Wednesday, January 15, 2014

the sisterhood - jen sproule

'sisterhood -  a bond between two or more women, not always related by blood. they always tell the truth, honor each other, and love each other deeply, like sisters.'


today i have the privilege of sharing a wonderful old friend with all of you. jen sproule and i spent our teenage years playing field hockey together and have since reconnected through the amazingness of social media. jen is an amazing mom to two beautiful children, liam and rowan, and an incredibly talented cook, sharing her food adventures on one of my favourite blogs, edible life in yyc. as if that weren't enough, jen is also an accomplished runner, a super talented decorator, a gifted photographer (look at how she captures food!) and overall beautiful women inside and out. the type of friend you hope will invite you to her next (always exciting and immaculately styled) dinner party or be your smiling motivation to get outside and explore. an extra special gem.

name, occupation, location
jen sproule, domestic engineer (that's the fancy title i've given myself for being a stay-at-home mom) it's also hands down the best job in the world. I live in calgary, ab.

what makes your heart happy?
spending time with the loves of my life, and being surrounded by friends and family.
i also adore the smell of fresh cut grass (random, but happy)

your all time favourite recipe
my grandma's apple pie, but that recipe is stored in the family vault and committed to memory.
my second, Gordon Ramsey's Beef Wellington. i don't even have words to describe how incredibly heavenly this dish was, it didn't hurt that it was prepared by an actual chef either.

Beef Wellington | By Gordon Ramsay | Serves 2
 :: Ingredients ::
400g beef fillet
400g flat mushrooms
4 slices parma ham
english mustard for brushing meat
200g puff pastry
2 egg yolks
sea salt and pepper

 :: Method ::
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/ gas mark 6.
Heat some oil in a large pan and quickly fry the seasoned beef all over until it's brown. Remove and allow to cool. The point of this is simply to sear the beef and seal all those juices in, you don't want to cook the meat at this stage. Allow to cool and brush generously with the mustard.
Roughly chop the mushrooms and blend in a food processor to form a puree. Scrape the mixture into a hot, dry pan and allow the water to evaporate. When sufficiently dry (the mixture should be sticking together easily), set aside and cool.
Roll out a generous length of cling film, lay out the four slices of Parma ham, each one slightly overlapping the last. Season with pepper. With a pallet knife spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the ham.
Place the beef fillet in the middle and keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the outside edge, neatly roll the parma ham and mushrooms over the beef into a tight barrel shape. Twist the ends to secure the clingfilm. Refrigerate for 10 -15 minutes, this allows the Wellington to set and helps keep the shape.
Roll out the pastry quite thinly to a size which will cover your beef. Unwrap the meat from the cling film. Egg wash the edge of the pastry and place the beef in the middle. Roll up the pastry, cut any excess off the ends and fold neatly to the 'underside'. Turnover and egg wash over the top. Chill again to let the pastry cool, approximately 5 minutes. Egg wash again, sprinkle with sea salt before baking at 200c for 35 - 40 minutes. Rest 8 -10 minutes before slicing.

(Gordon Ramsey How-To Video)

your favourite photograph
this photo captures the beginning of our life together and the start of our family, but in it, i also see strength and kindness in my husbands hands. hands have held mine for the last 13 years, built a home, wiped tears, encouraged and embraced.

something in your home that you adore
two things.
1. my gallery wall. it's filled with images of family, memories of trips, and beautiful scenery. i don't update it as often as i should, but because time moves at such a rapid pace, having this wall of years past is a daily reminder to make the most out of each day.

2. my jewerly box. it's beautiful. my husband bought this for me a couple years back and today it's filled with all things i hold dear to my heart. charms that belonging to my mom, earrings marking my first mothers day, and the handkerchief that my grandma gave me as my 'something old' for my wedding.

something on your wish list
chef grade appliances! a girl can dream right?
also, i'd love to be able to do a 5 regular pushups (one of these seems more attainable than the other....appliances for the win!)

something totally random about yourself
i can't swim. i can float with the best of them, but swim, not a chance, and despite the countless lessons i had between elementary school and high school, water and i remain friends off.

how can people connect with you?

follow jen's adventures in the kitchen on her beautiful (and mouth-watering) blog,  Edible Life in YYC

thank you so much, jen! this little peek into your life was simply exquisite!

the sisterhood is a regular feature post intended to highlight inspiring women in this world. near or far, real life friends, internet buds, or beauties that have connecting through this blog. members of my sisterhood doing great things and worthy of a bit of our admiration, love and attention. if you are interested in joining, please get in touch!