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 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.

cooking classes

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s funny Wednesday 20th June 2013


The sharing of marriage..

The old man placed order for one hamburger, French fries and a drink.

He unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half, placing one half in front of his wife.

He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife

He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them .. As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them were looking over and whispering.

Obviously they were thinking, ‘That poor old couple – all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.’

As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table and politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said, they were just fine – they were used to sharing everything.

People closer to the table noticed the little old lady hadn’t eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

Again, the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said ‘No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything.’

Finally, as the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked ‘What is it you are waiting for?’

She answered

‘THE TEETH.’

 

Today’s funny Thursday 6th June 2013


Frank:   ‘Recently, I was honoured to be selected as a judge at a Curry     Cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and   I   happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking for directions     to the Beer Garden when the call came in. I was assured by the     other two judges (Natal Indians) that the curry wouldn’t be all that spicy     and, besides,   they told me I could have free beer during the tasting,     so I accepted’.
Here   are the scorecard notes from the event:____________________________________________________________________________


CURRY # 1 – SEELAN’S MANIAC MONSTER TOMATO CURRY…

Judge # 1 —   A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2   — Nice smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank) — Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could   remove   dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the   flames   out. I hope that’s the worst one. These people are crazy.

CHILLI #2 – PHOENIX   BBQ CHICKEN CURRY…

Judge # 1   — Smoky, with a hint of chicken. Slight chilli   tang.
Judge # 2 — Exciting BBQ flavour, needs more peppers to be taken   seriously.
Judge # 3   — Keep this out of the reach of children. I’m not   sure what I’m   supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich manoeuvre! They had to rush in more beer
when they saw the look on my face.

CURRY # 3 – SHAMILA’S FAMOUS ‘BURN DOWN THE GARAGE’ CURRY…

Judge # 1   — Excellent firehouse curry. Great kick.
Judge # 2   — A bit salty, good use of chilli   peppers.
Judge # 3   — Call 911. I’ve located a uranium pill. My nose   feels like I have been snorting Drain Cleaner. Everyone knows the routine by   now. Get   me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back,   now my backbone is   in the front part of my chest. I’m getting pissed from all the beer.

CHILLI # 4 – BABOO’S BLACK MAGIC BEAN CURRY…

Judge # 1   — Black bean curry wit h almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2   — Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish   for fish or other   mild foods, not much of a curry.
Judge # 3   — I felt something scraping across my tongue, but   was unable to   taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds?   Shareen, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills.   That 200kg woman is starting   to look HOT…just like this nuclear waste I’m eating! Is chilli an aphrodisiac?

CHILLI # 5 LALL’S LEGAL LIP REMOVER…

Judge # 1   — Meaty, strong curry. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2   — Average beef curry, could use more tomato. Must admit the chilli peppers make a strong   statement.
Judge # 3 — My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and   I can no longer   focus my eyes I farted and four people behind me   needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her   chilli had given me brain damage. Shareen saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I   wonder if   I’m burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.

CHILLI # 6 – VERISHNEE’S VEGETARIAN VARIETY…

Judge # 1   — Thin yet bold vegetarian variety curry. Good balance of   spices and peppers.
Judge # 2   — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions,   and garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3   — My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with   gaseous, sulphuric flames. I am definitely going to shit myself if I fart and   I’m worried   it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to   stand behind   me except that Shareen.   Can’t   feel my   lips anymore. I need to wipe   my arse with a snow cone   ice-cream.

CHILLI # 7 – SELINA’S ‘MOTHER-IN-LAW’S-TONGUE’ CURRY…

Judge # 1   — A mediocre curry with too much reliance on canned   peppers.
Judge # 2   — Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a   can   of chilli peppers at the last moment. (I should take note at this   stage   that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be in a bit of     distress as he is cursing uncontrollably).
Judge # 3   — You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin,   and I wouldn’t   feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world   sounds like   it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with   curry which
slid   unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my   shirt.   At least, during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me. I’ve   decided   to stop breathing – it’s too painful. Screw   it; I’m not   getting any   oxygen anyway. If I need air I’ll just suck it in through   the 4-inch hole   in my stomach.

CHILLI # 8 – NAIDOO’S TOENAIL CURLING CURRY…

Judge # 1   — The perfect ending. This is a nice blend curry. Not too   bold but   spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2   — This final entry is a good, balanced curry.   Neither mild nor   hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge   #3 farted, passed   out, fell over and pulled the curry pot down on top   of himself. Not   sure if he’s going to make it. Poor man, wonder how   he’d have reacted   to really hot curry?
Judge # 3   – No Report.

 

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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

 

Todays funny Monday 13th May 2013


He didn’t like the casserole

And he didn’t like my cake.

He said my biscuits were too hard…

Not like his mother used to make.

I didn’t perk the coffee right

He didn’t like the stew,

I didn’t mend his socks

The way his mother used to do.

I pondered for an answer

I was looking for a clue.

Then I turned around and smacked the shit out of him…

Like his MOMMA used to do.

Todays funny Friday 10th May 2013


Bob’s Letter

Dear Friends,

It is important for men to remember that as women grow older it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as they did when they were younger.  When men notice this, they should try not to yell.

Let me relate how I handle the situation.

When I got laid off from my consulting job and took “early retirement” in April, it became necessary for Nancy to get a full-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we need. It was shortly after she started working that I noticed that she was beginning to show her age.

I usually get home from fishing or golf about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says that she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner.

I try not to yell, instead I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she finally does get dinner on the table.

She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating. It is now not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after supper. I do what I can by reminding her several times each evening that they aren’t cleaning themselves. I know she appreciates this, as it does seem to help her get them done before she goes to bed.

Now that she is older she seems to get tired so much more quickly. Our washer and dryer are in the downstairs laundry. Sometimes she says she just can’t make another trip down those steps.  I don’t make a big issue of this. As long as she finishes up the laundry the next evening I am willing to overlook it.

Not only that, but unless I need something ironed to wear to the Monday club meeting or to Wednesday’s or Saturday’s poker game or to Tuesday’s or Thursday’s bowling or something like that, I will tell her to wait until the next evening to do the ironing. This gives her a little more time to do some of those odds and ends things like shampooing the dog,  vacuuming or dusting. Also, if I have a really good day of fishing, this allows her to gut and scale the fish at a more leisurely pace.

Nancy is starting to complain a little occasionally. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. In spite of her complaining, I continue to try to offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won’t have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn’t hurt her any, if you know what I mean.

When doing simple jobs she seems to think she needs more rest periods.  She had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard.   I try not to embarrass her when she needs these little extra rest breaks. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemon drink and just sit for a while. I tell her that as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me and take her break by the hammock so she can talk with me until I fall asleep.

I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Nancy on a daily basis. I’m not saying that the ability to show this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible. No one knows better than I do how frustrating women can become as they get older. However, guys, even if you just yell at your wife a little less often because of this article, I will consider that writing it was worthwhile.

Signed,

Bob

[Bob’s funeral was on Saturday, January 25th. Nancy was acquitted Monday, January 27 th.]

Today’s funny Tuesday 7th May 2013


Blonde Cook

It’s fun to cook for Tom. Today I made angel food cake. The recipe said beat 12 eggs separately. The neighbours were nice enough to loan me some extra bowls.
Tom wanted fruit salad for supper.

The recipe said serve without dressing.

So I didn’t dress. ?What a surprise when Tom brought a friend home for supper

A good day for rice.

The recipe said wash thoroughly before steaming the
Rice. It seemed kind of silly but I took a bath anyway. ?I can’t say it Improved the rice any.

Today Tom asked for salad again I tried a new recipe.

It said prepare Ingredients; lay on a bed of lettuce one hour before serving.

Tom asked me
Why I was rolling around in the garden..

I found an easy recipe for cookies. It said put the ingredients in a bowl And beat it. There must have been something wrong with this recipe.

When I Got back, everything was the same as when I left.

Tom did the shopping today and brought home a chicken. He asked me to dress It for Sunday I don’t have any clothes that fit it, and for some reason
Tom keeps counting to ten.

Tom’s folks came to dinner. I wanted to serve roast but all I had was Hamburger.

Suddenly I had a flash of genius.. I put the hamburger in the Oven and set the controls for roast. It still came out hamburger, much to my Disappointment

 

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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