Tuesday 27th April 2010

Morning Tea at Work
Alice's Pear Butter Cake

OMG this was such an awesome cake! I don't eat cake often nowadays, but this was absolutely delicious! The pears kept their texture and the cake was moist - rather like a teacake. We all fell in love with it. Well done Alice! We'll all be asking her for her recipe!

Lunch at Work
Portuguese Roasted Chicken with Sage

Spicy Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Beef Balls & Okra

What a coincidence - I was eating this while watching a Vietnamese celebrity chef work his magic on Masterchef.

Monday 26th April 2010

Portuguese Chicken with Sage
served with Roasted Potatoes, fresh Rocket & Cous Cous

We have little rocket plants popping up over the garden so I picked some of the larger leaves to eat. Our garden is a mish mash of random plants now that the seeds from last year have germinated and grown. It's a nice surprise to see what's there!

Sunday 25th April 2010

Bee Hoon Soup with Beef Balls & Okra

Saturday 24th April 2010

I took some diced chicken thighs out of the freezer before work and asked Mum to make one of my favourites if she had time in the evening since I'm on call tonight. I got home and found it waiting for me - yay!

Mum usually just cooks this dish with the chicken, onion and carrots. I had some leftover vegetables in the fridge and asked her to chuck those in too. Baby corn spears and red capsicum made a great addition!

Mum's Thai Basil Chicken & Vegetables

I love eating this with lots of Mum's fried chilli and a couple of fried eggs. I use egg rings and cook them sunny side up!

I love to break the gooey yolks over the rice!

Friday 23rd April 2010

Before work today, I set to work in the kitchen to make meals for the next few days.

On the menu: Lasagna & Eggplant Moussaka

I defrosted homemade tomato sauce and lamb mince overnight. All to do today is to make the bechamel sauce and assemble the dishes.

I googled a quick recipe for the bechamel sauce and set to work making it. I think in hindsight I must have read the measurement for the plain flour wrong. I think instead of using tablespoons I should have used teaspoons. After adding the warm milk, the mixture was really thick. It resembled choux pastry. I thought 'Do I start from scratch or do I add more milk to try to thin it out?' I decided to try adding more milk. I added almost a litre and managed to get it to a spreadable consistency. I didn't want to waste my other ingredients so I did a test run.

In a small ramikin I put a spoonful of the lamb mince with the tomato sauce, and a spoonful of the bechamel sauce. I baked it for about fifteen minutes.

Verdict: Yum!!

The consistency of the bechamel was thick and creamy and it was like eating a little pot of lasagna without the pasta. Time to continue with the dishes!

Eggplant Moussaka
Layers of eggplant, zucchini, the lamb and tomato mixture and bechamel sauce on the top to finish it off. I grilled the eggplant and zucchini on the sandwich press first.

I layered instant lasagna sheets, the lamb mince and tomato mixture, and the bechamel sauce. Finish off with a layer of bechamel.

I got stuck into the moussaka before work!

Thursday 22nd April 2010

I'm on night shifts a work this week and my locker has been looking pretty dismal lately. So, I replenished my snack foods supplies and now my locker looks like the snack shelf in a deli.

Wednesday 21st April 2010

Seafood Spaghetti

I had leftover seafood pasta sauce from the other night. I just had to cook fresh spaghetti to add to it. You can still see the bits of left over squid ink spaghetti!

Tuesday 20th April 2010

Vincent, Victoria and Vernon came over for dinner tonight. I had to pop out in the evening so I needed to time everything just right so that dinner would be ready when they arrived. Cooking isn't just throwing things together and creating something to eat. Timing is a crucial element so that you can have all the different components ready to be served at the same time. I think I succeeded!

Challenge: To have dinner ready by 7pm
Obstacle: Run an errand between 6:30-7pm

[5:30pm] Preheat the oven to 200C and prepare the lamb.

I bought two lamb leg roasts as they were on special. I stuffed some garlic and fresh rosemary into the lamb and seasoned with sea salt, pepper and olive oil.

[5:45pm] Put the lamb into the oven.

I prepared the vegetables - potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, onion and garlic.

I parboiled the potatoes, then tossed them with some olive oil and sea salt with the carrots and pumpkin.

[6:00pm] I took the lamb out of the oven, them arranged the onions and garlic in the same tray and poured in some Vegeta stock.

[6:05] I returned the lamb and the vegetables (on a separate tray) to the oven.

The lamb will need an hour to cook so I headed out on my errand. I ran a bit late so I got home shortly after my guests arrived.


I love a roast dinner. I don't cook them often enough because it's too big a meal for just me to get through. I'd be left eating leftovers for days.

My guests brought dessert.

Sara Lee's Cookies & Cream Bavarian Cheese Cake

I haven't had bavarian cheese cake for yonks! Not since the years when KFC used to run the promotion where you get a chocolate bavarian cheesecake with the family value meal. This one was sooo yummy!

Sunday 18th April 2010

Spaghetti with Vegetable Stew

For lunch today I happily polished off the rest of the stewed vegetables from my Lamb Shanks dinner from the other night. I simply heated the vegetables and tossed through some cooked spaghetti. I absolutely love slow cooked carrots. They're so tender and juicy. I actually prefer them to potatoes in a stew. Delicious!

Victoria and Vernon came over for dinner tonight and I threw together something quick and easy.

Squid Ink Spaghetti with Seafood

Saturday 17th April 2010

In keeping with our 'Active April' regime, we went indoor rock climing this morning at

the Hangout - 12 White Street, Bayswater 6053

Again, I think we overestimated our 'level of buffness' and were exhausted after a few hours. It was rather fun though and a great test of endurance and will power. I think I lacked the latter and was content to even reach two thirds of the way up!

672 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley 6050

After our morning's workout, we all eagerly ordered the fish and chips. It took a while for the food to arrive, and I have to admit I was disappointed to see that my fish was burnt and my chips were looking a bit overdone. The dressing was gorgeous though! It was a light, lemony mayonnaise.

249B Albany Highway, Victoria Park 6100

Before dinner, we sat across the street from the restaurant to enjoy a coffee and rejuvenate ourselves.

252 Albany Highway, Victoria Park 6100

I've eaten here many years ago and remember it was a rather average restaurant serving Italian food and woodfire pizzas. We ordered several pizzas to share.

We had the Gourmet Seafood, Gourmet Italian, Gourmet Pollo and Satay Chicken.

It's hard to go wrong with woodfire pizzas but tonight when we were close to finishing our meal, one of us discovered a hair in the pizza. It was embedded into the dough base. *shudder

The manager was good in not charging us for the pizza, and with the discount from the Entertainment Book, it was a really inexpensive dinner! We ordered several pizzas to share.

I also ordered a bottle of wine but we were rather horrified to find that it was a cleanskin that they had relabelled as theirs and were charging $25 for it. Misleading and deceitful, in my opinion.

Friday 16th April 2010

Lamb Shank with Vegetables
served on a bed of Mashed Potatoes

There's nothing like a warm, hearty meal to make you feel better when you're feeling under the weather. I usually use red wine when cooking lamb shanks but tonight I decided to use white wine. It made a lighter sauce but just as delicious and full of flavour.

Crushed garlic, chopped onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, a can of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, Vegeta stock, rosemary, salt and pepper to season.

No wonder I polished it off.

Potato Bake with Pecorino

Look at all the layers of potato and cheese!

Cold weather makes me hungry.

Thursday 15th April 2010

Lunch at Work
Garlic & Parsley Chicken Mignon with Cous Cous

Using the pan juices, I made cous cous to go with the mignon for lunch today. I think cous cous is going to be a prominent feature on my menu this winter!

Bee Hoon Soup with Prawns & Okra

Wednesday 14th April 2010

Lunch at Work
Garlic & Parsley Chicken Mignon
Roasted Potatoes

I prepared this chicken mignons last night. In a zip lock bag, I combined some butter, crushed garlic and chopped fresh parsley. I snipped off one of the corners of the bag to create a piping bag!

Squeeze a bit of the garlic & parsley butter onto each mignon and roast them in the oven for about thirty minutes at 180C.

I also baked some potatoes with the mignons. The resulting pan juices were oh so so delicious! Buttery pan juices infused with garlic, parsley, and the taste of chicken and bacon. *drool*

After having some terrible news announced at work today, I was in desperate need of some comfort food when I got home. I had some camembert with a glass of wine while preparing dinner. Cooking is such a wonderful distraction.

While waiting for my food to cook, I couldn't help snacking on some of the stirfry Mum made. She was so delighted with it - apparently one of her friends has grown this very hard to find melon or gourd and gave her one. You can't find it at the shops. I saw it briefly before it was all chopped up. It looked like a bitter gourd but it tastes like choko. Mum fried it with prawns and it's such a great combination as you still get the flavour of the melon. Delicious!

Simba was hungry for his dinner. I can't believe how fast we go through his cans of dog food! I bought a large can of CHUM yesterday and I gave him some of this tonight. As I was mashing it up with some rice, I couldn't help but fall in love with the smell! Yes, I quite like the smell of some of the dog food we feed Simba. This CHUM smelled so good...it didn't take me long to realise it smelt like SPAM!

Vegetable Soup with Pasta Shells

Linguine with Bacon in a Rich Tomato Sauce