Most of you have heard the name Leslie Shewring http://acreativemint.typepad.com because of her talent for design, beautiful flower books, chic fabric designs, DIY home ideas and/or from her truly inspiring photos on Instagram (@leslieshewring), but what many of you don’t know about Leslie is that she is also admiringly fit. She is one of those people who seems to do it all and make it look effortless.
Before I knew anything about Leslie’s successful career, I was immediately drawn to her minimal but chic style, her long blonde hair and her fun and energetic commitment to health and fitness. If we weren’t running or walking, we would be rocking the grapevine at the Oak Bay Avenue gym – VI Fitness for women http://www.vifitness.ca/oak-bay-women/. We trained together for the Goodlife Victoria Half Marathon http://www.runvictoriamarathon.com and did some ridiculous hill and speed training as part of marathon clinic with Jason Ball and BDHQ. http://www.bdhq.ca/index.php/programs/run-clinic Here are a few pictures after some very long and memorable runs.
Even on vacations and girls trips Leslie is always interested in eating well and exercising. She is also one of the cleanest eaters I know. She only eats organic, real food and nothing processed. She often rolls her eyes at me after a workout when I ask if it is “chips and pop” time. Her mom has an amazing vegetable and flower garden that she helps out with and often creates amazing meals with their homegrown produce. Leslie is an incredible cook. Her food presentation and the taste of her culinary creations is better than most restaurants. I am always hoping that her love for clean eating and her culinary skills will rub off on me but I haven’t been so lucky yet.
Growing up on PEI I have always been a meat and potatoes kind of girl. Not that I don’t enjoy trying new foods but nothing makes me feel more comforted or loved then enjoying a traditional meal with family or friends. Knowing this, as a treat to me on special occasions Leslie cooks my favourite meal – beef tenderloin, fresh basil mayonnasie sauce, roasted garlic potatoes, fresh vegetables and a vegetable slaw. She introduced me to the basil parmesan mayo and now if I am having beef, it is not the same without it. Here is Lisa and I about to enjoy one of Leslie’s amazing meals…YUM!
This is Leslie’s go to recipe and if you enjoy beef, this is one you have to try. It is perfect for entertaining because it is easy to do, presents beautifully and tastes amazing. I have made it many times and it is always a success. However, I have to be honest and say it tastes just that much better when Leslie cooks it.
INA GARTEN’S SLOW-ROASTED FILET OF BEEF WITH BASIL PARMESAN MAYONNAISE
For the Beef Tenderloin:
1 whole filet of Beef Tenderloin (trimmed and tied; 4 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground Black Pepper
10-15 branches fresh Tarragon
FOR THE BASIL PARMESAN MAYONNAISE:
2 Extra-Large Egg Yolks (room temperature)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh Basil Leaves (lightly packed)
1/2 teaspoon minced Garlic
Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
1 cup Vegetable Oil (room temperature)
1/2 cup good Olive Oil
For the Beef Tenderloin: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Use an oven thermometer to be sure your oven temperature is accurate.
Place the filet on a sheet pan and pat it dry with paper towels. Brush the filet all over with the oil, reerving about half a tablespoon. Sprinkle it all over with the oil, reserving about half a tablespoon. Sprinkle it all over with the salt and pepper (it will seem like a lot but it makes a difference). Place the tarragon branches around the beef, tying them in 4 or 5 places with kitchen string to keep them in place, and then brush the tarragon with the reserved oil.
Roast the filet of beef for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until the temperature registers 125 degrees in the center for rare and 135 degrees for medium-rare. I place the thermometer horizontally through the end of the beef. Cover the filet with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Slice thickly and serve warm or at room temperature with Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise.
For the Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise: Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, Parmesan, mustard, basil, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 20 seconds, until smooth. Combine the vegetable oil and olive oil in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil mixture through the feed tube to make a thick emulsion. Taste for seasonings–the mayonnaise is a sauce so it should be highly seasoned. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use; it will keep for up to a week.
When entertaining or being entertained Leslie supports local businesses and local causes which is not only praiseworthy and community building but fun. Here were are at a few local events.
For Leslie, there is no doubt that after entertainment comes exercise. I admire her commitment to health and fitness and how she creates such a beautiful life balance.