A Dinner Party with my very own personal chef!

I really haven’t done any entertaining, well not much, in my home during expat the last few years. I don’t know why. When we were in Canada we always entertained and had people in for dinner. I guess I will have to get used to that again very soon. The normal, and I guess easier thing to do in China and even Brasil is to go out with friends. And in China, if you eat Chinese, it’s cheaper than cooking at home!

BUT when this offer came I couldn’t resist! My Chinese friend, Li Dan Yao, said she would love to cook Chinese dishes for me and some of my foreign friends. How could I refuse? She is a fabulous cook! My own personal chef… 😀 I’m a happy girl!

So we invited a few friends… and a few more… this evening for a dinner party, Chinese style of course. And now you know my whole reason for shopping yesterday.

In case you didn’t know, there is a lot of prep work that goes in to Chinese food. It is all prepared fresh and there’s lots of peeling, and chopping that happens before it’s actually put together. Then it is cooked prior to actual eating it. That is why in Chinese restaurants in China, dishes are served as they are prepared, not all together.

My friends came to my home at 11 am to start the food preparations. Filling prepared for Jiaozi. Veggies prepared. She’s even making the glazed sweet potato! Seafood…shrimp, squid and fish cleaned and prepared. Li dan Yao does some fancy work to make the shrimp look pretty and now I know how restaurants get the squid to look so nice!! What skill she has with a meat cleaver. She even brought her own. A chef’s knives are like a soldier’s sword so I’m told 🙂

I popped in and out of the kitchen all day to watch…assist as needed ( but really I didn’t want to be in the way)

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Normally, if I have a large group of friends in for dinner we will do buffet. However, with Chinese food it’s kinda hard…the way Chinese food is presented and served. It’s a really good thing we have such wonderful friends just downstairs. Tim was so kind to let us use his table and chairs with ours.

It’s so hard to know who to invite and how many. We have a good size apartment but still not enough space to invite everyone we wanted to. We were thankful to share this special treat with just a few of our dear friends. The weather cooperated enough for the guys to have a few games of monkey golf. Foreigners playing a different game like this draws quite a crowd in China. David was amused. Unfortunately I didn’t get downstairs in time to get pics but I got a few of them playing. There was a little Chinese boy that showed up with his Mom of course. We couldn’t quite figure him out. As much as everyone wanted pics with Olivia, we wanted some pics with this little guy.

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The women came upstairs and got a bit of instruction in Jiaozi making while the guys finished their game and then it was time to eat!!

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Ahh…so many dishes. Wei Quan even did up a menu in Chinese! Lots of interesting things, many of our favourites and so much!! Li dan Yao was so busy in the kitchen and finally when the food was all cooked and served she joined us for something to eat. This is the Chinese way! I am sure she must be exhausted,it was a long day but Wei Quan always reassures me that she loves it, and as they were leaving once again said, “If you’re happy, we’re happy!. It’s our pleasure because you are our family”

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I am so thankful to have wonderful friends to share this with, it was such a great night!

The kitchen is all clean again, house tidy, blog done and I’m off to bed. I don’t think I’ll be waking up early to see soccer tomorrow. Night all!


Thanks Robin & Pete for the beautiful flowers!



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Adventure For Two

I am from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada and I'm back from traveling with my husband on an expat assignment to foreign lands. 2011-2012 we were in Shenyang, China. Spring 2012- Spring 2013 we were in Resende,RJ Brazil then back to Shenyang, China in July 2013 until the end of July 2014. Expat life WAS amazing! Adventure abounds no matter where we travel to. We really enjoyed the amazing opportunity to live and experience culture and tradition in these places. BUT now we are finished and adjusting to life in our small town in Canada. Our days of travel and adventure are not over.

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