Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A VERY Feliz Navidad!!!

Hola Bloggies!

I've been MIA for a while now but with very good reason. I have been in the Toronto casa enjoying time with my family, catching up with my favourite places, wedding dress shopping, and playing tour guide to the Fiance. It's been a wonderful time!!!

In the middle of all that cavorting we still found time to celebrate Christmas with the familia. In our Hispanic tradition we do the whole Christmas thing on the 24th.

My mother always does a wonderful job of decking the halls! There's nothing like familiar Christmas decorations to make you feel at home!


I'm probably biased but I happen to think that the pictures don't do the decorations justice. Must be the glow of childhood getting in my eyes! lol :oP

Now don't fret - there were presents a plenty under the Christmas tree. Daisy seemed more than a little intrigued by the shiny packages.

Even the stockings were bursting full of goodies! There was even one for Daisy full of special Christmas treats, bully sticks, and a biodegradable bag holder for her leash! She also ended up getting a Santa hat (which he shook right off) and a totally souped up Harry Barker pet bed in medium. Why I bought my small dog a medium sized beg I'll never know! lol Not bad for puppy's first Christmas!!


Not to be forgotten is the absolutely wonderful feast we had for Christmas dinner! My parents prepared a fantastic meal for us to gather around and enjoy!

Rather than roast the turkey my parents smoke it in a massive clay oven contraption (called a Kamado). Honestly, there is no better way to eat a turkey. It ends up insanely moist and super tasty. I'm not really a meat/chicken/pork eater anymore but I still love this turkey!!

This rice has been a favourite of mine since childhood! I love it something fierce!!! And yes that's American Cheese on top. Nothing uber refined. Just good old down home cooking. :o) Besides, the rice goes well with the salsa . . .

lol - That's right! Being Hispanic we eat salsa with our turkey. No gravy for us! This particularly salsa is made the way it's cooked back in El Salvador. It has a tomato base but also a ton of spices and flavourings including ancho chile, guajillo chile, bay leaves, thyme, cumin, pepper, capers, olives, onions, green onions, garlic, and celery. WHEW! That's a lot of ingredients!! Don't worry - we blend everything together and it's absolutely delicious.


And here are the eats on my plate!! Oh dear Lord - I'm getting hungry just writing this entry!!! lol

For dessert we had homemade creme brulee  prepped table side! :oP lol

Top it all off with a glass of home made eggnog and you have absolute Christmas perfection!

In all seriousness though - the eats were plentiful, the presents wonderful and the house beautifully decorated. BUT the most wonderful thing of all was getting to share Christmas with those I love most. Usually I'm either with the Fiance or with my family but never the two combined. This year I got to share Christmas with all my favourite people and my puppy too! And for that I truly am blessed.

And so I'm grateful to God for the gift of Christmas, the Fiance with whom I share my life, the puppy of my dreams, and parents I love more than anything. Most of all I will always be grateful for our first Christmas together!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Homeward Bound

Hola peeps!

It's been a while since we last talked. Mind you my blog reader tells me I'm not the only one neglecting their blog around these parts.

For the most part I spent the last week on a business trip in the Rockies. When I booked my hotel I enquired about wi-fi and brought my laptop to blog. But the signal was so bad I couldn't even get a page to load. Hence the silence on the blogging front.

The short of it is that there have been some yummy eats . . .

And my puppy has gone from looking cutely shaggy . . .

To slightly more well kept . . .

I also had some blood work done and the Doctor says I need to eat something other than seafood once in a while, relax loads more, work less, exercise more, and eat more salt. But that's a story for another day!

Today all three of us traveled to Calgary in preparation for our flight to the Toronto casa tomorrow (yaaaay!!!). We gave ourselves a day long buffer in case of mountain delays. Good thing we did too because we spent hours stuck on a mountain pass.

At first I thought maybe there had been an avalanche up ahead but it turned out the bad road conditions caused a head on collision.

Massive mountain vehicles to the rescue. This one had a huge metal bar thing added to the front. A lot of people use them out here - they're supposed to help in case of case of a crash and in this case it prolly saved the life of the people inside.

Crashes in the mountains are always a scary thing. And all the reminder I need to drive to the conditions.

Thankfully once we passed the crash the weather improved and the roads did too! It was smooth sailing all the way to the Westin - where I'm following the Doctor's orders! :o)

See you soon peeps! Safe travels!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby it's Cold Outside!

Hey there peeps!

Look who went totally AWOL for the weekend and Monday. What can I say - it's getting to be that super busy but oh so fun time of year! :o) There's lots of running around, gift buying, gift wrapping, baking, cavorting and merry-making to be had!! And in less than two weeks I'll be back in Toronto celebrating Christmas with mi familia!

Love it!!!

So let's check out what I was up to this weekend . . . . :o)

Cans4Comments - the Donation

This was pretty well priority numero uno this weekend. As soon as Saturday rolled around I tallied my Cans4Comments . . . you peeps commented 39 times in the time period!!! YAAAAAAAYYY!!! 39 cans to feed the hungry homeless.

The fiance and I headed off to the grocery store armed with money for the cans and a camera to document it all! lol When we got there we headed to the bulk can area and chose items we thought would be filling and yummy. We ended up buying cream of mushroom, cream of tomato, and veggie soups, plus a bunch of baked beans. Given the way the cans were packaged we ended up donating 45 cans! :o)

By the time we were finished taking pictures with our cans there were more than a few security guys stalking our aisle. I think it looked like we were stealing. Or were overall sketchy. You know - 'cause all thieves take pictures before they walk off with their shoplifted goodies. lol :oP

I have to say, donating those cans felt GREAT!!!! Thank-you everyone for participating. And thank-you Chris+Lynn (my brilliant wedding photographers) for cooking up the idea in the first place. Here's hoping next year is even bigger!

Get Your Move On - A Fit of Lunacy

While chilling on Sunday I happened to look outside and realized it was a ridiculously clear and beautiful day. Of course I somehow managed to forget that it was ridiculously clear 'cause it was -21C (-6F). Brrrrrr!!!! In a total fit of lunacy I suggested we take a hike in that weather. Silly moi! :oP So off we went. I bundled up in furry boots, ski jacket, ski gloves, and a toque. It wasn't the cutest look but I was warm (or something like warm). We headed to a local trail that leads up a small mountain and straight to a scenic overview of the Rockies.

Since it was so cold, Daisy had to wear her sweater.

She usually fights us when we try to put it on but once she gets outside she's happy to have it on. The poor puppy would probably freeze without it!!!

Oh what's that - you can't see her face? Here she is!

Look! It's a cute puppy and yours truly (bundled up in about 20lbs of layers). I think her sweater matches my toque. We're cute like that! :oP

The hike offered some beautiful Rocky Mountain views. This place may not have great restaurants (huge understatement) or great shopping (even bigger understatement) but it has spectacular mountain views!


For most of the hike, Daisy got to hang out off leash. She loved it!!! Of course I threw the leash back on her when the eagles started circling. If need be I was going to fight them for my puppy.

Thankfully we made it down off the hike with our puppy still in tow (no "Oregon Trail" type incidents here :oP) and only moderately frost bitten. No joke - we couldn't feel our chins by the end of the hike. Next time I'll bring a scarf . . . or wait for Spring! lol

The Eats - Nom nom nom!

The Chic Life suggested that food bloggers participate in the Holiday Cookie Challenge 2009. The idea is that for every weekend in December you bake cookies. And then you give them away - an awesome way to spread the cheer!

For my first cookie recipe I made a wonderful Martha Stewart recipe - using my massive Martha Baking book gifted to me by my mom! :o)



They turned out FABULOUS!!! Perfectly spicy and chewy with just the right amount of sweetness. Thank God I was giving them away because I would have devoured them all - Cookie Monster style! :oP

Since I was already baking I decided to keep on going and made some cranberry pound cakes.

I've been making this recipe for years and it never fails. It's a total standby that freezes beautifully and seems to make everyone go "Nom nom nom!" LOL

Given that it was SO cold outside I also downed some noodle soups this weekend. Honestly, I don't know how I'd make it through the winter without them. Homemade pho is the way to go!

In fact I think I'll hook myself up with some more pho at lunch today! Have you ever had pho? It's a meal in a bowl - fresh tasting, filling, but not overly heavy! Highly recommend it!

A Shout Out - BQ Baby!!!!

Now you're all caught up on my weekend which means I should head off to work. But I didn't want to end things without telling you about my girl Aron.

Aron blogs over at Runner's Rambles. In the last couple of years she managed to turn herself into a marathoner. And a REALLY good one at that!!! So good, this past weekend she got her BQ!!!! Which means she qualified to run the Boston Marathon!!! YAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

She's worked really hard for this and I know how much it means to her. Congrats Aron!!!! :o)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Foto Friday (and a Cans4Comments Update)

Today's Foto Friday picture is brought to you courtesy of THE biggest hamburger I have ever encountered!! lol Yes that monstrosity and I made each others acquaintances on the banks of the canals running through Copenhagen.

Truth is the meat part wasn't absolutely massive but it was so loaded down with so many other eats!!! It was seriously delicious too! :oP lol And for Scandinavian standards VERY reasonable. Given that I was in the land of $30 microwavable meals I wasn't about to turn down this well priced beauty. lol And I'm not ashamed!

Cans4Comments Updates

Thanks to your comments the Cans4Comments tally is now up to 31 33!!!!!!!!! Yaaaaayy!!!!!!!!!!!! :o)

Remember, today is the last day to make comments that count towards can donations to my local food bank. Please keep them coming as I'd love to donate even more!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Imminent Frostbite

Hola Amigos!!!

It is FREEZING up here in my corner of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Brrrr!!!!! In fact it's so cold this entry could have very well started "Well hello Danica, I was freezing this morning when it was -16 degrees here in Canada . . ." :oP

Ahahah - you'll have to read Chic Runner's post (and her awesome giveaway) to understand the reference. But seriously it's frigid. And it actually is -16. It seems were in for a cold snap for a week. I much preferred the unseasonably warm weather we had until recently. And by unseasonably warm I meant 0 degrees. lol Yeah I have different standards of what's cold (at least compared to all of you California and Florida bloggers).

Instead of dwelling on the fact that my fingers feel like they're going to fall off (mental note - buy new gloves) I've decided to remember some of my favourite warm moments of this past summer. A flight of fancy if you will! :o)

Cue the warm summer pictures.

Taken by yours truly in June while visiting Tulum. A beach so stunning it's basically the beach of my dreams! everyone's dreams!!!

Le sigh. Days so hot they called for a bbq on the deck while wearing pimpin' new sunglasses.

In Merida. At the risk of being a little gross, I'm pretty sure that's not just water in my hair! lol :oP

Hanging out on a patio in Yoho National Park. Because even in the Rockies it can get blistering hot. And stunningly beautiful to boot!

Poolside at our wedding resort San Jose del Cabo. What a life!

And rocking the cocoon lounger at the same resort. Plus a tan and bikini. Awesome.

Okay I think I feel warmer now! :oP Time to head off to work. Enjoy your day bloggies and remember all current comments help contribute to Cans4Comments!!

Hasta Luego!