Vacations Over

Gah- I’ve been absent way too long. We’ve been traveling and relaxing; relaxing and traveling. Needless to say my life looks a little bit like Bridge Jone’s Diary:

Wednesday 23 July

weight: 175lbs (how the hell have I gained 11 pounds?!) alcohol units: stopped counting after 4 (i’m blaming it on the children) calories: 5,000+ (seriously attempted to cut it off at 875) overall manner of emotion: overwhelmed and wondering why I’m not a 29 year socialite with impeccable hair who can work out after work and is very skinny instead of being constantly confused for thirty something frazzled mother.

Now let’s get on with it- over this silent period I have read two books-obviously one of them is the third installment of Bridget Jone’s Diary and Feast of Crows. Amazing. I also have eaten enough to gain 11 pounds. Some of the amazing things I have eaten include the following:

Beet Deviled Eggs with Mustard and Apple Wood Smoked Bacon

51ba2bd7d9127e0d03000389._w.540_s.fit_

(modified recipe from http://www.thekitchn.com/showstopper-recipe-beetpickle-151550)

6 eggs
1 can pickled beets
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon peppercorns (I used fiery pink peppercorns)
1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Hard boil your eggs and remove the shells. For perfect hard boiled eggs, I use this method. Set the eggs aside.

To prepare your brine, pour a can of pickled beets into a large mason jar or bowl. Add cider vinegar, sugar, peppercorns and salt. Stir mixture. Carefully (that beet juice will stain!) lower the hard boiled eggs into the brine, cover and let sit for at least 12 hours, up to 2 or three days. The longer you leave them in the brine, the more sour and pink they’ll end up. I like just the rim of pink and slight pickled flavor, so I let mine sit about 16 hours.

When brining time is finished, cut each egg in half and scoop out yolks. Place yolks in a medium-sized bowl, along with the mustard, mayonnaise, curry, vinegar, and olive oil. Mix/mash until smooth. You can always add a little bit of water to the mixture, if it’s too stiff. Salt and pepper to taste.

Using a pastry bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut off, pipe the yolk mixture back into the pink eggs. Sprinkle with chopped chives and crumbled applewood bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Beware these are extremely addicting. Second, fabulous dish:

 

Seared Swordfish with Stewed Fennel and Sweet Tomatos

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http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/12052/braised+leek+and+fennel+with+tomato

  • 2 (about 1kg) fennel bulbs, tops trimmed with 6 fronds reserved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek, pale section only, quartered lengthways, cut into 7cm lengths
  • 3 bacon rashers, rind and excess fat removed, cut into thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 1/2 400g can Italian diced tomatoes
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Remove tough outer layers of fennel and quarter bulbs lengthways. Over high heat, heat oil in a large deep frying pan with a lid. Add half the fennel and leek, and cook, turning often, for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer fennel and leek to a bowl. Repeat with remaining fennel and leek.

Return all the fennel and leek to the pan. Add the bacon and garlic, and toss to coat in juices. Add stock and tomatoes, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Pat dry Swordfish and toss in searing flour. Season with salt and pepper. Sear in olive oil until golden brown. Serve ontop of stewed vegetables.

I plan on trying to lose these 11 pounds or so hopefully within in the next week- yeah right- but I promise I’ll post more.

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