Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Healthily Family Ravioli

Yesterday my dear cousin Elaine came over for a short and sweet vacation at our place and she helped me make what I call 'Healthily Family Ravioli' for dinner. Ravioli is a type of pasta that has a filling sealed between two thin layers of pasta dough. It can pass as the Italian counterpart of Chinese dumplings. What we did was a Spinach Mushroom Ravioli.

Let me share with you eight simple steps:

STEP 1: Make the pasta dough.
Elaine helped me mix the ingredients: flour, eggs, olive oil and ice cold water to make an elastic dough. She kneaded, divided and flattened them to make a multiple number of dough sheets.

STEP 2: Cook the filling.
Since there are many "don'ts" on the family diet, I had to make a healthy version of the ravioli. First, I cooked the shallots and garlic in olive oil. Once translucent, I added the button mushrooms. Then after a few minutes of stirring, I put in the washed and drained spinach and basil leaves.

STEP 3: Mix the filling.
Place the cooked filling in the mixer, add an egg yolk and grated parmesan cheese (you may also use feta cheese, this type of cheese must be included in STEP 2) mix until every ingredient is finely chopped.

STEP 4: Time for layering!
Place a dough sheet on a flat clean surface, then add spoonfuls of filling on top of it. Brush the borders and spaces between the fillings with egg wash (egg yolks and a few tablespoons of milk). This acts as a glue that sticks the two dough sheets together. Finish it off by sealing the ravioli with the second layer of dough sheet.



STEP 5: Shape it.
You may slice and/or roll the ravioli to the shape of whatever your heart desires. What we did was a simple curvey square using a curvey lined cutter.



STEP 6: Boil.
We boiled them in two batches of 40 minutes each.



OPTIONAL STEP:
STEP 7:
Stir-fry ravioli in brown butter. We didn't opt for this though. We are okay without the fat.

STEP 8: Serve.
Make tomato sauce (used in Spaghetti) and pour it on the ravioli. Sprinkle cheese and basil leaves on top. Serve with a smile. :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunday Lunch with the Egoboosters!

Preparation ~ Pesto. Mise En Place!



Sweet and Sour Pork, Pesto, Pata Tim, Corn Bread, Pinakbet, Country Chicken, Barbeque, Fried Saba (we forgot to serve Barbs' Ice Cream and Ate Joan's Crema!)



The Girls ~ Ivy, Barbz, Moi, Ate Joan and Kimmie



Wacky Boosters!



Icebreaker questions ~
ex.
Does baldness make a guy look older or look younger? - Ryan
Who is Ryan's crush? - Kim
What's Ryan's vital statistics? - Kim

Hahaha!



Another fun fun lunch date added in our memory bank!

Surprise! Happy! Birthday!

It was my first time last night to witness a grand surprise birthday party. We celebrated our dear Boksuniu's (Rev. Sia's wife) 60th birthday at QC Sports Club Banquet Hall. And I myself didn't expect that a surprise party would be so grand, you see, more than 300 people came and joined the heart-attacking scheme! I'm sure many guests had widened their eyes or even their mouths as well upon entering the hall. One would probably be my cousin-in-law Filbert, who expected only a tenth of the people and another was a dear friend of the birthday celebrant who led a toast for her. It just goes to show how important she is to her family, and how loved she is by her family in Christ.

When the awaited guest arrived, all the lights were closed, mouths were shut...

video

Boksuniu was indeed speechless, not teary eyed, just speechless. It was my first time also to see her so silent for a great number of minutes. I on the other hand got a bit teary-eyed, I find Rev. Sia's efforts in organizing the event very sweet and heart-warming.

The program started with songs of praises and worship for the Lord. Devin Villacruz and Lea Calamiong serenaded us with some of BSN's favorite songs, all of which were not familiar tunes to me. I kind of had a 'love at first sound' experience (if there is such a phrase), the songs in their simple forms presented great and encouraging truths. I think I'd love to add them up in my own playlist. :)

Dinner was very filling. My fave is the fish in veloutte sauce. Yumm!



Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Mo... (or kahit makulit na ang buhok mo... Hehe.)
by the Homebuilders Club



Advance happy birthday Boksuniu! :)


(photo courtesy of Bro. Perfecto Yap)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spotted in Bora!

I got back from Bora with a number of souvenirs: colorful necklaces with "Boracay" written on them, a couple of sand art bottles, some stones and shells, a braided hair and an itchy sun burnt skin. As expected, I got very dizzy during our island hopping and snorkeling trip. Some things just don't change. I kind of vowed to myself that I would never ever do those dreadful things again. But then, the fishes I saw were very pretty. I might try to endure hours of motion sickness for a beautiful sight underwater (maybe after 5 years). One of my favorite fish is a blue-green colored parrot fish with black thunder streaks on its body. It has an orange head and purple fins. Very colorful! Another fish (I would call it 'Zen' fish) has a white body fading to black. It has a minimalist style similar to the Japanese Zen. I wonder how God managed to color each school of fish differently. I'm sure all the colors we have now, in paint or in adobe photoshop, all came from His original masterpieces. He is indeed the God of art!

This trip was quite interesting. It's not everyday in your life that you would be in a secluded island together with sixty or so Kapamilya stars! Better keep on reading to see who's spotted!

RED BEAN HALOWICH - SPOTTED!
This is a snack & dessert place in D-Mall that features Korean cold treats and flying saucer sandwiches.



Zooming in to its product offerings, you would see different flavored sherbets ranging from strawberry to wine. I think its sherbet is made from smoothly shaved ice with flavored syrup. Then it's topped with corn flakes (adds good crunch), fruits (banana, melon, mango, pineapple, cherry, etc), soft serve ice-cream and chocolate syrup. The solo size is priced at 140, and if you can see the big bowl below, it costs Php 399. That's good for 10 people.



DECO'S ORIGINAL LA PAZ BATCHOY - SPOTTED!
If you want an authentic Filipino food at an affordable price, try Deco's! It has been operating since 1938. Imagine, it has existed even before WWI and WWII.



A snapshot of Deco's La Paz Batchoy. The regular size is worth only Php 67.00.



HUMONGOUS SEAFOODS - SPOTTED!
Boracay has plenty of shrimps, prawns and lobsters! They're being weighed, grilled, pan-fried and sold at the sidewalks of the beach. They're very easy to spot! You may see some lobster stands in front of the restaurants that offer eat-all-you-can promos, but these premium seafoods are offered only in ala carte.



CAFE HAVANA - SPOTTED!
Cafe Havana has a bright & exotic ambiance that exudes a Mediterranean feel. The shop is located at the northern part of Boracay and is very much secluded.



The bright wall paintings and the wooden fans give a cool balance to the warmth of the beach outside its windows. The arc in its doors also adds a nice accent to the rectangular motif of the place. I love how the store looks, but its food service is not commendable. Due to it being secluded, its foods are primarily catered to the in-house guests. And since we were just accidental guests (we did not opt for the proposed lunch place for island hoppers), we had to wait for more than an hour for our food to be prepared and served. What's even more odd is that this Cafe's food is a hodgepodge of Filipino and American cuisines.. not even seafood or Mediterranean-ish.



CUSTOMIZED T-SHIRT PAINTING - SPOTTED!
If you have Php700.00 to spare, then go for it! They'll paint your name on a shirt with scenes of the sea coloring it.



ALICIA KEYS' HAIR - SPOTTED!
There's this one girl who did Alicia Keys' hair in Boracay. And I asked her to do the same style to my hair. Wee! I got Alicia Keys' hair for only Php 150.00!



SERENDIPITY WALK - SPOTTED!
Cheesyness is not only in the air but also in the sand!



VICTOR BASA - SPOTTED!
He was sleeping under the same (hotel) roof as us.



RAFAEL ROSELL - SPOTTED!
Same for Mr. Rosell. And also for Jay Cuenca, Nina, Will Devaugn, etc. But only Vic and Rafael were spotted by my spy cam.



Till the next trip! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rockstar Night!

We had our joint cell fellowship tonight. If you're wondering what a "Joint Cell Fellowship" is, let me enlighten you a bit. This is a quarterly event where the main cellgroups of the church gather together to have a night of worship, fellowship and fun. Usually it contains games, lively or sometimes meditative praise and worship, and a wisdom-filled message.

For the first quarter of 2010, Friday group was tasked to host it. Initially I was thinking, oh dear, another project, additional stress. Maybe it's 'coz it was somehow difficult for me to encourage them to work as a team before. Then I prayed for a heart of volunteerism in the group. I got the answer the first time I opened the topic of "Joint Cell". People started volunteering to lead the praise and worship, to head the program, etc, etc, etc. During the course of preparation, someone even suggested, "hey maybe we should meet up on another day to fine tune all the details." Amazing!

More blessings came unexpectedly. You see our group has the youngest members, many are still studying (including me and my co-leader) and some have just entered the corporate world. We are not as financially stable as compared to the other groups. Out of the blue, I got a call that this churchmate will bring barbeque, and a text message that someone has just donated a big sum of money. God's abundant supply is truly overwhelming.

I realized that what the pastor pointed out tonight is true, God's yoke or burden is light. He will supply you abundantly so that all your needs (for yourself, your ministries, your work) are met (and more often than not, there's more than enough left). If His yoke becomes heavy, then take a rain check.


No matter how kulit, how tahimik, how young, how old, I love the Friday Crew!
(A number of Friday Crew are not included in this picture.)



Let's press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Am blessed to be running the race with you guys!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sands, Sunsets and Shoreline Sentiments

I'm flying out of Manila tom to a place called Boracay. Some say it has the best sand in the world. Others say its too commercialized. Whatever people say, Boracay is still the top-of-mind place for a sun-kissed experience, where the sun, the beach and the Barkada in bikinis join together on a hot summer day. To tell you honestly, I'm not even excited.

Although I love nature, I love the sight of seas, oceans and trees, I can't seem to love the beach as much as umm you, maybe. It's either I get eeky over some long slimy seeweeds that twirl on your ankle or some creepy crabs popping out of those small holes. I also get seasick during those island hopping trips and would you believe even when I'm snorkeling.

There was this one time when I went snorkeling somewhere in the south, our lady tourguide first briefed us on the do's and don'ts when snorkeling in that area. Yes, we can feed the fishies. "There will be those cute dory look-alikes, they're striped blue and white, there will also be those angel fish.." Then she told us the don'ts. There are seasnakes. They're quite easy to spot, they're white and long. If you see them, DO NOT MOVE.

The ol excited me got down of the boat with my aunt and tour guide. We fed some fishies which was fun. Until I saw a seasnake. I couldn't move. All I could do was whisper "heelpp..heelpp.." By golly gee, this lady tourguide did not move as well. She wasn't there to save me. Thank goodness for my macho auntie who swam to my rescue. It was one scary and dizzy trip. As usual I got seasick in the boat.

There was also this one time that I tried parasailing with the same auntie. We thought it's gonna be a breeze. Lo and behold! We got super dizzy that my aunt was already vomitting in the air. I was already pointing down, down and they still thought we were enjoying. So much for water activities.


Boracay 2007

There is one thing that I love about the beach though. It's the beauty of the horizon. The curve at the end, the streak that divides the sky and the water, reminds me that the earth has its limits. It reminds me of the Truman show. Remember there was a wall at the border of Truman's TV world? But in our case, we would just be traveling in circles.



You see the horizon shows already the shape of the earth, in mathematical terms, its circumference, the "edge" of the shape. It symbolizes the world and its limitations. No matter how goal-oriented we are, or how much we strive in our pursuits (business, education, etc.), It cannot provide the after life in the perfect world that we all long for. As I said, it can only make us go round and round in this imperfect world. Only the creator of this world can make us see what's out there. Only He knows the truth. And He has revealed it in His book entitled the "Bible". (I'm thankful for this. At least we won't look ignorant like Truman.:P)

Maybe sometimes we need to get out of the city. All the highrise buildings, the telephone poles and its wires, the billboards, are like our busy schedules that distract us from seeing the horizon. They inhibit us from thinking about life, death, our purpose, and how we are in the sight of God. Maybe we need to schedule a day off to see the calm and serene scene of the beach. (Or maybe you can just have it in your room. Or under your apron, if you are a busy mother.) It's time to have a one on one with God in silence and solitude.

Maybe this trip is exciting after all. :)

Though I'm Not Worthy

Sharing with you a song entitled "Though I'm Not Worthy" by Kari Jobe.

video

Isn't it a privilege to be silent before the Lord?

Think about this, He is not taking away your time. But you are taking away His!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Engineering ≠ Me

Sigh, as much as I want to, we just don't click. Well, me and my engineering book anyway. I've been trying hard to read for my operations management class (it's a field of industrial engineering) and I literally cannot make myself read a page without doing anything else.

I've coupled my reading...

with music (Kari Jobe's "Though I'm Not Worthy").
with some walking.
with eating.
as well as making this card.


and now blogging. Ayayay.

How about you? How do you discipline yourself? Can you share some tips? :)

Anyway, thanks for listening. I shall go back to my book. 8-)

God's Retailer?

According to my marketing professor, the middlemen in the business sector earn the most profits. They are the wholesalers (divisoria), the jobbers (agents, brokers), and the retailers (SM Malls and your local sari-sari stores) that get the products moving forward, from the manufacturer to the end consumers. Would you believe that they earn 60% of the profit, and only 40% goes to the manufacturer? So he said, if we are thinking of going into business, go in between. That's how Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, and many tycoons started. There's much wisdom to be gained from this experience. Here is the marketing equation:

MANUFACTURER + WHOLESALER + RETAILER = CONSUMER

I felt like a middleman when I shared the topic of our worship service last Sunday to a few friends. There's indeed much joy, blessings and wisdom gained from this act. Today is already Thursday, and I am still thinking, dwelling, meditating on the message. Maybe you will also be blessed by it. Let me share it with you.

Rev. David Cheung spoke of a message entitled "Walking on Water," an exposition of Matthew 14:30-33. He started off by saying that we can ask God for signs. I am not really very comfortable with this idea. I felt it sounded a little bit selfish, like God should do things our way. Anyway, he said we can ask for signs if, and only if, our purpose is to obey Him. He listed three DON'TS when asking.

1. Do not ask Defiantly. There's this story about a man who lived in Hongkong, a very urban place. This guy did not believe in God and I don't know what pissed him off that led him to ask "God, if you are really God, send me a sign!!" A few seconds later, before he even got to close his mouth, a bee stung him on his tongue. SO BE CAREFUL, DO NOT PUT GOD TO THE TEST.



2. Do not ask Deviously. On one summer day when Rev. Cheung was a couple of decades younger, his group of friends planned for a church activity. They really wanted to go to this carnival in Cubao, and so they made a little scheme. They thought maybe they could bring some gospel tracts and give them away, then they'd have fun after. However he felt a little bit guilty, so he asked God (note: on a hot summer day when global warming was not yet popular) to send rain. Guess what happened? When the sun was still shining brightly, rain poured for 45 seconds that afternoon. Goodbye carnival.

3. Do not ask Importunately. This just means do not be makulit like Gideon. If God has answered you already through a sign, you do not have to ask again and again.

---------- HERE'S THE STORY ----------

The evening after Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the 5000 men with a mere 5 loaves and 2 fish, Peter was on a boat with other disciples waiting for Jesus who went up a mountain to pray (wow! silence and solitude. Our topic for this Friday. :D). After sometime, Peter saw a hazy figure walking on water. It was Jesus! Peter asked for a sign, "if it is you Jesus, make me walk on water also." Remember, it was evening, and there were winds and waves jerking the boat. The boat would still be the safest place to be in at the middle of the lake. Jesus then told him, "COME."



Peter went out of the boat. But when he SAW the wind, he was AFRAID and he began to SINK, he CRIED out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." ~ Matthew 14:30-33



SAW. The wind might be so strong that Peter SAW it. Since usually we can only feel the wind right? Wind diverts you off your paths, deflects you. Maybe this can be a relational problem, financial difficulty or a sickness.. yes, it can be intimidating.

AFRAID. It is okay to be afraid, to fear the wind. There are two (2) types of fear. The UNHEALTHY fear and the HEALTHY fear. The unhealthy fear makes you flee. This creates doubt. Whereas the healthy fear makes you draw near. This creates trust. Rev. Cheung gave us an example of a young boy and his mother who went to a foreign land. When they went to the market to buy some food, the boy was afraid and this made him hold his mother tightly.

SINK. If we read further, we could see that it was not fear that caused Peter to sink, but doubt.

FEAR IS ABOUT THE WIND.
DOUBT IS ABOUT THE LORD.

Fearing the wind doesn't make you walk on water. Trusting the Lord does. And if you were to ask Jesus to help you through the wind, or remove the wind, he can do both.

CRIED. Sometimes it is okay to say a very short prayer. :-)

Earlier that day, Peter had already seen the miracle Jesus did through things (loaves and fish). But when he stepped out of the boat it became personal, he entered the realm of impossibility. He himself was doing the impossible. Jesus turned his life into a miracle.

If God tells you to get out of the boat, will you?

Will you get out of your comfort zone?

Will you trust him despite the wind, the problems, the discouragements that may shake you?

Are you willing to see something new, something greater, and something impossible? But this would mean you must entrust your life to Jesus. :-)

I am not the manufacturer of this message, so most probably I'm the 'retailer' who passes it on to more end users. Unlike the business retailer, I don't deserve any profit, nor glory. At least, I also get to enjoy the product. All glory to God!

Feel free to pass this on!



Monday, March 15, 2010

Country Kitchen

As I was doing my operational plan for class, I stumbled upon this site: http://www.kitchens.com/. It has several info you need for and about the kitchen. It even has quizzes for viewers! I took What's My Style? test and the result indeed matches my style!

~ o ~




What's My Style: Country

Natural is the name of the game when it comes to your kitchen.
Your home’s country charm can extend beyond a farmhouse design. From rustic Northwest mountain homes to New England cottages, the country style manifests itself in natural wood furnishings and handmade items. Look toward plank doors or simple paneled doors done in natural and rough-hewn woods like pine, alder or maple.

~ o ~
Doesn't it look like Meryl Strip's kitchen in "It's Complicated"? Look at the flowers and fruits decorating the place. They make the place look so homey! This kitchen is so inviting, that I think anyone and everyone who enters it would instantly feel at home and comforted. What's a kitchen for, if it's not comfy right? Especially, if this is the favorite place for heart to heart talks and bonding with family and friends.

:)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Choco-Loco Trip!

Last Friday, my dear friend invited me for 'chocolates.' We went to Heavenly Chocolates, a small shop along Tomas Morato that fits only about twenty people. It has the familiar coziness of your everyday coffee shop. Upon entering, you would see the welcoming red cushioned seats, soothing earthy colors, chalk sketched menu board, wall murals and of course, a free wifi sign.



And instead of smelling roasted coffee beans, this shop offers a rich scent of cocoa. Chocolate bars embossed with "I Love You" (oh cheesiness :P) decorated the chiller, Japanese chocolate cubes, Dark Belgian chocolate cakes, all were wrapped in very appetizing packages.



Surprisingly, Heavenly Chocolates also serves meals! We ordered a penne pasta. Guess what was the sauce? Chocolate of course, topped with bacon bits! Sounds odd, huh?



This one of a kind dish is a must-try if you happen to pass by Tomas Morato! The bittersweet taste of chocolate mixed with the slighty salty bacon bits is not the usual combo, but do grab a bite to kill your curiosity.

We also ordered their mexican minced pork and chicken pies.



This time the chocolate is served separately, since this dish comes with a 5 oz drink! We tried the Peru drink which is made out of pure melted dark chocolates (just like the other drinks. I think they merely differed in origin). Tasted not too sweet nor bitter. It has a bit of a fruity, tingy, rum flavor which added a bit of surprise to it.



The next day my friend and I returned, this time tagging along some more friends (free Word of Mouth). We had another round of those luscious treats plus more interesting conversations and laughters. If you have a sweet tooth, let me know, I'll take you there for another day's adventure! :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ssshhhh......

Glad you have reached this part of the adventure! Now, it's time to sit back, quiet down and rest for a while. Let this song fill the air. :)


video


Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is holy
Be still, O restless soul of mine
Bow before the Prince of peace
Let the noise and clamor cease

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that He has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that He will never change
Be still

Be still, and know that He is God
Be still, and know that He is God
Be still, and know that He is God

Be still; Be speechless

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know He is our Father
Come rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still, Be still

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Are you an Uzzah guy?



I got to meditate on a very short passage today from the chronicles (1 Chronicles 13).

7 They moved the ark of God from Abinadab's house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it. 8 David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, cymbals and trumpets.

9 When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. 10 The LORD's anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God.

I was surprised that someone who was genuinely concerned for God's welfare (the ark) was stricken and killed. It's like saying, we who work for God's Kingdom, who care for God's name, who long to share the gospel to others, may also experience the same fate as this Uzzah guy.

IF like Uzzah, we forget about God's holiness.
Touching the ark was a serious violation of God's law. This is a dramatic reminder of God's holiness and of the necessity of approaching God only according to his revealed instruction. Do you regard God as a perfect Holy being, that you can't help but kneal in awe of Him? Or do you see God as part of a boring routine?

IF like Uzzah, we think that God needs us.
How can we acknowledge our God as God, if we think that He is the one who needs us.. to do His ministry works, to spread His name, etc, etc, etc? Remember, God is perfect. Nothing can make Him even more complete, not even you.

IF like Uzzah, we think our ways are better than His ways.
When the oxen trembled, do you think that God was too powerless to save the ark?
If faced with problems, do you think that God does not know?
If God knows, do you think that your ways are still better than His?

Good morning! Have a blessed moment of reflection! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Trip to Cupcake Land

I hurried to class panting, still with a bit of flour residue on my top and hard to remove food coloring stain on my fingertips. We had our midterms exam and guess how I spent the whole day preparing for it?


Making cupcakes!


I enrolled in a Cupcakes-on-Parade class. There I got to do hands-on cupcake decorating. It’s like a blend of many of my favorite things in the world: making greeting cards, molding clays and baking goodies! I had so much fun! And I would love do it everyday if only I have unlimited supply of egg whites without all those cholesterol-filled egg yolks. Hmm.. or maybe I should practice and start teaching too?


I realized I love to be in the motion, whether it’s my mind or my hand. I love to keep my brain working, to generate endless ideas and translate them to their actual forms one by one. You guessed that right. I love the busy life. That’s why when an application in Facebook mentioned “you should remember that you’re a being and not a doing, ” I was able to relate to it. Sometimes I blame it on my temperament. And I know I shouldn’t. Anyway, that’s another topic altogether. The point is I can feel butterflies in my stomach when there are new ideas, new designs, with matching opportunities to make them work.


Let me take you to that castle along P. Guevara street. Go up two flights of stairs and enter the demo room.

You found it! (Can you see me?)



Our prof is Chef Christine Paredes, the niece of Chef Annie who owns Chocolate Lovers. Currently she's making a boiled icing by pouring the boiled sugar water mixture in the bowl of whipped egg whites. Boiled icing by the way is very easy to handle and pipe on a cake. It's a lot softer than royal icing and fondant (ready to roll icing).



Here are her sample designs:


For Easter Sunday


For Christmas


For fun


For coffee breaks


And loads more. These are some of the things you need for decorating.

Your cupcakes of course! :)


Some colored Royal or Boiled Icings


Chocolate Lollipops for decoration


More candies and other goodies


I had my share of designs too. But they may not be as good as hers, so pardon me.

A Musical "Thing" (give me a title please!)


Campfire


The Early Worm Catches the Egg


Cool Summer


...and others.


As for my midterm exam? It went well. Thanks God! Time to rest and reflect. Goodnight world! :)