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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Enclume Pot Racks

When we were doing a kitchen makeover two years ago, one of the additions that I wanted to have was a pot rack. Though I got my wish of having a bigger island, I sacrificed a lot of space for my cookwares by giving way to slots for regular garbage and recyclable bins. So I have to find a new place for my cookwares and baking wares in other cabinets. It would have been nice to have an easy access to pots and pans hanging in one of those enclume potracks than to dig into cramped cabinets when you need them. There were a lot of enclume pot racks that I've browsed through online when I was looking for a pot rack that will fit in my kitchen. It didn't however materialize since my ceiling is not high enough to house a hanging enclume pot rack. But I'm still hoping to get one of those free-standing cookware stands that I can put in a kitchen corner. It's not only functional, it is very decorative as well.

Fruit and Veggie Handling

It always pays to be safe than sorry. We should always wash our fruits and veggies to wash away bacteria that may cause illnesses. Here are simple tips on how to handle fresh produce.


Before preparing fruits and vegetables, wash your hands with warm water and soap and use hot soapy water to clean your cutting board, countertop and utensils.

Thoroughly rinse fresh produce under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Never use detergent or bleach to wash fresh fruits or vegetables. These products are not intended for consumption.

Rub firm skin fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Leading Source of Restaurant Supplies

When I go out shopping, I always gravitate towards the kitchen wares and home product aisles. Even if there's nothing on my list to purchase, it's always a guarantee that I will take home a kitchen gadget or two. Now that I do most of my shopping online, I still couldn't resist the urge to browse my favorite sites of kitchen items to check on my wish list. Recently I came across a site that offers restaurant supplies. It's not that I'm planning to put up my own restaurant but just have a lot of interesting items worth checking out. I'm interested in professional cookware like Dutch oven and cast iron cookware, the ones that I see my fave chefs use at a food channel that I frequently watch. My love to cook and entertain make me invest on good and reasonably priced kitchen equipment and supplies and there are few items that I want to purchase in this site. For restaurant owners or those involve in food business, is the place to get all your foodservice supplies, restaurant supplies and equipment. It has a powerful distribution network that can deliver all your restaurant supplies needs to any location worldwide and can even help in the installation of restaurant equipment.

Wordless Wednesday - Chicken Quesadilla

I often order this shareable starter at Red Robin. It's flour tortilla filled with tender, juicy chicken breast, mushroom, hickory-smoked bacon, Pepper-Jack & Cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro and tomatoes - yummy! The starter includes chipotle beans, salsa, freshly prepared guacamole and sour cream on the side.

See other WW participants HERE

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Good Old Days

Do you still remember the pretend games that you played when you were little? I remember playing house then, and my favorite place in the house was always the kitchen. I have this cheap plastic plates and utensils set that I played with my sister all the time. We pretended to cook and serve food using leaves and flowers from my mom's plants. I remember getting in trouble when we picked my mom's favorite flowers in the pots that she would rather display. Sometimes the setting of our pretend play was a restaurant. My sister would be the cook and I was behind the cash drawer. It was really fun. Nowadays, I seldom see children doing pretend plays anymore. They are usually engaged in computer games on their own and not much interaction with other kids. I just miss the good old days ;-).

A Worldclass Multimedia Firm

When it comes to getting your message across through multimedia, you will certainly exhaust all possible avenues to make your presentations stand out from the rest of the competition. There is a company called Richter Studios which offer extensive Video Production Services for just about any form imaginable and for all kinds of clientele. Their services range from video, web, interactive, design and photography. Richter Studios offer services to create custom video production with attention-grabbing effects using 2D graphics; 3D animations; text treatments; logo animations; stylized effects; and animation wizards. These video production formats can be used by companies in the corporate, training, trade show, recruitment, marketing, sales, tv or promotional video setting, or just to document process and procedures.

A unique presentation with an extra touch to stand out can be achieved through Richter Studios. If you are trying to win a multi-million dollar bid, Richter Studios is the company to hire. With the company's 10 year extensive presentations experience and a team of experts, a visually stunning and state-of-the-art presentation can be easily created for you. They have also created their own presentation based software for clients who want to really stand out. If you also need interactive help with websites and flash or need CD or DVD programming and production services, Richter Studios can deliver that on multiple levels and formats from simple Flash animations to over a million CD productions to web 2.0 websites. They can even implement tracking/metric solutions on CD based content in any programming languages like PHP, SQL, Lingo, Action Script, HTML, XML, or ASP. Richter Studios is certainly a worldclass multimedia firm.

My Sister Is Great in the Kitchen

My sister is great in the kitchen, she took after my mom's. I however, didn't learn how to cook till I got married, mainly out of necessity ;-). If I lived in the Philippines where I am originally from I would have hired a helper to do all chores including cooking. But since I am in US where a helper would have cost me an arm and a leg, it is just close to impossible. Anyway, back to my sister. Her talent for cooking is innate and she's the official food planner when there are occasions to celebrate in the household. She's also very entrepreneurial. I remember helping her with her orders of baked goodies for Christmas, the most popular of which is "Food for the Gods." Well I didn't help her bake, I just helped in wrapping, packaging and marketing. She would always get tons of orders every year, she could have put up her own bakery. She could have ordered custom rubber stamps to label her boxes if she made her hobby into serious business. But of course having her own family and also a full time job got in the way of her baking hobby. So she only bakes when she gets the time. I am also very entrepreneurial so the bakery idea is still in the back of my mind. Maybe someday my sister and I could be partners in this endeavor.

Another Trip to UK

I'm sure as early as now a lot of you have been planning for trips in and out of the country this summer. Since my FIL has already hinted that his recent visit will be his last already, another trip to UK might be in our plans this summer. I don't blame him because it is becoming very inconvenient for FIL to sit on the plane for long hours with a bad back, afterall he's turning 85 this year! While my SIL was visiting here too, we talked about travelling to UK together so I'm sure it will be doubly fun for everybody. I'm also looking forward to eating authentic Fish and Chips and Pasty again. If things push through, I shall be looking for great deals on international travel insurance again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Pasalubong

Pasalubong is the Tagalog term for goodies brought by visiting relatives. Here are some of the sweets sent by my family back home through my cousins who visited last month. I miss this kind of food and I could have gobbled them up in one sitting if I was not worried about gaining weight, lol. I gave away some to friends.

See other WW participants HERE

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fat Burning Foods

I have an issue with bulges around my tummy area. If only complaining about it is equivalent to exercise already, I could have lost it a long time ago, lol. I know that if we eat more calories that our body can burn we gain weight, but it is hard usually to turn away from the 'good food'. Anyway, in my quest to lose weight naturally, here are some fat burners or fat burning foods that I saw online that I'd like to share with those who are also battling the bulges like I do. These are just 7 foods but the rule of thumb to lose fat is by eating food rich in fibers, low calories and food that gives your stomach a feeling of being full.

Fat Burning Food #1: Apples:

Do you remember the old saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"? Well not only the doctor but the extra pounds as well. Apples contain the highest percentage of pectin, this is soluble fiber. There was an interesting study in Brazil about weight loss and apples .Two groups of dieters were getting exactly the same amount of calories but with one exception. One group was getting an apple before each meal. And this group lost 33% more in weight.

Fat burning food #2: Garlic:

Garlic is one of the most effective fat burning foods. It contains the compound allicin which has anti bacterial effects and helps reduce cholesterol and unhealthy fats.

Fat burning food #3 Tomatoes:

Tomatoes is very effective to add on your diet. Not only are they good in your battle against overweight but they are also an excellent prevention against cancers and high blood pressure.

Fat burning food #4 Carrots:

Adding a carrot to the beginning of every meal is a very effective way to lose weight. Why do you ask? The carrot leaves no room in the stomach for the dessert. When using this trick you should have been able to lose about a pound in one week.

Fat burning food # 5: Oranges:

Oranges are rich in Vitamin C and they have fat burning properties. Compared with exercises they are an effective way to lose fat.

Fat burning food # 6: Mangoes:

Mangoes are full packed with fiber and are low in calories.

Fat burning food #7: Spinach:

Popeye gets his strength by eating spinach and yes they are very healthy. Spinach contains a lot of iron; it is an exceptional nutrition food and is a good prevention against cancer.

(Source -

Ceviche (Marinated Seafood)

Because my hb and I love to travel, we are also very adventurous when it comes to exploring different cuisine. Whenever there are interesting dishes that we've tasted in our trips, I would search them online so I can try to cook them at home. Recently I got interested in Peruvian dishes, though we haven't been to Peru yet. I found that Peruvian dishes have a lot of similarities with Filipino dishes. Here's one dish called Ceviche or Marinated Seafood that I'm dying to try. It looks a bit similar with our own Kilawin.


  • 2 pounds white fish fillet (preferably sea bass), cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (or more, if needed)
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 to 2 chilies, finely chopped
  • Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Mix the lime juice with the onion slices, oil, cilantro, garlic, chilies, pepper, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Place the fish in a shallow glass or ceramic dish just large enough to hold it in a single layer. Pour the lime-juice mixture over it. The fish must be completely covered with the mixture. Add more lime juice if necessary.
  3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours (or overnight) until the fish is "soft cooked." (Make certain it has marinated long enough.) Serve on lettuce leaves garnished with onion rings, thin strips of pepper, and sweet potatoes and/or corn on the cob.

Serves 4 to 6.

If the dish won't turn out great, I might as well book our next summer vacation with Machu Picchu travel to Peru not only to taste this dish but to explore the country as well ;-).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mesothelioma Cancer Diet

Whenever I learn that I have a certain health condition, my first question is always 'what kind of food should I eat or avoid?' Don't you wish that just by eating the right food, illnesses will go away for good? A balanced diet is important for proper nutrition and health, but for victims of diseases like cancer, proper eating can make the difference between life and death. But unfortunately, the kind of treatment and drugs used to treat cancer also destroy the appetite and drain the body of vital nutrients so that it can no longer fight the drugs. Nausea, vomiting, constipation, and even loss of smell and taste can interfere with the desire to eat a balanced diet and ensure health.

Here are the diet and foods for people with mesothelioma:

Fats should also form an essential part of the mesothelioma cancer diet as fats provide and generate the necessary energy the body it needs while undergoing treatment. Mesothelioma cancer patient’s age, stage of cancer and weight should decide the amount of fats that he/she needs to take to strike the right balance that indirectly helps to build a strong immune system. Again as per National Cancer Institute foods like sugar, butter, cheese, milk, honey and dried fruits are high on fats and therefore should be included while making a diet chart.

• Similarly a mesothelioma cancer patient should go high on protein in the diet. Protein should form an important part of his routine diet. Protein helps repair tissues that get damaged due to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Apart from it Protein helps to maintain strong and healthy immune system. A healthy immune system is good news as it reduces the risk of catching infections that cancer patient is likely to fact after the treatments and therapies. Even the National Cancer Institute recommends including and increasing protein in the diet of mesothelioma cancer patient. Foods that is high on protein and act as healers include yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream, eggs, nuts, fish meat and peanut butter.

• Encourage cancer patient to drink water as much as possible or as prescribed by the doctor. Water is an essential part of the cancer diet. Without a substantial intake of water, the body is likely to start drying or experience dehydration. It is of immense importance that anyone undergoing cancer treatment receives enough water to keep his or her bodies hydrated, energized and replenished.

Cancer diet charts for each patient are different. Even different stages of cancer in the same patient call for a changed diet plan. If a person is showing improvement after treatment the diet will change and similarly if the case is adverse, diet chart will undergo a change. One should never get into making a diet plan for him as dietitian’s approval in making a cancer diet plan plays a very important role.

(Source -

Diner and Restaurant Math

I got this forwarded email from a friend and I just felt like sharing it with you here, just for fun. Do you know that you can compute your age based on the number of times you dine out? This is true, try it!!!

It takes less than a minute. Work this out as you read. Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out! This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to go out to eat.
2. Multiply this number by 2
3. Add 5
4. Multiply it by 50 (get the calculator out)
5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759. Or if you haven't, add 1758.
6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this was your original number. (I.e., How many times you want to go out to restaurants in a week.)

The next two numbers are

YOUR AGE ! ------ (Oh YES, it is!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Penne in Italian Sausage Sauce

When I had some guests over last month, I served them few dishes that I featured here in my food blog. I'm sure it's not as good as the ones they had at a San Diego CA Hotel where they just came from ;-), but nevertheless the dishes received high remarks from them. Here is one of them.


1 lb of Penne cooked according to package
Sweet and Hot Italian Sausage Sauce
Parmesan Cheese Topping

1 pack of Sweet Italian Sausage (6 links)
1 pack of Hot Italian Sausage (6 links)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans of 16 oz. Tomato Sauce
2 cans of 16 oz. Diced Tomatoes
1/2 tbsp dried Italian Seasoning
1/2 tbsp Parsley Flakes
1/2 tbsp dried Sweet Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tbsp Olive oil

1. In medium heat, saute garlic and onion in olive oil for about 3 minutes or until soft.
2. Meanwhile, remove the skin of the sausage links and slice them in 1 inch thick pieces, just so it is easier to move them around the pan. But you can also drop them straight to the pan and just break them with your cooking spatula.
3. Mix in the sausage in the pan and stir until opaque.
4. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and herbs. Adjust the heat to low and simmer for about an hour, stirring every now and then. Slow cooking makes the sausage really tender and yummy.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Featured Spices - Ginger

I'm not a big fan of ginger. As soon as I taste the strong flavor of ginger in a dish, no matter how delicious it may be, my appetite goes down. But I know how much benefit you can get from this spice so I try to block off as much as I can whatever negativity I have on ginger.

Ginger is a year-round power spice and is a renowned anti-inflammatory and circulation booster. When you are cold, ginger will warm you to the bone and when you are hot ginger will cool you. It is also high in potassium and contains essential oils and compounds that help settle an upset stomach. But as we always say that too much of anything can be poisonous, ginger is no exemption. You can only consume up to 10 grams of fresh ginger per day or about 2 to 4 grams dried. Exceeding the required dose may cause gastric upset and may interact with blood-clotting medicine.

Uses of ginger - peel and then add freshly grated ginger to stir-fries, carrot soup, fish and chicken marinades and sesame noodle salad.

Gourmet Goodies For Any Occasion

One of my weaknesses is eating cookies. I love to eat them with hot tea. I usually bake my own cookies or get fresh ones at my favorite local baker.

But I recently found a great site called that carries not only yummy cookies but other delicious sweets like brownies, tarts, cakes, cheesecakes and other dessert specialties. You can even buy cookie dough if you want to bake your own cookies. This is a very convenient product that comes in seven popular flavors that I really enjoy - Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate White Chunk, M&M, Macadamia White Chunk, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter with Reese's Chips and Sugar.

David Cookies also offers custom gift baskets that contain unique collections of gourmet goodies for any occasion. Get these gift baskets conveniently online to give as baby shower presents or a get-well gift, or even as housewarming or wedding
gifts. For people who are busy and don't have much time to pick up a gift for someone they care for, at you can get an express gift basket for next day delivery. If you want to order by phone you can also call 1-800-5002800. Flat shipping rate is only $4.95.

Featured Spices - Garlic

I love garlic, in fact we use a lot of it in most of our dishes. Do you know that garlic can fight certain illnesses? I read that garlic is considered as the "poor man's penicillin", as it contains many antimicrobial compounds. Just like leeks, onions, and other Allium vegetables, garlic shows promise of protecting against gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer. As for its reputation as a heart helper, studies are mixed, but one recent Tufts University study on agesd garlic extract suggest that it may indeed help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Uses of garlic - spread roasted garlic on crusty bread; saute it and add in sauces; use it raw in hummus and salad dressing.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wine Grading

Being married to a wine enthusiast has exposed me to occasional wine drinking and the art of wine pairing. Whenever we go out on dinners, which is quite often, it's good to know which wine will go well with what dish. When I order roasted chicken dish, I usually get Chardonnay, but if the chicken is prepared with tomato sauce, I go with red wine like Chianti. If I order fish like salmon, I usually get Pinot Noir, but a better choice would be dry Rose from Provence. The light cherry flavors of the rose will hold up well with the meaty salmon. If I order light fish with lemon, I usually order Pinot Grigio.

When we have friends over for casual dinner we choose wine with outstanding quality. It pays to read Wine Reviews that provide Wine Grades as guidelines in choosing wine. The grades are presented in two scores such as pure grade and value grade. Pure grade is derived based on color and general appearance; aroma and bouquet; flavor and finish; and overall quality of wine, while value grade is based on the value it presents to a consumer for the average retail price of the bottle. These are very informative guidelines, though of course all wine grading is subjective. I will always go for that wine that will give me the best value for my dollars.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Food Friday - Pomegranates

I never had pomegranate fruit in my life till after New Year's day. I just wanted to complete our traditional 12 different kinds of round fruits to welcome the New Year so I had to get pomegranates too. Believe it or not, I didn't even have a clue on how to eat this fruit. I didn't know how to pull out the seeds or if I should eat them too, lol. So for those of you who don't have any idea on how to eat pomegranate, here are the easy steps on how to eat pomegranate for your health:


Eat the seeds from the fruit. While pomegranates are messy to eat (the juice will stain fingers and clothes) and it may be difficult to pull the seeds out of the fruit, eating the seeds is a great way to get the health benefits of a pomegranate.
Take pomegranate seed oil. Early research indicates that the seed oil itself may help prevent against various cancers and may help with hormone control as it is the only fruit that contains estrogen. You can find the seed oil in capsule forms at many health food stores.
Drink the juice. Pomegranate juice contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is one of the only fruits where drinking the juice will get you more antioxidants than eating the fruit itself. This is because there are antioxidants in the peel and we don't eat the peel. When we squeeze the fruit to get the juice out, the antioxidants in the peel are released. While you can try to squeeze the juice yourself, this will take a great deal of effort from you. You can buy pomegranate juice in health food stores and in the health food sections of most grocery stores.

Pomegranates are becoming increasingly popular from a health perspective as they are rich in antioxidants. In addition, pomegranates are full of potassium, niacin, Vitamin C and fiber. We are only just learning about the pomegranates' health benefits, but they may prevent some cancers and the hardening of arteries associated with heart disease, be a natural Viagra and may prevent Osteoarthritis.

(Source -

Drool over other dishes by visiting here:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Medical Alert System

I was born and raised in the Philippines and our culture is to take care of our parents and even grandparents when they grow old. Nursing homes are not very popular so it is the children's unwritten obligations to care for them. Now that I live in a fast-paced environment in US where there are no extended family to help in caring for the elders, I feel pity for the old people who are bound to stay in a nursing home when the time comes. It's heart wrenching even to think how our parents or grandparents will live by themselves especially when they also have medical conditions.

But it's good to know that there is a product that works as Medical Alert system that will assist elders like they have somebody around to help them. For elders who want to live alone but still desire extra helping hands, Brickhouse Alert products are best for them. BrickHouse Alert is a Medical Alert Provider that offers Fall Detection and GPS Tracking Wander Alert. The Fall Detector automatically senses the fall and calls the 24 hour monitoring center which in turn dispatches help immediately. The GPS Tracking Wander Alert on the other hand can be used as a cellphone to call for help or the wearer can be found in cases of wandering off due to Alzheimers. The Brickhouse Alert products are very dependable and reliable and are powerful assistance, that give elders 24/7 complete aid and protection, and therefore give us peace of mind as well.

Healthy Smoothie

I love to make smoothies out of my frozen fruits. I make them by itself or mix them with other fruits. These smoothies are power boosters that help to keep me going during the day. I want to share a very simple and quick way of making strawberry smoothie. This is my take to a refreshing and healthy smoothie.

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 of a banana
1/2 cup whole milk*
1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt*
1 tbsp honey*
(*For a healthier twist - use low fat or non-fat milk and reduce honey to a tsp)

1. Just mix everything together in a blender until smooth. Add more milk if you want it thinner. For my son who also loves to have some for breakfast, I use whole milk and a little bit more for thinner texture.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sweet Treats for Every Taste

Four more days to go and it's Easter Sunday once again. Have you prepared your Easter basket treats yet? If not you still have time to shop for some sweet goodies like Marshmallow Peeps and chocolate Easter Bunnies at Better buy bulk candy to save money. You can buy candies in bulk at, an internet wholesale supplier of specialty candy at low prices. It has got over 2,000 different candies from hundreds of different manufacturers and continually updates their selections to cater to everybody's cravings.

And depending on what occasion you might be needing these sweet treats for, Sugar Stand will make it easy for you to search for that particular kind of candy you are looking for. You can use their tool search to locate the exact confection you want. You can search by category like special occasion such as Easter, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day, Father's Day, Graduation Day, Halloween, Christmas, or Weddings. If you want to spread good cheers and best wishes, Sugar Stand has a specialty candy for that too. If you are celebrating events like fund-raising for charitable organization or maybe class reunion, Sugar Stand has themed or retro candies that are perfect for the occasion. Sugar Stand has definitely something for every taste.

Power Booster

I am very fond of eating fresh fruits anytime during the day. I mix my strawberries with cereals for breakfast, munch on blueberries at snack time and pack some grapes when I'm on the go. I buy fruits in bulk at Costco, not only because its cheaper by the bulk but also it saves me the trip of going there often. I just leave some in the fridge to snack on and put away the rest in the freezer for later. I usually buy blueberries, strawberries, bananas , oranges and grapes and any fruits in season.

Berries have more protective plant anti-oxidant than almost any other food, while grapes are rich in vitamins and minerals that are vital for our health. Bananas not only give an instant and sustained boost of energy but can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, so it is a must to add bananas to our daily diet. Oranges are a great source of iron and calcium, and they help keep our cholesterol low. These are just a few of the many benefits that these favorite fruits can give us.

Innovative Cake Mold

I love to entertain at home and I usually prepare some baked goodies like cookies, muffins, bread or cake to pair with cup of tea or coffee to cap the event. Some of my girlfriends are usually on a weight watch so not everybody wants to indulge on sweets. On the other hand, the kids really love to always get a second or third servings of a cake. So to address the issue of who wants to get the bigger or smaller piece, I found just the perfect kitchen gadget that provides the solution, it is the Charles & Marie cake mold.

This Charles & Marie cake mold is made of silicon that measures 11.8" or 30 cm in diameter. When I normally slice a cake into 8 equal pieces, this cake mold pre-shapes any cake into 15 separate pieces. The sizes of the cake vary from small to extra large. So anybody who has got the biggest appetite may choose to eat the extra large piece; the ones on a diet may get the smallest ones; and the rest may get the ones in between. This innovative cake mold is also a great tool to avoid food wastage as guests will only get the piece that they can really consume. So problem solved.

Pea and Basil Soup

Green pea is one of the favorite veggies in my household. It is very versatile, I use it for just about anything - to make soup; mix in pasta and casserole; mix in stew or stir fry. My little tot loves to snack on it just plainly steamed and mixed with butter.

2 Tbsps olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs (about 4 1/2 cups) frozen peas
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 cups cream
4 to 6 very thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese (optional)
1/4 cup diced roasted red bell peppers (jar is fine) (optional)

1. Place a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, butter, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and basil, and heat until the peas are thawed.

2. Place the pea mixture in a blender. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and pulse until pureed, adding more broth, if necessary, to puree. Return the pureed mixture to the pot. Stir in the remaining chicken broth and cream. Return the pan to medium heat and cook until hot, but not boiling.

3. To serve, place the soup in bowls. Float a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese on top of each soup and sprinkle with the diced roasted red bell peppers. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings (6 1/2 cups)

Appetite Suppressant Food

One of the things that I hear moms like myself complain about is weight gain. It seems hard if not impossible to include exercise in our busy schedule, so some moms resort to the easy way out of popping diet pills or perhaps going under the knife. But there are natural food that act as appetite suppressants so you don't have to go through drastic measure to lose weight. The next time you feel like your hunger doesn't go away or you can not stick to your diet, before nibbling something you shouldn't be nibbling on, try eating or taking any of the following appetite suppressant food:

1. Apples

Do you know that it takes 20 minutes for our brain to process whether or not we are full? Apples take longer to chew and when you don't cut them up into little pieces it takes even longer. So when you chew longer it gives the brain time to process that you are full. Needless to say that apples are also rich in fiber which means that you will feel full for a longer period of time, and they don't digest quickly.

2. Green Tea

Green tea in particular is another good appetite suppressant food that is also known for its ability to help burn fat. This explains the popularity among people who wish to lose weight. Green tea can however also stimulate the release of hormones that can control or limit food cravings.

3. Chocolate

Not all chocolates are good appetite suppressant food. There are some kinds of chocolates that should definitely be avoided. There are also some brands and types of chocolates that carry a lot of calories and are sugar rich which makes them major weight contributors. However, very small portions of dark chocolate may be good for you. The bittersweet taste of pure dark chocolate has been known to suppress many appetites.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an appetite suppressant too. This is why it should be in your breakfast menu more often. Oatmeal contains carbohydrates that slowly burn as it is used for energy, hence making you feel less like eating more. Oatmeal is also a fiber rich food that will make you feel fuller faster and last.

5. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are another rich in fiber food. Flaxseeds are best consumed when raw. If you want more flavors with your flaxseeds, you can mix them with your early morning bowl of oatmeal which can serve as a double appetite suppressant food.

6. Water

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can keep you hydrated. It also limits your appetite especially if you drink a glass before a meal.

(Source - HubPages)

Wordless Wednesday- Fettucine with Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomatoes


I am a pasta lover and I love eating and making just about any pasta dish. This Fettucine with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes is a pasta lunch I ordered at Cheesecake Factory. The sun-dried tomatoes add even more flavor to the already tasty sauce.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Easter Eggs Filled with Jelly Beans

Aside from Christmas, another celebration that really gets my little tot very excited is Easter Sunday. Not only because he gets different goodies like egg-shaped chocolates and marshmallow bunnies and chicks, he also gets to experience Easter egg hunting with his little friends. Last year before Easter, I scattered different colorful Easter eggs filled with jelly beans at different spots inside the house and little tot very eagerly and excitedly hunted for them. It was such a delight to see the excitement and anticipation from my little tot's eyes as he moved from room to room while his basket filled up. He just loved the jelly beans and couldn't get over them.


This year I am planning to do the same thing again, except that I'm ordering my Jelly beans at I found that has got wide array of assorted colors and flavor jelly beans collection, with countless taste sensations at the most reasonable price. Jelly beans have certainly come a long way. There are just too many yummy flavors in exciting colors now as compared to when I was a kid, which was not too long ago, LOL. Jelly beans at Oh! Nuts are also available in separate colors and flavors like white or electric blue coconut; tangerine; blueberry; wild cherry; light pink bubble gum; pale pink strawberry cheesecake; pink speckled tutti fruiti; red fruit punch; orange n' cream; purple grape; brown root beer; and so much more. I am buying in bulk because I can save more as they are priced at a discount. I will also fix some gift baskets for my little tot's friends to enjoy. This will be another fun Easter egg hunting time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cucumber, Asian Pear, and Watermelon Salad with Ricotta Salata

As the name of the recipe implies, it calls for Ricotta salata, a crumbly, salty cheese, but I substituted feta cheese instead. This salad is a welcome treat to the usual mixed green salad that I always prepare. I got this recipe from my Cooking Light magazine subscription.


2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled seedless cucumber
2 cups (1-inch) cubed seedless watermelon
2 cups halved red grapes
3/4 cup peeled, cubed Asian pear (about 1 pear)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime rind
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/3 cup (3 ounces) crumbled ricotta salata cheese

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Combine sour cream, honey, rind, juice, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
3. Pour sour cream mixture over fruit mixture; toss well to coat.
4. Sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 8 servings.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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Wordless Wednesday - Fried Apples

We love eating breakfast at Cracker Barrel on Saturdays and Fried Apples is one of the side dishes that I order often. Cracker Barrel is where you find good country style home cooking prepared from scratch. I also love that I can shop some goodies in their old country store after a satisfying meal.

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