Ted’s Cafe Escondido

We had the opportunity to try a new restaurant a few weeks ago when we were in Oklahoma to deliver Brian’s old truck to his dad. We’d been looking to buy a new vehicle for a few years now and just hadn’t found the right one. Plus, we were saving money because we didn’t want to finance it. We paid for Crichton in cash in 2007 and we finished paying off Bebot in 2008. We didn’t want another car payment. However, we promised that we would give the truck to Brian’s dad once we got a new vehicle.

Goodbye, Crichton.

We finally found the exact car that we wanted to add to our family in October. We would have delivered the truck to Oklahoma sooner but we promised Jenni that Brian would help her move in early November so we couldn’t get rid of the truck just yet. Our opportunity came Thanksgiving weekend because neither of us had to work.

It was fitting too. Rather than participating in the consumerist juggernaut that is Black Friday, we used the day to drive to Brian’s parents’ home in Oklahoma and deliver the truck to them. We gave it to them for several reasons. Brian’s dad likes to do projects at home and in his workshop and had been looking for a truck to haul stuff to and from the store. They have a couple of four-door sedans that aren’t really conducive to hauling big, bulky items. We figured that he would get more use out of the truck than we would. We also wanted to get rid of the truck because Brian doesn’t really enjoy helping people move and he got tired of me volunteering him and his truck long ago.

It didn’t make sense to sell the truck or trade it in because we wouldn’t get what it was worth. Plus, Brian’s dad was looking for a truck and it didn’t make sense for him to buy one when we had a truck that we no longer needed. Giving them the truck was a great way to say thank you for everything they’d done for us over the years. And, how appropriate that it happened on Thanksgiving weekend.

Ted's Cafe Escondido on Urbanspoon

But I digress… I really wanted to tell you about this restaurant that Brian’s parents took us to that day. The place is called Ted’s Cafe Escondido. We don’t have one here in Wichita, but it’s very similar to Abuelo’s. They have the same kind of tortilla chips that I like and the menu options are similar. Prices are comparable also. I guess the restaurant is more like Abuelo’s and Felipe’s together. You’ll see what I mean when you see the food pictures.

Untitled

Brian had a bean and cheese burrito smothered in queso. This is what my unadventurous husband gets everywhere. Unless we’re splitting something. Then he is forced to eat what I’m having. LOL.

Untitled

I had the pork chile verde and Brian wanted nothing to do with it.

Untitled

Donna had the handmade tamales.

Untitled

I can’t remember what kind of burrito David had because so much time has passed. I really should have blogged this weeks ago but we’ve been super busy.

The restaurant gives you a free sapodilla on request. It’s good but not as good as the mini, bite-sized sapodillas at Felipe’s Jr. You have to pay for those, though. One could argue that free is better. LOL.

Of the places we’ve tried in the area, which is not many because we’ve only been down there a couple of times since they moved, this one is my favorite. That doesn’t say much, I suppose. Check back in a few months.

Thanksgiving 2014

My coworkers take Thanksgiving very seriously. Our lounge area and break room were totally decked out last month for Harvest Feast.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Our coworkers who organized Harvest Feast really outdid themselves this year. They even got matching aprons. How cool is that?

Untitled

We all chipped in $5 for the meats but Brian didn’t want me to show up to work empty handed so he made me the banana pudding dessert thing that we love so I would have something to bring to the potluck.

Untitled

It was a huge hit. How could it not be? This thing is like crack. Anyway, if you’d like the recipe or if you’d like to see all the other variations we’ve made in the past go here.

Untitled

We hosted Thanksgiving again this year so I decided that I probably ought to decorate. We found this beautiful wreath at the store that matched our Christmas tree on the main floor, which is natural and woodsy, so we had to get it. It looks great, don’t you think?

Untitled

This is the Christmas tree in the basement.

Untitled

We didn’t decorate too much but we put up enough decorations to be somewhat festive.

Untitled

Untitled

We like personalized things. Can you tell?

Untitled

I liked these napkins and placemats not only because they’re personalized with our last name initial but mainly because they’re neutral and match the rest of our decor.

Untitled

We brought out our wine glasses for mimosas so I finally had the opportunity to use my festive wine charms.

Untitled

This was Molly’s first Thanksgiving back with us.

Untitled

Molly and grandma kept each other company as we reheated the food that was carefully prepared by the Fresh Market.

Untitled

We had a great time celebrating with family.

Untitled

Here are some pictures of the food we enjoyed at Thanksgiving.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

We were wise this year and created a project plan for when things needed to go in the oven. It worked out perfect. Everything finished right on schedule.

The food was delicious and we had way more food than we needed. I’m thinking either we order less food or invite more people to our little Thanksgiving shindig next time.

Untitled

Jenni’s birthday was the day before Thanksgiving so we celebrated with her.

Untitled

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Until next year!

Bowling Update

So I’d been trying to bowl a 500-series since the Fall league started and I kept failing miserably. Well, guess what. I actually did it twice while mom and dad were in the Philippines. I wouldn’t have believed it myself had I not been there to witness myself do it. LOL. Even an blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes.

Untitled

Seriously though, I may be a better bowler than I believe myself to be. Perhaps it’s time that I stop selling myself short and start concentrating so I can live up to my potential.

Untitled

I’m obviously capable of bowling a 500-series. I just need to do it consistently.

20141102_193554

Brian says I bowled well because I was relaxed and was having a great time. Mom says I bowled well because I was bowling with friends and I was trying to impress them with my bowling skills. Either way, we had a great time bowling with Linsday and Dawn over the past three weeks. They were the best subs ever and helped us earn 11 points, almost a perfect run. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome.

Now, instead of being one of the bottom teams, we are one of the top teams. I hope that we can continue our streak now that mom and dad are back. We shall see how it goes tonight. Wish us luck!

Thank You

Untitled

Thank you to everyone who celebrated my birthday with me. Thank you for all the cards, presents, hugs, and birthday wishes. You all really know how to make a girl feel special!

My Favorite Time of Year is Here

Fall is my favorite time of year not just because my birthday falls during this season and I milk every stinking second of it and force everyone to be nice to me, but because the weather is absolutely perfect. It’s neither too hot nor too cold and the foliage begins to change colors. It’s probably prettier in New England but, even in Kansas, Fall is breathtaking. I love Fall!

We had some fantastic weather this weekend so we took advantage of it and drove around in Alex, the newest member of our household fleet.

Untitled

Grandma was super excited to ride in Alex yesterday citing that it’s her first time riding in a convertible in all of her 92 years. Brian was like, “Had I known she we be so excited to ride in a convertible I would have gotten one years ago.”

Alex is definitely flashier than Bebot but to me, a car is a car. I actually still prefer driving around in Bebot so I’ve only driven Alex a couple of times. Brian gets to drive Alex a lot more than I do even though Alex is technically my birthday present.

I know, I know. My new Frye boots and my new iPhone were supposed to be my birthday presents but I’m milking this birthday thing, remember?

Anyway, since we haven’t given Brian’s truck to his dad yet (we promised Jenni that we would help her move so we’re hanging on to the truck until then) I’m either driving the truck or Bebot. Mostly because Bebot has great gas mileage.

My little sister Nickira noticed Alex in garage last week when we came home to say hi to Brian after spending the afternoon at the Wichita Art Museum and the Keeper of the Plains. She was curious about the new vehicle because she hadn’t seen it before and wanted to know whose it was. After she found out it was mine, she wanted to ride in it. It’s amazing to me how a ten year old can tell the difference between cars and know that one is better than the other. I suppose Bebot can’t transform into a convertible but the top was up on Alex the first time she saw the car parked in the garage yet it still intrigued her. Maybe it’s mostly that she hadn’t seen it before? Whatever the case may be, I found her reaction to Alex quite interesting.

Here are some more pictures of Alex. Enjoy!

Family Brunch at Cracker Barrel

.facebook_-254098273

Jenni and Ben were in town visiting this weekend. They spent the night on Thursday night before heading to Kansas City on Friday and spending the night there coming back on Saturday. Since they were in town, they joined us for the monthly poker game at Rune’s. I was worried about taking them to poker for fear that they would be bored. Little did I know, Ben is an avid and skilled poker player. He took third last night. As for me and Brian, let’s just say it was an expensive evening and leave it at that. LOL.

It took us about an hour to get home last night, but that’s a story for another time. Needless to say, we were up too late and had to be up early to meet everyone for brunch. I’m glad I’m a morning person or I would have been cranky about the wait.

Jenni and Ben got there first. They were told there would a 35 minute wait, which is long but not unreasonable. Anyway, we find out later that a group of nine who arrive after us got seated before us while we continued to wait. After waiting almost an hour, we were finally seated. In the mean time, the wait gave me a chance to play Ben a game of checkers. I’m thinking that I might switch to checkers because I’m actually not bad at it. I have a better record at checkers than chess this year.

Brunch was good despite the slow service. Our server was nice. I can’t really blame her for the mix up with the seating. It took a long time for our food to arrive but that could have been the kitchen’s fault. They were probably just busier than usual that day. I didn’t want to let these things affect the rest of my day though, so I chose to be more tolerant about the whole situation. Plus, I was just really grateful for the wonderful company (and free lunch because mom and dad paid – LOL).

After brunch Brian and I took grandma to Kohl’s to pick out a watch. We had promised her one for her birthday but didn’t get a chance to buy it because we had a busy week following our trip. This actually worked out better because then grandma got to pick out the exact one that she wanted.

20140629_130822

Overall it has been a great day so far. We had a great time with family, got grandma’s watch, and Brian fixed her computer. Hope the wonderfulness of the day continues tonight at bowling. I’m looking forward to winning some points again tonight so we can start moving up in the rankings.

Pictures From the Annual Filipino Ball

The Filipino Ball is a celebration of milestones — debutantes, wedding anniversaries, achievements — in the Filipino community. It’s a chance for us to relive prom night in that we get to wear our fanciest clothes. Women are in beautiful gowns and men are in colorful and stylish barongs. It’s a pretty formal event so you can be as fancy as you want to be. Brian opted to wear his tux this year. Yeah, we’re still trying to get our money’s worth. LOL.

IMG_185594774230485

These are some of my favorite photos from last night. Huge thanks to Jennifer Cannady for taking the photo above. I’ve put on some weight in the last couple of years and actually don’t look too bad in this photo. LOL. Brian, my very own James Bond, looks amazing as always.

20140621_205506

If you recognize my dress it’s because I recycled it. It’s the same dress that I wore to the American Heart Association benefit earlier this year. I would have preferred to have worn a new dress but life has been hectic and I didn’t have time to shop. Rather than stress about it, I figured I’d just wear one of the ones I already had hanging in the closet. I wore new jewelry to freshen it up a bit. This is the Kahlo line. If you’d like to see it up close or want to schedule a trunk show, contact me.

20140621_185427

20140621_184519

Mom and dad with the Cannadys at the Filipino Ball.

Untitled

20140621_201728

IMG_185648204232004

IMG_185675061059457

Obligatory selfieā€¦ because we have to take at least one of the two of us.

Untitled

The Filipino Ball is the one time a year that we get to see people who we don’t normally see on a regular basis. Kids babies and children grow up to be adults almost overnight it seems. It’s like one year they were children and the next they’re hosting the event. Yes, I’m talking about Jenna. She was a baby when Brian and I first started attending the gala and now she’s a grown woman. Amazing. Brian and I still feel pretty youthful but this is the one event that’s guaranteed to make you feel old. Before the evening is even over I always end up wondering, “Are we really that old?”

We must be because I actually enjoy the event now and I didn’t used to. In my youth I used to dread having to attend. “Do I really have to?” This was one of those parties that was forced upon you by your parents. I don’t know how the other kids felt or how the kids today feel. It was not a fun party for me. It wasn’t really that much fun watching old people drink and make fools of themselves on the dance floor. Now I’m one of those old people. It’s awesome how time can change your perspective.

It used to that you couldn’t pay me to attend now and I’m actually paying to go. If you told me years ago that this would happen, I never would have believed you. LOL.

The Filipino Ball has become one of those events that I actually look forward to attending each year. I love watching the kids grow up and watching families expand as they welcome new family members. As long as I can look youngish and have my handsome James Bond by my side, I really don’t mind feeling old for a night.

Grandma’s 92nd Birthday

We celebrated grandma’s 92nd birthday at Firebirds last night. It was also a late birthday dinner for Brian and late Father’s Day celebration. We didn’t have time to figure out what to do for gifts for everyone so we just decided to buy everyone dinner. It was a little lazy on our part, I know; but what can you do when you’ve just gotten back from traveling and you have to get on with everyday life real quick? I was back to my day job and teaching my Zumba classes right off the bat.

20140619_183840

Without further ado, here are some of the pictures from last night.

20140619_184217

Mom and dad were able to join us so that was great.

20140619_183937

Brian got a card that makes noise and some cash for his birthday from his mom and dad. He is so easily amused.

20140619_184033

Mom really thought this was a half portion.

Untitled

Brian got ribs. He said they were very good.

Untitled

Grandma got pasta.

Dad got a wood grilled salmon.

20140619_192118

Kevin got a cheeseburger.

20140619_192303

I had a Fireside BLT with grilled salmon.

20140619_192309

Donna got meatloaf.

David got a steak filet and fries.

We all shared a couple of slices of the banana cream pie.

Close up!

20140619_194815

Grandma got a nice card from the Firebirds staff.

Untitled

We had to take a selfie!

Untitled

Here’s a photo of the Brubakers outside the restaurant after dinner.

Picture from last night.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill on Urbanspoon

Food at the restaurant was actually better than I remembered. I have always liked their bread because it reminds me of pan de sal. The servers brought us several loaves well before we could even finish one.

I’m not sure about the others but my food was pretty good. The last time I had salmon at Firebirds it was a little overdone. It seemed that way anyhow. I thought I would give them another chance and get salmon again. This time to just add to my salad. The salmon was done absolutely perfectly. It didn’t dry up so that was great.

Our server recommended their seasonal dessert, a banana cream pie on steroids. We shared two slices of the pie. It was delicious. I hope Brian learns how to make it because I would love to have some again. LOL.

Brian Gets Balls, Bowls 172

Brian inherited a couple of bowling balls from his late grandfather a few years ago, but he never got them drilled. He just kept bowling with them even though they didn’t fit properly. It wasn’t really a big deal when we were only bowling occasionally (as in, once a year, if that). Since we recently joined a summer bowling league with mom and dad, we figured it was time to get the balls properly fitted.

Untitled

We left the two bowling balls at the bowling alley’s pro shop and they said to just come 30 minutes early the following Sunday to pick them up. For the first time ever Brian switched to a finger tip grip. When he tested the balls, he got three strikes and a spare. He was hesitant to go from conventional grip to finger tip grip at first, but now I think he’s sold. LOL.

image

With his brand new bowling shoes (only worn twice so far) and newly drilled and fitted bowling balls he was probably feeling pretty legit. He actually bowled better than the rest of us on his first game.

20140525_173634

Mom, dad, and I cleaned house last week when we were supposed to be sandbagging and then totally tanked yesterday. Well, dad did alright. Mom and I didn’t live up to our averages. Needless to say, we lost to the opposing team. Blech.

image

The men carried us last night. It as a little disappointing but at least the other team was nice about it. They didn’t gloat like we would have if we would’ve won. LOL. I’m kidding! We wouldn’t have gloated. We are good sports too. Anyway, congrats to both Brian and dad for bowling above their respective averages.

As for me, I plan to bowl my first 200 game of the bowling league (and my first one of the year) next week. Stay tuned!

Flip and Ching Join a Bowling League

image

After over a decade of marriage Brian and I finally joined our first bowling league. It’s a mixed league at Derby Bowl on Sunday nights. We are on a team with mom and dad. We named our team ALOBAKER because it’s a combination of our last names. Not very creative, but it works. LOL.

20140518_182546

Our first league night was last Sunday. We had to be there early for a league meeting, to make some decisions about what to do about the holiday weekend, prize pool, etc. We also had to pay our sanction fees. The guy in charge of the league gave us the option of paying $21 to be sanctioned for a full year or $10 for just the summer league, which is an option if you’re not interested in being eligible for awards.

Brian asked what option I wanted. He was leaning more towards just paying the $10 because he didn’t foresee joining another league after this one ends. I was like, “Hello? Do you know who you’re talking to?” I want to get awards!

We both opted to pay the full sanction fee. Dad hadn’t bowled in a league in several years so he had to pay the sanction fee as well. Mom was already a sanctioned member.

Since the three of us were new league bowlers we had to set our averages. I wanted to set a low one so I could get a higher handicap. I think that was the plan for all of us. It was not to be, though. Dad bowled amazing. I bowled pretty well too despite all my efforts to sandbag. Mom says the more you try to sandbag, the more relaxed you are and you actually end up bowling better.

Let me explain the whole bowling handicap concept. The idea is to add points/pins to the score to make the game more competitive for less experienced and expert bowlers alike. Without the handicap the better bowlers will always win and it wouldn’t be as much fun playing. Handicaps equalize the playing field so as long as you bowl your average game or better then you have a fair shot at winning.

The handicap is based on a percentage of the difference between a bowler’s average score and the basis score. For our league we agreed upon a bowling handicap of 90% of 210. Since I bowled an average of 150 over three games last Sunday, my handicap is 54.

Here’s the calculation:
210 – 150 = 60
60 X .90 = 54

This means that when we bowl next week I get to add 54 points to my total for each game. This is why I wanted to set a low average. I was actually going for 130 which would have given me a handicap of 72. Knowing that I’m fully capable of consistently bowling an average of 150, that would have given me a 20 pin advantage. Now imagine if Brian and dad sandbagged also. We’d win every week!

Alas, I set my normal average. I tried to sandbag, but it didn’t work. Mom blames it on the law of averages — the belief that outcomes of a random event will tend to even out. For instance, she bowled 192 on her first game and 200 on her second game. Guess what she scored on the final game. She bowled a 109. It is a terrible game by mom’s standards but she explains it away as the law of averages at work. Mom’s average is around 170. The average of her three games that night is 167, not far from her typical performance. So she predicted that she would bowl a lower scoring third game because the law of averages assumes that it has to balance out.

I believe in the law of averages over the long term, but I avoid thinking about it or using it to explain events because I think it then becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. If you bowl two great games as mom did and you believe that the third game will be crappy (because of the law of averages) then that’s exactly what will happen. Why? Because energy follows thought. I think mom was fully capable of bowling a 600 series that night. She’s done it before so it wouldn’t be such a fluke. She just had to believe that she could do it rather than thinking that the third game was the balancing event according to the law of averages. As for me, I intend to bowl better than my average every week from here on out. I want to win some awards, darn it!

Next Page →