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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Igado, an Ilocano Dish

I have been craving for this dish for a long time since I saw a video on youtube. I Filipino Chef named Bitoy cooked this and it looked so good and healthy. So, I decided to make this dish as soon as I have the complete ingredients on hand. Here it is, my own version of Igado. We paired it with fried rice and oh! it was all so yummy! Try this, you might like it.

Anyway, I substituted the garbanzo beans with gold potato because I forgot that I didn't have the beans. Then, I added more vegetables like peas and carrots. I used pork liver instead of beef liver for it is milder than the beef. If you don't like liver, you can omit it; but I like mine with it because liver is rich in iron.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jacob's Eight Birthday

It seems like yesterday since I gave birth to a beautiful preemie baby boy. Time flies so fast, my baby  boy is now seven turning eight year old in three this coming July. Not to mention that he would be in third grade this school year. Everyday he becomes more independent and smarter. Before we knew it, he would would feel like he wouldn't need us anymore, and that makes me feel sad thinking of it :-(. So, I better stop thinking about it and just enjoy every minute with him while we still can.

Anyway, talking back on his coming birthday, my husband and I are still torn between celebrating his birthday at home with my in- laws, and family friends, then have his coming baptism at church the next day. Knowing my in-laws, I don't think they'd like the idea of having more people at home. They prefer to make the event a family only celebration. And or, celebrating Jacob's birthday on his exact birth date with just family, and later on with family friends minus my in-laws. It is really hard to decide, but sooner or later we would need to choose between the two. The sooner the better, so we can start sending birthday invitations   to our friends and families and also Jacob's friends at school, church and in the neighborhood. This is going to be a big celebration since he would be baptized at LDS church. We are all excited for his baptism and birthday as well.

One more think to think about is whether I would cook the foods myself, or have it catered. It is very hard for me to do the cooking since I have been doing it every year. Maybe this year, we need to have the foods prepare by a caterer, otherwise I'd be very tired again this year. Oh well, I am sure my husband could really help me on this one.

Braised Beef (ala Chowking)

This is one of my favorite dish that Chowking serves. Every time I eat there this is the first thing I order, and then their siomai. I so love this dish and is craving for it, that is why I search for its recipe on the internet and luckily, I have found one. here is my finished braised beef, it is so yummy. I felt like I was eating the the restaurant!

1/2 kg beef brisket
4 cups of water, add more if needed and 1/4 cup for cornstarch
2 tbsp Kikoman soy sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 star anise
2 tbsp onion, minced
1-2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
ground pepper to taste
1 carrot, cut diagonally
2 stalks of celery, cut diagonally
spring onions to garnish

1. Brown the beef in a little oil in a saucepan, then combine all the ingredients except the carrots, celery and the spring onions. Simmer the beef the meat until it's tender.
2. Add the carrots and celery.
3. Dilute the cornstarch to 1/4 cup water and add to the beef to thicken the sauce.
4. Put on top of a steamy rice and garnish with spring onions.

Family Getaway at Disneyland

Once a year my family and I go for a vacation. Sometimes during Spring time and most of the time on summertime. Last year, we decided to see my family in the Philippines where we all had fun! It was a grand reunion for me and them since my husband got to meet my folks and siblings for the first time! We went to Hundred Island, and Dinggalang beach in Aurora province. Knowing my husband love swimming,  my brother took him to a resort in Nueva Ecija which is run by some native people. Anyway, we sure had a blast, swimming and hiking and eating lots of foods. It was the most expensive, but memorable vacation we have ever had as family.
This year, we planned on going to Disneyworld with my brother in-law and his family, but sad to say that it didn't work because we decided to go to Utah to attend our church events, and also visit the national parks there such as The Arches, Bryce, Capitol Reef, and Zion's. Oh man, that was am amazing experienced to see those beautiful parks.
Anyway, next year we already made a plan on going to see the Grand Canyon in Colorado and afterward go to Disneyland in California and then visit my cousins who happened to live in that state. Husband told me to look online for an affordable disneyland tickets for the three of us at If you are planning for a great summer vacation with your family, you should visit the link provided here.

My Little Pumpkin

Here is a photo of my son after he got all the eggs. Yes, they are real boiled eggs. We just colored them which has became a tradition in our home during Easter Sunday. Anyway, for whatever reason, Jacob doesn't care about Easter basket. Egg hunting during Easter is what all that matters to him. Which is very good because he doesn't really like candies and chocolates, and he has tons of toys, too!

How about in your home? What is your family tradition during Easter? Anyway, notice the red roses in our garden bed? Aren't they look pretty? Oh! I love roses!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alarm System Gives Me Peace

Last week was the Spring break at my son's school and so we decided to attend the semi - annual General Conference for the church where we belong. It was a two day event which was Saturday and Sunday. We kind of enjoy the event; it was uplifting, spiritual and motivational, plus we got to see and listen to our church leaders in person. After the event, we still have five more days to spend in Utah. While there, I tried to not worry about being away from home, but I just couldn't. It was hard for me to imagine our home being robbed by some criminal. I just wished we have alarm systems installed, that way I wouldn't worry about it.

Anyway, we are back home now after visiting four national parks in Utah (Bryce, Zion, Capitol Reef and the Arches). We've found our home the same before we left it. It wasn't even damage by the tornado that hit the city next to ours. Our car though that was parked in park 'n fly near the airport had a small damage from the hail, but I am glad it is fixable and the insurance covers it. I wonder it the total alarm system covers the damage at home caused by tornado; oops, wait a minute....the home insurance covers it...I almost forgot it, lol.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dinner at Campisis Restaurant

After our long day is over on Monday where we spent great time at the Dallas World Aquarium, Harbor place in Rockwall, and park, we had a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant in Rockwall. Jacob had his favorite sausage and cheese pizza, while hubby and I have had a vegetarian pizza. Our appetizer was a dish of crab claws which was bit pricey, but very yummy! The pizzas were so delicious, too! I feel like I was eating a cracker with veggies on top of it. The crust was very crunchy with just the right amount of sauce.... we loved it! Here they are, don't they look sumptuous?

Jacob almost finished her own pizza....good thing he let us have a couple of it, lol. You can tell how much he loves that pizza in front of him.