Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mushroom Magic

I love it when I can make a dinner do double duty. By that I mean the leftovers of something delicious become something else, possibly even more delicious. I feel like a super domestic goddess, creating magical goodness with my cleverness.

You know what I mean.

It's cost effective, and time efficient, and we could all use a little more cash and a little more time.

So, my latest stroke of brilliance was Mushroom Ragu.  I only made it because there were a bunch of different mushroom punnets reduced at the supermarket and I just can't walk past that. So I made my ragu (saute a bunch of mushrooms with onions and garlic, perhaps a little wine, a little stock, add a knob of butter at the end) and served it with soft polenta.

The Ragu, looking all yummy and steamy

The leftover polenta was poured into a lamington tin and flattened down with wet hands so it was all nice and smooth. (I'll get back to that later.)

The mushroom ragu leftovers sat in the fridge for a couple of days... the flavours developing (and I kinda got sidetracked.) Then I whizzed up the mix with a little melted butter, divided it into a couple of jars and poured more melted butter over the top. No, this is not every day food.

Voila. Mushroom Pate.

O.k, so I made this jar pretty for you guys

Just in time for Nibblies night.

Oh, and the polenta? Cut into chips, coated in some uncooked polenta and baked in the oven (When we have an extractor in the kitchen I'm gonna fry them!) and served a couple of days later with sausages.

I gave myself a high five.


What do you do with your leftovers?


Friday, November 8, 2013

"Tis Almost the Season

This is to be the Tadpoles' first xmas. Granted, it will pass her by in a whirl of paper and presents she'll have no comprehension of, she'll be almost six months old after all, but I wanted to start a new tradition.
In fact, tradition is suddenly a very interesting topic to me. We have traditions already, grown up ones that are a mixture of French, Australian and our very own made-up ones.

1. The tree goes up on December 1st. There is sparkling wine involved, always. Often, the date changes because, hey, that's life.
2. The weeks leading up to xmas involve me pre-making as much of the festive food, and foodie gifts as possible. I'ts a very happy time for me!
3. On xmas eve, I prepare a range of canapes, while drinking sparkling, to be eaten while watching Carols by Candlelight and taking the piss out of everyone on stage. Except Marina Prior. She is untouchable. Everyone else is fair game. (I know, not in the xmas spirit but still, it's fun!)

4. As is the French tradition, we open gifts on xmas eve, but not at Midnight like you're supposed to and only those from each other.
5. This is because on xmas morning we open everything else.
6. I spend the rest of the day cooking. And we eat.

Nothing happens on Boxing day, because until recently Mr Frog and I have always been working. So, I need to get a new tradition for that day.

Until then, my newest addition to tradition is The Advent Calendar. I know nothing about it (perhaps someone could enlighten me?) but a daily dose of chocolate will make Mr Frog very happy... at least until he has to share with the Tadpole!

Here is the process of making my own in pictures:

The shelving, painted cream

The back board with picture

A work in progress
The drawers

Decorating is easy with a sticker sheet

Gluing the back board on

Voila, the finished product.... for now.

I'm still considering adding to the shadow box, but for now it's done. Now I can focus on the xmas gifts I plan to make.

I'm thinking Sleeping masks, bath salts, lip balm, and of course all the food!

What traditions do you have?


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Anniversary

The other day, Mr Frog and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. The fourth anniversary of the original wedding day (there were three in total).
Normally, we'd go out to dinner or something, but hubby had work to do and would be late home so it was up to me to make it special.
Normally, I'd go mad cooking all day, making something time consuming, delicious and best eaten at a leisurely pace.
But this is the new normal. We now have a Tadpole, and my energy is spread pretty thin. So instead, I made only two canapes (boconccini, tomato and basil bites, and peach wrapped in proscuitto), bought a frozen pizza, a bag of salad, and a box of Bounty icecreams for dessert.
The idea was that I'd have more energy to actually spend some quality time with Mr Frog.
Normally it would have been a great plan.
Tadpole had other ideas!

Anyhoo, Mr Frog also got ripped off in the gift department... Handmade chocolates. Not fancy ones from the shop, I mean handmade by me.

Yep, that's blue glitter. Don't worry, it's edible!

A little scrapbook paper, some red cardboard, a rub on and some black ribbon.

 He was very polite and is thoroughly enjoying them.