Thermomix Degustation – Grainger Style


The idea started last year when I commented to one of my friends that I haven’t used my Thermomix as much as I should.

Terry, my friends husband said that they would invite us over one free weekend to have a Thermomix dinner, however 12 months on and we still hadn’t organised something.

Thermomix. Receta MiniMagdalenas

Thermomix. Receta MiniMagdalenas (Photo credit: chocolatisimo)

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So I thought I might have another Thermomix dinner party with a few friends, after mentioning to a couple of friends, it has now turned into a Thermomix Degustation dinner, Grainger Style.

One of our friends sells the machines, so I asked Margy what she thought of the idea and she thought it was fantastic, so I mentioned my idea to a few more people, ladies who don’t have a thermie, and they too were excited.
The general consensus was great idea, so I decided on a date 12th April (Terry & Marina were on holiday until 11th and so were Diane & Coleman) and we have other friends going away on the 16th, so the 12th was the date.
I sat down and went through the Everyday cookbook (the new one), wrote down a whole list of recipes that I thought we could cook easily.  I was short a few, so rang Margy and asked her to give me some ideas.
Between the 2 of us we came up with a fantastic menu for our degustation.  By this time, I had loads of people asking if they could come, due to space, unfortunately we had to limit the numbers to 28.  Including Greg and myself after the invites and responses we have 25 attendees.
We decided that we would have our dinner party at the club (MOFSC), however, I won’t go into details, but the powers that be decided to put up too many  roadblocks, in my opinion unwarranted, (they obviously did not want us to be there), so now we are having it at our house.  Since starting this, we have had that many people ask if they can come to the next one, so hopefully if everything goes well tomorrow, there will be plenty more to come, but we will have to limit the number to 25 if we have a sit down meal.
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Greg set up all the tables and chairs last weekend, cleaned the windows and is generally being a good sport about the whole thing, given that he does not think much of the thermie.
I have spent this last week sorting out menus, ingredient lists and quantities, emailing all invited and asking for donations of food, that we require small quantities so that we  don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy stuff especially if we only need 50g of something.
I cant believe how generous everyone has been, I think that everyone has donated something to the mix
We now have 6 machines coming, wow!! I am sure it will be a fantastic evening.
We wanted to create and cook a large variety of food to be able to utilise the machine as much as possible, hence the degustation.
I have sorted out a few of the pantry items,both out of my pantry and some of the invited guests have given me their donations early.
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Table cloths, table settings, the table pretties (balloons & marshmallows) organised by Shelley and Marina, meat by Margy, groceries by Greg & Lee, thermies, and accessories by Marina, Shelley, Margy, Lee, Michelle and Julie, name place  settings by Maxine,lots of donations from all of the other ladies.
Thanks girls.
Our menu for our inaugural Thermomix degustation :-
Cocktails
Midori Splice
Strawberry Daiquiri
Peach Bellini
Tropical splice daiquiri
Home made lemonade
Appetisers
Sundried tomato dip
Herb & garlic dip
Capsicum & sundried tomato dip
Chicken liver pate
Foccacia – dukkah
Pizza Bianca
Entrees
Chicken Valute soup
Pumpkin feta zucchini field mushroom
Herbal chicken hors doeuvres
Arancini with saffron aioli
Mains
Chicken Valute meal
Lamb rack with port sauce on mashed potato
Beef stroganoff & mashed potato
Curry chicken & rice
Mushroom risotto
Desserts
Sweet chocolate & strawberry pizza
Lemon coconut pudding
Simple almond cheese – dairy free ricotta cheese with quince paste
Sticky date pudding / butterscotch sauce & custard
Fruity berry dream

Review of the Philips Jamie Oliver Home Cooker


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In 2 words, love it.

We have used it nearly we very time we have cooked over the last few weeks, and find it fabulous.  We have not used the grater, slicer component, jus the cooker and we have cooked curries, spag bog tonight, casseroles, soups, chicken cacciatore, roast potatoes and we just love it.

We love that you can brown the meat, cook the onion, then put the rest off the ingredients in the pan, put the lid on and we can finish working at the kitchen bench and it cooks by itself, no stirring, jus put the pasta on, Grumpy won’t let me put it in the cooker, and then tea is cooked.

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Review of the winter cooking class at our club MOFSC – French cuisine


I signed up for cooking classes for winter last week, and the first class was last night. French cuisine.

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I didn’t have anything to eat when I got home from work so by the time I got to the club for the lessons, I was beyond hungry.

We were greeted with a glass of champagne (orange juice in my case) while we waited for all of the participants to arrive.

Once everyone had arrived we made our way into the kitchen we found our possies, mine was on a stool close to the chef so I could hear him.

He handed out the menus and biros to make any notes and then we started.

The entrée was eye fillet steak with creamy mashed sweet potato with champagne & mushroom sauce (full of cream), however we all decided that the entire meal was going to be low or NO fat as there was that much cream and butter on the ingredient lists. The steak was cooked to perfection, I eat my steak medium rare and could not fault it. The sweet potato was roasted whole with the skin on, Izzy (the chef) explained that if you boil the sweet potato it absorbs a great deal of water and is not as creamy when mashed.

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The main course was lobster thermidor and potato wedges, the lobster was cooked just to perfection, the secret to the wedges, according to Izzy, is in your deep fryer, par cook them, take them out let them cool slightly and then put them in the fridge, when you are ready to cook them ready to eat, ensure that the oil is at temperature and put them straight in. They were just fantastic.

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The dessert was apple soufflé with salted caramel sauce, the only way to explain this was absolutely devine!!. I have eaten a lot of soufflés in my time, but this was the best, I suppose because we participated in the cooking, I peeled the apples.

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Sorry about the picture, I remembered to take the photo after I had eaten it.

The staff had decorated the table for the meal beautifully.

The cost of the course including instruction, a glass of champagne of arrival, a 3 course meal and drinks during the meal was $45. What an absolute bargain and a great night out.

I had said to Grumpy before I left, that I wouldn’t be surprised if one of our friends was there as she participates in most things at the club. Both her and her husband were there, they both asked where Grumpy was and I said that he didn’t want to come.

When I got home I asked him if he had wanted to come, his response was that he wasn’t invited!!!! I asked if he would like to come to the next class and he said NO! I didn’t feel guilty at all.

I have booked into all 4 classes. I would certainly recommend them to any one who wants to learn how to cook something as well as a nice night out. The next one is on Grumpy’s birthday (ooh!!) and the next morning we fly to Sydney for the boat show so looking forward to it on all counts.

One of the questions on the questionnaire about the evening was what would you like to be included in the next course. When Izzy asked Sharon to pass him the brown onion to cut up for the thermidor sauce, she said they didn’t have any, we would just have to use the red onions, everyone thought it was so funny. So my answer to this question was brown onions. LOL!!!

The highlight of the night was when we sat down to the meal, Izzy, his assistant Sharon (his wife) Caitlyn (I think the title is correct, function co-ordinator for the club) and Tanja (not sure of her job title, but she is always at the club organising the wait staff and restaurant, so I apologise if I have got this wrong) these guys sat with us and joined in with the meal.

 

 

 

 

 

Grumpy’s beef; vegetable soup


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We had some vegetable soup last night at Mindarie Marina out on the jetty, it was ver cold, one of our friends had made some vegetable soup and she shared it with all who were sitting out there in the cold with their beanies and nana rugs. It was just the thing to warm us up.
Might not look fantastic but tastes great, fills the hole and is nice and warm

 

Restaurant review – Artizan Mandurah (formerly The Stage Door)


Mandurah Foreshore

Mandurah Foreshore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grumpy tried to ring and book tea for 4 at the stage door, I had told him the evening before that the restaurant had changed it’s name to Artizan (mummy told me, because I asked her to ring the stage door and get a quote for catering the food for her 70th birthday party that we are having at our house when she found out the name had changed) and the phone number was not in use any more. He drove to the restaurant made a booking and grabbed a business card.

Our reservation was for 6.30pm but we arrived at 6.15pm and sat at the bar for a drink, unfortunately they didn’t have Kalhua or Tia Maria, the only things I drink so I settled for a squash, Grumpy ordered a Hahn 3 1/2   and the Sharon  & Carl arrived, ordered their drinks and commented on the amount of variety of beers that would be on tap in the near future.

We were talking to the Venue Manager before we went to our table about the issues with most restaurants in Mandurah where the service is slow and the wait staff walk around with blinkers and don’t offer more drinks to keep the patrons satisfied, she advised us that this wouldn’t happen. We thought we would wait and see.

We made our way to our table anxious to see the menu as it is great to go to a new restaurant and try the menu.

The others ordered chorizo and scallops for their entrée and I ordered chicken tenderloins

The chorizo and scallops was beautifully presented on long rectangle plates with a slice of lime, my chicken tenderloins were on a bed of sweet potato mash, with rocket, chilli jam, freshly steamed asparagus, it was presented beautifully and we couldn’t fault our entrees, they were divine.

We all ordered a different main, Grumpy ordered the Moroccan chicken tagine with dukkah cous cous, Carl ordered the rib eye with salad and chips, Sharon ordered the chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of fresh vegetables and I ordered the lamb back straps on creamy mash with wilted spinach and roasted tomato jus. They were all exceptional meals.

All through the meal the staff were attentive, constantly offered drinks when our glasses were nearing empty and asked if our meals were acceptable.

We ordered dessert, Sharon and I had pre ordered the creme brulee with pralene, wafers and ice cream, the boys ordered sticky date pudding, and while we were waiting for our desserts to come we were quite concerned about 2 fellows sitting at the table next to us, they were jigging their legs and had not received a meal at their table for a considerable time, the venue manager brought a plate of garlic bread to the table, they didn’t touch it, we were even more concerned now, they had been there for over an hour with no food,  one of the wait staff spoke to the men and then the venue manager came over and spoke to them again, and about 15 minutes after that, another man walked in and sat on the bench seat at the table, (the small table had only been sent for 2 and not 3) they pulled another table to theirs and ordered their guest a drink.

Our desserts came and our brulee was superb, the sticky date pudding however was a little dry with minimal sauce, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it.

We ordered coffee 1 mugacino and 1 mugacino 1/2 shot for me, the girl that took my order misheard my order and I thought it was a little funny when she asked would I like the cup topped up with hot milk. The coffee that came for was a  macchiato. She apologised profusely and my coffee was brought (hot) not long after.

We finished our meal and the boys went to pay while we stood outside and waited. They discussed the issues with the venue manager, she took it all on board and when they mentioned the fellows seated next to us, she explained that they came in to the restaurant without a booking in the busy meal time and they wanted to wait for their guest as they weren’t sure he would turn up. That settled that.

All in all an excellent evening. Would we go back, definitely.

The position of the restaurant in Mandurah is one of the best, on the water adjoined to the Mandurah performing arts centre.

I wish them well and we will certainly be back. 1 big bonus for us is that we can go by boat, the only draw back is that we can’t pull our boat up against the boardwalk as the pilons are too short and our gunnel would be underneath and not the ideal rafting position, however we can pull up at the old Amalfi (now a chocolate restaurant) jetty and just a little walk to the restaurant and a great night to be had – no driving home, we would just move the boat and anchor in the estuary.

Grumpy made Hot Cross (without the Cross) buns


We left home about 2.30 Saturday afternoon to head down to Dawesville to stay overnight and have tea at the Coast Cafe.

The meal was lovely but the Owner is quite arrogant, we were going to stay and have breakfast and head back to our club for lunch but we overheard the comments that the Owner made to the on duty marina manager and we decided, that we wouldn’t spend the money at his restaurant and we would head back to the club and have a meal there.

Before we left the marina, Grumpy took the little girl up for a walk and bought a Sunday times and read through it on the way home. He found a recipe by Donna Hay for Hot Cross buns and he decided that he would make some.

We had all of the ingredients so he decided to make a batch, we went through all of my baking trays to find a tin that would fit them nicely.

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Lee’s Chilli sauce made in the Thermomix


Ingredients
250g onions (I used brown onions)
60g ginger skin removed (I used 1 whole piece)
1 large bulb garlic
500g chilli (weighed after tops removed) (I used chillies out of our garden and bought the rest)

1kg tomatoes

80g raw sugar
1 tsp salt
75g apple cider vinegar

Large handful of basil
We Love chilli sauce and it is one thing that Grumpy doesn’t have an issue with me making in the Thermomix.

I collected a pile of chillies from Grumpy’s chilli plants and a large handful of basil from my herb garden and bought the rest of the ingredients to make my chilli sauce. We tend to use a spoonful of the chilli sauce in most meals that we make, and boy does it give the meal a kick

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Chillies from Grumpy’s garden

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My finished jars of chilli sauce

 

Preparation

Put basil, onions, ginger, garlic, chilli and tomatoes in TMX bowl.

Chop on speed 7 for 10 seconds.

Cook for 3 ½ minutes on 100°C
Add sugar, salt and vinegar.

Cook for 45 minutes on Varoma temperature, speed 1.

Put rice basket on top to prevent spitting everywhere

Halfway though cooking time, scrape down TMX lid and put liquid back in bowl

Sterilise your jars while the sauce is cooking

Pour into sterilised jars

Leftovers for tea on Monday


We had leftovers for tea last night after our BBQ with our friends.

I had chorizo, cherry tomatoes, onion and bacon, so I thought I would roast it all with my salad dressing over the top. The dressing is made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sesame seeds. Grumpy cooked the sausages on the BBQ outside, and because I am such a princess, he cut mine in half and cooked both sides until the middle section gets crunchy. When he was finished we had the tomato mix, left over potato salad, sausage and a boiled egg.

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Our Fantastic celebration of Australia Day


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We decorated anything that stayed still on our boat, even Braandi got some, she had a headband with dual flags and a bow tie with the Australian flag. Unfortunately they didn’t last too long, she kept going underneath the chairs so her head band ended up getting broken, I don’t think she was bothered about it.

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The  boys all joined in the fun, some swimming, all drinking some getting towed and 1 brave soul, swam over to play on the trampoline with the little kids, he did have to be rescued.

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Everybody that came contributed to the day, we had a tossed salad from Olivia & Lee, potato salad and mini quiche from Louise & Shane and Kelly, El made lamingtons, both chocolate and strawberry and some special lamingtons with NO coconut for Tash, Ben, El’s partner made salted caramel truffles that were divine, Kyel and Tash brought the sausages and rolls and everyone brought their own drinks. with the exception of Lorraine & Perry, they brought their drinks the next day, swings & merry go rounds, we have enough on their boat at different times and Mr John, who was a last minute visitor. We did a fruit platter, garlic chilli prawns made with my special chilli sauce, they were spectacular, Grumpy’s cacciatore with mint sauce, icy poles (Grumpy only put a handful in the freezer), and my famous true blue dinky di Shepherds pies, picture and recipe below.

The girls were far more sedate and sat on the front of the boat drinking most of the time.

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The girls obviously hid their glasses of drink for the photos, oh wait, they got their drinks after the photos.

My True blue, dinky di Aussie Shepherds pies

My True blue, dinky di Aussie Shepherds pies

Lee’s  True blue, dinky di Aussie Shepherds pies

makes 75 mini shepherds pies

INGREDIENTS

1 kg diced lamb steak

2 onions diced

2 tspn mixed herbs

2 tspns Worcestershire sauce

1 sachet Continental Shepherds pie

1 tin of tinned tomatoes – diced

1 tspn EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1 packet of wontons (Aussie true blue ones obviously, I got mine from the Asian shop near work)

1 kg mashing potatoes

Olive oil spray

Mini muffin trays

1ltr water for potatoes

Salt for the potatoes

PREPARATION FOR THE WONTONS

Precook the wontons

Heat the oven to 180°C

I am lazy so didn’t butter them, I sprayed the mini muffin pans with plenty of Olive oil cooking spray

Place the wontons into the muffin pans, ensuring that the corners don’t touch

spray the top of the wontons liberally with olive oil spray

cook them in the oven until the are slightly brown, I can’t give a time, I just kept checking them.

MEAT PREPARATION

I cooked this recipe in the thermomix, don’t tell Grumpy

Mince meat gently – YOU WANT LUMPS IN IT

add 250g of lamb steak to TMX bowl and mince on speed 10 for 10 seconds,

take this mince out and continue until all meat has been minced

Cut onions in 1/4 and put  in the TMX bowl

Dice onions for 3 seconds speed 4

Saute onions with EVOO for 2 minutes 100°C speed 1

add mixed herbs and saute another 2 minutes 100°C speed 1

Add worcestershire sauce, tinned tomatoes, meat and packet

cook for 20 minutes 100°C speed 1

POTATO PREPARATION

Peel and dice 1kg potatoes

add to TMX bowl

DON’T FORGET THE SALT ( I FORGET EVERY TIME)

Cook for 22 minutes 100°C speed 1

check the potatoes after cooking time to ensure not too soggy

if they are cook for another couple of minutes with the MC off

PUT THEM TOGETHER

Spoon the meat into the cooled wontons

Spoon the mashed potato on top of the meat

Place the trays in the oven approx 180°C and cook for until browned on the top

We are celebrating Australia Day


We are celebrating Australia Day with friends, family and friends of our family anchored at Matilda Bay on Saturday. We are heading up to Mangles Bay on Friday afternoon, then head into Fremantle Wharf on Saturday morning before heading up the river to Matilda Bay to anchor and raft up with 3 other boats.

We will be having a BBQ with sausages and chicken with salad for tea with fruit platter and nibbles throughout the afternoon waiting for the fireworks. We have a great bunch of people coming, they are all contributing to the day.

The fireworks for Australia Day are the biggest in WA and is a big deal.

Tradition is lamb chops, lamingtons and anything else Aussie.

Taken by Peter McGinley using an Olympus C-707...

Taken by Peter McGinley using an Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom digital camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t buy any lamb cutlets as they were $36 per kg and there were only about 4 to a kilo and I wanted at least 2o cutlets 1 for each person. I decided on  dinky dy Aussie Shepherds pie.

I have made 70 mini shepherds pie with lamb steak, that’s nearly as traditional as using leftover lamb roast.

One of the girls coming is making lamingtons (sponge cake coated with chocolate and coconut).

I have bought bunting to go on the side of the boat and Bali style flags for the rear, a beach ball and little ears and an Aussie bow tie – all from Red Dot for Braandi. I have no idea what Grumpy will think of all of this junk going on his boat, just tough like I suppose, you have to get into the spirit of the thing.

Back In Mandurah they are having an Australia Day flotilla, this is where all types of boats get decorated and do an on water convoy through the canal system and then come back and raft up. Unfortunately this is a long weekend and we ALWAYS go away on the boat for a long weekend so we won’t be able to participate.