Category Archives: food

Chilli Chocolate Dinner Party

I normally blog about religion, politics, internet censorship, and other enlightening topics; but today I’m going to write about food and wine. One of my other loves.

The following is the menu from the dinner party I held last night (Sunday 6 June) We had a public holiday on the Monday – Queen’s birthday (happy birthday to the old bag 🙂 and thanks for the day off)  – which gave me time to recuperate and clean up. Recipes are available in the attached file.

The evening also involved the tasting and judging of six wines, (as part of a Wine of the Year finalists judging) see below for the list of wines tasted and how they rated.

Prior to dinner, guests were served a dry Martini infused with chilli sugar syrup (see recipes) and nibbles, including chilli chocolate chips. As you can see, the theme for the dinner party was Chilli Chocolate!


Oz’s Chilli Chocolate Degustation Dinner

Cornbread a la Billy
w/ Chilli Butter or Garlic Butter

French Onion Soup Shots (check the photo!)
w/ Onion Tartlett
(no chilli or chocolate, but very intense flavour)

Chilli Chocolate Beef & Beans
Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Stew
w/ Jasmine Rice
& Green Salad

Chocolate Chilli Cake
w/ Vanilla Ice cream

w/ Double Choc-Chip Chilli Biscuits

w/ Shaved Chilli Chocolate


Rothbury Estate Barrel Select
Hunter Valley
Shiraz 2007

Patrick T Reserve
Wratonbully Coonawarra
Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2007

McLean’s Farm
Barossa Valley
Trinity Corner Red 2007

Mockingbird Hill
Clare Valley
Sangiovese Barbera Dolcetto 2007

Yarra View
Yarra Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2006

The Gallows
Margaret River
Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007

We all started scoring very low to leave room for improvement in the wine scoring, hence the low marks for the wines. One dinner guest was particularly low scoring, averaging only 13 for each of the 6 wines! But everyone was unanimous that the McLeans Farm Trinity Corner Red was the pick of the wines, with the Gallows Cab-Sav Merlot a close runner-up.

Sorry you couldn’t all have been here, perhaps some other time. Put your bids in now, I have a table setting for eight (including myself) and one guest bedroom (no teetotallers allowed 🙂 ).

I’m now looking for a theme for the next dinner party, anyone submitting suggestions and recipes will go to the top of the VIP guest list. 😉

I’d love to do a risotto for guests (Fiery might be interested in that dinner party!) but they are very labour intensive. I’m also  not sure how to time risotto for a dinner party, if anyone has any ideas please let me know.

So big deal, I hear some of you say. A dinner party, what’s so great about that?

Well the thing is, without going into details, these days I’m on my own and to hold a dinner party has been another one of those things I’ve had to do to prove to myself (as much as to anyone else) that my life hasn’t completely fallen apart.

We all have obstacles in our lives, we all have things we’d rather not do, we all have things we’d rather have someone help us with. But in the end it all comes down to ourselves. If, individually, we don’t try and achieve we’ll never succeed. As the saying goes “nothing sucks seeds like a budgie with no beak”.

And if we fail, what’s the worst that can happen? We’ll have to order a pizza!



Filed under chilli, Chocolate, food, wine

God can make you Thin.

Yes that is thin, not think.

I was asked on twitter the other day about religious diets, the person ( was actually talking about “stuffing their minds” (with bad thoughts), but I interpreted their initial tweet to be about “stuffing their bodies” (with bad food).

It piqued my interest to see if there were any “religious specific diets” lo-and-behold there are. Quite a few in fact, and AOL Health has even done a review of some of the more well known ones. The AOL Religious Diets review can be read in full on their site, but here are a few excerpts, including the opening paragraphs:

“God, help me, I’m fat.”
Does prayer really help you lose weight?

I’d have to say no, unless you prayed so much you didn’t get time to eat?

Faith-based diets are increasingly popular with Christians making up the largest base for the new trend. Many pastors and church leaders are recognizing obesity in their congregation and preaching about weight loss as it relates to the Bible.

I admit I haven’t read every word in the Bible, but I don’t recall ever reading, or hearing of, any weight loss programs in it?

All these different diet methods share the common message, “Don’t run to the fridge, run to God.”

Well I can see some benefit in that diet tip, running away from the fridge means running away from food, and if you “run to God” you are going to be running for along time. Seeing as, if God exists no one actually knows where “he” resides (so you’ll be running in circles all over the place).  😉

Here is the list of the diets reviewed by AOL Health:

Faith-Based Diets
Divine Health & What Would Jesus Eat?
Maker’s Diet
Hallelujah Diet
Body By God
First Place
Weigh Down and Thin Within

Divine Health is based on a Mediterranean cuisine and encourages eating fish, salads and lightly cooked vegetables. The diet also encourages daily walking.

Maker’s Diet is “drawn from the book of Leviticus, the food plan is based on Old Testament dietary laws.” Like the previous diet, this diet also encourages people to eat less processed foods, sugars and pork.

Hallelujah Diet is “based on Genesis 1:29, the vegetarian diet primarily consists of eating 85 percent raw to 15 percent cooked fruit and vegetables.” In fact this diet is very nearly a vegan diet as it “restricts eating all meats, dairy or refined flour products, white rice or eggs.”

Body By God is a diet based on “foods given by God” namely natural fruits, vegetables, nuts, organic beef and poultry, fish and herbs. This diet also encourage exercise and encourages people to eat less processed foods, fried foods, sugars and pork.

First Place diet “instead of strict food guidelines or supplements, the focus of the group is spiritual awareness to replace food as comfort.” “The plan doesn’t leave out any food group but encourages members not to indulge on too many sweets or excess amounts of fried foods.”

Weigh Down and Thin Within diets have a similar focus to the First Place diet in putting emphasis on Bible study and prayer to rejuvenate spirituality and to replace food as comfort. There are no strict guidelines on what you can and can’t eat in these diets.

So are any of these diets any good, will any of them help you lose weight?

From the review in the AOL article and my own limited health knowledge I’d say yes, some of them will help you lose weight. Any diet that encourages you to eat less processed, fatty, sugary foods and more fruit and vegetables is going to be good for you. Any diet that encourages you to do more exercise is also good for you. Whether these diets are any better because they are God or Bible based is a very debatable point.

Personally I wouldn’t recommend a vegan/vegetarian diet to anyone, some people can lead healthy lives on them but you really have to know what you are doing to ensure you don’t miss out on any vital vitamins and minerals, or become undernourished.

One of the points the AOL article does raise that is mentioned in some of these weight loss programs is the problem of “comfort food”. Some people eat when stressed or depressed and this can often lead to weight gain, or make it difficult to lose weight. Reducing the emotional reasons for eating may be a necessary part of a weight loss program for some people. A few of the religious diets listed above promise to assist with this aspect of dieting, but I’m not sure prayer or scripture reading is necessarily the best method. I have the worry that “spiritual awareness” may only temporarily mask a deeper emotional problem, perhaps  it would be better for these people to seek help from a highly trained competent psychologist?

The bottom line when it come to losing weight, and/or fat, is to reduce your intake and increase you out-take.  Eat less and better, exercise more.
However, one should always eat sufficiently to ensure you don’t miss out on vital vitamins and minerals and maintain good health.


Filed under atheism, bible, diet, food, god, religion

Food Porn Meme

Not another meme! I got tagged, by wineymomma, again, this time I’m supposed to answer some questions about food. Whilst I love food, I’m not big on picking out one particular item I prefer. I know which foods I don’t like: cheese, capsicum; but I don’t have too many favourites of foods I do like. Anyway, here is the meme:


1. What food do you consider the best “date” food? In other words, what meal or food item do you think is sexiest to eat in the company of someone you would like to look sexy around?

mmm… this one stumped me for a while, I haven’t been on a date for over 20 years. Whilst the OH and I have been out for some very nice, dare I say romantic, meals together; I’ve never really thought of trying to look sexy whilst eating. I’d probably just end up looking daft.

If I had to pick one it would be, a nice Salmon Fillet (the OH would probably say Duck). 

2. What well-known person would you like to share a meal with?

There are quite a few people I’ve always thought would be good to have dinner with. People who are funny and have interesting lives. Molly Meldrum would be a hoot I reckon, as would Ross Noble, but if I was to pick one it would be Ben Elton.

3. What does your perfect breakfast-in-bed look like? (Food AND the details, please. Candles? Music? Flowers? Hot tub? Dancing girls?

I don’t think I’ve ever done breakfast-in-bed, on my own, with someone, or for someone. It may sound nice to some, but it sounds uncomfortable and messy to me.

My preference is breakfast brought to your room at a really nice hotel, then eating whilst still dressed in their big fluffy bathrobes. The closest I’ve come to this would be breakfast at Thorngrove Manor, in the Adelaide Hills, but we were fully dressed. The Silver Service breakfast, brought to the room was quite decadent.


4. What do you consider the best application of whipped cream to be?

As land fill, can’t stand the stuff.

If I was going to be rude, I’d say spread on a woman’s ample breasts, topped with a few strawberries, then licked off.

5. Oh-God-No, Biff, the yacht is sinking! You are sent to the galley to retrieve the food. What luxury food items do you snatch first? The champagne? The caviar? Smoked Salmon? Truffles? Chocolate? Or something else?

The champagne and smoked salmon of course!

On more sensible survival criteria; the chocolate, it won’t go off so quick and provides energy. I’d also throw in a few tins of baked beans.

The Rules…
“Answer each of the five questions. Tag five bloggers you would like to pass the meme to. Have them link back to you and to this post as the source meme. You and they can take the graphic from here if they like.”

So, now, who do I tag…  If you read this consider yourself tagged.

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Filed under food, meme