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I’m a pasta lover. 


Who am I kidding.. I’m a CARB lover.


This pasta recipe was slowly brewing in my brain. 


I took inspiration from The Pioneer Woman and her quest for pasta perfection. I’ve added in every element that I love in pasta: 

  • Creamy sauce; but not too creamy
  • Sweet roasted capsicum
  • Delicious mushrooms
  • Fresh spinach
  • Spicy chilli
  • Cold avocado and crunchy nuts on top
  • PURE YUM.

and THIS, my friends… is as close to personal pasta perfection (hehe) that I have ever reached!


Now, with these final three words, (nom nom nom) I give you:


The Best Pasta. (like. ever.)

(serves 3 .. or 2 starving souls)


2 cups (uncooked) pipe rigate* pasta


150 grams semi sun dried tomatoes

1 whole roasted red capsicum, peeled (do this under the grill or straight on the flame)

a few black marinated olives


1 Tablespoon olive oil (or sun dried tomato oil)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small onion, sliced

5 large swish mushrooms, sliced

1 small zucchini, sliced


1/2 cup dry white wine

100 mL light cream (or soy milk)

1 big bag baby spinach

Juice of 1 small lemon, zest of just half

1 Tablespoon dried chilli flakes or fresh sliced chilli (I like life hot and spicy! Ha!)


to serve:

small handful almonds/cashews
toasted sesame seeds 

a few slices of avocado


Ok, go!


In a blender, blitz together tomatoes, capsicum and olives. Add a tiny splash of water if you’re having trouble blending it – try and get it very very smooth. Set aside.

Put the pasta on to boil in a big pot. Cook due to packet instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan heat oil.

Fry garlic, onion, mushrooms and zucchini until browned. Turn heat up high and when the pan is very hot – deglaze with white wine and reduce.

Add in the tomato/capsicum sauce, cream, lemon, chilli and season with salt and pepper.

Drain your pasta and at the last minute add the pasta and spinach to the sauce. Stir to combine and serve.


Top with avocado, sesame seeds, nuts and share with someone you love! 

(Drink wine and eat bread with it if you’re feeling particularly naughty like I was.)




*I feel like a nut, but I’ve only JUST realised in all of my pasta eating years of life that this pasta is squished closed at one end to trap the sauce in. DID EVERYBODY KNOW THAT?! i thought I was just looking at faulty images online before I actually checked mah bag of pasta and was blown away!! 

It sure has been forever and a day.

I’ve been cooking – I promise!

I’ve even been photographing!

(just not posting anything.)

More importantly – I’ve been working and saving and WE BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS TO EUROPE!

Funnily enough, our mainly Europe trip has ended up consisting of:

  • 5 weeks in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam
  • 2 weeks in India and Nepal (my heart flutters for Nepal)
  • 2.5 MONTHS in Europe
  • 3 days in NYC (hehehe – this is solely for us to ice skate at Rockefeller Centre at Christmas time!)
  • and then back to Canada to live for a year or two or 5 million, who knows.
So throw any food/restaurant/cafe ideas my way for any of those extremely vague travel plans I have given you!
To keep your tummies rumbling, here’s a little of what I’ve been up to lately..
Moroccan Chick Pea and Vegetable Curry. Served with cous cous and yoghurt.

A sneak peak into my quest for the perfect flatbread! Tomato, Basil, Onion, Caper and Cheese Flatbread.

Chilli Soy Hokkien Stir Fry.
(I work near an Asian cafe’ and have been stealing stir-fry tips to get the smokey flavour!)

Pizza pizza maaaaan!

What you will need…

FOR THESE RAINBOW CUPCAKES!

Creating some artwork with food colouring and a handy-dandy toothpick!

Fresh outta the oven.

Rainbow Delights!
Both cupcake AND icing recipe are from JoyofBaking.com – I’m really enjoying this website, it’s so easy to find good basic recipes. Everything I have tested from it has turned out great!


CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE.

Nom Nom Nom Nom.

pssst, this is mah new do. Ya dig?!



 

 

It was my birthday a little while ago and all I asked of Muffin was to bake me the greatest cake in the world.
THAT’S IT!

Now.. he is a trained chef, so it wasn’t too much to ask, but this was quite seriously the first cake he had EVER baked at home..  (Which I personally find hilarious!) He even photographed the whole process so I could blog about it! Naww! This one’s a keeper.

So, did he fulfil his task? …. well you take a look and judge for yourself!
(ps, the answer is hell yeah)

 

 

Muffins cake-a-makin space.

Rainbows coming into action.

Holy colour – fresh outta the oven. (blue caused him issues!)

He chose to do a tiered cake because he is a maniac and likes a challenge. He also chose to individually flavour most layers, red was berry, orange was orange (duh!), yellow was lemon and green was lime.
THEY WERE DELICIOUS
and each layer worked well on it’s own and with the others!

 

WHAT WHAT! a girl cant slip in a photo of the picnic sammidge she made?! hahahaha.

ooohhhhh – ahhhhh.

to be honest, the bread I chose wasn’t crusty enough and this went soggy.
Soggy-town = not ok in my books.
Cake = quite ok in my books.

 

Cake decorating time and the anticipation was killin me!

My family came together to create the best picnic ever for me 😀
On the menu was mah picnic sammidge, pasta salad, roast vegetables, cheeses, dips, sour dough bread, coleslaw, stuffed mushrooms, inari, honey joys, chocolate crackles, muffins and sooo much mooorreee! Actually amazing.

MAH CAKE! JUST YOU WAIT…

I love this photo. That’s my Muffin and me! ❤

Lookie here! everyone literally gasped when I cut into it and my young, tiny relative yelled “HOW’D YOU GET A RAINBOW IN THERE?!” awwwww.

Filled with love and more love (and a rainbow).

I was clearly a little excited!

 

The end to a lovely picnic, a lovely birthday and a lovely cake.

Peace out alfalfa sprouts!

 

 

 

 

I realised that I never posted photos of my beetroot cake after I cut into it!

Nor did I ever mention that it was seriously the greatest chocolate cake I have ever made (and I make cakes VERY OFTEN)!

Imagine the most moist, chocolatey, sweet, perfect cake ever – and you’re a little close to what it tasted like :p

After I ate my first piece I was just in shock from the beauty of it!

So moist!
Now.. some food I’ve made lately: 


Burger of doom. Cracked wheat rissole on a toasted turkish bread roll, with tomato, avocado, mushrooms and baby spinach. BIG!

A big fresh salad with a cuppa vanilla t, and crackers spread with pesto, olive tapenade and walnut “pate”.


Spicy soy hokkien noodles for mah muffin.


Home-made laksa for the bug (muffin isn’t a lover of coconut like me! hence his soy noodles)

 

Side by side dinners. I fried the tofu, onion, garlic, lemongrass, chili, capsicum, tomato, mushroom etc all together and then separated the noodles and made the soy sauce in one pan and the laksa in another –

THATS HOW KIND I AM!
TWO DINNERS!
(just kidding, my mum used to do that allllll the time hahaha)



The beginning of perfect tiny scalloped potatoes in my perfect tiny pots.


Perfect pots baked fresh outta the oven!


Just like popart!

Perfect mini scalloped potatoes.

Makes four mini pots.

3 large dirty taters (starchy ones), sliced super thin
1 small onion, sliced super thin
1 sprig rosemary, finely smooshed
1 vegie stock cube
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup (ish) skim milk
1 Tablespoon cold butter
S+p
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
Preheat your oven to 200C.
Rub cold butter around the edges and bottom of your ceramic pots.
Slice taters and onion super thin. I used a food processor with a slicing attachment, although a mandolin or a knife would do!
Heat the water and stock cube in a saucepan until dissolved. Add milk, rosemary and salt and pepper – bring to the boil and switch off.
Layer your taters and onions alternately and top with a little extra butter and the grated cheese.
Pour the hot liquid into the pots, don’t worry if it doesn’t fill it – half way is fine.
Put the mini lids on and bake until soft (but not mooshy) … about 45 mins… to be honest I didn’t pay attention and just baked with mah nose and sense of smell!You’ll know.

EAT! 

Nom. Nom. Nom.


 

Working too much.

Working too hard.

In transit every hour of every day (almost).

No time for grocery shopping.

No time for cooking.

Saving for the Greatest European Adventure ever adventured.

Eeeeeep!

 

Thus, recent food photos are not the most exciting foods ever eaten.

 

BUT FEAR NOT – STILL TASTY!

everyday brekky! baked beans (beans of the gods) with fried vegies and a glass o juice.

Mmm – sauceless pasta. Best with home-grown ingredimots.

So colourful!

lame-ass cheese and home-grown tomatoes on tortilla thing-o.

choc chip coffee cookies!

The cookies are a Joy The Baker recipe (click for recipe!). I luff her blog. It makes me chuckle.

 

Do my cookies look like hers? NO! They don’t.

Mine are all skinny on the edges and I dislike that.

 

Dear baker friends, what do I need to do to get a cookie the same width the whole way through?

 

Things I need to create the perfect cookie:

 

  • mini ice cream scoop
  • perfect large flat cookie tray (no ridges)
  • endless supply of choc chips
  • egg replacer that works (this is how my mind works: egg=ew)
  • floral apron (not imperative)
  • all the time in the world

 

Have a lovely day, my lovelies.

 

love me do beetroot cake!

Baking really does make my day.

 

 

I feel like somewhat of a housewife… but I really do love to get into mah polka dot playsuit, don an apron and get my bake on!

less this.

 

more this!

 

And that’s just what I did today! Muffin and I are celebrating our 3 year anniversary on Thursday so I guess this is more so for that than for Valentines Day.

 

Or to be honest, more so just for the sake of baking than anything else; as it’s what I love!

 

 

This was my very first serious go at piping my icing and I sure as hell did enjoy it. My dream would be to be a pastry chef! I just love it. I can’t explain it.. but every thing cakey and cute is right up my alley 😀

 

 

(with that said.. theres only so many cute-cupcake-themed things you can receive for birthday – yaknowwhatimean?!)

 

This cake I have baked before with both success and failure. I think today was a success.. but I haven’t eaten it yet – it just looks pretty! (I always end up cooking it for about twice the amount of time the recipe says however..)

 

I watched many videos and found them super helpful for my icing-confidence-building.

 

I went with this icing recipe and it worked perfectly for piping. I still had some left over at the end too! I added beet juice as dye and a little red food colouring for the writing at the end.

 

 

Anywho. Bliss. What a day. Enjoy your Valentines, peeps!

 

 

An update on bug’s food intake as of late:

avocado, home-grown tomatoes and cheese melted on fabio’s home-made rye bread! and home-made chilli pickle and cheese on fabio’s home-made rye bread!

where would my life be without my dads cooking?! A SHAMBLES!

fruit salad.. yummy yummy! check the link… its a song, i’m not crazy.

normal salad – also quite yummy yummy.

JYMUNGO lasagna made for lunch/dinner at work for the week 😀

why yes… yes those are crinkle cut cucumbers.. YES, I DID RECEIVE A CRINKLE CUT KNIFE FOR CHRISTMAS. Let the joy begin.

jymungo salad plus jymungo lasagna equals quite a nice nap.

 

RECIPE TIME:

Yellow veggie curry.

1 teaspoon each:

cumin

turmeric

nigella seeds

mustard seeds

paprika

chilli flakes

ginger powder

1 pinch asafoetida

1 heaped teaspoon vegie paste (mine was home-made my a neighbour! or a stock cube mixed in with the water)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

2 roasted garlic cloves, sliced

1/4 small butternut pumpkin

1/4 cabbage

1/4 cauliflower

1 zucchini

1 cup peas

3 tomatoes

1 mixed handful ground almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds.

LETS GET STARTED THEN!

Combine all spices in a bowl with enough water to create a paste. Fry off in vegetable oil until the paste is fragrant and beginning to separate from the oil.

Chop all the vegies into big bite sized chunks.

Add in garlic, pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower and zucchini. Mix until all coated with spice mix. Crank up the heat until there’s lots of delicious dark goodies on the bottom of the pan!

Pour in your coconut milk and add just enough water to almost cover everything.

Give it a good stir, pop the lid on and leave it for up to 10 minutes. It’s pretty much ready when the pumpkin is cooked – as its the most solid vegie of the lot. Add in tomatoes and peas and quite a bit of salt for the final 2 minutes of cooking.

To thicken and add richness add in the whizzed up nut mix – its pretty delish when some are whole and you get a crunchy nuttiness against the creaminess of the curry.

EEEEEEEEAT with rice and pappadams and possibly splurge on some naan bread too!

..or just do what I did and eat it on it’s own, out of a bowl with a spoon 😀

Peace out brussel sprouts!