A tip for the home cook

If your memory could not be trusted, write down recipes that you like and make sure you remember where you keep them.

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Sometime this year, I had a craving for Washington (Hello fellow ex-washington girls, Alma, Faye and Marissa!) carinderia-style giniling. I found several recipes in the net and tweaked them to suit my taste. My first attempt was not bad at all. It was just missing  raisins which my husband detests. I wrote the recipe somewhere but unfortunately, after turning the house upside down, could not find it anywhere. Oh well!

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Another Reason to Visit MCS: Kodanda Archery Range

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Our favorite mall in the wholewide world, Makati Cinema Square, just got more interesting with the opening of Kodanda Archery Range. Finally, I have the chance to redeem myself. Not a lot of people know that I took up Archery in UP back in 1999. I immediately dropped the subject after the first class. I was still a clueless college freshman then. In high school, I was just a so-so student in UPLB. I did not expect that I’d try harder in college. And because I dropped that PE class, I was not able to graduate with honors even if my final weighted grade was within the cum laude range. Why did I drop? Because no matter how hard I tried, I really could not stretch the bow. hahaha.

Kodanda is located at the first basement of MCS. It used to be the studio where little girls practiced ballet. The fee is PhP 500 per hour. That includes the equipment and guidance from an instructor. Because there was no one to look after Aki, Franco and I played for only 30 minutes each, taking turns on who will stop Aki from running around the range.

My bebe was first
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At any given time, Kodanda can accomodate 7 archers. That’s my instructor. Unfortunately, I forgot her name.

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My A-Z

I was already starting to think that my online friends have forgotten about me. I have been reading My A-Z posts but no one was tagging me. Thank you, Maan, for the tag!

A. Attached or Single? Deliriously happily attached

B. Best Friend(s)? My best friend Jojie passed away in 2007. I don’t think she will ever be replaced

C. Cake or pie? Cake

D. Day of choice? Saturday because it is the start of the weekend.

E. Essential Item? Hmmm. When I am out, I try not to forget to bring my phone and my keys. When I am home, I try to make sure that my camera is always near

F. Favorite color? I don’t have a favorite color but I love color combinations. My favorite color combinations change almost monthly. Currently, I am loving a certain shade of blue and yellow but I don’t know what are they called.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Am not crazy about gummy things. I don’t buy them for Aki because they are sugar loaded and stick to our teeth. But if I were to choose, I will get worms cause the gummy bears might be choking hazards.

H. Home town? Elbi beybi!!

I. Favorite Indulgence. I am convinced that I am one of the most boring people in the world.  I rarely indulge. And when I do, I always consider the cost and how many hours/days I need to work to afford something.  Lately, I reward myself at the end of the day by getting myself an order of takuyaki from one of the stalls in Ayala MRT. When I feel like celebrating in the middle of the day, I buy an Ube McDip cone from McDonalds. And when I feel like I need to getaway from my desk, I go to the nearest Booksale branch which is just 5 minutes away.

J. January or July? This is a no brainer. Definitely January. In January, I feel refreshed and excited for the year ahead.By the time July rolls in, like now, I am already tired and less inspired.

K. Kids? Akikoykoy whose turning 4 this October

L. Life isn’t complete without? I can lose my job. I can lose my friends. I can lose this blog. But I can’t imagine life without Franco and Aki

M. Marriage date? 12/19/2008. We are celebrating our 5th year anniversary this December. Last Sunday was our 9th year and 1 month anniversary as a couple.

N. Number of brothers/sisters? I have a sister.

O. Oranges or Apples. My favorite fruits are Chico, Melon (what is melon in English?) and Mangoes. I like orange and apples once they are juiced. But if I had to choose, I will go with oranges. I don’t like how unpretty apples get once they are oxidized.

P. Phobias? I am still scared of the dark. I am also a hater of manholes. But if there is something I so fear, that would be getting really depressed and lonely again after giving birth.

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Buttered Corn ala Aki

Good morning!
My name is Aki. I like taking pictures of myself when my mother is not looking.

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Welcome to my cooking show, Cooking with Aki and Cleaning up with Mommy.

For my first dish, I will show y’all how to make one of my favorite veggie dishes, buttered corn.

First, put several tablespoons of corn kernels in your favorite pan. Special thanks to my Lola Ming for getting a cute pan that is just the right size for me. Now, add water.

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Ask an adult to turn on the stove. Because my arms are not long enough for me to hold both the handle and the laddle without getting really close to the fire, my sous chef, Ate Doring was there to help. That way, I can focus on what I like best which is mix-y mix-y mixing.

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Let simmer for a minute or two. Add a tablespoon of butter or margarine. Mix well until the butter is completely melted.

Taste testing. Don’t forget to blow so you don’t burn your tongue.

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Transfer the corn kernels and the “soup” to your favorite bowl.

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The Joy of Making Carrot Cupcakes

Oh what fun it was!

We made carrot cupcakes to celebrate Aki’s new interest in carrots. When he was younger, he would not touch his food if he saw a speck of any orange or green vegetables. Dear God heard my prayers and transformed my boy into a hearty eater. I really don’t know what happened last month. He suddenly started eating a lot and became open to trying out foods he used to hate.

I thought of making the baking activity more educational by using our weighing scale. Aki weighed the grated carrots first.

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Then the sugar..

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I took care of the flour while Ate melted the butter.  The next ingredients were the eggs. Since it was Aki’s first time to crack eggs, I told Ate to assist him while I take pictures. To our surprise, which was very evident in Ate’s reaction, my boy was a pro. Before Ate could get close, he tapped the egg on the edge of the bowl and cracked it open. Good job, bebeboy! And please don’t hate me Ate for posting this picture.

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Aki was very much involved in the next steps. So involved that maybe at least half  a cup of our delicious carrot batter ended up in his stomach. Here, I am already pouring the batter into the muffin pan and he still won’t give up without a fight. He kept grabbing my hand and redirecting the spoon to his mouth.

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After that difficult task, I transferred the pan to the oven. When I came back, this is what I saw

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South N@wie Playdate 2013

One of my goals this year is to join at least 4 playdates. That would mean we should be having playdates at least once a quarter. I am giving myself a pat on the back because for the first half of 2013, we’ve joined 3 already. 🙂 The first is with my circle of mommy blogger friends. I haven’t blog about that because I can’t choose which pictures to post among the hundreds of beautiful portraits that my suking photographer, Dom of Studio 2916 took. The most recent was a pizza playdate with Rachel and Coco at our house.  This post is all about the fun fun playdate that we had with our friends from N@W. I was not able to take a lot of pictures because I was having  too much fun catching up and too busy reminding Aki not to roll in the sandbox. Tribeca really is the best place for playdates.  Thank you so much, Tricia!

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The highlight of the playdate was the painting activity that Krissy facilitated.

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That’s Red and Maia. When Aki and Red had a playdate for the first time, they ignored each other. They were still in diapers and just starting to walk. Now, they like chasing each other.

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And this is Jared, my friend Leslie’s boy. Is it just me or do these two boys really look like they are brothers?

Here is Aki’s final artwork. He mixed blue and yellow to make green.

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Thanks, Tita Krissy.

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Here is everyone minus Red, Kate and Luis. So nice to see new faces. Hope to see them again in our next playdates.

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Great Gyozas At Last

Last year, I tried making gyoza for the 2nd time. And for the 2nd time, I failed miserably.

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Twelve month after, I regained my self-respect and confidence and tried it again. This time, it was a success. Alleluyah!

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Ingredients

1 half kilo ground pork
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 stalk of leeks, finely chopped too
1 tablespoon cooking wine. The brand that I use is Marca Pina
1 teasepoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar. I think I could add more.
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Dumpling wrappers. It is easier to handle them if they are at room temperature Continue reading

DIY Bird Feeder

This project is a spin-off from our save-the-caterpillars advocacy. Since the birds can’t seem to get enough of our caterpillar pets, I thought of giving the birds something else to eat. This isn’t our first time to make a bird feeder. Earlier this year, we made one for Aki’s class. As usual, I forgot to read the memo so we had to rush the project. We ended up with a Manila-paper covered bird feeder decorated with Aki’s doodles. I forgot about that failed project until I read about a similar project in one of my vintage craft books.

It is pretty simple actually. Cut a hole in an empty tetra pack. Wash and dry.

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Once the bird feeder is clean, you can now decorate. We started painting it using a paint brush but Aki was so excited (and kuleeeet) that we ended up finger painting instead.

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Originally, I wanted the bird feeder to look like a house but Aki had a better idea. We came up with monsters. Once the paint dried, we hang our scary bird feeder in the gate and waited for the birds to come.

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This is Aki’s best impression of a one-eyed monster. Hihi

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Before and After: Boring Wall

Because it was Mother’s Day, I got Franco to finally agree to let me convert this boring wall into a photo wall.

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Normally, he does not want anything on our walls. He likes ’em plain and boring but since it was My Day, he could not say no to me. Hehe. Thanks, Bebekoy! Unfortunately, this project was put on hold because of some roadblocks in reproducing the prints that I want to display. Maybe next time. I am not sad at all because what I did instead is nicer.

Before we go there, here is how the bookshelves looked like some weeks ago.

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Not bad but it hurts my eyes. It definitely looked better last January. My family has this bad habit of not putting things in their rightful place and then totally forgetting about them. I also realized that Aki’s top 100 children’s books should be on the lowest shelves. While arranging the books per color of the spine makes the shelves look organized, looking for a specific book is sometimes a challenge. Not good for someone like me who gets panic attacks when I realize that something is missing or when I feel like I need to find something pronto. What is wonderful with my shelves is that they are really flexible. They are light and are not attached to the wall. I can move and rearrange them. And that is what I did.

Drum rolls please…. Continue reading