Great Last Day Of 2011!

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Belated Christmas presents

Belated Christmas presents

Time really passes too fast. My 3 weeks of holiday back home in Malaysia is finally over. 2011 is also finally over. Hard to believe that today is the first day of 2012!


Thanks very much as always for dropping by to read and also for your lovely comments. ALWAYS enjoy reading your comments. Has been quite a while I had not blogged regularly like before or visiting blogs, but will get back to that pretty soon. I hope my 2012 will not be too crazy and too busy like the past few months. But I do know I am going to have lots of fun and lots of smiles and laughter….*big grin*.

Well, how did your 2011 end? I really hope you had a great year which ended with lots of fun. I came back 2 days ago. I am still very jet lagged but not willing to miss out the best of the year end. Didn’t plan it but it all came as a real fun surprise.

In the morning, I was greatly surprised to receive Christmas presents from my girl and a very dear friend (picture above). My girl told me that I will have more Christmas presents on the way…! Must be from my other girl who is away. They said that we were away for Christmas this year (first time ever since we came here to Scotland) and we have to make up for it!….haha. Love the thought. But sounds like I have to cook a Christmas dinner for them when everyone’s together. Maybe I should just combine the Christmas dinner, the New Year dinner and the Chinese New Year dinner altogether and make it a real blast!….*big grin*

After the presents, I went with my hubby for badminton…last game of the year….yeah! After 3 weeks away and not playing any game, I was just looking much forward to it. We bought good new badminton rackets and badminton shoes when we were back home….way cheaper than here. It’s a very good racket to play with and I enjoyed the game very much, meeting my friends and playing with them. However, very sad to say, 2 of my friends were injured during the game. Not a good way to end the year…sad. Glad that nothing more serious happened.

Simple, easy and healthy carrot cake

Simple, easy and healthy carrot cake

We were invited to a year end party by my Chinese friends. I wanted to bring along some fruits and a cake. But what cake? After some thoughts, I thought a healthier cake, carrot cake, would be perfect. I googled it. My gosh…too many to choose! Finally landed on one which I thought sounds and looks perfect…very simple, easy and using oil. My friends all liked it very much. It’s a sure one to keep. Check it out at and give it a try. I did not use any frosting because I didn’t have time for the cake to cool down. I will definitely be making this cake again.

When I arrived at my friend’s friends, I was greeted with a lot of my Chinese friends and lots of food….WOW! There were lots of cooked dishes, snacks, and fruits. My friends were all having fun making dumplings, a must for almost any Chinese functions. Here are some of the pictures of the cooked dishes. The ones that I tried are really delicious. Some looked too spicy…safer to avoid. Otherwise I would be looking for a pool to jump into…haha.

Prawns with celery

Prawns with celery

I love this dish because of the prawns…..*big smiles*. I have never cooked prawns with celery as a dish. I must say it’s a beautiful combination. Looks simple but tastes really good. The celery is just nicely cooked, still crunchy.

cuttle fish and leeks

cuttle fish and leeks

I have always loved leeks. It has  a lovely sweetness when cooked. This dish with the cuttle fish is just beautiful. Love it!

Braised chicken and eggs

Braised chicken and eggs

This is braised chicken with hard boiled eggs. It is well seasoned. May not look colourful but tasted good.

Delicious boiled dumplings

Delicious boiled dumplings

I love dumplings but can’t eat a lot. Maybe I would rather not eat a lot as it will fill up my tummy too quickly….*grin*. There were too many other dishes to enjoy. I love both the pan fried dumplings and the boiled types. And I love them dipped in balsamic vinegar. Dumplings are easy to make, can be frozen and cook straight from frozen when needed. So, always make extra to freeze. If you have not tried, do give it a try. Check it out at
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)
Easy To Cook - Crunchy Dumplings For Snack or Appetizer

Very spicy mapo tofu

Very spicy mapo tofu

Wow…this dish is nice to look at but to eat it, is only for the brave. Just look at the chillies and the colour of the oil and you know what I mean. Sichuan peppercorn is added to this dish. It has a numbing hotness. I took 3 pieces but gave up after trying out 1 piece!

Roasted peanuts

Roasted peanuts

Peanuts is a must for almost any Chinese gathering. My parents used to tell us that they are good for the brain! These are roasted and sprinkled with a little oil and some salt. They are addictive. They are also a must for nasi lemak, the famous Malaysia 1 dish meal. if you are interested to cook it, I have a quick one that you can try. Check it out at : Easy Nasi Lemak Overseas - Malaysia’s Great Favourite

Pickled garlic

Pickled garlic

Ooooh…I love these pickled garlic. This is the first time I had tried them. They don’t taste garlicky at all. Crunchy and very appetising. It’s a very healthy snack. Can be addictive. I was told that we can’t get it here. My friend bought it from another town. Now I have to learn to make this.

Stir fried pig's ears

Stir fried pig's ears

This is stir fried pig’s ears. You may go ‘eeeewwwww’ but I want to tell you that you don’t know what you are missing out. I was told that this is an expensive dish in China. Having said that, I wasn’t too keen on it. I gave it a try but I don’t think I like it. Have to give that a pass no matter how expensive it is. So sorry for the blurry photo……poor me…sigh.

Potato and meat

Potato and meat

This is a potato and meat dish. I didn’t try this because it looks very spicy too. Can’t afford my tongue feeling hot and numb again after trying out the mapo tofu. Looks very delicious though.

Delicious and healthy salad

Delicious and healthy salad

Now, I love this. This is a very healthy dish of vegetable salad. Or maybe a very quick stir fry of assorted vegetables with vermicelli. Love it.

Braised pig's trotters

Braised pig's trotters

This is braised pig’s trotters. I probably will hear  a lot of ‘eeeeewwwwws’ again here. It’s another expensive delicacy in China. I didn’t try this because they look too tough for my teeth. My teeth is still undergoing some treatment and I better be careful. I do love the pig’s trotters cooked with ginger and sweet vinegar though. Of course cooked until quite soft.'s so good...good for the skin!'s so good...good for the skin!

I was told by my friends that pig trotters are very good for the skin. Wow…first time I heard that!  Ladies…this is good news for you! If you are in the Western country, like me here, pig trotters are rather cheap. So, enjoy it. My lady friends were all enjoying it. See, how finger-licking good it is when looking at my friend here eating it…..yuuuummm.

Delicious and healthy seaweed salad

Delicious and healthy seaweed salad

Mmmm…very healthy, delicious seaweed salad. I love this. Seaweed is very good for health. I was told from young that seaweed is very good for our thyroid glands. It contains a lot of important trace minerals. I cook it very often at home. I love to make Healthy Seaweed Soup. I also use a lot of wakame to make soup which is quicker. I always add them to Korean instant noodles to make it healthier. Take a look at Instant Noodles Made Healthier. Or you can also use the nori sheets to make sushi. They are all very delicious. Making sushi (also call kimbab in Korea) is very easy, even if you don’t have  a sushi mat. Check it out at How To make Sushi Without A Sushi Mat.

Very spicy beef

Very spicy beef

Just take a look at this dish, I know too well I have to avoid. This is very spicy as there’s Sichuan peppercorn in there. So, it’s a NO NO for me. But for those who love hot stuff, this one is for you. I have tried one that another friend cooked with only a slight spiciness to it. I must tell you, it’s very delicious. There’s such a lovely combination of flavour from the thinly sliced, cooked beef mixed with crushed peanuts and vegetables. It’s more of a beef salad. Even my children like it very much.

Very appetising sour cabbage and pork

Very appetising sour cabbage and pork

Now, this is my favourite dish of the evening…..SO delicious and SO appetising. This is pickled, shredded sour cabbage cooked with pork ribs and belly pork. I must have eaten a lot. With the vermicelli (tang hoon), I can just have that alone for dinner. I must learn to cook this dish. My friend told me that the sour cabbage is a Polish food. I have to buy that or even try making myself then to cook this dish.

Fried vegetarian rice vermicelli

Fried vegetarian rice vermicelli

Another delicious dish that I enjoyed. Love the colour, too.

Well, it was a great evening but sadly we had to leave rather early because I couldn’t keep my eyes open because of the jet lag. My hubby and I actually took coffee intentionally before going for the dinner but it didn’t really help…..sigh. I’m sure I’m straight into my dreamland the moment my head touched the pillow…haha. While Aberdeen and other parts of the world blasted away with a countdown at midnight to usher in 2012, we were in our sweet, sweet dreamland….*big smiles* And while most people sleep, I was up at 3am! Not sighing but smiling because at least I enjoy the quietness around to write my first blog post of the year! What a wonderful start to the New Year 2012!

Wherever you are, I do hope you have a great start to the new year and a great year ahead! Eat healthy, live heathy and have fun.

Happy New Year 2012 again to you and your loved ones! Keep Learning Keep Smiling!

Quote of the day……

“Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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Ann@Anncoo Journal  on January 1st, 2012

Happy New Year Mary!
All The Best In Everything in 2012 :)

Joy  on January 1st, 2012

Everything looks great.

Katerina  on January 1st, 2012

Very exotic and tasty meals! A very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you and your family Mary!

somewhere in singapore  on January 1st, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!!!

OMG, drooling liao… drooling liao…

Olive  on January 2nd, 2012

Happy New Year, Mary!!:D

Ivy  on January 2nd, 2012

Wonderful roundup of recipes. May the New Year be the most brightest! With best wishes to you and your family!

busygran  on January 2nd, 2012

Happy New Year Mary! Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

Angie's Recipes  on January 2nd, 2012

Happy New Year, Mary!
I need to make some jiaozi too!

PJ  on January 2nd, 2012

Dear MAry,Wishing you and your family a very happy and prosperous New Year :)

Faith  on January 2nd, 2012

Love the food in this post — that healthy carrot cake sounds amazing! Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year, my friend!

Dulee An ;)  on January 2nd, 2012

Happy 2012 to you, Mary!!!!!! Wishing you and your beautiful family a prosperous new year filled with lots of good food, badminton (do I know you, or do I know you? ;) ), love and happiness! A sweet person like you deserves all the best, my dear.
Wow! Lotsa gifts there from somebody. I see a lot of purple, even on the box of chocolates. Teehee. I have a feeling your other gifts will have lots of blue and white :P. such a lovely photo there! You’re looking pretty and cute as always!
And look at all that food! My gosh! I’d head straight for the prawns. Lol. And all the spicy food. But for the prawns first coz I know I’d have to fight with somebody for them :P
Hoping we will have a chance to meet in 2012. Until the next stalking session, my dear friend :D. Big big hugs!!!!!!

Ananda Rajashekar  on January 2nd, 2012

everything looks so good my heart belong to vegetarian vermicelli and tofu yum! and happy pic of you is beautiful Mary! Again Happy new year to you and yours!!

tigerfish  on January 2nd, 2012

I can’t continue looking at the food or I will faint due to hunger! :O

Happy New Year to you and your family!

teresa  on January 2nd, 2012

wonderful day indeed! happy new year!

Swathi  on January 3rd, 2012

Wishing you a happy and prosperous New year to you and family. Food looks delicious.

Sidney  on January 4th, 2012

Happy New Year everyone out there…i wish i were there to celebrate with you all…

Christine's Recipes  on January 4th, 2012

Welcome back for blogging, Mary!
Wish you all the best in 2012 !

rebecca  on January 4th, 2012

lovely gifts and much deserved and wow you guys know how to eat much love and happy new yr


peachkins  on January 5th, 2012

everything looks delicious! Happy New Year, Mary Moh!

The Mommy Who Never Sleeps

Biren @ Roti n Rice  on January 9th, 2012

Happy New Year Mary! So glad to hear you had a wonderful time in Malaysia. Lots of good food there and also at this party. Need to put in more hours at the badminton court. :)

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