Monday, December 26, 2011

Festivus

I'm a little late, but I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Happy Bahumbug.................or what ever it is you celebrate or don't celebrate!!! I hope you've all had a stress free day & managed to spend some quality time with those you love.

Me, I'm ready for a lie down after eating myself stupid yesterday; & I probably should have passed on that last glass of wine! I'm all tidied & ready for the parental arrival later today & have dusted off the Scrabble board (Plumbing Boy wont play with me!) in preparation.

I ran 27.5 kms last week (5 x 5.5 kms) & am feeling pretty good about it. Haven't decided whether to continue with this distance for another week or whether to up it to 6 or 6.5kms......guess I'll see how I feel in them morning!

The office is closed next week, but I'm still on phone duty. It's running hot today after yesterday's storm damage! We were actually in the street that showed the smashed windscreens on the news last night not long after it happened. PB had got a plumbing job on his way home from Xmas lunch yesterday & I went along for the ride. We counted 10 cars in 2 blocks with smashed front & rear windscreens!!!

Anyhoo. Hope you all have some time to relax & chill this coming week.

HO HO HO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chocolate Cup Recipe

THE CHOCOLATE CUP
Buy them pre made if you want OR to make them yourself....................


Utensils & Ingredients:
Silicone cup cake moulds – I got mine from Big W, I have regular cupcake (7cm diameter at top & 3.5cm deep) & mini cup cake (5cm diameter at top & 2cm deep) ones.



Saucepan x 1
Heatproof bowl x 1
Small Spatula x 1
Desert spoon x 1
Baking Tray x 1



To make 8 big cups or 12 mini cups

Chocolate 200g (I used Lindt Special Dark Cooking Chocolate)

Method:
1. Put your silicone moulds in the freezer for ½ hour.


2. Get out a baking tray & cover with with Glad Go between (or glad wrap would also do the trick).


3. Place a saucepan on cook top ½ filled with water & bring to boil, then turn down to simmer.


4. Put chocolate in a metal or ceramic bowl & put on top of saucepan so heat melts chocolate. DO NOT get any water in the chocolate! Mix with a metal spoon until melted.





5. Remove chocolate from heat (& turn off heat source); allow the chocolate to cool for 5 minutes (will thicken back up a bit).


6. Get your moulds out of the freezer & using the desert teaspoon, pour some melted chocolate around the sides of the mould, rotating the mould until the sides are covered. You will get chocolate all over your fingers.



7. Place right side up on the tray. Repeat until you have done all your moulds.


8. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.






9. Remove from fridge/freezer & then using a small spatula, coat the walls of the mould only & place back on tray upside down.


10. Put back in fridge/freezer til set, 20 minutes should be OK or overnight if you are sick of the sight of them!!!






11. Gently prise the mould where you can grab hold of it away from the side of the wall of the cup. When you have enough to grip properly, place the mould upside down & peel the rest of the mould off. This should help to stop the walls from breaking.


12. Place in a container in the fridge until you are ready to use them (could do this a week in advance if you have the fridge space).








The Filling:




#Mascarpone Cheese x 200g (can use 1/2 whipped cream, 1/2 cheese if you like)
#1 Tablespoon of Caster Sugar (or to taste)
#Rind (micro planed) & Juice of 1 x Lemon (to taste)
#Electric Mixer (or hand held with a bowl)

1. Using an electric mixer, whip cheese with lemon rind & juice to taste for approximately 1 minute.






2. Spoon into chocolate moulds filling to approximately 2/3rds - 3/4.


3. Place back into the fridge until you are ready to serve by adding the blueberries & raspberry coulis.







The Toppings:

Fruit:
#150g Blueberries


Spoon on top of the Mascarpone cheese to fill the cups.


Raspberry Coulis:

Can be made up to 3 days in advance.....



#100g Raspberries
#1 x Tablespoon Caster Sugar (or to taste)
#Balsamic Vinegar OR Lemon Juice to taste (approximately 1 Tablespoon of either)
#Blender/Vitamiser

1. Blend all ingredients to taste approximately 2 – 3 minutes until sugar dissolves. I prefer a good aged balsamic vinegar & like the raspberry coulis to be tarter than the cheesy lemon mixture as the chocolate is very rich.




2. Pass through a fine sieve to get rid of the raspberry seeds.
Pour over the blueberries. If doing individual serves, you can pour some into the bowl/plate as well for effect.









Garnish:
Mint x 1 bunch.
Pluck off pairs of the smaller leaves & place onto of the dish.

Bon Appetite!!!

You'll have to use your imagination here, as I forgot to take a pic of the finished platters. This is the only one I broke so gave it to plumbing boy as a sampler. I'd not yet bought the mint & I defrosted the blueberries in the microwave for this one only & I didn't check the temperature (what not to do!!!) & you can see where they have melted the sides of the cup!!! This one is a bit leaky, but imagine it filled to the brim with blueberries with the coulis on top & the mint spring.............





There were 40 people at the party, & I made 9 large & 40 small: they were all gone in 15 minutes so I'd say they must have tasted OK!


As I said in a previous post, the party was for one of our God daughters who is off to France on a school exchange for 6 weeks. On Saturday we went to the airport to see her off. There were 30 kids from her school going & 30 from another on the same plane so there were kids everywhere! She was fairly nervous, but she ended up being the one to console a couple of her friends who were in tears, bless her! She's a lucky duck to be off on such a marvelous adventure @ 16. I hope she has a white Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What UP???

What up Peeps?

Life is exceedingly busy this time of year! I finally got to see Breaking Dawn Pt 1 on the weekend & really enjoyed it. My niece saw it the weekend before & sent me a text telling me it was a load of vampire crap. She hadn't read the book so didn't really get it I guess. I've just finished reading the book & it was as good as the first time I read it! Cant wait for the part 2 film.

Next on the reading agenda is "The Slap". Santa might be bringing us the DVD set for Christmas so I want to read the book first.

We have our work Christmas Party this Friday night & a BBQ to go to Saturday night so I suspect I'll be feeling a little weary Sunday.

I've run the past 8 days out of 9 & the last 2 days I've run the whole way around the 4.77km loop except the first 200 metres which I walk & swing my arms about like a crazy lady to warm up.

Stats:
29/11 38.38 mins, max heart rate 152, average heart rate 125
30/11 37.01 mins, heart rate monitor didn't record
1/12 37.01 mins, max 155, av 129
2/12 39.17 mins max 171, av 137
3/12 35.10 mins, max 168, av 144
5/12 36.57 mins, max 164, av 131
6/12 32.57 mins, max 164, av 140
7/12 30.21 mins said my max was 218 2 mins into the work out.....not working me thinks!

I think I hold my breath when I change from one play list to the other, giving me oddish max spikes & don't ask about this mornings stats!! I'm happy with the time 6.31 minutes per Km including the 200m I walked. I used my old running play list this morning, the music is faster & I felt more like I was running rather than shuffling!

I was really enjoying my slower play list though:

Billy Brag: Great Leap Forward
Black Crowes: Remedy
Buffalo Tom: Staples
Eddie Vedder: Hard Sun
Sisters Of Mercy: Temple of Love
Rage Against The Machine: Killing in the name of

The last two songs were off my old play list.....needed the motivation to get home! I'm going to keep on with the morning runs & increase the distance to 5kms til Christmas to condition my body, then I'll start up the Up & Running 10km 8.5 week training plan again & see if I can't run me that 10km race!!!! Without getting injured too!

Cinders - the chocolate cup recipe is coming - would you believe I took photo's the whole way through, but forgot to take one of the finished platter!!! Will get that up loaded this week.

Enjoy the sunshine if you are in Melbourne today! Its lovely!!!!