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Friday, October 29, 2010

Tablenosh 2010 Finale Dinner

Finishing with brunch did not feel quite right...I have convinced my sweet hubby to let me do a 'finale' tablenosh dinner.  However since we are headed to the states for Dec. & Jan. the only date I had free was NEXT Saturday night!  So very short notice, but hopefully will draw in a few spontaneous diners who want to enjoy my favorite recipes of 2010.  Now I just have to remember what I have made and actually narrow it down to the best of the best.  Feel free to leave me some comments to help me choose!!!  I need 2 appetizers, Main, dessert, and!
Here are a few pics to 'whet' your appetite and inspire some feedback :)

Pan Fried Chicken w/Sweet Potato Mash, Mushroom Herb Sauce & Asparagus

Dukkah Encrusted Salmon, with Cous Cous Salad & Asparagus

Sundried Tomato, Goats Cheese & Pesto Tartlets

Chicken Cacciatore

Citrus Cake w/Passionfruit Custard & Lemon Cream

Fijian Style Curry w/Jasmine Rice

Pot Au Feu

Red Velvet Cake w/Fresh Berries

Wholemeal Pasta w/Fresh Cherry Tomatoes, Basil & Parmesan


Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday Night Tapas and Rainy Day Brunch was a big weekend.  I don't think I will being putting on back to back events again, but hey ya gotta learn some how!
Friday night tapas and sangria for a private party was fabulous.  I think all the guests enjoyed themselves as well as the tapas and sangria.  The menu consisted of roasted capsicum dip with crostini, spicy lentil & pumpkin dip w/crispy pita bread, spanish meatballs, zuchinni & corn fritters w/ tomato salsa, crispy handcut potato's with garlic aioli, chorizo flambe and garlic and chilli, garlic & coriander prawns.  Finished off with vanilla bean & mascarpone custard spoons, chocolate brownies w/ganache and fresh strawberries. My favorite...the custard...AMAZING (just finished eating the last drop!).  I will eventually post up this delicious must make recipe for all to enjoy.

As for much for my sunny day patio rained and poured and the sun did not come out and therefore I had to shift things around and do it all inside.  Which was fine, but not quite my original vision.  The hit for the brunch was definitely not me or anything I did...I would say it was the coffee!  My friend John was SO gracious and blessed us with his barista skills and coffee machine for the morning.  I was impressed.  He sourced the best of beans to match my menu for the morning and was prepared to make all requests.  It was pretty funny when I went to take the orders and had a full list of drinks for him...from picolo's to double machiatto's, he did a fantastic job.
Otherwise I think the food went down okay, the menu for the morning went like this:

Begin:  Strawberry Champagne Cocktail
First: Mini Raspberry & Rhubarb Muffins, Mini Broccoli & Cheddar Muffins
Second: Coffee by John: Seasonal Espresso Blend, Market Lane, Melbourne
Third: Ricotta, Honey & Banana stuffed French Toast, Breakfast Style Potatoes, Three Cheese Tartlets with Spinach & Prosciutto and Shortcut Bacon
Finish: Passion Fruit Sorbet with Mango Coulis

Thursday, October 21, 2010

double time

this weekend is gonna be my first attempt at 2 tablenosh events in one weekend (i could be crazy)!  tomorrow night is a private 'tapas & sangria' function.  i am gonna try out a couple new tapas ideas as well as utilize some of the favorites from my previous tapas night.  so far the sangria is soaking the vanilla custard is half way there and the choc brownies just need some ganache...i think tomorrow is gonna be a full day in order to get all the rest done!  but am definitely looking forward to an evening of meeting new people and sharing the tablenosh love...

hopefully i can do a quick turnover and be ready to go for my first tablenosh brunch!  i have even managed to get an expert barista (no joke, he is actually a barista judge!) to join us for the morning making coffee's.  the menu is coming together with raspberry & rhubarb muffins to start, stuffed ricotta, honey & banana french toast, homestyle breakfast potatoes, ham & swiss tart, bacon and more...

so, here's to a good night's sleep and a fabulous day of cooking tomorrow!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

filled up

I really cannot tell you how much pleasure it gives me to have my home filled up with people telling stories around the table!  It was another great evening, it truly amazes me that it all comes together, but it does.  The last guests left about 11:30pm and we probably could have chatted the night away.  I am pretty exhausted, but was all worth it!  Not sure how I will cope with the double next weekend, but only one way to find out.  I will post some food pics up soon and explain the tonight's menu.  All I can say is the lemon-blueberry cheesecake parfaits were definitely a hit!  And a big thanks to my fantastic side-kick Allie, could not have done it without her. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

If you are interested in making your own version of this cheesecake give it a go (here is my attempt at giving you the recipe I used, although I tend to eyeball things, so not quite sure about the measurements)!  It is flexible so feel free to experiment...and the plain lemon with no blueberries is also good, especially along with fresh strawberries or raspberries.

1 package of plain biscuits/graham crackers
1/4 cup almond meal
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Lemon Zest
125g Butter (1/2 cup) melted

I used my food processor to grind up the dry ingredients and then add the wet ones.  Press into a springform pan, I put baking paper down first but you don't have to.  Bake on 375F / 180C for about 10minutes.

2 packages of cream cheese (16oz/500g) (room temp)
1 250g/8oz container of Ricotta
3 eggs (room temp)
1 1/4 cups sugar
Juice from 2 lemons
Zest from 2 lemons

Mix the cream cheese and ricotta until smooth, mix until creamy and then slowly mix in the lemon juice and zest.  Finally add eggs one at a time and mix until smooth.  Pour the filling into the base.

Blueberry Swirl
3/4 cups frozen blueberries
2 Tablespoons of sugar

Heat the blueberries (you could also use fresh ones) in a small pan with sugar until juicy and warm.  Then uses a mixer to chop and mush the blueberries to make a compote.  Dollop 4 blobs of blueberry mixture onto cheesecake filling and use a knife or skewers to swirl around.

Bake cheesecake at 160C/ 325F for about an hour and ten minutes or until set.  Allow to cool and then chill, probably best if chilled overnight.

If you want to do a glaze you can just do a thin layer of whip cream or use sour cream.  I blend the two add a bit of lemon juice and some confectionary/icing sugar.  You can spread this on once the cheesecake is completely cooled and top with fresh blueberries and lemon zest for added decor!  Enjoy...and if I forgot something don't hesitate to ask!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Picnic with Sydney Food Bloggers

After a VERY busy night working on my lemon ricotta cheesecake with a lemon sour cream glace and blueberry swirl, cooking up a new recipe for tablenosh (pesto, ricotta and sundried tomato stuffed chicken)and making a couple of quiches for a friend, I managed to pull it together this morning and headed to a Sydney Food Bloggers Picnic in Centennial Park.  Who knew there were SO many other people blogging about food in Sydney!?

It was a Mad Hatters theme picnic where everyone was invited to bring a dish to share, which would also be judged and prizes for favorites.  It was delightful, I had so much fun chatting with other foodies and sharing about tablenosh.  It was also fabulous trying everyone else's food...yum!  I thought my cheesecake actually turned out really well, but unfortunately it won no prizes.  But there was lots to be judged and choose from so I don't feel too bad.

I am really excited to keep an eye on some of these blogs, especially and  Thanks for a fabulous afternoon fellow food bloggers and hope to see some of you at my tablenosh soon!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not the ONLY underground restaurant!

A couple of months ago I was so excited to discover that tablenosh is NOT the only thing happening in Sydney’s world of ‘underground’, ‘hidden kitchen’ or ‘secret supper clubs’!! To my own excitement I found an article that list 5 other groups all happening in Sydney, of course my next step is to get myself a seat at one of these events!

Meanwhile, tablenosh continues to be great fun as I cook up new recipes and experience new faces around my table! This month should keep me on my toes, as I do my first brunch and a Saturday night dinner and two Private Functions!

As I continue to try and spread the word about my ‘in-home’ dining concept, I would love your help. So, please book in to bring your friends, colleagues, family or just grab your neighbor for a night out to dinner…in my home!

Thanks so much for your support and excitement for my Tablenosh Project.
Yours, Leila

Upcoming Nosh Nights:
Saturday, October 16th at Dinner 7pm
Sunday, October 24th at Brunch 11am

Cooking from Callalla

We just returned from a few days in Callalla Beach with friends, a great opportunity to take advantage of a lovely BIG kitchen and people to cook for!
This was a mild fji style curry with fresh pineapple.

For afternoon tea I made some Zesty Lemon Scones served with Lemon Cream & Raspberry Jam.
A new dessert was poached pears in dessert wine with vanilla bean, served with vanilla icecream. Yum.

There were a few others, but for some reason I cannot get the pictures to upload properly and I am sick of trying!

Next Tablenosh date is Oct. 16th and there are still a few seats available!