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My perfect summer 2010/2011 January 24, 2011

Posted by Sarah in beach, beautiful, chocolate, christmas, dining in, friends, holiday, picnic, Sydney.
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Christmas truffles laid out prettily in their coloured cases

 

Christmas Day feasting with our Sydney family

 

Beare Park in Elizabeth Bay for a Picnic in the sunshine

 

New Years Eve with our sparklers

New Years Eve fireworks

Stunning view of the Estuary from our Holiday spot in Red Rock

Salmon Blinis for an afternoon snack

Checking out the walkway through the wetlands

The flooded local Bowling Club

We gorged on freshly caught local prawns - so delicious!

Played in the odd sea foam that was on the beach

The view of Red Rock from the beach

The Caterer July 1, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, bread, business, butter, cake, catering, chocolate, custom order, food, fruit, green, home made, homemade jam, jam.
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I had a catering job yesterday.  12 people for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.  Of course, although I took my camera with me, I managed to forget to take photos of most of the food I provided.  Here’s what I did manage to capture:

The olive oil dough resting before being cut into Panini buns.

The cooked Panini buns.

You’ll just have to imagine them filled with Free Range Roast Pork, my home made Harissa, crisp Lettuce and fresh Tomato.  Or Free Range Roast Chicken, Avocado, home made Basil Aioli and crisp Lettuce.  Or Rare Roast Beef, Horseradish Cream and Rocket.

This fruit platter looked so pretty I had to take a photograph of it, even though it was all secured in plastic wrap.  This platter accompanied a platter of freshly baked scones, home made jams and whipped cream.  A very lavish start to the day.

Double chocolate and toasted walnut brownie.

A close up of the decadent brownie.

The afternoon fruit platter to accompany said decadent chocolate brownie.

If you’re in Sydney, and are interested in having me cater your next function send me a message or comment on this post.

Our week of food and good times May 20, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, cake, chocolate, dining out, draft snake, family, food, holiday, mum, sewing, soup.
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Yesterday I kissed and hugged my Mother goodbye, and watched as the cab she was in pulled away from the curb and headed to the airport.  It is always to special to have her visit, but so bittersweet when she has to leave again.  You see, she’s a special person my Mum.  She’s funny, and silly, and couldn’t care less what people think about her.  She’s creative, but doesn’t know it.  She has a killer sweet tooth.  She makes me feel safe, and warm, and loved.  And she makes me giggle like crazy.  I love that.  I love my Mum.

We did our best to blend in with the Ladies who Lunch crowd.  I think we looked like frauds, but that’s ok with me.

We ate plenty of cake.  An absolute necessity when Mum is around.  This is a little Lemon Polenta cake from the lady at the Saturday markets in Kings Cross.  Delicious.

We caught the bus to Balmain and ate lunch, and too much cake at Adriano Zumbo Cafe.  This one is called Ginger.  Incredible!  Go there, eat this.  Be sure to share, it’s a monster.

There was plenty of sugar-induced giggling going on

We ate at the ever impressive Cafe Sopra in Potts Point

Zucchini Flowers stuffed with 5 italian cheeses.  Perfect every time.

The Jerusalem Artichoke, Broad Bean and Swimmer Crab Soup is to die for.  Perfect in every way.  I do pity the poor kitchen hand who has to peel all those broad beans each day though.

Mum also helped me service my sewing machine, purchased a bunch of my soap, and took home Webley the Whale and Enid the draft snake.

It was a very special week indeed, and I’m so glad we had it all to ourselves.  Till next time!

Book goodness September 4, 2009

Posted by Sarah in baking, book, bread, butter, cake, chocolate, Craft, gift, sewing, soap.
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Thanks to a very generous birthday voucher to Kinokuniya bookstore, i’m now the owner of three very cool books!  I can’t wait to get baking and bread making this weekend.

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Thank you Brian and Helen!!!

Self employed July 20, 2009

Posted by Sarah in baking, bread, cake, cheese, chocolate, food, vegetables.
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I did my first paid catering gig last week.  The company requested round food to go with their theme of “The Wheels on the Bus”.

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Rosewater meringues, chocolate brownies, chocolate cupcakes.

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Oatcakes with blue and cheddar cheeses.

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Falafel with yoghurt dipping sauce, and lamb meatballs with tomato dipping sauce.

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Chicken and watercress crositini, and tomato and dijon tarts.

My business cards are ready and so am I!

Photos by my good friend Elizabeth Clarkson.

A less than lazy Saturday November 9, 2007

Posted by Sarah in baking, beef, bread, chocolate, dining in, food, home made, markets, organic, recipe, vegetables.
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I like to spend time filling my larder.  Preparing for future culinary sensations.  Modern housewifery.

The weather here has been appalling for the last few weeks, and I love it.  I love the opportunity to stay indoors, don my apron and create.  This Saturday just past Joh and I embarked on a somewhat mammoth cooking bonanza.  Here’s what we achieved with our 10 hours.

First of all we had to do some shopping for ingredients.  Down to the markets for lemongrass, ginger, red capsicum, coriander, limes, chillies.  Off to the butcher for some beef bones.  To the supermarket for wholemeal flour and onions.  Back to the Thai supermarket later for tamarind and more lemongrass.  The first thing we did when we got home from our shopping trip was to heat the oven up to roast the beef shin bones.  This is to release the flavours of the bones to make really good home made beef stock.

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Joh prepared some capsicums for roasting while I got to work on some homemade bread.

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The bread was put on top of the computer to rise, then the beef bones and capsicums went in to roast.  The next step for me was to make some home made mince meat for my christmas mince pies.  This year I made a traditional fruit mince mixture, and also another mix made from figs, chocolate and ginger.  The second mixture is great for people that don’t like traditional fruit mince pies.  The recipe can be found here.  I tweaked the recipe slightly and used organic where I could.  I also used half white chocolate and half dark chocolate for a point of difference.

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The bones came out of the oven and went into the stock pot along with spring onions, brown onions and ginger that Joh prepared.  The stock was left to cook over a low heat for about 3 hours.

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The capsicums came out of the oven, were peeled and bagged in portions and popped in the freezer.

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I kept the organic apple peels from the fruit mince from earlier and made some fruit tea too.  This takes some time in the oven on a very low heat so we got to work on that while we waited for the bread to cook.

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Now the reason we wanted to cook today at all.  Chilli Jam.  This is a thai-style chilli jam, full of fish sauce and sprimp paste.  I love to have it in the fridge to give stir fries a lift, and Joh will just eat it by the spoonful whenever I’m not looking :)  We also made up a batch of Red Curry Paste so that we can make our own Massaman Beef Curries at home.  Thats the chilli jam on the left and the red onions and lemongrass dry frying in the right hand pan for the Red Curry.

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This is the finished chilli jam.  And the baked bread.  And the two types of fruit mince.

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The beef stock was cooled overnight and the thick layer of fat was removed.  The beef stock is now happily waiting in the freezer.  We froze the Red Curry Paste in ice cube trays so that we can just take out as many as we need to make a meal.  It’s 7pm and we’re both really tired and can’t be bothered cooking for ourselves after a huge day in the kitchen, then a big clean up.  We contemplated going out to eat but resisted the temptation and stayed in.

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The photo really doesn’t do this meal justice.  Organic scrambled eggs with coriander and organic tomatoes.  Organic sunflower sprouts, mushrooms and asparagus, and our own homemade bread.  Perfect, simple and easy.   We gobbled this down in five minutes, both very happy we didn’t leave the house to eat someone else’s food.

Lindt Chocolate Cafe June 30, 2007

Posted by Sarah in cake, chocolate, dining out, food.
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We left the Craft Show grumpy, tired and hungry.  What to do… what to eat… Chocolate of course!

Neither of us had been to the Lindt cafe before so expectations were high.

It was raining outside, the automatic doors wouldn’t close, and we had to wait for 10 minutes to be seated.  Good start.

Once we were seated we were presented with a menu consisting of chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.  I actually was feeling like a little bite of something savoury first, but they had run out of sandwiches.  Cake it is then.

I ordered the Black Forest Cake and a Lindt Hot Chocolate.  The cake arrived about 30 seconds after we ordered, before our drinks.  It wasn’t a very exciting cake.  It tasted of tinned cherries, cheap cream and overly sweetened chocolate icing.  And at $11 I was expecting something a little more tasty.  The hot chocolate was very nice though, and as I looked around the restaurant I noticed plenty of people who had ordered just a hot chocolate.  Smart.  $5.50 for the hot chocolate but its enough for 3 cups, they give you a little jug of melted chocolate (your choice – milk or dark), and about 500ml of hot frothed milk.  They could have swapped the prices around – cake $5.50, hot chocolate $11 and I would have been happy.

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My buddy ordered a mocha ($5), which came with real chocolate in the glass and sprinkled on top.  It was declared the best that she’s had in Sydney!  Profiteroles ($11) were three tiny cream filled balls, covered with chocolate ganache, sitting on a disk of pure chocolate.  I think the disk of chocolate was what made this a winner.

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Verdict – go for a hot drink and a chocolate, but give cake the flick.  You can have mass-produced cakes anywhere in Sydney.