Here's what NOT to do if you're trying to lose weight:
#1 : Cousin-Bonding over Merienda y Cena
On the 30th, my cousins drove from Quezon City, Makati and Merville and declared a post-Christmas assault (",). My ever-reliable-when-it-comes-to-time cousin, Michelle, said they'd come after lunch, so I made merienda. But they arrived at 6 pm, so merienda became dinner.
We had Penne with Mexican-Bolognese sauce (that's just my fancy term for meat sauce laced with taco flavoring, hehehe), Mike's Turbo Chicken, and Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches. (Check out the recipe under my post of the same title.)
For dessert (and later, coffee) we had Banana Nut Bread and Vanilla Cream Cake, both from PriceSmart. [Yup, I do let up once in a while. ;)] Both are very good, I swear. :) And so reasonably priced, too! (In fact, we bought 15 more of the Vanilla Cream cake and gave them out as a New Year's Eve gift to our staff.)
To burn off calories we had a videoke showdown after dinner. I had to open the floor a la J. Lo, singing Let's Get Loud, with the kids as back-up dancers. Later I graduated from AIM (Ayaw Ipasa ang Mic), and passed on the singing to Michelle, who sang The Corrs' Runaway; Ate Leslie, who after much prodding, finally sang "Don't Give Up On Us." The gents had their turn too. Mike sang two Engelberts, Robinson sang a Tears for Fears ditty, while Jeff did a Santana number, Smooth.
The certified Videoke Queen of the night was my cousin, Iris, (a.k.a. Ice) lead vocalist for the band Advent Call, for her rendition of "Through The Fire," and "Tell Me Where It Hurts."
#2: Welcome the New Year with a Full Plate
Observing family tradition, the dining table had to be full and laden with food. Mom says it's for abundance. I should have guessed I was setting myself up for failure. (Whoever dieted during the holidays and actually succeeded?)
Anyway, the table had our New Year's Eve staples : Pork Barbecue and pancit, which I varied this year to Seafood Pancit (with Smoked Octopus, yum!). To compensate for the cholesterol intake of the night before, I made some Tacos. (As if!) Then for the kids who wouldn't sit and eat, Cheese Sticks and Lumpiang Shanghai. We also had some Lechon (home-cooked and given to us, all 3kgs., by one of our mechanics, Tata Raul), and of course, another showing of Banana Bread and Vanilla Cream Cake. :)
#3: Go Fishing on New Year's Day
Waking late for staying up late the night before, we spent New Year's Day just lounging around (and cleaning up, and recycling the L'Os of the night before) and getting more sleep.
In the afternoon, we decided to get a change of scenery and drove off to Roxas Boulevard. Fishing rods in tow, my boys went down to the breakwater, while I enjoyed and took pictures of the sunset. Fishing rods in tow half an hour later (and no fish, they must have gone on a holiday too), we hauled our hungry stomachs back to the car and planned on going to Dencio's for dinner. But the traffic jam by Star City foiled our plans.
We ended up at the area at the back of HK Sun Plaza, where we discovered a seafood market and paluto restaurants. (And hurray! There's plenty of parking space!)
We were glad to find a branch of our Dampa suki Julie's, yet the other restaurants (Trinity, Josefina's, Balanghay, Lola Ina's) looked inviting as well. (Mike and I decided to try them out later.)
At Julie's we hauled our pinamalengke and waited as they were cooked. As usual, we took pictures of ourselves while we waited. :)
When the food--Halaan Soup, Lato (Seaweed) Salad, Chili Butter Prawns and Spicy Oyster Crabs arrived, I barely mustered the zeal to take pictures. Gutom na e. Galit-galit na! :)