Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Eve Dinner - PIZZA!!

Christmas 2010

a little bit more pre-christmas eating! We had Pizza from Pizza Capers......



 pizza sauce with smoke house pepperoni, marinated rump of Black Angus beef, shaved ham, with mozzarella, smoked bacon, garnished with fresh herbs (Janets choice)


RUSTIC FRUIT & VEG mushrooms, onions, capsicum, pineapple, on a bed of ricotta topped with roasted roma tomatoes, garlic, herbs and cheese  (my choice - YUM!)


Italian Connection

Pizza sauce with smokehouse pepperoni, mozzarella, Kalamata olives, slow roasted tomatoes, fire roasted capsicum, red onions, parmesan, fresh garlic & herbs (not sure if this is the right one, but its my best guess!! This was Scott's choice)


Our pizza sauce with loads of fresh, sliced button mushrooms, Kalamata olives, fire roasted capsicum, Spanish onions, golden pineapple, fresh garlic & herbs, garnished with parmesan (Gina's Choice)



Capers’ pizza sauce, topped with chorizo, fire roasted capsicum, Kalamata olives, baby bocconcini, garnished with cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic & herbs (Mum & Dad's choice)

For dessert, we had red jelly and icecream!!!!! Which I neglected to photograph in my excitement!!!!

Christmas 2010Christmas 2010

We also had some of these Darrel Lea Christmas nougat's - we were guessing what flavours they were, as te box didn't have a picture guide to help us out!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Meringues - or how to use up egg whites!

As part of my pre-christmas cooking, I made some Vanilla icecream - this required 6 egg yolks, which left me with egg whites to use up! So I went the easy route, and made some meringues, and some mini pavlovas!

There is a "basic meringue recipe" here at .  I just adjusted the quantities.

To make the meringues, I just piped swirls onto the trays.....


For the pavlovas, I piped nests!(kind of wobbly nests, but nests all the same!). 


I filled the cooled nests with raspberry cream, and topped with a raspberry. (to make raspberry cream, I used the cream that I had leftover from making my icecream! - I simply whipped it to soft peaks, added a little bit of icing sugar and some "crumbs" from the bottom of the frozen raspberry packet! )

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Christmas! - lunch #1 - pre-christmas!

December hits, and the eating season is upon us! Now that it is infact January, and I have had a small break from all the eating, I think I can manage to revisit some of the meals enjoyed over the festive season!

Christmas Lunch number one was actually held prior to Christmas, think of it as training for the stomach :-)

My contribution was this couscous, chickpea and pumpkin salad.  Its a made up recipe - I think I used half a cup of couscous. To this I added 1/2 cup of boiling water, a couple of teaspoons of "Christine Manfield Harissa" and the zest of an orange. Put a lid on it and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Once the cous cous was done, I fluffed it with a fork, gave it a squeeze of orange juice and a splash of Olive Oil and tossed through a tin of chickeas, some roasted pumpkin (simply roasted in the oven), some diced red capsicum and some chopped baby spinach. DELICIOUS!!


We also had this tomato, basil & yoghurt cheese salad, dressed with balsamic vinegar,


a tossed green salad,


This chicken that looks like it was run over (it comes mostly deboned and marinated from the butcher),

and some stuffed roast beef.


For dessert I made Nigella's "Gleaming Maple Cheesecake" from Nigella Lawsons "Christmas" book.  I have wanted to make this ever since I first set eyes on it when I first read the book! There is a copy of the recipe over at not quite nigella . I was very happy with the way the cheesecake turned out! Tasted mighty good also :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Brisbane Foodie Bus Tour

I was fortunate enough that the planets aligned and I was on holidays this week, so was able to join fellow Brisbane Food Bloggers, Twitterers, and general Food lovers on this fantastic christmas bus tour!

Brisbane Foodie Christmas Bus Tour

The FIshery
First stop was "The Fishery" at Milton where we were treated to a selection of Prawns, Salmon & Oysters. (yes, I passed sampling anything, but everyone else looked like they were in seafood heaven!)

The FIshery

Dello Mano Brownies

Next stop : Wine Experience , Rosalie, where we sampled a number of different wines, including one from Luxembourg. Now while wine isn't exactly my cup of tea so to speak, if I need to buy some wine, this looks like the place to go, as the guys were so knowledgeable and helpful!!

Wine Experience

Slightly silly from our wine tastings, the bus rolled on to Dello Mano Brownies, at Newstead, to taste a selection of magnificent Brownies.  It was difficult to decide on a favourite, so several tastings were necessary :-) . I think that the esspresso walnut, and the peanut butter were up there at the top of my list, but they were all so very good!
Dello Mano Brownies

Dello Mano Brownies

Full of Brownies, it was time to pay a visit to Black Pearl Epicure for a quick run down on Camembert & Brie, complete with tastings, and then a little time to purchase some delicasies in the shop
Black Pearl Epicure

Next stop was Cakes by Judy C at Ashgrove, where we samples some Christmas Treats...
Cakes by Judy C

Cakes by Judy C
Sugar Plums!!

Cakes by Judy C

Cakes by Judy C

After all that eating, what could possibly be next??? yes, of course - LUNCH!!

Lunch was at Sprout at Auchenflower, where we had a special garden menu (with produce from the magical garden out the back!!!) (This is the vegetarian version - everyone else had a slightly meatier lunch)
Sprout - beetroot and witches chase cherve
Beetroot and witches chase cherve "lasagne" with basil foam

Sprout - grilled organic tofu with mango sabayon and asian herb salad

grilled organic tofu with mango sabayon and asian herb salad (everyone else had fish in place of the tofu)
Sprout - grilled olympus haloumi with warrigal greens, green olive and preserved lemons
 grilled olympus haloumi with warrigal greens, green olive and preserved lemons (the other main was a turkey and wild boar roulade with fig)

Sprout - Chocolate macadamia and pineapple torte with basil icecream

Chocolate macadamia and pineapple torte with basil icecream
(basil icecream was a bit difficult to get the head around to start with, but was actually great!!)

Sprout - garden

We were shown around the garden out the back - WOW!! I was very jealous, and inspired to expand my small vegie patch at home. I even went home with a cutting of the warrigal greens which is hopefully sprouting!!)

Sprout -fruit mince pie and chantilly cream

then to finish, -fruit mince pie and chantilly cream. This would have to be the best fruit mince pie I have ever tasted!

SO, what a fantastic day!! Thanks to Natascha for organising, to all of the places we visited for their generosity, and to everyone on the bus for a magnigficent experience!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Dinner at home - from the garden!


My veggie garden provided some of the ingredients for our dinner!!! Very very exciting to get to eat something I grew myself!


I recieved this Thai Marinade paste when I went to Black Pearl Epicure for a fantastic Bloggers dinner and pantry tour, so I decided to put it to use right away.


I marinaded some tofu in one bowl, and some chicken thigh in another bowl.

I left it for only about half an hour, since this was not a well thought out dinner, and we were hungry!

I then simply stir fried the chicken or tofu with some vegies, and a splash of soy sauce to  create a very tasty meal! Both dishes were served with some brown rice!

here is my dinner - the tofu version!

and Janets meal - the chicken version!

The marinade had a really fresh zingy flavour! And my lovely fresh vegies were absolutely delicious!!!!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Lamington National Park Hike!

I went on a roughly 15k hike at Lamington National Park with a group of people from "In Shape Outdoors" We battled many many leeches, and some ticks as well, but we all survived - and didnt get lost this time!!

binna burra hike 14-11-10

binna burra hike 14-11-10

binna burra hike 14-11-10

binna burra hike 14-11-10

binna burra hike 14-11-10

binna burra hike 14-11-10

salad sandwich

finished off with a salad sandwich from the cafe - delicious!!! I was starving! (had to remove the cucumber though - not THAT hungry! haha!!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dinner at home - Fettucine x 2

I decided to make some fresh pasta for dinner - I really should do this more often, because, its fun, easy, and tastes fantastic!


I made the pasta dough using 100g flour, 1 egg and a pinch of salt. I whizzed this in the little food processor, and then kneaded it, before resting it for about half an hour. I then rolled it out with my pasta machine, cut it into fettucine, and hung it up on this make-shift pasta rack (a wooden spoon balanced on two coffee mugs, balanced on tinned tomatoes for extra height!)

We ate the last of the Brewbakers bread topped with garlic and olive oil and grilled until toasty - delicious!!

After cooking in boiling water for only a minute or two, I tossed the fettucine into two different sauces...


for me, A simple sauce of sauted onion, garlic zuccinni and grape tomatoes


For Janet, a carbonara sauce - with bacon and zuccinni.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brewbakers, Albion!


A few weeks ago, I attended a bread and Pizza making calss at Brewbakers, Albion.  Owner, RIchard talked us through the many processes and calculations involved in creating the best bread ever!



These little balls of dough were so soft! We shaped them into pizza bases


topped them with a delicious selection of ingredients, and watched them go into the oven!



The pizzas came out crisp on the outside, yet soft and fluffy in the middle! Best pizza ever!!


We also had a go at shaping some bagels!!
I ate my bagel for lunch the next day - yum!


We also had a go at weighing out the correct amount of dough , and shaping into ciabatta loaf. Not as easy as it sounds!


brewbakers bread

We each took a just out of the oven loaf home! Miraculously, the loaf survived the drive home intact, and was enjoyed another day!

Now on my list of things to do is a visit to Brewbakers when the actual shop is open so I can try some more baked delights!!