Spring Time Dinners

 

Hello,dolls! Hello, Manila!! 🙂 A is finally here in MNL and we are both here again, with my family, having the time of our lives. I find Manila extra amazing when A is here, I’ve lived here for 23 years and I’ve never appreciated my home country like this until A came in the picture. I now think that  every place that we go to or see has something exceptional in it, who would have thought I would discover something new here after 23 years?

It has kept me wondering though, will we ever say “we miss Baltimore” while we are here? At least for A, I wonder.

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So here’s a post that took place in Baltimore, our second home.

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New Toy: Tagliatelle Cutter

Pasta is our to go food for dinner. We always find ourselves making fresh pasta during our day off. When Roger came for dinner one time, we’ve decided to make fresh pasta with him. YUMMS

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Life in Baltimore

Hello, dolls!!:) I can’t believe that I am back in MNL!! Aaaah it still feels surreal that I am in my pink room now blogging!! 🙂 The past 2 days has been lovely and I am so grateful for warmth welcome that I received from everyone especially my family. It is so nice to wake up in the morning and have breakfast with my parents again, have my sister as a roommate, and just be in the presence of my family — it almost feels like I never left.

It’s a blessing to have 2 places that I can call home. Last year, I thought I couldn’t let go of the idea of not calling Manila my only home, I felt like if I do so I will spend my life fighting time just to be with my family or it will make my chances of going home slim — and yes, I do not take family matters lightly. But with the help of A, his family, and our friends, I realized that I do not have to let go of MNL just so I can call Baltimore my home too. Some people, like me, are just fortunate to be blessed with an amazing life at the other side of the world, miles and miles away from home..

I know I have not posted enough “B-more updates” since February. Not enough cause there is a handful of amazing things that happened since I returned to my second home. So here is one,some of the things that helped/helps me love Baltimore everyday.

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What I have on my vanity.

Family picture, a photo of my Dad and I when I was only n months old, cute little bear from my jeje-brother, the heart pen that my sister gave me…

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…personalized key chain from my brother Remo,and an Eiffel tower stand up pin from my sissy. <3

Having these on my vanity makes me feel like they are not too far away from me. It reminds me of how blessed I am to have a family that is so understanding and supportive.

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Easy Dinner Date Recipes

February 2014: Of cooking for the family

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 I can’t believe that I will be home in less than 2 weeks!!! Before I left to go back here in Baltimore, I had decided that I will try to cook everyday. I know there will be some factors that will hinder me from doing this, so I added the word “try” — I have a tendency of over beating myself when it comes to cooking so I had to play it a bit safe for my sanity. So I DID, I did cook everyday for the month of February, I DID IT!

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One of the things that I always do before cooking something at home is to check what we have available.

It’s always fun exciting for me to come up with something on the spot and I often see it as a “fun self challenge”.

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My Dad and I were hanging out on our rooftop one day, and I decided to whip up something quick for him for his afternoon snack — Filipinos eat 5 meals a day so yeaaap.

All of these ingredients that I have on my board are in our fridge.I love impressing my Dad with delish left over meals.

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Japanese Night

02.08.14: Moshi Moshi!

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Happy Sunday!! It has been another exhausting work weekend and I am so glad I will be embracing Monday in less than 12 hours!!!! So my mind is preoccupied with anything relating to the big W next year…and I am guessing it is going to be like this for the next 9 months (AAAAH save me). I promised myself not to be the capricious about the entire thing, but I guess it is common nature you know? To sleep with one thought in the head and wake up with a brand new one the next day. So maybe, it is safe to say that I am driving myself…nuts. Haha

Anyway, so I was able to cross off something on my list and that is to let my favorite girls know about their importance throughout the entire process, and their participation. I wish I could have asked them personally, but yeah…my life is so awesome right now, God reserved something exciting for me instead. Since today is family day, let me share with you a post about the girls that I consider family.

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I hosted a pre-Valentine’s day dinner for the girls. And as usual, we can’t not have a theme. I chose Japanese cuisine so I can practice on my sushi skillZ (yes with a Z haha) AND so we can play around with fun outfits..

We’ve decided to go for “Japanese Street Style” as our peg for the night, you will see our outfits later on but yeah…it was so much fun to be extra weird with my favorite girls! <3

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KITCHEN DIARIES: APARTMENT COOKING II

 

Hello dolls!! This week,I am EXTRA happy. A and I have a pretty decent work schedule for the next 9 days,and we are embracing each day with soooo much food! We both love pasta, I mean who doesn’t?? Pasta is one of our “to go” foods, and I love how we can make the simplest pasta dish in 15 minutes, or an amazing homemade pasta and sauce in 45 minutes. When the year 2014 started, I told A that when I get back I would like to try and do everything from scratch ; emphasis on the word try cause some foods need extra resources to be made.  Anyway, one of the things that we enjoy doing in the kitchen is making fresh pasta.

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We usually call Monday “Pasta Monday” or “Meatless Monday”.

But recently it has been “Asian Monday” cause for 2 weeks now I’ve cooked Asian food! haha

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This happened almost 3 months ago, our very first fresh pasta in the apartment.

We decided to make ravioli with it. I remember it was the day after our housewarming party, and I told A I want ravioli, next thing I know we were  in the kitchen gathering all the ingredients for our delicious dinner.

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Valentines 2014 <3

02.14.14: Home Is Where The Heart Is

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Today is Sunday, so it’s family time. Though I am gazillion miles away from my family, I try to do little things that would remind me of our awesome family days together, one of which is to share them through this blog.

Valentine’s day has always been a family thing for me, I’ve never really enjoyed it with another person until A came into my life. For the past few years, my Dad would always make it special for my sister, my Mom and I — balloons and bouquets of flowers are always present in our home during Valentine’s day. So just imagine, how happy I was to be able to wake up in Manila for Valentine’s Day this year. I know it’s crazy that I am only posting this now, but whatevs…you know how this blog and normalcy rolls, they just couldn’t meet together. HA

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This year was slightly different,

3 red roses and red balloons from my Dad and brothers AAAAAND a sweet handwritten letter all the way from Baltimore from my love <3

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Valentine’s Day dinner table

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And Valentine’s Day outfit…

all after the jump 😉

 

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Frances’ Bachelorette Party

 

03.27.2014: G.I.R.L.S

Hello dolls!! 🙂 Happy Friday! The past week has been pretty stressful, the (hashtag) BTB problems has finally kicked in. How did I go from more than a year to less than 11 months? Anyway, today I will be sharing with you another party that I hosted, this time in our apartment. I’ve learned to love hosting parties after my Dad’s great decision of building a rooftop for us. Though I have not hosted any gatherings for the past month because of work, I am looking forward to the next one that will come my way (and I am sensing that it will be in Manila! yay). So just imagine my delight when one of my good friends, Frances, came up to me and asked if I can host her Bachelorette party? I was so excited that I was able to finalize the menu in less than 24 hours haha. I only had less than 3 weeks to get the party together and I am glad that it was a success.

We had so much fun that uhh…I am sharing 50+ photos!! Yupppp.. I got a little crazy haha

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So once again, I tried to be Martha Stewart and made most of the decorations and  all of the food

the other bridesmaids and I decided on the theme “welcome spring” (cause we were all just yearning for it) and I was supposed to do the party at our backyard but UHHHH it rained! It was pouring so I had to bring the party inside.

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 Gotta let them know!

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Housewarming Party

03.23.2014: Welcome to our apartment!

Hello dolls!! 🙂 How have you been? Another busy weekend has come to an end (and when I say weekend, I mean Sunday-Tuesday). It’s been a while since my last update about my life here in Baltimore. Can you believe that tomorrow, it will be my 3rd month here?? Time flies so fast, and this entry is 2 months late! HA HA

One of the things that I am loving here is…our apartment!! It’s spacious, modern, and just simply amazing. This is not an apartment tour but it could be the start of more apartment posts in the future, maybe some DIYs or housekeeping tips from a newbie like me! 😛

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Independent living is not new to me, but if I could rate my first year of being independent, I would say that I was like a student learning the ins and outs of having to deal with chores on a day to day basis. Coming from a home wherein I would only have to worry about waking up and doing the things that I love to do without worrying about house chores made me appreciate the beauty of being a responsible adult.

Anyway, let me share with you our amazing experience during our housewarming week.

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Here’s how we spent our “last” monthsary. A and I decided that we will stop celebrating our monthsary after our second since we now know that we have years and years ahead of us! 🙂

Late night sausage making, and to make our Friday night even better…we had wine!

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Afternoon Tea with The Girls

 

02.02.14: Half of my beautiful m’s

Hello dolls!! 🙂 I can’t believe how EXHAUSTED I am right now.  My arms feel like they are going to fall off and uhh I slept an hour longer, I am pretty displeased about that cause to me oversleeping is me wasting time. I do not want to be hard on myself today, so I am going to stop myself now… I deserved that 1 hour extra,after all tonight is another crazy busy night at work!

Anyway, so today, I am going to share with you one of my favorite afternoons this year. Before I left, my girls and I decided to do a weekly themed gathering. For the first week of February, I hosted an afternoon tea party. Jho and I decided on this after our weekday afternoon tea date.

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After some research and conceptualizing, I am happy that I was able to pull this off.

It was the first real afternoon tea party that I hosted! I was excited and nervous.

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Channeling my inner Martha Stewart<3

Will start this post with food, add a little bit of friendship, and finish off with fashion <3 “F” that!

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KITCHEN DIARIES: Apartment Cooking

Hello, dolls! 🙂 How was your Mother’s Day weekend? Mine was ahh-mah-zing! I was able to talk to my Mom which was very important. I spent the weekend with my family here, away from reality. I would love to talk about our awesome weekend in New Jersey, but this post is going to be all about the foods that we made in the apartment. I noticed that it’s been a while since I posted something that I did in our kitchen — here on my blog, Instagram and Facebook. So here I am, sharing. 😉

Great food is meant to be shared, and  I wish I can send you all a bite of the things that I make but I guess posting entries will suffice for now. So here are a couple of things that we did 2 months ago, yes 2 months ago! I have TONS of pictures to sort and post and I wish I can just keep the rhythm on this blog.

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One morning, I woke up and said ” I want apple bars”. Lucky for me, I have a fiance who is willing to wake up early and go to the grocery to buy my ingredients.

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I love using Granny Smith on desserts! And I LOVE Granny Smith with sugar and cinnamon…I mean, don’t we all do?

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Kitchen Diaries: Steak Quesadilla

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 How was your cinco de mayo?  I hope it wasn’t just another lazy Monday, cause mine was AWESOME. I know the Philippines is not big on cinco de mayo, but America is, and I am so glad that I can celebrate and not look weird for being too excited about it. The night before cinco de mayo, something hit me, I saw the scarf that my brother #jejekid gave me 2 years ago. I thought that it was really perfect for the day — the festive colors representing cinco de mayo and the soft texture fit for spring. I pulled it out of my closet and as a habit, I smelled it (yes, I smell my clothes haha) but that’s not what’s important — it smelled like home. The mixed feelings that I got when I smelled the scarf brought me to tears and gave me this certain excitement. I can’t wait to go home and be with my piggies again, I can’t wait to cook for my family again and see my Dad happy, I can’t wait for our travel plans to happen — I CAN’T WAIT!

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Cinco de Mayo and my yearning for my family? This is the perfect post for today.

I love themed dinners and love menu planning. I am very OC when it comes to the dishes complimenting each other — flavor, cuisine, texture, color.

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Rooftop Afternoons

 

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 It’s officially spring, my favorite season!! It’s crazy how the nicer weather comes with spring flu virus. Yup, I caught it! I’ve been sneezing and sniffing since yesterday and boy is it hard to be sick when you are alone. All I really want to do now is to cuddle with my Mom.I always find myself wanting to be snuggled up in bed with her when I’m sick. She is soooo soft and her arms and legs are “pillow like” lol.

So today I am going to make you hungry. My afternoons here in Baltimore are different — no rooftop, no afternoon cooking for the family, just me time usually. In the midst of my crazy fast paced life, I can’t help but be excited for my Dad’s 50th birthday!!! I can already smell home and feel the warmth of being surrounded by my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here! I am loving every minute of it and I wouldn’t have my life any other way BUT home is home.

Let me share with you some of the things that I cooked for my family, especially my parents, before I left MNL 🙂

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Milk Shake x Grilled Cheese Afternoon

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Aside from me missing home, today is “National Siblings Day” so it is just perfect to write something about the awesome moments that we’ve had with the food that I made form our kitchen 🙂

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Come tooooo Mommmah

BACON x tomato x cheddar cheese

Hungry yet? I HAVE MORE!

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Asian Pickled Cucumber

 

Hello dolls!! 🙂 Wow! I can’t believe it’s Sunday already!! Each week just keeps on getting better and I am looking at more Saturday night outs in the coming month. I am so excited for April mainly because of our anniversary!!! A and I are going to celebrate our second year together soon… yay!! 2 years with the person who I can share and do everything that I love with. Especially COOKING! Our week is not complete without us cooking together and I love how we always find time to try different things each week.

Here are the things that we made in the kitchen during my 2 weeks back in Baltimore.

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Jet lag and sudden cravings lead to this.

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Of Love and Sisterhood

 

 

01.29.2014: Happy Birthday, Boobie! 

Hello, dolls! 🙂 It is now March 27 in Manila. Meaning, my sister is going to make my parents proud in a few hours from now!! 🙂 I am dedicating this post to her,cause this is the least thing that I can do and I’ve been feeling sad all day cause I really wish I could be there with them to celebrate 🙁 I could just imagine the sumptuous feast that they will be having after the ceremony. I am so proud of my sister cause she made it through college with flying colors. But most of all, I am very happy for my parents!! All the hard work that they’ve done for us and the support that they’ve been giving us since day 1. I wish I could see the look on my Dad’s face when my sister goes up that stage, but I know our hearts are connected and I will be feeling the same joy that they will feel right at that moment. So before I start bawling here, I will end this introduction now and move on to the rest of my entry.
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20 pink balloons for her 20th year on earth!!

 

 

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Surprised her with this afternoon set up on our rooftop! 🙂

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Oreo Milk Shake with Whipped Cream for the birthday celebrant

Pastries and Vietnamese Spring Rolls for everyone to share <3

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Half A Month

03.02.14 – 03.09.14

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Let me tell you upfront that this is going to be lengthy (yup, 20++ photos ahead!). So I am squeezing this in my busy weekend.I meant to post this a few days ago but responsibilities just came knocking on my door, awesome opportunities for that matter. I think I have been overworking myself for the past 3 days that all I want to do now is lay in bed and sleep….BUUUUT I must fight this feeling cause I have another fun night ahead of me!! 🙂 I can’t believe that 2 days from now I will be here for a month already! Meaning, it has been a month since I last hugged my family!!! AAAAAH, but no drama cause I know I can make things happen and in less than a year I will see them again! I promise.

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So life has been AMAAAAHZING here, and I think this blog deserves an awesome “update”! 

I’ve been taking lots of photos with my new “baby”, resulting to me uploading 20+ photos for this entry (it’s so hard to choose!!!)

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We take our Monday dinners seriously. If we are not out in an awesome restaurant, we are in the kitchen cooking together.

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Dough Recipes: Fresh Pasta, Cinnamon Rolls, and Pie Crust

 

 

02.05.14: Kitchen Hours

Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 I can’t believe that the first half of March just flew by…you know, just like that. I feel like I just got here and every week is another chapter to share. I wish life can slow down for a little bit cause there are things that I need to accomplish before we bid goodbye to March. So yeah, it’s been pretty hectic and partly boring cause I am still…waiting. 

Waiting for school to start!!! Aaaaaah!! I can’t wait to be a better student this time. My confidence level when I was in Culinary school was close to none, don’t ask me why but I’ve always had this big empty room in me where I feel like I just want to fulfill it with all the things that I will learn and just absorb them and be this shy little culinarian who loves to observe. My lack of confidence didn’t stop me from engaging myself to the beauty of Culinary school and be part of some of the great things that happened during my 2 years in CCA. Part of that greatness was meeting exceptional people, I don’t have a lot, but if I can give you a quick rundown I would probably say Joyce first.

I get too gaga over baking, maybe because there’s this sense of me wanting to know more about it since I took up Culinary & Technology Management. People who can make extraordinary food and desserts (Instagram- slash- food- magazine- worthy- type- of- thing) inspire me. So just imagine the happiness that I felt when Joycmessaged me on Facebook, almost a month before my departure, asking me to collaborate with her.

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Obligatory MEP shot.

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What we dealt with.

5 dishes. 3 cooks. 8 hours together.

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Baking101: Of Firsts

 

 

Of afternoon baking at home

Hello, dolls! 🙂 So today is family day, but I keep on forgetting that Sundays here are…different. Back at home, I would usually wake up with my Dad’s “Sunday music” playing on the radio and be greeted with a table full of delicious home-cooked Sunday lunch. Today, I woke up shaking my head cause it’s the first time after almost 2 weeks that I got out of bed at 9AM (uhh!!!). In my defense, we lost an hour today because of daylight saving so the clock went forward. So yeah, after a night full of awesomeness and F-U-N, I am just this sore and exhausted lass waiting for Monday and Tuesday to come.

I’ve did a couple of afternoon baking here in the apartment and I wish I have my other 5 favorite people to cook for here. Today reminded me of how different things are…of how patience matter… and how sacrifice creates an impact in our lives. So yeah, I will end this sappy note now and just move on with my kitchen entry.

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Last year when I got home I told myself that I will be going back to the basics —- basics of cooking and baking.

You know how sometimes we just jump into something B I G? And how we overlook the importance of small things. 

I thought to myself that if I want to be “big” someday, I should muster up the small things first…the basics.

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Of Wisdom and Courage

Hello. dolls!! 🙂 I am bacccck! Back here in Baltimore and back blogging 🙂 It has been an amazing but very exhausting past week. I am still trying to adjust to the weather and time here, and it’s not easy. February 2013 was not THIS cold, and I just came from a tropical country, so yeah this crazy cold weather is really giving me a hard time. And on another note, I am still jet lagged (yikes) I got here on Monday the 24th and I thought I could fight it but it’s hard cause the weather makes me want to hug my bed all daaaaay. So yeah, my schedule is pretty messed up cause I sleep at 6:30 PM and wake up between 1:30-2:45 AM. To make my situation more exciting, I haven’t unpacked my suitcases yet. I left almost 5 balikbayan boxes of stuff last year and I still have 1 box to attend to…then I can start on the stuff that I brought from MNL!

It seems pretty crazy…but I am loving it! (Except the weather of course). I love being busy, and I know March will be just as crazy. I have a lot of things to pay attention to – things to learn – submit important documents – and make all my career plans happen! I could be really really overwhelmed now,crying and depressed…but I am not (and hopefully I won’t be..ever). The support and love that I get from my family in the Philippines, my family here, friends and A makes it really easy for me to get through each day here. And of course, the strength that God blesses me with 24/7 is what keeps me going.

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I really want to post something recent but my usb cable is somewhere in my luggage and I am too cold (or lazy) to scramble through my stuff.

Since it’s a Friday, there is not better way than to reminisce about my family’s Friday ritual —- eat dinner together (Chinese food preferably) and go to Quiapo Church after 🙂

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Rooftop Party: Coachella on December

 

 

12.22.13: Of hosting dinners

Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 We are only 3 days away from Valentine’s day and I am so excited!! I know most of you are looking forward on spending that lovely day with your special someone wink wink. I, on the other hand, is so thrilled to be with my favorite Vday dates — my parents!! My Dad has always made it special for me since..ever. I am planning to do something that I am good at for them this coming Friday…and I can’t wait to share it on this blog,hopefully SOON and not 3 months late.

For MZATC’s annual Christmas dinner, we had a “Coachella themed” party. Since we couldn’t all go to California, we brought Coachella to us…anyway we are just up for the dressing up part if ever we can so whatevs lol.I like themed dinners! It makes it easier for me to come up with a menu and cook more than 2 dishes.A  themed dinner will not be complete without dressing the part,that’s the second best thing about it — I get to dress up!. I’ve been crazy about hosting parties lately, and this is just one of the many rooftop parties that I will be sharing on this blog 🙂

#throwback: Cause it’ll be like this again. Wonderful memories in Charm City

First month – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/03/20/is-retail-therapy-a-curse/

First Timer – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/09/17/ravens/

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Merry Christmas, MZATC!!!! <3

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Kitchen Diaries: Chicken Lasagna x Beer Battered Fish

11.16.13: What Saturday looks like

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 It’s the second Sunday of the month, and I can just feel how close I am to flying again when I stretch my arms. The excitement has kicked in already and I plan to keep it that way! Only good vibes and no loneliness, that’s what I am aiming for! I could be a long shot but what the heck? I made it possible this past October and I know I can do it again.

#throwback: Speaking of excitement, I can’t help but reminisce about all the wonderful dinners A and I had in Baltimore. We already have a list of the restaurants that we will visit when I get back and I can’t waaaaaait!

Woodberry – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/06/29/woodberry/

Clementine – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/06/04/clementine-and-the-babies/

Ten Ten – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/07/22/ten-ten/

Pasta Plus – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/08/07/pasta-plus-and-plusand-plus/

Cause we love BRUNCH! – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/09/01/brunches-and-munches/

Anyway, since I had an amazing day in our kitchen yesterday resulting to a very successful Japanese themed dinner, I am going to give you a glimpse of how I spend my Saturdays.

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Continue reading “Kitchen Diaries: Chicken Lasagna x Beer Battered Fish”