Making Good Pizza Crust



blog 002I decided to make pepperoni pizza yesterday for lunch, it doesn’t take that much to do it except waiting for the flour mixture to rise.

And I was overjoyed after the pizza came out as I pleased. I could say, it’s the best pizza, so far, I’ve ever made and I know with a little bit of experimenting, it turns out much better than my previous ones.

I can eat the whole pizza crust and don’t care about the toppings, as my husband always tells me: I’m a bread person! That’s why I love Pizza Hut’s hand-tossed and pan pizza and though, I’m not going to compare to theirs but I taste the similarity—bread taste like. And that’s what I want!

So, how did I make it?

Here’s the recipe I use for making pizza crust. And since I was out of all-purpose flour, I decided to use bread flour instead and replace honey with sugar. And the result is fantastic! From now on, I won’t use all-purpose flour at all.

Still the same process. I used pasta sauce this time and spread thinly because you don’t want to flood the crust with so much sauce, I didn’t like it but you can try if you want to put more. It all depends on our taste,right?

blog 001And our daughter asked me this morning to make pizza again because she really “loves” it! And I can’t wait to make this again next time.

 

 

My Biracial Kids

blog 001-001Oops…I’m sorry for the distracting background view. If you have two little ones like me who have specialization on ruining their room, welcome to the club!

But I just want you to know I have biracial kids. My husband is an American (technically speaking European : Irish and Scottish ethnicity) and me 100% Filipino!

And we’re blessed to have two little girls (and that’s it!) who people oftentimes ask us if they’re twins? I was asked by this a million million times and nope, they’re not twins, they’re not too apart when it comes to age, 13 months to be exact.

I’m loving parenthood from the start. It’s full of challenge and I never held newborn before,like hour after they were born. And to hold them was very schweet!

Just a quick experience to share with you:

When we got back to the Philippines for a family vacation, few people from the airport told us  and even the guard wanted us to show him our daughters’ faces. And the funny thing is, we were at the shopping mall looking for my husband’s clothes when the saleslady told me our girls are “so cute ” then asked me if “I was their nanny?!”. I was about to hit her just turned away and decided not to buy anything after she never apologized of what she said when I told her “they’re mine”.

What interesting to me is how to raise biracial kids? Especially with their half Filipino background? Honestly, I’m a little bit disappointed to meet parents who have half Filipino kids who don’t know how to speak our language. I know, it’s their prerogative not to do so but isn’t it nice to talk to kids who know both languages? I was even told by one of my relatives back home don’t teach them our language so that everytime we go back for a vacation,some kids will talk to them in English and “that’s cool” because it will encourage other kids to speak foreign.

Somewhat, I agree. I remember as little kid,once a week at late afternoon there used to be couple Mormons in our town (one American and one Filipino) walking around and I was excited to talk to the American lady that I ended up sending letter which she responded. Woo!

And now being a parent of biracial kids, I want to impart to them some of the cultures and traditions we have.

Hold on, myself!

What if our girls grow up not speaking Filipino? For me, it would be embarrassing because I’ve been promoting this to our household except to my husband who has having hard time to understand. But, with our girls I can see,it’s working.

  • Teach them the other heritage. Before our little girls were born, I already promised to myself that they will know about Filipino heritage,just to be fair. And I think every parents should introduce them to the other heritage and try as hard as they could.
  • Train them as bilingual. I’m really thankful to have fellow Filipina mothers with half-American kids, they gave me tip to teach my little girls as early as possible because most of them didn’t. And it’s harder when they grow old and start learning. Although, not too late but it would  be hard. The reason on this is, we Filipinos are so adaptable. But don’t be surprised that there are some Filipinas married to Americans who don’t let them speak Filipino at home. It’s really selfish and a little bit immature to me. I’m glad my husband doesn’t care at all because he knows how important it is for me. And we should all agree with that. I used to work with this Laotian young lady. She speaks both, Lao at home and English.
  • Teach them the culture. Personally,  ”Mano po” should be carry on regardless what part of the world you’re living in as a Filipino. My girls know how to do it and everybody amuses and asks me what’s the meaning of that? .They think it’s nice.
  • Let them eat the “food”. Would you believe me if I tell you our girls love to eat rice? Probably, you would. How about Adobo or Mechado? They’re meat and you would not hesitate to believe me if they do. But what if I tell you, they love dried and smoked fish? Dried and smoked fish?! The items that I can only find at the Asian store. Yes, they love it and the funny thing is, they will trade pancake and bacon over this for breakfast. My grandma laughed when I told her about it and my husband jokingly told me “don’t treat our girls like this”. They love Filipino cuisine and rarely they refuse some of them which I’m so glad.

But let me clear, you don’t need to have biracial kids to teach two languages. I learned English as my second language from the school and learned more American culture right after I moved here. Still, I inculcate my Filipino background no matter where I go because my American friends ask about it out of their curiosity.

 

Organizing Computer Cords (with the help of toilet paper rolls)



blog 009Are you tired looking at your computer cords tangled and look like a mess? I do. Finally, I put Amy Dacyczyn’s frugal tip on how to use toilet paper roll.

A toilet paper roll, indeed.

It holds cords,chargers,you can make binoculars for your little ones and a lot of ideas. And I’m not that creative when it comes to stuffs like this.

I used to put rubber band on cords but I’m always like, ” I’ll figure out something later…”

Until that later becomes look like this…

blog 050I don’t know what I was thinking for not taking some action before and somehow thankful enough because our little girls didn’t mess with it.

But, toilet paper rolls came to the rescue (so save yours from now on) because an unsightly thing like this….

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to this…

blog 010See how look it’s much better than no toilet paper roll at all? You can put decorations on it but I chose not to. I’ll keep the way it looks to avoid so much highlight, maybe on the other “creative projects” I will.

Also, I credit Pinterest for fun ideas too!

One Rainy Sunday



blog 049As I’m writing this I can still hear the wind blowing outside. It’s cold but we are having a good day though. The whole family woke up at 6:30 in the morning today and I was feeling energetic and motivated. It’s Sunday and we have a beautiful day ahead of us. When I woke up I brushed my teeth and washed my face right away and got ready to prepare breakfast–biscuits and gravy. Hmm…

Making gravy takes time, at least an hour and with the biscuits, I can make it in less than 20 minutes! The church service starts at 8:15 am and I’m glad all I have to do with the girls is to give them glass of milk, change their clothes, have them potty,brush their teeth,wash their faces and brush their hair.

And this is how our Sunday goes everytime we go to church. Busy.

Even it’s a little chilly outside, I was so determined to go to church because next Sunday, I’m scheduled to work and there’s no way we can make it except if we attend the Saturday night mass.

And before I knew it, we were hauling the girls in the car and we’re looking forward for an hour church service and when we got out it was raining. The girls didn’t have hood in their sweaters and we parked a little farther. We’re so happy when we got in the car and headed home.

My husband was grateful that he did what he did at the backyard yesterday, so today we’ll be taking our day so easy except me I do some folding clothes and still organizing our home office and my closet.

So, what are the activities we had yesterday?

blog 001We spend weekends by grilling chicken and hotdogs (which is my husband’s forte) while I was cleaning and organizing our home office.

blog 024My husband put these blocks so that Teddy won’t sneak out from us.

blog 022We let the girls play outside and ran around and yes they are outdoor girls!

blog 020And with their barefoot,they’re pretending that it’s harvest time.

blog 043I also enjoy the surroundings by looking at them and taking some pictures.

blog 032Closely, it looks lively again.

blog 026We’re blessed to see the horses run and play too (thanks to our neighbor)

blog 041And to see the birds up high and truly be thankful for having a good day.

 

 

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe



blog 034It’s really nice to have some soup during cold season. The house was treated pretty nice lately with the aromatic smell of different kind of soup and one of them is Chicken noodle soup.

I get a lot of my recipes online, especially from Allrecipes. I could say everything is on there, from making cookies to making your own taco seasoning from scratch.

And making this soup is very healthy and I’m glad that this is one of our girls’ favorites.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

3 cups of noodles (I put this much because the girls love noodles and I use different kind, elbow,penne or egg          noodles)

1 teaspoon vegetable oil (since we don’t use vegetable oil at home, I use canola oil instead)

12 cups of chicken broth (I usually use chicken cube and put in a 12 cups of boiling water)

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

3 stalks celery,chopped

1 medium onion,chopped

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup water

cooked chicken, diced

Directions:

  • Cook noodles accordingly.
  • In a large saucepan, combine broth, salt and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil.
  • Put in celery and onion.Reduce heat and cover.
  • Let simmer for 15 minutes
  • In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until cornstarch is dissolved.
  • Gradually, add to soup and stir.
  • Lastly, add noodles and chicken and cook for 3 minutes.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: A lot of my recipes you will find on my blog is from other sources such as other blogs,websites, magazines, product labels or other useful resources that are available to public. I do not claim owning all of these except I stated and it could be shared if you wanted. Thank you!
 

 

 

Is There Such A Thing…Delayed Gratification?

blog 019I’m currently reading a book about Amish people ( I will post about this book later), for me, they are interesting in a lot of ways. What fascinated me about them is their simplicity. And while reading the book, the author highlighted that this is the group’s particular fine quality.

Delayed gratification.

And I compared myself to them. I dealt with it with my life, until now, but somehow I overcome this step by step. Like, saying no to a lot of things that I know unnecessary for now. Being impulsive on buying material things.

I also read about the “marshmallow experiment” (talking about Psychology subject) back in ’60s and ’70s where they experimented on number of 4-year-old tots with marshmallows while sitting on a table and gave them two options; (1) ring the tester if they want to eat the marshmallow now, or (2) wait for 15 minutes until the tester returns and be rewarded for two marshmallows later.

Then, years later, the researchers tracked back those kids they experimented and found out that those kids who waited or chose option #2 showed advantage over those who didn’t wait. So those “delayers” are more matured, have higher SAT scores,have less behavioral problem and better adjusted.

It brings back the memory how I was raised. Back then, our grandmother always reminds us how important education is, and that is to have a better life. I resisted going to parties, we had “home-to-school-then-school-home” rule. No sidetracks except it’s a school related or a family events or any important and reasonable stuffs.

I was bombarded  by  ”don’t-do-this-and-don’t-do-that-or-else…”advice. And I believe the marshmallow experiment is true, when we learn how to resist on things, it’s a sign of maturity, we grow up and we understand what would be the effect if we do the opposite.

I was a teenager and few people told me how matured I talk and think. And I was like, maybe, I was surrounded by old people and that’s a possibility. But, I was oriented very young that if I couldn’t resist the temptation, I wouldn’t see the bigger plan I wanted.

I confessed here that I have a little bit of “impulsiveness” in my body, especially when it comes to “sale items”. Before,I never think twice buying them. I’m always like….”hmm…this is cheaper today and maybe tomorrow it’s gone”. Then, I would feel bad if I never used them, such a waste of money!

And now, I keep on practicing how to say no to my temptations (McDonald’s drive-thru anyone?),there were times I drove back and bought one just to scratch the itch. But after how many times I resisted myself, finally, I can say I’m getting good at it.

Why?

We want to get out of debt and this is my inspiration and if I’m not going to be a “delayer” this time, that inspiration will break down.

The same thing with our kids, I let them cry their heart out if they don’t get what they want. Needless to say, it would burn our crying pockets if we don’t teach them the marshmallow experiment. It also teaches them character.

Now my question is, are you a delayer too?

It’s Official….Spring Is Here!

blog 025

We spent a little time outside after I got home from work and it was a beautiful day. I just felt the season few days ago when there was no (really) cold weather outside.

We are so happy!

blog 030I’m very happy to enjoy the beauty of sunshine and Teddy can prove that.

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Let the girls enjoy it too!blog 013

And who wouldn’t when they can have horsey ride?

________

PS: You notice my blog’s theme changed and there things are all over the place? Literally, I spent all day to build my site under new web host and it was all craaazzzyy but fun. I will keep on changing this from time to time until I settle to the one I like!

How To Save On Gas?

blog 077I became serious about our gas expenses months before I decided to work at the convenience store. Aside from hauling two kids every morning ,five days a week, I finally said, this is ridiculous.

I always hear about the gas price hike and it will keep on going up. Finally, one day checked our bank account and I tracked how much money we spend on gas weekly? It was when my husband used to be a company truck driver and drives FIFTY(!) miles just going to work.

It was shocking when you find out after a very long time. It’s very easy to swipe your card when you fill up gas but to see each gas fill makes you think, ”Ouch! That hurts to my pocket.”

I’m sure we easily shell out $400 a month on gas doing our previous jobs, at least. Plus, we go to some places like visiting relatives or having a family day.

Those times are my learning points how to save on gas even just a little bit.

  • blog 078Choose a car that’s good in gas. I’m not really knowledgeable when it comes to different types of cars. I’m only familiar with those I always see the most on the road. I asked my husband a lot of times trying to be a little educated because cars are one the men’s big toys! He said cars that are good in gas mileage usually are the smaller cars. In our case, we have bigger family car and I drove it for one year to my previous work, 2o miles away (including dropping off our girls to daycare and heading to work), it was expensive after I started calculating the gas expenses. And I’m happy because we barely drive far after we started working in town.
  • Carpool. I’ve never done this because as you know, we have two little girls who need two car seats. I gave a previous coworker a ride going to work and dropping her off to her house few times. And this was when she had problems with her car. I really think, it’s smart to carpool especially when the two of you have a nearby workplaces or work at the same company. You can share for gas expense or pay half of the cost but I personally know someone who never let pay the lady who carpools with her to work. The only disadvantage of carpooling is, if the driver has errands like grocery shopping before heading home or going to drive-thru, so you have to deal with it but I wouldn’t mind because it’s free!
  • Drive less. If you can make all your errands in one trip, do it. I don’t mean to make your life less interesting of not going to different places but driving more often costs you money (and I know this),so if you think it’s possible for you not to have too many trips by careful planning, it would be smart thing to do. Also, it’s not bad to decline someone’s invitation like parties or get-together, imagine if you have parties to go to every  week? All fuel costs add up,so fast.
  • Don’t do “waste driving”. What I mean with this? If it’s possible to walk a block (or two) to go somewhere or visit your neighbor, walking is a better choice (when the good weather permits,of course) and you could also enjoy your surroundings. When I moved here for the first time, I couldn’t believe my husband drives just to pick up the mail from the post office which was a block a way. I was like,”Really?!” and it wouldn’t take us five minutes to get there, so why drive,right?. I used to work with a girl who got upset at her boyfriend when she found out he’s having a joyride around town, their money was tight and trying to save as much as they could but with the boyfriend who didn’t care how much the cost of wandering around and I understand why the girlfriend was not happy.
  • Sign up for fuel rewards. I’m glad HyVee and Food4less offer customer fuel rewards everytime you go shopping to their stores. The fun part is, Food4Less doubles your fuel points at a certain season. If you accumulate 100 points, that means .10 cents off your gas price. I also get bonus by doing online survey, they add 50 points on my rewards which helps.

 

Espasol Recipe



blog 002

My fellow Filipina blogger The Vanilla Housewife posted few days ago on her blog about Espasol recipe. I read couple recipe on making this but I didn’t find time to do it because I could see how much time to make it.

But she shared the easiest way and I went straight to the kitchen to see if I still have glutinous rice flour with me. And I’m so thankful to my girl scout kitchen. I have some left!

I have all the ingredients needed and I added some to make it the same Espasol I used to eat while still living in the Philippines. Usually, I buy this at any bus stop or delicacies store.

And with this recipe, I made half of everything what Vanilla housewife made. For ingredients availability reason.

So, here’s how:

Espasol Recipe

1 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour ( I bought this at the Asian market),toasted

1/4 cup glutinous rice flour (for dusting),toasted

3/4 cup white sugar

2 cups coconut milk (or one can of coconut milk),toasted

1/4 cup coconut flakes

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cooking procedure:

  • In a cooking pot, put coconut milk in a medium heat and let boil.
  • Add sugar and vanilla
  • Add the toasted rice flour
  • Put in the toasted coconut flakes
  • Mix well.
  • Cover and let it cook for 30 minutes under low heat.
  • It will be very sticky while folding
  • Dust flat surface (I always use our dinner table) with 1/4 toasted rice flour
  • Transfer the mixture to the flat surface
  • Dust the whole mixture with the toasted rice flour
  • Slice them to your preference.

blog 001

  • And enjoy your Espasol!

Note: To toast the glutinous rice flour, heat pan and put the flour and toast in a medium heat until it turn lightly brown and do the same cooking procedure with coconut flakes. Put them in a separate bowl and let cool.

 

Disclaimer: A lot of my recipes you will find on my blog is from other sources such as other blogs,websites, magazines, product labels or other useful resources that are available to public. I do not claim owning all of these except I stated and it could be shared if you wanted. Thank you!