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Monday, February 28, 2011

Wedding Cake Practice

I have been asked to make my very first Wedding Cake!  Very exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.  I have never taken a cake class or anything, so this is an adventure.  I have spent the weekend practicing my cakes, fillings and frostings.  A lot of cake has been consumed! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

southern roots...

What can I say I do love the South (USA that is)... I kicked off my first tablenosh dinner this year with a few southern classics and some new recipes out of a recently purchased cookbook from the best Chefs in Charleston.  Hopefully the Australian diners were not too overwhelmed with new flavors, foods and concepts!

For example 'grits', what in the world you ask are 'grits'?  They are basically the inside of the corn kernal also called hominy and very similar to polenta.  They are a traditional southern food and often served for breakfast alongside eggs.  Over the years the chef's of Charleston, South Carolina and other places have come up with creative and delicious ways to serve this simple food.  I imported some grits back with me this trip and cooked them up for last night's dinner.  The featured Main Dish for the evening was called 'Low-country Shrimp & Grits.'   Which is basically a cajun shrimp dish, with onions, tomatoes, peppers, bacon and spicy sausage peices.  I think most people enjoyed it.

Mint Julep Martini
As for the rest of the menu...the evening started with a 'Mint Julep Martini' and Truffled Risotto Balls w/tomato jam.  A 'mint julep' is a popular southern drink made with mint infused sugar syrup and bourbon.  I squeezed in some orange juice, added a few drops of vanilla vodka, triple sec and topped it off with tonic.  Delish!
Truffled Risotto Balls w/ Tomato Jam
I served a Strawberry Salad w/baby spinach, carmelized walnuts and feta for the entree along with some buttermilk biscuits.  And for dessert we had blueberry peach cobbler with vanilla bean custard cream (that was the best part).

I think this year will be about recipes I love as well as experimenting and I have a feeling this new cookbook could be the inspiration for more than one Tablenosh dinners, so I hope the Aussies grow to love my southern roots!

The next tablenosh event will be a Tablenosh Re-launch/Birthday Party!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Back to the Blog!

Clearly I have been keeping myself busy and slowly falling behind with my blogging!  I just landed back in Sydney this morning and figured I better get back with the program.  The US was a fabulous time and even included a few exceptional dining experiences, which was a real treat. 

A beautiful chicken dish from 'Lucques', Los Angeles
As far as my own new recipes go, I have decided I will shoot for 50 original perfected recipes by the end of the year.  I have two in the works at the moment and a few to work on from last year.  Once I perfect them I will document the actual recipe and create a space for them on the blog. 
 Gingerbread Trifle - Leila Original #2 (still needs a little tweaking)
In terms of Tablenosh Dinners and Events, I am up and running!  I did a small 'tapas and sangria girls' night when I was in Virginia, but the first tablenosh dinner in Sydney is listed below and there are a few spots available.  I have determined the cuisine yet, but will keep you posted.  I am hoping to get some new flavors happening this year and lots of NEW people around the table!  I have also booked some private catering events, so if you have an idea and need some help with the food don't hesitate to ask me, it would be great to do some private parties or special dinners this year.

Upcoming Nosh Dinners:

February 19th at 7pm
March 12th at 7pm