Tuesday, 26 June 2012

(Green) Curry in a Hurry!

Who knew it was this easy to make Green Curry?

Actually I kinda did seeing as I did have a quick turn at making some in Thailand at Pum's Cooking School, but this is the first time I've made it at home.

Using the paste that I made a few days ago and following the recipe from my trusty cookbook, it was a pretty simple process.

Chopping up the ingredients for the steps above was probably the most time consuming part of it after making up the paste, but I think I'll get a little quicker as I cook more. 

Add some rice and a couple of kaffir leaves into the curry and voila!

Fragrant green curry and jasmine rice

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Still so easily distracted

So I did something silly and went and got myself a job. Admittedly, it can't be too healthy to be lazing around doing nothing all day, but I had grand plans for blogging and sewing during my little break from employment. The paper patterns were already being cut up!

Still, it has been almost couple of months since I got back from the overseas stint (time flies!), and I'll be happy to get some income in. It's still amusing to me though that as I am filling out the necessary paperwork for security checks etc for the role, my workspace ends up looking like this:


What can I say - the colours look so good with my keyboard!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Fresh green paste

As soon as I bought my mortar and pestle, I pounded out some fresh green curry paste - just like I was taught at Pum's Cooking School. Once again, the recipe came from the cookbook I bought after the lesson.

This smells AMAZING!

This is just about enough for 5 standard serves of green curry, but I did learn that more paste = more spice, so we'll see how long it lasts in my kitchen ;)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Cutting paper patterns - urgh

Does anyone else hate cutting out paper patterns? It's the least enjoyable part of sewing for me. It's totally necessary because really, it's the starting point of the whole process (for my level of skill anyway) but it really has not much at all to do with the sewing of fabric. Ick.

Snipping through two episodes of Survivor Season 24 (which I would link to but cannot for fear of Google telling me who won - give me a week or so) gets me this.

That's a whole lot of leftover paper for just 2 patterns

On the upside, I guess I've now got a couple more patterns to pick from when I next feel lazy.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Me right now

I think the picture speaks for itself.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


I'm so happy to be back and reunited with the sewing machine - 16 months without one and I've been hanging out to just make something - anything - HUZZAH!


OK you can totally tell I'm excited right? So then - what to make? I was humming and hawing until I was told that the nieces and nephew would all be in the same city in a week or so. Obviously dresses for the girls and for the little fella... well he'd get something store bought (boys clothes are somehow a lot more difficult to deal with!)

The dress for Princess S needed to be just like her - bright and bold - so I picked out a red fabric with huge white polka dots and made it out in her favourite dress design, Butterick B4701, previously made here and here. I finished it off with a subtle daisy chain at the waist. The waist ties have been tied around the back of the dress so you can see the shape in this photo.

Princess S dress

For SY2, I wanted something more subtle and in a print similar to what you might find in Country Road. I ended up choosing a pale yellow with a leaf print, more suitable for the tropics where she lives. To make this dress I used the Get Creative: 4006 pattern I've used previously here and here - and altered it from the version modelled by Princess S by removing the V cutout in the neck, inserting a zipper and lining the bodice in a similar manner to the Butterick dress above. Waist ties also tied up around the back here.

SY2 dress
Very happy with how both dresses turned out - but I have to admit it was a bit slow going after not having sewn anything for 16+ months. I had to even stop to think about how to rethread my bobbin for a bit!

I'm hoping this means the end of the sewing drought for awhile :)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pad Thai Pum Style

I recently went to beautiful Phi Phi island with Fezbola for a bit of R&R but after a couple of days of lounging by the beach and pool, Fez had had enough and was getting mighty restless. Me, I could lounge about doing nothing for weeks on end, but I was unfortunate (stupid!) enough to get a bit of sunburn on my shoulder so we decided to make the most of our last day and signed up for a cooking class at Pum's Cooking School. We'd discovered it as we wandered the streets of Phi Phi and after some googling and reading great reviews about the Phuket branch, we signed up for a 1.5 hour class called Pum's Little Lipstick - just the right amount of time before we had to jump on a ferry.

Source: http://th.pumthaifoodchain.com/cookingschool.html

Class was great - and it really opened my eyes as to how simple Thai cooking can be. I have always had a mental 'block' if you will about Asian cooking and how you need a million and one ingredients and sauces and bits and bobs. I was in fact so sold on what we did that I cam away from class with not just the small complimentary booklet of recipes you get as part of the class but also 2 additional cookbooks by Pum!

Lazy? Yes please!

This was the book that really caught my eye - it covers a lot of my Thai favourites, including Pad Thai which I decided to have a go at. It hadn't been covered by the class but it looked simple enough. Before starting though I needed to stock up the kitchen - the only Asian-y thing in the pantry was soya sauce, so a trip to the local Asian grocers was definitely required.

Lo and behold, $70 later

I also bought some huge king prawns (a few more than required by the recipe - because who doesn't love an extra prawn or three) and got down to business.

After doing a few things I had never done before (buying a savoy cabbage (I failed and got a green one instead), pre-soaking rice noodles, de-veining the prawns, making an omelette in a wok), I managed to come up with what I think was a pretty good Pad Thai - check it out!


I was pretty pleased with the result, especially the prawn omelette on the top. Super tasty.

Feedback was positive - but I was told that the green beans recommended by the book didn't really suit the dish and maybe bean sprouts might have been a better option. I'll be making it again so I'm happy to give that a bash next time round.

I also need to work out how to use fewer dishes because I hate washing up!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Stylish Dress Book - but better!

Woohooo! How lucky am I - I got an early birthday present from my good buddy Kaz Kaz and amongst all the goodies was a present wrapped in an old sewing pattern and a Tessuti ribbon. I guess it was a Japanese pattern book and I wasn't wrong - unwrapping it revealed a familiar figure of the scrawny Japanese model at the front of the Stylish Dress Book.

"I have this one, but thanks it was so thoughtful!" was my immediate reaction, but then I realised that this one was in English! ENGLISH I say!

Now I knew that it had been published in English (thanks Penguin for being the first to translate this one) but seeing as I had the Japanese one in my possession already I wasn't going to go out and buy it for myself but boy-o-boy am I a happy camper! Now I actually know the name of the author! How stupid does that sound - but seriously, not being able to read Japanese meant that I missed out on details like that - who knows what else I've been missing out on by just squinting at the line drawings and ignoring the written instructions...

I think I will need to have a bash at something from this very soon to see if the English helps a bit more :)

*happy* :D