Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Bloody Mary Martini..

Bloody Mary martini

One thing that I enjoy most is a good martini made from good quality Polish vodka. Though on the weekends I love a good Bloody Mary with brunch. My partner Mark is pretty amazing at making both and I have been completely spoilt with many fabulous cocktails.

While trying to come up with our final list of cocktails for our wedding next weekend, we decided that we really wanted a Bloody Mary on the list. Some say that the Bloody Mary was invented in 1921 at Harry's Bar in Paris and as our wedding party is based on the roaring 20s, it seems appropriate to have a Bloody Mary. Problem; our bartenders don't love making Bloody Mary's and they aren't the most sophisticated looking of drinks. Solution; a Bloody Mary Martini! I have to give kudos to the Belvedere website for the inspiration on this!

50ml Belvedere Citrus (we used normal Belvedere and added a dash of fresh lemon)
6 Cherry Tomatoes
10ml Simple syrup (you will need to make this - it's a basic bar sugar syrup)
4 Dashes Tabasco

Muddle tomatoes with simple syrup. Add rest of ingredients and shake with cubed ice. Fine strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a small piece of basil.

Our verdict... beautiful, fresh and sophisticated. Will go amazingly with entrees and you could team it up with a serve of saganaki or even a gourmet mac and cheese (think with pancetta and truffle oil!). We think that it probably is best with the Belvedere Citrus as it has a subtle flavouring and when you first make this, go easy on the Tabasco for tasting. Next time, we will serve with a skewer of fresh cucumber to really lift the freshness and give it the Bloody Mary look. Definitely worth a try!

Grown your own supplies!

grown from seed

As both my partner and I work full time and live pretty busy lives, we get a weekly delivery from Organic Angels of mixed seasonal organic fruit and vegetables. I started to do this as it was really convenient to have it delivered to our house and also it actually made us cook more as we had all these great veggies. We also began to become more inventive with our cooking as we were supplied with items that we may not necessarily buy for ourselves.

I guess the more vegetables that we ate, the more we thought about growing our own. We have had herbs and chillies and things like that but when you rent a property, you're not always keen to spend the time into the garden that isn't yours!

Though with such a great space that we have now, Mark has taken up the home veggie garden with gusto! I can't take any of the credit on this, it really is his baby but visit my post here to see what he has done!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Women in Wine at MCC

On Wednesday evening I went to my third Women in Wine function at the MCC. This is an annual event where they celebrate women who have made their mark in wine making. This year's winery was Pizzini wines which have an Italian background and are producing wines with an Italian and French flavour.
My favourite wine of the evening was the sparkling Sangiovese rose, which was a fantastic pink bubbly but was quite dry and a little tart in taste. Would make a fabulous substitute to mimosas for a brunch! I'm looking at ordering some of this bubbly so I will add some photos when I do!
We also had an interesting low alcohol wine called Brachetto. I think it's about 5% and is sweet in flavour but still light. Apparently it is great with some ice and pepped up with some Pimm's or even a white rum. Again, I would like to give this a go with some good old Polish Vodka and see what we come up with!
Pizzini winery does several events at their winery throughout the year. I'm very keen to check out the Gnocchi Festival in November so stay tuned for that! For more info on Pizzini wines please visit their website at and they are located in the King Valley.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Coffee Maker!!!

After a close friend gave my partner Mark a new Italian style percolator coffee make for a birthday gift last year, that little baby has been getting a work out! I've used the stove top coffee makers on and off for years but had stopped using them for awhile mostly due to having an electric stove and the time. To my fortune, Mark has taken up the cause and makes a pot of coffee every morning! Even if sometimes it does make him a little late for work.

Over the weekend, the poor little percolator had to be retired after Mark had trouble unscrewing it and took to it with a hammer. We then decided to invest in a new one and to spend a little extra money to invest in a good quality percolator.

valentines marimekko 002

This little baby is made in Italy and has some nifty little features, such as a cool touch handle (no more watching Mark in giant oven mitts as he pours the coffee!) and it also has a clear lid so you can see the coffee come out, meaning that you can't over cook it! And it also looks pretty cute too.

Yay for coffee and a big yay to my lovely man who makes it every morning. You can give a barista another job but he'll always be fanatical about making the perfect cup of coffee.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mexican inspired corn salsa

Homemade corn salsa

Ok so this is a super easy recipe but really really delicious. I use it on tacos instead of having lettuce, but it also works great with burritos and also sprinkled on top of nachos too. It's very fresh tasting but has some kick, thanks to the hot sauce! It's also a recipe that you can make to taste, especially if you are making larger quantities, so have some fun with it!

2 fresh corn on the cob - uncooked (you can use a tin of corn kernels also)
1/2 large red onion, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
good hand full of coriander (cilantro) including stems, finely chopped.
your favourite brand of Mexican hot sauce - you can use Tabasco if you wish.

How to!
  1. strip the corn of all out leaves, then using a knife, carefully slice the corn kernels off the cob and place into a mixing bowl.
  2. throw in the red capsicum, coriander and red onion.
  3. mix ingredients together.
  4. Add hot sauce to taste.
This recipe will last a day or two in the fridge. You can add salt, pepper and garlic to taste also if you wish!

You may also find this delicious!

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