September 22, 2009

Help me to settle down !!!!

~

I am usually all about serenity and peace.
Trying to inspire you with peaceful images.

Beginning Thursday until today or more likely later this week,
has been nothing short of a nightmare!!
I have been so busy and frantic and
I feel as though I have thrown myself under the bus.

I now, have to take a moment and
find my inner peace to carry on.

I would like to show you a few images
that have brought me calm amidst the storm


The sound of the waves crashing against the shore.
The smell of the salt and the refreshing sea air.

~~~


Good old comfort food - Shepard's Pie

You can go for the traditional with peas and/or carrots
or something a little hardier
like this fantastic take from Gourmet Magazine

with Lamb and assorted Vegetables
  • 10 oz pearl onions
  • 4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 lb boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For mashed potato topping

  • 2 lb russet (baking) potatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Special equipment:

    a wide 3-quart heavy flameproof casserole (about 2 inches deep; not glass); a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with medium disk

Prepare filling:

  • Blanch onions in a 2- to 3-quart pot of boiling salted water (see Tips) 1 minute, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Drain onions and peel, trimming root ends with a paring knife. Wash leek slices in a bowl of water, agitating them, then lift out and drain in a medium-mesh sieve.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Pat lamb dry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Put lamb and 3 tablespoons flour in a sealable plastic bag, then seal bag and shake to coat lamb.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in casserole dish over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then brown half of lamb, turning, about 6 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Transfer browned lamb and garlic to a plate with a slotted spoon and repeat with remaining lamb and tablespoon garlic (do not add more butter).
  • Add wine to casserole dish and deglaze by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute, then stir in tomato paste and boil, stirring, until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add broth, water, thyme, browned lamb with any juices that have accumulated on plate, onions, leeks, carrots, turnips, remaining teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, then remove from heat.
  • Cover dish with lid or foil and braise lamb and vegetables in middle of oven, stirring once or twice, until lamb is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.

Make topping while filling cooks:

  • Peel and quarter potatoes. Cover potatoes with salted cold water (see Tips) by 1 inch in a 4-quart heavy pot, then simmer, uncovered, until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  • Bring cream, milk, and butter to a simmer in same pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until butter is melted, then remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper. Force hot potatoes through ricer into hot cream mixture and stir gently to combine. Keep warm, covered.

Assemble and broil pie:

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Make a beurre manié by stirring together remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl to form a paste. Spoon 1 cup cooking liquid from casserole dish into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in beurre manié, then simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Gently stir sauce into lamb and vegetables.
  • Spoon potatoes over lamb and vegetables and spread evenly with a fork, making a pattern with tines. Broil about 3 inches from heat until top is golden, about 3 minutes.
Cooks’ note: Lamb filling (without topping) can be made 1 day ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Bring to a simmer over low heat before topping with warm potatoes and broiling.
~~~

I love this compliment of flowers
put together here for a Fall Wedding Bouquet.
Salmon Dalias, Seed Pods, Golden Orchids,
berries and a really cool spiky succulent

This makes me smile...all adding to my calm state

Just putting together this post has decreased my stress.

Thank you for helping me to relax!!

Have a fabulous evening!!

Hugs xOxO Nerina :)

~

18 comments:

  1. Nerina,
    If this is you in a frenzy. I hope you never find solace. Don't relax. Just go slower.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It looks delicious! Hope you are able to find some calmer times.
    Nerissa

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  3. Oh Sweetie, I can smell the sea air and feel the ocean spray misting my face as I walk through the foam at the oceans' edge. How absolutely beautiful to gather the little shells as the tide goes back out to sea. I love the roar of the waves coming in.

    Now the shepherd's pie. I am knocking on your door sweetie, let me in for dinner. Yummy does that ever look great. I am going to try your recipe.

    Thanks for sharing. I hope you are feeling better now. Hate to see anyone down. Chin up, smile on your face, and have a wonderful evening. Country hugs, Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nerina,

    I truly adore you, you are asking for help to settle down and I stop on over ready to help and I am shown a lovely picture, given an amazing recipe and then to top it off a gorgeous bouquet...can I move in?

    Thank you for making my day...hope yours is a bit better.

    Love you sweet friend!

    Hugs,
    Karyn

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Nerina, I do hope you can relax a little... that pie looks yummy and those fall flowers are sooo pretty! The sound of the ocean always relaxes me... Happy Autumn to you! Bisous... Julie Marie

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi GF!

    That first photo is awesome!!! Ah, it takes me away too!!

    I hope you have found your inner peace. I fear I am always in a frantic mood!

    Hugs,
    Marsha

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Nerina,
    You calmed me right down, those are great pictures. And, I love shepards pie!! We all have days that feel overwhelming. Next time just break it down, take it a little at a time, you'll be okay. Take a deep yoga breath (all the way down to your toes!!)and count for awhile.. that always helps me when I get stressed.
    Glad you felt better after you got this post together!
    See you soon,
    XO
    Heidi - Heart and Home

    ReplyDelete
  8. The sea always brings me back to a natural (and slower) rhythm! And I have yet to try to make a Shepard's Pie..., I'm waiting for my oven still!

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  9. Hope things get less frantic for U soon!!!! LOVEEEEEEEEEEEE the photos and the YUMMY RECIPE! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

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  10. Well honey, I feel calmer for dropping in on you, so I hope it's worked for you too.

    Take care,
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Nerina,
    Those pictures were very calming, Thank you for sharing them...

    If you get a chance, stop by my Blog for a visit and say hi! I just put up a new post...
    Have a great day,
    Aimee

    ReplyDelete
  12. hey doll,
    yummo this all looks fabulous!!!
    im glad you are less stressed. we all need to stress less.
    lov eya doll
    oxoxo,
    jessi

    ReplyDelete
  13. My Fav. is the photo of the flowers I love autumn colors I cannot wear them but I love to look at them.

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  14. Dont you just love fall and the calmness it brings! just great memories full of soul food and family! hugs

    toodles-
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hope things settle down for you soon. Mmm, shepherd's pie...great comfort food!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hope by now that things have gotten better for you. Lovely picture of the water!

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a message. Your comments and emails truly make my day fantastic, thanks for stopping by, see you again soon:)

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