2016 with a crackling and a bao!

Happy new year! It’s time to welcome 2016 – and not only with a bang but also with a soul full of love and gratitude (and chez nous, with a bao 😋) ! As a year closes, it inevitable for us to look back to the year that was, to remember both the good and the bad, and to be thankful for the happy and meaningful moments we have shared with loved and endeared ones.

2015 was a year of travels, adventures, small changes, discoveries and trying out new things. I find myself quite lucky to have visited familiar cities that I love and to have discovered new places and towns that I now adore. All the memories and (surtout) the flavors and tastes of these trips  inspire us to explore different cuisines chez nous. (Doesn’t that crackling pig remind you of the leitão confitado we had in Lisbon?! And of lechon kawali, of course.)

On the professional front, there was the tiny work space change which took up a huge happy area in my soul. I am truly truly grateful that I did share a year in a very positive, productive and fun work space with the guys of the visual information unit, and it is indeed a bittersweet “au revoir” as we all take on a different path this year – for some a tiny change, and for others an enormous one. I couldn’t have asked for better roommates! Seriously, it was like being with my brothers 8 hours a day (only without the quarreling and wrestling bit, luckily!).

It was also the year that this blog began to blossom. I committed myself to more kitchen adventures, and I did try my best (albeit on a non-punctual fashion) to post them up here. There is a lot of work to be done: better photos to be taken, more interesting stories to be written, and certainly more delightful recipes to be tried/re-invented/created! But nonetheless, 2015 was an awesome playground for the chez nous GVA palate.

Creative exercises and projects were small but numerous as well. So many sketches and doodles, and a handful of side-projects made me a happy gal. I cannot wait to explore more and see where these would take me this year!

And finally, 2015 brought new friends, reconnected me to old ones and nurtured my relationships with dear people. That in itself is a reason to be immensely grateful. And I truly am. Family, friends and my man kept me warm and fuzzy in 2015. Despite the distance from some of them, emails, iMessages/whatsapp messages, and facetime dates definitely made us all feel a lot closer. And 2015 with the weddings and babies and birthday milestones! Wow, it was such an eventful year to so many of my favorite people!

Thank you, 2015. You have been kind to me. And I only wish 2016 will continue to glow with positive vibes abundantly dusted with heaps of kindness, love and creativity!

To usher in the hopefully fabulous and great year of 2016, we celebrated with pancit, steamed bok choy, shiitake mushrooms in oyster sauce, a chunk of crispy (read: chicharon-level) crackling pork belly and steamed homemade baos.


2016 – ça s’annonce bien! Happy new year!! ✌︎


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