Chinese New Year’s is a great time. I get together with a bunch of family friends I haven’t seen in awhile and I get an update on their lives. I get red pockets (love them!) and I eat lots and lots and lots of food. Thankfully, these days I get to dress comfy, so no need to worry about having to fit into work clothes.
A snapshot of what I ate during my three days of festivities for Chinese New Year’s:
I ate a lot more than what you see here, but there were too many meals to take shots of. The egg tarts are my favourite at dim sum cause they are usually freshly baked. The egg tarts in the above photo were delicious and fresh, yummy! My other favourite is the steamed cake, but they didn’t have any when I was there.
I ingested a lot of food over these past few days. More than I care to remember. So, I took a nice long walk yesterday to work it off. It was cold out, but not as cold as the time when my cheeks almost froze permanently numb. Anyways, it was good to go for a walk. I might go for a walk today, its snowing like crazy and looks lovely outside all blanketed in white snow. I’ve really enjoyed these walks because I just forget about everything and focus on relaxing and enjoying my time outside. I started Tai Chi just for the same reasons I’m walking now, it relaxes me and I just focus on the walking and in the case of my Tai Chi, my slow-mo movements.
Chinese New Year’s is not all about the food, but the celebrations are around food, and that’s why I love this holiday! I can always diet later.
The new year to me always starts with a clean slate. New year, new beginnings. I think that’s one of the reasons why I host a dinner for my family every year, start the year off with family, food and nephews destroying my apartment.
New Year's Day Dinner
So, the annual family dinner last night at my place went well (ok, with the exception of a few family moments that we all encounter), the food was good, too much, but good. And, yes, I made everything you see in the photo above, except for the pork ribs. I think for next year I’ll make less food. It’ll be a lot less stressful for me. And, less dishes for me to wash. No, I don’t use my dishwasher, never have and probably never will. Its good for storage.
I’m looking forward to seeing what 2009 brings. I always take a moment to think about how the previous year was and what I’m hoping for in the new year. It helps me see where I’m at and where I want to be. I’m not there yet, but I’m not worried, I’ll get there.
Happy New Year!
I was thinking about what to bring to my best guy’s Christmas party. Wine came to mind, but I wanted to do something different and bringing wine would be boring and knowing me I’d get bad wine since I know almost nothing about alcohol.
At his last party I made grilled prawn skewers, which was a great hit. But, I decided not to do that this time. Then, on Friday I was at Walmart, and there was this mega sale on Betty Crocker cake mix. As I was reading the instructions on the back, it came to me, cupcakes…cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles. Cupcakes it was.
It all starts with Betty
Fresh out of the oven
Lined up like little soldiers ready for frosting
My decorating abilities were not professional, but I tried my best (I screwed up only one cupcake out of 36). When I brought them to the party my best guy was impressed. I kinda felt like my cupcakes weren’t posh enough, only because he does such a fabulous job of decorating his condo. Just his Christmas tree alone is incredible.
I call this the "Martha Stewart" tree
The party went really well and it was a lot of fun, it was nice to mingle and talk with so many different people. On my way home I was stopped by the R.I.D.E. program. This was the conversation:
Officer: Hi, have you been drinking any alcohol tonight?
Me: Um, no
Officer: So, you don’t have any opened bottles of alcohol in your vehicle (scans my car)?
Me: Um..no (looks innocently into the eyes of the officer)
Officer: Opened bottles of anything?
Me: Well, no..oh, just an empty water bottle
Officer: How about any dead bodies in the trunk? (I see a half smile)
Me: Hm…(pausing for effect)…no, no dead bodies
Officer: Ex-husbands in the trunk? (smiling now, obviously joking with me)
Me: Nope, none of those (laughing)
Officer: Are you sure now? (laughing as well)
Me: Definitely not! Just this empty bottle of water (waving said bottle at him)
Officer: (gives me a few pats on the back) Ok, then, have a great evening (smiles)
Me: (smiles back) ok, thanks!
I drove off, passing another police officer who smiled at me, and then thought to myself “did that officer dude just touch me on the back”?! I’m sure he was just being friendly, but it was strange. I’ve been stopped by R.I.D.E. a few times and don’t ever remember them being that touchy feely nor that jokey and friendly. But, thinking about it, dude can pat my back, crack jokes anytime as long as I don’t get into trouble.
Posted in Food, Friends, Funny, Personal, Random
Tagged Christmas, Cupcakes, Food, Friends, Funny, Musings, Personal, Photography, R.I.D.E., Random
It’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, and that means a nice long weekend. I almost missed out on this weekend. I was going to be on a business trip, but my boss saved me from that fate at the last minute. I could tell she felt really bad about sending me on the trip, but I didn’t think she felt so bad that she would get me out of this trip. So, no complaints from me. Its all good, although I’m a bit conflicted because it would have been nice to get 3 lieu days out of it!
I’ve never been a huge Thanksgiving kind of person. I don’t celebrate it as passionately as Americans do or as some of my Canadian friends do. I think its because my parents really didn’t know what to make of Thanksgiving while we were growing up. And, then in my early teens we started going to a family friend’s place for Thanksgiving dinner and it became a tradition. I think that’s when I began to appreciate it more. But, we haven’t done that in almost 16 years. My family celebrates Thanksgiving much better these days. My brother’s mother-in-law always likes to have us over, so I’m looking forward to that this weekend. I’m gonna have me some yummy Filipino food. Sorry, our families don’t like turkey so we do a different take for Thanksgiving dinner.
There was one year, though, my family decided to make a turkey. Oh, it was hilarious since it was the first time we’d done that. I got into a huge fight with my mom on how to make the turkey and she was all stressed out about the timing. In the end, though, the turkey was fine and peace was restored. Thankfully, no pun intended, there will be no fights over turkey this year. 😛
The fall colours are starting to pop-up all around the city. Summer has barely ended and now the changing of the season is starting. I was driving down the DVP on the weekend going to meet-up with my friend and her family for lunch when I noticed all the vibrant colours. I don’t know what it is about the fall colours, but it always, and I mean always, puts a smile on my face. The vibrancy always takes my breath away.
So, I met-up with my friend at this restaurant we go to every couple of years. We always order the same things and it serves up good seafood. The restaurant is located in this funky part of downtown, Baldwin Street, near the Grange area for those of you Torontonians who may read this.
I don’t go to this area a lot, in fact its probably been 3 years since I’ve been in the area. I mean, I worked downtown just until 5 months ago, but I never ventured into the area while I was working downtown. This street use to be crazy busy. It doesn’t seem that way anymore. Its filled with eclectic little shops and restaurants, but some of them have been removed and in its place are townhouses and a parking lot for the Silversteins in the area.
After lunch, I ventured into Yung Sing Pastry (thank god its still there!). Back in the day, I would walk Baldwin after church (when I use to go) and then go to the pastry shop and get the best veggie buns and veggie spring rolls you’ve ever had. It use to be packed in there. When I went there this weekend, it was really quiet – just me. I’m hoping its just because it was chilly out and not a reflection on the fact that the area has changed so much over the years.
It’s ventures into such areas of Toronto that reinforce to me the reasons why I love Toronto. Like I’ve said before, I have this love/hate thing with the city, but when I’m downtown and there are fall colours to be seen, my dislike just fades. I hate to admit it, but I think I’m a true downtown dweller. I could wander for miles, there’s just so much to see. Hm…. 😉
Posted in Friends, Ramblings, Random
Tagged Downtown Toronto, Fall Weather, Food, Friends, Musings, Observations, Personal, Ramblings, Thoughts, Toronto
It’s time for a good old food blog about one of my favourites.
I could never be a vegetarian, it just goes against everything I value..lol…kidding. Veggies are good, eating them full time? Not my dream choice. I just love meat too much. It’s all about the protein.
I’m going out for some Korean BBQ with a friend on Friday night, my absolute favourite thing to do – so its been on my mind cause I’ve been craving a good Korean bbq for awhile. The first time I tried it was about 15 years ago when the first one came to Toronto. The best Korean BBQ I’ve ever had was in Vancouver, where they are actually owed by Korean’s rather than Chinese people, which is the case here in Toronto. This particular Korean bbq place used coals from Korean to heat up the grill, so the flavour was different and cooking time was faster because it was so hot, much better than an electric/gas grill.
Anyways, before I slobber any more, I’m also going to a “regular” barbeque on Sunday. Burgers, chicken, hot dogs, etc. Since its my birthday month, all my friends have been asking me what I want to do. My response? BBQ. I’ve been celebrating my birthday like this for a few years, with a simple barbeque. I don’t need to party it up at a bar, something simple with friends is usually what I prefer.
I’ll be in bbq heaven this weekend. And considering the weather is going to change soon – I better get in as much as I can before it gets cold. I love grilled meat, but not so much that I’d freeze my ass off in the winter for it. 😉
Posted in Food, Friends, Life, Rave
Tagged BBQ, Food, Friends, Grilled Food, Korean BBQ, Life, Rave, Thoughts
The funniest thing happened at work yesterday. It still cracks me up.
It was around 3:30pm or so and I felt like having something with bubbles to drink. I had already downed my usual 3 – 4 litres of water and wasn’t feeling like drinking more, so I scrounged around for some change in my wallet to get a can of Ginger Ale.
I walked into the lunchroom where the vending machines were and two ladies from the art department were sitting having their break. I smiled and said “hi” to them as I always do because they do a lot of work for me. They always giggle when they see me cause I’m usually cracking jokes when I come into the art department. Anyways, I reach the vending machine and before I put the change in I notice that a pack of peanuts are just at the edge ready to drop but not quite so.
I look over at the ladies and tell them about the peanuts. One of them gets up and goes “ok, lets shake this machine to get it to drop”. So, we push it back and forth trying to get these $1.00 peanuts to fall and two shakes later plop! Then the women who was helping me points out that a chocolate bar is about to fall too from all our shaking. So, three of us shake the vending machine and plop! We all start to laugh and I’m trying to give them the chocolate and the peanuts but they won’t have it, so I only take the chocolate (which I gave to someone else) and we give the peanuts to another lady who’s in the lunchroom.
Finally, I get my Ginger Ale. As I walk away I hear some change falling. I figured it was someone else getting a snack or something. I get back to my desk and five minutes later one of the women who was shaking the vending machine with me comes up to my desk and throws four quarters down. I go “what’s this?” and she tells me that after I got my soda the vending machine spat out four quarters! Can you believe that? Not only did I shake two snacks out of that vending machine for free but I got my soda for free too!
Needless to say, we figured luck was on our side so we invested in a lottery ticket. Too funny. 😀