Pasta has a way of soothing the soul. At the end of a long and tiring day, I often find myself craving a huge bowl of noodles, ideally balanced on the knee and eaten in solitude, accompanied by a glass of wine almost filled to the brim (pardon me, as I dispense with formal wine appreciation or drinking etiquette). My children have definitely inherited this love of pasta, and they have it for dinner at least once a week. They enjoy pasta with creamy carbonara, tossed in garlicky olive oil, with pesto and also pomodoro sauces. Recently, I have been making large batches of tomato pasta sauces because they are 1) extremely tasty, 2) easy to make and 3) they keep very well in the fridge. Three winning points in a recipe for any busy mom.
Bill Granger’s coconut bread
It was one of those perfect moments in time, when I was completely relaxed, basking in the warm glow of the setting sun, sitting reclined and reading a beautiful Bill Granger cookbook. This one, Sydney Food, boasts absolutely stunning pictures, which enticed me so much that I wanted to jump up and try my hand at all the dishes asap. But what I enjoy most about Granger’s recipes, is that they are not complicated or intimidating in the least, and every one that I’ve tried so far has yielded the most satisfying and rewarding results. This coconut bread is a prime example.
Oldie but goodie: Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
From its powder-blue exterior walls to its monochromatic pillars and floor, its fragrantly-charred fluffy buns to its strong black coffee, I love everything about Chin Mee Chin Confectionery (aka C.M.C.). It’s the stop I must make whenever I find myself in the east, and last week was no exception.
My family absolutely adores all Japanese food. At age five, my son’s all-time favourite meal is cold soba noodles with a side of sashimi. He could eat this just about any day, in rather startling quantities. I really enjoy soba too, but have recently begun an affair with udon. Even my son would shift his allegiance once in a while. All thanks to Tamoya Udon.
Power breakfasts: Maple vanilla French toast
One of the things I’m most fussy about as a mother, is that my kids start their day right every morning, with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. I try to instill the good habit in my children to gear up for the day ahead by fueling their brain and body. Together with their cup of milk and fruit, the breakfast menu at our house rotates between whole-grain toast, waffles, pancakes, granola, yogurt, oatmeal, muffins, scones, crepes, and my son’s most recent favourite – this French toast.
More Cafe, Busselton WA
It was my son A’s sixth birthday a month ago, and as a treat, the family took a trip down to Margaret River, Perth to celebrate the occasion. He requested to take an excursion to the famous Busselton Jetty on his birthday itself, so the 2km tram ride out to sea was extra special for him. It was a windy and damp day, and after the jetty trip, we were all hungry and in need of some serious warming up. So we hit More Café, a quaint spot in the heart of Busselton town, and was drawn in by the inviting smell of fresh coffee and the wide variety rustic and colourful bakes on their counter.
Flipside- a fantastic burger joint in Fremantle
If you ever find yourself in Perth, Fremantle craving a juicy, meaty burger, I highly recommend Flipside. To tackle a Flipside burger, you need all your fingers. It is huge and extremely messy to eat. But it is also without a doubt, one of the best burgers I have ever sunk my teeth into.
Tuna, lemon and cannellini bean salad
This salad was inspired by a very simple one that I used to take away from a deli a few times a week, way back when I was still working in the CBD. If my memory doesn’t fail me (it’s been almost ten years), all the salad had in it were cannellini beans, onions, celery and a good amount of olive oil and lemon juice. Tangy, crunchy and creamy, it was delicious. I’ve added a few more ingredients to the original, so my version is more substantial and colourful. Since the bulk of the ingredients are permanent residents in my pantry, this is a really convenient and effortless meal to put together as a fresh and healthy weekday lunch.
Fruit juice jello
My children love jello, and I have to admit that my heart breaks a little every time they eat the packaged ones made with nothing but sugar, colouring and preservatives. This recipe is not only extremely easy (only three ingredients), but it also makes jello that is much better for your body and also tastes great.
Power breakfasts: Avocado shake
I have had this avocado shake for breakfast four times this week. The heat has been relentless since sunrise, and I simply don’t have the stomach for my usual oatmeal porridge, fried eggs or peanut butter toast. Furthermore, I’m plagued by this nagging sore throat, and all I want are cool, refreshing foods that soothe, even first thing in the morning. This breakfast shake is not only quick to make (and drink), but it is also extremely nutritious and most importantly, darn tasty.