What a Year

hk skyline

2013 was a big year for me. Last night, as I flipped back the pages in my mind before the clock strikes twelve, some memories formed into paintings of joy and laughter while others displayed a sense of melancholy.  It was the year where I decide to make a drastic change in my life with a precious opportunity which I am actually not quite prepared for.

Leaving home to work in a foreign country for the first time, the move to Hong Kong itself was already an experience. Besides getting to know the ways of living in this new city, my taste buds are also being challenged to recipes, flavors and textures that I am not accustomed to.

While the new may be interesting, it is often the familiar that kept me settled.  I’m so glad that my tiny kitchen is now stocked with extra virgin olive oil, Italian canned tomatoes, balsamic and my favorite spices.

Here’s a simple recipe to share. Happy New Year my friends!

Drumsticks Baked with Balsamic Vinegar

baked chicken with balsamic


Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Crushed black pepper

Dried rosemary (fresh ones are too costly over here)

Sea salt


Lemon juice

Marinate drumsticks with all other ingredients overnight. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 45 minutes or until it looks good to the eye. Squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over before serving with your favorite greens or baked vegetables.

40 thoughts on “What a Year

  1. Dear Danny,
    I’m glad to hear that you have settled down in the new city and that your kitchen pantry is full and ready to go! 🙂
    Happy New Year to you and your family! 🙂

    1. Happy New Year Francesca! I am so glad to be back and thank you for your comment. I miss hearing from you 🙂 Though there are certainly ups and downs to make this move, it is a good experience in life for me. I’ll make it the best I can 🙂 May you be blessed with lots of love and joy in 2014!! …..danny

  2. Oh good Danny! Nice to hear you are starting to settle in and get some of the familiar ingredients you love! This is a wonderful chicken recipe I’ll try for sure. My son’s favorite part of the chicken…the drumstick! So, he’ll appreciate this for dinner for sure. So good to hear from you and hope Hong Kong is kind to you!

    1. Happy New Year tinywhitecottage! It’s a tough move but I am good. Settling in day by day. Two more things I wish to start is to begin reading again and planting my own herbs. English novels are almost non-exist in the local libraries so I’m gonna have a hard time searching for them in book stores which carries mostly Mandarin books as well. Not sure if it is even possible to plant some sweet basil with the air here when summer comes…but work is good. I would say it is an appropriate career move. Thank you for liking this recipe. If you try, do let me know how your son likes it 🙂 Here’s to a wonderful 2014! …..danny

  3. Happy New Year to you too Danny! The first 6-12 months living in a new place/country are never easy… it takes time to find everything you need, as well as to make new friends and feel settled. Once the initial adrenalin and excitement of moving wears off, it can all be a little overwhelming – just my opinion anyway, from much experience in this regard… Hope you start to feel at home soon!
    Lovely recipe for chicken drumsticks – can’t wait to try them – they look absolutely delicious!
    Here’s to a wonderful 2014!

    1. Happy New Year Margot! May you and family blessed with lots of love and joy in 2014! You are so right. It’s been three months since I’ve moved here but the process of settling in has not stop. Wish I can just pop over to you for advice and opinions so that you can calm me down when things are not happening in the right way…I’ll just have to take things a step at a time. Thank you for liking this recipe. With much less time to do heavy cooking now, I can only turn to quick and easy ones like this. I am so happy to see your comment and i can talk to you non stop 🙂 Best wishes, Danny

  4. Happy, happy New Year to you Danny. Having moved all over, all my life, I can certainly relate to the ups and downs of relocating to a new country. You are smart to get your pantry in order and focus on something that grounds you and makes you happy. Your chicken looks gorgeous – beautiful photograph. And it’s so good to have you back in the blogosphere.

    1. HAPPY NEW YEAR Lindy!!! I know you can fully feel what I have been through for the move. How I wish there is a chance for me to get it all out in front of you for advice and hear your experiences. I wonder how did you do it for several times. That’s incredible. I am really glad to be able to start cooking again. I might get to do it less often now but it really makes me happy from the daily work routine and long hours in the office. I am so glad to be back too! and even more happy talking to you again. Thank you for not forgetting me 🙂 ……Best wishes, Danny

  5. Happy New Year danny . I have not moved away from home but i understand the feeling.Hope you will get used and settled down with your new environment soon . All the best in 2014 .

    1. Aw…thank you so much Jenny. Happy New Year to you too! It was a tough move but I’m alright now. Settling in day by day and learning to get comfortable with this city. Really happy to your comments over here. Best Wishes!!!…danny

    1. Thank you so much Bridget! And a Happy New Year to you and family! May 2014 inspire you to create more incredible yummy bakes! 🙂 Now I feel like having a big piece of your chestnut cake….mmmmmm…Luv, Danny

    1. Aw..Thank you so much Sophie! And a very Happy New Year to you and family! May you be blessed with lots of love and joy in 2014! And also lots of fantastic ingredients 🙂

    1. Happy New Year Pamela! Thank you so much! I am so happy to be back and even more delighted that you hasn’t forget me 🙂 How is your rooftop vegetable garden doing? Best Wishes…danny

  6. Hi Danny, happy to hear you are doing great in Hong Kong and that you are ready to prepare lovely plates with your spices in hand! 🙂 wish you a beautiful and happy new year my friend! take care and hope to hear from you soon too! 🙂

    1. Happy New Year Ingrid! Thank you very much! I am so happy to know that most of you hasn’t forget me 🙂 I’m so blessed to be part of this community. Best wishes to you and family in 2014 with lots of joy and love 🙂 …..danny

  7. Happy New Year to you and Siew Ping. Good to hear that you’ve settled in and still producing wonderful recipes.

  8. Hi Danny, Sorry it has taken me so long to comment. I have to agree with Margots comment, I have also moved many times and it does take time to settle in and feel at home – at times there were “why did I do this moments” but in the end it has always worked out. Enjoy the first few months of simply being a tourist and learning your new environment. Trust yourself, open yourself up to new experiences and enjoy! I love this recipe – good luck with the herb growing. Btw I still haven’t made the focaccia bread but it is still on my list 🙂 Regards Karen

    1. Hi Karen, I’m so happy to hear from you and thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Last week was a “why did i do this moment” but I just got to learn and sort things out. Luckily, work is all good. And when I am feeling lost, it is always words like yours that keeps me going. I am also looking for time to bake my first bread in hong kong. Give me your comments after you try the focaccia recipe ok? 🙂 Warmest Danny

  9. Love the simple recipe. I will have to try it next time I buy drumsticks from the market. Your year sounds like it has been exciting…but it a year is a long time and so is the range of emotions that it contains. I hope you enjoy your new city that you are calling home and become well acquainted with it and all the best for the New Year!

    1. Thank you my friend. You have said it right. A year is a long time. The range of emotions starts all the way from wanting to have a choice, take the chance and make the change. I can’t be here for good but I will certainly learn to live it well. All the best to you too for the new year!

  10. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I will also be relocating later this year due to work and it is incredibly valuable to hear your perspective. Drastic changes are exciting decisions to make, yet can also be incredibly intimidating when it comes time to executing them. Seize the opportunity and try to see this as a life learning experience! Hong Kong is a great city to explore and live in 😉

    1. It is so great to see your comment my friend. I am really excited for you. You’ve said it right. It’s going to be tough in the beginning but it will all come together eventually. If I can manage it, I’m sure you can do much better. Keep us posted! 🙂

    1. Hi, I am glad you like hk although it’s not at the top of my list. I would say having a holiday and living here is a total difference. Best, danny

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