Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hoofers High Tea at Big Mouth, St Kilda

Last Sunday, my tap dancing school did a public performance at Luna Park and Acland Plaza in St Kilda to celebrate Melbourne Tap Week. My dances were Kitten In a Blender and the Shim Sham Shimmy. Afterwards, we could attend an optional Hoofers High Tea at Big Mouth, a pub in St Kilda.

The photo at the top of this post features some fellow tap dancers at the Hoofers High Tea, with the school head mistress, Miss Jane,  photobombing in the Jackie O sunnies at the back.

A friend of mine said that as a pub, Big Mouth is quite good. It was clearly not a high tea venue, although some of the food was tasty.

We started off with "scones" (actually, mini brioche topped with pearl sugar) with jam and cream:

These were quite tasty, and were one of the best items on our menu.

Next up came chicken and avocado ribbon sandwiches:

Unfortunately, one side of the bread on these sandwiches had dried out, which detracted from the eating experience.

Next came mini vol au vents filled with cheese sauce - these were also very good:

Next up on the menu was mini vegetarian quiche - these were fairly average:

Much to the bemusement of many, the sausage rolls were served in thin slices - unusual, I will grant you:

A lot of people left after that, because the courses were very spread out.  Two hours after we started, the desserts came out, and featured some of the best items on the menu, so I am glad that I stayed.  I changed tables for dessert because my original table of tappers went home:

Featured left to right are sticky date pudding (meh), brownies (good) and churros with salted caramel dipping sauce (the highlight!).  One wise tapper put the sticky date pudding with the churros dipping sauce, a la butterscotch sauce, which I am sure made it taste better. 

Like my friend said, Big Mouth is a good pub - I just don't think high tea is normally in their repertoire.  The food was a mixed bag, but there were definitely some delicious nibbles.  I think the best part about the Hoofers High Tea was the camaraderie and getting to meet some other dancers.  They were a nice bunch of people, and made me, as a new comer, feel welcome.

Big Mouth
168 Acland St
St Kilda VIC 3182

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hairy Dieters' Chicken Bhuna

The Hairy Bikers have a lot of really good recipes, and their Chicken Bhuna, a curry, is no exception.  I used the chilli and it really pumps up the volume of taste (but if you drink the sauce, it can make your eyes water).

I served my Chicken Bhuna with a little rice to soak up some of the sauce:

The Hairy Bikers use a lot of capsicum, which doesn't always agree with my GIT, so next time, I think I'd cut down on the capsicum and sub in something else for some of the capsicum.  Nevertheless, this is a great recipe.

To make your own Chicken Bhuna, you will need:

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 each of red, orange and green capsicums
40g fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 medium onions, quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp mild curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
 ½ tsp hot chilli powder
1 tbsp cooking oil
400g can chopped tomatoes
600ml chicken stock
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp cornflour
Salt and pepper

Trim visible fat off the chicken thighs, then cut each thigh into 3 pieces. Season with pepper. Deseed the capsicums and cut into 3cm chunks. 

Cut the ginger into small pieces and put into a food processor with the onion quarters, garlic, curry powder, garam masala and chilli powder. Process into a smooth paste. 

Heat the oil in a large non stick saucepan and add the onion paste.  Cook the paste for 10 minutes until softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the chicken and capsicums to the sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and sugar, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender, stirring from time to time.

Mix the cornflour with the water and stir the mixture into the sauce. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper and serve with boiled rice.

Friday, May 26, 2017

White Chocolate Cake - 10 year blogiversary

Today is this blog's 10th birthday.  I can't believe it has been 10 years, but it has.  Despite all the changes in my life over those 10 years, this blog has been a constant.

I started off as a blog lurker 2 years before I started my own blog, and gradually I decided that I could blog too!  Many of the blogs that I used to read no longer exist, and the number of blogs has skyrocketed since I started.

My plans for this blog were quite simple - to document the food that I made.  That was my plan then, and it remains the same.  This simple goal keeps blogging pleasurable.

I am combining my blogiversary with this month's Red Tractor recipe, which is for white chocolate cake.

Here is the calendar quote for the month, to tie in with Mother's Day:

First up, I made this white chocolate cake from the calendar recipe (top sliced off):

To make a half recipe (which is what I did), you will need:

100g chopped white chocolate
175g chopped butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease and line a 9" round cake tin. 

Pu the chocolate, butter, sugar and milk into a large saucepan.  Stir over low heat until smooth.  Pour the batter into a large bowl and cool for 20 minutes.  Whisk in the flours, vanilla and eggs.  Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for around 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through.  Cool the cake in the tin.

It was not clear what kind of chocolate the Red Tractor recipe called for in the ganache recipe. For that reason, I used another recipe for white chocolate ganache, online here.

Once the ganache had started to set up, I decorated the top of the cake with wafer flowers and butterflies and pink disco glitter.

This is a peek inside the cake.  I found the cake to be quite sweet, which is not surprising considering the white chocolate.  If white chocolate is your thing, this may just be the cake for you.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

EwE - Chicken Paella with Sausages - As You Like It

For Eating with Ellie this week, I chose the theme of As You Like It.  This has nothing to do with Shakespeare's play of the same name - it simply means, make what you want.

I chose to make Ellie's Chicken Paella with Sausages and Olives from So Easy.  However, there was one slight problem.  When I went to use my jarred olives, they had grown a healthy layer of grey mould on top - so no olives in my paella.

This was simple to make and very tasty.  I like that the paella is finished off in the oven, which makes things super-simple by taking away the supervision factor. I would definitely make this again.

To see what everyone else liked to make this week, visit the LYL section of the Eating with Ellie website.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

TWD - Pistachio and Berry Gratins

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is Pistachio and Berry Gratins.  Berries are combined with sugar to help create a syrup from their juices, then placed in ramekins.  The berries are then topped with a pistachio cream.

I used raspberries for my gratins.  I made just two of them by quartering the recipe.

These gratins made a delicious dessert - not too sweet and full of flavour.

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Oat Pancakes

Tim recently gave me a sheet of recipes from a nutritionist who had visited his work.  The recipe that immediately caught my eye was for oat pancakes.  I had been thinking of making pancakes for a couple of weeks and not gotten around to it, so I was spurred into action when this recipe landed in my lap.

These pancakes are so easy and delicious:

To make them, you will need:

2 cups oats
2 eggs
1 banana
3/4 cup water

Blend the oats in a food processor to a fine meal.  Add the remaining ingredients and process til smooth.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frypan, and add spoonfuls of batter to the   pan.  Cook until bubbles appear, then flip the pancakes and cook the other side until just browned.

Serve with toppings of your choice.  I used maple syrup, Greek yoghurt and microwaved frozen cherries.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

EwE - Grilled Shrimp Po'Boy - Roll It Up, Roll It Up

For Eating with Ellie this week, Margaret chose the theme of Roll It Up, Roll It Up.  I decided to interpret this as something in a roll, and made Ellie's Grilled Shrimp Po'Boy from Comfort Food Fix

This Po'Boy was very easy and very tasty - grilled prawns in a roll with veggies and a tasty, zingy sauce.  I had to buy a few things I don't normally use (eg horseradish) but it was worth it.  I'd make this again.

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.