Monday, January 30, 2012

"Bartering" Walnuts

As defined by the online Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Barter - verb - To trade by exchanging one commodity for another

And this is exactly what my good (and gorgeous!) friend D and I did. .. .we "bartered"!

There is a big pack of walnuts at home and I thought of sharing it with D as she might want to use them for her baked goodies.  (She has turned into a baking goddess and has been spending some time at the kitchen.)

Then yesterday afternoon, I received these delicious, freshly-baked, homemade chewy choco-chip walnut cookies!  They were an instant hit at home.  I had to take a quick photo before they disappear! Haha!

We've been telling her to go big time and start a business with the yummy eats she's been baking.  She also makes moist banana muffins and during our last get-together, she let us try her blueberry panna cotta which is absolutely divine. *Drool*     

Thanks again D!  The cookies were a nice (and sweet) way to end my weekend. =)  

P.S.  I wonder what if I give D  bananas naman. . .  LOL  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back in the Kitchen

One of my New Year's Resolutions is I want to cook more. . .  I love cooking!   I cook A LOT when I'm in the US visiting hubby.  Zola's Dad and I are a tag team when it comes to the kitchen.  Cooking is also one of our "fun things to do" as a couple.  And I'm proud to say that he is actually a better cook than me when it comes to Filipino food!  (Yes, I'm a lucky one.  I have a husband who can cook and get this. . . loves to do the laundry!  Haha!  No joke!)

But when I'm back home here in the Philippines, cooking takes a back seat because we are lucky to have somebody who does it for us.  

Last week, I cooked one of my favorite Filipino food. . . Menudo!  I tried cooking this a couple of years ago while visiting hubby.  I'm proud to say that I cooked it all by myself! *pat on the back*

My first Menudo!

For the Menudo recipe I used, I got it from Panlasang Pinoy (one of our favorite recipe sources).

  • 2 lbs pork belly (about 1 kilo)
  • 1/2 lb pork liver (about ¼ kilo)
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup potatoes, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 pc lemon or 4 pcs. calamansi
1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil

Cooking Procedure

  1. Marinade pork with soy sauce and lemon juice for approximately 1 hour
  2. Heat pan and place cooking oil
  3. Fry potatoes and carrots for about 5 minutes and set aside
  4. Sauté garlic and onion in the same pan where the vegetables were fried
  5. Add the marinated pork belly and water then simmer for 15 minutes
  6. Add the pork liver and tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes
  7. Add the fried carrots and potatoes, red bell pepper, and brown sugar then simmer for another 5 minutes
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve hot. Enjoy!
Number of servings (yield): 6

Make sure you have lots of rice to go with your Menudo! LOL

Happy Cooking . . and Eating!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two Peas in a Pod 2

I was watching Star Movies last week and was surprised to see a preview of a new Narnia movie.  I'm sooo looking forward to watching it and made a mental note of the movie's schedule (bad idea, you'll know why later).  I didn't even know that there is already a third installment for the Chronicles of Narnia film series!  I can't wait to watch the "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader". . . And I can't wait to see the White Witch again! She's one character I hate but would love to see again, haha!

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When I saw the White Witch at the first Narnia movie ("The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe"), I thought she was Cate Blanchett!  Haha!

So as a follow up to my "Two Peas in a Pod" post, I thought of googling for some pictures.  And as I did, I learned that I wasn't alone in mixing them up!

Here are some of the photos I saw:
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Tilda Swinton Totally Looks Like Cate Blanchett
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Tilda Swinton and Cate Blanchett
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And my most favorite picture . . .
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If you like more of these "Separated at birth" type of photos, please click here.

P.S.  I totally missed watching the movie! Aaarrgghh!  Not that I forgot about it, I had the wrong date!    *facepalm*

Monday, January 23, 2012

Love according to Iya

Here is another post on Iya (Zola's cousin) which is really heartwarming.  She had this sweet conversation with my dad (she calls him "Cong-cong" which means grandfather in Chinese)

Iya: Cong-Cong, ilang taon ka na?  (Cong-Cong, how old are you?)

CC: 73 

Iya: Sana umabot ka ng 100 years old  (I hope you reach 100 years old)

CC: Bakit naman?  (Why?)

Iya: Kasi love kita  (Because I love you)

Awwww. . . . *heart is melting*

As my dad said, these are the simple joys in life that money can't buy.

All of us define love in different ways.  For Iya, at a young age, I guess it means having to live for a century so you can just spend more time with the people you love and care about.  

Wishing everyone a LOVEly week ahead!

Spread some Loving. . . . =) 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dancing . . . It's more FUN in the Philippines!


No, I didn't sprain an ankle during my exercise. . . I got blisters! Haha!

My shoes (I've had them for a couple of years now) weren't ill-fitting (or so I thought) when I used them on the first day.  But after 2 days of Walking, my blisters got worse.  I guess it's true what they say, women's feet grow after pregnancy.  I think mine did!  Mom was nice enough to buy me a new pair. *grinning*  (Thank you Mom!)

So my sister and I went to the Nike Outlet store in our city and just what I expected, I couldn't find anything that fit me (I'm a size 10 and I have wide feet!)  But I don't get discouraged easily. . . I went to the Men's Section! Just in case you're wondering, I'm a size 10 in Men's! And now an 11 in Women's! LOL . . .  I tried my best to choose a pair which won't look like men's shoes and this is the closest I came up with.
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The Nike LunarSwift 2!

I am perfectly happy with my choice. . . these running shoes are comfortable, light and well-cushioned.  Personally, the polka dots were a plus, haha!  (Wooommen!)  Because they add some sense of style to the shoes.  These shoes are not only good for exercise but can be definitely used for casual wear as well.

For a detailed review of the LunarSwift 2, you may read this runner's blog, A Fly in the Wall.  

Have a nice weekend everyone! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Baby Steps . . in Exercising!

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As I'm writing this post, my feet, legs and thighs are aching . . . because I officially started exercising (Walking) this morning!  And I think my mom is the happiest person in the world now!  Haha!  She's been asking me (and sometimes pushing me) to lose weight!  And the more she pushes me, the more I don't do anything about it.  (Sorry Mom)  

I admit, I am a lazy bone  when it comes to exercising!  I only exercise when I know I have to loose weight for a special occasion . . . like our wedding day! Haha!  But my cousin M is right, I have to think of The Little One and make her my motivation.  I want her to have a mom who can play with her and run after her.  She needs a mom who has the energy to be with her as she grows up and starts to explore the world out there.  A mom who is healthy . .  .spiritually, emotionally and physically.   

As Elle Woods said (Reese Witherspoon's character in "Legally Blonde"), "Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy."  

As much as I hate exercising. . . it's true, it does make me feel lighter and happier.   

I know I have a long way to go. . . but I'm glad I took my first baby step today.

Please Lord, help me . . . make me love Exercising! LOL

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I just had to . . .post this!

Haha!  Cute noh?

Something smart to say the next time somebody tells me I'm fat!  LOL

Thanks to my cousin (Ate H) for sharing this in her FB wall =)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Something Vintage

If my mom kept these Goody barrettes of mine . . .
Not sure if Goody still makes these hair clips 

My dad kept this. . .
My youngest sister's high chair!

Can you believe this chair is 30 years old?!

He's still looking for the tray though, haha!

Don't you think this chair would blend perfectly into the set of  That 70's Show? LOL

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Seeing vintage things like these makes me sentimental because they bring so much fond memories of yesterday.   

Thank you mom and dad for sharing these wonderful keepsakes with the Little One.  It is truly sweet to be able to share with her something from my childhood. 

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Food Find: Frenchies' Zesty Fries

I'm excited to share with you another "food find" at the supermarket!    And if you are a french fries lover, you will love this post!  Haha! 

In one of our weekly trips to the supermarket, we got some fries for Dad.  And we are pleasantly surprised that the variety we got (Frenchies' Zesty Fries) tastes exactly like KFC's (Dad's favorite fries)!    They're crispy and tasty (I wish I can really tell what is mixed with those fries!  My guess, probably some chili powder, cumin, oregano and other spices)

Or they're probably even better than KFC's!  Because You get to eat them while they're hot and in the comfort of your own home.

These fries and your favorite ice-cold drink (Coke Light for me) definitely make a good merienda (snacks). 

And BEST . . .  if you share it with someone you love  =)


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Love is . . .

I was reading a local showbiz magazine that featured a wedding of a celebrity couple (Jolina Magdangal and Mark Escueta).  It was a lovely bohemian-themed garden wedding which has all the nice and romantic touches!  But what struck me more was what the Pastor advised the couple about Commitment to love.  He used the following passage from the New International Version Bible (1 Corinthians 13, Verses 4-8):
Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Loves does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always persevers.  Love never fails.
And he said to change the word Love and put the name of the groom instead. 

And he is absolutley right!  It does make a difference, it sounds nicer (and more personal)!

The next time Zola's Dad and I have our misunderstanding, I will keep this in mind.

"James is patient, James is kind.  James does not envy. . .he is not proud . . .  James is not easily angered, James keeps no record of wrongs . . . ." 

And I will go back to that special day in February when it all started . . . .

The start of our Happily Ever After

Wedding Photo by Mimi and Karl

Friday, January 6, 2012

Let's HAM it up!

You know what the problem is with holidays?  You get stressed thinking ABOUT . . ."What do I do with the leftover ham?" LOL

So for this post, it's all about what to do with our leftovers!

Below are other ways we can have our ham (besides having it as a sandwich):

1. Filipino style macaroni soup - Macaroni soup is probably one of the more popular soups loved by Filipinos.  It is one of my fave comfort food (dimsum being the no. 1!) and our "go-to" food if we don't know what to cook, haha!

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I am sure we all have our own recipe for this soup.  But if you want one, pls. click here.

2. Chef's Salad - Chef's Salad consists of lettuce, boiled egg, chicken breast, ham, carrots, tomatoes and  cheese and goes with Thousand Island dressing.  You can buy ready-made dressing at the supermarket or you can also prepare your own.  Our own version of thousand island dressing just consists of mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, pineapple juice, sugar and salt.  (My apologies for not putting any measurements on the ingredients.  We just mix everything and adjust the taste according to our liking)

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3. Fried rice - What better way to use ham than include it in our staple food. . . RICE!

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This fried rice looks YUM-O!!!  You may get the recipe here.

4. Pasta - Pasta is probably one of the fastest meals to prepare.  Some of the pasta recipes I want to try are found below. 
Ribbon pasta with ham and peas in cream sauce [945537]
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Recipe for the Linguini with Ham, Peas and Cream is here

Pasta with ham, tomatoes & feta
Photo and recipe for Pasta with Ham, Tomatoes and Feta are here

5. Homemade Hawaiian Pizza - I know some people don't like pineapple in their pizza but I love it in mine! Saw this super easy recipe from Del Monte.  You may even ask your kids to help you prepare the pizza.  Cooking with the kids is a good family bonding activity.   

Hawaiian Pizza
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Please click here for the recipe

6. Omelette - You can start the day with a good breakfast (most important meal of the day!) by having a ham and cheese omelette or you can combine it with any other ingredients you like (onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, tomatoes, etc)

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Doing this post is really making me hungry, haha!

I guess I know what I'm going to have for breakfast tomorrow. . . .garlic fried rice and tuyo (dried fish)!  LOL

(It's just that I had ham for a week for breakfast!)

Have a nice weekend everyone and Happy Cooking! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Time to Rejuvenate

I guess I am still tired from the Holidays that I feel I need some pampering!  The favorite lipstick won't do this time, haha!  And these are what's on my pampering list:

A visit to the salon for a hair treatment (I don't know when was the last time I had one!)
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And threading! (I can't live without threading, haha!  If I have to choose between grooming my hair or brows, I'll pick brows!  For me, well-groomed brows really make a difference.)

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Foot spa and pedicure too (My French tipped toes are now French "chipped", haha!)

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I haven't done anything for my skin care after my wedding!  A facial would be nice (and a diamond peel would be great!  hehe)
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Moms (and everybody else)  have those days when we just feel tired and exhausted.  And when we're exhausted, we become irritable, impatient, not a pretty picture.  So if we need a burst of energy, let us recharge and get some "Me-Time".  Let us spoil ourselves to get relaxed, to be beautiful and to feel GREAT!   

And if we feel great, then we are ready to go again for our Mommy adventures.

Have a great day ahead! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Modern Bahay Kubo

I was at the garden and was surprised to see this . . .

Our bahay kubo (nipa hut) has a door! LOL

We had this bahay kubo for more than 10 years now.  And the door (slightly damaged) was from my sister's store.  The door isn't even latched to the hut. . . dad just thought of putting the door there, haha.  I guess he would rather use it than see it lying around! 

As I've mentioned in my Belen post, my dad has a creative side.  When we were kids, we DIDN'T have a tree house.  But he made us a house using coconut leaves.  Oh and he fixed our toilet's flush using a paper clip! Yup, he's not just creative, he is the best handyman ever!  

And with this nipa hut. . . okay, so I guess my dad is just really being creative (again!). . . or FUNNY! 

Or he just simply wants to show his take on a modern bahay kubo. LOL

I love you Daddy . . .

Thank you for giving us not just a house but a happy home.

Being Thankful

Happy new year greetings 2012 wallpapers 03
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It's the start of a new year! (Okay, I'm posting this two days late, hehe)

And I would like to start it (not with resolutions, haha!) . . . but by being thankful for all the beautiful things that happened and by being grateful to the beautiful people that made it happen . . . 2011 has been a great and wonderful year!

1. To God - for being good to me and our family. . . .all the time!

2. To Zola's Dad - for being a good husband and loving father.  Despite the distance, you make me feel better when I'm sad and always make me laugh (without even trying hard!).  Thank you very much hun.  

3. Our Little One - for being a constant reminder what Love is all about and that God answers prayers in His time.

4. For having an easy and safe pregnancy and delivery.

5. For our family moments with Zola's Dad.  I'm glad he was able to get 2 months vacation from work to be with us.  Though he missed the delivery of the Little One by a week, those two months of being together are just pure bliss.  We can't wait to see you again Dada, we miss you sooo much!

6. For having the privilege to become a stay-at-home mom and enjoy each day with the Little One 

7. For  Motherhood - for teaching me a lot of things and for making me a better person 

8. For my supportive parents - I guess one never stops being a parent even when your kids have grown and have families of their own.   I love you Mom and Dad!

9. For my family who shower the Little One with so much love and attention

10. For my good friends who I met at different points in my life-thank you for your constant presence in my life.  I am so lucky to have met all of you!

11. For our guardian angels who always keep us safe

12.For friends and blog readers who follow Zola's Mom, thank you for visiting the blog.  It really means a lot to me!  Thank you for the kind words.  You encourage me to be a better writer. =)   

13.For all the little blessings that come our way everyday - there is always something to be thankful for everyday (yes, it can even be for a good parking spot!)

14. For all the lessons that life taught me, the misses and turns along the way, thank you for bringing me to where I am right now (I love my life) and for making me what I am right now (I know I can still be a better person).

I would like to end this post with a quote by Albert Einstein:
"Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow"

Here's to a better and brighter year ahead of us . . .the best is yet to come!

Happy New Year everyone!

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