I always like doing special things for the holidays and the holidays here in Atlanta have not been very special or like the holidays for me. What with the lack of snow and the fact that my dear husband was far too busy at his job to do things with me. He finally has a little more free time, and in an effort to make Atlanta and December feel a little more like the holidays for us, we put together a list of things we want to attempt to do this month.
- Georgia Aquarium Festival of the SEAson
- Stone Mountain Christmas
- decorate the house for the holidays
- host a holiday party
- host game night
- see Frozen at Atlantic Station
- listen to Christmas music
- get the books organized and shelved
- donate clothes to the Salvation Army
- attend our Sunday school Christmas party
- go hot tubbing
- make snow? (maybe)
- make sugar cookies
- give out hot chocolate mix gifts
- do family pictures with the dogs
- send Christmas cards
- come up with something new to do on date night
- finish out the guest room
- learn a christmas carol in ASL
- make eggnog
- have a christmas movie night
When I was growing up, one of my favorite things about the holidays was always the food. For our wedding, my brother put a LOT of hard work into making me a binder of all our family recipes, including some of our very favorite holiday foods. This is one of the things we use a lot, for appetizers on Thanksgiving, and for snacking around Christmas, it’s also something we put together a lot to take out to a party where we’re asked to bring something.
When I got married, I started eliminating a lot of things from my diet, particularly dairy and gluten to a certain extent. I’ve found that kefir and greek yogurt doesn’t bother me as much for dairy, and so I adapted this recipe for that.
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon onion flakes
1 Tablespoon parsley
measure and mix all ingredients in glass or plastic bowl.
refrigerate dip for about two hours until it thickens.
serve with raw veggies for dipping.
Tomorrow Wes and I are both serving our Sunday school class, Wes is talking about Thailand while I made snacks for us to bring. I made my mom’s carrot cake with the carrot shreds from my carrot apple lime juicing. I also made this quiche/frittata thing to take.
Slightly different recipe than I usually use. I took parts of a ‘soufflé’ recipe I found on another website, and my own crustless quiche recipe, and mashed them up.
Spinach and Sundried Tomato Quiche
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cheese (I used 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar).
1 Tablespoon of basil (dried, use a little more if fresh)
Salt and Pepper to your taste.
About 8 sundried tomatoes in oil (chopped)
around 2 cups of spinach, wilted down
1 italian sausage, out of it’s casing, crumbled and cooked
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a bowl, mix the 9 eggs with milk, add the salt, pepper, basil, and cheese. Once all that is well mixed, spray your 9X13 pan with cooking spray. Layer the spinach and sausage in the pan, put it in the oven to wilt the spinach down a bit — about five minutes. Add your chopped tomatoes to the egg mixture, and pour it all into the pan over the spinach and sausage. Bake it all for 30 minutes. Top with more cheese in the last five minutes of baking for a nice crust.
Quiche Sundried Tomato Spinach
Early on the morning of the 26th of September, Wes and I got a early taxi to take our flight to Bangkok, Thailand.
Wes on an Air Asia plane, someone doesn’t quite fit.
Our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok was fairly uneventful. Aside from the problem of Wes NOT fitting in the seat at all. It was pretty funny. Normally he is a kind husband and lets me take the aisle seat because I have to get up to go to the bathroom at least once on every flight. I let him have the aisle on this flight in the hopes that it would help him fit a little more. And I also gave him about half of my own seat as well. It wasn’t comfortable for him, but we managed.
When we arrived in Bangkok, we checked into the hotel and ventured out on the water taxi to get things like wifi at Pantip Plaza. It ended up being an exhausting day with all that travel and we got to bed at a fairly early time.
The second day we were in Malaysia, we were fortunate enough to trek out to the Malaysia Federation for the Deaf and meet up with our friend Salazar.
Sali is an older Deaf man, who himself is a Malay. He went to school in Malaysia and then went to Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. for college (for those who don’t know about Gallaudet, it is one of the three major universities for the Deaf in the United States. Gallaudet University is officially bilingual, with American Sign Language and English used for instruction and by the college community. Although there are no specific ASL proficiency requirements for undergraduate admission, many graduate programs do require varying degrees of knowledge of the language as a prerequisite.)
Sali came back to Kuala Lumpur after graduating college to start the Malaysian Federation for the Deaf, which does things like Vocational Rehabilitation in the United States — helping the Deaf get jobs and an education.
We visited with him at the MFD for a while, and then went out for dinner before Wes and I had to be back to the Intercontinental for a special end-of-conference party.
The first full day of the Hack in the Box conference in Kuala Lumpur was also the day that Wes was scheduled to give a two hour workshop on a program that he created specifically for this workshop.
Our morning was spent in the Speaker’s Lounge, drinking coffee, him working on the finishing touches for his slides, and waiting for the interpreter to arrive.
After lunch, Wes went into one of the workshop conference rooms and taught about his creation, using coding and innovation to create a visualization online.
After the talk, we were glad it was done — and tired!
We arrived at the train station in Kuala Lumpur on October 15th very early. We went to the Furama Hotel to drop our bags before stopping by the Intercontinental where the HitB conference was set up. We stayed the 15th and 16th at the Furama and we went to the Intercontinental on the 17th to finish out the week. We got breakfast at a patisserie in the Low Yat Plaza, which is a big technology mall in Kuala Lumpur.
While we were at the pre conference stuff, we had some good coffee. Wes worked for a few hours on his talk, and then he was so tired he went back to the Furama hotel by about 3pm and slept all afternoon.
While Wes was sleeping, I went to the hotel gym. It was very boring compared to US hotel gyms with no TVs at all… I ran intervals for an hour and did an arm weights workout. I went back to our room after, took a shower, and was in bed asleep with Wes by 7pm. We got up around 12 for dinner, sort of, and went back to sleep until 8am the next day.
On the 17th, I spent a while sitting at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf while Wes searched for a wireless router for his presentation in the Plaza. I’m was about halfway through book #7. I’m was really glad we had our Nook readers, mine escaped the burglary because it was stuck in the shelf under the cat in the office. I guess the burglar didn’t want to deal with or search for things to steal near her. He stole Wes’s nook, but it was funny to us since it was already broken and needed replacing. So we replaced it along with my iPad and computer.
When Wes found the rest of his gear we went back to the hotel where I ran intervals for an hour and lifted weights at the hotel gym. Wes worked more on his workshop after that, and during my workout time, and he was still working when I went to sleep — and when I woke up around 2 in the morning to go to the bathroom.
Making faces at Wes.
The usual dutch french braid.
Wes says he loves this picture.
Wes talking to me at breakfast.
Sitting on a pouf in Low Yat Plaza while Wes does technology hunting.
The view of our hotel pool at the Furama from the gym.
We enjoyed exploring Singapore and got all ready to make our cross-country train trip. Late in the evening, around 11 pm we boarded the train to Kuala Lumpur. We got a very nice first class car with a bathroom, shower and two bunk beds to ourselves. Wes didn’t exactly fit on the bunks so he didn’t sleep very well but I was wiped so I slept straight through the night.
In the morning, Wes woke me up around d 6:30. We took turns using the shower in our car. It was pretty weird. The shower operates by pump so basically you get spurts of really cold water for about five minutes for your shower… But it’s better than nothing and definitely a new experience showering in a moving train.
There’s a YouTube video here showing all the spaces in our cabin.
We arrived in Singapore at the strangest time, having taken a flight that amounted to a red-eye. We got to the airport at 3 am, and we had reserved our hotel room for the next day so we ended up having to stay up and walk around Singapore for a few hours until 7 am before we could check in (or we could spend double our booking price for a room to sleep in for four hours.)
As it was, we didn’t have the money to do that easily! So instead we went out searching for an early breakfast. (I’m convinced this is part of why it took us nearly a week to get on the SE Asia timetable, normally jet lag isn’t this bad for either of us). We were in a good walking area but a lot of the cafes and restaurants were closed this early, so our only option ended up being a McDonald’s.
McDonald’s in Southeast Asia is definitely something different. All the egg sandwiches are sort of fried eggs. (overcooked fried eggs, and I can only manage to sort of choke down the ones from McD’s.) We got breakfast sandwiches and hash browns with Chinese milk tea. The place did offer some Singapore specific meals, these being a beef or chicken Samurai burger and seaweed shaker fries. We didn’t try those. Wes tried a matcha McFlurry with Oreo bits. Not too bad.
We slept all day after that breakfast and then went out again at an odd hour to eat. We took a shorter nap the next morning and went out in the afternoon to see a little bit of Singapore before our overnight train ride to Malaysia.
First up, the Singapore Flyer. The Singapore Flyer is a giant ferris wheel in Singapore, constructed between 2005 and 2008. Described by its operators as an observation wheel, it reaches 42 stories high, with a total height of 541 ft, making it the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, 16 ft taller than the Star of Nanchang and 98 ft taller than the London Eye.
After the Flyer, we found a coffee shop to pass a few hours in reading, and writing emails (or working on his presentation for Wes), and we hung out until it was time for us to go recover our bags from the hotel and get on the 11pm train into Kuala Lumpur.
Green Pepper Quiche
The rest of this weekend is pretty busy for us, with the carpenter coming to finally install bars on our bedroom windows and get the cameras set up outside to monitor the house. Maybe after all that, we’ll finally sleep better and feel a bit safer after our recent burglary.
This means tomorrow I have to get up and go straight to the pool to swim before anything else so that I can be home in the afternoon for the carpenter. All the last two weeks, Wes and I have taken turns being home at all times so that the house is never empty again before we are sure it is secured and the thieves won’t be coming back.
So I made a quiche, which will be a super easy breakfast to just drop in front of my husband before I run to catch the train to the gym in the morning.
Green Pepper Quiche with Quinoa Crust
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked (I used veggie broth)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 green pepper, sliced (or diced to your preference)
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped (1/2 to 3/4 cup total)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%, but normally I would use coconut milk if I intended to eat it)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 and spray the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray (I use olive oil).
Press the quinoa into the bottom of the pan to make a crust.
Pre-Bake your crust for 15 minutes.
HEAT oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Reduce heat to medium; stir in shallots and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
WHISK eggs in large bowl; gradually whisk in milk. Then whisk in the cheese until it’s all combined. Season with salt and pepper.
BAKE for 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. To serve, carefully loosen and lift side of springform pan. Gently peel away paper. Cut into wedges.