Monday, May 16, 2011

Me, Eurovision 2011, the final links and so long, farewell...(you can sing the rest)

Well it’s time to say goodbye. I have decided to call it a day...blogging wise that is. The poor attempt I have been making this year does not make a well written (or received) blog. And it was time to close off that (almost) 5 year chapter that simply has run its course. And it’s not that I do not want to write or share anymore. There was never a specific reason why I started to blog other than a creative outlet. It was always about things I liked and I thought it would evolve over time like an organic diary or collection of observations. And it did. And I was very proud of some of the entry’s I wrote. Especially (but not limited to) the History of OZ TV...documenting my year of cookery (and I suggest anyone who has ever burnt toast to give it a crack – you just need time to cook – not skills, you get that over time but alas I digress for the last time) all that CAMP shit that I think makes grey dull life pink and funny, oh and my reviews of the Eurovision – so much fun!

Ok so I decided not to do Eurovision posts this year as slowly the crazies, loons and all that European colour has faded away in recent times making it a duller song competition. But then of course there was Jedwood from Ireland ( I could bloody hit that Louie for fuelling that sad mental fire). But there was some great songs this year from Hungary, Serbia ( I can’t stop playing the 1960’s sounding Caroban – it’s just a happy uplifting song and yes the Serbian version), Austria and Switzerland. It didn’t surprise me that Dana International (Israel) didn’t move past the semi finals – I mean really Darling Ding a Dong was a song back in 1970’s from Holland. And crying out loud Europe if you are a small former soviet/eastern Bloc country only speaks your language just SING IN ENGLISH! Actually it didn’t work for Blue this year so ignore me. Baku next year (Christ).

Before going I have found 2 excellent sites to share:-

Rule knitannia - The well stitched in time knitting blog from my old mate, the very talented Eddie in London Town – cushions, crowns and (iced) confections ( to name a few knitted creations) What not to love!

Everything is Terrible – unlike its title this is one of the best collections of camp, bizarre shit and plain funny clips from the net – I so love it:-

In closing, I still can’t believe I made it almost 5 years. I would have never seen that coming. Neither in that time Apple making essentially a mini handheld computer (that makes calls) that has become part of 21st life. Face book, twitter, four square, linked in (etc) are the new media and social interaction. Google is the new scary giant, so then is India and China. The Australian Dollar is worth more than the US Dollar (and the average house price in Australia is over half a million AUD in most capital cities) but our AUD buys less than before. America finally getting a black president. Australia getting a female Prime minister. Kate and Wills getting hitched (Oh didn’t she look beautiful and who thought of trees in the abbey – fabulous). Life is changing so fast and it’s sometimes it gets scary. But it’s also gets better. As I'm getting older and I'm appreciating the weekend and randomn days off much more, laughing with your mates, a well needed hug from your partner and a home cooked meal - for me it would never be superseded by what a corporation or technology can boast.

So that’s it. Thank you for all for reading and feedback (though I would have happily welcomed more!). So as I’m listing to Nina from Serbia singing Caroban again (it’s on repeat and Andy’s away on business so no complaints) it’s only right to say Do viÄ‘enja prijatelj (Goodbye friend).

X b aka the classic eccentric (Brett).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I got this sent to me the other day...if you need help look between the first two on the left

Monday, January 17, 2011

52 Recipes - The entire list

Here is the full list of the recipes I cooked in 2010

4.1 1 Lobster Thermidor - The internet -Seafood
11.1 2 Indian Lamb kebabs - Indian in 6 Cookbook-Indian
18.1 3 Lamb Kofta - The internet -Greek
25.1 4 Pea & Prawn Linguini - Gourmet Traveller Cook book -Pasta/Seafood

1.2 5 Berry Trifle - A & B special -Dessert
8.2 6 Tandoori Chicken - Indian in 6 Cookbook -Indian
15.2 7 Dahl with Spinach - Indian in 6 Cookbook -Indian
22.2 8 Spanakopita - Gourmet Traveller (Mar 2010) -Greek

1.3 9 Sago Gula Melaka - Food Safari- Malay/Dessert
8.3 10 Slow Cooked Greek Lamb - The internet -Greek
15.3 11 Olive fetta & onion tart - The internet -Greek
22.3 12 Orange sugar puffs - Gorgeous Cakes Cookbook- Dessert
29.3 13 Hot Cross Buns - Gourmet Traveller (Apr 2010)- Baking

5.4 14 Rabbit & Mushroom Pie - Gourmet Traveller (Apr 2010) -Game/Pie
12.4 15 Potato Gratin - The internet -Vegetable
19.4 16 Cassoulet - The internet -Main
26.4 17 Lemon Curd - The Cooks Companion -Baking

3.5 18 Welsh cakes - A &B special -Baking
10.5 19 Walnut & espresso cake - Gourmet Traveller (May 2010) -Baking
17.5 20 Lemon Meringue Cake - Nigella Lawson -Baking
24.5 21 Duck L’Orange - The internet -Game
31.5 22 Reine de Saba - Julia Childs -Baking

7.6 23 Berry Bundt Cake - The internet -Baking
14.6 24 Fish Stock - Comfort Food (Gary M) -Stock
21.6 25 Paella - Margaret Fulton -Spanish
28.6 26 Spanish Donuts - Gourmet Traveller (Jun 2010) -Baking

5.7 27 Roasted Carrot soup - Gourmet Traveller (Jun 2010)-Soup
12.7 28 Oxtail Bolognaise - Comfort Food (Gary M) -Pasta
19.7 29 Prawn Cocktail - Gourmet Traveller (Jan 2010) -Seafood/Entree
26.7 30 Duck Liver Pate - French Cooking Class -Entree/Starter

2.8 31 Caramelised Onion Relish - French Cooking Class -Relish
9.8 32 Confit of Duck - French Cooking Class -Meat
16.8 33 Duck & Pear Salad - French Cooking Class -Entree
23.8 34 Fricassee of Chicken - French Cooking Class -Meat/Main
30.8 35 Fresh Pasta - French Cooking Class- Pasta

6.9 36 Concorde Cake - French Cooking Class -Baking
13.9 37 Lamb Ragu - The internet -Pasta
20.9 38 Chocolate Chip Cookies - The internet -Baking
27.9 39 Chilli Jam - The internet- Relish

4.10 40 Pesto - Maggies Harvest (Maggie Beare)-Pasta
11.10 41 Fruit Tarts - French Cookbook (JC) -Baking
18.10 42 Eton Mess - The internet -Desert
25.10 43 Raspb white choc.muffins - Donna Hay-Baking

1.11 44 Stuffed Vegetables - The internet-Vegetable
8.11 45 Peach Melba - Nigella Lawson -Desert
15.11 46 Passionfruit Curd - The Cooks Companion -Baking
22.11 47 Red Velvet Cupcakes - The internet -Baking
29.11 48 Borscht - Naomi -Soup

6.12 49 Coulibiac - Naomi -Fish/Pie
13.12 50 Fruit Mince Tarts - Gourmet Traveller ( Dec) -Baking
20.12 51 Roasted Duck & Cherries - Gourmet Traveller ( Dec) -Game
27.12 52 Cheese Straws - The internet -Baking

Monday, January 03, 2011

52 Recipes - December & Conclusion

So finally I completed the 2010 New years resolution...and finished all 52 recipes

13.12 50 Fruit Mince Tarts - Gourmet Traveller ( Dec) Baking
20.12 51 Roasted Duck & Cherries - Gourmet Traveller ( Dec) Game
27.12 52 Cheese Straws - The internet (bookmarked) Baking

Overall I thought it would have gotten easier but I found that after the initial list of recipes I always wanted to try I had to get very inspired and motivated to try others. The french cooking course was a fabulous gift from Andrew and helped for the time when we were travelling ( sort of like cooking exam cramming) so good I'm back there next month for more so I'm very excited.

Nearly of the the recipes I tried I would definitely try again. The only one I wouldn't was the Sago pudding as it was just OK but still edible. Lobster Thermidor is a very special occasion dish and well worth it. Andrew initially laughed at why I bothered cooking Hot Cross Buns until I took them out of the oven and demolished 6 each with a lot of butter. Making the conserves and stock from scratch does make all the difference so Jamie Oliver and all the rest of those TV chefs aren't lying when they recommend making your own. I have to say the slow cooking was also a highlight, especially in the winter months.

Next post I will post the lot...and if anyone needs any recipe just drop me a line...or leave a comment. It seemed like a mammoth task but was worth it. Oh and my taste buds and cooking skills are all the better for it. And I weigh roughly the same so the gym ( and Chelsea my trainer) I have to say a big thanks too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

52 Recipes - October & November

OK so now another update with those recipes...October & November

4.10 40 Pesto - Maggies Harvest (Maggie Beare) Pasta
11.10 41 Fruit Tarts - French Cookbook (JC) Baking
18.10 42 Eton Mess - The internet (bookmarked) Desert
25.10 43 Raspb white choc.muffins - Donna Hay Baking

1.11 44 Stuffed Vegetables - The internet (bookmarked) Vegetable
8.11 45 Peach Melba - Nigella Lawson Desert
15.11 46 Passionfruit Curd - The Cooks Companion Baking
22.11 47 Red Velvet Cupcakes - The internet (bookmarked) Baking
29.11 48 Borscht - Naomi Soup

6.12 49 Coulibiac - Naomi Fish/Pie

A lot of Baking in the last few months...I will need to give the red Velvet cupcakes another go as I substituted sour cream for buttermilk ( I know mental). The Raspberry and white chocolate muffins worked a treat, and finally a recipe from the Domestic Goddess herself actually working and tasting fabulous ( in fact Peach Melba is becoming a regular dessert at Riversdale Road) . I have found as much as I love NIgella her recipes are a bit crap.

On a side note another couple and ourselves have been doing theme dinner monthly ( or when we remember) hence the recent Russian dishes...I must say Coulibiac is a fantastic Salmon & Mushroom Pie and was filling( I was worried it would not be enough). Spanish night was still the best for me ( paella & Churros - whats not to love).

So my final 3 are reserved for Xmas theme...thinking of Christmas tarts but unsure of the other 2...maybe a roasted duck with cherries...actually I haven't made egg nog either so best I read up on my Fanny Cradock and get back to you all in December.

Friday, October 29, 2010

La Concorde

This is the cake I have been raving about for the last few months. This cake was created for the launch of the Concorde Jet back in the 1970's. I have never (baked) or eaten a better chocolate cake. Hands down.
Basically it is discs of chocolate meringue, sandwiched with the richest of chocolate mousse then decorated with broken sticks of meringue. It is layered, rich and all chocolate to the bank.
Perfectly good by itself, however I like it with a raspberry coulis ( don't add too much sugar in the coulis - the tartness of the raspberry is wonderfully with the richness of the chocolate) and whipped cream (somehow it enhances the cake more).
Now as I do not have the permission to give the recipe I was given class (I simply haven't asked Le Chef) I have posted a recipe link I found on a public site which is good:-
What I do recommend is that you use the best quality dutch cocoa ( DON'T SKIMP - its expensive but you will thank me) free range eggs (why are people still using battery when free range is only a few dollars more - think of those poor chickens) and the best quality dark chocolate (couverture hands down - again DON'T SKIMP on the chocolate). The recipe link also includes vanilla (this is optional).I found the times I have baked it post cooking class I have run out of meringue sticks - so don't use a big nozzle on the piping bag.
Oh and only ever make this cake for company. Just reading the amount of butter, chocolate and eggs in this cake could make you gain weight - But you can get 8 to 10 serves out of this delight and then the butter/choc ratio is nothing. Well almost nothing.
Only 2 months to go - 9 recipes - for November and for 4 December. I will try to only do Xmas related ones in December...Well try that is.