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    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Christmas, Its all about The Family, The Food, The Wine and The Presents

    This year the Family have rented some chalets in Matakana Riverside Lodge. Its fabulous here.
    Perfect for our mob. Fun to wake up with the little children opening these presents.
    We arrived on Christmas Eve, there was time to put out the food for Santa and his Reindeer
     Next was the erection of the beautiful wigwam
     Santa made it thank Goodness, He ate some of his cookie, the reindeer had a nibble at the carrot.
    Santa, obviously had had too many beers...he was only able to down a few sips.
    The day started off well, Santa presents first
     Don't you love the delight on their faces
    Katie with a Larry David moment. Trying to open the packaging the new dolls are wrapped in. How do they do it?
    You need a Stanley Knife...but what does a Stanley Knife come in BUT a bloody bubble pack.
    Anyhow let's not ruin the day.
    The Grandfather in his happy place
    Over to see the other presents
    Ms Sophia got a new laptop from Santa and a stunning, elegant Santa Suit from her younger brother.
    He got assorted goodies plus a scooter from Santa
    The great thing about Santa's visit is there are loads of wonderful things to play with
    Even though he obviously left things off Ms Cleo's list which she found very annoying!!!
    Some preening by the live in hairdresser

    The plan was 9am Breakfast,
    11am Champagne, Oysters and Family presents
    Guests arrive at 1pm
    Lunch around 2pm
    First the boys had to play tennis
    Slight delay,
    The we had to heat the croissants, lay out the cheese and other bits and bobs
    Cook the bacon, Joseph set the table
    And before long, the starving throng were hovering around the table

    So time was slipping away and next thing we are having to postpone the elevenses, till twelveses
    Food to prepare, showers and dress ups to happen
    Action Girl!
    Whoops, corks were popping again and oysters laid out

    Hooray, Santa Jojo was preparing to hand out the Family presents.
     The usual carnage
     Cheers...Merry Christmas everyone
    Still got a whole day to go.

    Thursday, December 08, 2011

    Best Pizza - First Course and Dessert Pizza - A Big Hit

    It was Thursday at Grandmas, and I made Pizza for the kids. I had some tomato sauce leftover from the catering gig.
    The following are a perfect topping for kids,

    Tomato Sauce
    Finely chopped bacon
    Finely chopped red onion
    Chopped pineapple
    Chopped capsicum
    Grated Cheese
    And at one end I threw on some sliced mushrooms for Dale and Me.
    My Pizza Dough is very simple
    Click here for the recipe
    Don't buy the bases just make it. Cheap as chips
    All you need is time.

    Then I decided to make a Dessert Pizza
    I peeled, cored and sliced 2 apples
    Threw them into a dish with some sugar
    few knobs of butter and the juice of an orange
    I roasted them till tender but still holding their shape

    Rolled out the dough and covered it with yogurt
    Arranged the apples on the top
    Sprinkle over some brown sugar
    Bake about 15 minutes

    Let cool a little before cutting
    Serve with whipped cream
    Its wonderful... Summer is here
    We were able to eat outside
    The kids loved it
    Always inventive with the cushions
    An obstacle course for Ms Cleo

    Wednesday, December 07, 2011

    Hockey World Champs-Feeding the Crew

    Ho Ho Ho, Christmas is here
    My Friend Mary Will tarted up my candelabra
    I just love the white reindeer
    I bought them from one of my favourite sites
    Father Rabbit
      I brought out my other lovely Christmas things. Really feel in the spirit now.

    I've had a fun week, New Zealand is hosting the Hockey World Championship here in North Shore. Auckland.  Here are some teams warming up
    The Outside Broadcasting Team are filming it for The World.

    Organised by our Juice TV.  I was asked to provide Lunch and afternnon tea for 7 days.
    20 people.They are a hungry lot.
    It has been a fun project. A lot of cakes, scones, cookies, pizza, filled rolls, wraps.
    Kept me pretty busy. It has been fun.
    Today they got Tortilla. I bought some great little containers, which were great for the Tortilla. Individually served with a nice relish on the side.
    I also made an Apple and Raisin Cake and some White Chocolate and Craisin Cookies

    Here is the recipe for the cake. Given to me by my friend Mary
    Mary’s Apple Cake
    2 apples, peeled and chopped in small pieces
    1 cup sugar
    125g melted butter
    1 large egg
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1teaspoon baking soda
    1teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon each of salt, nutmeg, allspice
    1 cup raisins
    1/2-3/4 cup walnuts (Optional)

    Icing sugar

    Pre heat Oven to 180C
    Prepare tin. Grease and flour
    I like to line the bottom with baking paper

    Combine apples and sugar,
    Stand for 5 mins.
    Combine cooled melted butter and egg with apples.
    Sift dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
    Add raisins and 1/2 cup walnuts.(if using them)
    Spread mixture into 23cm, greased tin.

    Put remaining walnuts on top if using.
    Bake for 45- 50 mins.
    I find it takes a bit longer.
    Leave in tin for 10 mins, before turning out

    Dust with icing sugar.
     For the Cookies... click here for the recipe.

    I bought half baked Paneton Rolls
    These are brilliant.
    Paneton is a French Bakery here in Auckland.
    They make great baguettes and these wonderful Ficelle Rolls
    Just op into a 180C oven for 8-10 minutes
    Voila...Fresh Bread
    So Mise en Place
    Filled Rolls
    Chicken, Avocado, lettuce, Citrus Mayo
    Ham, Cheese and Spinach salad
    And some Corn Muffins, basket of fresh fruit
    Wraps are great
    Spinach, Carrot salad and chicken
    Spread the wrap with Mayo
    Toss the spinach in a little French dressing
    Make an easy carrot salad
    Top with moist chicken
    As an alternative
    Lettuce, Egg salad, and Cucumber

    Another day of Filled Rolls
    How about the old favourite?
    Corned Beef, Cabbage and Carrot
    I cooked a piece of Topside Corned Beef
    and the cabbage was Cole slaw, of course.
    A salad with a little difference.
    I mixed the Mayo Dressing with some Onion Marmalade, plus a little whipped cream to lighten it up.
    Gave an great extra flavour to the rolls. Made some chicken ones for the non meat eaters
    Also, some cut up pineapple,(for health)... Chocolate Chip Cookies and for afternoon tea
    Sausage Rolls. Well the sausage rolls went almost straight away. Nothing like a warm sausage roll, dipped in my special Ketchup.
    Monday was supposed to be a lay day. but because of inclement weather, the games were postponed on Sunday. So the crew had to start early so I sent over some hot cheese scones.
    These are wonderful, full of cheese and good for those of us, who could be dieting. I don't think the crew will care.
    I will do another post with the recipe later.
    Two more days to go. Great fun.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    You say Frittata, I Say Tortilla- Depends on the Country-Our time in Spain

    I am still trialing dishes for the Juice TV Crew lunches next week.
    Mainly I need timing. My delivery time is before 11 am, so I need to know how much I have to do the day before and how much on the morning.
    This Frittata is a very simple dish. A stable in Spain, part of the Tapas Menu as well.
    When we were in Spain in the 60's, we stayed at a wonderful Camping Ground, called Vilasar De Mar.
    Just outside of Barcelona.

    The owners of the property, Damian and Isabella, plus his brother Jose and wife Maria adopted us.
    This put our original plan, to drive through to Torremolinis and onto Morroco aside.
    We had such a good time, we spent 2 weeks in their camping ground.
    It was the end of the holiday season, so they devoted their time to making sure we saw everyting we could in Barcelona and the Environs.
    They took us of course, to bullfights
    They introduced us to Gerhard and Adele, a German couple, who ran a water ski school.
    They taught us to water ski. Even I got up first time. A miracle.
    I think I spy a cigarette in my hand.
    Gerhard also took us to a big football game in Barcelona... which was very exciting, as he was an even more aggressive driver than Dale, and that's saying something. It was scary.
    Isabella, also showed me, how to make the Spanish Omelet or Tortilla.
    In New Zealand at that time, Spanish omelet was a bit like that Russian salad, with peas, potatoes and carrots.
    The Spanish only add potatoes and fried potatoes at that.
    Couldn't wait to tell My Mother that she had it wrong. (Bit of youthful arrogance perhaps)
    God, it was wonderful.
    They also invited us to dine with them.

    Which was a nice change from eating in the tent.
    How about those shorts?
    So, onto the Spanish Omelet
    I have added some onion and parsley.
    And just for a little extra flavour, I grated some Parmesan on the top.
    I like that.
    This will feed 6 people for lunch, with some french bread and a little relish on the side.

    Olive oil
    2 large potatoes, peeled, chopped into chunks
    1 large onon peeled and cut into chunks
    8 eggs
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Some chopped parsley
    Grated Parmesan Cheese

    You need a pan which can go into the oven
    The omelet starts off on the stove, then you pop it under your Grill/Broiler to finish off

    Toss the potatoes in olive oil S & P
    Into 175C oven roast till tender and golden about 20 minutes
    Remove and place in a bowl
    In you pan lightly saute the onions in olive oil till tender, don't brown them
    Add to potatoes.
    You can do all of this ahead of time.
    Which is great, if you have to make a few of these.

    Hey look at these eggs. A carton of double yolkers!

    Pre heat your Grill/Broiler
    Break eggs into a bowl
    Season with S & P
    Whisk well
    Add cooked potatoes. onions and parsley
    Heat your oven proof pan on the stove top
    Add a good slurp olive oil
    Throw in egg mix
    Grated Parmesan Cheese over the top
    Let sit and and cook till the omelet starts to set
    About 4 minutes
    When you can lift it up with your spatula and it has started to brown
    Pop under the grill.
    It will take about 5 minutes and it will rise and look wonderful
    Remove onto a board or plate
    Cut into slices and enjoy