Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Favorite Toys and more

I love how these pictures came out with the natural sunlight. She was watching Super Why and was very concentrated with the letters.

Just a tiny smile that says I can still see that you are with your camera...

Ready to play the next game. In this case was the new blocks that she got.

On Saturday, I went out with Tiffany to Huck's Finn, Michael's (always a dangerous store for me), and then a thrift store on ~64th St. It has really good kid's books in great condition. Sometimes they are even new. So, we stopped by and found quite a few for our kids. Arianna new expression when she likes something is "Wow". Can you tell she was saying in this picture?

I found about 3-4 Richard's Scarry's books and 2 of them were new. Those books at the bookstores are about 10-20 dls for hardcovers, and the cheapest I had seen them are 6 dls. Here each cost 10 cents to 25 cents. Not bad! Her favorite is the one about Colors!

Mike is enjoying some sherbet while Ari and I go through all the goodies I got.

Tiffany saw this guy at Michael's, it lights up when it hits the floor. She liked it some, but books and one stuff animal won, which follows into what are her favorite toys at this moment:

Remember Ann? She likes to have this turtle on quite often. She likes "the purple"
Duplos, she loves to destroy what we make for her. But, she helps me put the pieces back on the box and we count them so it is nice. Sometimes we separate the colors too.

This little fellow is adorable. It is an Old Navy and cost me 80 cents. I knew that she will like it and she does. It is one of her favorites.


Of course, we can't forget the little books. I bought this at a Jewel near Mike's school about 8 months or so ago. She loves them. That is something she plays with daily.

While I was watering I told her I did not want her to get wet. It was a bit chilly for that. So, she decided to wait for me by laying on the couch. How comfy.

My new Chicago Rose (that is the name of the rose). These are the second blooms of this year.

First Dahlia of the season. I planted quite a bit so hopefully it will look nice.

The name of this flower is escaping me right now :( but it is pretty.

Update in my tomatoes, they are getting bigger, can you see them?

First peppers of the season, I lost one pepper to either a squirrel or the raccon, although I am leaning toward squirrel. They bit it and realized they did not like it ;) so I had a chewed on pepper...

This soup I got t from a magazine ( I think it was Quick and Easy). It is really good for kids and tasted better the second day ( according to Mike)

Vegetable Soup

5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of onion, cut in small pieces
1.5 cups of fine slice carrots or you can shredded too
3 stalks of celery - finely cut
I Added 3 potatoes as well - finely cut
32 oz of Chicken broth
3 -4 cups of water
1.5 cups of ditalini pasta

I added some salt, pepper to taste. A little of thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and oregano. (To taste)

In a dutch pan, put some olive oil and when hot add the garlic for about 15 -20 seconds. Then add all the veggies: onion, potatoes, carrots, celery. Sautee for about 7-10 minutes. Then add the broth and water come to a boil. Add the pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes, I reduced the heat to a medium heat and add all the spices.

To serve they call for some fresh parsley and permesan cheese, but you can also do some cilantro chilli, and lime instead.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chi Tung

On Friday, my friend Tiffiney and I went to Chi Tung Restaurant. It is near my house and has Japanese, Chinese, and Thai food, plus a new Hibachi Steakhouse ( When we first moved to our house about 3 yrs now, we went once. Ordered from the Thai menu and were very disappointed. All of our dishes (our friend Bob went with us) were not good. We ordered the main dishes like Pad Thai, Thai Fried Rice, all without much taste. Also, the soup was more a version of Raman (maybe IT was raman noodles). So, we never went back.
About a week ago, Mike was saying that he had been reading reviews and that Chi Tung scored really high in its food and everytime that we drive by it is packed. I thought maybe after 3 yrs, they changed something? So, I gave it a try. [We actually waited about 10 minutes to be seated, that is how full this place was + countless of take out that I saw in that amount of time].
We ordered two Maki - Spider and Shrimp Tempura, an appetizer from the Thai menu - vegetable potstickers, and the Chinese for 2 - which came with some appetizers: Shrimp Tempura, a BBQ rib, egg roll, Hot and Sour Soup, and the main entrees: Sweet and Sour Chicken and Steak and Broccoli.
The soup came first - no taste, no spice. Oh, oh. Not a good start. Well, let's hope. The Shrimp tempura had a good batter consistency, but still missing on flavor. The rib was ok. At least the meat was soft. The egg roll average. Oh, God. Let's hope for the Thai appetizer. The potstickers came in. They were the best from the meal. Not much inside, they could be a bit more generous in their vegetables, but they were good. The chinese came in, and it was so bland, how can they cook with no flavor?! We did not eat much.
I looked around and saw many people ordering mainly sushi (at least closed to us). Their sushi was so average. I did not think the ingredients were fresh enough, it felt griddy too. In that sense (sushi) this restaurant does not hold a candle to Sesame Inn. If you are in the mood for that, there is no choice go for Sesame Inn.
Yes, the portions for the chinese are pretty big. So, after the whole experience and a huge pack of leftovers. (Tiffiney thought her brothers may eat them), we left the restaurant.
So, nothing was worth coming back. Huge menu not a good idea. I read somewhere "beware of restaurants with big menus". Now, I know why. I still don't understand why is so busy? Well, don't waste your money or time.

[[ Don't know how it is their new Hibachi Steakhouse, but I don't think I will try it]]