Wednesday 31st March 2010

We celebrated 'Compassion Day' at work today by being allowed to wear free dress with the colour theme being my favourite colour - purple! We decided to have a lunch and have everyone bring in a plate of food to share.

Some of us couldn't wait until lunch to eat, so we all popped out for morning tea breaks and hade a prelude to lunch with chocolate hot cross buns that Eileen bought for us. I heated mine in the microwave for twenty seconds and the chocolate chips had begun to melt when I got stuck into it.

Lunch time!

I brought some Herbert Adams mini Beef & Burgundy Pies.
We heated them in the microwave and they were yum!

Leah's Savoury Muffins.
They had cheese, ham & parsley - yum!

Adrijana's 'Fetta Buns'. That's what I'm calling them.

She made the dough herself and created little croissant shapes with fetta filling. The dough was so light to eat! I loved it! It would be so fun to experiment with different fillings.

Marissa brought in hot dogs. She even brought her rice cooker to heat the hot dog sausages in. Brilliant idea!

I love hot dogs. Whether they're the ones with the frankfurt sausage or the ones with the BBQ sausage and fried onions. One thing's for sure though, I want tomato sauce AND mustard on my hot dog!

Being Easter, I wore my bunny ears and got called Bunny Foo Foo =)

Portuguese roasted Chicken & Roma Tomatoes
with Tabbouleh

I sure know how to roast chicken! The chicken was so tender and juicy. I threw in the tomato wedges for the last ten minutes of cooking. A delicious combination with the tabbouleh that Mum brought home from her work.

Tuesday 30th March 2010

I was pondering what to eat for breakfast while brushing my teeth this morning. I always eat 'breakfast' when I wake up, whether I wake up at 6am or 2pm. Eating kickstarts my body and gets me ready to tackle what the day brings.

I looked around in the freezer and found some Herbert Adams pastries that were microwaveable. Perfect.

Spinach & Ricotta Rolls

I placed them on a sheet of kitchen paper towel and heated them in the microwave for 1.5 minutes. Afterwards, I let them sit for a minute or so and when I bit into one, it was delicious! The rolls weren't hard or dried out and the pastry wasn't as crunchy as they could have been if I had baked them in the oven, but it was light and crisp. Yum!

Lunch at Work
Leftover Spicy roasted Chicken, Vegetables & Cous Cous

It's easy to avoid buying lunch on work days. When you cook dinner, always make a little extra so you can throw it together with some fresh salad, cooked vegetables, rice or couscous. Makes a healthy and affordable lunch!

On the drive home, I munched on a wholemeal roll with slices of chorizo and fresh rocket leaves. It helps to keep me occupied and awake while I drive because I can get pretty sleepy in the car when the weather is nice and warm after a shift at work.

Bee Hoon Soup with Chicken

Mum made soup with chicken for the stock, cabbage and carrots. I used the soup and added some ground white pepper, soy sauce and fish stuffed chillies for dinner.

I garnished with lots of fresh coriander that I had picked up from the shops on the way home. I can't wait till it's time to plant my own coriander.

Monday 29th March 2010

Lunch at Work
Chickpea, Rocket & Tuna Salad

I loved the flavours in the chicken I cooked yesterday so I recreated it tonight. I marinated the chicken in olive oil, ground sweet paprika, ground white pepper, ground coriander, turmeric, and ground hot chillies. I tossed the potatoes and carrots in the marinade as well before roasting them together with the chicken in the oven at 180C for about forty minutes. The potatoes were a gorgeous colour! Too bad I didn't buy chicken thigh fillets with the skin on. The skin would have been so incredibly delicious and crispy!

I threw in the asparagus during the last five minutes of cooking and they were just perfect and tender. Sometimes when I buy asparagus, the bottom of the stalks tend to be rather woody, but these ones were tender all along the stalk. I thought asparagus was out of season but Woolworths have imported them and they're only $1.98 a bunch.

Spicy Roasted Chicken with Vegetables & Cous Cous

Sunday 28th March 2010

We went to dim sum today - and boy did we order alot!

We drove to Cottlesloe Beach and got some takeaway coffees from Barchetta. Would be nice to return there for lunch one day and sit on the balcony overlooking the ocean.

Spicy Beef & Pork Vietnamese Noodle Soup

I was all ready to get into bed for the night, but as I walked past the aquarium, I noticed that there was a little baby guppy swimming around the surface in a corner. One of the new guppies I bought from Veba's today is in labour!!

I stayed up until 3am monitoring Mummy Guppy and keeping the fry away from her because as guppies do, she was gobbling them up as soon as they were entering the world. Out one hole, in another.

You can see the eyes of the baby guppy poking out of Mummy's birth canal.

She had several breech births.
There was even a moment when she popped out two in rapid succession - twins!

The miracle of life.

I think I have a total of at least twenty new additions to my tank. They'll have to get a bit bigger before I dare release them amongst the other fish or else they'll be mistaken for food.

I love watching my guppies give birth. I don't think I'll ever tire of it.

Saturday 27th March 2010

Today's lunch was chicken that I had prepared by marinating with several different spices.

Olive oil, sweet paprika, ground coriander, turmeric, hot cayenne pepper.

After a few nights in the fridge, the flavours had permeated into the meat and the chicken was absolutely delicious!

Spicy roasted Chicken Thigh Fillet
with Baked Potatoes & Cous Cous with Sundried Tomatoes

I had a lazy night at home tonight and popped into the kitchen for snacks instead of having a proper dinner.

Mum made some Winter Melon Soup.
I love to have it with lots of deepfried shallots for a bit of crunch.

McCain's Beef Lasagne cooked in the oven.

I do like to eat instant lasagne as an occasional snack. Of course, nothing beats homemade lasagne, but instant lasagne tastes nothing like homemade lasagne so theyy're essentially two entirely different dishes. Sometimes I feel like the instant lasagne, sometimes I feel like the homemade variety.

Potato with Melted Cheese & Thyme

I indulged in some marinated Goats Fetta & Chorizo with a glass of wine while I caught up on some blogging.

Simba was hoping for a treat.

He eventually jumped up onto my bed and fell asleep.

Friday 26th March 2010

Lunch today was chicken. Last night I trimmed the extra fat off a chicken thigh fillet (with the bone and skin inclusive) and tied it up with kitchen string. I scored the top and marinated it in a mixture of olive oil, soy sauce, honey and crushed garlic.

Honey Soy roasted Chicken Thigh Fillet with Salad

Afternoon Snack
Potato with Melted Cheese & Rosemary

This is one of my favourite snacks that I haven't had in some time. I used to eat it on a very regular basis. I boil the potatoes, then heat it in the microwave with some cheese and a sprinkle of herbs. Tonight I used dried rosemary. Fantastic comfort food.

Tonight I went to Burswood with a few girls from work for drinks. Our intention was to go to the food court, Emporium, to get the fish and chips and Stella Artois for $9.95, but we ended staying in the Spice Lounge as we were enjoying the cocktails and lounge singers.

We ordered a 'Tasty Tapas' plate for $24.90
It came with prawns, fetta, olives, chorizo, chicken tenderloin skewers,
toasted Turkish bread and battered squid.

I loved the squid! It was melt in your mouth goodness. The chorizo was overdone so it was like eating overly crisp salty bacon. The chicken skewers were nicely seasoned but we probably should have eaten them first while they were warm. The prawns were fresh. It's a pity that we didn't get any dip to accompany the delicious Turkish bread.

Back at home just after midnight, I made supper.

Instant Ramen with Yong Tau Foo

Thursday 25th March 2010

I usually eat before I go grocery shopping to try to avoid impulse buying on an empty stomach. However, occasionally I will go to Centro Maddington with the intention of getting one of my favourites from the food court.

Chips & Gravy

Mum had visited a date farm up in the hills. I've never seen fresh dates and I don't like preserved dates. Which is why my Mum convinced me to try one of the fresh ones she bought. It was quite nice! Totally not what I expected. It had crunchy flesh like an apple. I found the oval shaped brown ones too sweet (left), but the round shaped ones were much nicer (right).

I buy alot of chicken. I'm not a fan of chicken breast, but I love chicken thighs because they're juicier and I always leave a bit of the fan on them when I cook them. I bought a kilo of thighs on special (6.99/kg). I usually separate and freeze them for later use. I like to package them in zip lock bags and label them as 'fine dice', 'rough dice' and some I skewer. I marinate them when I defrost them, usually the night before I intend to eat them.

Tonight seemed to be the night I carried out alot of prep work in the kitchen. Mum's friend gave her some red chillies that I really enjoyed eating. They're the right amount of hotness - not too hot and hot enough for me to relish a slice with each mouthful of food. I stuffed them with some fish paste that I bought. I freeze them for later use too.

Figs still appear to be in season. I bought a few and prepared them for an entree tonight. I planted some butter, honey and fresh sage leaves in each one, wrapped them in thinly sliced pancetta and baked them in the oven for about ten minutes.

Sage & Honey Figs wrapped in Pancetta

I didn't realise that each of my figs had a different coloured flesh. I prefer the red ones.

Scotch Fillet with Mushroom & Peppercorn Gravy
Steamed Carrots & Corn

Instant Ramen with Fish Stuffed Chillies