Birthdays · Celebrations · Food · Franco's Wife

A Birthday Cake for the Man of the House

A couple of Fridays ago, we celebrated  Franco’s birthday. We were all at home. I took a leave from work. Franco came from a double shift so he rested on that day. Ate Dorina, to my surprise, decided without consulting me, that Aki will not go to school that day because of his cough. I already set my mind that I will bake a birthday cake. I have always wanted to make Aki’s birthday cakes from scratch but because I tend to overplan, I always end up ordering. Franco, the underplanner that he is,  had other plans. He requested that we all stay in the house and spend a lazy day in bed. No cooking, no baking, no going to the grocery. The only agenda is be lazy.

The next day, while our daddy was out for his weekly jujitsu training, Aki and I baked a chocolate cake for the first time. Special thanks to my UP Comm III classmate, Aikko of Bake Happy for the recipe.

First, we mixed the sugar and mayonnaise. Yup, this recipe calls for mayonnaise instead of eggs and butter. The brand that we used is Best Foods.

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On a separate bowl, we mixed cocoa, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly, we added the dry ingredients to our mayo-sugar mixture. What I like about this recipe is that it does not require a mixer. Anything that will make the clean up easier, even if it means that some gadgets will be collecting  dust in the shelf, is welcome in my kitchen.

The most crucial step, especially in Aki’s opinion, is the taste test. Because the batter did not have uncooked eggs, I let Aki taste and lick longer than usual.

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After he gave his sign of approval, we transferred the batter in a lined cake pan and baked it until the toothpick came out clean.
While that was cooking, Ate Dorina and I made Franco’s favorite spaghetti with meatballs.

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After 45 minutes inside the oven, our chocolate cake was ready. Aikko is right. This cake does not need frosting. It was very moist and chocolate-y.

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It was also around this time when I discovered that my cake stand was missing. I had to improvise.

Here, Aki is frosting our cake.

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We used ready-made ganache from Let’s Bake It, a newly opened baking supplies store here in Bicutan. I was dead set on making my own frosting but really really nice, friendly and customer-oriented salesladies and salesmen are my weakness. I have been to other baking supplies stores and I must say, the lady and her husband (I think they are also the owners) behind the counter of Let’s Bake It, are just too nice to say no to. When I said that I am baking a cake for the first time and it’s for the hubby, she got really excited and told me that if it is for Franco, I must use her recommended brands. She has point. My hardworking husband deserves the best. She was not pushy though. I asked her if she has tips on how to make the frosting look billowy. She recommended a special spatula. She probably noticed the change in my facial expression after she said the price. She then told me that if I am not ready or if I won’t be using it often, I can try using the back of a spoon for the meantime.

Presenting…. our first chocolate cake with the yummy ganache that refused to look billowy…. and my DIY cake stand. Continue reading “A Birthday Cake for the Man of the House”

Birthdays · Franco's Wife

Bestfriend and Firstborn

Happy happy 33rd birthday to my bestfriend and eldest child. Thank you for encouraging Aki to play in the rain and for letting me buy all the books that I want in Booksale. Thank you for never failing to tell me when I am overreacting and for teaching our son how to dance. Maybe soon, I will also learn the art of sleeping all day. Enjoy your special day! Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served in bed. Love you!

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Franco's Wife · Gift Wrapping · Holidays · Memoirs of a Mummy

Mother’s Day Gifts

If there was a Best Gift Giver award, it will definitely not be given to my husband. He is on the practical side and prefers to give cash gifts. He also does not have the patience to sit for several minutes to thoroughly think what gift to give and really find it.  Many times, he’d give me a gift and I’d bite my lips as I smile and say thank you but in the back of my mind I ask, “What was he thinking? or I wonder who was the officemate who sold these slippers to him”. Which is why, I try to drop hints of what I want to receive.  A couple of weeks before Mother’s Day, I was telling him of this kitchen toy that I saw in SM – Yonanas. It is a cool gadget that makes ice cream out of frozen fruits. I was expecting that he’d buy me one but he got me something better.
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Continue reading “Mother’s Day Gifts”

Franco's Wife · Holidays · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

The Boys

Can’t think of any catchy title for this post. Speaking of The Boys, do you also like The Voice Ph? After watching numerous talent and singing shows where the winner fails to make waves after winning, I thought I will never watch another reality TV singing contest again. I am surprised that I am hooked to this show. The coaches are relevant and truly talented. The talents are, well, talented.

Anyhoo, this post is about my boys.

Aki: I have green yayay (saliva)!  So cool!
Aki: I have green yayay (saliva)! So cool!

Aki is such a boy, special thanks to his dad. Friends tell me that Franco reminds them of their older brothers.  Franco is both gross and protective. He reminds me too of my kuyas or older boy cousins who loved to tease me or scare me to death when I was little.

Last month, we were in Glorietta, and I noticed that Aki’s butt crack was showing. I told Franco to go up to his son and pull up the shorts. Franco told Aki to fix his shorts.  Instead, Aki pulled his short down to expose his whole butt with matching booty dance and naughty smirk. The people who saw him found him amusing but for sure the parenting police would have wanted us arrested if they were there. Can you guess who Aki was copying? Definitely not me!

Because my dad died when I was two (my sister was only months old) and because I grew up surrounded with females, the male bonding activities that Aki and his dad enjoy, never fail to either amaze, surprise or scare me.  My husband is a big kid at heart. When Aki gets a new toy, Franco sometimes gets more excited.  When my boys are fighting, it feels like I am raising 2 rowdy sons. Sometimes, I put Franco on time-out too for being naughty and too makulet. hehe.

Even though our parenting style always confuses Aki (eg Me: Go ahead and cry.  Franco: Stop. Crying. Now. ) there is no doubt in my mind that Franco is the best dad for our son.

Here are some of the activities they like to do together.

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They like having a drink together. For now, it is just Yakult but after many years, Aki might take after his dad’s love for that Daniels-something.

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They build toys together.

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Unfortunately for me, both like loud rock music that hurts my ears. They like playing air guitar and headbanging. Anyone else who has had more than enough of the Metallica song Battery? Continue reading “The Boys”

Food · Franco's Wife · Mrs. Monologues

Korean-style Fried Chicken

When Franco and I were newly married, he often teased me that he was so unlucky to have married someone who does not know how cook. While I knew that he was only kidding, it did hurt. He didn’t want to buy an oven because he thought it would not be a wise investment considering I have never baked anything in my entire life prior to moving to our house. It took a lot of seducing and begging and thank God, I won. haha. Once we have settled in our house, I challenged myself to learn to cook. Franco loves to eat. Since we hardly see and talk to each other on weekdays,  I try to be a good loving wife on weekends by cooking his requests. I would like to think that I have come a long way since the first meal I cooked. My last masterpiece, my version of Bonchon chicken, was a hit not just with Franco but with his family as well.

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Ingredients

Chicken. I used wings and skinless thigh fillets. The wings as expected were crispier.
1 1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
Oil for frying

Sweet Soy Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vinegar

Continue reading “Korean-style Fried Chicken”

Franco's Wife · Memoirs of a Mummy

A Father’s Brand of Fun

Yesterday was my dad’s 56th birthday. Today is his 27th death anniversary. I was only 2 years old when he died. My sister was only 10 months then. We don’t have  lot of memories of our dad. We know though, from the stories  of our families and friends, that he was kind, funny, and romantic. Even if he was not with us growing up, we did not feel incomplete or unloved. Mummy showered us with love and patience. And maybe because we are fatherless, our relatives from both sides, were extra nice to us.

Now that I am also a parent, I can see how much fun it really is to have a dad, especially for little boys. I want to think that I am a fun and cool mom in Aki’ eyes but I have to admit that Franco’s brand of fun is worlds apart from mine.

Here are some of their bonding moments

1. Putting pentel pen tattoos on each other.

2. Reading comics. Sometimes I wonder who enjoys the Spidey action figures more? Oh, the second word that Aki learned to read is Marvel.

3. Playing in the rain

4. Ninja ninja! Continue reading “A Father’s Brand of Fun”