Recent Posts

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Time

In some ways it is hard for me to believe my family in the states is celebrating Thanksgiving today and I am not there.  But go figure I miss one Thanksgiving dinner in American and I end up with four here!  It has been a turkey eating week, the celebration kicked off on Sunday with some American friends and a few Aussies who used to live there and love celebrating Thanksgiving.  I must admit I did not do much cooking for it and only provided a standard appetizer of baked brie w/fig wrapped in puff pastry.  All the other fixings came from other people, it was good stuff.

Then Wednesday night we had another Thanksgiving celebration also hosted by some Aussie friends, this time I did the turkey (I down sized from the Christmas in July Turkey), the stuffing and a pumpkin pie.  Both the stuffing and the pupkin pie were new recipes I pulled off Epicurious.  Personally I thought the pumpkin was tastier than usual and had a richer flavor, it was just a little too sweet, so next time I will add less sugar.  The stuffing was fine, I think I still prefer my grandma's cornbread stuffing, which I am making for tonight's celebration along with her coconut custard pie and my Aunt Isa's cranberry sauce.

Thursday night we enjoyed a small Thanksgiving meal at home with two American friends, we had left overs and made a few extra's, cracked open our favorite wine and gave thanks together.  Afterwards in honor of my family tradition we got out the guitar and sat around the living room singing songs.  It was a lovely night.

And last night we had the BIG Thanksgiving at the home of another American couple with a table set up for 26 people, children included.  It was a fantastic night, a few types of turkey, stuffing, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, mashed potato, sweet potato casserole, rolls and more.  Not to mention 5 pies for dessert and an american football game on the TV!  Good times and good fellowship. 

And now I am officially Turkeyed out...until Christmas!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

22 to go...

This week has been fairly busy cranking out new recipes as I try to wrap up my 100 new recipe challenge before December 31st!  And even though no more tablenosh dinners, I have managed to cater a dinner for 15 for my boss and a dinner for 10 with Pete's students.  This week I am doing some desserts for another work event and catering a birthday party for my Father in-law...up to 30 people, I could be a little 'cooked out' by the end of it!
New recipes have included: spicy cous cous encrusted chicken, pan fried goats cheese salad, poaches pears, lemon tart, passionfruit & coconut tart and raspberry muffins.
Cous cous encrusted chicken, with pan-fried goats cheese salad and beans
The chicken was awesome, definitely a keeper as well as the goats cheese, yum.  The raspberry muffins were a Curtis Stone recipe and more like souffle muffins because they used egg whites as the rising agent, they were a hit, very moist and delicious.  Both tarts were also very nice and as far as the poached pears in port, they were terrible!  The port tasted pretty gross with the pears, not a good combination, Donna Hay...what were you thinking?

I am up to 78, I reckon I better do some good techinical recipes and finish that Snow Egg from Masterchef...hmmmm will keep ya posted!

ps. For anyone interested I am going to post a few of my recipes soon, so you can actually use some of the winners yourself.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two Degrees of Seperation

Despite the amount cooking disasters I had in preperation...somehow another fabulous night occurred, filled with all sorts of people who do all sorts of things.  And it was almost creepy the way people figured out they were connected!  There seemed to be 'two degrees of seperation' happening.  Itwas awesome, pretty much everyone who came figured out how they had a connection with someone else.  For example, there were two lawyers at the table, who came seperately and did not know each other, however once they started chatting it turned out one had read and scanned an article written by the other that very day!

Leading up to this tablenosh my day seemed to be filled with kitchen mishaps (such as my burnt chocolate mousse, gooey merengues, gluggy risoni, fogotten roasted peppers, smoke alarms and more...) and I think there was a part of me thinking 'HOW IS THIS EVER GONNA HAPPEN?'...but it did, with the help of my fabulous sous chef (Leslie) it all came together and people came, they ate, they laughed, they shared stories and they all had a good night enjoying community around food. 

And this was the menu:

Aperitif: Mango Malibu Martini
Starters: Macadamia & coconut crusted prawns w/spicy aioli
Zuchinni & corn fritters w/labna & tomato salsa
Main: Pan roasted swordfish w/balsamic reduction
Risoni w/sundried tomatoes & asparagus
Rocket & sautéed green beans
Dessert Trio: Lime tartlet w/citrus cream
Chocolate mousse spoon w/strawberry coulis
Berry rhubarb & vanilla bean custard crumble
Digestive Baileys

I think I was most pleased with the zuchinni & corn fritters w/salsa and the berry crumble combination was pretty good.  All in all the food was fine but it was the people that made the night.  I am looking forward to picking it back up again in February 2011 until then you might have to travel to the US to get a spot at tablenosh! 

It has been a great year and exciting venture, I have learned heaps in the kitchen althought I still have about 25 new recipes I need to make before the end of the year!  I look forward to seeing what 2011 will bring and who might end up at my table.