Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
We had my In Laws yesterday evening for some wagyu steaks we got from Costco. It was a delicious meal we prepared! Zach was in charge of the steaks while I took care of the side dishes. I made mashed potato, green beans, and the ravioli which we got from Trader Joes. I only had a little of the steaks because I wasn’t feeling very good but at least everybody enjoyed it. It’s always a pleasure to have my In laws here at home, relaxing and having great conversations with them. I’m so blessed in the In Law department:) They’re the best!
During this time of year, I really strive to just enjoy the holidays and festivities surrounding us so I try to cook simple food that me and the hubs will enjoy. For the last two Saturdays we’ve been spending our time here at home, watching movies and binging on tv shows. Hubby even suggested that it should be our december tradition from now on, lazy saturdays at home! Not sure about that suggestion:) I’ve shopped 60% of our Christmas gifts and will probably finish shopping this week. I did most of it online. Anyways, my husband had been away for a business trip last week. It was just me and Riley for a while and that gave me an opportunity to prepare some filipino food that I’ve been wanting to eat (my husband finds them OK!) so I prepared Pinakbet (Filipino dish made of mixed vegetable with lots of shrimp paste) and Chili made of ground beef (the hubs prefer chuck of beef).
It’s been a while since I posted a savings post here, but I’ve been couponing and looking for deals here and there though nothing extreme. I still coupon regularly when stuff is on sale so I can stockpile and ship it to my family in the Philippines. I already sent two balikbayan boxes last October and my family got it just this week. I had a coupon hiatus last October after sending stuff back home, but now that new year is coming up I’d like to “replenish” my pantry and stockpile. I will not buy products just because it’s on sale, I have to make sure it’s something we’ll use.I mostly shop at Walgreens and Rite Aid (rarely) if they have a good sale for products that I know my family needs. For produce I go to Fred Meyer(at least once a week),Trader Joes and Costco (at least once a month). I scored Rachael Rays bowls last cyber monday and it was such a steal (from Kohls.com). Happy Savings!
I went to Costco earlier because I was looking for a Christmas gift for my sister (I didn’t find the gift she wanted). I love shopping at Costco because aside from their usual stuff, you can find some seasonal things that are fun and which they most likely will not carry it again. I have to be a conscious buyer though because I have a limited budget and there is just too much great stuff! My favorite area is their meat department, looking at their neatly arranged meat and poultry sections makes me think of all of the endless dishes I can make. I got excited when I saw they had some Wagyu beef today (I only noticed it today,maybe because it’s the Holidays?) so I called my Husband to see if he wanted some Wagyu steaks (I don’t want him shocked if he’ll see our debit card statement!). Knowing my husband he’s always up for steaks and sometimes blind to the price! So he wanted to try both the rib eye and new york steaks, so I got two of each. I also got some lamb chops because I was thinking my husband might like a surprise for dinner (I rarely prepare them). I saw Giada De Laurentii prepare them last week on her show and thought it was pretty easy. This was so simple and quite good! I grilled some eggplant and asparagus to go with the lamb.
Grilled Lamb Chops (Giada De Laurentiis recipe/Foodnetwork.com)
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Pinch cayenne pepper
Coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 lamb chops, about 3/4-inch thick
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, and salt. Pulse until combined. Pour in olive oil and pulse into a paste. Rub the paste on both sides of the lamb chops and let them marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator and allow the chops to come to room temperature; it will take about 20 minutes.
Heat a grill pan over high heat until almost smoking, add the chops and sear for about 2 minutes. Flip the chops over and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare and 3 1/2 minutes for medium.
I made my first Baby Back Ribs dish earlier, and thankfully it turned out good. I was so intimidated to prepare the ribs just because I had never done it before and they always looked so complicated to make. My husband has prepared them a number of times but we hardly make them at home because it can be a long process,(he’s a really busy guy!). He normally smoked and baked/grilled the ribs and will make a home made bbq sauce. I knew there had to be a quicker process than what he’d done before (I know he used Alton Brown’s and Emeril Lagasse recipes). So I checked the internet and this recipe caught my attention (www.steamykitchen.com). I had all of the ingredients at home and it looked really simple. We really like Korean kalbi ribs(my Father In Law makes the best korean short ribs) so I knew we would like this. I baked the ribs for 2 hours but the recipe called for just 90 minutes. It turned out great, and I will definitely make this again in the future.
Korean Kalbi Baby Back Ribs (www.steamykitchen.com)
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 onion, grated
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 stalk green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or white/cider vinegar)
(optional) Using a butter knife to pry it up, separate the membrane from the back of the ribs and discard.
Generously season both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap the ribs in foil, meaty side up and seal completely. Bake for 90 minutes.
To make the Korean Kalbi sauce, mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
After the ribs are cooked, remove from the oven and carefully open up the foil — be careful of the hot steam! Slather 3/4 of the Korean Kalbi sauce on the tops of the ribs. Place the oven rack in the top third of the oven and heat the broiler to high.
Put the ribs back in the oven, foil still open, and broil until the sauce bubbles and carmelizes, about 3-5 minutes. Keep a watch on the ribs – it’s so easy to burn them! Just before serving, pour the remaining Korean Kalbi sauce on top of the ribs.
It’s Christmas time again and that means bringing out all the Christmas decorations and lights, you all. Growing up in the Philippines, my family usually has decorations around late October till January. Here in the U.S there’s still Thanksgiving to celebrate before we can go all out on the Christmas stuff (though some families will have their Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving). We hosted Thanksgiving this year so I had to wait till it was over before I could put out decors. The same fake Christmas tree (my husband wants a real tree next year) and ornaments and some hand me down Poinsettias flowers from my MIL( I try to make use of what we already have in the house). The only new ornament we got this year is the one from Sea World (from our vacation last month) as well as a few Christmas decorations from Target. I plan to buy decorations after Christmas when they will be on sale and get a good deal for next years decorations. I hope you had fun decorating your home as Christmas is just around the corner, always remember the reason why we are celebrating! Jesus Birth!
It’s our tradition here that every “day after thanksgiving/black friday” we go to Seattle with my In laws and spend our afternoon with them. It’s really fun watching all the holiday activities, decorations and tree lighting in downtown Seattle. It sets the holiday mood. My favorite part is always the Pike Place market, the energy of that place is something. We also stopped by at the malls like Nordstroms and Macys. We got there in the afternoon so it wasn’t super crowded and wasn’t too crammed inside the mall ( some parts of the country are nuts! shoppers fighting over stuff). My sweet hubby bought me cashmere sweaters just because he wanted to do something nice:) Cashmere are nice but they are still expensive for me even with the discount. I really didn’t want to buy it because I can just get cheaper sweaters at target, but I think it’s important for me to let my husband do that sometimes because it makes him feel good. Anyways, I’m almost done with my Christmas decorations here at home. I used our old decorations and will probably buy somethings at target (I got a gift card from my Sis and BIL, thanks Chad and Chak!) they do have cute stuff/decorations for the holidays.