A Kitchen Experiment

For a while now I have been wanting to eat the pie of my childhood and early adulthood. I desire biting into the browned flakiness of the meal and enjoying its savoury contents. On Tuesday, I decided to try and bake a replica. I grabbed some ready-made puff pastry, a muffin pan, and the leftover stew we had had for dinner the previous evening.

My mini pies were a lot smaller than what I had bought in South Africa, but they tasted just as good. My family loved them and I will definitely make them again with varied ingredients. I would say that my experiment was a success! Definitely something to smile about! 😀

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

A Taste of Mushrooms

Sometimes I get bored with cooking the same meals every week for my family. A couple of weeks ago, I had a desire to eat a creamy mushroom sauce and decided to experiment. I put together the ingredients which I thought would go well together and added some white wine into the mix. The result was tasty and my family enjoyed it. This week, I tried to make the recipe again.

Chicken cooked in a mushroom sauce. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

The meal on Tuesday was even better than I had previously made as the chicken was not overcooked. Instead the meat was tender without falling off of the bone. I savoured the flavour of the mushrooms in wine and was happy when the last bit of the meal was scraped off the bottom of the pot. This dish will be added to my repertoire of dishes to make after a busy day at work as it did not take too long to cook. Hopefully the next time I get bored with my cooking, it will be during my summer break and I will have the time to try a recipe from one of my cookbooks.

What made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge.)

Grateful for Husband’s Cooking

As you know, my husband was away for a month. As a result, I was the one to do all the cooking – every day. On Friday my husband came back home and this weekend he took the opportunity to cook. As you can imagine, I was pleased to take a break from the kitchen. For dinner, he cooked a few dishes of stir-fried vegetables (one which was an experiment as he had not cooked it before) which we then ate with rice. As we feasted on his meal, we enjoyed the flavours he had created. As my daughter said, we had missed eating his vegetable dishes with rice.

This week I am grateful for my husband’s return home. I am also grateful that he is still willing to take a turn at cooking over the weekend in order to give me a break.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

Grateful for Cooking Time

When school is open and I am teaching, planning, assessing children’s work as well as running my home, homecooked meals are a rushed affair. I prepare meals that are quick and easy to make; simple meals that do not require a lot of time. Now that I am on school break, I take the time to try a few new recipes as well as make those that we have enjoyed in the past that require more than an hour in the kitchen. Last night I followed one of those recipes: Salmon Phyllo Pie – a recipe created by Jamie Oliver. I hummed along to some music while I chopped, cooked and fiddled with the pastry. The result? Delicious!

Salmon Phyllo Pie. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Salmon Phyllo Pie. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

This week I am grateful for the time I have during the school break to spend time in the kitchen cooking some favourites. My girls have requested a few dishes (e.g., vegetable lasagna) as has my husband. I look forward to making them without the pressure to follow a schedule.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week?

Last week:

Lavender Ladi was grateful for a new month

Laura was grateful for zen with gel pens

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post so that I know you have participated)

Grateful for Cooking Break

Processed with RookieCooking is not something I enjoy doing – especially when I am tired after a day of working with children. Often I force myself to enter the kitchen to begin preparing vegetables because I know that a homecooked meal is good for my family. I try to think of different foods to cook but often my mind remains blank. I cook for three other people besides myself and, as a result, I need to try and please all palates.

This week, however, I have been given a break. My husband has not been feeling well and is therefore working from home. As he does not have to spend time travelling, he has decided to gift me with his cooking. I am loving it! When I get home, I am able to relax and not think about what is in the fridge. Instead I am able to put my feet up and even read a little. Bliss!

This week I am grateful for the change in my evening routine. I am grateful for the break from cooking, and for the tastes that my husband is creating in the kitchen.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week:

Lavendar Ladi was grateful for photos

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post so that I know you have participated)

Grateful for a Husband who Cooks

I am grateful this week for a husband who cooks. Yesterday report cards were handed out and I began interviews with parents. As many parents work, the times that are suitable for them are late in the afternoon or in the early evening. In accommodating parents, I stay late at school and thus arrive late at home. I have no worries, however, that the routine of my own children will be upset. My husband prepares supper and everyone will sit down to eat at our normal dinner time.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Last night’s dinner. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

He tries to make the dinner interesting for our children – and yet healthy at the same time. He knows too that I enjoy eating plenty of vegetables 🙂

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

Thank you for last week’s contributions. I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. Please remember to send me a pingback so that I know you have participated. 

When Opportunity Knocks

Grateful for Home-Cooked Meals

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I decided to take our girls out for a treat at lunchtime. At the end of the school year in June I had received a gift card to Harvey’s, a burger place, and thought it would be a good opportunity to use it before I left it in the bottom of the drawer and forgot about it. We do not frequent fast food places as a rule and therefore took a while to choose our meal. While we were eating, I could tell my family was not impressed. To be honest, I knew I could create a better burger at home – and be more generous with the toppings! As we left the fast food restaurant, my daughter said words I never thought I would hear from my children. “Mommy, I am grateful that we eat home-cooked meals.” My daughters, who are now both teenagers, have come to appreciate the meals my husband and I cook at home.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A chicken dinner. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

My chicken dinners are enjoyed by all as I have learned to roast the chicken so that it is not dry. Having experimented with the herbs and spices, I have figured out exactly how much to use for our tastes.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Home-made vegetable soup. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As the cool days are approaching, I know I will make my vegetable soup often. We also enjoy the taste of lentil soups as well – whether it is brown lentils or red lentils.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Curry and roti. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Stew, and even curry, is a favourite too. When we visit Indiatown and buy some roti or dahl pourri, we are sure to have this for a meal during the week.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Stir-fried noodles. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

And every Friday night we have vegetarian stir-fried noodles. Both my husband and daughters are disappointed if I cook something else.

This week I am grateful for children who enjoy eating food that has been cooked at home. Not only is eating out at a restaurant a treat – but now they are more discerning with which food they want to eat.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

Thank you for last week’s contributions. I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. 

The Gratitude Attitude – A New Home

Gratitude Wednesday: My Life

Animals on the farm: Gratitude Project

Grateful for Nature

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow

The food has been cooked and the laid out on the set table. Family members takes their place at the table and prepare to eat together.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A Family Meal. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

A table laid such as this for visiting family members is always a foreshadow of a delicious meal and wonderful conversation. Not only do I enjoy eating together; but I also enjoy the conversation that flows freely among the diners.

Do you enjoy eating meals together with your family?

(This post was inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge prompt)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Sunday Post: Recipe

Each week Jakesprinters suggests a theme for creative inspiration. You can post your response to the theme on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next theme is announced. Your response can be either a photo, a video, music or a piece of writing. Remember to post your link in the comments section of the weekly challenge.

This week’s prompt is: Recipe

How often do you page through recipe books and magazines looking at photos of food and the attached recipes? Or browsed on the internet looking for cooking inspiration? (I have now added looking at food blogs to the mix!) You look at the deliciously presented food and think:”That looks yummy! I really should try making it.” But you never get round to making that dish in your own kitchen.

An example recipe, printed from the Wikibooks ...
A recipe found on the internet. Image via Wikipedia

Why do we not often try out the recipes that are printed month after month in the magazines we read? At times my first obstacle is the list of ingredients. If I do not already have the ingredients lining the shelves of my cupboard, the chances of me making a spectacular dish is slim. Unless I make an effort, my grocery shopping will not include an ingredient I may not use again. And if the recipe holds too many milk products, or too much meat, it is flipped over and forgotten.

The second reason for me not trying out a recipe is the group of eaters for whom I am cooking. My children are still at that fussy age where they hesitate to try something new – especially my youngest. My husband, too, has particular dislikes. So many recipes that I would have tried, and probably enjoyed, before my household expanded remain untested. Before I was educated in the ways of my family’s eating habits, I would try these recipes and hear “I don’t like this” – and eat the leftovers over the next couple of days.

The third reason is that the recipe at times looks just to complicated; and would require space in which to make it. I currently work in a tiny kitchen that has hardly any table top space. Making well-loved recipes at times is difficult and I cannot summon up the interest to follow a set of instructions that would require me to have more space than I currently have access to.

There are times, however, when I do break down and try a recipe that I have snipped out of the paper, or torn out of a magazine. I break down through sheer boredom with our current menu. Once the dish is made (which never looks like the photo accompanying the recipe), I waited with bated breath while the mouths at our dinner table sample the food. And if it is given the thumbs up, then I know I can add the dish to my repertoire of meals.

Do you try out new recipes frequently? What are your favourite?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012