Monday, July 22, 2013

Winner Dinner


I lost a game of backgammon on honeymoon.

Which means -
I owed the husband a three course home cooked meal.

Now. Anyone who has been following indieBerries for a while, will know that kitchen + Ché do not mix. Like Oil and water. And flames. Put me in the kitchen and you get exploding eggscharcoal donuts and fried onions as a gourmet meal. At some point, I may even blog about the day I blew up a casserole dish. And when I say "blew up" I mean there was glass shards, chicken, potatoes and peas flying all over the kitchen. But I digress.

My cooking skills are so far lacking that guys, I don't even really know what cream cheese is.

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I literally have to call for backup when purchasing recipe-required groceries.

So there I was determined to pay my betting debts and cook a three course meal for my husband.
Off I trundled to the shops to buy the ingredients - all the while having trusty bridesmaid Nicole on standby to ensure that I am not about to buy Cottage Cheese to make cheesecake.

And so preparations begin - (bearing in mind, I didn't make things necessarily in this order and they weren't all sitting waiting getting cold when husband walked in - in fact, that moment was an all time fiasco). In fact, everything was a fiasco. These pictures are so much more calm that what was really all going on. Anyway - I'm just showing you in the order they were nommed -


I decided to follow this Martha Stewart recipe to make "Devils on Horseback" which is really just the fancy way of saying "dates-stuffed-with-blue-cheese-wrapped-in-bacon". Now Martha's recipe says "dates" I say, "Whatever Martha, It's MY kitchen. And in MY KITCHEN, we use prunes".

First rule of cooking is probably I should always just stick to the recipe.

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So I cut those prunes open, stuffed their little bellies with blue cheese and then wrapped their behinds in BACON.

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Skewered them up with a toothpick and then whacked them in the oven.
Martha said they would take 20 - 25 minutes.

But Martha is a liar.

a tax-evading, liar. 

They took way longer than that.

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So that was my starter.

I know it is not technically a "starter" it's more of  hors d'oeuvres. 
No need to get picky about that - 

My Kitchen, My Rules.


For main course I thought I would attempt something yummy off the Simply Delicious Blog and decided to go for this Beef Penang - given the Husband's affinity to spicy dishes.

Start chopping onions -

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Mmm. Don't think my hands should be looking like this.
anyway, moving forward

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Of course, when I was buying all the ingredients, I suddenly hit a panic attack when I got to the chili aisle and realised there are a bajillion thousand different kinds of chili. I decided to ask the guru and tweet messaged Mrs Simply Delish herself to ask -

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It is very reassuring to know that Mrs Simply Delish was a tweet away, even if only to inform her that the house was now in flames. I'm pretty sure she would have a good wine pairing for that at least. But... we survived the curry making and ended up with a good hot curry for our mains.

Had many internal monologues whilst preparing this meal:
"Mmm this meal is for four. I'm cooking for two. Should I use all the coconut milk? Or only half? No I should use all of it. But wait, I only have half the meat. Oh no. don't stray from the recipe. But I don't have enough meat! I've basically already strayed from the recipe. Ok, should I just add potato then? No that's a bad idea. Ok. Imma add the coconut milk. No wait. Oh no. too late. Ok. we've got a pile of coconut milk-cream. ok, now I probably need to add carrots."
Am upset I don't have a proper picture of the finished curry, but it's probably for the best, because my curry looked NOTHING like Alida's. lol.

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Also - I served my curry with garlic bread and not rice because
Imagine if i had to try and make rice too.


When i first moved to London, Warren's sister gave me the Nigella Express recipe book. In fact, when we got engaged Warr's mom gave me a really cool recipe book. And just after my visit to Jhb, his other sister also gave me a recipe book. It's like they're trying to tell me something, but what?

So anyway, I decided to "whip up" a cheesecake from Nigella's book -
And this is when things really went pear shaped - which is ironic, since this is the dish that I started with.

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Internal Monologues:

"Mmm... Ok. it's all going fine. You're gonna be fine. It's all fine. Just follow the recipe, it will all be fine. Recipe says one teaspoon lemon juice. What!? My Warren loves lemon juice! This Nigella. She don't know WHAT she's talking about. Imma add more lemon juice. Yeah. Two tablespoons. That's better. Pfft Nigella. Whatever. YOU don't know MY WARREN. He loves him some lemon juice! Mmm. this is pretty runny. Actually, it's like really runny. Maybe I should add some more sugar? Ok, more sugar then. Recipe says 'beat cream' Oh. I can't find those beater stick things. Dayyymmn. Well. I'm sure if i just stir it twice with mah teaspoon it'll be fine. Yeah. It'll be fine. Mmm it's so lemon-y! Olleh! Put it in the fridge!"

And then because I'm FREAKING UNSTOPPABLE, I made chocolate pouring sauce. 
Yeah you heard me:

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Three hours later:

"Imma check on my lemon-y cheesecake! Hmm. this isn't setting at all. In fact, this is runnier than it was when I started. Dinner is in two hours. HOW TO FIX?"

Message Nicole.
Nicole Suggests put that thang in freezer.

Good idea.

Four hours later upon dessert serving time, Nicole messaged again -

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But at least it looked pretty - 

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After all the preparations were done, I set up a mini make-shift table for us in the lounge -

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I made a door sign for our front door - so that the husband would see it and have to knock, so that I would not be suddenly surprised by him walking right on in. Also - so that I could greet him at the door with a glass of bubbles - because that's what all wives do, right? Right.

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Once I'd finished all the cooking, I switched my cooking apron for my cute apron that the Bridesmaids gave to me at my kitchen tea, with heels obvs.

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I mean. pfffft. Whatever.
I was wearing that the whole day.

And then I waited for the man to come home and enjoy his backgammon winnings -
I gave him the job of wine pourer

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Which he was very good at - and I ensured the wine was at optimal freeze temperature -

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Because we know how much my man loves his frozen drinks and such.

We noshed our three course meal, which was both edible and charcoal-free (WINNING!) and then sat on the floor in the lounge with a bottle of wine and discussed our lovely life -

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I know I lost the backgammon game

But I totes won at that evening.
Even if the curry was a mush-pile and the cheese cake was icicles.



Alida Ryder said...

I am so proud of you. It only gets easier and better every time you cook so keep going. Make something small every day and soon you Warr will say "Nigella who?" !!

And for future reference, if you halve the recipe, halve it properly. ;) x

Rhianne said...

I guess being married does change people ;) hahaha. And curry is always a mush pile when I make it - but a delicious mush pile, so its all good.

Seriously though, hurray Che, well done, it looks amazing, I bet Mr Dyer loved it :)

waitingformeg said...

Look at you, being a domestic goddess and all! The husband must have gone a little crazy for you after this?

Good job Che! Good job.

Claudz said...

Well done you crazy chef you!

How sweet is Alida?

Caley said...

Hahaha, you make me laugh - and all done so perfectly!! 10 brownie points for Che! Lucky hubs Warr x

Keri Bainborough said...

I seriously hope you came right in that outfit!!

Warrz said...


Warrz said...

Mr Dyer LOVED it!

Warrz said...

Most amazing dinner and evening all round, most fantastical wife ever! So, backgammon tonight? Xxx

Che Kershaw said...


Che Kershaw said...

Alida was SO helpful in all my cooking escapades! x

Che Kershaw said...

thank you SO much for all your recipe godess-ness! You were such a star!
(and next time will totes half the recipe properly.... because I basically cooked for four... and then we finished all of it... so - that's a good sign, right?) x

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