Jun 10, 2011

Under the Influence of Downton.

Isn't the best day of a long weekend the Friday that starts it off?  It's taken me until today to remember what we're actually having the public holiday for.  Happy Birthday, dear Queen Elizabeth!

Unfortunately, the weather is not coming to the party.

I can tell from now that it's going to take some major effort to get out of the house on the public holiday Monday.  Was planning to see a movie or drag Mr SSG to Westfield Sydney but it all looks too much like hard work with that kind of forecast.

The skies will be as grey as my cup of Early Grey all weekend and possibly into the entire week.  So I hope you've got an array of indoor activities planned.  I will be stepping out for Brunch and Talks tomorrow and I'm rather excited about it.  Then I might avoid the housework for a day and half or so.  I've also gotten it into my head that I should make Dubai in December happen.  So I guess I'll be surfing the net to find a hotel and give myself something to work towards for the end of the year.  I'm trying to get my mum to come with me somewhere. 

I also hope to be watching more of Downton Abbey in between some comfort cooking sessions.

It takes a quality period drama to keep me keen and Downton Abbey, you are most definitely all that. Characters who are not always what they seem, strong characters in both the servants quarters and in the great house itself oh and the set and costumes.  It's not just me, the whole of Australia has gone mad for this series and with this popularity comes all sorts of in depth social analysis as to why we're loving it so much.  All I know is I just like watching and that's enough for me.

I'm hoping my mug looks pre warmed in this photo.  I was using one of the Nike films on Hipstamatic.

Downton has changed my life.  I warm my tea mug at work in boiling water for several minutes before making my cuppa.  Albeit with a good old Tetley's tea bag.  But it really does make a more soothing cup of tea.

Brooch - Equip (3 for $10!!), necklace - Audrey by Red Phoenix Emporium, cardi - Alannah Hill.

My hair and complexion will never match the ladies of Downton's but there is much to be said for a string of jet black beads or pearls (or both) and a floral brooch for a little understated brightening up an otherwise dreary day.  Mr SSG is never one to shy away from asking rhetorical fashion questions.  My get up today inspired him to ask if it (the brooch) squirted water like a circus clown's. 

Image courtesy of justanotherstranger.blogspot.com

I was bitterly disappointed that Mr SSG didn't reference Carrie Bradshaw instead.  But being a freshly minted Downton girl, I maintained a stiff upper lip but did raise my eyebrows imperiously.

I was super organized this morning.  Not only did I action a creative (for me) outfit involving two accessories, I also got dinner started before I hit the M4.

Oh Woolworths and your conveniently sliced mushrooms and diced Australian beef.   You are a virtually indispensable component of my working week these days.

I had this brilliant idea of making a beef and red wine casserole slash pie with a topping of dumplings.  Dumplings have a higher comfort food quotient than plain pastry in my opinion.  They are fun to make and float so nicely on top of the pie filling.

My filling was just slow cooked beef, mushrooms and bacon using a trusty Masterfoods slow cooker recipe base.  The dumplings are 2 cups of SR flour with 50g butter crumbed in with flavour from 1/2 a cup of parmesan and binding from a 3/4 cup or so of milk.

Will you look at that golden goodness? It's made the cold almost bearable.


  1. The beef and dumplings look amazing.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend. (And I hate to say it but I think it has been considerably colder than that here - I think we are far enough away from the coast to get a lower minimum, well into single figures here - Still nothing compare to a European/North American winter though...)

  2. Yeah, I am being a bit of a sook about winter here.

    SSG xxx

  3. SSG, hope you enjoy the long weekend.
    I am hoping I'll get a chance to watch the 2 episodes that I have taped of Downtown Abbey sometime in the next 3 days. Everyone is raving about it, but I want to make sure I have a whole morning or afternoon to myself to enjoy it properly.

    By the way, sounds like MrSSG is just like MrBB. You should hear some of the comments I must endure from MrBB with regards to my outfits :p


  4. Enjoy the long weekend! And those dumplings look delicious!! xx

  5. What a creative dish! I really just want to try and make those dumplings. yummy parmesan!!!

  6. Just to let you know, they are making a second series of Downton. It's on in England later this year. (I can't wait!)


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