The Cook’s Table Cookbook Cooking Challenge March 20

The Cook’s Table Cookbook Cooking Challenge March 20

As you know I love a bit of a cookbook challenge and my cousin also has a love of cookbooks like I do. So when I visited her in Melbourne in February, we had fun just flicking through the pages of her cookbook collection and I fell in love with The Cook’s Table by Stephanie Alexander. I already have a few of her cookbooks but I love that this one has 25 fun themed menus and photos for every recipe. And the recipes look great too of course!! So my cousin & I decided to do a Julie & Julia style challenge in March to cook as many recipes as we can in this month. I feel like I’m cheating because I have a Thermomix LOL!! I promptly purchased a copy for my self and put rose petals in vodka to make the Rose Petal Liqueur _ It had to steep for a month. I will be going away towards the end of the month but I will take my cookbook with me!! Feel free to join in our challenge it’s going to be delicious fun!!

Pumpkin Scones from the Afternoon Tea menu
Christine’s Rose Petal Liqueur from the Valentine’s Day menu
Yoghurt Flatbread with Garlic and Herb Butter and Guacamole from the Teenagers Birthday menu
Sticky Pork Ribs with Barbeque Sauce from the Feeding a Crowd menu
Thermomix 28 Day Meal Plan 2020

Thermomix 28 Day Meal Plan 2020

YAY!! Thermomix Australia have revamped the 28 Day Challenge – there are 2 to choose from the 28-Day Fresh Start Meal Plan and the 28-Day Savings Meal Plan. I have decided to do the Savings Meal Plan with some of the new recipes from the Fresh Start Meal Plan included because I have made most of those recipes last time I did the challenge. I will be doing a live facebook video of each recipe everyday (if i miss a day I will make up for it on a different day – I promise!!) And I will be posting a photo of the finished recipe on my instagram, facebook business page and also in the 28 Day Meal Plan facebook group. So who is up for the challenge? It’s a fun way to try new recipes!! I have had to start the on a Friday instead of a Sunday as I will be away towards the end of the 28 days!! Sign up here for free. The recipes are on cookidoo and you can sign up for a 30 day free trial of cookidoo too.

Day 1: Creamy Mustard Chicken Stew – I used sweet potato instead of the potato & I would definitely make it again it was yummy quick and easy!!
Day 2: Lentil Bolognese – the recipe uses lentils from a tin – I cooked my own before starting the recipe.
Day 3: Chocolate ‘feed a crowd’ Cake
Day 4: (Meatless Monday) Vegetable Curry with Cauliflower Couscous
Day 5: Barley Bacon & Chorizo Soup
Day 6: Pastitsio
Day 7: Pork Meatballs with Couscous
Day 8: Fake Away Friday – Quick Chicken Curry
Day 9: Shakshuka
Day 10: Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry
Day 11: Meatless Monday Smoky Beetroot and Black Bean Sliders with Soused Cucumber – served on Buckwheat and Almond Slider Buns.
Day 12: Beetroot Salad with Raita Dressing
Day 12: Texas-style Lovely Legs
Day 13: Apricot Chicken Risotto
Day 14: Kangaroo Harissa Polpette with Lentils and Kale
Day 15: Fake-away Friday Gozleme
Day 16: Health by Chocolate Torte (Skinnymixers recipe)
Day 17: Gluten Free Flour Mix
Day 18: Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary Salt
Day 19: Corned Beef with Mustard Sauce
Day 20: Chopped Asian Salad
Day 20: Open Fish Burgers
Day 21: Coffee-rubbed Beef with Fennel Salad
Day 22: Nasi Goreng
Day 23: Hash Browns with Chive Cottage Cheese
Day 24; Chicken, Leek and Corn Pie
Day 25: Meatless Monday – Pulled BBQ Jackfruit
Day 26: Chunky Bolognese -Skinnymixers recipe
Day 27: (My last day) Chocolate Cream Pie – I added cherries on top of the chocolate custard!!
My Food Styling Tips

My Food Styling Tips

I’m doing some fun workshops this year to help people with the basics of food styling and basic phone photography. Let’s face it almost everyone has a phone with a camera and they have it with them most of the time, so it’s quick & easy to use.

This topic could go on for ever & it’s also very personal too – What style of food photography do you like? What draws you to a picture in a recipe book, foodie magazine or to double tap on an instagram image? It’s important to develop your own style and it may not happen straight away, the first thing is to just start and have fun practicing too!!

2 images almost the same and each person will choose a different favourite for a different reason. Which one do you like the best and why?

This is just the start of what is to come, so stay tuned for more updates on this post…………..

Dani Valent’s Signature Dish Series at Lee Ho Fook with Victor Liong

Dani Valent’s Signature Dish Series at Lee Ho Fook with Victor Liong

What a wonderful relaxing way to spend an afternoon – eating and drinking, learning about flavour combinations and secrets to success for homestyle cooking. See all the official photos of the day here. Lee Ho Fook meaning translates as Β ‘good fortuneΒ for your mouth’ and it certainly was!!

We were greeted by Dani Valent & Victor Liong and introduced to the other 8 guests. We were given a fig leaf iced tea to try (I’m going to try to make that recipe soon too) and some fried wontons to get us started. Victor talked us through our Asian sauce tasting, so we could understand the importance of balancing the flavours and we were given a ratio chart along with our recipes too. We tasted Victor’s signature dish Steamed Barramundi with Ginger & Spring Onion Oils. Victor said he bought a Thermomix just to make the Spring Onion Oil – because it is so easy to make with the Thermomix. It’s a great way to use up all the green parts of the spring onions and check out the awesome colour too!!

Steamed Barramundi, Ginger and Spring Onion – recipe by Victor Liong

After a tour of the restaurant, we had a stir fry demo 2 ways – restaurant verses home. Both delicious, but it’s a little slower for us at home not having the same equipment as the restaurant.

Next we had our Martini masterclass, where we watched the Lee Ho Fook version of a Vesper Martini being made and then we had to taste test it too!! Tough day I know!! As we said our goodbyes, we were given our goodie bags with take recipes, asian dipping sauce, vesper martini and Lee Ho Fook Tea. As you can see I had lots of fun recreating the easy, delicious and adaptable recipes at home.

Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Garlic Stems and Beansprouts ( I couldn’t get Beansprouts!!)
Vesper Martini
Northern Tasmania Instameet January 2020

Northern Tasmania Instameet January 2020

WOW! What a great way to start the year, you would not believe how excited I was for this day and it turned out to be even more spectacular than I imagined. I had never been to any of our destinations but they had been on my to do list, so it was just perfect in every way including the weather.

It takes about 2 hours to drive from Hobart to Launceston and thankfully I was able to get a lift with my wonderful Hubby who had a day planned up that way anyway and we gave my friend Natalie a lift too. We met her just after 6am!! The drive went quickly as we hadn’t caught up for ages so chatted (mainly about food) non stop all the way, this helped us to work up an appetite.

We met at the Harvest Market in Launceston at 8.30 for breakfast which we had pre ordered along with coffees. The market was great and especially as we had such perfect weather. It started to get quite busy too.

Seven Springs Farm – beautiful organic produce
This was one of our delicious breakfast options
I had ordered the Reuben Sandwich from Meat Bread Cheese

We headed off to our next destination Bridestowe Lavender Estate. It was so wonderful, I have never seen so much lavender all together. Our day only got better, with the most wonderful Tasmanian spread for us in the lavender fields, including King Island Dairy cheeses, lavender cake and Jansz sparkling wine. Music from an old vintage French record player added to the atmosphere. It was like being in a wonderful lavender dream. After we finished our feast we walked through the fields for our VIP helicopter ride over the farm. It was so spectacular.

Our next stop was Clover Hill Wines. We were given some beautiful sparkling wine and a gorgeous platter to share (because of course we needed more food!!) It was such a relaxing time sitting outside looking at the beautiful view of the vineyard while sipping on the wine and tasting all the delicious food on the platter. Such a wonderful place to visit.

The last stop was Architects of Air installation as part of the MONA FOMA summer festival. It’s hard to explain but it was 20 mins of fun exploring inside this magical, surprising place – a maze of colours, patterns and sounds. A feast for the senses and for us photographers!! I feel truly grateful for this wonderful day and I will definitely be visiting all these places again very soon.