Monday, April 21, 2008

How to plan a bbq for 30+ people with minimal fuss...

We had Phan's bday catchup bbq yesterday... I had been thinking for a while about how to plan this with minimal effort on my behalf ... and with the help of my SIL and family and friends, it turns out, the old proverb "Many hands make light work" is very true... :)

This is what we did -

20 lamb chops (marinaded by a family friend)
40 good quality sausages (20 herb and garic bratwurst, 20 continental steak from Standom smallgoods)
8 bbq chooks, cut into 8ths (from Magill BBQ chickens... I should have only ordered 5 or 6... we have a tonne of leftovers!)

2 garden salads (lettuce, capsicum, mushrooms, cucumber - made by my SIL)
2 baby spinach and craisin salads (great recipe I found ages ago... I will post it at later date - made by my sister... just one probably would have been enough)
1 potato salad (baby potatos, quartered and mixed with basic store-bought potato salad dressing, jazzed up with chives - made by me)
1 pasta salad (pasta, sundried tomato pesto, sundried tomatos, roasted capsicum, basil and pinenuts - made by me)
Mini vegetarian quiche (for our vegetarian friends) (store bought)

1 fruit platter (made and assembed by a chef friend of ours)
1 9" square chocolate/baci cake decorated with a "Superman" emblem (made by Heidelberg cakes - it looked awesome!)

3 loaves of bread (2 would have done)

Tomato Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Salad Dressing, Margarine
Plastic plate, knives forks, napkins
1 pack of corn chips, 1 pack of chips, 1 pack strawberries and cream, 1 pack of penguins from the confectionary company.
6 bottles of softdrink

It was the most relaxed bbq I've ever planned... usually I do everything myself and as a result am very busy and frantically running around... but seeing as I couldn't do it all myself (I know when to admit, I need to have help) having the help of so many people really made it a breeze... all I had to do was make 2 salads and setup the house with decorations and stuff with my SIL.

It was a great night and lovely to catchup with so many of our friends and family...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dinner With Our Friends Koh and Vinnie

We had friends over for dinner on Friday... our menu went a little like this -

I used my new Maxwell Williams "Romance" 2 tiered stand (which looks like this) to present a casual, shared array of nibbles ... on the top layer, I arranged a simple antipasto of prosciutto, sundried tomatos, kalamata olives and baby bococcini cheese. On the bottom layer, we had lightly toasted turkish bread which had been cut into fingers and a garlic clove run over the hot surface and then lightly drizzled with olive oil and pan-fried prawn skewers (8 skewers, with 2 prawns (with their tails on) per skewer) which had marinaded in garlic, spring onion and chilli oil. I should have taken a photo, but I forgot... it looked really cool.

I found this fabulous recipe on (one of my fave recipe sites) for a lemon, zucchini and chicken pasta. I'd never made it before, but the flavours really appealed to me and seemed light and refreshing... and luckily, my hunch was right... it was a lovely fresh flavoured pasta. Highly recommend it... it's pretty quick to throw together and the only thing I changed was to go 3/4 butter, 1/4 olive oil... and sprinkle some toasted pine nuts in just before serving.

I made chocolate fondant based on a recipe from the latest delicious magazine (it's actually on the front cover). However, Phan had forgotten to tell me that our guests were bringing dessert, so we had what they had brought (a fabulous array of pastries from a high end bakery chain here called "French Twist")... So Phan and I had the chocolate fondants for dessert the following day.... and they were yummy... lovely cakey texture on the outside, moist and gooey on the inside... served with vanilla icecream... it was a sublime combination.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Simple Cheese and Corn Muffins

These muffins are sooo simple and very kid friendly - my almost 17 month old daughter helped me to make them and loves eating them.

Cheese and Corn Muffins
Source: Internet forums

1 tin of creamed corn (i used 425g Golden Circle creamed corn)
1 tin of self raising flour (use the empty tin that the creamed corn came in to measure)
1 tin of grated cheddar cheese.
Splash of milk if needed.

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together. Add a splash of milk if the mixture looks too dry.
3. Spoon mixture into a greased 12 cup muffin tin.
4. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Leave to cool slightly before removing.

These are yummy served hot, with butter... but are equally as yum served cold as a snack. (Little B munched on one cold as a snack while we went shopping).

I can see this recipe being open to lots of variations
- to boost the vegetable intake - I plan to add zucchini and capsicum or carrot next time I make it. Or for something more gourmet - sundried tomatoes.
- just as a different flavour, add some parmesan or feta cheese.
- or just for some colour add some herbs like parsley or chives.
- add some ham, bacon or cooked chicken for a bit of protein and make it an all in one savoury muffin.