Monday, September 26, 2005

Happy Birthday Jess!

Yesterday we celebrated my lovely friend Jess' 21st birthday with a brunch at her house.

Jess had the most amazing spread - there was a buffet table, small nibbles AND more substantial offerings being passed around, tea, coffee and juices. WOWZA!

I unfortunately didn't get photos of the first few nibbles being passed around - I was too busy eating them! But, there was mini cinnamon French toast with maple syrup, and mini toasted mushroom and salsa verde sandwiches. Very tasty, especially the French toast! I normally don't even like French toast, but this was fantastic - very soft and creamy and not dry at all.

Buffet Table

Buffet Table (left) - mini bruschetta, omelette, roast vegetable wraps, avocado sandiwiches, pineapple tower...

Buffet Table (middle) - avocado sandwiches, dips, pita and grissini, birthday cake

Buffet Table (right) - more sandwiches, dips, strawberry and passionfruit tower, omelettes, mini bruschetta, roast vegie wraps.

There were also fabulous mini-bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese, but they were all snapped up before I got a chance for a photo!

Plated Items

Omelette, Mushrooms, Onion and Brown Toast

Jess: What's that in the eggs that makes them taste so good?
Me: It's parmesan cheese!
Jess: You're good.
Me: Thanks.

Eggs Florentine

Pancakes with Blueberries and Greek Yogurt - these were seriously good.

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake - it was layers of custard cream between sheets of pastry... delicious.

Lots of food, lots of friends, lots of fun. Who could ask for a better party?


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder

Yesterday in the afternoon, my mum and I went to Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder on Bridge Road in Richmond to look for some cheese. I recently made some stem-ginger gingerbread, which, according to Nigella, can be served with Lancashire cheese as "a stylish ending to an informal meal". My dad also bought a loaf of Phillipa's amazing hazelnut and raisin bread a couple of days ago, which I knew would be just perfect with cheese.

I'd heard wonderful things about the Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder's cheese room, so I thought I might be able to find Lancashire cheese there.

Their cheese room is absolutely amazing... it's a specially constructed humidified room, (much like a humidor for cigars), which is kept at about 14 degrees - the optimum temperature for cheese.

Look at that! Fantastic. The cheesewoman was awesome too.

Me: Hi, I'm looking for some Lancashire cheese.
Cheesewoman: Aah, Lancashire, ey? Are you making Welsh Rarebit?
Me: No, actually I want it to go with some gingerbread.
Cheesewoman: Ah, have you just come back from England?
Me: No, unfortunately. I just got the recipe from a cookbook.
Cheesewoman: Well we don't actually get Lancashire cheese in Australia... but as an alternative you could try these...

She let me try some cheeses, including an English cheddah, a crumbly Spanish cheese, which was a mixture of sheep's and cow's cheese (sooo lovely), and a nutty Swiss one. I forget the name, but it wasn't a particularly exotic variety. I ended up choosing the cheddah, for the English connection.

Cheesewoman saves the day.

I also got a wedge of mild French brie for the hazelnut and raisin bread. She let me try this well-pongy soft washed-rind cheese, "I think it tastes like cauliflower and cheese", but I didn't think I'd be able to handle it. So mild brie it was.

Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder

The whole place is pretty damn fab - there's the cheese room, a small larder selling gourmet foodstuffs and Phillipa's bread, and a cafe section.

After getting the cheese, Mum and I had a coffee in the cafe section. Very nice. I'd definitely like to come back to try their food.

It was really funny though, as we were leaving, I saw the magazine rack, full of food magazines...

 looks like someone picked up all the stuff from my bedroom floor and put it on a shelf!

And the finished product...