Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanksgiving in Arizona Recap

Oh how I LOVE being on vacation during the holidays. I don't have to work, I get to be with my family and I get to eat ALL THE TIME.

2nd night there my sister-in-law made fish tacos for us with seasoned tilapia. It was really good cuz the fish didn't taste like fish. I love having a lot of fixens to put on my tacos so we had normal stuff like diced tomatoes, sour cream, homemade gaucamole (my fav), black beans/corn, shredded chedder cheese, refried beans with cheese, lime and lettuce/cilantro. My sister-in-law used corn tortillas and gently pan fried them in oil to get them warm and soft. I thought that was a great idea because I usually use flour tortillas and microwave them.

3rd night my mom went to Costco to get stuff for Thanksgiving. She ended up getting food for dinner that night too so no one would have to cook. We had BBQ ribs, a sushi platter and pasta salad with chicken. The ribs were tender and had a nice sauce. The sushi wasn't great since none of it was raw, and the rice was kinda mushy. However the pasta salad was really flavorful and came with a sort of ceaser dressing.

4th day was Thanksgiving and there was a lot of cooking going on! I on the other hand was just playing with the kids cuz y'all know the kitchen is really not my forte. We had a traditional meal for about 30 people. There was turkey, honey bakes ham, roast beef, salad, corn souffle, candied yams, garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. I love Thanksgiving food. I was insanely full for the rest of the night and didn't get to try the dessert =(

Here are only some of the desserts like sour cream raisin pie with merengue, pumpkin pie, apple pie, toffee walnuts, fruit (Asian people always have sliced fruit for dessert), pecan pie (Safeway brand, don't buy it cuz it was bad), and this Vietnamese spongey-cake-geletin thing called 'Banh Bo', which literally means Crawling Cake cuz its jiggley. It tastes like coconut.

That same night I went to another relative's house for another Thanksgiving and this one had less traditional food and more Vietnamese food. Like a Vietnamese salad, egg rolls, mushroom soup, etc. I had some of their turkey that had bacon on it and that was good. I didn't eat much else cuz I was stuffed from the previous meal, but I did eat some dessert. There was home made cheesecake, cupcakes, cake with Jello and whipped cream, and flan. I had a slice of cheesecake cuz I wasn't able to eat dessert at the other house. It was really good with fruit on top.

On Black Friday we went to Pacific Seafood Buffet, which is really a Chinese buffet with lots of seafood. It was a really good buffet with an awesome sushi bar, Alaskan Crab legs, green tea ice cream, and all of the other normal dishes for only $14 a head. I had 3 scoops of ice cream and a ton of crab legs and sushi.

On the weekend some new friends and family met at my mom's house for some Vietnamese and American food. We got Pizza Hut's Pizza Mias, some appetizers from a local Italian place, green papaya salad with Vietnamese beef jerky, and a noodle soup with chicken, egg and Vietnamese Spam called 'Bun Thang'. It was actually really fun meeting new people and sitting at the 'Under 40' table because if you're not a parent of grown children or grand parent then you sit at the kids table.

Since I did a review on YogiBerry, I decided I wanted to try a different frozen yogurt place out there called TCBY/Beriyo. They seemed to have a lot more smoothie options than toppings to personalize one's dessert cup. They did offer cones, and did have other options that didn't come out of a soft serve machine. I liked it because they had a lot of cool smoothie options, and I ended up getting a blend of pineapple, strawberry and banana.

On Sunday my mom taught my cousin and I how to make 'Ca Kho To' which is Vietnamese Caramelized Fish. It's usually made with catfish, but you can really make this sauce for any sort of meat. Earlier in the day we made a Gingerbread house with the kids and just used a kit that came with the gingerbread, icing mix and candy. It was really fun and it looked great in the end.
Random, but Thanksgiving morning my sister-in-laws family went into their backyard and got some aloe plant to mix into a strawberry/banana smoothie. It was really good, and it's healthy for you. I think it's so cool that they can grow stuff like that in their back yard cuz over here in MD, it'd die cuz it would be too cold.

Besides food, I got to go with my family to Sedona, which is about 2 hrs north of Phoenix. It's a really beautiful city with red rock mountains. We did a little hiking (the upper left pic shows me leaping to my death! haha jk), photography, and ate sandwiches from an eatery in town.

I had a great time chowing down, photographing beautiful scenery, being in such nice weather, and being around my family. Hope you guys had a nice Turkey Day too!

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