Saturday, July 29, 2017

Springvale Snow Fest 2017

It was fun at Springvale snow fest. Open until 7pm tonight. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fruit tree - Avocado

What do you expect when you grow a fruit tree?
It is kind of rhetorical question, isn’t it? Of course, we all expect to get what we pay for when we buy a fruit tree. We especially hope to get what it is said in the label and photo. However, from our experience, sometimes things turn out to be different from the photo and label. The worst part is we have to wait for a few years of hard work to find out that it wasn’t what we paid for.

The story began 7 years ago, my husband (Bo) bought a Hass avocado tree, according the photo and name on the label, from one of major nurseries near our place. It started to flower a few years later but did not fruit and we almost chopped it down.  A couple of years later, it started to bear fruit. We were so excited, yay, we have our own avocado, especially our kids because they love avocado very much. When the fruit got bigger we had a closer look and realized that they don’t look like Hass, What? Not Hass? So, what it is? He said don’t know and have to wait until taste it. My goodness, got to wait again for few more months. Then harvesting time came and it was time to taste it, oh……not so great news, it isn’t Hass. Bo was quite upset. What are we going to do with it? We can’t really return to the nursery and get a refund, can we? I guess we can if we had its receipt. Moreover even if we had the most that we could get is a refund for the tree and we can’t do much about the tree, chop the tree???? Grow another one, have to wait for another 4-5 more years? How are we going to trust the nursery again? Well, sometimes, it is what it is, we have to accept it and keep it. Bo has a philosophy, actually he’d learned from a children book that he read for Sarah, our youngest daughter. The book said that even you try the food that you don’t like, keep eating it for five days in a row, you eventually will like it. Yah, actually, the avocados are looking good, it is still avocado, just not what we expected - Hass avocado.

The story hasn’t end yet. See, Bo has never given up. One day when I was away he started his garden plan and secretly planed two more avocado trees….what can I said, we’ve got to wait for a few more years to tell you the story. To be continued…

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Vietnamese Pizza -Vietnamese Cooking

Vietnamese Pizza- Banh Trang Nuong

Vietnamese Pizza- Banh Trang Nuong

Vietnamese pizza! Yes, you read it right Vietnamese pizza? It is one of popular street foods in Vietnam, especially for the young generations. It is quite a modern snack and I like it, no, I should say I love it very much. Not just because the pizza is so delicious but also the creativity, adventure way of cooking and serving it.

On Saigon’s street, I loved watching vendors cooking, husband and wife working together. The wife cooked on a small charcoal grill while the husband looked after the charcoal, took the orders and payments. Using the tiny and movable grill stove with the love of cooking proves to earn enough to put food on the table. It brought back my childhood memory when my little hands helped my late grandparent to look after the fire in their home commercial kitchen. In old days, grandfather used the traditional method of selling food by plying from village to village. 

Well, back to Vietnamese pizza – how to cook? Unlike normal pizza which you normally use dough, you have to use a thin rice paper sheet, top with butter, quail eggs, dried pork, dried shrimp, spring onion, fried shallots, chilli sauce and tomato sauce. It is crispy, spicy, porky, savory and very delicious.

You can use gas barbeque on low flame if you love BBQ outdoor. I use gas stove with a small grill support on top (watch out, make sure not get rice paper burn!) and it turned out pretty good except without the charcoal smell. 

Here is the Vietnamese pizza recipe: 

Vietnamese Pizza Recipe- Banh Trang Nuong
(Chargrilled Rice Paper with Quail eggs, dried pork and dried prawns)

5 rice papers
10 quail eggs or 5 small chicken eggs
5 spring onion, thinly sliced
½ cup pork floss or dried pork
½ cup dried shrimp (wash and drain well)
Fried shallot (optional)
Chilli flake (optional)
Chilli sauce/ Sriracha sauce
Tomato sauce

Heat the grill to low heat. Place one rice paper at a time. Add a bit of butter, two quail eggs, dried shrimps and pork floss in the center. Use the spoon to spread well all ingredients around and grill for one minute or until the eggs are cook though.
Sprinkle with spring onion, friend shallot and grill until the rice paper is crispy. Drizzle with chilli and tomato sauce.

Fold the rice paper. Serve hot and wrapped in a paper.

As a pizza, you can use any topping as you like, like cheese, bacon, salami, creative the way you like your pizza to be.

I used our homemade fish mince instead of pork floss as in the picture. Kids enjoy it very much, the hot one with the chilli sauce was for my youngest kid and the BBQ sauce was for my eldest who doesn’t like hot food.

Vietnamese Pizza- Banh Trang Nuong

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Catfish vs Parrot fish

Yay, I found catfish in the market and I saw the beautiful parrot fish too. But I have no idea how to cook it. It is too beautiful to cook. Anyone try it before? How is the taste?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Khmer Beef Stew with Noodles

A weather forecast suggests it would be the coldest day tomorrow in Melbourne. In order to have a warm comfort food tomorrow, no matter how complicated the dish is, mummy has to be ready for it.
Here is the plan - cook a big pot of warmer, delicious and aromatic stew- Khmer beef stew noodles (kurtiew korko). It never goes wrong in winter and kids love it. The only few dishes that they enjoy eating from morning to night. Why? Because it can be served with French bread in the morning, with noodles at lunch and dinner. Voila, kill three birds with one stone. It makes mum's life easy too!