Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!




I know I haven't been blogging for quite a while now
but you've been in my thoughts.
To all my blogger friends
I hope you're all enjoying this blessed day as I am:
MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Communing With Nature


Ah, it's been awhile since I've posted here. I've just wanted to chill out and take a break. But here I am now after a few days. It just shows I can't stay away too long from blogging. I miss interacting with my online friends.

One of the most relaxing activity for me is going for a hike with hubby and communing with nature. (Not forgetting the camera, of course. sengihnampakgigi) It's a way of releasing your negative energy and renewing your spirit.


Last Sunday, we went to the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley.
"It's a naturally beautiful and tranquil living museum of California native plants. This enchanting 10-acre garden is a sanctuary for many of the state's rare and endangered plants and a place for visitors to wander among trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses from plant communities throughout the state. Since the garden's establishment in 1940, its collection has grown to include thousands of plant species and varieties, many identified with interpretive labels. "-http://www.nativeplants.org


There's a scheduled tour of the garden throughout the day
and this group is waiting for the tour guide.


Majestic Redwoods.






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ros

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Elusive Hummingbird


ros

I love watching hummingbirds. I haven't seen many this summer, so I decided to buy salvia plants.

Last Sunday, we bought the blue variety called Salvia guaranitica or an anise-scented sage. After 2 minutes of arranging it in the balcony, a brave hummingbird sampled its nectar immediately even if I was just a meter away from it. I called hubby and we watched it together. Alas, we didn't get to record the wondrous occasion that day. But it's imprinted in our minds.


Just in case it showed up when I was home, I readied the camera in the kitchen on video mode. Finally, I got a chance yesterday afternoon. I was so ecstatic! It was so fast but I managed to capture it for a few seconds through the screen door. So here, I'm sharing the joy with you. Enjoy!



The Native Americans believe that the hummingbird is the creature that opens the heart.


"When we assume hummingbird consciousness, our life becomes a wonderland of sensuous delights. We live for beauty, delighting in flowers, aromas, fine mist, and delicate tastes. When it becomes our totem, the hummingbird teaches us to laugh and enjoy the creation, to appreciate the magic of being alive, and the truth of beauty. Hummingbirds awaken us to the beauty of the present moment."-http://hummingbirdworld.com



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Monday, July 27, 2009

Savory Bistek


"Bistek is a Philippine dish typically made with onions and strips of sirloin beef slowly cooked in soy sauce, and calamansi juice. It is best prepared by marinating the meat first in the mixture of soy sauce or calamansi juice. Bistek is not always made with sirloin beef steaks since pork chops and liver, or even fish fillets, can be used as a substitute. The word "bistek" is derived from the Spanish word Bistec or Beef Steak."- wikipedia.org

Ingredients:

* 1 lb beef sirloin or beef round steak, sliced thinly
* 7 tbsp. lemon/calamansi juice; vinegar can be
used as substitute if calamansi isn't available
* 4 tbsp. soy sauce
* 1 tsp. minced garlic
* a dash of salt & freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 cup onion rings
* cooking oil, as needed
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 tbsp. flour


1. Marinate the beef in lemon juice, soy sauce,1/2 tsp. garlic, salt & pepper for 30 minutes to an hour.

2. Heat oil, remove meat from marinade & then fry in batches until seared or browned on both sides.


3. Put 2 tbsp. of oil in frying pan, then saute remaining garlic with onion rings until the latter is translucent.

4. Remove onion rings and set aside.

5. Mix flour well with water for the purpose of thickening the sauce.

6. Pour the marinade & flour-water mix into the pan with the beef. Let it simmer for 8- 10 minutes.

7. Adjust taste by adding soy sauce, calamansi & spices according to taste.

8. Garnish with onion rings when bistek is served.


Hubby really enjoyed this one when I made it last week. Try it and enjoy! :)

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sew Fantastic!


Pangga surprised me with a gift last Friday. One that I've really wanted for a long time. It's a sewing machine! He is "sew" fantastic and "sew" thoughtful. sengihnampakgigi


SURPRISE! celebrate

I love it! I've been wanting to sew and alter some clothes but it's too tiresome to do it by hand. The biggest "project" that I managed to do last year was a simple blouse for the RenFaire. I totally just hand-stitched this, so it took me awhile to finish it. (More photos of the blouse here.)


Now that I'm learning to use my sewing machine, I will
be able to make more costumes or alter clothes faster.


Giving my CS-6000i some lovin' hugggie. peluk
More BIG HUGS to Hubby, of course. Thanks B!

Description:
"Sew like a pro with this Brother 100 Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine. You get 60 built-in stitches which perform 100 stitch functions. Perfect for all your sewing needs, from making clothes to quilting to decorative and heirloom sewing.

* 60 pre-programmed stitches which perform 100 stitch functions, including utility, decorative, heirloom and quilting;
* Super-wide (7mm) zigzag and decorative stitches;
* Automatic needle threading;
* One-touch start/stop/reverse operations;
* Operates with or without foot control."


I'm "sew" excited!

My sister said I sounded like my mom now with all the sewing, cooking & gardening I do. Well, all I've got to say is, "Thanks a lot, Ma! I've really learned a lot from you. "


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Friday, July 24, 2009

We Get Along




I don't know how they get along but they obviously do. These guys stay
just calm and steady while the tourists take photos of them. They're
setting a very good example. Why don't we all get along like they do?


This was taken in Pier 1, side of the Ferry Building, San Francisco.

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Almost Within Reach




I couldn't resist capturing the clouds on our flight to Illinois.
Very fluffy cottony clouds, one would wish to be enveloped in it.
Oh, so near... almost within reach. rindu





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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jollibee


When you're living in the Philippines, one has the tendency to take things for granted. But when you're already in another country, you'll realize that you miss a lot of things that's "Pinoy". A typical example is Jollibee. You see it everywhere in the Philippines but here in the U.S. you'll just see it in big cities. Thank goodness I live in the Bay area.

Hubby didn't know it was a Filipino owned franchise until I told him. He was amazed. sengihnampakgigi


This Jollibee is located in downtown San Francisco (200 4th St.). We went there last Friday for some "lasang Pinoy" food.

I know that all the food there is not super-fabulous but I don't care. Just give me pancit palabok and "chicken joy" and I'll be happy. Filipinos flock there because it's comfort food for us. There's also a Red Ribbon beside it and that's an added bonus.


I just love ordering food speaking in Tagalog.


Pancit palabok, fries and burger. It feels like I've visited the Philippines. Yey!


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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Paper Anniversary



ros

Yesterday was our 4rth and paper anniversary. It means we've known each other/dated for 4 years and just got married last year. The same date, so nobody forgets. (I'm mostly the forgetful one. sengihnampakgigi )

We decided to go on a cruise around San Francisco Bay, have lunch somewhere in the pier area and watch Harry Potter.


At Embarcadero along Market St. waiting for a cable car to take us to Pier 39 because we thought it would be faster. We were wrong because 3 of the cable cars that went by were all jam-packed with people, almost like sardines. sengihnampakgigi So we decided to walk.


Stopped and perused the stalls selling arts and crafts.



Pangga bought me rainbow swarovski earrings at this stall.


Arrived at Pier 43 ½ where Red and White Fleet is located. This fleet was launched in 1939 as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition, this cruise has been a highlight of any visit to San Francisco for 70 years. Sailing along San Francisco's breathtaking waterfront, under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and closely around notorious Alcatraz Island.-www.redandwhite.com



Breathtaking views of San Francisco on a beautiful day. You can see the Coit Tower and Transamerica Pyramid.

Coit Tower is a simple tower crowning Telegraph Hill overlooking the San Francisco waterfront and built to fulfill the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit. The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest and most recognizable skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline.
(Click photo for a larger view.)




Nearing the Golden Gate Bridge. It was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed during the year 1937. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California. -http://en.wikipedia.org


Sailing directly under the massive 4,200-foot span of the 746-foot tall Golden Gate Bridge.


Watching the kitesurfers. Kitesurfing or kiteboarding is a surface water sport that uses wind power to pull a rider through the water on a small surfboard. - wikipedia.org






Alcatraz Island also referred as " The Rock". It served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963.- wikipedia.org



Posing with the "robot".


At Butterfly restaurant. It's located in Pier 33.

"After 3 years of success on Mission Street, Butterfly restaurant moved to its current location on Pier 33 in the Fall of 2003. Butterfly’s 5,000 sq. ft. dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows, offering dramatic views of San Francisco's bay. The open kitchen offers exciting views of Chef and owner Robert Lam, in action."-www.butterflysf.com


A fabulous surprise when I got back to our table. I didn't expect any present yet because of late delivery. Cool flower jewelry from Pangga and it matches my blouse perfectly! He bought this so he can still give me something during our day. Very thoughtful. Now, I'm curious what else is coming... rindu Thanks a lot, Pangga!



Sumojito (capt. morgan 100 rum, gekkeikan sake, lime, mint),
Lycheetini (belvedere vodka, lychee puree) and view of the bay.


Kalua Pig with Butter Lettuce Cups ( hoisin barbeque dipping sauce, pepper brunoise, toasted cashews, minced green onions) and Beausoleil Oysters with a Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter ( classic champagne & Thai mignontte sauce).




Free Range Chicken and Rice Platter : Duck confit fried chicken leg, broken jasmine rice, sunnyside egg, caramelized onion and raisin demi glace, charred shisito peppers.







Mesquite Grilled Angus Filet Mignon: chinese sausage fried black sticky rice, white & green asparagus, shiimenji mushrooms, XO shrimp and chili sauce, foie gras butter.




After dinner, we went to Berkeley and watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We liked it a lot because of the fantastic CGI and humor incorporated in the story.





We ended a perfect day by having some of our frozen wedding cake. We saved a slice from the top layer to follow tradition.

You can see some ice on the cake, the cake itself tasted like cardboard but the icing still tasted good.


We knew the wedding cake won't taste as good as it did a year ago ( LOL! of course), so we bought slices of rocky road and mocha roll from Red Ribbon.

It truly was a special and memorable day. One of many and looking forward to more. ros

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