The Holidays have come and gone.  And as always, they go by in a blink!  I’m not one that loves to receive gifts.  Just more to dust.  That or it all goes to the salvation army sooner usually than later in our household.  But the one true thing I love about the holidays is basking in the quality time spent with loved ones.  After spending time with my mom on Christmas Eve, I felt so lucky I still have her around!  Here is my excerpt on that fantastic evening!

True gifts can never be bought…… We were gathered around the Christmas table talking and laughing over full bellies. As I looked back over my shoulder, I saw my mother quietly sitting on the couch and observing us with a sheer smile over her face. Her transparencies showed loud and clear. And she was literally glowing from within. As I watched her basking in the beauty of watching her grown children and grandchildren, I felt her energy radiating with love. My heart became so full as I watched her beam this unconditional love for us and my heart overflowed with love back towards her. I felt such mixed emotions. Especially since I know her health hasn’t been the greatest this year. I am grateful I still have the gift of her presence. It’s one of the many gifts I have received this year that can never be bought! Thank you God for the company of my mother and the many priceless blessings you have given me this Christmas season!

So anyways, me and my mom have been enjoying our quality time together ringing in  more parties for the New Year!  We went to my aunts surprise 70th birthday the first Saturday in January and the theme was 70’s!  How cliche is that?!  But I had nothing 70’s in my closet to wear.  I woke up that morning and low and behold, my momz dress she wore in 1975 was peeking down at me from the top of the closet!  Funny how things work itself out sometimes!  She was a little thing too at 9 months preggers with me, sporting that small dress!  Here she is with the Windy city, Chi-town, at her back, ready to pop…

Fast fwd to present.  This is my cameo in the same dress.  I think this was a 70’s moo moo style island dress!    And let me tell you,  it hurt to squeeze into this thing.    I’d like to think my biceps were bulging out of the sleeves because I’m buff like Angelina Jolie.  Not so much!

My daughter walked past us as my husband was having a bit of trouble zipping the back and said, “Wow mom, you’re really fat in that”!  And sped off as quickly as she said it.  Seriously?!  We just about died laughing.  Kids and their “I don’t know any better,  so sometimes  I have diarrhea of the mouth” one liners!  Oh boy! I let that one slide.

Anyways, After that 70’s party, I had my mom spend the night for a slumber party with the kids! We made Sinigang!  One of her favorite soups!  This is a traditional Filipino tamarind based soup that I discovered works out really well in the crock pot!!  Very popular, very easy and very sour!  Which is why so many of us love it!  Including my kids!  Ah, they are so Filipino. Makes this mama proud!   I used what I had on hand.

Slumber party part 1 (Siningang)

Ingredients:

3 to 4 pound beef chuck .roast

1 Knorr tamarind based  Sinigang packet

(Note: Do not get mixed up with the guava based sinigang as this is not sour)  One way I remember is to always buy the packet that has the shrimp on it. (Jeffro tip)

1 diced tomato

1/2 pound green beans  cut in half

1/2 pound baby eggplant cut in quarters

3/4 pound greens such as spinach or turnip greens

Patis to taste aka fish sauce – optional

First I turned my crock pot on and placed my roast in it.  I mixed 6  cups water to one knorr tamarind sinigang packet.  I use two cups less water than what the package instructions call for in order to make it extra sour.  This was actually a great suggestion from my friend Jeff.  Who would’ve thought?  A white boy schooling a Filipino how to make sinigang even better.  He surprised me with such teachings after having been based in Guam and Japan for 5 years in the Navy.  He came back dang near Filipino eating like a true local.  Spam and all!  lol Anyways, pour the mixture over the roast.  And set on high for roughly4 to 5 hrs.  Or low for 8 to 10 depending on how much time you have.  Easy right?!

During the last hour of cooking add your green beans and sliced eggplant

And at the last half hr of cooking I take the meat out of the crock pot and cut into chunks and add it back to the crock pot.  Then add tomatoes and leafy greens!

Here it is simmering away about ready to be devoured!!  Sorry about the blurriness.  Not so quality but that doesn’t matter cause it is oh sooo good!

At this point you can add a few dashes of patis if you want it extra authentic or you can even add a dash of patis to the serving bowls as you wish.

And here is the momz enjoying it during our sleep over!

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