Sunday 30th August '09

Spaghetti with Scallops, Zucchini & Mushrooms in a Rich Tomato Sauce

Out of Christina, Jocelyn and I, I'm the most adventurous and non-fussy when it comes to food. Not to say I don't have standards, but I will eat almost anything, which makes me the easiest to cook for. I think I also take after Mum when I go to the fridge to devour whatever leftovers I can find so as not to waste food. I finish every grain of rice in my bowl and get frustrated when my sisters put their bowls in the sink with enough rice to be heaped onto a spoon. It may be the perfectionist in me.

Since my sisters are fussier eaters than me, Mum always has to take their tastes into consideration so there are dishes that she doesn't make as often or she doesn't make them as spicy as I would like them to be. With Christina overseas now, and Jocelyn rarely at home, it's a great time for me to get Mum to cook me some of the foods that I enjoy and miss eating.

I've always loved the liver soup that Mum makes. Yes, some of you probably shuddered at the thought of liver, but I love it. If it's cooked right. I had my fair share of duck liver (foie gras) while in Singapore last year, and I love pate. The only other way I usually eat it is in the soup that Mum makes. I haven't had it in a while and so I asked that she perhaps make it sometime soon if she can get her hands on some liver.

She asked the butcher to get a liver for her. She usually uses cow's liver but the butcher got a pig's liver for her. She was really happy with it and when I had a look at it, I could see why. It did look rather healthy and I was looking forward to the soup!

I think the main ingredients are sliced fresh ginger, ginger wine, the pig's liver sliced up, an egg, fresh coriander and spring onions.

Toasted Chicken, Avocado & Cheese Sandwiches

Yes, I had sandwiches for dinner tonight! I just couldn't be bothered with anything more. I actually would have loved a bowl of creamy chicken soup to go with the sandwiches but I didn't have any canned versions in the pantry and I was too lazy to make soup.

Hey, I'm allowed to have lazy days!

Saturday 29th August '09

I stayed the night at Marissa's and in the morning, she made pancakes for our breakfast. I haven't had pancakes for quite some time and was especially delighted to have them since we'd been talking about them at work only the other day.

Marissa did a fantastic job frothing the milk for our cappuccinos. She also sprinkled some grated Lindt chocolate over them.

We had our breakfast outside in the fresh air.

Marissa's pancake with cream and fresh strawberries.

I smothered my pancakes with strawberry jam and cream.

After chatting in the beautiful weather for a few hours, I finally made my way home.

Mum was out in the garden but I noticed she had been cooking. Upon seeing the bowls of different coloured mixtures, I knew what she was up to. She had been making Chinese Gow Chung Go - which translates to 'Nine Layer Cake'.

She pours a layer of each colour and steams it.

She then pours another layer of a different colour and steams it.

She repeats this until she has nine layers and all the layers are steamed and set. I used to love eating it when I was young. I remember instead of biting into it, I would gently peel each layer off and eat it separately. The cake uses the flavour of pandan and should be firm, yet soft to eat. Jocelyn absolutely loves it and Mum had made it for her to take to a birthday party.

Mum likes to make her Nine Layer Cake with different colours, rather than the traditional pink and white.

In the Chinese culture, the time a baby spends in the mother's womb is counted towards the baby's age. So a month from the time the baby is born, the Chinese mark this occasion, usually by sending out chicken eggs that have been boiled and dyed with red food colouring. The thought that all these Chinese traditions are becoming less practiced in this day and age saddens me. I really should do some research and try to better understand the reasons behind the things we do. For example, I do not know what the red egg symbolises.

Food for though...literally.

My second cousin's newborn daughter has just had her first month 'birthday' and we were given some red eggs and a roast chicken. Red eggs always takes me back in time to when I was younger growing up in Goldsworthy. Mum taught me how to boil the eggs and then place them in the red food colouring to stain them red. I remember how on the morning of each of our birthdays, Mum would have a bowl of freshly boiled red eggs and the birthday girl would be the first to crack, peel and eat hers before everyone else. Mum made sure each one of us had one - we weren't allowed to go without first eating one to mark the occasion. I remember how the shells always stained my fingers red for the rest of the day.

Carvers buffet at Burswood
Burswood Entertainment Complex

This is an 18+ restaurant on the gaming floor. On a Saturday night it's $29.95 per person but if you're a Club Burswood Club member it's only $23.50 - and it's all you can eat!

They have a range of cold and hot dishes and a carvery. There was roast beef and roast pork available tonight. We all opted for the roast pork because the roast beef looked a bit dry.

Round One
cous cous salad
potato salad
roasted potatoes
steamed vegetables
roast pork
pork crackle - all smothered in gravy

The food was rather good - I won't say it was super because it was really just your typical carvery buffet.

Round Two
creamy mushroom soup

Round Three
roasted potatoes
steamed vegetables
roast pork
pork crackle - more delicious gravy

Yes, I went back for seconds. I would have gone for thirds, but we were running out of time as our show started at 8pm. There were also desserts available but I wasn't interested in them tonight - I didn't even look to see what was there!

We went to see the Divine Divas show. It's basically a group of mens who do female diva impersonations - a cabaret drag show. It was really entertaining! I had a fantastic time singing, clapping and bopping along to all the songs and we had a really good laugh. The legs on some of those guys - they put us girls to shame! Some of the cast were available in the lobby after the show for us to meet them and to take photos. I got a photo with 'Britney Speares' but unfortunately the flash was off.

Oops, I did it again...

I squealed when I saw 'Cher' arrive and ran up to get a photo with her! (Or rather, him).

If I could turn back time!

We spent a few hours at the roulette table after the show and I was extremely happy to break even with the $50 I put down. Back at home, I was hungry so decided to cook the instant ramen that Meng gave me to try.

It's the same brand as one of the ramen that I buy in a cup to take to work. These ramen noodles you cook in boiling water over the stove.

Verdict: Fantastic!

I am going to have to go out and buy a box of these methinks.

Friday 28th August '09

Lunch at Work
Instant Spicy Mushroom Ramen Noodles

1. Peel back the lid halfway.

2. Add boiling water up to marked line, put lid back down and let it stand for several minutes.

3. Enjoy!

After work I headed over to Marissa's for dinner with her and Teresa. We're having our second long-awaited tagine dinner!

Now, I had meant to ask Marissa and Teresa to write down their dishes for me because I knew I would forget - and guess what!? I have! So I'll try to describe them as well as I can.

Marissa's Beef & Prunes Tagine

Marissa's Spinach Cous Cous

Teresa's Spicy Coconut Chicken

Teresa's Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

We started with the Penfolds Thomas Hyland 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, and then after dinner Marissa broke open the bottle of French port that I bought for Teresa for her birthday earlier this year.

We've been wanting to get together for a 'Colin Firth movie night' for yonks now! And finally we set the date for tonight, and then lo and behold I saw an ad on TV for a Friday night movie starring the one and only... Colin Firth! It was meant to be, I tells ya!

All our nibblies:
triple butter microwave popcorn
fresh strawberries
Mr Pelle's homemade spicy chorizo
fresh Turkish bread
Havarti cheese
Kalamatta olives
Lavosh crackers

Love my popcorn!

I really really love Mr Pelle's homemade spicy chorizo! I am yet to be lucky enough to not be working so that I may go watch him prepare it one year.

Thursday 27th August '09

Lunch at Work
Mum's Beef & Tofu Stirfry

Spicy Beef & Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup

I used the remainder of last night's bun bo hue soup for dinner tonight. I used up all the leftover sliced pork belly and beef balls. I also added some tofu and bean sprouts. I have got to remember how I made this soup for next time!

After dinner, I made a quiche to take to work tomorrow for morning tea.

Sundried Tomato, Mushroom & Spinach Quiche

Aawww...How gorgeous is Simba tonight!?
I love it when his hair grows out.

Wednesday 26th August '09

Afternoon Snack at Work
my Port Wine Jelly & Fruit Cups

Back at home, I felt like noodle soup. I set about with an idea.

In the food processor, I blended some dried shrimp, onion, garlic and chilli flakes. In some olive in a pot, I fried this mixture for a few minutes to release the flavours, then filled the pot with water, added a stalk of lemongrass, a cube of beef stock, some star anise, soy sauce and fish sauce. I let the soup boil and simmer for a while before adding some frozen beef balls and fresh pork belly. Once the meat was cooked, I remove it to slice it up and threw in some sliced cabbage into the soup. I cooked the vietnamese rice noodles in a separate pot, then rinsed them in cold water to stop them from sticking together. I placed the noodles in a large soup bowl, added sliced of the pork and beef, some thinly sliced red onion, and then ladled in lots of the spicy soup.


Sazzy's Bun Bo Hue

Tuesday 25th August '09

Being on days off work, I always forget the date. Alas! I didn't realise it was Jocelyn's birthday today. Even after we went out for lunch, got coffee, and went shopping. Not a clue! Yes, I do know when my sister's birthday is, but I just lose track of time when I'm not at work.

KABUKI - Japanese Takeaway

Una Don - $11
I also had the salad and miso soup for an additional $2.5

I was too busy chowing down on my food when Jocelyn's arrived a few minutes later and forgot to take a photo of hers!

Eggplant & Tomato Rollini

Monday 24th August '09

Scotch Steak with Garlic & Thyme
served with Rocket & Suede and Carrot Mash

The mash was light and I loved the texture - it wasn't a puree. The peppery rocket complimented it. So healthy!

Penfold's Thomas Hyland 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

I love jelly. I haven't had it for a while. I especially love finishing off a buffet meal with a few serves of jelly. I bought a few screwtop plastic containers from the supermarkets to make some jelly fruitcups to take to work for morning tea.

First, I scooped some canned fruit salad into the containers.

I poured the jelly (port wine flavour in this case) and refridgerated the jelly.

This is a real cost effective snack.

Speaking of cost effective...

I have been busy these past few weeks with what is probably the biggest decision of my life to date. I have entered the world of real estate and am in the process of purchasing my own house. Well, a chunk of land actually, with plans to build my own home on it. I'm going to start a new separate blog - Saz the Builder - to document my experiences in becoming a new home owner. I hope you have time to check it this point in time I have not yet started posting on it, but will get to it very soon.