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All posts for the month July, 2012

A break from lite and easy

Published July 18, 2012 by Mary Jane

Okies, we’ve reached that 4 weeks mark of lite and easy and it’s come to that time that we take a break from lite and easy. I have really enjoyed taking some time off from cooking and having dinners whipped up in microwave ready for me to eat. But all good things must come to an end in some point. We’ve tasted most of their lunches and dinner and overall have enjoyed ordering food from lite and easy. It’s now back to normal cooking and eating normal food. I have not gained any weight or lost any so I suppose lite and easy have allowed me to maintain my weight during the cold winter time. But I’m sure since it’s all frozen surely they have to add some addictive to it to preserve the food. Though I must admit my experience with their fruits and vegies (mostly salad) have been really fresh 🙂

Anyways, Pandabear and I will take a short break from lite and easy and see how we go…

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Wonton Mee…

Published July 18, 2012 by Mary Jane

Okies, over the weekend Pandabear was craving for some wonton mee so I decided I will cook it for him for dinner. At lunch time I caught up with my sister in law and her hubby at Hong Kong BBQ joint so we had some roast as well. So I decided for dinner I’m going to stick with Soya chicken something different. I went to Emma to pick up egg noodles and some wonton skin and went past a roast joint to pick up a whole soya chicken…

For the wonton meat mixture – I decided to stick to my mother’s recipe – of putting prawns inside my wonton mixture. So in the mixture I added – pork mince, white pepper, sesame oil, salt, and prawn paste. I just whipped the prawns in my stick master to make it in a paste and add them onto the mince 🙂

I blanched the bok choy and then chuck the wontons into hot boiling water with a bit of salt and they’re done. So now it was time to work on my egg noodles and sauces. For the sauces – I added chopped spring onions, soya sauce, caramel sauce, some of the juices from the soya chicken, white pepper, salt and a little bit of sesame oil.

Now it’s time to assemble all ingredients together 🙂

Here is Pandabear’s plate – with no sambal sauce and 5 wontons as he requested..

and my plate – full of hot sambal sauce and 4 wontons..

It was very yummy – definitely a comfort food recipe for a winter night and fit for a King 🙂

Winter melon tea

Published July 17, 2012 by Mary Jane

While I was on holidays back in Taiwan I had the opportunity of visiting TaiNan – South of Taiwan. I’ve never been to TaiNan before. Mum’s cousin lives there so we decided to pay her a visit. My Auntie took us to various places in TaiNan and she took us to one of the famous spot that sells winter melon tea. I love winter melon tea – nicely fragrant not too sweet just right. It was a little store that only sells winter melon tea. I was very surprised that it already had queues of people. The drinks must be awesome. You could add various flavours to it – like lemon, comquat, honey etc..I opt for the original flavour. I love the original flavour. The drink was huge for something that cost like $2.50. It was very yummy.

So now back to Aussie land, there isn’t any stores that specialises in this drink. One day when I was grocery shopping in Emma Seafood (Oriental joint in Northbridge) came across a block of winter melon tea made in Taiwan. I knew I had to get it to try and make my own winter melon tea.

It was really easy, just put the winter melon tea block inside a large pot of boiling water and boil it until the block dissolves and voila you have a lovely fragrant winter melon tea. Then it is time to bottle them up. I made 5 bottles worth of winter melon tea and gave some away to my family 🙂 It was lovely just like the ones I drank from Tainan..would definitely make more again…

Lite and easy meals…

Published July 16, 2012 by Mary Jane

Hi Guys, hope you’ve all had a nice weekend. I’ve finally had my piano lesson on the weekends with Eugene…being quite rusty since I was down with a cold and had 3 weeks off. Anyways, here’s the lite and easy meals I’ve been having. I have decided to just have lite and easy lunch only as I don’t want to eat too much processed food…

So here’s some food photos..

The beef and polenta bake was really yummy – but a little small for my liking – I had this for lunch..

The porcupines in tomato sauce…now I didn’t know what are porcupines..apparently they are meat balls with rice…I didn’t quite like the taste of it..it kind of reminded me the taste of the meal loaf I had..that strong meat taste…but the mash and vegies were really nice…so looks like I won’t be ordering this one again..

The tasmanian salmon pasta with broccoli was really yummy…the salmon was quite tender and not dry..I thought it was going to be dry…and there were enough sauces to coat the pasta..so it was yummy…definitely would order this one again 🙂

I had the Indian chicken rice for lunch and it was delicious! Very tasty…I love the pea mash as well…must admit most of the curries I had from Lite and easy have been exceptional with lovely spices and things..

The beef korma as predicted was very tasty 🙂 I love their curries and it was served with the potato and peas rice. Would definitely get them again.

So overall, the dinners are going well…I have stopped myself from eating supper but opt for the lighter option of fruits or yogurt or simply going to sleep earlier as well…

Almond cake from Santiago…

Published July 12, 2012 by Mary Jane

Okies, I continue searching through thermomix recipes for more easy desserts to make. This time I found a flourless cake – which I believe is more healthier option I suppose. The ingredients are pretty simple – blanched almonds, sugar, lemon peel, eggs and milk. So I didn’t have any blanched almonds so went to coles and could only locate them in the organic section – quite expensive for a little packet of blanched almonds. Oh well, hopefully it’s worth it. So I whip out my thermie and started grinding the blanched the almonds..

Then it is time to mill the sugar into icing sugar – I love this step – it all become smokey and it’s something that you will see from Heston’s show – Pandabear shouted ‘what’s that coming out from thermie!!” I said icing sugar smoke hehehehe…

Then it was time to mix the lemon peel with the icing sugar – and the recipe asks me to save some for dusting later on…I love the smell of lemon – so fresh and tangy..

Then it was time to mix all the other ingredients together (the so called wet ingredients)

The mixture looks pretty liquidy I was start to wonder whether the mixture will actually work consider there’s no flour…

Thankfully the whole liquidy mixture fits right into my shallow pie pan. It looks rather pale so I chucked it into the oven for around 25 minutes. When I took the almond cake out I noticed the top was rather soft and brown in colour…

It was time to wait for the almond cake to cool down…to be honest it looks nothing like the picture in the recipe book…

It was time to slice the almond cake to see what it looks like inside…and dust it with some icing sugar

The insides looks crumbly but it was a little pale in colour. Time to try a slice..it was still slightly warm..

To be honest the flavour of the almond cake tasted quite nice – you could taste the lemon peel and almond. But I must admit – it’s very crumbly if I was to make it next time I’ll mill the almonds a little finer. Pandabear said it’s nice but too much nuts…I told him that’s because it’s a flourless cake (no flour just blanched almonds)..Mum took some home cos she quite like the cake..

Lite and easy meals

Published July 11, 2012 by Mary Jane

Hello Guys, well – good news my cold is getting better…hooray and I will have my piano lesson this saturday – am very rusty at it. Okies, I haven’t lost any weight with lite and easy but the good news is I haven’t gained any weight either. So, Pandabear and I will continue to have lite and easy for at least about a month. He’s actually enjoying the food..and plus I don’t have to cook much 🙂 it’s a win win situation. I’ve stopped my late night snacks as well and since my cold is getting better I will endeavour to hop on my bike soon..

here are the food I’ve been mowing…

The baked potato bolognaise was pretty nice – a little small for my liking…

The spinach and ricotta Tortellini was quite nice – which was a surprise as my thoughts on frozen pastas would be chewy..but it was really soft – nice flavouring and it did fill me up for dinner so would definitely consider ordering this again.

Chicken and vegetable risotto was ok – tasted like porridge to me and it was ok for lunch I suppose even though it really didn’t fill me up. Fortunately it came with a little fruit muffin..

The chicken tikka masala was delicious – I love all the curries from Lite and easy – they have good flavours and it usually get served with yellow rice or nice curry vegies which is rather yummy. I would recommend their curry range…it did fill me up for dinner..

The cottage pie as expected very tasty and filling – I would recommend it..their lasagne and fish pie are always a winner.

So overall, most of the dinner meals are rather nice. I haven’t had any off food as yet. The food seemed to be quite fresh – in terms of the fresh produce – fruits and salads. So yeah quite happy with it. I’m now down to lunch and dinner which cost me just under $100 for 5 days. That’s not too bad 🙂

French night – Beef Bourguignon

Published July 10, 2012 by Mary Jane

Hi Guys, I’ve had a nice monday off from work – it turned out to be a very busy day for me with two of my appointments and sorting out stuff for mummy. But at least it was a productive day rather than lying in my bed feeling sorry for myself with this dreadful cold..anyways, on saturday night I wanted to make something french so decided to go online to look for a french easy recipe..came across beef bourguignon…comfort food just nice for the weekend and winter time…and wow 1/2 bottle of red wine….I’ve never made this dish before so it was exciting…I had the massage appointment booked at 6pm so I made sure that I throw everything into my slow cooker otherwise Pandabear would have no clues on how to look after it..

The ingredients seemed simple enough just bought a 1kg of chuck steak, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, bacon, red wine, mushrooms and some corn flour.

First up was to sear the beef chuck…

then it was time to stir fry the vegies with the beef juice for about 8 minutes

Then, I decided to add the bacon in – the recipe asks for specks but I only had bacon slices and thought it would give that nice flavour if I put them in..

Then it was time to chuck everything into the slow cooker – beef first with bay leaves and thymes..

Then it was time to chuck in the rest of the vegies in…

Then it was time to put in 1/2 bottle of my good red wine which I bought from margaret river and some beef stock…I kinda of didn’t stick to the recipe just use my instinct of how much to add..and throw in some pickled onions…

Then I use thermie to whip up the mash potato – this will go really well with my beef bourguignon….I left the beef bourguignon inside the slow cooker for 1.5 hours just enough time to come back after my appointment and I must admit the smell of the whole house is fabulous….red wine and the aroma of the beef chuck…and then it was time to throw in the mushrooms…on the hind side I should have set the temperature to high cos the beef wasn’t exactly falling apart…so it needed another 1/2 hour..

Voila here’s the dish…

The acidity of the wine was still quite strong…so I might have got carried away when I was throwing some red wine in…but yeah it tasted fantastic! Comfort food….