Archive for the 'Salads' Category

Spring Salads

It was the first weekend that felt like summer. The sun was out in full force.

roses

Roses around Perth are all in full bloom. You know summer’s definitely around the corner when mangoes start appearing in the markets.

dinner

 I’ve had a hiatus from kitchen cooking  since  Spring Feast. But this weekend I rustled up a simple dinner. It was a spring sort of dinner with sweet strawberry wine and lots of fruits.

rice

Oodles of  egg and prawn fried ric .

spring salads

Trio of fruit salads. There was tomato, orange and chicken salad with an orange and lime juice vinaigrette. Pear, brie and pinenut salad. The last was a lychee chicken salad with lychee mayo dressing.

It was a good weekend (^__^).

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Daffodil weekend

I can’t believe the month of August is almost over. I guess time flies when you’re very very busy and consumed by work. It’s been a really busy work month but I know it’s going to be worse come September. Ah well.

cake

We had a charity bakesale at our workplace last week, I brought in an orange chiffon cake which went down well. I think it was the sheer size of the giant cake that was most impressive than anything else.

pandan

I baked an extra more modest sized pandan chiffon cake for our own consumption. I used a different recipe using self raising flour instead of normal flour + bicarb soda this time and it turned out well.

curry

Malaysian seafood curry with fish fillet and prawns. The leftover curry sauce was diluted into a curry noodle bowl during the weekend (^__^).

chicken

More roasted chicken during the weekend. This time Jason and Wendy came over to share. I think we won’t be roasting chickens for a while.

sakad

Grapefruit and orange Thai salad as a side. The original recipe (click here) calls for pomelo but since we didn’t have any I made do with grapefruit and orange and it worked really well. I love Thai salads and will be attempting a green papaya salad tomorrow, hope it works out.

fabie

Fabie, Jason and Wendy’s puppy  toy poodle came to visit as well, he’s really cute and smart already knowing how to do tricks such as spin, roll over and go down.

pho

My first Pho!  These couple of years I’ve been trying more and more Vietnamese recipes and eating out a lot more at Vietnamese restaurants. R is a huge pho lover and pho is his must order at every Vietnamese restaurant, so I thought, why not try making pho at home? Turns out it’s not so difficult and my first attempt while not restaurant standard, was actually quite good and tasty.

pho2

It’s been a while since I’ve slow cooked beef. The tender oxtail and beef chucks in the minty fragrant broth was yummy for dinner.

daffodil

Daffodil Day for Cancer Council was last Friday. I like daffodils because they’re so bright and cheery.

yellow flower
Speaking of bright yellow flowers, these little yellow flowers were picked from my garden. The rain seems to have stopped for a while, the sun has come out and wild flowers are shooting out everywhere.

yellow flower2

Already the weather feels warmer and I was able to wear a dress without stockings for the first time yesterday. I guess Spring is in the air.

World Cup and Wii nights with the new housemate

We have inherited oodles of noodles and leftover sauces (not to mention leftover furniture, books and miscellaneous goods) from the movers and goers.

ja jiang mien

This was a combination of using up the sauces and noodles, Zha Jiang Mien anyone?

cauli

This is what happens when you fall for the “2 cauliflower for $1′ sales pitch and end up with two gigantic cauliflowers that you don’t know what to do with. This baked cauliflower cheese dish used up a whole cauliflower so I was happy.

steak

Friday nights are slowly turning into steak nights.Guess what are the orange bits garnishing the dish ?

chicken

Chicken in marsala and onion sauce, I think I might have taken this recipe from the Masterchef book that Wendy sent me.

thai

Gai Yang aka Thai bbq chicken with kailan miso soup for dinner.

salad

The return of the salad lunch bentos! Gai Yang two ways, I used the leftover chicken to toss up a salad made of baby spinach leaves, mandarin oranges and grape tomatoes. Dressing was a bit of the Gai Yang marinade with mandarin juice.

icecream

Dessert of vanilla icecream, mandarin slices, banana chips and pan fried bananas scallops (which I pressed in cinnamon sugar before hand). In case you’re wondering why I’m mandarin crazy, well mandarins are in season and mostly, we’ve been given lots of mandarins by Richard’s colleague (= ^^=).

I think my new housemate is settling in. He commented the other night that he’s beginning to get the ‘home’ feeling, I think he’s trying to say that I remind him of his mother, saying ‘where are you going?’ when he grabs his keys and asking ‘when will you be home? will you be home for dinner?’ when he goes out.

frozen

Because he works at Mcdonalds part time, he has been bringing home lots of tasty treats. This is not good for my diet (T___T). In case Jo is reading this, do you know they now have Frozen Green Apple?

filet

In 2006, we had a memorable World Cup night when Gerry came back from work and brought a whole stack of Maccas for me and the boys. I particularly remember the three layer Filet-o-Fish he made for me that night and have been teasing him these few years asking him when he’s going to make me another one. Zip four years later, during one of our World Cup watching sessions, he brought home a FOUR layer  filet-o-fish ! I couldn’t conquer it that night but thought about it all day the next day.

I finished it (with some help from Richard). But I felt sick afterwards. Will Gerry bring back a five layer filet-o-fish during the 2014 World Cup? Will I be able to conquer a five layer filet-o-fist? Most importantly, will we still be watching World Cup matches together? I think so (^__^).

wii

Now that World Cup is on a mini hiatus, the boys have been entertaining themselves with the Wii, and I almost cracked a rib last night laughing at their hilarious entics. Even now I can hear odd sounds and grunts emitting from the living room. I think I’ll stroll outside for a laugh.

Peach & Pie

I finally made a real pie, with crust, lid and all! Haha so excited, I really love the versatility of puff pastry, you can make desserts, savoury pies, tarts, everything.

I wanted to make individual pies for everyone but haven’t gotten round to buying pie moulds yet, so I baked my pie in a cake tin instead and it worked. Came out looking like a giant pie cake (=^_^=). Can you guess what kind of pie it was?

It was a Japanese beef curry pie! Instead of eating our normal Japanese beef curry (I made it with beef brisket which I braised tender) with rice, I decided to use it as a pie filling for dinner and pack the curry with rice for our bentos the next day.

To go with the pie, I made a grilled white peaches and tomato salad with baby spinach leaves,red cabbage and a dijon mustard, mayo lime dressing. Just in time for summer.

I am loving pies more and more.  I’ll blog about one of the nicest pies I’ve had soon, not mine I promise!

Homecooking 101: Project October 12/10/09 – 16/10/09

Project October is heading into week 3! I even baked muffins for dessert tonight (pre mix box mind you) and they were surprisingly nice and moist. But I’ve fallen ill at the start of spring, I don’t know whether it’s hayfever or just my usual seasonal flu and cough but it’s so maddening and annoying to be sneezing, sniffing and coughing, I feel like a giant walking germ (T______T).

Sunday breakfast bagels are such a luxury. I really like bagels, I’m not sure why, is it just the hole in the middle which is so convenient for melting cheese? I don’t know. I bought the bagels the day before from Lawleys bakery in Subiaco. With the plain bagel, I toasted it and topped it with smoked salmon, cream cheese and egg. The poppyseed bagel I grilled with ham, cheese and tomato.

I think this was Monday’s bento but I’m all mixed up now. Fried rice with honey five spiced leaned pork fillet. Drizzled with a bit of sriracha hot sauce for a bit of a kick.

My first attempt at lasagna after a long long time! I actually bought instant cheese sauce but couldn’t find the packet afterwards (daitaoha habits die hard) so I had to make my own cheese sauce. Luckily it turned out alright.

Served the lasagna with a side of avocado, tomato and lettuce salad with balsamic dressing.

Usually we just cook extra portions of dinner for our lunch bentos the next day. But when possible, I try to make different dishes for dinner and lunch with the same ingredients. Jo requested teriyaki hambagu which I turned into a burger with works for dinner. The hambagu patty was topped with balsamic onion relish, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and fried egg.

Lunch bento was teriyaki hambagu, tamagoyaki and a little salad of lettuce and tomato with rice.

Finale of the week was nasi lemak. I was too lazy didn’t have time to cook curry chicken to go with it so I cooked an easy ayam kecap manis to go with it instead. Usual condiments of sambal sotong, hard boiled eggs and cucumber. It was a cut corners nasi lemak but still pretty tasty all the same. Only problem was I ran out of basmati rice, why is basmatic rice so expensive??

Ok I’m going to lie down now and hope this stupid flu/cough goes away doubly quick *fingers crossed*

Stir fried chicken with lemon, honey and snake beans

Ingredients
500 g skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp shaved palm sugar
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp peanut oil
2.5 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
2 long green chilli, finely sliced
3 spring onions, cut into 2 inch batons
1 cup green beans, cut into batons
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
80 ml ShaoXing wine
150 ml lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
8 Thai basil leaves, torn
1/4 fried shallots

Method:

  1. Combine the chicken, fish sauce and palm sugar and pepper in a bowl. Marinate for 10 minutes
  2. Heat the peanut oil in wok, add chicken. Stir fry until mixture begins to caramelise then add the ginger, garlic, chillies, spring onions, snake beans and peanuts, and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add ShaoXing wine, lemon juice and honey and cook until liquid has reduced and thickened into a sauce.
  4. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with Thai basil and fried shallots.

After a mini hiatus from the kitchen, I’m back with this recipe that I tried from my Teage Ezard cookbook (the one that Gerry bought for me). Once I read the words palm sugar, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, shaoxing wine, basil,I knew I had to try to cook this dish because it incorporates some of my favourite cooking ingredients. I didn’t add snake beans because I don’t like beans but added more spring onions instead.

The flavours came out exactly how I like my Thai dishes, sweet, sour, slightly spicy (green chillies have this wonderful spicy kick yet sour flavour) and with that fresh aroma of lemon juice and fragrance of ShaoXing wine. It’s a keeper recipe so do try it.

Lunch tomorrow is a cucumber, tomato and basil salad with some of the stir fried chicken and cashew nuts. We’ve officially moved in to the new office and the lunch room feels like a different world that I’m having trouble going out and actually doing work. The first yoga lesson of the season was also held today and it was soo good, made me realise how much I’ve missed yoga.

The weekend was so glorious that Mondayitis hit me extra hard today. So I’m back to counting down the days to Friday again (-___-).

Panda eyes

Is it Friday yet? ?The week has been so slow and tiring that I have panda eyes (=___=) *yawn*. I shouldn’t have gone for the Transformers movie last night especially since the 8.30 tickets were sold out and we had to watch the 9.30pm session. The autobots were very cool but the movie was waaay too long, 3 hours later, I found myself preparing sandwiches for my colleague’s farewell morning tea at 1am.

The sandwiches looked sloppy but my colleagues still loved them. Haha, lucky they are easy to please.

I thought of Jo (sakuratrees) immediately when I saw this new  Bodyshop Japanese Cherry Blossom series. Jo and I tried some and loved the fragrance, I wonder what real sakura flowers smell like? Jan? Anyway, being the usual cheapskate, I found it too expensive. Na li zhi dao, Jo returned with the cherry blossom body butter and perfume, I think her boyfriend bought it for her. I guess there is a  good reason to have boyfriends (^__^).

In return, I prepared a chicken teriyaki lunch bento  with a sunny side up for Jo and Xianzhang. This is my foolproof lunch bento when I want to cook something quick and simple.

Tonight I wanted to use up the leftover prawns from the wontons to cook Pad Thai but didn’t have any Thai flat noodles. I did have udon packs in the fridge though, so I changed it to Pad Thai udon instead. Stir fried with pickled radish, spring onions and sprinkled with chopped peanuts, it was crunchy, sweet, fish saucey and vinegary.

The prawns were stir fried in advance with chopped garlic, ginger and sweet chilli. Tossed with lettuce leaves, tomato slices and garnished with chopped peanuts, it’s my lunch for tomorrow.

So is it Friday yet?


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