Saturday 25th Oct '08

Tonight Noel, Fleurette and I went to Burswood to have dinner in the Emporium food court before the ABBA MANIA show. We all headed to the carvery station!

roast beef with gravy & vegetables

With time to spare after dinner, we went to the Spice Lounge for drinks. We went through a couple of rounds of cocktails before Noel bid us adieu to head home while Fleurette and I made our way to the theatre in excitement.

The concert was absolutely fantastic!! They opened with "Waterloo" and of course, finished with "Thank You for the Music". *sigh* I did not want the night to end. I'll have to get the photos that Fleurette took to upload them.

I think I was exhausted from the dancing at the concert so instead of going for a coffee or nightcap afterwards, Noel picked us up and dropped me off home.


Friday 24th Oct '08

Last night I was out all call from 0130hrs, driving back and forth between the Subiaco and Hollywood labs. I only left just after 0600hrs and was ravenous. I'd had a few coffees while at work so when I got home, I made myself a big breakfast.


Christina was just about to get up so I made her some too. She wanted her eggs poached so I tried doing them in a shallow pan with some water. The eggs were straight out of the fridge and I suppose not as 'fresh' as they could be (apparently the fresher the eggs are, the better they poach) but they turned out ok. I cooked them in egg rings in the water so they managed to hold most of their shape. After all the fiddling around, it would have just been easier to have them sunny-side up like I usually do.

After breakfast, I debated whether I should stay up or go to sleep. I was supposed to do the 8-4pm shift at work but after being out on call all night, I wasn't required to be at work. After checking my emails, I couldn't stay awake even after all the coffee, and headed to bed.

In the evening, I rushed around to put together all the groceries I'd bought to head over to Ling and Shallen's place to have steamboat for dinner. Initially we were supposed to have it at my place but plans changed, so I covered the pot (in which the stock for the steamboat had been boiled in) with glad wrap and then drove cautiously to their place, where we were in a frenzy to prepare all the food.

waiting for the stock to come to the boil

The weather was fantastic for steamboat! As we sat down to eat, it began pouring outside.

Ling's wantans
enoki mushrooms
red capsicum
a selection of yong tau fu & tofu
fish cake
beef balls
chinese cabbage
bee hoon
somen noodles

These little dumplings are filled with mushrooms and look suspiciously like little boobs!

We thought perhaps we had overdone it with the amount of food, but it's amazing how we always seem to be able to plough through it all - hee hee.

I decided that tonight's feast warranted the opening of one of my magnums that I bought when we were in Margaret River a few years ago. Rather fitting that at the time I bought it, all of us had been there.

2001 Watershed Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

A beautiful drop!

Later on, of course we got the munchies! Ling, Kong and I reheated some of the leftovers from dinner. Yum!

blue steel!

I totally forgot about Meng taking this photo!

Fantastic steamboat night! I'll be happy if this is the last one I have until next year.

Wednesday 22nd Oct '08

This morning I had to get up early to drive into the city to attend a conference at the Convention Centre. I had originally intended to take the bus that takes me straight to the busport on Monday but our boss had to muck around with the roster at the last minute. So, because I had just finished the late shift last night and didn't want to get up at 7am to take a bus, I drove into the city.


Perfect. I drove around for a while looking for parking but ended up parking up in Kings Park and walking to the Convention Centre, only to find that all the stalls in the showroom had either already packed up and gone, or were almost done packing up. No free pens for me. What a waste of time.

I made the trek up the steep incline of Malcolm Road, in the humid heat. I got to work feeling absolutely disgusting. I felt like I'd gone for a jog and desperately wanted to just go home to shower and change.

For dinner Mum had made one of my favourites so I boiled some spaghetti to accompany it. I really do prefer to eat this stew with spaghetti rather than rice.

Ox Tail Stew

After, I made some spaghetti to take to work for lunch tomorrow.

Spaghetti with Clams,
Spanish Sausage & Broccolini

Tuesday 21st Oct '08

At my request, Mum made me some noodles for my dinner when I got home from work tonight.

fried bee hoon

Monday 20th Oct '08

Instead of working the morning shift today, I did the night shift. I happily did the night shift! Everyone dreads the day shifts and longs for their night shift stint nowadays. Sad huh?

bee hoon soup with fish balls and fish

Sunday 19th Oct '08

Simba waiting outside Mum's room

Smoked Salmon
Cream Cheese with Dill

Tonight Long was shouting us to dinner in celebration of his coming home to Perth from a trip to Vietnam, and his new employment. We went to Hogs Breath in Northbridge. I haven't been there for years, but I still have my frequent diners discount card!

As everyone was arriving, we began playing with the gifts Long had brought back for us. He got us some little toys that look like dragonflies or giant mosquitoes. You put them on something by creating contact between their 'nose' and the surface and they balance. We eventually managed to balance three on top of each other, then in circle with their wings overlapping - simple things!

There was a bit of miscommunication when we placed our orders. Our waitress told us that they had run out of prime ribs - after we had placed all our orders. We were baffled - how could they run out of their signature steak!?? We were told shortly that we could select one of the other cuts of beef to replace the prime rib, but then the waitress came back a third time to tell us that there was some confusion and they had enough prime ribs to fill our order. *phew* Crisis averted.

I ordered the Prime Rib with Mushrooms. They've changed the menu but it's been so long ago since I've eaten there that all I know is that the menu has changed but I couldn't tell you what's different - haha.

everyone else's meals

After dinner, we headed back to Ivy and Benoit's place were I was overcome with a craving for pancakes. Susan and I stopped at Il Gelato to get some gelato to go with the pancakes.

pistachio, cookies & cream, vanilla
wildberry sorbet, lychee sorbet

Benoit set to work (he knows his place, that's right - in the kitchen, woman!) whipping up some batter. The first few pancakes didn't work out so I used a different pan and tried to make some. I made really small ones, more like pikelets. The first one was by far the best one. The ones after that just really looked crap.

my first perfect pancake!

Some came out in funny shapes and I think some weren't properly cooked through, but I had to take them off the heat because they were burning. I didn't believe Susan when she said hers tasted a bit raw, even though I tried some of it too. But afterwards when I ate mine, I think mine was a bit raw - hee hee my bad.

At least the yummy gelato was good!

As for the pancake craving - not so satisfied.

Saturday 18th Oct '08


Today I got up early to prepare the food for my little BBQ. I'd sent the invitations out about a week ago, asking for everyone to bring a small plate of food beginning with the letter 'S' to fit in with my "Sazzy's Spring Sensation" theme.

The dishes I'd decided to make myself:
Stuff on Sticks
Salmon nibblies
"Spinifex & Stones" nibblies

I also bought some sausages for the BBQ. Christina made some cupcakes last night - the 'sweets'.

When everyone had arrived (I didn't invite too many people as I wanted to keep it a small event) I finished making the Sangria. Unfortunately, in my excitement to get stuck into it, I forgot to take photos of it! Let's just say it was a huge success and we finished every drop of it. I followed the Sangria recipe I found on but instead of preparing the fruit on the day, I sliced it all up last night and let it 'marinate' in the sugar and Cointreau overnight. I bought a few bottles of the Banrock Station sparkling shiraz and used sugar-free lemonade. Absolutely devine!

I made two types of sandwiches.

Turkey with Cranberry & Caramelised Onion Relish
Cream Cheese with Dill & Cucumber Slices

I spotted a can of turkey paste while at the shops yesterday and thought I'd give it a try. Yum! It even smells like real turkey when you open up the can.

For the nibblies, I used the rest of the Philadelphia cream cheese and spread some on each piece of Melba toast. On half of them, I put a small sprig of dill and rolled up a small slice of smoked salmon to create a rose shape. The other half I stuck some fresh chives into the cream cheese so that they stood up and wedged a few slices of spanish sausage that I'd sliced and cut in half. These I named my "spinifex & stones" pieces, in keeping with the 'S' theme.

I made two salads. In one I used spinach leaves, crushed walnuts, slices of Granny Smith apples, and a dressing made from olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. The other salad was baby cos leaves, marinated squid and chives. Last night I'd cleaned some squid that I found in the freezer and marinated it in some lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and Italian parsley. I fried it in a pan and added it to the salad with the pan juices and an extra splash of olive oil. Yum!

My skewers turned out rather nicely on the BBQ! I made a little brush out of a stalk of lemongrass, just as my Mum used to do when we had BBQ's up north. They add a lovely flavour to satays, and since I had marinated the beef on my skewers in a similar spice mixture to that of the satays my mum makes, the lemongrass flavour was a nice touch. I love these two photos of the skewers and the sausages. The lighting was perfect and they look like they're straight out of a Donna Hayes recipe book, don't they!?

The following is what my lovely guests brought:

Kong & Meng - Spring Rolls

Noel & Fleurette - Sushi

Ling & Shallen - Scones *need to get a photo!

We eventually migrated over to Noel and Fleurette's place in the evening where I got hungry and got a yummy tuna and cheese toastie made for me. Once I got mine, everyone else wanted one too - and why wouldn't they? They were delicious!

So...after drinking from 12noon until 1am, I have to say that today was one of those brilliant days where you start out with a plan, and then go with the flow. Love days like these.

Friday 17th Oct '08

Simba knows when it's just about time for Mum to come home from work in the early afternoon. Even though I'm home and free to play with him, he'd rather go and wait in the lounge room to hear her car pulling up outside. On occasion, he'll even get up onto the window sill to nap in the warm sunshine while he waits.

For my breakfast - or should I say, my first meal for the day upon wakening - I felt like eggs so I made an omelette. It's been yonks since I've made one so I sorta forgot how to make it properly haha. I fried the onions in some olive oil until they were softened, but I added the rest of the ingredients - red capsicum, mushroom and chives - to the egg mixture. In my excitement upon seeing the gorgeous brilliant colours in the bowl, I forgot that I should have actually sauteed the ingredients with the onions before adding the egg last. Normally I add some cream, milk or cheese to the egg but today I added about a tablespoon of water, which made the omelette come out soooo light. Although the mushrooms and capsicum were still rather raw, it was still a nice light omelette.

I went grocery shopping in preparation for the BBQ I'm having tomorrow. Throughout the week I'd made a list of the things I'd be making and was also prioritising the things I needed to get done in my head.

Today I'm going to make the skewers so that they can marinate overnight. I chopped up some eggplant, red capsicum and red onion. Half the skewers are going to be with the vegetables and some beef, the other half are going to be just with vegetables.

I marinated the beef (chuck steak) with ground coriander, ground cumin, curry powder and Asian five spice. The blend of spices smelled fantastic!! With the vegetable skewers, I marinated those with the remainder of some Masterfoods marinade in the fridge. I think it was garlic and honey mustard. Something like that.

I also used all the little tiny royal blue potatoes my mum had bought to make one of my favourites - bacon and cheese potatoes. My mum started making these for us years ago and my sisters and I absolutely love them! I usually make them whenever I have a BBQ. They're great as finger food, or if you use bigger sized potatoes, they can be quite filling.

Bacon & Cheese Potatoes

  1. Boil the potatoes until they're cooked. Drain them and put them aside until they're cool enough to handle.
  2. Cut each potato in half and scoop out a hollow in each half using a spoon. Scoop the potato so that it becomes a mash, not just large pieces.
  3. Add some sliced bacon, 'mixed herbs' and pepper to the 'mashed' potato and mix.
  4. Refill the hollowed out potato halves with the mixture.
  5. Cover each half potato with grated tasty cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven until the cheese melts and begins to brown.

For dinner I had some noodle soup.

Bee Hoon with Sliced Fish Cake
Pimms with Ginger Ale & a slice of Orange

Thursday 16th Oct '08

Today I spent a few beautiful cloudy hours in the garden getting rid of what I thought were weeds from the garden bed my tomatos are growing in. My mum says they're some sort of edible vegetable that seeds and the seedlings sprout up every year when the season's right. Ah well...I like to keep my garden beds neat and tidy so no miscellaneous weeds or plants for me. I changed the stakes for the tomato plants. Some of them are growing slowly but steadily. Others have started producing fruit! *claps hands in glee*

"Simba, look at moi" (doing my best Kath impression here)

"Look at moi, Simba, look at moi"

"Awww, you're such a dahling"

Today, I finally harvest the first of my baby carrots. Now, bear in mind they're not going to the straight skinny sort that you buy at the shops. Mine were kept in a pot too long when they were seedlings so it stunted their growth a bit. Some of them were starting to grow curly (like a pig's tail) when I finally had time to transplant them into the garden.

Look at my baby carrots!!

here's the most munted one

*Beams with pride* I picked half of my 'crop' and went inside to give them a good wash to get the dirt off.

Tonight I'll be having steak with vegetables. I wanted to roast the baby carrots with some potatoes. To bring out the sweetness of the carrots, I decided to roast them with orange and honey. I also sauteed some broccolini that I had picked the other day.

I parboiled the potatoes, then put them in a baking dish with the baby carrots. I had to slice some of the carrots in half so that they were all roughly the same size. I grated some zest off an orange and scattered it over the vegetables. I then squeezed the juice from the orange and poured that over the vegetables. I drizzled some olive oil over them and then into the oven for about ten minutes. I then took the vegetables out and mixed through some honey and returned it to the oven until the vegetables started to get brown edges.

The vegetables were DELICIOUS!!

Sirloin with Marjoram & Thyme
Broccolini in pan juices & Butter
Orange & Honey roasted Potatoes & Baby Carrots