Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Weekly Round-up Week 4 of Oct 2011

Why hello there. Life has been very hectic for me the past few weeks and will continue to be ridiculously so until I go off to a three-week stint in Thailand in November and December (I hope it’s still there and not entirely covered in water when we get there).

So as I mentioned on the Facebook Page (please like!), I’m going to be neglecting Spatula, Spoon and Saturday a bit.

But I don’t want to! I love this blog and I love finding a few minutes to actually work on it (and believe me it needs lots and lots of work)

So when Off the Spork came up with this genius idea of doing a weekly round ups / photo blog, I decided I’m going to jump on the bandwagon. You can’t call me a trendsetter, thank you very much.

Because I have been busy – I have been eating a lot of instant noodles for lunch. I know. Don’t judge me. I am Thai, after all. Mamaa (as instant noodles are coloquially known and also the actual name of the brand) is a favourite of, well, everyone. I particularly prefer silvery packet tom yum flavoured ones. I love to add lots of greens (choy sum, kai lan, bok choy, cabbge, any and all), coriander (essential), spring onions (not essential but preferrable), preserved cabbage (tung chai) and an egg. I don’t really eat Mamaa any other way though.

(La Belle Miette’s macarons)

On Monday, Kat came over for a catch up and dinner and I decided that I really wanted spinach and ricotta cannelloni for dinner. So we rushed off to Temple (also known as Leo’s Fine Food and Wine) to buy ingredients. Kat mixed up ricotta, fresh baby spinach she snipped into small pieces, eggs and a bit of nutmeg and she dutifully stuffed the cannellini (messy, hard work!) while I tried to make the bottled Dolmio’s pasta sauce (found it in the cupboard – horridly, nastily sweet) more palatable by adding onions, sage and lots of white wine. No photo but it turned out great served with a simple garden salad.

On Tuesday, having been disappointed with La Belle Miette on Church St. (Richmond) being closed on Mondays, I managed to get myself a few macarons. I will write more about each flavour I sampled soon.

(A lot of floorboards!)

One of the reasons I have been (and will continue to be) very busy is because we are renovating. So we ended up at Ikea one night. We bought 200kg of floorboards. Do you know how much of a bitch to carry all those floorboards around? Yes. Very much.

(Ikea meatballs)

Naturally, we went to the Ikea restaurant. Of course we had to get meatballs since I haven’t had them in forever.  They were okay but not as good as I remember them. I guess I haven’t had them in so long my taste had changed. AND THEY NO LONGER STICK A SWEDISH FLAG ON THE MEATBALLS! Disappointment.

(The Ikea $4.50 dinner special)

I was also curious on what the $4.50 special would get us – chicken and pasta was the answer. It was actually quite good (as far as $4.50 go anyway.) The chicken breast had lovely herby seasoning to it and the veggies in the pasta weren’t cooked to the buggery considering they were in a bain marie. Pasta was overcooked, of course, but this wasn’t Italian food and so forgivable.

Because we were starving we also got the ‘sandwich’. This was fairly average, really. The salmon was bland. The prawns were bland. The egg was, well, egg. The bread was a bit meh too. This bread doesn’t do well just sitting the fridge.

Friday was a bit more happening. Agnes, her husband Alastair, Thanh and I went to the Aylesbury for Penny‘s farewell drinks (she’s off to live in Sydney.) The rooftop was a bit packed after a while so we left for what we call ‘Secret Thai’. Whose proper name is Appetizer Kub Klam, which isn’t really a secret since a couple of bloggers blogged about it. I loved it for its Thainess. It managed to capture that essential Bangkok beer garden experience down to the tee with a beer tower, live singer with guitar music and a kub klam menu consisting mainly of deep fried salty foods to compliment its drinking hole atmosphere. A sort of a Thai pub food.

I will blog about this place separately but meanwhile here’s a picture of the deep fried pig’s intestine (‘How Bourdain of you,’ says @falican) We ate so much that when Agnes said she’s on Paleo diet we decided to we had to get on it.

Naturally, I fail at it. Hard. What can I say? I love carbs.

The weekend. Oh the weekend. Saturday we spent working on the reno. I went to Bunnings for the first time in years to buy paint (we went with the boring Grand Piano). They gave us free jelly beans. And a stuffed dog. O..kay.

(Bunnings sausage sizzle)

Because I didn’t have time for breakfast, I had to have a sausage sizzle because it smelled so good. Also the first in years (last one was probably work’s barbecue in 2006). Josh had breakfast and so he had no excuse to have one as well. But he did. It was amazingly delicious. Either that or I was freaking starving.

I also managed to sneak to the Camberwell Market and look mah! They have purple asparagus. How cool are they? Didn’t buy them though. Bought lots of other veggies – including massive green asparagus which were so fresh and sweet, we had some raw in salads.

The florist also had the most gorgeous shade of roses ever. I would have bought them for my mum if she were in the country. They smelled divine. I love roses. I also saw the first peonies of the season (bloody expensive) – this can only mean our wedding anniversary is coming up.

On Sunday, Mini Me and I went to yum cha with a couple of girls from work while Josh painted the apartment. She and I had our first yum cha chicken claws. That’s right. I have never had chicken feet at yum cha. I know the term for this is ‘failsian.’ But obviously, Mini Me won’t have that problem.

She rather liked it too. The bone, that is. I didn’t mind it either. I was also made to try tendon. That experience will not be repeated.

And we ended the weekend with a meal that my uni housemate invented. I decided to make it because the Ikea meal sort of reminded me of this (and she is Scandinavian, maybe there’s something there). I seasoned the chicken breast strips and pan fried them. Made up a batch of packet pasta and sauce (one of those horrid Continental things which I surprisingly didn’t mind) and loaded up with tonnes of veggies.

Happy days.