Whew! Greetings have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through, gifts have been opened, just need to clean up the mess and deal with the leftovers from last night’s feast… then, finally, I can catch up on… well, things that I’ve missed and have been missing out on.

It was a rainy Christmas, much to my slight surprise. Found it strange for I don’t think it has ever rained during the holidays, well, at least in my lifetime…  And these December days are really cold compared to the previous years–finding it hard to wake up in the morning, you just want to sleep up to noontime which of course something I can indulge in during this holiday break… yay!

Here are a few pics from our last night’s Christmas Noche Buena feast:

stuff-2222

Paella and Pinoy Barbeque. Took a shot at the paella again, this time with garnishing on top, looking more presentable than the last time.

cf

Been wishing for a fondue set for years, now finally got around to getting one.  Baptized it with chocolate fondue which ended up sweet but a tad bitter…

stuff-221

Paw and I attempted to make churros for the first time… but they ended up in little crazy shapes…haha! Oh, well… better luck next time! I also didn’t expect how messy it was going to be…we all had chocolate-stained shirts to prove it!

stuff-225Bring out the wine!: Doc, Sis, Lolo Dad, Pchie, Paw and Levic were present for our quiet simple Noche Buena.  By the time, the cooking was done, we were all famished.  I was so tired I couldn’t see stuff-227straight.

Levic enjoying his barbecue (right)…

We thanked God for the blessings we received this year (even if it had been a roller-coaster year-we all had our share of ups and downs but hey-we’re still here, right?) and wished for a better and wonderful year ahead as well. Merry Christmas!

Advertisements

…we may not be able to afford to do so anymore.

That is my new take on that old saying.  It apparently dawned on me when I wrote my post last July 17, that since prices here keep going up, I might as well indulge and enjoy everything while I still can afford them.

So armed with this new somewhat hedonistic yet a truly ‘hell-yeah!’ philosophy, Sis and I decided to hold a Margarita party one Saturday night at their home for no reason in particular. Well, I wanted to try making margarita for the longest time because it is in one of dear Martha’s Things Anyone Should Know list (another one is how to make a home emergency kit).

I bought the margarita glasses while Sis got the rest of the necessary items-inexpensive tequila and triple sec.

I know, I know…Martha’s advice was to get the best quality ingredients like cuervo gold and cointreau or something…but-hey, we’re on a tight budget-and besides, if we didn’t get the mixing right, at least we didn’t blow our money away (or in other words, we-simply-just-wanted-to-get-wasted-on-a-Saturday-night, ok?).

Doc made his own recipe for his margarita.  It doesn’t only taste good, it’s loaded with vitamin C–just like what the doctor ordered! 😀 The recipe is what we christened as Doc’s Calamansi Margarita.  See the recipe below:

Doc’s Calamansi Margarita

3 parts Tequila

2 parts Triple Sec

1 part Limeade

1 Tbs concentrated calamansi juice

1 tsp fresh dayap (native sour lime) juice

ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Then serve in salt-rimmed glasses garnished with lime wedges.

It was fun to mix your own margarita.  If you’re willing to experiment (better to use inexpensive tequila so you can afford to hit and miss), you can try mixing with other ingredients-banana, orange, mango-but for this one, calamansi (lemoncito in Spanish or calamondin in English) is the primary ingredient, making it a truly pinoy original. By the way, the exact amounts of the ingredients Doc put in were sketchy since he was just experimenting with it.  If you want to try it, don’t sweat–just gauge the amount based on your own taste and liking (maybe add sugar if you want it sweet and sour), and have fun.

Green-minded…Loaded with Vitamin C goodness…

Due to the wake of the ferry oil spill disaster, we decided to forgo with the planned hors doeuvre of fresh oysters and baked mussels to go along with our margaritas.  Sis, of course, came out with her classic nacho tuna tomato dip instead. It was perfect nevertheless (recipe soon to follow).

Sis’ Tuna Tomato Dip and Nachos complemented our margaritas.

“Maasim na may guhit…” Ate Joy drops by and approves Doc’s concoction (left).

And with that I will end this post with a Bible quote from Luke 12:19 (King James): “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”

Ah, yes…I’ll drink to that.

Salud!

My blog is relatively new (just 3 days old). It was my first time to use wordpress. I’ve managed a blog before–and it was with the other one, namely, blogger. There were times I wished I never switched at all…

My first post practically took me hours to manage and complete. I didn’t fare any better with the next one. Being mabusisi (detail-fixated), I go back, delete, drag and drop, move an item, browse, upload, link up, unlink, go back, delete, edit, re-edit, etc., all the time cursing and wishing, “Maybe I’m not cut out for this…” My uploaded pictures either disappeared without a trace or just won’t stay put…platial mapkit sucks…and lay-outing my posts generally took a lot of my patience and self-control that I felt I’ll go berserk in any moment. It was like Mr. WordPress was telling me ala Sergeant Foley in “An Officer and a Gentleman:” “You can forget it! GET OUT!” No way! I’m not a quitter…and so I persevered…

Aaargh! Ang hirap naman ng @#%*! ito!!! But I won’t quit…I can’t quit! I got nowhere else to go…I got nothin’ else…huhuhu!!! I lament as Grumbacher patiently looks on…

Now, as I look back…I think I did pretty good work for a start. The patience paid off. And in the end, I took back about wanting to go back to blogger.

WordPress is way cooler, more sophisticated, and much hipper than the other one. It may not be idiot-friendly (anyway, who wants to attract idiots?), a bit snobbishly-restricting (understandably, to protect against hackers and viruses), and had limited fixed themes (which is hard for me being an advocate for the right to be unique and different)…but it had its rewards. I’m glad I’m in it! Or you can say, I kinda lifted myself up where I belong…

Grumbacher (rolling his eyes): Oh brother!

We celebrated Father’s Day on June 15, plus it was my birthday the following day. We had seafood fiesta at home to celebrate these special double occasions!
A birthday wish come true…Home-cooked Paella Marinera with mussels, crabs, jumbo shrimps, squid, chicken, olive oil, jasponica rice, saffron mix.

It had been a dream of mine to serve Paella Marinera at home for the longest time. The ingredients were expensive (cost me more than a thousand pesos but I got two big “kawali-ful” of paella which if you get in Mingoy’s will definitely cost you so much more), and to cook it for the first time will not be easy. But what the heck, let’s get it over with! I already gave it a lot of thought (more like year) before pushing through with the idea and besides… we deserve it!

The previous night, I was trying to decipher the recipe I got from the pack of the saffron mix I bought from the grocery. Decipher–meaning it was written in Spanish. I had to call and ask someone what sofreir, cigalas, and hirviendo meant. The next morning, we started early. We thought we would end by lunch time but we were done past 1 pm! It was harder than I thought…I was never good in math so i was trying to figure out whether I’m putting enough amount of this and that for a group of eight; worrying if I placed too much olive oil and that it could turn into a super sebo-ish paella; and was on the verge of tears, thinking that I poured too much water and that I may end up with rice porridge instead…

Levic checking out the paella…Muy bien? Si! Si!

Paw helping out with the paella. She made it better actually. Gracias, Paulina!!! Buen trabaho, mi sobrina!

Good thing Sis, Doc Drew, and the kids arrived late. They all helped out as well. Paula took over one kawali while Donna and Pchie manned the other one…and Sis was barking out orders ala Gordon Ramsey. I relaxed and let them do the work. They brought along with them deliciously grilled boneless bangus (or milkfish) from Fixies, QC. And Mango Torte from Dulcelin. Wow, more food!

My Birthday Cake slash Torte from Dulcelin Gourmet (below right)with yummy cashew-based nougats and mango.

Happy Father’s Day! Dad, the seafood lover enjoyed the feast…

The kawali or thick iron cooking pan that we used was not exactly my type of paellera but it did the job. There was no time to prepare the toppings (e.g. sliced boiled eggs, green peas) to make it presentable. Oh, well, maybe next time!

The paella tasted heavenly (or baka gutom lang kami?)…Good thing we still had sparkling white wine from last Christmas to go along with it. Wine, paella and good company…it was like living out one of those Travel and Living shows that i can only dream about. After a few minutes, we were talking in Spanish…Muy delicioso…Gracias, gracias..or at least trying to rack our brains for phrases we learned from our long-forgotten, short-lived Spanish language courses in college. Of course, we can only remember the curse words though…hehehe.

We were not able to finish one kawali of paella. Mabigat pala sa tyan. At least, we had more of it to last for one more day.

Ah, yes…I deserve something like this…at least once in while…we all do.