vrijdag 26 juni 2009

Foody Friday Gorgonzola Pasta salad and Limoncella strawberry's

I promised you a very good salad last week and here it is.
It is a pasta salad with a very special cheese sauce. The sauce is made with gorgonzola a famous soft Italian blue cheese. Combined with grapes and orange juice it give's a very special taste to the salad.
Here is the recepie
This salad is enough for 8 people to lunch on or for 12 to 15 people if you have a buffet of some kind.
750 grams of small butterfly pasta shapes
4 oranges
300 grams of gorgonzola
140 ml of cream
250 grams of blue seedless grapes
250 grams of green seedless grapes
125 gram of chopped hazelnuts or macademia or pecan nuts
1 bunch of selery sticks
150 grams of rucola leaves

First boil the pasta in boiling salted water and drain.
In the mean time you mix the nuts with the grapes and the celary that you cut in small chuncks.
Remove the rind of the cheese.Put a saucepan on the heat and boil the cream with the cheese and the grated rind of one of the oranges and the juice of all the oranges.
Let the cheese melt in the orange juice and stirr until you have a smooth sauce. You need freshly squeesed orange juice for it. Season with pepper and a bit of salt. I put the sauce trough a fine sive to remove the 'blue' parts from the sauce. You could that do before you add the grated rind of the orange, otherwise the orange rind gets sifted out too.
Let the sauce cool down a bit but don't put it in the fridge because it will sett.
Half an hour before serving mix the cheese sauce with the pasta and toss the rucola leaves also under the pasta.
You really must add the sauce at the last minute otherwise the sauce is totally absorbed by the pasta and the pastasalad becomes too dry.

Limoncella strawberry's

Limoncella is the very fragent Italian lemon liqueur that will give that extra fresh and sumery taste to your strawberry's.
This is such a simple recepie but every time I serve it is a big hit.
For six to 8 little glasses
400 grams of strawberry's chopped in small pieces
1 small bunch of fresh basil leaves
50 grams of icing sugar
15 cl of limoncella
20 cl of water
Boil the water with the sugar and when it becomes a sirop add the limoncella.
Take from the fire. Let it cool down and put in the fridge to let it get cold.
Half an hour too 1 hour before serving pour this sirop over your strawberry's.Snip the basil in small pieces and sprinkle over the strawberry mixture.
This is also very nice to take on a picnic or to a lunchon or so. I made it all in individual portions and brought it like this to the kennel club grounds.

woensdag 24 juni 2009

Quilts for a good cause

Since this year was my last year of teaching patchwork and quilting I asked my lady's if they would like to make some quilts for a good cause. The quilts would go to very sick children and institutions for troubled children. They also could make some quilt for the LQOL cause. The LQOL ( little quilts of love) quilts are given to mothers who lose their baby's in a miscarriage or have still born baby's. This cause is still very new in Belgium and a lot of lady's can't get there head around it that some women will be very pleased to recieve such a little quilt in their hour of grief.

Omdat het het mijn laatste patchwork lesjaar was had ik m'n dames gevraagd om iets te maken voor het goede doel. Hier in Belgiƫ is dit gegeven nog vrij nieuw. Deze quilts zullen naar zieke kinderen gaan of naar tehuizen voor kinderen met moeilijkheden.
De dames konden ook LQOL maken.Dat zijn quiltjes die gegeven worden in het ziekenhuis als een aanstaande moeder bevalt van een dood kindje of bij een miskraam. Het is allemaal nog heel nieuw in Belgiƫ dit gegeven en sommige mensen kunnen hun hoofd er nog steeds niet rondkrijgen dat zo'n quiltje troost kan brengen op zo'n triest moment. Dus er is nog wat werk voor de boeg om het goed van de grond te krijgen.

Two special lady's took this on board and surprized me with some beautiful quilts. These are the six quilts Nadia en Nicole made. Nicole made two and Nadia made four. Nicole also made 10 LQOL. They are all handmade and handquilted and measure 100 X 150 cm.
Dear Nicole and Nadia, with this blog entree I want to honour you, for your efforts.
Twee heel speciale dames deden bijzonder hun best. Nicole en Nadia maakten samen 6 quiltjes voor zieke kinderen. Nicole maakte de bovenste twee en Nadia de onderste 4. Nicole maakte daarinboven ook nog 10 LQOL. Alles is volledig handgemaakt en handgequilt. Ze meten ongeveer 100 X 150 cm.

Lieve Nicole en Nadia, heel hartelijk dank voor deze bijzondere inspanning.Met deze blog entree wil ik jullie in de bloemetjes zetten.

I also want to thank the other lady's who made the LQOL. I can't show them all. It would be to much.
Ik wil ook de andere dames bedanken die LQOL maakten.Ik kan ze hier niet allemaal tonen, het zou te veel zijn maar ik zorg ervoor dat ze op de goede plaats komen en ik stuur jullie nog foto's door.

vrijdag 19 juni 2009

Foody friday lunch

Hello Foodies all around the world. As promised I will tell you about the lunch I made for the 25 members/co-workers at the local dog club championship.
My son and his girlfriend met trough their dogs. Now they go together to a dog club where he is a dogtrainer and she is the secretary of the club. They have their annual club championship on the second weekend of june.
Last year there was a discussion about the lunch for the judges. Normally these men got lunch in a local restaurant but that took about 1,5 hours and costed the club about 200 euro's.
That is a lot of money to feed 4 people. My son, with his big mouth said, I can do that for the same price or less....
Next I knew about it was that he was on the phone to tell what he had done and asked what can I give these people to eat for that amount of money.
Me with my big mouth said, I can feed 20 people for that amount....And the rest is history of course.
Last year I fed about 30 people for that money and it was a big hit in the club. So of course this year the same question came...
The menu this year was:
Patato crips with spicey tomato chutney
Pork terrine with apricots and cumberlandsauce
Mozzarella with advocado's and a spicey dressing
Meat from the barbeque
Roasted tomato's
Green salad
Pasta salad with gorgonsola dressing
Green bean and tomato salad with a lemon dressing
Patato salad
Gardeners salad
French baguettes
Muffins with buttercream topping
and last but not least:Limoncella strawberry's
With all that I even came under budget!
Are you hungrey yet???

Here is the recepie for the pork terrine.
I can cut about 25 thin slices out of it.
You need:
About 25 to 30 thin slices of bacon
1 kilo of minced meat. I used 50% pork and 50% calfsmeat
1 pork tenderloin about 300 grams
2 spoons of brandey
10 to 14 half dried apricots
1 TS chopped fresh parsley
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves
100 grams of unsalted pistachio nuts
A terrine form that can hold about 1,5 kilo.I used a tin bread form.
Some butter , pepper and salt
Soak the tenderloin overnight in the brandy, the chopped thyme and the choped garlic.
The next day you take it out of the marinade and chop it in big chunks.
Take the form and butter it well and dress is with the slices of bacon. They have to overlap the form so you can close of the top once it is filled.
Combine the minced meat, the tenderloin, the parsley and the roughly chopped pistachionuts add pepper and salt to taste and mix well.If you want to know it the mix is seasoned well you can take a small amount, roll it in a ball and boil it till cooked. Taste to see if the seasoning is ok.
Put half of this mix in the baking tin and then lay a double row of the apricots on it.
Fill the tin further with the rest of the mix.

Now you take the overlapping pieces of bacon and close the top of the terrine with it.
Put a double layer of alluminium foil over the top and sides of the tin.
The oven must be preheated on 180°C. Take the deep baking tray of your oven and fill it with boiling water.
Put the baking tin in it and bake for 60 minutes.
Once the terrine is baked you take it out of the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Than you drain of the excess juices.
Let it cool down and put in the fridge.
Once it is totally cold (best is next day) you remove it from the tin. Once again remove all jelly and faton the outside but leave the bacon.
Slice in thick of thin slices and serve with a green salad, French baquettes and Cumberland sauce.
Cumberland sauce is made like this:
8 tablespoons of redcurrent jelly
1 small onion very finally choped
1 TS of grated orange rind and 1TS of grated lemon rind
juice of one orange and one lemon
1ts dryed ginger
2 TS red wine vinagar
12 TS red Port wine
Cook everything together in a saucepan and thicken with cornstarch. Taste and when it is to sour for your taste you can add a bit of brown sugar.
The sauce is delicious with all cold meats and can be kept in the fridge for weeks.

Sorry that the pictures are not that special. I did not have time whilest preparing all this to make 'beautiful' pictures.Nevertheless I hope you enjoy this recepie.

Next week a few more recepies of the "Dogclub lunch".

dinsdag 16 juni 2009

Why I want to get rid of my husband...for a week!

It is hard to keep up with blogs and blogging. I sometimes wonder how people keep it up. Last week was again a foody week. I will write about that on "Foody Friday". For the moment the special event foodmaking has stopped for a while. Now I am trying to start again with my sewing and decorating.
But first I want to get rid of my husband! He is going to Italy for his job next week. He always complains that I complain a lot about him going away for the job, if only he knew.
I want him out of the way to start om my granddaughter's room. I have it all in my head how I want it. The problem is that just two years agoo we renovated this room,my sons old room, in a library/ tv room (DH) an ironing room for me.
But now it all has to go again and I don't know where to put all the furniture and washing and formost all the books.
We put 4 bookcases in that room, we have 11 in total in the house and now I need to get writ of 3 of them.
And what about DH chair and his tv??? Oh dear, I wished I had another room availible to make Anne-Fleur's room.
I have seen the room in my dreams. I will be all in white and pink and pale blue.I am going a bit fifties vintage to match the old bed I have.
Thirty five years I kept my brothers baby bed in my cellar to have it for my grandchildren if there ever came one. The bed needed some paint and I just managed to paint it when the baby was born but I still have no room ready to put it in. This house needs a laundry room thats for sure!

This is the bed my parents bougth for my brother Jan, who is my junior by one year. So I never slept in this bed. It is now 58 years old.
So what are my plans for next week.
Point 1: Tree bookcases need to go.
Two will go in the upstairs hall but I actually need to paint them so they would fit the decor. But I won't manage that when DH is in Italy since they have to come downstairs for that and that I can't do alone.The fourth will disappair in my cellar unless my daughter changes her mind about having it.
Point 2: The dresser of the upstairs hall needs to go in the baby room to make place for the bookcases and I can use it as a diaper changing station.
Point 3: The 2 ugly pine chest of drawers that are in the baby's room have to move again to the cats room where they first where taken from so I can put the bed on that place.
Point 4: I need to iron a lot of stuff from the baptism , tablecloths mainely and put all the other clean washing in my newly arranged cellar. I hope I can bear it to do my ironing there.
Point 5: Once all the moving is done I can strip the wallpaper (only two years old) to put a pretty PIP wallpaper up. Luckely it is only two small wall and I like wallpapering.

Point 6: I need to repaint one bookcase, a mirror,a small table and a shelving unit.
Point 7:Then the fun bit kicks in. I can dress the room.The room was freshly painted two years agoo so I don't need to redo the painting. All the stuff I want to put in the baby's room are old thing I have for years.There will be nothing new in it exept the changing pad.
This shell I also want to put in Anne-Fleur's baby room.I belonged to my paternal grandmother and I had it in my little girl's room and now I want to put in in my granddaughters room too.

You see why I want to get rid of my husband?? He can't stand manual labour and he can't stand me messing with paint and things.
And I need him to be away so I don't have to cook his dinner or iron his shirts for a whole week and can get on with work exept the time I need to spend on the cats.

vrijdag 5 juni 2009

Come have some tea and cakes with me...

Please come in and have some tea and cakes with me. I had un unexpected harvest of the sweetest strawberry's and in the fridge there was still the buttercream that did'nt make it to the muffins on the baptism party.

Look at these strawberry's! Are'nt they gourgous? If only you could taste them.They are so sweet! Sweet strawberry's like these you never find in a store. I only have about 30 but how delicious they are. You just can taste the sun in them.
So I will bake you some fresh cakes and make you a nice cup of tea to go with it.

Don't you love these dainty small cupcakes. I have baked them in my new muffin tin and I know I will use that tin often since these small muffins give people the opportunity to taste different kind of muffins witout being stuffed after the first once.
I have decorated them with a bit of pink buttercreme and a small fondant flower and a little bit of my precious strawberry's.

Are'nt they pretty?? To pretty to eat??
No, please take one or no take two and enjoy!

Here is that fresh cup of tea for you. Mmmm, how lovely!
The recepie??
You think I would forget? I know you folks. You always want the recepie. I had prepared for that. Here we go. It is in grams but I am sure you can put a converter program on it.
This amount is for about 36 dainty small muffins or for about 14 bigger onces.

You need:
250 grams of plain flour
2 heaped soupspoons of real Dutch cocao powder
2,5 teaspoons of bakingpowder
1 ts of baking soda
1 egg
1 ts vanilla extract or a sachet of vanilla sugar
130 grams of fine caster sugar
100 grams of melted butter
250 gram of sour cream or plain yoghurt
75 ml of strong coffee

100 grams of butter or shortening ( you need a butter that gets hard when cold)
200 grams of icing sugar
a drop of food color if desired
few drops of vanilla extract or another flavour.

Mix the melted butter with the sugar and the vanilla extract. Mix well. Add the egg. Then you add the sour cream. Mix the flour with the sifted cacao powder, the baking powder and the baking soda and stirr in the butter/sugar mixture. Ad the cold coffee and stirr again.
The small muffins you bake 10 minutes and the bigger ones 20 to 25 minutes on 180° C.

For the buttercream simply mix the softened butter with the sifted icing sugar and the food coloring and vanilla
Let the muffins cool and decorate with a bit of the buttercream and a piece of strawberry and a sugared flower. I used a flower cut from a remnamt of fondant.

maandag 1 juni 2009

Garden Party 2

My son and I with Anne-Fleur in her lace baptism dress. The same dress that her daddy wore 35 years agoo.

As said, I actually had 2 garden party's this weekend. On saterday we had the baptism of our beautiful granddaughter, Anne-Fleur and we had a family garden party to celebrate.
I made a big cold buffet for all the 30 guests. It was magic. The sun was there and there was lots of joy and laughter.
The garden was decorated with all pink pelargoniums and white Hydrangea's en blue Petunia's and Pink heartshape ballons.
On the table I had flowery table cloths and bouquets of pink, orange, red and dark pink roses.
But just let me show you some pictures.

My first attempt at an iced cake I made for this party. Vanilla cake with a chocolate ganache filling topped with pink icing and chocolate hearts and the letter A.Flowery and summery tablecloths with the rose bouquets and pink ballons.The terrace set with tables for 8.

After these pictures people started coming in and since I did all the catering myself I had no time to take pictures of the family. So I give you this picture of the new mom and her little girl.

Today, June 1st, we had another party for 80 people also celebrating the baptism and birth of Anne-Fleur. The fact it was also our 36 th wedding anniversery was of no importence today.Friends and workmates where invated to a party with drinks and lots of fine fingerfood to celebrate the birth of Anne-Fleur.
I made 18 different kind of fingerfood, going from cold pea soup to salmon marinated in olive oil and lemon juice, accompanied by green apple, dryed apricots filled with feta cheese and wrapped in bacon to stawberry's in limoncella and little mini muffins.
All in all about 700 little "amuse geule's".
For this second party with put a lot of small tables all over the garden and decorated them with Kaffe Fassett tableclots.
Here are some pictures.
The garden set for the second party with the flag banner I made for Anne-Fleur.

Lots of glasses for lots of drinks.

The simple snackfood that was on the table for the children. From all the other food I have no pictures because I was to busy making them.

Lots of happy chatting people. After a while all the small tables where put together to make 2 big tables.

The very last and not the most beautiful plate of snacks. Cherry muffins with chocolate cream and a fresh raspberry topping. This was supposed to be the topping for the chocolate muffins and these ones where supposed to get a vanilla cream topping with a fresh cherry on top. But after a beautiful sunny weekend, at six pm, half an hour before the end of the party it started to rain a little. So the muffins where rushed out by my son without the right topping.Only the last ones had this topping. I had baked 70 little muffins and they where eaten in 5 minutes.
Luckely the rain did'nt come true so people stayed a while longer.
It was truly a magnificent weekend but now dear friends, I am dog tired and I am going to put the cats to bed and myself too. Enjoy the garden party. Forgive me but I will not be visiting you tonight (it is half past 11 pm here in Belgium) but will visit you all tomorrow.