Saturday, December 10, 2011

Easy Peasy Christmas Menu

Christmas time is always about parties and family gatherings. I remember my mom, preparing a lot of cold cuts, salad, different kinds of courses, different types of breads, desserts, fruits and the traditional hot chocolate to share for the Christmas eve. I don't have that much talent with cooking and entertaining and in most times, somebody has to push me so I can do some parties at home too. Honestly, I do not have the patience to cut carrots, onions, de-bone stuffs etc etc. So obviously, I'm not the usual domestic diva that I thought I was.

Now, I would like to share my easy peasy christmas menu, it's fast (?), it's easy and it's definitely good but please don't judge me! lol .. as long as my guests enjoy it.. It's all good! 


Spanakopita - is a greek savory pastry. It's made of phyllo pastry, butter or olive oil with spinach, feta cheese filling and seasonings. If you want to make your own, you can click on this  LINK.
Or do what I usually do, buy it frozen and put it in the oven few minutes before the party.

Crackers and Cheese Platter - Have a variety of cheeses, Gouda, Brie, Camembert,  Block cheddar cheese, Block mozzarela cheese cut into small squares. then put some crackers on the side and some fruits arrange them on a plate that should look something like this.

Image courtesy of Jorgy's cafe

Side Dishes

Scalloped Potatoes - again, if you want to make your own, go to this LINK.
But if you want to save some time, you can buy the boxed ones and follow the instructions. It'll be ready in about 20 minutes. I usually buy the ones from Betty Crocker.

Image courtesy of Betty Crocker

Taramosalata - I didn't know about this until I tasted this side dish from a friend's party. She's Greek. You can eat it with a cracker, a bread, or as an accompaniment to Steaks, Roasted chicken or BBQ ribs. Unfortunately, I do not have the recipe but I usually buy this in most Greek store or Greek restaurants, and I put it in a small serving dish to make it more presentable. 

"Taramosalata is a Greek and Turkish meze. It is traditionally made from taramas, the salted and cured roe of the cod or the carp, though blends based on other forms of fish roe, particularly cod, have become more common. The roe is mixed with either bread crumbs or mashed potato, and lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. It is usually eaten as a dip, with bread or raw vegetables. The colour can vary from creamy beige to pink, depending on the type of roe used. Mass-produced taramosalata is often a bright pink due to the addition of food colouring. The alternative spelling 'taramasalata' is sometimes found"  from Wikipedia

Tzatziki - is made of strained yoghurt (which is usually from sheep or goat milk) mixed with garlic. This is another Greek/Turkish appetizer that you usually see along with Souvlakis and Shish Taouk.  I love Tzatziki, even if  my breath usually stinks after eating it (because of the garlic), I still love it! This is available on most Greek stores and restaurants. 

Kopanisti - you might want to add a little spice on your side dishes. Kopanisti is also a Greek side dish which is made up of whipped Feta cheese and red pepper. I'm sure one or two of your guests would like to have something spicy.

Image courtesy of Krinos

By the way... I do not have a Greek or Turkish blood, but I love their food!


How bout try my Creamy Garlic and Herb Shrimp Linguine recipe? I swear, this will be a hit to your guests!

or my Lasagna Recipe

Main Course

I usually have 2 main courses: Roasted Chicken, which I usually order from Baraka BBQ  and Oven Roasted Baby back ribs or side ribs, whichever is on specials, that I prepare the night before.

Oven Roasted Baby back/ Side ribs - After few tries of different BBQ recipes, I finally got the best one that would finally satisfy my taste buds. I got this recipe from Put Pork on Your Fork website.


I usually order at least 2 pies from Rockaberry (Strawberry Shortcake and  Banana split au chocolat and Apple Crumble are three of my personal favorites).  

Image courtesy of Rockaberry

Or if you want to make your own.. 

Try my Leche flan recipe  which is always a hit to everybody.

and my Oreo cheesecake recipe

So you know what, whether it's a frozen meal, or a store bought food, or you prepared everything out of scratch, when you put them on the table, it will not matter anymore. What would matter the most is that there's something on the table that you can share with each other at this special time of the year.

BBQ Pork Ribs Recipe

I just want to share one of the best rib recipe that I got from the net. I lifted the recipe from Put Pork on your Fork website. To whoever you are, thank you for sharing this recipe! This has been a huge hit to my family.

Preparation: On the concave surface of all ribs is a thin, translucent membrane. This membrane is tough and will prevent any flavouring to get to the rib meat, and so should be removed.

To remove membrane: Insert a metal spoon handle under the membrane at one end of the rib rack and detach a corner. Then grab the detached flap and gently tear it away from the ribs. It should come off in one clean pull.

DO NOT BOIL your Pork Ribs: this has been the accepted method for generations, but there is a better way! If using a dry rub, apply to the ribs. One back rib rack will need about one tablespoon (15 mL) of rub, a side rib rack will need two tablespoons (30 mL). In a cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan, add about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) of water. 

Add a few slices of lemon or orange to the pan. Place the ribs, meaty side up, on the pan in a single layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven at 325°F (160°C).

Back Ribs: Cook for between 1 and 1 and a half hours, or until meat is easily pierced with a metal skewer.

Side Ribs: Cook for between 1 and a half and 2 hours, or until meat is easily pierced with a metal skewer.

Tip: At this stage the ribs can be cooled and refrigerated for up to three days.

To Finish Cooking: Ribs can be finished on the BBQ (grilled) or in the oven. To finish in the oven, remove foil and turn oven up to broil, brush ribs with your favourite BBQ sauce and broil for about 3 minutes (if ribs are hot) or until sizzling and golden. Turn ribs over and repeat with BBQ sauce and broil again. For the ultimate ribs, repeat brushing sauce and broiling or BBQing on each side. Watch carefully when broiling, so that they do not burn.

Tip: Cooking times can be reduced by adding HOT liquid to baking tray.

Tip: Line the cookie sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper if you are going to finish the ribs in the oven (under the broiler).

Tip: Cooking times will vary depending on how many rib racks are being cooked at once; more ribs means a longer cooking time.

*** I used to marinate my pork ribs for 24 hours or boil it for 2 hours before broiling it in the oven, but it was never that good until I actually try this recipe. Anyway for the sauce, I prefer Bull's Eye Bold and Original. Enjoy! ***

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Freebie Wednesday!

I just want to share this downloadable loots (Quick pages, Papers and Elements) courtesy of My Memories Suite. Just click on the image/link above! An early Christmas gift to all digiscrappers! 

And there's more, please feel free to use my promo code STMMMS92823  to avail of the $10 off your purchase of MyMemoriesSuite Digital Scrapbook Software and a $10 off your purchase of kits, embellishments, or anything else in My Memories Suite online store (about $20 off).


Friday, December 2, 2011

Virgin Diaries???

Virgin Diaries featured couple
Nowadays, we live in a world where pre marital sex is considered to be the norm. You'll see kids as young as 15 have sex like there's no tomorrow. It's sick, but they're proud of it?! Sometimes I wonder if the parents are even concerned about this. These people are so pre- occupied with their emotions that they fail to see the consequences. It's sad to know that our kids are bound to have this destiny, but we have to accept it! If you've been following my posts for quite a while now, I think by this time you knew that I'm in love with Reality Shows! My ultimate dream is actually to produce one, and I'm not kidding! So last Sunday, while I was watching the Sister Wives (another reality show), I saw the preview for the next soon to be most talked about TLC show the Virgin Diaries. It's a show that tackles on people in their late 20s and 30s who choose to wait and save themselves for marriage. Since the sneak peak preview has been shown, the show has drawn so much attention especially with the most awaited first kiss of the featured couple... they didn't even kiss until they finally said their I Dos..
I'm sorry but with that kiss? It's really hard not to look away!
I've got to admit that it is really comforting to know that there are still some out there who are celebrating their celibacy. I'm just not too crazy about the kiss... Virgin Diaries premieres on TLC Sunday, December 4 at 9PM ET/PT.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How to Deal with Difficult People in Your Workplace?

I just want to share an article that I wrote for Triond. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to this. Enjoy!

we have a winner!!!

Congratulations to Laarni of  Jaggedbarn! She won the Digital Scrapbooking giveaway ($40 value). Please email me at to get the info you need to claim your prize!Enjoy and Congratulations!!!!

Special thanks to  MyMemories Suite for sponsoring the giveaway!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Toopy and Binoo Obsession

My 6 year old son is still obsessed with Toopy and Binoo. Honestly, I still cannot find anything great about them but my son loves them to pieces.

Toopy and Binoo toys? yup, here's one..

We bought the same thing in Walmart because we want him to be more involved in board games than electronic games.

He even requested to have Toopy and Binoo cupcakes for his birthday. These are my two choices... (the images were linked to the originals)

Two years ago, we went to see Toopy and Binoo in Ottawa. It was a pretty long 2 hours drive, but it was all worth it. And just now, I found out that they are coming here in Montreal! How cool was that?

The event will take place on February 24 to February 25, 2012 in Théâtre St-Denis, Montreal. Tickets are available in TICKETPRO.

So there will be another great time with Toopy and Binoo soon!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday freebie! ($4 value)

As always, the best things in life are free! Take advantage of the Black Friday Freebie that MyMemories Suite is giving away. Just click on the image below to download it!

This vintage style kit comes with 10 papers, 23 page embellishments and a monogram set of 84 characters.


Feel free to check out the other kits available in the website and use my code:  STMMMS92823  (note: case sensitive) to avail of the $10 off. 

The best things in life are free!

First of all, I would like to wish all my US friends a Happy Thanksgiving Day! As a Thanksgiving gift,  MyMemories Suite is giving away free kits to use to preserve and share those memories. Just click on the image below to download.

To purchase the Software or anything in the MyMemories Suite you are more than welcome to use my code:  STMMMS92823  (note: case sensitive) to avail of the $10 off.

Now, you can update your profile pictures in facebook in the most creative way!

Another freebie? The MyMemories Digital Scrapbooking Software giveaway ($40 value) is still ongoing. Please click HERE to join. Deadline of submission of entries on November 26,2011 at 8pm Eastern Time! Winner will be notified. Thank you!

Again, to all my US friends, have a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the Turkey! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What not to give! The Tacky gifts

Are you a tacky gift giver, or just being funny? I'm sure one of you out there are itching to give one of these to the people on your Christmas list! 

1. Coffee Mugs

       Coffee mugs are best given as a corporate giveaway never as a gift. Unless you'll end up getting a fancy coffee mug (see: COFFEE MUGS CAN BE GREAT GIFTS TOO) that would fit this someone special's personality, stay away from it as much as possible.

2. Cash 

Elaine exclaimed “Cash? You got me cash? Who are you my uncle?”
This was a quote from an episode of Seinfeld when Jerry gave Elaine a cash for her birthday. Jerry was so pleased with his gift, Elaine was not.

I'm not a fan of receiving cash as gifts, unless probably it was my wedding that I would appreciate any help that I could get. But for Christmas or Birthdays, most people including me, would appreciate getting something that we know that the giver really exerted an effort finding me a gift. That alone would make them feel special.

Instead:  If you have no idea of what to give him/her, how about a gift card on his/her favorite store. It will be more appreciated.

3. A Regifted Pen engraved with initials... that is not mine

    One rule in Regifting: Take out all evidences that the item was regifted! If you can't take it out, please don't regift it!

4. Coupons 

       A friend of mine once told me that she received a Mc Donalds coupon for her wedding. It was nice to share these blessings but please not for a wedding!

Instead : If you're an advocate of Mc Donalds, a Mc D's gift card will be very much appreciated.

5. An Over sized Lingerie

      Women are naturally very sensitive when it comes to weight issues. So receiving an over sized lingerie is like a slap in a face. That's how bad it is. So if you're not really sure of what size she is, stay away from the lingerie section as much as possible!

6. A Denture Cleaner

     It's very nice that you're concerned of your recipient's overall health. But have you realized that giving this would mean that it's like you telling him/her that his/her dentures are dirty.

So this Christmas, please make sure that these things are not included in your shopping list. Or you'll end up in the worst gift giver list!

** Giveaway is still ongoing, Join HERE **

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What not to give! Wackiest gifts

It's holiday season once again. The spirit of giving is right up in the air. Some people would go far and buy the wackiest and most memorable gift that they can find. On buying wacky gifts, you have to think twice if the recipient will totally get your humor or you'll never talk to him/her again. That's the fact.. some would see it funny and some would find it offensive.  So just in time for the celebration, I would like to share my ideas of...

What not to give! The Wackiest gifts

The Breast feeder - this could be a good gift to new parents. It's actually kinda thoughtful for the new mom to alleviate her from breastfeeding all night long. But I cannot imagine myself receiving this and forcing my husband to wear it in public. Instead, save your money and buy a nice set of feeding bottles. At least you're sure that it will be used in the future.  Note: If you don't like the new dad that much, give it! sure! 

The Splash free head cover - I'm just wondering.. people really buy this? Well, it's okay if you're trying to convince the world that you are a flower. But I'd rather have my hair splatted with soup than wear this. I think there was a reason why scrunchies and paper towels were invented. I think.. I'm just throwing it out there..

The Tissue holder - who needs a purse if you can put everything in your head..

 The Eye dropper funnel - You have to admit it, the idea was pretty clever.

Pillows for the lonely - I don't know the reason behind this invention. It's pretty thoughful yet borderline creepy. or is it just me?

Nope.... it's soap! Yes, that's the name. It looks yucky but it smells like coffee! I don't think the recipient will appreciate taking a bath with a poop like soap. no... 

Nose shower gel dispenser - Funny? yes. Cute? no.


True enough that it's the thought that counts, but in the little part of my world.. I believe what counts the most is the love that you put when you give gifts.

The great art of giving consists in this: the gift should cost very little and yet be greatly coveted, so that it may be the more highly appreciated.
Baltasar Gracian
Next Post: What not to give? TACKIEST GIFTS

** Digital Scrapbook Software giveaway is still ongoing please click HERE to join**

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Contest is Closed **A Digital Scrapbooking Software Giveaway! ($40 value) **

Aside from blogging, one of my stress relievers is digital scrapbooking. My colleagues call these hobbies a little geekish, but who cares! What works for one may not work for the other. I'm just glad that it worked for me.

Your pictures are just pictures until you put a slight touch of creativity. Your pictures must tell a story, and that's where Digital Scrapbooking comes in.  I've been a photoshop user for quite a while now, but mind you, when I was starting, I have encountered a tremendous learning curve with the program. And I'm still not that good at it until now.

Then I've learned about this Digital Scrapbooking Software called My Memories. My Memories Suite software is rated  #1 on Amazon and TopTenReviews. I've tried it myself and I find it really easy to use.

Special features are:
- easy Drag and Drop feature
- easy click to export your creative work into a JPEG form
- It comes with a collection of great embellishments 
- the multimedia output which enables you to have your work Ipod ready, turn your work into a movie, or make an interactive album

My sample works? Check these out!

50th birthday invitation

And look how I turned my blog posts into printable pages! Talk about preserving memories..

 Please click to view original post The Epitome of Beauty and Brains

Please click to view original post Leche Flan 

Please click original post to view Pinwheel Sandwiches

Please click in the link to see original post Apple picking

After discovering this, I would like to share my promo code with you guys. This promo code will entitle you to a $10 off the purchase of My Memories Suite Software and a $10 coupon for the My Memories store... a $20 value! So feel free to use my promo code to avail of this great discount.

Please copy and paste this promo code on checkout: STMMMS92823  (note: case sensitive)


To make the deal even more sweeter, I will be giving away one My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software (a $40 value). It can be yours for free!! The giveaway is open internationally. As much as I want everyone to have it, I can only give one.

Now, the winner will be chosen by the most number of points.

How to join: 

Click on this My Memories link the Digital Scrapbooking kit then leave me a comment by clicking on this comment link   COMMENT  and tell me which kit did you like best. (You can send as many entries as you want. 3 points per comment)

For extra points:  Please let me know if you've done these by posting a comment here -- > COMMENT or send me an email at You have to let me know or your entries will not be counted. (edited)

Follow my blog with Google Friend Connect (1 point)

"Like" My Memories Suite on Facebook (1 point)

Follow My Memories Suite blog (1 point)

Blog about this giveaway, be sure to provide a back  link  (2 points)

Share this giveaway in your Facebook  and be sure to provide a back link (2 points) 

Please be sure to include your email address on your comment.

All entries must be in by 8:00PM Eastern Time November 26, 2011.  I will be announcing the winner in this blog and of course, he or she will be notified by email. 

Contest is Closed

Good luck!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Creamy Garlic and Herb Shrimp Linguine .. with a twist!

Truth be told, I am not a good cook. I can make meals, but I, definitely, could not and would not do gourmet meals. For me, it takes a lot of time and energy to cook. I, sincerely, tip my hat to the people who enjoy cooking, just because they enjoy cooking. That's why you cannot describe the excitement that I have if I was able to cook a decent meal that my boys will actually enjoy. Obviously, ME.. being able to cook a decent meal doesn't happen very often.

So last weekend, I tried a recipe that I got from Kraft Canada. The recipe is called Creamy Garlic and Herb Shrimp Linguine. Here's the recipe..

the ingredients: 

220 g linguine, uncooked
2 cups fresh sugar snap peas 
3 Tbsp. Kraft Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tuscan Italian Dressing 
1 lb. (450 g) frozen uncooked deveined peeled large shrimp, thawed
1/2 cup (1/2 of 250-g tub) Philadelphia Herb & Garlic Cream Cheese Spread
2/3 cup 25%-less-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. Kraft 100% Parmesan Grated Cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

how to cook it:
Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding peas to the boiling water for the last 2 min.
Meanwhile, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook 3 to 4 min. or until shrimp turn pink, stirring frequently. Transfer to bowl; cover to keep warm.
Add cream cheese spread and broth to skillet; cook and stir on medium heat 4 min. or until cream cheese is melted and sauce is thickened. (Do not let sauce come to boil.)

Drain pasta mixture. Add to sauce with shrimp mixture; mix well. Top with Parmesan and parsley.

My own twist:  

- I actually used fettuccine noodles because I, personally, prefer Fettuccine over Linguine. 
 - You can use any Extra Virgin Olive Oil, if you don't have a Kraft  Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tuscan Italian Dressing.
- I actually skipped the fresh sugar snap peas since I didn't have it at hand at that time.
- I added Scallops and Pre-cooked Mussels to turn it into Creamy Garlic and Herb Seafood Pasta.

The result..

See... that was easy!
I didn't follow the recipe as stated but it turned out to be good if not, better!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pregnant in Heels!

Gone are the days that women were locked to wearing flats when pregnant. I remember myself wearing those horrendous chunky flat  shoes when I was pregnant because that time I've been advised not to wear high heels. I would like to stress it out that I was advised for a reason. I gained a humongous amount of weight, that I could pass for a Sumo wrestler. I'm not kidding! I believe that a sumo wrestler in a sexy stiletto is not a lovely sight. 

But have you ever thought? What is with the high heels that women push themselves to the extreme and really find it hard to give these up even when they're pregnant?

1. High heels shoes keep your legs appear longer.
2. It improves ones posture.
3. A lot of women wear it because they're comfortable with it.
4. It makes women feel sexy and confident.

I think #4 sums it all up. That's exactly the magic that these gorgeous shoes make women feel even when they're pregnant.

Celebrities who are/were pregnant in heels

Beyonce in her 5th month pregnancy

Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham wearing these Louboutins on her 7th month of pregnancy.

Jennifer Lopez pregnant with twins!! 

Kate Hudson on her third trimester

Heidi Klum

Jessica Alba on her 7th month of pregnancy
But is it really safe to wear when you're at the peak of your pregnancy?
as per Jennifer Shu of Babycenter 
        "Wearing high heels (even wide-based, clunky ones) is not a good idea during pregnancy. That's because your weight increases and your body shape and center of gravity change, making you walk differently (and less steadily). A fall during pregnancy could hurt you and possibly your baby, so think twice before adding height to your growing girth "
 So you, would you go for Style over Safety or Safety over Style... I'd go with the latter...

The title of this post was taken from the hit show Pregnant in Heels

"Pregnant in Heels is a reality show following Rosie Pope, a maternity clothing designer and host of the show, as she helps moms to be living in the upscale New York on their pregnancy and motherhood. No, the show doesn't focus on how to wear heels when you're pregnant (maybe on some episodes? I'm not sure) but mainly, on how to survive pregnancy and motherhood while staying chic and fabulous!"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Epitome of Beauty and Brains

In this world where vanity takes its toll, we, somehow, have to take a step back and re-evaluate ourselves.

The world is just not about having a gorgeous body or who has the fewer wrinkles.. botox anyone?

These girls strengthen the fact that it's not really enough to be just a DROP DEAD GORGEOUS GAL.. 

The Epitome of  Beauty and Brains

Danica McKellar
The girl- next- door Winnie Cooper in the Wonder Years. She earned her degree in Mathematics in UCLA. She graduated as Summa Cum Laude. She is the author of the best selling books Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail, Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss, Hot X: Algebra Exposed! a true Math Genius!

Natalie Portman
She played as Queen Amidala in the star wars, and a ballerina in the Black Swan where she won her an Oscar award for best actress. Amazingly, she was able to balance her acting career and get an education. She completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in Harvard University. She took graduate courses in Hebrew University of Jerrusalem in 2004.

Jodie Foster
 We remembered her for her Oscar award winning role as Clarice Starling in the american thriller film the Silence of the Lambs. She earned her degree in literature as Magna Cum Laude in Yale University.  

Mira Sorvino 
 We loved her for her role as Romy in Romy and Michelle's high school reunion. But she is well known for her academy award winning performance in Mighty Aphrodite. She is a magna cum laude
graduate with a degree in East Asian Studies in Harvard University.

Kristin Chenoweth
I loved her role as Olive Snook in Pushing Daisies where she won an Emmy award. She also won a Tony award for her role in the musical Wicked. She is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with  a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in musical theater and a master's in opera performance.

Ashley Judd
Our dear Norma Jean.. but I remember her more for her role in Someone Like You.  She has a bachelor's degree in French from the University of Kentucky and subsequently earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2010. 
She is currently active in different humanitarian and political causes. She is a supporter of different charities and foundations such as Children's Medical Research Institute, Defenders of Wildlife, and YouthAIDS to name a few. 

Just remember being pretty is hot.. but being smart is hotter! Have a great weekend!