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Please enjoy my life journey filled with memories of business, pleasure, family, friends and of course food.

Friday, 16 September 2011

August Instagram

Instagram Collage:
In the month that was August I:

Remembered "The Sex Goddess" Marilyn Monroe on the anniversary of her death.
Went to Squires Loft (Robina Town Centre) and devoured a juicy steak.
Made the Donna Hay Chorizo, Spinach & Ricotta Frittata.
Went out for breakfast with NixyJ and had extra marshmallows in the babycino.
Had my own attempt at making a Frittata and Horn liked it better than Donna's.
Went to The Wine Barrel for a "boozy tapas" lunch.
Check out the new renos at Little Beans and burnt my tongue on a Vanilla Latte.
Kael came over for his first play date, power spewed and Darla licked his feet.
Went through a one week phase of eating "Crunchy Peanut Butter & Jam on Toast".
Took the Boat out with Friends and left the driving and horn tooting up to NixyJ.
Finally got my potted herb garden.
Celebrated NixyJ 2nd Birthday party TWICE.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Lady Dash's Thai Beef Salad Cups

Spring is fast approaching and so is the need to be in swimwear, trying to get heavy winter meals out of our systems i thought i would mix things up a little and turn our "Asian Stir Fry Night" into a lighter more interactive dish.

This recipes is for 2 people:

Stir Fry Mix:
2 Porterhouse Steaks (fat trimmed & sliced into strips)
1 Capsicum (sliced)
1 Zucchini (sliced)
1 Carrot (peeled)
100g Green Beans (diced)

Thai Dressing: (You can also just buy a Thai Dressing)
2 Long Red Chillies (seeded, deveined & sliced)
1 Large Garlic Clove (minced)
1 TBS Coriander (paste)
1 TBS Ginger (minced)
1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1/3 Sweet Soy Sauce
1 TBS Mirin
1 TBS Sake
1 TBS Fish Sauce

1 Bundle Organic Udon Noodles
Iceberg Lettuce (whole leaves)
1/3 Cup Stone's Green Ginger Wine (From the Bottle Shop)
2 TBS Peanut Oil

I hate washing up so i like to have as little dishes as possible, so it might sound like i am working backwards but its purely to save on excess dishes.

Start by preparing all the vegetables and put aside, the different ways of cutting the vegetables ensures they are all cooked the same.

Next prepare the Thai Dressing, place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together, make sure the sugar has dissolved. Remember to taste and adjust to your liking, if you want more heat throw in some more Chilli.

Slice the beef to your desired thickness place in the dressing bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 20mins. (If you don't care about dishes or you don't have as much time as i do start with the dressing and the beef, by the time you chop and cook the veggies 20mins would have past).

Bring a small pot of water to the boil, leave boiling until needed.

If you have a wok use it, if not a large fry pan is fine.  Get your pan very hot and add 1TBS of Peanut Oil, add you Veggie Mix and toss around the pan until you see that they are all coated with oil, add 1/3 Cup Stones Green Ginger Wine and stir fry for a further 3mins, take Veggies out of the pan and put aside.

Place your Udon Noodles into the boiling water, keep an eye on them as they tend to boil over. If you blow on the frothy layer it should stop it.

Reheat the pan and add another 1TBS Peanut Oil, use a pair of tongs or a spoon with slits in it to transfer the meat to the pan. You don't want to much liquid in the pan or the meat will poach, not fry. I like my meat medium, so that is about 3mins. After 2 minutes add your vegetables and spoon in extra sauce as it evaporates, turn the pan off.

To prepare the lettuce cups, cut the bottom of the stem/core off so each leaf peels off into the shape of a cup-BE GENTLE, drain the noodles, mix through stir fry, add some more sauce if you like.

To serve, place the lettuce cups in a round ball neatly stacked on top of each other, put the stir fry in a large bowl with serving spoons, grab a plate, a lettuce cup and a spoonful of thai goodness, pop it inside the lettuce cup, wrap it up and eat.

Lady Dash's Thai Beef Salad Cups

The flavours in this dish are so amazing and fragrant, don't be scared to taste and adjust to your liking... I am so looking forward to having this dish again next week.

Score 10/10

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Lauxes Dining Restaurant Review

Recently a friend of mine had raved about the new staff and menu at Lauxes, being an old regular at Lauxes (as it was once owned by a friend)- I suggested to my girlfriend that we should use our Entertainment Books and go to Lauxes.

Saturday was such a windy day, so I was excited to be sitting in the sunshine by the park. I had a 50th Birthday on Saturday so we had a late lunch and we were starving… My girlfriend made the booking for 2.30pm, as we arrived it was busy which for Lauxes in the last 6 months was unusual. 

We waited to be seated and we waited and we waited, we then seated ourselves outside in the sun. Being starving, thirsty and slightly impatient after 15 minutes I walked inside and asked the guy behind the bar for a food & drink menu. He passed them to me and said “be with you in a minute”, understanding that they were busy (not packed), I sat back down and scoured the wine list for some Vino- Sav of course.

We decided on a bottle of Nautilus and started browsing the food menu, although the menu is small and they don’t do the tapas anymore (as far as I could see) we picked out a main each.

Another 15mins past so I walked back inside found a waitress and ordered the wine, it had now been 30mins since we arrived and not even one staff member had been outside to greet us….

Being very thirsty and very hungry now I could see that our bottle of wine was sitting on the bar waiting for us to drink it…. Another 10 minutes past and my girlfriend could tell I was getting very very agitated she then stated “if this is how long it is going to take to get a drink, how long is the food going to be”? Agreeing with her we picked up our bags and got the hell out of there.

Now there are no pictures with this post as there was nothing for me to take pictures of, I wont hold a grudge and I will give them another go as every place has on off day but I tell you what the food better be bloody amazing to make up for it.

As it was getting late, we decided to just share a bottle of wine and pizza at Alto Cucina.

Still dying to sit in the sun, we asked politely if they could open the blinds so we could sit in the outside booths and they did. We ordered our wine & pizza and finally began enjoying ourselves well that was until…………

CRASH, SMASH, BOOM! A flipping soccer ball game flying out of nowhere and knocked my girlfriends drink into my chest and smashed it to smithereens! I looked like I had umm well pissed my pants, I was so saturated I was dripping. I had glass shards stuck all over me and not to mention every pair of eyes in Broadbeach looking at me. So now I was thirsty, starving, saturated and reeking of wine plus I hadn’t even had a sip yet. 

The girls (which were about 20) were trying not to laugh but apologised instantly by saying-
Girls: Oh my god, we are sooo sorry can we buy you another drink?
Lady Dash: If you would like to? Go ahead but I am not asking you to buy me a drink.  I do however think it's pretty stupid to be playing with a ball next to restaurant when there is a park just across the road????
They then walked off and a guy comes over
Guy: I am so sorry about my friends, can I buy you a drink?
Lady Dash: Its not your fault, don’t worry about.
Guy: Oh ok you don’t happen to know where the ball went do you?
Lady Dash (with a smile): Mate, I don’t really give a shit where you ball is.

After all that we still managed to sit, eat and laugh after the day we just had. The staff at Alto were fantastic and looked after us and turned a shocker into a nice afternoon.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

maple glazed chicken "the donna hay way"

While I am still suffering from this flu that is taking over the Gold Coast, i flipped through the pages for a really simple dinner, that looked quick and easy. I found donna hay's Maple Glazed Chicken on page 16 of  Fast, Fresh and Simple and although it was in the Fast section it sure was Fresh and Simple.

1/4 Cup (60ml) Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup (60ml) Water
1/2 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt Flakes
1/2 Tsp Cracked Black Pepper
2 x 200g Chicken Breasts, Trimmed
Roasted Parsnips & Steamed Sugar Snap Peas, to Serve
the "donna hay way:"
Place the Maple Syrup, Water, Chilli, Salt & Pepper in a non stick frying pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and add the Chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes each side or until Chicken is cooked through. Serve the Chicken with the Pan Sauce, Roasted Parsnips and steams Sugar Snap Peas. Serves 2.

Maple Glazed Chicken
Lady Dash says:
This was a very cheap dinner to make! All up the Chicken, Parsnips and (i used) Snow Peas cost just over $10.00, everything else i had as pantry items. I trimmed the chicken to my liking and then i halved the fillet down the middle to make it the same thickness so it would cook even. At first the sauce looked very watery but as the temperature got hotter the sauce became sticker so don't panic. I did find it very silly that there were no cooking instructions for Parsnip, common donna lets face it- its not that popular a vegetable with Youth. So i googled it and came across this Recipe and it was delicious, i think i have found a new vegetable! For the Snow Peas I blanched them and sprinkled salt before serving.

I didn't think that this would fill Horn up but it did, if you have big boys maybe by an extra piece of chicken and cut it into strips just incase. I had removed the tenderloin and cooked it and sliced it up for Horn to take with Salad for lunch. Horn loved it, and I thought it was a nice change from boring old chicken, if you like spice maybe double the chilli content for a bigger chilli hit.
Score 7/10

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Steak & Three Veg "the donna hay way"

It has definitely been a while since my last post, I have been working on some new projects that i cannot wait to share with you soon. One of my favourite things to eat is Eye Fillet, i love this cut of meat and i eat it at least once a week. So when i saw Donna Hay's fresh take on Steak and Three Veg, i couldn't wait to give it a go.

1 x 300g beef eye fillet steak
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Aïoli, to serve
1 large potato, peeled and sliced with a vegetable peeler
1 sweet potato (kumara), peeled and sliced with a vegetable peeler
1 parsnip, peeled and sliced with a vegetable peeler
50g butter, melted
½ cup (40g) finely grated parmesan
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

the "donna hay way"
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). To make the three veg, place the potato, sweet potato and parsnip in separate bowls. Divide the butter, parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper among the bowls and toss to combine. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Pile each vegetable into 2 flat piles. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden and crisp. While the vegetables are cooking, cook the beef. Sprinkle the beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Cook the beef for 3 minutes each side or until well browned. Place on a baking tray and bake for 4 minutes for rare and 7–8 minutes for medium. To serve, slice the beef in half and place on serving plates with the three veg. Serve with aïoli. Serves 2.

Lady Dash says:
This recipe is easy to follow, and has very little washing up, yay! The parmesan and thyme mix smothered between the veggies gives the most beautiful aroma when cooking. If you have any men in the house it will not pass as Steak and 3 Veg, i knew that this would not even put a dent in Horns appetite so i decided to make it a "Build Your Own Dinner".

Build Your Own Dinner
I sliced and toasted Ciabatta, dressed Rocket leaves with Balsamic & EVO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and we sat in front of the TV with a glass of wine and had a little donna hay steak and 3 veg tapas plate.

Toasted Ciabatta topped with Rare Eye Fillet
Balsamic Rocket & Aoili
Would this replace our normal steak night? We both really liked this dish but would call it a snack, not a meal. The veggies really were delicious and i recommend giving them a go.
Score: 8/10

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I have been busy in the kitchen, not the computer!

Where has the week gone or weeks i should say...... I know i haven't updated a post in a while and I am sorry i have been in Melbourne but i have still been a busy bee in my kitchen of course... Up coming posts will include a mix of donna hays recipes and some of my own Lady Dash creations.

donna hay
"a cooks guide" Creme Caramel

donna hay
Fast, Fresh, Simple Cider Roasted Pork Belly

donna hay
Fast, Fresh, Simple Steak & 3 Vege

donna hay
Fast, Fresh, Simple Lemon & Garlic Roast Chicken

Lady Dash Creations
Beef Casserole with Rice

Lady Dash Creations
Eye Fillet with Beetroot Puree, Green Beans &
Horseradish Cream

Lady Dash Creations
Pumpkin Ravioli filled with Spinach & Ricotta and
Pomodoro Sauce

Lady Dash Creations
Canape of Toasted Ciabatta topped with
Rare Eye Fillet, Balsamic Rocket & Aioli 

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Lady Dash meets Curtis Stone "Chef & Top Bloke"

Curtis Stone and Lady Dash @ Roosevelt Hotel in LA
Such a Top Bloke (im using the word bloke for a reason) didn't mind an Aussie interrupting his night for a quick photo op.