Recent Posts

Friday, August 27, 2010

on holidays...but still baking!

I am currently visiting with my friends Dan and Laura, who are now living in Northern California.  Pete and I are in the states for the next two weeks.  Go figure we watched an episode of Master Chef last night and now I want to do some baking.  So, I am going to bake up some lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting.  Yum. 

I am looking forward to tablenosh LA next weekend, but have yet to figure out the menu.  I am enjoying the summer sun, it will be a nice change to do a summer menu. 

Otherwise we are back in Sydney on the 9th and the next tablenosh is Sept. 17th...seats are filling up so email me soon if you wanna book in to come!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A 'hearty winter' tablenosh

The evening began with a 'winter warm up' aperitif, mulled wine... this seasoned mixture of red wine, oranges, lemons, cinnamon and cloves with a splash of cranberry juice simmered on my stove top and was there to greet the guests upon arrival.  Along with that there were some simple nibbles on the table, baked brie with apricot and almonds, sun-dried tomato pesto with crostini and then I served a delightful soup sampler as a surprise item, creamy pumpkin and corn. 
This nosh was no easy thing I must admit, timing was everything!  Thank goodness I had an awesome sidekick(Jen) for the evening to help me get it all just right.  The main dish needed to be timed to that it was coming out of the oven just as the guests were sitting down for the entree: a roasted beetroot, baby spinach and goats cheese salad with caramelized walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette.  And just as the pies came out of the oven the self-saucing citrus pudding went in!

I was quite pleased with the main which was chicken leek and mushroom pies, with roasted parsnip and potato mash with a s side of green beans.  I think they were pretty good...well at least  I know my husband enjoyed his, as he has listed it as one of his favorites!

I must admit I was a little worried about the pudding, even though I had practiced the recipe last week, this time I had doubled the recipe and made it in a bit of a hurry!  But to my absolute delight it came out pretty darn perfect, in fact so much that Jen and I could not resist and enjoyed a bowl of our own in the lounge room while the guests ate theirs!  I am definitely loving the citrus recipes these days, this pudding is fabulous.

After dinner we finished off with Spicy Mead on ice, (this is a sweet liqueur made from honey) and some chocolate.  It was another delightful evening around the table, we even had one guest from Sweden.  
Next up is tablenosh amongst old friends in Los Angeles, can't wait! 
Leila & Jen

my dream...come TRUE...a dishwasher!

yes, it is true we have been having dinner after dinner with one very small sink and little 'ol me to wash ALL the dishes afterwards!  of course it has all been VERY worth it.  i made the deal with my husband if i could do tablenosh i would not demand his help with any of the dishes afterwards.  thus, i usually spend most of sunday washing dishes and of course every time dreaming about the day we will own a DISHWASHER!  and friends my dream has indeed come true!
last week at work i got an email from another staff member titled 'free dishwasher,' oh my goodness could this be it or was it too good to be true!  because the tricky bit is that we don't own our place and we needed one that could hook up to the tap in the sink or bathtub.  well, go figure they had done the same thing and he also had all the extra parts to give us to hook it up!
the newest member of the kitchen arrived on saturday morning and my darling husband had it hooked up and ready to go for that night!!!!  it was a beautiful moment indeed...and no doubt a blessing to my kitchen.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Savoury Soufflé and Self-saucing Citrus Pudding

The next nosh night it planned for THIS Saturday, August 14th and there are 2 seats left.  The food theme for the evening is 'hearty winter' and I have been practicing with a few new recipes!

Last night I made my first savoury soufflé, it was garlic and cheese.  In terms of the texture and the look, I think I did pretty well, as for the taste, I was not all that pleased but my husband on the other hand thought it was fabulous.  Next time I might try using a sharper saltier cheese and maybe fresh chives rather than parsley.  I used a recipe found in this month's Delicious magazine.

The self-saucing citrus pudding was also a new recipe that I pulled out of the same magazine and wanted to give it a practice run before making it for Saturday night.  I approve, it was indeed delicious.  Served with a good scoop of vanilla icecream, the warmth of the pudding and the citrus sauce were a perfect combo.  It will definitely be on the menu for dessert.

Self-Saucing Citrus Pudding Recipe 
(Delicious Magazine)
125g unsalted butter, softened plus extra to grease
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1tbs finely grated lemon zest, plus juice of 1 lemon
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
2tbs cornflour
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
Pure icing sugar to dust
Good quality vanilla ice cream, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease 1.5-litre pudding basin.
2. Beat the butter, vanilla seeds, lemon zest and half the sugar together in an electric mixer until thick and pale.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until combined.  
Then stir in the flour.
Spread the batter into the pudding basin.
4. Mix cornflour with remaining sugar, then use a sieve to dust over the pudding.
Combine lemon juice, orange zest and juice and 1 cup (250ml) boiling water in a jug, then gently pour over the batter (don't stir the mixture).
5. Bake the pudding for 50-50 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the sponge layer comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool slighting, then scoop into bowls, dust with icing sugar and serve with ice cream.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

spicy kumara & corn soup recipe

I snagged this recipe from the recent issue of 'delicious' magazine.  Made a few changes and found it pretty darn good!

50g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 carrot diced
1 tsp ground tumeric & cayenne pepper
1 cup yellow split peas
5 cups of vegetable stock
1 kumara (sweet potato) peeled and cubed
kernels of two large corn cobs
1/2 cup cream (the original recipe called for coconut milk, I did not have any)
parsley to garnish

Melt the butter in a large pot and add onion and then garlic.  Then add the spices and carrot.  Next add veg stock and split peas.  Boil peas for about 30 minutes and then add the kumara, allow to boil for another 10 minutes and then add the corn kernels (sweet corn is best).  Cook for another 10 minutes or so, you might want to check the peas and see if they are cooked enough.  Once you think they are all soft scoop out about 2 cups of the soup.  Use a electric mixing stick or a food processor to blend the remaining part of the soup along with the cream.  Then pour the 2 cups back in, this gives it a bit of texture, otherwise you can just blend it all.  Use parsley to garnish if you like.  Enjoy.