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FoodFriends supporting Breast Cancer Awareness,
"Luscious ladies Day in Shades of Pink" was an event in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness but more important it was a morning to celebrate live.

It was a perfect opportunity for women to spend precious time together and enjoy some of life's little pleasures.

Cancer affects all our lives at some points and most people know someone who has been affected by it.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, second only to skin cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness month is a reminder to women across the world of the value of early detection and through fundraising and support groups, hope is given to women in need.

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CHRISTMAS COOKING WITH CHEF BOB
By Ann Marie O'Toole

Christmas 2010 has finally arrived in Penang with "FoodFriends Christmas Cooking with Chef Bob" at the E&O Hotel.

On Friday morning November 19th, seventy five ladies arrived at the E&O for what was yet another Fabulous FoodFriends morning of Christmas cooking, cocktail making, table napkin design, and delicious food sampling, presented by Maggie T. & Chef Bob and his team.
Maggie T. was there early to put the finishing touches to what was another marvellous Fun FoodFriends Event.

One could hear the "Ohs!" and "Wows!" as we entered the room to the cheerful sound of Christmas Music and the seasonal atmosphere with wonderful Christmassy smells & aromas of candles, decorations including large ice carvings of a Christmas Tree and a Snowman complete with sun glasses a hat and red bow tie!

There were several tables decked out elegantly with beautiful china, depicting various Christmas table designs and layouts. Waiting to tempt our test buds was a magnificent scrumptious buffet breakfast including lots of Christmas goodies, mini mince pies, Christmas stollen, cookies and cakes.

When everyone was seated but still enjoying their Coffee/Tea and goodies, Maggie T. welcomed everyone and introduced Chef Bob and his team. Chief Bob was his usual charming, fun, witty self and within minutes he had all the ladies eating out of his hand, laughing, joking and enjoying his demonstrations.

We each had recipe leaflets, notepaper and pens to jot down all the interesting and valuable information he would pass on to us. All eyes and ears were hung on his every word as Chef Bob carefully explained while preparing his dishes.

First was 'Salmon and Avocado Tartare' a simple but beautifully presented creation, which I myself will definitely try.

The Second Dish 'Duck Foie Gras' the Duck Foie Gras was marinated by placing the trimming and pieces into a vacuum bag with the marinade of red wine vinegar and sugar; then drained and left at room temperature for a short time. After seasoning it's ready to be Terrined. Line Terrine with cling film and press Foie Gras into mould, wrap and cook in water bath at 100?C for 3mins. Then put into ice water for few mins. and keep in fridge.

Next, Chef Bob did 'Rolls Hillside Lamb Lyon' using one lamb-rack, he marinated it with fresh garlic, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, mint sauce, black olives, salt & pepper. He then seared it in hot pan and finished it in the oven for about 8-10mins.

Believe me, the smell was divine! We all had a sample of this delicious lamb. To finish his cooking demo, Chef Bob made some beautiful simple Macaroons.

Chef Bob then went on to give us some valuable tips on cooking the perfect Christmas Turkey, stuffing, gravy and veg. Now it was time to learn how to carve the turkey properly - chef style. He first removed the wings, then the legs; Chef Bob then showed us where we should find the wish bone on the turkey. He cracked the bones just below the wish bone and removed the bottom half of the turkey. He was then left with the plump turkey breast easy for carving again we enjoyed tasting some of this juicy bird.

There was a standing ovation and cheers from all the ladies as he finished his demo, and Maggie formally thanked Chef Bob for his wonderful and light-hearted exhibition, which made everything look deceptively easy.

Now it was time to sample some drinkies after all that food sampling; Cocktails - By Calvin & Maggie T. As Calvin shook up the cocktails a la Tom Cruise, there was clapping and shouts of encouragement from the floor. The cocktail shots were downed quickly, with the ladies looking for "more, more"! Maggie lent a hand also a mean cocktail maker. Shoulder to shoulder they shook-up those cocktails to the clapping of their audience, which drank them as fast as the glasses were poured and put before them!

Next on the agenda it was time to learn how to fold a napkin professionally; one in the shape of a swan, and one in a shape of a butterfly. This was harder then it looked. Each person was given starched linen napkins and had to follow the instructions carefully. Few got the desired result, and most, myself included, got lost half way through, but it was a lot of fun.

With all the demos over Maggie T. thanked everyone who took part and also gave a special "well done" to the hotel for another fun filled FoodFriends Christmas Cooking Morning at the E&O Hotel.

Now it was time for our FoodFriends Lunch and a couple of glasses of wine. What a morning of fun, food, drinks and lots of Christmas goodies. We Foodie Friends are already looking forward to next year's Christmas Cooking with Chef Bob.

A very generous invitation was then given to all present to attend the E&O Christmas Tree Lighting on 1st Dec. Wow attending FoodFriends is always exciting!

Happy Cooking FoodFriends!

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