Minnie Mouse says…

A reminder from Minnie Mouse

This calendar was hanging in Minnie Mouse’s home in Disneyland. This was hanging in her quaint little kitchen. :) Isn’t it cute? What a nice reminder. I just had to take a picture of it.

There is always light

It’s been very difficult for me to write an entry the past few days. The Glorietta 2 explosion was really disturbing. There were theories of bombings, gas leaks and basement accidents milling around, all of which just fed our fears as we searched for answers.

Thankfully none of my loved ones were at the area when tragedy hit. Thankfully none of my friends chose that time to go malling. Sadly, many were hurt and fatally wounded. While they are strangers to me, that does not ease my sadness and fears one bit.

When you start linking stories to the names of the victims, it just becomes harder. There were friends going out for lunch, celebrating a recent pay increase. There was a wife waiting for her husband to pick her up. There were employees going about their daily routines. It was just another malling afternoon.

I will be honest and say that I’m afraid. Whether it was a bombing or an accident, it still is scary. Life goes on, shouldn’t it? I’ve been needing to buy some stuff from the mall but I can’t bring myself to go to a single one. Am I being too careful? Or am I just managing my fears? I’ll eventually go to a mall again, maybe even tomorrow for all I know, but for now I just feel iffy about it. That is understandable, right?

It didn’t seem right for me to not write how I felt about all this. I wrote about it for Happy Nest as well [link]. I was trying to find some light in what happened and well… anyway, I hope you get to read it.

Theories remain theories for now. Investigations are stil ongoing. While we wait for answers, let’s manage our fears, our expectations, and hang tight. There is always light, we just need to dig our way out of all this confusion to find it.

More news here:
‘High level of certainty’ mall blast an accident–probers — Breaking News, Nation, INQUIRER.net
Signs of gas explosion found in Glorietta 2 — Cebu Daily News
Arroyo to visit blast site in Makati — Breaking News, Metro, INQUIRER.net

Do you like pumpkin pie?

Pumpkin Pie at Bakers Square

The association is simple:
Pumpkin = Squash
Squash = Pinakbet
Pinakbet = Ulam (viand)
Therefore, pumpkin = ulam… and not dessert!

My apprehension to try Pumpkin Pie for the first time could then be understandable I suppose. I grew up associating pumpkin puree as baby food or a delicious soup starter. But dessert? Not quite, not quite.

My Aunt is a Pumpkin Pie addict though, and she told me Bakers Square had the best. So off we went to the restaurant, where I decided to give this pie a try! (This was during my L.A. vacation, by the way.)

Surprisingly, no visions of sauteed vegetables danced in my head when I bit into a forkful of Pumpkin Pie. While I’m open to new food experiences, I was finding it extremely hard to reconcile pumpkin with dessert. Call me weird!

I couldn’t quite explain the flavor at first. But with each forkful, I started to appreciate the sweetness of the pumpkin mixed with the “zing” of the pie’s spices (cinnamon? cloves? ginger?). I found myself nodding more and more with each forkful. I was getting to know Pumpkin Pie. It wasn’t so so bad after all.

Pumpkin Love

The cold pie topped with whipped cream was perfect with a cup of hot brewed coffee. Yummy! I started to appreciate pumpkin pie more and more, and by the time I realized that I did like it — there wasn’t a morself left on my plate.

My immediate apprehension to associate pumpin with dessert can be likened to my cousin-in-law’s aversion to avocados as dessert. He grew up in the States identifying avocado more as a vegetable, liking it in his sandwiches and salads. But when mixed with milk and sugar, and served over ice? Nah. He tried it once and didn’t like it very much. Avocado ice candy probably grosses him out!

The associations are different for me now. While “pumpkin” still immediately brings a pot of hot-cooked pinakbet to mind, I already can picture pumpkins as dessert too. Thanks to my Aunt for introducing me to it. I just wish so badly that I can find a bakeshop here in Manila that serves good pumpkin pie! (Do you guys have any leads? ;) )

How about you? Do you like Pumpkin Pie? :D Are you serving it for Halloween and Thanksgiving? Tell me about your Pumpkin Pie please! I am suddenly a convert.

Shout-outs come in threes

Shout-out #1:
What’s Your Story? can now be found on http://www.storyfever.com. I’m still re-thinking the layout and fixing up some HTML stuff but the prompts are up and running. To those who’ve left their stories in the old URL, don’t worry, they were migrated properly to this new one. Thanks to Orble for the domain. It’s an exciting, exciting, exciting move.

To those who’ve linked to What’s Your Story?, kindly update its URL. I’d really appreciate it. Thank you, thank you!

Shout-out #2:
Watch Knocked Up. Holy cow, it is so hilarious. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl are perfect for their roles, but Paul Rudd cracked me up a lot too. Watch it, watch it, watch it!

Shout-out #3:
Scrabulous is so friggin’ addicting. And that’s all I have to say.

Smoked Salmon Appetizers

Appetizers Appetizers 2

This is one of the simplest appetizers to make and one of the most delicious! These were prepared by my Aunt and myself. I don’t know which was more fun — exchanging stories with my Aunt while preparing these babies, or consuming each appetizer with much gusto!

Slice a baguette into diagonal pieces. Toast until almost golden brown. Cover each piece with smoked salmon, then smear with a slice of cream cheese, and top with a slice of baby cucumber. You can add a little bit of dill or chives as well for garnishing. Done! Make sure you get several servings out to your guests before you end up eating a whole platter. :)