Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie First Birthday tickers

Monday, July 23, 2007


This weekend we celebrated, our niece, Maddie’s birthday. It’s pretty amazing that she is already three years old. It seems like just yesterday when we would take turns holding this beautiful newborn baby … and today she’s a lively but still beautiful little girl. Although it was a warm, sunny Saturday, we all gathered in my sis-in-law’s backyard for food, fun and games. We started out with parlor games for the kids but by the time we all had our share of spaghetti and cake, we decided that we wanted in on all the fun. The second round of games were for the “not so young” but the still young at heart. We played Musical Chairs, Statue Dance, and a couple’s version of the Egg Toss. While we all gave in to our inner child, I was reminded of how fun simple parlor games could be – even if we were playing for dollar prizes!

On Sunday, Jojo and I took it easy, woke up late, and prepared brunch together. We had a typical Pinoy brunch – sinangag (garlic fried rice), crispy spam, sunny-side-up eggs, tuyo (dried herring) soaked in spicy vinegar, and chopped fresh tomatoes. This is my favorite kind of comfort food. I can not think of any gourmet meal from any fine dining establishment that I would rather have than a Pinoy breakfast.

Sunday evening, we had my friend, Ray, and his wife, Janice, over our place. They are here for a couple of months from Manila. I’ve known Ray since high school and since the Filipino-Chinese community in Manila is really small we have a lot of common friends. We also hung out a couple of times when we both lived in the Bay Area (I was based in Berkeley and he was living in Palo Alto). Unfortunately we missed each others’ weddings (my grad school graduation was the same weekend as Ray’s wedding, and he was on a cruise with his family during my wedding). As a result, I’ve never met his wife, Janice, and he’s never met Jojo. So last Sunday was an evening of catching up and getting to know each other.

I decided to invite Ray and Janice to a home-cooked meal rather than meet up for a meal in a restaurant. Entertaining at home is much more relaxed than sitting in a restaurant and it’s great how no one stares at you if you linger too long over each course or laugh out a little too loudly. I’m also very proud of our house and enjoy showing off our cozy, homey, comfortable home. Plus, entertaining at home is a much more personal experience that you reserve for special people and those whom you want to build special memories with.

I prepared one of the meals I am most proud of making. It’s a delicious (or so I’m told!) 4-course meal that looks like I spent the entire afternoon slaving over but is actually super easy to make. We started with a Caesar salad (tossed romaine hearts, croutons, cold chicken strips and parmesan cheese with a creamy dressing). For our main course I had my version of a shrimp scampi dish - (it has all the elements of scampi – lemon, anchovy paste, garlic and red pepper flakes) – my twist is I put in a healthy dollop of pesto too and toss the mixture with spaghettini and grated parmesan cheese. So it’s a pesto scampi pasta dish. I also had a roasted porkloin (marinated with lots of fresh garlic, rosemary and olive oil). It goes with a rich gravy flavored with the porkloin drippings and white wine. For dessert I served a huge bowl of summer fruits (strawberries, melons, blueberries, mangoes and kiwis). After dinner, we played some Wii, told lots of stories and called it a night when we found out it was almost 11 PM.

It was a nice weekend. Enjoying time with family, relaxing with my hubby, enjoying good meals and entertaining old and new friends at home. After great weekends like that, it’s really hard waking up to face a Monday morning!


jol said...

After five days of hard work, you must reward yourself with an enjoyable and happy weekend. Your hospitality will invite friends and relatives to stay with you.

leslie Ty said...

Jo, No pics of your dinner with Ray and Janice? :)

I'm so proud of your 4 course meal :) iba ka na talaga :) you're a great homemaker...just like auntie Judy :)

Junarakasa said...

Hi Les. Actually we did take a couple but they came up kinda bad. I'll try to take some the next time we meet up :)