“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart”
– Anne Frank

Before I begin another year of blogging, happy 2014 to all my readers!

My calendar is already filled with activities for the next two months although no blogging schedule is included. For some reason, the impulse to write in my blog just comes out randomly; yet sadly, the constraint in time is obviously crushing. I’m thinking of sharing the activities that occupied me in the last two weeks of holiday period. I want to re-experience those moments by writing them…yes, those exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelming moments! It was exhausting because in spite of the holiday spirit, I was never given a time off at work except the days of the holiday itself. Hence, it’s frustrating and overwhelming when you are trying to juggle the Church activities, the family tradition of cooking and eating together, and the thought of waking up early the next day because I have to be at work…booo!…but the best part of holiday season is the reason of the season which is the celebration of Christ’s birth, that was the most consoling part.

On Christmas Eve, my kids and hubby were busy at the Church (they are all members of the choir). They were almost present in all masses that day. As mentioned, I was at work and didn’t even think of our “Noche Buena” dinner. Thankfully stores are open until 7pm. I was able to grab some stuff to prepare for our Christmas Eve dinner. I only bought a little piece of this and that (ready to heat food) but I made our dinner table extra special since it’s only once a year celebration.

Noche Buena

Noche Buena, Christmas Eve

More!

More!

The next day was a relief. We spent Christmas at my in-laws’ house so that the kids and cousins can spend time playing and open presents together. I was relieved since I didn’t have to cook. My talented sister-in-law is like a culinary expert who happens to know a lot of gourmet cooking (I wish I have taken some photos of her cooking).
The New Year was a bit exhausting since everyone is coming to our place. I love entertaining if only I have the luxury of time preparing and cooking all the special recipes I collected. New Year lunch is on us but after work on New Year’s eve, friends invited us for the countdown. We went home and I started cooking after the ball dropped at midnight; I was awake for 22 hours!!!..Imagine that 😦   Roasted Turkey, Sole Veronique, Spinach salad, lettuce wraps, Pesto and crab crostini were some of the foods I prepared within the 10-hour period before our guests arrive. It was very rewarding yet tiring. Around 6:30pm, my body gave in and I slept until the next day and by 6 AM the day after New Year, I was at work.

The fun did not stop there. I thought of a group reunion with my friends on the weekend before I delve deeply with my 2014 schedule. I invited them to come over to our place since it was my weekend off. This time, I think I perfected the crown roast compared to the ones I have made in the past. I also cooked wild and basmati rice in mushroom sauce, stuffed tilapia, leek soup, Russian potato salad, eggplant caponata, and other appetizers. Our friends enjoyed the food with fun and laughter which was the main purpose of our gathering…

Indeed the Joie de vivre!!!

The kids set the dinner table

The kids set the dinner table. New Year!

Ready for Baking

Tilapia stuffed with Spinach

Crown Roast of Pork

The highlight of our Dinner

Chai Tea

Chai Tea..From Scratch..

Appetizers

Appetizers

 

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