Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Pineapple & Lychee Spearmint Colada

To get you in the summery spirit, regardless of the weather.

Serves 6-8

200ml vodka
750ml pineapple juice
500g canned lychees
2 tbsp spearmint leaves
2 cups chopped pinapple
125ml coconut cream
crushed ice

Put vodka, pineapple juice, lychees & their juice, spearmint & pineapple in blender & mix until smooth.
Add coconut cream & ice & blend until thick & smooth.
Serve immediately.
Papas a la Huancaína (Potatoes, Huancayo Style)

Serves 4-6

2 cups cottage cheese
3 hard-boiled egg yolks
4 hot red chillies (for hotter sauce, use more, to tase)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup evaporated milk
few drops of lemon juice
1/4 cup Spanish (red) onion, finely chopped

10 desiree potatoes, peeled
5 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
10 black olives
1 hot red chilli, extra, finely sliced
lettuce leaves, to serve

Chop chillies using a blender, adding a little of the oil for smoothness if necessary.
In a bowl, mash together cottage cheese & egg yolks with fork.
Add chillies, salt & pepper to taste & mix well.
Pour in oil a little at a time while stirring.
Add evaporated milk & lemon juice, beating well.
Lastly add onion & mix.
Set sauce aside.
Peel potatoes, halve & cook in boiling water.
Drain & arrange on a plate.
Cover potatoes with sauce & garnish with remaining ingredients.
Serve as an entrée or light meal.

Banana Cake

This recipe works well for cupcakes as well (cook for 20-25 min) & you can use a lemon icing to decorate, if you want.

60g butter, softened
2 over-ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 small tub (~100g) natural yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Blend butter, bananas & sugar until smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition.
Add yoghurt & blend again.
Add vanilla & flour, blending once more.
Pour into a lined baking tin or muffin tray & bake for 50 minutes or until cooked.
Cool in tin, then turn onto a wire rack before serving.

Add 1/2 cup choc chips for a sweeter treat.
Add 1 small can of passionfruit pulp for a tropical flavour.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Recipe for a Good House Party

1. Lights
Fairy lights and/or candles are best. Mix them up with some dim, coloured lamps if you have them too for a nice chilled effect.

2. Music
The most important thing is not to have the music loud. It needs to fill the background without dominating so that people can still talk. I like more chilled sounds of Late Night Mix CDs and Cafe Del Mar, but anything works as long as it's not to loud. Also try to mix in less popular but still great tracks with well-known music for that perfect cool blend and so that people can pick out favourites even in the background.

3. Food
A balance of sweet and savoury, hot and room temperature, vego and not is the best way to make sure everyone has something they can munch on. I like having bowls of lollies scattered around the place, plus chips & dips and cheese & biscuits for general munching. Then I do the oven-baked party pies, cheese triangles, wedges and other assorted warm goodness which are really popular and are very much appreciated by all in attendence. Of course, if you want low effort, just go with the lollies and room temp stuff. Oh, and fairy bread is also really popular and yummy if you have the time to prep it.

4. People
Invite all your friends! I do not hold with all this "different groups" crap. Just invite everyone - they're all your friends, so they'll have at least one thing in common - they'll meet new people and sort themselves out. Hell, I had two completely different "sets" of people exchanging phone numbers by the end of one party.

Have fun and enjoy!