- my mom's best pot ever of bun rieu (Vietnamese crab/shrimp/tomato soup) -- I'm still thinking about how delicious this was;
- banh bot loc (chewy dumplings filled with savory shrimp);
- banh xeo (a crispy pancake filled with pork, shrimp, bean sprouts and rolled up in fresh mustard greens and lettuce);
- Vietnamese-style beef hot pot;
- Peking duck (I made this -- the skin was not correct, but the meat was nice -- and the resulting oven-cleaning resulted in a family evacuation from the living room + donning of face masks to cover the God-awful smell of oven cleaner);
- benne wafers, which Lynh and I had fun making despite really not liking the outcome;
- cinnamon brioche rolls, Shirley Corriher's biscuits, sweet potato rolls, sandwich bread;
- Greek yogurt panna cotta, sour cherry pie and spiced pumpkin pie;
- a huge batch of beef empanadas, encased in pie dough and baked; and
- a Mexican-style brunch, with my brother's excellent tomatillo-chipotle salsa and tomatillo salsa, bacon, yummy refried black beans and a mess of homemade tortillas.
Also, my brother had the brilliant idea to recreate a few old family photos. It was a lot of fun, though they would have turned out better if we had some 80's-style sweatsuits, not to mention bad bangs. The results:
Our lucky stars were very kind to us this past year. Every passing day of health and happiness for our families, friends and ourselves is a special gift (I think especially of my dad, who remains cancer free and healthy after surgery two years ago -- fingers crossed!) and everything else -- spending time with our wonderful families and friends, planning fun travels and making a new home in the Bay Area -- is simply icing on the cake. We hope that 2011 will be as memorable and meaningful as 2010. Happy new year to you and yours; may you all be happy, healthy and well-fed in 2011!