better with bananas in the sauce...

A few weeks ago, in response to my "Ask Me Anything" post, my dear BIRL (buddy-in-real-life) Albert posed...
"If you had a bottle of banana sauce and some chicken, is there any particular recipe you would follow to make the best dish possible?"
Okay, before y'all start thinking that my friends are really mental patients who secretly spam people with emails of questionable food combinations, I must confess that...

(a) there is such a thing as banana sauce. Made with actual bananas. It's a "Product of the Philippines" thing. No, it doesn't taste like bananas. Yes, it tastes good, and is served as a condiment, much like ketchup. It's even red! -- by artificial means, but still -- RED!
In fact, Roomie used it as a ketchup substitute during his "I Like Tomatoes But Will Not Eat Them, and No, I'm Not Allergic to Them" period. Yeah, that's a topic for a whole different blog post.

(b) Roomie and I told Albert -- when was that? during a visit to 'Pegville? -- about it, that he should try it, and that I'd give him my favourite bbq sauce recipe that uses banana sauce.
Well, that was ages ago, and I still haven't given him the recipe. And that question was his gentle prodding, his reminder, so to speak. Oh, and obviously, I suck.

So, to hopefully minimize my suckage quotient, here's my answer to Albert's question and an awesome recipe long overdue to an old friend... Enjoy!


1 - 1-1/2 cup white vinegar (the more vinegar, the more bite)
1/2 cup banana sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
5 cloves garlic, crushed then chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste




Combine all of the Sauce Ingredients together in a bowl or a container with a lid. Cover and refridgerate for at least 4 hours -- for best flavour, overnight it.

Marinate Meat Ingredients in sauce overnight, then grill or bake, basting with the sauce frequently.

Eat tasty, delicious, saucy meat. And do a happy dance for the awesomeness of Nenette! :)

Okay, folks! Let me know if you try it! Enjoy!

Survey Says...

Our own sweet-n-sassy Adam made this survey and told us to steal it.
Um. Okay! So, in honour of the dear dude who is enabling my life of crime, here it is...

Just pick the first word that you think of when you associate yourself with that category. Don't overthink it.

If I was a/an _____, I'd be ______

TV show: Smallville
Song: Rock Lobster by The B-52s
Movie: When Harry Met Sally
Book: Dune by Frank Herbert
Fictional character: Sydney Fox
City: Hilo, Hawai'i
Verb: dance
Color: red
Animal: chameleon
Emotion: euphoria
Article of clothing: sarong
Flavor: sweet
Food: papaya
Vice: greed
Plant: jade plant
Mythological animal: elf
Letter: C
Inanimate object: book
School Activity: drama club
Positive attribute: loyalty
Negative attribute: easily-distracted

Okay, now you!

juan valdez & my house conspire to keep me caffeinated.

I stopped drinking coffee the day after my 40th birthday.
Woohoo! Look at me -- caffeine-free! Finally. After 3 years. Here I am. Back. On. The. Wagon.

Ditching the luscious black gold is the first step in my half-assed, full-on-cockamamie plan to recapture my hot and sexy 2006 self. When I was a healthy 118lbs. When I was energetic, happy and never sick (like I am right at this moment, crap). When I felt satisfied after only a 3/4 full bowl of food, NOT 2 full bowls. When I felt like I had more control over the crap in my life -- DAMN YOU, KIPPLE!!!
And when my reaction to stress was a hula workout or a cup of soothing hot green tea, NOT a big slice of cake with a large double-cream coffee chaser.

Like on November 3, when Mini and I found ourselves with a basement full of smoke, and my nerves all a-buzz from the fear that my billion-year-old furnace would go tits-up and blow-up, taking us, our belongings, and mementos with it. (Yes, I live in Die Hard world.)
The event was traumatic enough for me to almost not notice the super-cute firefighters... almost. I KNOW!!!

Thankfully, it was just an ancient car-battery charger (not the furnace) that shorted, singed my basement floor, and created a helluva lot of smoke -- but no flames. That was all.
Still, it was definitely a three Vietnamese Coffees (Starbucks VIA Italian Roast with condensed milk) type of day.

But that was pre-birthday.

Since I actually quit, I had been doing really well. No cravings. Only two days of real soul-crushing headaches. No desperate need to sell my kids organs husband's crap house for coffee money. No sneaking off for secret rendezvous with my secret lover Tim Horton. I felt good -- I was 4-days caffeine-free -- I was totally rockin' it. Yay me!!!

Then, like clockwork, the shit decided to hit the ever-lovin' fan.

I was hanging at my dear Glonor's bridal shower, eating insanely tasty Filipino food, schmoozing with my mother's old church friends, blissfully unaware that, back home, my husband's minor chore of unclogging the slow-draining bathtub had escalated to a torrent of water through the bathroom floor down into the powder room one floor below!

See the cracks in the ceiling?! (Click to enlarge, if you want.) Yeah, water. Through that.

Mayhem had apparently ensued. On the main floor , Mini -- who was the first to spot the downpour -- was screaming up the stairs "Daddy! Daddy! It's leaking! Leaking!" Lam was chasing after his little sister, because he thought she said that she was leaking, and tried to keep her away from the carpets.

And Roomie was frantically trying to call my cell phone, which I never heard because Glo had 100+ people at her shower. Glo also has loud friends.

In a desperate bid to find out where the leak was starting from, and unable to get any input from me, Roomie literally took matters into his own hands by grabbing our trusty hammer and smashing holes into the wall on the other side of the tub.

Good news: Roomie found the source of the leak.
Bad news: Our stairwell looks like that picture right there.
OMG: A Moisture/Mould Inspector said we had to hire someone to completely gut the whole bathroom and ceiling of the powder room below to take care of any mould problem.

Pre-birthday Nenette would've said, "Screw this! I'm going to Starbucks!", also hit Tim Horton's, and spent the rest of the night downing choccolaccinos at Baked Expectations.

Instead, post-birthday Nenette made herself a cup of green tea, hugged her family, and daydreamed about the super-awesome bathroom she's going to have after all the dust settled.

So, nice try, Senor Valdez. You can keep your 100% Columbian coffee. My green tea and I -- oh, and my soon-to-be heated bathroom floors -- are stronger than whatever unholy bargain you made with my house.

yay! today is my birthday. wheeeeeee!

As of 8:05am, I turned 40!

And yes, I'm very excited about the whole deal! I love adding another candle to the cake, I love getting older, because, as Harmzie-girl said, it "beats the alternative". So true, my friend, so true.

So, to celebrate, I have stolen a post idea from my buddy Maria, and asked my younger self -- in this case, 20-year-old me* -- to interview the new 40-year-old me.

Have I fulfilled my youthful expectations? Or have I gone completely off track and become a bitter, old crone? Let's find out...

20yo Me: So, wow, 40. How does it feel to be 40?

40yo Me: You're wondering if I feel old, aren't you? Ah, youngling, I feel younger than I thought I would. Of course, I think I'd feel even younger if I were 118-ish lbs again.
But I've been through a lot, so considering the mileage, I think I'm doing pretty well.

20: Yeah, I must admit you still do look somewhat like me... except with a few more wrinkles, a few greys, about 30 extra pounds --

40: Oh, shut up, you're a frickin' stick. Next question.

20: Wow, when did I get bitchy? Sheesh, kidding. Ha! So, I guess my thinking that life ends at 30 is wrong, eh?

40: Oh, honey, it's just the beginning. I got married, bought a house, had a son, then had a daughter, and started my writing gig all in my 30s. Lots of starts. Life totally gets better after 30. :)

20: That's pretty cool! Married, eh? So, who do I end up with? Who is this Roomie?

40: Can't tell you, but it's definitely NOT the guy you're with right now. That's all I will say. And that he is an engineer. Okay, enough. I've said too much. Oh, and that he has gorgeous blue-green eyes. DAMMIT, shut up!

20: O-kay... (Interviewer mildly fears that she will turn somewhat crazy over the next 2 decades)... So, am I a good engineer?

40: Yes, but you quit.

20: OMG, why?!!! Why would I do that?

40: I just couldn't stand doing that shit another day. I had a string of bosses who micro-managed, equipment that was so archaic you might as well be using punch cards or sending smoke signals or waving frickin' flags or banging rocks together!
And every time I got creative, I "wasn't doing my job". Bastards.
On the bright side, I was able to pay off my years of student loans, plan my wedding, and go on 2 honeymoons thanks to those jobs. So, whatever.

20: Whoa, bitter, are we? Okay, so, if you're not an engineer anymore, what else is there for you?

40: One word: BLOGGING -- just write and write and write. Do it early. Do it lots. Mrs. K in Grade 11 was on crack when she said you should stick to math and science.

20: Name 5 things I've claimed I'd never do or never think I could do that you, in fact, have done in the last 20 years.

40: Hmmm...
(1) - give birth naturally and without painkillers
(2) - open a hula & tahitian dance school
(3) - "take a break" from the parentals -- you'll find the peace you've been searching for after their drama is out of your life
(4) - move to a different country to live with a boyfriend
(5) - mile-high club -- yes, I said "mile-high club", Catholic-school prude-girl.

20: Okay, if you say so. Yikes. One regret?

40: Not breaking up sooner from the guy you're with right now. Don't worry -- he's not the boyfriend you fly to Hawai'i to live with. Nor is he Mr. Mile-High. You marry Mr. Mile-High. Good grief, when will I just shut up about him?!!!

20: WHAT?! You lived in Hawai'i?! What the hell are you doing back here?!

40: Because Canada is AWESOME! And don't ever forget that.

20: Anything else you want to share?

40: Yeah, first of all, proposing naked TOTALLY worked. Secondly, stay in Hawai'i 'til the end of July. What else... oh, yeah, and before you get pregnant, have your husband take pictures of you naked. Having a reminder that you once had a body like that would be nice. You'll appreciate it when you're my age. :)

* - Since I couldn't find a good picture of me at 20, I've once again chosen to inflict entertain you with this bitchin' pic of me at 18. I know -- hot, eh? Yeah, whatever. Enjoy. :)