Category: inspire

Fun with Decorating the Dining Table

I am surrounded by some creative people. One collegue Joanne is fabulous with coming up with great decorations – in this case it was decorating trestle tables on a budget. We started with hired starched white table cloths. The middle was covered with cheap wrapping paper n black and white from Ikea. Ikea is fabulous for such things as table ware, serviettes and serving ware . Jo then purchased large imported tins of tomato,as well as small tins of tomato. Empty the tins – save the tomatoes for sauce (they will freeze well).Fresh Bunches of Herbs or even pots of herbs will provide great colour and voila – a decorated room without breaking the budget.

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Duck Egg – Curry

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Today Steve, Olivia and Zoe took me out to The Pint of Milk for mothers day breakfast – I had delicious eggs, this time served with bacon, avocado and hollandaise sauce on a toasted bagel – another great use for those left over egg yolks. Hollandaise requires gentle heat and can even be made (no stirring) in a thermomix or a steamer ,if you are lucky enough to have one.

This reminded me of my own mother, who was a country girl at heart, and loved all animals and at various stages kept chickens and even a pair of ducks.

Whilst we remain comfortable cooking hen’s eggs, their are other eggs that can be used and enjoyed in our diets.

Quail eggs are attractive little speckled eggs and can be cooked in the same way as hen’s eggs, though for rather less time.

Duck Eggs are much bigger and contain a little more fat than hen’s eggs.They can be used in scrambled,omelettes, soft boiled eggs, deserts and curry. Egg dishes are often made at home in India.

I include a link for duck curry to the Guardian Newspaper, which has excellent food recipes and links.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/oct/12/burmese-duck-egg-recipe

Deliciously Sweet Pavlova

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The Humble desert “Pavlova” is a firm favourite in our household. Zoe and Olivia are happy to whip one up and even happier to deftly consume in one sitting .

Once you have followed a few cooking rules, you too can comfortably make a pavlova. Sadly I see many recipes with very high oven temperatures, which a desert like pavlova, does not tolerate for the complete cooking time.

1. Ensure egg whites have no traces of egg yolk,beat in a clean metal or glass bowl
2. Older egg whites give a better whipping result
3. Egg whites freeze well and become more glutinous which makes them even better for preparing meringues etc
4. Ensure egg whites are at room temperature
5. Dissolving the sugar is the key essential step – when adding the sugar beat slowly and add sugar very slowly
6. Start oven at a higher temperature of 150c, leave pavlova to cook for approximately 30 minutes, then turn down to at least 120c for the balance of 45 minutes – leave to cool in the oven overnight

Most importantly serve with fresh cream and lots of fruit like berries, mango, passionfruit and enjoy.

tropical pavlova