My Asian Arkansas Christmas With A Lil Bit Of Yee-Haw - Soup Loving Nicole Blog at - 214125

Soup Loving Nicole

My Asian Arkansas Christmas with a lil bit of YEE-HAW 
Dec. 28, 2010 9:34 pm 
Updated: Jan. 25, 2011 9:39 am

Hello my dear friends! Nothing exciting to report over the holiday season but I thought I would share my meal with you just the same. As some of you know, I have recently started my own holiday traditions and while I chose a Mexican theme for Thanksgiving, Asian was my theme of choice for Christmas. If I could go back and re-think that, I probably would have chosen something different but hindsight is neither here nor there. I’ll admit I struggled and none of the planning came easily. I mean Asian dishes are typically one-dish meals no? What I mean by that is that you have your meat and veggies all cooked up and served over your starch (rice) and there you have it. But, I wanted it to be a little more special and different than that. After all, I am supposed to making my own new memorable traditions here right? Repeating veggies seemed to be inevitable but DH could always use more veggies in his diet so veggie repeats it was. Another challenge in the Asian cooking is that you not only have to have everything chopped, measured, ready to pour in advance but you also need like ten hands all at once because it all cooks within minutes and is done at the exact same time. No combining things and letting them marinate for 30 minutes or letting something simmer/bake for hours on end  or…well you get my drift.

  Let me back things up a second and say that I recently went on a group lunch with my co-workers. With the economy struggling the way that it has been, my company no longer does Christmas parties but allots each department with a certain amount per head to do as they choose to with it. We chose a group lunch (around 15 of us) to a chain steakhouse. I won’t go into the detail there other than to say that I ordered my steak medium well (even expected it to be on the well done stage if I have to be honest) but after three tries I went back to work the second half of my shift hungry. The lunch menu was a meat and side of your choice and nothing more.  Keep in mind folks that I am NOT a picky eater except for hating sweets but bloody and beyond rare steak is one thing I just cannot eat. I simply cannot! My side of choice was shoestring fries and they were great except that they kept taking them off every time they took my live cow off to re-cook. I sat there starving as others around me ate to their hearts content. I am a very quiet person and do not like attention drawn to me so I sat there and didn’t say a word. Bottom line is that after three tries with no luck and everyone stuffed and ready to go back to work, I couldn’t help but wish that they had at lease served a dinner salad or something to fill that hunger.  So, this being fresh in my mind and never having tried my main dish, I decided that a “salad” was a must for this special occasion and a hearty soup couldn’t hurt either.

This is what I chose and I am happy to report that everything came together at just the right time, nothing was ruined, and we had a lovely Asian dinner for two right there in the privacy of our own home. I made some changes that I will have to note in my individual reviews but until then, here is our Christmas dinner…<<<<  UGLY dish by the way but tasty

I thought real hard about Saki but um NO.  Our after dinner drink consisted of Riunite Lambrusco for me and Captain Morgan and Coke for him and was the perfect finish to a wonderful feast.

So what is all of this YEE-HAW about you ask? Well, October 1st was the first day of hunting season (archery) and this is one of DH’s sports. He was faithful…I have to give him that. He drove to all parts of Arkansas every weekend and NOTHING and really didn’t see anything. Then the Midwest Round-up gathering came along but it was the first weekend of modern gun and I had to pass on the round-up because of it. To clarify, I didn’t “have” to but chose to because of the health issues DH had been facing. The surgery was over and successful and modern gun meant a great deal to him and I knew this and just told myself “next time”. NOTHING…no Bambi’s still. Not until the day after Christmas that is. What can I say? I’m not a huge fan of killing the fur babies and not a huge fan of eating them either (but I do) and although my heart got a little sad when I saw our truck pull up with one in the back end, it also rejoiced for him still being here with me and doing what he loves and providing us with some mighty tasty tenderloins and such to last us through the winter.  I find it funny that I can gag to the point of vomiting if I find a hair in my food yet I can stand there holding a flashlight watching him gut an entire deer and not only be just fine but turn around and manhandle it myself while marinating it or shaping it into patties, cooking,  and eating it?? Can anybody give me a big ole redneck YEE-HAW? LOL!

Happy New Year to each and every one of you my dear friends! Thanks for stopping by!

Soup Loving Nicole

Chinese Chicken Soup
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Hot and Sour Slaw
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Hunan Chicken
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Vegetable Lovers' Fried Rice
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Dec. 28, 2010 10:28 pm
You've put a lot of thought into your new traditions. It will be interesting to see them evolve as the years go by. I guess I should be happy your man got his deer. DH no longer hunts and I am happy that he doesn't. But it's good that you have fresh meat and that he feels he's providing for his family. I missed the Midwest Round-up, too. I put in for a day off but didn't get it, and that's just the way life is sometimes. It would have been fun. Maybe we can have a Joplin get-together (or Springfield, or Rodgers, or Tulsa). Thanks for sharing your holiday traditions! Elle
Dec. 29, 2010 12:06 am
Nice Blog Nicole - I eat my meat rare but couldn't stand gutting and skinning Bambi. Just different for each for the salad - I KNOW to order salad - that and a hunk of bread will fill me up. Have a very Happy New Year. BTW - was your kitchen totally destroyed?
Dec. 29, 2010 6:26 am
Hey Nic, glad your new tradition turned out so well. I'm sure there will be more round-ups in the future. Family is more important. I know we'll manage to get together with Elle sometime.
Dec. 29, 2010 8:55 am
Nicole, your meal looks beautiful. I love creating new traditions for my family. One of my sisters and her family joined us for Christmas Eve dinner this year and we got to cook together, which is something I would love to see become tradition. So much fun!! I love to cook foods from different cultures, so your idea of choosing different cuisines for different holidays sounds great to me. I hope you and your DH have a terrific New Year!
Dec. 29, 2010 4:29 pm
Nicole, I keep wishing Tao was ever so much closer so I could have Chinese. My guys won't eat it. Now venison, oh yeah! Glad the DH got one. Still sorry you couldn't come for the roundup but with the distance and hunting season what could you do? There is always next year :) Happy New Year to you both!
Dec. 29, 2010 4:33 pm
Elle we should definitely do that in the spring!
Dec. 29, 2010 4:35 pm
Amazingly enough Baking Nana my kitchen looked pretty good in the end. I did all of my prep work and had it all in bowls waiting to go. Now my stove on the other hand was a different story. Ha ha! Happy New to you too!
Dec. 29, 2010 4:36 pm
We definitely do need to do it again Magnolia. I can't wait to meet some of you wonderful people!
Dec. 29, 2010 4:38 pm
Thanks Citrus! I am delighted to hear you were making good memories of your own this year. Happy New Year!
Dec. 29, 2010 4:42 pm
Cat, I've wished the same thing about Tao. His would be the real deal. Mine was Americanized but baby steps for now. That still amazes me that your guys are so picky but will eat venison. I eat it but it's not my favorite. Next year is right! Happy New Year to you and your gang too!
Dec. 29, 2010 7:15 pm
Hi Nikki, I am so glad you had a good Christmas! Your dinner looks delish. I've saved all the recipes. I can't wait to try the soup and the rice. I wish you could be here for our next Sushi class. Those dishes would go so well with sushi. And, I'm very happy you'll have meat in the freezer this winter. Whoot Whoot!
Dec. 29, 2010 7:39 pm
Hi Candice! I have yet to try Sushi (well maybe once but it was on a buffet and I don't think it was authentic) and I would love to be there for one of the classes. Not exactly steak and shrimp that I'd love to have in my freezer but it will work :) Thanks for stopping by.
Dec. 30, 2010 8:27 am
Loved your photo in the number one spot today!!! So glad to see it there! I had to chuckle, too, in reading the end of your blog...what we won't do for the ones we love :)
Dec. 30, 2010 5:18 pm
Thank you MomTo6! I guess you guys are seeing something I am not because I didn't think any of Asian Christmas pics turned out worth a darn. You take great pictures!
Dec. 30, 2010 6:41 pm
What can I say they like game meats and junk food. Alas, I have tried. BTW, I thought your pics were great!
Dec. 30, 2010 7:10 pm
Your photos are wonderful, for once they do a dish justice, and surely they tasted just as good. It sounds like a lovely meal and what prep time you spent...hope dh gave you a special thank you hug. I enjoy your posts and hope you have a great and healthy 2011!
Dec. 31, 2010 1:25 pm
Thanks Cat!
Dec. 31, 2010 1:26 pm
Thank you roxiegirl and thank you for stopping by!
Jan. 2, 2011 3:07 pm
Whenever I make Thanksgiving Turkey, I would stuff it with clear vermicelli noodles. It is the most delicious thing! Clear verm. noodles can be found at the asian grocery. You let it soak in warm water for about ten minutes. Add a soysauce, minced garlic, shiitake mushrooms (or your preference), a little bit of salt, and about 1 t. of sugar. Mixed into the noodle and stuff it inside the turkey. It will soften as you roast the turkey.
Jan. 2, 2011 3:22 pm
Your meal looks wonderful. I have made asian inspired meals, but you really got into it. Nice job. I had to chuckle, you get turned off by rare steak, but can help dress a deer. I love the fact that the traditions you are beginning are planned, so many of us just end up with them by default.
Jan. 2, 2011 6:25 pm
YeeHaw to you Nicole! All of your dishes look and (taste I bet) wonderful! I would love to have as much talent as you. I feel for you about the eating out thing. Always happens to me, so hence we do tend to eat at home more often. (I tend to nit-pick every little!) And since you read my blog..I think I am copying off of your tradition for next year! Have a blessed, healthy, prosperous, and healthy New Year! (The hubs too)
Jan. 2, 2011 6:37 pm
Thank you for stopping by Cambodian Cook! Your idea puts a whole new meaning to Asian Christmas and it sounds GOOD!
Jan. 2, 2011 6:40 pm
BSM I wish I could say it came naturally but it is something I've had to work at. I'm really thankful it is just the two of us or I would be ska-rewed! :)
Jan. 2, 2011 6:44 pm
Copy all you like Anissa...LOL! Shoot, by the time next Christmas rolls around I should be able to have your entire menu planned out and read to go for you...ha ha! Talent? No, just determination and persistence and I've always been known as a determined little cuss...ROFL! Thank you though and I always enjoy your posts and insights and look forward to them in 2011!
Jan. 2, 2011 11:18 pm
YEE-HAW!!! Nicole! Glad DH got his deer and it is in the freezer. I haven't been on a lot lately but really enjoyed your blog. I have missed talking with you and hope your New Year is blessed and healthy for both you and DH. Glad the storms in NW Arkansas did not come your way. They were very close to my brother in Springdale and my neice found someone's metal roof in her yard!..../Ginny
Jan. 3, 2011 3:51 pm
Sounds great! If you liked Chinese you can always expand your selection to "Asian" then you can include Thai food etc. I had an all-Asian dinner with my neighbors last month and it went over well!
Jan. 3, 2011 3:54 pm
I've missed you Ginny! I hope this new year is a blessed one for you too and that you are still enjoying your own place. The storms were BAD that night but there was minimal damage and we only lost power for two hours so I am very thankful. If you ever plan on getting this way to visit your brother, please get in touch with me. I drive through Springdale every single day and would love to meet you. In the meantime, take care. It was great hearing from you!
Jan. 3, 2011 3:56 pm
Thai food is the bomb Skoo! What all did you and your neighbors have?
Jan. 3, 2011 3:58 pm
Um.... duh you title says "ASIAN" sorry for that silly comment. Anyways I did Asian Corn Chowder (Good Housekeeping), Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls (AR), Cucumber Salad with mint and ginger, and Moo Shoo Pork (Real Simple) and for Dessert, Layered Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd and Lemon Buttercream
Jan. 3, 2011 3:58 pm
The cake is from AR too
Jan. 3, 2011 4:11 pm
Oh yum! I've had the Spring Rolls one time from a Vietnamese neighbor and they were really good. The rolling part was quite tricky for me but they were watching and laughing at us too so that didn't help. I may just have to try my own hand at them. And, you know I'm all over that soup..hee hee. Thank you for the great ideas!
Jan. 3, 2011 4:16 pm
You're welcome!
Jan. 4, 2011 6:05 am
Wow - does this bring back memories for me. I tried to do a different ethnic meal each Christmas (for approximately 14 people)and I must say Asian was the most difficult. What I found is everything needs to be cooked around the same time - so by the time I was finished, I was too exhausted to eat!!! My favorite was the year I did 9 different soups (they could all sit in crock pots!)I'm sure yours was delish!!
Jan. 4, 2011 3:49 pm
Asian was difficult huh Bennett? I cannot believe it but I never even thought of the soup idea. There is only two of us so it could be tricky but I bet I could figure something out. Thank you for the idea!
Jan. 4, 2011 10:15 pm
I like your idea of doing a theme for holiday dinners, and may try that next year. I think it's fun to learn about other cultures through their food. Anyways, just a little note: I don't know of any Asian culture that has only one dish meals. We do that in my house only b/c I don't want to do anything more elaborate for just my husband and myself. But with Viet meals for example, you traditionally start out with a soup, have a couple of veggie dishes, one "meat" dish...and maybe a dessert (we're not big on that). That's a simple meal. Vietnam being a poor country, does not have meat-centric meals like others. Growing up, it was almost a garnish. Something savory to go with the huge plate of mints, basil, bean sprout, and other herbs my mother had in her garden. Just thought I'd share.
Jan. 5, 2011 5:29 am
Everything sounds & looks yummy! What a great new tradition to start for you and the dh. :)
Jan. 12, 2011 5:15 am
I just read through your profile because I saw that you were listed as cook of the week----we have a lot in common---from one country girl/redneck to another YEEEHAWWWWW!
Jan. 25, 2011 9:39 am
Where did you find the little green bowls that you took the picture of the jalapeno soup in???? I luv them, lots.... :)
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Soup Loving Nicole

Home Town
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Living In
West Fork, Arkansas, USA

Member Since
Feb. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Hello, my name is Nicole. I am 41 years old and have been married to my high school sweetheart for 17 years now. I haven't always enjoyed cooking but Allrecipes has changed that for me over the years. I now consider myself a foodie and am always up for a good challenge in the kitchen. There isn't anything I won't try at least once. Summer is my favorite time of the year and when I am not recipe hunting, menu planning, etc. I spend my time fishing gardening, and babysitting my chickens.
My favorite things to cook
Soups, Mexican, Italian, Asian, and grilling
My favorite family cooking traditions
I don't really have any so I have started my own. Allrecipes has taught me to "think outside the box". I love trying new and unusual things that I would have never dared or even thought of before discovering this place.
My cooking triumphs
When I got married, I honestly had 0% experience in the kitchen. My mom was the kind that wanted the whole kitchen to herself so that nobody was in her way and I was only allowed in there to grab the plates, utensils, etc. to set the table. I really never thought about what I was going to cook until we got back from our honeymoon and then I was like, "uh oh!". Amazingly enough it all came pretty natural and I am happy to say that I have never ruined a meal forcing us to order take-out.
My cooking tragedies
Me and double battering things do not get along!
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