Thursday, November 29, 2007

Beautiful Gift

I was most blessed to have received a beautifully and lovingly "cross-stitched" gift from my cousin who lives in the States, I've since been looking for the perfect frame for this piece of oh-so-gorgeous work which I catch myself standing back gazing at every time I walk past(and taking many pictures of). I found this frame which is white with embossed roses on the four corners, it looks perfect on the lovely metal antique white stand. It's now strategically placed on a round table in my lounge room. I see real labour of love and patience in this incredibly three-dimensional threaded picture, thanks so very much for thinking of me when you saw it, Wendy. I'm so proud of your handiwork, it's now proudly one of my treasures. I like to bring little plants indoors ocassionally, they make good props for photos, don't you think?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bits and Pieces

I came across the following writing a while ago and thought it was quite funny and so wanted to share it with you. Hope you'll see its humour.

BBQ RULES We are about to enter the BBQ season. (Especially in Australia) Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity.
When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:
(1) The woman buys the food.
(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill- drink in hand.
(4) The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman. Here comes the important part:
More routine...
(6) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
(7) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another drink while he flips the meat.
Important again:
More routine...
(9) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.
(10) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
And most important of all:
(11) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
(12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." Upon seeing her annoyed reaction he concludes that there's just no pleasing some women..............
I've been making the most of the abundance of yummy fruit on the market by making lots of fruit platters and fruit everything, they are also refreshing and cooling for the warmer days! It's also Jacaranda season, I simply love the blue of the Jacaranda trees with the blue of the Agapanthus appearing at the same time at this time of the year. They do come in white as well, but most people go for the blue. They really stand out everywhere we go at the moment. A delicate Pierre de Ronsard rose ........... I've been snapping pictures here and there to test the settings on the camera. Check these mansions out, which boast the blue waters outside their backyard with parkings for their boats beneath! How's that for a holiday home?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Roses are grand!

I've taken more pictures of guessed it..........Roses! I can't resist but try and capture their passing beauty by snapping away with the camera and hope to somehow catch and retain the beautiful memories they give.
There is definitely heaps to do in the garden at this time of the year, especially with spent rose blooms waiting to be deadheaded and fertiliser to be added. Someone asked me what particular kind of fertiliser I use, so for your information, girls, I use NPK Blue, which should be available Australia-wide. I try to fertilise every six weeks in their flowering seasons, time permitting. I also mulch with cow's manure. It's great for changing the condition of the soil over a period of time as we basically have sand here in WA.Below are pictures of my two-year-old Pierre de Ronsard weeping standard rose.And here is our family room looking out to the back garden.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cheesy Snack

These extremely simple and easy-as-pie Mini Cheesy Scrolls (Cheesy Buttons) are so more-ish and tasty. My kids (including their school friends) and hubby simply can't stay away from them until they've finished eating the whole lot every time I make them.

You only need four ingredients!
Puff pastry sheets (I use frozen store-bought ones, as puff pastry is too troublesome to make)
Philly's cream cheese
Grated Cheddar Cheese
French Onion Soup Mix to taste (in a packet)

I haven't given you the amount of each ingredient you need as I simply judge by "about this much" and "about that much", it's a word of mouth family kind of recipe. You know what I mean? You just have to do it and you'll know.

First, preheat oven to 220C. Leave the cream cheese out of the fridge to soften. Mix French Onion Soup Mix into the softened cream cheese, this is your chance to taste and try it, yay! Not too salty, not too bland, just right according to how you like it!

Get the puff pastry sheets out of the freezer. Pull one sheet off and put the rest back into the freezer. Cut pastry in halves with a sharp serrated knife when slightly thawed. You can even pop the other half back in the freezer as you work on the following.

Spread cream cheese and French onion soup mix on sheet. Add grated cheese on top. The amount is totally up to you.Roll the sheet to wrap around the filling. Add more cream cheese mix and grated cheese as you keep rolling.Now it's a filled roll.Slice it with your sharp serrated knife.Put on baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, no greasing needed.Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.Serve and enjoy. They are simply irresistable!Of course you can use a bit of a patriotic touch, just for fun!Warning: You'll have to keep making more, coz they'll disappear as soon as they're out of the oven.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Warmer Days

The weather is getting warmer, I love cutting the rose blooms and bringing them inside. Their fragrance is more intense in closed room and the perfume wafting through the air is highly intoxicating.There are many things on my "To Do" list today, I ought to go and get them done. So I'll just leave you with these pictures for your enjoyment. Have a lovely day, everyone! As you can see, I haven't finished painting the arch, I'm still waiting for hubby to have some spare time to position it more accurately as we made a mistake and he's more meticulous about doing it right than I. LOL. Thinking of using Pierre de Ronsard (a climbing rose) to climb on the arch.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Good things come to those who wait............

I didn't get a new camera. I invited my brother over for dinner on Friday night to celebrate my honey's birthday with us, I asked him to bring his camera so we could take some pictures. Unexpectedly he offered me the use of his camera as long as I like, basically as if giving it to me. I declined at first, but he insisted that he doesn't use it much, and besides, he can get a new one. His camera is not old(just a little more than a year), not bottom of the range, in fact, it's a good one. In the end he won and I gave in to his exceeding kindness and now, I'VE GOT A CAMERA!!!!! I'm so blessed and grateful that I have such a great brother!

I'm still exploring all the functions this camera can perform, I pored over the user's manual, I'm excited to try out all the different settings.Can you spot our puppy Belle? Hope I can get her from the front next time.These are photos of the back garden, many rose bushes have already been deadheaded and so I missed photographing the first flush of Spring blooms, even though there are still some left. The actual garden area is not big, as we decided to have more lawn area for the kids so they can play sport, roam and run in the backyard. It's a suburban backyard, not huge with rolling hills and acres of land for trees and plants, but not too small that there's no outdoors to speak of either. I'm still working on the finishing touches in various parts of the garden. I'm putting up two arches at the front of the garden bed, I'm painting them white. I'm also thinking of putting in white picket fences so I can have pretty climbers cascasding down. I pulled out two huge shrubs which became too invasive, and now I can use the space for "garden rooms" which will have benches for us to sit and use the garden more. I still need to plant more climbers to cover the ugly fences in the background. I'm also planning to have birdbath, birdfeeders and birdhouses or nesting boxes to attract birds to us. This garden is a work-in-progress, I'm enjoying the journey and am learning as I go along.