Thursday, November 29, 2012

Truthful Thursday - Ban on eating out

After my sister's visit and the holidays, Jeff and I decided to take a break from eating out for at least a few weeks.  I said a few weeks because with Christmas around the corner, I am sure where will be invitations to go out with other couples for a get together prior to the holidays, etc.  truthfully, I am not into Christmas this year and therefore shopping for gifts will be difficultSorry, I got side tracked there.  Here are the photos of foods we have tried for the last couple of weeks.

Pastrami sandwich from Max's in Redwood City, Ca.  I thought this was the Max's from Manila, wrong.  I have never been served with a sandrwich that was cut in several pieces.  Very cute.
Chicken Kabobs from the House of Kabobs in Sunnyvale, CA.  The chicken was so tender and moist and I love those red type of berries. I can't remember the name but this rice dish was so great with chicken.
Pork BBQ from the Ohana Hawaiian BBQ in Milpitas, CA.  It was a bit fatty but the flavor was similar to the Filipino BBQ.
Chicken Fried Steak at Margaret's Cafe in Jackson Rancheria Casino and resort.  Can you believe this is for one order.  My sister and I shared this plate and we did not finish it.
As you can see from all these photos, this is the reason why we have to stay away from eating out.  Jeff and I will have return to normal schedule and eat home cooked meals.  Last night I made a light turkey rice vegetable soup.  We each had a bowl and one hawaiian bun with melted cheese. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Taco Tuesday - My new favorite Tacos

You are not going to believe this but yesterday for lunch I decided to make some left over lunch.  It all started with wanting some tacos but all we had was some left over from the Thanksgiving dinner.  I decided to cut up some of the light and dark meat of the turkey, add one clove of garlic which I diced, some salt and pepper.  This process was called Star Spangled turkey which was shown by my niece last year.  The chopped turkey mixture was pan fried until crispy.  I looked for some vegetables in the fridge and found a bulb of fennel which I diced and sauted with a dash of salt and pepper.  What was I thinking, I cannot have tacos without some sauce, so I took the left over cranberry/pomegranate sauce and added a tiny bit of hot sauce to make it a touch spicy since it was a bit too sweet.  I pan fried the corn tortilla, arrange the SS Turkey, added some of the fennel and topped it with the sauce.  There it was, my new triple T meal - Thanksgiving Turkey Tacos.  I really did not know what to expect but after the first bite, there were fireworks of flavor in my mouth.  The combination of crispy turkey, the flavor of the sauted fennel and of course the spicy & sweet sauce was just so awesome, I loved this new combinationMy only disappointment is that I can only make this during the holidays (Thanksgiving or Christmas or maybe Easter).  It's still worth waiting for now that this is my new favorite left over Turkey.  Of course I had to make it for dinner again because I wanted to enjoy every bit of it.

Thanksgiving Turkey Tacos

Monday, November 26, 2012

Missing Monday - Reason Why

Some of you maybe wondering why I have not been blogging for the past three days.  I will blame it on my sister. We have been doing a lot of things together and having so much fun that I have not opened my lap top to check my email, reader and blog.  The days have gone by so fast she will be going home tomorrow and so I am just really enjoying each and every moment that we spent together.

Yesterday I took her with me to our cousins home as I had to do measure a couple of nice ladies for their gown for an upcoming wedding in the Philippines.  I have not done this for a very long time but luckily I still remember what needs to be done.  After the measurements were completed, the ladies took us to lunch at a Filipino Restaurant in Milpitas, CA.  The choice of entrees were excellent.  We enjoyed hanging out with them even though it was our first time meeting them.  I just hope that it will work out and the ladies will look great at the wedding.  Maybe they will send me a photo in a couple of months.

There's more stories to share but it was getting late so I will make it short and continue tomorrow.
This photo was taken at Jackson Rancheria Casino and Resort - this was part of our overnight trip.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday - What I am thankful for

Today as everyone in the USA get busy preparing for their big thanksgiving dinner, I would like to take a moment to share what I am thankful for
  • for having a loving family and wonderful friends
  • for the chance of retiring early to enjoy life
  • for having a home in San Jose and not have real winter (No Snow)
  • for looking younger than my real age
  • for being healthy in spite of some issues
As we sit down for our Thanksgiving dinner, I know that I will think of my son, Gino because this was one of his favorite holiday although in Canada we celebrate it in October.  I will also think of him when I see the stuffing as it was his favorite.  

Just in case you wanted to know what we are having for our Thanksgiving Dinner. Here it is.
  • Bacon Gift
  • 20 lb Turkey with stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Gravy
  • Glazed Carrots
  • Peas and Corn
  • Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
  • Hawaiian Bread
  • Mini Butter Tarts
  • Cassava Cake
This is the Cassava Cake which my sister made last night .

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Working Wednesday - Eve of Thanksgiving

Since today will be a prep day prior to our big Thanksgiving Dinner, this post will be short and sweet.  I am so glad my sister is here to help me out since we will have a total of 10 people to feed.  I am also glad that Jeff will be doing most of the cooking but he has two assistants (me and my sister).  We will be baking a couple of desserts (mini butter tarts and filipino cassava cake) and making the cranberry pomegranate sauce.  We have been out shopping for the past couple of days and since the forecast is rain/showers today, it was a good day to stay indoors.  

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Terrific Tuesday - Sister as my guest blogger

Yes, this is a terrific day as my sister has gracefully allowed me to be a guest blogger. We had just returned from our trip to Jackson Rancheria. And while she is doing the dishes, I have the duty of doing this blog.

We left yesterday and stayed overnight at the casino hotel. We were given $5.00 credit to use and my card won't show the credit so I just started to put in $6.00 of my own money. I played the Mayan Riches slot and won $70.00. We walked around and my sister was playing her favorite machine and winning and losing. I then played the same machine in a different location and won $55.00.

My fave brother-in-law did not play a lot. We then went to have buffet dinner and my lil sister enjoyed the crab legs.....she must have eaten 14 crab legs!!!!!! That was after she had a plateful of different stuff.

This morning we went to the casino and played for half an hour and had fun playing Michael Jackson slot. We won $10.00 but had the most fun. On our way home we did more shopping and I must say we had a really fun and terrific day. Thank you sis and brother-in-law.

Friday, November 16, 2012

FITB Friday - I miss doing this

It has been a very long time since I followed the Fill in the Blank Friday.  After reading what it was about, I decided to follow along because it was easy.

1.  My best quality is   that it does not take a lot to make me happy.
2.  One of my less flattering qualities is   my fear of heights and scary things.
3.  I'd rather be  golfing   .

4. Something I have been challenged with lately is   trying to feel better and have the energy to do all the fun things that I normally do and of course trying to have great blood sugar results which lately has been tougher because of what I am experiencing.
5. I am looking forward to   my sister from Edmonton, Alberta visiting us for 10 days. I know that we will have lots of laughs and special moments.
6. A super random factoid about me is   I can balance a glass filled with scotch on my head while dancing on top of a table.
7.  I want to  celebrate my next birthday at an all exclusive resort somewhere in the Caribbean or have a big party in Mississauga, Ontario with all my friends or meet all my family and friends in Las Vegas for 4 days.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Well Wednesday - What is happening to me?

For the past couple of days, I stayed home and rested because I was not feeling so great. I got up on Monday feeling dizzy and a bit nauseous.  After having breakfast I thought I would start feeling better, instead I had to lay in our couch for most of the morning because each time I get up and move quickly the dizziness returns.  In short, nothing was done because I was useless and was not in the mood to do anything if I cannot bounce.  I was very lucky because Jeff was working from home and made my lunch and helped me if I needed to get up.  For dinner we ordered Chinese food because I did not have the energy to cook or do dishes.  Luckily the next day, I felt a bit better to do simple house chores but did not want to overdo it just in case.  It was a good idea to slow down and relax some more because we were invited to one of Jeff's friends 60th birthday dinner party.  It was held at a restaurant so it was easier for me because we did not have to walk around and socialize.  Having dinner at a restaurant was pretty relaxing as they serve your food.  I was glad to have a bit of an appetite by the time we ordered our food.  What is happening to me is something I cannot figure out.  One day I am all good with my bounce and then the next day no energy no bounce.  Hopefully whatever it was will stay away because I have to be in tip top shape for my favorite sister's visit.  Last time she was here, I was sick for 3 days and I had to ask Jeff and my MIL to take her shopping.  She did not mind and she actually love the way they shop and look for bargains.  Obviously they know how because they learned from me.  Only three more sleep and my sister will be here.  Our guest room is all ready for her as well as her special surprise box as my belated happy birthday gift.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Three Tuesday - DWTS - KA has to go

After watching last nights DWTS, I cannot believe how Kirstie Alley still gets higher points when she can't hardly breath after dancing.  The pros that was doing all the moves makes her look good, but if you really watch the moves that she does, I really cannot believe why she is still in the competition.  Is she paying other people to vote for her?  But then the judges still gives her a better score than Shawn Johnson. 

  • YES - I believe Gilles and Apollo should be the top male stars to go forward.
  • NO - Kirstie really have to go.  She cannot be with the same group as Kelly and Melissa who definitely are a different calibre of dancers. Sometimes when you watch their moves, the are so compatible and so together.
  • MAYBE - Emmett will be safe because he has a lot of football followers.  If Kirstie stays and moves forward, maybe this is my last week of watching DWTS.
Did you watch her reaction after her votes were announced? Is this woman on drugs?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Maybe Monday - Sharing Snacks

Finally remember to take some photos of the snacks I made for Jeff's poker night.  Everyone loved the snacks and although Jeff and I did not win, it was a fun night with great friends.

First snack - Bacon wrapped water chestnuts with sweet spicy sauce
Second snack - Buffalo Chicken Balls with my own special mix up of sauces (really spicy)
Third snack - Mediterranean Pie with ham, spinach, red peppers, eggs, and cheese.  This is not a quiche.
The dessert I served was the mini butter tarts and I forgot to take a picture before everyone ate them.  At the end of the night, we have some leftovers for Saturday and it was perfect because we had to babysit the grandkids and had no time to make dinner.  We were so glad that we had Friday as our adult evening, because the rest of the weekend was babysitting and it was tough specially when you are not use to it.  I hope this won't be a regular thing because I look forward to the weekends because that's when Jeff and I try to do our fun things (tennis, going out with friends, doing fun errands and even house chores).  After the grandkids left, the house looks like a tornado came through.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Soulful Sunday - Exactly Six Sleeps

That's right, it's exactly six more sleeps before my sister arrives.  I have been talking to her almost every week or maybe more just to make sure she was still coming to visit.  We have a few plans lined up but the big even is for her to experience the USA Thanksgiving.  This maybe her first time that she is not cooking for Thanksgiving.  She is a very good cook and bakes the best birthday cake ever.  Not only that she also use to make an awesome wedding cake until most of the couples that ordered the wedding cake from her have now been all divorced.  One time while we were on vacation with relatives, we tried to count how many wedding cakes she made for special couple and how many were actually still together.  I cannot remember the exact number but I believe there's probably one or two couples left.

She is all packed and just counting the sleeps before she gets on the plane to see us.  A friend of mine wanted to learn how to make a special Filipino dessert and my sister agreed to give her a quick lesson while she is visiting.  I am sure that I will be requesting some special Filipino dishes that I have not eaten since her last visit.  Maybe this time I won't be gaining but maybe just enjoying each and every dish she makes for me.

Here's a song that we both love and it remind us of our teenage days.  Biggest Part of Me.


Simply Saturday - It's not simple and not easy

The only excuse I can have for not babysitting Jeff's grandchildren is having a full time job.  After my experience the last time I took care of both kids for 3 consecutive days for half a day, I did not think I would do it again.  Unfortunately the other day, I ended up babysitting for about 3.5 hours.  I don't have problems babysitting Gamble as he is such a sweetheart and very easy to please.  What I am having a difficult time is the his sister who is 16 month and is now walking.  She cries so much when she is being changed that you need two people to accomplish the task.  Although she is happy walking around the living/dining area, when she cries for no reason, it's too loud and it's truly annoying.  This weekend we are babysitting again and this time it's a sleepover.  We have had Gamble sleeping over since he was 3 yrs. old and there was never an issue.  The baby wakes up at least once at night but if we let her stay awake longer in the evening she will most likely sleep in until 1000 am. I am really not looking forward to this, but Jeff had agreed to this because he wanted to give his son a break and I really don't mind helping him out also.  The real problem for me is that I don't have the patience like I use to.  Please don't get me wrong, I love children but in small amounts and the older they are is probably better and easier to entertain.  It's really not that simple and it's not easy anymore.  I guess I did not expect that I will be doing this when I retired and I don't want them to think that I am the "ON CALL" babysitter just because I don't have a full time job.  Maybe in the new year I will try and look for a job so I have a very good excuse why I can't babysit.  

She is wearing Gamble's beenie.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Food Friday - Poker Night Snacks

Finally I figured out what I will be serving tonight for Jeff's Poker Night at home.  Most of the players brings something even if you tell them not too.  At the end of the night we always end up with extra snacks.  So here's my menu for the evening.
  • Buffalo Chicken Balls with celery and carrots and Blue Cheese dipping sauce
  • Mediterranean Pie (red pepper, spinach, onion, ham, 3 kinds of cheese and egg)
  • Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts with spicy sweet sauce.
  • Assorted Vegetable Platter with Dip
  • Pepper and Sea Salt Chips
Hopefully all the players that said YES will actually be here.  As long as we have at least 5 or 6 players we will be good.  The betting is friendly and we hope that this time either Jeff or I will win some.  Good luck to us.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Truthful Thursday - Tired of sewing

That's right, I need a little break from sewing all those fabric wallets and holders.  Last Tuesday I finished sewing all the fabrics that I cut except for a few baby slippers.  I only made one and I almost forgot how to make them.  There's a new mom at the place where I volunteer and she wanted to see what it looks and maybe order some for her baby girl.  Maybe after my sister's visit, I will return to more sewing as I have a big project for my MIL.  The ladies at my dentist office are very interested in seeing all the ones I have finished. I will be bringing them to my next appointment so there's a good chance I might sell some of them.  During the first week of December, I also plan to take these items to my place of volunteer to see if the ladies there are interested in buying some for Christmas gifts.  Last night I saw the couple of bananas on the table getting a bit brown.  Since I had stopped sewing I had some time to make some muffins.

Banana, apricot and pecans muffins.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wow Wednesday - Almost a year

You won't believe what I will show you because as you know I am terrible at taking care of plants, gardening, etc.  Last December 26 when we had a small open house for friends and relatives, one of my friends from the Camden Community Center Nutrition Program, her name is Susan, she gave me a small plant.  Honestly, I did not think this plant was going to last a month but lo and behold, it has been 11 months and this plant is still alive.  Not only that it is alive, it started having flowers again.  I guess it's that time of the year.  It's funny because I left it in the same pot, water it every now and again, kept rotating it to get a bit of sun but not too much sun.  Don't ask me the name of this plant, I don't have a clue. But the fact that it started to have flowers, I am just so ecstatic and overjoyed.  Introducing my plant that survived under my care.

My special plant.
For those of you who really know me, it does not take much to keep me happy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Three Tuesday - Coffee flavors

Second week of my Three on Tuesday and as you can see, today's topic is coffee flavors.  This will be my short and sweet post.

Two Tea and Two Coffee flavors
 YES - to the two new coffee flavor that we have added to our collection. 
Creme Brulee is from my MIL and Wild Blueberry Mountain I found at Ross.

NO - Instead of using these two tea flavors as Iced Tea drinks, my friend Michelle suggested to
just use them as hot tea drinks. My new favorite Sweet Raspberry Tea and second favorite
is the Half and Half (tea and lemon mix).  Both are a little too sweet for me but I just make
it in a bigger mug which dilutes it for a lesser sweet tea.

MAYBE - My sister will be coming for a visit and I have asked her to try and find the following
Timothy's flavored coffee (Winter Carnival and Sugar Bush Maple).  I hope she finds
both these flavor for us to try.  Just going by their names, I know that it will be a YES.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Many Monday - So much time

Even though we gained an hour yesterday due to Daylight Savings Time, it took us at least an hour to change all the clocks/watches in our home.  We decided to make a list of the ones we have to change and the ones that changes automatically.  How many clocks/watch does a regular household have?  Here's our list with the first group having all the ones we needed to change manually.
  1. Golf Clock in the living room
  2. Pyramid Clock in the living room
  3. "Who the hell cares" clock in the kitchen
  4. Microwave Clock
  5. Oven Clock
  6. Keurig Coffee maker clock
  7. Guest bathroom clock
  8. Our bathroom clock
  9. Coke Clock in Jeff's home office
  10. House phones x 5
  11. Metal clock in the guest bedroom
  12. Clock radio in our room
  13. In and out temperature clock
  14. Battery charger
  15. Timer in the kitchen
  16. My 6 watch
  17. Jeff's 2 money clip watch
  18. Deck big clock
  19. Nissan Leaf car clock
  20. Toyota car clock
This second list are the ones that changes the time automatically.
  1. Jeff's cell phone
  2. My cell phone
  3. Squeeze box (internet radio)
  4. My Nintendo DS
  5. Jeff's computer
  6. My Dell lap top 
  7. Jeff's Kindle Fire
  8. My Kindle
That's all the time I have and hopefully you all remembered to do all your clocks and was not late for anything yesterday.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sorry Sunday - I can't help it

It was so nice to have our grandson Gamble sleepover again.  He told his father that he misses us and he has not come by to stay with us.  So yesterday afternoon we picked him up and took him to dinner.  My MIL usually comes over for dinner but last night since we had Gamble, we decided to take them both to dinner.  We had asked Gamble what kind of food he would like for dinner and he chose PIZZA.  Our choice of venue was Mountain Mike which was located near my MIL's home.  It was a little busy but we did not realize how noisy it was until we sat down.  In one section of the restaurant there was some sort of party going on with a few adults and a bunch of kids.  The kids were running around the whole restaurants at the same time screaming. None of the parents were in control or were interested in trying to keep the kids quiet or behaved.  Then all of a sudden I hear one of the guys said the bad word "M----r F----r" on the top of his voice.  Thank goodness that Gamble was busy playing Angry Birds on my MIL's phone.  We still did not have our food so we just sat there and I covered my ears because the noise was in full blast and was starting to get a headache.  Then one of the kids got hurt while running around and for a moment it was silent.  A few minutes later our food arrived and the kids started again with their running around and their screaming.  During the middle of our meal, the same guys said that same bad word for all the patrons to hear.  I will not profile because it's not polite but this type of behavior is not tolerated by some restaurants. This establishment is going to be added to my list of restaurants to avoid. There are other places to take your grandson for a pleasant meal without having to listen to screaming unruly children and parents who does not care what their children are listening to and have uncontrollable kids.

I guess we could have just taken our order home and had a more pleasant evening but we thought that it was a good time to teach Gamble what NOT to do or not to be.  His Dad actually told him before he left his home to behave while dining and to be calm but at the same time enjoy and have fun with Grampa and Ola.

Would you have stayed or would you have taken your order to go?  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Filler Friday - A different mixture

Each time I experience a blank moment when it comes to posting, I end up just doing a mixture of anything and everything.  It's probably a little boring for some but maybe it might be interesting to others.

This Gamble's (step grandson) costume this year.
Meet Sophie, she is the little devil of my BFF Rose.
Today is the birthday of another very good friend.  Mike from Brampton aka Lawnmower Man (inside joke).  I've known him for almost 17 years.  He was introduced to me by another good friend who is Mike's best friend.  It's amazing how time just flew by.  We use to play squash and racquetball and then go for chicken wings and beer at one of the local pubs.  We also went out to shoot pool, golf on Thursdays during the summer and have dinner at Oscars with the rest of the guys.  He is a very caring and thoughtful friend who always lends a hand.  I remember he helped us move from a basement apartment to a high rise building.  I hope that he is enjoying his birthday today and may all his wishes come true.  Happy Happy Birthday Mike.  
This is the only photo I can find of Mike taken at my retirement party in 2010.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat Thursday - Belated Halloween

Due to my special Wednesday post, I am doing my Trick or Treat post one day late.  First I would like to show you the before and after of our candy bowl.  In case you can't see clearly we have M&M Pretzel, Take5, Snickers, Heath, Hersheys Cookies and Cream.  Last year we only have between 12 or 15 kids.  I believe we have enough and if not, we will just turn off our last and go to bed early.
Jeff has this black plastic bowl  for at least 5 years and it's his Halloween Bowl.

As for my costume, I went to my volunteer place and wore my Caregiver outfit. That was my costume.  We had a potluck for lunch and I brought some little round appetizers.

My MIL bought this for me two years ago because someone ask me if I was her Caregiver.
Mini Chicken Potpie for our Halloween Potluck.