Let’s Celebrate!

There are many ways to celebrate but for this household, the way to celebrate is cooking up a good meal and enjoying it together! (:

And the things to celebrate about might be something as small as doing well for a piece of assignment; or as big as getting a job. But tonight, we celebrated 2 things : the start of my school holidays and the mr coming back to melbourne! hehe Actually I think it’s just an excuse for me to get back in the kitchen (my comfort zone) and cook up something yummy for everyone. (: And so I did!

Went to Footscray market this morning, without having a clue about what I wanted to cook for dinner. This often happens to me haha. Getting inspiration by walking up and down the meats and seafood aisle. and I saw these gorgeous osso buccos that I just had to get them.

These gorgeous things are huge! haha So I bought 2 big ones for the boys and 1 small for me! Personally, I love to cook this over a low heat for at least 2 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone. I think any longer than that, you would actually lose the marrow which the mr would be quite disappointed about. So I say, 2 hours tops!

Let’s do this!

Osso Bucco With Pasta (A Food Made With Love Original)

Ingredients :

3 beef/veal osso buccos

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, fine chopped

1 tbs plain flour, and extra to dust

1 tsp chilli powder

2 tbs tomato paste

1 can (400g) of tinned chopped tomatoes

2 cups beef stock

1/2 cup white wine

2 tsp dried mix herbs

4 tbs of olive oil, and extra to coat

salt and pepper, for seasoning and taste

Pasta, cooked according to the directions on the packet and drained

Steps :

1. Season the osso buccos with salt, pepper and chilli powder. Rub a bit of olive oil on the meat and coat with plain flour.

2. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a deep pan on medium-high heat and sear the meat for 2-3 minutes on each side till nice and brown. Take them off the heat, and set aside.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tbs of oil, and add the onion and garlic and cook till soft and fragrant. Add the carrots and celery and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and stir till well combined.

4. Add the flour and the mixed herbs and make sure you stir till there are no lumps. Add the tinned tomatoes and the wine and allow it to reduce by 1/4 before adding the beef stock. Bring to boil and reduce to low heat. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Place the osso buccos back into the pan and cover to allow it to simmer for 1 hour. Remove the cover and continue to cook it over low heat for another hour (uncovered). The meat should be falling off the bone at this point.

6. Remove the osso buccos and place the cooked pasta in the pan and toss it to coat.

7. Plate  it as you like it! I prefer to have my pasta at the bottom and finish the dish with the osso buccos on top! (: of course, don’t forget the thick yummy gravy!


PS: Remember to cook this with enough time to spare, so that your family or loved ones wouldn’t have to wait too long for dinner!

Bon Appetite! (: My mr. enjoying the marrows. hee

So how do you celebrate with your loved ones and friends? SHARE please! Would love to hear about it!

Beef Stroganoff : Masterchef Recipe

Sorry for the lack of posts! Uni just started for me, and the amount of readings I have to do is unbelievable! Haven’t had much chance to cook or bake. But yes! I’m back!

Have you been catch Masterchef when it was on tv? I have! I caught as many episodes I could when I’m home and if I missed one, I would load it on the Masterchef website and watch it at my own free time! (: One dish that caught my eye and tummy was the beef stroganoff! the orangy creamy texture of the dish, topped on pasta, I think it’s a match-made in heaven.

so I got down to business. I didn’t have creme friache or the usual substitute of sour cream, so I “cleaverly” used thickened cream which wasn’t too good an idea, cause it became very starchy. But other than that, the flavours were really yummy and my baby really enjoyed it! (:

so here’s the recipe that is from this Masterchef series

Ingredients :

2 tbs sweet paprika
100g flour
500g piece beef eye fillet (from the tail end), sliced into strips
¼ cup olive oil
40g butter, plus extra to serve
200g Swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 eschalots, finely diced
2 tbs tomato paste
½ cup brandy
1 cup beef stock
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 cup crème fraiche (or light sour cream)
2 tbs extra virgin oil, to serve
baby parsley, to garnish

Steps :

1. For the beef stroganoff, combine paprika, flour and 1 teaspoon of sea salt in a bowl. Toss beef in the mixture to coat.

2) Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over high heat and sear the beef for 1-2 minutes or until browned. Remove and set aside.

3) Reduce heat to medium-high; add half the butter and remaining the olive oil. Cook the mushrooms until caramelised. Reduce the heat to medium, add remaining butter, eschalots and cook for a few minutes until softened.

4) Add the tomato paste, brandy, stock, Worcestershire sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, stir in crème fraiche, reserved beef and juices, then season with salt and pepper.

5) Serve with either rice or pasta. DONE! (:

Gnocchi : Made From Scratch

Gnocchi. Little pillowy potato magic that when made and cooked properly would make you smile, and make your tummy very happy. (: Baby and I recently watched Masterchef Australia and saw Matt Moran’s dish of Gnocchi with burnt butter and sage and just couldn’t stop thinking about it. So we had to make it, and we had to make it for lunch today. hehe

Being ANZAC Day today, it was really difficult to get the ingredients we needed cause the supermarkets don’t open until 1pm. So we had to go to all the small marts to gather the ingredients and already that took a long while! There was a lot of prep work, and by the time we got lunch ready, it was already 230! But I think all the effort preparing the gnocchi was worth it! It was pretty yummy! hehe though we haven’t really had gnocchi at restaurants before, so there wasn’t a benchmark to compare it with! hehe But for a first attempt, it was pretty superbly yummy! hehe

so instead of the quail that Matt Moran had with his gnocchi, I made Nando’s roast chicken! (: It went pretty well! hehe although I’m very sure the quail would be better. But we had to substitute since we couldn’t get hold of the quail, plus, one quail would not be enough protein for the boys. haha

Here is the recipe adapted from Masterchef Australia, though to be honest, I made the gnocchi with “feel”. Didn’t follow the measurements, but use it as a guideline anyways! hehe (: ENJOY!

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Baked Meatballs

So I have been experimenting on different kinds of meatballs to go with my spaghetti.

You see, I am a HUGE fan of meatballs. I could have with anything or even have it on its own. When I head to Subway for a meal for example, I do not have to think about it, it would definitely be meatballs sub. haha When I head to IKEA, an order of meatballs is a must! (:

So it’s no wonder I am looking for the perfect meatball recipe. I’ve tried the Safeway’s Nana’s meatball recipe. Baby likes that one cause he says the lemon zest in the meatball brings out the taste when he’s having it with spaghetti. I, on the other hand, is not a big fan of having lemony flavour in my meatballs. So I continued my search of finding the perfect one!

I chanced upon this recipe as I was blog-surfing and it looked amazing and pretty sure it will taste amazing as well. So thank you Smitten Kitchen! It turned out really well, and we all loved it! hehe Being me, I took the recipe and tweaked it a little to see if it will turn out good. and this I did!

Of course, I followed the recipe but I added a few more herbs in to substitute for the ones I don’t have.

and to go with my spaghetti (which I fried with garlic, chilli and some salsa), I added pasta sauce mixed with milk and parmesan and baked them further.

topped it with cheese, and my meatball sauce is done! (:

The meatballs were moist, and together with the sauce, it complimented the spaghetti really well! This is one meatball recipe I am going to keep and use to whenever I feel like having meatballs! Which is, quite often haha.

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Creamy Seafood Spinach Pasta

it’s Sunday! (:
and Sunday normally means either a baking day
or cooking something that I love. hehe
just to end the week on a high note.
so tonight.
I decided to cook creamy seafood pasta
which I haven’t made in ages!

baby loved it! (: hehe
good to see him happy. hehe
espcially cause he is doing his assignments and studying for his papers.
this meal was to cheer him up a little! hehe

it’s really quick to cook.
easy as well,
you will get delicious pasta in 30 mins or less!

so here’s the recipe
hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!

Creamy Seafood Spinach Pasta

Ingredients :

500g marinara mix
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
50g butter
1/2 cup (125ml)  white wine
2 cups (500ml) cream
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

Steps :

1. Separate the marinara mix into the different seafood
(cause all have a slightly different cooking time)

2. Melt and heat the butter in a frying pan
and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat for 2 minutes
or until the onion is softened
(be careful not to burn the garlic, as it will turn bitter)

3. Add the wine to the pan and cook for 4 mins
or until reduced by half.
Stir in the cream, mustard and lemon juice and simmer for 5-6 mins
or until reduced by half.

4. While allowing the cream to reduce,
cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box

5. Add the seafood into the cream sauce.
First, put the prawn and cook it for 1 minute
then add the fish and cook for 2 minutes.
add the calamari and mussels and cook for a further 1 min.
If any of the seafood is uncooked, cook for another minute or so,
but be careful not to overcook as this will result in tough flesh.

6. Add the pasta and coat each strand with the cream sauce.
Serve with salad or a glass of wine.
Anything to your liking (:


i dunno about you, but some creamy goodness is always good in my books (:

Porcini and Salami Risotto

been having a risotto craving
but can’t find any that sells really good and creamy risotto.
if you have recommendations,
please feel free to let me know!
whether it’s here in Melbourne, Sydney or in Singapore! hehe

so here’s the recipe to this super yums dish.
the flavour of the procini mushrooms are just awesome.
soaking them in hot water
just gave me a chance to use the water as part of the stock
and trust me.
it was a good move! (:

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

Ingredients :

100g piece salami, roughly chopped ( I used hot pepperoni instead)
1 tsp of olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
25g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked and drained after
125g arborio risotto rice
500-600ml chicken or vegetable stock, hot (and the water from the porcini mushrooms)
40g Parmesan, grated, plus shavings to serve

Steps :

1. Heat a large, deep saucepan over a high heat.
Add the salami and cook for 2-3 minutes, until turning golden and the oil has been released from the meat.
Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the oil and then the onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, to soften.
Add the mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the rice and make sure the rice is coated with the oil.

3. Add two big ladles of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until absorbed.
Continue to add the stock (1 ladle at the time), stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked but still al dente.
This should take about 20 minutes.

4. Stir the salami and Parmesan into the risotto and season to taste.
Divide between bowls and top with Parmesan shavings and extra parsley to serve.

DONE! (:

Gordan’s Classic Lasagne

i thought the top was a bit too charred.
but Cheok described it as an equivalent to roast pork! haha
so I guess. it’s not too bad.
no charred taste. so im happy (:

My first go at cooking lasagne.
the cheese sauce and the meat just went really well!

absolutely love it.

though I didn’t have a shot with it in nice layers.
cos it topples once it’s lifted up.
but it was still quite yums!

Ingredients :
(Recipe from Gordan Ramsay’s Cookalong Live)

2 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, peeled
1 large carrot, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 pinches dried oregano
300g minced beef
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
30ml (2 tbsp) red wine
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
50ml milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the cheese sauce :
25g butter
25g flour
300ml milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
60g Cheddar cheese, grated
30g Parmesan cheese, grated
6 sheets of ‘non-cook’ lasagne sheets

Steps :

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.

2. Heat the olive oil in a hot pan.
Grate the onion and carrot and crush the garlic before frying together.
Season with the bay leaf, a pinch of oregano, Worcestershire sauce and a little salt and pepper.
Allow the onion to soften before making a well in the centre of the pan.
Place the mince in the middle of the pan and stir to break it up.
Add the tomato puree and allow to cook out for 30 seconds.
Continue until all the meat has browned nicely.
Add the wine and cook off the alcohol before adding the tomatoes.
Leave to simmer for a further 2-3 minutes.
Finally add the milk, turn off the heat and set aside.

3. To make the cheese sauce, first melt the butter in a saucepan.
Add the flour and using a wooden spoon, stir to form a paste.
Over a gentle heat add a third of the milk, whisking to prevent any lumps forming.
Add the rest of the milk a third at a time, whisking as you go.
Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
Allow the sauce to cook out for another minute before adding the Cheddar cheese.
Stir and remove from the heat.

4. Spoon half of the meat sauce into the bottom of the baking dish
and place pasta sheets on top (break the sheets if necessary to avoid any overlapping).
Next, pour in just under half of the cheese sauce,
and spread evenly using a spatula before spooning the remaining meat on top.
Add the final layer of pasta and use the spatula to pour over the remaining cheese sauce.

5. Finish with the grated Parmesan and sprinkle with another pinch of oregano.
Add a light seasoning of salt and pepper before cleaning the edges of the dish
and placing in the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.