Three bakes in three and a half

Three bakes in three and a half

We didn’t have much luck going out on Saturday. So we decided to stay in on Sunday instead while Steev was out meeting up with his old school friends. What better time to turn a lazy day into a baking day. Like I said, either I bake up a storm or I don’t bake at all.

My pineapple petitarts are Steev’s, and everyone’s favorite. It’s been a long while since I made these because well, they’re pretty labor-intensive and time-consuming. Cooking the pineapple jam from scratch involves time and a great arm workout. This time, I had the girls’ help assembling these scrumptious darlings so it was much easier and quicker.

My first attempt at making chocolate brownies. I am surprised this turned out so well. Love that moist, cake-like texture. The only time my kids have ever eaten chocolate brownies is probably at the rare buffet lunch we’ve gone to over the years. This was a special request from the girls who say they remember eating it “when we were little and it tasted really yums”. My poor deprived teens πŸ˜† .

Baking isn’t hard. I just need to pull myself away from the computer. All in all, it was a fruitful day that ended, quite appropriately, with a beautiful fruit cake for Hip2bDaughter2’s recess. How did your weekend go?

Whirl-win weekend

Whirl-win weekend

So we’ve been out and about a whole lot, eating out, shopping, meeting up with family and friends, and all those receipts qualified us to take a turn at the so-called wheel of fortune at the mall. The line was long. Looked like we weren’t the only ones who’d been racking up some serious retail therapy.

Thankfully the lines moved quickly as shoppers took their turn at the wheel, mostly winning the small prizes like laundry bags, shoe bags and 16-pack tissues, you know, stuff of little value that I usually end up with. Since we had my aunt with us, we decided to let her have a go. You never know, right?

And I’m so glad we did because she stepped up, willed the wheel to do her bidding and out popped a little ball that said we won this!

The Lumix is the 3rd top prize and such a pleasant surprise. Of course, the girls get to keep it. Quite a handy travel camera, I must say.

My aunt took a second whirl at the wheel and won us a gym bag. I swear I saw her whisper something to that wheel both times πŸ˜‰ .

A photo to be proud of…

A photo to be proud of...

but I wasn’t the one who took it. I’m a strictly point-and-click kind of girl. But I guess I can claim half-credit since I gave birth to the person who took this shot πŸ˜† .

Yup, my son was snapping away with his kick*ss camera (that’s why he’s the pro) while we were enjoying the show. This photo is unedited and it’s one of my favorite photos of all time.

Killer whales are so amazingly beautiful and graceful, aren’t they, with skin like dye leather and that smooth, flawless complexion? πŸ˜‰

Going Green with the Grizls

Humdrum City

These are la-azy, humdrum days we’re having. So lazy I haven’t even felt much inclined to blog. The lazy gets lazier? I don’t know but it seems…

Humdrum is just the way we like it.

Compare that with trying to get out of town, like everyone else. And when you get there, you’re trying to beatΒ  the crowds at the restaurants, parks and beaches, standing in the hotel pool because there’s not enough room to swim, you get the picture. We’re happy everyone’s leaving the city though. I think, the last time we drove out of town was like 5 years ago.

We’ve never been on guided tours and don’t intend to start now. Not sure we fancy traveling with a bunch of strangers who clearly will have interests very different from ours. We much prefer to backpack and wander around on our own.

So we’d rather stay put… in humdrum city. We’ve hardly left the house in a week. Seriously! The weather’s way too hot to be out. Even just getting into the car, my arms are getting fried at the steering wheel. So no!

My home bakery’s been closed for over a month. We’ve been sleeping in, eating out and missing gym every single day. How’s that for a complete lack of discipline? Which is rather refreshing from the same old, same old.

Hip2bDaughter2 says we seriously need a flying alarm clock that flies around the room bumping into walls and stuff, and the only way to turn it off is to physically get out of bed to chase it down. Epic way to be woken up jolted from deep sleep! If I had the promo codes, I would totally buy one.

On a mission

On a mission

School’s out and we’re at loose ends. To put it bluntly, we’re bored out of our wits. Obviously when a new mall opens, that’s where you’ll find us. I guess that’s a little more exciting than scaling the four walls, eh!

Anyhow parking is free till they can get those money-gobbling machines working. Hey, tell me where in the city do you ever find free parking? Almost never, right?! Besides we were on a mission. We need to find some new and more exciting places to eat.

And man, were we disappointed! Same old chain stores, different mall. We walked around in circles and landed right back at Sushi Zanmai eating sushi rolls and teriyaki mackerel.

The bonus was we got these 2 Japanese charms free. Can’t complain. We also received some $1 off coupons for Hokkaido ice-cream which we’re just going to give away to our neighbor or something because we very rarely do desserts.

And that, was our weekend in a nutshell. How did yours go?

Dinner on Mother’s Day

Dinner on Mother's Day

So how did your Mother’s Day go? I came down with a chronic migraine shortly after breakfast and cradling my head, dived back into bed before lunch. With that and the blazing 90+ temperatures, I was eager to avoid the kitchen at all cost. Dinner out sounded like a great idea. It wasn’t meant to be a Mother’s Day dinner per se, more of a regular Sunday dinner.

We were trying to beat the crowd and thought if we got there early, we might be able to snag a table. As expected, the crowds had beat us to it and there were long lines everywhere. So we decided to try Chicago Ribs, a restaurant that’s new to us. We were in luck because they weren’t even offering a Mother’s Day menu and we got a table right away. No waiting.

For starters, we had Buffalo Wings which were okay but not nearly spicy enough for us. The girls still prefer my homemade Buffalo Wings, I think.

Their Nachos were scrumptious. As Hip2bDaughter1 says, topping the nachos with pulled pork is pure genius. When something is this good, you can bet the next I’m going to be doing is to replicate this at home.

This is the Rattle Snake Chicken Pasta. Interesting name but the rattle snake somehow failed to jump out at us. The chicken was toasty but flavorless but we didn’t mind that. But then the pasta didn’t exactly ss-sing out with flavor either.

The Pork Tenderloin with Cinnamon Applesauce, well, the meat was dry and bland, the veggies soft and overcooked and that plain old baked potato would’ve done a lot better with a handful of bacon bits and a ton more chives.

Hip2bDaughter2’s choice of Fish and Fries turned out great. The portion of fish was generous, crispy and not greasy. And my potato lover somehow ordered 2 potato sides.

Their food definitely could use a lot more flavor, more toppings and bigger portions for the price they charge. Most places go crazy with their salt and fat. This is probably one of the few places I’ve dined at that’s low-sodium, and that’s really great.

The #Avengers – awesome is an understatement

The #Avengers - awesome is an understatement

Of course, we went to watch The Avengers. Did you really think we were going to miss it? For a coupla weeks, we’ve all been holding onto our toenails waiting for it. Man, how long has it been since we were at the movies again? Too long, chorus my two movie buffs. Think it’s been like over a year.

Okay, The Avengers. Well, the plot is simple. It’s the sort of good guys teaming up against One Major Bad Guy movie that the 10-year-old in me loves. We love Iron Man (snazzy geekery and Pepper Potts) and Captain America (6-pack and all!). But that’s pretty much all I’m going to say about the movie. I don’t want to spoil it for you guys who haven’t seen it yet.

So yes, we loved The Avengers. In a world of hypocrites, leeches and piranhas, we sure could use a couple of hours of superheroes. And the fact that our cushy Gold Class movie tickets fell from the sky and came with free popcorn, Coke and these…

Woah, at 18 and 16, you would think my lovely teens are long done with toys. But you should’ve seen the giant grins on their faces when they were handed these 5 mini muggs (as they are called?) and since then, The Avengers have been making surprise appearances on my desk, my dresser, my dashboard …

Here’s Thor, in my kitchen, keeping an eye on our Bratwurst sausages. Don’t anyone move or I’ll hammer your fingers to a pulp, heh heh heh!!

It’s a great movie to bring the whole family. Lots of action. A plot that’s simple enough even for kids to understand. The girls and I may just go watch it again. Have you watched it yet? If so, what do you think?

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