Chinese New Year of the Rooster

What better way to begin a post on Chinese New Year than a photo of delicious home-cooked meal?

Mom's pork chops with a citrus twist. She added oranges to the tomato base gravy for that zing. So yummy! Her cooking and presentation has improved over the last couple of years after joining a cooking-based group on Facebook. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Even Pickles got fancy - finally we bought her a doggie bed. She avoided the bed initially, preferring to nap on the kitchen rugs instead. Until Mom kept all the rugs did she finally consent to sleeping on her new bed.

Snugglespuff.... What a cute sight...... awwww...

The usual steamboat fare for reunion dinner. There's been a definite scaling-down due to lesser number of diners. Nonetheless, moms and aunties put in so much love and care into the pot, all of us had quite a few helpings!

Prawns, fishballs, assorted vegetables, fish maw, mushrooms, fish meat, PIG'S STOMACH!! my favouriteeeeee!!! Topped with fried garlic oil, nom nom nom.

But first, tossing the yee sang to usher in the new year. Also lovingly homemade by mom and aunties - julienned green apples, carrots, with roasted crab sticks, just to name a few. Newspapers are there to contain the mess that usually comes with yee sang!

Dad is a mahjong junkie. He relentlessly invited us to play mahjong with him and here he is, giving me a much needed tutorial. 

A game of a zillion rules, and even when you have the opportunity to finish the game, you can't do so if your points aren't sufficient. Then each tile cluster, combined with the order tiles are accumulated, points are counted differently.

Leftovers are a norm after steamboat dinners, so here it is, recreated into noodles soup hehe. (Pig's stomach again!!) We don't waste good food!

Another feast prepared by mom and aunties again (the young 'uns are not as adept...) consisting of all my favourite things - jiu hu char (stir fried turnips with cuttlefish), lor bak (marinated minced pork in a beancurd shell), assam prawns (tamarind), chai boay (a potpourri of all sorts of leftovers with mustard greens... deliciously tarty and spicy), sambal petai (stink beans with sambal and dried prawns).... and a plate of pasembor we bought from a mamak store.

This is plain torture typing this! NO ONE should be subjected to this pain :(

Also baked an early birthday cake for Meagan. It was supposed to be a shared birthday cake amongst the February and March babies, hehe (about 5 of them). But I guess the youngest gets priority.

This is an almost easy, fuss-freeest (if that is a word) cake I've made. No mixer required, no oven required! A moist chocolate cake, covered and layered in chocolate ganache. And all those M&Ms.... were the first candies Meagan has had in her life! At three years old! Hehe, she couldn't stop popping them into her mouth until mommy has to step in.

Here she is, looking all docile before her birthday cake. We have extreme difficulty trying to get Meagan to put the child party hat on, hehe. 

And finally the customary group photo with a notable addition to the family :)

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

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