OMG, It’s another Sunday Dinner Party!

So this week’s challenge is from Jane Kennedy’s OMG I Can Eat That?!?.  The recipe was the Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Piemakin and OMG it was pretty easy and pretty good!

So, soon after I picked this recipe, I had a minor freak out—it’s served in Ramekins and I “only” have two sizes of ramekins (I know, me and my first world problems).  Neither size looks quite big enough to feed/fill hungry people.   Oh snap!  So, in vain, I searched the web for ramekin sizes and realised that 1, Ramekins come in all shapes, sizes and colours, and 2, it was a Saturday so even if I found the perfect ramekin, there was no way they’d be here in time.  That left me with two options:  1, make a pie in my super large ramekin shaped dish… or 2, make a dessert.  I chose the dessert option.  Slightly more work, but who doesn’t like cake.  And, if I can find candles that aren’t tea lights in the house, we may light them and wish The Runner an early happy birthday.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering my larger ramekins are about 9oz, which is also the largest size ramekin stocked by www.foodservicewarehouse.com.  They don’t look that big but hopefully they’ll do the trick!  If not, oh well, there’s a McDonalds across the road everyone can hit after dinner!

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So my first step is to make the marble cake.  It’s not out of OMG I can eat that, it’s out of my mixer cookbook.  First hurdle, figuring out how big 20cm is.  When you were born and raised in the only non Metric country in the world, this presents a problem.  Anyway, don’t get me started about how we all learned about the metric system back in 1985 because supposedly it was “coming soon” yet 25 years later, it’s still yet to reach the US.

Anyhoo, I cream together eggs, butter, and sugar in my mixer…and oops, that’s what happens when you don’t lock the bowl into place first, you get eggs, butter and sugar all over the counter.  Let’s try again! 

Can I just say how much I love My Mixer, Barbie?  I always wanted her and she was a present for my 30th birthday and hands down, nearly three years later, she’s still the best present ever….that I’ve received as an adult.  When I was 3 or 4 My Dad bought be a Love Boat playset, complete with an over 2 foot long Love Boat.  Now THAT was the best present ever especially when you’re just over 2 foot long yourself!!!!  Seriously!  It even had figures painted to look like the cast, including Isaac, Doc, Gopher, and my personal favourite, Julie McCoy, Cruise Director.  I wanted to change my name to Julie when I was about 3, in honour of course of Julie McCoy.

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Well, the cake batter is made and actually I have enough for two cakes—so The Runner will have one to take to work tomorrow if he’d like….Result for him!  The kitchen is in a bit of a state so I do a quick tidy before moving onto the main event!

The first step is to outline the ramekin tops so that I can make the Zucchini crust for the pies.  I trace, them onto baking paper and then grate two zucchini.  I stir in two eggs and 150g of shredded mozzarella and put them onto the baking paper.

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Then I chop the chicken and brown it for 6 minutes, remove it from the pan and add leeks and garlic.    After that’s cooked for 5 minutes, or possibly longer since I got a bit distracted by table setting.  I add rosemary and thyme and mushrooms.  Once that’s cooked I add the chicken and greek yoghurt and cook it until I’m dressed… ok, that’s not what the recipe says but as it’s 15 minutes before the guests come and I’m not dressed so it’s the most realistic way to time it! 

I’m dressed and now wearing an apron (fancy!) and as I’m filling the ramekins with the chicken, leek and mushroom mix the door bell rings with the first guest!

So…..  the meal is pretty easy to put together from here and a great meal for entertaining.  Firstly, it can all be done hours before anyone arrives and secondly, it’s a meal in a ramekin with a salad on the side, not exactly a culinary stretch!    But it actually tasted good.  Once the guests came, I sprinkled some parmesan over the ramekins and put the zucchini lids on.    Now they’re ready for the oven…  but not until all the guests arrive!

I make the salad, have some wine, have some more wine and then make the salad dressing.  What a great dinner party dish, there’s no work to do except to put it in the oven….. how good is that???

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Everyone arrives and everything goes to plan….the ramekins are actually more than enough to fill everyone—did you know the stomach only holds two fists worth of food?? Neither did I until tonight!  I reckon a ramekin is about 1 fist which leaves a whole second fist for cake and ice cream. 

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We forgot to sing Happy Birthday to The Runner, but The Runner who isn’t big on birthdays isn’t fussed.  It actually occurs to me that The Runner and I are the epitome of ying and yang.  He doesn’t care about his birthday, and I pretty much think mine should be an international festival.  He loves to eat, I love to cook.  I love fancy dress and will dress up at the drop of a hat, he definitely doesn’t.  He’s up at 5am to go cycling, I could sleep until noon.   It’s funny that we are the embodiment of opposites attracting.   But somehow we work.  So nevermind there were no candles and no happy birthday with the cake and ice cream tonight—I think I was more upset than he was.    It was a great dinner party.  We had DC, the Lineast, Ampersander, The Runner and I, and it was a blast!

The Ampersander chose Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion for the next challenge!  Stay tuned, this could be an interesting one!!!!

OMG, I Can Eat That??

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Is the name of this week’s cooking challenge cookbook.  Despite it’s crazy name, it’s actually pretty good and really good for my late summer pre-Ireland and US slim down!  

Last week I made Lamb loin dusted with dukkah with parsley and red onion salad with spicy roasted pumpkin.   It was really good and probably quite healthy!   It was also pretty easy to cook and definitely worth doing again.  

So this week’s challenge should be pretty good!   For this week’s Sunday Dinner, I’m making Chicken, Leek, and Mushroom Piemakins.  Jane Kennedy calls them a cross between a ramekin and a pie, hence the name piemakin.

My big hope is that Ramekins I have will be big enough to actually be adult sized servings…..hmmmmm….. might need to think about some good dessert options just in case my guests are still hungry!

 

Stay tuned!

I lied

So I sort of lied when I said that not much was going on a week or so
ago. That’s definitely not true- it’s just that all the stuff that’s
going on is pretty normal, boring stuff. I guess it’s called everyday
life. But there’s so much of it going on that I forgot this is a Sunday
Dinner week and I’m cooking from “Omg, I Can Eat That” by Jane Kennedy.

Don’t worry, it’s not what you think, the recipes are basically
healthier versions of foods that are traditionally really fatty. I made
Dukkah crusted Lamb and spicy pumpkin during the week and it was pretty
good. For Sunday, I’m tossing up between chicken and Leek Piemakins and
Thai Beef Curry.

So what has been going on? The Runner is preparing for his first big
race of the season in Huskisson, in Jervis bay so he’s up running and
biking most mornings. I’m a bit nervous about the race to be honest
since he’s injured himself progressively worse each year that he’s done
it. The first year it was a hamstring, then last year he came off his
bike at speed and wound up bruised and bloodied. He finished the race
though but it looked as though someone had taken a cheese grater to him.
It’s coming up in a few weeks so more on that later. He also did a
VO2max test a few weeks ago- some sort of test of how fit he is. He was
pretty chuffed with the results. I don’t really get it but I read the
report, scratched my head and told him I was proud of him. His
birthday is next week so wish him happy birthday if you happen to see
him. I Love birthdays– my own mainly, but his is always good fun too,
once I sort out the what to get him dilemma. He wants running shoes
(snore!) We’re going to dinner at Universal, a restaurant here in Sydney
which is apparently closing down in April so we figured we should go
sooner rather than later and then celebrating his actual birthday with a
wedding (not ours).

What else? I’m working, and finally into the habit of getting up every
single morning again (even in the rain) and working all day. I wish
someone had told me when I was younger how much better school is than
work– wait, I think my mom did but I didn’t believe her at the time.
Seriously, kids have it made! School from 9-3, then summer vacation,
days off, snow days, recess– what was I thinking growing up???

I made a Chinese New Year resolution (I’m only calling it that because I
made it closer to February 1st than January 1st) to get up and go to the
gym every Thursday morning. I’m not a morning person so wish me luck,
it’s been two weeks in a row, well really only 1 so we’ll see what
happens in the next few weeks. I’ve been struggling to read the book
Les Miserables but have given up (nearly) in favor of Words With Friends
on the bus. And when I say struggling, the stupid book is 1600 pages on
the Kindle and Victor Hugo spends 90 pages explaining the Battle of
Waterloo battlefield and how empty and bare a room is. I love reading,
but seriously this is enough to test my patience. We finally have a
working oven, which I’m getting reacquainted with, and a newly organised
kitchen- so now I have no excuses! I even found all the parts of my
KitchenAid mixer, including the fruit and vegetable strainer that I’ve
never used. Don’t ask but when I bought it, I saw myself making — ok
to be honest I have no idea what. But now, that I’ve found it, so help
me god, I will use it for something — eventually, I hope. So that’s
pretty much it, after everything that’s happened recently, I feel like
things are more or less settling back into normal again.

Happy February everyone!

Ps: please keep my little niece in your thoughts, the poor little
pumpkin is in hospital at the moment and even though she’s full of
smiles it’s no fun and she has her aunt a bit worried!