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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recipe: Hearty Sausage and Tomato Macaroni Soup

Tibs loves this soup very much! 
I first made this soup using shell-shaped pasta (it looks better for this recipe) but today I only had macaroni in our pantry so I used that instead. This is one of my hubby's favorites well mainly because it has sausage which is one of his favorite comfort foods. Well, next to fried chicken of course (men will always be men - hehe).

This is another perfect wake upper to a rainy morning. I wish I had my homemade marinara sauce in stock when I made this soup this morning because it would have just been perfect. But tomatoes are quite expensive these days so I wasn't able to stock up on the sauce. Anyways, I'll just post an 'upgraded' version when I re-do this recipe using my marinara sauce. Moving on to the recipe.

You will need:

200g cooked macaroni
2 pieces sausage, chopped into bite size pieces (I used hungarian for this recipe)
1/2 of a medium sized white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cups chicken stock (I used pasta water in lieu of the stock)
fresh italian oregano + basil, chopped coarsely (i used about a stem of italian oregano and about 6 pcs of basil leaves)
2 tsps tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato sauce
salt + pepper to taste

What I did:

1. Saute onion and garlic till translucent.
2. Add in the sausage and cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Add in the tomato paste. Pour half of the water/stock to dilute. 
4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10mins.
5. Add in the cooked pasta and tomato sauce. 
6. Season according to taste and simmer for another 5 minutes.
7. Take out from the heat and garnish with fresh herbs. 
8. Serve with a SMILE.

This recipe can feed 4-6 hungry stomachs. This will go best with some toasted garlic bread, too!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy 55th, Daddy!

He taught me to stand for what is right and fight for it. He taught me the real meaning of compassion. He taught me to be critical and study my options before making important decisions.

We might disagree in a lot of issues and he may not be the perfect Dad but he sure was the best teacher my siblings and I ever had. He was never demonstrative but I know his love for his family is unwavering.

Happy birthday Daddy! Thank you for teaching us to keep seeking for perfection. Thank you for teaching us not to settle.

By the way, Maia picked flowers for you this morning!

She is a Lolo's girl,  I can tell.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Making Progress: My Holiday Project

I'm happy to announce that I've made progress on the holiday project that I planned to do for this year. I bought a few supplies (just 3 yards of different colors each - Beige, Red and Green of felt fabric/cloth, a few packs of craft buttons and a few yards of satin ribbons) from the crafts store in SM Makati last week and started doing the handmade ornaments last Sunday while Tibs was setting up our tree.

I aimed to finish at least 10 ornaments in a day but I underestimated the hand-sewing that this activity entailed. Despite that, I'm really glad to report that I was able to finish 5 ornaments already! I've cut up a few more tree and star patterns last night and I'm hoping to finish at least 3 more tonight. I also need to get more supplies of lace, ribbons and buttons but so far, I'm really enjoying this craft thingy. I'm quite surprised to see that these hands are actually capable of creating something pretty. Maia also proudly claims that it's also her project and I'm very happy to be sharing it with her.

Anyways, without further ado, I present to you some of my handiwork :) I get my inspirations mostly from Pinterest but I was also able to pull a couple more cute designs and patterns from various websites in the internet.

These were the first 3 ornaments that I finished last Sunday.
Sorry I forgot to take step-by-step photos. But these are really pretty easy to do. Surprisingly. And I tell you, I'm really not the Martha Stewart-ish kind when it came to arts and crafts so if I can do it, you sure can too!

cardboard patterns at the bottom of the box and christmas tree cut outs
on top which are now ready to be sewn together.
The Basic Stuff - Felt Fabric and a print out of a pattern
Our Tiny Slim Tree (thanks again Marj for the inspiration)
Ornaments Up In The Tree! Yipee!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Saturday At The Dapitan Arcade

We were blessed with really good weather that day.
Last Saturday, Tibs and I seized the wonderfully nice weather and trooped over to the Dapitan Arcade in Manila. It was only our second time there but as always, the place was a treasure trove for people who love local handicrafts and ceramic wares. If I live close to that place, I'd probably be there during weekends scouring for some home decors. 
Festive, colorful candle holders perfect for this season

At this time of the year, Dapitan Arcade mostly showcases holiday items. And we were there for that same purpose. To get ourselves some dainty but cheap items to spruce up and make our tiny home more festive. We armed ourselves with a small budget of P2000 and off we went hunting for items on our list. 

We planned to buy -

1. a 5 to 7-ft slim tree frame (taking inspiration from another n@wie Marj who shared there tree project to the n@w community)
2. enough garlands to wrap on the tree
3. a christmas wreath to hang on our front door
4. extra decors to hang on our tree (since I'm intending to make the ornaments myself this year)

We went home with - 

1. a 5 to 7-ft slim tree frame - CHECK! We were able to score a 7-ft frame for just P500.
2. enough garlands to wrap on the tree - CHECK! We bought 6 packs of 8 ft garland (we used up 5 for the tree and now have an extra one that we can still use in the house). It only cost us P480 (P80/pack)
3. a christmas wreath to hang on our front door - CHECK! And it only cost us P100. It was made of dried grass and some recycled styro balls and ribbons. 
4. extra decors to hang on our tree (since I'm intending to make the ornaments myself this year) - CHECK! We bought tiny angels made of sinamay. I bought an extra pack to give to my American boss as well. Total of which was only P360.
We were able to add 2 dozens of tiny capiz star ornaments (that I have to take photos of) for P220 and a set of horsies made of dried grass for the little girl for P150. 

Total money spent was only P1810. I had to haggle for some of the items we bought and yes, the tinderos and tinderas were generous to give me some of the discounts I asked. Galing ano? 

If you're looking for Christmas gift items, I'd really suggest you visit this place. Your Christmas budget will definitely go a long way here and what's great is it's not as crowded as Divisoria or Baclaran. 

Sadly I wasn't able to take photos of most of the items we bought but here's a glimpse of our tree (Tibs already wrapped the garland around it), of the horseys that really won the little girl's heart and the tiny li'l angels. This trip was so worth it. And I'm planning to go back there for last minute Christmas gift shopping (I'm really a crammer, you see).

7-ft tree standing tall in our tiny living room
Two of the many version of Angel Ornaments that we came across in Dapitan Arcade

These horseys immediately won Maia's heart.
Stalls around Dapitan Arcade

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Recipe: Farfalle with Spanish Sardines and Olive Oil

This recipe is actually an offshoot of a co-worker's recipe. Her's had fried eggplants in it but since my family is not very fond of eggplants (even more of the fried kind) I decided to omit and load on garlic instead which they really love. This was again experimental since it was my first time to try the recipe but I'm glad that it turned out great. I served this when some relatives and friends came over to join us for trick or treating in our village and I'm happy they all went home with happy tummies.

What you will need:

350g Farfalle pasta, cooked per package directions
2 small cans of spanish sardines (deboned and flaked using a fork)
1 head of garlic, finely minced
1 medium white onion, chopped finely
5 medium plump tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
about 10pcs of fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper for seasoning

How I did it:

1. Saute onion, garlic and tomatoes (I do it in this order usually and I make sure I don't burn any of them) in olive oil.
2. Add spanish sardines and the rest of the olive oil.
3. Season. (I skipped this in my recipe because I usually make sure that the pasta is already seasoned well)**
4. Add basil and toss over cooked pasta.
5. Garnish with parmesan cheese.
6. Serve with a smile.

This recipe can feed 6-8 hungry stomachs. And I think this was the first recipe that I cooked where I spent less than P150 to feed that much people.

**By well-seasoned I meant cooking it in pasta water that taste similar to seawater (I got this tip from a cooking show that Cibo owner Margarita Fores once guested in).

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