Friday 28 November 2014

Playing with the Queen of Hearts

When winter settles in, I like to be all cosy and snug at home, particularly in the evenings. I like to shut the world out, draw the curtains and light the candles, especially when we have people over to dinner. Serena and her partner came over a couple of weeks ago and we had some fizz and nibbles before sitting down to eat properly.
This one is a firm favourite from my tapas cookbook. Cheese and olive bites, with a bit of a kick.
You'll need 4 oz each of chilled butter, plain flour, hard cheese (they suggest Manchego, I use mature cheddar), 2 oz black pitted olives and half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Mix all the ingredients together in a blender, then roll them into a ball, cover in cling film and put in the fridge for 20 minutes. This makes it much easier to use in the next step.

Next, take about a walnut sized piece of the dough, roll it into a ball and then flatten it on your palm. Dust your hands with flour so it doesn't stick.

Then simply place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 200 Centigrade.

Allow to cool or not as you please, and then eat, eat, eat. Try to remember to allow your guests to have some too.

Then last weekend, we went over to Eloise and Patrick's for a lovely evening of food and chatter. They live in a fabulous house, which they have styled beautifully, so it's a real treat to spend time there. I spend my whole time just drinking in the surroundings. Eloise is a talented and successful designer and I seemed to have dressed to fit her latest work, both in terms of the colours and the geometric print.
Images copyright of Eloise Renouf

Q went all art director on me and suggested this Queen of Hearts picture using the reflection in the mirrored dining table. That's a 1960s Dollyrockers dress I snaffled from Second to None in Walsall. Vix pointed it out and said somebody needed to buy it, to save her the bother. She's a good 'un, because it looked amazing on her.
I love that combination of yellow shoes and pink tights, which mirrors the velvet curtains with pompoms I made. I consider myself a junior apprentice to Queen Helga of the Divine Colour Schemes.

This weekend we're off to a Thanksgiving party, where there will be more lovely food and friends to catch up with. I was pondering what to wear, when the perfect dress arrived in the post. I'll show you next time. In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to one and all and thank you all so much for your lovely wishes for my birthday. xx


Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Mmmmm. Yummy. I like the look of those cheese and olive bites and they look easy to do too which is always good in my book. I adore the Queen of Hearts pic and as for the frock, pink tights and yellow shoes, well, just tooooo gorgeous. xx

mondoagogo said...

Oh those mirror shots are great! And yes, I do have that lyric about glass tables in my head now (still not sure I'd actually like to watch myself when I am eating, mind you). I love hot pink + yellow as a combo, such cheerfulness!

Also, blimey, *that* Eloise, she's a famous illustrator designer with published books and everything! (I like her nature prints)

Lally said...

Oh woah that dress is a great find, only a true friend would give that up! I love the pictures on that amazing mirrored dining table, they remind me of a techni-colour version of Cecil Beaton's portrait of Baba on the cover of Tender is the Night. The colours are glorious!!

What a delight to be off to a thanksgiving meal, have fun and happy thanksgiving! XX

Ivy Black said...

Go girl! I do love that frock on you...I'm so pleased you went for it in the end. The colours are divine.
Eloise's prints are stunning. So are you.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Curtise said...

Well, now I don't know whether to sing Dave Edmunds or The Beat... Hell, I'll sing 'em both, since it's your birthday!
Ooh, those little cheesy biscuits sound and look delicious. We need Nigella-esque photos of you licking a spoon though, with your bosom heaving with delight at your own cleverness. Next time, OK?
Eloise's designs are stunning, and I'm not surprised Q was inspired to get all David Bailey, what with mirrored tables and velvet curtains, and you looking beautiful in that fab Dollyrockers frock. I'm so glad you bought it, it would have been a crime to leave it behind. Pink and yellow are indeed a wonderful combination.
Have fun at the party, take plenty of pics, please! xxxx

Anonymous said...

I have got serious Dollyrocker dress envy! What a fantastic find. You look fabulous in it.
Definitely trying that on next time I am round :)) xx

Fiona said...

Oooh, your cheesy whatsits look scrumptious and as Loo says, easy to make. (can't be doing with anything too complicated) Gorgeous photo's of you in your friend's super stylish gaff, the Dollyrockers looks stunning on you.x

Miss Magpie said...

You and that dress were made for each other. x

mispapelicos said...

I love lighting candles. I do it in the morning when everything is calm. I used to at night when in England with the colder weather.
You are sooooooooooooo lovely

Vix said...

That dress looks wonderful, thank goodness it found a home!!
You look like a film star in these photos, you even upstage that food. Loving the sound of your cheesy bites and am drooling over your candle display!
Hope you had a bostin' party! xxxx

Helga said...

I am SO making those bites! They are right up G and my alley!!!
Ooo, you are looking SUBLIME as the Queen of Hearts! Nice one, Q!!! That frock is gorgeous, and I always love pink and yellow together. Junior Apprentice, my arse!!! Queen of Hearts, Queen of colour, my lovely!

Krista said...

You are a gorgeous creature of course Vix had to let you have this one, look at you! Goddess!!!! These pictures are stunning of you sweetie! I am now completely starved for these treats, they might even make me like olives!

Connie said...

Oh yes you ARE the Queen of Hearts! So pretty. What a lovely shiny life you lead. I actually make those biscuits minus the olives. But I love me some oliveness so I shall be adding it in the next batch. Such pretty dresses. I think you could wear a grocery bag and make it look adorable.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Those biscuits look awesome and I love those pictures of you!!