Sunday, July 31, 2011

Muffin Monday: Izzy Baking

"MOM let's bake" said my daughter Izzy.

It caught me by surprise since unlike my older daughter Heather who loves to bake,  Izzy would rather clean up than to cook or bake.

But last week she joined me in my journey with a group of ladies doing Muffin Monday, I think she had fun in the kitchen with me last week... well I hope so and this is why she requested for us to bake, right?  But I"m just too happy that she is with me on this journey.

So we had a baking marathon.  The whole afternoon we were baking and cooking.  One of the goodies we baked was a Coffee Cake Muffin, a recipe from Martha Stewart.  We did not tweak the recipe and we baked it as written and it is definitely good.

We brought it today to my aunt's house and my niece Madeleine, a second grader gave it a thumbs up.  Well correction two thumbs up! Kids don't lie so we know we nailed it. And yeah it was Izzy baking!

So come on  and hop on to Anuradha's Baker Street to check out the muffin posts and get the recipes.   Check out the other bakers: The Daily Palette, Mis Pensamiento Cafe Terra.Chef Pandita, Asian in America Mind Your Bees and Trees, When Adobo Met Feijoada

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sinigang 2 ways

I  have been staring at an empty screen for an hour now.  Writer's block?  You bet and I blame it on a full  stomach.  I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed eating sinigang 2 ways.

Ok so let's tackle the first way, which I made the traditional way of cooking sinigang. Sinigang is a sour soup.  Traditionally, pork, fish or shrimp are the main ingredients for the soup with tamarind or guava usually added as the souring agents.  So here's my traditional dish:

This soup dish always hits the spot.  My kids look forward to coming home because on their first day back this is what greets them.

But then this is a Kulinarya challenge.  So I went further:  I made Sinigang Fried Rice.  This is my take on a similar dish that my sister raved about on her recent visit to the Philippines.

I literally fried every component of the dish and made it into a fried rice.  The pork, which was cooked with the sour broth, was fried and had the salty, tangy taste.  It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. For the vegetables, I soaked them into tempura batter and also threw them on the fryer.  I then sprinkled some fresh tomatoes and onions on top of the "fried rice".  Added the tamarind broth to complete the sinigang fried rice!  Now I'm in a food coma... LOL!

I hope you are having a great weekend... and oh, please visit the other Kulinarya members' recipes.  You will be amazed on how many ways Sinigang could be made.  Enjoy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

have a happy day!

"Be grateful, be happy and always stay positive! Then you will realize how blessed you are."

My late father used to tell us these lines, or something along that line over and over (especially) at the dining table. He abhorred long faces, arguments, and tantrums right before or during a meal. To him a meal is God's grace that we are supposed to be grateful for.

I was surprised yesterday when my husband said something in line with what my father used to tell us. It wasn't over dinner; in fact of all things, we were watching HGTV House Hunters (oops don't tell my husband I told you that he watches this show).

And so with that mind frame this morning, I left home early to go to church and I was feeling euphoric for some reason. After church, I went to a drive thru ATM, completed my transaction, and whistled my way to the grocery store.  Still feeling light-hearted, I navigated through my normal route. When I arrived at the cash register, I pulled out my wallet to pay for my groceries and pfft my debit card I is missing.  I didn't panic, I just retraced my steps, still feeling positive. To make the long story short, I found it back at the bank.

"The machine eats up your card after a few seconds, so that the next client cannot take it," the  Bank of America clerk happily announced.

"I thought I was having a great day," I said.

"Oh isn't it still a good day? It could have been worse. At least your card wasn't stolen!" she replied.

I headed back to the grocery to finally pay for my groceries. Thankfully,  the grocery cart was  carefully parked in a corner. But my card wouldn't work. Apparently, it got temporarily suspended since the ATM recorded it as lost! So I had to go back to the bank and back to the grocery.  But this time, my grocery cart was gone!!! On any given day, I would have exploded after each unfortunate event, but today, I started with and kept a positive attitude. It made my day seem lighter, even though a lot (as in A LOT!) went wrong.

I'm sure you have experienced this kind of day.  It's one of those days wherein nothing goes right. Being a mom is so stressful sometimes... and your mind is all over the place.  But take stock, be calm, stay positive and always focus on happy thoughts. It won't hurt and it will even make your day better.

If mental note won't work, make yourself this Sticky rice with mango.  It will definitely swing your mood from bad to good, and you will feel your lips relax into a smile... Have a happy day!

Thai Inspired Sticky Rice with Mangoes

3 cups rice
5 cups water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cans coconut milk

Soak the rice with water for 20 minutes.  In a pan, pour the rice with water.  Add 2 more cups of water and 1 can of coconut milk, sugar and salt.  Bring it to a boil while stirring continuously to make sure that the rice won't get stuck at the bottom of the pan.

Continue to cook it until water is absorbed.  Add the other can of coconut milk. Let it simmer and cook until  rice is tender but not mushy.  Set aside.

Slice mangoes into cubes, set aside.

For the topping:

3 large eggs
1 small can of heavy cream
3/4 can of condensed milk.
2 tbsps butter

In a saucepan, break the eggs and pour the condensed milk in.
Cook over medium heat, while stirring continuously until it thickens.

Add coconut milk and heavy cream. Give it a quick stir until it simmers.   Set aside

How to assemble:
Put the sticky rice on a bowl layer with mangoes.  Then repeat.  Add topping and sprinkly with toasted sesame seeds.

It certainly looks like a parfait.. but it's not.

It also looks like a trifle, only it's made of sticky rice...


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why Not Choc-nut! A muffin Monday post

Early this year I declared that one of my New Year's resolutions is to add more baking posts (of course along with the annual I am going on a diet promise).  Well we're now past midway through the year and guess what...  I have only added 2 posts on baking and I haven't been faithful in sticking to my diet (much to my doctor's chagrin).

And so I got an invitation to join the Muffin Monday team by its creator, Anudhana of Baker Street fame. I jumped in thinking that I will be forced to bake.  Before I could even remind myself that it's summer and it's an awful time to bake, I said yes.  Soon thereafter, I got a welcome email and once I said "yes" there was no turning back.

But I wasn't afraid to join because I knew that my friend and Ninang, Annapet of The Daily Palettewill be one of the bakerswho will be there every step of the way on my baking journey.  So  I was at the grocery store completing my ingredients when I told her about my idea, to infuse two chocolate flavors popular in our home country: Milo and Choc-nut.

"Wow that sounds good, everyone grew up drinking Milo and enjoying Choc-nut" was her reply.

That golden idea kept me busy the past two days, as I went to look for these two ingredients in several  specialty stores. The images and taste of the bars of choc-nut and the green can of Milo got stuck in my head like a cheesy 80's song.  Until it turned into a family affair looking for these two chocolate flavors so familiar to the Filipino palette.

This was until the last hour, as in literally the last minute, as the man holding the key to the store we were going to was about to lock the door, I had to use my charm for him to open it for us.

"I will just buy Choc-nut and nothing else... Please?", I pleaded and luckily my charm worked. And ta-dah, a wall of Choc-nut greeted me by the door!

This recipe is adapted for the Muffin Monday group and was an original recipe from Nigella Lawson's Double Chocolate Chip Muffins.  Since Nigella is from England, naturally the measurements were in milliliters and grams.  So my daughter Izzy (who is not into baking as well) and I needed my husband's and son's help to convert it from the metric measurements (I'm glad Ninang was just a text away too!).  Well much to their chagrin as both of them were busy watching the Formula 1 car race on TV.   Then, while my daughter and I were pouring the chocolate mixture into the pan, I licked my fingers that touched the batter and lo and behold we forgot the sugar!!!!  OMG it's a good thing I tasted it.  So we had to do it over, do a take two! LOL!

But, and here's the but, when the smell of the freshly baked muffins came wafting from the kitchen, both of my husband and son stood up and couldn't resist the smell of the freshly baked goodies that we just made.

"It smells like Choc-nut in here" said my husband.

Even before tasting the muffin, I already smiled.  The challenge of looking for the real choc-nut was all worth it after all....

Thank you Anuradha  for including me in today's baking journey, and Annapet for being there every step of the way.  The love for baking tiptoed in my kitchen and I think it's for here to stay!

So Why not? Chocnut?

For the recipe hop in to Anuradha's Baker Street.   But take note, instead of using chocolate cocoa, I used Milo and instead of chocolate chips I used Choc-nut.

Check out other bakers too: Baker Street, The Daily Palette, Mis Pensamiento Cafe Terra. Chef Pandita, Asian in America Mind Your Bees and Trees

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ice Candy Summer Treat

I was online chatting with my cousin Ingrid who asked me what I want from the Philippines that she could send to me thru my other cousin Celia when she heads back to San Diego.

"Ice candy bags" was my reply. 

I felt her eyebrows raised while I typed those words. But  surely she sent me some when Celia got back here. (thanks ladies!)

With the current heat wave engulfing the United States, I thought that the ice candy bags will be put to good use.  

Ice candy is a frozen homemade popsicle.  It's usually mixed with fresh fruits and milk.  You could actually concoct your own flavors with whatever fruits you  have at home.

You pour it in a narrow plastic bag using a funnel  or a tea pot.  The narrow spout of a teapot is best. Then freeze it.

I remember growing up making them but guess what, among the 6 siblings that I have the ice candy never saw itself frozen the way it should be.  We can't wait for 24 hours for it to harden.  I was reminded today as my daughter declared that the ice candy that I made is all gone.

The ingredients are simple.  As I said you could have different flavors.  I used mango, corn and pineapple.  

Then I mixed it with a milk mixture consist of condensed milk, water to dilute the condensed milk and french vanilla coffee mate.  

Carefully tie a knot to secure the bag.  Freeze until it hardens.

For sure your kids, no matter how big they are will enjoy the icy treat.

So ice candy anyone?

Friday, July 22, 2011

How to make pineapple slices

There's nothing like eating chilled, fresh pineapple slices on a hot summer day. The succulent juices that ooze out as you bite are so refreshing. It just screams summer in your mouth. Although it's not a summer fruit (as it is available all year) the scent and color of this refreshing fruit represent summer.

As I stepped into the store the other day, I was greeted by an abundant array of pineapples displayed in the grocery aisle. With the store's glistening lights and mellow atmosphere, I felt warm inside and I couldn't resist the charm of putting a pineapple into my shopping cart.

But alas came the problem: how do I cut pineapple slices? I immediately returned the fruit to the display table and navigated my way towards the shelf where sliced pineapple slices were sold. However, touching the plastic container did not give me the same excitement as when I saw the fresh fruit. And at that moment, I decided to try to slice pineapples for the first time. Surprisingly enough, it was not as hard as I thought.

So in case you were like me, don't get intimidated by the task at hand. It is quite simple... and don't you worry, I am going to be there with you every step of the way via my instructional slideshow with Jack Johnson playing "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" in the background.

And oh, by the way, I got an award lately.  It was given by Elisabeth of Food and Thrift Finds.  It's been awhile since my last award so thank you dear Elisabeth for sharing with me the thrill of having an award.
Happy slicing!

Monday, July 18, 2011

6 degrees of separation

Despite the warnings of Carmaggedon, my husband and I headed north yesterday to attend my friends', Rowena and David's, party. The invite called for a celebration because Rowena just recently passed the NCLEX exam, a board exam for nurses. (By the way, congratulations Rowena! I was so overwhelmed by all the fun we had yesterday that I don't remember congratulating you!) With Rowena becoming a nurse, after already being a flight attendant and also finishing a law degree in the Philippines, not even the scare of Carmaggedon could stop me from celebrating my friend's new triumph.

"Can you cater for the dessert?" Rowena emailed me. To go with the long menu of dishes that she was going to prepare, I decided to make two desserts: one of which I will share today and the other in a later post.

But that's getting too far ahead...  

As I mentioned before, it was Carmaggedon right? Of all the deserts I could have made, I went with a Pina Colada Icebox Cake; a cold desert that would pose problems if we indeed ran into the heavy traffic of Carmaggedon. The entire time we were stuck in traffic, I fretted about the disastrous scenario that would pursue if the icebox cake melted. Fortunately, it was only slightly melted by the end of the car ride. As a food blogger, catering is risky. But I was tickled pink when I heard people at the party rave about my desserts. Compliments, just like comments from this blog, are like drugs to us bloggers. It gives us a certain high!  LOL! Although I did miss the moment when the host, David, complimented me. I was too busy tinkering with my phone when he said his kind words. I asked him to repeat what he had said, but he merely replied by saying that the moment had passed! But David: my husband shared with me what you said and yes, it was the best compliment of the night haha!

So while I was seated at one of the tables, enjoying the chats with my new friends named Pia and Dave, I heard the people at the other table talk about my dessert and, later on, my blog.

"Hey Malou, you're popular! Someone here has read your blog," Rowena jested.

That was the first time I actually met someone who read my blog without me having to tell them to haha. "So how did you know about my blog?" I inquired.

"My cousin recommended  that I read it," she said.

"Who is your cousin?"

"It's Sigrid," Mary said.

"Sigrid? Get out of here she is my sister-in-law."

We dashed across our tables and hugged each other like long time friends. "What a small world!" we both exclaimed. She was so excited to meet Skip to Malou in person. We both took snapshots and immediately posted them on Facebook for my sister-in-law to see.

Now let's see: Mary is married to Don who owns America-Healthways-Education where Rowena went for her NCLEX review class. The party was all about celebrating Rowena's NCLEX exam, which was why Don and Mary were there. And Mary is the cousin of my sister-in-law who lives in the Philippines. Now that is 6 degrees of separation. How fascinating is that! Oh and by the way, for those of you who are looking for a NCLEX review school, feel free to contact Don. Just think about it; Rowena passed the exam with their help!  

Now folks before the story gets even longer, here is the recipe. And thank you, David and Rowena, for inviting us over. We enjoyed meeting new friends. To Sigrid, thank you for introducing my blog to Mary. 

Pina Colada Icebox Cake

1 can condensed milk
1 can Nestle's cream
1 bar creamcheese
1 know gelatin (dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water)
I cup shreds of young coconut
1 cup pineapple tidbits
1 pack of vanilla wafers

Use an electric mixer to beat the softened cream cheese.  Add  condensed milk and the table cream.  Mix well.
Meanwhile, dissolve gelatin with a boiling water. Make sure to do this quickly since the gelatin sets immediately.   Mix the gelatin to the cream cheese mixture and blend well.  Add  cocounut shread  and pineapple tidbits into the mix.
Pour in to your desired pan or tin.  I lined my pan with parchment paper to facilitate easy unmolding. Freeze until it sets.
Unmold the cake on a flat surface.  Add vanilla wafers around it.  Now crumb some vanilla wafers on top , add more coconut shreds and pineapple tidbits.

Put it back into the freezer or in the fridge until you're ready to serve them.  ENJOY!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How to Make Fluffy Eggs

Call me a late bloomer but it's only been recently that I went to watch a movie by myself.  I don't know why it took me this long, but I tell  you, it was liberating.  Liberating in the sense that I get to pick what I want to watch... sit where I want to sit and do the silliest things like sprinkle hot sauce and add chocolate m&ms in my popcorn.  I didn't have to think of how another person would feel seeing my popcorn flavor!

The movie that I watched was Morning Glory... shhh yeah I know, it's one of those movies. In fact the movie was very predictable.  But sometimes I love movies that don't require for me to think nor get myself scared... oh well that's why there are chic flicks... and that's why they make movies like this for people like me.

Although this happened a few months ago, I am reminded of the movie Morning Glory because of my husband's question this morning while I was making breakfast.  He asked me how do you make fluffy eggs just like in the restaurants.  And the answer I could give him was from Harrison Ford's line in the movie.  He said that the secret to a fluffy egg dish is a hot pan. Indeed, it's that simple, and as I made this almost perfect egg texture my husband craves for... let me share with you one of my family's weekend breakfast favorites, what we call Beachside Skillet.

Beachside Skillet
5 eggs. beaten (in a bowl) with a small amount of milk
1 pack of sausage, fried and sliced
salt and pepper to taste
strips of bell pepper
1 medium tomato, sliced
1/2 medium onions, sliced
1 potato, boiled and sliced (I actually used potatoes from a left-over dish)
a slice of butter

On a hot pan (with a little cooking oil)  mix together onions, tomatoes, pepper and sausage slices.  Created a space in the middle, where you will pour the beaten eggs.  Wait for a few minutes until the egg starts to form.  Fold the eggs (do not stir), slide and fold to cook.
When the egg is not runny, take it off the pan just to get the right texture and fluffiness, add butter if desired... Season with salt and pepper...

It's that simple and for sure, your day will get off to a great start, as you started with this oh so perfect fluffy egg skillet... enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guest Post Wednesdays: My Love for Baking by Mary Ning L.

Guest Post Wednesdays is a new feature on my blog. I feature guests who don't necessarily blog, but have the penchant to write and have the passion for food. 

Our guest today is a young baking enthusiast. She just graduated from elementary school with flying colors -- proof that this young lady knows how to work hard -- but she still knows how to have fun following her passion: baking. When I saw her pictures posted on Facebook, I knew that I wanted to feature her on my blog. At a young age of 12, she has created and baked more goodies than I have created and baked in my entire life! LOL! When I asked her to guest post, she immediately said yes. Working in correspondence with her was a delightful experience: she's very sweet, swift with her responses and very courteous! Oh and she also sent me pictures that are just too adorable to keep hidden away in my computer files, so I'm sharing them with you. After reading this guest post, I know you will definitely agree with me when I say that this girl knows how to bake!  

Isn't she adorable?   

Her cake creations; one for every occasion. 

 and her fondant cake...

 Isn't she amazing? Friends, say hello to Mary Ning!  

My Love for Baking
by Mary Ning

I was only 9 years old when my close friend introduced me to baking and I fell in love with it ever since. At first, I only baked brownies and cupcakes but when I started watching Baking shows on TV, I was inspired to make my own cake.

My very first cake was especially made for my Dad's 45th birthday. I made Devil's Food Cake with Cookies and Cream Filling.
That's me and my Dad.
Whenever there are holidays and special occasions, such as birthdays, Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's, I would bake to make the holiday even more special. Baking not only gives me excitement but also allows me to showcase my talent, creativity, and passion for making them.

I would gladly share this recipe to all the baking enthusiasts out there. 

Chocolate Covered  Oreo Cookie Cake
This recipe is from taken

1 pkg. (2-layer size) devil's food chocolate cake mix
4 squares  BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
12 OREO Cookies, coarsely crushed

HEAT oven to 350ºF.
PREPARE cake batter and bake in 2 (9-inch) round pans as directed on package. Cool cakes in pans 10 min. Invert cakes onto wire racks; gently remove pans. Cool cakes completely.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 min.
MEANWHILEbeat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gently stir in COOL WHIP and crushed cookies. Stack cake layers on plate, spreading cream cheese mixture between layers. Spread top with chocolate glaze; let stand until firm. Keep refrigerated.

Instead of using COOL WHIP, I used homemade whipped cream and used the remains of whipped cream from the filling to cover the whole cake. i put chocolate chip morsels to border the cake and garnished the top with fresh strawberries dipped with chocolate. ^_^

Thank you, Mary Ning, for being so gracious to accept my invitation to guest blog. You are such a sweet girl. I hope you continue to bake and express your creativity in the kitchen.  

To Bing and Emily, thank you for sharing your daughter's talents to my readers. She's truly gifted and I'm sure she brings so much happiness into your nest.

To my readers, thank you for stopping by. Please help me encourage Mary Ning to continue her passion by leaving your comments. Your kind words will definitely inspire her. Thank you!


Monday, July 11, 2011

summer rhythm

Seven pairs, all up, thirteen flowers, break. 

That may sound like gibberish, but I know there are some of you who are familiar with Mahjong and actually recognize the Mahjong jargon. Mahjong is a Chinese table game that is very popular in the Philippines. It's actually a favorite pastime, especially during weekends and summer.

The shuffling of the Mahjong  tiles under the palms of our hands, the guessing of the numbers by feeling the tiles, the sound made by the clashing of ivory tiles -- all these came to life again last weekend. After years of not playing, Mama B, my mother-in-law,  Mama Nena, sister-in-law's grandma and I were reminded of the thrill of the game. And boy how we got carried away. We played continuously for more than 12 hours. That is not an exaggeration. We actually played through the afternoon, through night and into the next morning. How could three women of different generations and different interests stay up all night? I tell you, we were all under the Mahjong spell.

Playing Mahjong brought the three of us back to those summer days in the Philippines. Mama B was reminded of the days when we played Mahjong at the lanai back home. She fondly recalled how she taught her children the game so we could form a complete quorum of players. Mama Nena, on the other hand, remembered her trips to the province where she recollected how much fun she had playing Mahjong with her childhood friends. Fun memories echoed back and I could tell by the tone of their voices and the glow on their faces how much fun they were having.

Plus, with the addition of Goto and Tokwa't Baboy, the three of us knew that we were recreating those days so familiar to us. Not even the harsh Las Vegas heat was able to stop us from eating the pair. We were definitely in summer rhythm.

Goto and Tokwa't Baboy
Goto is a Filipino congee that is made of rice and beef tripe.  It is a popular merienda (snacks) in the afternoon or after a night out.  It is usually paired with Tokwa't Baboy,  a side dish made of pig's offals and tofu.

Let's tackle Goto first.  We need:

Tripe, clean with salt and rinse well.  Boil it until tender with bay leaf, celery, onions and garlic. Slice in strips and set aside.

For the congee, we need:
1 c glutinous rice
1 c jasmine rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 slices ginger
4 c broth
a pinch of safron
fish sauce for seasoning

Saute garlic, onions and ginger.  Add the strips of tripe.  Add salt, pepper and safron. Stir them together.  Add rice and stir again.  Add broth and let it boil.   Reduce heat and cook it for another 30 - 40 minutes.  Add broth as you go until you've achieved the desired consistency.

Voila, this is how my bowl of congee looks like:

Now let's make the Tokwa't Baboy
Pig's offals, boil in a pot with  onions, garlic, cellery and  bay leaf, slice them into strips
Tofu: Fry tofu and slice them into cubes.
For the sauce: Mix 1/2 c soy sauce, 1/2 c vinegar minced garlic, 1 tsp sugar, broth.  It's optional but I like to simmer my sauce altogether.  Add pepper.

Toss tofu and the pork together.  Add sauce... your ready to enjoy a bite that would give you a whip!  Enjoy!

You could just have the goto (congee) or just the tokwa't baboy on its own.  But  for me?  I love to have both goto and tokwa't baboy together... the flavors, the textures ahh they are in perfect harmony!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guest Post Wednesdays: My Summer Trip To California by Abby C.

Guest Post Wednesdays will be a new feature on my blog. The featured guest doesn't necessarily blog but has the penchant to write and has a passion for food. For my maiden post, I am featuring my youngest blog reader: Abby C. She is the youngest foodie (and fashionista) that I have ever met. At 7 years old she already knows what she wants in life: to be a doctor like her parents and a writer on the side. Her dad, Art, and I were classmates in high school and, through social networking, we have re-connected. Abby's mom, Medy, had followed my blog for more than a year now and recreates the recipes that I share on this blog. She has become one of my valuable online friends. Let me introduce Abby through her own words:

                            MY SUMMER TRIP TO CALIFORNIA 2011
I was beginning to feel drowsy as the plane soared below the clouds, then I woke up with a start. The ride was bumpy as we landed. Yes, we arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport! It was thirty minutes past nine o’clock in the evening local time. 

The next morning I was a Jr. Bridesmaid. I walked up the aisle in my beautiful dress and my mom had a sangria colored gown while my dad had a matching tie. The wedding wasn’t that formal and the minister was very funny. When the ceremony ended, I walked down the aisle. Then I enjoyed blowing bubbles!

After the wedding party, we went to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. We marched to California Adventure Park with me skipping in the lead. The rides we rode were awesome! They were Ariel’s Undersea Adventure where the characters come to life, Toy Story Mania, I screamed my lungs out, and Soaring Over California…my favorite. I also watched Aladdin’s Musical which you don’t want to miss. Another thing you don’t want to miss as well : World of Colors, prepare to be amazed. After the show we went back to the hotel, ate some chocolates, and went to sleep.

            “Brrring”, went the phone. “Brring, brring”. I jumped up and answered Mickey’s wake up call. After that we went to Disneyland. Mom lined up for Nemo’s Submarine Voyage while Dad  and I watched the Jedi Training. Then we went on the Scout submarine. The voyage was almost like real. Then we walked to Small World, my favorite ride. After that we did plenty more things, too many to tell you all of them, so ……  I’ll skip to Star Tours, the ride you don’t want to miss. Then we strolled back to our hotel, ate chocolate, fell into bed and the day ended just like that.

            I boarded the Catalina Express and lay down on the seat. We were going to Catalina Island. We  rented a golf cart and had fun driving around. Next, we met up with some of Mommy’s  friends and had dinner with them. Then we went up to the balcony and the kids played while the adults talked. 

           Next morning, we went to the Avalon Scenic Tour with Mommy’s friends. We went in a submarine for an Undersea Tour. Our tour guide kept feeding the fish and telling us about them. Then we went to Descanso Beach and had a drink while I played in the sand. I pretended to be a geologist by burying rocks, getting a sip of my drink, and then trying to find the rocks again. It was very fun.

Next, we strolled to dinner with one of Mom’s friends. Then we went up to our hotel’s balcony. After that, we went to our room and fell asleep. On to the Catalina Express again the next morning back to LA.

            For lunch, we ate at Gerry’s Grill. I ate (and enjoyed) crispy pata, bulalo, and halo-halo with ube ice cream and leche flan. Then we checked-in to Hilton Huntington Beach. We went to Shades which is the hotel’s reataurant. We warmed up by the fire pit while waiting for Dad’s hometown friends and had dinner with them. 
              Next morning we had breakfast with Tita Malou, Dad’s high school friend who blogs about what she cooks on Skip To Malou. My favorite recipe from her blog is adobo fried chicken. She came all the way from San Diego. We also had breakfast with Tita Alma, Dad’s elementary school friend. Then we went to American Girl Place . On June 17, 2011, I went to the beach and made a ruin out of sand. It’s really sandcastles that work a bit without water. Next, I went to the pool and delivered water (a game with mom and dad). My whole entire trip was fun!


By : Abigail C
        (July 5, 2011)


Here are the pictures of my favorite Adobo Fried Chicken from Skip to Malou that Mom cooked for dinner for me.  Thanks Mom!

And here's Mom and Tita Malou with me during breakfast.  

Thank you Abby for gracing my blog with your lovely pictures and beautifully written post.  You never fail to amaze me.  Continue to do what you're doing and in no time, I am sure I will be reading your book soon.  Dad and Mom are truly blessed to have you and I'm pretty sure they are so proud of you.

Thank you Art and Medy for sharing Abby to us.  She's definitely a precious gem and she's lucky to have both of you as parents, who are nurturing  and very loving.

To my readers, I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I did.  It brought smiles to my face and I sure hope it did to yours too. Please let me know how you feel about it.   Abby will be delighted to read all your comments. Check out Abby's favorite Fried Chicken Adobo in  the recipe I shared in my Adobo Nation post. Thank you so much!


Special thanks to my dear friend and Ninang Annapet of The Daily Palette for my awesome Guest Post Wednesdays banner!!! I love it Annapet!  What do you guys think about it?

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