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 (^__^).

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?

Sometimes you just need a pie

Tuesday lunch bento was ’empty your fridge’ salad made out of leftovers in the fridge.

Included tofu, crabsticks, bamboo shoots and teriyaki fish with sesame, lime and fish sauce dressing. Quite good eaten straightaway but not great for the day after.

I always try to prepare Jo’s lunch bento on Wednesdays because she has to go to work straight after.

Her lunch bento was stir-fried five spice honey chicken and mixed vegetables with rice.

Luckily I didn’t have to do the ‘A week of my life’ meme this week. Because the weather had been horrible of late, rainy, gloomy, dark and wet. I shiver when I go out and I shiver when I go home. I don’t know why I used to say I like winter, winter is horrible!

It doesn’t help that I’ve been leaving the office later and later. Usually I am the only one left with all the big bosses around. Sometimes I think to myself ‘what the hell am I doing here? I’m just a minion!’  I think I haven’t seen the sun all week (T____T).

Today it was another late workday. By the time I got out of the building it was pitch dark and drizzling. Two blocks before I reached my bus stop, I saw my bus rolling down the terrace. To run or not to run? I ended up running after the bus in the rain while trying to keep my shoes from falling off (for some reason they’re so loose lately). I collapsed on the bus seat, panting and thinking ‘there’s got to be a better life than this’ (ya, can swim 100 laps but can’t sprint two blocks, I’m so unfit).

While walking home from the bus stop, I wondered what to cook for dinner. The supermarket and veg shop was closed, any meat in the freezer would be rock hard. Then Jo called my mobile ‘where are you?’ ‘Err walking home on the road’ ‘Oh I’m at the lights waiting for you, scared you walk home in the dark alone’ ‘But doesn’t it defeat the purpose when you’re there alone?! Dangerous for you also what!’ ‘No, I’m at the lights, lots of cars!’ *slap forehead* Sigh, still it was very sweet of her but please hor Jo, wait for me at home!

So I decided to reward both of us for walking in the rain and said ‘Let’s buy takeaway for dinner’. We were deciding between kebabs and Subway. Guess what we had in the end? Jesters pie!

Jo’s Footy pie which is chunks of lean beef with bacon and mushrooms topped with tasty cheese. Looked very nice and oozy.

Mine was a special and not on their normal menu! It’s a Peri Peri pie which had chicken chunks, potato and carrots in a slightly spicy peri-peri sauce. Not bad but then I don’t really like potatoes in pie. Still, the puff pastry was very yummy and it was fun having a pie for a change.

Btw, I’ve added a new ‘sometimes you just need a’ category in my list, it’s for those posts where I succumb to temptation and just think ‘what the heck, sometimes you just need a …’ so far I’ve had curry, sushi and pie (^__^). Once I’ve decided on the ratings system I will put it up on my About page.

Haha, I just had a chat with my mum, we were gossing about the latest tvb dramas and she said  ‘Eh, that drama is REALLY HORRIBLE!!’ Then she said ‘You must watch it!’ I started laughing and said ‘ how come you say it’s really horible then you ask me to watch it?!’ She said ‘because you must watch it to see how horrible it is mah!’ My mum very cute hor Y(^___^)Y.

A Week of My Life : Day 2 Tuesday

I was just thinking ‘my life is so boring I have nothing to blog about’ when I realised I have almost 20 pictures for today! Imagine how many pictures I would be taking if my life was actually interesting.

I was running a little late for work today, hit the snooze button and ended up sleeping for 20 minutes instead of the extra 5 minutes. Luckily I still made it on my usual bus. St Georges Terrace has a new shopping arcade with a Woolworths supermarket. I’m guessing the supermarket will be very handy for workers if the government finally extends weekday trading hours to 9pm, the issue is being debated in parliament now, 7pm, or 8pm or 9pm? What’s the difference?! Just extend!

Side view of Bank West tower. Many years ago when my friend Ah Kiong was still in Perth, someone asked him ‘if you were gang raped by a group of men, what would you do?’ His answer ‘Go to Bank West loh‘. ‘Go to Bank West for what? Withdraw money?’ ‘No. Jump off from the top’. For some reason that morbid conversation has stuck in my head forever and I can’t look at Bank West tower without thinking of Kiong.

Permanent fixtures at my desk.  My trusty lavender smelling hand cream. The pink eared crystal elephant which was the souvenir from Thailand from my colleague. And I brought more apples in to replenish my never ending supply!

Lunch was seafood tofu slices, crabstick, egg tofu slices with lettuce. I like tofu a lot.

Recently B, my colleague (the same one that left me the box of chocolates at my desk) moved to the cubicle next to mine. We can’t see each other coz the walls are pretty high. Today I was typing on my computer when a paper boat landed on my desk, chucked over from B’s cubicle. B sent me an email with the title ‘Whoops’. So I returned the favour by folding a paper crane and throwing it over to her cubicle. She was very impressed and said ‘you are so competitive!’ Hahaha.

And it’s the end of a day’s work again. Every time I see the Gloria Jeans signboard I think of Jo. Sometimes she meets me at the neighbourhood supermarket and will always say ‘mmm… should I get a Gloria Jeans ice chocolate? I love the ice chocolate.. I think I will’, but she never ends up buying it. It is pure coincidence that she actually had a Gloria Jeans ice chocolate today and blogged about it in her day 2 post.

Today I bypassed the fruit and veg shop and walked into Woolies instead. Then walked out 30 seconds later when I saw the check out lines.

I like the colors of the evening sky. The sun was going down as I walked home.

Why are Jo and I wearing thongs in winter? Coz we’re going swimming!

The entrance of the Aqualife Centre, a.k.a. our swimming venue. Our Perth Stampark.

Hehe, photo of Jo taking a photo of the centre.

100 laps later, Jo and I were whispering to each other ‘Eh, can take photos or not?’ while stealing glances at the nearby lifeguards. I whipped out my digicam and took this quick snapshot of our nice heated swimming pool. Every time I go swimming, I tell myself that someday, I have to blog about swimming etiquette. Seriously, walking lanes are for walking, not canoodling or making out *vomit* with your boyfriend. Slow lanes are for slow lapping, not walking! And only go to the fast lane if you actually swim fast! Grrr..

Everytime we pass by this swimsuit stand I think of Jan. 40% off leh, do you want us to help you get one Jan?

Dinner was easy stir fried chicken with onions, stir-fried cabbage and rice.

Jo is working tomorrow so I prepared her lunch bento in this two tiered bento box.

Pretty much the same stuff as dinner with added sausage omelet with coriander.

It’s Adrian’s birthday today. We were going to go over to his place to pass him his presents and perhaps blow some candles. But for some reason or other, it didn’t really work out. Nevertheless, happy birthday Adrian! I hope next year it will be a better one, and hopefully, we can re-celebrate again for you later in the week.

So that ends Day 2, hopefully I can find more interesting things to blog about tomorrow, but my life IS boring!

Sometimes you just need Sushi

Lunch bento yesterday was grilled ponzu fish salad. It was the last piece of basa fillet from my fridge (much to Jo’s delight I’m sure).

I marinated the fillet with ponzu sauce (citrus flavoured soy sauce) and a bit of mirin and served it on bed of shredded cabbage and apple strips.

Even though Jo said the fish was tasty, I could sense a faltering enthusiasm for our grilled fish repertoire, so I tried to ‘hide’ her fish with a sunny side up, not sure whether they went well together though. I figured since Jo’s favourite empek empek is fish cake with egg filling, this was an ’empek empek’ of some sort.

I am exhausted!!  I called Jo on the way home and said ‘Eh, I’m too tired to cook, let’s get some takeaway today’. I thought she would jump at the chance of eating her favourite fast food like McD’s etc. but to my surprise, she opted for Kabuki (the takeaway sushi place near my house) instead. What can I say? Sometimes you just need sushi for the tired soul.

Lunch bento tomorrow is chicken, avocado and mandarin orange salad.

I know I mentioned in the last post that I really like Thai food, but really, I am partial towards  Japanese cuisine , which also explains my penchant for cooking Japanese food. The other day I was watching Anthony Bourdain on Youtube and he asked all the chefs something along the lines of ‘what would be your last meal if it was your last day on Earth?’ I asked Jo the same question and she said ‘Japanese food! or … maybe Mum’s cooking’. My answer would probably be the same.

But I think Jo and I were cheating with our ‘Mum’s cooking’ answer, because my Ah Ma is a fantastic cook, and she can bake bread (so good straight out of the oven),  make dimsum (my dad likes her xiao long bao while I love her char siew bao) and whip up yummy dishes of all nationalities ranging from sambal prawns, fish and chips to authentic Nyonya cuisine.If only I could cook like my mum.


July 2020
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