i made it on tastespotting!

OMG! I just made Tastespotting on my first try with my pumpkin bread pudding photo and recipe, not knowing they actually reject many submissions!  If you Google “tastespotting + rejections”, you’ll see countless bloggers pour their frustration out on their blogs on being “gently rejected by TS.”  (Click here and here, for example).  Apparently, in the food blogging world, it’a medium-big deal and I didn’t even know it.  On a whim, I registered, carelessly wrote a caption, added my blog link and hit submit.   Within two hours, I knew something was up because my wordpress stats were going through the roof.  I was expecting it to take 24 hours to be notified of the status of my submission, but look here, I made it… Click here to see my post. Enter “pumpkin” in the search field found on the upper right hand side.  Yeeaay, for me!!!  It’s nice to be appreciated once in a while….ok, I’m done acting like a real  food geek!


every day is coffee day!

Happy International Coffee Day, my fellow caffeine-dependent friends!

Though the origin of this day is unknown, we can all guess that coffee retailers had a lot to do with it.  7-Eleven and Dunkin’ Donuts are offering free coffee today, although apparently Starbucks is not, according to the huge number of  irate Starbucks patrons who’ve taken their outrage to Facebook.

These days my coffee ritual starts at home with my personal barista (Chris) handing me my first latte of the morning.  This is my favorite time of the day as Chris and I drink our lattes and talk about the events of the day ahead.  It’s our special  time together! 

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 It’s baaaaaack!

Thank you, Starbucks!  PSL, barista-speak for the Pumpkin Spice Latte, is my favorite espresso drink at Starbucks.  However, it is a seasonal drink, available only from late August to January.  The reemergence of PSL signals the arrival of the fall season.  Forget that we are still experiencing beautiful beach weather here in Southern California and that my tomatoes are producing like it’s the middle of August.  When Starbucks says it’s fall, it’s fall, darn it!

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Rice Makes Everything Better

For Filipinos, a meal without rice is not a meal.  For the first 11 years of my life, I ate rice three times a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday.  Even some of the best Filipino desserts are made with rice.  Once I emigrated to the US, I adapted to the western culture and learned to eat like an American.  However, there are some American foods that I can’t embrace like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Oreo cookies, and cereal and milk.  As someone who straddles two cultures, I have developed my own way of combining the best of both worlds by eating American food with rice.  Bacon and eggs are good together, but even better with rice.  Hamburgers with all the trimmings are delicious, but sometimes I just have to have a plain hamburger patty dipped in soy sauce with a plateful of rice.  Most of the time I have steak at home, I cook it medium-rare and eat it with rice that is topped with some butter and soy sauce.  Odd, perhaps, but to me, it’s a perfect meal.

looking out

Looking Out

Over 6-1/2 years ago, when I first saw our house, it had four bedrooms. One of the bedrooms was located off a hallway in between the steps down from the dining room and the master suite.  I remember walking into that hallway and into the fourth bedroom and telling Chris that if I owned the house, I’d knock down the wall of that room and make it a den or family room.   Chris gave me his signature look that says “you’re crazy!”  Well, as you may know, we did buy the house and eventually knocked down the wall.  The bedroom is now our den and it is spacious and bright with a nice view that looks out to the back yard.  We probably spend most of our time in that room.  We might only have a three-bedroom house now, but we gained a comfortable space to relax.

I’ve sat in the den countless times, but this morning, it really struck me that I have achieved the view I had envisioned six years ago and I just love it!

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