Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This last weekend I celebrated my 37th birthday. What a lovely evening it was. With it being winter here in the southern hemisphere my friends and I were seeing less and less of each other due to the cold so decided to have a good ol fashioned Pot Luck. Boy oh boy was it a great idea! For one it was an affordable way to host lots of people. Also, I hadn't realised it but all my friends are exceptional cooks!

On the table we had...

Bay, Butter and Lemon Roast chooks Ala Me & the kids :)

Salad Stuart xox

French Beef & red wine casserole from Josepha & Family (OMG to die for)

Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Pasta shells from Fiona (lovely)

Kidney bean walnut cake (sounds odd but tastes like pure heaven) from Tomoko and Arron of Pranah cafe fame

Smoked bacon wrapped meatloaf from Paula (I think i had two pieces yum)

Organic choc loaf with cream & a Rosemary crisp bread both from Katie

Choc chip cookies from Sarah and Zef,

French baguette with aged Stilton from Max and Kate.

Guacamole and tapas from Sarah H.

& Lemon Zest birthday cake from Annie

I highly recommend getting friends around for your next celebration and sampling every ones best. It makes for good community and memories.

Thank you to all my friends and family who made me feel so loved. I am truly the luckiest woman on the planet.


Janine said...

Belated Happy Birthday Mindy, what a great way to celebrate a winter birthday with friends and family. The casserole sounds divine and the kidney bean and walnut cake sounds odd...what was the texture like? I spose it's no different from a zucchini chocolate cake?

Mindy@Juniper said...

Thanks Janine. Here's the recipe for the stew Josepha kindly gave us.
Do try it it was amazing.
French Beef and Red Wine Stew
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1.5kg cross-cut blade steak, cute into 4cm cube
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
...1 fresh bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
5cm piece of orange peel
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
150gms of pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
500mls red wine
3Tbsps of tomato paste
2 cups of stock (chicken, vege or beef) or water
400gm can of Italian tomatoes
1 cup kalamata olives
6 floury potatoes

Brown steak well in hot oil. Reserve. Add onions, garlic, bay, thyme, peel, carrots, celery and pancetta and gently fry, without browning, for 10-15 minutes. Add everything else and browned meat back into pan, except potatoes. Gently cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours or until meat is tender. Add potatoes and cook a further 45 minutes. Remove from heat, fish out orange peel and thyme stalks (if any) and bay leaf and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoyst!