Tuesday 17th Jun '08

Tonight the kitchen was a bustle with energy as Mum and I were trying to cook dinner at the same time. Mum was making her chicken and potato curry, while I was making some roast chicken for myself and the siblings.

I made roast chicken drumsticks and vegetables with sage, rosemary, lemon and honey. I think next time I will do a roast lamb with these flavours. Yum - just thinking about it makes me drool (not literally!!).

While waiting for the chicken to cook, I snacked on some of Mum's curry. I really wish she would put more chilli in it, but she can't or else my sisters won't eat it.

I served my chicken with some of Teresa's homemade sweet chilli sauce. It's such a delicious sauce - it has a consistency somewhere between a jam and a sauce and goes so well with roast meats. I'm sure I've mentioned this before but it's oh so so yummy! I'm currently trying to convince her to make the time to bottle it and sell it.

Bon Apetit!

Monday 16th Jun '08

Today I checked the fridge for leftovers to use up. Cauliflower. Perfect!

I made creamy cauliflower soup with garlic, onion, ground cumin, ground coriander, curry powder and vegetable stock. I used the blender to blend it to a puree with some added milk to give it a creamy conistency. Yummy!

Garnish with coriander and cracked pepper to serve.

Sunday 15th Jun '08

I have been really happy with my first attempt at growing tomatoes from seeds! Last week I sowed the seeds in some seedling trays but kept them outside and after five days, there was no sign of growth. I did some reading online and the consensus is that the seeds require warmth to germinate. So...I sowed a few more seeds into the seedling trays (just in case the original seeds were no longer any good), wrapped them up in a large plastic bag and put them on the top of my computer tower. The reason being that my computer is on 24/7 so I could keep the trays warm with the radiating heat. After a few days, it worked!! I was ecstatic to see the little buds protruding from the soil. The photos below are of the seeds after four days.

I didn't need to cook dinner when I got home after work today. One of the girls at work had brought me some of her mum's delicious curry! They're from Sri Lanka and boy are the curries she and her mum make yummy!

Later at night, I made some pasta for supper.

Penne with Chorizo in a tomato sauce

Saturday 14th Jun '08

Today after work I joined the girls for our usual monthly/bi-monthly get-together. Tash organised to have us meet at Vincenzo's in Duncraig, at the Carine Glades shopping centre.

arancini balls - Marissa and myself
bruschetta - Tash, Anna
garlic bread - Debbie, Eleanor


Barramundi with mediteranean vegetables, prawns and salad
- Tash, Debbie and myself

Porterhouse with garlic prawns and salad
- Marissa, Eleanor and Anna

The fish was great - the serves were much too large but great value for your money! Those of us who ordered the porterhouses asked for them well-done but I guess the chef thought he knew better and sent them all out medium. They were cooked perfectly for medium steaks but Anna could not stomach it when her sauce started turning pink from the juices!

Later, when one of the waiters came by to see if everything was ok, Anna let him know how the steaks were all underdone. He came back with some chocolates for us - baci and those bouchere elephant chocolates. We all had such a great laugh when we saw the elephant chocolates were actually a few days past their expiry!!

All in all, the food was great and the alfresco area we sat in was warm and cosy. However, I was disgusted when the kitchen staff and some patrons went outside the plastic marquee to have a smoke right next to us. We could all smell the smoke and I had to wash my hair when I got home.

Deciding to call it a night, we said our goodbyes and look forward to our next meeting that Debbie will be organising.

I had left my car at Marissa's place and upon entering her home, Teresa cornered me into having a cuppa with them. I was going to have when I got home anyways, so I happily accepted the invitation. Teresa presented me with some cakes she had made. It tasted great!! It was some sort of little peach cake. She had made it to look like an actual peach. It looked gorgeous!

Having to work early the next day, I reluctantly made my way home.

Tuesday 10th Jun '08

Lately I've been checking up on my garden before I go to work and when I get home. At night I've been going outside with the torch to pluck those disgusting snails off my plants.

I've made some additions to my herb garden.

rocket from Mrs Pelle's garden
horned mustard

I took some cuttings from the Thai basil plant we have growing in the garden. From all the articles I've read online, they say that when the plant begins to flower, it will stop producing leaves and the plant will soon die. So...I took lots of cuttings and will try to propogate them in seedling trays to transplant later.

Thai basil cuttings

I've also dug away a large part of our garden bordering the lawn that I had laid last year. I sectioned a small 'patch' off with bricks that were laying around and planted some seedlings I had bought from Bunnings.

mixed lettuce

I went to my last art class tonight. We had a female nude model tonight - the same one we had a few weeks ago. I haven't had time to take photos of my pieces, but will upload them when I get the chance to.


Monday 9th Jun '08

Today after work, Christina actually sent me an sms to say she was going to cook dinner tonight. She asked what meat I wanted. I answered sirloin or porterhouse. I only buy either of these when I want steak. No cheap rump steak for me! She ended up getting lamb chops because they were cheaper! haha

Christina made a salad of baby spinach, radish, gouda cheese, red onion, mushroom and tomatoes with a french dressing. I cooked the lamb chops with some with some garlic and chilli flakes in olive oil.

Christina also intended to make some stuffed mushrooms but all the mushrooms from the market had gone bad because there was no room to store them in the fridge. Instead, she made stuffed potatoes with breadcrumbs, fetta and sundried tomatoes. They were a little dry because she used fetta but had we had tasty cheese, it would have been perfect.

Sunday 8th Jun '08

Today Christina and I got up in the wee hours of the morning to go to the Canningvale Markets to sell our accummulated household items and clothes. Christina and I went to Charlies afterwards for a coffee and to buy some cold meats and cheese. On the way home, we stopped by the Pelle's and Mrs Pelle was arriving home from a day out just as we were leaving. We of course tried some of the goodies she brought home with her - just on the driveway eating and talking.

After a busy day out, I enjoyed the leftovers from dinner last night, with some additional broccoli and my homemade mushroom soup. I had picked up a huge box of mushrooms from the markets for only $5!! Sure, the mushrooms have to be used within the next few days, but I dropped off about a third of the box to Marissa and Teresa to use and it left us with more than enough to use ourselves.

Saturday 7th Jun '08

Tonight I had Vicky come over for dinner and so I prepared food for five - myself, Vicky, Jocelyn, Christina and David.

I really enjoyed the chicken dish I prepared the other night so I decided to do a similar one. I used the same vegetables and herbs. Instead of maryland pieces, I used thigh pieces. I brushed the vegetables and chicken with melted honey instead of butter. I still put little bits of butter around the vegetables so that the flavour would infuse into the dish.

Turned out great!!

Vicky and I got the munchies again later and decided to duck out to KFC quickly before they closed. Reaching the drive-thru six minutes after the closing time, we were offered five pieces of chicken for $5.25 - how could we refuse!?? We ordered fifteen pieces, and two large chips. We would have gotten potato and gravy but they were sold out.

Simba managed to steal a piece of chicken while I was seeing Vicky out the door. He raced under the couch to gobble it up. Cheeky little thing!

Thursday 5th Jun '08

Tonight after work I tried out a new recipe with chicken. I've always heard that rosemary and sage are great herbs to cook chicken with so I finally got around to trying it out.

I filled a tray with roughly chopped carrots, potato, onion and whole garlic cloves. I then threw some sage and rosemary over the vegetables and laid out some lemon slices. I put two good sized chicken marylands over the vegetables and brushed the chicken and vegetables with melted butter. Into the oven it goes...

Wow, the dish smelled fantastic when I took it out of the oven!! However, I found that the vegetables underneath the chicken did not cook thoroughly so I had to rearrange the vegetables and continue cooking for another ten minutes or so.

Note to self: do not put chicken on top of vegetables to roast.

Wednesday 4th Jun'08

Today my aunty was busy packing while I took advantage of the beautiful sunny weather to start my herb garden outside. i had picked up some sweet basil and rocket from Mrs Pelle's garden, and I drove out to Bunnings to buy some other seedlings to get my herb garden started. So far I have:
Mizuna lettuce
Sweet basil

I know, it's not much. I will have to get some work done in the garden on the weekend.

After seeing my aunty off at the airport, I went to the shops to buy some groceries for dinner. I decided on tuna sashimi and I would serve it with a salad of rocket, tomato, red onion, and pinenuts with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. I also had some soy sauce for the sashimi. The rocket was from Mrs Pelle's garden and was oh so so peppery! Delicious! It went perfectly with the sashimi!

Later, I made some soup.

garlic, onion, celery, carrots, pasta & fresh chilli

Tuesday 3rd Jun '08

After working the long weekend, I decided to take my lobster out of the freezer and treat myself.

Oysters naturale with fresh lemon
Lobster half with homemade cajun wedges

Simba was in my room snuggled up in a sleeping bag hoping that I'd give him some of my lunch. Sorry babe, not this time.

After lunch I followed my mum and aunty to one of my mum's friend's place to check out her garden. We picked clean one of her chilli plants. She also has an orange tree but it's a pity the fruit can't be eaten because the fruitflies have gotten to them. They haven't had the time to spray the tree. The orange were so ripe, they were falling off the tree by themselves while we were there!

Later, I went to Marissa's parents' place and I went outside to see their garden since there was still alot of light around. Mr Pelle was busy in the garden. They've got beans, tomatoes, garlic, lettuces, vegetables, rocket, rosemary, oregano, basil, the list goes on! What I love the most is how lettuces grow in the cracks in the footpath instead of weeds!!

I stayed for a coffee and some cake. I decided to skip my art class tonight so that I could go home and spend a bit more time with my aunty before she flies home tomorrow. Back at home, I had some shark fin soup that my aunty had made.

shark fin soup; fried chilli my mum taught my aunty to make;
my dinner - spaghetti with lobster and basil in a rich tomato sauce

Monday 2nd Jun '08

In the morning I found Simba in the lounge resting with the remote beneath his front paws. It looked like he was going to turn the TV on to watch something! So cute!!

Later Christina accompanied Mum and Aunty to one of my mum's friend's place to bask in the splendour of their own garden in the backyard. My aunty has been gobsmacked with all the lush vegetation we have here in Perth. Back in Singapore although it's a tropical climate, they don't have large backyards for planting vegetable gardens. They have all the fresh produce they need available at the many markets around the city but they do not compare in size and freshness to those that you grow in your own garden.

Afterwards, we went for lunch at Lido's on William Street in Northbridge. It was my first time there and nothing about the place really stood out. Just another 'authentic' asian restaurant with tacky decor. They've made an attempt with a stylish looking bar but the rest of the place lets it down.

stuffed chicken wings
pork and prawn vietnamese spring rolls
fried calamari

The entrees were great but overpriced compared to other vietnamese restaurants I've been to. From memory it was $9 for the two stuffed chicken wings!

My main - bun bo hue of course!

After lunch (we were stuffed from all our noodle soups!) we took a drive to Cottesloe to show my aunty the beach. It was such a beautiful day! Too bad I had to leave them as they were getting ice cream and get to work for the night shift.

Sunday 1st Jun '08

Today we took my aunty to dim sum in Northbridge. Instead of going to our usual venue, Jocelyn suggested Emperor's Court on Lake Street. Now it's been close to eight years since I have been to this restaurant and I had no intention of ever going back there. There was nothing special or memorable about it the first few times I went all those years ago and today only reaffirmed that opinion.

We ordered the usual suspects:
chicken feet
steamed prawn dumplings
steamed pork dumplings
rice flour rolls with barbecue pork
deepfried seaweed rolls
egg custard tarts
century egg and pork porridge
shanghai dumplings

The chicken feet - which are my absolute favourite!! - were not that great. The dough for the steamed prawn dumplings was awful. It fell apart when you picked it up and tasted like congealed lumpy bits of corn flour. Even though they've revamped the place and it has an oriental ambience, I find it dark and the food just doesn't make the experience worthwhile. Sorry Jocelyn, but I didn't like this restaurant all those years ago and I haven't changed my mind after today!!

After dim sum, we walked through the train station and had a coffee before I headed to work and the rest went home. For dinner I enjoyed the Nasi Lemak that Mum had bought for me when she went to the Canningvale Markets earlier in the morning. I prefer the one that is served with ikanbilis. The egg omelette was wafer thing - would have liked more of it!

Saturday 31st May '08

On the night shift, it was really busy. So much for a quiet weekend to ease myself back into the hard yakka. After work I made myself some bee hoon soup. I am so so soooo loving coriander right now.

soy sauce
bee hoon rice noodles
chinese vegetables (choy sum I think)

served with fried shallots, chilli and coriander

Friday 30th May '08

Today I wanted to try meatballs again. On advice from Mrs Pelle not to overhandle the meatballs, I very lightly shaped the mixture of breadcrumbs, garlic, basil, onion and beef mince into little balls and fried them up. The colour of the bread crumb mixture gave me a desire to one day make falafels. I would love to be able to recreate those delicious warm, fluffy falafels I had in Egypt.

For dinner, I went to Vincent, Victoria and Vernon's house as requested. They were taking me somewhere for my birthday as they had not been able to make it to my BBQ. I was unaware that it was also their mother's birthday so two birds with one stone! We went to the Adelphi Steak House in the city.

My first time there, I wouldn't mind going back again. Half the restaurant is a bar and the other half is for sit-down meals. The menu is simple yet it will definitely satisfy any steak craving you have. There is also a small salad buffet that you help yourself to. I had the Wagyu Steak. It was a little too rare for me but I still enjoyed it.

Back at home, I busied myself in the kitchen preparing some pasta dishes in preparation for work the next few days. I also made some soup.

spaghetti with meatballs

spinach & ricotta agnolotti with salmon and capers
in a creamy white wine sauce


Thursday 29th May '08

Today I looked around the kitchen for inspiration for what to have for lunch. I finally settled on chopping up a sweet potato to deepfry and make chips. Once I drained the oil, I served them with some mixed herbs.

I went grocery shopping and came home in the afternoon hungry. I made myself a toasted lettuce and cheese sandwich. That's right - lettuce and cheese. I love them! The cheese melts and wilts the lettuce. I prefer to use our old toaster - the ones that toast two sandwiches at a time and the hot surfaces are actually a shaped mould that clamps the sandwich closed instead of just being a flat surface.

Ben came over to help me sort out my computer tonight. I made us dinner aterwards.

Porterhouse served with Spinach & Potato Mash and Zucchini

Later tonight Christina spent the better part of the night baking so that she could bring morning tea to her colleagues at work.

fairy cupcakes
raspberry friands
coconut & jam slices
lemon slice

Wednesday 28th May '08

Ahh...with David gone we were all able to relax a bit and catch up on sleep since my aunty would rather stay home and have homecooked meals than dine out. The house is alot quieter too haha.

Today all I want is homecooked comfort food after all the eating out we did this past week. It's not that we ate alot of junk food...we just ate ALOT. All I craved was a simple soup. So for lunch I made beehoon (rice noodle) soup with cabbage, carrots and chicken.

lots of chilli!!

Mum and Aunty went to the casino tonight so I made enough dinner should my sisters want some. I made some beef noodle soup. Yum!

bean sprouts, coriander, onion,
lemon grass, and 'poached' pork belly and beefballs

Tuesday 27th May '08

Being David's last day here before he leaves Perth in the afternoon, we packed everything up into the car and went to meet Christina during her lunch break so she could see him before he flies home.

We had lunch at Zamia in Kings Park. My aunty and I had the salmon with eggplant stuffed with ricotta and pesto, my mum had the Quiche and salad, Christina had the foccaccia, Jocelyn and David had the penne with prawns in a tomato sauce. The food was fantastic and the restautant is set in such a beautiful area of Kings Park. Perfect for a weekend brunch or lunch.

After lunch we drove to the other side of Kings Park and strolled along the treewalk before we had to leave for the airport.

At art class tonight, we had a male model. Here are some of my sketches. You'll notice that the faces look different in each one. It's the same model, I just concentrated more on the bodies than the face so when it came for the model to change poses, I didn't have time to finish off the face. I sometimes find that when I muck around with the face too much, it ends up looking wrong.