Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Taste for Change Dinner

Eating food by top chefs for a good cause = my idea of heaven

This year's Taste for Change dinner brings together acclaimed Australian chefs
  • Michael Kean (Host chef, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney)
  • John Lanzafame and Peter Evans (Hugo's)
  • Dave Pegrum (Forbes & Burton)
  • Darren Simpson (la Sala)
  • Dietmar Sawyere and Chris Edwards (Restaurant Forty One)
  • Peter van Es (Amora Hotel Jamison)

Each chef will create a one of the 6 courses to be served on the night, check out the grab your fork post from the 2006 event . The Taste for Change dinner is a fundraising event for the Oxfam International Youth Partnership (OIYP) program.

The OIYP program brings 300 young leaders from 90 different countries to share their ideas, energies and aspirations for bringing about positive change in their own communities.

G and I are looking forward to gorging our selves for a good cause.

If you are interested in attending and treating yourself for a very good cause the dinner will be held at:

Music will be performed by Old Man River and Dan Sultan.

When: Thursday 26 July 2007, 6:30pm–11pm

Where: Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Cost: $200 per person

You can buy tickets here

** In the interest of the full disclosure I should let you know that my husband G work for Oxfam - and no that doesn't get a me a free ticket!**

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I am busily preparing to go overseas next week for a holiday - I'm very excited, I have a couple of weeks in France and nearly a week in Tokyo. I am so excited about going back to Japan, it will be the first time since G and I moved back to Australia after nearly 3 years living there. I have list as long as my arm of things I'm going to do - starting unsurprisingly with eating my body weight in sushi. Bliss!

Before I go I'm co-hosting a wedding shower for one of G's cousins - it will be the second wedding in the family this year, when the other cousin was married earlier in the year my mother-in-law and I hosted a high tea for the bride to be. It was a lovely Autumn afternoon and we had polished the silver and chilled the champagne, it was a decedent and suitably girly afternoon.

The little pastry cases come from Pasteles Bakehouse in Botany - they make a beautiful selection of sweet and savoury tart cases in a range of sizes - perfect for filling with smoked salmon or goats cheese. I highly recommend them.

I'll try to post a couple of times while I'm overseas but if I can't I'll catch you when I get back in mid July.

No recipes today, just a little bit of food porn!

An army of of silverware ready for tea

Can't have a high tea with out scones, jam and double cream

The full spread

Individual chilled strawberry mousse

Smoked salmon tarts with dill and lime marscapone

The fine china out and ready for tea

Deviled eggs

Pasteles Bakehouse
1545 Botany Rd
Botany NSW 2019
Tel: 02 9666 5477
Fax: 02 9666 5257

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Roast Chicken with Grapes

One of my favorite meals growing up was my Mom's Roast chicken with grapes - I'm pretty sure it was a dinner party classic in the 70's but it has, in my opinion at least stood the test of time.

Pieces of juicy roast chicken rest on steamed julienned potatoes topped with tarragon scented gravy and crisp green grapes. To me it is the perfect meal witha glass of crisp white wine and a couple of friends. Or just my husband and a couple of beers, or straight of the fridge for lunch the next day. Just perfect.

I don't have a recipe for this meal - I learnt to cook it with my Mom so please excuse the lack of precise instructions.

Roast Chicken with Grapes

Stuff a roasting chicken with an one onion cut into quarters and season well - roast until the skin is crispy and the juices run clear. The time will depend on the size of the chicken.

Peel 2 medium potatoes for each person you are cooking for - cut into strips like you are making french fries. Steam in the microwave until soft.

When the chicken is cooked take it out of the pan and let is rest before carving it. Pour as much oil as you can off the pan juices and put it on the stove on a low heat. Add tarragon, salt and a couple of tablespoons of flour. Stir until the pan juices thicken taking care to break up any lumps. Add a good slosh of white wine and enough water to get the gravy to a good consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add the fresh grapes - about 2 big handfuls.

Put the steamed potatoes in the bottom a serving dish and top with the chicken pieces. Pour over the gravy and serve

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A cozy afternoon of baking

It is starting to get cold here in Australia - I've already dug my ugg boots out from the back of the wardrobe and am sleeping in my favorite flannel pajamas (they have sushi on them!)
So after a long walk with the dog it was imperitave to bake something sweet and warm to have with a cup of tea.

Oatmeal and date biscuits
(adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

Sift together:
250g self raising flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt

Cream together:
225g butter
200g brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add:
300g rolled oats
200g chopped dates

Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten with a fork and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned all over and almost form when pressed in the middle.

The ticket here is when the house gets all warm and cozy, smelling of brown sugar and spices and you're on the couch with a cup of tea and a warm biscuit not to forget the batch that's in the oven!

These biscuits are NOT Weight Watchers friendly so will be packed up to share with work colleagues on Monday.