Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kids Say The Darndest Things: Counting Undies

Hi folks! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas despite some sad news we have in our country.

Our family had a wonderful Christmas as we spent it with hubby's family and relatives in Baguio City. Nothing beats being in a house jampacked with love ones, enjoying countless meals, freshly brewed coffee and good conversations for days :) Everyone is on vacation mode.

More of our Baguio trip in separate post.

For today, I want to share another hilarious remark from our little girl. It was just so funny how it came out so unexpected. Lately, we call her issues 'sossy problems.' I tell you, as she nears her 6th birthday, it's just really more of kikay problems it starts to get into me (how my mom handled my sister and I, I wouldn't know)

On our way to Baguio, as we were traversing Kennon road:

Sophie:    Daddy, ilang beses ba tayo sa Baguio?
Hubby:    What baby? (he concentrate on Sophie's spur-of-the moment question because he was tackling Kennon rd.)
Sophie:    How many days ba tayo sa Baguio?
Hubby:    Ah, What do you mean?
Sophie:   (now impatient) hindi mo pa alam ilang days tayo, eh 9 lang ang panty ko! (you don't know how many days we're staying in Baguio? I only have 9 panties for this trip!)
Hubby:    (totally clueless...)

This is an example of her 'sossy problem': panties! I explained to husband that when I was helping Sophie pack her stuff for the Baguio trip, I told her to count her panties so she'll know if she has enough for the trip. Before I could finish explaining, hubby was already laughing so hard! I laughed so hard I almost cried.
I also told husband: ' wag ka, pinili pa namin ang panty na walang sira.' (mind you, we chose the panties that are still okay). That made hubby crack up even more! LOL! :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Baking Partners Challenge #5: Plum Cake

This post is late (again) but with a purpose so I hope my excuse is acceptable :) I delayed doing Baking Partners challenge to today to coincide with hubby's birthday. No better way to appreciate a homemade cake than in a special occasion such as birthday.

Yep, this month's baking challenge is CAKE. Honestly, I haven't done cakes this kind and I'm glad I did. I must say that every time I do one recipe from Baking Partners, I learn not only recipes but also techniques along the way. For this recipe I learned how to make caramel syrup the right way (never stir with spoon) and I got to experiment with lime since I ran out of lemon.

The recipe I chose is Plum Cake since I'm a personal fan of this cake and my hubby enjoyed as well (with that touch of rum and all :) ) 

Let's get started with ingredients.

1 cup Raisins                      
1 cup Dates, chopped
1/4 c. Candied Orange/Lemon Peel   ( I used lime instead)     
1/4 c Brandy or Rum                                       
1 cup Unsalted Cashew Pieces                        
Few drops of Lemon Juice          (used lime juice as substitute)                
1/2 c Boiling Water                                         
2 sticks (8 oz) Unsalted Butter at room temperature 
2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar                                      
3 large or 4 medium Eggs (separated)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract     
2 cups All-Purpose Flour                                     
1 tsp Baking Powder
6 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp Water                                     
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder                             
1/4 tsp. Ginger Powder                                  
 /4 tsp. Clove Powder                                              
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg Powder                                         
Brandy _optional for soaking

1. In a medium pan, add Brandy/Rum, Dates, Raisins and Orange Peel. Cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
2. Add Cashews and continue to cook for 1 minutes until heated through. Keep aside.

3. In a small pot, add 6 Tbsp Sugar and 3 Tbsp water and few drops of lemon juice. Swirl pan to mix – do not use spoon.
4. Heat until sugar changes color and becomes caramelized. (approx 7-8 minutes).
5. Add 1/2 cup boiling water and swirl pan again to mix well. Keep aside.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and powdered sugar and beat with hand blender.
7. Add one egg yolk at a time to the mix and blend well.
8. Add Vanilla Extract and blend.

9. Combine all dry spices, baking powder and flour and sift it into the bowl, adding little at a time and blending.
10. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
11. Lightly coat baking pans with spray cooking oil or regular oil.
12. Add caramelized sugar syrup a little at a time into mixing bowl and blend.
13. Add fruit/nut mixture into mixing bowl and mix with a spoon.
14. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until they are fluffy and soft peaks form.

15. Fold beaten egg whites into the cake batter.

I say the egg whites did a lot of transformation on the texture of the batter.

16. Pour batter into greased baking pans and bake for approx 1 hour at 325 degrees F. For smaller pans, baking time may vary.
17. Remove cake from oven and allow it to cool for few minutes

Our Plum cake, dressed simply. I had no time to garnish or decorate since I still did 3 more dishes for my husband's birthday.

First slice goes to the celebrant of course, he loved it! t's a celebration of flavors in one cake, very festive indeed :)


Monday, December 10, 2012

Recipe Share: Beef Empanadas

Here's another recipe share from my kitchen to yours. Empanada (or stuffed bread or pastel in other countries) is such a Pinoy favorite and my perosnal fave too so I decided to make one for lunch on a weekend. 

The recipe I got from Flavors magazine. I mentioned in my previous posts that I love buying food magazines in the grocery stores especially if it features new recipes and tips. This recipe is  by chef Jill Sandique, captured using my phone cam.

the prepared dough made into equal sized balls. These dough balls are as small as a munchkin donut and can be as flatten to the size of a saucer. 

The filling; I slightly altered the recipe. Took out the olives and added peas so that kids will eat them. I love raisins and peas

folded dough before frying

finish product. I think I need to practice more on sealing these stuffed bread 

 an inside look.

Happy Monday everyone! :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My First

Yes mam, yes sir bili bili na po! Chants the saleslady in 168 mall. It's the month of shop and spend 'til you drop and everyone is into such mood.

I was lucky enough to do my Christmas shopping early so December is not as hectic so when I got an offer to join a Sunday bazaar as a vendor I immediately grabbed the offer. At the back of my mind I know where to get goods to sell but not sure if I can get the stuff all in in time for the event.

The bazaar was scheduled on Sunday in our nearby church so I spent the remainder of the week gathering up stuff to sell. And then my schedule got hectic. The masochist me even decided to sell cupcakes and pudding bars so on top of doing inventory and price tagging on Saturday night, I made cupcakes and finished almost midnight.
Sunday morning, bazaar day – setup time was 530am so we can catch the early church goers. Haggard ‘di ba pero sayang ang benta. I also wanted to sell my pastries while they were warm from the oven. In fairness, my pumpkin and choco chip cupcakes got sold out in just an hour. I was a happy baker! :) I even got an additional order for 11/2 dozen of cupcakes so I asked hubby to watch over the paninda while I drove home and baked. Haha! My pudding got easily sold too but I couldn’t count how many puddings hubby and Sophie ate, they were my handy helpers so it's okay.
my neighborhood bazaaristas setting up their spots

bili bili na kayo! stuff from China, Korea and Divisoria :)

I don’t have much photos of the bazaar. I don’t even have time to play on the tablet or my phone which I brought in case I got bored. The people were constantly coming and going.

Being a bazaarista was such a fun experience; busy but rewarding. I gave me a renewed spirit to take on another enterprising adventure and reminded how much I enjoy selling. On top of it I met fellow bazaar vendors who share the same interest and found new contacts. 

Given a chance, I would like to do this again next year. People were telling me to concentrate on my cupcakes and pastries as they were marketable. Not a bad idea.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Season of Happiness

It's been Christmas in Garcia household since November. We put up the decors soon after Hallooween. That excited, yeah. We love decorating the house and I love seeing the kids' face when we light our Christmas lights for the first time.
For the indoor decor, we recycled last year's theme as they still look fab and current. I just added new silver decors like the mirror balls and glitter butterflies.

For the outdoor, it was inspired by Trinoma's white Christmas (gaya gaya much) so I bought decors in white and gold and additional white lights.

 I'm still thinking on buying a white Christmas tree for the garden, the only thing that's keeping me from doing so is storage problem after the holidays. We never had a tree for 3 years now since I found it too space consuming but the kids wanted one this year. We'll see. Maybe if I find that perfect tree for the house.

Another happy thought is that I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping. Yay! Wrapped some them and I intend to finish wrapping the gifts this weekend. I want to enjoy the rest of the season stress-free and have time to prepare for our Baguio Christmas this year.

How's your holiday season prep coming along? :)

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