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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Summery Saturday - Flowers are blooming

In a few days the month of May will be here.  As they saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. There were definitely a lot of showers because our hills are so green and all the flowers in the neighborhood are just blooming.  I started taking some photos of the ones on our front yard and at the same time I took some photos from my friend Debbie's garden. So instead of talking more, I would really love to share some photos now and more on my Sunday post.

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Traditional Tuesday - Comfort foods

While on vacation in Toronto, my sister was very busy baking, cooking and making sweet treats for our relatives.  They were very happy to see her and spend time since it has been a long time since she was there.  If I remember it correctly the last she was there was 2008.  We could talk on the phone during her visit and she would tell what kind of meals she was preparing.  Since she spent Easter with the relatives, she prepared a complete Turkey dinner.  She enjoys baking bread and sweets that are comfort Filipino foods.  It was good that she remember to take photos so I'll share that with you.  While she was doing a lot of meals, I was doing something similar because my girlfriends from Canada were with us for a few days.  I have prepared lunch, dinner and breakfast for some of the days of their stay.
They were very appreciative of the home cook meals and was quite amazed that I can just whip up meals that are tasty and healthy.  One night I made them deep fried Oreo with strawberries and our home made ice cream.  Viewer discretion advised - might cause hunger pangs.

Chicken Pot Pie I made for lunch during my friends visit.

Ensaymada - special sweet bun my sister made while she was in Toronto.

Before the topping of butter and sugar were added.
 
I finally got a chance to use my Mickey Mouse waffle maker. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Stanley Saturday - NHL Playoffs

This years NHL playoffs, Jeff and I decided to have our own hockey pool.  We took turns picking teams from each of the games.  What is funny is that he got four of the Canadian teams and I only got one (Oilers).  Two days ago the first group had their first game and yesterday the rest played.  So far the score is Jeff - 1  and Luckie - 7.  Here's a breakdown of our teams:
  • Jeff's group - Senators, Leafs, Canadiens, Flames, Blue Jackets, Wilds, Blackhawks and Sharks (he's from San Jose so he has to have this team).
  • Luckie's group - Oilers, Ducks, Predators, Blues, Rangers, Capitals, Bruins and Penguins.
There is actually no monetary gains, just a friendly competition to make the playoffs much more exciting to watch.  It was shocking to see the LEAFS in the playoff but maybe it's their turn.  All my friends in Canada have teams that are not Canadian teams.  One friend is a Detroit Red Wings loyal fan while his wife was a Toronto Maple Leafs very loyal fan.  My BFF Percy is a HABS die hard fan.  As for me, when I first started watching hockey when I use to live in Yellowknife, I was a Bruins fan.  There was only one TV channel and on Monday and Wednesday and Saturday night - it's good old Hockey Night in Canada.  Through the years of watching hockey I had switched from Bruins to Flyers, NY Islanders to Quebec Nordics, then Avalanche and now Sharks.  An interesting story - a couple of weeks ago my girlfriend Debbie ask me to watch the Sharks and NY Rangers.  It has been a few years since I had been at the Sharks Tank.  During the game I was telling her the story of my nephew who grew up with this talented hockey players.  The last time I checked he was playing for the Avalanche.  After I checked the roster, I found out he was not playing for them and after texting with my sister, she informed me that he got traded to the Rangers.  His name is Nick Holden # 22 of the NY Rangers.  I met this kid a few times between the age of 8 and 11.  The Sharks won that night on overtime after Nick was penalized for holding.  

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tasty Thursday - MIL oranges

During all the days I was sick with the flu and then the coughing, the only thing that taste good are the oranges from my MIL.  This seasons produce has been so sweet and juicy.  Jeff would peel a couple of oranges and place them in a plastic container so they will be ready for me eat when I want them. Although according to some information I have read that you should not eat oranges when you have are coughing, I didn't care because it made my throat feel cool.  Since I have plenty of oranges and lemons from my MIL, when I was feeling better, I decided to make a batch of orange marmalade. Most of my jars are for gift to friends.  When it comes to marmalade, it seems like only older people love them.  I guess a long time ago that was the thing to do as it's a very cheap way to make jams and marmalade.  One of my MIL's friend, her name is Sylvia, she once told me that my marmalade is the best she's ever had.  Sylvia is 92 years old.  So I have to be proud of the marmalade I make.  The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa, a very easy and simple way to make use of oranges and lemons.
One lemon, two oranges, 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar and you have 6 jars of marmalade.


One lemon

I only did a half a recipe which still resulted in 6 jars.
Two oranges

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tune up Tuesday - Oil Change

Did I tell you how lucky I am to have a very handy man around the house?  I think most of you know how handy Jeff is around the house.  It's that time of the year when I book an appointment with him to have my oil change for my car.  Last week when my car needed to get a smog check, he took it to the place, got the smog certificate then paid the registration on line.  No waiting and no appointment required.  Every April and October, Jeff changes the oil, filter if required.  He also takes care of tires, breaks, and whatever else regular maintenance is needed to keep the 2005 Toyota runs so smoothly.  By the way, he not only takes care of cars, he also takes very good care of watering our indoor plants.  That is why I have to give him all the credit for my orchid plant that has 5 blooms this season and two flowers have already opened.  It's funny sometimes when we would be booking appointments with each other.  Like when he needs a hair cut, he would ask for a time and date when I could accommodate his requests.  There's a lot of things that Jeff and I can do for each other as well as things around the house that we can do ourselves.  Today I am very proud to show you my orchid plant with number one and two flower. As you can see in the second photo, there's three more buds that are waiting to open.  This plant will be two year old next month.

First bloom

Second bloom
 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sickness Sunday - Happy Easter

Two weeks ago I woke up with sore throat, chills and many episodes of coughing bouts.  Unfortunately I guess I had a relapse from the initial flu.  After a week of sleepless nights, lots and lots of coughing, I decided to send an email to my doctor.  Shortly after, I receive a telephone consult from the nurse and end up getting a prescription to help with the coughing.  After reading all the side effects, I was a bit hesitant to take the pill, but I really need to get plenty of sleep in order to get my energy back.  So I did last Monday night I had a good sleep.  On Tuesday since the coughing was back, I decided to take another pill.  Shortly after taking the pill, I got tired and fell asleep.  When I woke up, I didn't feel as good.  I was woozy or groggy like taking one of those Dramamine or Gravol.  After lunch, I got tired and had another nap.  When I woke up, same feeling.  That's when I decided that I can't take it during the day because I felt useless and had worst feeling.  I took one more pill on Wednesday night and then I thought, that's it.  I will just tough it out and hopefully with resting and taking it easy this cold/cough/allergies would just go away.  Anyway, Happy Easter to everyone.  I wish you good health and happy times with family and friends.

Our Easter Tree with bunnies and eggs.
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Friday, April 14, 2017

Friendship Friday - Be our guest

Seven years ago when I moved in with Jeff, we were wondering how many of my friends from Canada will actually visit us.  It was surprising that after moving in August 2010 our first guest arrive at the Cranberry Portage B&B.  By the way it is not a real B&B where we accept reservation from the general public.  It's only a B&B for family and friends.  Now that there is a possibility of selling our home aka B&B, we find that we are still have guest booked until May.  There were a lot of friends that said they'll come to visit but never did.  And some of my friends have been here two or three times already.  There was one year where we were very busy and we enjoyed everyone's company.  Today interestingly enough, our first guest is coming back for her second time and almost will be the last guest of our B&B.  Angela and Adele are friends from work.  In fact Angela was my Supervisor during the last year prior to retirement. It will be nice to have guests again and we look forward to their arrival.  Next month one of my girl friends from Ottawa will be with us for a few days.  I met her through my BFF Lorna while working on an assignment at our headquarters.  She has retired recently and I am glad she is able to take a side trip to see us.  I guess she might be our last guest at the CPBB unless my sister is able to wing it and take another week or two from her work.  It has been a wonderful seven years at this home and I will definitely miss it.  Hopefully we can find another CPBB wherever we might end up and continue to welcome our friends and family to our new home.

 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Weighless Wednesday - No churn ice cream

What happens when you have been feeling tired and sick and tired of being sick?  You make your own ice cream.  It all began when I saw three mango on our table getting a little too ripe.  I bought five mango as they were on sale but I couldn't keep up eating it specially after I found out that it is not good for you when you are coughing.  That's when I checked Pinterest for recipes for ice cream.  I stumble upon one with only three ingredients: mango, condensed milk and whipped cream.  That's it! That was easy.  Since I had all the ingredients, Jeff and I started our experiment.  I did the processing of the mango and combining the condensed milk while he whipped the cream until if formed soft peaks.  We combined both and started folding the cream into the mango mixture.  The last step is to place in a tray, cover it with foil and place in the freezer for 12 hours.  The next day I could not wait until 930 pm to have it as my snack.  We tried a small scoop in a little bowl and we were both shocked to find out how creamy, silky and yummy the ice cream turned out.  The other good part is that it is not very sweet which is perfect for me being a diabetic.  Now that we know we could make our own No Churn Ice Cream, we can create our own variety of flavors.  The only issue, I only have one nice tray so we can only make one flavor at a time.  The photo does not look that yummy, but I can guarantee you that when you taste it, you won't believe that it's home made and only three ingredients.



Monday, April 10, 2017

Mickey Mouse Monday - Early birthday gift

After receiving an email from my girlfriend in Canada, I realized I have not posted anything new.  My excuse, I have been coughing for the last seven days and it is still lingering.  I am a bit tired since I don't get enough sleep due to the coughing bouts that usually happen early morning.  Around one or two in the morning and again between three and four is when I get them and I am usual up for an hour or two.  So am I a happy camper, of course not.  I guess when you are not interested in taking over the counter prescription, it might actually take twice as long to get rid of the cold or whatever it is they might call it.  Anyway, today's post is about how specially my friend Jean made me feel when we visited them last weekend at Discovery Bay.  Even though I was not in the best of health, we still had a great visit.  Prior to leaving their place, she gave me an early birthday gift.  What a nice surprise.  I got so excited because it was something I have been looking for since December and she found it and bought it.  She is a very thoughtful person.  I can't wait to use it.  It's a waffle maker shaped like Mickey.

My very own Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker.  I will get a chance to use it this weekend when our visitors arrive.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sensitive Saturday - April Fools

Although this seems to be a fun day to do pranks and hoaxes, some people gets a little over the top to the point of causing harm to their victims.  So if you are one of those that likes to play this particular game to your friends and family, make sure that it's all for fun and that you are careful that it's not hurtful as some might be a little sensitive.  Hopefully you will remember that it's April 1 and you won't get prank or get fooled.  This month will be a busy month for us since we will be having guests in our B&B for about a week.  Shortly after they leave I will be busy baking and preparing for my MIL's 80th birthday.  This year we will have an afternoon tea party with some of best friends.  At the end of the month, our neighborhood is organizing a BBQ.  Last year we had something similar, very simple but a great way to meet new and reconnect with neighbors.  The main attraction this year is that one of the new neighbor actually plays in a band which means we will have some live music.  I plan to bring some sweet treats as the main course is already taken care of by our host.  Of course now that April weather is much drier than March, I will be outdoors enjoying a round of golf possibly twice a week.  The flowers are blooming and some of our fruit trees have some flowers as well which is a good sign.  So enjoy the Springlike weather and take time to smell the flowers.  
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Las Positas Golf Course  - One of the course our group will play this month.
 
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