Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Festive Season came and went so quickly!!!

Gosh I love Christmas if I could I would leave my decorations up all year...

Ok maybe not all year but I love the colours of Christmas and the  feeling of love that everyone (well most people) carry around with them in the Festive Season. I love everywhere you look there is food being prepared, cooked and this year my sister Michelle made the most delicoious Trifle with moist sponge and port wine jelly followed by a creamy custard and lashings of whipped cream. I say Michelle this is now a reoccuring this!! ( Full recipe for Michelle's Magical Trifle next post).

I love love Christmas decorations and if you know me well enough I love making Gingerbread.
This year I took some time out to make Gingerbread with my nephews Addison and Remy (pictured below). It was more of a cutting out and decorating class and boy did they enjoy it.

 The thing with the kids cooking is that it teaches them all about how their favourite cookies are made and well bascially let's face it , it's fun. It also gave my two sisters Michelle and Eloise a breather and a chance to have a cuppa. (Addison below centre and Remy below right). Thank you to Eloise for the beautiful cooking lesson photographs.

Summer has been fabulous this year with a warm days rolling into each other I always find it hard to eat something hot in the morning on a warm day so I thought of this Raspberry & Oatmeal Swirl. It is basically oatmeal and raspberries layered in a glass with some delicious organic yoghurt.

Next time you have people over for brunch on a warm day whip some of these up chill in the fridge for about 5 mins and your quests will be asking for more.

Raspberry and Oatmeal Swirls
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries (you can use fresh)
  • 4 teaspoons  icing sugar
  • 2 heaping cups Organic Natural Yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup Anzac oatmeal cookie crumbs
Put the frozen raspberries into a blender  with the sugar, and puree. You may have to be patient as they will be difficult to blitz at first since they are extremely hard when frozen.

Arrange glasses on a tray. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of the raspberry puree into each glass, top with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt and sprinkle a layer of cookie crumbs on top.

Cover the crumbs with 1 more layer of yogurt, then raspberry puree and finally cookie crumbs again.

These can be prepared the night before, in which case don't sprinkle the final layer of cookie crumbs until you are ready to eat the swirls but leave the glasses with the yogurt on top, covered with  glad wrap.

I met and caught up with a lot of amazing people in 2011 and when asked "What do you do"? I always get the same questions in conversations so I thought I would share this with you all.

Question 1: Do you ever get sick of cooking?
Answer : No, I never get sick of cooking. About 7 years ago I left the Hospitality and literally hung up my apron then about 3 years ago my hunger and passion for cooking and everything food related came flooding back. So thankfully for that  "time out" I was able to clearly see what I was meant to be doing and that is cooking 24/7. I love it I will cook morning till night !

Question 2: What is your favourite cusine to cook/ eat?
Answer: Well I was trained in French Classical menu planning and dishes so I would say that but I also love simple, fresh delicious meals.
My favourite cusine to eat is a tie with Japanese and Mexican .

Question 3: Has a Chef ever thrown anything at you?
Answer: Yes from a knife to a hot pan you name it ...It gets pretty damn hot in the Kitchen and some Chefs can't handle it so to speak.

Question 4: Who is your favourite Chef?
Answer: Gosh I love this question but seriously there are so many amazing Chefs coming up and around in Melbourne and on a International Level.
For those of you who know me know I will say Adrian Richardson this man is just amazing from training apprentices and his love of food I am so happy I had the chance to work with him in my apprenticeship and so happy he is recognised as a fabulous Chef.
Another Chef I love love at the moment is David Chang founder and owner of Momofuku in New York. This man takes asian cuisine and dining to another leve. I love that he is constantly thinking outside the cookery box.
My sister Eloise brought me "Momofuku Milk bar" cookery book for Christmas; which is the bakery he opened and appointed a female to run the show. Love it!!

There are always things a Chef wants or desires and one of my desires since 1995 was the Kitchen Aid.I met the Red Kitchen Aid in the Kitchens of Winbar 2 in Carlton and used the machine at least 5 times a day. I loved how I could whip up a pudding mix while I was doing 3 other things. It was from this moment I fell in love.But alas at $799 my love didn't last so I would admire from a distance whenever I would pass a cookery shop window.

Then about 2 weeks ago I walked into my dining room and my sister Michelle said "Here Ren this is for you so you finally have one now". She said something else but I lost hearing and all I saw was a white huge box on the table and I said, "Nooooo way". Yes way my family (Steve, Michelle, Eloise, Daniel, Natalie, James, Mum and Dad) all put in to buy me the Limited Edition Blue Kitchen Aid I had been dreaming of for an early Birthday/ Christmas present. Only now it isn't a dream it is all mine....

THANK YOU to the most amazing family !!!

Easter is coming up and boy am I excited I am already writing down lists of what to cook. There will be of course Hot cross buns and Gingerbread cookies and something else delicious. But Australia Day is before and my sister Natalie's birthday is on Oz Day  and I am making a Lemon Tart for her birthday and she has requested a map of Australia cake  covered in Lemon Buttercream for her party day so I better get cooking.

Until next time ... follow your dreams and heart and keep on cooking!!!



  1. Thanks Chef for the post. Those gingerbread men look great! Lucky you with the new Kitchen aid! More of these great posts, please!

  2. Hi Matthew,
    Thank you for your comment. Yes there will be more Gingerbread poking up again on Valentine's Day. Definitely keeping the posts more frequent now that the Festive Season has passed and I have time. :) I am off to make Lemon Tart.