Friday 9th December 2011

We had dinner at Mum's tonight. She made a simple homecooked meal for us.

Steamed Barramundi with Ginger

Fried 'loo boh sai'

Mum only knows the name of this vegetable in Hainanese and not English. She grows it in the garden and I always think it's a weed but it tastes great! Sort of like sweet potato leaves.

Thursday 8th December 2011


The highlight of today's lunch was Ian's homemade gnocci.

And we had these fruit tarts for dessert!

Spaghetti with Garlic Prawns and Basil

Wednesday 7th December 2011

Beef Stew with Pumpkin and Potato Mash

I had friends over for dinner tonight and I asked them to bring dessert. They brought Betty Crocker's 'Whoopie Cookies' and we baked them and enjoyed them fresh from the oven with some hand-whipped cream.

Whoopie Cookies

Tuesday 6th December 2011

The sage in my garden is growing very well.

The other day I was bored (only for a very brief moment!) and was doing my usual 'look in the pantry' thing even though I wasn't really hungry. I spied this packet of instant jellyfish and decided it would be a nice little snack.

I love jellyfish! I love how they serve it in Chinese restaurants with some shredded chicken but not many of my friends like eating it so I rarely get to order it when we go out. I saw this instant jellyfish at one of the Asian supermarkets and wanted to try it.

I followed the instructions on the packet...

I tipped out the jellyfish into a bowl. I was disappointed when I saw how much - or should I say, how little - there was! There was like two tablespoons!

I blanched the jellyfish with some boiling water and seasoned it with a few drops of sesame oil and the packet of seasoning that came with it. It was pretty stupid to go to all that effort for a few spoonfuls of jellyfish. Really stupid.

Monday 5th December 2011

What's for dinner tonight!? I had some lamb cutlets in the freezer that I thawed out overnight and marinated two ways.

Red Wine, Rosemary and Garlic

I panfried the cutlets and then made a gravy using the rest of the red wine marinade. What best to accompany the cutlets than some mashed potato!?

With the rest of the cutlets, I marinated them in some olive oil, lots of cajun spices and cayenne pepper. I panfried these and looked in the pantry for some cous cous.

I found this 'Pearl Cous Cous' that I bought a while ago. I've never used it before nor eaten it so I cooked it according to the packet's instructions.

In the lamb's pan juices, I fried some diced onion until they were soft.

I then added the cous cous pearls and fried that for a few minutes before adding some boiling chicken stock and seasoned it with a bit of cayenne pepper, some finely chopped fresh parsley, sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Cajun Lamb Cutlets on a bed of Spicy Pearl Cous Cous

Sunday 4th December 2011

This morning I struggled out of bed at 4:30am to get ready and make the drive to Benoit's place to go abalone fishing for the first time. It was a gorgeous morning with no breeze, which meant the water should be nice and calm. It just so happened that low tide would coincide with the time we were allowed to get into the water to beginning looking for the little delicacies.

This is my catch that I brought home!

I sat outside to shell and clean them.

While I was cleaning the abalone, I noticed with a shriek of delight that my sweet potato has finally started to grow! I buried it months ago along with some potatoes but while the potatoes flourished, there was nothing to be seen at the spot where I buried the sweet potato. Until today!

Abalone Stirfry

Up at 4:30am, I resisted the urge to take a nap and instead got alot of housework done. By dinner time, I was craving something simple.

Congee with Barramundi, Ginger and Spring Onion

Saturday 3rd December 2011

I decided to stay in tonight and cook.

Seafood Stirfry

Tuna Spaghetti

Friday 2nd December 2011

This morning I caught up with a friend I met several years ago on my travels in Egypt. We enjoyed a nice breakfast and coffee at the Boat Shed Cafe on the south foreshore. Afterwards, we headed to the Windsor Hotel for a beer.

On a gorgeous day like today, I really didn't want to go to work.

Thursday 1st December 2011


Today's lunch was supposed to be in celebration for Ian's last week with us in the lab but the good news was that he would sticking around for another week.

Ian roasted Hogget!

I made more Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Pork...

...and Caesar Salad.

I also bought some Antipasto from Coles...

...and Peppers - they were on special!

Lidie brought us a Salmon Quiche.


I couldn't get a photo of this mini Drumstick quick enough!

The new girl brought in this gorgeous dessert!

Ooh, what will we do for Ian's last lunch next week!?

Wednesday 30th November 2011

Tonight I was invited by my neighbours for dinner at their place. In the afternoon we had a little 'cookery' lesson, as she calls it, and I showed her how to make chicken mignons.

We had them with a herb garlic butter.

Mashed potatoes, peas and beans!

Sue made trifle for dessert!

The sponge is in the jelly layer, then custard,
freshly whipped cream and a crumbled Flake on top.

Tuesday 29th November 2011

When using the microwave, I always cover the plate to avoid food splatters and having to clean the microwave each time. I have plastic splash covers but I don't like to use them when I'm reheating things that contain tomato because when it gets hot, it can leave stains on the plastic. Also, to avoid more washing up, I sometimes use cling wrap.

At first I was rather worried when I saw the cling wrap expand like a bubble when reheating food. It never used to do this in my mum's microwave but I suppose it's because hers is old and a lower wattage. My new one is awesome - it has sensor reheat and warms food up in no time at all.

I had a friend over tonight for dinner and I was inspired to cook Thai food.

Thai Green Curry Prawns

Thai Basil Chicken Stirfry

Monday 28th November 2011

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Pork

I love the fresh mint from Mum's garden.

Pasta Shells with Chicken and Mushroom in a rich Tomato Sauce