Try it with more wine

I was bored on Saturday morning and there was nothing on tv. I was bored enough to check out Coles recipe on demand on Foxtel. And it was this recipe. (This is a true story, Coles are not paying me to plug this recipe, as flimsy as this back story may be I really am this bored sometimes).

It is a good recipe. It’s beef ragu with rigatoni. Or in my case tortiglioni.

Really easy recipe, just perfect for those afternoons when the weather is doing its best to convince you it’s winter (even if it should be spring).

This is the way I made it.

the ingredients
Chuck steak 500gm
1 Onion
2 cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 cup Beef stock
2 400gm Tinned tomatoes
1 stick Celery
1 Carrot
1 potato

the recipe
Coat the chuck steak in flour.
Fry it in a frying pan. (If you have a casserole dish that is stove proof use that.)
In your casserole dish add all the non-meat ingredients.
Once the meat is brown, put that in the casserole dish.
Put that in the oven for 3 hours, or until it’s stew like.
When it’s ready to serve, cook up some pasta.
Add Parmesan cheese and Bob’s your Aunty.

Such a quick but hearty dish.

Although it was a bit lacking I felt.
I would add some red wine (whilst browning the meat), and probably brown the onion in the red wine.

More wine in general.
And my Bloke wanted more vegies. Some peas maybe, or some cauliflower.
This really is a good base to add things too.

But definitely try it with more wine*.
*if you’re thinking about ‘I am Giselle, I am a french bitch’ you win a red balloon. If you have no idea what I’m talking about you need to watch Coupling. Steven Moffat wrote it. That speaks for itself.

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I’m gonna eat you little fishie!

I almost didn’t take photos.
I’ve been trying to enjoy food rather than blog food, but halfway through I was suddenly annoyed with myself for not taking a photo.

It looked so pretty, and tasted so good.

Red Cray is a favourite seafood restaurant of ours.
It’s an every-so-often restaurant, mostly because of the price. At $30 for a main meal you expect quality, and we got it.

I could have ordered about 3 different main courses, but ended up with Herb Crusted Barramudi with scallops, spinach, feta, and capsicum, mashed potato and a lemon butter sauce.
The other half had the ocean and earth. Which was perfectly cooked steak with prawns and a bay bug.
My barramundi was delicious. I had to stop myself from gulping everything down, the lemon butter sauced helped it nicely.
Fortunately the other half ordered a whole bay bug which was fortuitous as that slipped down rather easily too.

We even had desert, which is a rarity for us. The sticky date was sticky and gooey. Though I would have enjoyed the caramel sauce and the vanilla bean icecream just as much. The taste I had of the tiramisu was pretty delicious too.
When the other half says ‘terrible!’ with a smirk and a licked clean plate, the sarcasm is implied.

It was an early dinner, and the service was exceptional. So attentive and friendly. It’s probably the reason we ordered desert.
We even had a spectacular sunset (why it doesn’t back onto the river I don’t know) and the fish tanks are always fascinating.

A reliable feed.
And given that the service and food is always quality, I don’t mind paying a bit more from time to time.
Delicious!

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Red Cray Seafood & Grill Restaurant on Urbanspoon

A leisurely lunch at Blackbird

It was a Thursday.
Lunch was beckoning.
And it was too nice a day to be inside. So my packed lunch went in the fridge for another day, and a colleague and I walked down to grab a bite to eat.

We spotted Blackbird, and even though I have a phobia of actual birds, birds in name only don’t scare me.
We had a look at the menu on the window (always a good start), found something that we liked and so decided to stay.

We were both delighted. The service was fantastic, the food was divine, and it really made the most of the view.

It’s not generally a good sign when there’s no one else in the resteraunt but it really didn’t matter, we both had a thoroughly enjoyable lunch.
In particular what impressed me was the attention to detail. The waiter (silly me, forgot to catch his name) really made us feel welcome.
It’s not often I notice someone’s professionalism, but that’s what he had. Customer service was excellent, he had a light, jokey manner without being too over the top and made us feel comfortable and at home. You could tell that he more-than-likely enjoyed his job, which is a pleasure.

And then the food, was so much more than I was expecting.
I ordered the steak sandwich, having some preconceived expectations about steak sandwiches in general and baulking a little at the price ($23 is on the expensive side for a sandwich). This should not be called a steak sandwich. A sandwich it was not. This was a little slice of heaven on ciabatta.
The steak was cooked just the way I like it. Drag a cow past a heater once or twice (go on picture it). With the combination of the dressing and the rocket, and the really thick frites was just divine.

My colleague had the barley risotto, with beetroot and parmesan. Which apparently was wonderful as well. The bright pink dish was a little off-putting at first, but once we asked the waiter what was going on (and he knew what he was talking about) it made perfect sense.

And then we ordered desert.
Chocolate Fondant with chocolate syrup and white chocolate ice-cream.
We really should have shared desert.
I now understand what recipes talk about when they say the centre should be gooey. This was soo gooey.
I gained 5 kilos while eating it, and enjoyed every one of them.

The drinks list was very extensive, however being during the working day it wasn’t that kind of work lunch.
I think the next after-work drinks party will have to be held there. Even if it’s just to see the interior of the place.

With the location on the water, the service, the chocolate!, it’s a pity that I’m leaving this job soon and I won’t be able to have lunch there.
Definitely a keeper.
It was a little on the expensive side, but worth every penny.

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Blackbird Restaurant on Urbanspoon

FO – socks!

I got home from work at 11 o’clock and then slept for the 4 hours I should have been at work.

Once I came through I made my way to the couch.
Fortunately my boy can cook and he took good care of me, making a surf and turf with a side salad.

I also managed to finish off a pair of socks that I had started some time ago. They’re going to be a pair of three because you may notice that they’re different lengths and there’s already a hole in the toe of the first one. But there isn’t a hole in the second one so I’m getting better.

I’m home from work again today, but feeling better. Hopefully well enough to start a new pair of socks and finish off a selection criteria for a job I should apply for.
And trying not to fall asleep so I can get a decent nights sleep tonight.

xx

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Its just one thing after another

It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that as you sort one aspect of you life out, another will go drastically wrong.

Maybe I’m paraphrasing Bridget Jones badly (and Jane Austen even worse) but that’s what this week has been.

The washing machine, which was due to be repaired on Monday, was diagnosed as being more expensive to fix than replace. So a new washing machine needs to be bought.
And yesterday the water in my sinks was lingering a little too long, so we called a plumber out.
He cleared the blockage so potential crisis was averted but for a while there we thought there could be another flooding on the horizon (and just as we had got everything back to normal).

So on Monday night, the Mr went to the shops as he had a plan for dinner. After we spent the afternoon/evening sorting things out, finally moving everything back into the master bedroom we were somewhat spent, so J had leftover soup that he had taken for lunch but hadn’t eaten. And I made a Nigella fall back (cannelini beans with chorizo).

So Monday night’s dinner became Tuesday nights dinner.

Whilst I started a pair of socks, J busied himself in the kitchen. He came out with barbequed steak with a pepper gravy, over mashed peas and potatos, and some barbequed corn.

It’s really awesome having a boy who will cook me a good meal (with 3 vegies!) while I sit on the couch and try and figure out how to knit socks.

Life is good.

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