Tag Archives: cooking

Passionfruit Invention Test

Last year, in the midst of all the MasterChef Australia hype, our kids got really excited about invention tests.

One afternoon, Miss 10 and Miss 11 had picked a whole basket of passionfruits off the vine and experimented.

I love this – it’s all about the presentation 🙂

Did your kids get up to any nonsense in the kitchen thanks to Matt, Gary and George?

Dinner party – MasterChef style

A few weeks ago, we gathered together with friends for a dinner party.

One of the highlights for the ladies and kids was trying to make Adriana Zumbo’s macaron tower. Unfortunately there were difficulties trying to assemble it, so we just had single macaron’s instead!

Soup for entree
Chef at work
Trying to make Adriano Zumbo's Macaron cake
Putting together the Macarons

Steamboat leftovers

Yummy Yong Tau Foo noodle soup

A few weeks ago, we had a steamboat dinner party.   A Chinese steamboat meal basically involves cooking a variety of little bits of food at the dinner table in hot/boiling water.   Think fish balls, beef balls, fish cakes, slices of chicken, beef, pork, etc in soup noodles with some Asian veggies.   Our kids love it!

But as usual, Wifey always ends up buying too many things from Emma’s Yong Tau Foo Seafood shop in Northbridge.   Which basically means that we have noodle soup for the next week or two!

Fried Rice

I think every Chinese family must have their own Fried Rice recipe.   My mother’s one, my mother-in-law’s one, our own family one’s, the Chinese takeaway down the road – we all have slightly different takes on this dish.

So, after quite a few adventures in cooking in the school holidays without Wifey, I had to go back to a “staple” that I know the kids would eat heartily.

Frying it up in the wok

Nothing too exotic about this one, but the biggest surprise was when the kids said it tasted just as good as Mum’s 🙂


However, when I described my recipe to my Mum, she was appalled that I didn’t cook the rice the night before and put it in the fridge.  Oops!

MasterChef Sticky Date Pudding with Almond Praline

I’m a sucker for Sticky Date pudding.   Whenever we went down south a few years ago, we would make a point to drop in at Rivendell for their sticky date pudding (before they changed management).

So I was really excited when I saw this on MasterChef  – it was another recipe I just had to try!

Date mixture

Cooking the actual sticky date pudding and the butterscotch sauce wasn’t too hard.

Cooking the sauce

All cooked!

The end result was extremely delicious!  Even my Grandma was impressed 🙂

But it was the almond praline that caught me and the kids out.  We burnt it pretty bad!  But then again, it was our very first try at doing this.  I think I’ll have to try cooking sugar again another day.

Burnt praline

The MasterChef recipe is here:  http://www.masterchef.com.au/sticky-date-pudding-with-butterscotch-sauce—almond-praline.htm

MasterChef’s Apple Tarte Tatin

OK, I started getting adventurous and wanted to try a MasterChef recipe. I love apples, so I couldn’t go past the Apple Tarte Tatin.

One problem was that I’ve never ever cooked apple. Actually, I think a bigger problem is that I’ve never eaten Apple Tarte Tatin in my life either. What is it meant to look like.. or what is it meant to taste like?

Cooking the apples was no problem.  But I started wishing I had one of the MasterChef judges near me when I had to put the pastry on top.   Was I doing it right?

Cooking the applesPutting the pastry on top

Putting the whole pan into the oven was certainly a novelty for me.  I had visions of my cheap pan melting or the handle breaking off, but luckily it was fine!   It certainly looked nice when it was cooking.

But the true test was when I flipped it.

Cooking in the ovenUpside down

I was like, s#(%!  It didn’t look like the picture on the MasterChef website at all!  It was too dry, my pastry was too big.  Maybe I should’ve tucked it inside the pan instead of outside?  And the apples were the wrong colour altogether.  Hmmm…

The kids had a taste but didn’t like it at all..  but I managed to gobble down half of it before I was too full.   I think I’ll have to try this one again another day.

The MasterChef recipe is here: http://www.masterchef.com.au/apple-tarte-tatin.htm

My first lasagne

Next experiment was something I love to eat, but have never ever cooked. Lasagne sounds hard to do.. I mean, it’s got so many layers!

Assembling the lasagne

When I went shopping for ingredients, one of my first dilemnas was what do I do about the lasagne sheets?  Do I make my own?  How good are the ones in the pack?  Also, the ones in the pack seem too small?

As you can see, our first attempt was not that great.  I just used a single sheet for the size of the lasagne!   For some reason I thought that the single layer had to be made with a continuous sheet, but I’ve since realised that I should have just overlapped multiple smaller sheets to make a larger sized layer.  Duh!

Topping it off

In any case, the end result was yummy.   Can’t go wrong with pasta for kids!

All cooked!  Yum!


I never really did much cooking – a bit of instant stuff like 2 minute noodles, oven fry fish.   Until Wifey went away for 18 days in July.    That, and MasterChef has made a huge change in our household!   We’re now trying different recipes every week, and I’m now assigned to do cooking at least once a week 🙂

It’s so funny because I have such a different approach to cooking than Wifey.   For me, it’s like revisiting high school Chemistry.  I am one of those “follow the recipe to the letter” people.  I argue that they must have tried these recipes many times, so why deviate from it?

Mixing the dough

The good thing about cooking is that kids love it!   One of the first things I did was pull out our beginner’s cookbook and work through a scone recipe with the kids.

Cutting out the scones

They were both so eager to get their hands dirty! Unfortunately, they didn’t seem too excited by all the scones by the end of it all… so I had to eat nearly all of them 🙂

All done!

Little Miss Masterchef

Our family has recently got hooked on Masterchef.  The kids are really getting into it, looking forward to each night’s show. 

This show has really inspired our little Miss 8 to cook.  On the weekend, she put on her apron and, in the spirit of Masterchef, cooked up her own unique creation using ingredients available in our fridge and pantry!

Little Miss Masterchef at work
Little Miss Masterchef at work

I asked her what the name of her dish is, but she just shrugged.  So we made one up for her,  Caregg!


As you can see from the photo, this dish consists of a centre of scrambled egg on a base of grated carrots.  The deep red sauce is a unique combination of straight ribena infused with freshly squeezed lemon juice.  To complete the dish, it is drizzled with raw egg white and sugar and garnished with chopped lettuce.   I’m sure there’s a few other things in there like tomato sauce and heaps of butter.  

I wasn’t game enough to try the dish because of the raw egg in it, but I did try the ribena and lemon sauce – it was excruciatingly sweet but the lemon did put a nice twist on it 🙂   

I love Miss 8’s attention to presentation.  As they say on Masterchef, you eat with your eyes, and Miss 8’s Caregg dish was beautifully presented!   The challenge now is to cultivate this interest in cooking!