Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tira-Misu Christmas Party

It is never ending!  The Christmas celebrations, I mean!

My friends and I just had a get together.

Dra. Cristina, Doc Bernie, Cabin mates Eric and Jodie with my cooking student, Carrie, Alex and Dodai, Nyora Mona and Pinky.

Tira-misu was our food theme.  Literally, "tira-tira".

Why not???? When all our refrigerators were overflowing with food.  We decided to bring our left-over food from Christmas to Pinky's house.

She is renting a house in Marcelo Green Village so she could watch over the house she is building in the same subdivision.  All her kitchen stuff are packed in boxes so we had to use disposable ice cream containers, plates, cups, etc.

She told us it was going to be a very informal affair.

Ohhhh my Goodness!!! The evening started with laughter and it never ended until the end of the night!

When we got to her house, we could not open the fan yet because our paper plates would fly!!!! There were only 10 plates!!!

Good thing, I asked Dodai to bring her left over paper plates and disposable cutlery from our previous party.

I brought Paksiw na Lechon  and my Pancake House Spaghetti copycat.

Mona brought rellenong bangus and Waldorf Salad.

Jodie brought Zubuchon

and asked yaya Mayet to cook the honey BBQ wings.

I loved the Chicken Pastel that Bong, Pinky's brother, cooked! I had 2 servings of rice with 2 servings of chicken pastel!

Tricia and Bernie bought ice, drinks, ice cream and buko pandan.  The fruit salad was from Pinky.

Dodai brought fresh cut up fruits.

We even had Black Velvet and Red Velvet cakes!

Topics of conversations.... so varied... from how to kill animals in different fashion i.e halal, kosher, etc from eating fresh steaming hot Monkey brain and fried live fish.  We saw the documentary about it several years ago.

From people getting sympathetic symptoms when someone is throwing up....  I did not know that Pinky felt that way when we were on our way home from Boracay one time via Kalibo.  We rode the enclosed air-conditioned ferry boat of Southwest.  Ohhhh heavens! I got so dizzy then I started throwing up when we rode the bus to Kalibo.

I almost fell from the picnic bench!  Pinky borrowed the folding picnic set of Jodie.  As I was about to sit on the bench, I underestimated it and almost fell backwards!  Good thing, Dodai was there to catch me!

Everybody was in tears whenever there was a funny story or happening.

It was just a night of never ending fun and laughter!

They were planning a trip to Baguio but I said I would have to pass on that because I was afraid of ghosts!  They plan on renting a big house for everybody.  They wanted me to cook but I said, I do not want to sleep in Baguio! Then they suggested I do a day trip!  Everyday!

We did not want the night to end but some of them have to go to work tomorrow.

I just love these people!

If you want to laugh and lose your voice, hang out with us!  I pity Alex and Dodai because our voices were so loud!

I think Pinky will get an eviction notice tomorrow.

Thank you so much Pinky for having us over!  Our next event in Marcelo will be your house blessing!!!

Christmas 2016 With My Family

Christmas is over! That was fast!  Did you feel that it went like a blur, as well?  I was too busy before the holiday season with baking.

Hahahaha Not that I have many customers, just Kuya and Dra. Cristina and several orders of Galantina from friends.  I normally do not like to cook a lot so I just accept a few orders every Christmas.

We have a little Santa this year, Snowball with my favorite, Kuya Nicky, my nephew who is a 3rd year medical student.

I do not have a family picture but took photos of each one while we were opening our gifts.

I loved my gifts! Of course, I told them what I wanted.

New Frying Pans from Kuya's family.

Beater Blade with scraper from Ate's family.

Renzo, happy little boy with his monetary gift.

Sophia still loves socks from Iconic.

Gilly was opening the present I gave her.

Kuya Nicky... poor kid... t-shirt every year from his Tita which he calls, Tata.

Suzette, Kuya's wife, with her travelling cases.

Ate and her presents.

Do you think Kuya was happy with my gift?

It is the same gift I gave Butch, my brother in law!

The new reversible umbrella!!!

People who drive cars will appreciate this wonderful invention.

My Christmas day breakfast was my favorite CDO Holiday Ham.

I really love it because it is sweet like the Virginia Ham we used to eat at  Christmas.  I do not like the salty Chinese ham.

No Noche Buena for me.  I just slept very early because I was so tired from cooking and baking all the orders but we celebrated on Christmas lunch.

We had Molo Soup

Ping Ping's Lechon

I woke up at 7:00 am so I can buy blue crabs and shrimps in Guadalupe Market.

Kuya Nicky loves shrimps.

I asked Ate to bring fruit salad because I did not have time to drain the fruit cocktail anymore.

She also brought potato salad and ice cream.

Yaya Hermie shared with us her saba from Romblon and cooked turon.

PD was not able to join us for Christmas lunch but I was with her on her birthday last December 23, which is also my Mom's and Kuya's birthday.

We had breakfast at UCC at Eight in Rockwell.

Lunch with our senior friends, Tita Butchie and Tita Tess, at Kimpura Greenbelt.

I think (?) everybody was happy with the gifts they received!  Christmas is really for kids because they still get excited about it.  They still believe in Santa Claus!

Perhaps for adults it is more meaningful.

Well.... I am speaking for myself.

It is not a commercialized event for me but rather a celebration of the birth of Jesus in a simple manner.

I was listening to the homily (WOW! Seriously, Lia... you were?) and the priest said, Jesus Christ was not born  in a mansion nor palace but in a simple manger with just the animals and the angels watching over him.  Even before the people ( The 3 kings) came to visit him, it was the animals in the manger who were present for his birth.

Jesus is our King but in the first few moments of his life, we already learned humility and simplicity.

This is the meaning of Christmas for me.

Pet Chronicles

Every night, before Snowball sleeps on my bed, I give her half a bath then she would fall into a deep sleep.

Sometimes, I would wake up in the morning and she would still be in "in-in" mode.

 Hahahaha My friends said she looked like she partied hard the night before and suffering from hangover in this photo.

A boy and his love for dogs. Odie is Renzo's dog, a Jack Russel terrier while Snowball is Sophie's dog, a West Highland Terrier.  I am just "fostering" it for her.

Friday, December 23, 2016

How To Be Madam

Madam is my pet name given by the Ka Escapades.  I don't know why but I have a fairly good idea.

Hahahaha!  If not Madam, my other name is "hard time".  What can I do?  I need so many things all the time.  When we went on a cruise, we had a dedicated waiter assigned to our table.  I would always ask for this and that but I do not do that to annoy the waiter!  It just happened that what I needed was not within reach.  They told me to just ask for everything in one go! But again, What can I do? I only think of what I need when I need it.

But I always ask nicely and sweetly that the waiter or cabin attendant would gladly grant my request.  I think?

The other day, Dra. Cristina and I spent almost the whole day together.  She was "on the job training" on How to be Madam.

The day started early when she texted me at 9:30 to ask if I was awake already.  I told her I had an errand near her clinic in Legazpi Village at the back of Makati Med.  I picked her up and we went to Little Tokyo.

We had lunch at Izakaya Kikufuji.

Our set meals... Tempura for Dra. and Chicken Terriyaki for me.

While we were having lunch, my accountant called to say that the bank's system was offline and that it could not accept checks.  My VAT payment was due on that day.  Good thing the messenger was just a few meters away from the restaurant!  So, in the middle of my lunch, I had to leave to withdraw money across Kikufuji and wait for the messenger.

Then, Dra. and I went to Chocolate Lovers at The Beacon to buy boxes and ingredients for my orders.

Afterwards, we had to go to Glorietta to do another banking errand while Crisitna did her own thing.

Whew!  Next destination was Powerplant mall.

The problem with Japanese food is that you get hungry after an hour or two, so we had to eat merienda at Cibo.

Ham, cheese and mushroom panini for me.

Pita with Salami and goat's cheese for Cristina.

I had to say bye to my "trainee" because I had to go to the grocery!

My day has not ended yet.  When I got home, I baked Mango Walnut Bars and packaged each slice individually.

I also baked Fudge Brownies.

Then had to cook spaghetti sauce and chicken adobo.

I ended my "day" at 2 am after washing the pans I used for baking.  After 8 or 9 pm, I don't ask Hermie to do things for me anymore.

Cristina said she got tired and my schedule was too busy.  Most people think I don't do anything since I do not have a regular 9-5 job but my day is always full.

I make sure I lead a productive life.  I may not earn as much as an executive but I feel richer than most because I have what I want and need.

My needs are simple that is why maybe I feel so happy and fulfilled.

So.... does Dra. Cristina, an OB-Gyn, want to be a Madam???

She said, No way!


Pet Chronicles

The other day, Snowball was wide awake at 4 am.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pancake House Spaghetti Sauce By Bitesized

I saw the video of Bitesized posted in FB and they featured another Pancake House Spaghetti Sauce copycat recipe.

There is already an existing copycat recipe in my blog but I prefer this new one.  I just tweaked it a little bit to suit my taste, which is sweeter, of course.

I really, really love this spaghetti sauce.

Bitesized Pancake House Spaghetti Sauce

1/2 C. cooking oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pc. white onion, chopped
1 kg. Ground Sirloin or Round
150 gr. Del Monte tomato paste
1 Kg. Hunts Parmesan Cheese Spaghetti Sauce
1 C. water
1 C. sugar
1/8 t. cumin
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 pcs. Knorr beef cubes
1 T. Purefoods liver spread

Heat a large sauce pan.  Add the oil.  Saute the onions first then the garlic.

When soft and fragrant, add the ground beef and cook until it is not pink anymore.

Add the tomato paste followed by the spaghetti sauce.

When it starts to boil, add the water and the rest of the ingredients.

Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve with grated cheddar cheese.

Very important: Do NOT discard the oil that settles on top of the sauce.  It is where the flavor comes from.