Wednesday, 10 September 2008

I see Red

I bought this small pack of cherry tomatoes at the local supermarket the other day. The full cart load of them looked so fresh and plum, as though they were just picked from the farm. Having eaten a punnet of good honey tomatoes the day before, I wasted no time and grabbed one pack of these pretty little fruits. I really hoped they tasted as good as they looked. They are slightly more expensive then the usual honey or grape tomatoes as they are bigger and come with the vines. Nevertheless, the price is still relatively affordable as compared to those vine-riped Italian tomatoes or those imported from Japan. These are grown in Malaysia. Pardon me for the grainy photos here, I didn't get to have plenty of natural lighting for the past couple of weeks :(

None of the members of my family of four are tomato-lovers...we don't blame ourselves at all. The only (yes, one and only!) variety of tomatoes which is available at the wet markets is too sour for our liking. After reading about the goodness of tomatoes, I have been trying to encourage both my kids, and including myself, to acquire the taste of cherry tomatoes. I used them as 'garnish' for our bento lunches, at least they are pretty enough to entice the kids to eat one or two of them. Sometimes we were lucky when I got juicy and less astringent ones. On occasions when we had real sour ones, my younger boy would first share the number of fruits equally and fairly amongst us...then we would each pop a fruit into our mouth, and start marvelling at each other's funny facial expressions. The moment the juice hit our palate, we would start complaining to each other about the awful and unpleasant tomatoey taste ;)

We had luck this time with these lovely, luscious cherry tomatoes. They tasted as good as they looked. Not only were they so juicy that they bursted in your mouth (or for that matter, on the floor, table, shirt, and almost everywhere! when my younger son was eating them!), they were really sweet. Judging from the fact that my boys didn't have to divide the fruits equally, I didn't have to ask them whether they like their tomatoes. I was even a little surprised when my younger boy kept coming back for more.

We had seafood marinara with angel hair pasta for dinner last night, and I took the chance to add my share of the cherry tomatoes in my plate. Incidentally, it was the first time I cooked mussels. I couldn't get the usual clams (or better known as la-la, over this part of the world) so I bought some fresh mussels instead. Since I have no prior cooking experience with these mussels (aka 'big heads'), I had to check the internet to find out how to clean and cook them! It was a quick 30mins meal that I tried my best to put together. As usual, I used ready-made pasta sauce, but to pack in more flavours, I added in some chopped tomatoes and a pinch of dried mixed herbs. Some freshly picked sweet basil (yeah! I finally had my own pot of sweet basil plant), a light sprinkle of dried parsley and freshly grounded black peppers completed the dish. It was still a far cry from those pasta meals we get to eat in restaurants, but it did served its purpose to fill up our hungry stomachs on a weekday night :)


Tea N. Crumpet said...

Living in Alaska, we don't get fruit and vegetables that are fresh. We are buying an Aerogarden Countertop Hydroponic set-up soon so we can get fresh taste every time. It will also be fun for the kids! The first thing that I want to try is their cherry tomatoes, then the lettuce.

What you have made here looks delicious.

quizzine said...


These tomatoes really look fresh and succulent, bet they are sweet! I cooked pasta the way u does - quick, easy & delicious *yummy*

Anonymous said...

I LOVE ur blog!!!! u take great pictures!!

Kitchen Corner said...

Hey.. your pasta looks really tempting and looks no different from the one I ate in the restaurant. Yummy!!

Elin Chia said...

Yo..looking at your temptingly yummy pasta dish makes me hungry :)

Your photography is absolutely great. Great skill !


SIG said...

Wow, that looks like a lovely pasta dish. It doesn't matter that it is not restaurant standard, as long as we put our heart and soul into creating healthy dishes for the family. My girl loves tomatoes, all kinds, so I guess I am blessed. I don't see grainy photos. I think the pictures are great. :)

tragic girl said...

you can't get clams in Singapore? Seriously?!

And I was already listing all the food I want to eat (seafood mainly) during my visit home.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Tea N. Crumpet, it will be great to be able to grow your own fruits and vegetables :)

Hi Quizzine, Anonymous, Grace, Elinluv, Thanks so much for your kind comments :)

Hi SIG, thanks for your encouragement!

Hi Foodbox, don't worry ;)
I am sure you can get to eat clams when you are's just that I couldn't get them at the nearby wet market yesterday.

Unknown said...

Hi. I recently became a saty-at-home mum myself to my 6-month old son, after having worked for the past 13 years. Was bored stiff at home, until i chanced upon your blog and my, I am really impressed! The cakes that you baked are done with so much love that I am inspired to try baking myself. Some questions which I hope you can help to answer:
1) my oven is a fan oven with only a top grill element (no bottom grill). Is that good enough to bake cakes?
2) is a handheld mixer of 280W good enough?

Thanks and looking forward to more great blogs from you!

Anonymous said...

tomatoes are rarely on my list man. i only eat them occasionally when i need to be healthy XD but that pasta dish looks really tomatoey good! =)

Maria said...

Wow, what amazing photos! The tomatoes are so read and beautiful!

Meg said...

I love seafood paired with tomato sauce. Your dish looks delicious!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Pui Teng, welcome to the SAHM club! I am sure you will find this job title a thousand times more challenging and meaningful then your previous ones :)
1) I am sorry I wont be able to comment on this as my knowledge on oven is really limited. You can refer to the instruction manual to see whether your oven is suitable for baking? I am using a Tefal oven which has got only a heating element on top. You will have to try and see how your oven can start with a simple recipe (like muffins! or butter cakes).
2. A handheld mixer should be fine for whisking eggs and creaming butter. However it cannot be use for mixing dough (unless it comes with a dough hook??) I am using a very old 'hand-me-down' handheld mixer (probably bought in the early 80s?!), and it is still serving its purpose ;)

Kate said...


Sally said...


Happy Homebaker said...

dear Kate, 谢谢你的灯笼和祝福! 佳节快乐!!

dear Sally, 感谢你的祝福,祝你和家人,中秋节快乐!!