DHAL: June 06, 2014

(Yes, I skipped DHAL for June 4th and 5th, sorry! I just didn’t find anything exciting or unusual to talk about)

Highlights:

  • Sleeping in… until 9am today!
  • Lunch date with Sam and catching up. I miss having him around to joke with like last rotation. He went toΒ Wagaya for the first time today, and approved! Even treated me to lunch, although I was the one that took him, so thank you friend! πŸ™‚ Glad he liked it because his girlfriend loves Japanese food, so now they have a new place to dine at.
  • Dinner date with Amanda, Sarah, Kee Ping, his girlfriend Janice, Xuan Ping, Aditya, and Daniel at Malaya Corner. So nice to see them all and catch up! Food was tasty and plentiful and conversation was not lacking – what I enjoy! Also ran into Clarence and his friend Andrew, so that was a nice surprise as well.
  • I baked today! The first time in a long time. I only bake when I can share with friends, like tonight. Trying to createΒ a new chocolate cake recipe as well as a new choco-peanut butter icing and I think it was a success! Saved some for some special people I’m visiting tomorrow πŸ˜‰

IMG_1659

  • CompletedΒ and submitted internship applications to Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, 3 states in total. Now it’s completely out of my hands, I’m just praying that both Michael and I will be offered a job in the same city – that is our only wish.

Lowlights:

  • We haven’t sprayed cockroach repellant outsideΒ our house in a long long time. Now that it’s getting colder, the first one has finally made it’s way inside the house! Argh, so gross. It was about 1.5cm long and was too fast for me to kill… now it’s around the house somewhere and going to get revenge on me when I’m asleep. I guess it’s time to set traps. :(d

Grandpa’s 80th Birthday lunch!

November 24, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA! CHUC MUNG SINH NHAT ONG NGOAI!

Background: Our whole family thought it would be lovely to throw my grandpa a surprise 80th birthday party! Tasks were divided up in order to get everything organised for the big day. Everyone put a lot of time into the event, which turned out successful, yay! We rented a smaller room at the St Laurent Complex with tables, chairs and a screen and projector to work with. I made a slideshow with old photos from each family as I knew my grandpa loved looking at them, especially those of his family. The chosen theme colours were royal blue and silver. A lot of work was put into not only the food, but also the decor! The cranes on the centrepieces were each folded, then spray painted before being strung onto the branches. In the vases, we also put ribbon and tulle that matched the theme colours. Thank you to everyone for their time, especially the grandchildren! Couldn’t have done it without you guys. ❀

I have so many photos, so will only share a select few to help me tell the story πŸ˜€

The grandchildren (my siblings + cousins) arrived 2 hours early to set everything up, yay us!

Making sure we sign the card before the adults arrive

Gpas bday - 001

My brother Andy and Justin putting up the vinyl mural he made – a portrait of my grandpa!

Gpas bday - 005

Closer look at the mural, pretty sweet.

Gpas bday - 012

Due to the space, we decided on two long rows of tables on either side, as opposed to individual tables spread across the room, which worked well! We had an assembly line going as soon as the tablecloths and dinnerware arrived (we rented these),and things were laid out in no time!

Gpas bday - 009

Dining area set up beautifully, ready to go!

Gpas bday - 010

Gpas bday - 016

My sister, Jenni, also made party favours for everyone

Gpas bday - 011

There were also 3 tables set up for all the delicious food! Everything but the roasted pig and bread rolls were hand-prepared by a family

Gpas bday - 018

Gpas bday - 017

Gpas bday - 019

Gpas bday - 027

The 2 Family made: Fried wontons, crispy garlic chicken wings, steam buns, flan and also brought an assortment of other things like cucumber, bread rolls, and chocolate.

Gpas bday - 020

Gpas bday - 022

Gpas bday - 026

The 3 Family made: A fruit platter, Vietnamese pork roll shaped into 80s, deviled eggs, and sweet egg desserts made with agar with a mung bean egg yolk. He also took care of a few vegetarian dishes for my grandma’s friends who attended, as well as the symbolic bowl of 80 clementines!

Gpas bday - 021

Gpas bday - 028

Gpas bday - 030

Gpas bday - 035

Gpas bday - 034

The 4 Family made: Seafood soup, water and canned drinks

Gpas bday - 064

The 5 Family made: A veggie platter and a sandwich platter, also bringing along coffee and tea for dessert.

Gpas bday - 023

Gpas bday - 025

The 6 Family (us) made: Quinoa salad, pandan and Vietnamese coffee flavoured coconut jelly. I made cupcakes!

Gpas bday - 024

Gpas bday - 029a

Gpas bday - 032

It was a feast! Definitely lots of food leftover that we took home with us πŸ™‚

Grandchildren, assemble! In order to greet my grandpa when he walks in the door!

Gpas bday - 040

We hope he was surprised, especially because my sister wasn’t supposed to be making it but eventually decided to fly in for the weekend!

Gpas bday - 041

Some of my grandma’s guests

Gpas bday - 044

Photo with all the grandchildren + Mike

Gpas bday - 051

Photo with all five children

Gpas bday - 054

We also took individual family photos, here is ours

Gpas bday - 059

My grandma’s friends were not told in advance that the event was for my grandpa’s birthday. Here they are just apologizing for that and giving gifts anyway!

Gpas bday - 062

Grandpa giving us a thank you speech before eating lunch, thank you grandpa!

Gpas bday - 066

Gpas bday - 067

Soup assembly line, haha!

Gpas bday - 076

Ready to eat

Gpas bday - 078

Kids table

Gpas bday - 079

Birthday cake! A nice, fluffy green, pandan flavoured cake

Gpas bday - 091

Gpas bday - 097

Oh, don’t be shy grandpa

Gpas bday - 100

Make a wish!

Gpas bday - 104

Cutting the cake

Gpas bday - 106

Check out the paparazzi!

Gpas bday - 108

Being the one who made a special trip home for his birthday, Jenni had the honour of presenting the hand-made card!

Gpas bday - 109

Gpas bday - 111

Giving our presents! In case you didn’t see in a previous post, our family got him a number of interesting goodies to try and share with family and friends πŸ™‚

Gpas bday - 123

Gpas bday - 135

Gpas bday - 155

There are A LOT more photos, especially the ones including all the other families. I couldn’t possibly bore you with all of them! πŸ˜› PLEASE CLICK HERE if you would like to see the complete album.

Otherwise, our-what’s-now-becoming-a-tradition: Cousins’ Photoshoot

All 13 grandchildren lined up by age, with 2 outliers – Michael and Martin, an honourary grandchild for the day.

Gpas bday - 158I really like doing these group photos… πŸ˜›

Gpas bday - 160

Quality’s not the best, but this one is my favourite!

Gpas bday - 161

The serious, just got arrested look

Gpas bday - 162

And lastly, a few family photos!

With Janet and her dad (part of the 5 Family)

Gpas bday - 167

The girlies!

Gpas bday - 168

Us!

Gpas bday - 166

There will never be a family photo of us without a silly one first…

Gpas bday - 169

Gpas bday - 172

Or two silly photos…

Gpas bday - 174

Look how pretty the 5 Family looks!

Gpas bday - 176

The afternoon passed by so quickly, it was soon time to start cleaning up in order to return the room.

I hope everyone had a great time and enjoyed the atmosphere and the food, especially my grandpa! I hope you enjoyed the slideshow too! Thank you again to the whole family for making this day possible! πŸ™‚

Preparations for my Grandpa’s 80th Birthday

Hello friends!

My grandpa turned 80 years old last Sunday (Nov 24)! Our entire family thought it would be appropriate to throw him a surprise party and tasks were divided up in order to get everything organised for the big day.

My responsibilities included being in charge of decorations and making a big card for everyone to sign. This is pretty hard to do when you’re on the other side of the world, with exams, and haven’t seen what the rented room looks like or how many people will be attending, etc. But no worries, the cousins united once I got back in Ottawa to get things done!

We all met up at my house on Friday, Nov 22, to work on the decor and to make the giant birthday card – which featured hand-print trees from all 13 grandchildren.

Yes, my sister flew home just for the weekend for my grandpa, yay!

Some photos of us hard at work πŸ˜›

IMG_0791

IMG_0792

IMG_0793

IMG_0796

The ooo’s and the aah’s that came after each person lifted their hand to reveal a perfect print was pretty hilarious. Who knew we had such mad skills!

IMG_0797

IMG_0799

Getting there!

IMG_0801

IMG_0802

IMG_0804

I also decided to bake some mini cupcakes the next day – apple cinnamon with orange frosting and chocolate caramel with peanut butter frosting. Had to bake these at my cousin Janet’s house because our oven is too old and temperamental for baking.

IMG_0806

IMG_0807

And our family present to my Grandpa! It was decided that every family would have their own present as opposed to pitching in for one large gift. As my grandpa really enjoys trying new foods, we decided to buy an assortment of interesting goodies for him to try and share with family and friends. Some items have personal notes on them as well πŸ˜€

IMG_0826

IMG_0829

I’ll be posting photos of the actual birthday party soon! ^_^

Random recent moments

As I mentioned in the last post, I haven’t done much in the last 3 weeks but there are aΒ few things to share!

My dear friend Amanda gifted me with lovely chocolate covered sultanas by Melba’s and a bottle of Chenin Blanc (Coriole Vineyards), both presents from South Australia. The chocolates are rich, smooth and delicious and of the course, the wine was very tasty. She even wrote a really touching note… just because she’s an awesome friend and is always thinking of other people. πŸ™‚

IMG_5526

Having some of the chocolates and salted cashews = winning snack.

IMG_0742

Craving for Korean food led us back to our usual spot – Madtongsan II for dinner on Oct 16!

IMG_0699

Oct 19 – Could not resist the great lunch specials at Wagaya. Went for my new favourite dish, tonkotsu ramen, so delicious! Even comes with dumplings and an amazing bowl of fried rice!

IMG_0713

For dessert, we chose to share the green tea cheese cake with green tea ice cream. Have been wanting to try this for a while but probably not worth getting again.

IMG_0714

Mike’s squishing me! Long but fun and extremely worthwhile days in hospital this rotation. But sooo tired when we finally get home, not much studying gets done.

IMG_0720

Yoni was in town from Nambour and staying with us Oct 19-20. We went to see Gravity which was good, although I was glad we didn’t see the 3D version because I think I would’ve gotten motion sickness. And we never go without food! My favourite wedges from Beastie Burgers and burritos from Guzman y Gomez, yummy picnic!

IMG_5531

IMG_5536

IMG_5534

I ordered a few BB Cream replacements recently, and look at all the amazing samples I received! All well known Korean brands too… can’t wait to try some of these out, especially the Ice Mask!

IMG_5551

Boiled quail eggs with some salt and pepper – delicious snack!

IMG_0724

How do you cut a pineapple? This is how I learned from my mom, least amount of pineapple wastage!

IMG_0753

Yummy! Honeydew melon with pineapple and lychee – can’t go wrong!

IMG_5547

Tried frozen yoghurt for the first time not too long ago – how delicious! Biscotti and coconut pandan flavour with fruits – yum!

IMG_0702

A new favourite in our house, basil & blueberry gin and tonic – try it! Very tasty πŸ™‚

IMG_0716

Home made food update? Here are a few things!

Crispy oven baked sweet potato fries

IMG_5540

Creamy mushroom soup – delightful!

IMG_5544

More mango sticky rice with coconut cream, mmm

IMG_0741

Vegetarian pasta salad with Greek yoghurt based dressing

IMG_5524

Pear cupcakes with passionfruit icing for the students in my group

IMG_0745

Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing and carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing as thank you gifts for my med team.

IMG_5557

Another year older…

Thought I should finally blog about my 26th birthday which was last month on July 28 – ah, I’m getting so old!

My birthday was very uneventful. I stayed at home all day and lounged on the couch, which was really just what I needed! πŸ˜€

For dinner, Mike made yummy chicken Kiev with potatoes and vegetables and chocolate cupcakes! I didn’t plan an event or do anything with friends, but perhaps next year!

Wasn’t expecting anything, but I even got presents…

Really cute wrapping from Mike, he was very impressed at his handiwork. Even the bow was handmade πŸ˜›

IMG_0435

Mike added 3 charms to my Pandora bracelet: Suitcase + Aeroplane, both representing each other’s travel buddy, the travels we’ve done together so far, and the places we’ll see together in the future. He also gifted me the Medical charm, also known as the Caduceus charm. Yes, we are both aware that the Rod of Asclepius (and not the Caduceus symbol) is the proper symbol of medicine!

IMG_0436

My sister sent me a package from Ottawa that contained a dinosaur card in an envelope that roared (sounding very much like my brother) when you opened it.

IMG_5161

Inside the card were my presents! Awesome gift certificates, you should take a look!

IMG_5163

In addition, I also received a bunch of Reese peanut butter cups! Delicious and not easily available, or cheap, in Australia.

IMG_5160

Unfortunately, they were all squished and looked like this!

IMG_5165

My brother ordered me a set of ceramic knives – nice! I’ve always wanted a few of these, and now I have some! He even gave me the “never sharpen ceramic knives” speech πŸ˜› Yes bro, of course I know that already! πŸ˜‰

IMG_5166

Thanks family!

And as a bonus, some gifts from Kristen! Cute heart-shaped silicone cupcake liners and a paper set with little decorations! Also a lovely brown skinny belt with a gold feather buckle and a turquoise clutch/wallet. Thank you my dear!

IMG_5221

Oh, did I mention my family back home had a party on my behalf? Thanks guys! Although I think you used my birthday as an excuse to eat cake πŸ˜› Just kidding! Thanks for remembering me and including me in the family!

Here are some pictures from the “party”:

Me with my cake!

1071615_489009421180837_1670738217_o

132907_489009381180841_1603592055_o

With mum and the siblings

1077887_489009504514162_1555486681_o

And Di Nam (mum’s sister)

1078953_489009791180800_203106622_o

And altogether!

1071546_489009917847454_724557860_o

Siblings and Janet

1009468_489009287847517_424817026_o

Cutting my cake

901105_489010157847430_1270217599_o

Even get to eat cake!

1077602_489010194514093_1205149033_o

Bonus:

My siblings, their pets, and cousin Janet

1077373_489008501180929_818405479_o

1074901_489008697847576_1218065072_o

1074817_489008721180907_530324328_o

We’re having a baaaall!

1072574_489008997847546_1047588415_o

26 years old… gosh time is going by too quickly! I wonder what this year will hold? πŸ™‚

Sono Japanese Restaurant for Amanda’s 22nd Birthday!

Thanks to Kee Ping for organising the surprise birthday party for Amanda on Saturday, June 16th! We had the private function room at Sono Japanese Restaurant with 17 people altogether.

IMG_4751

The privacy of the room was pretty nice, although I wish the 2 tables weren’t so segregated. Unfortunately, it was impossible to facilitate conversation between both tables at the same time. Service was very friendly, the servers wore lovely Kimino outfits and were very accommodating. Even though we were in a closed room, we weren’t forgotten and constantly checked upon.

IMG_4735

IMG_4736

The food, however, was quite expensive and dishes were hit-or-miss. Some people were quite happy with their dishes but others found theirs lackluster.

Here were a handful of dishes at my table:

Ebi (prawn) Tempura. Delicious, but expensive at $15 for 3 prawns.

IMG_4737

Unagi (eel) Kabayaki ($28) – thick cuts and very flavourful!

IMG_4738

Soft Shell Crab with Shiso Salsa ($15) – Great dish with nice flavour and acidity. A little too much salsa than needed for the burst of flavour so the crab quickly got soft.

IMG_4739

Tenzaru Soba ($19) – This was my dish, which I chose because I had never had cold noodles before and wanted to try something new. The dish was quite bland if not for the tempura and unfortunately, I got really bad food poisoning later that night (the only one in our group who got sick and who had this dish). I’m almost sure it was from the cold noodles itself, probably Bacillus cereus, which is often associated with improperly stored starchy foods (ie. rice, noodles, pasta). Seriously the worst pain of my life, thank god it was over quickly.

IMG_4741

The most interesting, but unfortunately, the most disappointing dish of the night: Seafood Houbayaki ($26). Individually served and cooked at the table, rice is extra.

IMG_4742

Extremely bland! You can even see there seems to be no seasoning involved.

IMG_4743

Moving on to dessert and festivities with the birthday girl! πŸ™‚

Amanda was puzzled, trying to guess who was the person who ordered the chocolate cake decorated with macarons. Turns out it was from her sister back home in Malaysia!

IMG_4747

IMG_4746

Taking pictures!

IMG_4749

Many sweets! Chocolate cake from her sister, cheesecake from her friends and I made some pear cupcakes!

IMG_4753

All smiles! Happy birthday girl!

IMG_4756

IMG_4758

IMG_4760

IMG_4761

IMG_4762

IMG_4763

Great night and got to meet some lovely people! πŸ™‚

Would we come back to Sono? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong. We had a fantastic evening – service was great, with lovely traditional decor and great ambiance. However, most of the group agreed that it was too expensive for less than impressive food. It seemed like half the group really enjoyed their food and the other half (which included the 4 people who ordered the Seafood Houbayaki) simply thought, “Meh.” Also, the food poisoning was unfortunate and extremely unpleasant!

Sono Japanese City on Urbanspoon

Overdue food update

Haha, haven’t seen food on here in a while!

Bunch of dishes from past months πŸ˜€ There will be a few repeats from my Photo a Day project and a couple of dishes made by my mom while my family was here visiting!

The first dish I made since exams this past Saturday – yum! Pan fried dumplings with homemade kimchi

Gnocchi, garlic bread and eggplant tempura

Toast, curried eggs and garlic yoghurt brocoli salad

Easy dinner – pasta!

Crispy pita with sauteed spinach with garlic and melted cheese

Fajita night

‘Banh hoi’ with roasted duck, roasted pork and veggies – always such a treat!

‘Banh cuon’ filled with thit nuong (BBQ ground pork) – one of my favourites, thanks mom!

Toasted baguette with lightly sauteed spinach and veggies

Butternut squash soup

Rice with spinach and mushroom stuffed peppers

Rice with beef curry, thit kho and stir fried snow peas

Hors d’oeuvres with buttersquash, curry, and spinach stuffings – so easy to make and fun to eat!

‘Bun xao’ – thanks mom!

‘Bun rieu’ – thanks mom!

Apple and cheese puff bites

Now that my oven is fixed, I’ve also been trying to learn how to bake (from scratch) and creating my own recipes. Can do better, but still many successes – yay!

Lime cupcakes with lime icing

Red velvet creamcheese brownies

Carrot muesli cookies – healthy and delicious!

Carrot and banana cupcakes – perfected my own recipes, yay!

Chocolate lime cupcakes

The Laziness Shows

In the 2 weeks leading up to exam this past Saturday, couldn’t be bothered to cook! I did, however, find time to proscrastibake πŸ™‚

Walnut carrot mini cupcakes with cinnamon frosting

Yogurt jello parfait… nom nom nom!

Carb-y dinner

Study time = lazy food = chicken nachos = delicious!

Photo #23: Failed Minis

March 22, 2012

I attempted to make mini rainbow lime coconut cupcakes for PBL this week – but I failed! 😦 Next time, I must account for the extra liquids I will be adding – can’t believe I completely forgot! Otherwise, they would’ve been great! I had even grated zest and everything… boo.

 

Foodies pictures

Life has been uneventful the past few days with nothing new to report!

My mom is on her way home from VN right now, I haven’t heard from her so hopefully her journey is going well!

In the meantime, here are a few dishes we’ve made recently:

Green curry – very in love with curry right now and probably have it too often!

Parmesan and onion baguette made into mini grilled cheese sandwiches (thanks Michael!)

Banana chocolate cupcakes – I was very happy with how these turned out. So decadent and moist – no icing needed!