So You Think You Can Cook?

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So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Fri 12 Sep 2008, 1:19 pm

Got any triumphs or disasters you want to share?

Tomorrow night I am making Crying Lamb for dinner with Slut-Red Rasberries and Chardonnay Jelly for dessert. It will be a triumph! I hope giggle
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by sensor on Fri 12 Sep 2008, 2:29 pm

Didn't see your amazing post alty, or I wouldn't have bothered with mine. giggle

How is my recipe supposed to compete with slutty raspberries??? lol!
And I'm not even going to ask you what crying lamb is... What a Face
but I love the sound of booze-soaked jelly... :drunken:
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Fri 12 Sep 2008, 3:12 pm

Sorry 'bout jumping in ... I'm just bored out of my brain this week No

I still want you lamb chop recipe yup
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by sensor on Sat 13 Sep 2008, 6:11 am

I have two lamb cutlet recipes, but I don't cook them often, because the cutlets are so damn expensive!! If you have guests over, you're looking at $35 - $40 for the lamb, so only for special occasions.

They need to be French-trimmed by the butcher first.
This is a recipe for 12 - cutlets, that is, not people!! giggle

This one is low-fat, which is healthy and good for the diet-conscious (such as my b/f); and easy as... It's from one of the Women's Weekly cookbooks, but it's great anyway! giggle

4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons grated ginger
quarter of a cup of chopped mint
third of a cup of balsamic vinegar
one and a half cups vegetable stock

Marinate the cutlets, in a bowl, with garlic, ginger, mint and half the vinegar, coating them all over. Put in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan, to medium, and cook cutlets in batches, until they're browned on both sides, but still pinkish in the middle. Take them out and keep warm. Don't overcook them or they'll shrivel and turn to rock - ask me how I know this... Razz

Add the rest of the vinegar and all the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer uncovered, until the sauce reduces by two-thirds.

Pour sauce over lamb cutlets when serving.
Serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables or a salad - whatever you like. Yum. I love you
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Sat 13 Sep 2008, 12:58 pm

That sounds good! I'm going to make it one night next week with mash and zuchinis cheer

I'm just about to head off and buy my ingredients for tonight ... Slut Red Rasberries is a Nigella recipe - I've been dying for an opportunity to make it because I love the name giggle
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Sun 14 Sep 2008, 2:52 pm

I loved making the Slut Red Rasberries ... I served them in win glasses so it looked like Chardonnay with rasberries suspended on top ... however, the presentation couldn't make up for the taste - it was awful! I binned the recipe this morning giggle

The crying lamb was good. You smother the lamb in butter and rosemary then place it on a rack over a dish of sliced potatoes, herbs, and chicken stock. As soon as you put it in the oven, the butter starts to melt rapidly - it looks like the lamb is 'bawling' then for the next hour it 'sobs' it juices over the potatoes. Fun to make and yum to eat.
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Hollandaise sauce

Post by Angeo on Tue 16 Sep 2008, 12:41 am

'How I attempted, ruined, salvaged and nearly ruined again a Hollandaise sauce'

Rushed back with the kids from piano lessons. Had left the corned beef simmering in cinnamon, aniseed and brown sugar with note to kitchen hand to ignite stove under veggies when he gets home.... I cleared the benchtop and arranged all my hollandaise ingredients... child directed outside to pick a bay leaf, another to count eight white peppercorns into heavybased saucepan ... two out of three egg yolks successfully separated from the whites .... the whisking in of the tiny butter cubes progressed ... after 4 butter cubes tedium has set in ... yell for help from sympathetic child to add butter cubes as I whisk away....sauce takes on lovely creamy texture as child enthusiastically pops in butter cubes.... two butter cubes enthusiastically popped in a little to soon ....sauce takes on oily curdled appearance....sauce is unsalvagable....determination breeds ingenuity .... kitchenhand is enlisted to procure cornflour and spoon....light dusting of cornflour and vigorous whisking yields no change...sauce must be salvaged !! ... butter is abandoned and a new tact is needed.... Hollandaise will now become hybrid white sauce!...wooden spoon replaces egg whisk, cornflour and milk - shaken not stirred - is drizzled in, sauce slowly regains it's creamy white consistency and is somewhat paler in appearance but all in all a perfect mayonnaise texture ... ahh the dizzy drug of success goes to my head ... I spy the mustard jar and another flash of inspiration takes hold as I imagine a tangy mustard/hollandaise/white sauce accompaniment to my spicy corned beef and asparagus spears... a flamboyantly large dollop of the hot english variety lands in the creamy concoction and I stir gently ......but no! it's congealing again! Pot is removed from heat and stirring is crazy, fevered, vehement!! The lumps won't go! I stir madly, arm aching, face contorted in jaw-clenched fury!....at last the lumps blend into the sauce...... Aaaah success.

Later that evening twin 2 complains of queasiness from eating too much of that sauce.

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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Tue 16 Sep 2008, 12:09 pm

lol!

That sounds like something out of the Culinary Olympics! Gold medal effort, Ang
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by sensor on Tue 16 Sep 2008, 3:13 pm

Crying lamb sounds yum and easy - and of course, that's all I cook - easy.
Being a classy dame, I certainly wouldn't cook slut-red raspberries - and I'm surprised at you alty, that you would allow that raven-haired vixen to lead you down the slippery slope to culinary debauchery. And was it worth it? No!! No That said, I prefer strawberries...any sleazed-up strawberry recipes?? naughty

Since you've fessed up about your sauce angeo, which sounds delicious even though you must've just about broken your whisking-arm!! , I'll tell you my infamous story. affraid
My first and most major cooking disaster happened about 6 years ago,(when I was very new to cooking/entertaining and not the domestic goddess I am today! rotfl )

It involved the making of a fondue dinner. I had prawns, scallops, calimari and all kinds of vegetable florets; and the idea was for each person to dip them into the hot oil, cook them and eat them.
The fondue set was brand new. The platters I put on the table were lavish I'm telling you. I had everything bedded on huge green leaves, which looked great; I had more sauces than are lined up on the supermarket shelves; and there was crusty bread aplenty. The long tongs for spearing, cooking and eating were all beautifully wrapped in napkins; and I was really pleased with myself and the table.
So we all sat down - b/f, myself and two guests (friends) - and it was then I realised I didn't have the oil in the fondue pan - and now it was going to take extra time to heat up. What a Face
So I thought, Okay I can deal with this. Just stay calm. Shocked
I retreated to the kitchen to retrieve the oil, when I suddenly realised I didn't have any oil! None!! thud
I had to slink back in and try to cover, with some kind of dignity. cryer
By now I'm six shades of red, so b/f gallantly pours some wine and whispers, I'll be back in a jif, just hold the fort. I love you I love you
I still squirm, just writing about it!! frantic
However, the evening went off well, even though I've never lived it down!!Embarassed
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by ambercat on Tue 16 Sep 2008, 9:55 pm

hee hee!!! Don't they make Hollandaise sauce in those sachets in the supermarkets Angeo? wink3 ooooh sorry! Forgot I was in the SYTYCC thread!!! giggle Where your actually supposed to COOK!!! And sensor, I'm presuming that when bf took off during the evening, he went to buy some oil, is that what happened? Even tho I am a hopeless cook I'm enjoying your cooking stories guys!! lol!!

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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Tue 16 Sep 2008, 9:59 pm

ambercat wrote:Don't they make Hollandaise sauce in those sachets in the supermarkets Angeo?

Yeah - they're right near the jars of of Lemon Curd giggle
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Tue 16 Sep 2008, 10:14 pm

Eeeeek! I've got so many disaster stories ... domestic goddesses were made, not born giggle

I remember having to bring Potato Salad to a work function when I was about 22 y/o ... yay easy! A tin of new potatoes and a jar of mayonaisse! I'll never forget the looks on all my workmates' faces when my 'salad' was served Embarassed

And another time when I lived in Melbourne ... my husband and I thought we'd cook a roast for dinner - one of our first. We cooked and cooked that hunk of meat for hours but it was still red 'raw' inside even though it had eventually shrivelled into a little nugget of leather. We didn't realise it at the time but we were roasting corned beef! rotfl
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Angeo on Wed 17 Sep 2008, 2:33 am

I had to cook dinner late tonight. I accidentally locked myself and my kids out the house this afternoon!! Embarassed We came in as usual through the back door from the garage, walked through the house dropping bags and keys on the way, out the front door to check the mail box then wandered around the side through the gate. How both doors ended up locked I just don't know. But anyway I went to a neighbour to call dearheart who basically could not leave work early. So I spent quality outdoor time with my kids and dogs, riding bikes, playing in cubby house, drawing on chalkboard .... three of us ended up in the hammock looking at the sky making shapes from clouds crowded - one daughter observed 'shouldn't you be in there cooking about now mum?'

So that's how hubs found us when he got home after 6pm. He got to work chopping ingredients whilst I languished a little longer in the hammock.

Just a simple baked pasta putanesca tonight.

How nice to be forced into a situation away from your tedious chores ....makes you realise what you're missing.

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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by sensor on Wed 17 Sep 2008, 5:42 am

That is a wonderful story angeo. Your children are lucky to have you for a Mum. I have some great memories of cloud-spotting with my parents...

"They're right near the jars of lemon curd". rotfl lol!
Oi!! I told you I only cook easy - if it's in a jar, it's in my trolley!! lmao

Yeah amby, my gorgeous b/f raced up the street to a little corner store near where we used to live and bought some oil for me. He also kept the whole evening together - I was shattered while at the same time trying to act serene. Crying or Very sad I look back now and shake my head. Who doesn't have oil in their pantry??? Well apart from me. giggle

I have to say, I was pretty ordinary when I first started cooking. So I totally agree alty that DG's are made, not born. Loved the potato salad recipe and the burnt offering of corned beef! You can laugh later, but at the time... thud

I literally go through books now, ferreting out the easiest recipes, but those that might have a nice impact as a dinner-party meal. And if I can cheat, yeha!!
I've even been known to make a wonderful gravy - bought from a packet mix - with fresh rosemary added, to make it look authentic!
Godz I'm a shocker!! banana2
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Angeo on Thu 18 Sep 2008, 12:38 am

Domestic Goddesses are certainly not born, and they aren't made at school cooking classes either! I'm proud to say I scored a mark of 'NA' (no award) in cooking at school for 2 years running! I hated school cooking classes and the teachers were always highly strung harridans ready to pounce on you for having your tea-towel arranged at the wrong side of the draining rack! And class mates were usually smug, blonde (sorry Sens), perfect misses with pleats starched into their school skirts who as soon as the teacher walked out of the room would converge on punk kid with scholls held together by staples (oui - c'est moi!) and flick wet tea-towels at her tauntingly (they were taking it upon themselves to punish me for my indifference). Scones and tomato soup and rock buns just didn't do it for me and besides I had to cook dinner every night of the working week as mum worked late so it's not as though I needed lessons Rolling Eyes

I have to say though, the Swiss Roll captured my interest. I was very intrigued and wanted to learn how one was constructed. What I learned was that it wasn't worth the effort! Finding that 2 second window of opportunity when the sponge is in its prime rolling condition. Mine ended up looking like the Japanese painting of the Tsunami in front of Mt Fuji. This perfect wave curled in rasberry jam.

I generally shun packet mixes and simmer sauces as they have way too many additives and preservatives and whatever all those numbers are, and I don't trust the companies that manufacture them, nor ANZFA for allowing them to sell us 'food' containing ingredients that are banned overseas. I'm no gourmet-snob but I like to know what is in the food I'm eating. I'm sad to say not an easy task these days. Hence, you will find me breaking a wrist trying to whisk up a real Hollandaise sauce, I won't brown my gravy with Bisto and I never use stock cubes and you won't find pies in my freezer and I haven't bought sausages since my last remaining pure snag maker 'Irish Sausage Company' couldn't compete with the msg-laden highly popular 'British Sausage Company' and pretty much went out of business just over a year ago. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in your average snag? And I'm limited to only one company that manufactures sandwich ham without msg and hvp. I'm just waiting for that one to go out of business and then I'll have to go out and slaughter my own pigs and hang them to cure in hubby's shed. banghead

And you know Altair, you never know if a company has altered or replaced an ingredient (swapped an obscure number for another obscure number) or sourced it from a different additive company (there are multi-million dollar corporations that solely manufacture food additives) and it could be that one isolated ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.

Food for thought in the SYTYCC thread.

Having said all that I had another disastrous day so we ended up with Hungry Jacks for dinner. Red Rooster seemed a milder alternative but only the drive-through was open and the queue was too long. lol!

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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Thu 18 Sep 2008, 11:08 am

Loved your post Ang - your recollections always give me a laugh lol!

I'm with you on the packet mixes and simmer sauces - way too many additives and it never tastes as good as something made from scratch. I love being in charge of the ingredients - everything I buy is usually as fresh as I can get it at the time and the best quality I can find. Besides that, most of the time it's just as easy to whip something up yourself anyway. Take apple sauce for example - the commercial product looks like slop and tastes revolting - when I need apple sauce I just stew some sliced green apple and mash it up - one ingredient and easy-peasy.

And you're right about them altering their ingredients ... I still believe my anaphylaxis was caused by that particular jar of peanut butter or from the new loaf of bread I used - both products I have eaten in the past without any problem.
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by the8thark on Fri 19 Sep 2008, 2:22 am

Thanks everyone for the ideas. I'll try some of those. And the grog jelly. I think my cousin would love it.

And to answer the question.
Can I cook? No. But some people think I can. Which is good I guess.

And my worst cooking story is pancakes. Any kind. Plain, fruit, sweet, savoury. They just never turn out. I've set one on fire once. They are something I can't cook.

But on the other side I am good with a few things. Seafood being one.
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by sensor on Fri 19 Sep 2008, 2:20 pm

Yum, I love seafood. Do you have any recipes or tips??

And I'd love to hear about the pancake on fire. Crepes suzettes, with smoke alarm on the side! giggle

I almost set my kitchen on fire once, when I was boiling three eggs in a small saucepan. I was called away quickly and didn't turn off the hob. affraid About three hours later I returned home to find the kitchen filled with smoke, the saucepan blackened and the eggs disintegrated... What a Face

I reckon a few more minutes and the whole house would have gone up. It really rattled me at the time. I howled and howled, I was so scared; but I've never done anything that stoopid since...
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Fri 19 Sep 2008, 9:20 pm

the8thark wrote:Thanks everyone for the ideas. I'll try some of those. And the grog jelly. I think my cousin would love it.

And to answer the question.
Can I cook? No. But some people think I can. Which is good I guess.

And my worst cooking story is pancakes. Any kind. Plain, fruit, sweet, savoury. They just never turn out. I've set one on fire once. They are something I can't cook.

But on the other side I am good with a few things. Seafood being one.

lol! I'd almost call that a triumph! It wouldn't be an easy thing to do giggle
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Fri 19 Sep 2008, 9:31 pm

sensor wrote:Yum, I love seafood. Do you have any recipes or tips??

And I'd love to hear about the pancake on fire. Crepes suzettes, with smoke alarm on the side! giggle

I almost set my kitchen on fire once, when I was boiling three eggs in a small saucepan. I was called away quickly and didn't turn off the hob. affraid About three hours later I returned home to find the kitchen filled with smoke, the saucepan blackened and the eggs disintegrated... What a Face

I reckon a few more minutes and the whole house would have gone up. It really rattled me at the time. I howled and howled, I was so scared; but I've never done anything that stoopid since...


Eeeeek! afraid

I once put a frypan on the stove to cook some brekky then I wandered off, as you do, and then forgot about brekky altogether ... it was on for hours but luckily I hadn't put any food in it. It is very scary What a Face


Pumpkin Soup ... the first time I made pumpkin soup, or soup of any kind for that matter, was a disaster! I was following a recipe and after the pumpkin was cooked, the recipe said to put it through a blender in batches. Well, I put one batch in, whizzed it up, then thought "hmmmm I can fit more in there", put a bit more in, whizzed it up, but next time thought "stuff batches, I reckon I could fit the whole lot in!". So I stuffed the blender glass full of cooked pumpkin and turned it on .... with the whizzing, the volume increased so much it blew the lid off the blender! affraid . The whole kitchen, I mean every nook and cranny, was covered in sloppy pumpkin and me along with it. In fact, the pumpkin was so hot it burnt the bits of my skin it came in contact with. Anyway, my husband came home from work just at that time and needless to say I was a blubbering mess. Then, to make matters worse, my dog came into the kitchen and started licking it all the hot pumpkin up! I have made pumpkin soup a lot since then, but always with a stick blender giggle
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by ambercat on Fri 19 Sep 2008, 11:39 pm

hee hee!!!! giggle I love these 'almost setting the house on fire' stories!!!! I bet you were finding bits of pumpkin soup in your kitchen for months afterwards Alty!!! haha!! I can actually cook pancakes believe it or not!! I carefully wait for those bubbles to appear... the flipping over of the pancakes is never too successful, but even if they're a bit bent, at least they taste nice!! Lots of lemon and sugar... yummmmm... cloud9

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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by sensor on Sat 20 Sep 2008, 8:58 am

Sorry for laughing at your disaster alty, but that story's hilarious!! "Stuff batches, I reckon I could fit the whole lot in." rotfl Sounds like my kinda cookin!! I love you

And amby, those pancakes of yours have made me ravenous. Please send some over immediately! I love them with lemon and sugar too; and maple syrup and ice cream and flambe orange sauce (sorry ark!!) and strawberries and cream and bananas and... giggle

Time for brunch. What a Face
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Angeo on Sun 21 Sep 2008, 1:29 am

This thread is on fire!! Oops pardon the pun.

Burnt eggs - hands up to that. (I was just 12 and on lunch duty whilst parents did Saturday shopping. Mum shouldn't have started me on those romance books, I'd pop the eggs on the stove, bury my nose in a book and forget everything. M&D came home to melted pan on stove and me still reading in my room.

I've burnt water. Oh my brothers love to bring that story up at parties.

And set the oven on fire in cooking class. Least said the better.

And pancakes!! I can sympathise 8thArk. How lucky you are Amby to have mastered the art of pancakes by the tender age of 27! All my life the art of pancake making would elude me. I had success with packet mixes (that's how my mum showed me how to make them) but real pancakes from the recipe book passed down to me from my Granny would never turn out right! Just soggy, drizzly, thin, pale and unappetising stodge. Then finally one day it dawned on me... I needed to follow the pikelet recipe which used self raising flour NOT the pancake recipe with plain flour. Successful pancakes at last snoopy I haven't looked back. I'm proud to say I don't even use a non-stick pan. No sirree. I won't cook on teflon.

BTW I don't think I was very much older than 27 when I worked it out.

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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by sensor on Mon 22 Sep 2008, 9:11 pm

You ate it all didn't you alty!! That's why there's nothin!! lmao
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Tue 23 Sep 2008, 7:07 pm

I made such a long post - it disappeared!

Just as well giggle
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by sensor on Tue 14 Oct 2008, 7:55 pm

Haven't visited this thread for a while and realised what a hoot it is. Godz, we're a bunch!! If we were all together, we'd be a fireman's dream. Okay where's the water!! I remember a seafaring man who can help put out fires... naughty

Easiest lunch/side/even main in the world. Chicken caesar salad.
One large round bowl; one cos lettuce or baby cos; bacon, fried and cut into small squares; parmesan, shaved; and croutons - just cube bread and fry cubes lightly in o.o.
One grilled chicken breast, shredded or thinly sliced.
For the dressing you just take one egg yolk, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, chopped, and half cup vegetable oil. Process everything at once, bar the veg. oil. With the motor running, gradually add the oil until it's all smooth.
If you're artistic, you then throw it all on a plate and it turns out brilliantly, with the shaved parmesan sitting beautifully on top. Otherwise you work at it until it looks presentable! giggle
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Fri 28 Nov 2008, 11:09 pm

I haven't visited this thread for a while ... not since the gremlins ate our posts!

I like your recipe for caesar salad, Sensor. The one I do is a bit rich, so I'll have a go at yours. Nice to see it include home made croutons - I can't stand those bought ones!

Anybody doing anything special for Christmas lunch?

I'm making Nigella's cookies like I've done for the last 2 years - best biscuit recipe in the world. I use Christmas tree, stars and candy cane cutters - the trees look beautiful with white icing and gold sugar balls for baubels.

I'm also doing a 24 hour roast pork shoulder for lunch ... although I'll have to cut the cooking time down to 18 hrs. Still totally yummy though!

I've asked my in-laws over for Christmas Eve drinks and dinner/nibblies. I'm planning on cooking up a storm, although I haven't worked it all out yet. I made egg nog mousse a couple of years ago - it didn't set properly that year so I'm having another go at it. Still yummy though, even if it was runny!
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by amanda-renee on Sat 29 Nov 2008, 8:03 am

i'm working christmas day boo!~!!! but after work i am going to my nan's a tradition we have had every year sice ivé been born.

she cooks a pork roast, a turkey, and all the vegies best meal i eat all year.

also she cooks these beautiful rum balls mmmmm but 2 of them would put you over the limit so don't drive hehe.

i also love having cracker pulling compititions because i have pretty much mastered how to win every time.

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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by sensor on Sat 29 Nov 2008, 8:46 pm

Well I could really use some help, because I'm having eight peeps over for an early Christmas dinner, next Wednesday night.

I have:
leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic
leg of pork, with apple sauce - but I don't do anything fancy with the pork - just bake it.
leg of ham
turkey, but with ??

roast vegies, with oil and herbs, but all I know is cracked black pepper, salt, rosemary or thyme and oil.

my cheater's strawberry pavlova
pudding with brandy custard


I could do with another dessert; and I really need a starter. I was thinking of a schmancy prawn cocktail, but I can't come up with anything else. And should I have nibblies beforehand, since they're only coming at night and it's going to be a HUGE dinner??

Alty is an eggnog mousse nice - and easy to make??

I feel a disaster coming on... frantic


Amanda, nooo!! You have to work on Christmas Day!! cryer But at least you'll get to eat all those yummies afterwards!! banana dance Nannas always make the best Christmas dinners!! I love you
I love crackers too - especially wearing the silly paper hats!!
I was looking for some at DJs, but they were $35 for 6!! I would need 2 lots, which is $70!! B/f said it was robbery; but I loved them... Crying or Very sad
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Re: So You Think You Can Cook?

Post by Altair on Sat 29 Nov 2008, 10:00 pm

amanda-renee wrote:i'm working christmas day boo!~!!! but after work i am going to my nan's a tradition we have had every year sice ivé been born.

she cooks a pork roast, a turkey, and all the vegies best meal i eat all year.

also she cooks these beautiful rum balls mmmmm but 2 of them would put you over the limit so don't drive hehe.

i also love having cracker pulling compititions because i have pretty much mastered how to win every time.


LOL @ the crackers. Any tips? giggle

It sounds like you have a wonderful Christmas day to look forward to, amanda-renee. Apart from the working bit bananasad

Don't Nanas know how to cook! My m-i-l makes the best roast veges. Over the last couple of years my m-i-l has kinda pared down the Christmas lunch ... still have turkey, ham etc but they're the rolled kind. This year, my m-i-l is doing the whole turkey with stuffing - I'm a bad influence giggle
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