6 courses to share

So very sorry with the delay on this post. I completed this item off my list a little while ago but life has been hectic of late. So without further ado…….

Are you hungry? I hope you are because my fantastic fiancé Nathan and I cooked up a delicious Italian inspired 6 course meal! And of course then ate it because let’s face it; there’s something wrong if you don’t eat the food you’ve just cooked. Now I love food and cooking (as people may have noticed by many of the items on my bucket list) but even I wasn’t prepared for just how much time we spent in the kitchen to prepare and serve six courses. We started mid afternoon with our prep work and didn’t leave the kitchen until around 10pm. But it was worth it because it worked out beautifully.

So let’s start at the beginning with…….

Course #1: Crispy Courgette and Potato Pancakes.
All I can say here is yum! Crispy, flavoursome and with a savoury mascarpone cream on top? Yes please! Of course I may be biased as this was a dish I was in charge of but nah, they were really good! These were fairly quick and easy to make too which gave us more time to focus on the later dishes. And thank god, we really did need that extra time.

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Course #2: Margarita Pizzas
Simple? You would think so but this was actually the dish Nathan spent the longest on as he made a traditional dough from scratch. Many hours were spent just watching the dough rise…..then punching it…..then watching it rise again. This definitely paid off as it was the best dough he’d ever made…by a long mile!

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Course #3: Mushrooms with Chilli Polenta
YUM! That’s what i have to say about it; YUM! This had to be by far my favourite dish of the night. The mushrooms were soft and tender and the chilli polenta supplied a good kick! This dish will certainly be gracing our plates again in the future!

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Course #4: Risotto
This was a really last minute addition to the meal. Course 4 was meant to be a seafood dish. But when Nathan went to start cooking we discovered the seafood had gone off. A bit concerning since we’d just purchased it the evening before. So thinking on his feet my gourmet fiancé whipped up a tasty white wine risotto. How it looks really doesn’t do it justice!

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Course #5: Saffron Gnocchi
Gnocchi is fiddly to make but worth it if you can get it 100% right. That’s not to say I had it 100% right of course although it turned out better than my previous attempts. It was light, fluffy and went perfectly with the sauce I prepared. Yum!

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Course #6: Chocolate Soufflé
This was probably what worked the least. It was extremely rich and by that point we were sick of cooking so we didn’t give it long enough to actually rise. This meant it was gooey inside to the point of being liquid still. Clearly our fault though!

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And there you have it! Another item ticked off my bucket list!

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Should have learnt a long time ago….

Well i did it. That’s right, i completed something off my bucket list. Something i should have done a long, long time ago. Yep, i learnt to use chopsticks 😛

Hahaha, this is definitely a bucket list item that should have been quick and easy but i’ve just been lazy. So when i was out enjoying a delicious Japanese banquet with my fiance on Friday i thought; why not now? So after dropping many bits of food, splashing myself with the broth from one of my courses and looking i imagine quite silly, i finally managed to eat with chopsticks!

This may sound like a small achievement but i’m clumsy. Very, very, very clumsy and uncoordinated. So i’m thrilled!

More posts to come soon….i’m not confirming but i do believe there was a 6 course meal that took place recently…..

A Coca Cola Cake

As seen in my latest post I’ve failed my monthly pinterest challenge. That hasn’t stopped me however from still trying out a recipe I saw on pinterest a while ago. Something that seemed a bit strange to me. A Coca Cola cake.

Now don’t get me wrong I like Coca Cola but I’ve never considered the idea of actually cooking with it; and even if I had I wouldn’t have thought ‘oh I’d better bake a cake’! I presented the idea of baking the cake to my partner who was even more sceptical than I was about using Coca Cola as an ingredient. But he’s always up to try something strange so we agreed we’d give it a go.

So we organised all our of ingredients and set to preheating the oven and greasing the pan.

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Then to my surprise I found myself heating the Coca Cola up in a saucepan with butter and oil. Surprisingly this went off without a hitch! It was mixed in with the dry ingredients which included mini marshmallows and then into the oven it went.

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Cooked it for the required amount of time, stuck my skewer in the centre and needed to keep cooking it. Tested it again only to find it still wasn’t cooked and had to go back in for another bake. After twice the allotted cooking time I decided that it had to come out of the oven no matter what so that we could put our dinner in. After pulling it out it actually looked ok; light and puffy looking.

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After cooling the cake for a little while in the pan we removed the cake. And that was when everything went downhill fast! The cake fell apart as it was so light and airy. It crumbled and was mushy as soon as I tipped it up. So you know what I did? I iced it anyway because what is a broken Coca Cola cake without its icing? And that was the second mistake.

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The icing was so sweet that we ended up eating only a tiny portion of the cake. The cake itself however was surprisingly nice with a light chocolatey consistency. Was it fun to make? Yes. Did it taste like Coca Cola though? No. Not a bit.

My advice? Give it a go because of the novelty value; I mean, it’s a Coca Cola cake!!! But if you’re looking for just a nice chocolate cake, make a nice chocolate cake instead.

For those who would like to try it out, the recipe can be located HERE

A Gingerbread Home

Just for starters I thought I might talk about something from my Bucket List that I have already completed. Something tasty, something sticky and something that wasn’t as easy as it seemed….

…..I wanted to build a Gingerbread House. Why? Because frankly some of them look like amazing works of art! Oh and that whole gingerbread is delicious thing.

So, my original intention was to bake it from scratch.

Thank heavens that my wonderful partner talked me out of that and into building a gingerbread house from a premade kit otherwise the whole experience could have been a nightmare.

Not that the Gingerbread Kit was smooth sailing either.

The kit had some icing, some non descript looking lollies, some sprinkles and of course lots and lots of gingerbread. So the assembly began with my partner holding the walls and me piping the icing a.k.a. cement mix. It was thick, it was gooey and it never did what it was meant to do but after some struggling a house shape started to form.

My hope for a wonderful gingerbread house was returning until it was time to add some roofing. It slipped, it slid, then it sort of, kind of stuck. So before the roofing could come crashing down lollies, icing and sprinkles were pushed feverishly onto the outside of the house in an attempt to make it pretty.

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Well, how does it look? Well you may notice that the icing is everywhere….the kitchen was dirty and many of the lollies in the picture are sitting much lower than where I stuck them on. And of course just seconds after my finger pressed the camera’s button to snap this pick the roof decided to slide away onto the bench. The house was no more…..

Gingerbread House; TICK! Off my bucket list that goes. Not the best experience but it was tasty to eat and would be definitely fun to try and make with kids.

,And the best part of all; I have a newfound respect for anyone who can create a structure out of gingerbread. I salute you Gingerbread House architects!