It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Yup, everywhere you look there are signs of Christmas. On the streets, people’s homes, in the malls. Santa is making his way to town.

I saw this at Costco about a month ago and bought it for my daughter.

I’ve been meaning to share it with you, but kept forgetting. It comes with:

  • 24 plaster ornaments
  • 9 tubs of paint
  • 4 tubes of sparkle paint
  • 4 paint brushes

and it was only $9.99!! I thought that was a steal for 24 ornaments.

While little brother napped, big sister painted. She really seemed to enjoy it.

I joined in on the fun. These are the perks of motherhood, you get to enjoy everything you didn’t get to do as a kid, only better because you get to create these memories with your own kids.

Great bonding time!

Christmas is extra special for us as my daughter was born on December 24th. Yuppers, she’s my Christmas eve baby. Best gift a mom could ever get for Christmas, I’d say. Speaking of birthdays, my in-laws came into town to help celebrate my son’s two-year old birthday this past weekend so we also decided to start putting up our tree.

Love this next picture. They’re even holding hands…melts a Mom’s heart.

We still need to finish decorating. When you have kids, sometimes you just have to finish things in steps.

Pssst…just between you and I, I heard Santa loves milk and cookies ;-). At least that’s what I think she’s saying to him. What do you think K is saying to L?

When I think of Christmas, I also think of FOOD. We bought some diver scallops to make as a side for L’s birthday dinner.

I know a lot of you would just eat the “meat” of the scallop and throw away the rest because it may contain toxins, but I grew up eating everything. When we made them at home, my parents would throw away the small black sack and keep everything else. Even at some Chinese restaurants they would keep everything. Since that’s the way I was brought up eating them, I decided to keep it that way. Christmas and birthdays are about tradition, aren’t they?

I steamed the scallops for 5 minutes. As they were steaming I heated up some oil in a pan. When the oil was hot enough, I threw in some garlic. As soon as the garlic started browning, I threw in some ginger, sautéed those for about a minute, threw in the green onions for another minute and then added a pinch of salt.

When the garlic, ginger, and green onions were done, I separated half the mix and topped them on four of the scallops (there were eight scallops in total). With the remaining half that was still in the pan, I added some soy sauce, tossed them around and then topped them on the remaining four scallops. To be honest, I wouldn’t add soy sauce next time as it was too overpowering on the scallops. Scallops should be kept very simple so that you can taste the sweetness and freshness of the wonderful meat. Plus, I think it looked much better without the soy sauce.

For an appetizer, I made these lovelies: Filo Cups with Crab and Pineapple Guacamole

When I saw the recipe on Devaki’s site, I knew I had to make them, and boy was I glad I did. They were a hit! You can’t go wrong with guacamole and crab meat. Thank you for this wonderful recipe Devaki. I couldn’t find filo cups so I used pastry cups instead.

Two weeks ago I tried two of Denise’s dishes and absolutely fell in love with them. On the left was her Apple, Bacon Duck and Onion Galette. I don’t eat pork so she suggested I use duck instead – brilliant! On the right was her Roasted Potatoes with Mushroom Vinaigrette. Both these dishes seriously blew my mind away. Thank you Denise for your delicious recipes.

I loved the potatoes and mushrooms so much that I had to make them for my in-laws and parents to try on my son’s birthday. Needless to say, they were tasty. The only problem I had was that the recipe called for peeled potatoes and I got lazy and didn’t peel mine. Plus, I used small potatoes when I should’ve used big ones. DO WHAT THE RECIPE SAYS PEOPLE! I didn’t enjoy the potato skins. I am horrible at following instructions.

I also want to add that Denise and Lazaro are teaming up again to host another Quickies challenge. This time it’s a Quickies Noodle Challenge. Join in on the fun if you have time. The prize is Denise’s amazing cookbook.

Along side Denise’s wonderful dish, hubby made a roast beef. I’m not a huge meat-eater so I had a quarter of a slice. My Dad kept complimenting him on how perfectly cooked his roast was. It’s nice to get complimented once in a while, isn’t it Gary? (I’m playing the guilt card towards a new camera everyone ;-). LOL.)

The roast WAS cooked beautifully. (And out comes the suck-up card :-D.)

A wonderful dinner shared with loved ones. By the way, don’t set up two cameras on auto shoot at the same time. Can you see that some of us are looking one way while others are looking another way? Not very smart of us….haha. It’s party time from here on for us as K’s birthday is Dec. 24th, then Christmas, then new years, then Gary’s birthday right after new years. Lotsa partying…woot woot! 

Do you eat the whole scallop, or just the meat (white part)? If you celebrate Christmas, when do you usually start putting up your tree?

Lastly, Lynn of The Actor’s Diet made an awesome video of the Foodbuzz Festival 2010. Here it is if you missed it. Thanks for making and sharing this video with us Lynn.

That’s it for this week everyone, thank you for reading. Until next time, friends and family :-D.


40 Responses to “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

  1. 1 A Canadian Foodie November 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I think she is saying: There is magic in the air!
    That is a magical photo – and a MONTH AGO – well… humph! Thart will be gone by now. Silly me. I am always looking for little crafts like that for my friend’s kids! you can make a Christmas 25 day Calendar with them and use them forever more!
    What fun!
    I usually put the tree up Nov 11 – but am behind because of Christmas in November. Call me next week. It should be all up then and I would love to have your kiddies over for some cooking making!
    You need a lesson, right?

    • 2 lequan November 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm

      A 25 day calendar is an awesome idea, Valerie! Next time I’m at Costco I’ll check for you to see if they still have that. And you’re right, I DO need baking lessons…lol. You’d probably have more luck teaching K…haha. Be afraid, be very afraid. I wasn’t joking when I said I’m a disastrous baker, but good thing cooking is a different story ;-). By the way, I’m going to try your red peppers recipe some day. I think I can handle that. Also, do you think you would ever post your pavlova recipe? I would love to learn some of that magic!

  2. 3 Leah @ Why Deprive? November 15, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I LOVE that picture of your kids in front of the tree. That is a definite keeper!

    I cant believe how much Christmas stuff is out already! It just reminds me that I only have 2 more paydays between now and then. SCARY!

  3. 4 Lazaro November 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm


    You have a lovely family and they are so lucky to have a great Mom. What a heartfelt post.

    Those are some fantastic looking diver scallops. The only real way to buy scallops. That’s how you can assure they are fresh.

    I agree with your sentiment about how the delicate flavor of scallops should be treated with a gentle hand. That said, I love the combination of garlic and ginger with the scallops.


  4. 5 Ameena November 15, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    My heart melted at that picture of your kids in front of the tree…it makes me wish that Maya had a sibling! I need to borrow a kid just so I can have a photo like that in my album. 🙂

    I love that you’ve already started celebrating Christmas. And I think that Costco has some of the best stuff ever – I mean you get to entertain your kid and make decorations? Talk about efficiency!!

    I am looking forward to Christmas too – I love going to the mall to see all the lights and the busyness, etc. Can’t wait!

    • 6 lequan November 15, 2010 at 10:27 pm

      Oh girl please take one, or even both of my kids for a while if you want, Maya has two hands ;-). I’ll even give you the good one if you only want one…teehee. After that picture, they chased each other around the kitchen island about 10 times screaming at the top of their lungs. Still want more kids? I didn’t think so 🙂

  5. 7 Cindy November 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    LOVE the pic with your kids in front of the tree!! …as for the scallops…YUM!

    The only baking lesson is to remember that it is chemistry. The flavoring you can alter a bit, but the base ingredients…flour, eggs, salt, sugar, baking powder, etc. must stay in the same proportions. It requires patience and attention that can be a challenge with two little urchins running about.

    So much fun making the ornaments! That’s a memory you will always cherish.

  6. 8 Maki November 15, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I have been ITCHING to start Christmas prep. My kids have been begging to put up the tree but I said it’s still too early. Tonight I finally let myself look at Christmas cookie recipes!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your white tree. I really want one, at least for next year’s Christmas. I’m going to scour everywhere for one.

  7. 9 Anna Johnston November 16, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Now you know I’m not a mummy yet right…, but that does sound fun painting up the ornaments with your kids, a lovely little bit of bonding for sure. My mom still puts this crazy green & red plaited octopus on the tree every year (& I do a little cringe but am kinda chuffed all the same).
    Oh, interesting you eat all the scallops, think ‘down under’ we just seem to eat the meat, I do love scallops. The tree…., 1st December every year, we still do things as a family and make a bit of a do about it.

  8. 10 anncoo November 16, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Lequan, Christmas is coming on the way in 7 weeks’time. No Winter here but I can feel it as Christmas lightings already lightened up the streets and the malls. I love the picture that your kids in front the tree, so sweet 🙂
    I love those huge scallops so fresh and delicious. Your husband is a great cook, the roast beef looks so perfect…so yum yum 🙂

  9. 11 Blackswan November 16, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Love the xmas tree pix of yours with the kids holding hands. I’ve already put up my tree & since couple of years ago, we bought a fibre-optic tree which is quite popular here. I love it as it cuts down the hassle of putting & removing the lightings.

    What a coincidence! I’ve just bought some scallops too. My students brought me to a wholesaler & we bought a lot of stuff. I love steaming it with garlic, ginger too & sometimes bake it with cheese. I’ll be posting my recipes sometime soon & looking fwd to sharing it with u 🙂 Your cooking looks delicious especially the one with filo cups. Your hubby’s roast beef is perfect!

    Oh, happy belated bday to your adorable son!

  10. 12 sophia November 16, 2010 at 2:34 am

    That pic of your kids in front of the tree….that made my eyes mist up…It reminds me of me and my brother when we were young…I would take such good care of him…actually, I bossed him around and slapped him a lot, but I also took his hand and kissed him on the cheek too. hee hee. I was both affectionate and violent.

    Lequan, you are SO fancy. You make such luscious food!! If I ever visit your house (I wish!), I demand scallops and steamed fish. Oh, and we can crack our own hairy crab, please! 😀

    • 13 lequan November 16, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      Hey Sophia,

      If I’m ever lucky enough to have you over, you can demand for all the seafood you desire. Just gives me an excuse to have another seafood feast. I love me seafood, and I love having another foodie to share it with 😀

  11. 14 Weng@ I heart My Bakes November 16, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Wow!! My heart melted when I see your Christmas tree. Make sure there are some pressies that go with it under the tree yea ? 🙂

  12. 15 Peggy November 16, 2010 at 5:56 am

    You’re definitely ahead of schedule in the Christmas department! I better get myself in gear! The birthday meal looks absolutely elegant and it’s great that your whole family joined in the celebration!

  13. 16 Jos November 16, 2010 at 9:20 am

    The picture of your kids in front of the tree look precious. You should make it into your Christmas card and send it over to your relatives..hehe. I don’t really like scallops that much, in fact I don’t think I ever seen the full scallop complete with its shell…

    Such a great hubby!!! He made that roast beef??!!! I wish mine can cook that well hahaaha…but I think I am happy enough that he can make some simple dishes like fried rice or steamed veggies already. better than those typical traditional Asian guy who has ZERO skill in the kitchen except eating haha.

  14. 17 denise @ quickies on the dinner table November 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Hi LeQuan 🙂

    It’s past 2 am here and I just finished everything I had to do today and missed dinner 😛 Making myself a snack of toast with pate and I thought I’d visit for a ‘chat’ before retiring for the night.

    Thank you for trying out my dishes and mentioning them! I’m glad you enjoyed them but yes, sometimes you do have to follow instructions ROFL

    K must feel really special to have her birthday on Christmas Eve! Christmas is already in the air over here too – music and decorations are everywhere and I’m already thinking about what to cook. I usually put my tree up after the 20th (Dec)

    When it comes to scallops, I eat whatever’s served 😉 I got used to eating the whole thing (except for whatever’s inedible) because I love eating Japanese food and that seems to be how the Japanese serve/eat them.

    G-man’s roast is beautiful enough to tempt me into taking more than a few bites!!Btw – the photo of K and L holding hands is so adorable, I’ve made it my new laptop wallpaper 😀

    • 18 lequan November 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm


      Thank you for dropping by my blog even after missing dinner. Hope you at least make up with a big huge breakfast :-D.

      Japanese food is my favorite! Especially sashimi. That’s the best way to taste the freshness of seafood. At least that’s what I think.

      That’s so sweet of you to put that picture on your laptop. If I knew you were going to do that, I would’ve stuck my big fat head in the picture…lol. Hope you got a good rest and eat lots today :-D.

  15. 19 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors November 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Dear Le Quan – What an absolutely wonderful post! I love the pics caputuring these precious family moments. The food you cooked up is amzing…the scallops make me swoon nad I am so touched that you fixed the crab and guac cups….so clever to use the puff pastry in a pinch!

    The roast IS perfectly cooked and the gallette and taters, mouthwatering! You always cook up the most marvellous feasts 🙂

    Happy belated bday to your LOVELY SON!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  16. 20 Patty Price November 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Le Quan, I’m going to Costco to see if I can find the painting ornament set for my grandsons, I know they would love it and I do like to bond with them. I enjoy seeing your family photos around putting up your Christmas tree. I’m going to buy a live tree this year, decorate it and bring it in on Christmas eve because that’s what my parents did after their children all moved away, sigh, it happens. I plan on making fish soup for Christmas eve, maybe try the diver scallops as an appetizer, they look delicious and I would eat every bit of them. By the way, your roast beef does look perfect, thanks for sharing:)

  17. 21 Juliana November 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Oh! The pictures of the Christmas tree setting are SO cute…love this time of the year…the food look so yummie…if only I could have a “small” bite of each one of them 🙂

  18. 22 Monet November 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    As always…your posts are the highlights of my blogging week. I loved seeing you and your family prepare for Christmas…what a gorgeous family you are. I loved that picture of you and your daughter. My heart melted. And what a wonderful feast that you shared with your loved ones. Is there anything better than eating good food made with love? Thank you for reminding me of what is important in life-loving the wonderful people God has blessed us with.

  19. 23 5 Star Foodie November 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Aw, such precious time with the kids! Those decorations are such a great project! The scallops look excellent!

  20. 24 Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron November 16, 2010 at 6:11 pm


    Oh yeah that’s a very pretty good deal of that ornament set! Your girl seems happy with the “bonding time”. Your son’s bday this past weekend? He might have the same bday as me! omg. haha. Those scallops look so good especially when you served on the shell. I have a white fake Christmas tree too but mine is a lot smaller. By looking at your family pictures, the idea of having kids come back to mind again.

  21. 25 Jessie November 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    What a beautiful picture of K and L holding hands in front of the tree! (and excellent photography skills as well!) Do you mind if I save that picture? Precious moments – something to look forward to when Peter and I have kids. We’ll probably need those memories to balance out the crazy moments 😉 The pic of you and K is just adorable. She really looks a lot like you! BTW, in the whispering pic, I think K is saying “L, doesn’t this just look like a tree covered in snow?” Also, HAPPY BELATED B-DAY TO L!!!!! What a fantastic birthday dinner you made for him! I don’t think I had scallops in the shell when I turned two 😉 I’m ashamed to say that I never even knew scallops don’t come as white, clean, perfect disks :O I know, I know, sad. Everything in Connecticut doesn’t even resemble the creature it came from, not even at the Asian grocery! That’s one reason I love your pics, LeeQs! I get to see food as I don’t normally see it.

    Nice job with Denise’s dishes! I’ve been eyeing her galette for awhile, but I think I’ll wait until after we move next week to try any new recipes. I think your addition of duck is genius! Peter loves duck, so I think I’ll try your version. Also, reading Valerie’s comment above: can I come, too?? I can’t think of anything better than a lesson with two of my favorite bloggers! Come to CT!!!!

    Have a great week, LeeQs!!!!

    • 26 lequan November 16, 2010 at 10:37 pm

      Hey Jessie,

      You’re so sweet for wanting to say that picture. By all means, be my guest. You’re right though, pictures like these really do balance out the crazy moments. Haha. Hope I didn’t scare you away from having kids. They truly are little miracles. Nothing can ever compare to the feeling you get when your little one wraps her/his arms around you or even that first simple smile. Motherhood is the hardest but most rewarding job in the world (me thinks). Thank you for L’s bday wishes. The dinner was more for us…haha. At that age, they’re really not that interested in eating. Although he did enjoy his scallop. That’s my boy ;-).

      You must try Denise’s galette! Hubby and I loved it! Plus, it’s dummy proof. If I can make it, anyone can…lol.

      Please come to Edmonton! You can sooo live with us if you and Peter ever visit. I know where Valerie lives too so she can’t say no…hahaha. If only we lived closer, my dear friend!

      Hope you guys have a great week as well. More doggie pics please. I love seeing pics of your fur babies.

  22. 27 tigerfish November 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…at your home! You are spreading the mood, for sure. Love those diver scallops and the way they are cooked – ginger, scallops…what could go wrong? hehehhehe…

    I had a hard time choosing a toy for my friend’s 3-yr-old son the other day at Costco 😦 …I guess it is easier for girls? I don’t know.

  23. 28 Stella November 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Oh my gosh, that photo of the kids holding hands is too cute, LeQuanis! It made me laugh with adoration and gave me a super warm feeling inside. Thanks for that. I hope they are always that way towards each other by the way…!
    Oh, and have I mentioned that I blame you single handedly for making me want a baby? Okay, well, I already wanted one, but your blog makes me give my Cauldron Boy hell on a regular basis about this issue (big smile)…
    Oh, and your scallops look absolutely wonderful. That one photo is so clear and nice. It made me crave seafood. And I often put soy on my seafood too. I can see where you feel that scallop should be left with just a touch of flavoring. I’ll keep that in mind since we’re supposedly going to get good scallops down here soon…?!
    p.s. I need to try that galette too. I’ve been meaning to, but I’m so overwhelmed lately;)

  24. 29 Krista November 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Wow! What a fantastic celebration! 🙂 The food looks amazing – the scallops, the tart, the potatoes, the beef, – fantastic! I just love the photos of your children and the Christmas tree. They make my heart happy. 🙂

  25. 30 lynn @ the actor's diet November 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    i wanted to put up my x-mas decorations today – almost did it but i got lazy. thanks for sharing my video too!

  26. 31 Biren @ Roti n Rice November 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing those lovely pictures of your children and family. It is good to have family close by, especially for the kids. Sometimes it is good for them to be doted upon by their grandparents 🙂

    Your steamed scallops look fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever had a chance to eat them whole (with the shell) like that. I hope you did keep those shells though as they can be used as little serving dishes.

    Not too many Christmas things are out yet over here as Thanksgivng is only next week on the 25th. The big shopping day is the day after Thanksgiving and then people will be busy putting up their Christmas decorations.

  27. 32 Magic of Spice November 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Happy Birthday to your son…I love that picture too of them in front of the tree, so sweet. Your kids are so adorable Lequan 🙂
    And the food looks fantastic!
    I only eat the meat of the scallops but we have never done it any other way…WE usually put up our tree on the 13th as it is my oldest sons Birthday, so we kind of made a traditions of it 🙂
    Hope you are having a lovely weekend 🙂

  28. 33 Chef Dennis November 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Christmas is coming too soon this year! I just don’t know where the year has gone…sigh….
    Your dinner was an incredible feast! I love those scallops and the galette sounded perfect with the duck breast!
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post with us!

  29. 34 CourtJ November 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Crab and pineapple guacamole – tell me that is as delicious as it sounds!

  30. 35 Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel November 23, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I REALLY WANNA GO TO THE MALL AND GET A PICTURE WITH SANTA!! you took me back to so many wonderful childhood mall memories of christmas ❤

  31. 36 foodies at home November 24, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Oh you just got me uber excited for Friday! That’s the day I pull out all of Christmas sparkles! Looks like you guys have a great holiday and especially your daughters Birthday! How fun! Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your holidays!

  32. 37 Summer November 24, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Oh yeah i agree , it sure does feel like Christmas again and i love the feeling!!
    Love ur post and am happy to find ur blog!
    U have captured some lovely precious moments and put them together beautifuly!!
    Happy Holidays with Love!

  33. 38 Cindy @ This Adventure, Our Life November 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I really love that photo of your children holding hands, it is beautiful!! It is starting to feel like Christmas 🙂 I was out on a walk today at it was cold (well for SoCal anyhow!!)

  34. 39 Seglare November 29, 2010 at 4:04 am

    As a Christmas person, I LOVED your holiday post. I’m glad to see Christmas-y things popping up everywhere. 🙂 We finally set up our outdoor lights this weekend, but are waiting with the indoor tree until Christmas Eve (it’s a tradition to pick up and decorate the tree on that day).

    Oh, and the picture of your children in front of the tree is so beautiful! It would make a perfect Christmas card.

  35. 40 網路行銷 December 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

    You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material.

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