I can do all things with God who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

What I am is a gift from God. What I become is my gift to God.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Psalm 23

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:16.

Jan 27, 2012

Fresh Lumpia


I am back to doing what I love - which is cooking/baking. The only difference is that gives me more satisfaction now since I'm doing it for my family.  For a wife or mom, there is no greater pleasure than serving your husband and kids.



While we were at the supermarket yeterday, I saw monggo sprout (pasibol - the kind that you could use with Pad Thai)  and I immediately decided that I want to make vegetable lumpia. 

Filling:

  • monggo sprout
  • sweet potato, diced
  • cabbage, julienne
  • carrots, julienne 
  • minced meat
  • salt and pepper to taste
Crepe Wrapper
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2  c water (you may add more depending on the consistency)
Sauce:
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/8 c vinegar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • minced garlic
Procedure:
  1. Cook the sweet potato until tender. Set aside.
  2. Use margarine instead of cooking oil. This will give a better taste to the vegetables.  
  3. Saute garlic and onion.
  4. Add the minced meat and saute until the meat changes color.
  5. Add the vegetables and chicken or beef broth.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. When the rest of the vegetables are tender, you may add the sweet potatoes.
  8. Set aside.


For the soy sauce, just mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan except for the minced garlic. Cook in a low to medium heat.  Continue stirring until the sauce becomes thick.  Set aside and add the minced garlic.


For the crepe, mix all the ingredients well.  Cook in a crepe maker or a non-stick pan. I cook mine in a non-stick pan and everything went well :)  Some use milk or butter in their crepes but I haven't tried that, maybe in the future. If you don't have enough time, you could always use the spring roll wrapper available in supermarkets but if you want to make your lumpia special, I suggest that you use the crepe wrapper.

I didn't put fresh greens (normally, lettuce) while wrapping the filling because I'm sure my kids will just take it out before indulging in lumpia :)

Cheers!

Jan 25, 2012

Inked!

Many women are following the footsteps of celebrities that made tattoo not only as a personal statement but a fashion statement.

Some celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Victoria Beckham popularize the trend for moms getting inked with their children's name.

angelina-jolie-hand-tattoos-in-wanted victoria_beckham_tattoo_2_big

Other celebrities like Nicole Richie, Miley Cyrus, Megan Fox and Rihanna have tats of messages or icons with deep personal meaning.

nicole_richie foot tattoo Miley Cyrus "Just Breathe" tattoorihanna's ink

CONSIDERING A TATTOO?

  • Be sure YOU WANT IT and you are not only following a trend
  • Remember that it may just be a FAD
  • Do not get one when you are emotional
  • Think twice before putting a boyfriend's name or a husband's name (you might regret it afterwards)
  • If you decide to get one
    • Be original
    • Simple is beautiful
    • Go to a professional
    • Make sure you won't get infected
As they say,

THINK BEFORE YOU INK!







Jan 18, 2012

Learn More About the BLACKOUT

Why are there many websites blacked-out today? Watch the video to find the answer.


PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.


Jan 15, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Chip Muffin


Good homeschool activity + Tasty Muffin = Great Family Bonding ❤


My family likes muffins and today we enjoyed making homemade chocolate chip muffins together. The recipe I followed is unlike the usual chocolate chip muffin recipe because it calls for a dash of cinnamon and some sour cream (yes! sour cream). The cinnamon gives a twist to the chocolate flavor while the sour cream makes the muffin moist and fluffy (but don't over bake or the muffins will be dry).

2 cups all-purpose flour 2 eggs
1 packet or 12 oz. chocolate chips 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/2 tsp salt + 1 tbsp baking powder 2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup butter 2/3 cup milk + 1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips should be blended with the dry ingredients. this technique will make sure that chocolate chips will be evenly-distributed and will not sink in the bottom only after mixing the whole ingredients, you may use ice cream scoop
the ice cream scoop makes the process easier :) ready for baking!
After 16 minutes in the oven, we now have cracked-top, moist and great-tasting muffins.

Cheers!



Jan 13, 2012

Count Your Blessings



Though the fig tree does not bud 
and there are no grapes on the vines, 

though the olive crop fails 
and the fields produce no food, 
 
though there are no sheep in the pen 
and no cattle in the stalls, 
 
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, 
I will be joyful in God my Savior. 
Habakkuk 3:17


Oftentimes we complain about many things that are happening in our life. We think that others are more fortunate than we are.  If we would only take time to look at the things we take for granted, we will realize that we are so blessed. 

Things that you should be grateful for:
  1.  God loves you - so live a life that is pleasing to Him. Glorify His name in all that you do.
  2. you woke up to a brand new day
  3. you have a family that loves you - don't forget to show that you love them back
  4. you have friends that you could lean on - show that you are not there only at times when you need them
  5. you have a job; at times you feel your job sucks, but at the end of the day, that job provides for your family
  6. there's food in the table
  7. you have a roof over your head - size does not matter
  8. you have clothes; don't mind the brand 
  9. you have the choice to use your money to buy gadgets, to travel, or to invest
  10. you are able to pay for your debts
  11. you are healthy - and if you are not, you have a means to make it better
  12. there's a penny in the pocket - and a cash in the bank for emergency
  13. mistakes, challenges and problems - because you will learn from them and become a stronger and better person
  14. detractors to keep you grounded
  15. all the people that you meet for teaching you life's lessons
  16. technologies to connect people and families - use it properly
  17. you have the choice on how to live your life - so choose wisely!

You are blessed.. be grateful!




Jan 9, 2012

Viva Señor!



Listen to Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno Hymn

Today is the feast day of the Black Nazarene, which is believed by many Filipinos as miraculous.  Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (popularly known as Quiapo Church) is home to the much-venerated statue.  As expected millions of Filipino devotees from all walks of life joined the procession, most of them to fulfill their promise (panata) after receiving a  blessing from the Black Nazarene while others joined to ask for healing, deliverance from calamities and disasters, prosperity, having a child, finding a lifetime partner and many other things. There is also another group of devotees, who, instead of joining the pandemonium, chose to stay behind the procession and clean the litter left by those who joined the feast.

The procession for the Black Nazarene dates back to 17th century and is considered as one of the largest in the predominantly Catholic country. People who join the Black Nazarene procession walk barefooted as a sign of humility and sharing the passion of Christ as he carried the cross to Calvary. The three-mile procession, which usually starts at 9AM and lasts through the night, will bring back the Black Nazarene in Quiapo church. The procession takes longer because the crowd of fanatics will try anything in the hope of touching the statue or even the rope that is pulling the vehicle (andas) that carries it because they believe that the Black Nazarene will protect them, grant their wish and perform a miracle. Hijos del Nazareno is an all-male group of devotees that carries the statue during the procession as well as manages the crowds upon the statue's return in the church for "pahalik" or kissing of the Black Nazarene. 

I once joined the Black Nazarene devotees when it visited Batangas City in April 2011. I patiently waited in the queue for more than an hour just to see and touch it.  I even bought  a hanky for me and Jun to commemorate that event and we always carry it with us.


As I watched the news tonight showing the procession, I have mixed feelings. I am moved by the people's devotion and the Filipinos faith in God. Just like the news anchorperson, I am also asking why there should be pandemonium when everything could be done in a much orderly manner.  But if we become part of the millions waiting to touch the statue or throw the hanky, I am also not sure if order is possible.  Because of the pandemonium, there were reports of casualties and of course there were also reports of pickpocketing but I am sure that the devotees are satisfied, happy and have renewed hopes amid body pains.

Photo credits: Erik De Castro/REUTERS,Aaron Favila /AP, Dennis M. Sabangan / EPA


Others may not understand the devotion (that borders to fanaticism) but that is a part of what makes Filipinos unique. This is one of the reasons why it is MORE FUN in PHILIPPINES.

Viva Señor!




Jan 5, 2012

Let's have LOMI!


When you work or live outside your country, there is a tendency to miss the foods that you love most.  The best solution for this is to cook it yourself.  A true blue Batangueño, my family would sometimes crave for "lomi".

LOMI is considered as a comfort food by most Batangueños. There is no specific time to eat lomi but I think that it is best eaten during winter and rainy days.  Some friends I know eat lomi after a night of drinking session.

lomi ingredients. we don't have kikiam and squid balls so we used bacon and smoked beef sausage. we also don't have the usual "miki" so we used yakisoba noodles from the japanese section of the supermarket stir fry veggies...
add the noodles (pre-boiled until al dente) add beef stock. put salt, pepper, soy saucer or fish sauce to taste. add thickening agent and simmer for 2 minutes
prepare the soy sauce with lemon and fresh green chillies. garnish with pre-cooked bacon and smoke beef sausage. you may add dried chillies if desired

Enjoy superb lomi! Great with ice-cold coca-cola or pepsi.

Cassava Cake


One of my favorite Filipino desserts is cassava cake.  I never tasted one for more than six years now so I decided to make one today.

I just needed cassava, condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, coconut cream and coconut milk. The recipe that I used for today also called for desiccated or shredded coconut. 

i used frozen cassava available from supermarket cassava after i have grated it, medyo masakit sa arms :)
the cassave cake mixture after 40 minutes in the oven, cassava cake is ready for the topping
put the cassava cake with topping back to oven and bake for another 20 minutes voila! the cassava cake is ready :)

In fairness, masarap s'ya!