My Friday night was spent with a friend at one of my favourite old haunts, and included pints of the last of the summer ale, tanquerays and tonic, the odd agavero shot and an indefinable number of jagerbombs. I retained my title of sculling speed champion - female, and held my own against a cocky bartender (also a former work colleague) who I was dead-tied with. My friend and I ate mini wagyu-beef burgers, cheese fondue, zucchini and mint fritters and mushroom risotto balls.
Later that evening, I may or may not have taxied home clutching a greasy box of noodles.
Saturday morning I took the sunshine and slightly hazy head as an opportunity to make those pumpkin ginger brownies I was telling you about last week - the ones featured in my favourite magazine. I was not concentrating though; I added three times too much pumpkin, and they were a little squidgy. I also slightly over-gingered with the crystalised variety. The chocolate was rich and luscious though, and I think a ginger-lover would really enjoy them. A revelation did occur however - when my brownie pan was full, there was enough mixture to fill my mini muffin pans too. They were perfect bite sized treats, and more of these soft little delights to feature later. Promise.
I got the train up the coast in the afternoon, as my aunt had the pleasure of entertaining my other aunt's friends who had recently returned from overseas, for Sunday lunch. I was called in to sous-chef. It was like a mini-holiday for me though - a mini-holiday at what feels like a luxury bed and breakfast, with fresh towels, fresh flowers and constant delicious eating of fresh produce from the garden, glass of wine in hand.
Late afternoon saw me swearing at the TV watching netball, then before cooking dinner for the three of us, I walked my glass of rose across the lush green lawn to the vege garden whereupon I discovered the last of the strawberry harvest. I took the three I found back and photographed said glass of wine and strawberries in the last night before daylight savings gorgeous dusky sun. Arty.
Dinner was a success, and that was followed by a highly successful lunch. Baba ghanoush and fresh ciabatta, a salad of glorious olive oil, fresh figs and prosciutto, barbecued butterflied leg of lamb, green and yellow and red tomatoes from the garden covered in freshly torn basil, and chermoula on the side of crispy roast potatoes. So two tasty vegetarian recipes for you - one from dinner and one from lunch.
The chermoula is a mix up of feta, olives and fresh herbs, amongst other things. Extremely tasty with lamb and potatoes. The recipe is from an old cuisine magazine and available by clicking here.
The night before I did stuffed peppers in the style of my friend Anne, and they are a great vegetarian side dish.
Cut capsicums in half and de-seed. In a bowl, mix together olive oil, coarsely chopped black olives, capers or caper berries (with stalks attached) some finely sliced garlic, a couple of chopped anchovies, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Mix together and scoop mixture into each pepper, ensuring some of each gets in each one. Roast for about 25 minutes at 180*C.
[I would attach a picture but my computer has packed a sad. Once fixed, watch this space for lemon curd, impending TV appearances, mushrooms, roasted cauliflower, a Laos feast and maybe, if you're really lucky, a splash of scandal.]