Wednesday 28th Nov '07

It's the third day in a row that I've been slaving away in the backyard on my own. I've managed to cover about a quarter of the 40sqm that I need to clear. Simba was keeping me company outside while I was hacking away at the grass. He was loving the weather outside this evening! It certainly was a great evening for gardening compared to the last few sweltering days.

I was really really in the mood for pasta tonight. Must be all the energy I've been burning up. I had spaghetti in a white wine cream sauce with garlic, chilli, basil, mushrooms, spinach and cockles.

Bed time - Saz out...literally. zzZZz

Monday 26th Nov '07

After a really busy day at work, I came home and headed straight for the backyard to begin removing the almost completely dead lawn. I have until next weekend to get the area ready to lay some new's turning out to be a bigger job than I had anticipated. *wipes sweat from forehead*

The garden...WAH!

This is the reason I'm putting in new our baby has a play area

And what did I have for dinner? Well, I managed to make some roast chicken thighs and vegetables with my blister covered hands.

Sunday 25th Nov '07

Went to dim sum this morning with Sarah, Marissa and Teresa at the Northbridge Chinese Restaurant on Roe Street in Northbridge (duh!). This is my favourite place to go for dim sum in Perth. The prices are cheaper than alot of other places and the food is much better than most of them. I must not be the only one to think so, judging by the queues outside the restaurant after 11am on the weekends.

Teresa's and my favourite dish - CHICKEN FEET!

After dim sum, we drove to Charlie's in Morley to get our quality Italian goodies. I absolutely love love love the pancetta there!! Marissa and Teresa described to Sarah and I how to create an Italian dessert with a pandora cake, so armed with all our supplies, we headed home to Marissa and Teresa's place and enjoyed some pastries with our affogatos.

After seeing Marissa off to work, Sarah and I headed to her place and started creating our Italian dessert for tonight's dinner. We got a pandora cake, which is basically a huge giant muffin!! We had to cut the top off and scoop out the inside and fill it up with icecream. The base of our cake was wonky so it wouldn't stand up correctly. We had to cut the bottom off and fill it upside down! As per Marissa's instructions, we mixed some vanilla ice cream with honey coated almonds and Kirsch liqueur, which we stuffed into the hole in the cake. We covered it up and put it into the freezer to set. Sarah did the cake...I was busy defrosting her freezer to make room for the giant thing =P

Being such beautiful weather outside, we decided to eat dinner out in the courtyard. We had to make a quick visit to Bunnings to get a little outdoors table and some gardening supplies (for our gardening). We got back home to set up the table and rummaged around for some ingredients to make a dish to contribute for the dinner since our guests were bringing something they'd made.

We had onions, potatoes and red lentils, which Sarah made into a delicious lentil curry. This went great with corn chips and the curries that Noel and Fleurette brought with them. Conan joined us outside while we had our nibblies - smoked salmon, cheeses, sheep fetta, pancetta and wine - and later, our dinner.

Fleurette was getting impatient waiting for Sarah and I to plate up our dessert...

Our pandora cake tumbled over a few times when we tried to stand it up, so in the end I had to support it by stabbing a teaspoon into its side like a picture frame stand. At least it stood up!!

Saturday 24th Nov '07


Today I spent most of the day in bed trying to sleep off a hangover with Il Divo playing gently in the background. I barely remember making my way to the high school to submit my vote for the federal election.

In the late afternoon I decided I'd better start preparing my dishes for our 'Thai Night' at Ling and Shallen's place. I felt much better after a cold shower.

After being really really disappointed in the quality of the food at the Thai restaurant Amarin in Subiaco, we had all decided we'd do our own dinner with Thai cuisine dishes. Yummy!!

Match the dish to the picture!
  • Pad Thai
  • Green Chicken Curry
  • Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce
  • Som Tam - Market Salad
  • Prawn Stirfry with 'Sticky Smelly Beans'
  • Tom Yum Soup

  • My plate before I ravished it

    Shallen made some Chocolate Muffins for our dessert =)

    We have now completely satisfied our hunger for Thai cuisine!! What's our next venture!??

    Friday 23rd Nov '07

    Today I spent the early afternoon running errands and checking up on more quotes for lawn. Decided to go with the 'Sir Walter' soft buffalo. So now I have two weeks to get out into the garden and rip up the old dead lawn. Great!

    I was just preparing to make a nice refreshing dinner of caesar salad when a large bottle of fish sauce rolled out of the bag and smashed on the kitchen floor. WAH! I spent half an hour cleaning up the mess and imagining how many jokes were going to come of that incident =P

    I headed over to Shane's place with Kong later in the evening for his drinks and poker night. We separated the serious gamers from the ametuers. The boys played poker while us girls (the serious gamers) did a medley starting with memory and moving onto the highly challenging strategy game of 'GO FISH'. We ploughed through the heat with Shane's star-shaped and heart-shaped ice cubes to chill our drinks.

    After all these years of being a human drink holder, I myself found my very own drink holder that night...
    Dan the Man

    Shane eating his pizza - oops, you got a bit there *points to chin*

    Jason and Jen went on a Maccas run for us and as the card games came to an end, the spirits and shot glasses made their way onto the table. I was drinking my beer out of my wine glass by this time and in no way going to down any shots. And it wouldn't be a guys night without a bit of arm wrestling. I think I may have given them the idea *looks innocent*

    All in all it was a great night. I paid for it with a massive hangover the next day though =/

    Thursday 22nd Nov '07

    Today I got up and made a quick lunch of lamb with a large sauteed mushroom, zucchini and sundried tomatoes.

    I spent the afternoon driving around checking out quotes for turf to do up the backyard. Time much better spent at the beach =/

    I managed to find a white/green papaya (also called pawpaw) at the shops and hurried home to do a trial run of a dish I was planning to make for our 'Thai Night' at Shallen and Ling's on Saturday.

    Som Tam - Market Salad

    I was extremely pleased to see that cockles were back on sale at the seafood store in Carousel after being out of season for the last several months. I just had to get some for dinner!!

    All in all, a great day for food =P~

    Wednesday 21st Nov '07

    WHEE! Days off work finally!!

    As usual, I spent my first day off catching up on sleep. Then I got up, had some lunch, played with Simba for a bit and then headed out on errands.

    In the evening I met up with Ling, Shallen, Kong and Sarah for dinner at Senoji in Victoria Park.

    We ordered dishes to share while we slurped our Phantom of River sake!

  • Eggplant & Octopus with Chilli

  • Senoji Salad Selection

  • Teriyaki Fish

  • Grilled Eel (Unagi)

  • Tempura Prawn Sushi Rolls

  • Katsu Chicken Sushi Rolls

  • Assorted Sashimi

  • Sarah got there late because she was coming from work but she enjoyed her Katsu Chicken Curry.


    Monday 19th Nov '07

    Got home from another hectic night at work. I haven't had a chance to go grocery shopping all week so it was time to look in the pantry for something to eat.

    I ended up having sardines on toast with spanish onion and greek fetta. Yummo!

    Saturday 17th Nov '07

    I didn't get called out to work last night so I gave Ben and Sarah a buzz to see if they wanted to go for a picnic. We went to the shops and bought a couple of BBQ chickens, salads, chips and bread. We enjoyed our feast at the foreshore.

    This gorgeous family of black swans were swimming down the river but when they saw Sarah and I approaching, they all turned and swam towards us. They were in 'V' shaped formation in the water and they stayed in this formation even when they hopped up onto the bank.

    In this photo I reckon Mummy Swan is in the foreground while Daddy Swan is in the background near the water's edge. Really cool pic huh!?

    Meet our friend 'Monty - the Seagull with the Munted Wing'

    After such a relaxing day at the river, I dreaded having to rock up to work for the night shift.

    Thursday 15th Nov '07

    Today I got up and spent some time in the kitchen preparing some food to take to work for the night shift. I made:

    Pasta with Smoked Salmon, Mushrooms & Zucchini

    Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

    I absolutely love using my mum's Turbo Broiler for roasting my vegetables. Here's the ridiculously simple recipe:

      Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

    1. Cut Vegetables into roughly the same size.
    2. Place vegetables into an ovenproof dish (you may want to lightly oil the dish so the vegies don't stick).
    3. In a little container (with a lid), pour some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Cover with the lid and shake gently to combine.
    4. Drizzle the mixture over the vegetables.
    5. Bake in oven ~180C for approximately 45 minutes.
    I tend to use potato, carrot, zucchini, onion and tomatoes. You can add a sprinkle of rosemary for that extra flavour, but if you're having a steak with seasoning you shouldn't have to add anything else.

    Monday 12th Nov '07

    Tonight after work I headed over to Sarah's for a yummy home cooked meal. She made roast pork WITH CRACKLING, sauteed mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and little mini yorkshire puddings, drizzled with gravy and a dollop of apple sauce.


    Sunday 11th Nov '07

    Wine Tasting River Cruise

    After a few hours of sleep, I woke up at about 6am and my left eye felt like it was out of the socket. It had puffed up and I couldn't close my eyelid over it. I got my dad to drive me to the ER at Royal Perth, where I waited a few hours to finally be seen by a cute registrar by the name of Jean Paul (I'm guessing that's how you spell it). I had to stifle a giggle when it reminded me of the Jean Paul I met in Chicago. So...I was at the hospital for several hours for them to finally tell me they didn't know what was wrong but suspected an allergic reaction or dry eyes. Right...

    I got home and tried hopelessly to sleep in the increasing heat. I finally got out of bed with a massive headache and took some panadol. Then I got ready to head out to the wine tasting river cruise that got rescheduled from last weekend. I was really looking forward to it because it would be really lovely on the water in this heat.

    Being the last few groups that day for the wine tasting, we had the whole boat pretty much to ourselves. I think the heat of the day, my lack of sleep and the headache were all too much for me and I succumbed to seasickness during the cruise. Everytime the boat turned, we'd lurch from side to side. It would have been great if I had been feeling better. Lunch resurfaced.

    Feeling much better after the cruise, we made the pleasant stroll into Northbridge for dinner. The restaurant we wanted to eat at was closed, so we went to Billy Lee's. Afterwards, we said goodbye to Cameron and we caught a taxi to Marissa's house where my sister was waiting to pick me up. We ended up going inside for a cuppa.

    Marissa and I passed out on the couch from exhaustion at the end of the night

    Saturday 10th Nov '07


    Tonight I went to Marissa and Teresa's place for a little dinner party. Some of the girls coming were gluten-intolerant, so we were having gluten-free foods. As everyone was arriving, we all sat down to enjoy a spread of cheese, crackers and dip with a bottle of Xanadu 'Featherwhite'.

    Once everyone had arrived and all the ingredients were present, Teresa showed us how to make a warm cheese and pasta salad with gluten-free pasta spirals. We moved onto a bottle of white wine from Amberley.

    After our pasta entree, Chef Teresa set about making the pizzas using the pizza oven appliances. With myself assisting her, there was a bit of experimenting to figure out how best to make the pizzas. The gluten-free flour Teresa used for the pizza dough makes a dough with a different consistency to that of regular pizza dough. The dough resembled instant potato mash or gelato. We were battling the smoke and heat in the kitchen to run two pizza oven appliances simultaneously.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the girls were in the lounge room pampering themselves with massages and mini workouts to work up their appetites and make some room for the main course.

    We made seven pizzas with different toppings: squid tube rings, Exmouth King prawns, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, homemade sundried tomatoes and olives, homemade tomato & herb sauce, grated mozarella, bocconcini.

    We all sat down to enjoy the pizzas with a chilled bottle of Watershed 'Sangiovese'.

    For dessert, Alanah served us the tiramisu Marissa had shown her and her sister, Vanessa, how to make the previous night. Of course, there was a gluten-free alternative which Maria gobbled up herself.

    After a group effort to tidy up and load the dishwasher, we started making our way home. Yummo!!

    Thursday 8th Nov '07

    Today I didn't feel so well so I stayed home, drank lots of water, and did some housework. I got Christina to buy some seafood while she was at work so I could make some spaghetti marinara when she got home. I also made some Chilli & Garlic Mussels.

    Tuesday 6th Nov '07

    For lunch today I made one of my favourite creamy pastas. Here's a quick recipe guide. I cook 'freestyle' in that I don't measure the ingredients I use and I don't follow straight from recipes. I use whatever ingredients I have available and I add quantities to achieve the sort of flavour I want.
    Smoked Salmon Farfalle:

    1. Boil a pot of water to cook the farfalle while you make the pasta sauce.
    2. In a pan, heat some olive oil to sautee chopped garlic, chilli flakes & basil.
    3. When garlic begins to go brown, add white wine and simmer.
    4. Add sliced zucchini & mushrooms and let simmer until soft.
    5. Pour in cream and stir.
    6. Farfalle should be cooked by now, strain and add to sauce along with slice smoked salmon, spinach & onion (these are added last because they don't take long to cook and I like a little crunch left in my onion).
    7. Toss pasta through sauce to coat and then serve with parmesan.

    You can change the vegetables and use different things to change the dish subtly - i.e. broccoli instead of zucchini; pinenuts; use tomato paste to make it a creamy tomato sauce; chicken instead of salmon.

    To celebrate Ben's new job, we went to dinner at John Rifici & Sons Cafe, otherwise known to the locals as Rifo's.
    Salsicca - Italian sausage with sheep's fetta and kalamatta olives...well, what's left of it anyway

    Left (Saz's Main):Alinka's Delight - Scotch fillet with a peppery peppercorn gravy.
    Right (Sez's Main):Beef 'n' Reef - Scotch fillet with prawns and a mushroom gravy.

    Ben's Main Course x 2: Sorrento Pizza - covered in yummy seafood, & a 'Meatlovers' pizza

    Ben - *gasp* "How am I going to eat all this!?"

    Afterwards we went to Fresh Provisions and bought some fresh fruit to have a platter when we got back to Ben & Sarah's place.

    Spot Conan...

    Monday 5th Nov '07

    Today I finally was able to sleep in and catch up on some much needed zzZZz's. I went grocery shopping for dinner, came home and did some housework and then set about to make dinner. I decided to use some lamb chops that I had marinated and frozen.

    Chilli, Garlic & Rosemary Lamb Chops with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

    For dessert, I had oysters two ways:
    Oysters Naturale
    Oysters with Creme Fraiche & Salmon Caviar

    Christina made me a Strawberry Sundae.

    This is the second time I've made Creme Fraiche. It's easy to make and sooo much better than ordinary cream. I love to have fresh strawberries first dipped in creme fraiche and then in brown sugar. Yummy!!

    Sunday 4th Nov '07


    Today after work I rushed over to the Barrack St Jetty for a wine tasting rivercruise but some of my friends couldn't make it because of the traffic and road closures for the Red Bull Air Race. Sooo...Cameron and I walked into Northbridge to have dinner. The weather was beautiful and the walk was probably the most exercise both of us had had all week.

    After some deliberation, we decided on Sorrento's on James St. I have only been there once about six or seven years ago and the food was disappointing. But we decided to give it a go. We were greeted warmly but we waited for about twenty minutes and no one even looked in our direction or came to take our order. So we walked out.

    We ended up at the Greek and the service there was fantastic! I got some oysters naturale and Cam and I shared the baby octopus for entrees. For our main course we both had the Scotch Fillet with Root Vegetables. Yummo!

    Cameron rearranging his baby occy for their photo shoot

    From left: Mummy occy, Baby occy, Daddy occy

    After dinner, we went to buy some Gelares and went to visit Ben and Sarah for dessert. All in all a good night despite missing the river cruise. But that's being rescheduled for next week so stay tuned for our drunken boat adventures!

    Saturday 3rd Nov '07

    After work I went to Marie's house for some yummy BBQ food and we decided we were still in the mood for karaoke after last night's antics.
    Meng's lovey dovey face!??

    Meng's bum...or is it...?

    Friday 2nd Nov '07


    Tonight we went to dinner at Amarin Thai Restaurant in Subiaco. I remember going there over a year ago and it was great! Unfortunately, tonight we were all really disappointed. And hungry!! We stopped in the supermarket downstairs from the restaurant and bought a supply of snacks (lots of smoked salmon because it was incredible marked down!!) and headed to karaoke. We had an awesome night =)

    Thursday 1st Nov '07

    Tonight I was going to spoil myself immensely by having a SEAFOOD PLATTER for dinner.

    Blue Spot Emperor Fillets
    Oysters Natural
    Oysters with Spanish Onion, Lime Juice & Raspberry Balsamic

    Before making my seafood platter, I cooked a CHICKEN, MUSHROOM & ZUCCHINI RISOTTO for lunch at work tomorrow. White wine, Vegeta vegetable stock, Garlic, Basil, Onion, Chicken, Zucchini, Mushroom, Spinach & Pinenuts.