Saturday 28th March '09

Lunch when I woke up today was some chicken, vegetable and risoni soup with lots of fresh cut chillies.

ATRIUM at the Burswood

Tonight I had dinner with some of the girls from work. I went to Marissa's where we shared a few pre-dinner drinks before heading to Burswood.

Round One
Lots of Prawns!
Smoked Salmon
Marinated Mussels
Fresh Oysters
Calamari Salad
Roast Vegetable Salad (a piece of potato)

Round Two
More Prawns & Yabbies!!
Smoked Salmon

me eating my Yabbie - grr!

Round Three
Mushroom Soup

Round Four
Roast Beef & Potatoes with Lashings of Rich Gravy
Steamed Cauliflower & Cheese Sauce
Another bowl of Mushroom Soup

While I was working my way through the hot food, the girls got dessert. I couldn't resist having one of the pavlovas!

haha - they told us to pose so look at digging her nose into my hair!

We were so full after dinner that when we went to supposedly have more drinks and then a bit of a gamble, we ended up ordering soft drinks all around and then heading home! Back at Marissa's, we had a peppermint tea before I decided to drive home instead of crashing there.

Friday 27th March '09

Ah ha! I get to cross of another thing on my 'TO DO' list today. I bought mulch, several bags of potting mix, and some stuff for the backyard lawn to help it recover from the hot summer we've had. It's still really patchy but you can see that the grass is trying its hardest to grow back.

I also went out and re-bought the groceries that I had stolen from me last night. I didn't have time to stop by the aquarium shop though - had to get home and get ready for the night out I'd planned.

the WINDSOR BAR & CAFE on Mill Point Rd, South Perth

I flicked through the Entertainment book a few times to find somewhere for dinner. I decided on this place for three reasons:

  1. They were in the Entertainment book
  2. They were close to Cannington where we were going bowling afterwards; and
  3. I've always wanted to try this place out.

We had tables outside on the 'deck' and the weather was beautiful. It did get a bit breezy but it was still really nice sitting out in the fresh air. We initially had three tables but after a few people cancelled, we were able to squish comfortably onto two tables. Our table decided to order several of their woodfired pizzas to share, while the other table ordered their own individual meals.

Our table:

Windsor Grazing Plate for two
deepfried crumbed prawns
BBQ pork ribs
marinated octopus
marinated olives
duck liver pate
chicken wings
pappadums with fresh salsa
toasted bread

It was difficult to share everything on this platter between six people, but we managed. I think the only complaint was the BBQ pork ribs. They were pretty much just a bone with sauce. Benoit lucked out and had a sliver of meat on his.

Johnny Cash
spicy strips of beef, lamb sausage, mushrooms,
caramelised onions, tomato, fresh chilli and mozzarella

tandoori chicken, eggplant kasundi, tomato,
baby spinach and mozzarella

Three Little Piggies
pepperoni, cacciatore, cabanossi,
barbecue sauce and mozzarella

chorizo sausage, roasted red peppers, spanish onion,
green olives, smoked paprika, tomato and mozzarella


Ling adding fetta from the grazing plate to his pizza

The other table's meals:

Fish & Chips
Barbecued Pork Spare Ribs

Meng wanted me to make special mention of Jen stealing one of his chips - not just any chip though - check out the size of this chip!

I have to say, I definitely look forward to eating here again.

In the wee hours of the morning, I went to get a glass of water before bed but was horrified to find the mouse we'd been hunting was sitting right beside the freezer. it wasn't moving even though I'd turned the light on and I was afraid to make a move in case I scared it away. It didn't seem to want to go anywhere, so I went and woke up Mum to come and take care of it. It actually looks cute in this photo, but all those marks on the floor around it is its blood. It got caught in the mousetrap but somehow escaped but was hurt. It was only humane to put it out of its misery. I really need to look into getting a proper dog door for Simba instead of leaving the one my Dad made open for him.

Thursday 26th March '09

I spent the day being proactive and managed to cross a few things off my 'TO DO' list.

  1. Remove the accummulation of clutter from my car
  2. Vaccuum my car
  3. Wash my car
  4. Clean filters in aquariums
  5. Top up water in aquariums

I also took Simba for a walk to the park and then came home and gave him a bath. Then I had a bath. Then I rushed to the shops to get some last minute groceries to make beef noodles tonight (bun bo hue).

I couldn't find the Vietnamese rice noodles at the Woolworths in Maddington, so I hurried to Thornlie Square to try the Coles there. In my haste, I must have not locked my car properly because when I got back to the car (empty-handed because I couldn't find the noodles at Coles or IGA), I noticed my bag of groceries was missing from the passenger seat.

I froze. I thought perhaps they had fallen to the floor of the car, so I had a quick look. I thought perhaps I'd lost my mind and put the groceries in the back. Did I put them in the boot!? I even looked in the glovebox! Nothing!

I got back into the driver seat and tried to retrace my steps - nope, I defintely brought the bag back to the car with me because I remember nestling it next to my handbag on the passenger seat. The only plausible explanation I can think of is that the guy I saw getting into his car when I was getting out of mine must have noticed that I didn't lock my car and decided to steal my groceries!!. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the thought. Even if it wasn't him...someone stole my groceries! I had in the bag some fresh mint, been shoots, grated pecorino cheese, chillies and a tray of pork belly rashers. Someone stole it out of my car. They didn't take my house keys that were in the cup holder. Nor the abundance of coins spilling out of my cointray. Aargh!

Anyhow, I got home and postponed the bun bo hue and made a steak dinner instead.

Sirloin with Wilted Spinach & Prawns

I cooked the steak - turned out being rare! In the pan juices I wilted some spinach with ground cumin and ground coriander. The prawns were from the freezer. I had packed some in a zip lock bag with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, julienned ginger, chilli flakes and fresh chopped coriander. I threw the prawns in together with the spinach and added more chilli flakes. I could taste the coriander and cumin flavours coming through the dish. Yum!

Later, Jocelyn wanted some chicken and corn soup. She didn't believe how easy it was to make, so I talked her through it. It probably took ten minutes overall and she still complained that she should have just heated soup from a can. *shakes her head*

Wednesday 25th March '09

I slept in most of today.

I had two small dinners tonight. Two little gastronomical delights.

Seafood Vol Au Vents

For these I fried chilli, garlic, onion, scallops and prawns with fresh basil in some olive oil. I added a few good tablespoons of carnation milk to make the sauce creamy and then scooped the mixture into some vol au vent cases that I'd layered with some spinach leaves. A sprinkle of grated tasty cheese and then into the oven.

Chicken, Cheese & Veg Pie

I fried some onion, garlic, sage, marjoram, celery, leek, carrots, speck and chicken thigh in a pot with a splash of water. To thicken it up, I added some plain flour. I wish I had peas to add but couldn't find any in the freezer. I put the mixture into some little individual baking dishes, sprinkled some grated tasty cheese over them and covered the dish with a layer of puff pastry. I brushed the pastry with some egg yolk and then into the oven until the pastry cooked.

Look how gorgeous they look!

I have to say, they were delicious!

Aah Sarena, you've done it again!

Tuesday 24th March '09

Toasted Ham, Tomato & Cheese Sandwich

Jocelyn was up making her breakfast, so I asked her to make me one.

There were some jellies in the fridge that Jocelyn had made for a party. They're Japanese jellies, she told me. She'd made too many so she said for me to take them to work. Let me think about that...ok!

Jocelyn's Japanese Jellies

They had a little piece of either kiwi or lychee in them.

leftover Dominos pizza

I arranged to work an earlier shift today so that I could leave in time to go see Dralion. Benoit helped buy me a ticket for $50 for their second last night performing in Perth before they go to Melbourne. We didn't have time to meet for dinner, but Ben and Ivy bought me some takeaway from Taka's in the city, where they had their dinner.

We jay-walked across the street and sat watching the sunset while I stuffed my face.

Salmon & Chicken Sushi

One row was salmon, the other row was chicken. I didn't realise this until I'd eaten all the salmon ones and then found a chicken one! By now I was too full to eat all the chicken ones so I took them home.

We didn't manage to get seats together but we were just on opposite ends of the same section. It was a really good show and despite having seen a few of their larger shows in Los Vegas, I still found myself leaning forward, wide-eyed and with my mouth gaping open at some of the amazing acrobatic displays. They make it look so simple! I had to keep reminding myself how hard it is to balance on my exercise ball for some exercises, let alone walk on one and do somersaults.

Dinner at Home
Garlic & Chilli Spaghetti with Clams

I started off with one bowl and a glass of red wine. I went back for seconds.


I don't know whether it was the wine, or me slipping into my old habits after being so good with controlling my portions lately, but I finished ALL the pasta.

And the remaining 3/4 bottle of wine.

Monday 23rd March '09

On the way to work today I fulfilled a craving.

Popcorn Chicken Snack Box

I love the chips from KFC! Especially today - I love when they're freshly cooked and so hot that I risk scalding myself trying to gobble them before they get cold.

I didn't bring any food for dinner tonight because

1. Andrea had said she was going to make chilli con carne; and

2. I had lots of snacks stowed in my locker.

Andrea's Chilli Con Carne
Guacamole & Doritos

Sunday 22nd March '09

We ran out of garlic today. I used the last of it last night to make the chicken soup. So, Mum brought inside the bunch of garlic that I grew myself from bulbs that Mr Pelle gave me last year. They’ve been hanging outside to dry for several months now. I actually forgot about them!

They’re a really gorgeous purple colour and are single cloves. So this is two firsts for me – first time using my own homegrown garlic and first time using single clove garlic. The texture is different to that of store-bought garlic. It’s more...crunchy.

It was twenty minutes to three and I decided to quickly make risotto to take to work for dinner tonight.

Prawn & Speck Risotto

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add finely chopped onion. Sautee for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Add some crushed garlic and roughly chopped speck** and fry for several minutes.
  3. Add some diced roma tomato and several cardamom seeds. Fry for a few minutes.
  4. Add some Arborio rice and stir around for a minute before adding enough water to cover all the rice.

  5. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about ten minutes with the lid on.
  6. Add more water as required so the risotto doesn’t dry out.
  7. A few minutes before the risotto is done, add some prawns.
  8. When the risotto is ready, throw in a pinch of saffron threads and stir them through.

**You can use bacon instead of speck. Or prosciutto. Perhaps pancetta. Chorizo!

I used frozen prawns so I added them in before the rice so that they would have time to cook.

As I was scooping the risotto into a container to take to work, the aromas were beautiful! Can’t wait to eat it tonight!


Absolutely fantastic!

Saturday 21st March '09

Spaghetti with Minced Beef Bolognaise
Lots of Grated Pecorino
Fresh Cut Chillies & Basil Leaves

I had a craving for donuts yesterday, so asked Mum if she could get some if she went to the shops since I couldn’t fit in any grocery shopping this week.

Mini Donuts from the supermarket

Chicken & Veg Soup with Risoni

MMm...I’ve been craving this favourite of mine all week! Not having tme to hit the shops for groceries, I’ve just been raiding the fridge and freezer for leftovers to put together. I’ve pretty much cleaned out my food in the freezer and all my vegetables in the fridge. I can’t wait to get these night shifts over and done with so I can get some fresh food!

Friday 20th March '09

I remembered I bought a slab of speck from Cannington Fresh and it's been sitting in the fridge waiting for me to remember to use it. I doubt the speck I bought is as authentic as you can get it, but it was delicious. I came across this website when trying to find a description for speck:
Salumi: Italian Cured Meats

So...while bacon is smoked and comes from the belly of a pig, speck is cured and comes from the pig's legs.

slicing up the speck

I decided on a risotto dish with garlic, onion, speck, mushrooms and zucchini. I also went outside and cut some fresh sage and thyme to use.

simmering the risotto

I didn't want the rice to overcook and become soggy, so I only added a little water at a time. I used to make risotto quite often. My favourite was chicken and mushroom. It's been a while since I've last made risotto. It took me a while to find my arborio rice, but I knew I still had some in the pantry somewhere.

Ham, Rockat & Tomato Wrap

At night I have to take the tomatoes inside so that they don't get soggy because it's been rather chilly at night. In passing today, one of the girls at work said it was pouring outside. I gasped and immediately dialled home to see if my mum had brought in my tomatoes like I'd asked her to (because I'm on the night shifts this week). Mum said she couldn't find them - I had moved them to a position atop the shade cloth over my herbs so that they could get more sun. Wah! I hope they didn't get wet!

Risotto with Speck, Mushroom & Zucchini

Ooh this came out absolutely perfect! The rice was cooked just right - not soggy at all! I'm going to have to make risotto again really soon. With prawns perhaps.

After work, I had some supper of Mum's ox tail stew and then I made a cup of tea and opened up the pineapple tarts I'd brought back from Singapore in December. I've had them in my cupboard and forgotten about them.