Monday, December 17, 2018

Memories Monday - Countries

Every time we meet new people and start talking about travelling, it is very interesting to know that people enjoy visiting different countries of the world.  Although there are some that are just content travelling in North America.  Whatever your preference is, seeing different cultures and lifestyle, makes you appreciate what we have in our lives in Canada. Unless someone ask where I have been, I usually don't bring it up.  Most of the time the topic of countries visited only follows after they ask me what my job was prior to retiring.  When this happens, it is amazing to look back and remember where/when/what.  A couple of weekends ago, while at my friends place, the guests were all staring at this huge map of the world and pointing where they have been and where they would want to visit next.  Another interesting fact is that some of them have only lived in one province, maybe a couple of cities in the same province and have truly not seen the rest of Canada.  So when they ask where I moved from or where I originally come from, they are so impressed by the places I have lived.  I was very fortunate to have had the experience living in a variety of cities and provinces and territories.  Even more fortunate to have traveled to many different countries during my career.  Now it is time to share places I have lived, then Canadian Province/Territories, American States, and the last list were the Countries I have been (some at least 2 or 3 times and one in particular is the most visited).
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Yellowknife, NT
  • Whitehorse, YT
  • Mississauga, ON
  • Kiev, Ukraine
  • Ottawa, ON
  • San Jose, CA
  • Vernon, BC
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territories.

Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington.

Austria, Barbados, Belgium, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Dubai, El Salvador, England, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, HongKong, Hungary, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, St. Vincent, 
St. Lucia, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam. 

Image result for map of the world

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Sleepy Saturday - Only ten more sleeps

Like a bear who hibernates, I like storing sleeps in case I need to stay up late some nights. What is funny about this is, you can't really store sleep, can you?  Lately we have been waking up really late, like 1030 am.  Last weekend my daughter was wondering why I was sleeping in that late.  It was not sleeping in, we have been going to bed late, sometimes till after midnight and then waking up late.  I am blaming this to the winter months when the sun sets at 430 pm.  We kept saying that we will try to wake up earlier, so I set my alarm for 900 am and I would turn it off and go back to bed and pretty soon I am sleeping again.  The good part about getting enough sleep is that I am very productive for the rest of the day and do not require my normal half an hour naps.  What is exciting about today is that I can start my countdown to Christmas, that's right - only ten more sleeps.  While we are into counting here are the top ten Christmas songs that I love to listen to.
  1. I wanna a hippopotamus for Christmas
  2. Baby, it's cold outside
  3. All I want for Christmas is you
  4. Give love on Christmas day
  5. Christmas (baby please come home)
  6. Grown up Christmas list
  7. Christmas Waltz
  8. That's Christmas to me
  9. Last Christmas
  10. Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Merry Christmas)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wicked Wednesday - You will be hungry

Did you see the last two posts?  I am sure you are wondering why you didn't see more amazing photos of the foods that I was talking about.  Well, this was to make sure you come back to my blog and look for those wicked foods I was describing.  Because I want to share as many pictures as I can, so I won't try write anymore as I just want your mouth to water and imagine how some of these dishes will taste.  Are you hungry yet?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tastiest Tuesday - More yumminess

If you were reading my post yesterday, welcome back.  Today as promised I was going to share some more foods that my daughter and I were exchanging photos.  When I find out that they are going out for a meal, I would also request for her to take some pictures.  Not only they are adventurous in trying a variety of foods but also loves checking out new places to have a great meal.  This will include a variety of great looking meals that will make your mouth water.  I also have included some new dessert recipe that I am trying for the first time.  Fortunately, I brought these desserts to my friend's place for dinner as she had a few guests who are willing to try the sweet treats.  I am happy to report that everyone loved it and it was nice to received a lot of compliments.

Strawberry upside down cake with some cream cheese frosting on the sides.

S"mores bars 

Pumpkins cookies made by my friend, Maria

I believe these are pumpkin muffins she made with her grandkids.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Mastering Monday - No Knead Bread

Last weekend my daughter ask me to show her how to make the NO KNEAD Bread that I made for her when she visited us last May.  Due to the time difference we really had to schedule a time frame that suits her so that the timing of the bread will be perfect to hers.  We both had all our ingredients ready and we did our video chat while I give her the step by step instructions on how to make this bread.  The only difference between our bread is that she added olives and some herbs, while mine is just the original recipe.  I am so proud of what she has completed and this past weekend, she made two more bread.  One to keep and one to share with a friend.  What is amazing is that we would always share things that we bake, food that we taste (from restaurant) or foods that we would like to taste someday.  Now she can make them anytime she wants and hopefully try different type by adding one or two other ingredients.  Don't forget to come back to check out my next post for more delicious foods.

This is the first Olive Bread she made last weekend.

These are the two olive bread for her second time and she made a honey butter to go with it.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Separated Saturday - Mother and Daughter

Today I wish I was still living in Ontario so I can help celebrate my daughter's birthday.  Sometimes life is not fair specially when you have to make decision where you live and you are so torn because whatever decision you make, someone gets hurt.  But today is not about being sorry, today is dedicated to my daughter and the many memories we had through the years. Of course not everything in life is all happy, there are many years of unhappy times, tough times.  But what I would like to share are some of the funny stories that we both  would never forget.  The question is, how many can I recall.  Let's begin and see how it ends. In no particular order.
  • Whenever we do a video chat, she seems to have only very little charge left on her phone, so sometimes it would pause and say "battery low", and we would both laugh as I say, oh is that the sign to hang up?  or maybe it's time to hang up because she got too tired listening to me talk. LOL
  • Many years ago when we lived together, I was going out to a party and decided to use a particular sandal that she has.  When she found out that I had borrowed it without asking, she got very upset and threw the sandal to me.  I ended up writing her a check and threw it back at her.  Many years later, I still have the pair of sandal and could not give it away as it had so much memories of laughter and tears. In 2017, I ended up just taking a photo as the heel disintegrated and had to throw it away.
  • One evening my BFF and I went out to a club downtown Toronto. Later that evening on our way out, my daughter and her friend were just arriving and we bumped into them on the stairs. Her friend says "that looks like your mom, wait a minute, it is your mom".  The time was 11 pm.  The old ladies leaving and the young girls just starting their night.
  • A few weeks before my move to San Jose, my daughter and I decided to spend the night in Niagara Falls.  We went for a nice dinner and were suppose to spend a couple of hours at their casino.  Unfortunately she got sick (food poisoning or just too much meat) and had to stay in bed the rest of the evening.  Luckily she felt better the next day. Although short, it was still a memorable time with her.
  • On two separate occasion, I was able to be with her at an all inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  Spending time at the pool, having breakfast, lunch and dinner and even sharing time with her nephews and nieces.
  • While visiting her and her hubby in their new place in Toronto, I realized that my daughter has become an amazing caring adult. I say this because when she took me to the train station, she made sure I was on the right train and was given the perfect instructions.  The tables has now turned, I felt like the kid on a school bus, I loved it.
  • During her solo visit to San Jose, we were out shopping at Target.  She noticed some older kids were riding the shopping cart.  When we were done shopping, we saw a cart near where our car was parked, so she decided to ride inside.  We were laughing so hard and even more after she had a difficult time getting out of the cart.
  • Last but not least, during her visit in Vernon for the very first time, her husband calls my name and as I was coming into their room, my daughter comes from under the bed and surprised me. This is what I love about her, she's still very young at heart. 
Image result for happy birthday minions

Friday, December 7, 2018

Flavorful Friday - Food cravings

It may have been the cold weather or it may have been just one of those days where you crave for something, even if it was a simple dish I use to eat back in the days.  While taking an inventory of sort in our pantry, the fridge and freezer, I saw some items that was needed to make this dish.  It's actually a Filipino dish which is very simple but probably very good as it requires mung beans (very small green beans) aka Monggo.  It think this belongs to the lentil family.  So I started gathering all the ingredients and although some recipe calls for pork, I decided to use shrimp instead.  I believe the original recipe also calls for something green like spinach and some Chicharon (pork rind).  For some reason, I didn't have to look for the ingredients or how to make it.  But this time, instead of waiting for a long time to boil the beans to soften, I cook it last night in my mini crock pot and it was soft and ready after 3 hours.  The other craving that I had is the Chinese sausage which I found at the Superstore.  After slicing them diagonally, I cooked all of them in a pan with some water and wait for the water to dry.  The sausage makes its's own oil which is the final stage of cooking the sausage.  Unfortunately, I think I ate too much because I was not hungry for dinner.  It was all worth it and probably I won't have this again until another year. 
Chinese sausage (pork and chicken style)

Ginisang Monggo ( Sauteed mung beans with shrimp and spinach)

Chocolate Banana Foster Cake