Monday, January 30, 2012

Aimee Chose

Aimee is studying France at school and suggested we have a French themed evening. Robert found two (1 & 2) recipes for Beef Bourguignon and combined them to produce a very tasty stew. This was accompanied by green beans, broccoli and mashed potatoes.

Janice had this recipe pointed out to her by three different people during the week. She decided it was rich and fancy enough to be called a gateaux and therefore was a French dessert. It sure is rich! and very yummy. It was served with whipped cream and some lovely tiny sweet round grapes and the juice and seeds of a pomegranate. It would have looked fabulous with the cream heaped on top and the fruit and pomegranate juice on top of that but one of us does not eat cream and all of us knew we were never going to eat all the cake that night!

Nana and Robert won the second game, Alex and Jennifer won the first.... Grumps didn't win at all that night!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

And the dessert was cascading cassata

There were six of us for dinner. We asked a passerby for a theme and she said Italian. So there was a Perfect Pasta Sauce and Cascading Cassata. Janice made the pasta sauce: 500 gm prime beef mince, 500 gm good preservative free bacon, three onions, one huge clove garlic, 3 large portabella mushrooms, two handfuls of chopped celery, and four cans of tomato (2 x basil and 2 x chilli). The first five ingredients were fried in bacon fat and added to the last two ingredients. This was all stewed for a couple of hours until thick and tasty. It was served with penne and gluten free penne and lots of grated parmesan.

There was also a salad of celery, capsicum, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, avocado and carrot. And vinagrette of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Jennifer made the Cascading Cassata by softening vanilla soy icecream and adding sliced mango and ginger to half of it and chocolate flake, cinnamon and chopped almonds to the other half. This was layered in a bowl with a third layer made from softened berry soy icecream with razz cherries and fresh rasberries added to it. When it was turned out the bottom chocolate layer melted and made a sauce that cascaded over the outside of the icecream cake.

The icecream was accompanied by the second harvest of strawberries from Terry's strawberry patch.

The meal was accompanied by Mission Estage Winery 2009 Hawke's Bay Cabernet Sauvignon and Giesen Marlborough Riesling 2010 provided by Alex.

The first game of crib was won by the guests: Chris and Alex.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Burnt BBQ and Burnt Sugar

The first Sunday night bbq of the season: paleo chicken tenders, lamb chops marinated in red wine, red wine vinegar, Alan Donald's honey, cayenne pepper, minced garlic and olive oil, crumbed sausages, sauted potatoes with rosemary and fried portabella mushrooms with onion. And a dish of coleslaw. The boys managed to burn most of the meat on the bbq but it still tasted really good - the chicken was soft and delish and the chops were a real treat.

The dessert genie again managed to produce excellent, flavoursome, soft, creamy, rich, better-than-the-best-chef-at-the-finest-restaurant brulees in two flavours - eat your heart out Gordon Ramsey! Our two grand-daughters really loved their brulees and watched with great interest while the sugar was burnt on the top. All the dishes were scraped really clean.
The Dairy Brulee
The Coconut Brulee
 The first game was won by Terry and Jennifer - and lost by Robert and Alex.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Its enough to make your hair curl

We have had a few dinners out on Sunday evenings lately, some Sundays have fallen on public holidays and were enjoyed with family and Jennifer has a new pair of curling tongs, curly hair and several burnt fingers...

We had vege sticks and mini poppadums to start, with a dip made of a can of cannellini beans, a shot of fish sauce, a couple of tbs of tahini, the juice of a lemon and a slug of olive oil.  The main course was free range chicken butterflied and roasted with a layer of lemon slices laid on top and some paprika and salt sprinkled over that. The potatoes were parboiled, smashed and sprinkled with rosemary and sea salt before being crisped in a hot oven. Jennifer roasted a medley of vegetables including yellow and green courgettes, kumara, pumpkin, spring onions and carrot.

The first game was won by Terry and Jennifer
Dessert was also by Jennifer - a very yummy fresh fruit salad with melon and berries and a sprinkle of frumble.

The second game was won by Robert and Alex - Janice was washing dishes at the time!