Saturday 29th January 2011

With an impending cyclone hurtling towards Perth, we received a huge downpour this afternoon. I was soaked to the skin as I splashed around in the backyard dragging all of Mum's orchids and various potted plants into the shelter of the patio. I was beginning to wonder if my dinner plans would have to be cancelled, but the as quickly as the storm hit, the rain ceased, the thunder rolled off into the distance and the sun actually came out for a spell.

Good. I was looking forward to dinner!


We each brought various ingredients and made our spring rolls at the table.

We had the usual things that you find in Vietnamese spring rolls - prawns, pork, chicken, bean sprouts, vermicelli noodles, mint and coriander. We didn't have time to prepare the hoi sin dipping sauce, but Ling improvised with one that he made from fish sauce, chilli, and a few other things.

Shallen got a bit greedy trying to stuff this one with too much.

Messy disaster.

I made mine with the vermicelli, some bean sprouts, either pork, chicken or prawns, some fresh mint or coriander leaves, a teaspoon of the dipping sauce, and then wrapped it up.

In this warm, muggy weather, these spring rolls are a healthy and light meal.

We can't wait for the weather to cool down so we can start having our steamboat nights.

Friday 28th January 2011

Today was a day for noodles. I love throwing everything into the one pot and then pouring it all into a large bowl and sitting down to devour it.

Bowl food is soul food.

Spicy Ramen with Prawns & Kang Kong

Bee Hoon soup with Fish, Tofu & Cabbage

Thursday 27th January 2011


Woo! It's Thursday lunch at work again!

One of our scientists hails from India and she brought in a gorgeous vegetarian curry for us. She catered for the entire team! We were so busy that I only managed a short break to wolf down some of it, but it really hit the spot. I loved the sweetness and subtle spiciness of the curry. There was a medley of different vegetables in there - I imagine you could use any kind of vegetable that you had on hand. I especially loved the juicy, crisp corn kernels.

Toasted bread buns with Rucha's Vegetarian Curry.

We also had the sausages and beef patties that were leftover
from my BBQ yesterday for those who craved some protein!

For dessert, Lidie brought in this gorgeous homemade Cheesecake.

We were amazed at the unique presentation. I have never seen a cheesecake prepared this way. When we cut a slice, we were oohing and aahing over the way she had layered the biscuits. There were glazed cherries and I believe chocolate in the centre.

It's so fantastic to work with people who enjoy their food.

Spaghetti with Seafood and a rich Tomato sauce with Ian's Harissa

Wednesday 26th January 2011

Today I gathered with a few friends for a BBQ lunch. Aside from the BBQ, we didn't really make much of an effort to follow an 'Aussie' theme for Australia Day. We just ate!

Ling and Shallen made this really nice and light
Korean Noodle salad with potato noodles.

I made a Cous Cous salad with Roasted Pumpkin, Spinach and Pinenuts with a Balsamic Vinegar dressing. It wasn't until I was mixing the ingredients together in the bowl that I realised that the salad incorporates the green and gold that represents Australia!

Kong brought these deliciously spicy Beef Patties and Sausages.

Meng brought the rolls for our Hot Dogs.
We were missing American mustard!

My drink of choice for the day was Campari with Orange Juice.

Sambal Kang Kong and Rice

Tuesday 25th January 2011

Bacon & Eggs with Toast

Scotch Steak with Green Peppercorn Gravy
served with steamed Carrots and Rosemary roasted Potatoes

Monday 24th January 2011

One of my favourite sweet indulgences are KARATE BELTS.
The more sour they are, the better.

My mouth is watering just thinking of them...

Sunday 23rd January 2011

We slaved away at our friend Long's newly built houses today to help him apply coats of primer to the walls. He rewarded us well by taking us out for lunch for a break.

73 Honeywell Boulevard, Mirrabooka

Being a Vietnamese restaurant, you can probably guess what I ordered!

Bun Bo Hue!

Back at home in the evening, I took out the ingredients that I had prepared last night and made soup for dinner.

Pork and Vegetable Soup with Pasta Shells

Saturday 22nd January 2011

One of the girls at work brought in a huge tray of cupcakes today and I nibbled away at three of them with my coffee for morning tea. On days when I have a sweet tooth, butter frosting hits the spot.

Hoy Soy roasted Chicken with Vegetables

In my challenge to try to clear out the freezer, I found these drumsticks that I had marinated in olive oil, honey, soy sauce and garlic. I found them in a zip lock back at the rear of the freezer on the bottom...stuck to a pool of the marinade that had leaked out of a small hole in the bag. I cleaned out the freezer and thought what better time than now to eat the chicken! It's probably had a few months to absorb the flavours!

I coated the baby corn spears in the pan juices and that's why they look so darkly coloured. Lots of delicious honey soy juice in the pan!

Friday 21st January 2011

Chicken Pie & Chips

Bee Hoon Soup with Fish, Prawns & Cabbage

I nice healthy dinner! I love using cabbage in noodle soups. I think the colour of the cabbage in this photo is absolutely gorgeous! It looks so fresh and green.

Thursday 20th January 2011


For out weekly lunch at work today, Ian brought in homemade foccacia with sea salt, herbs and sundried tomatoes. I can only imagine how fantastic it would have tasted straight out of the oven!

We all made up our foccaccias how we liked and then some of us toasted them before devouring them.

In mine I had roast chicken, roasted eggplant,
sundried tomatoes, avocado and cheese.

Oh so delicious!

After work I deliberated whether to postpone cooking my crab another night, but then decided that I should have it tonight. Ideally I should have cooked it last night since I caught it in the morning, but tonight it will still be just as good.

I have never cooked chilli crabs using a crab that I have caught before. Usually when we catch fresh crabs, we take them home and Mum takes care of the cooking! I know how to prepare them because I cooked some soft shell crabs a while back.

First, you have to pry off the triangular piece of shell from the crab's base and remove all the sex organs (I might have the details a bit off because I'm just remembering this). I then twisted off each leg one by one, pried the top of the crab's shell off, and then cut the main body of the crab into half. I rinsed the pieces in water before cooking.

For the sauce, I wanted ginger but we didn't have any in the fridge. So, I chopped up some garlic and sauteed this in some oil in a wok (round based fry pan actually), added half a can of crushed tomatoes, some Thai sweet chilli sauce, some chilli flakes and simmered this sauce for a few minutes. Lastly, I added the crab pieces, making sure to coat the pieces in the sauce by giving it a good stir around. I then added one egg white, mixing it to break it up in the sauce. lid on and allow to simmer for a few minutes. The crab doesn't take long to cook at all.

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve!

So, what was the verdict? I was happy with my first attempt at cooking chilli crab without a recipe. I only wish we had caught more crabs!

Wednesday 19th January 2011

We went crabbing today in Mandurah, fully intending to return home with a huge haul, but we were devastated when all we caught was one.

One single crab.

We chilled out at The Merchant
for a coffee and shared a piece of vanilla slice!

After the drive home, I was made some cheesey toast!

Dinner at work consisted of a microwave dinner that I picked up from the shops en route. Coles' Bechamel Beef Lasagne.

Not bad at all!

The plan was to cook my single crab for supper tonight but I was distracted so I made myself some Spicy Vietnamese Noodles with Pork instead.

Tuesday 18th January 2011

Dinner tonight at work was a very simple salad that I threw together. Beetroots, asparagus (the soggy kind from a jar), baby cos lettuce, a few anchovies and a soft boiled egg with some olive oil and white balsamic vinegar for dressing.

Monday 17th January 2011

I love cooking with my Le Creuset pots. For lunch today, I put together a simple pasta dish.

Angel Hair with Prawns, Leek & Cherry Tomatoes in Garlic & Chilli Olive Oil

For dinner, I spied a bottle of bechamel sauce in the pantry. I also found some beef mince in the freezer, so I made a beef sauce with a can of crushed tomatoes and grated carrot.

I layered it with thin slices of zucchini, mushrooms and the bechamel sauce.

Always finish off with bechamel on the top.

Beef & Vegetable Lasagne

Oops, when I went to plate up, I realised to my dismay that I had used too much bechamel! I didn't want to store any in the freezer so I had emptied out the rest of the bottle over the top. Without some pasta to absorb some of the moisture, it resulted in a rather sloppy dish. However, it was still just as tasty! It was more of a casserole!