Tuesday, January 14, 2020


 We took the ferry to get to Dumbo (Down Under the Brooklyn Bridge) from Manhattan.  It is more efficient, less walking and more direct way to get there from Manhattan without getting turned around in directions by subway.  Pretty way also to get there.  You can pick up the ferry from any ferry stops.

 We picked Juliana’s to get our thin crust pizza.  Grimaldi’s has already sold Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s is so much better!!  If you like thin crust pizza - this is it.
 We also bought the NY original egg cream.  This drink is made with Selter or club soda, milk and chocolate syrup.  I have made it at home.  You can too.
Fill up a tall glass with about 1/2 c of seltzer (or club soda),  add about 1/2 c of milk (or 1/3 c) and chocolate syrup (about 3TB).  Mix with your straw and

Monday, January 6, 2020


After Christmas we went to pack for Las Vegas to meet our friends for a Holiday.  One of the things I wanted to see is the talked about New Year’s Midnight Fireworks!  With this in mind, we looked for a hotel high enough to view the strip and watch the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

One thing I did not realize which we took for granted was the refrigerator stocked with food and the coffee packs in sealed paper cups that usually hotels in other parts of the country and abroad is complimentary.  We did not see this sign.  And if it was important it should have been posted on the fridge and another warning pertaining to every item found on top of the dresser/desk on the wall where one can see it right away.

We used the fridge to store some caviar I brought for New Year’s eve and my husband opened the paper cup containing 2 pods of coffee to make; only to find out that the coffee was $12 and the fridge use $50!  So be careful and read around your room if you are in Vegas.   Call the desk if in doubt so you don’t have to dispute anything and have bad feelings staying wherever you are.

We got a room with a view - that was good.  But do you see my caviar?  It’s nothing fancy.  I just wanted to have at least 12 circles to eat at the strike of 12 midnight at New Year.  Instead of eating 12 grapes, I thought I could easily eat 12 circles of salmon roe caviar in a second!  That should bring prosperity and good luck as believed by some.

Some of my favorite places in Vegas are other casino resorts such as the Venetian where not only did they have a replica of gondolas pretending to be Venice,  and Italian Architecture with frescoes; but they had one of my favorite casual restaurants #Yardbird inside this resort.  At Yardbird, we ate the juicy crisp Southern fried chicken on cheese herbed light crisp waffles served with hot sauce on the side and bourbon maple syrup.  You have to ask for these condiments as when I first went with our friend a couple of days earlier, we did not have syrup nor hot sauce.  It was a surprise to me the second time I ate there that they served this famous chicken and waffle with bourbon maple
Syrup!  I highly recommend the place though. We also had roasted Brussel sprouts with some bourbon maple syrup as well.  This restaurant offers other items more items besides fried chicken and waffles.

As far as the Venetian was concerned - below are some photos I took that impressed me.  You should check it out.

 Driveway at Venetian

 Inside the Venetian with gondolas you can ride and Venetian water way replica
We went to several hotel resorts in the strip and we also liked The Wynn, Cosmopolitan and Bellagio:
 Above is in Bellagio’s.  The chandelier is the entire ceiling made with famous Chuhullui glass art work.  Some of his glass works are worth millions.  I am sure the chandelier is probably worth close to it or in that range!  It is worth seeing to admire it.
 Palazzo and Venetian above.
 The Wynn.  I love this walkway.  It is so whimsical.
 Bellagio’s pool area.
 Cosmopolitan and the giant chandelier in their mall.
 Cosmopolitan Entrance Lobby
 Ceiling from The Wynn
 Video in Bellagio’s area where they always feature something.  During our visit, it was all fantasy Christmas Holiday!
Above is Bellagio’s dancing water fountain show which has been showing since my last visit 10 years ago.  I prefer watching it at dusk or in the evening.

Don’t forget, close by about 30 minutes drive or so west of the strip, you can visit the dessert and the famous Red Rock.  There is also a museum which informs you about the place by film.
Note:  Some of the areas at Red Rock has no satellite reception.  So do not get lost in the dark!  There are no street lights.  But it is a beautiful site to see.  Worth a side trip.

And to celebrate the New Tear we watched Journey at Caesar’s Palace Coliseum.  It was worth the experience.  Not only did they sing songs I wanted to hear but they sung Auld Lang Syne as an encore in their own rendition!
And of course, after all the dining while in Vegas, at last the fireworks viewed from our room.  By the way, since the strip is closed off - don’t bring your car to park in the casinos or you may wait for hours to get out.  First of all, the strip turns pedestrian.  We took the monorail.  Problem is they built it so far to the East that walking to it or from it almost covers the area you could have walked on the strip instead.  And if you go on one side and are staying on the other side of the strip, good luck in locating a place to cross!  They blocked it off so badly that if you are not spending the earlier part of New Year’s eve where you are booked, it is so tiring to walk back to your hotel!  Everything is pedestrian!  On foot!  So I hope you got some tips from this post. 

We had a lovely time with our friends and that counts and mean a lot.  Have a wonderful healthy and Prosperous New Year everyone!

Sunday, January 5, 2020


This recent Christmas, after hearing about Mangalica pigs, I found a purveyor where I could buy the ham.  I like Jamon Iberico de Bellota pata negra but I wanted to try something else.  I wanted to find out what the latest is in Spanish hams.  The links below will tell you more.  But what I would like to share here is when you actually buy the entire ham and serve it at home.  How do you cut it properly to serve it!

I found out the hard way that having this whole ham at your home is a commitment.  It developed into a new project for Christmas.  I have always wondered if buying the entire ham is actually money saving and remain to be a treat given the fact that we now have the entire 16-17 lb of premium ham in my home!  So far, after serving it to my family for Christmas as the main appetizer (yes appetizer), I have not tired of it.

The Mangalica ham is less salty than most I have had.  It is actually very close to Jamon Iberico de Bellota Pata Negra.  Maybe because pig also eats natural food and roams around - free grazing.  They do not add sodium nitrite to make it into ham.  But I found out that it takes almost 4 years to make ham out of it.  It is fatty so I now realize how much I have to throw out. 


Initially, it may sound less expensive than the most expensive ham; but I am beginning to think it is probably in par as to the cost of one because of the amount of fat I discard.  No wonder when I buy Jamon Iberico de Bellota Pata Negra, sometimes I request for the man to remove some fat.  He always says it is what makes it taste good.  Taste good or not, I think it’s really not to waste too much.  That is my own take on this.  Buying an entire ham gives me a chance to analyze the situation.

I then bought the rack to rest the ham before it came because I was worried how to store it and how to cut it right.

At first, I thought with my having more than 10 knives of top qualities at home I certainly was enough to find one that would do the job right.  Wrong!

On Christmas Day, I struggled to make paper thin cuts of ham to serve.  My sister commented that they could see my muscles as I struggled!  I tried 3 different knives all very challenging.

Finally, after New Year when we came back from our trip, I decided to go to DeSpaƱa, a Spanish store I go to in SoHo.  I asked them where I could get a knife to slice my whole ham.  Apparently they did sell them.  I bought the same kind they use.

Low and behold!  Tonight, I flipped the ham over and started a new side to slice from.  Unbelievable!  It was like night and day!  This new knife that professionals use is so easy to use!  He actually described to me why getting this knife will make slicing my ham a cinch!  First it is thin.  Second it has no pointy end to hurt anyone by accident.  It is also flexible because it is very thin.  And Third, there are little dents in the knife which allow my knife to glide through the meat!

Now, with all these gadgets, I am ready to buy another entire ham again in the future.

Below are photographs of my ham, the rack, and the knife.  How my slices looked when I used my knives at home compared to the slices I made with the appropriate and designated knife for ham like this.

The ham above came and was delivered on the date I asked for 

As you can see, there is a difference between the slices made with my home knives I kept trying on Christmas Day.  But the black plate shows how one should cut the ham (paper thin) and look at that perfect knife meant for this type ham!

There you go!  And now I am a Mangalica or Mangalista ham fan!  I don’t tire of it.

By the way, you have to Viber the ham meat with the fat you trim off so the ham does not dry out and get hard.  But if you. Red to turn the ham upside down, the fat won’t stick to meat so the ham specialist at the store suggested I brush the meat with olive oil.

#NYWCA #appetizer #techniques #food #Jamon #appetizer #breakfast

Friday, January 3, 2020

The Adventures of Layla

I have been following the adventures of this little girl in Japan even if I do. It speak the language.  It is interesting!  A little English in between.