Friday, 25 October 2013

Autumn, the year's last loveliest smile ....

One of the advantages of aging is the ability to see more clearly what's really important in life.
Last weekend the weather was beautiful and at the same time there were still a lot of (household) chores waiting for me.
I had previously given such priority or maybe a bit of everything but these days a decision is easily made.
As the following pictures show we took a lovely walk in the woods .... 

And beheld all the beauty of autumn gives us, such as the many types of mushrooms .... 

And its many colours ....

The contrast between the beautiful colour-changing leaves and moss covered
tree stumps ....

But also the last traces of summer ....

There are still so many bugs because of the mild weather ....

The nice quiet, warm and sunny late summer days ensures that the leaves do fade,
but not yet falling from the trees.
                                                                  ~  Indian summer ~

Nature prepares for winter and there's nothing better than to go out , enjoying all that beauty ....

Wish you a beauty-full weekend,
Anita xo

Monday, 14 October 2013

An autumnal recipe .... and where to stew it in

Although I love summer, the signs of autumn always makes me very happy.
Making a stroll into the woods and then all cosy and warm home again. Some candles and a stew already simmering on the stove .... recognise the feeling?

No Spring nor Summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face ....
                                                        ~ John Donne ~

That all makes me want to go into the kitchen and make my favourite stew.

Although my old pan still functions I would love to have one who also looks beautiful on my dining table!
I've found a lot of pots who will be functional in the kitchen and appealing on my table .

I really fell in love with the new line of cookware from Le Creuset 
On the outside the modern look of mineral blue, cotton and sisal. On the inside the effectiveness of shiny almond coloured enamel.
The collection consists of round and oval cast frying pans, casserole dishes, cake forms of pottery, kettles and silicone spatulas.
Stunning and efficient!

Another brand of French manufacture is Staub
The Staub includes a lid with ''les picots" , a innovation that ensures that the condensation drops fall uniform on the preparation. Keeping the flavor and taste well preserved.
Available in these eight colours ....

From Finland.... Iittala , beautiful scandinavion design.
The Sarpaneva , designed by Simon Sarpaneva
The detachable wooden handle can be used to lift the pot or the lid ....

I haven't quite made up my mind yet about the colour but I think my next stew will be served in a pot from Le Creuset and I find this one very nice ....

 So for now I made the following recipe (a french stew with a dutch twist) still in my trusty old pan.

You will need the following ingredients:
( for 6 people)

- 1 kg of lean beef
- salt
- pepper
- 100 gram of butter
- 100 gram of bacon in small pieces
- 3 onions
- 4 decilitre red wine
- 2 decilitre bouillon
- sprig of thyme
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 2 garlic bulbs
- sliced shrub celery
- a large sliced carrot
- 250 gram mushrooms
- 1 cup sour cream
- parsley

Cut the meat into pieces as large as dice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and gently fry the bacon. Chop the onions and fry with the bacon. Add the meat and sear it. Then add the wine, bouillon, thyme, bay leaf, garlic (from the press), celery, carrot and let it simmer for two and a half hours.
Then add the furred mushrooms, sour cream and parsley.

Keeping it (after cooled) in the fridge for one night before served, the more intense the flavour will be. Delicious with boiled potatoes or farfalle! 

In anticipation of my new pot I served the stew in this small (single) pans....                                                

Cosy and warm .... just like the little bird. 
Bon appetit and have a good week!

Anita xo

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

DIY.... fruit salad for the birds

The main reason for my visit to the garden centre last week was to buy a birthday present for my sister and some white pansies. While walking through the centre I just couldn't resist all the colourful fruit and pumpkins that are offered this time of the year.
Not really sure what to do with it I also bought two flowerpots, moss, some small apples and checker berry. In my bicycle basket it already looked like a cheerful fruity party ....

With only some more sphagnum, floral foam and cocktail sticks the fruit gradually got its destination ....

I first covered the iron bowl with moss ....

Then filled it with floral foam ( on the picture shown later in this post it has just one layer )
When you add another layer it will be slightly higher ....

Then cover it all with moss ....

By using a cocktail stick you can add the fruit. For the pumpkins I used a cordless drill to make a small hole before adding it with a cocktail stick ....

And voila, the birds can have their party ....

For the moment it's still on my dining table as it is a lovely Autumnal display ....

The birthday present came naturally and with still some fruit left I also made a welcome gift for my niece's her new (first) home ....

Enjoy Autumn,

Anita xo