Archive for the 'Pastas' Category

Sap ha sap ha

It’s been a bit difficult getting into cooking mode since my parents have left. I will start revisiting my 30 must cook list soon, double ginger cake with lime frosting sounds delish :p

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A while ago we had a lasagne weekend. Big tray which made several lunch bentos.

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Jo’s request for a laksa weekend. Sadly I am down to my last pack of laksa paste so we will have to limit our laksa weekends until I get a fresh supply.

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This weekend our theme was ‘sap ha sap ha’ steamboat weekend. We had a simple chicken herbal soup base with wolfberries, red dates and dang gui. What should our theme be for the next cooking weekend?


no longer stands for Thank God It’s Friday because we don’t have TGIF nights¬†anymore ūüė¶

While I’m always glad when Friday rolls around, I’m usually too tired on Friday nights to go out and do anything. So for the past two Friday nights I stayed at home watching Masterclass!

Anyway, nowadays TGIF means thank God it’s family day. For some reason our Sundays(and most Saturdays too) have morphed into family nights where Jo and HC either come over to my house or we go over to theirs for a family dinner. It’s always very relaxing and involves good food, random Australian tv (luckily Masterchef is on nowadays, once we had to resort to watching The Voice *shudder*) and lots of laughter.

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During the week Jo had texted me saying that she was craving pumpkin soup. So I told her we would have a 3P theme for our Sunday dinner, 3P as in Pasta, Pizza and Pumpkin Soup. I made the pumpkin soup and lasagne but Jo and HC brought over the pizza. Of course we knew there would be tons leftover, but hooray for yummy lunch bentos for the next few days.

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Perhaps I should have called it 4P since there was a lot of parsley involved. My parsley patch is flourishing and we’re having to add parsley to all my dishes. I have to admit, parsley chai po(pickled radish) omelette is actually very yummy. This batch of curried pumpkin soup was too light for my liking, my fault coz I didn’t prepare enough cream.

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I¬†think the last time I made lasagne was almost two years back!¬†¬†¬†I should definitely do it more often, it’s fun and cheesy and Jo loves the meat sauce. Anything for the pregnant lady.

So it’s back to the daily grind tomorrow, I’m wondering what our theme should be for the next TGIF? Oh yes, Jo said it’s kueh chap and poh piah, so Jan, we’re practising for the holiday trip already, hopefully I¬†will have the recipes down to pat by the time we get to London.

You know, Jo got her Australian permanent residency application approved¬†this week. It was a huge sense of relief not just for Jo and HC but for my parents as well. My ah pa told me that he felt as if a¬†stone had¬†been lifted from his heart :). From a completely selfish point of¬†view, I’m so glad that Jo and HC are here to stay. I¬†can’t imagine what life in Perth would be like without both of them being around.¬†Hooray for more¬†family nights to come.

Saturday family dinners

Yeah, it was a good weekend.


Firstly, my parcel¬† from The Book Depository arrived in the mail ūüôā Happy Sunday Agatha Christie reading ahead.


Then there was our impromptu Saturday roast chicken dinner with lots of strawberry wine.


With lovely Mandarin cake for dessert. This cake was really yummy.


I wish I could bake that way, not only was the outside of the cake beautiful, the inside was gorgeous too. It was fun cooking together on a Saturday night, feasting together then watching TVB dramas together. What should our theme be next Saturday night? Korean? Laksa night?


This stir fried cabbage is not just normal stir fried cabbage, it has my mother’s specialty hay bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp sambal) in it, so good that a normal stir fried vegetable has that extra oomph.

Claypot chicken and mushroom rice topped with a sunny side up.


Spinach and ricotta ravioli in white wine cream sauce.

mashi maro

Hehe, something that I stole from Jo’s home. So small, white, furry and cute. Hehe.

Tomato fever

You know that something tastes really good if you immediately want to recreate the same dish when you go home. That’s how I felt about the pickled vegetable tomato soup that we had at the chicken rice place.

kiam chai

Somehow mine didn’t turn out quite the same and wasn’t as good,¬† but it was still tasty and comforting with steamed rice for dinner.


It’s been a while since I’ve cooked pasta, this time it was Penne Alla Vodka which was a tomato cream sauce pasta which didn’t really taste of vodka at all. I might need to be more generous with the vodka next time.

Did you notice that everything is tomato based? Richard came home with a box of tomatoes from his colleague last week and we’ve been eating lots and lots of tomatoes all week, in fact, we’re almost done!

It’s Friday tomorrow! Hooray hooray.

Roasted chicken finale

It feels like ages since I last blogged and it probably has been a while. Life has been full on with a heavy workload during the week and visitors during the weekend. August and September are the months for fly in fly outs ūüôā


Last weekend it was David’s turn to experience Di’s 3 day whirlwind Tour of Perth. I might trademark this. While it is fun showing visitors around beautiful Perth, I must admit that the late night weekends are getting to me, I could hardly keep my eyes open on Monday. Must be getting old (T___T). It’s becoming a tradition to end each trip with A Night of Roasted chicken, this time chilli mussels, spaghetti, garlic bread and potato salad were thrown in for good measure.


Not to blow our own horn but this was seriously our best roasted chicken yet, the chicken was wonderfully moist and tasty, even the roasted potatoes were sweet and yummy:)

pear tarte

Dessert was my easy Pear Tarte Tatin again, always easy and a crowd pleaser. I wish I had a bigger fridge so I could stock vanilla icecream, it just goes so well with desserts.

Ok, I hope I can update soon, it’s a big week ahead, sigh, but at least it’s almost half over.

Orange chiffon cake

I really wanted to put up a Japan post, but as my next post has about 40+ photos, let’s just say it’s a work-in-progress, but I promise, sometime soon. In the meantime, more cooking pics ahead …


Spaghetti carbonara for our Sunday dinner, a request from the new housemate, both the boys like creamy, rich and cheesy sauces, I myself prefer tomato and herb laden sauces. Still not perfecting the carbonara yet, but I’ll get there.

ayam masak merah

But at least I’m getting the hang of Ayam Masak Merah, possibly one of my favourite Malay curries and a must-have at our house during Chinese New Year. We usually order it in but maybe I’ll be able to cook it for guests during CNY next year?


I like making desserts nowadays, leftover Mcdonalds hotcakes (courtesy of Gerry) with vanilla icecream and blueberries drizzled with honey.


My first attempt at baking orange chiffon cake, I’ve been wanting to bake this for ages (ask my mum, I’ve asked her for the recipe years ago and keep asking her for tips but never actually baked the cake) and I finally did! It turned out pretty good but not perfect because the top wasn’t browned enough before I took it out of the oven. But texture wise, it was soft and fluffy so I’m pleased. Pandan chiffon next!

Sigh, is it Friday yet?

Homecooking 101: Project October Week 3

It’s the last week of Project October, I’m going to have to hold a meeting at the end of October and decide whether we’re going to continue Project November. Either way, it’s been lots of fun cooking for Project October,¬† but a little tiring and challenging to keep within the budget and yet cook something different everyday.

Monday I cooked the chicken two ways. My mum’s tomato sauce chicken¬† (I can never cook quite the way she does it) which is what I cook whenever I want us to eat a mixture of veges with chicken.Goes well with rice.

Lunch bento was stir fried chicken and cucumber, soy braised hard boiled egg and spinach.

For dessert I baked us banana cupcakes ( pre mix and 98% fat free!) which I topped with a sweet banana chip, it was so moist and yummy, who says pre mix cupcakes aren’t good? It was so easy to bake, I am going to be making more of these.

Tuesday Jo and HC cooked Indian style mamak mee goreng, I’ve never tried the real thing so I can’t judge the authenticity but it sure tasted very Malaysian and was tasty. There were lots of ingredients in it including tomato, potato, beancurd and chicken.

I was sick that day and didn’t go to work so I had time to bake some cupcakes. This time it was vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting , I topped some with hundred and thousands (messy things, not going to use next time but so colourful) and others with sliced fresh strawberries.

Wednesday was Jamie Oliver day since I used all of Jamie Oliver’s recipes. This was his French baked potatoes which include layers of parsley onions and potatoes. Somehow the texture didn’t turn out the way I expected it to be, I guess I was looking for something more baked and heavy, but it came out quite moist and tender and light. Are french baked potatoes supposed to be like this? I don’t know.

The potatoes were served as  the side with the Parmesan chicken and lemon chicken being the main. Quite easy recipe, not too heavy and fresh tasting with lemon and thyme.

Thursday was a quick prawns, basil and cherry tomatoes fettucine topped with toasted pinenuts and parmesan shavings. A light and quick pasta, I marinated the prawns beforehand with garlic and paprika for some spiciness.

No cooking for Friday because it was going out night which is truly the best night of the week. I should really cook something special to round up Project October but I’m not sure what, any suggestions anyone?

Sparrow and some meatballs

It’s Sunday night, Jo and I are in the living room watching the Masterchef finale. I made it a point to watch the finale tonight despite not having watched a single episode of this vastly popular show. But my colleagues are all obsessed with Masterchef so they made me promise to watch it so I can discuss it with them tomorrow. So far I like both finalists but I’m rooting for the Chinese girl who’s originally from Malaysia! Oh no, the aunty actually incorrectly identified shallots as onions, how can she get that wrong?!

Anyway I am feeling miserable because the weekend over. Even worse, Jason has gone back to Geraldton and won’t be back in Perth for another 10 weeks. 10 weeks feels like a long time, I wonder what my life will be like then? Lately I’ve been facing new experiences and challenges everyday so I’m a bit apprehensive. Ah well.

Masterchef update: The secret ingredient was whole chicken, I guesed the Chinese girl would cook Hainanese chicken and I was right!! Only I don’t think she’s cooking it right because she’s steaming the chicken and¬† hainanese chicken is usually poached/boiled. She’s making pandan chiffon cake which is one of my favourite cakes of all time.

Friday night dinner and drinks with TGIF gang minus Gill. It was also a farewell of some sort for Jaso. After dinner at Hawker’s Cuisine we headed off to the new 399 melbourne style bar on William Street. There was great, cosy and warm atmosphere and we had a great time drinking wine (me and Gerry mostly) and chatting.

Saturday morning I woke up early but was nursing a slight headache. Met up with the rest of the guys for karaoke but left to walk around the city with Gerry and Bryan. Introduced the boys to Tiger Tiger coffee bar which serves really really good coffees.

tiger tiger

The service isn’t great, but the secluded alleyway atmosphere with the live Spanish guitar playing was fantastic. They serve a mean hot chocolate with marshmallows as well, yums.

Dinner at Sparrow also located on William Street. Sparrow is an Indonesian restaurant located almost opposite Manise. It’s very popular in Perth and well known for the friendly service, affordable prices and small portions. I remember Fung was the first person who introduced to this eatery, I used to frequent it quite often¬† but haven’t been since we discovered Manise.

Beef rendang which you order by the pieces (I think it’s $2.50 per piece). The owner told us that the beef was cooked for 5 hours, despite the long cooking time, I still don’t think the beef is tender enough.

Sparrow has empek-empek too, only they call it pempek ($7 with egg). Sauce wise the pempek was pretty similar to Manise’s empek-empek, but it wasn’t crispy enough and the fish cake was a little harder and chewy.

I forgot the name of these mussels, Kerang something. I didn’t have any of these but Wendy said they were good.

I didn’t feature most our dishes but what Sparrow does well is their gravy laden asam/curry dishes are always tasty and great with rice. We ordered 10 dishes in all with drinks and rice and it was only $10.50 per person (the owner also gave us a 10% discount which he has done every single time I’ve frequented).

Happy and satisfied customers!

Daitaoha ratings (btw, the rating system is on my About page):

Food : 6/10


Service: 7/10

7 service


Shop A
434 William St
Northbridge 6003 WA
Phone: (08) 9328 5660

I feel like cooking something big and elaborate, but I don’t know what to cook, who to cook for or what to cook for. But today I wanted to try a tomato and cream sauce pasta instead of my usual tomato based sauce, it turned out quite well but I will be experimenting more to get a better tomato cream sauce. This time instead of just using tinned tomatoes I also added fresh tomatoes which I feel made the sauce taste fresher and lighter.

I made beef meatballs to go with the spaghetti and garnished the pasta dish with lots and lots of parsley.

Masterchef update: The Malaysian girl lost!! I wish I watched the show right from the start now, but I have Jason’s Top Chef to watch, I hope it’s good!

I am hoping to force myself to try cooking new recipes and will try to post up a¬† new recipe from my collection of cookbooks at least once a fortnight. So scary there’s a hailstorm now, the windows sound like they’re going to break,lightning and thunder¬† everywhere,ok, maybe I don’t like rainy weather so much afterall (T___T).

Chicken in white wine cream sauce pasta

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 slices ham/bacon chopped (optional)
2 tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup white wine (or just enough to cover half the chicken)
flour seasoned with dried tarragon, salt and pepper
olive oil/butter


  1. Dredge chicken in the seasoned flour. Add olive oil or butter to pan.
  2. Brown chicken in pan till light brown on both sides.
  3. Then add the mushrooms, onions, ham and fry till onions are soft and translucent. Add wine. Simmer covered on low heat until chicken is done, around 20 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from frying pan, leaving onion and mushrooms. Shake 1 tablespoons flour and the heavy cream into pan. Stir into the drippings in the frying pan. Flavor with tarragon according to your taste.
  5. Cook until sauce thickens. Pour over chicken and serve. Garnish with additional herbs of your liking.

This was one of the first western dishes I learned to cook back in my uni days. I used to serve it with roasted potato wedges but nowadays I usually cook up some fettucine or spaghetti and add it to the chicken for a cream based pasta.

It was another horrendous day at work today, so bad that my colleagues were really angry on my behalf, still, I felt comforted that at least my own teammates were so supportive. Sigh, if only people could be professional and  not shoot the messenger.

On the bright side, on the way to work and back from work, I saw full arch rainbows in the sky! So pretty, I love rainbows…. I was too greedy and made so many wishes that now I think none of them will come true (T____T).

Gerry has returned from his Brisbane/Melbourne trip and he bought me a present again! Another cookbook, this time it was a Thai/Malaysian food cookbook which I really really like. Thank you Gerry!I actually read this book a couple of years ago in Borders, back then (actually now still the same) I couldn’t bear to fork out money for cookbooks and would go to Borders, sit there with my favourite Irish Nut Creme coffee and try to memorise these recipes. Cheapskate or what?! But it was actually very fun lah.

Ok, FINALLY it’s Friday, I don’t expect a good day at work tomorrow, but maybe with such low expectations, things might turn out alright? *fingers crossed*

December 2020