Never Trust a Skinny Cook

A FB friend made a very observant, um, observation the other day – that these super skinny actresses have cookbooks and claim to eat all that food are giant (well skinny) liars, liars, pants on fire.  I concur.  On all accounts except for Gwenyth Paltrow because her recipes use only raw roots from rare trees and most likely would cause one to vomit … but once again I digress.

Start of blog entry – take 2.

I decided after the move that I should get acquainted with some of the culinary experts in AUS.  Of course this has been done at a safe distance – similar to others whom I have stalked.  Thankfully this has coincided with the masterful cooking show MasterChef, of which I have been thoroughly obsessed.  Each week they parade accomplished chefs to present awful challenges and give me grand ideas for things I later find out I cannot cook.  Seriously though “20 simple steps to making “Kurobuta pork belly with celariac remoulade and mustard mayonnaise” and “the correct ways to cook pig tails” just seem a but daunting when put into application …

After a few failed attempts of recipe recreation we came to the conclusion that I am not a culinary savant (okay, I lie, this was realised long ago but I thought that I had gotten remotely more learn-ed over the years).  I gave up on MasterChef and decided to focus on Australia’s own Donna Hay (yay!).  With the assistance of her website and her annual Kid’s publication (thanks to Rob for buying for me after a fit of kitchen frustration).  So I’ve been cooking away with her inspiration – and here is my quick recap:

Meringues

  • The recipe said it yielded 60 (which if I had read before-hand I would’ve halved)
  • The recipe ACTUALLY yielded 600ish … they did turn out great though
  • They were even more great when slathered with (a lot of) Nutella

Candied Lemon Cake

  • Yes, I’m still in the middle of my lemon obsession
  • This is served with a lemon sour cream.  Two things I love 1) sour cream and 2) sugar … can’t go wrong
  • So I didn’t have any almond meal … so I sort of might’ve ground up some walnuts and added flour, crossed my fingers and went on my merry way
  • Did I mention that this cake is also drenched in the lemon syrup that comes from candy-ing the lemons? Well it is, and is divine.
I also attempted strawberry swirls marshmallows which turned out … well … awful … but that’s user error, not Donna Hay’s fault.
Book Reviews:
  • Guilty Pleasures – Wicked Appetite, One for the Money, and Visions of Sugar Plums all by Janet Evanovich.  Nothing Pulitzer worthy but definitely good mindless pool reading chic-lit.
  • A Fortunate Life is the widely acclaimed autobiography of Albert Facey having been born in Australia in 1894 and growing up in WA as AUS was “growing up” as well per say – spanning 88 years of history.
  • The Murder of the Century: The Guilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars.  Fascinating to read the high level and great lengths of involvement the newspapers had during this time as well as the lack of rules/ regulations that had yet been established in the legal system as a whole. Although, if I wasn’t so well versed in these particulars based on the number of hours I’ve committed to the Law & Order franchise I would probably be less versed in protocol and might not have noticed the difference.
  • The Tiger’s Wife.  Wonderful storytelling. I found it to be an good read – although I find it difficult to write fair reviews when books have so much hype – it’s never quite fair
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