Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heavenly Plate

Tonight the bf and I dined at a gorgeous little vegetarian cafe in Applecross called Heavenly Plate. The cafe and adjoining gift shop are just so pretty and cute! 

We ordered the mini martabaks and a red sea soup for our entrees. The martabaks were beautifully presented little spring roll parcels with a tasty tofu filling. The soup had authentic Thai flavours and was served piping hot with slivers of toast. For the main course, we chose the Japanese teriyaki burger and the green curry spaghetti. The burger had Japanese rice patties instead of bread and a tasty mock meat pattie with salad. It was a little on the small side for a main course but was accompanied by some of the best wedges we have ever eaten! So crispy mmm. The spaghetti was delicious and filling with lots of yummy vegetables throughout. For dessert I couldn't go past the chocolate brownie, it was truly divine.
I was very satisfied after this meal and would definitely eat here again. I recommend Heavenly Plate as a great place to catch up with the girls for a meal or coffee and cake. The shabby chic decor and dainty portions may be a bit off-putting to some men, but the food is tasty and quite different than the standard cafe fare. Prices are reasonable, it cost just over fifty dollars for this meal plus a coffee. Heavenly Plate is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner at 2/899 Canning Hwy, Applecross. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mega vegetable lasagne

I'm not going to lie, this was a very labour intensive meal to make! It was a bit of a kitchen experiment, I had no recipe, just a fridge full of vegetables and some beautiful fresh pasta sheets handmade by the bf to use up. Here is a breakdown of what I put in each layer:
First in the dish was a blend of steamed broccoli and cauliflower, mashed with spring onions, shredded basil and spinach, folded through ricotta cheese with a sprinkling of parmesan. Top with pasta sheets.
Then a thin layer of roasted red capsicum and sun dried tomatoes which I processed into a chunky paste with tomato passata and some balsamic vinegar. More pasta on top.
Next came a layer of sauteed portobello and swiss brown mushrooms with garlic and parsley and a splash of balsamic vinegar. I also added some slices of roasted beetroot here.
After another layer of pasta, it was time for the colourful roasted pumpkin and corn combination which also contained roasted shallots and garlic cloves. 
More pasta, followed by another helping of the ricotta blend topped with a thick lashing of the capsicum and tomato sauce made up the top of the lasagne. 
The finishing touch was a sprinkling of grated mozzarella and parmesan, then into the oven for half an hour and finally feast!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thai red lentil and carrot soup

I'm still being inspired by the delicious Thai ingredients I tried on my holiday last month. I wanted to make a healthy soup with a nice Thai flavour and I'm very happy with this recipe.

1 tblsp coconut oil
3/4 cup shallots, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 red chillies, chopped
1 lemon grass stalk, crushed slightly
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp finely grated galangal
roots and stalks from 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 Massel chicken style stock cube
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tin of reduced fat coconut milk

Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium low heat. Saute the shallots for 1 minute, add the celery and carrots and saute for 3 minutes. Add the chillies, garlic, coriander, tumeric and lentils. Stir together. Add the crumbled stock cube and enough water to just cover everything. Add the galangal and  lemon grass and simmer until the lentils are cooked and all vegetables are tender. Remove the lemon grass and the lime leaves. Puree the soup once slightly cooled and add coconut milk until desired consistency is reached . Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with coriander leaves.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thai cooking class

One of our favourite restaurants in Patong was Kantok, an exotically decorated oasis serving delicious Thai meals. We enjoyed dining there so much that we decided to return on the last day of our trip for a cooking lesson!

While the other chefs looked after the restaurant patrons, our chef Yuth taught us how to create some delicious Thai food.

He had all the ingredients ready to go for us!

We started off by making a spicy green papaya salad and a deep-fried tuna salad. Both were simple to prepare and tasted fresh and delicious! 

The next course was tom yam gai soup and pad thai. 


Then it was time for the curries. We made a red, a green and a pa-nang curry. Did I mention that we were also eating all of this food! 

It's a good thing dessert goes into a separate stomach! We had bananas cooked in coconut milk and fried bananas, both of which were really good :)

After polishing dessert off, we rolled ourselves back to the hotel for a siesta. This was probably my favourite day of the trip. I think I was really starting to miss cooking!

Phi Phi Islands

A highlight of our Thailand trip was exploring the awesome 
Phi Phi Islands.

A speed boat picked us up from the jetty and it was a quick ride out to the islands with our tour guide "Captain Jack Sparrow" and his crew. They looked after us all day, taking us to various locations for snorkelling, swimming, monkey watching and sunbathing.

It was a magical day!

Thailand holiday

I was lucky enough to have a 10 day holiday in Thailand this month! We stayed in Patong which is a tourist mecca. There were lots of shopping bargains and sunny beaches to enjoy but of course I was far more interested in the restaurants and scrumptious Thai cuisine :)

The festival of Songkram fell during our visit. We were wondering why everyone kept trying to sell us super-soakers!

The water is cleansing everything for a fresh start in the Buddhist New Year. Luckily April is Thailand's hottest month so it was quite refreshing, especially the iced water people were throwing from cars! I'm glad I wasn't riding a motorbike though, they were getting a bit wobbly at times with entire buckets being thrown at them! We ventured out onto the streets defenceless and got totally drenched :)

There were lots of food stalls set up along the beach for the day. Most of it looked delicious, these crispy fried insects... not so much.

The hotel threw a big party around the pool with a buffet dinner which we attended. We were entertained by the house band featuring some hilarious translations of western songs as well as some traditional Thai dancing. It was a good night and they decorated the pool area so beautifully!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In the garden

Our back garden has been getting a makeover these past few months and it is starting to look really awesome! The bf has been putting in a lot of effort and time to create a lovely and productive veggie patch. 

 1 of 4 raised garden beds with herbs, veggies and marigolds

Chillies, spinach and capsicums



Sarge got a new tough boy collar. I think he likes it! Turn around Sarge...

He looks mean but is really a big softie :)