Cake Wrecks

Since I started working last year, I set a goal of buying myself the much-coveted Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  12 months later I still don’t have one! Anyway, the reason for such goal is so that I can start making my own frostings from scratch and stop relying on Betty Crocker frostings.  I live in a country where the product literally melts at room temperature! Lately, it’s been cooler so the frosting holds up longer than the usual.  Oh well, here is my very own cake wreck roll…  

Train Cake for my nephew (face decorated and tracks piped by my husband)

 

   

This one's a real flop :(

 

 

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It’s Afritada But With A Hint Of Caldereta!

Today I cooked one of my favorite dishes: afritada!  The hint of caldereta comes from the liver spread (aka live wurst) and peanut butter.  (Apparently, my helper heard me ask her to prepare the ingredients for caldereta). To the recipe…

Ingredients:

1 clove garlic

1/2 onion, sliced

4 pcs chicken (any part you like), washed

1 Tbsp soy sauce

4 Tbsp tomato sauce

1 cup water

2 potatoes, peeled and quartered

1/2 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 can green peas (optional)

To cook:

1. Heat oil in a pan.  Fry the potatoes until golden brown. Remove and drain in paper towel. Set aside.

2. In the same pan, saute onion until transluscent.  Add in the garlic and heat through until fragrant. Saute the tomatoes.  When tomatoes are of mashing consistency, add the chicken pieces, coat with the oil, Season with soy sauce, pepper and simmer until watery.

3.  Add in the carrots, potatoes, green peas and tomato sauce. Heat through, covered.  Add the water (feel free to add more to make sure there’s enough to cover the meat and vegetables). Boil then lower heat.

4.  Add the peanut butter and liver spread.  Adjust to your taste. If you just want afritada, skip those ingredients.   Heat through until meat is tender and carrots are cooked. Reduce the liquid to intensify the flavor.  If you don’t mind your bell peppers being soggy, you can add them at this point. 

5. When the liquid has been reduced, taste and add salt/pepper to your liking.  Add in the bell pepper, heat for 5 minutes and turn off the fire.  Serve with hot rice.

Tip: The Filipino palette likes tomato-based dishes with a hint of sweetness so if you want to have a taste of Filipino cooking in your kitchen, go ahead and sprinkle a bit of sugar into the sauce as you add in the tomato sauce!

Has Your 1st Grader Asked You These Questions?

Here are the Top 5 Questions my son has asked me (and my husband). Don’t forget to share yours!

1. What are the kinds of comb jellies?

My son learns fast when he categorizes things.  Comb jellies entered his world from a National Geographic DVD collection his Daddy got when he was 3 1/2 years old and the bioluminescent creatures just sucked him in that he would ask and ask and ask about them every single day – for weeks!  A bioluminescence expert we emailed recommended this book that kids could appreciate.  Check it out at .  It’s one of my son’s most treasured books!

A ctenophore a.k.a. comb jelly (the great white shark of the deep)

2.  Why can’t we hear God’s voice anymore? This came up when he was about 2 1/2 years old after we got reading the First Bible his Daddy got him from a trip to AZ.  I would make a deep voice when reading God’s lines and I guess that made him realize it’s not the same then as it is now.  I was really dumbfounded to hear him ask that question but I just remained calm and pondered on it before answering. I think I said something to the effect that God still lets his voice be heard by those who choose to have a close relationship with him and I give him instances when I heard God speak to me to comfort me.

3.  Why does he/she/they do that? I’ve heard my son ask me this question when he sees a kid pick his nose with great pleasure in public, when one of his cousins peed on the front yard, when he saw his grandfather smoke, when the grass in our subdivision is burnt instead of cut (lazy farmers!),  when he sees passengers throw their candy wrappers out the window, when his classmates would walk around or talk even while the class is going on (makes me wonder why the teachers allow this), the list could go on and on and on…

4.  What’s wrong with your heart? when he was 3 years old I almost had a heart failure and it got him confused why I couldn’t lift, spin, or run with him around anymore. it made him very curious about how the body works (of course, together with the fact he saw me change from supermom to not-so-supermom), specially the heart. being the mom, I have the  read the texts with him and explain the diagrams so he can get it in simple words. I never bothered about auricles and ventricles until he asked me to explain it to him.  More on that in another blog… Anyway, here’s a video that has taught my son (and me lol!) about the human body. Enjoy!

5.  What is bigger than the universe? now this is a really “huge” question. lol. of course, all my husband and I could do was rely on recent scientific studies we’ve heard of e.g. the possibility of a multiverse, and also incorporate the fact that only God could possibly know the answer to that question.

6.  How does a (fill in the blank) work? this question you could definitely relate to. I notice I use a lot of hand gestures when the questions get a little too technical/mechanical for me (how do you explain how an internal combustion engine works without using hand gestures?).

7. Why don’t humans stop cutting down trees? My son knows why we need trees. What he doesn’t get is why, despite the state of our environment, do humans still shave our forests?  I really feel for my son, he sees the grown ups in his household helpless about this issue.  He has even made a poster that he asked me to publish in a newspaper. Good God, it’s been years and I still haven’t done it!  I will post that poster here and on facebook.  The film below is something parents could show their kids to increase environmental awareness. Watch it on youtube to see the other parts. :)

8.  Why was King Solomon allowed to have many wives? The plain answer would be “because he was a king” and “because it was allowed” but really the issue underneath is the morality of it since we teach him about love and faithfulness.  It’s a good thing Jesus changed that to monogamy. :)

I’m sure you were reminded of your kids’ questions along the way. I’d really love to hear about them. :)