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Monday, November 23, 2009

My Sanctuary

My kitchen is like a sanctuary to me, it is my favorite part of our home. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen doing not just cooking and preparing food for my family, but also doing a lot of things. I have a computer table in the kitchen which serves as my little office. That is where I plan the meals; pay the bills; answer phone calls; check emails; and a lot more. While sorting through tons of junk mails the other day, I saw this magazine with colorful pictures of kitchen designs and styles. Oh how I admired those copper sinks; top-of-the-line appliances and to-die-for kitchen styles. Now I couldn't help but daydream again of my ideal kitchen. Well though I am not feeling it coming true anytime soon, its just good to dream after all its free to dream.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Grocery Shopping List Made Easy

I always make a list before I go food shopping. But sometimes despite preparing a grocery shopping list, I would still forget to include an item or two which I would normally realize as soon as I get home. It would be a waste of time and gasoline to make another trip to the store just for one item. I found this website that I know will be very useful to all moms like myself out there because it saves them a lot of time figuring out what to buy for their next trip to the store. gives a list of usual or normal categories of products and a run down of common items under each categories. To register in this free grocery shopping list website is free and easy and can really make moms' life a little easier. You can actually create a shopping list and organize it by store and print even without logging in. But it would be advisable to register so all your shopping list history will be saved, so that the next time you logged on, you can easily access the last list that you created. You can also define your list in 'My Favorites' so you can quickly prepare your list next time you logged on. If in case you can not see the item you were looking for, you are free to add any item just by clicking the add button. If you want to keep up with all updates at List2Shop be a facebook fan by clicking their profile

Friday, November 13, 2009

Escape from the Chilly Weather

I haven't been to the Caribbean but it is one of the places I thought is worth visiting because of the great beaches. I missed going to the beach while on vacation in the Philippines and I think the closest to experiencing the warm weather and amazing beaches would be the Caribbean. I wonder if this summer there will be a chance for us to make another out of town vacation. If the budget permits, then it wouldn't hurt to look into Caribbean hotels as early as now. This place would be a great escape from the chilly weather because it has warm weather all year round, I can't wait.

Freak Accident

I had a freak accident over the weekend, I fell down the stairs in the garage and it really hurt. My little son and I were in a hurry to leave to attend the 12 noon mass. My right foot slipped and I twisted my body for trying to break the fall. I fell hard on my right side. My right ankle, right arm and right hip are still sore and bruised until now. The day after my accident, I didn't feel like going out at all even if I promised to bring him to the playground. My son and I got stuck at home. I didn't care about the mess and chaotic sight of his toys and books all over the floor and sofas because I was in pain. I took it easy, I was in my pj the whole day and didn't even bother to get the mail.

And what's worse, while nursing a sore body, I was also busy munching sweets. For some reasons I craved for sweets and finished a big container of caramel popcorn with pecans and almonds. I feel bloated literally and seriously need to get out of my sedentary mode. I've been trying to get back in the gym for the longest time, I'm not even into any sports anymore. I wish there is a
ping pong table I can use to get my sweat glands working for a little bit. Anyway, hopefully by next week I can really get around driving to the gym and formally enroll. My girlfriends have been bugging me already, and there's a new gf I've met who's also into Zumba whom I promised to join with on the next class. I wish I'll be much better then.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A More Useful and Convenient Refrigerator

When we upgraded our kitchen about two years ago, we were supposed to upgrade the kitchen appliances as well. But our plans were put on hold by the economic downturn. All our appliances are still working perfectly anyway, except that we wanted them in uniform stainless style to match the new look of the kitchen.

I've always wanted to replace our fridge with one of those Shallow Refrigerators with bottom drawer freezer which I find more fitting and convenient to use in my kitchen, than the side by side refrigerator we have right now. I always have difficulty getting into my freezer because the wall restricts the freezer door to open wide. Most of the times I prepare food in advance and freeze them in vacuum-sealed bags so I would have food anytime I wanted and especially that I can't always cook everyday. My freezer seems always crowded though since I can't get around it easily I just load bags of food whichever way I can. I sometimes buy food that I already have only because I couldn't dig them out of the freezer. The shallow refrigerator with bottom-freezer would be the perfect refrigerator for us. I saw different brands of bottom-freezer refrigerators at and hopefully early next year we can finally buy the refrigerator that will be a lot useful for us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Cookware That I Like to Have

To say that I love kitchen stuffs is an understatement, I'm crazy about them. When my aunt came over for a visit, I took her shopping in the mall but I ended up buying bagfuls of kitchen items instead. Oh and she came home with a photo frame. Now that the holiday season is almost here, I am drooling over a lot of items again in the kitchen section, I'm just trying to control myself from buying. Well I guess I just have to content myself by looking at different home websites online for now.

Like I saw this website of Wasserstrom restaurant supplies that are used by professional chefs. I'm a regular viewer of Food TV Network and I really admire the professional cookware that they use on the show just like the ones shown on Wasserstrom website. I've been wanting to have this enamel coated cast iron Dutch oven and French oven dish, but they're quite pricey. But of course the price goes with the high-quality cookware products and I'm sure they are very long lasting. I hope to get one of these someday.

Taking My Sweet Time

I'm taking my sweet time today because my son is staying in school for an extra hour. I packed him four little triangle sandwiches of ham and cheese; few pieces of grapes and some flavored water. He will eat lunch with his teachers and some classmates. It should be a lot of fun. I should have gone to Bed Bath and Beyond to get the stacking wire cubes that I needed to organize the closet in the study room, but instead I got stuck here browsing through a website with Grohe faucet. But I guess it would be better to stick around because I might get carried away when I see kitchen products again and not get to school on time to pick up my son. But the good thing is, while online I got the chance to read through my online course and also finished some online work. So this is a very productive three hours so far. But in less than an hour my energetic little tot will be all over me again, so I better type away to get more things done.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cappuccino Crinkles

I bought this special edition magazine of Better Homes and Gardens that contains 100 best cookies recipes. I've been into baking mood lately and all the recipes here are very easy to make. And most importantly the ingredients some require, I already have in my pantry. So here's the first recipe I tried - Cappuccino Crinkles. My hb and I both love to drink tea and these cookies will make a perfect pair with my fave green tea or hb's black tea. We could forget about how to lose belly fat for now while we indulge in this soft and chewy cookie.


1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals (instant coffee)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 egg whites

1/3 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, cocoa powder, coffee crystals, baking soda, and cinnamon. Beat until combined, scraping side of the bowl occasionally. Beat in egg whites and yogurt until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.
2. Place granulated sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch bowl. Roll balls in a sugar to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.
Yield - 32 cookies
Using egg whites instead of whole eggs will make these cookies extra light and tender.

High Quality Kitchen Products

In one of my previous posts I mentioned about browsing online already for my Christmas wish list. Whenever I make a list, jewelry and kitchen items are always on top of it if not the only two items in it. When I go to a mall shopping, even if I went there for another item in mind, I always gravitate towards the kitchen section and then stay there forever. I admire high quality kitchen products that will last long. I usually browse online and compare items so I know exactly what to ask my hb to buy me for Christmas.

I never had copper cookware before but I've seen quite a lot of them at my aunt's house. She even had these copper molds of different designs that hang on her wall. While browsing online I saw this ruffoni cookware that I found quite interesting. When I read through the website I found out that ruffoni copper cookware is an excellent heat conductor and cooks evenly. But they're quite expensive and require polishing, but still they are the choice of many professionals. I'm still on the lookout of high quality cookware that I want for Christmas and I will keep ruffoni in mind. I have yet to look for other kinds; compare the quality and prices before I decide on which one to buy.

Pumpkin Cake

My bff and I created this tradition of gathering in my place for some trick or treating and dinner and we've been doing it for three years in a row now. We accompany the kids to go house to house for Trick or Treat and then come back to gather for dinner and other treats with our families and some other friends. This year I tried my hand on this Pumpkin Cake I saw in Kraft Foods website. It's my first time to make a cake with frosting and though it didn't turn out exactly as in the website's photo, it tasted great I thought. The sweet frosting complimented the chocolate cake mix that I used, very soft and creamy you might consume more than what you're allowed to eat if you are counting calories ;-). But you can always use the best fat burners afterward. Anyway, here's how you can make the Great Pumpkin Cake.


1 pkg. (2-layer) cake mix, any flavor (I used chocolate)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
Few drops each: green, red and yellow food coloring
1 Ice Cream cone (Comet cup)
1. Prepare cake batter and bake in 12-cup fluted tube pan as directed on package. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack; remove pan. Cool cake completely.
2. Meanwhile beat cream cheese and butter in medium bowl with mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended after each addition. Remove 1/2 cup of the frosting; place in a small bowl. Add green food coloring; stir until well blended. Spread half of the green frosting onto outside of ice cream cone; set aside. Cover and reserve remaining green frosting for later use.
3. Add red and yellow food coloring to remaining white frosting to tint it orange. Spread onto cake to resemble pumpkin. Invert ice cream cone in hole in top of cake for the pumpkin's stem. Pipe the reserved green frosting in vertical lines down side of cake.

If you don't have piping bags like I do, just use a resealable plastic bag instead. Just spoon the frosting into the bag and seal. Cut off a tiny piece from one of the bottom corner of the bag. Twist the bag at the top to let air out. Hold the bag with one hand and guide the tip with the other.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Christmas Wish List

Time flies so fast, Christmas is not very far away. The other day I was browsing online for Christmas presents for loved ones and friends already. I also have my own wish list and one of them is a pair of diamond earrings. I saw these earrings that I've long wanted to buy. I always love to have a pair of solitaire diamond earrings but lately since I'm into dangling earrings, a pair of dangling with diamonds isn't bad at all. I've been hinting it to my hb as early as now so he'd have more time to order them for me, lol. Anyway, I hope to buy all presents before the stores get crowded, otherwise I'll stick to the favorite way of shopping I know,,online of course.

Another Great Halloween

I thought my son would not have a nice Halloween night because of all days, he had to be sick on that day. But thank God we gave him medicine just in time plus the weather though windy was pretty warm so his Trick or Treating night turned out fabulous. Some of our friends came and joined us and we had dinner afterward. I was up till past 3am the previous night so I got really tired and fell asleep with my son when I read to him at bedtime. I planned to get up before midnight but couldn't so I missed going online to get free life insurance quotes that my aunt was asking me to do for her. Anyway, I'm looking forward to another great day today especially that I earned an extra hour of sleep. Yup today we adjusted our clock one hour back.