Sunday, September 27, 2009

Annapoorna Restaurant

Instead of take away on Friday night, we decided to go to a restaurant and eat in - Dosa was a must though. We are lucky enough to have 2 local places to do Dosa, one a take away and one an eat-in restaurant.

Annapoorna is on the Pacific Highway, Hornsby, in an old terrace house. During our time in Hornsby, I think there have been 3 or 4 restaurants here but this one seems to have survived the longest.

When we arrived, we were the only table, but as we left, it was quite full.

We decided on a variety of entrées to share rather than entrées and main course curries as we'd already been out for apéro to celebrate Greg's new-found status of unemployed! The wait staff could not understand this and twice came back to ask for our main course order. The table was full with food!

For the four of us we ordered the Side plate with Pappadums with an extra serve of Pappadums (always a hit with the girls), 2 Mixed Platters and a Masala Dosa.

The Pappadums were disappointingly stale-tasting. One of the things that always amuses us with this restaurant is that the yoghurt raita is ALWAYS different and often quite spicy. Tonight was no exception although it was not spicy but tasted like it had cinnamon! The other condiments were a sour pickle (tamarind?) which must have had the usual raita spices added to it on top of it's usual ones, a mango chutney which was quite nice and tomato, onion and cucumber.

We shared the 2 platters which had 1 piece each of Tandoori Chicken, Spinach and Cashew Roll, Vegetable Pakora, Seekh Kebab and Shammi Kebab, served with mint yoghurt and tamarind chutney. It was all quite tasty except we all thought the Shammi Kebab was quite fishy tasting, possibly tuna, not lamb! So I think we may have been given the Fish Pakora.

The dosa, a lentil pancake wrapped around Masala Potatoes and served with a coconut chutney and lentil sambar, was lovely. It wasn't very spicy tonight (another dish we find varies every time we order it), but we are fans of curry leaves and were very pleased to find them added tonight (again, not always included) and the girls also enjoyed it. I think I prefer our other local place for them though.

I must mention our girls are 5 and 3 and are becoming little foodies themselves! They are always eager to try new foods and their facial expressions when they try something quite spicy are always cute. I must try and get a photo one time!

The restaurant is licensed but the list is not extensive. Greg had Kingfisher beer and I had a glass of Stone Fish Sauvignon Blanc which could have been served a little cooler but was refreshing and light enough with our choice of dishes.

The service, as I mentioned earlier was amusing. No one seemed to be in charge and we confused them by not having main course.

Would we go back? Yes - we don't have much choice, but we may stick to their curries and save the dosa for our other local haunt.

Annapoorna Restaurant
188 Pacific Highway
Hornsby NSW 2077
(02) 9482 7364

Menu Plan Week Beginning Mon 28/9/09

Now that Greg is officially "between jobs", I'm hoping to have some more time to get more creative again in the kitchen. It certainly should give me more time having him around for the after school activities. As he told his colleagues, if you start seeing more and more beans and other legumes in the plan, he hasn't found a job yet! I love beans and lentils so I may have more time for cooking these from dry which I prefer to do over opening a can. They all seem to taste the same out of a can. So for this week, we are having...

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Pasta + Garlic Bread Lamb Loin Chops Silverbeet and Fetta Pie Rump Steak Dinner Out Drumsticks and Gratin Tacos

Pasta Chops Silverbeet Rump Steak ??? Surprise!!! Chicken Drumsticks Taco Shells
Olive Oil English Spinach Goat Fetta Potatoes
Broccoli Kidney beans
Garlic Pumpkin Onion Olive Oil
Cauliflower Fresh Tomato
Beans Olive Oil Garlic Mushrooms
Butter 1tin Tomatoes
Peas Cumin Shortcrust Pastry Butter
Flour 1 Carrot
Puff Pastry Garlic
Milk Taco spices
Goat Cheese
Olive oil Broccoli
Cheese Olive Oil

- Dairy alternatives? Eschallots

Side Salad

Bread Rolls



Goat Cheese


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Menu Plan Week Beginning 21/9/09

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Chicken Stir-fry Sausage and Bean Stew Leftovers Lamb Chops Dosai Takeaway Slow-cooked Lamb
Homemade Pizza

Carrot Borlotti Beans
Idli Pumpkin Spelt Flour Mix
Broccoli White Beans
2 Masala Dosai
Sweet Potato Salt
Green Onions Fresh tomato

Pumpkin Oiive Oil
Eschallots Tinned Tomato
Lamb loin chops

Green Beans Water
Garlic Beef Stock

Onion Tomato Paste
Ginger Carrots

Garlic Herbs
Tamari Celery

Stock Fresh Tomato
Rice Bran Oil Olive Oil

Herbs / Spices Olives
Soba Noodles Beef Sausages

Flour Roasted Capsicum
Sesame Oil

Olive Oil
Pineapple pieces
Chicken Thighs

Rolled Shoulder

Goat Cheese

The Journey Begins

Welcome aboard my journey to discover and enjoy the gastronomical delights of the world.

I am passionate about good food and good nutrition. Why waste an eating experience on bad food? I am also passionate about organic food, not only for the nutritional and health benefits but also the environmental benefits. I believe we should support those farmers who take the effort to care for their land and the welfare of their animals. I believe that happy animals make for a happy meal!

My studies, before having my beautiful children, have included the start of a diploma in naturopathic nutrition. As well, I have worked for a major weight loss company as a motivator. Having said that, I am not a qualified nutritionist, so any claims I make are usually a personal belief or based on these introductory studies, work or personal research only. My children have also been an inspiration and motivation to create and serve healthy, nutritional and delicious (!) meals and snacks. I feel I may be creating little gourmandes with some of their requests!

I have always had a great interest in cookbooks and cooking, for which I thank my grandmother. I have beautiful memories of stirring things in bowls while sitting on a towel in her kitchen. Whether she ever cooked any of it, I do not know! And I thank her for giving me my first cookbooks which are still part of my ever-growing collection. Throughout this journey, I will be sharing my collection and experiences using them; successful and not-so-successful! It is a journal of my recipes so that they are close at hand.

Eating out is inspiring and something my husband and I love to do. From time to time, I will review where we go.

Something else that I do is to plan our meals for each week. Not only has it saved us money because I only buy what we need and always have the fresh food on hand, it also saves that stress of deciding what to make after a long day and multiple trips to the supermarket each week. I will be posting those plans, not only to keep it in my journal, but maybe inspire others to do the same or even copy them. Let me do the thinking for you! It also means that Greg will know what's for dinner (his idea, that one!). I suggested he could then bring home an appropriate bottle of wine!!!!

So, welcome aboard and enjoy the journey....