Welcome to my new Blog Theme! A tad more sophisticated, easier to navigate, crisp, animated and now iPad and iPhone/Android compatible. Yea!!
Launched for the purpose of updating friends and family with highlights of our European journey 12 months ago, six since going public, your lovely comments, suggestions and support directly contributing to the Blog’s steadily increasing following…please keep ’em coming!
Catch interesting facts and figures, hints and tips and a few cool suggestions for getting the most from your career
Watch the story of the fabulously theatrical and ever so adventurous matriarchs of my family unfold
Gain insights into the fascinating life of a Chef feeding the masses charged with harvesting our wide brown land’s resources
And of course the usual suspects…travel, entertainment, inspiration, desires…the foundations of Indulge Divulge
I do love to ‘feed and water’ my friends, whether it be a casual brekky or a five course evening event and thus am always on the look out for new ways to present my offerings. BJ shares the passion for cooking and pulls together the mains while I plan desserts and conduct the very important ‘plating up’ exercise…presentation is everything! Somehow it just seems to taste better don’t you think?
You’ll notice I’ve been having a passionate affair with ‘stacks’ and ‘mounds’ for some time now, most recently the avocado prawn and salsa stacks so appealing due to their colourful layers, and I’m particularly fond of serving vanilla pannacottas, light, smooth on the palette and a beautifully creamy backdrop for rose water infused strawberries and delicate rose petals, or berries or….well, it’s time for something new!
The recent desire to buy a pedestal glass bowl required justification and trifle immediately came to mind. Problem was, am not particularly fond of trifle, something to do with soggy Sherry soaked cake and half drunk Aunts. Test driving the bowl would require something different. With layers in mind and the knowledge that all things 80’s were making a come back (think prawn cocktails) had a lightbulb moment!
Strawberries and Chantilly Cream but with a modern twist…think ‘Eaton’s Mess’ but with a tad more structure. Lovely layers of merangues, cream, strawberries marshmallows, vanilla icecream and turkish delight all topped with a delicate smattering of lightly toasted slivered almonds…mmmm! Lovely red and white layers, looks good, tastes decadent and appeals to most. So simple yet so impressive, try it!
3 punnets strawberries, 2 punnets worth finely slithered lengthwise, 1 punnet halved
6 soft Merangues, preferably those little fresh soft puffy ones cut into three layers (or substitute with crumbled crisp merangues)
Litre Cream, infused with 1 teaspoon vanilla essence whipped to stiff peak
1/2 bag white Marshmallows chopped
3 slices deli Turkish delight chopped
Rose water sprinkled on slithered strawberries to infuse
Slivered almonds, lightly toasted
Scoops of Vanilla icecream
Place layer of merangue on bottom of bowl then follow with a layer of the whipped cream
Surround the centre internal circumference of the bowl with layers of strawberry slithers pressed against the sides then throw remaining slithers in
Place another layer of merangue followed by another layer of cream
Top with marshmallow and turkish delight chunks, another of the cream then a final layer of merangue
Finish by piping big cream rosettes of cream on top
Plant halved strawberries into piped cream in a circular pattern, finishing with the best on top
Sprinkle slithered toasted almonds over the top just before serving
Refrigerate until ready to serve
Serve atop big scoops of vanilla icecream
A lovely friend sent this via email today, along with comments on how she had personally embraced the message. I loved her response, was taken aback by the message itself and…in honour of my current ‘pause for reflection’ state…would love to hear your thoughts…here ’tis verbatim:
Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine. I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word ‘refrigeration’ mean nothing to you?
How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched something on television?
I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, ‘How about going to lunch in a half hour?’ She would stammer, ‘I can’t. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain.’ And my personal favourite: ‘It’s Monday.’ She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
Because we cram so much into our lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!
We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We’ll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet… We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of ‘I’m going to,’ ‘I plan on,’ and ‘Someday, when things are settled down a bit.’
When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord..
My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It’s just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-Decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
Now…go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to……not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?
Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butter fly’s erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask ‘ How are you?’ Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow.’ And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say ‘Hi?
When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift….Thrown away….. Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.
The name of the person who originally penned this has long gone, however, by the actions you take as a result of reading this, she/he may have just successfully left their own little legacy? I say ‘thankyou’! who ever you are.
Good restaurants and cafes deserve recognition…food, ambience, style, decor, service…all judged according to personal tastes; thus am leaving that to the critiques whose livelihoods depend upon witty, acerbic and considered opinions. Having said that, eating out is a great pleasure, attempting to duplicate a good dish discovery at home, even more so.
Delighting friends with a carefully considered home cooked menu, wine and music match, a beautifully set table, ambient lighting..well it gives me the warm fuzzies. Occasionally daunting, at times challenging…usually after one too many Daiquiris…but always fun. Good friends are cool with that as they too are usually immersed in the fun around the kitchen bench. (more…)