Monday, July 26, 2010

Food Adventures in July


Yes folks, I have finally taken the plunge! After years of eating everyone else's fabulous crackling pork, I was encouraged to "give it a go" by Huey's Cooking Adventures, a half hour programme which airs on Channel 10 daily at 4.00 pm. Why I happen currently to be a daytime television junkie is another story (and to be honest, I don't always tune in) but on this particular day, Huey made this look so simple that I thought even I could do it. He called it Rack of Pork with Turnip Gratin. I'm not a big turnip fan but on another day he demonstrated Salt Baked Potatoes and I put the two together with some greens on the side.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sydney Good Food & Wine Show 2010

First impressions? The stand layout is much better this year with lots more space between the aisles and the wine tasting stands have been spread out between all the food stands instead of all congregating in the southern end of the exhibition centre. I think the organisers have finally realised that with all the trolleys, prams and other wheeled devices navigating the stands, more room is safer and makes for happier foodies!

Best showbag? Definitely the Barilla sample box for $10 which includes 3 bottles of sauce, 3 types of pasta, a cute 100% cotton apron and a chic pasta tin for storage.

What did I buy? Josophan belgian chocolate peanut brittle, a pretty jar of Ajvar capsicum and vegetable relish from Marco Polo Foods, Rochester Dickensian Ginger Drink (ok it's non-alcoholic but I'm partial to the idea of sticking a hot poker from an open fire into a mug to heat it up!) and some gold grade leaf gelatine, porcini powder and vanilla cocoa nibs from Equagold. Ideas for using said ingredients welcome!

Hmmmm - There's enough room for TWO super absorbant chamois ok shammy stands in a food show? Being the systematic type, I like starting from one end and making my way up and down each aisle to make sure I don't miss a thing so starting at the northern end my first stands were a couple of escapees from a lifestyle show! Ok, ok I know people who love food also love feeding their dogs well and want to erase the lines from under their eyes too but couldn't we have filled the spaces maybe at a cheaper rental for little artisanal places who have a special product but can't afford a stand? I'd say 80% of what was on show can already be purchased in local supermarkets and shops but what I want to see is the stuff you'd normally have to travel a long way to find.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Cupcake Gallery - 2D Workshop

I was going to hand this one over to my better half, the W, as she experienced this first hand. But she prefers to stick with her crocheting and baking, and left the blogging to me. Since I got to do my photography workshop a few weeks ago, it was the W's turn to pursue her passion in the form of cupcake decorating.

As big fans and long time admirers of The Cupcake Gallery's (TCCG) work we were both very excited to find out that they are starting cake decorating workshops.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

When the dog bites, when the bee stings...and it's freezing cold!

Steamboat or hotpot has got to be one of my favourite things of winter (the other being the chance to wear luxury woollens)! Nothing like having a crowd of favourite people around 2 or 3 portable gas stoves or electric hotpots full of chicken or abalone stock and lots of nice things to dip into them, taking hours to cook and eat slowly and catch up with the gossip!

This one took 2 full days to organise - cleaning and decluttering the house (happy reading to the lucky person who picked up 2 years worth of Empire magazines), buying 101 ingredients, making sure all food groups (including dessert) were covered and reconfiguring every table and chair to ensure all could sit around the food!

Chicken stock on one side, abalone on the other

Thinly sliced lamb, wagyu beef, chicken, pork, calamari -