Monday, December 15, 2014

Winners are Grinners.

I cannot believe the siege at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney. I've been glued to the news watching it unfold. I feel so sorry for the staff and customers who've been taken hostage and hope it can be resolved without loss of life.
On a less stressful note the best yum cha in Brisbane is at Shangri La at Sunnybank. You can thank me later. They're open 7 days and there's undercover parking downstairs. Run Don't Walk.
 M came with us. She looked great in blue.
 These Shanghai dumplings filled with hot broth were absolutely delicious. But how do they get the broth inside? One of Life's Mysteries.
 These are very Difficult Times. Don't make things worse by Under-cushioning.
 It was really hard to choose 6 people to be part of our 5th birthday high end prize pool, and I loved reading all your comments. Feel almost sad they'll fall off now.
The Red Phoenix necklaces go to smr, Lucy (who wrote me a limerick!), V x, Jilly C and Ms T.
The Freshwater style turkish towel goes to Cindy F (who famously back in the day loved smoking and sun baking at the same time, but sensibly, not these days).
Please leave me a comment on the blog with your postal address (I won't publish it) so we can send your loot out before Christmas.
  Everyone keeps asking me what the best present I ever got for Christmas was. I'm going to have a think and devote a post to it. Feel free to share yours.
 Death comes to Pemberley has finished and now I want to watch Pride and Prejudice all over again . But only this version:
They look so different out of costume and wig. And Young. So very Young. 
 And The Fall is really getting good. God only knows what's going to happen between Paul Spector and Stella Gibson next. But we know their hair will be looking high end and professionally coiffed no matter what the circumstances.
 Meanwhile, my friend Janet from Gardener's Cottage mentioned a blog called Have some Decorum which I loved so much that I went back and read every post. Ellie lives in Paris and is battling a cruel motor neurone disease which has paralysed her from the neck down. She loves antiques and leopard print and is very opinionated about Christmas tree decor. I've added it to my side bar. Enjoy!
I got the idea for this salad from the blog:
 It's tomato, baby bocconcini, basil, yellow peach and red onion with a mustard vinaigrette. 
Just what you want in this heat.
 Try it. You won't be sorry.
My former neighbour C popped in with treats. Goody
And Stephen Andrew have you seen this Versace amaretto??? It's got your name all over it.
Don't forget to watch Maggie Beer and Stephanie Aleaxander on The Truth about Us on the bio channel at 7.30.
They are my favourite cook book authors and what Maggie doesn't know about quince (my favourite fruit of all time) isn't worth knowing.
I wore false eyelashes today for no reason what so ever.
Stay Alert.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Tree.

Ok so this is the tree that I've cobbled together in my office at The Coalface. I didn't bother decorating at the end of 2013, so the tree and its decorations lay fallow in a plastic tub in my credenza until Friday morning when the Universe Spoke to Me and said Time to get that Tree Up.
I did as I was told. 
It's a green plastic tree but there's so much tinsel and feathers that you really can't see much of it.
Stark contrast to the tree at home. Which has no tinsel. Or feathers.
And can I just say a Big Thank you to all the people who told me to check out the late Queen Fabiola's Standard Issue Queen Hair.
It defied gravity at any age and looked 11/10.
Meanwhile my brother in law has sent me this crazy purple tree at the Hopewell Centre (think it's called that) in Hong Kong-
I miss Hong Kong so much. It really comes into its own around this time of year what with the cooler weather and Christmas decor. 
Cue the Hong Kong Visuals!!!
I wish I was doing the Zuma buffet today with my sister and my girlfriends
But I'll go to yum cha at Sunnybank with the family and my friend M instead. The next best option.
I hope they have those tiny dumplings filled with soup. Fingers and Toes.
My garden is loving this rain sick. Must go in hard with the liquid fertiliser while the going's good.
Speaking of Gardens, L mentioned my garden and my challenges with marauding bush turkeys on her Privilege blog. Read about it here
In Outfit News this was me about to go to dinner on Friday night, saying Yes to Beading and False Eyelashes.
I know. We are So Through the Looking Glass in an eyelash context People.
Saw Paddington Bear the movie yesterday. It wasn't bad but I kept wondering what David and Margaret would've thought of it. Lord Grantham from Downton plays the Dad and there are lots of nice scenes of London. My kid asked towards the end when we were going home, so maybe it ran too long.
I give it 3 stars. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmassy Stuff. And a really Good Recipe.

I don't know about the rest of you kids but these pre Christmas storms are ripping my already shot nerves to Shreds what with the power going, the internet going and  (crosses self) foxtel going.
Fingers and toes all the trees stay put.
Meanwhile yesterday when I hauled myself to the Coalface I channeled a Christmas Tree. Seemed wrong not to.
Here's the Proof:
Here's a Before shot:
And an After:
My friend A gave me this candle and it smelt just as a Christmas candle should. Sort of spicy and full of promise and comforting all at once.
Soon I will begin Communal Ham Handling with my girlfriends. Hams are so festive and feed a crowd. Hop on the Ham Wagon I say. 
You won't be sorry.
Made a fancy truffle scented macaroni and cheese arrangement that was 11/10
And thank you S who sent me these fab photos of a little French village thingy in Hong Kong. I think it's designed by Ines de la Fressange. It's lovely. I miss you Hong Kong! So much.
I loved this week's episode of Liberty of London. How flash are all those lovely rugs?  I wish so much I could just pop in for a visit and shop now.
Cue the Liberty Visuals!
Here I am in Liberty with my sister in May 2003. I think we went out for sushi afterwards. And it was  freezing.
This was me in a London cab a decade on with my niece in May 2013.
Meanwhile, The Welsh Lady does a Hardcore Superior Hamper.
And Bergdorfs do a fancy Christmas window:
And Anna Spiro does a lovely pink bedroom. This one belongs to my friend C's daughter B.
So pretty.
In Important Give away News, Lotus and I can't choose a single winner for the 5 necklaces from Red Phoenix and the towel from Freshwater Style so we've decided to give the 5 necklaces to 5 separate people. Better odds for you all. Don't be mad- it's better this way.
In Food News, Everyone wants Mr FF's pasta sauce recipe
So I asked him and here it is:
Saute a chopped onion, a small rib of celery and a small peeled chopped carrot with 3 chopped cloves of garlic in olive oil and a teaspoon of butter with salt and pepper. When everything is tender add 2 cans of tomato, some red wine (a lot, like a massive cup), some veal stock, some chopped fresh chopped Italian parsley, some fresh chopped rosemary leaves, some chopped fresh basil leaves and 2 dried bay leaves and a little tomato paste. Simmer with the lid on for about an hour at a low heat. Then take the lid off and simmer so you get a thickish consistency. He adds thinly sliced strips of  Italian salami from New Farm Deli at the bitter end. Only add a small amount of sauce to the pasta. Just to kind of glaze it. Use the very very best Reggiano Parmigana grated cheese you can get your mitts on too- he buys it fresh and grated from the New Farm Deli and we freeze it. This sauce freezes well too. Enjoy.
I keep thinking about how David and Margaret joined hands an walked off At The Movies for the last time. I loathe the end of an era and I miss them already. What a feisty and gorgeous pair they were. And Margaret always wore the best clothes and had the best laugh.
And don't forget The Pjama Foundation at Christmas! It's a charity that helps foster kids by improving their literacy. You can donate here, or volunteer to help them here. They are an amazing charity and their volunteers make a real difference in disadvantaged children's lives.
Stay Kind.

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