Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for cooking

Bookclubbing

…so last night went off well!

Starters was a garlic, ginger noodle soup with bok choi. This was so easy and so tasty! Loved it! And I will definitely have a crack at it again. Mains was Hainanese Chicken rice, which is just sooooo delicious and simple, I could eat it weekly! First you poach a chicken in stock which is flavoured with ginger and spring onions, You then plunge your chicken into ice water, and then massage some sesame oil lovingly into the chicken skin. Then you prepare some  jasmine rice, using that same stock; and then you make sauces – a soya sauce based one, one with spring onions and ginger and a fiery chilli sauce. All so yum. And for dessert I made a matcha chiffon cake with a pomegranate icing, which I really enjoyed. So light and delicate in flavour.

 

Women’s day Weekend

…between Ballet rehearsals and running, not much else was done this weekend. But how awesome are these pictures. Each of my 3 runs this weekend took me across the same beach at more or less the same time.

FridaySaturdaySunday

Makes all the pain worthwhile. It was really beautiful.

Last night I made my first attempt at a buddha bowl for my family. I prepped some brown and wild rice, roasted some pumpkin, beetroot, peppers and tomatoes, steamed some broccoli, cooked off some chicken fillets with moroccan spice and chickpeas, and made a raita, and then topped it all off with some sesame seeds. Yum! I felt so virtuous and healthy too.

Valentining

… so I hosted my annual Valentine’s dinner on Saturday night. I do love it all – thinking up a theme, designing a menu and then bringing it all together on the day. This year was no exception!

Introducing the Royal Affair – a meal fit for a king and queen.

On that menu…

  • CanapĂ© – fish and chips, with a pea sorbet
  • Starter – bangers and truffle mash with a yorkshire pud and caramelized onions
  • Palate cleanser – a G&T sorbet
  • Mains – a lamb crown roast, with steamed green veggies and fondant potatoes
  • Dessert – sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream
  • Petit four platter – miniature toffee apples, port and Stilton truffles, elderflower jellies and tiara biscuits.

It seemed to all go down well, and I think my friends may want to come again next year!

Christmas Cookies

…so in attempt to assuage some working mom guilt and to compensate for the many missed play dates because I keep her so busy, I arranged a Christmas cookie decorating party for Thandi yesterday. Extra-murals are done for the year, and so we could have a good afternoon of fun!

I spent Sunday, between electricity outages, baking up a storm. Gingerbread men, gingerbread ninjas, and some Christmas shaped sugar biscuits. I prepped various colors of icing, collected multiple sprinkles and also made some T-shirt’s for the little girls.

Once everyone has arrived, we got going. Each girl also had the chance to bake a batch of choc chip cookies (they were a simple mix – so easy to do!) and they all baked and iced to their heart’s content.

Then there was some swimming and some testing of the produce!

I was nervous, 12 girls felt overwhelming, but they were awesome. Either I have underestimated the girls, or else my daughter has really awesome friends! They sat and decorated quietly, there was peace and harmony and sharing of colors and sprinkles around the table. They were polite and kind. Such a pleasure

And I really hope I made some good memories for my girl. I had the warm fuzzies all afternoon.

Party prep

…ok, so I am exhausted, but we are nearly there – party prep is in full swing, 2:30 tomorrow and it will all be on the way, and by 4:30 done!

  • Cake – is made and dirty iced. The fondant and figures will be added today.
  • Sugar crystals – all grown and must just be dried tonight.
  • Macarons – yes, I have that child who asks for macarons for her party, seriously! Made and must just be sandwiched together tonight (I use nutella for these ones, so super easy)
  • Biscuits – made and iced and good to go.
  • Fudge and Smudge – done
  • Chicken and Ham rolls – to be done in the morning tomorrow.
  • Pin the tail on the fox – done
  • Hedgehog ring toss – done, including the rings
  • Scavenger hunt bags – to be printed
  • Necklaces – to be used as prizes for the scavenger hunt – done.
  • Sweetie jars – to take home, done
  • Decor – done – except for the moss and some pine cones.
  • Thandi’s dress – done.

I can’t wait to share the photos with you guys!

Trying

… to get that Christmas spirit going here, guys! Thandi and I had fun this weekend. We baked up a storm – biscuits, fudge, coconut ice, a gingerbread house. (I really appreciate how you can see the difference in her arms here – a permanent reminder of what she has endured this holiday in her splint – that left arm is pale, (look at her hands esp) and skinnier than the other)

We decorated our tree, we embellished the house, it’s been good to sort out, throw out where necessary and clean up. Getting things in order pleases me. The fact that there is a lot of mess first distresses me, but thereafter I am destressed.

(In my decluttering, tonight I tackle the spare room!)

HBD Charlie!

…so this weekend we celebrated Charlie’s 45th birthday; or as I liked to tease him; half way to 90! And when you put it that way, its a bit scary. Chances are good we have already lived half our lives! Really? Really? I know the whole Business Women’s Association awards thing kinda made me reassess things, but once again I am reminded that it really does go by in a flash; and I think we must always be clear on where we are going in life, be clear about our goals, because before you’ve realised it, it’s too late! Thanks for that reality check, my love!

The weekend felt jam packed! On Friday night Charlie, Thandi and I had a quiet dinner out to celebrate the birthday boy. That was nice and it was good to relax with a glass of wine after a really busy week. Saturday started with a fabulous run – pain free, I felt like I could run forever! Then it was onto the first birthday of a friend’s little girl, for whom I made that cake – so much fun to see such cute little people playing and having fun! Saturday afternoon I pottered in the kitchen – baking a cake for Charlie’s birthday celebration and prepped some gourmet boerie rolls for supper while watching the Springbok game.

Sunday started with another run. The polar opposite to Saturday’s run – the pace was fast, probably a little too fast for me, my legs were tired and after about 5 km the calves started to cramp up again – I struggled through 15km, but had tears along the way. I was soooo frustrated! I guess I will have to get some more dry needling done again! Aitog! Anyway, I dusted myself off and then prepared for Charlie’s lunch – a roast leg of lamb and all the trimmings – totally divine and indulgent! Followed by a cheese board and then a scrumptious apple and pear cake with a salted caramel drizzle. Yumyumyum!

And now it’s monday, and the diet must start again – just once I have had this slice of cake with my tea…