Saturday, January 12, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Well it seems like only yesterday that I was in my old place with my pristine kitchen fitted out with all the mod cons, ie lovely fan forced oven & dishwasher! To say the last couple of weeks have been hectic is an understatement. We moved into the new house on 21st December, worked day & night to unpack most of our stuff in a few days then had my family over on Christmas Eve for my mums birthday. So for my first opportunity to entertain we decided on mainly using the bbq just in case the stove & oven didn’t work. To start with I made some lovely bruschetta & dips, my favourite topping had to be the cannellini bean, rosemary & garlic, it was fantastic & definitely something I will be making again & again. So first thing to check off the list was that the stove top worked & even though it is very, very old it is gas so just perfect. The one bad thing about my last house was the electric hotplate which in my opinion is never as nice to cook on as a gas flame.

Next we did some white fish (so long ago I cant remember what), salmon & prawns on the bbq with some dipping sauces teppanyaki style, great idea & nice & light before getting into the man sized meat course. The main course was lamb chops, some fantastic kransky & some snags, along with an old fashioned potato salad courtesy of my mum, a green bean salad & a Capri salad with some Shaw River Buffalo mozzarella which as most of you would know is a dream when you can get your hands on it, unfortunately my parents thought it a bit bland! To finish off I tested out the oven by baking a chocolate pecan pie from the Green & Black cookbook which was delicious though a bit oozy, I’ve since found out that if I up the temp just a bit & cook for a few minutes longer, I have better results with my baking. I haven’t experimented all that much with the oven yet as its been stinking hot every other day & the new kitchen heats up a beauty. Hopefully I can get to know it well & be cooking up a storm very soon as in the old days.

As you can imagine, even though all of this food was spaced out over a long day, we were stuffed silly by the end & nearly falling asleep on the couch before everyone even went home, I didn’t even feel like eating all that much Christmas day so luckily for the main event we just had a simple lunch on at Michaels parents. Chloe had a nice first Christmas even though she didn’t have a clue what was going on, think next year will be much more exciting for her.

So anyway with xmas over & done with, Michael went off to the cricket on boxing day while I had a bit of a break with a couple of friends over for lunch. Since then it has been a whirlwind of shopping, lots of ikea assembling, some gardening & trying to get a bit more organized before we have our housewarming next weekend, please God don’t let it be too hot as we have practically NO SHADE in our backyard. I have picked the site for my veggie patch & cant wait to dig it all up & start planting so I have some excellent produce to cook with soon.

A couple of questions for you readers out there, does anyone know where you can buy stem/candied ginger in Melbourne, and ditto for a wide variety of miniature fruit trees, think blood plum, apricot, apple????

Hope to have some proper cooking blogging up & running again soon


KikiMiss said...

Welcome back to digital've been missed.

Your menu looks superb and photo even moreso..mmmmm. Does your new place have air-con? I know you've been having the sort of weather us Queenslanders are used to, what's with that?

For the fruit tree advice in Melbourne, can I point you over this way to a great fellow blogger..H&B used to live your way too so she might have a contact very close by.

Here's to a fabulous new year in our new kitchens (I move into mine in 4 weeks)....hooray.

Ange said...

Hi Kikimiss, thks for the well wishes & advice! Thankfully we do have aircon & have had a ceiling fan installed in our bedroom so the 30 degree nights have been bearable

Phyllis said...

I think i've seen candied ginger at asian shops before. I"m not sure if its the type you want. But it's one place to start with.

cara said...

Congratulations! I moved in in Aug and I'm still a bit unsettled. The kitchen has been under construction since dec 26th. I dream of a working stove. Soon, very soon.

Sharon Rose said...

Congratulations on moving!

I just found your blog (lucky me!) by blog-hopping... from Sugar High Friday #25: Truffles!

I've been studying in Melbourne for the past year, and will be back (yay!) in a month, moving house myself (and no furniture yet... *cringes at the thought*). I can't wait to try out my new oven!

Your recipes look wonderful! Will definitely be back to see more. =D

Rosie said...

Welcome back and Happy New Year!! Congrats on the move too.

I've missed calling by your blog ange as your blog was my first I ever read on the web!

Rosie x

Kitekato said...

The Essential Ingredient in Prahran sells stem ginger, and a full range of the other Buderim Ginger products.
My local Safeway (Preston) also now sells a large range of Buderim products - however not too sure if they stock stem ginger.

din said...

Finding miniture fruit trees can be tricky - look on the Flemings website (, they list a few including apple. I found a dwarf mulberry at the Ceres nursery - though I must say the fruit quality is a bit poor (which may be lack of water). Ceres is a good place to ask anyway. The other option is to plant a normal size tree and either espalier (which I've done) or prune them very hard (you can even root prune to keep the size down - though I've never tried this). I'd highly recommend espaliering as the fruit quality is high and it is easy to net. You just have to like spending a bit of time with the tree through out the year. Good luck!

h&b said...

Flemings also have an online 'Q&A' forum on their site. I have asked q's before and a mod always gets back to me ASAP.

I have Flemings peach, nectarine and pear trees, all suitable for the average backyard.

Another you might wish to think about/look at is the Fruit Salad Tree .. although I don't know anyone with one - I just want one ! :p

I also have a calmondian and a meyer lemon - they are suitable for pots and are dwarf varities. I think I got them at Chris&Maries years ago ? ( )

I love gardening and edible gardens - let me know how you get on ! :)

Ange said...

Hi din & H&B, thks for the tips. Luckily I was given a miniature peach tree from Flemmings for the housewarming so that is a start to my fruit trees. I also have a kafir lime, a mangy wasp ridden lemon tree (already there when we purchased) which I'm trying to fix & have started a good herb garden. Just need to stop being sociable & get to the garden beds so I can start the veggir patch now & decide where to actually plant the fruit trees