Sunday, June 19, 2011


I didn't feel like leaving our house on Friday night, and didn't want to pay for a babysitter.

So instead to celebrate my birthday I opted to host a dinner. It was billed as 'intimate' but the term reflected the cosy nature of the seating arrangements, rather than the modest number of guests.

We squeezed 16 people around two dining tables pushed together in the middle of our living room.

I had never served a sit-down six-course dinner for 16. And let's just say I ah, felt like I was on Master Chef when I was plating up the polenta mushroom pie and a couple of helpful friends spurred me on with reminders that I couldn't really spare the time to fuss about how the pie was sitting on the plate.

Me looking like I've just cooked for 16
Get that pie plated up...

One thing I avoid when cooking for a group is experimenting with new recipes. So each course was tried and tested and has already been published on these pages. However, the mushroom polenta pie was so buried here that by the time I found it I realised no readers ever would have.

And after the response last night I think this particular pie deserves a re-print. Quote from my dear friend Emily Besser: "I don't think people would realise how good it would taste from looking at the recipe and pics." So take the plunge. Check out 'Perfect' Mushroom Polenta Pie and see pics below of the process.

Dalia follows my pedantic pie-assemble directions

Tofu Pecan Rolls awaiting the oven

Tips for assembling tofu pecan rolls

Looks just like a sausage roll...

I made a double batch of the popular Tofu Pecan 'Magic'' Rolls on Thursday night, along with two large pots of Brazilian Black Bean Soup with Red Pepper and Lime.

Brazilian Black Bean Soup
Dalia the fabulous sous chef

Garnishes for the black bean soup - don't forget sour cream

So on my birthday all I had to whip up were two mushroom polenta pies and a couple of spinach and rocket salads. Desert and birthday cake were taken care of by two very dear friends - Emily (tiramsu) and Miream (double chocolate layer cake).

Emily Besser's delicious Tiramsu

Miream's impressive, rich chocolate cake

My friends are very good wrappers 

Dalia was my invaluable sous chef on Friday, diligently cranking up the kitchen at 2pm and being a fabulous friend to Billie when she woke up. Jodie made the table look lovely, and read Billie not one, but three bedtime stories.

Thank you to my beautiful friends for making it a very special evening.

The Morning After: Billie and I show Dalia our local beach

Billie contemplates the large swell at Bronte


  1. Love the photo of you blowing out the candle. What a magical night!

  2. It was wonderful! I am going to introduce family to the mushroom polenta pie :))

  3. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure
    of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    Check out my web blog: easy diets that work

  4. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and
    found that it's truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    My web site :: diet plans to lose weight

  5. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to
    mention that I've really loved surfing around your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing on your feed and I hope you write once more soon!

    Also visit my webpage