Food Trip

We bond over food. We love checking out new restaurants, just for the fun of it.
Like many of our generation, we click before we eat. Sometimes though, we’re too hungry to bother.
We are not prolific food critiques, we’re just normal people who know good food. :)

Between the two of us, it’s the husband who cooks at home. Maybe someday I will too. But until then, I wouldn’t likely be sharing recipes on the blog. :)

Happy Somebang Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 🙂

Christmas in the Somebang Compound was very simple this year, but also very happy. Who can help being happy when there are kids around?

When I was little, we would sleep on the afternoon of the 24th so we could stay late for Christmas Eve. Papa used to dress up as Santa when it was time to hand us our gifts. There was a time that Lola dressed up as Santa too. Last night, it was my turn again to call out the names and hand over the gifts. No, I wasn’t wearing a Santa suit, but I was wearing a red shirt. Haha 🙂

The food table last night wasn’t as filled as Christmas 2007’s table was. But it was good food, and everyone had their fill. There were still some leftovers by the time the party was over.

The kids had a blast with the games we had all night long. As usual, I was game master, with help from cousin Ton. Apart from the games, they also enjoyed singing – even AJ was trying to hog one of the Magic Sing mics! 🙂

We brought down the TV from my parent’s room, and my brother also setup our stereo with the speakers, so we can have Magic Sing fun.  Like in previous years, we spent hours singing along! As a Christmas gift to my parents, I gave dad funds to buy a chip for additional  songs for the Magic Sing yesterday. They had been wanting to buy one soon after they got it, Christmas was a good time as any. It was perfectly timed because the songs that everyone wanted to sing were mostly found in that new chip. Although Adam (8) was quite disappointed that Evenascence’s Bring Me to Life was not on the list. 

In reality, the cash donations for the prices wasn’t huge,  I just had most of it changed to 5 peso coins so we could enjoy them longer. That was a great idea! 

Near the end of the evening, I was complaining because I did not get anything – having been the one facilitating the games and not joining any. At that point we passed along a cup for everyone to chip in for a raffle. We put everyone’s names and one lucky person would take home the pot. The donations came in coins, so there wasn’t much, but it was the spirit that more important. 

On the first draw, we found out that not everyone’s names were entered. Butchik would have one but we had to redo the whole thing. Guess who one eventually? I did! Hahaha. All 140 pesos of it was mine! Hehe. 

The last draw was strictly for the 8 kids. The funds were from Esban’s dad, who had won 300 USD from a raffle at a Christmas party. We had been teasing him all night to give away 10% of his cash. He gave away only 300 pesos though, hehe. I added a few more to the pot so all the kids would have a price, rather than just three. 3 received 10 pesos each, 2 got 20 pesos each, and three more received 100 pesos each. Again, that doesn’t sound much, but it shouldn’t take much to keep everyone happy 🙂

It was a great family night that ended at 5am for me. I am going to miss this on New Year’s Eve.

Weekends at Mid-Week

I am determined to make all my weekends count. Specially now that weekend for me actually happens midweek, having Tuesdays-Wednesdays off work.

This morning, I met up with the boyfried at Fully Booked in Gateway. Went there straight from work and I actually lasted until about three in the afternoon. Not bad. I was sleepy by the time I left my desk, but all the energy came back once I stepped foot in the mall. Haha.

Problem is, instead of getting any Christmas shopping done, I bought a couple more things for myself. A Jennifer Weiner title from the second-hand book shop, a top from SM, and chocolates and candies from Marks & Spencers. I also decided on what to put on my wishlist for the exchange gift we’re having at work (tough choice!). To be honest, I didn’t really put much effort into finding stuff to give. I’m not sure why. I also don’t know if I’ll be trying again tomorrow. I do know that we’re going back to San Benissa for the presentation, and I’m really looking forward to that (but I’ve mentioned that before, haven’t I?) 🙂

It’s nighttime now but I have a several things I want to do before going back to bed. Alfred mentioned that he was going to fix our closet and stow away the jackets that are not being used anymore. Having slept on the couch this afternoon, I don’t know if he has actually managed to do that before he left to meet up with his friends tonight. Whether he did or not, I’d like to contribute to that effort so I’ll arrange our other clothes and not all mixed up all over the place like they are now 🙂

I’d also like to leaf through my baking book tonight. Perhaps that will inspire me to bake through this holiday season, like Decembers past. I am still thinking which of these two interesting books I’d order online, maybe you can help me? The images are linked to a review page.

tack_cupcake cookies

Christmas came a few weeks early :)

Alfred and I have already exchanged Christmas gifts for each other. For several years now, there’s really no surprise anymore when it comes to our presents for each other. He doesn’t like surprises, you see. So he usually just gets me something he knows I really want, and I also get him one that he actually asks for.

But I was still surprised when he offered to get this for me when I finally found a copy at Fully Booked Greenhills:

 This baking book first caught my attention about two months ago, at which time I blogged about it here. I only saw an actual copy last Saturday, when I sought it out. At the same time that I saw it, I also found the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.

When he saw that I was hesitant to purchase either books after checking out the price, Alfred immediately offered to get it for me – as my early Christmas present. The next crucial decision that took me around 15 or 20 minutes to make, was which one to get. Obviously this one won out, but it was really a tough choice. Both books gave tips for beginner bakers and offered plenty of recipes to choose from. I felt that Martha’s was friendlier for beginners and was actually more inclined to get that first, and then to just come back for ArtNSoul when I’m done with it. But there was something about this huge baking book that really just drew me in.

I have not yet taken it out from the FB bag since I brought it home. I want to be ready to tackle it when I do so. First I’ll be reading through it, and then picking out which recipes I’d like to try. Then I’ll prepare the environment for actual baking: starting with the oven. Maybe if I just clean it up, it’ll function better. At this point, I am shelving the idea of buying an oven because I need to prioritize payments for the condo. I need money to spruce it up a bit, and then finally rent it out. One’s that’s all set I can get a loan from mom or brother bear for a big new oven.

I have this other recipe book I’m itching to get, Anita Chu’s Field Guide to Cookies. It isn’t available here though and I haven’t mustered enough courage yet to ask a relative if I can have it delivered to his place and then he’ll bring it over when he comes home in a few weeks for his wedding. I mean, he’s going to be busy right, I wouldn’t want to add on to that.

Anyway, as for my present to the boyfriend, he got what he wanted too. A new watch!

It’s a Swatch Chronos with their new plastic/silicone (?) technology that makes this thing that looks ginormous so lightweight! It cost more than what I am ever willing to spend on one single watch so Alfred’s paying for the rest. We still consider it a present though. 

You should have seen how happy he was with it. 🙂

I tried on some of the watches too, and I really wanted to take some of them home with me (lookup the Curvaleous and Color the Sky – this one reminds me of my previous blog layout). I seriously had to restrain myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a watch. I still have my old black beady Swatch that just needs a new battery. I can always just have that battery replaced if I really needed to wear a watch. I just wasn’t up to spending a fortune on the Curvaleous. 

We had to walk around the mall before Alfred finally finally decided to bring home that watch. I still had to keep my eyes away from the two watches I fancied so I wouldn’t be tempted to add them in to the purchase. Haha.

We had brunch at a Japanese restaurant before heading home. Salmon sashimi again, after so long!


Mom is home from her Bangkok trip. She’s been there since Sunday for a conference. 

I haven’t downloaded their pictures from the camera yet, I’m hoping there are nice photos of the river cruise. I went on one the last time I was there in 2000. It was a lovely time. Mom says that Dad complained about not knowing about the night river cruises, haha.

She brought me home a beautiful sarong of black Thai silk. I love Thai silk but I’ve always just found them really expensive. I did buy myself this nice big sling bag made of one, in maroon. Alfred has had it hostage for a long time now, but seeing the sarong reminds me to take it back. Now I don’t know if I’ll wear the sarong as is or have it adjusted to be shorter. I used to wear sarongs a lot when I was still studying. Actually, some of the ones I used weren’t even really designed to be sarongs. They were actually shawls that I’d just fold a certain way, then wrap around me. I’d fasten them with pins and wear shorts under, just in case they unravelled while I was out. Haha!

It’s payday weekend and we got half of our 13th month pay. People are usually very happy, but not today. They are saying that they can’t appreciate the bonus very much because it’s been divided in two. Others argue that the income tax deductions have made the sum really disappointing. 

I wasn’t very happy with my net pay either, but it is what it is. I am just hoping that I’d get a decent sum for the tax refund by the end of the year when they finally recompute using the new tax exemptions for tax witheld since July of this year. If not,  well then, I’ll just be happy I earn enough to be taxed that much!

Now there’s a bazaar at work every pay day. Vendors come to sell food, clothes, shoes, and anything and everything you can imagine. I used to participate there to sell brownies that I made, plus other stuff that my cousin and I could scrounge up. There was a time that we sold shawls, clothes, bags, makeup, accessories including those magnetic bracelets that we found at a very affordable price. When we bought those bracelets, we already thought about marketing them as healing bracelets – we actually sold a piece or two before the actual bazaar.

As Christmas is approaching, more and more of those who still remember those days are asking me about baking/selling again – they ask a lot for the truffles too. I really want to get back to it but thinking of my oven is enough to make me forget about everything. 

I bought a chocolate cupcake with marshmallow icing and a choco mudslide cake this afternoon. The cupcake base tastes a lot like the ones I make but I’d have to say I prefer mine. I’m not a big fan of having that much icing on it (beehive like) but perhaps people may prefer it over the type of icing I used – or not. The cake and its fudge was – uhm, okay. The caramel seemed to have been mixed in with the fudge itself and that doesn’t particularly appeal to me. I remember the fudge that my aunt used to make and I think that’s a lot better. 

So I know I can totally compete with the baked goods that are currently sold at the bazaar, I really just have to commit the time and energy into it. I don’t know if I want to spend on the space, and the person who would man the booth too. 

My days off are changing again starting next week. I’ll have a very short one-day weekend because I’ll be reporting back to work on Sunday night. That means Fridays off moving forward. Perfect for getting ready to sell in time for payday bazaar. Maybe that’s the universe way of nudging me towards where I should be going? Nyaha! 😉

Stories in Hand

Back in the 3rd week of October, I excitedly signed up for a class at called Stories in Hand. It’s a brand new class that teaches Jessica’s own system of making sure there is a way to tell the stories that one would love to tell – in one way or another. Oh, and it’s a free class too.

It started on Monday, but I haven’t done a single thing – save from readig the daily email, and the instructions for each of the four days that have passed.

But I really love what I’m seeing of the class so far, and I really really want to do it. So tomorrow OR Saturday, I will make sure that I pass by the bookstore and pick up some supplies that I will be needing for the class. I should have done that weeks ago (not that saying so will change anything).

Though free, it is a copyrighted class and I don’t think it’s appropriate to share too much about it right here – specially the principles. But I would sure love to show off my binder when I’ve made it 🙂


Food Fight

Alfred and I almost broke out fighting this morning – over food. 

Nope, he wasn’t telling to stop eating. Nor was I telling him how much he’s been eating. We woke up at lunch (or rather I did, he was already awake) just in time for my brother to yell up the stairs to let me know that he and his girlfriend were going to the grocery. He didn’t mention lunch so I assumed it was each to his own for the day. So Alfred and I decided that he’d fry luncheon meat for our lunch – and cook rice too. 

Before he did all that, he asked me to ask my brother (through SMS) if they were lunching at home – I told him they probably weren’t and to just cook enough rice for the two of us. Just before sitting down to eat, I finally called my brother to ask him to pick up some dog food but they were already heading home. And he said that he was cooking pasta and we shouldn’t have cooked lunch. I said that was okay. But Alfred was listening – and then started complaining about how I should have called earlier and we wouldn’t have had to cook yadda yadda yadda. 

We exchanged words and stares and yet we still, eventually, sat down to eat together. Crisis averted.

In the end it was still the right move to have fixed our lunch – otherwise, we would have dined an hour later. If I was in a hurry to get to work, I wouldn’t have been able to eat.

I’m sure boyfriend was thinking about how it should have been me worrying about what to cook or what we’ll eat. He’s definitely said that many times before. But there’s just not a lot that I can cook. I can fry without any assistance – and that’s pretty much it. There are perhaps one or two easy green bean recipes that I can cook (including one that he actually loves), but the ingredients aren’t always available in the house. 

But surely, in his eyes, it all boils down to how lazy I am when it comes to things like this. The truth? I am lazy. Haha!

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