Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sugary Saturday - Getting the hang of it

This is what happens when we are house bound due to the weather.  As I watch the weather forecast and then look outside from our living room window, there's only a couple of things I can think of doing...take a nap or bake.  So I opted for the second one.  Jeff reminded me that there's egg white in the fridge that I need to use that day.  Oh bother, what can I do.  I am sure by now you already guessed, right??  Yes, I made some more macarons and pavlova.  We needed to bring some dessert to the dinner at the neighbors and we needed to have some dessert for the guest we were going to have another day.  Anyway, this is what I have accomplished that very cold day in our city.  Eventually those macarons will have the same size, once I purchase my very own silpat sheet.  I ask Santa but I guess this year I was on the naughty list because I got a small vacuum instead.  Just in case you don't recognize the last treat, they are called elephant ears.  

Friday, December 29, 2017

Frozen Friday - Baby, it's cold outside

There's only 61 more sleeps and hopefully that white stuff that has been hanging around our area will be gone.  Some of our neighbors mentioned that they could actually golf by the end of February.  I am a little skeptical about this because they also said that the snow does not arrived until around Christmas.  Well, this year the snow arrive at the beginning of November.  Some of our friends from Eastern Canada is asking "what were you thinking".  They are the ones who were able to spend some time in San Jose with us and enjoyed the warmer weather even in February.  While our friends from California were feeling bad because each time they see the photo of the snow, it's all the same comments "it looks very cold" or just "BRRR".   We are not the only ones feeling this arctic chill, my daughter in Toronto, friends in Mississauga and Ottawa and sister in Edmonton, are all complaining about this frozen cold temperature.  Not sure if that's even a correct description.  My aunt who is spending the holidays in Yellowknife, said "you know whether is -15 or -25 or -35, they are all the same - it's very very cold".  

For days, every morning was like this and very cold.

I shoveled the backyard ones and by the end of the day, it had another 3 inches.
And the snow kept coming down, I watch the snow plow going by every couple of hours.

One day the sun came out and it was nice, still cold but nice.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tiered Tuesday - My sister's skill

While going through some old photos I found in an envelope today, I stumble upon three photos of wedding cakes.  In a way, I was so glad I found them because they were amazing.  Many moons ago, my sister use to bake some interesting cakes, then she started creating some beautiful wedding cakes for special friends.  She never took lessons and this was way before Pinterest and Google.  Maybe she researched it from the books available at the library.  I am not really sure, but I knew that she would make the cake from scratch, the frosting or icing from scratch and the most amazing part, she made all the flowers, leaves etc. also all form scratch.  What I can't remember was that which cake was for whose wedding.  It seems like we have moved out of Yellowknife and was residing either in Whitehorse or in Mississauga.  Anyway, today I wanted to share with you my sister's skill in creating some awesome wedding cakes.  Unfortunately, she does not do them anymore.  A friend of ours was joking around and mentioned that all the couples that had these cakes for  have been divorced.  I'm sure this was not the reason why my sister stopped making wedding cakes.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Monday - Christmas favorites

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Maligayang Pasko, and however you want to wish your family and friends everywhere, it is all up to you, as long as it comes from the heart. Right.  This post won't have anything sad, just great memories of happy times around the holidays.  So I did a little bit of looking through old photos. That's what I want to share today.  May your home be filled with wonderful and happy memories of Christmas day. 

My daughter at 2 years wearing the parka I made for her.
Last Christmas together with my parents and my children - 1983?

Only photo I could find of me and my son - Christmas - 1990?

He never really played hockey - who knows?

I believe this was taken around Christmas because we always go to our grandparent's home-1953? 

My first Christmas with Jeff - in Texas??
Our last Christmas in San Jose home - the merriest ever.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sweet Sunday - Not afraid anymore

After all the years of being afraid of trying any recipes that involves yeast or egg white and more, I am finally not afraid of trying any type of recipes that has those ingredients.  What is great about it is that I can now choose to do it or not.  I am guessing, I have become a little braver each time I try a difficult recipe and it ends up having a good results.  So instead of reading, I just wanted you to enjoy some of these things I have been trying.  Merry Christmas eve to you and your family.

My new favorite - White chocolate, cranberries, almond bark

Old fashioned puff wheat squares with toasted pecans.

Simple artisan bread using 4 ingredients and NO KNEAD.
Peppermint candy macarons

Sofia Loren's Tiramisu recipe - Jeff's favorite dessert.
Jeff's Brioche - perfect for making french toast or just as is.
This tray will be for our Christmas dinner with the Mt Ida neighbors.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Threading Thursday - Too many projects

Winter is really hear.  Last weekend it snowed again and there are more in the forecast.  You know what that means.  I will be at home doing projects, baking, cooking, sewing, and not to forget napping.  If we really need to go out, it is because we need to get some groceries.  Now you might ask, so what have you been doing.  I am sure if you are following my posts you have seen the latest, my artisan bread.  On Sunday when the snow decided to keep falling, I was able to do a couple of treats.  I made a pan of bread pudding with a rum sauce (adult dessert).  After I was craving for some puff wheat squares, so I made those also.  In the afternoon, I did some sewing and tried to finish the embroidery that I started a couple of weeks ago.  At some point I have to start the apron that I promised my sister.  During the last week I have been checking Pinterest and found another nice design of an apron. Of course my sister likes it and when I get a chance to get the fabric, I will make her another one.  That's all for today.  Check out the photos.  I know you wanted to see them.

Puff Wheat squares with pecans.

Bread pudding with cherries, raisins,walnuts, top with rum sauce.

This frame will be hung over our pantry in the kitchen. 

I bought this squares a long time ago, I finally figured out what to do with them.  Perfect hot pad for kitchen.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tasty Tuesday - Sharing the kitchen

Our kitchen is not very big but when Jeff and I are there doing our own stuff, sometimes it does get a little tight.  So far we have not experienced elbowing, hand slaps, side bumps, etc.  What he is good at is reminding me that the dishwasher door is down and watch your leg.  One day after he just said that, I made a quick turn and hit part of my leg in one corner of the door. OUCH.  From then on, I decided to close the damn door when I am doing anything in the kitchen.  Last week we both decided to bake our own bread.  One from scratch, the other using the bread machine.  He made a regular white loaf and I made the NO knead artisan bread (of course from Pinterest).  OMG, when all is said and done, I could not believe that it came out so good.  Of course, I had to taste it, had a slice with a bit of butter and a few drops of honey. So so yummy and so easy.  I don't know why I got so scared of baking something with yeast.  If I can recall, it must have been around 1986 when I tried it and never again.  Now that I have done a lot of baking, but still no yeast in the ingredients, I thought I should try one more time.  Since Jeff has been doing all the baking and has no problem using the yeast, I had a very tiny bit of confidence in me that I could do it.  Anyway, here's the result and I added some other treats we made last week.  This is what happens when the snow arrives and I don't feel like going out.  We stay indoors and spend most the time in the kitchen.  
I mixed the 4 ingredients in this bowl and set it in front of our fireplace for 9 hours.

Baked it in a dutch oven at 450F for 30 minutes covered, then uncovered for 10 minutes.

Sliced it, spread a bit of butter and drops of honey, so yummy.

This is Jeff's regular white bread from the bread machine.

My favorite bark - white chocolate, roasted almonds and dried cranberries.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Stocking stuffer Sunday - My own list

Who really fills up my Christmas stocking?  Is it Santa, the three kings, your parents?  Back then, I remember we hang up our stockings after New Year.  We were told the three kings will bring the gifts.  We hang our stockings near the windows - for easier access, I guess.  This would be around January 5 or 6th.  We would wake up that morning and could still see some foot prints (of course then we believe differently) then realized my father would use whatever material that would be similar to foot prints.  LOL.  My first Christmas with Jeff, we had stockings over the fireplace.  He must have done it after I went to bed or maybe he got up early and filled up my stockings.  On Christmas day, I would check all the goodies inside the stockings.  There were small gifts that were wrapped, some candies, some nuts, and a couple of small oranges. Almost forgot, some extra change (coins).  After that year, we kept forgetting to fill it up.  This year, I am not sure what I would get.  My BFF and his wife gave us two very nice stockings that are bigger, which means it can hold more stuff.  Maybe if I post my list, Santa and his elves might read it, then I can check on Christmas morning which items made it to my stocking.  Yah, right!!  I guess it won't hurt to make one anyway.
  • Metallic nail polish
  • Wunderbar chocolate
  • Chocolate covered macadamia
  • Hand warmers
  • Small icing spreader
  • Silpat baking mat
  • Banana chips 
  • Dried mango
  • Fuzzy warm slippers
Jeff's - he is the bear (beer)

Mine - I am a deer (dear)
The famous orange marmalade - give away gifts for the neighborhood.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Freezing Friday - But it was sunny

It was a very sunny day and the roads are clear.  What can we do today?  I don't know why I suggested to go on the road and check out the famous Silver Star Mountain Resort.  Everyone has been telling us to check it out since we arrived in Vernon.  Of course we couldn't find the time because we were very busy during the first three months here.  Now that the dust has settled (as they saying goes), we thought it was a perfect day to do it.  And it was, there was no traffic, the roads were clear to and from, and the sun was out all the time we were there.  The resort was so colorful since the different buildings (hotels/condo) were painted in bright colors.  It was busy that day but not so busy that you could not find a parking.  As we get out of the car, a skier was coming down the hill, actually Jeff says she came from the place she was staying and she takes a short cut down the hill to begin her route.  There were a few restaurants that were open and after walking in the cold temperature, we decided to stop in at one of the cafe/bistro.  The name "Bugaboos" bakery and cafe.  We ordered our lunch, I had the hungarian goulash soup and Jeff had the Mexican corn soup, plus we split and Italian panini.  In addition to that, we order our coffee to keep us warm and I couldn't resist ordering the Almond Croissant.  Cost $35.00 - what did you expect, it is a resort.  There was still time to check more stores before we head home.  After two stores, we knew we were not going to buy anything because, the prices were too high for my liking.  All in all it was a good trip.  Jeff will eventually try to get back to snowboarding.  One good information, they have shuttle bus from downtown Vernon to take you up there and back.  Although the schedule only runs during the weekend and some holidays.  Here's a few photo we took. The other photos are on the road going to the resort. Maybe someday you will get a chance to visit it too. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wishing Wednesday - Bringing good tidings

It's almost time to start singing the 12 days of Christmas.  But instead I am taking my guitar tuned and start practicing playing Christmas songs.  Our neighborhood has invited us to join them singing Christmas carols around our street.  The organizer has sent a list of songs that we will attempt to sing.  I am actually excited but not sure how my fingers will survive as I have not played the guitar for a long time.  One good part is that some of the chords are coming back and I could remember how to play. LOL.  I seem to recall, a very long time ago, probably almost 50 years ago when our class would go caroling two nights in a row.  Of course the weather is much different back in the Philippines.  Not even sure if the guitar will stay tuned with the cold weather of the Okanagan.  What is nice is that we get to sing jolly carols for the neighborhood.  I can't remember if we are suppose to sing a couple of songs and have a drink for each home, or have a couple of drinks and sing one songs.  By the way, I forgot to mention that we live on a bit of a steep hill.  So we are starting uphill and cross the street at our home and then head down the road.  As this is our first year, we really don't know how many homes we can cover before we get overly cold.  Here's the lists of all the songs we will be singing.

  • Jingle Bells
  • Frosty the snowman
  • Silent Night
  • Deck the halls
  • Winter wonderland
  • Silver bells
  • We wish you a merry Christmas
  • Away in a manger
  • Here comes Santa Claus
  • Mommy's kissing Santa Claus
Actually there are four more songs that I am not familiar and/or cannot play in the guitar.  So I am sticking to the above songs.
Image result for having a drink christmas

Image result for carollers

Monday, December 11, 2017

Merry Monday - Just because

Last week we decided to just get a fake tree because we cannot decide between real tree or fake tree.  We went out and bought one with lights already attached to the tree.  I wanted to have our home decorated since we can only have it for a month. Aside from the polar bear blow-up, I could not resist getting a Kevin blow up as well to keep the bear company.  By the end of the day, the decorations were complete.  Now the home is merry and bright. I almost forgot, I had to make a new skirt for the tree, some Christmas place mats and a couple of hand warmers for those cold nights. Enough writing, just check out the pictures. 

As you can see, only one Christmas card so far.

Made from scraps of quilted fabrics, I filled it with rice.  It's microwaveable.