A thousand apologies if I have been missing in action again! Too much travelling…..hmmm. I was away again to visit my daughter. She was very busy so I thought I would be a real blessing just being there to help her, at least cook healthy meals for her and give her lots of hugs to cheer her up. We had lots of fun together. That’s the heart of a mother that’s hard to explain, right?
The first visit was so full of fun visiting the animal farm everyday. Yes, EVERYDAY! Crazy huh….haha. You can read about it at Memorable Animal Farm Adventure. I’m sure all the animals recognise me by now….*big grin* But in my second visit to my daughter’s place, I only visited once. I wonder whether the animals missed me….haha.
Well, I’m most delighted to to share with you my 2 new friends, AiHua and JuenJuen. They came all the way from China to visit their daughters who are my daughter’s housemates. My gosh….imagine 3 moms in the house? We had so much fun! I just love them. They are very friendly! We shared a lot of stories and I learned a lot from them about their culture, food and even some Chinese exercises for tummy problem. Oh, and you probably can’t believe…..we are all born in the same year!!!! What a coincidence! It’s so amazing how we met. I mean to visit our girls at the same time. We didn’t plan it that way.
When they heard that my hubby is coming to join us for the weekend, they decided to cook a big meal to welcome him! My gosh…we were so touched! My hubby is such a VIP!…..very important person……..*big smiles*. I think God knows he LOVES to eat…..haha. The kitchen is small. I mean it’s too small for 3 cooks. So I decided to go for the oven. I baked an apple crumble and hot and spicy chicken wings which I bought from Asda.
Everyone loves the apple crumble with custard sauce poured over it. I had made twice before but this one is the EASIEST of all. I’ll be sharing the recipe on my blog soon. So, make sure you come back for it if you love apple crumble. My other 2 apple crumbles are at Apple Crumble With Custard and Apple Pie With french Pastry. Both are very delicious too.
The 3 girls really like the apple crumble. I promised them I’ll post the recipe on my blog soon. Then they can always make it whenever they like, either for themselves or for parties. It’s really easy, promise you!
This is my favourite chicken wings. They are hot and spicy and very delicious. You can buy it ready marinaded at Asda. I look forward to it every year. It’s only available during summer, perfect for barbecue. You can use the left over for making pizza and you’ll enjoy the best pizza ever. I made it last year and my family and friends liked it very much. Check it out at My Best Healthy Salmon Avocado Pizza. Just replace the salmon and avocado with the chicken and cheese.
My new friends, AiHua and JuenJuen, and their daughters prepared the rest of the food. My gosh…….it was a lot of preparation but at the end of it all, the food was SO good….healthy and delicious…….mmmmm. We really appreciate them very much for preparing such a nice meal for us. It was really fun eating together, like a big family during Chinese New Year Eve Reunion dinner. I’ll always cherish this time together. It was so unplanned and yet from strangers we became good friends.
There’s very limited kitchen wares for cooking but still we managed to cook a big meal. It’s amazing! The youngsters must be the happiest because they really miss home cooked food by their moms. The big smiles on their faces tell it all. In China, most families have only one child so you can imagine the utter joy of AiHua and JuenJuen travelling all the way here to spend some time with their only daughter. Has to be electric! Even though my daughter is very near compared to theirs, spending time with her is one of the best things in life.
After tasting all the food, I tell myself I want to learn more of these pure Chinese cooking. I think I should show you dish by dish.
This eggplant dish here is most delicious and very appetising. I could have eaten the whole dish on my own…….*big grin*. Here JuenJuen was showing and explaining to me how to make this dish. She steamed the sliced eggplant first. Do not over steam. That’s what she said. It has to be the right texture….just cooked. That’s not easy, right? I would probably try a piece each time. By the time they are just right, I bet they are all in my stomach already….haha.
After they are cooked, prepare a dressing of black vinegar, garlic, wine, sesame oil, fish sauce and some sugar. I hope my memory didn’t fail me. I should have written it down…..*sigh*.
This fish dish was also prepared by JuenJuen. This is one of the best fish dish that I have ever eaten……absolutely delicious with the preserved vegetables (’mei chai’) made by her father-in-law. This fish is full of flavour and taste. Really good.
This pork belly with preserved bamboo was also cooked by JuenJuen. Very, very delicious. The preserved bamboo tasted really delicious…..mmm. I have never eaten it before. Again it’s full of flavour and taste.
Actually JuenJuen hardly cooks at home. Her husband does all the cooking…..wow. What a lucky woman! She said that when she knew she was coming, she intentionally learned a few dishes. Well done, JuenJuen! Those were some of the best dishes that I had eaten!
When I was away, my husband showed me a sad face everyday……haha. I wonder whether he missed me or missed my cooking….haha. I won’t want to know what he ate….*big grin*. My guess would be lots of instant noodles……hmmm. He was probably secretly happy because he doesn’t get to eat them when I’m around! Well, may be it’s time that he learns a few dishes like JuenJuen. Then I can shake legs sometimes…..*big grin*.
Let’s see what AiHua cooked. She cooks very well. Actually she really loves to cook, bake and entertain friends. She prepared the dumplings. My gosh…there’s SO much chopping and cutting the vegetables very, very finely to make the dumpling filling.
The girls helped to wrap the dumplings. They were really well trained. They could wrap very fast. See how nice the dumpling looked. I took pictures of them making the dumplings but so sorry, the pictures didn’t turn out well.
These are very delicious boiled Chinese dumplings. A perfect dumpling is one with a chewy skin and very delicious filling. These are just perfect!
I just love to see how close the girls were. They get along very well.
It’s wonderful to see that the girls are not only housemates but good friends too. The one on the far left, Binky, is a friend of one of the girls and came to visit.
This appetising, delicious and healthy potato strip dish was cooked by Binky. It was very delicious but a little too spicy for me. This is a very popular dish among the Chinese. One of my friend’s husband always cooks this dish whenever he doesn’t feel well or loses his appetite. It’s a lot of slicing. If I am to make this dish for party, I guess my potato strips will start thin and fine and end up big because my patience runs out….haha. Having said that, I actually cooked it before, but not for a big party. It was very delicious. You can check that out at Spicy Chinese Potato Strips.
This lovely dish was also prepared by AiHua. It’s very appetising and delicious. The seasoning was simply best. I enjoyed it very much. I need to learn how to make this dish, too.
This smoked fish dish is prepared by AiHua too. She is very creative to cook this fish the Chinese way.
Now if you look at Chinese food, they are all so healthy. They eat a lot of vegetables and they use quite a lot if vinegar. That takes away the oiliness and makes the food very appetising. No wonder all of them are so slim!
I baked quite a lot while I was there. Everyone loved what I baked. I’m very happy that they liked my food….*big smiles*. She was taking pictures and copying recipes each time I baked. She also googled and tried out new recipes. Both her and JuenJuen were thrilled to know I have a blog. AiHua is very excited to start a blog too. That’s exciting! She said she loves to write and will write about Chinese cooking, Chinese medicine, Chinese nutrition, parenting etc etc…..wow. I would love to read her blog but I need Google Translate! So thankful there’s Google Translate….*big smiles*
She made pizza, granola bars from my recipe and buns filled with lotus paste. She made the lotus paste herself. She made these all in one day! Isn’t she amazing?….wow. She is just such an inspiration. She is happy and cheerful all the time! Her daughter doesn’t like dried fruits, seeds and nuts but then she really liked my granola bars. Her mom was SO happy that she went and bought the things the next day to make. See…..we can spread cooking love around…..*big grin*. Check out my granola bars at My Best Homemade Healthy Granola Bars if you like. It’s very easy to make and not too sweet.
These are egg tarts made by AiHua. She used the puff pastry bought from the supermarket. Good attempt!
These chocolate cookies were also made by AiHua. I got up one morning and she was already in the kitchen making these chocolate cookies. She’s a real early riser! But I think they are more like chocolate cake or in between. Maybe not successful yet but a good attempt.
As for me, I made these peanut butter cookies and also chocolate cake which I posted earlier on. You can check it out at My Best Super Easy Chocolate Cake. It’s a very good chocolate cake. And these peanut butter cookies are simply the best. They are the easiest to make. I will blog about it soon, after the apple crumble I suppose. So do come back if you love peanut butter like me….*big smiles*. I’ll make and enjoy everyday of I am so slim like the girls above!
Oh well, it was a very short trip and soon I had to leave. Had to cheer up my girl first. Took her to Nando’s, one of her favourite.
We had a lovely time there and really enjoyed the food for a change. She didn’t feel as sad as before because she knows mommy will be there again soon!
Well, I have come to the end of my post. This post must be one with the most number of pictures!….*big smiles*. As I wrote, I just cherish all the sweet memories with my new friends and I miss them. I really hope to meet up with them again someday, maybe in China. AiHua invited me over and over to visit her in China and she will take me around. So touched by her kindness and hospitality! Thanks very much, AiHua! China is one place that I would love to visit. We have quite a number of friends there. One day we will make a trip there and visit everyone of our friends there…..*big smiles*.
Well, isn’t it amazing how sometimes we bump into some really nice people and become friends? I do hope you have many friends. Keep the old ones, treasure them and keep making new ones. Friends make our lives meaningful and exciting. They keep us smiling, too……*BIG smiles*.
Til then, see you in my next post!
Quote of the day……
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
- Muhammad Ali