Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Dinner At Home

For years, we have spent our Christmas dinner at friend's or relatives.  This year I decided to have our families and friends gathering at our house.  I do not have much experiences baking a turkey or making meal for a big party.  I was a little nervous but with well planning, the dinner turned out well that night.

This 13 pounds turkey was marinated with sea salt, black pepper and five spices the night before.  I massaged in some butter, soy sauce, sesame oil with some chopped thyme and rosemary an hour before I put the bird into an 350F degree oven.  Aftr three and half hour of baking, the turkey not only was fully cooked but also flavorful.

Stove top stuffing with onion, celery, and carrots.  I should have added more chicken soup to make it more moist.

Green onion baked with fried onion

Stir fry corn with onion

Vegetable Christmas Tree

By unrolling the Pillsbury pie dough, I made this apple pie for the first time, serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Our friend brought this sweet and fresh fruit basket from Edible.  I love the gingerbread man.  It actually was pineapple covered with semi sweet chocolate.

Friend also brought some appetitzers and focaccia.  The spiral ham was from Costco and everyone said it was really good.   Everyone love the way we have our dinner set up as buffet style.  I am happy to find that after all the cooking, I wasn't even tired and everyone really enjoy the party on that evening.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blackhawk Fall Course

Life has been hectic ever since we moved to San Ramon.  The Golf season started in the mid of August.  My little daughter was able to join the school girl golf team and has been busy going to practices and tournaments ever since.  I, of course, was busy taking her to different site of golf courses.  The golf season ended two weeks ago and I finally can relax and start blogging again.

The Blackhawk Fall course in Danville was the one my daughter and their team mates practiced most often at. It was the most beautiful golf course I have ever seen.  It's located inside the country club and it's not open to the public. We were fortunate to be able to get in only because of the team's practices.  The golf course itself is basically surrounding the front or backyard of the beautiful homes there. The scenic drive was just breath taken once we enter the gate of the country club.

Unfotunately, I have mistakenly deleted the folder that contains many of the photos I took in the last few months of the new area I visited.  These are a few pictures I was able to recover from my daughter.  I hope they will be practiced at the same golf course next year so that I can take more pictures to share with you all.

This is the song the coaches picked to include in the golf DVD for the team member.  It represented the team has shared their amazing supports for each other and how close they were to each other during the season.  I am grateful that the friendship from the team member has given my daughter a nice beginning in the new school and that we are all  enjoy living in the new area.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Secret of Making A Tender Pork Loin

I learned this from watching a cooking show yesterday. What prompted me to try and make it immdiately was the chef 's simple way of of making a tender pork loin.   I was really excited to see it because it is hard for me to figure out how not to get a  dried pork loin.  According to the chef, the pan has to be heated on high first, then turn down to medium heat after the pork loin is added.  Then let it cooks for 2 minutes and turn over to the other side for another 2 minutes.  I didn't have pork chops at home so I tested out by slicing the pork loin I have from the refrigerator.  I am happy to say the pork was really tender and delicious.


4 pork loins
4 cloves garlic,minced
Salt and pepper
2 TSP honey


  1. Wash pork loins and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Heat pan on high, then add oil.
  3. Place pork loin in and turn to medium heat.
  4. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top, let them cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Turn pork loin and sprinkle a little sat and pepper, now add minced garlic around the pork.
  6. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes.
  7. Brush honey on top and turn over the pork loin and brush honey on the other side.
  8. When both side of pork turn golden brown, take them out immediately because honey brown and burn easily.

This only take 5 minutes to make. You can stop here and serve this over rice, with some soup or sauteed veggies.  The following side dishes were part of the meal that the chef made during the show.

Side dish 1(make sure you eat this with pork loin):

Mix breadcrum with peperino cheese and mince garlic.
Place on a dried pan and stir on  low heat for few minutes until lightly brown.

Side dish 2:
Sautee garlic and add baby spinach for 2 minutes.

Place spinach on plate first, then layer pork loins on top, breadcrumb and spinach on the side for visual effect.


When pork is cooked, the flesh turns white, if you see pink, put them back in the pan,cover and cook in low heat forr 1 or 2 minutes until done.
Substitute any fresh cheese you have on hand. I used fresh shredded mozzerella cheese.
Substitute any fresh vegetable you like, carrots, green beans,etc.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

San Ramon, California

It is excited to move to a new city.   San Ramon is predominantly urban and residential.   The houses are mainly built on rolling hills.  I was not used to driving on those roads in the first month but now I quite enjoy the scenery drive everyday when I have to drive down the hills for errands.  The weather here is really warm and dry.  It was still at Farenheit 90 degree at seven o'clock in the evening everyday until two days ago.  We suddenly experience a 20 degree drop due to storm and rain.   The area filled with fresh air after the rain and it is chilly today.

The city of San Ramon is well sorrounded with trails and parks. Every morning I would take different trails to explore our neighborhood.   This one here is my favorite trail to walk on now.

I enjoy the view while walking downhill on this trail

Minute across a major busy street.,  a trail leads to this unexpected beautiful scenery.  All I can hear was just the bird's chirping and the wind blowing.

This is what I came to see every morning.  Breath taking scene without hiking up the hill at all.

There are some beautiful  front porches that I must take pictures of in the adjacent townhouses.  Even though these are small front porches, but the details of the decoration just make you think what does the interior look like behind those doors.

 Love the shelf with the plant on

I like the way the Flower pots were hanging in 3- tieres.

Me-Time: Imagine sitting on this lounge chair with a book for a quiet alone time.

Cute idea: Mickey and his friends keep you company while you relax , that gives you a happy feeling.

There are more porches I like, but couldn't fit too many pictures here.  Overall, San Ramon is so beautiful and I am glad I finally get to  move here.  There will be more later to share with you with the new places I have explored.  Stay tune...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Open House

This summer was really busy for me.   We have decided to sell our house in  Fremont where we have lived for over 28 years and start a new life in another city.   We held our open house in early April and sold the house in a week which was insanely fast in this terrible economy.  We moved into a two-bedroom apartment in Fremont soon after that.  House hunting was another story - I will blog about that later. 

Thanks for all of your messages throughout the months I was absent from the blogging world.  I am still unpacking some of the boxes but thought I should start posting and unloading the tons of pictures I took over the past few months.  These pictures were taken when we had our open house.

Breakfast Nook

Family Room

Dining Room

Living Room

Mater Bedroom

Master Bathroom

View from family room and breakfast nook


Friday, May 6, 2011

High Fashion at Barney's New York

We stopped by the Barney's New York at the Carlsbad Premium Outlet Mall while visiting San Diego area.  I have always loved to look at the high fashion at this store.  There were a few pieces I found very interesting this time and thought to share them here for fun.

The black straps on this dress was what attracted me.

I love the combination of this outfit.  The gray print scarf with a chiffon dress.  Very light and airy, plus...
laces on the back, what a surprise.

This is elegant.  Beige and black, love the flowy design of the dress.
Here comes the shoes department.  If you have nice legs, imagine wearing these with shorts and layer with a longer jacket outside, so chic.  This is one pair I love to own.

Suede Booties, the chunky heel is actually not chunky.  It's tappered downward but gives a chunky look.

What's unique about this is it deliberately showed the buckles and zipper.  The stilletoes just make it more faminine.  Very nice combinaton.

I like the little details that were placed on this.  See the silver strap at the ankle?

Clutch is everywhere these days.  The silver accents added a little nice touch on this grayish leather clutch.

Metallic gold and ruffle leather clutch

Now, this is really unique.  This wrap is leather weaved with silver beads. 

Doesn't this look like a curtain?  I only like the color combination.

Shall we go see something else, where am I?

This pink hat is really nice on me but the pink is ..... too pink.

Perfect for this spring - stripes.  I like the pattern on pattern design.

It's too bad that I didn't have time to check out the jewelry section.  I should do that next I go to Barney's New York again.

Barney's New York
5620 Paseo Del Norte
Carlsbad, CA 92088

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Humprey La Jolla at Sheraton Hotel, La Jolla

During spring break, we visited San Diego again. This time we stayed at the Sheraton Hotel in La Jolla

A beautiful hotel to stay in at a special rate of $110 for that night.  We were also told the hotel restaurant is offering 50% off the entrees from the menu that night only.  We were estactic to hear that and went there for dinner.  We walked through the beautiful poolside area before arriving the restaurant around six o'clock that evening.
The Humprey La Jolla is located inside the hotel. There was a lounge before entering the dining area.

We were seated at this right sided booth.  The place had a very nice ambiance and comfortable seating.
The sourdough bread was still warm when the waitor brought it to us.  It was so good that we asked for  second before our food arrived.

We ordered fried calamari as appetizer.  It was cut and fried into long strips, not what we expected.  We were dissapointed at the taste too.

I have never had beef wellington before.  This was a little bland in my opinon but it's not a bad dish.
 I ordered the fillet mignon. It was so delicious that it just melt in your mouth.

My daughter ordered this salmon with resotto, and it was just to die for.
 I couldn't remember what this is.  I think this is mahi mahi.  All the side dishes went really well with the fish.
All the entrees were around $19 to $28 originally.  With the half off, we were very happy with the delicious meal.  That was a very nice and fine dining experience.

Humprey La Jolla
3299 Holiday Court
La Jolla, CA 92037