Very Special Christmas 2010

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Christmas this year must be my most special Christmas I have ever had, very pampered in all ways. I didn’t have to cook for a few days! Being back from Malaysia after taking care of my dad for a few weeks in hospital and the long journey back here, I felt like I have gone through a washing machine. I can’t remember when was the last time I had been so exhausted. But I was really glad to be with my parents, especially my dad, to be there for him when he was so weak and sick.

Christmas mince pies and latte

Christmas mince pies and latte

Arriving at London Heathrow airport on Christmas Eve, I was looking much forward to the fabulous blueberry cake that I still crave for. But sadly it was not served that day. There’s a picture of it on my Blueberry Pound Cake post. I tried to make it a few times but it never turned out the same. Will continue to try. Really hope I get it right one day.

Well, instead of the blueberry cake, there were fruit mince pies. In UK, Christmas is not Christmas without those fruit mince pies. Despite all these years here, I have never liked mince pies. So when my hubby served me latte coffee and mince pies, I was not very keen. But I was very hungry, cold and sleepy so anything would do. But no, I was wrong. Right at my first bite, I fell in love with it…..just beautiful! I actually ate 2 pieces, then off to my dreamland on the sofa while waiting for my flight to Aberdeen. I must have eaten all the wrong mince pies all these years!!!

I realised that when I was away, everyone back home here suddenly grew up….including my hubby….haha. They have no choice but to learn to cook….good for them! I was thrilled to see that my daughter, Sharon, cooked several mouth-watering dishes while I was away, which she put up on her new blog, Fun and Life and Everything in Between. I am totally impressed….raw hidden talent discovered! I must say she is going to be a better cook than me, much to my joy. But she still misses my food and our many jokes and chats while I was away. She wrote, “Never ever EVER leave us for so long again. I will simply not allow it =D.” Awwww…that really touches my heart….but it’s such a strong warning not to be ignored! Never mind, I will take her along next time :D

Rice in gingery chicken soup

Rice in gingery chicken soup

Not only did my hubby cook gingery chicken soup for me, my youngest daughter also cooked gingery chicken soup for me to keep me warm in this extremely cold Aberdeen weather. Hers is very simple but it really warmed my heart and body. Feeling tired and sleepy from jet lag, that soup with rice is more than enough to bring big smiles on my face. Since I came home, she refused to let me cook….how sweet of her!

Poached eggs in Milo

Poached eggs in Milo and condensed milk

On Christmas Day itself, I got up very early, feeling very hungry. I suddenly remember my mom used to cook poached eggs in Milo with added sugar for us when we were young. But I love sweet condensed milk so I used it instead. Yeah…that would be perfect for me. It was really simple and very delicious. I would have eaten 4 eggs if not for concern of high cholesterol! That was my best breakfast. My body surely needs all the protein and sweetness….yuuuummmm. Oh, if you are crazy over sweet condensed milk like me, you can even make it yourself at home. It’s very easy and cheap to make yourself. Just click on How To Make Condensed Milk. Use less milk powder if you want it more runny.

Marble cake

Marble cake

My youngest daughter also got up early on Christmas morning and made a marble cake. It was a little over- baked and a bit dry but that was a very good start for her. However, it tasted moist and more delicious the next day. It was really good with a cup of hot milk or chocolate. I was totally impressed and happy. I hope that she continues to learn more baking and cooking even though I am back home now.

Spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara

She surprised me with another dish for lunch……spaghetti carbonara. My gosh…..looking at the ingredients, I know I will put back all the weight that I had lost, in an instant…..haha. Forgetting about my waistline, I tucked in happily and finished my whole plate of it…totally satisfying. It was very rich but very delicious. She passed me the copy of the recipe she printed out and told me I can learn from it! No, I would love her to cook for me…hehe.

In the evening, my girl packed home several dishes from Wagamama. We had a great time eating and watching TV together. Below here are what we have:

Wagamama chicken curry rice

Wagamama chicken curry rice

This curry chicken rice is very different from the Malaysia version. It looks and tastes delicious. It’s very easy to cook curry if you have ready curry paste. The best one that I like is a Malaysian brand. Click on Fast And Easy Malaysian Chicken Curry. It’s very delicious, whether with rice or noodles.

Wagamama fried noodles

Wagamama fried noodles

This fried noodles is very delicious. I really like it. The noodles are huge. It must be udon and not the normal noodles. The pink strips on top are spicy ginger strips. I am not quite keen on that. I would prefer chopped chillies. I would love to try and make my own udon one day. I’m sure it’s quite similar to making the normal noodles which I always enjoy making.

If you have never tried making noodles, I hope you will try it at least once. It’s fun and taste much better than bought ones. Even my daughter, Sharon tried it recently. She was very creative. She made healthy green spinach noodles and made it look like a Christmas tree. I miss that as I was away. Check out her spinach noodles at Healthy Homemade Christmas Tree Noodles.

Healthy homemade spinach noodles by Sharon

Healthy homemade spinach noodles by Sharon

Look at that noodles…so green and healthy! She made a simple sauce to go with it. I heard it was really delicious. I guess you can never ever buy this anywhere except homemade.

If you like to learn other types of noodles, click on
Making Hand-pulled Noodles
How To Make Egg Noodles At Home

Wagamama fried chicken

Wagamama fried chicken

This fried chicken is very delicious with the sauce and a squeeze of lemon. I hardly do deep fry because of all the grease and cleaning up to do after that. Maybe I should try in summer…deep fry outside.

Wagamama fried rice

Wagamama fried rice

This fried rice is quite delicious. It looks good, too. But may be I still prefer my own fried rice where I use SPAM or char siu chicken. Click Delicious Spam Fried Rice for my favourite fried rice. My daughter also cooked a delicious one using crab sticks, Special Fried Rice.

Wagamama dumplings

Wagamama dumplings

These dumplings are delicious except that the skin is a little too tough I think. Nothing is better than making your own dumpling skin. It should taste chewy and very delicious. It’s very easy to make at home and very cheap, too. You can go wild with the filling. Dumplings are a good way to hide vegetables. Click to learn more.
Simple, Easy Chinese Dumplings To Make At Home (Part 1)
Simple, Easy Chinese Dumplings To Make at Home (Part 2)
Simple, Easy Chinese Dumplings To Make At Home (Part 3)

Wagamama chicken noodles

Wagamama chicken noodles

This bowl of noodles is a little disappointing. Too much noodles in too little soup. The noodles were a little too soft too. They should have separated the noodles from the soup for takeaways. I also don’t like those huge chunks of chicken breast meat, tough and no flavour. Cooking noodle soup at home is very easy if you have ready chicken soup. The best is to use your own homemade noodles. I have a few of my favourite noodle soups here.

Hand-pulled Noodles And Char Siu Chicken Soup
Malaysian Prawn Soup Noodles
Noodle Soup And Fried Noodles from Homemade Egg Noodles
Boiled Chicken And Vegetables Noodle Soup

But my girl commented that her sister, Sharon’s Wagamama Chilli Chicken Ramen Recipe is way better. I totally agreed based on the picture here below. Sharon has to cook this noodle dish for me. I was away when she cooked this. Looks so mouth-watering! Nothing is better than home cooked meal. You can be very generous with the quality and quantity of ingredients used. It is also served hot from stove to table. Besides it’s way lot cheaper to cook at home.

Sharon's wagamama chicken noodles

Sharon's Wagamama Chilli Chicken Ramen

Oh, this year I didn’t have to handle any wrapping of presents. Arriving home on Christmas Eve late evening, I found that my hubby had wrapped all the presents…good job. But then when it was opening presents time on Christmas morning, my daughter held up hers, looked at it from different angle and remarked, “Looks like it has been run over by a car!”…..haha. What a good laugh we all had! You can just imagine how badly wrapped it was! Forgot to take a picture…sigh. I better don’t complain…at least he did it…hehe.

So, this is a real special Christmas to remember….very simple and relaxed but full of sweet moments with my family. To top it up, I was really delighted to know that my dad was discharged from hospital on Christmas Day. He was so happy to be able to join my mom and my sister’s family to celebrate Christmas.

I hope that all of you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday. As 2010 comes to an end, I hope that 2011 will be a year of good health and success…a better year!

Quote of the day……

“Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.”

Helen Steiner Rice

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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62 Comments

Ivy  on December 28th, 2010

Everything looks so delicious. Kudos to Sharon for holding down the fort while you were away and you deserve to be pampered. Happy Holidays.

lequan  on December 28th, 2010

Sometimes it takes a little “missing in action” from a Mom to truly see your family’s true strengths doesn’t it? Your hubby sounds like such a sweet, caring man. You both are very lucky to have each other. And yes, you probably shouldn’t complain too much cause he “may go on strike”. Lol.

I have been really enjoying Sharon’s blog and her witty writing and cute sense of humor. I hadnt seen that ramen post though. I must take a look at the recipe as it looks delicious.

I’m glad your Dad was released on Christmas so he could spend Christmas with his family. Hope you and your family have a happy new year, Mary!

Priya  on December 28th, 2010

Delicious spread, happy holidays..

Kitchen Butterfly  on December 28th, 2010

Milo……………..wow. We love Milo in Nigeria. I have a few packs sitting in the pantry. Whata great combination (weird too) to poach the eggs in chocolate. I hope your dad is feeling better and glad your daughter and husband have spoiled you. Stay well and have a great festive season with loads of delicious food

Nasifriet  on December 28th, 2010

Oh my, what a feast you had there with the Wagamama’s :-) . I agree with you that nothing is better than a home-cooked meal.

I’ve visited Sharon’s blog and I can’t agree more. She’s a very creative cook!

Glad to know that your dad is discharged from the hospital and what a good day to be out, on Christmas day, surrounded by the warmth of the loved ones.

penny aka jeroxie  on December 28th, 2010

That is a really good christmas. it is all about family :)

Little Inbox  on December 28th, 2010

Take your time to rest then since you have loved ones to cook for you. :)

busygran  on December 28th, 2010

You have a lovely family. You are indeed blessed! Have a blessed and good 2011!

Lyndsey  on December 28th, 2010

It sounds wonderful, such a nice Christmas with a fantastic family. I will be sure to check out Sharon’s blog. So many good dishes there, and you give us all sorts of information too. Nothing is better than homemade! Hope your dad is doing better!

Peggy  on December 28th, 2010

Your Christmas meals look absolutely delicious! I’m so glad your father was able to be out of the hospital for Christmas!

food-4tots  on December 28th, 2010

It’s really a SWEET Christmas for you! So many melt-in-the heart dishes for you to savour! I’m so envy! Glad to know that your dad had been discharged. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Katerina  on December 28th, 2010

Sometimes circumstances call for different ways to celebrate. Home made food indeed is the best but, what is really irreplaceable is the love of our people and you had plenty of this.

5 Star Foodie  on December 28th, 2010

Your family made some nice dishes for you :) Looks like you are having a wonderful holiday season!

Evan @swEEts  on December 28th, 2010

Oh how I miss wagamamas! I used to live in London and I think we ate their at least once a week! All the food looks delicious including everything your hubby and daughter made :) Its always nice to come home to good meals- you’re blessed to have such a wonderful family! Hope your father is feeling better

Pachecopatty  on December 28th, 2010

Hi Mary, so happy to hear the good news of your father leaving the hospital. It must really be a huge worry to live so far away from your loved ones. I am happy you all enjoyed a relaxing and sweet Christmas together. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year:-)

Stella  on December 28th, 2010

Your family sounds so wonderful, Mary! So sweet of them to see your exhaustion and try to take care of things for you. I want some of that gingery rice soup by the way. That sounds so old school and delicious!
Oh, and I’m going to check out your daughter’s blog now:)
Happy New Year, Mary.
Stella

teresa  on December 28th, 2010

wow, what a delicious christmas spread!

Sook  on December 28th, 2010

Wow, what a wonderful meal you had! I am loving all the asian food here. :)

Blackswan  on December 28th, 2010

Mary, wish I have a daughter like yours. Hahaha! What an adventure u gals got there! This X’mas, I’ve an additional to my family. I’ve a daughter too! LOL! Chk it out :)

Jeannie  on December 28th, 2010

Looks like you were having time with your family, Mary with plenty of good food! Happy New Year to you and family!

rebecca  on December 28th, 2010

wow lovely post sweet Mary welcome home and way to go Sharon :-)

hugs Rebecca

Barbara  on December 28th, 2010

What a marvelous post, Mary! I’m so glad your dad is better and got home for Christmas.
Congrats to your daughter and hubby for holding down the fort. It sure looks like they pampered you with good food!
I feel just like you do about condensed milk. I’d eat almost anything as long as I saw that as an ingredient! :)

Happy New Year to you and your family!

noobcook  on December 28th, 2010

Happy New Year! ♥

looking at the delicious feast, I would say that cooking talent runs in the family ;) you are so lucky to have such a loving and wonderful family.

Angie's Recipes  on December 29th, 2010

Mary, looked like that you had a blessed and relaxing Christmas. :-)) Sharons cooking is definitely my cup of tea…look at the spinach noodle, chicken Ramen…gosh…I can’t help but salivate…
I wish you a relaxing and peaceful New Year!
Angie

cityhippyfarmgirl  on December 29th, 2010

A poached egg in milo and condensed milk eh? My husband would be all over that!

Gitte  on December 29th, 2010

What a nice blog you have here, filled with lots of delicious food. Sounds like you got a well deserved rest over Christmas, how wonderful.

kristy  on December 29th, 2010

Mary, I’m falling in love with that spinach noodle! Looks amazing both in colour & shape. Can’t wait to make them soon. Hope you’re feeling much much more better now. Have a fabulous time and enjoy your day. And stay warm!
Blessings, Kristy

Sharon Moh  on December 29th, 2010

Trust you to parade an endless display of mouthwatering food…when I’m not there! Oh you can’t takeaway noodles in soup, that’ll totally become soggy. Love the Wagamama gyoza though, so yummy!

What’s this I hear? Poached eggs in Milo + condensed milk?? That is the oddest combination mom dearest.

Spaghetti carbonara looks good. Your little Miss Moh has been bragging about it nonstop to me. She’ll now have to live up to her words and cook me some.

And that’s right, you’re not allowed to leave for such a great length of time again. Ever. End of story. Only because we love you =D.

Niki  on December 29th, 2010

Sometimes it takes some time away for people to really appreciate you!
I’m so glad that your daughter learned how to cook! One of my joys in life is cooking… it relaxes me, except when I ruin a recipe! haha
And I’m glad your dad got out of the hospital on Christmas day. I’m sure that was the only real gift you all wanted!
Thank you for visiting my blog and I’m glad I clicked on your name to find yours! I’m already flipping through receipes, like the blueberry orange cake, I’m excited to try it! I have been wanting to bake with Spelt flour more, but have been scared to! You are the second one I’ve seen use it, so I must try it now!

Sanjeeta kk  on December 29th, 2010

What a delicious festive spread out there! Like the link for making homemade condensed milk.

Happy 2011 to you!

sweetlife  on December 29th, 2010

How wonderful for your family to pitch in, they knew in your heart that you would arriv ehome tired, from helping out and traveling..what a glorius christmas, our was very laid back, but very nice..happy holidays!

sweetlife

Zibi  on December 29th, 2010

Sounds like you had just the Christmas you needed… getting pampered by your loving family and relaxing :) Great news that your dad is home too, that must be a relief.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds  on December 29th, 2010

Hi Mary-So glad you included your link in my comment blog-I would never have find your blog, otherwise, because clicking on your name in the comment, does not direct your there.
Looks like you popped into the middle of “Winter Wonderland” only to appreciate your own warmer climate, when your returned.
Your family sounds so loving and caring, to make all those amazing dishes for you when you got home.
Love your daughter’s spicy chili chicken, and the chocolate marble cake…in fact all the other dishes were equally yummy!
I will hop over to visit her blog too!
A healthy, and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

Emily @Cleanliness  on December 29th, 2010

What a wonderful Christmas was had!

Kelly  on December 29th, 2010

You have a wonderful blog!! The food looks amazing…yum!

The snow is pretty impressive, too. Nothing like that where I live (south Arkansas in the US).

Thanks for visiting my blog!

TasteHongKong  on December 29th, 2010

I bet your whole family were longing you to come back home. See… they were all prepared to welcome you with their foods and presents … and wish you to take good rest after the long journey. So sweet : )! I believe your best gift to them is to have yourself stay in good shape at all times.
Wish you and your family a healthy, happy 2010 too!

redkathy  on December 29th, 2010

Oh Mary you had the perfect Christmas and you so deserved it! There is nothing better than family love and respect. Your family obviously missed you. That display of food, the universal language of love, is fabulous and clearly says we love you mom! Wishing you and your family a Blessed and Happy New Year!

Biren @ Roti n Rice  on December 29th, 2010

So glad to hear that you enjoyed your Christmas. It is good to be pampered once in a while :)

Carolyn Jung  on December 29th, 2010

I hope your Dad is on the mend. And I’m glad that you managed to celebrate the holidays despite that scare. Holidays are all about family. They’re the real gifts in our lives.

sonia aka nasi lemak lover  on December 30th, 2010

Look like you had a fun holidays. Happy New Year to you and all at home.

suituapui  on December 30th, 2010

Had a simple Christmas too - me, my missus and daughter…but had some friends over for a get together on Boxing Day - not as elaborate as last year’s but it was just as great. Nice to have loved and dear ones around this time of year.

kitchen flavours  on December 30th, 2010

You have such a sweet family! Here’s wishing you and your lovely family A Happy New Year and a great 2011!

OohLookBel  on December 30th, 2010

Hope all your family are well and that you have a great new year! Can’t wait to see what delicious things you cook up in 2011.

uma  on December 30th, 2010

wish you a very Happy and Joyous 2011..
what an awesome menu!.. looks like ur daughter is an excellent baker :)

shaz  on December 30th, 2010

Glad you came home to so much pampering Mary! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead.

The Kitchen Masochist  on December 30th, 2010

Take advantage of your family’s cooking momentum and relax! Sharon sounds like one talented cook.

I never learned how to balance Asian noodle soup dishes. I’m one of those who tends to put too much noodles. I never intend to, but somehow, I always end up doing so.

Belated Merry Christmas and wishing you and your family a great year ahead. I hope your Dad is doing much better. :)

KM

peteformation  on December 30th, 2010

Fruit mince pies…haven’t tried it before. Must check it out!

Cheah  on December 30th, 2010

Mary, we need to be pampered, once in a while! Hope your dad is recuperating well and wish you and your family a very happy 2011!

Kristi Rimkus  on December 30th, 2010

What a journey you had. No wonder you were exhausted. I hope you have recovered now and are enjoying the rest of the holidays. I’m so glad your dad was able to go home and is doing well.

Happy New Year!

Kristi

Ginny Hartzler  on December 30th, 2010

Thank you for commenting on my blog, your blog is a delight!!! So much good food!! My favorites are the marble cake, the ginger chicken soup, and the chiken vegetable soup with rice in it. Your daughter is beautiful!!! so you live in Scotland? My great grandfather came her from Scotland and lived with us. He was always talking about the mince pies. also Scitch Shortbread.

Mary  on December 30th, 2010

It is good to know that on your arrival home there were loving hands to care for the caregiver. Family is a wonderful thing. I hope you are more rested and have a wonderful day today. Blessings…Mary

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit  on December 30th, 2010

It sounds like you had a lovely (and delicious) Christmas! It’s nice to be pampered once in a while. :) Wishing you all the best in 2011!

Jimena  on December 30th, 2010

First thank you so much for checking out my blog. I figured you were a daring baker so I came over expecting to comment on your stollen as well! So, I was totally surprised that a non daring baker member found my blog and commented =) I really enjoyed looking at all the wonderful dishes in this post. Oh and the picture of that wintery wonderland in your other post is beautiful! Wishing you a happy new year!

Victoria @ Mission: Food  on December 30th, 2010

Wow, that’s a lot of food! I’m so glad that you felt pampered by your family, and it looks like your daughters are doing a great job exploring food and cooking lovely dishes :) Happy holidays!

Wen's Delight  on December 30th, 2010

Your family is so loving! May you and your family have a very blessed New Year! Happy New Year!

Anna  on December 30th, 2010

Wow… welcome back Mary, I’m glad your daddy is okay now. I’m so curious about this mince pie I heard a lot about it. And what a surprise…. sharon’s blog is lovely. Happy new year Mary to you and your family.

Jeanne  on December 30th, 2010

Such a treat to have your family take over the cooking! Every dish looks beautiful and tasty, it looks like you had a wonderful feast for Christmas!

myasiankitchen  on December 30th, 2010

your daughter Sharon is a really beauty!! look at all your food make me drooling!! Happy New Year to you and family!!

tigerfish  on December 31st, 2010

I wish I had home-cooked food without me having to cook! :O

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Shirley  on December 31st, 2010

Now Mary its time for you to put your feet up and enjoy your daughter’s cooking. Whatsay! Wishing you and your family a Blessed New Year.

Ananda Rajashekar  on January 4th, 2011

Oh wow so many food with Christmas and specially with family glad you had good time :)

Happyfeetmama  on January 4th, 2011

Hi Mary

Happy New Year!

It is a joy reading your blog especially all your recipes. I have tried your chocolate cheese cake and it was delicious. Thank you. Love your winter photos.

Wish my daughters could cook for me too. You are really blessed.

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