Amongst teaching the baby how to sleep (thanks to a technique from Jo Ryan of Baby Bliss), to taking the baby for her first swim (so cute) - we hosted a long lunch over the weekend, and I put my hand up to make dessert. Speedy cooking is vital lately - so I chose my old fallback of roasted fruit. It's usually peaches, but I decided on strawberries this time. It's the balsamic vinegar that makes the dish. Try it next time when you want to impress in the visual stakes, but would prefer to be spending time round the table and not in the kitchen.
Clean and slice strawberries in to good size chunks. Place in a roasting dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss well. Roast in a 180 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the strawberries (and syrup) with a good quality vanilla ice cream. I made puff pastry love hearts just for fun - simply paint the shapes with egg and pop in to the oven for 5 minutes.
Enjoy (and how sweet would this be for a Valentines Day treat - share plate style).
My mum has always taken 'favourite birthday meal' requests from her three daughters. Beef Stroganoff is my favourite dish - the oldie but a goodie from the 80's never disappoints in my mind. Hannah often requests Lasagne. Above is the classic recipe typed up for my Mum over 40 years ago by a glamorous American model (another story for another day). I've tried a few slices of lasagne in my time - but I was raised on this one, and nothing competes. The trick is to make and prepare the meat/tomato sauce the day before.
The recipe was modernised a little this year with the addition of juicy grape tomatoes. Seriously, so good.
Surprise, surprise. Bonnie the Baker was at it again with two cakes this time. Word on the street is that she is launching her own blog. I'll let you know when she's live.
The birthday girl was gifted with some serious arm candy...
...and an antique biscuit jar (she collects them). This particular one was made extra special as it holds an original collection of wedding telegrams/RSVP's from 1909. I think it's lovely that they have found a nice new home - but I would love to know the story behind them.
A purely gratuitous shot of one of the guests, included here because it makes me laugh.
Have a great week everybody! - Briar