Saturday, January 31, 2009

Time Zones and Realities

Remember how I got the days and corresponding dishes I made for Chinese New Year mixed up because my mind was working on Malaysian time? Well, after I wrote the last posting I decided to check up on Son A's zodiac year....

He was born in the Year of the Dog but that new zodiac year (Pig) only begun on January 31, 1995. Ha, ha. My mind was on Malaysian time that time too!!! I remember us calling home and letting my siblings and my mother in law know he was born. They were having the traditional CNY Eve Reunion Dinner and commenting that he came just a day early or he would be a Piglet! So caught up with his birth and Chinese New Year, that was all that stuck in my mind all these years. In reality we were only at January 29 and it was not even CNY Eve here in the US!!!

Another thing, so embarrassing.....the wonderful lady from whom's blog I have been making some of these delicious food was not Lily Sek but Lily Ng!! A thousand apologies. Her blog's name is Lily's Wai Sek Hong. My twisted Asian mind just picked up a random part of the blog's name for her last name. Have I lost my sense of ethnicity or bearing or am I cast adrift because of my almost 20 years in this land I now call home? I hope it was tiredness and if not, it is something curable.........

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oven Finished Lamb Chops

16 lamb loin chops (1 inch thick)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position. Place a rimmed cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan on the oven rack. Preheat oven to 425F.

Trim any excess fat from the lamb. Drizzle some olive oil over the lamb chops. Sprinkle salt, pepper and the herbs over the lamb chops on both sides. Rub seasoning into meat and let marinate for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.

Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add lamb chops to skillet, do not crowd. Cook in two batches if necessary. Cook for 4 minutes on first side until well browned and a nice crust has formed. Cook second side for 2 minute. Turn the chops on the sides, standing them against one another if necessary. Rotate and brown all sides for another 2 minutes, total. Remove lamb chops to platter if searing a second batch. Add more oil and butter to pan and continue searing the remaining lamb chops.

Transfer lamb chops to preheated roasting pan. Roast until instant read thermometer reads 125F for medium rare or 130F for medium, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the lamb chops from oven unto a platter. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes.

Serve with pan sauce, mashed or roast potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and mint sauce or jelly.

Simple Pan Sauce
1 tablespoon of flour
2 medium shallots, minced
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon butter

While lamb chops are in the oven, make pan sauce.

Pour off most of the fat, keeping about 1 1/2 tablespoon. Add minced shallots and saute over medium heat until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Scrapping up the browned bits. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir until cooked, about a minute. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, stirring to incorporate. Increase heat and simmer until reduced to 1/2 a cup about 5 minutes. Add butter, stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Simple Mint Sauce
1 cup white vinegar
6 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves

Cook the sugar and vinegar together over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Cool. Stir in minced mint leaves. Alternatively, pulse cooled sugar/vinegar syrup with whole mint leaves in blender. Set aside for at least 10 minutes for flavors to blend together before serving.

Oven Roasted Crab


Tomalley Sauce
( `Koh' from the Crab )
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
5 gloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Reserved crab juices, if any
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

4-5 lbs of cooked Dungeness crab, cut into 8 pieces each
8 tablespoon ( 1stick) unsalted butter
4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
kosher salt and pepper to season
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf pasley
lemon slices or wedges for garnish

Crusty bread, to mop up delicious gravy


For the Tomalley (`Koh') sauce
Using a wooden spoon, push the tomalley/ Koh through a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Add red pepper flakes, garlic, thyme, and lemon juice. Stir in crab juices if any. Cook over medium high heat and bring to a simmer. Stir and remove pan from heat. Pour into a small bowl to cool. (start roasting the crabs when the tomalley/Koh sauce is cooling). As soon as tomalley/Koh sauce is lukewarm, stir in mayonnaise. Slat and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the Crab
Place a rack in the middle or lower third of the oven and preheat to 500F.

In an ovenproof skillet, heat the butter, olive oil, garlic, thyme and lemon zest over medium heat until hot. Add crab and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. If you do not have a big enough skillet or do not have an ovenproof skillet, just heat the crab seasoning in a regular skillet. Put the crabs in a large roasting pan. Pour hot prepared seasoning over the crabs and toss to mix before placing roasting pan in oven.

Roast crabs in the oven until crab is hot throughout and garlic is golden brown, 5-7 minutes. It should smell wonderful. (Watch carefully as crab heats up quickly and garlic burns easily.) Remove from oven, drizzle with reserved lemon juice, and sprinkle parsley on top. Toss to mix.

Serve immediately with hot crusty bread and tomalley/Koh sauce.

** This recipe is adapted from Cat Cora 's Oven-Roasted Crab Buon Natale***

CNY Day 2 and 3 (and 4 too)

"you should blog more!" mumbled my husband, chewing on the lamb chops. " They are wonderful." Later, son A said more along the same lines," Mom, please blog more so that we can have these delicious foods." I had to tell Husband Dear and other members of my family that they had it backwards. It is because I am cooking these "delicious" food that I have something to blog about! Not the other way round.

I was trying to diary what I am serving this Chinese New Year so that I can have something to look back at next year. So, I am making an effort to photograph the food and blog it.I realize looking at the previous posting I have the days and dishes confused because I am thinking of CNY in terms of what day it is in Malaysia! In San Diego time they were :-

  1. CNY Eve - Oven Roasted Crabs
  2. Day 1 - Pepper Crusted Steak
  3. Day 2- Oven Finished Lamb Chops
  4. Day 3 -Curry Laksa (doctored up Prima Taste Laksa Mix with homegrown serai, curry leaves, cheng hong and garnished with eggs, prawns, chicken and tau kwa)

Today is day 4 and it is Son A's 14
th birthday! 14 years ago, he arrive a day early on CNY Eve and did not make it to year of the Pig. Instead he was born in the Year of the Dog, like both of his grandmothers and his Aunt C. Hmm, it was also Super Bowl Sunday that night. I thought my doctor was watching the Super Bowl game and not attending to me as promptly as he should have. As it happened, be was feeling sick and did not want to alarm me.... another doctor was coming to replace him. So dear Son A was delivered by the same doctor who delivered my daughter L.

Well, we did go out to one of Son A's favorite places to eat - The Crab Hut. He had his fill of delicious shrimps. Husband and daughter had King Crab Legs and your truly had steamed clams. Of course, we had to end the night with a respectable helping of frozen yogurt from Yogurt World. Yummy - what can I say, I am a Plain Tart kind of girl ! ( hey you got to know Yogurt World to know my drift)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Apple Dumpling

This is a favorite dessert of my family. I bought this little cookbook from an Amish Restaurant in Bucks County Pennsylvania back in early 1980s. It seems strange to bake the Apple Dumpling in a sauce but the result is so delicious. Over the years with our move to San Diego ten years ago I lost track of this little cookbook. I flicked through cookbook after cookbook, thinking I might have stuck it between other cookbooks, to no avail. Until late last year - it just appeared, in the book shelf. Hey, I have look at those bookshelves so many times over the years for it and for other books.... It is just one of those things. I was so happy to find it that I did a scrapbook page on it! Chinese New Year is the second time we have enjoyed them since the book was found.

Gong Xi Fatt Cai

Gong Xi Fat Cai my family and friends! Welcome to the Year of the OX. Another full circle for my dear brother HT. My own circle completed last year with the Year of the Rat. Ah, the wonders of the Chinese calender - you are able to guess the age of a person by their animal zodiac year and if you know your twelve times table! Now all we have to decipher is whether they have `work done' (aka a little help from the medical profession) or if they have lived a hard life and it shows.

Celebrating Chinese New Year in the West is more quiet unless you have family nearby and many Chinese friends. Schools and work do not acknowledge Chinese New Year with time off so it is become harder to celebrate it properly. Cities with large Chinese populations like New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and even San Diego where we live have events during the weekends to celebrate Chinese New Year. But it is different.... it is not right in your home, your lives... you have to go to it, to a community event. None of those visiting friends homes, nibbling Chinese New Year cookies and eating so many tangerines until you get a sore throat.

I try to celebrate Chinese New Year in some form or another.Luckily, the internet has made the world a whole lot smaller and I am able to `participate' in Chinese New Year back home. Little sister C is close by in New York and this year we have my little nephew M. We celebrated Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner a day earlier with our good friends the Ong from Singapore - our family away from home.

Tired out from the activities of previous weeks and Son A's Lax practices and games, I did not make much by way of Chinese New Year delicacies. We were having steamboat for dinner. I managed to make some Long Yoke courtesy of Lily Sek. It was quite tasty but I think I would buy the pork from the Chinese Supermarket as it needs to be more fatty. I love the fact that it did not have nitrates in it. I would definitely make it again. I might try to make some beef Long Yoke too. All in all it was easy and quite satisfying experience.

For dessert, I made Apple Dumpling from an Amish recipe that I had lost long ago but found recently.We served it hot with vanilla ice cream. They were delicious. Somehow it fitted in with our western but Chinese reunion dinner.

Another nod to CNY was the Nin Koh I made. I made it on the first day of CNY as I could not find a block of time to make it. Instead of the aluminum loaf pans of last year, I made them in banana leaf lined food cans ( emptied out the canned corn). They turned out nice although some mixture leaked out between the banana leaves.It was easier with the aluminum loaf pans.

For dinner on the first day of CNY we had Oven Roasted Crabs. Ha, ha, I do not know if it is a good or bad dish to serve during CNY but the family had been hankering after crabs lately. When I saw them in Costco, I had to buy them.I had bought the cookbook just for that one recipe because I knew my kids would love it and they did! All I can say is at least I did not serve squid- Chow Yau Ye!!

Second night's dinner was Pepper Crusted Steak with Salad. Yes, very Chinese.

Do not know what I am serving tonight.......

The one thing I am very happy about this year is my Satsuma Mandarin Orange tree! Remember how we redid my garden last year? We had re situated my potted citrus plants. We have been rewarded by tons of juicy fruits. My calamasi/ limau kasturi plant is covered with more fruits than I could ever use. The Limau perut plant is pumping out so many fruits that I am trying to find a way to use them. Normally we would just throw them away. I love, love, love the Japanese Kumquat. So very sweet! I always eat 6-8 at a time, while walking in the garden. I bit off the top of the fruit, suck on the juices and devour the

sweet, sweet skin. It is unlike kumquats I have tasted in the past. For CNY, the Satsuma Mandarin Orange is spectacular. I never had them fruit at this time and definitely not in the quantities I see this year. I is like having my own mandarin orange fruit stand- only, I pick them and eat them off the tree. I can smell CNY so vividly now. If course I have the Valencies and Navel oranges almost ready. I think I will have to indulge in my grapefruit next week. So such is CNY in San Diego.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Your Brother is a Beast!

"Your brother is a beast. Wait till you see him in action" said my husband to my daughter L. My son A has been playing Lacrosse for the past 3 or 4 months. To say that he is obsessed with the game is an understatement! Daughter L has yet to come out to a game of his, being occupied with college applications, tons of homework and what seems to be never ending barrage of tests. Finally this weekend after celebrating her birthday, she came out to watch him.

This weekend Son A was guest playing with another team as there were not enough players from his regular team to field a team for the tournament. It worked out great as the team he was with this weekend consisted of new players. The team lucked out with 4 players from A's team- a goalie, a defender, a forward and A, a face-off specialist and midfielder/ forward. They got the top 4 players of our regular team to anchor the team.

Son A got lots of playing time being the face-off person. He was also very aggressive and successful in the attack.He scored 2 goals during the tournament. One highlight of the tournament was when he was checked from behind, right across his back. He came flying towards us, closed to the sideline where I was ready with the camera. The look on his face was precious. Surprise and full of mischief and determination. I was too shocked as were the other parents, when we saw him being knocked into our midst. I missed that photo opportunity! His stick went flying. We thought it was knocked out of his hands but as was later revealed he actually threw the stick. The players were scrambling looking for the ball, when Son A picked himself up and the ball which he still had with his stick that he threw. No wonder they could not find the ball! He then race off to the goal but alas he was taken down right as he was making the shot in front of the goal.Now, we understand that mischievous look on his face.

Hint: Double click on slide show for larger pictures


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dear Diary Cake

"You might want to keep that part, it will probably be worth a lot some day" said daughter L's friend S. Her friend S is a star football player on her school's Varsity Football Team and he is probably right too! It was hard to imagine we would cut into and eat up all those all those wonderful (and some strange) birthday greetings. Yes, eat them up!

I seemed bitten by the baking bug lately or maybe I am realizing how little time I had left to spoil my daughter L before she goes to college. How many more times will I be hearing the sound of her friends celebrating her birthday? I had to think hard on how to top the spaghetti and meatball cake I made on her actual birthday. After a few days of browsing on the web, I came up with a cake shaped as a book. It would of course be Red Velvet Cake her favorite with strawberry butter cream frosting in between the layers. The face / top of the cake, that is the "paper part" would have to be firm so that her friends could write their birthday greetings. I used rolled fondant for it.

You should have heard her excitedly greeting each guest that arrived."Come signed my cake." The puzzled looks she would get and then excitement they would get when they saw the cake. She had them all wipe their hands with a wipe before signing. Invariably they would ask,"Are we really going to eat this cake?" "Yes, we are!" she would happily reply. They signed the cake with markers of edible food coloring...... Those markers were what truly inspired the cake. I had seen an autograph book cake featured on the Ace of Cake show, where the cast of bakers had autographed the birthday cake for the client who was a huge fan of theirs. When I found those markers, I thought it would be even better if her friends could sign it making it an interactive cake. Those markers made it easy for them as it was the same as using markers. It was not until the afternoon of the party that we decide the book would be a diary and daughter L excitedly albeit nervously pen in her entry.

The first signers just signed their names. Later, other got more creative. As the evening wore on, many came back to add to their original entry. Of course, late comers had to find a place to sign!! All in all I think the cake was a hit. One girl even made away with a marker at the end of the night- oh yeh, we know Miss K.

Hint: Double click on slide show to see larger pictures online

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Husband, My Hero

So the other night, my dear husband turns to me and hands over a section of the newspaper. "Does your spider looks like this?". I had been talking to him earlier that day about my spider - Spidy. I told him that I was worried Spidy was going to die soon as she is supposed to. She had in the fall laid an egg sac and look after it until eggs hatched. She is so much smaller than she was when I first spotted her in the summer. To top things off I found her with another egg sac this morning. Already exhausted from tending to the first egg sac, I do not know how she will fair.

Back to the newspaper article, he handed to me. It was about the Brown Widow Spider. The Brown widow venom is twice as potent as black widow but less is injected. "No, my spider does not look like the brown widow spider. She is a Green Lynx Spider." I left it at that but did continue to read the article.

Today, when I went to take
in the trash cans from the curb, I remembered the article and what it said about the spiders favoring the underneath the handles of trash cans. Low and behold, there they were, egg sacs with tiny spikes. I did not touch the handles directly but use something to help me pull the trash can into the yard. I search for the article to see how to best handle it. It says to squish the spiders as they do not die immediately from insecticide. So tomorrow I will do that.

Meanwhile, thank you my husband for looking out for me ( although I suspect he thought I did not know one spider from another!)

All things Spidy

Throughout this summer, it seems like I was always stepping through spider webs in my garden. Overnight,huge net of spider webs would appear. I would walk straight smack into them and have to pull the web off my face. So, awhile back I took my camera out and tried to photograph them. It was not the easiest thing to do! I manage to take a few nice shots. I took that opportunity to check out who Spidy's neighbors were. Remember, Spidy, my gardening friend? I will update you on Spidy later but for now Spidy's friends.

I found this spider web
across one of my Lavender bush. I tried identifying it from charts on the web. It is one of the Orb Weaver spider. I think it is the Labyrinth Orb Weaver Spider. It was fairly large, maybe the size of a dime and ugly... like how a spider should be.

I found this spider making a web across a Tomato Cage. Isn't the web beautiful? Like pearls glistening in the sun. It is another member of the orb weaver family, I think. It is very much smaller than the spider on the lavender plant. I had to zoom it a fair bit with my camera to see what it looks like. The silk of the web was finer giving it a ethereal look, especially with the morning sun glistening on the dew drops.

As I wander down the lower garden I see this huge web stretched between two trees. Webs of all sizes from spiders of all sizes. I guess Spidy has quite a cosmopolitan neighborhood.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A message (posting) frrom the past

2009 resolution - tie up all loose ends, finish as many unfinished symphonies as possible! Note, I did not say all - just as many as possible. As previously mentioned there sits many unposted blog posts on my account. So thinking I am off to a great start and will have many new postings this year, I edit and post one of these projects. I looked for it after I posted only to find out it posted to 2008 - i.e. the year I created the posting! So friends and family, check out 2008 for "new posting". Just posted my Black Hokkein Spaghetti (Mee) recipe- find in September 2008.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cupcakes on my mind (C's fault!)

I was (am still) afflicted with a serious case of cupcake fever at the end of 2008, thanks to my friend C, though she denies it and says I found the knitted cupcake pattern all by myself! Maybe, maybe not! I am not saying either way. It all started when I decided that I would try to take up knitting again.... something that I had done as a teenager and as a young adult but dropped in favor of crochet. I remember making many mistakes, dropping stitches only to discover it far too late. Besides, I found most knitting patterns to be frumpy and what young woman wanted that? Crochet came easy to me. I earned a fair bit of money making fashionable crochet cloches, caps, scarves and pretty tops for my friends and their friends. I even made custom orders for tops and dresses which the yarn shop owner commissioned for me. Hey, when you can crochet and watch tv at the same time and make money, you do not want to struggle with knitting.

I digress but that is the intent of this blog. For me to remember and record my memories and to capture memories in the making. I wanted to take up knitting again to prove to myself I can do it and to spend a bit of time with my friend C and tap into her knitting skills. Besides, I have been feeling cold and yarn in my hand feels good. Also, very important I am hoping to make something for my little nephew M. Simple sweet baby stuff.

Anyway, I cannot shake this desire to make one of these adorable knitted cupcakes. I did explore the crochet ones but have to say that I prefer these knitted ones. They however, involve tricky double ended needles! I will not be defeated. Sadly, my friend C the knitting diva is not so excited about them cupcakes. How are you going to motivate me to knit if you don't help me make them and get me hooked on knitting???

So Mom, if you are reading this please try to make these cupcakes and get sister S to email me pictures! My Mom, of course can knit, crochet, sew, bake, cook, bead,sculpy, batik - you just name it and she can. Martha Stewart has nothing on my mommy! Just a little of it rubbed off on me.

Okay, back to cupcake. It had me spending days on the internet and on blogs. I see that I am not the only person with this obession. I came across many websites selling them, free pattern etc. My favourite are of course the original OneSkein that started this hankering at

It eventually lead me to the most creative knitted cupcake site - actual cupcakes with knitted decorations. Interestingly enough the blogger Lolo was featured on Martha Stewart's show. Catch the episode on her blog at . Now that is what I like marrying two interest together- knitting and cooking.

So friends and family, this will probably not be the last you hear of cupcakes. See you in the kitchen or the craft room.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcakes

  1. 3 cups of flour
  2. 2 cups Swan Down Cake Flour
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 2 tablespoon baking powder
  5. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter,cut into 1 inch cubes. Essential that the cubes are soft and at room temperature
  7. 4 large eggs, room temperature
  8. 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  9. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  10. Strawberries hulled and cut into halves
  11. Duncan Hines Vanilla Whipped Frosting, 16.2 oz
  12. Yellow and Brown coloring
  13. Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolate
  14. Smuckers low sugar strawberry preserves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake panes with while paper liners.

Combine wet ingredients 7 through 9 in a large glass measuring cup and whisk to combine.

Combine dry ingredients 1 to 5 in bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until combined. Slowly add soften butter cubes, increasing to medium speed as mixture combines. Mix until just coated with flour.

With mixer at medium speed add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scrapping down sides before each addition. Beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.

Divide batter evenly among liners with cookie or ice cream scoop. Fill liner 1/3 full, top with half a strawberry and top with batter until the liners are 2/3 full. Bake in oven until a cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean, about 17 to 20 minutes depending on oven. Cool.

Cake Assembly
Tint the whipped frosting with tiny bits of yellow and brown food coloring until you get pasta color. Be careful to add color bit by bit or it will be too yellow.

Arrange cupcakes close together in a lasagna pan. Spread a thin layer of frosting for on the cupcakes. Put remainder tinted frosting into a zip lock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Snip a 1/8 inch corner form the bag. Pipe frosting all over the cupcake to make spaghetti, piling it high and allowing some of the spaghetti to hang over the edges.

Unwrap the chocolate and toss with strawberry preserves. Spoon meatballs over `spaghetti' and drizzle extra sauce over.

Special Birthday Cake

Trying to come up something unique for my daughter L's 18 birthday, I decided to make a Spaghetti and Meatball cake, egged on by my friend C, especially after daughter choose the same cake from the book. However, I was not happy with the cupcake from the box as suggested by my friend. Too sweet and ordinary.That's the last time I listen to you C.... nothing but the best for my daughter!

Of course, I had to have the best so I went to Martha Stewart's website. There I found a recipe for Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla cupcake - a bakery cupcake winner. I watched the video, printed out the recipe and then happily measured out the ingredients, noting that there was some discrepancies between the video and the recipe posted notably the amount of baking powder and the quantities and type of flour. At this point the 2 tablespoon (*) of baking powder had already been added to the 1 3/4 cups of cake flour per video! I am now on the blog ( I know a little late) and noticing that there are numerous posting about the discrepancies and how other handled it. There were equal number of people having success with 1 and 2 tablespoon of baking powder. Some used regular all purpose flour versus the cake flour and all purpose flour combination. All it seems with equal incidence of success and failure.

And so..... because I was already thinking a plain vanilla cupcake would be too boring, I had halved some strawberries to put in the middle of the cupcakes. Heck if I was taking a risk, I thought I might as well go whole hog. I decided to use all cake flour instead of the flour combination suggested....... Well, they turned out beautifully. No, the extra strawberry did not add enough liquid to make a difference... so there C!!!!

Ha, ha, now as I am sitting here and trying to write this post, I am trying to visualize exactly how I made these cupcakes. I am seeing in my mind's eye that maybe I measured 2 teaspoon of baking powder versus 2 TABLESPOONS of baking powder. So is this like a total do over of the Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes????? Okay, I think it was 2 Tablespoon of baking powder as I had to sieve the lumpy baking powder. We will go with 2 tablespoon. Hey, if you are game try MY Spaghetti and Meatball Special.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy 18th Birthday Daughter

Yesterday my beloved daughter turned 18 !!( January 6 ) It was a beautiful momentous moment. I have been truly blessed with a loving, caring and intelligent child who has made being a mother a fulfilling experience. I smile when I think of the number of friends who were motivated to start a family because of her as a baby - a happy, interactive and easy to care for and mother. I warned them that not all babies are like my baby but...... Even this week when I spoke to a teacher of hers who is presently pregnant, she commented that if her baby was like daughter L who is an angel she would be really blessed. Ha, ha, I tried to tell the teacher that she is not always angle like! Whatever flaws daughter has, they are eclipsed by her good heart, her strong sense of self and family, and the fact that she is a special part of me.

Happy Birthday Baby! I handed down to her the gold bangle my mother gave me when I was 18. Hopefully one day she will be blessed with a daughter she can hand it down to. Something new was a long strand a green colored freshwater pearls, which she can wear long or loop into multi strands or even wear as choker. Whatever style a fashionable teenager can think up. Green has been her favorite color the past couple of years (and mine too!). Maybe this will be a tradition of passing down family jewelry with an addition of something new.

As stars aligne
d, she was playing in a soccer match for her high school on her birthday. She was wearing her number 18 jersey. How apt! The school district is making a documentary on the International Baccalaureate Program and choose to film daughter L as she is the only IB candidate that is playing sport this season! So the cameraman was on the field filming her during the soccer game. All this on her birthday!!

At daughter L's request, I made a whole mess of spaghetti and meatballs for her team as a treat. Not! It was a tray of cupcakes disguised as spaghetti and meatballs.(Check out posting for that) She was happy that her team enjoyed them.

After daughter L cleaned up and dressed up as girly girl (versus scruffy soccer player) we headed out to dinner at the new Mr.Dumpling restaurant in Convey. We ordered a hot pot dinner and had noodles for her birthday.

I tucked my baby in bed last night, under her million layers of comforters. Once my baby , always my baby. Happy Birthday MY