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 Christmas Party

During the past year my husband has worked for a large company. Last month we received the invitation to their Christmas party – a dinner on a boat – to celebrate the festive season. I was pleased to receive the invitation and agreed immediately to accompany my husband. What a treat it was to go out and experience a place we had not been to before.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Dinner tables. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

When we entered the steamboat, we were greeted with a pleasant sight. I liked the casual and yet festive settings of the place where we were going to eat.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A Sparkling Christmas tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I loved the Christmas tree that dominated the one corner of the space. The lights on the tree sparkled and added to the simple, and yet effective, way the dining room had been decorated. The red baubles on the tree matched the colour of the table settings. When we chose a seat, I made sure that I could see the tree from my seat. My photo, unfortunately, is not a very good one – though my close-up of the tree’s ornaments did turn out a little better.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Close-up of Christmas tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I sat next to the window so that while we were chatting and eating I could look out through the window at the lights of the city.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
View from a window. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I loved the Christmas tree as well that dominated the one corner of the space. While I was taking pictures, my husband could not resist taking one of me. 🙂 I enjoyed the evening. We ate a simple buffet, chatted, and did a little dancing. Even though we had met because of dancing, my husband and I had not gone out to dance for 17 years. It felt good to move our dancing feet and dig deep down into our memories for the steps that we had learnt such a long time ago. This week I am grateful for the different dinner experience that I had on Saturday; as well as the chance to dance again with my husband.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week Lavender Ladi was grateful for the snow effect on WordPress.

Processed with Rookie© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(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. )

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.

Grateful for Soup

These past weeks have been extremely cold with temperatures plummeting to as low as -41c. On days such as these, I am always grateful to step into the warmth of the indoors. Dinner is a time to add to one’s warmth and I do this on many evenings by making a large pot of soup.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Vegetable soup. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

My family and I enjoy eating vegetable soup. To make this, I put any vegetable I have into the pot: potato, parsnips, carrots, beans. If I have fresh coriander or parsley, that goes in as well when it is almost time to eat. When we have vegetable soup, I visit the supermarket and get a loaf of freshly baked bread at the bakery section: a favourite choice is a crispy baguette. My girls enjoy dipping their bread into the soup and allowing the bread to soak up all the juices. Delicious! The heat of the soup warms us from inside and makes us forget, for a moment, the freezing temperatures outside.

My favourite soup, however, is lentil soup. To make black lentil soup, I need half a day to cook the lentils until it becomes a creamy texture. Red lentils, however, cook faster. Last night I made a pot when I got home and by the time we ate, it was cooked to perfection. With this soup, no bread is required. Sometimes a little rice can be added – but often a large bowl is enough to fill a tummy.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Red Lentil Soup. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

This week I am grateful that I know how to make a variety of soups. The knowledge definitely comes in handy on cold, winter days.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(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. )

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. 

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 a Shared Dinner

On Monday Canada celebrated Thanksgiving. Turkeys were cooked and families sat around the table to eat together. On Sunday we went over to my cousin’s for a double celebration: for his birthday as well as for Thanksgiving.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Cutting the turkey. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

His attempt at cooking turkey was successful: it was moist and tasty. What I enjoyed most, though, was the chance we had to talk about a range of topics. I was grateful that while sharing a dinner made especially for the occasion, we had the chance to connect and talk about current issues as well as reminisce on the past .

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© 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. 

Gratitude Wednesday: Dignified Death

Sunday Gratitude

Gratitude Sunday – Family

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

My Christmas Menu

The Christmas holidays seem to be synonymous to overeating. Bellies are filled to capacity and yet the tables still groan under the weight of the food left over after we have had our fill. And the desserts cover a table all of their own.

My strategy for my family’s Christmas meal is to not make more than we can possibly eat. I know what my family enjoys eating – and I know how much they can eat. Leftovers are allowed, but not so much that we eat them for days after – reheated and on sandwiches. Below is a working menu for our celebration meal:

  • For a starter, I plan to make a simple, yet creamy, cauliflower soup.
  • Our main meal will centre around a roast chicken (my family do not enjoy eating turkey).
  • I will stuff a few acorn squash halves with rice fried with spring onions and baby tomatoes.
  • My green salad will have some fruit pieces in it, depending on what I buy, with an apple cider-based vinigrette.
  • A bowl of roasted vegetables will adorn the table comprising of a combination of beans, bell peppers, carrots and celery.
  • A baguette of garlic bread will be placed on the side of the table for those who wish to eat some starch.
  • Dessert will be simple: freshly cut fruit layered with ice-cream.

A Christmas Meal. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012
A Christmas Meal. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

And that is it. By choice, I will not have the table laden with a variety of meats – the food on our plates will be mostly vegetables. One simple dessert will suffice as we will still have those Christmas cookies to eat later on with our tea!

What are your plans for your Christmas meal? Will your meal comprise of the traditional turkey? Or will it be more suited to your daily eating plan?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012