Food glorious food!

Every so often I get together with two gal pals and cook up a storm and this year’s “MasterChef Southwest” was no exception. One of my friends gives the run down – with pictures! – on her blog: Such a fun time had by all!

Fabulous foodies
Recipes, love and laughter
Sweet southwest escape 

© Leah Dowsett 2013




One for the foodies…

I’ve been spending the day doing one of my “whilst on holidays I will…” list items – going through old food magazines.

I wanted to do this so I can then throw the stash away and I have been putting my scissors to good use as I oohed and aahed over each issue. I say “stash” of magazines as I inherited some MasterChef editions from a friend moving overseas, plus have my own collections of Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, etc.  I have to do this type of clean out once in a while as I tend to keep them, and keep them, and keep them! I can’t help it – I love their drool-inducing photography, seemingly effortless meal ideas and the glamorous travel features.
(Although I love foodie mags “just because”, I’m not just a fly-by-night follower caught up in the television food revolution. I once studied hospitality and worked in the industry in both front and back of house areas for 12 years. So you could say my interest is more research-related than most…yeah, right!)

So, I’ve gone through about 14 mags (phew!!) and now have a neat stack of clipped recipes ready to be put in my recipe books/files. Am I the only one with such a collection of pages with sticky-taped cuttings? The only person with bulging clear plastic storage sleeves? It’s just that the recipes sound so good and look so pretty that I cannot resist collecting more – but please don’t ask me how often I actually refer to them! (Ha, ha!) That said, who wouldn’t want a perfect example of  “Salt and Pepper Squid”, “Lemon and Fetta Stuffed Chicken”, “Pea and Ricotta Gnocchi”, “Pineapple and Macadamia Crumbles”, and “Orange Poppyseed Chiffon Cake”. My mouth waters just thinking of future cooking adventures with these dishes, and so the clipping continues…

I did notice in my review today that a feature in one of the mags was an “interview a chef” page. It contained a few “what is your favourite…” details so, for a bit of fun, below is a list of mine.

  • Chefs: Emmanuel Mollois and Guillaume Brahimi. French men cooking French food, mm mm!
  • Comfort food: egg noodles slow cooked in chicken broth with cracked pepper.
  • Guilty pleasure: licking mixing bowl beaters, and french toast with maple syrup plus bacon.
  • Innocent pleasure: watching when someone takes a bite of something I’ve made and seeing the smile spread across their face.
  • Piece of equipment: my “ice”-coloured Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I got her for my 40th birthday and she is truly beautiful.
  • Gadget: a musical timer someone gave me to add to the water for boiling eggs. They come out perfect every time!
  • Childhood food memories: sitting on a stool in the kitchen helping Mum make cookies, and my Grandmother cooking me pancakes on our visits to the USA.
  • Adult food memories: an amazing multi-course meal at Commander’s Palace (New Orleans, USA) in the late 1990s, and pausing to enjoy the moment and listen to the sound of 12 whisks whisking at a macaron class at Le Cordon Bleu (Paris, France) in 2011.
  • Foodie Movies: Babette’s Feast, Big Night and Julie and Julia.
  • Next project: renovating my kitchen – I can’t wait!

What are your favourites?

Foodie magazines
Providing inspiration
A visual feast

Macaron magic
Flavours and textures melding
Bite-sized perfection

A laden table
Creating sweet memories
Of precious moments

© Leah Dowsett 2013

New adventures

When was the last time you had an adventure?

Did it involve travel, moving house, changing jobs, a significant birthday or just a new routine? Did it involve your head, your heart or your wallet? Did it make you feel exhilarated or exhausted? Did you learn something about a place, a person or yourself?

I’ve found that adventures can be scary, funny, busy or silly, be impromptu or planned, and last a few moments or a lifetime. The great ones keep us revved up and enthused about life. They give us the opportunity to enjoy our favourite things, let us soar to unimaginable heights, stretch us and make our souls sing. The not-so-great ones teach us the meaning of “this too shall pass”, bring out our inner strength, enable us to learn humility, challenge us to be brave and sometimes even remind us of the healing power of tears.

The best thing about all adventures is that they are usually shared with the people we love, whether it be through lots of “likes” on Facebook, a co-worker’s friendly hug, a parent’s wise advice, or a best friend acting as a one-woman cheer squad. (The other thing is that they usually involve great food either in celebration or commiseration!)

I’m prompted to think about this as a good friend at work had her last day with us yesterday after many, many, many years (!!) and she is now heading off on a new adventure. So exciting for her, albeit a little sad for our office – we will miss her! It has made me think about all the transitions I’ve had in my own life, for better or worse, and how they have truly shaped the person I have become. Life really is an amazing journey…

So, hooray for adventures – now get out there and have some!

In walking forward
A heart rich with memories
Blossoms on new path

© Leah Dowsett 2012

365 posts…and counting

I’ve blogged a year’s worth of poems so I am taking a break for a short while… I hope you’ll check back again and join me for more poetry soon!


Family trip abroad

In sweet foreign climes /

Some precious quality time /

Will soon be all mine

© Leah Dowsett 2011

The big trip

Itinerary /

Excitement builds – trains and flights /

Getting finalised

© Leah Dowsett 2011

Planning the trip

Reading Europe books /

The beauty is breathtaking /

Soon I will be there!

© Leah Dowsett 2011

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