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Monday, May 30, 2011

buying fresh

Ugh is all I have to say!  I HATE it when I spend money on a vegetable or fruit at the grocery store and with in days it has gone bad!  I seriously wish I had a garden, sadly I am not really a good gardner so not sure if it would help much, but the Sydney Markets have definitely been a help.  I love my co-op which I started with some friends just over a year ago.  It really makes a difference, not just in the amount of money we spend, but the quality, the taste and how long our produce will last.

What I would also like to tap into is an 'organic' growers market to go to.  Some of the farmers at the Sydney markets are organic, but usually they don't have a label and you have to ask around. 

Needless to say, I am looking forward to my visit to the markets this Friday in preparation for Saturday night.  And I also do enjoy a good chat with a farmer or two :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good Times in the USA

I just returned from a quick trip to the USA for a couple of weddings.  While I was there I had a few fabulous food experiences.

The first was the organic homemade donuts at my friend Jessica's wedding.  Who would have thought....but these donuts were amazing and all organic!!!! Yummy.  I am not even a donut person.

The scond was having the opportunity to spend an afternoon in the kitchen with my favorite cake maker - Rachel Willis who is amazing (she made my wedding cake and was doing the cake for my friend's wedding).  It was such a treat and I definitely learned some new techniques and can't wait to start working on my next cake project.  Here is the final outcome - it was a lemon chiffon cake w/triple cream, fresh raspberries and grand-marnier buttercream icing.

Another was the welcome bbq for wedding number two.  It was a Southern Style Barbecue buffet with everything from potato salad to collard greens and more, it was catered by a friend and it was delicious...well done Rachel!

The last was dinner at a beautiful little restaurant in Charlottesville, VA called 'Tavola' it was a swanky little Italian place that was absolutely delicious, my Dad had the scallops which were served over a beetroot risotto, mom had shrimp in a buttery garlic Gorgonzola cream sauce that was divine and my sister and I shared the sea bass and a vegetarian pasta dish.  I am definitely going to be experimenting with scallops and beetroot risotto here I come!

Overall a fabulous trip and now it is back to my own kitchen and tablenosh adventures.  I am not sure what is on the menu for June 4th but am going to start experimenting this week.  So we shall see!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Fabulous Celebration!

Nothing EVER goes according to plan, but somehow it all works out in the end.  I got off to a slow start on Friday and by the time I got home from the markets I had developed a terrible headache and had to get in bed.  I finally got back up and going around 5:30pm and managed to pump out my pearl barley risotto (for risotto balls), chocolate cake, my petite citrus cakes, the mocha mousse, passionfruit custard cream and do a few other things.  But nonetheless I knew Saturday was going to be busy and I was NOT going to feel very organized.

I was up and going by 8am and feeling like there was a billion things to do!  The house needed to get organized to fit at least twenty people in the living room as it was still raining and did not look like it was going to stop.  I could rant on and on about the day but how about I jump ahead and just say, it all came together, thanks to my fabulous help team (Chelsea, Nikki, Pete and Liz).  Definitely needed all hands on deck as we pumped out the cocktails and canap├ęs.
My side-kicks for the evening!
The menu consisted of Raspberry-lime mojito's, Apple-Guava Martini's and a mocktail option.  As for the food there was, sundried-tomato & goats cheese crostini, corn & zucchini fritters w/avocado salsa, prosciutto wrapped dates, roasted pumpkin, pesto & parmesan foccacia, truffled pearl-barley risotto balls w/tomato jam, chicken, mushroom & capsicum empanadas, sweet potato, chorizo & haloumi spoons and coconut & macadamia nut crusted shrimp w/lime-garlic aioli.  Needless to say we were working hard and the guests were happily noshing!
Chorizo, Haloumi and Roast Sweet Potato 

At about 9:15 I gave a celebration speech...thank you EVERYONE for your support, I can hardly believe it has been a year and one month since I launched tablenosh.  I have since then done over 20 tablenosh events and had at least 150 different people dining together around my table this past year!  I have learned so many new things in cooking and it has been a wonderful adventure.  This year my goal is to shoot a Pilot for a Reality TV/Cooking/Hospitality show based on tablenosh!!!  I am so thankful to those special friends who have really encouraged and pushed me along the way.  I look forward to what the future holds for tablenosh and will keep ya'll posted!

After the speec I brought out CAKE, three different kinds...
Petite Citrus Cake w/Passionfruit Custard Filling and Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Bundt Cake w/Mocha Mouse filling and a Dark Chocolate Ganache

Carrot Cake w/Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting & Almond Flakes
I think everyone went home full of cake and hopefully as happy as I was!  It was indeed a wonderful celebration and I am looking forward to what this year holds!  Thank you all so much and here's to underground dining...tablenosh style.