Churros with white chocolate

The ultimate dessert for cold winter nights.

Oreo Cupcakes

Everybody's favourite cookie in a delicious cupcake.

Hungarian Beef Goulash and Herb Dumplings

A Family favorite and competiton winning recipe.

Upside Down Pinnaple Cake

Tropical "Deliciousness" disguised as a cake.

Friday, February 20, 2015

To celebrate Becoming the WA Finalist for The Noosa International Food and Wine Show ILVE Presents Australia's Best Home Cook , my Hubby and I were invited to Print Hall for the media launch the next day along with Jim Berardo and Greg O'Brien, the co-founders of the Festival and a few of the sponsors. Print Hall has been on my list for so long I was excited to try Executive Chef Shane Watsons amazing food. We headed to the function room on the 2nd floor and it didn't take me long to spot the menu and folded in the napkins.



Duck Liver Parfait was my Hubby's first course. Generous mounds of lovely smooth and rich parfait topped with salted plum, cherry and a smear of Geraldton wax on the side.



My first course was the vegetarian option; New Season Vegetables which was lovely steamed asparagus and yellow squash, savoury soya milk and a big roasted malt wafer! I love asparagus and the fresh dill paired with the other elements perfectly!



For mains I had the Pan Roasted Barramundi that was topped with Coorong Pippis, courgette and dill. The skin was lovely and crispy and the Barra cooked to perfection.



David Blackmore's Wagyu Beef Bavette was a cracker of a dish! My husband loved the cut of beef which they cooked perfectly medium-rare and it was accompanied with leek, roasted pepper, cornichons, beef tendon and a rich jus. The beef tendon was soft; almost jelly like with a light meaty flavour, quite hard to describe.



The desserts we chose were Sweet Chaos with sweet parfait, honeycomb, mandarin and lavender and The Bittersweet Chocolate Tart which was lovely dark chocolate ganache snaked across the plate adorned with caramel almonds, crumbled caramel popcorn and ice cream. Both desserts were delicious.



 
Print Hall Bar and Dining Room on Urbanspoon
Earlier this year I received an email congratulating me that I'd been chosen as a finalist for a Competition held by The Noosa International Food and Wine Festival. The competition is ILVE Presents "Australia's Best Home Cook" and its to showcase the rise of the modern, everyday home cook.

After receiving more info about the cook-off it was all coming excitingly clear that I had a 1 in 3 chance to represent WA and attend the Festival In May at Noosa! What a fantastic prize!

The dish I'd chosen is a very easy dish, in fact the recipe is here. It's called Shakshuka and is basically a thick tomato sauce with Moroccan spices, beans and chorizo. Its simmered for a good 30-40 minutes before cracking some eggs around in the sauce and letting the hot simmering cook the eggs to your liking. It is then served with crusty bread to mop up the tasty goodness.

Cook off day had arrived and I headed to the ILVE Showroom in Osborne Park. My Hubby then met up with me at the showroom for moral support and to bring my bread knife that I forgot!




Cooking at home in your own kitchen is fun, comfortable and every appliance you know how to use. Cooking in a foreign kitchen is a quite daunting; not to mention cooking under pressure and the judges watching your every move. The showroom was full of beautiful brand new ovens, gas cook tops and induction cook tops which took a little help from the friendly staff on how to use, but once we knew, it took a bit of stress off.

I was so happy to see that my big heavy based Scanpan pan I brought from home worked on the new induction cook top, so I used that to cook my dish and the heat control was fantastic. Usually at home when I simmer on low I find it catches on the bottom of the pan but this was simmering the whole pan gently and constant.



We had 2 hours to cook off and the ambience wasn't stressful but more calm. We had all obviously cooked our dishes heaps of times before, so we eased straight into cooking mode fast.



My dish was presented, eaten and judged 2nd in line. I gave the judges a brief description of the dish and explained how versatile and easy it was to cook.

The judges deliberated and their decision was final. I was stoked to be chosen as the winner of the WA round!! I now get the chance to cook off in May at the Noosa Festival. I've never been to Noosa but I've been hearing its a lovely place and the Festival is so much fun, I'm really looking forward to it!!

To celebrate my Hubby and I were invited to Print Hall for the media launch the next day along with Jim Berardo and Greg O'Brien, the co-founders of the Festival and a few of the sponsors. Print Hall has been on my list for so long I was excited to try Executive Chef Shane Watsons amazing food. We headed to the function room on the 2nd floor and it didn't take me long to spot the menu folded in the napkins.



Duck Liver Parfait was my Hubby's first course. Generous mounds of lovely smooth and rich parfait topped with salted plum, cherry and a smear of Geraldton wax on the side.



My first course was the vegetarian option; New Season Vegetables which was lovely steamed asparagus and yellow squash, savoury soya milk and a big roasted malt wafer! I love asparagus and the fresh dill paired with the other elements perfectly!



For mains I had the Pan Roasted Barramundi that was topped with Coorong Pippis, courgette and dill. The skin was lovely and crispy and the Barra cooked to perfection.



David Blackmore's Wagyu Beef Bavette was a cracker of a dish! My husband loved the cut of beef which they cooked perfectly medium-rare and it was accompanied with leek, roasted pepper, cornichons, beef tendon and a rich jus. The beef tendon was soft; almost jelly like with a light meaty flavour, quite hard to describe.



The desserts we chose were Sweet Chaos with sweet parfait, honeycomb, mandarin and lavender and The Bittersweet Chocolate Tart which was lovely dark chocolate ganache snaked across the plate adorned with caramel almonds, crumbled caramel popcorn and ice cream. Both desserts were delicious.





Extremely satisfied from our sumptuous lunch we then had a speech from one of the Founders of the Noosa Festival Jim Berardo who gave us a brief history of the event and how its changed and grown over the years. Jim Berardo and Greg O'Brien first started the Festival over a decade ago as a way to thank all the suppliers of the Berardo Restaurant. It's gotten bigger and better each year and now has over 25,000 people attending the 4 day event each year.

Jim then introduced Print Hall's Executive Chef Shane Watson to everyone and he gave a speech about the menu that we just ate and his plans for The Noosa Festival.  If your planning on heading to The Noosa International Food &Wine Festival this year Shane will be in charge of the Audi Asian Food Trail on the Thursday and Friday so get your tickets!

I cannot wait for May to roll around and get a chance to attend this awesome festival and cook off against the other fantastic Home Cooks!

Keep an eye out for my next post: Australia's Best Home Cook Competition Finale!

Visit The Noosa International Food and Wine Festival Website.









Thursday, January 29, 2015

Kailis in Leederville has been on my list for a while to try. I've bought some seafood from here a few times before and always felt a bit envious of the diners in the café sipping their wines and enjoying the freshly cooked seafood nearby.

We headed into Leederville on a very warm Saturday just before noon where we found parking easily just behind the café. So we walked up and were seated quickly near the window.

We decided to order 2 cocktails to start, a Mai Tai for my Husband and a Peach Bellini for me.



My Peach Bellini was so good. Italian prosecco combined with peach liqueur and peach nectar it really hit the spot on that warm day.



The kids menu mainly consists of seafood but also has the non-seafood option of Spaghetti with Tomato Salsa. All are $9.90 and they come with a free water in a plastic cup with a lid and straw. The kids are also kept busy with colouring in packs, which is handy.



We decided to share the seafood platter for 2 which was $90. The chilli mussels were nice and the thick tomato sauce had a nice flavour. The massive prawns on top however were overcooked and quite rubbery to eat which was a bit disappointing because prawns are my favourite seafood!




The scallops were crumbed in the half shell with chilli and herbs and were lovey, soft and sweet to eat.
The platter also came with a squid stir fry that had a lovely Asian flavour, my Hubby loved this dish the most.


The stand out on the platter I think was the beer battered fish and the pan fried salmon fillets. Both tasted so fresh and were cooked to perfection!

Our daughter had the Kids Fish and Chips which was the perfect size and nicely presented. Once again the battered fish was so good, it was all eaten!



I ordered a glass of Lamont's Quartet Classic White $10 to sip whilst finishing off the platter.



At the end we ordered some affogato's. The coffee was nice and rich and was a nice way to finish the meal.





Kailis Brothers Fish Cafe on Urbanspoon



Saturday, January 3, 2015

A few days into the new year we decided to try out Homestead Brewery for Breakfast. We had plans for later that day to head to Outback Splash at The Maze in Bullsbrook but realised it didn't open till 10am, an hour later than we thought. So my Hubby suggested a quick breakfast at Homestead and who was I to say 'no!'.

We've been here plenty of times already for a few drinks and some lunch/nibbles and have had breakfast on my 'list' to try for a while, that along with the Mandoon Estate Degustation Lunch or Dinner.



We arrived at about 9am and was surprised to find the place almost empty, with 2 other tables dining. I put this down to everyone still being on Christmas Holidays because I've heard this place isn't this quiet for breakfast on the weekends.

We grabbed some menus and decided to sit outside seeing as though it was going to be a nice day.



The waiter gave us enough time to decide on our drinks and we ordered our usuals; a Cappuccino and a Long Macchiato topped up.


 
Browsing through the menu you will find the 'usual suspects' being Bacon and Eggs, Eggs 'Benny' (a few ways) and Pancakes. Plus a few different items.

The coffee's were nice and smooth. No complaints...except that we didn't get take-aways for the road.



I had the Crispy Bacon and Eggs which came with a grilled field mushroom, tomato half and a slice of Sourdough Toast. The bacon was definitely crispy and my poached eggs were cooked to perfection. The sourdough toast could have done with some butter, so I piled my eggs on top.



Hubby had the Eggs Benedict which presented with 2 English muffins topped with ham, perfect poached eggs and 'that' sauce. The meal also came with the Homestead's 'Hashbrowns' which reminded me of little onion bhaji's.



They taste nothing like a bhaji but are crispy on the outside and soft and flavoursome on the inside. Thank goodness I had some of these on my plate too, because they were so tasty, I didn't want to share.

Our daughter had the Kids Pancakes (no surprise there) but wished there was more maple syrup! Perhaps a scoop of ice cream or cream would complete this cracker of a kids dish!?



So glad to cross a 'Homestead Breakfast' off my list today, it really is a great new place in the Swan Valley. We are locals and we probably are embarrassed to say how often we really do come here :-)

Homestead Brewery on Urbanspoon


Mandoon Estate on Urbanspoon




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Arancini Balls
This recipe is a very basic recipe of Arancini. Please feel free to flavour the risotto, if you prefer, with mushrooms, pumpkin etc.



Risotto
1 Onion, chopped
2 tsp crushed garlic
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 Cups Arborio rice
4 Cups Hot Chicken stock (or vegetable)
Saffron threads (steeped into the Chicken stock)

Sauté the onion and garlic in some oil for a few minutes then add the rice and stir to coat.

Pour over the stock and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes on low until the liquid is absorbed and the rice soft, stirring every few minutes.

Uncover and stir roughly for about 1 minute to release the starch, then leave to cool in the fridge.
(You can make this the day before)




Arancini
Risotto Mix
1//3 Cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs
1.5 Cups Panko Crumbs
Baby Bocconcini

Lightly mix in the Parmesan Cheese to the Risotto mix.

Scoop up some rice (about egg size) and lightly squeeze into a ball (this helps if your hands are slightly wet). Press an indent with your finger to the middle of the ball and push in the baby bocconcini and cover with a little bit more rice.

Coat the ball in the beaten egg and then into the Panko Crumbs. Place on a plate and refrigerate until ready.

Heat up some oil and fry for a few minutes on each side until crispy and golden.





*I served these Arancini Balls with some Homemade Pasta Sauce but you can serve them with a big salad or some Aioli.

*These can be made ahead and fried on the day. They can also be reheated in a low/med oven for 15-20 minutes.