Monday, April 30, 2007

Did you know? (tip for dog owners)

That having a can or two of Pumpkin Puree (not the Pumpkin Pie one, just pure Pumpkin Puree) is recommended if you are a dog owner? While reading last month's issue of Dog Fancy, I stumbled upon this recommendation. If your dog develops a nasty bout of diarrhea, put about a tablespoon of the pumpkin puree into their kibble and let them eat it up. It's a natural way to heal your dog's problems.

We don't own any dogs (yet), but I thought that was rather interesting. I'm the type of person who always has cans of pumpkin puree on hand, just because. Now there is another use for it besides making pumpkin pie!

I have to wonder what pet owners are feeding their pets nowadays with the food recall that happened. What scares me is the thought of food contamination in OUR food supply as well. I wonder what the FDA is doing about that. I don't know about you, but I am extremely concerned about this. Hopefully things will be made right soon.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Looking for ideas

Teacher's Appreciation Week is coming up soon and I volunteered to bring a dessert for the first day of the week. The meal that day is going to be Spaghetti, a salad, and garlic bread. I have no idea what kind of dessert would compliment this meal, so I am looking for any and all ideas. My husband thought of ice cream, but I do not think that would work, considering I would need to bring in bowls, spoons and I don't know if the PTO has the option of using the cafeteria's freezers (although I could call and ask). Plus I would like it to be something I make.

I was considering a Red Velvet Cake, but I am still unsure about that. I thought of making some sort of fruity bread (maybe a Banana bread of sorts) but they already have garlic bread, so I think that should be avoided. What about brownies? Would that compliment a spaghetti meal?

Another thing I need to take into consideration is I need to make enough for all of the teachers in the school. I don't know how many there are but roughly there are about 3 teachers per grade, K-6, so that's about 21 or so, more or less.

Any ideas or suggestions? I greatly appreciate and welcome them! :)

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Four Favorite food themes

FOUR of your favorite regional types of food (Country, state, city, etc):
1. California Chinese food (I don't know what the difference but it's definitely NOT the same up here in WA!).
2. Filipino food
3. Mexican food
4. Italian food

Four things you regularly bake or cook:
1. Homemade breads (sweet, fruit, etc)
2. Bibingka
3. Some sort of Rigatoni or Ziti bake
4. Taco Salad

Four of your favorite foods/dishes:
1. Chicken or pork adobo
2. Roasted potatoes & peppers
3. Fried rice
4. Mashed potatoes

Four favorite drinks (can be alcoholic or non!)
1. Sweetened Iced Tea (no lemon!)
2. Jamba Juice's Aloha Pineapple Smoothie
3. Amaretto Cool Coffee Cloud from Mugshots (local coffee stand)
4. Frozen/slushy Margarita

Four favorite restaurants:
1. El Cazador (before it was bought out), Bellingham, WA
2. Great Wall, Monterey, CA
3. Black Forest, Everson, WA
4. For breakfast it's a tie: Cedars in Ferndale, WA or First Awakenings in Pacific Grove, CA

Four common staples found in your fridge/pantry:
1. Onions/garlic/peppers
2. Baking supplies (flour, baking soda/powder, sugars (white & brown), a variety of liquid extracts and spices)
3. Tuna
4. Pancake mix

Four favorite TV shows (food theme!):
1. 30 Minute Meals
2. $40/Day
3. Iron Chef America
4. Good Eats

Four favorite movies (food theme):
1. Joy Luck Club
2. What's Cooking?
3. Soul Food
4. Like Water for Chocolate

Four people to tag:
1. Kristen from Dine & Dish!
2. Fishermans Blues (to get ya blogging again!)
3. Escaping Suburbia (check out her photography, it's gorgeous!)
4. My lovely friend Over the Rainbow


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Palitaw- what am I doing wrong?

Following the recipe here (except I omitted the linga), I made some Palitaw the other day, and everytime I make it, I can't seem to get it dry enough to the point where the bottom of the serving plate isn't a sea of sugary watered-down syrup. I just can't seem to get the rice cakes to dry out enough before rolling them in the coconut-sugar combination.

Any ideas on how to stop the watery sugar concoction from happening?

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Food boredom

Have you gotten tired of your menu and wanted to switch things up? For me it's been a lack of desire to cook lately, but the main part of our dinners (the meat portion) has been boring me along with the sides. Typically speaking we're a boneless skinless chicken breast and lean ground beef family, but there's only so much you can do with both before you're bored out of your mind. We'll be doing our grocery shopping in the next two weeks, so I am going to buy some roasts and maybe whole fryer chickens to change things. I have the need to switch things up but keep it easy and simple. My common staples when cooking meats are garlic and onion, but I do throw bell peppers in there as well for added flavor.

Side dishes are another problem. I think what I need to do is be a bit more creative with combining the veggies and the starches together- say, a rice incorporating asparagus and various spices, to jazz things up.

My poor husband is putting up with my cooker's block (as I call it), but I did manage to create one meal that made him say, "what's the special occasion?" this past week. That is what convinced me that I need to switch things up. Yes, I'm bored but yes, I need to improve as well.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Blog Challenge

If you were a potluck dish what would you be? Who would love you, and who wouldn't even try you?

If I were a potluck dish, I would probably be a hearty beef stew. I say this because I'm meaty, retain water pretty good (LOL), and full of vitamins (like from the veggies). I think those who love a comforting beef stew would love me, and vegans/vegetarians (because of the meat) as well as picky children wouldn't even try me (because of the veggies).

Maybe this is a bit stupid, but I could have said BIBINGKA! I know, I'm a woman obsessed with Filipino desserts lately.

Oops, forgot to add my recipe for Beef Stew, the one I make in the fall, as seen in this blog back in September last year!

Beef Stew

2 lbs beef chuck or stew meat (cut into 1-inch cubes)
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon Worchestershire Sauce
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
4 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, diced
2 onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced

1. Place meat in crockpot. Mix flour, salt and pepper, and pour over meat, stir to coat meat with flour.
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well.
3. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
4. Stir thoroughly and serve!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Steak/meat dipping sauces

There's this one sauce my Nana makes called "Sukah" (I'm probably spelling that wrong), and I wanted to share this recipe because while it's been years since I have had it, it's so good with steak.


1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vinegar
1/2 or less of a chopped up white onion
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine the soy sauce and vinegar in a dipping bowl (cereal bowl works well) and mix well. Add the onion and salt/pepper and stir slightly. Serve with steak.

Another combination of this would be using green onions instead of white onions, but I believe that is a Japanese dipping sauce, the only thing is I can't remember what the name of it is. It's equally just as good but it has a different flavor (due to the green onions, which are more mild in taste than the white onions). I would choose this over A-1 anyday!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

The Sky...Oh my!

Yesterday when I took my mom and daughter out to a park I decided to get a couple of shots of the sky above us, the clouds were moving in and I knew that we were going to see some rain soon (haven't yet, but there's a system that will be hitting us shortly!). Anyhow, I thought I'd share them with you all.

My mom is on her way home right now and I got maybe three hours of sleep last night. I miss her and I can't fall back asleep, so I thought I'd just try to keep my mind occupied. (So much for not dwelling, eh? Hah!)

The last picture I'll share with you is one of my daughter "monkeying" around yesterday! Happy Monday everyone!


Sunday, April 15, 2007

So hard to say goodbye...

I hate saying goodbye. I hate the unknown. The not knowing. My mother flies out early tomorrow and that's that. It always goes by too quickly. Truth is, I don't know when I will see her again. I don't know when I'll get a chance to go home again. All I know is it is not this summer, as we have commitments and other things we must take care of.

I don't dwell on it completely, but I do get sad. However, in the past four days with my mom I was treated to her famous Orange Chicken, and even breakfast made for me. It was like a taste of home and what used to be. We laughed, we talked, we spent that much-needed time together. My daughter will have to cope with this and it will be harder for her to handle than myself, but she goes back to school tomorrow, so that should keep her occupied as well.

I did not get any pictures of the Orange Chicken, but I do have the recipe.

Orange Chicken

3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
2 green bell peppers, cut into thin long strips
1/2 large white onion, chopped up
5-6 regular sized russet potatoes, chopped into pieces (just a bit over bite-size)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped up into bite sized pieces (or you can use Chicken Thighs, which is what my mom normally uses)
1-2 cups ketchup
2-3 cups water
Salt & pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sauteeing veggies and meat

Saute garlic, green bell peppers and onion with EVOO. When it's carmelized and wilted down, add in the chicken and cook thoroughly. Add ketchup, salt & pepper and mix well, then add the potatoes and water and let simmer until the soup is thick (should be about 15-20 minutes). Let cool down and serve over rice.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Seestar!

My little sister turns 21 today. Ahhh but I remember three years ago when she was up here visiting for her birthday and she turned 18! We drove to downtown Bellingham and she got her nose and tongue pierced that day (no longer has her tongue pierced, but I think she still has her nose pierced). I used to think I was such a badass for getting my cartilage pierced a day before I turned 18, but my sister was pretty hardcore on her 18th bday! LOL!

Over the years we have grown closer and everytime we have to say goodbye it's that much harder to do. I miss you terribly and I hope you have a wonderful birthday today. I just wish I could give you a hug in person! (I'll send mom back with hugs from D and I!)

HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY my "Seestar"!

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Avoiding childhood obesity

My husband and I both come from genetic lines of predisposed obesity. Both my husband and I are obese. In order to avoid this with our daughter, I have her enrolled in extra-curricular activities afterschool. Right now she is doing dance, at the end of this month, she will start teeball. In June she will start taking swimming lessons as well as tap dancing for the summer. In August she will begin another soccer season. When I had the discussion about enrolling her in a more pricy form of dance (tap), my husband was not completely sold on the idea because of 1, the costs and 2, whether our daughter would like it or not. When I saw my daughter dancing at her winter dance in December, I knew she loved dance and that was something I wanted to see if she would like to pursue. Sure enough, she enjoys the hip hop part of her dance class she is taking at the moment, but she can't stand ballet (ahhh, like mother like daughter...). Ever since she saw the movie Happy Feet, she has wanted to take tap dance.

When I discussed putting her in tap dance with my husband, I explained to him that I don't want her to end up the way we ended up. While both of us were active children, we were not so active when we hit puberty, and that's something I don't want my daughter to end up doing- so I'm hoping that she will find her niche in soccer or teeball or dance and we can continue to put her in afterschool programs.

As for our diet, I know one thing that we could all stand to have in our diet are more greens. With my daughter's pickiness starting to subside, it's been easier to get her to eat the foods we eat. I'm a bit of a stickler and a bit of a "mean mom". I don't cater to her whims and whatever I make for dinner is what she gets- and she can whine and cry all she wants, but that's all she gets. I'm just trying to ensure a well-balanced diet, is all.

When I was a kid, obesity didn't seem like a major problem. There was one big girl in my elementary school then. Nowadays you see obesity as a huge problem. It's something I hope my daughter can avoid.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

OT: Anyone else a horror movie fan?

Specifically, a fan of the Halloween series? Rob Zombie has recently wrapped up shooting on the set of the remake of Halloween, and the first theatrical trailer was released yesterday (you can see it when you go to watch the new movie Grindhouse). I've known for months that he was doing this (which huge Halloween fan didn't know about it?) and had been anticipating this movie for quite some time. I was able to view the trailer on Yahoo's website and I must say, it looks dark and disturbing, perhaps more so than the original. Now, there are many Halloween "purists" out there who are upset at the fact that it's being remade, but if anyone can pull it off, I believe Rob Zombie can.

I did not like House of 1,000 Corpses, but The Devil's Rejects? A very moody, atmospheric and scary movie, and needless to say, I was impressed by Zombie's cinematography and in total, his vision for his movies. That is why I am not against this "remake".

Halloween opens up in theaters on August 31st, 2007. (I'll be there- it'll be my one movie I see in the theaters this year. We don't go often because 1, they are overpriced, 2, teenagers or young kids usually ruin the experience for me, and 3, the cinemas here are OLD and uncomfortable.)


Friday, April 06, 2007

How ridiculous

How hard can it be to stock up on Mochiko rice flour? I don't get it, I go to the Albertson's in Bellingham, which is a pretty diverse neighborhood as it is, and they don't carry Mochiko Rice Flour?? They used to, and now no more. I'm starting to get really sick of going to a grocery store and finding they don't carry what I consider to be a common food staple! I don't necessarily have time to run to the one and only asian food market in downtown Bellingham, so I have to rely on the grocery stores.

All I can say is, I'm really shocked and rather annoyed that it's not carried anywhere local. Yes, it's at one local grocery store- for an exorbitant amount ($2.19 for a small box? Give me a break!).

I may just ask my mom to pick up some Mochiko and bring it up with her...sheesh!


Monday, April 02, 2007

I can hardly wait

til next week! My mother is flying up from California and is visiting for four days! Four days is so short to me, but she has to make the rent, so that's all she could take off. I'm just so happy she'll be here.

She promised me she'd teach me how to make her Orange Chicken, I know I posted about it a while ago, but it's not the same type of Orange Chicken that you see at Panda Express or any other Chinese food place. When we make it I will be sure to get the recipe written down and pictures taken. I told her I'd make the Bibingka that I recently made as well, and she is looking forward to that. I will also get the Rappolio recipe, which is a cabbage soup that my mom makes and I will post that as well.

I haven't seen my mother since December 26, 2005, and it's long overdue. My sister is currently trying to plan a trip to visit over a weekend this summer and I can't wait for that either. I haven't seen her since January 2, 2006 (I'm such a sucker for dates, I don't forget them). All I can say is, I can't wait to see them both. It's tough living 1,000 miles away from your family.

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