Living the Savory Life

food, life and all the good bits

Author: Lauren (page 1 of 6)

Dinner Parties: How To (or at least how I do….)

Now I’ll be totally up front and tell you, I don’t claim to be a complete professional when it comes to dinner parties.  I mean I’m not Ina Garten with a florist and vendors on call, and an industrial kitchen.  Nor do I have a gorgeous center piece floral arrangement that runs the full length of my 20 foot dining table.  I’m just not that good.  BUT, I will say my parties are well planned and well executed and I can tell you if I stressed out at any point about the food during the night, no one was any the wiser.

You see, to say I love throwing a dinner party is a gross understatement.  I live for the parties we have and I don’t think I can tell you what I love more, planning them or executing them.  The whole process is so much fun for me.  So….. I thought I’d share with you my whole process and some of the menus that I’ve cooked.IMG_4829_2

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Trials and Tribulations of Dating in the Modern Age

We all compile funny and embarrassing stories over the course of our lives.  Like that time you slipped and fell in front of the cutest boy at school and he laughed at you.  Now that’s just an example I pulled off the top of my head.  It absolutely never ever happened to me.  No way.  No how.

Now, I’m definitely not a subject matter expert in funny and embarrassing stories….  Scratch that, I’m pretty sure I wrote the handbook on how to be awkward and end up embarrassing yourself.  Today’s story isn’t really embarrassing, well at least not for me anyway.  Today I thought I’d reach into the vault and pull out an old first date story from way back when I lived in Seattle.  I remember the ladies at the office used to love when I’d come in with these horrifying first date stories.  Like the time my date asked our server for her number right in front of me….  Yeah, he was a winner.  Or the time my date “forgot” his wallet.  Anyway, this one is a gem.  I hope you enjoy it and I hope it makes you laugh.  If you do like it I might be persuaded to throw in some more recent stories.  I have a couple doozies.Seattle Skyline
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It’s funny……

…..well maybe not funny, haha but funny how when we live in the moment we don’t really think about how much changes over time but then we have a look back and all of sudden it is almost hard to recognize that person and what was happening at that time.

The last couple of years have been a whirlwind for me and while some days seem to creep by, for the most part time is just flying by.  I mean, can it just slow down a bit?! So let’s see, what has really gone on……

1. I moved from Perth to Melbourne.  I know many of you who know me personally already know that but I’m not sure I ever really said that I had moved.  What a wonderful decision.  Melbourne is one of my most favorite places on earth.  A really great city and I absolutely love my current neighborhood.  I suppose I could also mention that I, more or less, live in Airbnbs.  Well currently it is really just a furnished apartment and not technically an Airbnb but I’ve been fortunate enough to live without leases or long term commitments and pesky bonds and quarterly rental inspections.  Life is grand!  My current place is small but it has absolutely everything I need plus some outdoor space.  Best of all, it is close to everything!Melbourne

Melbourne
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Dad & the Cream Cheese, Lettuce and Tomato

Dad and the Cream Cheese, Lettuce and Tomato ~ Living the Savory LifeI’ve been thinking about my dad a lot lately.  Maybe because it was just father’s day or maybe because his would be 71st birthday is coming up soon, but I also think it’s because I’ve been talking to a lot of people about their experiences with their fathers or step-fathers and I’ve heard the full range of the best to the worst.  It makes me really thankful that my dad fell on the scale of the best.Dad and the Cream Cheese, Lettuce and Tomato ~ Living the Savory Life Continue reading

Mandarin Orange Chicken

Sometimes comfort food means cooking what your mom used to make when you were a kid.  Today’s recipe is just that.  She didn’t make it too often but I was always excited when she did.  If I had my way, I would have just eaten the rice and the sauce.  Of course now that I am an adult and I run my own household, I can do what I want, but I admit nothing.  Nothing!Mandarin Orange Chicken ~ Living the Savory Life Continue reading

Chuck Steak Shepherd’s Pie

It has been quite cold the past week.  The cold and rainy weather is making me crave all things comfort food and the other night the comfort dish I was craving was Shepherd’s Pie.  But I really wasn’t wanting Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef so I decided to give it a go with chuck steak instead.  It took a bit longer than if I had used ground beef but the result was so worth it and the hands on time was minimal.  Alternatively this is a great way to use up leftover pot roast.Chuck Steak Shepherd's Pie ~ Living the Savory Life Continue reading

Steak and Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

Steak and Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing ~ Living the Savory LifeSo it seems that Sunday Gravy was my 50th post!  Who knew?!  And it only took me two plus years to get there.  So hooray for an LSL milestone!  Let’s hope the 100th isn’t another two years away.  I’m glad my 50th was Sunday Gravy.  I really like that recipe but don’t worry #51 isn’t a bad one either.  (really great transition there Laur; really great)  Anyway……Steak and Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing ~ Living the Savory Life
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Sunday Gravy

I think it might be time to share my Sunday Gravy with you.  I mean, we’re friends right?  You’ve been hanging in there with me through all the times when I have dropped off the radar and you’ve cheered me on when I’ve made my comebacks.  I think you deserve Sunday Gravy.

Now if you’re not down with the whole Italian-American thing you might be asking, “What the heck is Sunday Gravy?” Don’t worry, I’m here to help with that.  Sunday Gravy is a slow cooked tomato sauce that uses meat as it’s base.  It’s not a bolognese and it’s not a ragu.  It is still, for me, primarily a tomato sauce and is served over pasta (fresh if at all possible).  Sunday Gravy should make the whole house smell like if you walked into the kitchen you would expect to find a whole clan of Italian Grandmothers stirring the pot.  It is rich and satisfying and one mouthful makes you feel like you’re wrapped up in Grandma’s hand crocheted quilt.  Really.  Sunday Gravy is that good.Sunday Gravy ~ Living the Savory Life
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Pea and Avocado Crostini with Zucchini and Tomatoes

Even the biggest carnivores need some vegetables every now and then.  Today is my day and I couldn’t be more excited about this recipe.  It’s one of the best things I’ve made lately (and considering those lamb shanks that’s a pretty tall order!).Pea and Avocado Crostini with Zucchini and Tomatoes ~ Living the Savory Life
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Prawn and Chorizo Skewers

A couple weeks ago I was invited to a party at a good friend’s house.  She asked me to arrive a bit early to help out, but truthfully, she had everything done when I got there so I think she was really just up for a bit of a chat.  In any case, I dragged myself out of bed early and made an extra strong coffee to get all the limbs and the mind functioning.  Off to the market I went.  I wanted to make a dish to add to the spread but it would have to be something I could prepare at her house because I had nearly an hour on the train and didn’t want to be carrying a platter of food. Not to mention it would be bad by the time I got there.  So I decided on something relatively simple; prawn and chorizo skewers. I knew the fish monger would be happy to put my prawns on ice for me and the chorizo would be fine as well so I wasn’t worried about a thing.  I turned my music on, put in the earbuds and off I went!Prawn and Chorizo Skewers ~ Living the Savory Life
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