I cooked my way through Christmas 2013.

Golly.

I’m having Christmas withdrawal symptoms. I miss hearing soothing & cherry Christmas carols everywhere I go, I’m DEFINITELY going to miss the fairy lights and wonderful decorations… and most of all, I will miss the copious amount of justified FEASTING!!!

This year, Christmas came and went just like that.

I remember thinking, “Oh, it’s going to be Christmas soon.” And now here we are, 5 days after Christmas, which has well and truly gone. Is this seriously going to be how life works from now on? That the older you get, the faster time flies? If only Christmas could be a whole week long. I know technically there are 12 days of Christmas but nobody really seems to care from the 26th of December onward.

I cooked a lot this Christmas. In fact, I cooked for and hosted three different groups of friends and family throughout the week. It was A LOT of action in the kitchen. I realized that most pictures I took were of me and the food I made!



Here’s an example of one.

I love seeing men in the kitchen.

French onion soup and creamy chicken / bacon / mushroom spaghetti…. washed down with Somersby!!!!

And this was another party.

Yina was 3 whole hours early for the party, so she took a lot of Behind The Scenes pictures while I was prepping the food for everyone! That’s me cutting up apples and other delicious ingredients for my holiday salad. It had grapes, apples, oranges, pistachios, blueberries, onions, cherry tomatoes and greens, topped it all off with an apple cider vinegar dressing.

Mushroom soup in the making!

 I love making soups, they’re so fuss free. For mushroom soup, I just sautee mushrooms with onions, add stock and milk / cream then turn on my blender. It has never failed me and tastes about a thousand times better than any canned stuff!

We made a new Canadian friend, Clifford, and he stayed over at our new place for a night before he had to fly off! We put his muscly arms to good use, he was BBQing away for a good whole hour! All this whole enthusiastically donning a Santa hat. What a guy.

Chicken satay is my favorite type : )

After 3-4 hours of cooking and prepping, my hungry guests arrived… And as any of my house guests would tell you, the highlight to visiting my place would be the FOOD. I absolutely love cooking, especially for people who appreciate it – and these people always do!!!

Shepherd’s pie, chicken wings (thanks Nich for marinating them and bringing them over!!), deviled eggs, holiday salad, chorizo pasta, mushroom soup, BBQ-ed satay / bacon and peanut butter nutella fudge cake.

Did I cook all of this? Hell yes I did! : D

Of course, with much needed help from my DFW & friends. It’s a lot of work, but seeing the look on people’s faces as they eat your food and sing high praises is well worth it. I’m a show off like that.

Sam & I before feasting…. You know what I hate???

 Cooking perfectly hot food then having it turn cold while I take picture. But how do I NOT take pictures of the food and before eating?! /blogger pains/

Da boys and my messy house background (which will be seen in a lot of today’s pics)

Had quite a bit of alcohol this Christmas… *hic* And so did this cheeky monkey!

Say cheeeeeeeeeeze everybodeh!

What it looks like at our dining table.
Every. Single. Time. #noshame #itsourjob #actuallywearejustobsessed

If you try to take a bite out of the food before all photos are taken, you would be EXECUTED.

I absolutely ♥ these wonderful people.

Thank you for all the boisterous laughter and joy you brought to my new home!!!!!!!

You people never fail to make my heart lighter, no matter what sort of rough time I’m going through, I always forget my troubles and worries when I’m with you. It was such a fun and cosy little home party and I couldn’t think of any other way I would rather spend X’mas. After eating, we all sat in my living room and started caroling together…. Which was really strange but awesome. We took a hilarious video of us singing All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey (sooo many re-takes before we finally settled on one!) but it’s with Melissa at the moment!

THEY GOT ME A SURPRISE PRESENT TOO!!!!!!!

As I mentioned earlier, Yina arrived at house super early that day, much to my surprise, and she came with this huuuuuge box in tow. I was like “WHAT you got me a present?!!?!?” and she just smiled / smirk with raised eyebrows in typical Yina fashion…. LOL. Then she told me it was a combined gift from everyone and I was like awwwww.

I was so excited to open it because presents are extra special when you were totally NOT expecting one! For birthdays, you know you’re gonna get cool stuff, but for this X’mas dinner I told people they could brink drinks or otherwise come empty handed since I wasn’t planning to get any of them gifts either (just hosting the party and making food) but they got me a KICK ASS state of the art type of expensive microwave oven because I told Yina that mine was ruined, that very same afternoon. I was extremely upset when it happened,  it was damaged during a quarrel by accident, and I just ranted to Yina about my problems as usual… I never expected this thoughtful girl to rally everyone so last minute, and go out to Best Denki to buy it, carrying this massive thing to my house all by herself literally hours after I told her my microwave oven needed replacing.

Such an angel  ♥ ♥ ♥ :’) Thank you so much you crazy ass lovely people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Well as it turns out, my microwave oven DIDN’T need replacing in the end (just needs a new part to be bought in order to fix it) and since the one they got me was pricey and brand new, I didn’t want to waste their money by having two microwave ovens in the house…. (my house is too small for that)

Thus, I exchanged and topped up the microwave oven for a new camera instead!

I felt pretty hesitant and bad about it at first, for thinking of exchanging a present, but my friends were so kind and encouraging about it, insisting that I get something I actually need and no matter what they’re still happy to have contributed to a gift for me. I was OVER THE MOON when I laid my hands on my new camera – it’s a camera I’ve been lusting over for quite some time now.

Used my first little blue box & gorgeous Christmas pressie (*squeals* ♥_♥ rose gold with diamonds!!!!) as a model for some test shots, and it took awhile to get a hang of the new cam… but once I did, I couldn’t stop clicking away!!!

Definitely my favorite tree ornament of all time.

More food I made – this time for X’mas Eve dinner with the family!

This is bruschetta with cherry tomatoes, garlic spread & portobello before it goes into the oven.

Calamari rings

And my brilliant spur-of-the-moment invention – salted egg crab linguine with shrimps & sundried tomatoes.

It had curry leaves and chilli and salted egg like the traditional recipe, then I turned it into a creamy sauce with some thickened cream and olive oil. How’s that for fusion food?! Turned out pretty freakin’ awesome if I do say so myself!!!!! If I had a restaurant I would so sell this. And I would not be surprised if some months or years from now, I see restaurants / cafes start producing this dish! It’s a food phenomenon waiting to happen. : P

I had so many people talking about the pie from the previous party that I had to make another batch after that! I cooked a total of X4 the amount you see in the picture above for each party and gave away trays of homemade pies as Christmas gifts as well.

My cute little potted Christmas plant from Ikea. Sitting on a table (and chairs) also from Ikea. What happens when a 21 year old girl goes furniture shopping for her new house? She gets Ikea furniture for everything. Lol. Some day I will be able to afford designer furniture. But today, I’m happy being able to afford my own rent. Life has gotten a lot tougher these few years.

This one I didn’t make, my mom bought : P

Even though my gran is deeply religiously Buddhist, I still wanted her to come for Christmas dinner because I believe this holiday is meant for everyone of all religions, races, ages and beliefs to come together and appreciate their loved ones.

 I got her a gold necklace, and her reaction was just adorable!

She tried to slip it on via the top of her head but obviously it was too small for that, hahaha!

My aunt curiously looking on as I put on the necklace for my grandma… I hope she likes it and will think of me whenever she wears / sees it! She’s the only grandparent I actually ever got to know and spend time with, so I make sure she knows that she’s special whenever I can.

It’s become some sort of tradition to get my mom something from Chanel for Christmas. And the look on her face is always the same. : ‘)

That’s all my cake decorating supplies at the back!


Other random pics of Christmassy affairs…

My Christmas Day was spent looking at baby bunnies early in the afternoon (I’m getting a new one. AAAGGHHH THE FLUFF OVERLOAD WAIT TILL YOU SEE HER PICTURES) and then heading over to Marina Bay Sands for dinner and a stayover!

We may not have snow, we may not have real Christmas trees… we didn’t even have Turkey, or a mistletoe. But that’s okay. I had my loved ones to spend this holiday with. That’s more than any present Santa could bring me.

Happy New Year to all of you.. sending my love!!