The Long Thanksgiving weekend

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was pretty simple. We just had it at my parents’ house. They live about 30 minutes away. I did not prepare anything fancy, I just got frozen appetizers from Trader Joe’s and I baked them when I got to my parents’ house. There were these fried goat cheese balls I wanted to make but I’ll try it another time. I don’t want my first attempt in fried cheese goat balls to be on Thanksgiving Day.

Continue reading The Long Thanksgiving weekend

Kicking off the Holiday season

As soon as I see a posting for any light display event, I get excited because I know we are approaching the Holiday season. I always tell myself we have to go at least one at some point during the season.

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Eat around the World: Food you would bring to a feast

Happy November 1st! This time of the year is my favorite time of the year food-wise. It’s a time where I go through a kitchen experiment kick from October to December. I get to experiment with different recipes I’ve been eye-balling all year around. I don’t know why I wait until the end of the year to play in the kitchen. I guess maybe I have a reason to make different dishes at the end of the year — we have Halloween, Thanksgiving with family, Thanksgiving with friends, Thanksgiving at work, tree trimming party at work, White Elephant Party, New Year’s Eve party with friends, etc. Side note: Now because I have a food series on my blog, I think I’ll get to play with food all year around.

Continue reading Eat around the World: Food you would bring to a feast

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Merry Everything!

“Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.”

Kahlil Gibran

Six years ago we went to Lake Tahoe for Christmas. It was our mini-moon. At that time we just got married two months before and we decided to put our honeymoon in Italy on a hold for a little bit…but we still wanted to go somewhere. My husband’s job had a company holiday shutdown that week so we wanted to go somewhere we could spend a couple of days and it was enough. Side note: we eventually went to Italy a year after our wedding.

This year’s holiday season has been interesting. I wonder how things are going at my work at the hospital and how it will be like when I return in a couple of weeks. In reading the headlines over the last several days (weeks in some places), medical centers across the country are overwhelmed with the number of COVID cases. At my hospital we take in patients from places outside of my county supporting the smaller hospitals who do not have enough resources. Now we do not have any ICU beds available. In the early months of COVID, we had staff members who were not comfortable coming home to their families in fears they would get them sick. Now we are at month nine of this pandemic. To those who break from the mask wearing rules and the social distancing, how selfish do you have to be to not let people come home to their families all because you wanted to go to a party?

When I was working, we received an abundance of meal donations and care packages from the community for several weeks. To me it felt like a very long Christmas with every delivery received. It lifts my spirits knowing there was kindness out there; it was knowing that healthcare workers are appreciated because in the last few years, there have been many people diminishing and questioning science and health. I have no problem with people asking questions, but now there are wild conspiracy theories and false information that is spreading like wildfire. They ardently believe what they see and it is to the point they get aggressive. There were times I had to downplay my occupation as a healthcare worker because I did not want to deal with…how should I kindly put it…”crazy talk.” But I now proudly wear that badge because I can’t handle stupid anymore.

That is my rant. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Merry Everything!

Five things Friday: Home remodeling is harder than wedding planning. There, I said it!

Five Things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you!

👍 My first attempt at making pretzel buns is a success!

My sourdough starter is still alive. I still set aside the discard to make other things like pasta, pikelets, and crackers. I came across a soft pretzel recipe I’ve been eyeballing to try. At first I wanted to create a traditional pretzel twist, but we were making sliders and needed buns. So I changed them to pretzel buns.

😴 More napping this week

I am not sure if it is the shorter days or the warmer food.

🍟 Brining potatoes to make fries

Thank you Epicurious for this video on making fries! Brining the potatoes for a few days is worth the wait. After the brine you do a first fry followed by a second shorter fry to completely cook it. You also have the option to freeze the fries after the first get and do the second fry later when you want to eat it. I usually do the latter.

We’ll never have neglected, rotten potatoes ever again. I highly recommend this recipe for busy people because each of these steps are short. You pretty much set it and forget it (until you want to eat fries).

🚪Our door has finally arrived!

The door was the final piece of the remodel project. Doing a home remodel makes planning a wedding a complete cakewalk…Well…Maybe that was an unfair comparison. I organize events for a living. For a home remodel there are a lot of disparate working parts. They don’t exactly work in synchrony no matter how much you push for expediency.

📷 This picture

I’ve attempted to create a “Season’s Greeting” card to send to friends and family, but I never found the time to do so. The year we were suppose to create one was the time we got into a car accident.


So I guess this picture my husband took and adding a “Merry Christmas” sticker did the trick.

Celebrating longer, darker nights at Descanso Gardens

Last year, we went to the Enchanted Forest in Descanso Gardens. Each year from November to early January, they transform the place into something magical — well…the credit all goes to lighting effects. It is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. I thought this would something we would every year, but unfortunately it just did not work with our schedule.

As promised from an earlier Friday Photo post, here are some pictures! Reviewing these photo again, they’re not quite like Christmas, but more like taking advantage of longer, darker evenings.