Growing up, my parents have infused our childhood with the power of a good home cooked meal. It was always received as a token of their love, the way that my dad carefully added a drop egg to a pot of soup or how my mum made beef balls from scratch to put in our pho instead of getting store bought ones.
As I grew up, and was introduced to the joys of sharing food with my nearest and dearest, I fell in love with how many different ways you could express love for someone through food. From my parents, I learnt that making someone a meal was the purest form of love, and enjoying it together is an expression of gratitude for their presence. From my friends, how simple yet fulfilling it was, to go out and split a plate of dumplings – cheap and filling enough to satisfy both our empty wallets and hungry stomachs!
And then magically, I learnt how to cook! How amazing it was to be able to prepare a meal for myself, to take the time away from the constant revolving door of uni, work and advocacy to nourish my body and fill my senses with the smell of herbs and soups, driving out those tentacles of stress.
Through this newfound appreciation for food, I learnt a new love language: how to express love for others and importantly, how to show love for myself.
So during this hectic time, my family and I are still finding comfort and love in the food we cook. My dad made a giant pot of pho (I can smell that amazing beef flavour as I’m writing) and my sister made us breakfast (smashed avo without that hefty price tag). I make myself lunch every day, taking the time to garnish (garnish!) my meals and carve time out to enjoy it.
In a bid to share this love, I will be sharing some of my fave home cooked meals, cooks, Instagram pages and so on… The ultimate comfort foods that we have in my fam and would love if you guys would do the same!
Hope that you guys enjoy these! Feel free to leave any comments on your favourite recipes, test kitchen trials or general feedback.
Lots of love (from the confines of my home),
Queenie – Deputy Women’s Officer 2020
THE BEST CARROT CAKE
Sometimes Donna Hay just hits gold and this is one of the recipes that is a winner each time. Sometimes if I want to be a bit healthier, I’ll substitute the sugar with dates (1 cup of dates microwaved with a bit of water and then mashed up) and put 1/3 cup of oil instead of 1/2 – it still turns out beautifully!
THE ULTIMATE BROWNIE RECIPE
This brownie recipe is literally the ultimate. It will ALWAYS always always deliver. When I’m feeling fancy I’ll add walnuts or pecans to it, or layer different chocolates – white, milk and dark (it is boogie but team that combo with a cup of English Breakfast tea and you are GOLDEN).
THE CHEAT’S SOUP
Soups are my comfort food. I feel like I can never go wrong with a bowl of soup and there are so many ways to get a good soup base going!
Okay, so sometimes I crave nong shim two minute noodles like nothing else. My mum warns me how it’s carcinogenic but it’s SO DAMN good that I don’t care. So, to stretch that flavour a bit more, I’ll add the soup flavouring to a big pot of boiling water, add some more salt and chilli flakes to keep that flavour. Then, I’ll use it as a soup base, so I’ll add chopped carrots, any meat and veggies that I have (literally you can add anything to this and it will taste good). To finish it off, I’ll quickly beat up an egg in a bowl and swirl it through the soup on low heat. Done. Delicious. Amazing.
THE HUMBLE EGG AND RICE
Okay, when uni gets intense, I don’t always have the best appetite. When this happens, I have one dish that I know will be so quick and easy, but will fulfil my belly every time. All you need is rice, egg cooked your way (I like to do a quick scramble) and any green veggies on hand (I normally use frozen peas!). I take all these and mix them together, add some Maggi soy sauce (best one in my opinion) and some chilli oil. Get’s me EVERYTIME. So damn good.