Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Courgette and Basil Terrine

It would be really mean of me not to share this fabulous terrine with you, the last one I did if you saw my post a few weeks ago was with tuna which was really quite unusual and very tasty, best of all  quite simple to make. Well my DH was in the Haute Savoie last week on business and he was having an appero (drinks and nibbles before main meal) and was served small pieces of this Courgette and basil Terrine by Fabienne, who was his host for the week, and he thought it was so delicious that he asked  for the recipe.
This time of the year we have courgettes coming out of our ears, to coin a phrase, and the challenge is always to find something else other than soup or stuffed courgettes.  Well this is it, I made this today and I did taste a little bit while it was still warm and I think it is going to be very tasty indeed when properly chilled and,  as I sit here, it is doing that right now.

 I would say this would feed a good 12 for starters so I guess some of it will go in the freezer to keep the other half of the tuna terrine company for awhile. You could also halve the ingredients to make a smaller portion.

Turn your oven to 180deg    (Moderate)


1,2kg Courgettes (2lb 10oz)
5 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of chopped basil
30g parmesan cheese (1oz)
100g of Swiss cheese (3.5ozs)
6 eggs
3 tablespoons of white breadcrumbs
Salt & pepper

Trim ends of courgettes and cut into very small pieces, take a large pan and add and heat the 4 tbls of olive oil and then add the courgettes,a little salt & pepper and stir fry for approx 30 minutes.
Finely chop the garlic and basil.
Break 6 eggs into a large bowl and add the chopped garlic, basil, the parmesan and the breadcrumbs and give it a good stir round.
Add the Swiss cheese into the courgettes mix and switch the heat off.
Now pour the courgette mix into the large bowl with the other ingredients.
Lightly butter a loaf tin and pour the mixture in
Cook in a bain –marie (I just used a deep dish and poured a little water in the base) cook for 45 minutes, switch the oven off and leave for 10 minutes with the door half opened for about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and when cooled place in the fridge to chill.
Serve in slices or dice

One point my DH mentioned was that Fabienne cut her courgettes much smaller than mine so next time I will do just that. Pause for appero!!!

We have now tasted it and it is light and totally delicious so thanks to Fabienne I have yet another great recipe to pass on. Hope that if you try it you will come back and let me know what you thought. Bon Appetit.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Designs by Dana $20 pair of Gorgeous Armwarmers

I recently met Dana on face book and fell in love with her fabulous creations and we got to chatting as we girls do! and she told me about her love of fiber art which for her started at an early age, living then in Spain she saw an elderly lady dressed in mourning black sitting in front of a medieval castle knitting the most intricate and beautiful lace. The lady was so skilled at her craft that she didn't even look to see what her fingers were creating. It was almost as if her fingers had eyes. Dana was mesmerized and thought to herself “It’s like magic… and I want to learn how to do this! This was the start of her love affair with all things fiber.
She also mentioned that she studied flamenco dance and guitar and her work as you can see has been greatly influenced by the vibrant colours and music of Spain, Portugal and Northern Africa.
Designs by Dana are a completely original take on fabrics….  Creating clothing – rather, works of art that force you to see fashion in an entirely new way. 
Dana has not hung her shoes up just yet and here are her favourite pair ready and waiting.....
 Her clothes not only look comfortable, flattering and best of all unique. From original patterns for couture hats, separates and outerwear to reconstructed materials putting life into assumingly tarnished textiles.  The detail and care put into every stitch from Dana is what makes her line unlike anything currently dangling in your closet or what is found on the every-day store racks.

Huge thanks to Dana for sharing her story with us and for her fabulous give away of a pair of up cycled gloves (First picture on post) which will go to one of my lucky followers.  Now how to enter and you know I like to keep it simple..... so for the first time I am trying out Rafflecopter so bear with me and if there are any problems please let me know so I can rectify. So good luck and meanwhile Dana will strum you a little tune on her guitar.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I snapped a few just as I was passing

Just a few things that caught my eye this week here, there and in the garden

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hospital chef sews up second gold baking award

A chef at North Devon District Hospital has won her second national gold award within a year for a novelty cake – a stunning recreation of a sewing basket that is edible down to the last needle, button and strand of cotton.
Meg Davis’s latest success came at the Salon Culinaire event, which brings together hundreds of entrants each year from Sodexo, the firm which runs catering, cleaning, portering and other support services for Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

The cake is made of Madeira sponge and covered with sugar paste. All the contents of the box are individually made of sugar paste. The completed cake and decorations took some 30 hours to complete.
Earlier in the year, Meg won the same category at the Hotelympia catering event, which brings together catering staff from across the hospitality sector.
The latest success comes as the Northern Devon team also notched up two wins in the annual Sodexo Star awards at the end of 2010:
  • The national award for service excellence in facilities management
  • The southern regional award for additional services (shop and Yoo Cafe on Level 2 at NDDH, and security)
Meg said: “Although it took a lot of time and demanded a great deal of concentration to make the contents as realistic as possible, winning the gold medal along with the Best in Class against very strong competition made it all worthwhile.”

I bet it did Meg and congratulations what a fabulous piece of art. Now can I have a slice?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

From Tehran Sealed With .....

I think it is true to say that at some stage we have all experienced sending out mail and it seems to just vaporise never to be seen again, and on the other hand never receiving mail that also just seemed to have vaporised, and you are left wondering why, where and how it happens. Well today explains part of the reason but not the how. I guess it is just a cock-up somewhere along the line but with very annoying and costly repercussions for some more than others.
Today I received a white polypropylene sack addressed to me,the sack was sealed with a metal disc and had come from Tehran. 

It was so heavy I wondered if it was an early birthday present, and of course I wanted to know what was inside and more who it was from as I don’t believe I know anyone in Tehran. Well after opening it and tipping out the contents, I was shall we say totally gob-smacked to say the least!  A mixture of 59 letters, parcels, postcards, statements, bills etc. tumbled out at my feet and looking through them at least I found one addressed to me.
There are parcels dating from 5th May, and several from June and a couple from July. Destinations include New Zealand, France, UK, Iran and Algeria. Now, I would like to know how all of them got stuck in a bag and shipped off to Tehran and back, and why did they pick me to send them all back too!  My last name may be Marshall and perhaps they thought a Marshall would be a safe bet, more than likely though my parcel was sitting on the top of the pile and they thought oh, she’ll do so let’s just get rid of them. Gee thanks for that. So I will have to now go to the post tomorrow and drop them off in the hope that they will finally reach their destination. This ever happened to you?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

If you want to get a Hat

Caussade is a small town in the heart of south-west France, in the green valleys of the Midi-Pyrenees, about 70 kilometres north of Toulouse. It’s known as la capitale du canotier (capital of the straw boater hat). Their long hat-making tradition started with Perrette Gleye (better known as Petronille), who was born in 1770. Whilst tending her sheep, Petronille came up with the idea of assembling pieces of straw to make hats. She began weaving straw hats by hand for her family. Having 13 children she was an extremely busy lady …  ! Later, she made hats for her neighbours. In 1796, she installed the first hat-making workshop, and an industry was born. The button hat above is from 2011 and not my favourite despite the buttons but had to include her.
To celebrate, there’s a hat festival every July. It’s dedicated to all hats – whether made of straw, wool, felt, fur, leather or even paper. Pretty much anything goes!
There’s a wonderful atmosphere and sitting in the cafe this morning I saw people wearing all sorts and styles of hats and just for a few days it’s truly is a feast of hats. Everybody wears a hat – in fact, it’s compulsory – there’s a 1 Euro fine if you’re not wearing one, I wasn't though and never got fined! Everywhere you look there are stands where hat designers are proudly displaying their work. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Dye Happily

 You might remember me showing you a picture of the Indigo blue dye above which I bought when I was in Morocco (Essaouira) earlier this year.  
It’s a stunning intense blue and harvested from the sea snail called Hexaplex trunculus. Just trips of the tongue that one, don’t you think? Well I have wanted to try the dye out since May and yesterday morning I decided today was the day. I had no idea as to how much powder to put in so I just chucked a goodly amount in and threw some salt in whilst I was at it and left it to simmer away for an hour or so to do its own thing, I just love messing about with natural dyes despite having no real idea what I am doing and without any immediate plans on what to do with it when finished. 

It just fascinates me watching the dyes transform, this one reminds me of batik work or as my girlfriend suggested (tongue in cheek) the Turin Shroud.

 I think as the linen is old and has probably been washed hundreds of times some areas are more worn than others and yet the linen does not look in the slightest way worn, so will remain a mystery. Any way thought I would let you see how it turned out.

 Well I can see why now the thought of the Turin Shroud popped into my friends head! So I have saved the remaining mixture for another day, will it keep and for how long, time will tell no doubt. If I could have I would have brought all the gorgeous colours back. 

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