Hey, you! 😁
Where do I begin??
So Christmas happened and I wrote all about it here (click here for the post). Then, we had our Pre-New Year's celebration with Filipino friends, but I didn't write anything about that here, so I guess that's where I pretty much left things at.
I am just realising that a whole month has passed by since and omg so many things have happened! So again, the big question - where do I begin?
A day before New Year's Eve, we had a party at home with our Filipino friends. Lots of food, lots of fun - what more can you expect, right? We experimented with Korean Milk Shots which we only figured out how to make the right way at the end of the party! LOL My fault! The strangest thing happened to me that night though. I went to bed with this feeling of being totally free. I wasn't drunk or anything like that. But I fell asleep not thinking about anything. Like my mind was totally blank. Needless to say, I had a very good night sleep.
By the way, a friend brought her Leche Flan for dessert and oh my gosh, it was the best I have ever had in my life. Then and there, I decided that I would learn to make Leche Flan in 2023. This is something that I have failed each and every single time and I just don't know why!
The day after, we celebrated New Year's Eve at home just the three of us. We prepared Hot Pot for the first time and I have to say that it certainly won't be the last time! It was frankly a huge success and inspired my new year's resolution of having more family communal meals in the new year. I thought we could go to a nearby party place a little before midnight, but realised too late that it was by reservation only and already completely booked. We tried going out in the streets at midnight to see fireworks, but the firecrackers scared us more than anything. LOL. So we quickly ran back home!
A few day after New Year's is Epiphany (the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem) and in France we celebrate this day with a Galette des Rois. It is made of puff pastry, with a small charm (fève) hidden inside. The cake is traditionally filled with frangipane, which is made of crème d'amandes (almond cream) and crème pâtissière (pastry cream). Personally, I prefer a galette with only crème d'amandes. It is quicker to make and is lighter! Nowadays, you can also find less traditional Galette des Rois with apple, pear, and even chocolate! Perhaps one day I will attempt to make one with apple, but in the meantime here is my quick and easy Galette des Rois with Crème d'Amandes. I posted my recipe video on my social media accounts a month ago and I seriously need to upload the recipe already. Definitely will be the next post here!
Mid-January was my mom's 21st Death Anniversary. I lost my mom when I was 16 and my dad when I was 27. Both grief journeys are so different, but what I've come to realize is that the grief never ends. And that's okay. My mama was an amazing woman. The sunlight in any room. She brought people together. She has always fought for me and protected me. Life has gone on and somehow after her death, she was able to turn Jan. 16 into one of the happiest days of my life. Like I said, she was amazing. ❤️
Oh and I just realised that that weekend, we had planned to go to Paris to see one of my childhood friends from the Philippines for a day. She was visiting her family but sadly our plans didn't push through. Our daughter had Covid-like symptoms so we decided to cancel our Paris trip just to be safe. Fortunately / unfortunately, it wasn't Covid. The weekend after, I had another friend coming to Paris from the States but this time we couldn't meet up because it was ...
... my Husband's Birthday and our 21st Anniversary. We invited two couples with their kids for dinner and had such a nice time together. The Husband had several requests which I was too happy to prepare for him. Kare-Kare, Kinilaw, Pancit Bihon, a Very Chocolate Birthday Cake, and Mango Sago. I realised later that day that I usually make Kare-Kare on the Husband's birthday every year.
The next day was also a food trip day as it was Lunar New Year. On the joyous occasion of Lunar New Year 2023, we got together for a feast to enjoy. And what a delicious feast it was!
I pray that this New Year be pleasant and prosperous for you, your family, and your friends. May the upcoming year be filled with all the blessings and joy we deserve. 🙏
*Roasted Duck - happiness
*Noodles - longevity
*Steamed Whole Fish - prosperity and surplus
*Shrimps - good fortune
*Dumplings - wealth
*Spring Roll - wealth
*Green Veggies - close family ties and harmony
*Sweet Rice Balls - family togetherness
On the last weekend of January, we invited my sister, her husband, and our great-uncle for lunch. It was bittersweet. As I mentioned in this blog post (click here for the post), my great-aunt recently passed away and my great-uncle hasn't been doing well since. I see him weakening and it breaks my heart. They kinda remind me of the late Prince Philip and the late Queen Elizabeth. If you look at photos and videos closely, the late Queen really weakened after her husband passed away. I hate to think about it, but sad thoughts have crossed my mind. Anyways, I was very happy to make them Paella Valenciana, which my sister always requests. Something went wrong with the dessert plan a unfortunately, but plan b turned out to be so good fortunately! I'll test and trial once more and then share the recipe soon.
And if that wasn't enough in this month's calendar of activities, we welcomed a German Exchange Student at our home on the last day of the month. She's staying with us for a week. In fact, at this moment, my daughter and her are at school for some sort of activity there, which is why I have found time to finally be here. You have no idea how many times I have tried to finish this post! There was always something or someone in the way. LOL. If you're wondering how the experience is going - well, so far so good! Fingers crossed it stays this way until Wednesday which is the day she leaves us and goes back home.
Anyways, it's time for me to take a shower now. It's 10am and I'm meeting up with the girls at the city center later. We're trying a new restaurant for lunch today.
Take care and I'll talk to you soon.
P.S. I wasn't lying when I said I was super duper busy!