Monday, June 23, 2008

Yule Weekend

Well, I had a lovely weekend. The house was cleaned and set up in plenty of time, as was I. I had a slight issue with the icecream - I decided to make white chocolate (as well as dark chocolate) but Andrew brought home 'white cooking compound'! I wasn't game to use it, but fortunately Dad was out at the time, so I got him to pick up a block of real white chocolate. This did, however, mean that it got made a little later than I would have liked.
The food was gorgeous, and it was wonderful to see my friends - several of whom I had not seen in almost a year! I also love seeing all my friends get on so well. We had soup and mini quiches for entree, and a massive main of lasagne, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, gluten free pasta bake, roast veggies, potato bake, chili con carne, and corn on the cob. Unfortunately, the lasagne wasn't ready when everything else was, so very little got eaten. Dessert consisted of a gorgeous chocolate ripple Yule log, sticky date pudding, sponge cake (gluten free), and my icecreams. Yum!
Four of my friends stayed overnight. I love being able to allow them to do this. I had taken photos of how beautiful one of the beds looked, but my father appears to have deleted it for reasons which are unknown to me since they were the only shots on the card.
Sunday morning, I was up at 8:30am (not my choice after going to bed at 3am, but I couldn't breathe well enough to sleep) well before anyone else, but this meant I was able to potter around and clean up at my own pace. Sad to say it, but it was really nice to not have Mum there to hassle me (she spent the night with a friend on Phillip Island) about cleaning up as she usually does.
Once I had cleaned up, showered and eaten breakfast, it was time to get ready for the afternoon's UnderCoverWear party. This meant baking. I made a batch of my chocolate chip cookies - I'm known for these amongst my friends - as well as two batches of scones. One of the batches was an experiment in gluten free for my friend, Jacq, who has an intolerance. They weren't perfect because I got impatient, but certainly edible, and Jacq was thrilled to be able to eat scones again.
The party started at 2:30. My best friend, Jill, returned (and her fiance, Jim, came to play with Andrew) and Andrew's Mum came up, bringing our beautiful 2.5 year old niece, Alice. Our lovely consultant, Chris, was wonderful as always. I must confess that my ideals of putting dips in nice bowls, and crackers on plates fell by the wayside, and the nibblies I had in the freezer stayed there, but no one seemed to mind.
The day ended with a dinner of leftover lasagne with Jill and Jimmy, and Lettisia (Tish) and her lovely new guy, Jason. A lovely way to end a lovely weekend and I went to bed tired, but happy.

The fireplace filled with candles. We couldn't have a real fire, because the hearth is being redone, which was disappointing, but this was pretty. I was impressed with how well they burned too, since I paid $16 for the lot at Target!

Us all sitting down for our entrees

Mini quiches, with and without gluten, candles and sword (I don't know what it's doing there either, though it is mine, but it looks good though, doesn't it?)

The chocolate ripple Yule log. Such a simple idea, but so effective and so tasty

Friday, June 20, 2008

The beginning

After spending 10.5 months travelling the world, I am feeling very inspired to cook and sew - things I haven't really been able to do while on the go. I have been very inspired by a couple of other blogs, as well as the other ladies (and a few gents) at both the Sense and Sensibility forums, and the I-do forums. The aim of this blog is to document my (creative) domestic efforts, and hopefully to inspire others.
Since arriving home, I've been too busy sorting out my stuff - my things have been moved downstairs, plus Andrew's had to be brought up from his place - to do much cooking or sewing. I have cooked dinner a couple of times (my fair share), made cookies and chocolate crackles for afternoon tea, replaced buttons on a couple of shirts (I was really desperate to do some sewing) and finished a cape thingy (pattern Vogue 7974) that Mum has been working on for far too long.
This weekend, however, I have my annual Yule celebration. This marks the longest night of the year, and I always celebrate with a dinner party with my friends, to which everybody contributes a dish. Usually, I choose mine well in advance, but this year I was hoping to just be able to fill a gap in the menu. Unfortunately (well, sort of) there were none! So it looks like I will be making ice cream, one of my favourite things! All that remains is to decide what flavours.
I am also hosting (hostessing? that doesn't sound right!) an UnderCoverWear party - party plan clothes - which will require me to provide nibblies. Hmm....