Oh boy…this post is really way long overdue! Blame it on my busyness again…..*sigh*. But, really thanks LOTS for dropping by to read and also leaving your comments. I must say that it’s your comments that always leave me smiling and encouraged and make me want to continue blogging for the rest of my life. Blogging is fun. If you have not started blogging, I would like to encourage you to give a try. After all, it’s free to blog, so why wait. I have never regretted the day I started blogging.
I had been working very hard everyday recently on my mooncakes. Yes, Mooncakes! The Mooncake festival was yesterday. My mooncake making adventure didn’t come out good initially…different colours and different sizes…*big sigh*. Worse, some cracked. My family has been my most faithful guinea pigs…haha. After LOTS and LOTS of attempts, I am quite happy with my mooncakes now, though still far from being perfect.
I can’t get all the ready paste like back home in Malaysia, so I had to cook all the mooncake fillings. The bean pastes are really tedious to cook. I think my arms are getting more muscular after all the stirring….non stop! Well, I am really happy that all my time and effort finally paid off. We have mooncakes to eat this year and I had quite a number of orders. That kept me very, very busy. I also make to give away to friends. It’s sure again….Keep Learning Keep Smiling!!
Making mooncakes must be the greatest baking challenge I had put myself into. It took me lots and lots of time to get my mooncakes right, both in look and taste. Basically I was in the kitchen most of the time. Just very happy that I learned something. Never in my entire life would I ever dream that I would one day know how to make mooncakes!
For many years since we came to Scotland, we hardly get to eat mooncakes. Not only are they expensive but I am more concerned about what goes in them. They are not only too sweet but come with added preservatives as they are imported from places like Hong Kong and Malaysia. With homemade, I am in control of the ingredients…..not too sweet and no added preservatives. So, we had lots of mooncakes to eat this year! ……*BIG smiles*. My greatest joy is when people like my mooncakes.
Just last week I gave some mooncakes to a dear friend. She was overjoyed. She thought she would have no mooncakes to eat this year. She told me yesterday that she never eat more than 1 mooncake in one seating when back home because they are too sweet. But she ate 4 of mine because they were so good! Wow….I am just over the moon…*BIG smiles*.
Ok, back to my overdue post. In early August, Superwoman from Canada flew here to visit me!!! She is none other than LeQuan, a lovely food blogger from Canada. Her interesting and down-to-earth blog is luvtoeat. It’s one blog that you should drop by. She will sometimes take you on a roller coaster ride and then ended up with some of the most mouth-watering food on earth! LeQuan is a wonderful friend that I have met through blogging. I hope to visit her one day in Canada!
LeQuan is an avid fan of Superman. I don’t think I have seen a greater fan. She has everything about superman! When she came, she brought one huge luggage and another smaller one. The small luggage is full of Cheetos, her favourite cheese snacks and the big one, you can guess right now. It has to be full of her personal Superman stuff. Everyday, she wore a different superman T-shirt! You can guess what other superman stuff she has….hehe. That’s why I call her Superwoman!
It has been a most crazy 1+ week when LeQuan was here. And to make it sound even crazier, we had NEVER met before…..only through blogging!! She knows my girl, Sharon, through her blog, Fun & Life. Of course we often exchanged info and fun through our blog comments, emails and facebook. You can imagine the real shock when she told me she is coming here to visit us. I mean, all the way from Canada to visit a small place like Aberdeen??? But of course we felt much delighted and honoured. I still couldn’t believe that she was coming until I saw her flight details. Oh my gosh…it is true…..rubbing my eyes a few times to make sure it’s true!
Next, will I pick up the wrong person at the airport? Should I carry a placard?….haha. Well, she told me just to look out for Superman at the airport! Huh???? That’s craziness at the very start! Being simple at heart, I believed her for her words. I expected her to fly through the arrival hall…..haha. But no, she walked through…in Superman T-shirt…..wow!!!…*really amused*. See the top picture……Superwoman arrived at Aberdeen Airport!
Straight back home, it was about dinner time. No guest can leave my house without trying the dumplings. I had all the filling and dumpling skins ready. Time that LeQuan put her hands to try. She had never made dumplings before. Would be fun to watch…..*grin*. I just knew she would cheat. Of course she did! She showed me a nice one and said that it was made by her but actually it was made by my girl. Naughty LeQuan! Can you see the dumpling in her left hand behind her back? That was made by her! It looked like a dinosaur…haha.
This is what we had for Lequan’s first meal here in Aberdeen…..turkey dumplings in turkey soup. We all enjoyed it very much. Find out more at Beef Dumplings in Turkey Soup and Kimchi.
Her stay was short and we went out a lot so there was not a lot of time to cook. But I still managed to serve some healthy home-cooked meals.
I love salad. Since LeQuan likes seafood, I made prawn salad. It was really good. Salad is very healthy and you don’t even need to cook. I love a big bowl of salad everyday…mmm…delicious. It is just so easy to make. For more about the different types of salad that I made, you can check it out at How To make Salad - For Health And Weight Loss.
We also had seafood steam boat. It was a cold day and this lovely cook-on-the-table meal is just the best. I just love the fun of adding the food into the boiling tasty soup and then ‘fishing’ for it a short while later. If you have never tried it, give a try. It’s very nutritious. You can put all types of food…meat, vegetables, noodles, seafood, tofu, eggs etc etc. After all the cooking is done, the soup is the best……so full of flavour and taste. And if you like it spicy, you can add tom yam paste to the soup. That will add a good punch to your hot pot meal. By the way, in Malaysia, we call it ’steam boat’. Interesting huh!…*smile*.
This is a very easy and simple chicken dish….stir fried cajun chicken. My daughter introduced me to this lovely dish…..very delicious. My girl cooked it to make fajita and I was hooked to it ever since. A common dish if I have guests over for a meal. Check it out at Mexican Chicken Fajitas By Daughter. The secret lies in the packet of seasoning.
One of the most fun things that we did was playing Taboo. LeQuan bought us a set from Canada. That game really cracked us up each time we played. This is the first time we heard about the game. Talk about belly laughter, we had LOTS. We laughed so hard until we were all holding our tummies from bursting…haha. If you have never played this game, I would really encourage you to go and get one as soon as possible. It’s a very fun family game.
The only problem with this game is that after playing a few times, you may know what the words are. But no problem, just invite different people to play because everyone describes it differently. My family and friends thought that I am totally hilarious in my description of words……haha. Now, invite me if you are short of players……*BIG SMILES*.
The box of Taboo that LeQuan bought for us is a Canada version so a lot of words are unfamiliar to us. She asked us to buy the UK version. It costs like about £10. But on a fine day out at a fair, I was so thrilled to see a box of Taboo on sales. I got it for £1!!!!….*screamed with joy*. Endless hours of fun again.
Now if you are not convinced how fun it is to play Taboo, let me show you a couple of examples. Right above here are 2 cards. LeQuan was my partner for the left card and in another game, Sharon was my partner for the right card. In this game, only you can see the card as your partner sits opposite you. She can’t see the card. You want her to be able to guess the word on the top in the blue section. You have to give all clues EXCEPT the words beneath it. One of your opposing team members will be sitting next to you to watch that you do not mention those words beneath otherwise you lose your point.
Right, here’s how it went. First, the word “Mistletoe’ with LeQuan. It went like this:
Mary: I am she. Steven is ……
Mary: Right. What is at the end of your feet?
Mary: Right! Now…come on…come on….
LeQuan: Mr Toe!
Mary: NO! Come…on…COME ON! (screaming)
LeQuan: (staring hard at me) Mr Toe….Mr Toe…..Mistletoe!
(all of us roared in laughter!!!…haha)
Next, the second card that I played with Sharon…..Dodgeball. My gosh…I don’t even know that word. I have to trust that my girl knows it. Here it went:
Mary: In soccer, you kick a …
Mary: Right! You keep this as a pet at home.
Mary: YES! Now…come on…come on….it’s a game!
Sharon: Dog ball…dog ball…..(thinking hard)
Mary: Come on..COME ON! (almost screaming)
Sharon: Dog ball……Dodgeball!
(total laughter …….. haha)
Now it’s more hilarious if you see all of us in action! Hope you are convinced now that this is a game worth playing with your family and friends. It really makes your mind think, builds up vocabulary too. If you really don’t know the word, you can pass the word. At the back of the cards are more words, easier ones. So, even school children who knows how to read can play. The other day we had 2 friends over for dinner and we played this Taboo. Only 2 words to describe…TOTALLY HILARIOUS!
Ok, next on the list just have to be food. We spent a lot of time eating…..*wink*. The first request on the list was Paris Brest. Now don’t ask me why LeQuan wanted to eat that so badly. I think the name explains it all….haha. This is very easy to make. Click on Paris Brest Puff Ring for the recipe.
LeQuan loves seafood like I do. I love simple cooking so she didn’t get to eat anything elaborate. She ended up cooking herself one day….*grin*…prawns and scallops….yippee…my favourite! Oh, they are just SO delicious! But you should see all the work and time put in. I don’t think I have that patience. Thank goodness I am not her sou chef. I would have been kicked out of the kitchen!…haha. She is very meticulous and organised in food preparation. I am far, far from it!
I had only eaten scallop once since I came here, at a restaurant. It was cooked in wine sauce. It was VERY delicious. Here LeQuan steamed the scallop and make some Asian sauce to pour over it. They were really good….mmmm. And of course I kept the shell. I was out one day shopping and found that these scallop shells were sold at 80p each…wow! These shells would be very pretty to serve starters or appetisers.
This tiger prawn dish was also cooked by LeQuan. The taste was just fantastic! We should have cooked double the portion! I know I can never reproduce this dish like LeQuan. I need to learn to cheat like her as in making the dumplings…haha. To eat this again, it’s either she comes again or I have to go to Canada….*grin* I just know what she is going to say here…..*grin*.
There was a day when I was just plain lazy to cook, so we had instant noodles. Huh, instant noodles for my guest?? Well, she said she doesn’t mind. What dummy I was! Of course she won’t say she mind…bang my head!!…*wink*. Not a very good hostess…hmmm. Sorry, LeQuan! We only had the Korean type. Like I mentioned before I tried to make it healthier by adding seaweed. But LeQuan wanted it original……naughty girl! She finished the whole bowl with smiles on her face. I guess she was secretly happy…hehe. But if you like your instant noodles healthier, check out how I always cook mine at Instant Noodles Made Healthier.
LeQuan doesn’t eat very sweet food. One day, I took her to a garden cafe. To my big surprise, she ordered a BIG meringue, about the size of her face. I could only think that she didn’t know that it was meant to be VERY sweet. The rest is story. You should see how she ate it…hilarious…haha. No, she couldn’t finish it of course. I couldn’t either. I tried it but didn’t like it. It tasted chalky and wickedly sweet. No, not for me too. I think I prefer my version…..lemon meringue. Check it out at Meringue With Lemon Cream.
LeQuan insisted that she won’t try haggis. The day before she left, she wanted to do some shopping. We went out early. Took her for something Scottish. She had vegetarian Scottish breakfast. Looks quite good huh. She liked it.
Apart from the food, we went for badminton together. I learned that she loves all types of sports. We sure had a wonderful game. We actually paired up very well. Mind you, she is way more petite than me but she is a little power house…..wow. Of course she played the back while I played the front most of the time…*big smiles*. You probably can’t believe it. We even won over the men! A big pat on our backs. If I ever go to visit her in Canada, I think we must go for badminton EVERYDAY!
On top of food and badminton, my girl took her to Edinburgh for a day’s visit. Looks like they enjoyed themselves very much. They clicked very well. You can read more about the trip on LeQuan’s latest post, A Most Memorable Scotland Trip.
Now life is not complete without FaceBook! I must say both of us are crazy about FaceBook. But that doesn’t mean that we are hooked to it all the time. When we have time, we blast at each other out on FaceBook…haha….with other friends, too, of course. We can even be sitting at the same table and facebooking each other and laughing….haha. My sitting room constantly vibrated with LeQuan’s laughter! Must tell you, it’s infectious!….haha.
Now LeQuan’s trip will not be complete without meeting my little 4 year old friend, Ellie. You should see how they played, like as if they have known each other for a long time! They had a great time together. And most amazing of all, they had a piano lesson together. Will you believe it, Ellie was the teacher!! For your info, Ellie has already finished 1 piano book! That’s just amazing for a little 4 year old. She even learns piano theory as she can count and knows her alphabets very well.
Phew, this is surely a very long post from me! No wonder it takes so long to write….haha. Hope you enjoy reading it. Trust that you have a lovely week…Fun, Food and Friends. And of course, don’t forget that exercise is important too. What about badminton? Give a try if you haven’t. I just love it….*big smiles*. Above all else…Keep Smiling!
Quote of the day……
“Unless you’re willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won’t happen.”
- Phillip Adams
Keep Learning Keep Smiling