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Monday, March 29, 2010

launch recap

Tablenosh has officially launched! And hopefully everyone who came had a fabulous time, I certainly did. It was wonderful to see my home filled up with all sorts of people, some I knew and some I didn't. And I think most of the food went over pretty well...this was the menu:

mini meatballs w/red sauce
pear, prosciutto & brie crostini
roasted red peppers, rocket & goats cheese crostini
brie and fig paste crostini
sun-dried tomato, fetta and basil tartlets
spicy lentil & roasted capsicum dip w/pita chips
stuffed muchrooms w/ herbed ricotta and prosciutto
coriander, chilli and lime shrimp
mini sweet corn muffins w/ salmon, capers & dill
mushroom, pea and prosciutto roquettes (these were so yummy!)
grilled sate chicken skewers

tiny tiramisu
lime tartlets w/ fresh cream
bite sized chocolate mousse

The Party
Overall it appeared people were having a good time. Sipping on wine, enjoying deluctable eats and chatting with each other. I thought there was a great energy and enjoyed waondering through serving the food and catching tidbits of conversation. At about 9:15 I gave a short speech and talked about the 'tablenosh' vision and tried to explain the concept. I am going to post up the next two tablenosh dates soon and hopefully will get a good response. I also need to figure out to put a donations paypal on this blog...

A BIG thanks to everyone who came (especially my second hand in the kitchen, Chelsea and my photographer, Carly) and everyone who is out there spreading the word!

Stayed tuned for pictures and maybe a couple of my dramatic almost disasters... :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

tired and launched

It's 12:30am and I am about to crawl into bed...what a wonderful night it was! 'Tablenosh' was officially launched, our home was filled with lots of fabulous people and there was lots of good food (i think my favorite was the risotto croquettes and chocolate mousse) I will give an update on it all tomorrow. Am signing off for now, feeling thankful for my husband and for this exciting new venture...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the 'tablenosh' concept

Tablenosh has grown out of a desire to challenge my culinary skills while offering friends and strangers an ‘in-home’ dining experience.

The basic idea is simply a group of people coming together around a table to eat good food. However, my vision is that ‘tablenosh’ will not only whet the appetite, but will truly delight the soul as one engages in community around the table.

In terms of finances at this stage there is no cost, however I hope people consider making a small donation to simply cover the cost of food. Donations will happen via the blog and remain anonymous.

I would LOVE to see ‘tablenosh’ spread word of mouth, blog, etc. and become a truly desired type of dining. Each month I will post the dates under ‘tablenosh’ happenings on the blog and whoever books in first gets the seat, so stay tuned.

I am inviting you to join me in this venture by sharing the concept with others and looking for my next 'tablenosh' guest!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

clafoutis aux cerises

Otherwise known as 'cherry clafoutis', this is another french recipe out of the giant french cookbook I am borrowing.

Clafoutis is sort of like a baked crepe. It was rather easy to make and apparently is also very nice with pears. You just whisk together eggs, sugar, butter, milk, flour and a dash of kirsch. I also added frozen blueberries and used canned black cherries instead of fresh (I thought they worked fine). You place all the fruit on the bottom of a tart dish or some type of baking dish and pour the batter over the top. Then bake it on 325/165 for about an hour.

I served it with vanilla icecream and we enjoyed it with our dear friends Carly and Andrew (along with some lovely white port). I think it was pretty good...kinda reminded me of a berry pancake, but of course I felt more sophisticated because afterall it was french... bon appetite!

Monday, March 22, 2010

getting ready to LAUNCH

Launch night is almost here! There are still 3 spots left and I really need some guys on the guest list! I have been thinking a lot about the menu but nothing set in stone are a few ideas to start 'whetting your appetite!'
  • grilled lime, coriander & shrimp skewers
  • fig & brie tartlets
  • salmon & avocado crostini
  • crab stuffed mushrooms
  • prosciutto and parmesan pinwheels
  • bite sized chocolate mousse
  • mini tiramisu
  • mango cream tartlets

I am going to have to spend some time examining my cookbooks this week. Maybe I will actually knock off a few NEW recipes with this launch! If you have any requests let me know and I will do my best.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Simple Hospitality

1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.
2. the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

Where are the days of saying 'hi' to your neighbor, dropping in spontaneously on friends or sharing a simple meal together. People need relationship and community, there is no doubt about it. And it actually doesn't take much to make someone feel welcomed or cared for. It seemed to me when I was growing up we were always having people over for meals, dropping in on our neighbors and offering the postman a glass of lemonade. It seems so different now, maybe it is just living in the city but I think we are getting very good at isolating ourselves from real community (facebook is not 'real' community) and therefore not even allowing hospitality opportunities to exist.

Simple hospitality can go a very long way...your house doesn't have to be spotless, the cookies don't have to be 'homemade' and you don't have to book it in your calendar! Making hospitality part of our everyday life will not only bless others but will be a blessing to us.

So, I'm not sure where 'tablenosh' falls into place with hospitality but I certainly look forward to welcoming people into our home in a friendly and generous manner. I really want to challenge myself to make hospitality and being generous part of our daily lives...okay, I guess I better go whip up some lemonade for the postman!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My almost disaster slice...

So, last night I pulled out Bill's cookbook and landed upon a 'coconut passionfruit slice' recipe, it looked good I quickly whipped up the base of the slice, spread it on the base of the pan and popped it in the oven. It was supposed to cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile I continued on with the filling. I did not have enough cream so I doubled the amount of coconut milk and added some milk (which I thought would suffice), dumped in the shredded coconut, passionfruit pulp, lemon zest, lemon juice , eggs (from my very own chickens) and sugar. Stirred it all up, it was very runny and I did think to myself I am just not sure about this!

The base appeared to be cooking as it was turning brown and 15 minutes were up, so I pulled it out and began to pour the filling over the was at this moment that the DRAMA occurred...the base was NOT done and as I poured the filling over it bascially spread to the sides and created a big whole in the middle. But what could one do, the damage was done so I just poured the rest of the filling on top and watched it mix together with the uncooked base. I put it back in the oven and hoped for the best. It needed to cook for about 45minutes and we were leaving in 35. I cooked it as long as I could then turned off the oven and walked out the door.

The good news is we came home and I pulled it out and hey it did not look so bad afterall. And it tastes pretty darn good. I definitely think Bill's cooking instructions were a little off (or maybe my oven?) but nonetheless I can add it to the list of new recipes and I am taking the slice out to share at a meeting tonight.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baked Banana Pastry w/ Dark Chocolate Sauce

Okay so I was getting a little desperate make SOMETHING out of a cookbook...maybe I did pick one of the easiest things ever, but hey I have never made it before so I can add it to the list. And that brings me up to 17 new recipes...I think.

Baked Banana Pastry w/ Dark Chocolate Sauce
1 banana
brown sugar
puff pastry
dark chocolate

Slice the banana and place on the bottom of a pie dish, or other type of dish (I used little individual sized one for each). Sprinkle with brown sugar, butter and a touch of cinnamon. Cut pastry to fit dish and place over it. Put in over at 210 (400) for about 15minutes. Meanwhile whip up some chocolate sauce, melted chocolate with a bit of cream and I added a drop of this really yummy liquer we have called 'scarlet honeymead'. Once pastry is done (puffy and brown) remove from oven and flip over onto a serving dish. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and serve! Yum.

Herbs and Chickens

So, maybe I have not been cooking new recipes but hey...I am busy raising chickens and growing herbs! Yes, we have two chickens in the 'inner west' of Sydney and they are indeed laying eggs! It is SO nice to get fresh eggs and even nicer not to have to buy them at the store. The black chicken is named Lucy and the brown chicken is Jacki (named by a dear little girl who is three years old, I thought she picked pretty good names).

And thanks to my wonderful mother I have a beautiful herb garden...basil, coriander(cilantro), parsley, chives, green onions, sage and even some baby spinach growing. It is fabulous using fresh herbs in cooking, I am definitely going to be making lots and lots of pesto! Now if I can just remember to water the plants and keep the bugs away I will be in business.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

tablenosh for 22

I’m launching ‘Tablenosh’ with a party for 22!
March 27th at 7:30pm
Drinks ~ Appetizers ~ Desserts
*Please let me know if you have someone you would like to bring.
Each person is invited to bring one guest and a bottle of wine.

RSVP March 20
(the first 22 to rsvp are booked)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

soup day

Somehow I have managed to come down with a miserable cold...I have had to stay home from work for 3 days and endure the sore throat, runny nose, coughing and congestion. Sorry to complain, I am pretty much a wimp when it comes to being sick. But go figure it happens when I have SO much food in my refrigerator that needs to be cooked and I have pretty much had no energy to make anything...until today I made some pumpkin soup.

It is one of those overcast days a bit of wind and drizzle, perfect day for a hearty bowl of soup. So, I made my favorite pumpkin soup and am thinking I should make another kind as well. I have a soup cookbook that is lovely and I have been reading over all the recipes for the last hour but I cannot seem to decide. See, this is the problem with me I am more inclined to experiment than to follow a recipe! Not to mention I love the pumpkin soup recipe I normally use, so there was no chance of me changing it today.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Logo Edit

Okay, so my cousin inspired me to do some logo editing and this is what I have come up with...your feedback please!

What next?

For the past two mornings I have woken up with a headache and had to spend a couple extra hours lying in, go figure found myself thinking about tablenosh.

One, about etiquette, the art of setting a table, using napkins, and wondering about all the dining etiquette I don't even know! There is no doubt I am obsessed with napkins (I think this a good thing), but I believe I am going to have to pull out my etiquette books and educate myself on the rest.
Two, thanks to my little sister I have signed up to take a cooking class! YAY! How fun, it is on Spanish cooking (tapas and paella here I come). So I am pretty sure I will have to so a Spanish style 'tablenosh' once I learn all the tricks. Stay tuned for that date!
Three, of course I have been thinking about 'tablenosh' when I will I have the next one, what will be the theme, how many people will come and so on! I am pretty sure the next 'tablenosh' will be more of a cocktail party with finger foods and hopefully have up to 22 guests. Half people I know and the other half people I don't know. Today I starting writing a potential I just need to work on the guest list or spreading the word. It will of course be invite only and a mandatory RSVP - I hope the culture can cope with this.

A few other ideas...'An Elegant Evening of American Southern Cuisine Tablenosh', 'Mexican Fiesta Tablenosh', 'Hearty Winter Tablenosh', 'Tablenosh Brunch for 8', 'Champagne and Chocolate Tablenosh for 22' and Birthday Parties...I could do birthday parties by request...what do you think?? If you have any good ideas let me know!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

burnt peanut butter cookies

Well I can't expect to always get it right...I managed to leave the second batch of cookies in the oven a little to long...they are nice and crispy (an rather unedible). Hopefully the first batch are okay, I glazed them with chocolate, there is just nothing like peanut butter and chocolate (but this is very American...not so big down under). They will be served at our community group this evening.

So, what is happening with 'tablenosh' and who is coming to dinner next? I think the next 'tablenosh' is going to be more of a cocktail party, with about 20pp. I will have to start networking and practicing my cocktail making skills, as well as my canape making skills. Fun fun.

By the way I did make a new recipe last night 'beurre blanc sauce.' I bought Pete some steak and thought he might like a good sauce, so I pulled it out of the french cookbook and whipped it up, he LOVED it!

cookie recipe (here is an attempt to tell you what I put it in them)
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
125g (1/2 cup) butter softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Mix it all up (I use an elexctric mixer). Then roll into balls and press down with a fork. Bake for 8-10minutes on 180C (350F). I just melted some chocolate and spread it on top of the cookies once they were cool. Enjoy!

Monday, March 1, 2010

my logo...maybe

okay, i need some feedback...well first i probably need to figure out how to get my friends to actually read this and tell me what they think...hmmm.

Let the 'noshing' begin

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about. I have this idea of basically throwing a dinner party called 'table nosh' a couple of times a month. The concept is giving people an 'in home' dining experience with delicious food in a comfortable setting with people they don't necessarily know!

So... Saturday night was my first attempt. I thought it would be nice to do it while my mom was still in town and a good way for her to meet some more of our friends. The only difference was, Pete and I knew everyone coming to dinner, where as in the future I won't always know everyone. I invited 3 different sets of friends, who did not know each other and of course my mom and Pete joined us. (my husband plays a big part in this whole thing, I could not do it without him). It was a beautiful evening and we dined on the porch in the candlelight.
The Menu:

Appetizer: Tomato & basil bruschetta and goat's cheese w/roasted pepper bruschetta

Main: Chicken risotto over a roasted flat mushroom, w/ peas, asparagus & roasted red peppers

Dessert: Black Forest Cake
The cake was the big one for me...a new recipe that I have been eyeing for a while now! I think it was pretty good. And not too hard to make, I am already thinking of some adjustments I might try for next time.

Overall, the company was fabulous... the conversation flowed and I think we all enjoyed ourselves. Now, Pete and I are taking the month of March of in terms of entertaining but he has agreed to let me do a small cocktail party towards the end of the if you are dying to be on the guest list you better let me know now!