Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

An 18th


18 years ago, I gave birth to my first-born child.  My beautiful baby girl is all grown up.

Where has the time gone!?  I’m so proud of what she has accomplished with her life so far. A talented musician, illustrator, photographer, writer, thinker and budding knitter.  And now she’s off to university, ready to start the next chapter of becoming a fully fledged adult.  My heart is sad, because she’s going to be so far away but it’s time.  It’s tough to be a parent – you have to let go at some point, don’t you?

We had a small family dinner to celebrate her birthday.  Sylvia wanted a chicken noodle salad:

She’s been thinking of this recipe ever since I first made it about six years ago.  For her 18th birthday, she got her wish.  It’s delicious, and I don’t know why I don’t make it more often actually.  It uses a bean noodle sold in Asian shops.  The noodles look like little flat triangles in the packet, but when cooked, they curl up into penne-shaped noodles. They have a lovely slightly chewy texture and are extremely good in salad.  This dish can be found in Asian restaurants, but as it’s called by many names, I can’t tell you what you might find it as, apart from “Chicken Noodle Salad”.

I put this dish together using my knowledge of taste and ingredients.   As it’s my recipe, I can share this with you.  It serves four:

3 chicken breasts (approx 400g)
2/3 of a telegraph cucumber (or a whole small one)
1 capsicum (red pepper)
2 carrots
1 packet glass noodles (the triangular shape)

Poach the chicken breasts until cooked and then set aside to cool.  Julienne the vegetables (cut into fine sticks). Cook the bean thread noodles, drain and set aside.  Shred the chicken breast into small pieces.  Layer the chopped vegetables, shredded chicken and noodles on a salad dish large enough for all the ingredients.

Make the sauce:

1 tbsp sesame paste
2 tbsp peanut butter  (if you can buy Chinese peanut sauce, that would be better)
1 tbsp soy sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp chilli sauce (mild)
approx 1/4 cup water
1 bunch coriander

Wash the coriander and pluck off the leaves.  Set the leaves aside.

Mix all the remaining ingredients together, adding enough water to make it a pouring consistency.   Pour over the prepared salad and top with coriander.

If you like hot, and are able to buy Sichuan peppercorns, you can also grind up three (only three – they are nuclear quality) peppercorns and stir that through the sauce.  It will give the salad a nice, clear hot, peppery bite.


Then there was cake:

It’s a spiced apple cake, and we had it with whipped cream.  Delish.

Happy Birthday, my sweetie!

Thanks for sharing her happy day.  In parting, I leave you with one of her very funny Cyanide & Happiness-style cartoons:

Isn’t she great?


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

11 thoughts on “An 18th

  1. Congratulations to you all and happy birthday Sylvia xxxxx

  2. looks delicious, and I do very much like the cartoon! I like the way your eyes are narrowed in the second box… he he he And her optimism!
    Happy b’day Sylvia!

  3. Happy Birthday Sylvia. She’ll be ok, such a stunning young lady. (remember, if she gets bored of yucky London, Dorset coast would welcome her).

    Guess what is happening today……………………yep, packing up the car and taking Jose up to Halls in London (my 17 year old baby), so I kind of know how you feel, although for me it is say 3 to 4 hours away from here, still feels like an ocean away xx

    Dinner looked lovely x

  4. Happy Birthday Sylvia, my 3rd child will be 18 next week, I know exactly how you feel……time does rush by so fast, but it’s a very proud moment to send them out into the world knowing the main part of your job is done. Delicious looking birthday meal.

    lily x

  5. Happy Birthday to your baby girl, she is gorgeous. Loved her cartoon…spot on! Birthday tea looks delicious and that cake, awesome! Good luck with her travels and uni…so far away 😦

  6. Your daughter sounds and looks like a lovely young lady 🙂 What is she studying at university? Does she know yet? Heaven knows I didn’t my first year! Her dinner of choice looks very tasty, as does the cake! I’ve never seen an apple cake before. Apple pies yes, carrot cake yes, even zuccini cake yes, but not apple. Sounds interesting!

  7. Congratulations on this amazing milestone. Your daughter is a true beauty — it’s clear that a light shines from inside her. Thanks for a great recipe. I can’t wait to try it. xo

  8. Thank you for the lovely post! It’s so heart-warming, and just makes me miss you more!

  9. What a lovely mum you are, giving love and noodle salad and even cardis! Your daughter is truly blessed. I don’t know either of you, but through your blog feel strangely involved, so please wish her happy birthday from me, too. Sabine

  10. Congratulations on raising such a fine daughter -and beautiful too! Your cooking looks as yummy as your knitting!

  11. Oh my gosh – I’ve actually given stuff to my daughters in that exact scenario! I guess it’s universal. It’s an exciting time for you and your daughter! Good luck to her at University. I sent two off to the University and we all survived brilliantly. 🙂