Archive for the ‘Home Cooked’ Category

Laksa Thursdays – The most delicious day of the week!

There’s a lot of noise on my twitter feed so I miss many things. But there are some words that will jump out at me. Some really delicious words, like duck fat potatoes, oysters, cake, cheese… oh how the cheeses call to me.

Another word that called out to me one day was LAKSA. Infact it was a hash tag, #LaksaThursday. What’s this? One of my favourite foods? And Thursday, today was Thursday! And so I was there, I had to be there, I happened to be there. What luck! And so began my first #LaksaThursday.

Admittedly I get a little picky with certain foods. Laksa happens to be one of them and this is all due to my upbringing. My parents ran a few take-away shops when I was young and laksa was their thing. My dad also likes to critique and dissect food every time we eat out (even in) and of course no one’s cooking ever compares to mum’s. But here I was at Satay Club** in the Brisbane CBD with friends and strangers, about to dig into #LaksaThursday.

I’m not going to tell you what I thought of each laksa as there are so many different types; Laksa Lemak, Curry Laksa, Assam Laksa, Thai Laksa… And anyway, like I said, nothing compares to mum’s.

But here are the laksas from the #LaksaThursdays I made it to.

Laksa Thursday Satay Club Brisbane, Duck Laksa

Duck Laksas all around at Satay Club


Laksa at Hamptons Home and Living - Paddington

Laksa Thursday - Old Town Kitchen - Fortitude Valley

BBQ Pork & Chicken Laksa - Old Town Kitchen

Combination Laksa - Asian 88 - McWhirters, Fortitude Valley

Vegetarian Laksa - Marco Polo (Just remembered I had this #LaksaThursday without even realising!)

Eating all this laksa has made me realise one thing. I really miss my mum’s laksa lemak. So I asked her really nicely this week to make some and because she loves me, she agreed to make some for lunch and on Thursday!

Mum's laksa paste - if only you could smell the amazing aromas.

Two types of noodles for me thanks!

Mum's laksa is not complete without some laksa leaves (vietnamese mint)

Laksa Lemak - cooked by my awesome mum!

Out of all the #LaksaThursdays this has been my favourite. I hung around the kitchen watching mum cook, getting hungrier by the moment. I even had seconds later in the afternoon! It had everything I love, the aroma of the vietnamese mint garnish, fried tofu that had absorbed all the delicious soup, chicken, prawns AND baby squid and of course TWO TYPES OF NOODLES. Here I’d like to publicly apologise to Dorene for saying you’re not eating real laksa if it only has one type of noodle. It’s the way I’ve always eaten and loved laksa, but who am I to dictate how anyone should enjoy their laksa days.

Laksa Thursday is not an event you attend or a club you need to join, it’s a change of lifestyle, a movement. Trying to turn as many of my Thursdays as possible into #LaksaThursdays has been a tasty challenge. So I encourage you all to make laksa Thursdays happen in your own lives. So I wish you all many happy Laksa Thursdays! Slurp! (Sorry no recipe, family secret) ;)

**My dad was actually the manager of Satay Club way back when it first opened. I think it was about 1996 and he helped the owner design the layout of the restaurant and set it up. I even worked there on Friday nights for a while! Also on another side note, my dad makes the best satays! But I’ll tell you about that another time.

Pull the other white meat

This recipe is a delicious one, if I do say so myself. You can eat this either in tacos, burritos, nachos form, or a pulled pork sandwich. Use your imagination. OH! Quesadillas… will do that next time around. I don’t like a strong smoked flavour so my recipe doesn’t use chipolte but you could add it. This recipe is great for the impatient like me as it’s relatively quick to make as well (1hr to 1hr 30min on the stove rather than hours and hours in the oven).

Pulled pork

Serves 4 (you can comfortably increase the volume of pork to 1kg with no problems, you may just need extra stock/water)


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or grape seed oil
  • 800g pork scotch fillet – cut in approx. 1cm thick slices
  • 2 brown or white onions
  • 6 garlic cloves – crushed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (add more to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock

Heat a deep pan/pot over medium/high heat with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cook pork batches in the oil until browned, then remove and keep on a plate.

Add more oil to the pan.

Add onion and cook until soft.

Add garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, dried chilli and bay leaves.

Stir and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Add in chopped tomatoes and stock.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.

Return pork and pork juices to the pan. Ensure pork is mostly covered, otherwise add a bit more stock or water.

Bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer.

Cover and leave to cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until pork is tender.

Remove the pieces of pork and being pulling! Just shred the pieces with two forks into little pieces, it should pull away quite easily. My technique involves a bit of squishing with the forks as well.

Once you have pulled the pork to your liking, return the sauce mix to a gentle boil and allow to thicken for 5 or so minutes then return the pulled pork to the sauce and stir to combine.

Again, I have a bit of a lazy gene so I’m happy to just stir and heat together for a couple of minutes and not worry about the sauce thickening. This does contribute a little to the messiness experienced when eating, but that’s half the fun.


I have bought slices of pork scotch fillet from the supermarket and also a slab of pork scotch fillet from Super Butcher and cut it myself for this recipe.

Serving suggestion: Tortillas, guacamole, salsa, sour cream and cheese to make burritos.

If you happen to have any pork left over, save it in the fridge and have it the next day in a toastie. Scrumptious!

Pulled pork sandwich with tomato, guacamole and cheese on turkish bread.

New Look & Treats

New look monkylicious! Woohoo! It’s late at night and I’m a bit worried this page is too peachy and too stripey. Will sleep on it and see how I go in the morning.

Here’s a little of what I’ve been up to lately. Some sweet treats!

First experiment – Trifle Cake. Layered sponge cake with tia maria cream, jelly and fruit filling topped with custard butter icing. Also strawberry Jam :D

Next time I will make the jelly in the same shape as the sponge with the fruit set in it so it doesn’t all fall out. I also want to try other jams besides strawberry AND actually remember to put the jam on every layer lol. Oops.

This cake was a sugar addict’s dream and I have it on good authority it was still good for eating 1 week on (Shu-Min I’m looking at you).

Next up, little apricot and coconut balls. The honey I used to hold it together had a strong flavour which I didn’t really like. But it was the only honey I had. Next time I’ll seek out an appropriate honey or use apricot jam or marmalade. I also use moist shredded coconut instead of normal dessicated coconut. Much nicer flavour and not as dry.

Sherbert – coloured with powdered colours. I tried a couple shimmer colours too and ended up looking like a sparkly vampire. I have decided that I LOVE powdered colours. Must find more.

Ideally these would be wrapped in a bag with either a lolly pop or as @digellabakes suggested – coloured musk sticks, for dipping.

Hummingbird cake-pops. The little heart design is done using a transfer sheet for chocolate. I also made cherry ripe pops which look similar. I really liked both of these. The home-made cherry ripe was a big hit. Much preferred over actual cherry ripes (I prefer the sweetness level of the homemade and also used moist coconut mixed with normal dessicated so it was not as dry).

Super cute candy hearts. Basically they’re just made of sugar so they were quite sweet. Fun to make though. I also have edible pens which I could have used to write messages on them instead of just embossing them. That might have reduced cracking in the “dough”.

Cupcake pops – also hummingbird cake in this one. Made a ball of cake that was placed in a mould with chocolate in it. Then dipped the top in pink strawberry chocolate for the “icing”. This is quite chocolatey, I would probably change this to have less chocolate – or use real icing on top instead of just more chocolate.

And the last treat….

I was in Sydney on Monday for the launch of International Year of the Volunteer + 10 for my involvement in #BakedRelief, which was started by the lovely Danielle (@digellabakes).

The launch was held at Admiralty House and hosted by the Governor General. It had the most amazing view of Sydney Harbour but sadly we weren’t allowed to set up camp on their lawn. :(

Cookbook Club

The Cookbook Club community website will be up,  hopefully sooner rather than later.

For those of you not familiar with it, Cookbook Club is a little monthly get together I started having with friends. Each month I choose a cookbook and send out a list of the recipes to the group. Each person who will be attending then picks a recipe (which I send them a copy of) and they prepare and cook the dish to bring to our cookbook club meet up.

We have just had our third one here in Brisbane. I went to one hosted by a friend in Sydney as well. It’s so much fun and I decided to start a website to document our club happenings and encourage others to start their own.

I made a rather poor effort at the first cookbook club and forgot to take any photos of the food. But I’m learning and hope to share some delicious photographs soon.

I haven’t decided on next month’s cookbook. But so far we have had, The Last Supper, Spirit House’s Thai Cooking cookbook and Justin North’s French Lessons.

Hope to share more soon!

Cakes 2009

I’ve been taking Fuji Instax pictures of cakes I’ve made lately and stuck them on my fridge. They look pretty cool and hopefully I will collect enough to cover the entire fridge or at least stick in a frame to hang somewhere.

There’s only four so far. Here they are in all their glory. Some of you may remember them.

Father's Day 2009 - Apple Cinnamon Cake

Father's Day 2009 - Apple Cinnamon Cake

Isabel's Birthday 2009 - Brooklyn Blackout Cake with Strawberries

Isabel's Birthday 2009 - Brooklyn Blackout Cake with Strawberries

Inga's Birthday 2009 - Chocolate Red Velvet Cake

Inga's Birthday 2009 - Chocolate Red Velvet Cake

Boxing Day 2009 - Chocolate Red Velvet Cake

Boxing Day 2009 - Chocolate Red Velvet Cake