you have the recipe for the little cheesecakes, my family would love these x

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    Replies
    1. I've added the recipe into the post, Sharon. I'm sure they'll be enjoyed by your family. :)

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  6. I prefer a winter day. I figure I can always layer on more clothes to keep warm, but in the heat, nobody wants me taking more off these days! LOL Funny you should mention 38 C temps, as that what we are having here today. :( Saps my energy...and I don't have any to spare!

    Your dinner looked amazing.

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