Archive for month: January, 2012
I do hope everyone had a fantastic Australia Day yesterday. Those of you that have also taken the Friday off work for an extra long weekend, good onya! That’s the Australian spirit.
Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!
I thought Audax’s challenge was perfect timing for Australia Day, being an Aussie Daring Baker, it makes complete sense. I do suggest you pop over and have a look at Audax’s post and recipes as he put a lot of work and effort in to researching and experimenting on how to make the perfect scone. Read more →
Maranda of Jolts & Jollies was our January 2012 Daring Cooks hostess with the mostess! Maranda challenged us to make traditional Mexican Tamales as our first challenge of the year!
Firstly I need to apologise to Maranda, I made a massive mess of this challenge. Hopefully my epic fail wont set my standard for the rest of the Daring Kitchen, Daring Cooks’ Challenges this year.
When I first read the challenge I was really excited. I love Mexican food and I have been playing around with it a bit of late. The other bonus was that I had most of the ingredients, no specialty shopping needed. This was an added bonus as we had just returned back from holidays.
I actually have never come across a tamale in Sydney. I am sure you must be able to find them somewhere? (quick net search says Bodega & Flying Fajita Sisters?) They don’t grace your typical Mexican restaurant here.
What exactly is a tamale? Everyone has heard of the expression ‘hot tamale’. I had heard of them, seen them on cooking travel shows, but never eaten one. Tamales are a traditional Latin American dish, made with a masa dough. They can be filled with meats, cheese, fruits, vegetables anything basically. Wrapped in corn husks, they are then steamed or boiled.
I mentioned earlier that I made a bit of a mess of this challenge. Where did I go wrong? I had blue masa mix (blue corn tortilla mix) in the cupboard and decided to use that. May have not been a clever idea as the recipe used masa harina which is a yellow corn tortilla mix. Read more →
I have been MIA since my Christmas Eve post having a nice break from blogging and work. Back to work and back to Belly Rumbles.
I was having a giggle to myself as I re-read as my “to do” list for 2011 on my New Year post back last January. What did I achieve from that list? Not much to be honest. Big smack to my bot!
This was the 2011 list and commentary as to how I went.
- Make my own salami “back on the list for 2012″
- Advance my skills regarding preserving, bottling, pickling and making jams “Made a start & already planning more seasonal fun”
- Create a gourmet meal for one of my hikes next year, instead of eating 2 minute noodles, porridge and muesli bars. “Got fat, didn’t hike, on diet & exercise plan so I can get my ass moving for 2012“
- Make my own cheese “another failure, no cheese”
- Enjoy a Friday lunch at Assiette “Oh this one I did with Ms Lily”
- Take a chocolate making class “Sadly not, but again on the to do list”
- Play around a lot more with molecular gastronomy “I really am a slack ass, back on 2012 agenda”
- Spend more time making stock to keep on hand in my chest freezer (I am slack!!) “6L of chicken stock in the freeze as I type, seems I’m not that slack after all”
- Prepare more vegetarian meals “this was achieved, go me!”
- Have dinner at Tetsuya’s “nope, didn’t happen, but did have lunch at Quay)”
- Shop more at the local growers/farmers’ markets “Didn’t frequent as much as I would of liked, this one is also on list for 2012″
- Shop less at Coles and Woolworths, and support the little guys, again pure laziness and I need smacked!! “this one I adhear to, I love my greengrocer and deli. Sadly don’t use my local butcher as he lied to me about a turkey a few years ago, long story”
- Hone my French cooking techniques “yep, slowly but surely, my basics are being honed”
- Learn more about and use more Australian native ingredients ” yes, but more to be discovered in 2012″
- Lastly, be successful in keeping that damn possum out of my herb garden and veggie patch! “hmmmm f#^king possum, have given up, no edibles in my garden, thinking chooks for 2012 (joking!) – oh I can hear so many family members shuddering at that comment”
I had an interesting 2011……
Sadly it was a tough one. My mother in law, Yvonne, lost her battle with cancer. A long time friend lost her beautiful daughter, so young and taken from us. An ex boss/long time friend/pain in the ass, also lost his battle with lymphoma this year. Then there has been the ongoing battle with Sally and her cancer issues. Also my parents moved to Qld, I miss my mum badly (and dad ;p).
With the bad there are the highlights of good.
Meeting Margaret Fulton. Seriously, I never thought when I started Belly Rumbles that I would be making afternoon tea for Margaret. Listening to her stories, her sharing of family pictures, her eating my food (and loving it). Wow, amazing!!
My first ever interview for Belly Rumbles, which was with the spokes person of Twining Tea, Stephen Twining himself. Such a dapper English chap.
I hosted the Darling Kitchen’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge. Oh wow, that was very intense as I didn’t want to let anyone down. Everyone seemed to enjoy the challenge and there was so much positive feedback, it was truly an awesome experience.
I got to meet the ever so cute Clovis Young , brain child behind the Mad Mex chain. Now that was a major tequila and chilli lesson.
What does 2012 hold for me? I will be honest, it is a little unsure and scary. As things develop, will happily share with you guys.
What I do know is that I want is to get fit enough to do a couple of hikes this year. I want to have amazing dining out experiences, think cheap eat gems and hopefully a hatted splurge. I want to push myself even further in the kitchen. May even get that salami made.
What do you hope 2012 holds for you?
Oh and by the way, no list this year, just an open mind and willingness to explore.