May 23, 2010

Transitioning To Winter Living.

I'm not handling winter very well.  It's only been the first weekend of cold, rain and grey skies but I've already had my first attack of cabin fever.  On the one hand it was too cold and wet to get to yoga this morning but on the other hand I needed to get my endorphin rush somehow.

On the upside though, the cold weather does enable one to really see the smoke come off their wok.  This was, of course, a week night dinner - the alcohol being used in the cooking as opposed to being consumed as an accompaniment.  Chinese cooking wine is great when stir frying greens. Just add after stir frying the garlic, oil, soya sauce and greens of choice.

I've just been for a swim and it was bliss.  The aquatic centre was heated and the water was a few degrees warmer than it is for summer.  All up, perfect swimming conditions.

The cocooning has started in earnest at SSG Manor.

I don't know how it happened, but the previously bottomless Manor freezer has clearly visible shelves.  We appear to have run out of frozen meal portions.  In the mean time, Mr SSG and I have had to find nutrient dense food in other forms - namely dark chocolate Lindor balls.  Steady progress has been made and it appears that we will both survive the winter thanks to Lindt.

In unrelated news, Dymo have released a stain remover pen.  I saw similar versions of this when we were in the US last year and am glad that they're now available in Australia. 

Clearly a priority area, I am in the process of restocking with those winter favourites - pasta bake and slow cooker meals.

The good humoured people at Arnhem Investment Management will be delighted to know that their battery operated Jensen-esque salt and pepper mill is fully functioning.

We have the watchful eye of Donna and the beverage to her right to thank for this.  Perhaps because of this beverage, there is a fine dusting of Maldon salt flake over the dining room table this morning.  It's definitely Maldon.  If there's one thing I know about illicit substances, it is that they rarely resemble dandruff on dining tables.

I had several hours of quality programming to catch up on last night, so Maeve also graced out screen.  She is continuing her Italian Food Safari (with Guy Grossi) and has been witness to great things involving table tops covered with polenta, tomato sauce and several kinds of meat.

This inspired dinner.  Once again, the SSG Manor food stylist was at Donna's place last night, leaving me to my own devices.  In the photograph above, chorizo and bean pies (from donna hay magazine, April/May 2010) are being assembled.  Under the influence of Italian Food Safari, the pies also contained fresh basil.  Because New Zealand is under-represented in Australian food, we are using Mainland cheddar.  At least I think Mainland is still a New Zealand based company.

Without too much fuss, dinner made it to the table.  Perhaps not the most artistic pies to grace the food blogging world but they made up for it with taste.  Keen observers will note that filled salt and pepper mill in the background.  Being on our dinner table, it will receive Superior Media Coverage for many weeks to come.

Did anyone else receive the Mecca Cosmetica catalogue in the mail this week?  It appears to be the season for Icons and Colour.  I have succumbed to the up-selling genius that is Mecca marketting.  The catalogue is packed full or expert suggestions from Vogue, Fred Segal and Barneys New York.  I've booked in for the current Mecca promotion which involves Makeup Application and The Beauty Icons In A Box.  I am doubtful that my personal icons, Victoria Beckham (now that she has a killer dress line in addition to her Hermes it is no longer shameful to icon-ize her), Alexa Chung and Olivia Palermo will be included in 'deluxe, mini sizes' but nonetheless, I have booked in.

Never fear, dear readers, there will be Photos, Opinion and Nasty Credit Card Utilization to be shared on the blog.  I have red post it tagged my copy of the catalogue to help direct my consultation.


  1. SSG Lovely post on winter nesting and cooking.
    I know you're a fan of Donna's but what are your thoughts on her ridiculous choice of footwear and inability to walk in gorgeous but inappropriate footwear in the Masterchef kitchen?

  2. Hi Kate B,
    I am ashamed to say that I only watched that bit of Masterchef because it was Donna. There were no shots of her feet, only her top half.

    But I am curious, I will look out for her shoes next time and get back to you. From what you say, it does sound rather dangerous.

    SSG xxx

  3. Love your winter 'hunkering down' food post and your pies looked V tasy SSG.
    Can't wait to hear about your beauty report after your appointment at Mecca either. x

  4. You cracked me up about the salt vs illicit substances. Very funny. I also think your pies look fantastic. They look like they turned out great. I have cheated and bought one of those small pie makers. I have the pastry in the fridge (too time poor to make it from scratch) and I'm researching all the wonderful fillings.
    So I haven't used it yet. Not sure what the pie maker will be like to use. I guess if it is hopeless I'll go back to using my pans. Pies are simply the perfect comfort food in winter. As I said on my blog - Pattison's pies are to die for. You have to try one of those!

  5. ahh puff pastry pies make me happy :D

  6. Semi Expat: there will be a full report. I'm going sometime in June. Which isn't that far away...

    Metropolis_Girl: yes, will go find Pattison's. They were at Chatswood, I think?

    chocolatesuze: puff pastry makes the world go round.

    SSG xxx

  7. SSG I got the Mecca booklet too and promptly threw it out! Way too much temptation in that little baby. Look forward to hearing about your appointment though!

    I hate to admit this to you, but I am really not a fan of Donna's at all. I'm not sure what it is about her, but I cannot warm to her at all. Sorry!

  8. Mel: it's just one of those things with celebrity chefs. I've realizes that they are all marketted as personalities on top of their food it really is love or leave with many of them.

    No offence taken :-) Look forward to reading more from you and your food adventures.

    SSG xxx

  9. I'm kind fo glad I don't get the Mecca catalogue any more. I was just too enticing and before I knew it, the credit card was out and I was buying something that I really didn't need! :P


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