Random Acts of Kindness

One of the sweetest gestures I could possibly think of is when someone makes, cooks, or surprises me with something. I've established t...

One of the sweetest gestures I could possibly think of is when someone makes, cooks, or surprises me with something. I've established that I'm a sentimental person, loves surprises, and undoubtedly a sucker for food (hehe). Its my first year studying at the University of Sydney, and I'm currently staying with my brother whilst my parents are in Malaysia, and my oldest brother working in Singapore. So you could say we've got a few countries covered. Ever since I've been living independently without my parents from the start of 2014, I became so much more appreciative of food, hence the picture taking (sorry not sorry). Preparing meals and thinking about what you will eat each day actually takes a certain degree of effort, as I was blessed to have my mum take care of all my meals.


During my exam period last semester, my mum flew into Sydney to aid our 'burdens' from exams and lightened our load by preparing our meals like she had always done in the past. I have the urge emphasise that these things should never be taken for granted, and its truly a blessing in disguise.


So with that being said, exam period for semester 2 commenced last Monday, and runs till next Saturday. But for me, my exams were within the first 3 days of exam week so there goes 1st year at uni done and dusted! Woohoo! Mum didn't fly back this time round, so my brother and I ate out quite often whilst camping in the library. But once my exams were over, I decided to head to the grocery shop to buy ingredients to cook up a simple meal for my church friends who were still having their exams; because like I said, who doesn't love someone settling their meal for them? :D

And the dish(es) I decided to cook up was Carbonara chicken pasta bake with breadcrumbs and  good ol' homemade sandwiches!

 Recipe

Ingredients (Feeds about 8 plus)

Pasta bake:
1kg of Spirali pasta
1kg of chicken thigh fillet
1 cup of chicken and ham luncheon meat
2 stalks of celery
3 onions
2.5 cups of frozen vegetables (preferably peas, carrots and corn)
5 cup mushrooms
1 cup of bread crumbs
2x500g Dolmio Four Cheese Pasta Bake sauce
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepper
Herbs


Sandwiches:


1 loaf of sliced bread
Chicken and ham luncheon meat
Lettuce leaves
Cucumber
Jam


Method

Pasta bake:


1. Boil the pasta in a big pot so that all the pasta is submerged in water (do not fill water to the brim) for approximately 15mins, adding salt and stirring so the pasta doesn't stick together. Drain when cooked
2. Chop onions and celery into fine pieces, and slice the cup mushrooms
3. Slice the chicken thigh fillet (cutting with kitchen scissors is easier) into small chunks, and rub with salt and pepper
4. Heat a pan with some oil, and put cubed chicken pieces in the pan and cook for about 7 minutes whilst stirring
5. Combine onions, celery, mushrooms and frozen vegetables and fry with the chicken pieces till the chicken is fully cooked. Add in the luncheon meat and let it simmer for about 15mins
6. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius, take 4 pieces of bread and slice them into 1x1cm cubes. Once oven is heated, bake for 15mins until brown and crispy
7. Place baked bread pieces in a small thick plastic bag, use a rolling pin or something heavy to smash the bread pieces to make the breadcrumbs
8. In a baking dish, place the cooked pasta at the bottom, followed by the ingredients (chicken, mushrooms, veggies), pour the 2x500 pasta sauce, mix it all together, grind  more pepper, sprinkle herbs, breadcrumbs and shredded mozzarella on the top
9. Bake in oven at 180 degrees celsius for 15mins, or until cheese has fully melted (or a bit brown).
10. Let it set for 5-10mins, and serve! :) 



Sandwiches:


1. Wash lettuce leaves and cucumbers
2. Slice the cucumbers thinly
3. Slice the luncheon meat thinly
4. Spread jam onto 1 slice of bread, and assemble ingredients (lettuce, sliced cucumbers, and luncheon meat)
5. Close the sandwich with another piece of bread
6. Cut a thin strip of baking paper to wrap around the sandwich, and secure with a tape. And you're good to go!


Bon app├ętit!


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