Archive | Tips and hints

How to: braising

Braising is a cooking technique in which the main ingredient is first seared and then simmered in liquid on a low heat in a covered pot. Braising is an excellent way to cook less expensive cuts of meat such as blade, chuck and skirt. The connective tissue, fat and sinew that hold the muscles of the meat together are broken down in the braising process, rendering the meat tender and releasing gelatinous juices to create a rich and full bodied gravy. Even the toughest cuts of meat will become tender when braised.

Beef Bourgignon is a braised dish

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The Elements of Entertaining

My food blog, which has just celebrated its second birthday, was created to inspire its readers to entertain at home, so they can experience the joy associated with having guests. In the past 2 years, entertaining made easy has provided its readers with a myriad of recipes, tips and hints, ideas and articles – all designed to take the stress and guesswork out of entertaining. Reflecting on the past 24 months, I felt it was time to take a step back and talk about the basic elements of entertaining – the keys to making your occasion as enjoyable for you as it is for your guests.

Friends enjoying themselves at a Fondue Party

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Which sauce with which pasta?

Pasta comes in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from tagliatelle and tortellini to penne and pappardelle. Matching pasta with a compatible sauce is instinctive for someone that has grown up eating pasta as a staple, but for the rest of us some guidelines are necessary to attain the best complement of flavour and texture.


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The Making of a Panda Cake

Until last weekend I had zero experience in making a child’s themed birthday cake (probably because I don’t have children). I hear from my friends that do have kids just how highly competitive childrens’ birthday parties can be. It seems that all the parents are trying to out-do the other parents, particularly when it comes to the cake. 

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fruit of the month: grapes

Grapes arrived in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788 and now Australia is one of the most successful grape growing countries in the world for both eating and winemaking.  There are over 50 varieties of grapes, the more popular eating types being Thompson Seedless and Menindee Seedless (green varieties) and Red Globe and Red Flame (red varieties).


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Christmas Entertaining Made Easy

If the thought of co-ordinating the Christmas meal fills you with dread, don’t despair – you are certainly not alone. Even competent cooks can find Christmas Day a culinary challenge. What to eat, how much to serve, how to organise and manage the different dishes so everything is ready on time – these are just some of the challenges that confront the Christmas Day host.

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