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Archive for July, 2008

As I look back, it was 3 years ago to this day that we (the hubs, the kiddies, Nanay and I) came back from a 3 week visit to the Philippines.  Our intentions were to leave Nanay behind so that she can have someone look after her 24/7.  Since I had to work, there was no one here to take care of Nanay and we all felt that she would be well taken care of back home (Philippines).  Well, it didn’t turn out as planned because Nanay’s health had gotten worse while we were in the Philippines.  Although she would have been taken to the best facilities in Manila, there was just no way I could have left her behind in that condition.  Well, as soon as we arrived from SFO, I immediately called her doctor to explain the situation with Nanay.  She told us to immediately bring her to ER.  That one visit to the ER that afternoon of our arrival turned into a month’s stay at the hospital.  Come to think of it, we were at he hospital every single day.  The kiddies were still on vacation but I recall days where I couldn’t go into work or I came in late . . .  I think it was a week or so that we found out that Nanay had cancer and that she was at stage 4.  How could we have not known?  We just didn’t . . . . we thought she was in the clear after her lumpectomy 5 years prior.  I’d take Nanay to her doctor appointments (some of them she didn’t want to go but somehow she gave in), but never did we even think that she would have rectal cancer.  Nanay never complained of any pain so it was difficult to gauge what was really going on inside her.  So, yes, it’s been 3 years today and come September 1st, it would be Nanay’s 3rd death anniversary.  All I can think of right now is how much I miss her . . . .

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I think I’m slowly getting back to my blogging.  For the past several months maybe even for the past half a year, I’ve been so preoccupied with Flickr.  If there were such a thing as Flickr Anonymous, I think I would be the first member to join . . . better yet, maybe I should start my own group.  It’ll go like this at the introductory session . . . “My name is TulipFleurs and I have been flickring every single day.  I cannot put the camera down even when my family or friends go out to eat.  I’m totally addicted to taking pictures.  I have withdrawals if I don’t take any pictures.”  Hate to admit but that’s the honest truth; however, I know I am not alone because there are so many Flickrites just like me.  Anyhoo, getting back to my blog . . . not much to write about today other than my hair dryer broke this morning so I asked the hubs if he could drive me to Costco (I didn’t feel like driving) because I know they sell them and the price is very reasonable.  We ended up getting some additional items like the guava & mango juice, some carnitas, a 24-sheet of colorful tissue paper for giftwraps (@ 3.49, that was a deal) and some cream cheese.  We had already gone to Costco over the weekend so we didn’t need much.  I”m glad tomorrow is Wednesday . . . no exciting plans for this weekend although the hubs did mention Gilroy Garlic Festival.  We’ve never gone but it sounds like the hubs would like to go.  Other than that, I’ll be doing my domestic “weekend” chores.  Till then and good night . . .

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I wanted to bake some red velvet cupcakes from scratch but since I didn’t have enough flour, I remembered I had this recipe for the red velvet cake using a boxed cake mix. I was surprised at how delicious the cupcakes came out . . . will definitely bake this easy-peasy recipe again. The recipe below is for a cake but it works for cupcakes as well . . . (makes 24 cupcakes)


1 box yellow cake mix
5 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring

In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix and only the ingredients listed above. (Do not add the ingredients listed on the cake box). Check the box directions to see how long you need to mix the batter and then bake according to the directions on the box for the size pans you are using.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, run a dull knife around the edges, then carefully turn out onto a cake rack or plate to finish cooling.

Cream Cheese Icing
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 box plus 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using a mixer, blend all of the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. You can add one or two drops of red food coloring for a pink icing, or leave it white for the traditional one.

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Yesterday while at the store, I was thinking of what ice-cream bars to get as we already had two of those Breyer ice-cream cartons at home.  While looking at the different frozen confections, I saw the box of the sidewalk sundae and I remembered how that was Nanay’s favorite ice-cream bars.  Whenever we were at 7/11 or those “mom & pop” stores, she’d always want a sidewalk sundae.  There are so many things that will always remind me of Nanay . . . this being one of them . . . I guess I’m getting a bit melancholy because three years ago this day we were in the Philippines.  We didn’t know whether we would leave her behind to be cared by my uncle and relatives . . . but her health got worse so we made the decision to bring her back home with us after a 3 week stay in the Philippines. . . as mentioned in my previous blog, little did we know that she would be called “home” on September 1st (2005). . . so Nanay, this sidewalk ice-cream bar is for you! 

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This afternoon I made this doogie tuna casserole for Toby which I found in my latest issue of Everyday with Rachel Ray.  As I was making it, JP said he wanted to try it and asked if all the ingredients were “people” food.  Of course all the ingredients are “people” food so he tried it.  I”ll have to go on-line and search for a good tuna casserole to make for the familia, but for now . . . this one is for Toby.

  • 1/2 cup Half & Half or Milk
  • 1 6oz. Tuna in water (drained)
  • 1 cup Cooked Egg Noodles
  • 1/4 cup Frozen Green Peas (thawed)
  • 2 Tbsp. Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

In a medium sauce pan, heat the Half & Half over medium heat.  Mash in the tuna.  Stir in the noodles, peas and cheese.  Let cool.

Note:  For the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, I substituted grated Parmesan Cheese instead.  As much as I LOVE Toby, I was not about to spend $8.99 vs. $4.49 for that Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese . . . and both were the same size . . . container wise.  I think I’ll check out Trader Joe’s or Farmer Joe’s next time.

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I know it’s been a very very long time since I’ve last made an entry to my blog.  As mentioned earlier, I’ve been so addicted to Flickr that all my free time is spent uploading pictures, editing pictures, visiting other folks’ photostream and making comments on their photos.  This can be a full time job!  Really!  I kind of miss blogging so hopefully very soon I’ll get back to it.  So many things have happened since I last blog . . . the number one important event was JP”s high-school graduation.  Anyhoo, I think I’ll do a quick run down soon.  Well, since I’m on my blog now, I think I’ll go ahead and post this doggie tuna casserole that I found the latest issue of Everyday with Rachel Ray. . . .

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