Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine’s Day Delights…

 Oh my!  What a delightful Valentine’s Day we had, and I do hope my dear readers also had a beautiful day filled with the love and joy of the Lord!

As it was also my precious mother’s birthday, we had a combined celebration, and my sisters and I spent the day cooking and baking a delicious feast which we sat down and enjoyed in the evening whilst listening to lovely music and enjoying the silent beauty of flickering candlelight…

My dad decided to take my mom to town for a morning spent doing a few of the things she loves best…  Browsing second-hand shops and bookstores, having coffee in a cosy little shop…visiting a plant nursery…  Yes, they had a very pleasant time while we ladies enjoyed setting up our lovely meal table and baking an elegant red velvet cake for afternoon tea!  There was much excitement, as well as a bit of chaos, in our home that morning…

…What birthday would be complete without cake…?   Beth and I baked this yummy Red Velvet Cake and iced it with a delicious cream cheese icing…  How I love cream cheese!  And it certainly makes for a rich and creamy tasting icing – perfect for completing the flavour of this moist cake…

Nancy made sweet mini bunting from pretty scrapbook paper to decorate the cake, and I adorned the top with a single lovely bloom to give it a touch of simplicity…  Recipe coming very soon!

We relish any occasion to add a few extra special touches to the table as usually we are too busy with school and the daily activities of home and farm life to spend more than a little time on the creative setting of the dinner table…
Nancy created truly beautiful table settings and she and Beth laid the table in such an elegant fashion!  I strung up my sweet heart garlands and we even hung our white twig tree from the ceiling and hung some mini fabric hearts on its branches to create a beautiful Valentine’s dinner table.
And while the younger ladies were creating, I added the final touches to our dinner which I had been preparing since early that morning.  I do love cooking such wonderful spreads and it is always very exciting to try new recipes!

How I love the bright colour of pumpkin…

Happy table setter…

Such beautiful place settings…

I fell in love with these lovely serviettes…

Cinnamon Baked Pumpkin…my favourite!

Our delicious celebratory menu included…  Creamy Cauliflower Cheese, Cinnamon Baked Pumpkin, Crispy Roast Potatoes and Lamb with Prunes and Rosemary and Sage Salt…  Mmmm…such a glorious meal!  I just have to share a few of the recipes with you…

Lamb with Prunes and Rosemary and Sage Salt

Recipe from Country Living Magazine, March 2013

6 tbsp olive oil

1 leg of lamb (about 1.6kg), deboned

2 tbsp rosemary and sage salt

12 pitted prunes

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks

1 small celery stick

1 onion, peeled and halved

185ml white wine

About 125ml water

Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and drizzle four tablespoons of the olive oil into a baking tin about 22cm x 30cm.

Lay two large sheets of foil on a worktop, shiny side down and overlapping to give a larger surface.  Rub with butter.

Rinse the lamb and pat dry with paper towels.  Trim off any excess fat, but leave enough of it on for flavour and moistness.  Put the lamb on a cutting board, skin side down and opened up like a book.

Mix together the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and the herbed salt, and massage half of it over the inside of the lamb.

Line up the prunes in pairs like soldiers, running lengthways down the centre of the lamb.

Wrap the sides of the lamb over to enclose the prunes.  Tie up with kitchen string in a few places to hold the shape while cooking.

Rub the rest of the herby oil mix all over the outside of the lamb, then place it in the centre of the foil.  Wrap up rightly, tucking in the sides. 

Put in the oiled tin and scatter the vegetables around (add the lamb bone, too, if you have it).  Roast for 40 minutes.

Remove the foil from the lamb, scrape in any accumulated bits from the side if the tin and splash in the wine.

Return to the oven for another 40 minutes or so, turning the lamb once or twice to brown all the sides and spooning the juices over.  Add extra water if needed. 

To test if the lamb is done, prick it with a fork.  The juices should run out, but not be pink.

Remove the lamb to a suitable dish.  Cut away the string and leave it to rest for a bit while you make the gravy. 

Add the water to the baking tin and put it on the hob to bubble up and thicken a little.  Scrape down any interesting bits from the sides of the tin into the juices.

Cut meat into slices of about 1.5cm and serve hot with the juices spooned over.

Rosemary and Sage Salt

Recipe from Country Living Magazine, March 2013

5 tbsp chopped rosemary

5 tbsp chopped sage

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small red chilli, chopped

160g pink Himalayan salt or other coarse salt

A few black peppercorns

Scatter the rosemary, sage garlic and chopped chilli on a tray lined with baking paper.

Cover with a net and put in front of a window that gets direct sunlight.

Crush the salt in small batches in a mortar with a pestle. 

It’s nice to have a varying texture in the salt, but each crystal should be at least cracked.

Crush the peppercorn with the last batch. 

Toss onto the tray with the herbs and leave to dry, then store in a closed jar.

And thus ended our lovely Valentine’s Day dinner…  I think we will all remember this special day for as long as we live! 

I treasure every occasion spent with my family and feel so blessed that we have the joy of celebrating together…

I do hope your day was just as delightful!

Sharing with...


Heidi-Mari said...

I'm in love with that serviettes too!! I was just thinking of Whattsapping you about that Red Velvet recipe.....! I'm looking for a good one! But what a beautiful Valentine's Day you guys had! It's so special!
You are inspiring me!
Lots of love!

Beverley Matthee said...

Goodness, the meal looked delicious and the table settings- so beautiful! Wishing your mom a belated happy birthday. Lots of love! xxx

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

My dear friend! Thank you for your sweet words - I'm so glad to have you here for a visit:). Red Velvet Cake recipe coming soon...I do so hope you enjoy it! Much love! Xx

Sam (Kom) said...

Belated Happy Birthday to your Mum xx
We travelling up through Spain so only have wifi now and again. Loved the spread you all put on for Valentines day :)!!

Stephanie said...

Oh my friend, you prepared a feast fit for royalty :) Not only does everything look beautiful, but everything on the menu looks and sounds delicious and the cake.... oh my, it is stunning! I also love the sweet banner on top :)

Have a wonderful week, sweet Kelly-Anne! Hugs to you!

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Hello dear Sam!! My, what a sweet surprise your comment was - thank you SO much for your kind visit and I will most certainly pass on your wishes to my mom:).
Your children must be enjoying their travels...such a wonderful experience for them!
Hugs and much love to you from all of us!!

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Oh sweet Bev!! Thank you so much for your kind visit my friend! We had such fun putting it all together:)
Hope to see you very soon!
Lots of love and hugs, Kelly

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Thank you dearest Stephanie!! Ah, we shall always treasure this lovely day!
Ooh! I'm so enjoying putting together the things for the Tea Cup Exchange:). I will get my parcel posted very soon!
Big hugs to you and lots of love!
Have a blessed and beautiful day, Kelly-Anne

Alex said...

Hello Kelly-Anne ~ I'm visiting from Stephanie's 'Roses of Inspiration' link up.~ I thought the cake you made looked fantastic (even in miniature on the thumbnail!) and had to meet the young Lady who made it! Very pretty, simple, original decoration too.
Love the tiny banner! Oh so sweet.
Your Mamma must have been so happy ~ it sounds like a wonderful double celebration.
Blessings! I hope to visit again.

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Oh, hello Alex!! How exciting to welcome a new reader to Beautiful Girlhood:). Thank you so much for your kind words - it was such a lovely, special celebration:)
I am popping over to your place now!
Hugs and love, Kelly-Anne

Paige said...

Everything here is so lovely! You and your sisters really know how to make pretty decorations. And that dinner you served looks scrumptious! :D

Anonymous said...

Visiting from Roses of Inspiration -- it sounds like you had a lovely day! I love the pictures!

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Thank you dear Paige - you are so sweet! So lovely to hear from you today:). Hugs, Kelly-Anne

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Oh! Thank you for your kind visit, Kira! I'm so glad you enjoyed this post...:). Blessings, Kelly-Anne