Unbelievably, we’re on to Week 41 of the Cookbook Challenge, and the theme this week is: celebration.
I don’t have a specific occasion to celebrate this weekend, but here are some things that I’d like to celebrate:
I won tickets to go to Taste of Melbourne from My Food Trail, and I used them to attend tonight’s session at the Royal Exhibition building. Isn’t the Royal Exhibition building gorgeous? I love this building!
Naturally, I planned what we were going to eat well before I arrived. Here’s what we ate!
When Penny from [Addictive and Consuming] asked me to cook a recipe using olive oil, I jumped at the opportunity and made an apple and olive oil pudding. Check out her blog and enter the competition to win one of eight bottles of Manzanillo Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Good luck!
When I was in primary school back in NZ, we used to have lessons that we called “‘manual’ – where we learnt cooking, sewing, and woodworking. My favourite was the cooking (surprise surprise), probably because in woodworking all I could turn out were wonky wooden pencil cases, and in sewing I made boring bookmarks and cushions. But in cooking – oh cooking! In cooking we made things like apple crumble, Anzac biscuits, and scones, and not only was it fun, but we got to take our food home and eat it!
So I have a fondness for scones, though for some reason I don’t make them often. Scones have a reputation for being simple, but that simplicity is rather deceptive as it’s far too easy to bake a flat, dry, puck rather than a light, fluffy tower.
Cookbook Challenge: Week 40
Recipe: “Crunchy top” apple & pear muffins
From: Bill Granger’s Holiday
You know when you’ve been baking for a while, you start to get the jist of recipes. Most baked goods follow a similar method – for example, with many cakes you cream the butter and sugar first, and then add the dry and wet ingredients separately in a couple of batches. With muffins, you mix together the dry ingredients and then stir through the wet ingredients. After a while, once you’ve sussed out the necessary quantities of the different ingredients, you don’t really need to read the recipe.
Disclosure: We visited and sampled items courtesy of Harvey Publicity & Parisian Patisserie.
Last Saturday, Alastair and I headed up to Essendon to check out Parisian Patisserie. Parisian Patisserie has only been open for 12 weeks, and seem to have already amassed a loyal following for their fantastic baked goods.
Chinese chicken parcels
From: Jamie’s Kitchen
The theme for this week’s Cookbook Challenge is “TV Chef”. Weeks like this are great because they’re so easy! I could have gone with Rick Stein, Maggie Beer, Bill Granger…. but in the end I decided to go with the Naked Chef himself, Jamie Oliver.
Time for a bit of a rant. I was making these last night when my parents called. They have a knack of calling right when I’m in the middle of making dinner. And last night as I was preparing dinner, I was juggling about several things – as you do. I had a frying pan heating up, the steamer was bubbling away, I had the cabbage and chicken mixture out (ready for rolling), and I was in the laundry starting off a load of washing… then mum and dad called. GAH. We don’t normally talk for more than ten minutes, so I tried to talk while simultaneously doing everything else. But it wasn’t just chit chat, they wanted to talk about the details of our holiday in September, and I couldn’t remember the exact dates that they were asking about. And seriously, if I had to turn on the computer to get the details AND cook AND do washing AND think in Chinese, I think my head would have exploded!
Eventually the phone cut off, and since we were nearing the end of our conversation, they didn’t call back. Thank goodness – I could focus on making dinner again! I love my parents, but how on earth do they manage to always call while I’m cooking??
I know that I’m not the only food blogger who struggles with this. Basically, I eat more than I blog, which means I have a rather large amount of photos accumulated. In order to get through some of them, I’m going to cram several places into a couple of posts. After that maybe I’ll tackle the photos of food I’ve cooked but haven’t blogged?
We went to Dead Man Espresso with Maria and Daz a couple of months ago. They had a very short food menu on the weekend (I’m not sure if it’s different during the week) which was a shame. I suppose the focus is on the coffee? I thought my coffee was okay, but others weren’t that impressed with their coffees.
Tea spiced pears
From: Lighten Up
It’s spice week for the Cookbook Challenge and I had SO MANY IDEAS. But guess what else I had a lot of? PEARS. FRIGGIN PEARS. After a brief break from them in my fruit and vegetable delivery box – they reappeared in this week’s box.
So a recipe that used pears that also ticked off this week’s theme? Bonus!
It’s the third birthday of my wee blog, and I’ve decided that it’s time I moved it to a new home. So – welcome! Please update all links, bookmarks and RSS feeds, and if you see something looking a bit strange, please let me know!
I must say a big thanks to Alastair for helping me sort out hosting, wordpress installation, and being a sounding board for my stupid tech questions. Plus he didn’t threaten me with divorce when I threw tantrums over issues relating to HTML, importing posts, and image editing, when he would have been within his rights to! And thanks to you as well, for being here and reading and commenting. Yay! (Can you feel the love? Awww. Hugs all around!)
And since it’s not a birthday without cake, here’s a chocolate mud cake for the occasion. I actually made this cake for a work friend’s birthday (hello Ms Carina! xx) and here it is doing double duty as my blog birthday cake.