HELP!!!!!

Calling all bloggers!

So, on Wednesday I am going to a BBQ and have been asked to bring dessert.

I can follow a recipe but lack imagination when it comes to desserts. Cooking is more my thing but I have to concentrate really hard whilst making desserts, which hurts my head and then I need a drink and a lie down and then it’s all over!

I have these 3 wonderful products at home right now and want to make something pretty special – any suggestions folks?

OK – I know, it’s just butter, sugar and cocoa but it’s French butter, Dark Muscovado Sugar and Premium Dutch Cocoa damn you so it has to be a damn fine dessert but not something I’m going to have an anxiety attack over.

Can anybody help..?…Anyone…?…Hello…?

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Not Quite Summer Food!

Gnocchi with Beef Ragu

I did not care that it was hot yesterday, I wanted this for dinner.

A few months ago at one of our winery trips I ordered this for lunch and I just couldn’t wait to eat. It was cold outside and I love this dish. The view from the window was awesome, the wine was just lovely and the company was what it always is with these girls – loud, funny and wonderful…and the food…well…the food was the worst thing I have ever had in my life!

It was basically very chunky bits of meat with carrots (both undercooked) swimming around in a dirty dishwater like gravy and I’m not sure if it was gnocchi it was floating on…I couldn’t understand how this could happen in such a pretty looking place…and then I saw the “chef!” – I think she was about 13 yrs old – hopefully this means that she still has time to go to cooking school and learn a few things or do something different with her life – poor girl – the food was awful but somehow I figured that this was not what she did for a living!

So very disamappointed…yes, that’s right…disamappointed…!!!

What?!?!

I can get the word wrong if I want to! I mean they got this dish wrong and still charged me almost $30 for it so I can get any word wrong and it won’t cost you a thing!

I have been obsessed with this ever since that day and I finally got around to making it. Yes, it was a very warm 31C outside and a bbq would’ve been better but the bbq went to the ex after our split late last year (it’s ok, I got the car and the 50 inch Plasma TV!) so I was more than happy to part with the bbq!

Anyhoo – it was delish!

nom nom…mmmm

nom nom…mmmm

Ingredients

  • 1kg chuck steak or gravy beef, diced and dusted in plain flour
  • 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • parsley
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
  • 250ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Sauté the beef in batches, add onions, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, spices,  and salt & pepper. Add the wine & stock and cover.
  • Place in the oven or stove top and cook for at least 1 -2 hrs or until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thick but not sticking to the pan.
  • Boil water in a deep saucepan for the gnocchi – I buy ready made gnocchi in a vac sealed pac from my favorite deli but you can use whichever gnocchi you like – or – you could make your own (I don’t have the time).
  • Once the water has come to the boil add the gnocchi. Once all the gnocchi has risen to the top of the boiling water it is ready. Drain the gnocchi.
  • I usually add a tablespoon of butter to the saucepan and slightly burn the butter – until the butter is nutty and not black, then add the gnocchi and toss in the butter.
  • Add the ragu to the gnocchi and toss until well combined.
  • Top with Parmesan Cheese and serve with garlic bread (if you like).

Better Late than Never…Right?!?!

Snapshots of Christmas

I know – Christmas was last year! I haven’t posted my Chrissy stuff, so I’m doing it now.

It seems like ages ago that it was Christmas and lots of Vodka and Cointreau has gone down since so in this rare moment of clarity I shall post this…before I forget again…

I was so happy to do Christmas for the fam – it was an evening meal so the tree was lit up and candles were burning – had a great time!

Loads of pictures coming your way…!!!

My daughter and I - selfies...

My daughter and I – selfies…

I do love my tree - it's black! frickn awesome black Chrissy Tree!

I do love my tree – it’s black! frickn awesome black Chrissy Tree!

Cute table centre piece!

Cute table centre piece!

My glazed ham - proud of this beauty!

My glazed ham – proud of this beauty!

Slice that baby...

Slice that baby…

Prawns, Salad, Duck, Turkey and Ham...

Prawns, Salad, Duck, Turkey and Ham…

Duck with spicy plum sauce with rice and quinoa - soooo good!

Duck with spicy plum sauce with rice and quinoa – soooo good!

Duck - a close up!

Duck – a close up!

The spread!

The spread!

The turkey was so good and the stuffing was awesome - that's what I'm talking about...

The turkey was so good and the stuffing was awesome – that’s what I’m talking about…

Nigella Lawson's Christmas cake with Tia Maria, cocoa, prunes, currants, raisins and dark muscovado sugar - I topped it with gold dusted chocolate praline balls - this was awesome!

Nigella Lawson’s Christmas cake with Tia Maria, cocoa, prunes, currants, raisins and dark muscovado sugar – I topped it with gold dusted chocolate praline balls – this was awesome!

Fresh fruit and custard flan - I didn't get any - gone in a flash!

Fresh fruit and custard flan – I didn’t get any – gone in a flash!

Alcohol soaked panatone and my chrissy cake nicely cut up...

Alcohol soaked panatone and my chrissy cake nicely cut up…

Ending the snapshots with another one of me and Alex…bye bye!

Ending the snapshots with another one of me and Alex…bye bye!