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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Wanna Go Home, Mommy!

Day 3 of your weeklong vacation and you finally caved in!

Not that I'm happy but it makes me feel good to know, you still need me after all!

You were messaging me at least once every hour either with "I miss you, Mommy!" or "Mommy call again, please"

The clincher was actually when you messaged me with "I want to go home, mommy!" Right that minute, I wanted to leave the office and ride that bus to bring you home.

I ached to hug you, baby girl. But we have to endure for now and be thankful that there is such an invention called Skype. At least we get to see you before you text us "goodnight!"

Be good, out there Maia! Be considerate. Be nice. Be a listener and stay obedient.

Play, play, play!!! Have fun! Enjoy your day!

We will see you soonest, our pretty little miss!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Milestone: First Time To Vacation On Her Own

Our dearest Maia,

I hope you take time to read this letter every day while you are vacationing there. We miss you already but we hope you are having a great time out there.

LISTEN, OBEY, RESPECT. Please remember always, okay?

Eat your veggies. Drink lots of water.

Say please and thank you, all of the time.

Don’t talk to strangers. Stay with lola and your cousins all of the time. Please do not leave the house unless you are with Lola.

Put baby salve on your allergies.  

Play outdoors! Don’t spend too much time on TV, phone and computer.

Answer mommy’s calls. Keep your phone near you every time.

Say your nighttime prayers.

See you on Saturday!!! I hope you grow taller and bigger by then!

Love you very, very much!

Daddy and Mommy


Our little miss is spending a week with her Lola and cousins. Our Ate Inday is away on vacation for a week and the best option we have right now is to have the kid spend the week away from us. Luckily, she got really excited when we told her about it. 

I wasn't though. 

And most parents could probably relate. But at some point, I know we'll be experiencing this every summer. It's just starting a little bit sooner that we'd expected. 

My nephew recently spent almost a month with us and his Nanay (my sister)sent him a couple of letters while he was here.I really thought they were sweet and very thoughtful gestures so I wrote Maia one too (albeit an advanced letter hahaha, talk about atat) and printed it out tonight. I secretly inserted it in one of the notebooks I packed for her to doodle in. I asked her if she can write a note for me on that notebook every day to let me know what she did every day. 

She hasn't left yet and I miss her already. Sigh.

Recipe: Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have I already mentioned I'm a dessert monster? Although I try to be very conscious of my sugar intake, dessert will always be my weakness. Luckily, my little girl never really got addicted to sugar. It probably helped that I delayed the introduction of sweets to her till she was almost a year old. We don't have to tell her to stop eating candies and chocolates. She usually just stops after a piece or two.

I hope she keeps that self control even if I've been spending a lot of time with our oven of late. My latest baking adventure has yielded this soft, chewy creation which was actually inspired by my baking idol, Maggie!

Mags and I both agreed this would probably level up if you added a few chunks of macadamia nuts. I have yet to get my hands on some macadamia nuts but my taste testers (the hubs and the little girl of course) both gave their approvals already.

Maggie's cookies looked waaaay better than the ones I baked. I didn't get the chance to bookmark the recipe she shared to me earlier so I made do with the recipe that I already had printed out from Sally's Baking Addiction.

My little girl is also visiting her lola and her cousins for a week and so I packed her a dozen of these to give as pasalubongs to her cousins. I hope they liked it!

What you will need:
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (i just cut a bar of butter in half), softened to room temp
3/4 cup muscovado sugar
1 egg, at room temp, slightly whisked
1/4 cup white granulated sugar (refined sugar)
1 tbsp filled milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsps red food coloring (I used liquid)
about 80 grams of white chocolate chip cookies (you could use more, the original recipe actually called for 180grams)
ready to bake!
sometimes, i do amaze myself. all this time it's all been purely muscle power that i've been using to cream butter and sugar. so really, if you really want to learn to bake you don't have to have plenty of equipment to do it.

food color and dry ingredients added!
white chocolate chip cookies galore!
How I did it:

1. Combine all the dry ingredients - flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt (I just used a wire whisk).
2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until smooth then add the sugar and mix thoroughly.
3. Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix well and add the food coloring next.
4. Continue to mix then add the dry ingredients gradually (I did this in 3 sets so I didn't have a hard time mixing everything when the dough started to stiffen. Mix in the white chocolate chips. Cover dough with plastic wrap and freeze for about 30mins (or refrigerate for at least an hour)
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (around 180 Celsius).
6. When ready to bake, take our frozen dough and cut to about 1/2 inch thick and form into a ball. Line baking pans with parchment paper and place each of the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart. I added colored sprinkles to some of the dough since the colors will look attractive to the kids.
7. Bake for about 12-15 mins (top most layer of my oven).
8. Take our from oven after baking time is finished. Let cookies cool on the sheets for around 5 mins and then transfer to wire rack to cool.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Lunch At Pamana Restaurant

Today was more of a spur of a moment thing. But having been burnt out at work for weeks now, I have been wanting (and needing) a reprieve (from the house, from the sight of my computer) even for just a few hours.

So even if the kids have been very vocal about hating commuting of late, they all agreed to give me some slack today and allowed me to finally embrace the reprieve that I've been yearning even if just briefly. We decided, albeit at the last minute, to head off to Tagaytay to celebrate mother's day. Last year, we also spent mother's day there at Bag of Beans. And since my nephew is vacationing with us as well, it would be nice to bring him up there as well too. Maia was excited to show him the place where Mommy and Daddy got married.

The plan was - hear mass and eat. And maybe visit a few sites if time would permit. Tibs did warn me though - manage my expectations. It's warm in Tagaytay now. And yes, the temperature didn't give us much options when we got there. After hearing the 11am mass in Lourdes, we walked a few meters towards Pamana Restaurant and that's about how we burned our time in Tagaytay.

No regrets though. I still was happy to "escape". And I finally made time to buy those plants that I've been asked to buy for my team's work area. (Kind of defied my purpose of escaping the thought of work, but at least I had a change of scenery. Which was enough for now, at least).

On Pamana Restaurant:

We ordered what we feel is just the appropriate thing to order when you're in Tagaytay - Bulalo and Crispy Tawilis. Tibs is a big fan of Binagoongang Baboy so we also tried that. We ordered their ube halohalo for Gogol and Sago't Gulaman for everyone else.

The Bulalo serving was too large for us. We should have just ordered small or medium and we still won't feel it's "bitin". We had leftovers for everything and it was good enough for another meal (yes, we had the same thing for dinner).

Price-wise we wished there were more of us to share, then the close to P2,000 bill wouldn't have really mattered. But sadly we were just a group of 3 adults and 2 kids who only devoured the cold desserts. Safe to probably budget at around 300/head if you are with the company of purely adults.

The restaurant is kid-friendly and on a Sunday, we just came at a perfect time (at around 11:30ish) because a few minutes after that hungry diners came rushing. We picked a table at the rooftop. We had a great view of Taal and it was pretty breezy considering the ultra hot summer temp. They could work on providing more toilets though because it really was a long line we had to endure just to get bladder relief. If you're with kids, that could be a really difficult situation to be in.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happiness is...

seeing your kid empty out her plate and hearing her happily declare "I love everything you cook, Mommy! They all taste great! I want to eat ALL of them!"

Shallow me, that announcement alone already made me feel like I got the best mother's day gift ever!

posted from Bloggeroid
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