Tomatoes around the world

The ingredient of August will be tomatoes!!! I apologize for the late post. My writing has been slow lately. My husband is out of town for two weeks. When he left for training, my daughter was sick for a good part of the week and now I’m fighting the sniffles. I am so thankful I have my parents living near by where they could watch her while I went to work though the commute was twice as long. I’m surprised I was able to even squeeze in some writing this past week.

Anyway, I chose tomatoes for August because I want some excuse to make some good gazpacho. The gazpacho I’ve attempted to make in the past has tasted somewhat off…maybe there was too much bread or maybe it was too acidic. Maybe I have not found the right gazpacho recipe. I’m still willing to look around because people rave so much about gazpacho. Plus it’s appropriate for the summer time because it’s too darn hot for ramen, pho, and chicken noodle soup.

Continue reading Tomatoes around the world

Making and eating ice cream (Eat around the World challenge)

I thought this would be a fun recap of all the ice cream I tried this past month for July. Since August is a hotter month, you’ll still find me eating some more ice cream…maybe I’ll find some time to make more ice cream and popsicles. Don’t forget — I’m also going to be experimenting with tomatoes and looking for dishes that incorporate tomatoes. That will be fun!

I’m pretty much writing this post almost half asleep. This week has been chaotic and incredibly energy-sucking. I’m surprised I am even able to squeeze some time to blog. I’ll share more for this upcoming weekend coffee share.

Continue reading Making and eating ice cream (Eat around the World challenge)

Five Things Friday – Attempt #1

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

1. Saag Paneer – Attempt #1

It was surprisingly pretty easy to make. The hard part was looking for paneer. Thankfully Sprouts sells paneer, but next time I want to get my paneer from an Indian market since we have so many of them where I live.

saag paneer
Need to have better plating skills. This is just from my pan.

2. “Trese” anime series on Netflix

As a Filipina-American it was so awesome to see all these creatures from Filipino folklore play out in the modern day. It reminds me of a Filipino version of Grimm, but much more well…grim…

3. Evening walks with my husband, Lana, and the dogs

Right now we’re experimenting with evening walks. Maybe it will help Lana fall asleep faster.

4. Trader Joe’s Instant Cold Brew Coffee

This has saved me from standing in the long lines at the coffee shop at work. I can just go straight to the office and make my own cold brew from my desk.

5. New fitness tracker

My FitBit Charge 4 decided to stop working on Sunday after one year of having it. Before that I had a FitBit Charge 2 for several years before it died out. I did not want to shell out another $150+ on a FitBit so I did a little bit of research and came across the Amazfit Bip U Pro. It looks like an Apple Watch or a FitBit Versa but so much more in my price range.

Five things Friday: It’s a no meat week!

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!

1. No meat week — though not on purpose. We had a large produce box and I am determined to make sure nothing goes to waste! I asked my husband if he’s missed having meat at home and he does not surprisingly. I’ll continue this experiment at home. It’s likely meat dishes will be reserved for eating out or when we feel indulgent at home.

2. Speaking of no meat, check out this grilled cheese sandwich!

3. This post

I kind of agree with it but I also think of the people who just can’t make these adjustments if they’re already tight on money. I remembered when I bought a car in my early 20s, I knew I needed to spend less on fancy coffees, restaurants, and clothes for a while. I needed a car because I went from urban and walkable West LA to sprawling San Diego. Having a car in San Diego was a necessity. A drastic measure was reducing my grocery budget to $20 a week. It was doable because it was just me and I mostly eat vegetables and almost no meat. Also at the time I was carrying student loan debt. I guess what I am saying is that in my position at the time it was easy to cut back. For others not so much. Some have families and enjoy the comforts of their current lifestyle. Just telling them to adjust and sacrifice their current comforts is painful.

4. Aaron and Claire YouTube channel

I’ve been on a kick watching their YouTube Channel lately. Many of their recipes seem really quick. I’m entertaining the idea of having a blog post of their dishes.

5. Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel by Bernardine Evaristo

This is one of my current reads. I previously tried reading on the e-reader a couple of months ago, but I found it a difficult read due to the writing style. It looked liked poetry and there was no punctuation. It was a frustrating read, but I found the language beautiful and that’s why I was willing to give it a second chance in the form of an audiobook. I am glad I did because I can definitely get lost in their stories. The twelve women in the novel all have different lives — it’s compartmentalized, but yet they weave in and out of each others’ lives as friends, students, children, parent, and even acquaintances.

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.

Sigh…

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

Five Things Friday

#1 The Jungle Prince of Delhi

This series from The New York Times was so good and incredibly twisted that I don’t want to spoil one bit…unless you know the background. I listened to it during my much-needed Thanksgiving break.

#2

tweet from thrive

For years, when I told people I was tired, some peopled retorted, “tired? You don’t have kids!” As I have gotten older and still do not have kids, I have grown increasingly irritated by this pushback. People like me do not need to have kids to be tired. We have other occupations that tire us out, like our jobs, hobbies, social circles, home projects, self-improvement, etc.

This is somewhat off-topic, but people with kids don’t need to shop at Costco and other big box stores.

#3 – Homemade Pasta

image-20191202_1201262539031917683850605.jpg
My first attempt at homemade pasta: pressed by a rolling pin, cut by hand. Eventually, I’ll invest in a pasta maker.

Will I ever go back to store-bought pasta? Probably not. I’ve got all the ingredients I need. Plus, they make great gifts considering we are on a super tight budget this month and for the next few months.

Background: In the last few weeks, we remodeled our home, which is, obviously, incredibly expensive. We are still going through the process, but our “new” house is liveable!

#4 – Decluttering

Since moving back home after being away, I’ve been doing a lot of decluttering. I donated old clothes, unused craft products, and other accessories. I know a lot of people declutter just to make room for new stuff like my sister-in-law, who offered give us her old mattress, so she justifies buying a new mattress (spoiler alert: we declined her offer). I would prefer to have fewer better things. Since I started my job, I am required to come into work a little dressier. Unfortunately, I do not have the funds to buy newer, dressier clothes to build a wardrobe, so I rent pieces from Le Tote.
#5 – Scratch Map

Since settling in, I am making a wall dedicated to all our travels. One of those items on our wall is this scratch map where we scratch places where we’ve traveled.

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!