Kitchen Time-Out: Capiz and Boracay Trip

Our First Day in Boracay

Did you notice that milestone widget on my sidebar that said we were on vacation about two weeks ago?

Okay. So we’re back from our trip. I was busy and idle at the same time that I couldn’t write about anything. Thank God, Gadiel somehow looks better now after he was diagnosed with pneumonia (again) two Sundays ago. And while he sleeps right now, I manage to create a post about this trip.

We went to Ivisan, Capiz and Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan. Capiz and Aklan are two provinces that are located in Panay Island. Panay is in the eastern part of the Visayas region. The whole world must have been aware of typhoon Haiyan that struck Visayas last November 8 and left the Philippines with thousands of casualties and a huge number of families who became homeless in some provinces to which the said typhoon made a landfall. Although not as terrible as of what Leyte became after Haiyan, Capiz and Aklan had their share of traumatic experiences and this typhoon also caused them damaged homes and properties.

For countless of times, I kept backing out and then planning to go on with the trip and then backing out and then again getting on with the plan. Our flights were moved because of the typhoon from November 8 to the 11th. And then our flights were cancelled again. It was after my mom and her siblings had a reunion that I decided to re-book our flight on the next day. So we were finally scheduled on the 14th.

It was Gadiel’s first time to ride a plane. It’s memorable in a sense that I had one of those hardest time trying to calm him down because he was upset. Probably because he felt sleepy and that seats had narrow spaces. Good thing that after struggling through to nurse him before the take off, he went to sleep until after the touchdown in Roxas City.

Here are some of our photos during the trip. More photos will be posted on the next blog posts.

Gadiel's First Time to Fly at Cebu Pacific

Relaxing in my Uncle's Home in Ivisan, Capiz

Happy Mamu and Gadiel

Mish in Ivisan, Capiz

Gadiel's First Time in Boracay

Second Day in Boracay

Playing on the Sands

3rd Day in Boracay

Gadiel Must Love the Sea

Keep Calm Gabriel is a Lifeguard

Last Day in Roxas Cit y

With Kuya Nino Before Our Flight Back to Manila

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Kitchen Time-Out: Family Day at Enchanted Kingdom

I haven’t posted since the first day of this month. Aside from getting busy on trying to plan a small business that I’ll talk about here one of these days, I haven’t been in the mood to make new meals. This is hard when you’re always on a tight budget.

We’ve been on a tight budget since Gabe moved in to this house. I am unemployed and his salary has always been not enough to support our entire needs for a month. But it doesn’t bother me as much as it could bother some other moms if they were in my situation. These moments help me realize that I am still blessed and strangely, I found contentment in spite of our circumstances.

I just can’t believe I am writing about this just because I don’t wanna sound like I’m neglecting this blog. Oh well, this is just my way of keeping myself motivated and as a reminder that we should work hard to improve our status. ūüôā

Despite our problems, we always try to find time and go out with Gadiel. Last October 13, we brought him at Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa, Laguna together with my brothers and their friends. It could have turned out to be a great day, something I look forward of having. Gabe and I had some misunderstanding that I decided to go home instead. Gabe, Gadiel and I left my brothers and friends. So I wasn’t able to enjoy everything I missed since my last visit.

But we still had some nice photos during the day…

Our Family at Enchanted Kingdom

KFC Starmall

Arriving at Enchanted Kingdom with the Whole Gang

Mikko and Jeccah

Michael and Gabe on their Bump Cars

Gabe and Mish - Together Forever

Extreme Ride at Enchanted Kingdom

Gan and JC

Michael and His Friends

Riding a Train at Enchanted Kingdom

Happy Family

Quick Travel Tips

  • Would you like to visit Enchanted Kingdom? If you live in Manila or its neighboring cities, go to Starmall in Shaw Boulevard. There are public utility vans parked there that could bring you to Waltermart along Balibago road. The fare is 70 pesos per head. From there, find the tricycle terminal that brings passengers in front of Enchanted Kingdom. Fare per head would be 9 pesos. (Fare details as of October 2013)
  • Don’t mind bringing meals inside the theme park, they will not allow you to do so. Visitors who wish to eat may find some restaurants and the food court to be good enough in relieving their hunger.
  • Bring extra clothes especially if you want to ride Jungle Log and Rio Grande Rapids.
  • It’s not really required but it’s necessary to bring an umbrella and a sunblock.

Pinspiring Photos: Ideas That Work for Small Kitchens

I love my Pinterest more than my Facebook account. Pinterest has helped me realize my love for baking and it didn’t stop there. I was inspired to bake new recipes and soon enough I found myself digging on batches of cupcakes and muffins that I personally made.

Now I’m searching on Pinterest for more inspiration and DIY ideas for our soon home. One thing that I am mostly preparing myself for in our new place is the kitchen area. Because if you would ask me what’s the heart of a home is, I’d say it’s the kitchen. It’s the area that makes and breaks an entire house. People could make an instant impression in a family’s lifestyle and background just by looking at how they keep their kitchen. It sounds unfair but maintaining a good and clean kitchen can also affect your mood inside your home, so that would work for your own benefit. So why not invest time and money on a well-kept kitchen?

I have here some photos of small kitchens that I pinned and I am considering about getting some ideas from them. I don’t own these photos. I just found them on Pinterest and I’m sharing them to inspire myself and anybody reading this for future kitchen construction and renovation.

Small Kitchen Ideas

Small Kitchen Idea - Love the Window and Sink

Source: Fresh Home Decor Website
Lovin' the Sink and the Window

Small Kitchen Ideas - Minimal and White

Source: Pinterest Pin
Minimalist Kitchen Design

Small Kitchen Ideas - Good Colors Plus Nice Kitchen Cabinet

Source: Pinterest Pin
 Hanging Tea Cups

Unique Kitchen Idea

Source: Pinterest Pin
Unique Kitchen Design to Maximize Home Space

Small Kitchen Ideas - Open Windows

Source: Pinterest Pin
Simple Yet Neat Kitchen

Small Kitchen Ideas - Cook Books

Small Kitchen Ideas - Green and White Paint

Source:  The Inspired Room
Decorations Hanging on the Green Wall
Small Kitchen Ideas - Vintage

Small Kitchen Ideas - Neat

Source: Flickr
White and Red - Wouldn't You Want to Grab a Plate and Eat on That Small Table?

Small Yellow Kitchen

Source: Fresh Home Decor
Looks Great for a Small Studio-type Apartment

Another Vintage-Styled Kitchen

Source: Kaoskreotivo @ Blogspot
Another Vintage Kitchen - I Love Everything Here

Kitchen Love

Source: Pinterest Pin
LOVE in the Kitchen - Looks Good to Me

Did this list inspire you? Let me know. I would love to hear your ideal kitchen design for your small home. ūüôā

Recipe: How Did Those Sour Cream Coffee Muffins Go?

Sour Cream Coffee Muffin Recipe

It’s my first time to bake muffins. Since I have experience in baking cupcakes, I didn’t have hard time making sour cream coffee muffins last night. For my first time readers, I posted sets of baking challenge last week for myself. I chose to make sour cream coffee muffins by Movita Beaucoup¬†because I observed that her ingredients were easy to find. Well except for pecans or walnuts but I intended to use peanuts which I bought from a sari-sari store nearby.

The results were impressive except that I was expecting for a sweeter taste. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the amount of white sugar I put or because I substituted 1/4 cup of cake flour for the all-purpose flour which it was too late to realize that I ran out of. Nevertheless, it was a good coffee muffin and I would still try to follow and search for the ingredients next time I bake this.

My First Coffee Muffin

I love the crumbs by the way! There were no pecans or walnuts but the peanuts worked well.

A Batch of Coffee Muffins

If you’re itching to try baking these muffins, check out the original recipe here. But you can also try what I did if you want to make a cheaper but inspired version of this sour cream coffee muffin. Plus it’s not too sweet and not too plain so it’s really ideal to be paired with a cup of coffee.

I would also like to emphasize that I did not use salt for this recipe as I used regular salted butter. If you prefer unsalted butter just add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and combine it with the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder). I also substituted baking soda with baking powder (referring to original recipe) because it’s fine to use just one of them as long as you know the difference. ūüėČ

Sour Cream Coffee Muffins Recipe

Adapted from: Movita Beaucoup // Makes 12 Muffins

Ingredients:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coarse ground peanuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup regular butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line 12 paper liners to your muffin pan.

Make the fillings and toppings by mixing the brown sugar, ground peanuts and cinnamon altogether.

Cream the butter and white sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix well.

In another bowl, mix all the other dry ingredients – all-purpose flour, cake flour and baking powder. Then add this to your butter mixture and beat in low speed.

After having a well-combined mixture, use an ice cream scoop to put the batter on your liners. Put one scoop first on every liner. Spread the batter using a spoon or small spatula. Then sprinkle with your fillings/toppings with equal proportion on each muffin. Make sure to leave half for your toppings. Put the remaining batter on each liner, spread again and then sprinkle the remaining fillings/toppings mixture on top.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or test by pressing the top of the muffin. If it springs back, you’ll know they are done.

Let them sit on the muffin pan for 2-3 minutes and then remove them and place in a cooling rack or just set aside and allow your muffins to cool down.

Kitchen Time-Out: Gadiel is on His 7th Month

Gadiel Meldrich Traje Limpin

Gadiel turned seven months old last Sunday. We invited some of our friends to come over for a simple dinner. I am so happy that he has reached this age with good health. His health and his size is more remarkable when compared to babies his age. I still breastfeed him. Although he’s starting to establish eating habits when it comes to solid food, he has to continue on breast milk because it helped him a lot especially that he doesn’t easily get sick. I was really in doubt at first if breast milk could really help him get protection from illnesses. During his first 6 months when he was exclusively breastfed, people had seen exceptional improvements on him. He seldom gets sick with cough, colds or even with fever. He’s bigger than most babies his age. He gets attention from strangers whenever we take him for shopping or for a walk.

I have faith that breastfeeding helped him a lot. Our personal experiences as a mother and child show us why. And I’m still going to give him breast milk until he reached the age of 2 or whenever he’s ready to wean. For now, my life is devoted to giving my full attention to him and some time spending in the kitchen. I’m not even sure about getting back to work any time when he turns 2.

I need to think about putting up some business though. Time is ticking, I wasted almost 2 years of my life for nothing.

Oh well, back to the kitchen. I’m just here for a quick update. Hopefully I’d be able to bake¬†this later.

Recipe: Fried Tofu in Creamy Coconut Milk

fried-tofu-in-coconut-milk

Once again, it’s Monday! Why is it that weekends are always shorter than they really are? We were quite busy because we wanted our small bathroom to get fixed. The renovation is not yet finished but I believe we’re halfway done to having a child-friendly bathroom.

Today I wanted to share my simple recipe of fried tofu in creamy coconut milk. I used to hate tofu because of its unpleasant smell but cooking it with coconut milk can make a big difference. This takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and the ingredients are all easy to find. The dish is better paired with rice and is equivalent to 4 servings. I could say that this is our savior meal during lazy days whenever we feel like cooking is tiresome.

Sometimes I would use 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce depending on what’s available on my pantry. It’s up to you whether you want your dish to have a kick of sourness, tomato sauce would do great. But if you prefer a special umami taste, Worcestershire sauce fits perfect.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we always do.

Fried Tofu in Creamy Coconut Milk Recipe

Ingredients:

Canola oil (for frying and sauteing)
2 to 3 cups coconut milk (depending on the amount of coconut milk cream you want for your dish)
3 blocks of tofu
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 piece onion, minced
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 long or 6 medium-sized winged beans, sliced thinly.
Sallt to taste
2 to 3 Red peppers (optional)

Directions:

Cut each tofu to 2 so that they’ll be thinner and faster to cook. You now have 6 blocks of tofu.

In a frying pan, fry the tofu in hot canola oil. Once all the tofu are fried, remove them from the pan and set aside.

Saute garlic and onion respectively. After the garlic and onion turned brown, put back the fried tofu. Just mix together for a few seconds and then pour the coconut milk into your pan.

Let it boil and then add the Worcestershire sauce and the red pepper if you want your dish to be spicy.

Cover the pan and let the coconut milk be cooked for about 5 minutes or until the coconut milk has gotten creamy.

Afterwards, put salt to taste. Then add the winged beans and let it cook before turning off the heat.

Serve with rice once the dish is ready.

Kitchen Time-Out: Dissecting a Cupcake Party Favor

Hello Kitty Party Favor

We were out yesterday to attend a children’s party. I was planning to make a post about the fast food chain where the party was held and also about the foods they offer. But one thing caught my attention and it affected the entire plan.

Liliane Hailey's Cupcake Favors

Cupcake favors; Lovely Hello Kitty cupcake favors that were placed and arranged beautifully on a cupcake stand. They were gorgeous. And after receiving my own piece of cupcake, I couldn’t hide the feeling of delight in my face.

It was my first time to receive a cupcake party favor. It was also my first time to eat a cupcake with a topper on it. But if you’re my follower on Instagram and on my Facebook profile, you would probably have an idea that I tried once making a cupcake covered with marshmallow fondant.

Hello Kitty Party Favor  Sample

So anyway, I realized that if I want to make a good cupcake favor, I should try to dissect somebody else’s cupcake to get ideas about the parts of it. While Gadiel was taking his nap this morning, the dissection process started.

It was tough. Who would be on a right mind to tear apart a cute little cupcake just for the sake of a blog post and some possible readers? The whole process was hard as I said. But someone’s got to do it…

Hello Kitty Party Favor Idea

Through this, I was able to learn that this chocolate cupcake has a Hello Kitty topper (obviously) that was made of fondant and a mocha buttercream to stick it to the cake. It looked so simple. I can always buy some toppers from baking suppliers. Things could have been all easy until I realize that the chocolate cupcake was so good and tasty. You can even smell its aroma!

Chocolate Cupcake Sample

I haven’t made a batch of chocolate cupcakes that tasted or looked something as close to this. The cupcake was soft, light and airy. This truth was very disheartening. On the other hand, this whole process has inspired me to learn more about making my own version of chocolate cupcakes.

Strangely I seem to have developed a fear of baking chocolate cupcakes. I’ve been wishing for a chocolate cupcake fairy to come my way, if there’s any.

It was great to see my closest friends and Hailey celebrating her first birthday yesterday. But the cupcake favor made it more extraordinary than any other children’s party I’ve ever gone to.

I’m posting some of our photos yesterday over here. Gadiel, Gabby and I had so much fun!

Again, happy birthday dear Hailey!

With Friends

High School Friends with Gadiel

Gadiel and Mommy

Gadiel

With High School Friends

Gadiel with Girls

Jane and Tinai