Cooking Adventures · Dinner Parties

Housesitting at Ms NO’s

How does the idea of cooking in someone else’s kitchen sit with you? Does that excite you, knowing that you have the opportunity to play around in a new environment and fiddle with someone else’s gadgets or does that make you nervous, as you step outside of your own comfort zone and navigate your way through the maze of a foreign kitchen?

So we had the opportunity to play around in Ms NO’s kitchen a few times when her parents went away and gave her full reign of the apartment. So Ms NO kindly opened up her house to us, but at the same time, invited us to cook for her?! Haha that’s a unique kind of hospitality huh!

The first time we went over, it was the night of the Australian Open Men Finals’ so we couldn’t really be bothered cooking – just chucked in some frozen lasagnas into the ovens and made a simple salad before plopping ourselves in front of the telly. What an intense night it was – the girls screaming for Nadal and the guys going for I-can’t-remember-his-name-something-rinka.

The second time we ‘house-sat’, we decided to do a little homecooking by making wantons and dumplings!

Simple Sunday Dinner at Ms NO’s

Boiled Wantons in Chicken Stock Soup

Steamed Dumplings

Blanched Bak Choy

Egg Noodles

Me taking lessons from the wonton/dumpling master, Mr JC
Me taking lessons from the wanton/dumpling experts

I have not made wantons and dumplings before so it was fun learning from the experienced ones, Mr JC and Ms EL!

The raw wantons
The raw wantons
The dumplings ready to be steamed
The dumplings ready to be steamed
Busy in the kitchen
Getting busy in Ms NO’s kitchen

Preparation didn’t take long so we had dinner laid out pretty quickly!

A cosy dinner :)
A cosy dinner 🙂

It was a dinner of simple flavours but wholesome nonetheless. It was also quite satisfying eating wantons and dumplings that we made personally!

As for the third time, because it was Easter Sunday, we went full-out with Ms NO inviting 10 people over and a festive menu of lamb, seafood and chocolate! Haha our dinners were just getting more elaborate!

Easter Sunday Dinner at Ms NO’s

EntreeWoodfired Shellfish (because the girls requested for it again!)

Main – Roast leg of lamb with aubergines & onions (x3, just to feed the crowd!)

Side – Boiled potatoes with sour cream & bacon bits

Dessert – Dark Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries 

Since the dessert is Andrew’s specialty and I’m usually the one who sends the oven into overdrive with my meals, guess who had the responsibility of the entree and main?

It was an epic cooking session indeed, as after our church service, we got right at work for this dinner, with some of us prepping half of the ingredients at Ms NO’s while the rest shopped for the rest of the ingredients at the supermarket.

Then there was the squeezing of all of the chefs in Ms NO’s small kitchen, with Ms JQ helping me with the entree, me on the 3 lamb legs, Andrew on the dessert, and Ann boiling the potatoes – what a challenge! But Ms NO was very helpful in the process, keeping an eye out for loose pans, knives and open fires, and just being around to pass us anything we need. And having survived this, I think we are all quite ready for a Masterchef team challenge now! (haha as if)

1st lamb leg ready to serve!
1st lamb leg ready to go!

In hindsight, I should have taken a photo of the lamb before the tomato sauce was poured over, just to show the fully beauty of the meat! In terms of the recipe, I thought that the lamb tasted delicious enough with just the juice coming out of  the eggplants and red onions at the bottom. I found the tomato sauce a little unnecessary but I guess it’s for those who like a sourish and spicy (because there’s chilli added to it) tang to go with the lamb!

The simple crowd-pleaser of oven-baked shellfish!
The simple crowd-pleaser of oven-baked shellfish!

In the end, we thought we would just eat the entree and main at the same time, Chinese-style. Haha.

Dinner is served!
Dinner is served!

It turned out that the spread was more than enough to feed the crowd (phew!) and while some called defeat, there was a group of us who stuck to our guns to polish off the tray of shellfish and 3 lamb legs.

It took us awhile to get through it, but not without much laughter and chatter :)
It took us awhile to get through it, but not without much laughter and chatter 🙂

So after giving ourselves a little breathing space after the main course, we moved on to dessert!

The dessert that made Andrew popular haha
The dessert that made Andrew popular haha

Instead of making a tart, Andrew had a brainwave to cut short the dessert-making time by making a biscuit crumble at the bottom instead, ala cheesecake-style. That turned out all right and got everyone’s stamp of approval, so that inspired me to replicate Andrew’s dessert recently – more on that next time!

So that’s it for our 3 house-sitting (or more like, kitchen-sitting haha) sessions at Ms NO’s so far. For me, it was fun using her kitchen, but mainly because Ms NO never made us feel like we were invading her home and never lost her cool even when we were stomping all over her kitchen and probably making a mess!

Thank God for Ms NO’s hospitality and for the many hands that helped to cook up dinner, that we could all have wonderful memories of warm fellowship at her place 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Housesitting at Ms NO’s

  1. Your simple dumpling dinner looks really delicious! The simple things in life are sometimes the best 🙂 and that is an amazing looking Easter Feast! I love any seafood and would like to try cooking your baked shellfish, can you share your recipe? Thanks!

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