Archive for March, 2009

Chorizo Roast Chicken

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Most people love a roast chicken. Unfortunately I’m not normally one of them. I often find it a bit dry and a bit plain. So when I found this recipe in the delicious Magazine, which had tips to make the chicken both flavoured and moist, I thought why not give it one more chance to prove itself.

Chorizo_Roast_Chicken
I’m not sure which part contributed to making the chicken moist, turning it over to rest or the fat from the cooking chorizo. It doesn’t really bother me though, as I will now always add chorizo under the chicken skin and turn the chicken over to rest for a few minutes.

This recipe was adapted from the Chorizo-Stuffed Chicken with Couscous found in delicious magazine December 2008/January 2009 issue. Tobie Puttock placed onion, garlic cloves, half a lemon and thyme into the cavity while cooking, although Nick made up a chorizo, onion, lemon, breadcrumb and pistachio stuffing.

Chorizo Roast Chicken
1.2 – 1.5kg chicken
1 chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 180°C. Gently work your fingers underneath the skin of the chicken and slide in sliced chorizo in 1 layer, you will probably only be able to stuff half the chorizo under the skin.

Chorizo stuffed under the skin of the chicken

Chorizo stuffed under the skin of the chicken


Place lemon, onion, garlic and thyme into cavity or add a homemade stuffing and tie the legs of the chicken together. Rub with some oil and season.

Roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting occasionally, until cooked through – juices will run clear when thigh is pierced.

Roasted to perfection, moist and tasty

Roasted to perfection, moist and tasty


Remove the string and carefully turn the bird upside-down on a board to keep the breast from drying out. Rest for 5 minutes. Carve and serve with roast vegetables or couscous.

Carrot Cake

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Happy Birthday Nick!

Carrot Cake - HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICK!

Carrot Cake - HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICK!


Nick loves carrot cake. So when I asked him last year what cake he would like me to make for his birthday, he replied “A carrot cake, please”. This year I again asked him, what cake would you like for your birthday, and again I received the same answer, perhaps with a tiny bit of reluctance this time. For some reason he thought I may not want to make another carrot cake. It’s been one year since I made one and I certainly don’t think that’s too short a time between carrot cakes.

I have tried a few carrot cake recipes, although the brown sugar, cinnamon and golden syrup in this recipe produce a lovely flavour in the cake. I was a bit reluctant when I saw how much oil went into the cake, although it helps make the cake very moist.

I also added ½ cup of roughly chopped walnuts (another request from Nick). The walnuts suited the cake nicely, although there is much to be said about my icing… I am in need of practice and a few tips too.

One of my first attempts in icing a cake

One of my first attempts in icing a cake

This recipe is from Taste.com.au – a website which I am constantly visiting or directed to when searching for recipes.

Carrot cake

Serves: 12
Olive oil, to grease
2 or 3 (about 300g) carrots
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (80g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (185ml) oil
1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Icing
250g spreadable cream cheese
1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 20cm (base) round cake pan lightly with oil, and line with non-stick baking paper. Peel and grate the carrots, and set aside. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into a large bowl.

Put the brown sugar, oil, golden syrup, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl. Use a balloon whisk to mix until combined.

Mix the eggs with the oil, brown sugar and golden syrup

Mix the eggs with the oil, brown sugar and golden syrup

Mix the oil and sugar mix in with flour mix

Mix the oil and sugar mix in with flour mix


Pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to stir gently until just combined. Stir in the grated carrot.
Mix in the grated carrot and walnuts and pour into prepared pan

Mix in the grated carrot and walnuts and pour into prepared pan

Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 1 hour. Set aside for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Nice and golden

Nice and golden

To make the icing, place the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined.

Lovely and Moist

Lovely and Moist

Spread the icing over the cake.

Part of Nick’s birthday present from me was a lemon tree, to be planted in the lovely gardens of our first home, when we move in very shortly. Hopefully we’ll get a lot of fruit from it to use in our cooking – savouries, sweets and drinks too.

Nick's Eureka Lemon Tree

Nick's Eureka Lemon Tree

My sister also wanted to get Nick a tree, their tree was already bearing the most fantastic fruit of all: A chocolate tree…

Nick's Lindt Chocolate Tree - all ready for harvest

Nick's Lindt Chocolate Tree - all ready for harvest

Fiji – Honeymoon

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

fiji_honeymoon_1053
After all the organising that took place with our wedding, we decided a honeymoon which had no activities planned (only flights, a nice room and buffet breakfast daily was organised) was exactly what we needed!

Midori Splice Cocktail

Midori Splice Cocktail


16 nights at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort…. Lovely.
Snorkelling, swimming, visiting waterfalls, islands, drinking cocktails, having a massage, playing table tennis, reading and most importantly … relaxing.
Some of the lovely fish we saw while snorkeling

Some of the lovely fish we saw while snorkeling


I was hoping for a bit more of a variety of food in Fiji, including a chance to try some traditional food. Unfortunately being in a resort I don’t think we experience this as much as we would have if we had gone to a smaller place. We went to both fire-walking and fire-dancing, both which served traditional foods during the entertainment. We were supposed to have a ‘lovo’ which means “earth oven”, but unfortunately the meat seemed the same as from the buffet restaurant and had likely been roasted in the oven as we could not detect any ‘smoky’ flavour, which is meant to be one of the characteristics of the traditional lovo.
A Fijian cutting down green coconuts

A Fijian cutting down green coconuts

A coconut we found on the beach - Nick cracked it opened, over 10 minutes, then we ate it for dinner

A coconut we found on the beach - Nick cracked it opened, over 10 minutes, then we ate it for dinner


The Buffet was great for breakfast and two nights we also chose the buffet for dinner too. They had a good range of food and a very good range of desserts, including white chocolate and dark chocolate mousse, carrot cake and chocolate cake, although obviously not as good as home-made cakes and desserts.
Italian Buffet - Nick's first plate of food

Italian Buffet - Nick's first plate of food


Italian Buffer - My first plate of food.... a bit of a difference from Nick's first plate

Italian Buffer - My first plate of food.... a bit of a difference from Nick's first plate


One suggestion for those thinking of going to Fiji – take your chocolate with you 🙂 …
$10 for a normal block of chocolate was too much for me to pay, although the chocolate ice-creams they had were a comparable price, so I got my chocolate fix that way (and it helped cool us down).
Array of cakes for dessert

Array of cakes for dessert


... More cakes ...

... More cakes ...


More Dessert - White Chocolate, Raspberry and Chocolate Mousse to choose from

More Dessert - White Chocolate, Raspberry and Chocolate Mousse to choose from


My choice of desserts... Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry Mousse, Slice, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Cake

My choice of desserts... Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry Mousse, Slice, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Cake

Wedding Accessories

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Keeping in theme with bridal accessories, I must also show the other lovely accessories we included for our wedding. Much thought went into each piece of detail and it was worth it in the end!

Dress:
I love my wedding dress. It was the first one I tried on, and after trying another 50 or so (no I’m not kidding, it really was around 50). I went back to where I originally tried on the dress and ordered it. Well, that’s the shortened version…

My lovely Wedding Dress

My lovely Wedding Dress


Long Version (only those who dare, read the next very long paragraph… otherwise skip it – although you may get a bit of a laugh)
I needed length added to the dress when it was being made, so I needed to find shoes so they knew the exact amount to add. Shoes were one of the most difficult things to find and after days of shopping and nerves about finding a pair that were comfortable, not too tall, heel not too thin etc, we eventually found pairs that had similar shoes for the bridesmaids. After going to the trouble of getting grips on the bottom of the shoes (so I wouldn’t slip if it was raining or on the dance floor), I tried on the shoes for our dance lessons…. Squeak, squeak, squeak – how on earth could my shoes be squeaking?? “Keep wearing them, you’ll wear the squeak out” Many people said to me….. no….. that didn’t work…. So off to the shops (again) I went to buy the same pair of shoes. They only had half a size bigger (and not as perfect looking as the first pair)… oh well…. At least they didn’t squeak while going down the aisle.
It worked out in the end.

Back to the dress, after the diversion onto shoes, the dress is a long lace gown in ivory with a beautiful, reasonable sized train. I had lace cap sleeves to match the lace on the dress, and there were a few sweeps of lace to the side of the dress with detail throughout. It was bought from Peter Trends Bridal Original in Roseville (and I must say the ladies there are extremely friendly and helpful… a lot nicer and not at all pushy like some of the bridal boutiques I went to).

Jewellery and Hair:
I bought my earrings and hair piece from Peter Trends as well. It all went beautifully together (I didn’t have a necklace, as I thought the cap sleeves and largish earrings would be enough).

Hair and Jewelry

Hair and Jewelry


I had a trial done for my hair for my Hen’s night (and I would definitely recommend having a trial done). After trying out heated rolls, and my hair not holding them, the hair dresser decided to use the GHD to curl all my hair, and I have long hair. This kept quite well, as well as can be expected for 14 hours or so. How I wish to have a team like the celebrities, who would redo my hair and makeup every ½ hour. :o) I got my hair done at Infinity Hair Designs, close to where I was getting ready for the big day.

Makeup:
My makeup artist was another person who I stole from my sisters wedding (we also copied her photographer, videographer and car place… oh and hair dresser). Kay is lovely, someone who is friendly and who you want to have around you on the morning of your wedding day. She does great makeup, which looks lovely in photos as well as the makeup looking great on the day too.

Cars:
When choosing cars, we looked around at prices quite a bit and ended up going with the same people who my sister went with – Parkers Wedding Cars. When I went into the shed with the cars, I instantly pointed out and said – “I want that one”. Surprised… Nick said “Do you have two” “Yes”, “Great we’ll have both of them”.
I think I was one of the quickest people to choose the cars – they were 2 white Rolls Royce’s.

White Rolls Royce

White Rolls Royce

Sand pouring Ceremony:
This was a pretty ceremony my mum heard about from a friend of hers, who’s son was suggested it by his celebrant. It’s a ceremony that is a little different to the unity candle and rose ceremonies. Two containers (or more if you want to include parents or children) are used to show the combining of two lives and/or families.

Sand Pouring Ceremony

Sand Pouring Ceremony

We bought black and white sand from a place online, and the containers from Flaschengeist (a liqueur and oil seller). We had the final bottle for the sand engraved with our names and the date of our wedding. We included both our mothers to represent our respective families. And although some sand got stuck (and I accidentally spilled a little on the table) it all went well, and we now have a beautiful keepsake.

Photographer:
Brad Young
http://www.bradyoung.com.au/

Wedding Dress, Bridesmaids Dresses, Hair piece and earrings:
Peter Trends
98 Pacific Highway
Roseville NSW 2069
02 9416 4120
http://www.petertrends.com.au/

Cars:
Parkers Wedding Cars
http://www.parkersweddingcars.com.au/

Beautiful Bouquets

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

bouquet
I know… I have already diverged from the food theme of this blog… but after searching and searching on the internet for a bouquet similar to the ones I wanted for my wedding, I thought it best I put up my photos in the hope it will help another bride-to-be. Plus… these really are beautiful flowers!!!

I love double delight roses, they are roses with a pink or red edge with a white or cream centre, often with a beautiful fragrance. Now, even though I wanted these for my bouquet, I chose them for my bridesmaids bouquets just in case they were going to distract at all from my very gorgeous gown. I had a bouquet of white/ivory roses with a few double delights, and a few white roses were placed in with the double delights for my bridesmaids.

Bridal Bouquet – Ivory Roses with a few double delights

Bridal Bouquet – Ivory Roses with a few double delights

Bridesmaids bouquets – Double Delights with a few ivory roses

Bridesmaids bouquets – Double Delights with a few ivory roses

Bridal Party – So others can see the roses with the bridesmaids dresses (as for many people it’s difficult to get an idea of whether a certain colour flower will match a dress). I wore a beautiful ivory lace wedding gown, the bridesmaids wore a wine (pinky red) dress, with the guys matching with there fat boy ties and rose button holes.

Bridal and Bridesmaid dresses with Rose Bouquets

Bridal and Bridesmaid dresses with Rose Bouquets

Flowers at ceremony venue

Flowers at ceremony venue

Antique Rose Florist
61 Edgeworth David Avenue,
Hornsby NSW, Australia
9482 4744
www.antiqueroseflorist.com.au

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