Cooking and Decorating Classes

Take 2: My Food Bag- Healthy Recipes‎ Made at Home

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What a surprise we are halfway through winter. With this cold season making feel a little insecure about my eating habits, we’ve become attached to My Food Bag, so that we can ease our way through to eating healthy again and reminding ourselves that there’s FRESH fruit and vegetables options for when we cook at home. 

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That healthy rainbow spread right at your door step.

There has been some recent improvements that My Food Bag product and experience made. 

New Monday AM delivery time – Enjoy delivery while you sleep! My Food Bag now offers their foodies the added convenience of a NEW delivery window, Monday 2:00am – 7:00am. Win back your weekend and wake up to a delivery on your doorstep! It’s all part of continuing to offer a convenient service to suit the busy lives of their foodies.

New planet-friendly packaging – My Food Bag is committed to delivering their foodies only the freshest seasonal produce available, in packaging which is planet-friendly. They’re now delivering the goodness in their 100% recyclable Chilltainers and Brown Paper Boxes, all kept cool by their new recyclable ice bricks. This new packaging has replaced their traditional bags to continue to ensure the best quality delivery service.

New suppliers – My Food Bag has teamed up with a number of new local suppliers to continue to bring their foodies only the best! While of course remaining free-range, organic and sustainably sourced (wherever possible)

Reduced recipe times – A team of nutritionists and dietitians have been working hard to reduce their recipe preparation time, while retaining variation and a healthy balance of ingredients

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No kidding about freshest local Australian produce, meat and fish.

Let’s experience first-hand the following changes… 🙂 Excited (*Insert* happy dance)

Now let’s start with delivery…I must say My Food Bag does keep you informed through email and text, even days before your order, so that you are aware your groceries are coming. Thumb up for that top quality service. Whilst I was in bed dreaming about the things I’m going to cook for that week I did receive 2 alerts on my phone; one for when they deliver and the other saying my groceries are in front of my door.

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Delivery came on time just before I head to work. Many ticks for that!

Unpacked my goodies around 8am and they were still nice and chilled. I could smell all the ingredients even before I had opened the brown box. Now that’s another thumb up for quality food supplies.

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Didn’t need to waste time hitting the markets to find fresh meat. Thumbs up for that effort!

I dare you to take a peek at the latest scrumdiddlyumptious creations from Nadia Lim and her team for easy recipes cooked in your very own kitchen.

Day 1: MEXICAN FISH & SWEET POTATO NACHO BOWLS

Taste: An old-fashioned favorite made with the freshest of ingredients. Enjoyed tasting the blend of vegetables with the marinated spice mix fish. It seriously was fresh from the fields to my dinner table. My tastebuds could separately taste the cubes fresh fish and veggies. The only thing that bugged me was my sweet potato wasn’t cooked as I followed the recipe. Other than that this was an earth friendly meal.

Verdict: Let’s taco bout this recipe baby, it felt like a fun Friday night meal that was super perfect for my boring Monday night in. I spiced up my nacho bowls with edible Old El Paso Stand ‘n Stuff soft tortilla bowls instead of using the suggested homeware bowls. I mean life is easier when everything is edible, right? Muahahaha. Saved myself from cleaning more dishes by adding my own idea to this dish and yes I was completely stuffed with two nacho bowls.

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There’s something fishy about this dinner…haha.

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Mexican Fish & Sweet Potato Nacho Bowls

Day 2: PARMESAN & BASIL CHICKEN WITH LEMON POTATOES & CHARRED GREENS

Taste: Might I say fresh, generous, and prepared to perfection, this chicken stuffed with parmesan and basil will leave you wanting more. I was stunned that I made this all by myself. It truly had extraordinary flavours that I never knew it was possible. Don’t normally eat chicken breasts because it always turns out dry for me whenever I cook it, but nope not these breasts. Super juicy because of the parmesan. Loved the fragrant of the basil, garlic and red onion whilst it was cooking in the oven. Gold medal for the rich and hearty flavour.

Verdict: I’m really not sure what to say because I have never been in this kind of situation before, but HEAVENS YES I’d make this again, any day. First time stuffing these breasts with an intriguing filling that I could not have imagined. A delicious and easy-to-prepare chicken breasts that makes a great presentation and fills up any big stomach. Felt guilty (NOT) eating parmesan for a Tuesday night but when it’s mixed with red onion, basil and garlic, you know you have to let the guilty card slide. Thank the veggie gods for arriving on time to balance this meal. So far so good! I think this has become my signature dish for when friends come over to eat.

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There’s there’s THERE’S parmesan in this dish 😀

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This is new for me…parmesan, basil, garlic, lemon and red onion mixed together…

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 Using toothpicks for this recipe. Don’t pick on my breasts! Haha

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Just winged it. Teeheehee.

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Parmesan & Basil Chicken with Lemon Potatoes & Charred Greens

Day 3: GARAM MASALSA BEEF WITH MUSHROOMS RAGOUT SPINCH & FLATBREADS

Taste: Sadly this dish was my least favourite (insert sad face) because it didn’t blend so well together. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sourness taste of the tomato base dish, then moving on to the creamy mayo flavour from the spinach and finally the garam masala beef strips. Don’t get me wrong, all 3 dishes had a full burst of flavour, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. On a much happier note I enjoyed dipping my Lebanese slice bread into the mushroom ragout.

Verdict: It’s a great destination meal for those who heart mushroom and cherry tomatoes. Would suggest to substitute the spinach with cos lettuce so it would marry so well with the garam masala beef strips. I had plenty of leftovers and decided to mix the mushroom ragout with brown rice and as for the gram masalsa beef it turned out to be a kebab using the bread and adding with spinach.

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Garam Masalsa Beef with Mushrooms Ragout Spinch & Flatbreads

Day 4: LAMB LEG STEAKS WITH CORIANDER PESTO LEMON KALE & RICE

Taste: Silver medal for this dish as there was no game smell of the lamb and who knew you could cook kale. I was shocked you could mix lamb with sweet chilli sauce. It was a great steak that was so juicy that you accidentally bursted the water pipe…well almost. Loved the subtle hints of sweet, chilli from the lamb and as for the kale…OH MY! Incredible flavour that I wished I found this sooner. As for the rice I totally forgot about that being there because I was so distracted by that lamb leg and veggies.

Verdict: I am very like VERY sensitive to wanting to cook lamb  in my own kitchen and eating kale during dinner time because both don’t mix so well in my books, but I was wrong. A winning pair of kale and lamb leg bursted intense flavors and alluring aromas. Loved the serving of solider carrots and mountains of kale.

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There’s lamb leg and kale on the menu…first time cooking these ingredients.

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Lamb Leg Steaks with Coriander Pesto Lemon Kale & Rice

Day 5: BACON & ZUCCHINI RISOTTO WITH PEAR & PARMESAN SALAD

Taste: This dish didn’t go bacon my heart…thank the food gods, instead it was warming my heart. This risotto covered in a decadent creamy texture and dusted with parmesan made me lick my plate clean. A healthy pile of greens with the added pear fruit as a side salad offered a bright crunch when paired with the risotto.

Verdict: I must say I’m surprised with this recipe. Risotto is something I don’t normally whip up in the kitchen because rice doesn’t cook properly, but it turned out very smooth and creamy.  As for a salad that has slices of pear in it, impressive. I do like pear salad now, thanks to My Food Bag!

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It’s so hot inside, I’m bacon!

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Bacon & Zucchini Risotto with Pear & Parmesan Salad

Thoughts about My Food Bag

Regards to the following changes that was mentioned at the beginning of this post, let’s see if it approved on the Nessy Eater radar.

  1. Delivery time – Spot on with timing and they text you before and after to confirm delivery to your home 
  2. Packaging – Can’t blame if it’s recyclable and helping the environment 
  3. Food Products – Still impressed with the high quality and fresh ingredients. I’m still intrigued with lamb leg steaks! YUM! 
  4. Reduced recipe times – 4 out of 5 recipes was super easy to assemble as it only required chopping and assembling the ingredients into one pot, so yes it did reduce 5-15 minutes. 

Other notes

  • My Food Bag menus use only fresh seasonal produce, so there’s nothing frozen and they choose free-range and sustainably farmed products
  • Nutritionally balanced meals for all 5 nights
  • Read more here

When it comes to purchasing a week’s worth of groceries, it’s frightening to try new things for example purchasing new meat parts, spices or vegetables because it’s very costly and it takes so much of your time thinking about what to make out of it, but with My Food Bag they’ve done the dirty work for you.

Overall my view on My Food Bag hasn’t changed even for my previous review. My Food Bag does an excellent job with providing fresh ingredients and delicious recipes that can cater for those who cannot cook (that’s me).

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Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater received a trial of My Food Bag-Classic, thanks to My Food Bag.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Check out other My Food Bag post I did. Click here.

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Celebration Cooking with Jessica Pedemont + Interview

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Keen to decorate dessert like a Master Chef? Then head along to Celebration Cooking on the 1st Floor 720 New Canterbury RoadCanterbury and join Jessica Pedemont in this hands on class to explore the colourful and vibrant world of of decorating cakes and desserts. Learn the art of pastry from the industry’s finest. We always seem to see those celebrity chefs on TV and they make it all look super easy by taking a pinch of this and adding a cup of that. Then transforming the ingredients into something that makes our mouth water like as if we saw a supermodel walk across the room. At the Celebration Cooking they do the same, by providing step-by-step process at an absolute beginner or seasoned level from $220 a class and then turn you into a patisserie decorator master.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (0)Guess who made this?! Hint it’s someone who cannot cook and is VERY messy 😛

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (2)Now which door will you choose today? 😛

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (3)There is so many types of cacao in different processes. Check out the mini museum hidden at the corner.

We are first welcomed with our own individual notes, ganache, chocolate cake and tea towel in class. Yes did I mention you get your very own CAKE…no need to share for those who like it all to themselves *raise my hand*.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (7)Getting the wafer party started 

Starting her own business called Chocolate Artisan 8 years ago and just launched her very own Sydney based cooking school early this year AND happen to be the FINALIST for the “Local Business Awards 2015“- Jessica Pedemont, a Muay Thai Kickboxer who is highly regarded pastry chef with over 18 years of experience, runs a cooking class most weekends and offer personalised class. Classes are an ideal way to learn the basics of sugar craft and with a house-made coffee made by Jessica herself on arrival and the opportunity to take home the treats you create, who wouldn’t want to participate? Not only does this bad ass chef uses her fists and elbows along with various wrestling techniques in her own cooking classes just so she can score more points, but she already won the match for being the most sweetest chef you’d ever meet.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (9)HEY it’s Jessica Pedemont in her PINK Chef uniform.

We start off with cooking some cake lace in decorative moulds and my oh my am I impressed with how easy this looks. You so can do this at home if Jessica was next to you.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (11)DIY cake lace moulds

Spotted an EDIBLE “Food Scenepainting made by Jessica who was nominated to make an art work for Australian Cake Decorating Network gallery at the Cake Bake Sweet Show “Sydney in Cake” exhibition. The theme was “What inspires me about Sydney?”. It is clearly evident a lot has got to do with edible ingredients…and mostly sweets I believe. It’s a NO BRAINER that there is royal icing, chocolate, modeling chocolate, rice papericing, gum paste, edible paints and wafer paper. Yeah you name it kiddo.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (13)This painting is edible kids!

I knew straight away this girl LOVES her CHOCOLATE as she is so passionate and detailed about explaining the right ingredients for each type of chocolate cake. Who knew I found my chocolate soul mate. Teehee. Stepping away from the kitchen and kickboxing scene Jessica spends her time writing for the Australian Baking Business that offers an inside look at the news and views affecting today’s baking industry.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (16)True face of a chocolate lover.

All cakes and ganache are provided and made from scratch by Jessica using Swiss ‘Felchlin‘ couverture Chocolate, ‘Pepe Sayabutter and buttermilk and free range eggs.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (19)Time to set-up a round cake with chocolate ganache and create sharp edges.

Tough love was seen here as we carefully place the warm gooey ganache that was re-heated to the surface of the cake. It felt like a lifetime smoothing the surface as I tried not to remove sweat off my face when dealing with something so delicate in front of me.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (21)You need steady surgical hands to create smooth surfaces for this cake. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (22)SUCCESS for Nessy Eater Girl!

We now move on to colour and handling techniques for fondant. We decided sunset orange and with confidence the cake will look even brighter.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (23)I can see a rainbow 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (24)During the roll of sugar fondant icing, we somehow created Mr. Blob. Teehee.

Minutes before we started our class we had the pleasure to meet Tommy Prosser, who worked at the 1 Michelin starred Gravetye Manor and 3 Michelin starred Waterside Inn. Tommy tells us he dreams of one day eating in all the world’s best restaurants. Not just a man who knows how to cook though, it turns out Tommy’s quite the fighter as well…the sporting kind of course.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (25)Sneaky shot of Jessica Pedemont and partner in crime Tommy Prosser.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (26)I spy C-A-K-E!!!

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (27)SPOTTED another cake display.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (28)Best quote ever for hard workers 🙂

NOW it’s time to cover with ready to roll sugar fondant icing. Be prepared to work-out your arms as it requires all strengths from  your upper body.

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We set-up a round cake with chocolate ganache and created a magnificent smooth edging. The beauty of this cake is its simplicity. Crisp orange edges and a comfy icing fondant are a solid go-to cake.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (30)I think my ego just boosted for making this cake look so smooth…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (31)There may have been a competition happening between four of us students in the wafer class.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (32)Time to make wafer rose.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (34)Our cake lace moulds are set.

Personally the most difficult part of this class was having patience. We spent a generous amount of time outlining the shapes of the leaves, cutting out and brushing with edible glue. Sadly that wasn’t the hard part. It was making sure you didn’t glue your fingers to other wafer paper leaves. In the end we pulled through and below is what we ended up with. What do you guys think? 😀

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (37)*Woo-hoo* Made a wafer paper from scratch

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (38)Did you know that this decorative lace mould is edible?!?!

We are almost finished with making our own wafer rose paper cake and now our eyes pay close attention to Jessica as she demonstrates the final steps. I swear I was DEFEATED with Jessica’s 18+ years experience as it looks easy from here as she sticks on the cake laces within seconds.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (39)Jessica teaching us the handling techniques.

Okay…I may not be the best cake decorator but the smell of the cake was astonishing. MUST not eat this cake till it is complete…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (40)Steady now…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (41)Now that’s a wrap folks of the wafer paper rose cake class.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (42)WOAHZA! How simply was that? Hehe

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (43)It’s impossible to ignore these cakes…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (44)Incredible hard work has been put to these wafer rose cakes. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (45)You don’t leave empty handed at Celebration Cooking with Jessica Pedemont. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (48)Top view of Nessy Eater’s Wafer Paper Rose Cake. Suspense is killing me to show you!!!!

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (49)But FIRST let me show you “behind the scenes” …#Sorrynotsorry…yeah I am childish 😛

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (50)We did it GIRLS! Totes can be a pastry chef any day…*coughs*

Jessica Pedemont has an enormous range of cooking and decorating classes to choose from including Brioche Nutella Star, Macaron Mayhem, Handbag cake and Christmas Fruit Cake just to name a few. They are perfect for all ages  even catering some of her classes for the wild kids you may have. Jessica’s classes are also an excellent  gift to give or if you are impressing the family or maybe someone special *wink wink*. With less than 4 weeks to go till Christmas i’d be be scheduling classes before they all book out. Just make sure you don’t mess with her otherwise she’ll organise a Muay Thai match and we know who will win this one. Teehee.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (50 B)We had to do kawaii poses just for the sake of it 😀

Tell me about yourself Jessica Pedemont

I started Martial Arts when I was 15, mostly kickboxing and Muay Thai. I’ve always been athletic. I progressed to mixed martial arts, competing on a professional world level, then eventually was asked to do freestyle wrestling for Australia and competed at Oceana. As a kid, I was a national gymnast. I’m always game to learn new things. I love to travel, meet new people, different cultures.

When did you realise being a Pastry Chef was your passion? And do you have any passions outside of cooking?

While I still also do work as a savoury chef, my passion for pastry was a natural progression. I’d trained in both, as you do. Other passions, as above, include sport, well-being and travel.

How did the opportunity at Celebration Cooking come about?

Andrew, the owner of Celebration Cakes, is someone I’ve known in the industry for many years and he offered me this space where I’m current teaching. It’s been a great opportunity to have a dedicated facility so close to my home.

Tell me about being in the FINALIST for the “Local Business Awards 2015”? What was rushing through your mind when you received the news?

It was a pretty unbelievable as I’d only just opened. It’s been a great privilege to be recognised for our work.

What personal quirks does your team tease you about?

Since fitness is important to me, I still like to balance all my cooking with a good workout…

What’s your process for coming up with a new cooking/decorating classes?

We do take a lot of student feedback, recommendations…I’m always open to new ideas. Often my students will ask for things…which is really encouraging. Classes for kids, water colour cookies, marzipan, etc.

Is there a chef that you admire?

I admire chefs who are hard-working, who have a sensitive palette, who have skill, talent, poise…who are deeply passionate and elegant to watch work…oh and and a sense of adventure, a great pedigree, amazing experiences in kitchens…it makes me think of my partner Tommy Prosser. He’s also very humble, which is a killer trait, so I don’t mind mentioning him here. I also like what Jaime Oliver has done. Doing a lot to help communities, get people to think and act, love his fresh approach to food, even making good/healthy eating easy and quick where appropriate.

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Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Wafer Paper Rose Cake, thanks to Celebration Cooking.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

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