Saturday, December 10, 2011

Brothers and Arms

The two boys are enjoying renewing their relationship.

Alex has decided to concentrate on providing the wine for our Sunday night dinners. Leaving Terry to make his wonderful mashed potato accompanied tonight by courgette slices lightly fried and frozen beans from last summer's garden topped with a knob of butter. Robert provided tropical fish parcels - snapper topped with banana and lime slices, shredded coconut and a little chilli powder, baked in a hot oven for 20 minutes.

The first game was won by Janice and Robert, the second by Terry and Jennifer.

Janice and Terry visited the berry farm this morning and bought raspberries and strawberries. The strawberries were hulled and cut in half then marinated in icing sugar and lime and vanilla syrup. The raspberries were made into a sorbet with a little sugar and egg whites. This was served with the strawberries and whipped cream - both dairy and coconut cream to cater to various tastes.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Farmers' Fare

A mixed grill and a green salad with a potato salad as well.  .

Gluten free, preservative free bacon, gf sausages, prime scotch fillet and tiny rare lamb roast accompanied by green salad with broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, capsicums, chick peas, cucumber, carrot & tomatoes dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. The potato salad included microwaved potatoes, green beans and mayonnaise

The lower one in the photo is the coconut version - you can see it is a slightly different colour but the texture is lovely - just substitute a thick coconut cream for the dairy cream and use your usual recipe

Dessert was Terry's specialty, creme brulee, including a coconut cream version for the dairy free among us.

The first game was won by Alex & Robert, the second by Jennifer and Terry.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

There are Macaroons Left

We are planning to go to Croatia in a year or two. Robert cooked this very yummy Croation fish-paprikash for us this evening. He improved the recipe by adding 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1tsp of garam masala. He also substituted the tomato sauce with a tin of basil and tomato. Jennifer created a lovely hot vegetable salad with microwaved cauliflower and yams which were finished in a frying pan with olive oil and parsley. She mixed these with tomatoes, avocado slices, spring onions and mayonnaise. Terry produced his usual creamy smooth mashed potatoes.

Dessert was a parfait of home grown black boy peaches topped with vanilla custard made with soy milk and whipped coconut cream. The finishing touches were toasted sliced almonds and an almond macaroon.

The evening team one the first game, the Morning team won the second game.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Rewards after the Awards

It was the day after the Business Awards Dinner today. The Disappointing Business Awards Dinner. So we rewarded ourselves with a delicious dinner. Fish, chips and mushy peas - glammed up as we were last night.

There was a special salad featuring fresh blanched asparagus, nuts, capsicums (yellow and orange) julienned cucumber, mesclun lettuce and tomato quarters. There were oven roasted wedges, mushy peas and cod baked in coconut cream. (Saute grated ginger with minced garlic in butter. Add spoonful of coconut flour, 1/2 tsp fish sauce and one tin of coconut cream. Butter dish and lay fish in single layer. Cover with cream mixture and sprinkle with ground almonds. Bake 30-40 min in hot oven).

The first two games were won by the evening people. Funny that, both games yesterday morning were won by the morning people.

Dessert was a visual symphony composed by Jennifer with sweet tasting strawberries enhanced by a lidful of ouzo complemented by rock melon with a soy yoghurt accompaniment.

The final game of crib was won by dadadada! the morning people, but it *was* getting late...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Circumstance and no Pomp

It was the day after "The Last Night of the Proms" today.

We were all tired and didn't want to make much effort to cook dinner. We decided on an easy roast of beef.

Rare roast beef with potatoes, parsnip, kumara and broccoli. The roast vegetables were covered in chopped rosemary, sea salt and olive oil. Janice roasted them in a very hot oven for an hour, taking the beef out after 45 min to let it rest. She made gravy with the meat drippings and a mustard sauce with whole mustard, ground mustard, tapioca flour and red wine.

Janice and Robert obviously partied harder and longer than Jennifer and Terry because the first game of crib resulted in a double skunk to J & T and unfortunately the other two games, while close were also won by J&T.

But to be fair, Janice and Robert were distracted by Terry's hair - he had red streaks put in for the Proms - they were supposed to wash out but they haven't...

However, we were still a bit washed out as we forgot to take a photo of the lovely dessert...  strawberries, grapes, kirsch and vanilla accompanied by whipped cream and coconut custard.

Coconut Custard
1 tin coconut cream
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp vanilla sugar

Mix the last three ingredients to a smooth cream in a saucepan, add the coconut cream. Bring to the boil stirring constantly. Allow to cool.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tonight's dinner was brought to you by

the letters f & r - we had: Fresh fish pie, French beans, Frisked potatoes, Fresh fruit salad and Frumble.

Jennifer made the best fish pie we have ever had:
Take enough fresh fish for your number of people, 2/3 blue cod, 2/3 smoked hoki. Cut in pieces and put in large dish. Fry onions in butter and lay on top of fish, reserving the left over butter for the white sauce. Add a can of kernel corn (reserving the liquid for the sauce). Add frozen peas and then 6-8 hard boiled eggs cut in half. Make a white sauce with corn kernel liquid, butter, a bit of coconut milk, rice flour, 300 ml milk and a bottle of cream. Pour over, sprinkle grated cheese on top and use gluten free breadcrumbs and grated butter on top of that. Put in moderate oven until warmed through and cheese is melted and crumbs are toasted.

Terry frisked the potatoes with his usual flare. Janice microwaved the french beans expertly and added plenty of butter.

The between course game was won by the evening people.

Jennifer also made the excellent fruit salad - which included marshmallows, dried fruit, glace cherries, fresh pineapple and tinned peaches. It was accompanied by frumble: chop 3 meringues up, add to toasted nuts and sprinkle on the fruit.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Absent Friends & Man-Made Meals

It's Anne's birthday today - Anne of Canada, Anne with the wheelbarrows!  We toasted Anne and wished her a Happy Birthday.   Are you right, Anne?

Happy Birthday Anne

Robert made enough fish cakes for her and Terry made enough mashed potatoes and veges for Anne as well.  Unfortunately Anne is in Canada and we is here.  So we couldn't celebrate her birthday here with her, but we did the next best thing . . .

Robert accused Janice and Jennifer of abrogating their responsibility, but they called it 'delegation' and gave Robert and Terry a free hand to organise and cook the Sunday dinner.  Terry commented that neither of them were right, as the true assessment of the situation was, that the ladies went on strike !  The men were more than happy to exercise their cullinary skills and produce another gastronomic delight while the women exercised their democratic rights.

This all resulted in a beautiful meal of spicy Thai fish cakes made gluten-free by Robert, mashed potatoes expertly mashed to a cream by Terry and stir-fry vegetables (celery, red and yellow capsicum and Portabella mushrooms) fried in lots of butter, also by Terry.

Before the main meal, the first round of crib was won by Jennifer and Terry.  Robert and Janice narrowly avoided a double skunk!!  Between courses the situation was reversed.

The dessert was creme brulee, made by Terry - his best effort so far!  (mind you, all his efforts are pretty good).  The dairy-free version was made with coconut cream.  The real version had added blueberries.  Both were delicious.This is the recipe Terry uses. To make the dairy free version he just substituted coconut cream for cream but made no other changes.

Coconut Brulee

Blueberry Creme Brulee

Sunday, October 2, 2011

No Doubt

There was no doubt about what we were going to have tonight as Jim was coming, because Jim-would-you-like-fries-with-that was the McDonalds franchisee in a previous life. We planned gourmet burgers, wedges and icecream sundaes - with nuts.

 There were gluten free buns for those that needed them (which were home made  this afternoon by Janice along with everything else for the burgers). Here is a link to the recipe she used for the buns. And the recipe for the gf patties is below. The wedges were tossed in paprika and sea salt.

We had beetroot, gherkins, fried eggs, mushrooms, plum sauce, tomato sauce, pear chutney, fried onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, mayonnaise. turkish pide bread, and of course, lamb & beef patties.
The first game of crib was played by Jim (who hasn't played since he was a child), Jennifer (who partnered Jim), Terry and Robert (who were persuaded to partner each other just this once).  Jim and Jennifer won because Terry was still in shock from his stunning loss on Saturday when Janice and Robert both skunked him.

We built our own icecream sundaes

Dessert was provided by Robert who kept with the theme and hunted down icecream wafers and icecream. He also brought bananas, strawberry sauce, whipped cream, mandarin slices and chopped nuts so we could build our own icecream sundaes.

The second game was played by the normal partners and was closely won by Robert and Janice because Jennifer was distracted by Janice's new frying pan...

OK - Gluten Free Hamburger Patties
600-700 gm premium beef mince (ground beef with very little fat)
300-350 gm lamb mince (ground lamb with some fat)
3 eggs
1 red capsicum - remove seeds and stalk, cut in quarters
1 medium size onion - peeled and cut in quarters
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 portobello mushrooms - peeled
salt and pepper

Put mushrooms, capsicum, onions and eggs together in a blender, whizz till smooth. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl with your hands. Shape into patties and bake 30 min on greased oven dish at 180 deg C  or until cooked through.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In Celebration of the Irish . . .

In honour of Ireland winning against Australia, we chose Irish Stew as part of our main course.  Lamb shoulder chops, carrot, parsnip, celery, Portabello mushrooms, tin spicy tomatoes, two types of onions from the garden - complete casserole twice cooked, long and slow.  Accompanied with Terry's beautifully smooth mashed Irish potatoes (beaten as strongly as the Australians were beaten in their game last night).   Also green runner beans from Terry's garden and Savoy Spiced Cabbage, steamed.  Followed by a game of crib - won by the morning people (Robert and Janice) [Tubby Shaw].

Jennifer escorted a beautiful gluten free version of an old comfort food - fruit crumble - to the table.  Made with 'big as' organic blueberries and a smaller portion of mixed frozen berries, topped with crushed (just like the Irish did to the Australian) pecan nuts, nob of butter and a smidgeons of brown sugar.   We were so overwhelmed by the beauty of the dish, we forgot to take the photograph before we went straight to divvy-ing up the dessert!  Photo is of the leftover pudding only.  Second game of crib about to start... aaaaand was won by the morning people again!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Roast Lamb and Lemon Meringue

Carrot sticks, celery sticks, homemade hummus and bought guacamole

For tonight's meal the theme was the sixties (decided upon after the event (T)). The first course of carrot and celery sticks and dip (which was nothing like the sixties (R)) were consumed during the first game of crib - which was NARROWLY won by T & Jen.

Roast leg of lamb, beans from the garden and frozen, fresh cabbage with butter and roast potatoes, yams, parsnips, kumara with lots of rosemary, olive oil and salt - and of course, gravy made from the drippings with chick pea flour
Jennifer loved the roast vegetables, they were crunchy on the outside, juicy inside, tasty and plenty of them.  Terry loved the beans because he grew them and he loves beans. Robert liked the rosemary because he has a fascination with Rosemary. Janice was happy the meal turned out just as she had hoped - the gravy didn't burn, the roast was cooked at the same time as the vegetables and not too dry. 

A break between courses for a game of crib
Another win to T & Jen - R and Jan want to point out that they won two games LAST week AND on Saturday morning....

Lemon Meringue pie with butter & pecan nut crust.
Last course was a fabulous adaptation of an old 60s favourite. Jen took the Lemon Meringue pie to gluten free heights with a crust made of crushed pecans and butter, lemon custard thickened with brown rice flour and a lovely soft meringue. We all ate far too much of this.

All leftovers are divided equally giving an easy dinner for all four on Monday night. A great bonus to our lovely end to the week.