It’s been a while since I actively posted recipes. I (the whole family) have been very busy for almost the whole of 2017.  I thought I could have a baby late last year but a few days after getting the wonderful news, it was taken away from me. To divert myself from slight depression, I/we made ourselves busy and challenged ourselves to conquer Mt Kinabalu, a famous mountain in Southeast Asia for hiking. We had grueling weekly trainings to conquer Mt Kinabalu in March 2017.

Then after our voyage, a piece of good news came! Alvin got a job offer at University of Victoria – in Wellington! From that day onwards, things like migration planning, gathering migration papers, PSLE exam preparations for Albert, selling our flat, packing, visiting the Philippines, flying to Wellington, searching for a house here in Wellington, getting a car, looking for and applying school for Albert, buying house furnitures and housewares, familiarizing ourselves in Wellington, unpacking deliveries, finding activities for Albert (who is bored to death!), cleaning and organizing the house (phew!) really kept us occupied for months. We are thankful we survived the ups and downs of 2017! 

Alvin started work yesterday. Albert and I sat and read our books at our deck. Cool wind blowing on my face, beautiful birds chirping, peaceful surroundings… I asked myself if I was dreaming… Am I in a dream land?  Like everything is so amazing… a beautiful dream…. a dream you don’t want to wake up from! I’m happy and so grateful that I am not dreaming! It is real! I am sitting in a deck and enjoying what nature can offer!

20171204_092654_HDR Mussels

I am back sitting at the same spot yesterday where I took my notebook and started typing. Now, I have spare time to write the recipes of the dishes we ate.  We first visited New Zealand in 2015. The first dish we ate when we arrived here was Coromandel Mussel Creamy Pasta. It was recommended to us by the server then. We didn’t know what’s all about Coromandel Mussels… When we tasted it, they AMAAAZINGLY tasted GREAAATE! Though I wasn’t not sure then, it was actually because they were cooked perfectly. The taste and texture is completely different from the mussels from the Philippines and Singapore.  During our trip, I cooked mussels in one of our BnB stays in Coromandel and again in Matamata. I still don’t know the difference between Coromandel Mussels and other New Zealand mussels. They all have AMAAAZINGLY GREAAAT taste! So, without further ado, my first blog is Cream Pasta with Mussels, Celery and Carrots.
20171202_192059 Cream Pasta with Mussels, Celery and Carrots

Cream Pasta with Mussels, Celery and Carrots

400g pasta
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 stem celery diced
1/3 cup water, from the pasta water
1/2 teaspoon paprika
20-30 mussels(New Zealand), live and well scrubbed
1-2 stems dill, finely chopped, save some for serving
few stems of parsley, finely chopped, save some for serving
300ml pure cream
salt and pepper


1. Cook pasta for less than 2 minutes than the package instructions and drain. Reserve water to use later.

2. Heat oil in a large pan in medium heat. Saute onions until tender before adding garlic. When the garlic turns golden yellow, add celery and carrots. Saute for 3 minutes.

3. Add water, paprika, dill, parsley and mussels. Mix well and cover pan with a lid. Cook until the mussels shells open.

4. Stir in cream and simmer for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

5. Toss in pasta and mix well. Simmer for 2 minutes.

6. Serve while hot and garnish it with the remaining dill and parsley.