Sunday, July 20, 2008

Layered Garden Salad

I know it's winter over here and I've been cooking warm/hot comfort food for my family; anything cold would put me off and I'd usually boil or roast my vegies. So I was quite surprised myself when I felt like having some salad last weekend. But for all of you Northern Hemisphere folks, I thought I'd share this as it would be just the right thing for you to have now. This is called Layered Garden Salad. It's really creamy and refreshing at the same time. I love the mix-of-tastes-coming-together-in-one-salad kind of feel to it. It's even cheesy, which I love as well. I usually use a larger clear glass salad bowl for it as it is layered and it looks great seen through clear glass, but with this one I didn't use the full amount of ingredients in the recipe, I simply halved or adjusted to the amount I needed for this particular bowl as I thought the full amount is too much for just my family and I and I didn't want to waste as salads don't keep well if not eaten up straight away.

Here's the recipe:

1/2 lettuce
2 cups (250g) frozen peas
2 hard boiled eggs
250g mushrooms (finely chopped)
125g Tasty Cheddar Cheese (grated)
1 cup Mayonnaise ( I used "Whole Egg" Mayo, you can use any)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teasppons French mustard
6 shallots
4 rashes bacon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tomato, cut into wedges

(1) Shred lettuce coarsely, place in salad bowl.
(2) Sprinkle in cooked frozen peas over lettuce.
(3) Push eggs through sieve. Combine with finely chopped mushrooms. Spread over peas, topped with grated cheese.
(4) Combine mayo, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice and shallots. Pour over cheese.
(5) Dice bacon, fry in pan until crisp, drain.
(6) Top with tomato wedges, bacon and chopped parsley before serving. Enjoy!My early flowering (winter flowering) Australian-bred Lavenders from the Ruffles Collection are just starting to flower in my garden, they are a delight in the wintery dreary cold weather, even though they are not in their full-bloom glory yet; they have a superb scent which warms my heart! Simply lovely!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The "Secret" Revealed

Thank you for all your patience and anticipation, I know it's been quite a long wait. The "secret" can finally be revealed now. Drum roll..............I hope I haven't hyped you up so much that when you see what it is, you're going to think, "What? Is that all?" Anyhow, let me explain. The reason why I couldn't show you these rosy photos two posts ago was I'd included this painted wooden plaque in the photos. You see, I painted and distressed the plaque and it was to be sent to my dear friend overseas as a surprise for her birthday. I had to wait till she's received it to post these photos, or she'd see it here. So there you go, here are the rosy photos I couldn't show you until now. By the way, my friend's finally got the gift safe and sound, phew! A sigh of relief!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Beauty around us

No, it's not quite time to reveal what I promised you in the last post yet, please please please bear with me , it won't be long.
However in the mean time, these are some things I saw the other day when I was in town. Are we a city of sculptures here? I have to say I love these though, they are good healthy looking ones, not abstract and weird ones, don't you agree? As for the top picture, I just love vintage looking architecture, so much so that I really dislike the modern looking ones. Which style do you like best in architecture? Have a lovely weekend, hope you'll see some interesting things around you.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Quick One

This is just a quick post to show you some more rosy photos I took a few rosy days ago, I'll show you more when the time is ripe, I'm not trying to be secretive or mysterious just to tease you, but I'll tell you why and reveal more in another post. So please stay tuned! Till next time.The roses in the photos above consist of English Roses St. Cecilia (light apricot), Heritage (pink) and Floribundas Seduction (pink and cream), don't you just love the old rose shapes and forms of these roses? Oh! I can't get enough of that look!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Roses, gotta luv 'em!

I've been reading a few books at the same time in my very limited spare time, one of them I got from the library which I've started is called "Through the Rose Arbour" by Rosemary Houseman, it looks like a very inspiring story. The author has played a key role in educating the Australians about the beauty and hardiness of old roses. This book is notes from her journey in her gardening life in Kinbrae, Victoria and later, others. She also established a specialist rose nursery called The Rose Arbour. It's been a great read so far.

These roses consist of Anne Boelyn(the photogenic pink apricot blend), Radio Times (Medium Pink), St.Cecilia ( creamy apricot) and Sir Edward Elgar (reddish pink). Yes, there are still roses in my garden, I'll be very busy pruning them around mid July. There are some aphids on some of the rose buds because of the time of the year. Every time I see aphids, I think of my friend who's in her seventies who calls herself a mad gardener, a real green thumb, I'd call her. I asked her what she did with aphids when I first started gardening, she told me she just squishes them with her bare fingers, no sprays needed, nothing!! At the time I went "Ewww!" But guess what, now I do the same. Roses really have a way of making one grow tough. Of course it's only possible when you don't have hectares of rose bushes. Ahhh!! These pictures make me think of lazy afternoons, reading and pottering around, or simply relaxing in the couch............ No, no, no, not for me in reality! I've been too busy in fact. It was just so therapeutic to take some time out to take these photos. Hope you get to have a lazy afternoon or two..........