Archive for March, 2010

Speaking of Mothers….

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

My daughter is currently in her third year at University and I was talking with her on the phone the other day when she asked me for some advice. She had to cook a dinner party for eight people for a birthday celebration. She asked me what would be good for her to cook for that number of people. She has not had to cook for eight people before and usually only cooks for herself or perhaps for her flatmate as well. Oh, and the other thing that I needed to take in to account was the fact that her budget was limited – understandable being a student!!!! So what was my advice?  To get out her copy of Simply 3 – 5 and make the following: the Classic French Onion and Creamy Thai dips with the Spicy Pitta Crisps as nibbles to have ready for when everyone arrives. These can all be made ahead of time taking away the stress of trying to make too many recipes at the same time. I suggested that she follow that with the main course being Creamy Roasted Pepper Pasta Sauce using her pasta of choice. She would need to cook this whilst she had her guests there, but the recipe is so simple that she would be able to manage that really well. Also, very good for the budget! Finally, the Shortcake Apple Crumble. Another recipe that she could prepare a little ahead of time and then pop in the oven 30 minutes before she needed dessert. Lovely served with ice cream or plain whipped cream.  There you have it…. a simple budget friendly three course meal suitable for anyone. By the way, I had another phone call today….it all went really well for her and all of her guests were suitably impressed!

Mother’s Day

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Mother’s Day!!  What a very special day where we can all say thanks to our Mums because sometimes we forget to do that throughout the year. 

Kathy and I were talking the other day and saying how it is a shame that we cannot be with our Mum every year as I live in England, Kathy lives in Melbourne and Mum lives in Perth, Western Australia.  However, we do have three siblings living in Perth who always make sure Mum has a wonderful day.  She also does get the benefit of having two Mother’s days as in Australia Mother’s day is celebrated  in May, not March as it is here.  My family are cooking a surprise lunch for me which I am really looking forward to.

So, to all you Mothers out there…Happy Mother’s day and I hope you are well looked after on the day!

Take care

Fran

Quick and Easy Cooking Course

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I have recently taught the first of our Quick and Easy Cooking courses.  This course is centred around our new book ‘Simply 3 – 5’. 

I had some very enthusiastic students with a wide range of expertise.  Some students had little experience and wanted to learn how to make some meals without having to do lots of shopping or spend hours in the kitchen.  Others were accomplished cooks who wanted to be shown some quick and easy recipes and ideas to use after a busy day at work when they needed to prepare a meal for a hungry family.  One of the really good things about our courses at the Gables School of Cookery is that we cater for a wide range of needs. 

I really love teaching and one of the benefits is seeing the confidence of students grow as they prepare the recipes.  Even accomplished cooks can always learn more with us at the school!!! When I am teaching it is also really lovely to see the interaction between students with various levels of expertise.   The Quick and Easy Cooking course was full very quickly and luckily I have scheduled a number of courses for this year with the next one on Saturday 22nd May.  

Judging by the enthusiasm of the students on this course I think there will be some very happy people out there who will be getting the benefit of the “simply 3 – 5’ approach.

Until next week…..Happy cooking!

Fran

2010 already!!!!!

Monday, March 1st, 2010

You are probably wondering where we have been!!  Kathy and I have been very busy since the launch of our new cookbook Simply 3 – 5.  In fact, Kathy made a flying visit to England late in November all the way from sunny Melbourne in Australia to the colder climate here. 

We really enjoyed spending some time together however it was a very hectic time as we supplied all of our Simply 3 – 5 Christmas orders.  We were inundated with orders from people who had purchased Simply 3 – 5 and who were so pleased with the recipes in the book that they wanted to give friends and family a copy of Simply 3 – 5 for Christmas presents.  What a lovely gift to receive.

Then there was the joy and festivities of Christmas!  My family spent Christmas Day here at the Gables School of Cookery.  We had some other members of our extended family join us from Ipswich and had the most wonderful day with them.  Christmas is such a special time for family to be together and I love it.  The cooking was shared by us all and like most people do at Christmas we ate too much!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you all the best for 2010 and I will be back soon.

Fran