Monday, March 28, 2016

Bundles of Joy

This year has been one of my most emotionally challenging ones for me. The saying goes "Catastrophies come in threes.".  I must say that I've met my quota even before the first quarter of this year ended.

However, nothing hurt the most than family calling us worthless simply because of the fact that we are unable to bear biological children of our own. Why is it such a curse? My husband and I have been living a simple, happy, contented and peaceful lives in the 21 years that we've been together. Sure, there were hurdles, some were larger than others but, we've managed to power through. We've been blessed with the life rich in experiences and love, even in the absence of children.

Why is it such a shame to be a childless couple?

Bundles of joy, don't just mean having children.

Bundles of joy can be experienced in countless ways.

I experience joy traveling with my husband.

I experience joy visiting beautiful churches, lighting candles, praying and giving thanks.

I experience joy trying out new things or reading something funny.

Giving, volunteering, spending an afternoon laughing with friends over a cup of coffee.

Cuddled in bed with my husband.

Celebrating milestones together.

I could go on and on about things, people and experiences that bring me joy.

Absence of children doesn't mean, absence of joy.

Joy and happiness can be derived from living a life of peace, contentment and simplicity.

Joy and happiness can be experienced by sharing your love and blessings to other children otherwise neglected by their own parents. Joy and love know no boundaries, it can be shared many times over, it is ever expanding. It is the beauty of being human. Our capacity to love is endless.

Yes, me and my husband will never have children. We have embraced that fact and we are at peace with that. So what? Deal with it.

We are happy, thank you very much.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Chicken Yakitori Recipe

This Chicken Yakitori recipe is one of Hubby's favorites. It takes a few steps, but doable.

Chicken Yakitori

2-3 pcs of quarter cut chicken thighs, deboned, but keep the bones.
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Kikkoman soy sauce 
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
2-4 tablespoons of brown sugar (dark)
2 inches of ginger, peeled and sliced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped

1. Soak barbecue sticks in water so that they don't burn on the grill.
2. Debone chicken, set aside the skin and cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and skewer them on the barbecue sticks. Skewer the chicken skin together on barbecue sticks as well. They're quite tasty.

To make the sauce:
1. Gather all the bones and broil for a few minutes. I broiled mine for around five minutes. Set aside.
2.  Combine Kikkoman, sake, mirin, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a sauce pan. Mix well until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the chicken bones.
3. Simmer the sauce in medium heat, until reduced in half.
4. Strain and divide the sauce in half. One is for basting, one is for dipping.

1. Grill the chicken over hot coals and baste it with the sauce until chicken is done.
2. Serve with the sauce on the side.

1. Wrap okra or asparagus with bacon and skewer them by threes. Grill and baste until bacon is done.

Sweet Spicy Squid

Another one of my nephew Jayjay's favorite dishes. I should really start listing all these recipes so that I don't forget. Most of the recipes that I will be posting here will be made on the fly or put together based on the ingredients that are available in my fridge or something that I saw on TV, Youtube or read somewhere. I usually make it my own by adjusting, substituting or adding a few other ingredients are are more suitable to my family's tastes.

Sweet Spicy Squid

1/2 kilo fresh squid, preferably small ones, cleaned, dried and sliced in rounds. I used baby squid in this photo, be sure to remove the "spine" before cooking.
Cooking oil
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small white onion, minced
2-3 fresh red or green chilies (bird's eye or pang sigang), sliced
2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar
A few dashes of soy sauce or Knorr liquid seasoning
Sriracha (if you want extra spicy), or
Banana catsup

1. Saute the garlic and the onions, until fragrant but not brown.
2. Add the chilies and saute for a few seconds so that the chilies can release their oil.
3. Add sugar and Knorr. Stir to combine and to dissolve the sugar.
4. Quickly add the squid. The squid will release some of its water, keep stirring until most of the water has evaporated. Don't worry, the squid will still be tender.
5. Finish off with sriracha or banana catsup. Stir until well combined and heated through.  Serve immediately.

Mongolian Style Beef Stir Fry


This is one of Jayjay's favorite dishes, which I tweaked and made on the fly. Will keep the recipe here for my archives.

Sukiyaki cut beef or shabu-shabu style beef (found in Korean grocery stores)
Cooking oil

1/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce (or light soy sauce, if you're cutting down on sodium)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger, cut into strips
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
1 carrot, cut into strips
Sesame oil

1. Lightly dust beef with cornstarch and let stand for about five to ten minutes (this will provide a slight crispy texture to the beef). Set aside.

1. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar and water until the sugar dissolves completely.
2. Heat oil in a small sauce pan, saute the garlic and ginger until fragrant but not brown.
3. Add the soy sauce,brown sugar and water mixture and let simmer on medium heatforabout fiveto eight minutes.

To assemble:
1. Heat vegetable oil in a wok, stir fry the beef.
2. Remove beef from pan and set aside.
3. In the same pan, stir fry the carrots and bell peppers and drizzle some sesame oil. Until the vegetables are half-cooked.
4. Add the beef. Toss.
5. Using a strainer, carefully add the simmering sauce to the beef mixture and toss once more until well combined.
6. Serve immediately with rice.

Make extra sauce. Toss in vermicelli noodles and other vegetables and crushed peanuts, for a Mongolian-style bowl.

I have no picture since this was a first attempt and I made more sauce than the amount of beef I had. We had no leftovers and my nephew Jayjay asked me to make it again tomorrow.