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Showing posts from December, 2008

A Christmas Song

White Christmas , Sung by The Drifters, Cartoon by Joshua Held, Video by Joshua Held at May your days be merry and bright And may all your Christmases be white

Kala Khristougenna

Omniglot makes it easy to say "Merry Christmas" in a babel of tongues. Check the link below to learn more and never have to say "It's Greek to me" ever again. That said, may you have a meaningful Christmas and may it be filled with compassion for those who are most in need. * * * Photo by Rosario Charie Albar

Have yourself a merry dessert party

Italian fig cookies Imagine tasting dessert upon dessert (as many as the number of guests you invite) and exchanging recipes. All invitees must bring a dessert they prepared. If not, store bought goodies might turn out to be a revelation. Our party produced desserts from different countries. We had Chinese red bean cake, Spanish leche flan, Philippine casava pie, Vietnamese che - a red bean with seaweed drink simmered in coconut milk, Italian fig cookies, and American favorites - thick and rich chocolate cake, carrot cake, cheese cake and bucaroon cookies, among others. Try a little piece of every tantalizer on the table and savor slowly. Sweet dreams! Recipe for Bucaroons 1 cup shortening (2 sticks oleo) 1 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar (packed) 2 egs 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp walnut flavoring (optional) 2 cups flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups oatmeal 1 small (6oz) package chocolate chips 1/2 cup chopped nuts Cream butter and sugar. Add egs, vanilla, and waln


There is never a bad year for California wines, so said our sommelier. Let's drink to that! We tasted four different bottles of wine, two reds and two whites from the vineyards of California and France. Our wine selection: 2006 Serge Lalou Sancerre (Loire Valley, France) 2006 Stuhlmuller "Estate" Chardonnay, (Alexander Valley, CA) 2001 Lorca "Gary's Vineyard" Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands, CA) 2002 Michel Voarick Aloxe-Corton (Cote-de-Beaune, France) Seared Ahi I'm not a fan of seared ahi so I asked the kitchen to prepare my ahi medium well. It came out moist and was served on a bed of bloomsdale spinach, French green lentils and golden raisins. The green lentils were tender and complemented the spinach. I like the way California restaurants serve their vegetables. It's always fresh and never overcooked so you can actually savor the veggies and enjoy every mouthful. Apple butter custard crêpe The apple butter custard crêpe melted in my mouth. I

'Tis the season

Fresh Spring Rolls What can be better than getting together for a special lunch or dinner during the holidays? Good food and warm company are the best of friends and bonding is easier at the dinner table. Salt and Pepper Calamari We had our Christmas family reunion at Chez Saigon in Belmont this week. Everyone raved about the food and the attentive service. Not hard to imagine with these images! Crispy Spring Rolls My favorite dishes were the seafood pho and the spicy Japanese diced eggplant prepared with scallions, coconut milk, and onions. We requested a milder version and it was a mouth watering revelation. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of family and the bountiful feast. "God bless us everyone." Chez Saigon is on El Camino Real in Belmont, California. * * * Photos by Rosario Charie Albar

Art of Quilting

These quilts are the works of my friend, Rose Driscoll. Rose usually makes them for family and friends. They are a labor of love when you consider how much time it takes to make one. Observe the detail in the stitching and how many different pieces of fabrics are sewn together to create a work of art. The quilt above was a present from Rose to a child with leukemia. What I specially like about quilts is that the quilter can make them on varying themes like playful quilts such as the one above or perhaps one with an Oriental theme like Rose made for my sister (shown below). There's a world of history, culture, and design behind the art of quilting. More on this later. * * * Photos by Rose Driscoll