Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Labor Day

Labor Day is finally upon us! I'm so excited. We don't have any plans; we're just excited for the extra day off.

I've always had a fondness for Labor Day ever since we lived on Guam many moons ago. It seemed like the entire island would have a major fiesta down at Ypao Beach Park every year. All the picnic tables by the beach would be filled with food from different labor organizations. Anyone and everyone were always welcomed. Then we would conclude the fiesta with huge fireworks in the evening.

The first year that we arrived on Guam we were invited to a labor day fiesta at Ypao Beach by one of my dad's co-workers. We looked and looked for him but couldn't find him because it was so crowded. We're getting ready to just leave when a stranger and his family invited us to join them in their fiesta. My dad kindly declined, but they insisted so my dad finally relented. I was glad that he did because the food looked so good! Not only did they feed us, they also insisted that we take several additional plates home so we can have it for tomorrow. We had such a good experience that it became an annual tradition for us when we used to live on Guam. That first year we were guests, but subsequent years we became participants, and my dad would always bring different dishes every year from sushi to seaweed salad.

The food at these fiestas are simply to die for. The food ranges from roasted pig, BBQ, noodles, salads, red rice, fried rice, sushi, chicken kelaguen, fried chicken, pies, cakes, and much more. This was where I first fell in love with chicken kelaguen. It's a little bit like a chicken salad except it has coconut, green onions, lemons, hot peppers, and onions in it. I thought it was the best dish that I've ever tasted.

Many years later after we had left Guam, I still ask about the fiestas and this dish in particular whenever I encounter people who used to live there. At first, people would look at me like I'm nuts, but eventually they'll end up chatting with me about Guam. Most people I've talked to enjoyed reminiscing about the fiestas, but I haven't met one person who liked chicken kelaguen as much as I do. I guess it's just an acquired taste. I've even made it for my family on occasion, but they aren't as fond of it as well so it is usually a meal for one, me.

The photo below is the chicken kelaguen dish that I made for myself recently. It takes me back to the beaches on Guam where I used to go swimming, reef walking, fishing, and snorkeling with my dad. Oh how I long to be back again...

chicken kelaguen and tortilla

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rapunzel Olaf

It's that time of the day when many moms called it the "witching hour". I needed to fix supper, and the kids are extra, extra fussy and on the verge of tantrums, especially when they've missed their nap. I've burned supper enough times to know that on days like these I need to keep them entertained or we'll be having pb & j for supper again. (I've been burning supper A LOT lately, been having trouble focusing.) On this day I tried entertaining them with play dough. 

I already mentioned play dough to my kids, and they were all excited about it. I should have checked the play dough first before saying anything because all the play dough were dried out. Then I remembered that I tried making play dough a year ago but never got around to it. I got around to getting the ingredients, but that was it.  

Since their hearts were already set on the play dough, I decided to try making it. Why not. It turned out okay. I colored it with some food coloring, and we're all set.

The play dough kept them entertained for a while so I could fix supper. When I got done, I saw this.

I asked them what it was, and they said it was Rapunzel Olaf. (Rapunzel from the movie Tangled and Olaf from the movie Frozen )

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Life Lately in Food

We've been eating out a lot lately, a little more than usual. Here are some of the places that we've been:

Ever since I read Rowena's review about this cupcake place, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Luckily, we have Sprinkles cupcake in our area, and it happened to be across the street from our doctor's office, so we went there right after the doctor's visit.

Since it was late in the afternoon, their ATM was not working, but the line was still out the door. The pickings were slim, but it was still good. 

On another day we decided to try a local bakery called Society Bakery. I told my friend about going to Sprinkles, and she told me to go to Society because she thinks it's even better. It was pretty good. 

My husband and I always get fajita nachos from Taco Cabana when we're having a long day. It's our take-out comfort food. 

My mother-in-law passed away not long ago so we've been dealing with that in the background lately. It's been difficult. One day we all decided to go to her favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory, just like we used to. (I originally had a couple of posts dedicated to her, but I ended up just deleting them. Everything just seem too "raw" at the moment, maybe someday.)

I love how in addition to the bread, they'll bring out sliced bananas just for the kids. It keeps them busy while we're waiting on the food.

On yet another day, we got take-out from Panda Express. I really liked my fortune because just a couple of days before...

... I saw this. There's probably something to be said about the fortune and the plate below, but I'll leave the deep thoughts and/or sarcasm for another day/post.


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