Tuesday, August 30, 2011

undersize me: miniature food

as suggested by fellow n@wie, maqui, i collected these undersized versions of cereal, butter and yogurt milk and stock up on some supplies for my little toddler's kitchen pantry.

aren't these just the cutest!

it was so much fun doing the groceries searching for these miniature versions. should i say that im obsessed! grocery shopping would never be the same...i'll be keeping my eyes open for more of these itsy-bitsy forms! i know i could just buy a mini grocery set that come with little play food items but it wouldn't be as fun collecting the REAL but midget-sized ones.

Monday, August 29, 2011

sesame chicken satay

this recipe is from my low-fat living cookbook. i love this cookbook! hubby is still biased about most of the recipes though. he thinks anything "low fat" also spells b-l-a-n-d....but this satay recipe certainly is not!
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp mince ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 kilo skinless breast fillets, cut into strips (may substitute with shrimp)
1 tbsp sesame seed
satay sauce*

soak bamboo skewers into dish with water. set aside
mix soy sauce, lime juice, honey, oil, ginger, garlic, coriander ad cilantro in a bowl
add chicken, cover and marinate in ref for 24 hours
pre heat grill
coat grill with non-stick spray
drain skewers and thread chicken through
grill until cooked
sprinkle with sesame seeds
serve with satay sauce

*satay sauce
1/4 cup broth or water
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper flakes

combine and mix all ingredients well

Friday, August 26, 2011

apron top

this is an apron top that i made out of excess linen fabric. im actually just re-using the fabric as i had sewn this as a hanging cabinet organizer before (wink) sorry, i dont have a step by step tutorial but as you can see its just a rectagular piece of fabric that i hemmed on all 4 sides. the top closes with a single button at the back that results is a slight slit or opening. im not bold enough to wear it without a tank underneath but what i love about it is that although the linen is light and breezy it has a little weight to it that allows it to drape well. it also is a little thicker than the usual linen material that you really can wear it without something underneath. the top could also double as a nursing cover up! hahaha!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

extreme parenting

i chanced upon my sister's old comic book, "Xtreme Parenting" by Jerry Scott , a compilation of my favorite Baby Blues comic strip. i have been a fan of Baby Blues since the mid-90's! i have read this book several times over but never before having a baby. now that i'm a mom i enjoyed re-reading it even more!

here are a few of my favorite lines:

"watching your kids grow is like having front row seats to the greatest show in the world...and its only 11 years till the next intermission"

"educational toys are such a rip-off...the truth is all toys hurt the same when you step on them bare foot in the middle of the night"

" the dullest day of being a kid is the more exciting than the best day of being a grown up"

and this is my favorite one of all...

"when you have kids the years are short but the days are long"

so true! who knew comic strips could be so insightful?

hubby doodle

here's a doodle that i made of hubby (then boyfriend) a long time ago.

i have always loved drawing but i have never done portraits before --- not even caricatures. imagine how surprised i was that it turned out looking just like him!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

spaghetti night

one of our ninangs hold this tradition of having spaghetti for dinner every friday. their house would be open for everybody --- friends, friends of friends, classmates, neighbors, co workers, fellow church goers, etc.. and their kids. anyone is welcome to drop by for dinner and even help with the cooking and clean-up. it's all informal. dinner is anytime between sun down until the late hours. you don't have to bring a gift or anything. you don't even need an invitation. just drop by, ring the bell, go straight to the kitchen and serve yourself. several batches of sauce is made and the pot never gets empty. guests bring home whatever is left over. hubby and i intend to follow this tradition. we plan to have spaghetti or any pasta dish, for that matter for dinner every friday (so technically we should call it "pasta night") but since our son really loves this daddy's spaghetti recipe (more about that next time) we'll stick to "spaghetti night" for now. in the long run, maybe we could diversitfy with different sauces and pastas. cooking spaghetti would be as enjoyable as eating it. oh, considering the security as well as economic issues, our spaghetti night would be by invitation only...but still welcome for very close friends and family.

Friday, August 19, 2011

cream puffs

these little nuggets of sweet, yummy goodness may seem intimidating to make to a novice baker. i was almost half execting failure the first time i made these but was pleasantly surprised (and, if i may say so, quite impressed at myself) at how easy it is to make. it's been more than 15 years since the first time i tried this recipe* and can't count how many batches i have made since but i still can't help get excited each time i watch how the batter puffs to form delicate, heavenly clouds of flour, eggs and butter.

cream puff pastry
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs

pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
heat water and butter to a rolling boil in a saucepan
add flour all at once and stir vigorously over low heat to form a ball
remove from heat
beat in eggs one at a time
drop batter from a spoon onto ungreased baing sheet into mounds 3 inches apart
bake for 45-50 minutes or until puffed and golden brown
split cream puffs and fill with cream filling
drizzle with caramelied sugar (or nuttela!)

cream filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

mix sugar, flour and salt in saucepan
blend in milk
cook over medium heat, stirring until it boils
remove from heat and stir in half of cream mixture into egg yolks
pour back in saucepan and stir
bring to boil
lower heat and stir for 10 minutes or until mixture coats spoon
cool, add vanilla and fill puffs

*Let's Cook with Nora by Nora Daza; 1969

Thursday, August 18, 2011

DIY pretend food: sandwiches

i prefer referring to "play food" as "pretend food" for fear that my son gets the idea that food is something to play with. anyway, i found these wooden coasters and placemats inside what i call the "clutter kitchen drawer".
i thought that i could turn these into "pretend food" to go with my son's play oven (maybe i should start referring to his play oven as pretend oven too?).

here's what i did:
step 1: shade border of wooden coaster to resemble the crust of a loaf of bread step 2: cut placemat according to shape or form of food desired (as in a slice of ham, cheese (already pre-cut) lettuce leaf and strips of bacon
step 3: assemble to make a ham and cheese sandwich

..... or a BLT

now, wasn't that super easy and fun!

meet mr. and mrs. sweatpants

mr. and mrs. sweatpants are a lovey-dovey couple made out of the cut off leg part of a pair of very long sweatpants (hence their names) here's a feeble step-by-step illustration (sorry, i still have to get the hang of taking pictures during each step of the process)step 1: draw pattern on underside of fabric, cut and sew, leave enough opening for stuffing

step 2: turn inside out, add face details using felt fabric and crochet thread

step 3: insert nylon stuffing material

step 4: sew opening closed

step 5: stich a hoop or loop onto top part of head to allow it to hang (this step is optional)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

re-using plastic mesh bags

mesh bags or tubes, the kind used to hold fruit or vegetables in the grocery, may be re-used for various cleaning jobs in the house.

by simply scrunching and tying them up to form a ball these may be used for scrubing pots, pans, bath tubs and even toilet bowls!

they may be used to hold and protect delicate articles of clothing (such as undies, hoisery, scarves) in the washing machine.

at my son's toddler class, they hang them around the faucet to hold soap (what a clever way to keep the slick, wet soap bars from slipping off little toddler hands!)

we also use the mesh bag to tote around wet slippers, sandals, toys or what-nots (a practical way to prevent sand from collecting at the bottom of your beach bag!)

what to do with empty yogurt cups: part 2

when stacked, empty yogurts cups may be used to measure/ estimate your child's height (okay, not really)

create bizzare spaceship figures

helps create an opportunity to teach your child to clean up after

(again, not really)

Friday, August 12, 2011

campbell's soup can obsession

as i have mentioned before i've been obsessed with the campbell's logo since forever and have been collecting campbell's soup cans for a while. i simply love how it looks...i find it so andy warhol-esque. so pop artsy. okay, whatever. (here i used the emptly cans to plant little seedlings)

anyway, i finally found this old picture of one of my most far out projects ever --- a larger than standard size campbell's can! (this is me with my hubby when we were still dating, circa 1999!!!)

we used this as an outdoor table for quite some time until it regretfully rusted. one of the neighbors came up to me before wondering how we were able to consume this much campbell's soup!

i guess, this is as supersized as it can be!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

recycled t-shirt choker: take 2

my sister requested that i make her one of these for herself.

this time i used a shirt made of 100% cotton and got the "curl effect" that was intended. i think i works either way!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

what to do with empty yogurt cups

my little toddler loves yogurt and if you're like me you probably have collected a considerable amount of empty yogurt cups.

these little plastic cups are not exactly "recyclalbe" but may be re-used to plant seedlings, to wash out paint brushes, as ice or popsicle molds, measuring cups, etc.

in our home we simply use them as stacking blocks.

at the rate this little guy consumes his yogurt, i might have enough cups for more creative and fun projects in the future.

Monday, August 8, 2011

DIY gift wrapping paper

those who really know me know how much i love gift wrapping. they also know much i try to veer away from using store-bought wrapping paper.

one thing you can skimp on would be on those deceivingly, inexpensive yards of paper. seriously, how much is a roll of gift wrap these days? i mean, why not save a little money and have fun at the same time?

among my favorite materials to use are pattern paper, manila paper, papel de hapon, newspaper, brown paper bags and even leaves! i spruce things up with bits of little knick knacks such as twigs, pine cones, dried leaves, little balloons, mini torotot (made of rolled paper to resemble one), confetti and even a bundle of garlic. oh, i could really go crazy when i'm up to it!

anyway, we had this children's party to go to a couple of days ago.

i didn't want to use anything that could be hazardous for little kids to choke on so i opted to just draw little car patterns all over pattern paper.

here's our little gift. all set and ready for the birthday boy!

recycled t-shirt choker

here's a fun project i found from martha stewart

think easy, cheap and cute!

step 1: get an old shirt and lay it flat step 2: cut shirt horizontally to form loops, set aside the hem

step 3: lay the loops on top of each other with seams together, stretch loops to allow it to curl

step 4: twist loops to form a figure eight

step 5: wrap the seams using the hem

step 6: slide through your head and you're all done!

note: the shirt that i used didn't curl or stretch the way i thought it would. nevertheless, i still think it looks great!