Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nov 25: thanksgiving party-for-two

The taste of roasted turkey lingered in our palate, until we got home the day after Thanksgiving. Talking about how delicious it was, sent our taste buds into overdrive. So, we decided to go to the market on Saturday and bought 14 lbs. of turkey, ingredients for: stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Pangga and I were so excited to roast our very own, first-ever turkey! Came Sunday morning, we woke up earlier than usual. We had fun patting the bird with our favorite spices. (Check out the recipe in my Blog Archive) By 9:30 a.m., the turkey was already roasting in the oven! Around 12:45, Pangga made the stuffing and I prepared mashed potatoes and gravy.

Started our "thanksgiving party-for-two" at 1:30 p.m. It was a fabulous meal. The turkey turned out so well, moist and juicy! Not bad for first-timers! We are SO proud of ourselves. Great teamwork!

And to top it all, Chicago Bears, SF 49ers and Oakland Raiders won! Woohoo! Good food, engaging football and great company = BLISS!

Looking forward to our leftover turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing. YUM!

Recipe: Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey
(in oven cooking bag)

This is not a traditional way of cooking thanksgiving turkey. My Pangga and I decided to use herbs that we both liked. We used a large heat tempered plastic cooking bag especially designed for oven temperatures. Bags can be bought in the paper goods section of most grocery stores. The instructions for use are printed on the box. The turkey is steamed and won’t brown as much compared to a turkey roasted out in the open. But it will retain most of the bird’s moisture and come out juicier (in my opinion).


1 (12 to 14 pound) turkey , thawed
salt or garlic salt
½ tbsp. black pepper, ground
1 medium onion, quartered
5 stalks spring onion or scallions
2 tbsp. of chopped garlic
½ tbsp. herbs: thyme, sage, dill weed
2 tbsp. chives and capers
2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil

a.Preheat the oven to 350°F.

b.Rinse the outside and cavity of the bird under cold, running water. Remove turkey parts from neck and breast cavity and reserve for other uses, if desired.

c.Dry bird well, with paper towels.

d.Prepare oven-cooking bag. To prevent bursting, a tablespoon of dry flour is shaken around to coat the empty bag.

e.Mix all spices and herbs: salt, black pepper, chopped garlic, thyme, sage, dill weed. Add the olive oil.

f.Rub the whole bird with the mixture, also inside breast cavity.

g.Stuff breast cavity with scallions, quartered onion, chives and capers. Add 2 bay leaves and lemon grass if desired.

h.Put turkey inside bag and close with nylon tie. Tuck ends of bag in pan.

i.Cut six ½ inch slits in the bag to allow steam to escape.

j.The pan holding the turkey in the bag must be large enough so the bag does not hang over the sides. Allow ample space for the bag to expand during cooking.

k.Roast until meat thermometer reads 180°F and juices run clear. It is inserted into one of the inner thigh areas near the breast, making certain the tip of the thermometer is not touching bone.

l.Approximate roasting times:

12 to 16 pounds 2 ½ to 3 hours
16 to 20 pounds 3 to 3 ½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 3 ½ to 4 hours

m.Add 1/2 hour for stuffed turkey.

n.Remove turkey from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes before carving.

o.If turkey sticks to bag, gently loosen bag from turkey before opening oven bag.

Recipe: Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes


Prepare a stuffing according to preference. We didn't put traditional stuffing in our turkey and made it separately. Cranberry isn’t on top of our list (sorry folks), so we didn’t buy any. We just bought herb seasoned- cube stuffing, from the store. The amount of margarine or butter and liquid to be used, is printed on the box. It was fast and easy to make.

My Pangga used the following ingredients:

½ stick butter
½ tbsp. chopped garlic
1 medium onion, diced
a small can of mushroom
4 pieces marinated artichoke
¼ green bell pepper, diced
½ tsp. black pepper , ground
sprinkle of herbs: thyme, sage, dill weed

a.Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in the chopped garlic and onion. Sauté until slightly brown.

b.Add the mushroom, artichoke and green bell pepper. You can mix in more vegetables and sausage, if desired.

c.Sprinkle with cooking sherry. This enhances the flavor.

d.Stir in cube stuffing and liquid (broth, vegetable juice, wine, water) gradually.

e.For 9-12 lbs. turkey: use 8 cups of cube stuffing, mix ½ cup butter and 1 ¼ cups liquid.

f.Sprinkle with herbs and black pepper.

g.Cover and let stand over very low heat for five minutes.

Voila! Tasty stuffing!

Mashed Potatoes

I prepared the mashed potatoes and used the ingredients below:

3 large- sized potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. butter
5 tbsp. low fat milk
½ tbsp. white pepper, powder
1 tbsp. of chopped garlic
¼ tbsp. dill weed
1 tbsp. chives

a.Place potatoes in a separate pan or wrap with aluminum foil. Bake for one hour in the same oven where turkey is roasting.

b.Remove from oven after an hour, then put potatoes in a pot over low heat.

c.Start mashing potatoes. Add sour cream and melted butter.

d.Use a strong spoon to beat further, adding milk to achieve the consistency you desire.

e.Mix with the remaining ingredients.

Heavenly mashed potatoes!


We just bought (2) turkey gravy mix and added half a cup of mushrooms. Yummy and fast!

Turkey giblets

Asians like dishes that may be viewed as weird by the Westerners. Fish heads, chicken giblets, pork and beef liver or intestines, to name a few. Sautéed chicken liver with onions and cooked as adobo, is easily one of my favorite dishes.

When we bought the turkey, it came with the giblets (heart, gizzard, and liver). I was so excited to try my first-ever turkey giblets. I seasoned it first with garlic salt and black pepper and fried it. I mixed soy sauce, vinegar and garlic for my dip. MMMmm SO tasty.

...fried turkey giblets and coffee with peppermint mocha creamer.

My Pangga didn’t like liver, but was brave to take a bite. He didn’t care for the liver, as evidenced by the photo below.( Hehehe)

He had two bites of fried gizzard and said it wasn’t too bad.

As for me, Well…..

Monday, November 26, 2007


Nov 22

We had Thanksgiving with our friends, Jonnie, Katie and their family, in Fremont. It was my first Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie and finally experienced one of America's tradition. My Pangga and I stuffed ourselves silly and were happy for it. MMMMmmm. Great cooking from mother Thornberry.

...first Thanksgiving turkey

...dinner table beckoning ; with our friend, Jonnie

I brought Filipino cooking with me, one of my Pangga's fave: lumpia. I was hesitant at first but Pangga said they would love it as much as he does. ( Blush). To my surprise, he wasn't wrong! Katie, her sister Tessa and their mom loved it so much, my lumpia was a sellout before dinnertime. Wow! So, I promised next time to bring more and teach them how to make it.

We spent the night in Fremont and watched movies when we went back to Jonnie and Katie's home. Katie and I woke up at 6 in the morning to check out "Black Friday". I thought it was part of the holy week, hehehe. I was confused since Lent has already passed. Katie told me that the day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday", where almost everything's on sale (up to 50% off). It was called that because stores open as early as 4 in the morning.

Whoa! She wasn't kidding. When we got there at 6:15 in the morning, some were already done shopping! I didn't buy anything though, but I'm sure to do it next year.

After shopping, we went back to mother Thornberry's house to have breakfast. The turkey leftover on hot turkey soup was Delicioso! Yum!

...Jonnie and Katie with new golden retriever "Curtis"; Katie and her sister, Tessa

We had an awesome Thanksgiving!

Ah, Love!


gave me again
luscious chocolate;
will unwrap it soon,
can’t hardly wait.
come, let us share
its creamy delight;
mocha or mint bliss,
pleasurable in every bite.
I’m so excited
to sink my teeth,
into its richness –
Thank you, my sweet!


...with a beautiful bouquet of flowers too!

With our "baby rabbit" Celeste.


Nov 2

Did my first temp. work at TTS, where my Pangga also works. Covered for Doris, 2 days. It was fun working with Eric at the same company. First job in California!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mama's birthday!


Called Mama on her birthday.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

SF 49ers vs. Saints

Monster Park.
Went to see the SF 49ers play against the Saints today. I noticed the same people in our row, probably have season tickets. That's what Pangga said. We were hoping the 49ers would win this time. We were disappointed. The Saints scored a touchdown right away in the first quarter, plowing through 73 yards with just 4 plays! OMGosh! It didn't stop there. The 49ers fans witnessed several painful moments, as the other team's score rose to 24. The starting QB for the 49ers, Alex Smith, did not perform well. I guess he hasn't fully recovered from a separated shoulder sustained weeks before. Bummer! We left at the end of the third quarter: Saints 24, 49ers 3. It was depressing to watch.

Went for a walk in downtown San Francisco before going home. Metreon park, beautiful and refreshing behind the waterfalls. Quick kiss and smiles. We felt much better after. hehehe. Bought food in Jollibee. It's like McDonald's but it's a Filipino-owned food chain. Love pancit palabok and buko pina pie!

When we reached home, looked up the final score. Apparently, 49ers got a touchdown. Hurray! At least they scored again!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Ah! I love getting flowers from my Pangga. Can't stop smiling and a few lines from a sonnet came to mind.

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light."

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning-

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

San Francisco Fleet week

It's been awhile since I've written here. Got caught up writing in Helium. It's addictive there too. But this is the place were I post my photos. So, here I am. Fleet week in San Francisco was last October 4 to 9. We joined in the festivities to see the Blue Angels fly, of course!

It was my first time to watch them fly, that's why I was very excited! We got a nice view right at the edge of pier 39. I knew that some residents didn't look forward to having the Blue Angels fly, saying that its very noisy and that accidents could happen. We didn't belong to this group but we were glad no mishap occurred.

After taking so many photos, I told my man just to savor the experience. We kept holding our breath as the Angels did amazing formations! We all clapped in glee, adults and children alike.

It was very crowded that day (Oct 6) and people were determined to get a good view, some stationed themselves at the hotel roof. I couldn't resist taking a picture of them. hehehe.

It was a very enjoyable day with my Pangga.

The next day we went to Monster park to watch the football game: 49ers vs. Ravens. We thought the Blue Angels would fly over the ball field like they did years back. Well, they didn't but two huge helicopters did. It was still awesome after the fireworks display, before the game started.

The final score was: Ravens 9, 49ers 7. I believe that 49ers had an opportunity to win that game but they just didn't come through. Anyways, we still had a lot of fun!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

yellow and orange hues...

my love has for me a surprise
wrapped in transparency,
nestled in green and white
tied in pink and and violet ribbons:
one perfect red rose
petals of yellow and orange hues.

I love my surprise!

NFL Football : Monster Park

My man and I went to Monster Park last Sept.30 to watch an NFL football game : San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks. We knew that the Seahawks is a good team but we didn't expect a very disappointing 23 - 3, in favor of the Seahawks. We still had so much fun cheering at the top of our voices when a successful play induced it , watching a Latina dance during halftime , observing a lot of "crazies" (hehehe) and enjoying the nachos. A year ago ,I would never have imagined that I will understand and enjoy football. I enjoy different sports such as playing volleyball, watch boxing ( Manny Pacquiao..YEAH!!) and basketball. Now, football has been added to my list and I can hardly wait to see another game!


It's been awhile since I've put my thoughts into writing and it finally overflowed today. I've finally reached my limit of just staring into space , crying my eyes out and/or ride out my depressing imaginations in dizzying speed.

I allowed a recent failure to immerse me in bouts of depression. I didn't want to drown so I struggled upward with the determination to leave the "feeling-sorry -for-myself" routine. I'm aware that I have a penchant for melodrama but there is a part of me that doesn't want to put up with it anymore. I'm not saying I am safely in the beach yet but I'm treading towards it.

It is a continuous struggle but when I stop to think about it, I'm not that unfortunate. I have still full use of my physical self. What of those physically challenged: without eyesight to appreciate the beauty of the world; without arms or legs? What about those who have no home, no family, no food? When I think of these,it helps me realize that what they are experiencing right now is much worse.

I'm fortunate because I have love and support from my partner Eric and from people who care for me and for that, I am very thankful.

San Francisco jaunts

Golden Gate Bridge

A suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening into the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. It connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County as part of US Highway 101 and California State Highway 1. It was completed in 1937.

Pier 39
jan 28


Palace of Fine Arts

Golden gate Park

Japanese Tea Garden

by Daniel Schwen