Friday, June 14, 2019

Family Friday - They are having fun

It is the third day of my MIL and cousin-IL's vacation.  Today I have offered her Cousin-IL to write the post about their BC adventure. 

Hello one and all,
My Aunt and I are having the time of our lives! From the minute we stepped off the plane and were handed a Tim Horton Blended cup of deliciousness, to the binge watching of a favorite Sam Elliott Netflix show The Ranch, we have been treated like Canadian Royalty! Shopping until we almost drop, we have been to every Dollar Store in Vernon (writer's embellishment), Davidson Orchards, honey tasting at Planet Bee (Cinnamon infused honey a must buy when you visit!), and this morning the Sunshine Festival in Downtown Vernon. Imagine my surprise when my host asked "Have you ever had Beaver Tail?" (my response, a look, raised eyebrows, and a "Uh, no.") Who knew it wasn't meat, but an amazing fried dough, cinnamon buttered, food of the Canadian Gods! All this fun was only surpassed by the Cranberry Portage hospitality, My cousin, Chauffeur and Sous Chef (the best son and cousin ever), Cousin-IL, aka Chef, Comedian, and Inn Keeper, (best cousin and daughter-in-law ever). The meals included Ribbon Pasta baked with cheese and meat sauce, Butter Chicken and rice, Pork Chili Verde, with homemade corn tortillas (yeah homemade), and the most spectacular dish, a homemade dessert, Tiramisu, seriously to die for! Even after having such wonderful dinners I was able to keep to my Weight Watchers and lose one pound, mind you I am not leaving for another week so....  

Pork Chili Verde 

We found this different flavor marshmallow while checking out London Drugs

This very different donut flavor (maccha and coconut) was from Ratio Coffee & Pastry

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Welcome Wednesday - MIL and G2

Today is when my MIL (mother in law) and Jeff's cousin G2 (middle Gracie) arrives.  It will be the first time for G2 to visit Canada and second time for my MIL.  Many years ago my MIL and the mother of Gracie took a very long trip from San Francisco, California to Flin Flon, Manitoba.  The stories that they told us were pretty amazing.  Can you imagine two women in an old vehicle driving for many days and making stops at some little town?  All I can think of is that movie Thelma and Louise.  Anyway, we are very excited for their visit since they will be with us for two whole weeks.  There are really no plans on what we will be doing with them.  It will all depends on what they want to see and how much hanging around the house we would do.  Since it has been over a year since we last saw my MIL, there are going to be a lot of late nights, sharing stories and just hanging out. A couple of days ago, I have been busy doing some cooking in preparation for their visit.  I did remember to take some photos to share.  We know that they would like to see a lot of the tourist spot and of course the local favorites.  Although it is much smaller than San Jose, CA we can definitely show them the Canadian Hospitality.  They are excited to try our very own Tim Horton's coffee and they also want to try some of the local coffee shops in the city.  

Black peppered beef

Cinnamon coffee bars with raisins and pecans

Pork Chili Verde

Red meat sauce for Pasta Night 
One of my MIL's favorite dessert - Tiramisu

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Twin Tuesday - Painted wine bottles

It all began when we had a small gathering at our home a couple of weeks after we moved in. Our realtor left us with 3 bottles of champagne in our fridge.  We decided to share with our neighbors so we invited three couples that we have met already.  Not only did we finished the three bottles, there were some other wine bottles that was left in our house.  A few weeks later we find ourselves at another party and there were more bottles of wine that were empty.  That's when I started thinking and being creative.  What if I clean these bottles and paint them.  Luckily the previous owners left four different cans of paint.  That's when it all began.  I would use the house paint as my base color for the bottles and then use acrylic paint for whatever design or art work I am feeling that moment.  Sometime last year, just before my daughter's visit, I decided to design one bottle using my nail tool to create different sizes of dots. The colors I pick were white, silver, gold and yellow.  At one time those where my daughter's choice of color combination for her home.  When it finally finished, I showed it to her and she told me to save it for their visit.  Unfortunately, she could only carry so much on her small luggage that the bottle did not get packed.  Last week I decided to make another one similar to the one last year.  Once I finished, I put them side by side and amazingly enough, they look very similar, except if you really look close, one has a flower at the beginning of the circle and the other had different color dot to begin the circle. I should it again to my daughter to make sure still want me to reserve it for her.  This time she picked the new bottle with the flower in the middle.  Does it look the same to you?
Can you tell the difference between the left and and right bottle?  Which one do you think  my daughter picked? 

The one on the right was the first bottle I painted which I reserved for my daughter.  The one on the left is the latest one which my daughter now wants me to keep until she gets here.  LOL.  I wonder if I do another very similar, would she picked it.  You will have to wait for the next post about the Dotted Wine Bottle.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Friendship Flower Friday - Similar blooms

This weekend my friend who is a master gardener shares some of the flowers in her garden. When I received the photos it definitely reminded me of recent photos I took at our nearby golf course.  And the other photo is similar to the one we have in our front yard.  Let me see if my memory is still good.  I will try to get my photos first and then my friend's pictures.  In case you are wondering where this post is going, well it's just comparing pictures of flowers.  I understand it is a little boring, but sometimes, you need to stop for a moment and admire the beauty of the flowers around you.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Waddling Wednesday - Just too cute

The last couple of weeks I have been taking photos or videos of just nature which includes these ducks travelling with their mom.  Some of them are near the edge of the creek but last week I saw one trying to cross the green on # 17 hole at Hillview Golf Course.  I am not sure
if there were the same one that I saw a week before.  One of the photo I am sharing are three beautiful butterflies that were just sitting on the cart path.  My golf buddy and I stood so close to them and they were not flying away.  We believe they were taking care of one of their kind as it was hurt and did not want to leave it behind.  It was quite a scene but eventually my buddy just gave the wing of the hurt one and all of them was able to fly away.  We didn't want a golf cart who was on the hole prior to drive over them.  It's too bad that I was not quick enough to take a photo of a family of turtles.  I am sure there was a mother, father and two babies.  I was being very quiet but I took a very small step and made some grass move and they all quickly jump in the creek.  There was some photos I took of turtles on the same creek and they must be the same.  This post might be a little too boring but wait till you see the videos.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Thirsty Tuesday - Did you water your plants?

As soon as the weather was getting warmer, I was so eager to buy some colorful flowers for the front yard.  But Jeff said that if I was going to plant some flowers in pots, it was my responsibility to make sure that they are watered.  Since I really wanted to try and make the front yard looking pretty with nice pots and some colorful flowers, I agreed.  One day we went to the parking lot of Home Hardware as DS Gardens were selling so many variety of plants, flowers and succulents.  I didn't want to get so many as I was not even sure if I am able to handle the new summer responsibility.  When we got home, I got all my pots ready and I filled them with soil and tried to group them.  A couple of weeks later, my neighbor Cheryl gave us some really nice plants from their garden.  While picking up these plants, I noticed that they have some black mulch or wood chips which I guess help in controlling the growth of weeds.  Of course I wanted it because I don't like weeding and Jeff usually does it.  Before I had to spread these wood chips, I needed to take some of the weeds and clip some of the dead leaves and branches, etc.  I did all that and my back started to hurt.  This past weekend, I completed the task and some of the annuals that I have been watering are all starting to bloom.  So far the summer flowers I planted are still alive.  I am so proud of what I had accomplished.  I am trying to spend a bit more time and try to get the front yard looking healthy and alive.  Here's a few of the photos I took yesterday.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sweetness Sunday - It looks easier on paper

Sometimes when I am determined to make something new that I found on Pinterest or anything online, I get all the ingredients and I just do it.  Most of the time, whatever it maybe, the photo is very similar to what I have produced.  But last week, I tried a couple of times to make the recipe called Easy Petitfours.   I watched the video and it looked easy.  Jeff was my helper but after all is said and done, the end product was a disaster.  Although the taste was good, it did not look neat and pretty.  It resembles something a kid would have done.  Those kids on the Baking show are of course different as they are very creative and talented with already amazing skills.  A long time ago when I was trying to learn a new craft and couldn't do it, my sister said "you cannot have all the talents". She's right.  I know my sister is a great baker as she has made lots of cakes from birthday theme cakes to 3 or 4 tier wedding cakes.  I couldn't share the photo with her because she will just laugh.  But the other night, I tried for the very first time to make a Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake and I am happy to report that it turned out good.  Jeff bought me a new bundt cake pan from the Thrift Store for $2.00 so I thought, might as well use it.  The moral of the story today is that even if it looks easy on paper, it does not mean it's easy to replicate the photo of the product.

With banana cake inside

Yellow icing has lemon cake and pink icing has marble cake inside.

Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake with lemon drizzles

Banana Chocolate Chips Muffins

Friday, May 31, 2019

Fan Friday - Raptors VS Warriors

Image result for warriors logo

Image result for raptors logo

Last weekend I ask my daughter who she will be cheering for this 2019 NBA Finals.  And her reply was "I don't care who wins, but I will have to cheer for the Raptors."  When we lived in San Jose (the bay area) my daughter and her hubby visited us and they had a chance to watch the Warriors game at the Oracle Arena.  Apparently they had great seats and it was a great game.  Now that we are back in Canada, I am guessing we will be cheering for the Raptors as well as it's the only Canadian team in the NBA.  Luckily, we were able to watch game 6 between Raptors and Bucks during the last few minutes.  As we were not following basketball a lot but after the Sharks lost, we thought we would check it out.  I was happy to be able to watch that exciting and amazing win by the Raptors.  Jeff does not watch a lot of the sports except NHL (Sharks) and NFL (49ers).  While I watch most the sports (NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, Tennis, Golf, Bowling, and even NASCAR).  Anyway, we will definitely be recording all the games and cheer for both teams.  But it will be such a treat for all Canadians to have the Raptors win the NBA Finals since Warriors already has a few trophies.  May the best team wins.  Drake will definitely be there as he is the #1 super fan.

Image result for drake super fan for raptors

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wooden Wednesday - Great woodwork

Do you remember the post I did about the ladies craft night last March?  It was the one where we got each a wooden star and decorated it however we chose to.  One of our neighbor is very much into wood working.  This is his new hobby and he is doing an amazing job.  He mentioned to me a month after our craft night that he is already planning for next year.  It will be a wooden heart and we will get one heart and paint it, decorate it and take it home.  This past weekend, we had our annual golf tournament for the neighborhood.  There were lots of prizes but the most amazing ones are the wood work that AJ made.  He donated 4 prizes and it was such a treat for those who won it. Luckily, I had a chance to see the finished product.  Now I would like to share them with you.

Candle holder for a table center piece

Fruit shish kabob holder

Trio candle holder

Serving tray or could be a Charcuterie Board

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Toasting Tuesday - Not bread but birthday

How does someone celebrate a birthday when you get to a certain age?  Do you only celebrate the big years, like 40, 50, 60 etc?  Or should you celebrate every year after you turn 65 because you don't know when that time will come?  Oh that's not how to look on life.  I think you should celebrate your birthday every year no matter what.  It does not have to be a big party always.  It could be as simple as going for breakfast at Denny's, you get your breakfast for free up to the grand slam amount which is $11.69 or less. The you can  celebrate your birthday lunch with a few friends at Rosters for their wing special.  Apparently this bar and grill will serve you the number of wings based on your age for free.  You can share it with friends but you cannot take it home.  I think that is one great deal.  Now all you need is a place to go for dinner for free.  One of our friends, suggested Kelly O'Brien.  They said, that the birthday celebrant gets a free dinner.  So that covers you 3 meals and then if you want to celebrate more, I am sure there will be a bar that will give you the first drink on the house.  But it might be better to just get a few friends over for TGIT (thank god it's tuesday) or some sort of open house. Just serve appetizers and our neighborhood rule which is BYOB.  Maybe even have just desserts and drinks (TGITDD).  So how will I celebrate my birthday this year. 
  • Breakfast at Denny's with Jeff
  • A round of golf at Hillview Golf Course
  • Lunch at Roster's with friends - wings to share among friends
  • Dinner at the Green Pub - their special is Tacos Tuesday with a live band
  • Cupcakes with the ladies on Wednesday after golf
  • Desserts at home with some of the neighbors.
Image result for happy birthday balloons

Image result for minions cake images

To all my family and friends, thank you for all your wishes today.  I feel very special and blessed to have an amazing life surrounded by all of you.  This day would have not been complete without the text messages, emails and of course phone calls.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sweet and Sour Sunday - Trying new recipes

Our house chores are usually divided by outdoor and indoor.  Outdoor is Jeff's section and indoor is mine.  Although we do try and help out each other for what ever job needs to get done. As for day to day stuff, I cook and he cleans.  He vacuums and I mop.  We can both say that it's pretty even when it comes to chores.  I am getting a little side track because this post is about something sweet and something sour or tart.  A few days ago I open a container in the fridge and it had pineapple chunks that Jeff had done.  I guess I completely forgot about it and some of the pieces are getting a little brown.  So I took out what was bad, place the good ones in a pot and added some sugar, juice, jalapeno, red peppers, cinnamon, olive oil, ginger and finally salt and pepper.  The result is what I am calling, Pineapple red pepper chutney.  Shortly after I checked the fridge again and found some tomatillos but one was dead.  I decided to cut them in half, add a little salt and olive oil and baked at 400 F for a few minutes.  Once it was done, I place them in my mini kitchen aid chopper and added jalapeno and a bunch of cilantro.  The result is one jar of chili verde sauce for later.  Last weekend, we were invited to one of the neighbors home as they had a few people over to begin our summer get together.  The host asked if I don't mind making a salad.  Of course I quickly checked my Pinterest pins and sure enough I found the Herb Lemon Orzo Spinach Salad.  It was very simple, very refreshing (basil and mint) and with a lemon and olive oil dressing. 

My Victoria day breakfast last week.  Waffles with strawberries and whip cream plus bacon.

Herb Lemon Orzo Salad

Home made chili verde sauce (tomatillos, jalapenos and cilantro)

Pineapple red peppers chutney