For my family, holiday cooking is about traditions. It is that time of year where family recipes passed down from generations kick in. One of them is my late mother-in-law's orange donuts. Although, these days, there are a lot of varieties of donuts readily available, I still make this recipe because ... what else, it's a tradition! lol My family agrees that it is the best!
Cut-out cookies is another recipe that is a must-have around Christmas. Even though I double the recipe each time, my family can not get enough of it. What makes it more fun is to have my kids get involved in the preparation. Below is my daughter rolling out dough and cutting them out using her great, great, grandmother's Christmas cookie cutters.
I used to take time and decorate them using my cake decorator... this season I got lazy and just frosted and sprinkled colored sugar on them. The finished product ...
And of course we always have deviled eggs, which is a fairly new tradition, since I started it myself. No family gatherings are without it ... they disappear like hot cakes! This season, I started teaching my son how to make them. This should be a nice memory for him, about his mother, that he can take pride in.
Now doesn't this tray look yummy? lol
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Something I enjoy doing every time we have a holiday (Christmas, Thanksgiving and/or Father's/Mother's Day) is to cook something for our Pastor. Be it a complete dinner with all the trimmings or just a hearty soup, he is always so appreciative and very thankful every time I bring in a "surprise" for him and his wife. Today, Sunday, I got up early and baked them a chicken pot pie and assorted Christmas cookies in a hurry and brought it with me to Sunday service. My actual cookie-baking day is not until tomorrow but since they live quite a drive from us, I want to give him and his wife something for Christmas. His wife is quadriplegic and she can no longer do what she used to do. Seeing his face lite up when I tell him that "something" is waiting for him on his desk is more than enough reward for me.
Combined Federal Campaign with United Way
Over the years I have always found volunteering to be one of the most emotionally rewarding experiences. This season I was one of the few "Combined Federal Campaign" key players at work. Our goal was to raise $20,000 in three weeks. The money we raised will help transform the lives of families who are less fortunate here and abroad.
We exceeded our goal by the end of 3 weeks! Yeah! We raised over $27,000 and the highest fund-raiser beat me by only $200! Darn, oh well, I had fun getting the title of number one fund-raiser for over 2 weeks ... and there's always next year. There was an award ceremony attended by our Medical Center Director and as expected, I was one of the recipients. Although being recognized is nice, to me there is nothing like knowing somewhere in the U.S. and around the globe, CFC is helping a family in need and I am proud to be part of it.
I was asked to chair the CFC fund raising next year ... I might just accept it. After all, what would be a better gift to give someone in need than the wondrous gift of giving.
Be a volunteer ... it will do your heart good! :)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
My daughter and I
Early morning last Friday, a good friend, my daughter and I took a tour bus to New York City. My daughter was a first-timer in NYC so she was excited, while I looked forward to go on a food trip and Christmas shopping.
We arrived at our hotel around 2:30p, so we had a free time to do as we like before going to the 7p show at Radio City Music Hall. We started the ball rolling by shopping of course!
This year marks the 75th season of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular so I was anticipating something special in my head ... and I was not disappointed. Although I was awed and amazed with the show last year, there were a lot of enhancements this season. The costumes, the Rockettes, the "snow" and ribbons falling from the "sky", the state-of-the-art video technology, and the scenes coming to life on stage were just magical and uplifting! I rated the whole show as OUTSTANDING!
After the show we decided to try the dinner buffet in our hotel. It was a little pricey but hey, we were starving so we got our money's worth! :)
Dishes served at our fave restaurant
Saturday morning - was a sightseeing tour.
We took in the beautiful sights and Christmas decorations of the city by bus. Then we asked to be dropped off in Chinatown where we did more shopping before going to our favorite Chinese restaurant. Just the thought of that restaurant woke up my tastebud! I wanted to introduce snails (suso) to my daughter so we ordered that along with salted pork (not salty at all) which was served plain but very tender and delicious nonetheless. We also ordered squid (calamari) which was cooked to perfection, a Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce and talangka (crabs) swimming in its own aligi! (my cholesterol will love me) lol. The dishes were an explosion of flavors! I can't believe how many snails my daughter ate ... and I thought she would be grossed by it.
Saturday evening - we decided to take in another show. We bought tickets for The Drowsy Chaperone, a comedy/musical starring Bob Saget. It was a riot! ... we laughed so hard, tears were coming out from the corners of our eyes! The cast's performance deserved an award!
Because of our heavy lunch we opted to just have a sandwich and some pastries for dinner. They were filling but forgettable.
The famous Christmas tree @ Rockefeller Center
Sunday - check out time!
But before I end my story, let me mention that we also went to a fish market. I bought prawns and 3 kinds of fish. My friend's son who lives in NYC was nice enough to keep it in his freezer until it was time to head back to upstate NY. I cooked the prawns today and my tummy says, thank you! lol
See you next year, Nooo Yok!!!