Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February........ in Pictures.

Bargain buy. Cat doorstop all of 2 euro
Giant lemon cupcake to celebrate exam results.

Egg basket.


February competition, Take 3 blooms.

 February competition, Petite. Bowl of beauty

Spring container

Purple sprouting brocolli from the allotment

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Afternoon Tea Party.

Last weekend the flower club held an Afternoon Tea Party as a fund raiser. There was a mini flower arranging demonstration by Christine and afternoon tea with lots of home baking by club members. 56 people attended and we made 650 euro, some of which will go to AOIFA for the World Flower Show which is been hosted by Ireland in 2014.

Check out the website  www.aoifa.com  for more information.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Dinner is hanging over a sweeping brush.

My Mother-in-Law bought me a pasta machine for Christmas and yesterday I decided to give it a try. Making the pasta dough was simple.

300g 00 flour.
3 large eggs, beaten.
1tsp salt.
  Sieve the flour and salt together into a bowl. make a well in the centre. Add the beaten egg and mix together to form a stiff dough.
Wrap in clingfilm and chill for an hour.

Roma make 00 flour and Dunnes sell it.

While the dough was in the fridge I got out Rachel Allen's Home Cooking to make her Tomato and Cream sauce.

75g butter.
1/2 onion, peeled and finely chopped.
1/2 carrot, peeled and finely chopped.
1 stick of celery, trimmed and finely chopped.
1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes.
Salt and pepper.
A good pinch of caster sugar.
75ml of cream or mascarpone.

Melt the butter and gently cook the chopped vegetables until soft but not coloured. About 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, caster sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer very gently uncovered for an hour, until reduced and thickened. Stirring occasionally.

When cooked blend smooth and reheat and add the cream or mascarpone.

I used mascarpone because I had already bought it for another recipe. I also doubled the recipe because I did not have any other use for the half onion or carrot and the book said it could be frozen.

I have to be honest and say this is one of the nicest pasted sauces I have tasted in a long time. I find a lot of tomato sauces are too strong for my liking and I can only use a little. This is mild and creamy and coats the pasta beautifully.

And Now The Fun Begins.

The Machine.

Rolling out the dough.

Cutting the pasta.

The mess.

Homemade pasta.

I can tell you here and now it is not as easy as it looks when the chefs do it on the telly. There was a lot of re kneading and re rolling and a hell of a mess to clean up. In the end I had a lot of fun and dinner was a big hit.

Throw in some nice bread and it was a great family meal.

Sorry there is no photos of the whole lot together but it was wiped out. I will have another go at the pasta machine. Maybe with practice I will get it down to the fine art of the TV chefs or maybe not.