Sunday, December 31, 2006

Jalapeno Poppers

Here is a quick and easy recipe for jalapeno poppers. I got this recipe from a friend who got it from a friend and so on.

There are only 3 ingredients:
cream cheese (block form)

First I wipe off the japapenos witha damp paper towel. I usually wear plastic food prep gloves so the jalapeno juice doesn't get under my ring and burn for the rest of the day. Cut the jalapeno tops off and slice lengthwise. Remove the seeds.

Next, take some cream cheese and place it into the jalapeno. It doesn't have to be exact or perfect. After all the jalapenos are filled with cream cheese, wrap the pepper with a half slice of bacon. This part can be a little tricky but you can stretch the bacon around it twice. Also you might have to rewrap so that the bacon end ends up on the bottom of the pepper. That will keep the bacon from unwinding while baking.

Place the finished jalapenos on a baking sheet (you can use aluminum foil for easier cleanup. I usually bake them at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. The jalapenos are more of an olive color when done or not as vibrant green when they were raw. Note: the finished product is very greasy (after all, it's bacon) so drain on some paper towels. Wait about 10 minutes before serving because the cream cheese is VERY HOT. Usually these are not very spicy but I found out it just depends on the jalapenos. The batch that I made for the photos came out really spicy.

Friday, December 29, 2006

My 2006 Recap

Here is my year in review:

1. January: Joshua's checkup with his MD causes concern and he is tested for autism. The clinical pyschologist says no autism but another pyschologist says autistic behaviors so Josh is eligible for LAUCH preschool. After 9 months of therapy and preschool, Joshua has blossomed and started to make great progress.

2. I turned 40 years old...not such a big deal as I thought it would be. Life goes on but I really hate all the gray hair that pop up in my bangs. I refuse to color my hair so I take time to snip the gray hairs.

3. For my birthday, we took a nice trip to Maui where we did nothing but relax. We did the same things we could do at home but the change in location makes all the difference in the world.

4. Hector was made partner at work in June which have his paycheck a nice boost. As a result, we remodelled our kitchen which is almost finished. Overall we had a good experience and I'm having lots of fun buying things to fill the kitchen.

5. In August we travelled to Phuket and Singapore. We ate lots of exotic fruit, rode elephants and groomed monkeys. Phuket is a gorgeous island with jungles and beautiful beaches. Singapore was equally beautiful but in a civilized way...lots of high-rises, malls (practically every block has some kind of mall) and landscaping that made the city wonderful.

6. Hector and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary in November. The time went by so fast and we are looking forward to more fun & happiness in the future.

7. This was the year where I lost a good friend (long story but she moved away) and found an absent friend. Even though both are within driving distance, each has their reasons for not staying in touch. I will just have to deal with that which makes me more grateful to my real friends.

8. Overall, I had a wonderful year. My family is healthy and happy. They and my friends enrich my life and hopefully I give them the same. Here is to a happy 2007!!

Remember that my kitchen would be done by Christmas? They did finish the construction part on time but we hit a snag with our range. First, the shape of the range did not fit into the cutout made in the island. Second, the tile and cabinets made our range too tall. Third, Hector discovered that our gas range has an electric oven. I saw this fact on the manual and didn't think anything of it but when Hector was going to hook up the range he noticed that it was different. We have a 120V outlet and the oven needs a 240V outlet. He assumed that since it was a gas range, it should be a gas oven and I just didn't know any better. So finally today, we are having another electrician come out to change the outlet. I'm still not sure what is going on with the height problem on the range but the latest I heard is that the granite people are supposed to come out again to make an edge.

Hector was overnight call so he has a 3 day weekend! Yeah. I can see him playing Zelda on the Wii waving his sword around. Gotta get out of the way. Maybe today I will hit some furniture stores and look for a sideboard table and some chairs. We don't have any definite plans for New Year's eve because Hector has to work the next day but we'll see what happens.

Oh and we never did get the DirecTV HD hooked up the other day. We waited until 11:30am and had to call to find out that DirecTV is out of satellite dishes so we have to wait until January. Well, it would have nice if they had called us to let us know instead of waiting around all morning. Bah.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Here are the latest pics from the past few days..Joshua and his birthday pie.

His real birthday cake...I had to buy pumpkin pie because Tyler doesn't like chocolate (go figure). This the lightest tasting cake and it has to be my favorite cake. Oh and Joshua likes it too.

Lupe and her sons, Albert and Nathan at their home Christmas Eve.

Hector's niece, Jean with her children and Uncle Carlos.

Josh's Birthday

We celebrated Josh's 4th birthday's too bad that his birthday is 2 days after Christmas which I totally blame the OB/GYN for that. I was planning a scheduled C-section for January 2, 2003. Get it? 01-02-03. But no, the OB decided to call me around December 21st to say she decided to take off on vacation so the c-section is moved up to December 27th! Grrr. So after the hub bub of Christmas, we're ready to wind down. I try to get out to the after Christmas sales and load up on stuff for Joshua which is a another stressful situation. My mom came over while I went out shopping and to get some cupcakes. Unfortunately, King's Hawaiian bakery ran out of cupcaked so I got a pumpkin pie and a dobash cake (chocolate chiffon with chocolate pudding filling) which is to die for! After lunch, we lit some candles on the pie, sang happy birthday and he blew out his candles! Yeah!

Hector came home early and scored a Wii at Toys R Us. I had a great time playing the sports disk it came with. There is bowling, baseball, tennis, golf and boxing and this controller uses the basic movement you would use in playing the real sport. So much fun although my arm aches a little today! He-man and She-Ra came by to exchange gifts and enjoy cocktail hour with us. I made apple martinis for the girls and Hector made dirty martinis for the guys which went along with our veggie platter and Hickory Farms sausage/cheese plate (thanks Kat). It was a lot of fun! Afterwards, we headed over to Vince's for some of their awesome spaghetti! was so good!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Kitchen Update

This is at Hector's request that I post the latest pics of our kitchen. People at his work need to see the progress! Okay, we are still unpacking boxes so there are things scattered about but we managed installing the range hood and I think we did a good job. It wasn't that bad; a few minor tweaks and we did it. It was cool to save $800 that the installers were gonna charge us. We also put up the pendant lights which turned out really nice and so far everyone has like them a lot.

Hector put up the TV on the wall so we're hooked up. Tomorrow the DirecTV guy will come by to hook up the HD component. Woot.

Merry Christmas

I hope that your holidays were filled with joy...we had a great time at Lupe's on Christmas Eve. We had our usual Christmas meal of tamales, chile verde, rice and beans. Becky (another sister) was sent out the day before to get the tamales from Liliana's (so awesome) but as soon as everyone opened their tamales, we knew that these were not Liliana's tamales. These tamales were very flaky and fell apart as soon as the corn husks came off and tasted different (not in a good way either). Of course Becky was staying at home because she didn't feel well which made us suspicious. :)

Jean (their niece) brought her 9 month baby Jaymes who is cute for words. Lupe and I had lots of fun cooing and holding him. My kids had a great time playing hide and seek with their cousin. We exchange presents and we allow the kids to open their presents. Joshua got a Naruto action figure and he absolutely loved it. He carried it around all night and most of today. I got my new telephoto lens for my Canon which is so cool. I can't wait to try it is heavy so I'll need lots of practice using it.

For Christmas day, the kids woke up around 8:30am ready to open presents under the tree. Tyler scored on the video games and I got him Heelys. Joshua got a little Thomas the train fold out sofa/bed that Tyler picked out for him. Tyler gave me the Animal Crossing game for my DS and I got a new 80 GB video iPod & MAC makeup gift certificate from Hector. At lunchtime we headed over to my mom's place and had Chinese food. Yum. Lately I've had a scratchy throat and slight cough that is getting worse each day. Hopefully it won't get real bad; it's annoying at this point. Carlos, Hector's brother is hanging out at our house today so they've been playing Zelda. Hector is on call tonight but he gets to take call from home and gets tomorrow off. Yeah. It'llbe nice to hang out together for another day.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Eve Eve

Are you finished shopping? I finished this morning while Hector took Tyler for some last second shopping at Target. I whisked Joshua to the mall to exchange an item that Carlos asked me to buy for Hector. I'm not going to mention anything else about it in case Hector reads this. I did more wrapping and this year I actually wrapped the gift cards. My friend Nancy gave me a photo wrapped in paper which was folded and used only one piece of tape. So I kept the example and practiced a bit. The wrapping in not as precise or perfect as I'd like but it'll do.

I got my photo calenders today too which I totally forgot about. It's good thing I don't have to mail any out! Kat is coming over tonight to exchange gifts and we'll hang out here. Christmas Eve will be at Lupe's house and it sounds like most of the nieces and nephews will be there too. Happy Holidays to everyone!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ugh, I tried signing on to itunes last night and got a message that my screen name is not active or password is not correct. Then I tried changing my password but still no luck getting in. A message came up that I should call AOL to change my password so I grind through all the automated menus to get a consultant. After several minutes, he transfers me to the cable technician and we try all sorts of things for about 20 minutes. Finally he gives me case number that will refer the problem to the engineers due to a server problem. I hope it gets solved soon...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What a weird day...first of all Hector asked me to buy a DirecTV HD receiver with DVR and another HD receiver for our TVs in the kitchen and family room. I found the receiver with no problem at Best Buy but the HD with DVR receiver was another story. Apparently, DirecTV is not able to up with the demand and the salesman says there is a long waiting list so far. I was bummed about it but decided to give Circuit City a try. There were some salesmen around but I didn't ask any of them whether they had them in stock; I just wandered the aisle and what did I see? An unopened HD & DVR receiver sitting on the shelf and it looked like it was the last one! I haul it over to a salesman who looks at me strangely as I'm verifying that what I'm holding is the correct thing Hector wants. He says yes that several people came by yesterday looking for the very same item and their inventory says there are zero in stock yet I am holding it. Unbelievable! The man calls his supervisor to verify it because the computer still says zero in stock and finally he rings it through.'s mine. I usually don't have much luck finding the "hot" items during Christmas but I did this year!

I was so excited with my unexpected find that I was just gonna take the rest of the day easy and unpack some kitchen boxes. But T called to pick up her Christmas cards which is cool. We talk for a bit then she gets in her car to head to Target and her car makes this horrible noise. We spent some time trying to figure it out but hey, we have no idea what it is. It's decided we wait for her hubby to look at it after work and meanwhile I can drop her off at work this afternoon. T figures it is a good time to start on her Christmas cards...when the phone rings. It turns out to be a long lost friend who I haven't spoken to for a year or so. I'm fairly consistent in calling and leaving messages for her and she usually takes about 2 weeks to return my calls. But in the past year, nothing. After several months, I give up and send out my Christmas cards. Well, I guess that reminded her that she hasn't spoken to me in a year and calls. All is good and she promised to visit at least once a year (we only live about 20 miles apart). I guess I'll take what I can! :) My day certainly turned out lively.

Monday, December 18, 2006


So far, no solution to our kitchen range problem...the tile guy came by today and cutting the tile out won't be enough for the range and counter to reach. I had Hector call the kitchen contractor to have them come and look for themselves. The people don't seem to understand that the island is too low for the range so I want them to fix the counters. Hector thinks that if they can add a 1/2 inch border around the cut-out will make up the difference. This has really delayed the end of this remodel. Ugh. Besides that mess, I helped Hector put the island hood up and it looks pretty good. He also put our new TV on an articulating mount so it swivels out from the wall then put it flat against the wall when we're through. For now, my little Christmas party will have to wait...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Another Date

Today, we had another date scheduled. The Los Angeles Kings vs. the Dallas Stars and this time we didn't take the pickup truck! There was rain today which can sometimes tangle up the freeway but we were lucky and actually arrived 30 minutes before the game. Both of us received a Kings T-shirt free because we happened to be one of the first 500 fans to show up. Yeah.

The game started out poorly when Dallas took the lead in the first period. The Kings rallied and caught up soon after. By the end of the thrid period, the teams were tied so on to overtime. No change in score either so on to a shoot out. Unfortunately, Dallas scored and won the game. Overall, it was an exciting game and we had lots of fun.

Night On the Town

Hector and I went on our date Friday night. We headed over to the new section of the Del Amo mall where an open-air promenade debuted a few months ago. A Lucky Strike bowling, PF Changs, AMC theatres and various stores are located there so we wanted to check it out. We took Hector's pickup truck there and as we drove by the main center, we noticed several police cars parked in front. Hector mentioned them and I said that in the beginning there was a fight so maybe they just have more security for the weekends. Hector turns into the parking structure and turns into a parking spot but has to reverse to straighten out the truck. Looking back, we see flashing blue lights behind us! Yikes...Hector parks and then gets out to find what is wrong. A police officer orders him back into the truck. Meanwhile, we're like what did we do? So the officer asks for registration and all of a sudden I know his registration expired and that's the reason. Hector admits it right away that I had reminded him several to times to renew but he didn't. The officer said, "You need to pull over immediately when we flash the lights." Hector apologized very nice and honestly we didn't notice or hear anything until we tried backing up. I was telling Hector that we were in a car chase for about a block and didn't even know it. So Hector got his holiday citation which is no ticket! He is so lucky but what a way to start our date.

We decided to eat at Ra Sushi restuarant which has a very cool vibe and pumping music. We placed out order and throughout the night we had the worng food brought to us 3 times. It was either a mistake on our actual order; we ordered spicy tuna handrolls and were given spicy tuna rolls. Or someone brought some other customer's order. It was kinda annoying after the first time. We ordered a whole mess of sushi, appetizers and drinks and the grand total on the bill was $112. For that amount of money, we'll head over to Morton's or Spago since the food at Ra was okay but nothing special.

Afterwards, we browsed the stores and went into Bath and Body Works. Believe or not, I have never been inside one before. I had lots of fun and Hector amused himself. They had a Hello Kitty section so I snagged a Hello Kitty mirror which is very cool. My sister in law gave me an awesome purse mirror from Neiman Marcus about 10 years ago and it was the best little mirror. Light, compact yet pretty, that mirror served me well. I always had that mirror in my purse but somehow I lost it so I found a replacement. Yeah!

As you can see, Hector goofed off while I shopped. He found a silly hat with little pink balls on the top along the center. Very funny.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Dark Side

Yes, I officially went over to the dark side....I have a Myspace page . I blame it all on She-Ra who lured me there. At first I didn't see the point since I have this blog but myspace has been helpful in finding former classmates from high school and college. Plus it is fun to leave fun comments (unlike blogger) where you can use animated graphics etc. So that is my confession and that's maybe why I don't post as often lately. I don't have too much to say except if you have myspace, please add me as a friend! :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Cards

I picked up our holiday photo cards this morning at Costco. I uploaded the photo online but I still had to wait in a long line to pick them up behind the counter. I guess they do that because I had to pay for them. They came out really nice so I'm pleased with my Canon. This year I didn't have enough time to take proper Christmas pictures and I couldn't find matching shirts for the boys. Luckily I had a nice vacation photo of the boys in Phuket and they both happened to be wearing orange shirts (see above pic). I ordered 75 of them but gave 25 to my mom and I had just enough for my mailing list. So if you don't get one this year...sorry!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Here are some pics from the past few days. Tyler showing his archery skills and it was lots of fun too. Not much to tell...I uploaded our Christmas photo to Costco which was really easy to do plus I didn't have to deal with the crowds. I uploaded several pictures in the running for this year's card and then Costco shows all the templates with the selected photo inside so you can see what that pic will look like. I cropped the picture and added text and place my order. BAM! My order will be ready for pick-up tomorrow at 10 am. Sweet. Then I started uploading more pictures for a photo calendar...I think I used about 40 pictures for the various months and you can put more than one photo per month. So easy. I added captions and can even click on a certain day to personalize it for a birthday and insert a picture into that day. I was lovin it! I figure it'll be the perfect Christmas gift for my mom and Hector's family.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Hector tried putting the stove in and now it doesn't fit! This particular brand has notches on the side at the front end which doesn't allow the range to completely slid-in due to the granite. Also with the tile in, the island is lower than it's supposed to be so the range is a bit taller than the island. Argh! Okay, we figured out the range will have to be changed because it just won't fit. I already got a rebate check from them which I haven't cashed yet so do I tear it up since we plan to return it? Man, this throws a big monkey wrench into my kitchen but hopefully we can find the perfect range.

Nothing exciting today...the rest of the appliances arrived this morning. Hector will try installing them later...he is currently working on the dishwasher. I emptied out the old fridge and cleaned the shelving. After Josh went to school we took it to Cucamonga as a gift to my sister-in-law Lupe. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Where does the weekend go?

Saturday was a fun and jam-packed day. Our friend Dan and his son came by to visit which was lots of fun. They live in San Diego so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. Also my best friend Kat came by to hang out. She wanted to check out my Guitar Hero 2 and update her Myspace page. While the kids were playing, Dan became interested about Myspace looking at all the women he could potentially date. :) It was like a kid in a candy store...ah well, it is the place to meet people. The guys took off leaving the kids with Kat and me so Tyler and Daniel practiced shooting boxes the backyard with a bow & arrow. I was surprised that Tyler picked it up pretty fast and shot the box on his second try. After a while the boys got tired of shooting and went inside to play video games. This is when Kat and I tried our best with the bow and arrow. It was lots of fun and goofing off. It was something I wanted to try and finally did.

Today started early with breakfast at Denny's with everyone. I was bummed that Denny's stopped serving my ham & mushroom bowl. It has potatoes with scrambled eggs, ham, mushrooms and cheese on top. Now I don't know what I'll order for breakfast...

Friday, December 08, 2006

This afternoon I went window shopping for counter height chairs. My first stop was Levitz and I had to browse around before I found the dining room section. There were a couple of chairs I liked and the price was reasonable but I'm not sure if 4 chairs will fit. One chair looked okay for $130 and when the salesman checked it was in stock, it came up as $99. I'll have to bring Hector back to see them.

Next door is Linen N Things which was really fun to wander around. I browsed through every section taking my time. When I was little, my mom had to drag me to places like this...who wants to look at towels? I admit now that these stores are very cool. I was starving so I went to Togo's around the corner and ordered my favorite sandwich #29 chunky chicken salad (with almonds). I was so happy to go home to eat my sandwich...I looked at my watch at it is 2:00pm! Yikes...Tyler is out of school at 2:13pm so I zoom off to pick him up. Thankfully, we got home so I could eat my lunch in peace. Now I'm sleepy...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Fridge

Here is my new is the kind with the french doors and bottom freezer. we decided to skip the ice/water dispenser since we rarely use the one in our current fridge. I didn't like the taste of the water or ice but for this new one we got a water filter so hopefully that will help with the ice.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Construction done

I can't believe it but the kitchen construction is finished. The granite counters and backsplash were installed and glued on with a super-stinky compound that smells like magic marker magnified 100 times. Ugh...I still have to have the windows open in this chilly weather to air out the smell. Of course I had to run to Bed Bath and Beyond tonight to do some shopping for some new dishes, dish towels and curtains for starters. Why can't they make their shopping carts bigger? I did some damage but thank goodness for the $150 Visa gift cards to take a big chunk out of the total. I love the colors of the new dishes and how it looks on the granite. Tomorrow I'll start transferring items once I line the shelves while waiting for the new my work begins.


Having a Mexican/Latino last name gets me some funny looks when people attach the name to my face (I'm Chinese). It cracks me up when I get mail from Latina magazine trying to get me to subscribe and coupons for diapers completely in Spanish. Yesterday, Hector handed me some mail from Verizon...addressed to me. .

Yeah, I'm chocolate...maybe white chocolate. I might have to adopt this new slogan, "Chocolate. As Latino as me."

To ward off the cold...

Not much is going on...waiting for the men to install the counters. So in the meantime, I'll leave some old pictures for your enjoyment. These will be summery type/tropical pics since it's a chilly 45 degrees right now in SoCal...

I'm feeling warmer already! Sigh! To all the lucky ducks that get to escape during the winter school break to anywhere sunny & tropical...have a nice time and I wish I were in your place!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's a Miracle

OMG...I called to check on the granite this morning and Patricia just called to say the counters will be installed tomorrow! Wow. Tomorrow, my kitchen will be done...all we have to do is install the appliances and range hood & 2 light fixtures. Hector & I finished painting last night and it looks great. So then I have to call Lowes to have everything delivered on Monday. I have to look for some counter height chairs and we've already been scoping out a new TV for the kitchen too. Too bad I can't run out today to shop but I'm waiting for my tile guy to seal the grout....but maybe later. :)


Last night, Anthony (Hector's nephew) and his girlfriend Nancy stopped by to visit. Anthony was so excited because he scored tickets to KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas which is always a great show. He offered to take Hector but he has to work all weekend. We asked why Anthony take his girlfriend but she is not into KROQ music. Then he asked me!! Yippee...I jumped at the chance especially since it is night two when Snow Patrol, Beck and Foo Fighters are part of the lineup. But now after thinking about it, I'll probably pass since Hector works overnight and I don't have anyone to babysit for 9 hours Sunday night. Oh was exciting while it lasted.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holiday Party

Last night was the holiday party given by Hector's department. The dinner was held at La Gondola in Los Angeles...imagine an Italian restaurant that is also Kosher! This was to accommodate one man & his family so that they would be able to eat & enjoy the evening. The food was very good and the kids' portions were enormous (we had to take it home). We were in a private room with 4 large tables with a separate entrance. Our kids were entertained with gameboys and other children. The only thing bad was that dinner was served so late so the kids didn't eat until 9:30pm. By 10:30pm, dessert was served and most of the kids were passed out at the tables but mine had no problems. At least there were plenty of appetizers to start and I think the kids filled up on those.

I had the rib eye steak with mushroom peppercorn sauce, fresh vegetables and potatoes. Dessert was a chocolate ganache which was so rich and a mango flambe which was so good too. I'm still stuffed today! Hector had to work today so I took the kids to church, washed my car, did some quick shopping and ordered take-out for lunch for me. The kids are going to spend some time with Grandma so I need to catch up on laundry and straighten up around the house.