Friday, December 30, 2011

Wonderful Christmas 2011, a New Puppy, and Raisin Oat Bran Muffins

The holiday season is nearly bowled over once New Years' hits! Wowie, it's been pretty crazy, but in a good way. The rush of buying gifts was done in pretty good time, for me, unfortunately I still have to do gift exchanges with my girlfriends when they get back from Las Vegas and such (lucky dogs, going to Las Vegas on New Years). This year, we had our Christmas dinner at our house instead of grandma's (which is a long 1.5 hour drive inland). It was simple and not overloaded with food, which I like, but we still had leftovers. My mom made her delicious and famous mi hoanh thanh (wonton noodle soup), my grandma made her ca ri ga (Vietnamese curry chicken, my fave dish of hers!), and my aunt brought over seasoned chicken wings (I think from Costco). My other aunt bought a tiramisu cake from Costco (so delicious).

Mi Hoanh Thanh
 It was a good night, one that I liked a lot better than the long-winded Christmases we've had before, which involved pictures before, during and after each present and unwrapping. We shot through our presents, which were also reduced in number this year and again which I liked because I don't like excess.
Me and Ong Noi (Grandpa!)

Cousin's gifts to Cat
Me, my sis, and my aunt

Auntie and Me

Scarf crocheted by Cousin's fiance
Those scares my sister and I are wearing were made by my cousin's fiance. She crocheted them in a matter of one to two days. She is insane!!! What crocheting talent and drive! I can barely edge out one crocheted item every 6 months. She's super awesome and fun to hang out with.

Best gift, though, had to be this cute little guy my sister brought home around 3:30pm Christmas Eve day.

Cody, the Mini Toy Australian Shepherd
He's a Mini Toy Australian Shepherd, a Blue Merl. My sister drove 1.5 hours to get him in the morning, going under the alibi that she had to go "Christmas shopping." She got herself her Christmas gift, haha. She didn't get the complete approval of our parents beforehand; she just went and brought him home. Haha, my dad was pretty excited, and still is. My mom, she's a different story. As old Asian people are: dogs are smelly and dirty! Don't let them lick your face! You'll get freckles! So nasty! Aghhh! He isn't. He's a cute little guy, except now he bites and gnaws at my feet and ankles really bad. Ow!

Sleepy the first two days we got him
I didn't bake or cook anything for Christmas since we had too much cookies and cakes and pies already, but I'll show you some stuff I made during school:

Raisin Bran Muffins
Made with Arrowhead Mill Oat Bran
Raisins soaked in Cola
You can find the recipe on the back of the Arrowhead Mills Oat Bran box. I tweaked their basic oat bran muffin recipe by adding cola-soaked raisins, and a couple extra shakes of cinnamon and allspice, and a light sprinkling of brown sugar-cinnamon topping. You can freeze leftovers by wrapping individual muffins in plastic wrap and in another freezer plastic wrap for extra protection. Just take out and microwave somewhere between 45-60 seconds. These are great for breakfast or afternoon or late night snacks. They are very dense though, so I recommend that healthy and filling combination of a glass of (almond!) milk.

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