Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tapas for Life round up!

On the 24th of March my sister Jenni and I held a tapas event for her Relay for Life team, and we were both blown away by the generosity of the local businesses who donated their wares so we could run the event and earn as much profit as we could to donate to the Cancer Council. We ended up making over $800 from the night which was such a great success, we have some fabulously generous friends!

The Organic Collective donated a gorgeous box of tomatoes, onions, potatoes, lemons, oranges and capsicums which could not have tasted any better - they were fresh, local and unbelievably tasty. You NEED to try one of their boxes, the quality is amazing.

I used the onions, capsicums, tomatoes and oranges to make orange scented albondigas, which went down a treat, they were a little bit different, but really moreish!

Photo c/o Carolanne Rushe

The same organic onions were caramalised, and paired with some gorgeous Ringwould goats milk fetta from a previous Urban Locavore box I had received to make a tasty frittata, that I cooked gently in a pan first, and then transferred into a shallow baking dish and finished off in the oven. This was gone - fast! I also used the caperberries from a previous box on the platters - there were none left at the end of the night!

I also had a smoked trout that I had frozen from the very first box, that I wasn't sure how to use. I ended up making some savoury pancakes with them, which were nice, but I used too much of the trout! Very nice if you love smoked fish ;) It was full of paprika, spinach and bites of trout. Unlike the pancakes I made at the Breakfast with Benefits, these were SO easy to make, and flipped like a dream!

Speaking of Urban Locavore, Paul, the brains behind the operation, was really generous and donated a box to the raffle. Rhianna Clarke was the lucky winner of the straw packed box of local goods, and was pretty stoked!

I had gone to The Tasting Plate at the Mezz shopping centre in Mt Hawthorn looking for some stuff of my own, and got talking to the manager Janine, about food, Relay for Life and her chilli company, Habaneros for Gringos. I realised I had tried some of her products at the Araluen Chilli Festival in Freo and had really enjoyed the curried onion dip! I told her what I was doing and she generously donated some of her products, as well as plenty of great items from the shop. We ended up having tasting plates of their DELICIOUS Habaneros 4 Gringos chilli fetta (Seriously. Find this stuff, its awesome), curried onion dip, and chilli olive tapanade, with marinated octopus, olives and manchego cheese from The Tasting Plate. There were loads of comments about the chilli products - everyone loved them, especially the curried onion dip!

Photos c/o Habaneros 4 Gringos

These went down so well with the Casalinga sourdough baguettes that New Norcia Bakery donated. Seriously good bread, as soon as you crack it open, you just want to take a bite. Just walk in there and TRY to walk out with nothing. I never do. Their coffee is great too.

Gorgeous bread from New Norcia Bakery, Mt Hawthorn.

I may have tried a portugese tart when I picked up the bread... for research of course! They are GORGEOUS!

One of the highlights of the meal was probably the amazing meat provided by El Asador. This business run by couple Emily and Max specialise in Argentine products and if you've been to any food markets in the last 6 months you would have seen their stall, or smelled their amazing giant bbq cooking up chorizo and asado! We were lucky to get loads of meat from them - beef asado, chorizo and morcillas! The beef asado is an Argentine cut of beef that is super tasty, slow roasted with their herb and salt rub (AMAZING! I always have this in the house) and then grilled to crispy deliciousness. This meat... Is genius. I couldn't cook on the bbq that night, so cooked them in a pan (after slow roasting them for 2 hours the night before). They are quite fatty, but a lot of the fat melts away when you bbq them - I cut a lot of the fat off (not all - fat is flavour!), took it off the bone and sliced it into sharing sized pieces, with chimmichurri on the side. That meat was gone in 5 minutes. It was so tasty and tender... If you see the El Asador bbq stall ANYWHERE, buy the asado. It is gorgeous.

Beef asado from El Asador - YUM! (Photo c/o

Their chorizo is fresh not cured, and really juicy. Served with chimmichurri again, these were super moreish bites that everyone loved. Look for the Choripan at their stall!

The morcilla is the Argentine version of black pudding. This is not something I've tried before, and that wasn't breaking my heart. Carolanne cooked it up, as the Irish love their black pudding and so I figured she would do it justice! It was quite crumbly, but had a great flavour - pretty much everyone tried some, even though the thought of it grossed some people out. Thing is though, everyone loved it!

Morcillas from El Asador (Photo c/o Carolanne Rushe)

El Asador also donated a fantastic hamper with a bunch of their products which was won by Jemma Edwards (I'm not jealous at all!).

El Asador hamper, full of goodies! (photo c/o Carolanne Rushe)

There I also made a huge batch of spicy paprika nuts, which were REALLY easy to make, and cheap. I went to Kakulas in Northbridge and bought about 2kg of blanched raw almonds and peanuts and it set me back about $15 - not a bad price for a MASSIVE bag of nuts!

Just in case there were still people who could eat, I bought out some flatbreads with tomato, herbs, roasted peppers and rock salt, just to fill any savoury holes people might have had in their tummies!

There had to be dessert... well there didn't really, there was so much food eaten! But I had made it anyway and so people were gonna eat it! Some pseudo Portugese tarts, made with yoghurt and orange instead of cream. Some had orange caramel on top, some were naked. They went down a treat and there were none left! Not too sweet, only a few bites, it was all we really needed after feasting all night.

Crust Mt Lawley were also awesome and contributed 2 $25 vouchers to the raffle - it wasn't hard to talk these up, have you tried the peri peri chicken, or veggie supreme pizza? Do it, they're SO nice.

Red Hot Spatula donated a voucher for 30% off one of their cooking classes, which is an awesome deal because Yvonnes classes are brilliant. I've been to one and we all loved it! They have just released a new line of spice pastes and rubs, which I can't wait to get my hands on!

Jenni's bath was FULL of donated booze for everyone to drink, including a carton of Custard Cider from the Real River Company - needless to say, people were merry!!

Cider for all! (photo c/o Carolanne Rushe)

The night was great fun - and most importantly, we raised a bunch of money for the Relay for Life in Katanning. All up the event raised over $70000 which is amazing considering its a town of about 4000 people. It just goes to show that everyone is touched by cancer in some way or another, and are willing to give generously if its going to help combat such a terrible disease. Its worth remembering though, that a cancer diagnosis is not always a death sentence. For some its an incredibly trying time which tests every limit they have, but eventually they come out of it with a greater zest for life than ever. Its these people who offer hope to others, who need to have their stories listened to and learned from. They deliver a message of appreciating what you have right in front of you every day, and taking nothing for granted.

Eat, drink and be merry, and savour every bite, every moment.


  1. Hi,

    I’ve started My Sweet Party, where I every month host a party with a theme (MAY theme is CHOCOLATE). The party is ongoing the entire duration of the month and then I will choose my top three favourites and feture those blogs. I would LOVE you to join My Sweet Party!


    1. Hi there Johanna,

      Thanks for letting me know about your blog party. This comment would have been better suited to one of the many chocolate recipes I have posted, it seems that this is a comment spammed onto as many blogs as you came across. If I am expected to take the time to enter and contribute to your blog party, I expect you to show the same courtesy to me, and actually read my blog, or take the time to make it look like you have.

      Good luck with your blog,