Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Cookie Tray Runneth Over ...

I am brain-dead after the holiday celebrations, so this led me to post pictures of cookies given by friends and cookies I baked because, as they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words!"

Pictured below is a family favorite. The recipe came from my mother-in-law. I always have to double the recipe because they disappear fast. :) I normally take out my cake decorating tools and outline the details of the cookie but I was a tad lazy this year, so I just spread the frosting on top and sprinkled colored sugar crystals on them. I also baked chocolate chunks and Snowball cookies.

Because we have so many cookies, I fixed a cookie tray for our Pastor today (Sunday); he said he doesn't mind a few day old cookies.... that they will be eaten nevertheless.

This tray was given by a good friend,(pastry tarts) it's filled with buko (young coconut), blueberry and walnut. Yum!

Pumpkin roll! ... given by another good friend, ummm, ummm, good, yummy! out of this world!

Yesterday my friend and I were hungry for "ensaimada" (sweet bun). Since we do not have a recipe we made our own version, like stuffing it with macapuno (sweet preserved young coconut.) Just after they were baked, we brushed the top with melted butter, sprinkled it with sugar and grated cheddar cheese. Pardon me, but I have to say, yummy again! lol
Now, I have to work hard to get back to my old figure, not that I had any to begin with by the way. :)

Hope your 2008 is great, and my home is wishing you all the best in 2009! Have a safe and healthy New Year my friends!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New York, here we come!

Last weekend, a couple of my friends and I took a well-deserved trip to New York City, the city that never sleeps, to do a little Christmas shopping and to see the fabulous Christmas displays. Since I have friends who are excited to see pictures, I posted more of them this time than usual. Photos can be enlarged.

NY skyline from New Jersey, taken from inside our tour bus on our way home. It was overcast, that is why the picture is as clear as mud! lol

Radio City Music Hall ...

The following photos were taken at Times Square, night life.

More Times Square photos ...

If you look closely, you'll notice "Lady Liberty"; but beware, if you have a picture taken with her, it will cost you $5.00! :)

This was taken from inside Columbia Circle. Those "stars" change color from blue, orange, yellow, white and red; magnifico!

Outside view of the Saks building, isn't it gorgeous? Those "snow flakes" are attached to the building.

The famous Christmas tree at Rockeffeler Center, taken at night... a little dark. I can't get closer because there were hundreds of people trying to have pictures taken. Those tiny lights that look like floating in the sky are Christmas lights wrapped around trees.

Brooks Atkinson Theatre presents, Grease!

This last picture is me (middle) and my friends in the lobby of our hotel while waiting for our tour bus on Sunday.

Our itinerary ...
Friday night, we went to a concert, courtesy of my friend's son who lives in NYC. Thank you very much, Brad! As always, you are always so gracious. The concert was presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center featuring Daniel Muller-Schott, who is an outstanding cellist and Angela Hewitt, an excellent pianist, both played beautiful masterpieces of gamba sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was enjoyable and relaxing moments...I closed my eyes and let the music took me to la-la land! :)

Saturday morning was a sightseeing tour, and when the bus stopped at Chinatown we elected to get off to shop as we like. As in the previous year, we ate at our favorite Chinese restaurant! yummy! Sometime in the afternoon and because we did a lot of walking, we treated ourselves to a foot and back massage ... ahhh, heaven, it was hard to get up! lol

Saturday night, we went to see a broadway show, Grease. One of the cast members is Ace Young (as Kenickie) who became popular because he was a finalist in 2006 singing competition, "American Idol." Ashley Spencer, who played Sandy, was also a popular finalist on the talent competition series "Grease: You're the One That I Want" on TV.

Sunday, check out time!

Hope you enjoyed looking at these photos as much as I had fun taking pictures and sharing them with you.

Wishing all of you the happiest, warmest, joyous and peaceful holiday! Merry CHRISTmas my blogosphere friends! Stay safe!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gift giving ...

Most of us love holiday traditions, but when it comes to gift giving, I believe that there's plenty of room for being innovative.

When our kids were little we chose what kind of gifts to give them, and of course we always chose something educational and at the same time fun for them. They were so easy to please then; I have these memories of them waking us up early on Christmas day so we could all go downstairs and be surprised at what Santa brought them for Christmas. I will never let go of the memories of seeing their faces light up, and the sound of their screams of delight!

However, as they grew older, their taste for gifts changed; they didn't seem to enjoy our choices anymore. So I thought it's time for mom and dad to be more creative, I started asking them for a wish list. It will still be a surprise because they do not know what they are getting but at least we know that whatever they will get, it will be something that they really like and not something that will go to waste. I have to smile at how innovative their wish list was. There were stars on each item ... you could tell what they really, really wanted by the number of stars marked on each item. To this day, I still have those earlier wish lists. Pictured below are a couple, dated 2003 and 2005. My son was only 12 and 14 years old then.

Now that they are 17 and 22 years old respectively, and with the availability of online shopping, we let them pick one gift for Christmas online so that one is no longer a surprise, in addition to a wish list. It's really sad to do it this way but I guess this generation is completely different from my generation; we have to flow with the changes life brings. We really don't have to, but I hate to waste a hard earned dollars for something that they don't like or need.

Now, I am interested to know how is gift giving done in your family?

I hope, my dear friends that you are able to join together with your families and friends to celebrate the ho ho ho season! Have a MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!