Friday, December 31, 2021

Words & Brush Weekender: Easy listening music and chat, Friday 31st December 2021, lets end 2021 with your favorite music!

Easy listening music and chat, Friday 31st December 2021, lets end 2021 with your favorite music!

Enjoy some good music here on Words & Brush, please post your favorite music of all genres & styles

Hollies - Jennifer Eccles (1968)

AndrΓ© Rieu - The Beautiful Blue Danube

Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love

Abba - Waterloo

The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand 

Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence

Gerry & The Pacemakers - Ferry Cross The Mersey (1965)


HELEN SHAPIRO - Walking Back to Happiness

Doris Day - Whatever Will Be Will Be Que Sera Sera

The Glenn Miller Orchestra -- (1941) In the Mood

Elvis Presley - Viva las vegas

Roy Orbison  Pretty Woman

Gene Pitney - 24 Hours From Tulsa

The Seekers - I'll Never Find Another You

Wishing all Weekenders & families a Happy New Year 2022 !!


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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Words & Brush Recipe Corner: Winter Warming Spinach & Feta Pasta Bake

 Winter Warming Spinach & Feta Pasta Bake

By Lisa Starr,  Meatland 12/08/21

Let's celebrate this step in the right direction by serving up my deliciously dairy, amazingly speedy Spinach & Feta Pasta Bake.Even tastier I believe than spinach lasagna - coating the pasta in the creamy tomato sauce makes all the difference - it's also assembled in a fraction of the time.It's just the weather for carbo-loading and I couldn't think of a more appetizing place to start. 


400 grams uncooked short pasta like tubes, macaroni or fusilli 250 grams cottage cheese (I choose 9%)1 - 2 cups grated yellow/mozzarella cheese  300 grams feta/bulgarit, crumbled1 teaspoon crushed garlic1 egg1 bag frozen spinach, thawed and well drained*Salt and coarse, black pepper to taste3 - 4 cups marinara sauce (approximately)1 cup 15% cream or sour cream (notes)Grated yellow cheese/mozzarella to top before baking * Frozen spinach must be well-drained and excess water pressed out or it will make your pasta bake watery. I prefer to use a large bag of fresh, baby spinach which I simply roughly chop and add to the cheeses. No need to precook it. 


1: Boil pasta in salted water, take off heat 3 minutes before it's ready so that it's still firm, set aside a cupful of the cooking water to mix with cheeses, and then drain pasta well. 

2: Mix cottage cheese, feta/bulgarit cheese, yellow cheese, egg, garlic and seasoning together, stir in spinach, and add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to emulsify and make it creamy.

3: Combine marinara sauce - see notes regarding homemade or store-bought - with the cream. Cream is optional but I love how it turns the marinara into a rose sauce. 

4: Mix the drained pasta into the creamy tomato sauce, spoon a layer of the sauce-covered pasta into a medium-sized baking dish, and top with a layer of cheese mixture. Repeat with remaining pasta and cheese, making sure to end with a tomato pasta layer on top.  

5: Generously scatter over yellow cheese/mozzarella to create a lovely cheesy topping, cover loosely with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 180 C, then remove foil and bake a further 10 - 15 minutes till cheese is golden. COOK'S NOTES: It's perfectly fine to use a ready-made pasta sauce here to save time but make sure it's a good quality sauce. I love Paesana at Meatland. For a homemade sauce, cut an onion in half at the root, and simmer the whole onion halves with 800 grams canned tomato, crushed garlic, 1 cup water, 2 teaspoons oregano, 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, coarse black pepper, and sugar to taste. Cook till well-thickened and flavorful then remove soft onion - which I slice and use as a topping on bread or pizza - and your sauce is ready to go. Adding cream to the marinara sauce is optional but it does take away the acidity of a premade sauce and rounds out the flavors beautifully. Dish may be frozen before baking then thawed and baked till golden.


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Monday, December 27, 2021

Heading to New Year's, weekly open thread

It's after Christmas gifts of family time.  A new week, but this one is for family gatherings and more gift giving. More time to spend with each other. Coffee abundant as the laughter and joy of children

Snowy days as winter sets in as this year comes to a close

Our furry children supervise in shoveling snow

There's always something new to discover with a fresh

After times of play indoors there is warmth,
hot chocolate topped with marshmallows before the fire

Reruns of Christmas story or other blockbuster movies

As the weather outside is still quite frightful but beautiful with
a wintry ambience as snow seems to hush the outside.