Having the right tech support, Da Vang reprise, CityScape Phoenix, Phoenix Festival of the Arts, DeFalco’s Deli, LGK Creations, Christmas eve/Christmas day dinner and drinks at Royal Palms

5 Jan

Last year I had to get a new PC because my old one was acting up. And I had software issues…it was a bit of a to-do. However my brother Mike made it much less of a to-do than it might have been since he’s a whiz at tech support. And just last week after being fed up with my mouse I asked him to look at it and he said, “you need a new mouse, sis.”

Eureka, right?

It is good for me to have another person tell me what I need sometimes, because I don’t always realize things are broken or beyond repair. Anyways, he got me a new and improved mouse and also a keyboard since my last one only had a “tiny” back space. And now my machine feels like a new machine. Thanks bro! And he also builds websites. Reasonable rates.

If you need a hook up, let me know.

So it seems lately that we’ve been eating more Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese food than usual. Jack really likes Da Vang, we were there about a month ago and I had duck soup with ramen noodles and Jack gets his regular beef noodle soup (pho) with wide rice noodles.

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The broth of this soup is really ducky but not gamey. You should really try it. And Jack and I are both “bone” people so I was really glad to see little bonies that I can munch the meat off of.

Here is Jack’s soup. I think his soup has chunks of beef, tripe and tendon. He is a little more adventurous than me when it comes to “parts.”

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We especially like soup on a night when we’re feeling just okay or need a little pick me up.

The tamale festival was a couple of weeks ago in downtown Phoenix. We weren’t able to get close to the tamale vendors but the fry bread line was much shorter. So that was okay with us. Jack likes his with honey and powdered sugar and I like mine more savory, with beans or meat. Sorry no pictures, folks. But it was so tasty.

Also downtown this time of year there is an ice rink at City Scape. http://www.cityscapephoenix.com/ There is a bowling alley, some nice restaurants, a cvs (for the late nite muchers out there), clothing shops and a stand up comedy place. We don’t hang out downtown much, since being “arcadia lites” there is so much around us already…but when we do go downtown we try to do a few different things. So the day of the tamale festival we stopped by City Scape to see the ice rink and decorations. It was really pretty.

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And my subject material was very good, too. 😉

We also stopped at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts that day and Jack really liked the VW beetle that was made from sheet metal. Way cool!

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This was a really great event, young artists were painting murals that were for sale for $300.  A real steal, I thought. A lot of talented artistic young people are here in Phoenix. http://phoenixfestivalofthearts.org/

There were food trucks, local bands and a nice grassy open area to picnic.

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Jack made a wonderful soup a couple of weeks back with a chicken broth base, pasta shaped like a cone with ruffled edges, all kinds of veggies and meatballs made from chicken sausage and beef.

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It was so delicious. He usually makes enough so there is plenty for us to take to work the next day, and some to share.

In the lunch room last week at work one of my workmates was saying how great the food at DeFalco’s Deli is. I had to agree. It was just a week or so ago Jack and I ducked in there for a to go order and the place was really bustling. He was a little pressed for time so I just dropped him off at work and I came home to eat my sandwich. Lookie lookie.

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Their sausage sandwich is so good. And we get the marinated artichoke salad so this way we can say we ate our vegetables. Jack likes their salami sandwich. They also have plates of pasta available, great pizza and wine by the glass.

No, sadly I do not own any of their stock.

Recently Jack made a Thai beef salad for us. It came from a roast that he seared to about medium and then sliced it and added scallions, mint, cilantro, fish sauce, lime juice and rice powder.

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We ate it with cabbage. It was amazing.

One of Jack’s favorite ways to make this salad is with ground chicken. Sometimes he will take a chicken breast and use his cleavers on it until it resembles ground chicken. Then he just poaches the ground chicken and then adds the same ingredients to make a Thai chicken salad.

You should see him butcher a turkey. We have a whole turkey in our freezer now, in little ziplock bags. Brilliant!

I digress. I get excited about food. And I’m always impressed with Jack’s mad cleaver skills. It’s kind of sexy.

The boss gave us a little bubbly for Christmas so Linda came over on Christmas eve along with my bro, his friend Cindy and my mum. We made mimosas (thanks boss!) and drank a toast to world peace.

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Linda is so lovely. You know sometimes I get mushy when I talk about my family and friends.

Have you seen her website lately?  (done by my brother)

Yes I am pimping out her mad painting skills.

http://www.lgkcreations.com/

She can do a mural for you, too. For your kiddos room, your outside space, etc. Multitalented she is.

So here’s the ham Jack lovingly made for us on Christmas eve.

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It was all carmelized with whole cloves, and you will not believe how good the leftovers were. Amazing! We ate ham for a couple of days, put the bone in the freezer and divvied up the rest. That’s the way to make a ham friend.

And our sides were really tasty. We made a fruit salad with pineapple, kiwi, oranges and blackberries. Also a killer potato salad with dijon mustard and Jack’s famous beans with salt pork.

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Yup, he has convinced me that salt pork makes almost everything better.

Here is a selfie of most of us on the couch.

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We’re using the new selfie wand that Linda gave us. I might have been the one pressing the button, that’s why my head is so big?

And gifts! Yes we must have behaved last year since Santa came through, big time.

Jack gifted me with a beautiful white jewelry box.

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It feels excessive and sumptuous. I love it.

And my company gifted us with a smoker.

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Jack loves it. Smoked brisket, anyone?

The next day we were in the kitchen cooking for our Christmas day feast at my sister Fran’s.

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You could say our decorations were minimalist this year, Jack picked up a poinsettia plant and I appropriated some shiny balls from Rob Adams’ gift last year (thank you Rob for your shiny balls).

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Also I always put out the foghorn leghorn Christmas card he gave to me a few years back. It always makes me smile.

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And Lea gifted me with a “Santa pants” wine holder that holds two bottles.

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A real find. Thank you Lea!

So, back to being in the kitchen. I digressed again…made kahlua fudge cupcakes for our fabulous potluck dinner on Christmas day at Fran’s.

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They were so rich and frosted with Abuelita mexican chocolate. Kahlua went in the frosting too.

Chocolate on chocolate is always a crowd pleaser. This has also become my go to recipe for potlucks at work this past year.

This is where I mention again our wonderful dinner at Fran’s on Christmas eve. Her place was decorated so festively, there were ornaments hanging from underneath her staircase, and a pretty live tree decorated simply. She made some toasts with cheese and marmalade, dates stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped with bacon, a veggie tray and a fruit salad. The whole thing just exuded class. I’m hoping she can give me some pointers.

And there were gifts!

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I think Santa was too generous this year. My sis gifted me with some pretty yoga pants from Lulemon and some anti glare glasses for the computer (needed those!) and Jack received a margarita set (much appreciated) and lavender lotion/soap set. And Dad gave us a cute mug set with two different kinds of cocoa and vanilla.

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We have been using the mugs a lot. We drink tea all the time and lately Jack has a hankering for cocoa with those little marshmallows.

Dad and I went to see a movie last week at Harkins Camelview 5 (my favorite theatre) and after we decided to grab a drink at the bar at Royal Palms Resort. http://www.royalpalmshotel.com/ It is one of the only places we can find that makes a hot buttered rum (one of Dad’s favorites). He also enjoyed an egg nog and I tried something with bourbon and cranberries. Because it’s that time of year.

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Cheers!

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