Pizza and profiteroles with Bron


Tonight Bron invited me over for dinner. The plan was pizza and profiteroles and then a movie on the television.

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This is the Choux pastry just filled with vanilla custard.

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These two pizzas are mushroom and feta and then a barbecue chicken with tasty cheese.

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These two pizzas are tomato, mozzarella and basil and then a sweet potato, pine nut and blue cheese.

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These are the first profiteroles Bron has made. They look amazing.

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Do you think I added enough chocolate custard?

This was an amazing dinner. So delicious and filling. Bron is an amazing cook.

I hope you had a great dinner tonight too :-)

My weekend in food was good


This weekend I completed my income taxation return and caught up on some work. I also spent some time with Bron and managed to enjoy some delicious meals. If you follow me on instagram you can see how I ate this weekend as well as some of my other activities.

Thai salmon cakes

Bron’s fish cakes were really nice.

Sticky date pudding with homemade custard and butterscotch sauce

Bron makes the best sticky date pudding. Her homemade custard and butterscotch sauce are to die for.

Spring in Canberra

The deciduous trees are blooming and my allergic rhinitis is getting worse. I must be snoring like a train because every morning I wake up with a sore throat like razor blades are cutting it.

Lake Ginninderra

Before breakfast I went for a walk and captured some images. We had breakfast at Black Pepper which is on the corner on the left of the image.

Dead carp

Fishing is popular in Canberra waterways. The lakes are full of carp. They are a pest and regarded as feral. If a carp is caught it is not allowed to be thrown back into the water. From what I’ve seen people go fishing, catch carp and then leave them anywhere they choose.

Green eggs and ham

Bron chose green eggs and ham. The scrambled eggs have avocado in them.

Poached eggs, Kransky and hollandaise sauce

I ate poached eggs, Kransky sausage, mushrooms and hollandaise sauce.

Pan seared salmon served with a tower of potato mash, wilted spinach, pine nuts, peas and corn along with asparagus and broccolini. The mash potato was made with blue cheese.

Tonight I cooked a light meal of salmon. Click on it if you want a larger resolution view.

Oh and if you’re interested, next weekend I want to see the Melbourne Storm defeat the Canterbury Bulldogs. I also want to see the Sydney Swans defeat the Hawthorn Hawks.

Pork cutlet an a tower of vegetables


I’m really enjoying the food tube or ring or sleeve that Miss15 bought me for Fathers day. Eventually it will be used for rice and other things but so far it’s been potato and sweet potato along with some pan seared Atlantic salmon.

Tonight I breaded (crumbed here in Australia) a nice pork cutlet. Instead of combining the potato and sweet potato I kept them separate and separated them physically in the tower with wilted spinach, mushrooms and spring onions. I also topped the dish with a little asparagus and broccolini. I deglased the pan with a little white wine and reduced some honey and soy sauce to drizzle on the potato tower.

Sorry I didn’t quite have the cutlet completely covered. The image looks a bit untidy. It was incredibly delicious though. I loved it.

Oh and I forgot I checked out Hilah’s youtube channel on pork chops. I love her accent.

Maestral Mediterranean and Seafood restaurant in Weston


Yesterday was a slow kind of day. We started with brunch at Black Pepper in Belconnen. This is a local café that does a good breakfast and brunch on weekends. It is very popular amongst locals and especially cyclists and walkers who exercise around Lake Ginninderra.

Bron asked for Eggs Benedict on Turkish bread and I asked for the Black Pepper big breakfast with Turkish bead. Black Pepper Menu July 2012

When our meals arrived, the Eggs Benedict were sitting on a muffin. Rather than waste time and send the dish back, I shared my Turkish bread.

Beautiful eggs Benedict

The plates were cold and the bacon was also cold. The eggs were slightly over cooked. The yolks were still soft but they weren’t really runny like we like them. Otherwise, the Eggs Benedict and Black Pepper Breakfast were very nice. As you can see I also asked for a bowl of hollandaise sauce to go with my breakfast. Along with our coffees, it was a good start to the day.

The day got better with a visit to Costco. I wanted to see the optometrist, although I didn’t realise I needed an appointment. I’ll be returning next Saturday. To compensate my disappointment we went to look at the meat section. There is a whole cold section dedicated to Australian produced Wagyu beef.

I will blog soon about cooking Wagyu beef.

The Maestral Mediterranean and Seafood restaurant is on 13 Trenerry Street in Weston. The menu is a combination of Croatian, seafood and beef. The surf and turf/reef and beef options look amazing.

We started with baby fried calamari and then went onto a Maestral seafood platter.

Baby fried calamari

The calamari was perfectly fried. It was juicy and tender.

The Maestral seafood platter. The soft shell crab was the highlight.

The platter had a combination of oysters (natural and oysters Maestral [see menu]), scampi, prawns, fish, soft shell crab and fried potatoes.

Me smiling because I love seafood platters

I would definitely go back and try other dishes on the menu. It’s a very popular restaurant. We saw a number of familiar faces and friends there last night.

After the Maestral we thought we’d enjoy dessert at Max Brenner in Belconnen. I chose the waffle with strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

Max Brenner waffle with strawberries and vanilla ice cream

And so finished a pretty good day.

I feel fat but I’m full of goodness from today


I had two meals today. I know that’s not ideal but each was quite filling. Not as filling as yesterday’s but filling just the same. I woke up this morning without much of an appetite and then I remembered Bron was going to make Crème Brûlée French toast this morning and my appetite came back with a vengeance.

This recipe also calls for drunken strawberries which were really nice. we also elected to add some whipped cream from a can.

Crème Brûlée French toast naked

Adding whipped cream is fun

Crème Brûlée French toast with whipped cream from a can

Crème Brûlée French toast with cream and drunken strawberries

My second helping of Crème Brûlée French toast

I went for a decent walk this afternoon but I don’t know that I burned enough emergy :-)

Check out the walk at http://runkeeper.com/user/garydlum/activity/74679324

This afternoon after a little ironing I started preparing dinner. I still had a piece of New York strip steak left and I thought it would make a nice Beef Wellington.

Beef Wellington is one of my favourite meals. It is so rich and unctuous especially when made with Pâté and mushroom Duxelles.

New york strip steak, butter, onion, prunes, mushrooms, and parsley

Laid out I have almost everything ready. New york strip steak, butter, onion, prunes, mushrooms, and parsley.

Browned steak resting and cooling

Browned steak resting and cooling until room temperature.

Duxelles being prepared. Onions sautéed with prunes, and mushrooms (The secret ingredient is anchovies)

Duxelles being prepared. Onions sautéed with prunes, and mushrooms (The secret ingredient is anchovies) You can’t taste them in the finished product but they add a richness to the dish.

Duxelles being prepared. Onions sautéed with prunes, mushrooms and parsley

Lots of parsley is required :-)

Nearly ready to prepare. Puff pastry laid out.

A sheet of Pampas puff pastry.

Steak coated with Pâté

The steak needs to be coated with Pâté.

Duxelles on the puff pastry

Cooled Duxelles in the puff pastry.

Beef on the pastry

Everything ready to be wrapped.

Wrapped and egg washed

The beef is wrapped and the pastry egg washed.

Plated up sans sauce

Plated up with carrots, asparagus and beans. Sauce to come.

With a pepper sauce

I love making pepper sauce with green pepper corns in brine.

On my dining table with a bottle of ginger beer

Plated up on my dining table with a bottle of ginger beer and my MacBook Air ready to eat.

After yesterday’s meal and with the steak and Pâté today I hope I don’t have a gout attack this week.

I really enjoyed making this meal and eating it.

My first Mavi breakfast wrap experience


This morning Bron asked me to breakfast at Mavi in Phillip. The breakfast wrap comes as a coffee deal for $9.50. Not a bad breakfast.

Every breakfast should start with coffee

Not the greatest coffee. It tasted okay but it was not hot so it felt very ‘milky’.

This is a large wrap. It's a full dinner plate there.

No, I didn’t have two, although I reckon I could knock off two.

In my hand. Look at the size of it.

The smell of the bacon and egg was so powerful :-)

A close up of the open end.

The wrap contains mushrooms, bacon, fried egg and hash brown potato. I reckon a nice pork sausage or some black pudding would be nice too.

The aftermath. I'm a messy eater.

Mind you there was nothing left over and very little barbecue sauce spillage.

My Hawaiian Schnitzel with ham and pineapple added.

The chips were amazing. It’s a pity I went to a meeting before I could finish the schnitzel. Cold schnitzel isn’t that tasty.

A really great tweet up


Prologue

About a month ago Meredith @macjam1 asked a bunch of us to her place for a Christmas barbecue.

Canberra has a really good and very active group of tweeps. There are circles within circles. I’ve found myself spending a lot of my twitter and facebook time with a small group of friends based in Canberra. We’ve met a few times already and have become firm friends. Some of us know each other through listening to @markparton on @2CC and others have work connections. Mostly though it’s through twitter and facebook. In addition to this group we also have some close twitter buddies in Queensland and Victoria who one day we will visit.

The barbecue

Each of us had in mind something to bring along while @macjam1 and her husband provided an excellent venue and more meat that we could throw a stick at. The weather ended up being great after forecasts of rain and cold. The afternoon and evening air was fresh but not cold. The sound of mosquitoes was held at bay with Aeroguard and Citronella candles.

The food was heavily influenced by most of us recently taking to various weight loss programs. Some are doing variations on low carbohydrate systems, others are exercising like crazy (cycling and Zumba are popular) and there are those on combinations. We started with combinations of spicy sausage and mushrooms cooked on the barbecue along with a cheese ball and Turkish bread and dips. Then @NatMcNazz brought along these awesome Parmesan cheese biscuits flavoured with chilli and fennel.

Fred the tooth pick holder was popular

This image reveals @tinythecabbie ‘s hand

Turkish bread and dips

Here is a close up of Fred and his partner Cork

Fred and his mate

The tooth picks later became popular with the kids who lit them in the candles and then played with fire (all under close adult supervision of course).

There was so much great food. By the time it was dinner time, I’d already eaten enough for a few nights anyway. Our gracious hosts and other friends had brought along enough to feed us all including children and then some.

Plate one for me

The coleslaw brought by @Bron99 was awesome and not traditional. I the potato bake was fantastic. Creamy and good. I haven’t had a snag and hamburger for ages. So this image has been captioned Plate one for me because I ended up going back twice more. My second plate was piled high with coleslaw and potato bake and a piece of honey soy chicken. The third plate was mainly coleslaw and another piece of chicken.

Then came the desserts. I’ll just list them through photographs.

Pavlova, Australia's greatest invention. I LOVE PAVLOVA!!! :-)

I can never resist pavlova. It brings back so many happy childhood memories.

This white chocolate cheesecake was amazing

@Bron99 made this lovely white chocolate cheesecake which came with a strawberry coulis.

Apple pie

I confess my eyes were bigger than my belly. I wanted apple pie but after the pavlova and cheesecake I could not go back for the apple pie.

Chocolate wafers, jaffas and spearmint leaves

I do not know what this is called but @TinyTheCabbie brought them. So colourful and everyone raved about them.

My plate of dessert

I have with much sadness and self condemnation have to admit I could not finish this lovely plate of food. My grandmother’s voice echoes in my head about the starving children in Africa, but after the gluttony of snacks and then three plates of dinner, my dessert stomach (also known as the œsophagus) failed me and certain sphincters sending signals to my brain to stop eating or eject food upwards.

At the end of the evening, we had a tweet up photograph which I won’t upload because I don’t have everyone’s permission to share. Suffice to say it is a great photograph and it was a wonderful and happy evening.

I think I can safely post one blurry image of a subset of us who preferred the company of mosquitoes so they could talk about the others :-)

Some of the tweeps

It really was a fantastic evening.

Epilogue

This morning I woke up feeling full. What better way to celebrate a new day than with brunch. Off to Black Pepper we went for a Black Pepper big breakfast.

Black Pepper big breakfast poached eggs, bacon (lots of bacon), chorizo sausage, mushrooms, tomato and a potato cake

Did I say there was lots of bacon?

Lots of bacon

Yep lots of bacon.

A two meal day


This morning we met friends at Pizzazz Café for brunch. I had sausages, an egg, spinach and mushrooms.
For dinner we had roast lamb, Aubergine, pumpkin, parsnip and broccoli.
Dessert was a wonderful creme brûlée and mango.

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Dinner at the museum


Tonight I visited Museo Nacional De Antropología in Mexico City and went through the Aztec and Maya rooms. Fascinating exhibits and very interesting history.

Dinner was tortilla soup, stuffed chicken and banana cream pie.

Tortilla soup at Museo Nacional De Antropología

 

Tortilla soup at Museo Nacional De Antropología

Stuffed chicken at Museo Nacional De Antropología

Banana cream pie at Museo Nacional De Antropología