Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas in Pittsburgh

We took a long slow drive back to Pittsburgh on Christmas Eve (it took us almost 9 hours, as opposed to the usual 6 and a half hours drive). I guess it was due to the many stops that we took for coffee and just to rest a little, since we left our apartment at around 3 in the morning! Anyways, we made it safely to Pittsburgh, had some time to rest up for a bit, then it was time to exchange presents!

Here are some pictures of Kevin's mom with the Christmas gift that we got her. Since she bought a new laptop not to long ago, we figured that it would be more comfortable to have a little laptop table to use, instead of resting it on her lap. From the looks of the photos, I guess she likes it! :P

Kevin with some of his gifts! A knots book that he has been wanting for quite some time (according to him, it's like the bible of knots! :P) and some Pittsburgh Steelers plates from his mom (there are more gifts from his mom but we were too busy opening up presents that we forgot to take)!
I got a very nice high heel ring holder from Kevin's mom (and a bunch of other stuff) and a Sunglasses Hut gift card (since I need new sunnies) from Kevin. Thanks!! :D

Of course we didn't leave Abby out! She looks so happy and excited when she got her new Gingerbread Man squeaky toy!

We woke up early next morning to find some snow (from the past snow storm) still on the ground but it was raining icy rain! I guess you can call it a 'Semi White Christmas" :P Here are some pictures of the front yard, side yard and back yard. The icy rain turned to regular rain by noon and most of the snow melted by the end of the day. Oh well, it was still nice to wake up on Christmas morning with SOME snow on the ground! We didn't have Christmas dinner at home again this year. Since Kevin's sister was spending Christmas with her husbands family, we took Kevin's mom out to Grand View Buffet at the Rivers Casino for their Holiday Buffet. I will blog more about that later on. Overall, it was a nice Christmas. We had a great time just relaxing, playing Wii and spending time with the family. :D

Best 19 Inch TV Deals in UK!

I recently noticed that electronics are way more expensive in the UK compared to US. I found a site where you can compare deals and prices on all the top 19 Inch TV brands, hence saving you lots of money. Check it out!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish everybody a very

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Looks like we are all set for Christmas...

Ahhh it's Christmas eve at last. This year has been a good year for us (in terms of Christmas preparation). We started our prep really early this year. In fact, we bought the first Christmas present one day after Thanksgiving! Therefore, the past few weeks has been pretty relaxing for us. No last minute rushing around the mall with all the other shoppers, nothing of that sort. Good thing we got it all done early. With the crazy winter storm last weekend and everything being snowed in, we would have been in big trouble :P
Here are all the presents that we bought. I still cannot believe that we managed to buy, wrap and place everything under the tree by the first week of December. If you know me well, you would know that this is really out of character :P I'm a "do everything a few days before Christmas" kinda girl. Hehehe. So yeah, presents....CHECK!
We also got a really nice wreath to hang outside our apartment door this year. We bought the wreath before Thanksgiving and hung it up the day after Thanksgiving. We were the first on our floor (yeah, so kiasu) to hang Christmas decorations out this year. I guess if we don't do it early, we will never get around to doing it. Yes yes, I know...we are two lazy people :P Hang up the wreath...CHECK!

We wanted to pull out our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving too but we were really just too lazy. We managed to put it up by the first weekend in Dec. Well actually, it was more of Kevin setting up the tree and me watching Cake Boss (check out the tv behind him...evidence!) and taking tons of photos (excuse? it's for my blog lahhh). He then started to decorate the tree and I was commenting that it doesn't look that great :P Sooooo, he said that I should do it then! Man, I shouldn't have opened my big mouth. Anyways, we both chipped in the decorating, he did the stringing of the lights and I hung everything up. Christmas tree...CHECK!

There you go...all tree all decorated and lit up. Also check out all the presents neatly placed under the tree. Well, the presents are not there anymore. Some have been given out to people at Kevin's office and the rest are packed in big plastic bags, all ready for the long trip to Pittsburgh. We will be leaving for Pittsburgh in about an hour or so, so wish us journey mercies and I'll try to update this blog as much as possible from there.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fancy An Outdoor Kitchen?

* This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Werever Products Inc. All opinions are 100% mine.

Apart from reality and cooking shows, Kevin and I watch a lot of home improvement shows on TV. Recently (in the past year or so), I noticed that outdoor kitchens are becoming really popular and this trend is beginning to catch on all across America. Many people view outdoor kitchens as extension of their home. With that, outdoor kitchens are changing the way people spend time with their friends and family. So, as the market begin to grow, there are more and more companies offering outdoor kitchen options. Which company offers good products and who can you trust?

Werever Products is a national provider that builds the finest outdoor kitchen cabinetry (many say the best in the industry) and they serve customers all across America, including Alaska and Hawaii. Having customers from all over the country, their outdoor kitchens are built and tested in every climate imaginable, from the hot and dry climate of Arizona to the cold temperatures of Maine. They are so confident of the quality of their product that all of their cabinetry is backed by a lifetime warranty! Not only do they have cabinetry, they also carry a full line of grills and outdoor appliances. They can deliver a complete, easy-to-install outdoor kitchen package directly to your home, hassle free.


When most people think of outdoor kitchens, they just think of a 'big grill'. Recently, Werever Products have developed a new product. It's an outdoor tv cabinet! It lets you create your living room outdoors, protecting your TV from the elements. How cool is that? Therefore, you can design your outdoor living area to suit your lifestyle and not just build monstrous grilling areas.

Not only are their products outstanding, their service is first class. Werever products staff professional designers that will work with you to help you plan the perfect project. They will provide a quality design and a detailed no obligation quote, all for free. So, if you are thinking of getting an outdoor kitchen, just head over to their website and check out all the interesting products that they have to offer.

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A Date With The Devils

Looks like Christmas came early for us this year. A couple of days ago, Kevin's boss asked him if he likes hockey and if he would like to go watch a NJ Devils home game? Of course Kevin said yes! We've been meaning to go catch one of the home games at the Prudential Center, but we never got around to it (since every time we checked, the cheap tickets would be sold out :P). Yes, I know...we are still Pittsburgh Penguin fans, but a chance to watch a live NHL game was an offer too good to give up!
So, Kevin's boss passed him this two tickets for the Devils vs Thrashers game (28th Dec). Woohoo! They are actually a Christmas gift from a tug boat company to Kevin's company. When we took a closer look at the tickets, boy, we were excited. Those were not regular seats but club seat tickets! Man, those tickets cost $250 a piece!! Club seats are situated right on center ice, basically the best seats in the house. Not only is there a good view, the seats are also wider and have way more legroom than regular seats. Also, we have access to the Fire and Ice Lounge before, during and after the game. There we can help ourselves to free food (carving stations, sushi, finger food...ect) and drinks throughout the game. Club seat ticket holders also have access to the Goal Bar, where Steve Cangialosi and Ken Daneyko do intermission and post-game analysis for Devils' telecasts. How cool is that?
Here is a seating chart of the Prudential Center and the location of our seats! Section 7, row 7, seats 17 & 18. That's right, way up front, on center ice! It's the first time I will be going for a live NHL game and we are blessed with such great seats. I would have been happy with nosebleed seats but this, this is so great!

Not only did we get free tickets, they even took care of the parking :D A Premium Pre-paid Parking Ticket came along with the tickets. We would have to park really far and walk in the cold or pay really exorbitant prices to even get a parking space near Prudential Center. Now, all we need to do is drive up to the parking lot which is just NEXT to Prudential Center and not have to worry about a single thing. Boy, this is so exciting. We can't wait for Monday. Will blog more about the game after that! :D

Explore Celebrity Kitchen @ Cooking.com

* This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Cooking.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

Ever since I started spending more time in the kitchen a few years back, I have pretty much relied on cooking websites for recipes and kitchen tips. One of my all time favorites is Cooking.com. Many recipe/cooking websites have come and gone, but Cooking.com has always been there for me. It's so easy just to jump on the Internet, go on Cooking.com and get all the resources that I need to help me learn more about cooking. My other source of getting cooking tips and recipes is by watching TV. That's right. I watch a lot of cooking show and just adore those celebrity chefs.


When I found out that Cooking.com has recently launched their new Celebrity Zone called the Celebrity Kitchen, I thought that I died and have gone to heaven! Two of my favorite cooking resources, rolled into one! Among some of the top celebrity chefs featured in the Celebrity Kitchen are Bobby Flay, Paula Deen, Emeril Lagasse, Jamie Oliver, Mario Batali, Guy Fieri, Martha Stewart and my personal hero, Rachael Ray!

You can find all kinds of tips, products as well as recipes by famous celebrity chefs at Celebrity Kitchen. It feels like walking into the personal kitchen of your favorite celebrity chef and learning all about their favorite recipes as well as cooking tips. What I like about Celebrity Kitchen is how you can find recipes that has been tested, and proven that it works great with the product line a particular celebrity is carrying. Not only that, but if you like that particular cookware or you need it for a recipe, you can just buy it online immediately. How cool is that? It's pretty much a one stop shop for all your cooking needs.

While you are at Celebrity Kitchen, do not forget to sign up for their newsletter that focuses on new and notable Celebrity Chef products & recipes. I'm sure you would be interested to get updates about what's hot and what's not from celebrity chefs that you trust and adore. So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Celebrity Kitchen at Cooking.com and check it out. Just like me, I know that you will love it and will probably spend hours just browsing through the whole site. Don't say I didn't warn you...

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First Attempt At Bread Making

Remember the post about us getting a good deal on a bread machine during the Black Friday Sale? Well yeah, we have been wanting to get one for the longest time. Not only can we now make breads with that, but we can use it to make buns, pastries, pasta, pizza dough...even jams! We couldn't wait to try out our new 'toy', so we immediately went out to get the ingredients and tried making our first loaf of bread that very night.
Since it's the first time either of us have tried making bread, we didn't have any good recipes to try out. So, we just tried the first recipe we saw in the tiny recipe book that came with the bread machine. It was for a 2lbs loaf of basic traditional white bread. It looked pretty easy, so here goes! Start off by pouring in 1 + 3/8 cups of warm water into the bread pan.
Then, add 2 tablespoons of butter that is at room temperature.
Next, measure out 4 cups of bread flour and add that into the bread pan.
After that, add in 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Once you have added the sugar, measure 2 tablespoons of dry milk and add that to the bread pan.
Lastly, add in 1+ 3/4 teaspoons of salt.
Now, use your finger and form a well in the middle of the flour.
Then, measure in 2 +1/4 teaspoons of yeast.
Now, we are ready to start the bread making process. Carefully snap on the bread pan into the bread maker.
Set the machine to 'basic' setting and the crust color to 'medium'. Make sure the timer is showing 3:00 hours and then, press 'START'. Now, just sit back and relax for 3 hours :P
This is how it looked like after 3 hours! The bread did rise but it didn't seem to rise enough for me.
Here it is. The first loaf of bread that we made on the bread machine. It wasn't really the greatest...it was kind of dense and had a rough texture. After trying out a few pieces, we decided to throw the whole loaf away...hehe. Over a space of a few weeks, we experimented on at least 6 different recipes and at last, we found the perfect one that made light and fluffy bread! I will share with you that recipe in the coming days!! :D

Great Tasting, Fuss Free Gravy!

* This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Club House. All opinions are 100% mine.

I can't believe that December has gone by so fast. Christmas will be here in 3 days! As usual, we will be heading back to Pittsburgh to celebrate Christmas with Kevin's family. Ever since I was a little girl, Christmas has always been my favorite season. Yes, of course I was excited about the presents under the tree and Santa, but what I look forward to most is Christmas dinner. Ahhhh, the roasted turkey, yummy stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and of course, home made gravy. Everybody loves a good home made gravy but making the perfect gravy can be challenging. I dare say that making the gravy from scratch is one of the harder things to make in a Christmas meal. Why? Well, quality and consistency of the gravy depends on the quality and quantity of drippings delivered by the roast. So, on days we get bad drippings, our gravy will be a failure.

I was looking around the web for a simple yet dependable gravy recipe online when I stumbled upon a gravy tips video on the Club House website. From there, I learnt that Club House Gravy is easy to prepare and delivers great tasting gravy that everybody in my family will love. Now I know that preparing gravy for the Christmas meal is as easy as using a Club House Gravy mix, adding your roast drippings and simmering! Yup, it's THAT easy! Great tasting gravy without any stress or fuss. While I was navigating around the Club House website, I also found out that they are currently running a contest where you can win a Club House Gravy Gift Pack! Head over to their website, where you can find their newsletter sign-up and contest entry. Go ahead and check it out! Who knows, you might win the gift pack and be on your way to making great tasting, fuss free gravy!

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Waking Up to a Winter Wonderland

This is what we saw when we looked out of the window this morning. Yup, looks like the winter storm is over. It has stopped snowing and the visibility has improved by so much (we couldn't even see past the parking lots yesterday!). The winter storm warning is still in effect as of now, but it looks like the worst is over. I'm pretty impressed that our apartment maintenance guys have already cleared the parking lot and walkways. In fact, they have been working non stop throughout the storm the whole of yesterday and last night. I'm currently watching the morning news and it looks like we got away with only a few inches of snow. However, the same cannot be said about other parts of NJ and Long Island. There were reports of snow accumulation as high as an adult's waist! Oh well, at least the storm has passed...now the clean up will begin :P

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Skillet Stuffed Crust Pizza

I have always been a huge fan of Pizza Hut's stuffed crust pizza. When I found the recipe for home made stuffed crust pizza and realized that it's really easy to make, I just couldn't wait to try it out. We made some for dinner earlier today and it turned out to be really yummy! So, I figured I should share this simple yet yummy recipe with all of you.
Firstly, spray your skillet with a generous amount of non stick cooking oil. Then sprinkle some corn meal onto the skillet. If you do not have corn meal at hand, that's fine too. It's just to help prevent the pizza from sticking to the skillet.
Next, spread the pizza dough evenly onto the skillet. Make sure that the sides is little bit larger than the base of the skillet. This is because we need to fold the sides over the cheese later on. The recipe suggested that we use canned pizza dough but I bought some fresh pizza dough from the local grocery store. I just love the NJ/NY pizza dough, it taste so yummy. Must be the water! :D
Once the pizza dough is evenly spread out, place some string cheese around the edge of the skillet base (just like the photo). String cheese works best but if you do not have string cheese, you can cut out rectangular logs from a block of mozzarella cheese. That works too.
Fold the sides of the pizza dough over the string cheese. Make sure you seal the dough tightly, so that the cheese doesn't flow out when baking.
Spread your favorite marinara sauce onto the pizza. Make sure that you do not over do it, we don't want a soggy pizza. Then, sprinkle some dried oregano on top of that.
Next, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.
Now comes the fun part. Time to put on the toppings! You can basically put on anything you like. I used some pepperoni, smoked beef sausage (chopped up into tiny pieces) and some mushrooms.
Sprinkle on more shredded cheese and some parmesan cheese. Now the pizza pie is ready to be baked!
Place the skillet in a 425F oven and allow it to bake for about 15 - 25 minutes. Certain ovens take longer while other ovens might take a shorter time. You will just have to keep an eye on the pizza while it's baking.
After it's done, remove the pizza from the skillet and it's ready to be serve! Doesn't it look yummy? It sure tasted yummy! I can't wait to make this again....maybe I'll try to make a white pizza the next time around!