When mom runs out of recipe ideas

A mom's daily grind includes bringing the kids to school, going to the grocery store, cleaning up, washing and hanging the clothes out to dry, cooking, an online job if she's a WAHM, picking up the kids from school, helping with homework and finally cooking again. I didn't mention ironing the clothes because I somehow see others having to hire help for that!

Most of the time, speaking from experience, we run out of  recipe ideas  and even if the ingredients are all ready, we just can't get something out of them. Good thing there are a lot of recipes online to choose from...Before there were a lot cookbooks where us moms could choose a recipe or two, I still have a handful of them but I find Nigella's express meals easiest.



It's fun to browse online since you also see celebs pitching in their recipes. Above is a photo of supposedly, Gwyneth Paltrow's pancakes. 


Ingredients

FOR THE DRESSING
350g (12oz) plain flour
75g (2 ½oz) granulated sugar
3 ½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp fine salt
750ml (1 ¼ pint) buttermilk
75g (2 ½oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for cooking
6 large organic eggs
250ml (½ pint) milk
maple syrup, warmed, for serving

Method
1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together.

2. Whisk together buttermilk, butter and eggs in another bowl.

3. Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients.

4. Whisk to form a batter.

5. Cover batter and allow to sit overnight.

6. Heat griddle or non-stick pan and add some butter.

7. Add milk to batter to thin it to proper consistency.

8. Cook pancakes on griddle/pan, flipping when bubbles appear on non-cooked side.

9. Cook for 2 minutes once flipped.

10. Place on plate and serve with maple syrup.

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Voila! That's Gwyneth in the kitchen for you. 

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Sunday Sundae!


Who can say no to caramel Sundaes, mini sundaes with smarties  on a Sunday? Well, you're missing a fourth of your life...well maybe half of that....still you're missing a lot. Happy Sundae!

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Ube Dume (sic) (Purple Dirty)


I reintroduced my two older kids to the red bee 2 years ago. It was my youngest's first time to meet him and needless to say, they god hooked. My brother, then single would almost always give in to their request to visit the bee. This is one of those many meetings with him.  Kids enjoy eating with him - chicken, lumpia, spaghetti, burger, fries and all. They're also delighted how much my Kuya would spend for them and eat double their servings. :D



After this particular visit, the kids asked for ice cream and well...all three ordered their favorite flavor...Ube/Purple yam...and son 1 turned out like this....

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More Cheesecakes and Macarons


That's how addicted I could get...especially if I have to finish work and I haven't had breakfast yet...

This is the "normal" cheesecake - soft and chewy, very subtle and heavenly at the same time. The macarons? Need I say more? You do know that I'll bake them had I the time, and that's rare now. So this for now means Total Bliss!


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Banking on myself


How much am I obsessed with macarons? I think just slightly less than my son. :D If there are three things that I want to do it would be as follows:

-learn Spanish and Japanese intensively and work as a United Nations tourguide
-learn baking and have my own shop to sell my creations
-take the master exams for photographers and register myself as a professional photographer

These are of course, career-wise, I have set goals spiritually, home-related and financially - the most difficult there is. I mean we the other things we can easily learn but there's no surefire way to acquire wealth...unless of course if you are born with it.

I guess my bakeshop dream is doable, I just need to have the means to do so. I read about Personal Equity Institute, a company that examines historical data, apply structure powerful prosperity systems. They give training seminars, books, articles and informational videos to teach the dynamics of accelerated wealth building to individuals, small business owners and professionals too.

I mean, as of now I don't have the resources but if I do I'd definitely want to take control of my financial future. I think Personal Equity Institute will help me and you too - to bank on yourself.

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Summer Getaway stay at Puerto Vallarta villas


"I could get used to a view like this." Right, I borrowed that from Flynn, Tangled's lead male character and my newest cartoon obsession. Though in the movie he was standing atop a castle and looking down the vast property - kingdom. I'm contented with this, a view of the beach, cool wind, fresh fruits, and a good book that I can finish in hours.

Where can this be? You might ask. It's at the coasts of Mexico. More particularly one of Puerto Vallarta villas  - accommodations for families and individuals who would want to getaway this summer.Aside from spectacular terrace views, each rentals boast of  bathrooms, full-sized kitchen, heated pool, internet, Plasma TV and other appliances you usually have at home. What's best is Puerto Vallarta villas are located just a few steps to a number of restaurants, shopping and night life.My kind of Summer Getaway, how 'bout you?

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Water Heater Installation


Look beyond these two and you'll see our heater...what keeps us warm during the cold months of December until February. These heaters are built in along with the water heater installation when we transferred to this apartment 6 years ago. Unlike the one installed in our other apartment where the water heater can be seen as one enters the door, our now is hidden and I only have known about it when the company in charge of checking them yearly came. 

This is why we've never had problems with repairs and all unlike my brother who is in Canada, they have more colder months than us and the water heaters tend to be used more often too. We were chatting yesterday when he mentioned that he's expecting a new installation. I helped him look for a company near their area and found Friesen's which does not only do installations, they also repair and do regular maintenance just like ours. The company boasts of being the service since 1999 and have often been named "Service Provider of the Year". I told my brother to contact them in case any untoward incident happens again.

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Snack


School is over --- for now. It means thinking of what to put in the kids' lunch boxes is also over. :)

Since school is only until 12 noon or 1 pm I would put in light snacks but make sure that they've eaten heavy breakfast. They used to go to an after-school institution where they eat lunch, do some homework and play but I opted for them to stay at home when it appeared that they are not eating that much there. They tend to just play.

This is my older son's lunch box - There's a yogurt drink, choco-milk bar, ham sandwich, an orange and cucumber slices. He woule most of the time come home with an empty lunch box and I'm thankful for that. When the time comes I'd gladly fix them bentou too like what I do for their dad.



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Summer fest (food)




Every year, at the start of summer - this could be sometime between June 20-22 - the kindergarten where my son goes to organizes a Summerfest joined by the kids' families. We would pitch in food, drinks and tokens and then sing and eat - a bonding of sorts. Above would be apple cake, a variation of Apfelstrudel and cinnamon rolls...my favorite but I'd prefer cinnabon.

For this year, it's a bit nostalgic too as one of the pedagogues (Gabi) has to leave for another job. She's been one of the two who tapped my older son's potentials - to send him straight to grade 1 instead of a preparatory class. She recognized the inquiring attitude in him that's why she advised me to say no to preparatory class. She's also the one who requested for some puto. :)



These are the puto I baked, I tried coloring some with pink and they were the first to go when served. I'm sure the kids were the ones who took them. ;) See more puto photos here.

This year, the weather cooperated well, we were able to stay outside without rain or cold winds - it was pure sunshine so we stayed the whole time at the garden, the kids performed a special number about a caterpillar turning to a butterfly. We also gave Gabi potted plants and herbs for her garden! (I want all those that she got lol).


A regular in every summer fest - grilled sausages! Name it we got it! Bratwurst, Käsekrainer, Frankfurters, Berner Würstl and a lot more...but no, we don't have canned Vienna sausage. :D The other pedagogue's husband was kind enough to be in charge of this portable grill...we've been using this for 4 years now.

No rice served...just potato salad, macaroni salad and lots of condiments for the sausages. 


Summer fun! Tomorrow is the last day of school, I'd surely be having lots of time out with the kids! ;)


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Investment real estate

One of my biggest regret is never having an investment real estate early on in Tagaytay. It's a city 20 minutes near the town I grew up on and is now one of the booming restaurant business and real-estate capital in the Philippines.
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My mom works for the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), a government deparment responsible for governing and supervising the exploration, development, utilization, and conservation of the country's natural resources. I have fond memories of going with her and colleagues to tree-planting activities all over the region. Those were the times also that I developed a liking for greenery and tree-laden areas...just like Tagaytay.

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(View of the Taal Lake from high-up Tagaytay)

Although Mom's job is to handle the payroll, she gets to participate in other areas as well. When we (older sister and I) were kids we would help her count the money that goes in the envelopes to be given the employees every fifteenth and thirtieth of the month. Teehee!

It is also their department who are responsible for giving out land titles, much like the W.D. Schorsch Commercial Real Estate is a commercial real estate firm that specializes in United States General Services Administration (GSA) projects. Both provide expert advisory, development, management and brokerage services to any organization or individual involved with the government in commercial real estate as an owner.

It's really a convenient thing, since mom's there she'd be able to help me with the paperworks and all things needed to buy a piece of land.  

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Country style TV Bank


I never liked the combination of yellow and brown ---- in clothes! Speaking of the combination in interior is a different matter. The country-style TV Bank in nut wood here totally complements the yellow wall. I love the homey feel, I'd certainly enjoy a day with my book and a cup of tea in here.

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Breakfast blogging



I'm still having problems with my internet connection at home so I got the perfect excuse to be at McDonald's early on. :D Do some blog and have my chai latte or cappucino. Last week I only had water for lunch lol. Two days after I had chai latte and a slice of caramel cheesecake...today I'm having cappucino and ham+egg croissant. It's barely 9am---I'm actually waiting for the internet provider's shop to open but since McD's open earlier than they do I decided to have my quiet me-time even for a few minutes.



Did I mention that it's sale-month? :D June is Vienna's inventory-month sale so expect a lot of discounts! I might get something today but "might" - I still don't have much money in my pocket lol....but with 70% off on tags...won't I?



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Recipe for a successful SEO - get it from SEO Dallas

A good SEO optimization expert is like a chef. He has to know what tickles a guest's fancy to prepare the food that will make them come back again. SEO experts are there to make sure that your site or blog is something delectable for the reader.

Every single minute, consumers search online for services or products that they need in particular. Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a big role in the online presence of all sites and blogs - on how that particular site would stand out.

A good SEO consultant builds your business online. There are a number of things to consider as it is when baking macaron or making marshmallow fondant!

For one, hire an SEO company who will take the time to get to know you, understand your online objectives, and help develop strategies to meet your goals. Make sure that only ethical SEO techniques, creating long-term results with a vision for the future is employed.

Make sure that they treat your business is their business. As professional SEO experts, they will help develop keyword sets relevant to your business, plus keyword-rich landing pages to increase search potential. SEO experts will help in designing, building and/ or updating your website to maximize search engine optimization and create visual appeal. In addition, there are services that will enhance your online presence, including social media management, blogger outreach, and public relations. Make your website a sleek and powerful competitor in the online marketing race by utilizing the power of professional SEO dallas experts or an SEO company near you. 

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Aka Daifuku



I think I'm craving for mochi that's why I brought this aka (red) daifuku last time I was at the Japanese foodshop. Daifuku literally means great luck...but of course I don't buy this for that. I'm never a believer of luck, whether bad or good. 

Daifuku is a type of Japanese cake made of glutinous rice flour, it is somewhat the same as mochi only with filling. This daifuku I got has anko (sweet azuki bean paste) filling.

Though called "red" - it only refers to the azuki beans, the mochi itseld is a lovely pink.




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Sandwich for Lunch



Packed some ham sandwich with lettuce and cheese for hubby.

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Healthy options from McDonald's


Yes, it's muesli with yogurt and fruits for breakfast. Just what I need after finishing workout at 11 in the morning! 

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The food that never was...


It was a lovely April spring day, the cold has left off a bit and the sun was actually shining. I decided to go to the city center with the kids since they were off from school (sembreak). We were walking around aimlessly as usual, taking photos and looking for books on sale. At around 11:30 we decided to fine a place to eat. 

I still have a couple or more gift certificate from Dailydeal and Groupon and I thought it would be nice to use them that day. I opted for Ella's, a Meditteranean restaurant situated at the heart of the city. 

I got a deal for 4 wraps at 10€ valued at 21€. Good deal...I wanted to try their shrimp wrap prepared with Basmati rice, mint, cherry tomatoes, pea puree, onions and lime yogurt. Just stating all of those now makes me go hungry. The deal does say that one needs to reserve if the order is 4 or more and the wraps are also for take-away.  I planned to dine since we've been going about for hours, we could use the chair for comfort . Also, my iPhone run out of batteries too so I wasn't able to call at all. I thought that they might be considerate, just in case.


We walked and tried to look for Judenplatz, a town square in Vienna's Innere Stadt (inner city) that was the center of Jewish life and the Viennese Jewish Community in the Middle Ages. It's not to be missed because there stood the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial, made for the Austrian Jewish victims of the Shoah (holocaust).

Having no batteries, I got no GPS to use, I don't even have a map and I'm not sure which bus to take as this area in Vienna has smaller streets for transpo; only Fiakers (calesa), bikes could pass these streets. We got lost. Right, the kids were hungry.

A turn to the left, straight, a turn to the left again then right and what else turns we made, we finally found the square. The restaurant is situated just beside the Holocaust Memorial with the tables and chairs  basking under the sunshine. 


The dainty interior surely made me excited. I love the setup! Notice that no one else is in here? Diners opt to stay outside, it is after all spring...we've waited for too long this year as it got crazier...warm-cold-rain-colder and warm again.

I went up the counter and told a server that I have a coupon, showed him my printed copy. (I don't have colored ink that time, if that matters.) I sometimes get that same reaction, that look...you see, I get those coupons from the two online dealers because I don't really know the good places to eat out here. By looking at the Groupon or the DailyDeals websites, I get to see recommendations...and if I can get food for 50%  less (sometimes more), the better! I don't eat free food anyway noh, I still pay! 


I shrugged it off and waited, I was still standing by the counter and the kids were behind me. I was told to move a bit because they are busy moving about to serve food...fine! So sorry, I stood there since I got coupons;  I thought it appropriate to let them know head on.  So I moved and told the kids to sit as we wait. 

The server called someone else and told him that I got a coupon, I gave it to them and I was asked which wraps I'd like to have. (He was being nice than he was earlier.) I stated my orders and was asked to wait. So wait we did, the kids getting a bit rowdy. lol. I was a bit embarassed. After a while, I was asked if we're dining in or just gonna take out...seeing that the kids won't settle I said we'll take it out. My mistake! He came back a few minutes after and said that I should have called or I should wait an hour for the wraps to be prepared. :( So much for waiting...I just smiled and said we'd be back the next day but at the back of my mind I'm really upset. If only, my phone wasn't dead.

There won't be a next time for sure, but I listed down what not to do when visiting Ella.

Don't bring kids.
Suit up and look like a businesswoman, you're usual getup as a mom won't impress.
Sit in a corner and wait until the server comes and don't let them know that you have a coupon until it's pay time.
Most importantly, don't let your phone run out of batteries.

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This is not the first time that a customer said she or he won't be coming back, here's one review written just this March.

The coupon expired at the end of April and unlike Groupon, DailyDeal is not so considerate. I have had two other coupons that expired but because the customer service doesn't reply immediately to emails sent; it took longer and longer to reclaim, I wasn't able to refund and this Ella's deal is the third. I've bought a last deal from DailyDeal a month ago and won't be buying anymore. I'll stick with Groupon.

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I was glad that that day didn't ended up with Ella's, we went to an Italian restaurant and had an awesome experience which I will write about next time. So much for Ella's; just thumbs down.


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Caramel Chiffon Cupcake

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Got the other blog running again, will be moving meme number 2 again :( sorry for the inconvenience.

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Fried Crispy Onions


I finally found a way to make my kids eat lots and lots of rice! That is, to top them with lots of Fried Crispy Onions. They love those crispies as though they are chips...At one time I wanted to add some of it to my chopseuy and found the plastic container empty....seems the little boy took a liking of eating them while watching a movie, like popcorn!

Tonight we had braised beef which I prepped up with half of boiled egg and carrots. They love this dish to bits!

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A second on your lips, forever on your hips!


I find this quote truly, truly applicable. lol.

Those are mars and snickers ice cream bar, by the way.


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Finger Foods and an Award

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On days that I don't have the luxury of time and I happened to be out in the city I drop by a favorite restaurant. It's a fusion restaurant featuring running sushi and coming fondue  and also an eat-all-you-can buffet. They also offer take home. For 5,80€ you get a rectangular box and a cirular container for your choice of food. The shrimp tempura and the spring rolls are regulars. The kids love munching on them when we're watching movies at home...along with these I'd get tofu - vegetable mix and salmon - vegetable mix as a healthier option.



Croquettes are another family favorite (above are ready-to-cook croquettes I baked). I'm really glad my kids enjoy eating potato based food and that they don't get tired of it. Potatoes are common in Austrian table as a sidedish (like Pommes Frites, Kartoffelsalat) or main meal (like Kartoffelgulasch). In the kindergarten, the kids eat them like 3-4 times a week...a friend's daughter actually stopped eating potatoes when she was six!

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I got an award from Marelie!  Thank you so much!

Rules for accepting the award:
1. Post linking back to the person that gave you the award
2. Share 7 random things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered blogs
4. Drop them a note and tell them about it.


I haven't done award tags for like 2.5 years! ^_^ ThoughI've got some new blogging friends, 15 is still a big number. So for the random things...

1. I maintain 12 active blogs (you'll see 10 buttons on the footer of this blog).
2. I love all sorts of books and when there's a book bazaar I hoard! 5€ for 10 books is a steal! That buy would include classics and cookbooks. My favorite authors include the Bröntes, Austen, Murakami, Neruda, Dr. Ophelia Dimalanta, F. Sionil Jose and Dr. Cirilo Bautista.
3. I am a jack of all trades, master of one - photography. :)
4. I finished Journalism which explains why I journal all things around me...haha kidding, really since I chose to stay with the kids at this time, I am using my skills as a journalist to earn online.
5. I am purely Filipino with perhaps a pint of Spanish blood...I married a Singaporean-Filipino who my kids took on their facial traits.
6. I speak fluent Tagalog, English and German and am able to converse in Spanish too. I understand Japanese as well but speak it very sukoshi.
7. I'm a geography, history, travel, art, culture, language, architecture, mind games buff. 

I'm passing this award to:

Mommy Jes of Kitchen Explorers. She claims to be a noob in the kitchen but her posts prove otherwise.

Mei of Newlywed's Cravings. Her blog title should soon change to Newmomanddad, I guess...the preggy mom who always cooks food that makes me crave (she's in Japan, now at home for the baby's delivery).

I'd continue the award-giving (harhar)...for now I'm off to dreamland...


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Tofu and veggies


Mother Nature is the true artist and we are just the cooks.---Marco Pierre White

Though partly hidden, there's carrot in this dish! God made veggies colorful and we are the ones who can make it appear like a work of art!

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Herbs - week two



The herbs have surely grown but they are not yet that thick to be consumed. :D I saw my youngest kid watering it earlier and he put too much I think they drowned...

I removed the excess water immediately but if he has put the water yesterday too then we're doomed. 

The water can you can see is something I bought from Ikea when we first transferred to our home in 2004...I also bought one for my mom (sent her along with a box of goodies) and I was so disappointed to learn that it broke 2 months being in use...I think she just didn't took much care of it leaving it outside in the sun and rain...lol...before, I don't really care about those things especially since it's plastic but I realized that you can can keep things tidy and lasting if you properly care for them. The interior designer wannabe in me has been a little more careful with things around the house somehow. ^_^

Don't forget, the clothbag giveaway is still up until Saturday. If you haven't joined yet, you still have 5 days to join in. Thanks to those who have joined, I transferred my blog and I'd really appreciate it if you could change the link to the proper one. ^_^ Sorry, fickle-minded much.

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