Sunday, September 29, 2013

Polenta Chips and Julie's Eton Mess....

What a weekend it has been.

Three whole days off and Mr B and I have been surprisingly productive. Friday resulted in running some errands, weeding the garden and dusting the house. If you know me you will be well aware that I am not a gardener or a cleaner so for me to achieve both of those things in one day is beyond huge.

On Saturday Mr B and I had a lovely lazy morning and just as we headed out the door for the afternoon we managed to lock ourselves out of the house....

'But wait....' I said.....

 'All is not lost, we have spare keys' I said.....

And then Mr B proceeded to tell me that our spare keys were actually inside, safely tucked away in a drawer. Super useful huh?

So we proceeded to break into our own home. In record time I might add which was slightly scary. But a few window removals and one blaring alarm later we had our keys and were on our way.

Mr B spent the afternoon at an AFL Grand Final BBQ with his friends and I spent the afternoon with my Nan. It has been far too long since I've seen her and at the same time it was like I had only seen her yesterday. We spent hours and hours drinking tea, looking through photo albums and just catching up and I am so glad I finally made the effort.

And today has been a kitchen day - I made crepes and I am not ashamed to say I danced around the kitchen with joy when they worked out.

Now onto recipes. Last Tuesday night Mum and Dad served up a stellar menu of Polenta Chips with Black Rice and Asparagus followed by Eton Mess....the main was delicious and comforting, the dessert was light and decadent and it was all shared with 3 of my favourite people - what more could you ask for?

Polenta Chips - Serves 4

1.5 cups chicken stock
1 cup instant polenta
280g jar char-grilled antipasto vegetables, drained and finely chopped
1/3 cup parmesan

Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square pan.

Combine two cups of water and stock in a medium saucepan over moderate heat and bring to a simmer.

Slowly whisk in the polenta in a thin steady stream until combined. Whisk and cook for 5 minutes or until polenta is thick and comes away from the sides of the pan. Stir in the vegetable and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into the prepared pan and level the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Remove the polenta from the pan and cut in half. Cut each half into 6 pieces. Heat 1 tbspn oil in a fry pan over medium high heat. Add the polenta chips, cooking for 2 mins on each side or until golden.

We had ours with steamed asparagus and black rice, but you could serve these with pretty much anything - or even have them on their own for an afternoon snack!

And what fabulous meal would be complete without a fabulous dessert?

A few weeks ago Mum and Dad made a Strawberry Eton Mess for dessert which was delicious but Mum wasn't 100% thrilled with it and had some ideas to make it bigger and better.The end result was a cross between a trifle and an eton mess and I have to say it was spectacular!

Julie's Eton Mess 

1 pkt Raspberry Jelly Crystals prepared as directed
100g Mini Vanilla Meringues
600ml Thickened Cream, whipped
500g fresh raspberries
White Chocolate and Ice Cream to serve

Break up the jelly and spoon into the bottom of your trifle bowl.

Top with mini vanilla meringues, half of the cream and half of the raspberries.

Repeat layers with the remaining cream and raspberries and finish the whole thing off with some shaved white chocolate.

Serve with some vanilla ice cream and enjoy!!

As you can see from the way he is scraping the leftovers out of the serving bowl Mr B was absolutely NOT a fan...

And last but not least a look at some of the beautiful tulips that have popped up in our front garden this week.

I will never forget walking out the front door last year to find one of our lambs in the garden and when I called out to her Blossom whipped her little head around to show me a mouth full of newly bloomed tulips! It was hilarious but sadly the end of our tulips for that year.

Luckily this year the lambs are in the back paddock so we can enjoy the beautiful colour for a little longer.

Mrs B xx

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