Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recipe: Awesome steak with sauce

I did this for our 1st Anniversary dinner, and received many kind comments on preparing that "romantic dinner".  Thing is, while the name and all sounds oh-so-difficult to prepare, I'd like to share how simple and easy the sauce is, to make. The Hubs actually loved the sauce, and thought that I spent alot of time making it. When I first saw the entire recipe for the filet mignon, I was afraid to try it out. But the end result probably took me about 15 minutes to comeplete, which, for a newbie home cook like me, should be an easy task for everyone.

Juicy steaks.. leave them in the packaging until you're ready to cook them, to keep them as "juicy" as possible.

When you prepare the filet mignon, you don't really need to season it, other than a good dash of black pepper. The bacon that surrounds the meat is a natural seasoning on its own. Some recipes call for cooking 3 mins on each side of the meat, but when I first cut into the meat its still bloody, and raw. I would say go for around 9 mins each side, if you like it medium like me.

For the sauce:

3tbsp of butter
2/3 cup of red wine or shao xing rice wine.
1tbsp of Dijon Mustard
1 onion

Grab a sauce pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter in it.
Add in the onions, or shallots. Let it sweat and caramelize. Around 1 minute.
Add wine, mustard, and let it simmer another 2 minutes, stirring it occasionally, to let it mix well.
Reduce heat to medium low.
Whisk in 2 more tbsp of butter.
Season if needed. I didn't, I just allowed the natural flavours to mix around, and spooned it over my steaks.

Dig in with a good glass of wine! ;) Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tablets, ebook readers, Ipad, and what not.

I was probably seconds away from clicking the purchase button to get a sleek and sexy Ipad online. I've been searching for a ebook reader for the past 2 weeks, and ended up leaning towards the ipad for a long time. I loved the app Noterize where I could put notes all over my books that I needed to study.

The price was usd$599 for the 32gb Wifi only edition, and its quite certain that Apple will not lower the price for awhile. The response seemed to be overwhelming despite the fact that there are complaints of no camera, and that you can't multi-task on this device. I'm a fan of multi-tasking, and I've always had multiple tabs everytime I sit at my laptop. I didn't want to splurge on the 3G version, as my HTC phone already has it, and I can surf net and all on it now, without the "bigger" screen.

I like Android as it is, with more "free" apps available in the App store. However, Apple's Itunes, although need to spend abit of $ to get on with the better apps, it really does have alot of better apps. If only any device could get hold of them, they'd probably earn much more on the Apps store.

I did a further search into the Ipad after being hesistant to pay for the tax, which led it to cost me an additional $40 more on the purchase. I've never been more thankful for all the information online. I discovered that the Ipad was having problems connecting to the Wifi, and that Apple have acknowledged that. For someone like me, who can't live without being "connected", how can I purchase something, that is already facing connection problems even before I purchased it?

I further went on to search on other tablets, there's gonna be a good invasion on tablets after seeing how Ipad ruled for awhile, and how consumers are indirectly feedbacking to what the Pad was lacking. I'm eyeing on the Micro Cruz tablets, the Eeepc, the Asus, and the Dell tablets coming out soon. Though on Android still, I'm happy with the lower price tag on the Android systems, and corrections to what consumers want. Plus, I'm quite sure, there'll eventually be a flood of apps to be used for the Android once the market is sufficiently filled.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Green Monster

I've been surfing other foodie blogs since I started my adventures in my kitchen. Have to get some recipes for inspiration, and to satisfy my cravings at the same time. I came across The Green Monster Movement after surfing Oh She Glows blog from Julie's site.

As I was surfing through the recipes of smoothies that other readers have left, I decided to "heck it and make my own!" Green Monster. I didn't have any spinach, but I needed some green vegetables to make my Green Monster right? So after rummaging through my fridge, here's what I got for myself.

6 leaves of cabbage
2 celery stalks
a bunch of grapes
6 ice cubes
a drizzle of honey

Throw all into a blender, and blend blend blend, pushing it down with a spoon.

I gulped half of it down before remembering to take a photo of it. Well, I figured, I did it out of boredom, and if its going to give me some benefits for my health, why not? Its a helluva big cup for a person to drink. Great for detox and filling up my hungry tummy. It tasted good, and its a good way to make use of the leftover vegetables in the fridge, rather than letting them wilt and go to waste. I can't wait to make one for the Hubs, since he's adverse to eating Vegs too. Let's wait and see!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dentists - the all time biggest nightmare

I have been having cold feet the last few days thinking about my dental appointment. Today came, and I went for it. I had to. Been having toothache for almost 2 months now. Procrastination, combined with the difficulty to get a dentist appointment here. The experience was awful.

Almost all my life, I've been having the fear of visiting a dentist. Since like Primary school. The dentist all seemed like monsters then, and they were out to hurt you with the metallic tools they have on a tray. Visiting a dentist is like going for a major op. They squeeze every damn equipment they can in between your lips, and it comes with a motor buzzing sound, followed by the painful vibrations as it rubs against your tooth.

Normally, I would have taken it with a bit of cringing. Today, I had to take it with a bunch of cringing and tears flowing down my forehead. I would say, the dentists in USA probably are the most technology advanced clinics, as compared to SG. They also go all out to make their places comfortable, and make sure you feel good.

As I lay down on the chair, with the huge spotlight hovering over me, the nurse came over, and told me she was going to start the massage. YES, we get massaged in the dentist clinics, but not the spa massage, the chair that we lie on, have the massaging function in it. Its like an Osim, but in a patient chair. WOW.

In front of me, was a LCD screen hovering behind the spotlight. It had a beautiful beach picture on a it while I was waiting for the dentist to attend to me. As the nurse was preparing, the x ray of my jaw appeared on the screen instead. The x ray was taken before we started, and it was done in a room, with a machine where you place your jaw and bite onto a plastic, and the machine goes around your head to take a 360 view.

I actually cried after the experience. But I understand that the dentist didn't have any other option. The cavity I had was in the back of my last wisdom tooth. He had to do everything based on a mirror reflection, and I had to open my jaw as wide as possible throughout that 1 1/2 hours so he could work on it. My jaw ached after the experience was over. My gums swelled and hurt and I couldn't rest my jaw properly due to the jaw cramp and gums bleeding.

I'm happy that the entire experience is over, but it also means I can't eat proper food for days. No nice food to show ya all. Its gonna be soup soup and more soups for now.

Till I recover,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Recipe: Drunken Chicken

 This is our dinner yesterday. Its a simple to cook using alcohol aka Shaoxing Rice Wine. When we first came here, I've never heard of it before, and never really cooked with it before. But after adding it to some of our stews, its now an official staple in our kitchen, and I always keep an extra bottle. I cook alot with it these days, replacing any recipe that calls for cooking wine with it. Its quite cheap to use too!

This recipe is taking from Rasamalaysia. They have alot of Asian recipes, and I take alot of inspiration from it when I plan for my meals. Have fun with the recipes, and let me know how it goes!

Shanghai Drunken Chicken Recipe Ingredients:
3 lbs chicken, dark meat preferably
2 Tbsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
0.5 oz. ginger, thinly sliced
4 – 6 green onion, white parts only, sliced lengthwise
1 1/2 C Shaoxing rice wine
2 tsp white sugar
Ice cubes and water
Mix the salt with the two peppers. Rub the chicken all over with the salt and pepper and let it sit for an hour.
Poaching Method:
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a Dutch oven or large pot, add the green onion bottoms and ginger. Add the chicken, make sure there is enough water to cover the chicken, and return to a boil. Lower the heat to a bare simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. If you’re using a whole chicken, when the water is simmering for 10 minutes, lift the chicken out of the water and make sure the stock in the cavity empties back into the pot. Do that 3 times for a whole chicken. For chicken pieces or leg quarters, gently stir the pot once or redistribute the leg quarters so they cook evenly. After 10 minutes, cover, turn off the heat, and allow the chicken to poach undisturbed until the water cools almost to room temperature.
Steaming Method:
Bring water to a boil in the steamer. Place the chicken in an even layer, scatter the green onion and ginger all over and steam over medium heat for 30 – 40 minutes or until the internal temperature near the bone reaches 165 – 170 degrees F. If the chicken pieces are larger, they will take longer to steam. If any of the pieces are touching make sure to redistribute them in the middle of cooking so they cook evenly.
Mix the ice cubes and water and shock the chicken in ice cold water for 2 minutes. If you poached the chicken, shock it after the chicken has cooled to room temperature. If you steamed the chicken, shock it immediately after steaming.
After cooking, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, or score the chicken meat with a knife. Put the chicken pieces into a large container. Mix 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the chicken stock (the liquid you poached the chicken in or the liquid that comes out of the chicken after steaming) with the sugar and rice wine. Taste the marinade and add salt if needed. Pour it over the chicken pieces and let this sit in the fridge at least overnight before serving. Serve cold.

To give love, is to receive love.

The soft buzzing sound of an engine came closer, as I heard it turn into our driveway, forwarding, then reversing. I waited. The doors opened, and closed. BEEP! That familiar alarm, that I wait for daily. It means the Hubs home! Without the beep, I wouldn't go to the door. I've done that before, opening, only to realise its the neighbour. I have trained my ears so well, that I recognise the sound so clearly, its almost no mistake. I know when its him, and I know when its friends.

Its my daily routine that when I hear that, I'll go to the door, and jump on him with a big hug and smile. Its a sign of "Welcome HOME!". We've always wanted our own place, and that place has to feel good, to want to hang out in it. I've tried my best to make our home, like home, in the sense of food, comfort and love. But I'm still a messy and lazy person inside, so my place is still quite a mess, but I'm still trying.

Today was no different, except that, the beep came a little later than it should. I was looking around for my slippers that were stuck under my sofa. As I grabbed them, he had already opened the door.

"Dearie??!?!", echoed in a soft-tone.
"Ya?" I shouted back.
"Where are you?", while taking of his work boots.
"Hold on! I'm putting on my bedroom slippers, coming right now!", I popped out in front of him.
His face looked concerned, and not too happy as he stood up from removing his boots. He came over and scooped me into his arms.
"Hey baby, I missed you, why so late?", I asked, surprised at his reaction, since he's not usually so full of affection.
"I'm sorry."
"Why? What happened?" thinking that something must have happened at work.
He scooped me in another big bear hug. "I'm sorry that I shouted at you today."

Tears welled up in my eyes, as I tried to hold it back. I took the fight earlier, as that we both had a moment of frustration, and I didn't want to go back to it anymore. I did have a short burst of tears while we were fighting outside, but I held back and continued with my day as though nothing happened. I treated him with as much love as I usually did. And we joked, and chatted, as per like any other happy day.

My grip around him tightened. As my emotions came upon me. We are both Aries, temperamental and stubborn in our own way. When something happens, we usually fight over it, get angry, quarrel, sleep and forget about it. The next day, always becomes like any other day, cheerful and great, as long as I get a good sleep the night before. This time, it seems, he went to work, and thought about what happened today. It seems he thought about my feelings. It seems he thought about me at work. I felt loved.

"I love you.", I whispered, not releasing my grip.
"Love you too.", as he kissed me on my cheek.
"Love you much more!!!", I teased, with a kiss on his lips.

As he went about his nightly routine, my eyes followed him around with much love and respect. I've been telling myself, "To give love, is to receive love. The more you give, the more you receive."

Today it paid back. It felt good. The warm fuzzy feeling I had in my heart, as I cuddled with him to sleep. Love, and loved.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Windows Live Writer ate my post!

Darn it! I typed an entry earlier on, and saved it, then went about to do my own things. I came back, wanted to edit it, and add some pictures, and the damn software just wouldn't start. I've restarted my laptop, ended some applications, tried to update it, but just wouldn't work. I read somewhere that Live Writer was good, that it could help upload photos faster and such. But no, its not working for me. It ATE my post! I forgot how I wrote it, and having to re-type it makes my creativity flow into the drain. ARGH.

Anyway, just wanted to showoff update on my new kitchen additions. After our little arguement, I went off to buy the needed groceries, and went on to check out the cookwares section. I needed a roasting/baking pan and a cooling tray badly, since my previous one just rusted it way out. The cheaper brands are always like that, they get rusty so easily. I didn't mind paying more to get a better brand, with non stick capabilities, that might help stop the rusting too.

I headed out to the Wilton section, and checked out the trays. I've been wanting to get a tray for to make the Pandan cake I've been craving for, but I guess that's gotta wait. I wouldn't want the Hubs to kick me for buying new equipment every week. The food has to taste awesome to justify the amount I spend to update my pantry. While I like my food to taste good, I still want to keep on experimenting with new ingredients, and new dishes. I have the choice to blend into the community I am in now (the USA), so why would I want to keep on cooking Asian dishes, day in day out? I want to try new stuff, I want to try food that they cook for meals here, of course, the healthier versions.

I picked up my stuff and left. Spent about $14 on the trays, and another $40+ on groceries. More spices, and new trays to bake, and grill, and experiment in! 
Yup, take a look at the picture in the tray, and I guess you'll know what I'm really excited to experiment next. =D 

I heard that they manage to find mutton/lamb in Costco and we're heading out to find out this weekend. I'm really craving for mutton curry, which my Ananth's mum always cook during Deepavali. As most would know, I'm not a spicy food eater. But the meat is something I'm craving. What did I say? I'm a CARNIVORE. I couldn't find any alternative curry paste here, so I thought I'd try out this Thai paste, unless I can find some at the Indian shop that we're going to check out this weekend.

I've been using alot of herbs and spices in our food recently, after reading that its healthy, brings good flavour, and most of them are anti-oxidants! I use up cinnamon in at least 2 dishes per week. And nutmeg is a new addition to my spice rack. I've been encouraging the Hubs to join me in eating oatmeal, and he's slowly but surely eating more of it.  There was a glimpse of excitement when I added 2 tubs of it into the trolley. So I'm looking to experiment with oatmeals and different toppings. I bought nutmeg after reading alot of people use it as a topping. I personally love cinnamon to bits but Hubs is the total opposite. He hates it and finds that it has a strong smell. I'm hoping he would love this instead. I'm sneak some into his next bowl of oatmeal and see how it goes. ;)

Another day of driving..

I still think I improved, well just a wee bit. The fact that I didn’t come from a family that drives, or own a car, its hard for me to pick up driving. Staying in SG, you never really needed a license. My parents never felt the need to. Taxis are available everywhere, and even in the wee hours, or the most secluded locations, you can always call for one. They’re quite cheap too, comparing them to the other more well developed countries.
So today we needed to make a trip down for groceries, and for an event that the Hubs needed to prepare for. I took the leap and tried to drive again, after my last scary incident, I wanted to pay attention, and stay calm. I did manage to stay calm for most of the entire trip, I even managed to get through the turn that I went up the curb on previously. It wasn’t a perfect turn, but it will make do for now.
I needed to make a left turn into the car park, so as I went to the middle lane, Hubs was asking me to STOP and wait. I was busy looking in my mirrors and front, I didn’t realise I didn’t stomp on the brakes hard enough, and I was rolling. He started shouting, and I stomped on it. There were cars coming on, and I was rolling. I was safe in a way, because I was looking for any oncoming vehicles, but I was wrong in the way where I’m supposed to go to a full stop, when I was still rolling. We had a brief fight after that, but all is good now. & I’m not gonna let that affect me.
I need to learn how to approach that middle lane to left turn, in that 3 way road. I need to remain calm, and I need to learn how to park. My learners permit is going to expire on 2nd Oct. And I’m not even halfway there. I’ll need to extend it, and get out there to practice more! Staying calm & collected is most important.
Apologies for the rambling, but i just need to get it out of me. The blog’s just my way of putting it all out and reviewing myself.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Recipe: Mince Pork Noodle aka Bak Chor Mee

The Singapore hawker favorite of Mince Pork Noodle, or Bak Chor Mee. Something that I've been craving, for a long time. I was having a hard time thinking of what I should do for dinner since it was just me and Hubs at home. The good friend was back in SG visiting. When its only the 2 of us eating, I'd just try to whip up easy 1 dish meals to get over the dinner as long as it was enough to fill the tummy.

We used to eat this almost every night when we went to the coffeeshops for supper. After gaming hours, so called. Over here, no coffeeshop, no supper sessions, most importantly, no gaming kakis. We do having movie marathons though, where the friends would come over, and watch movies and drama series to no end.

I got the recipe from Food Made With Love and edited it a little for the carnivore in me. =D


For the minced meat
Minced pork -250g or as much as u need! I added lots!
Olive oil
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark sweet sauce aka kecap manis
1 small can button mushrooms
2 slabs of pork loin sliced. (optional) (I told u i'm a carnivore!!)

Take the measurements as a guide, and keep tasting your food, and adjust it to your liking!

For the Stewed mushrooms
A handful of Dried shitake mushrooms. (whole or sliced doesn't matter)
olive oil
sliced ginger
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
hot water enough to cover your mushrooms to soak.

For the noodles
4 bundles of flat yellow noodles (for the 2 of us. we are big eaters though!)
1/2 tsp oyster sauce
a splash of fish sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp of water

Fried Mince Meat
1. Heat the pan with the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and fry till it just turns a slight tinge of brown.
Add the mince meat and fry till cooked. Remember to break it up to small pieces.
Add the different sauces and fry, on medium-low heat, till all the liquid reduces.
Stirring occasionally. Add the button mushroom till it’s incorporated.
2. You can cook this in advance, and pop it into the microwave to heat it up just before serving

Stewed Mushroom
1. Pour hot water over the dried chinese mushrooms and soak for 15 mins.
Do not throw the water left after you take the mushrooms out.
Squeeze out the water of each mushroom, and cut it into relatively thin slices.
2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the slices ginger and fry till tender.
Add the mushrooms and fry till fragrant.
Add the oyster sauce and a few tablespoons of water (from the mushrooms)
cook under medium-low heat and allow the mushrooms to absorb the liquid (plumping it up in the process)
3. Keep adding water (at least 2 more additions) and allow it to cook over low heat for at least 30mins.
so that it’s soft and tender. and bursting with flavour!

Noodles :
1. In a large bowl, add ketchup, oyster sauce, and fish sauce and mix till incorporated.
2. Boil the rice noodles according to the instructions on the packet
(Normally, I put the noodles in hot boiling water and scoop it up almost immediately
or else it will get too soft and will break into small pieces easily)

Optional: If you're like me, guilty from all the meat, you may add a handful of chopped fresh lettuce to top the bowl. I did add some, probably a fingerful, but its being covered by the huge scoops of meat. *drool*

I copied the recipe from Food Made with Love, but edited it to how I cooked it. I left out the fishballs and beansprouts. We're not big fans of veggies. And I added ketchup to my noodles sauce, it made it sweeter. Much to our liking. Enjoy!

Taking on the problems, one workout at a time.

Somehow, yesterday, after many days of procrastination, I changed into my sports attire, and started working out again. My muscle groups are still sore today, after a long break from working out. The last time I worked out was before our San Francisco trip. That would be like, 1 and 1/2 months ago?

I could feel the difference in my body. Back then, I could workout everyday, and feel energised. Not sore at all. I was hardly breathless, and didn't sweat too much in the earlier parts of my routines. I managed to work myself into doing some of the Insanity videos, after finding that Jillian Michaels was getting too easy for me, and I bought 5 lbs weights, after realising that the 3lbs were too light for me. After a month of just light walking, and not hitting the sweaty point, my entire body seemed to have lazed off. I can't find any firm or lean muscles, everything has gone back to flab.

I have been constantly feeling tired, and sleepy all day. Even sleeping 11 hours didn't help. And I was at my breaking point yesterday, when I drove up a curb, and I stomped on my breaks and just paused there. Stoned. Hubs shouted at me to get going before another car came onto us. He was worried about how I am going to learn driving if I couldn't react to it. I felt tired after that incident, and annoyed with myself. It just drained alot of me, and when we reached home, all I wanted to do was to lay on the bed and be alone. I'm very much of a perfectionist in some ways. The things that I want to do, must be perfectly done, learnt in the shortest period of time. If it doesn't turn out well, I get pissed or annoyed with myself for failing what I wanted to do.

I had many months to learn how to drive, but have been procrastinating. I never really thought of it, and in fact, I fear it. I quite hate having the idea of being in control of this huge machine and it may get me around safely, or cost me my life. I've managed to get the Hubs to teach me quite a few times over the past 2 weeks, and I've managed to drive around our little neighbourhood, safely. So when that happened in the main road, I was just in shock.

Later in the day, after the Hubs went to work, I went online to check out how other people thought of driving, and I realised I wasn't alone in having that fear. I love cool cars, and all, but I'd rather a cool dude drive me around too. ;) I was alot calmer after reading the articles, but yet, frustrated with myself for being such a wuss.  In the past 3 months, I sweated to all my frustrations. I vented in the gym, pushing myself super hard, or on 2 Insanity videos, that made me feel like I was going to die, with my face all red and sweaty.

Yesterday, was no different, knowing I have not been working out, I picked out JM's Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. Its a bodyweight workout, and all you need was just a mat. It did do its job in making my entire body ache, and me sweaty and breathless once again. I hate the workout process, but its what it brings me after the process. After bathing, I always feel refreshed, energised, and wanting to take on something I can't. I just wanted to face my problems head on. For now, its wanting to take the car out for another drive, and making it better than the previous drive I had.

When the Hubs came back from work, I shouted, " Lets go drive tomorrow again!", and he looked at me and knew, I haven't gave up on it, like what I used to do. I know I need to learn by November, and I am putting this on my priority list. I also need to exercise, to give me energy, and alertness in everything I do. Lets make this work out now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our 1st Anniversary Dinner

Its hard to find a place to eat here, there's no place here that excites my taste buds, neither are there any places that spells romantic. The best foods around here, are the fast food restaurants. On days I don't cook, and we stay in MH, I'd rather just grab a Mushroom & Swiss from McD.

Since our anniversary fell on a weekday, and my hubs is working morning shift. I decided to prepare a "surprise" romantic dinner in our own home for him. So he can just come back from work, bath, eat, have some wine, and laze on the couch with me. Perfect isn't it?

The menu of the day:
-Potato Salad topped with raisins.
-Filet Mignon with sauce
-Strawberry Cheesecake

All paired with Parma Ridge Sweet Blush Wine 2005.

I have no idea how to put romance in our dining area, based on the fact that the weather has been cold, and walking to buy decorations and carrying them back is not gonna be an easy task. I used what I had on hand.

The plastic wine glasses are from Dollar Tree's Valentines Day sales. I did up the potato salad in the early afternoon, and left it in the fridge to chill. Next, I prepared the sauce for the filet mignons. I had no idea how to prepare it, as the commiss had ran out of red wine, which was what I intended to use initially. I searched for some recipes online, but decided to replace the red wine with shaoxing rice wine, and added a little sugar instead. 

Here's how I set it up. I even wiped the dripped sauce off the plates. Must be watching too much Gordon Ramsay's shows. Sigh. 

I warmed up the sauce that I prepared, and drizzled it over the filets, and topped it with lots of onions. The sauce was fantastic. I loved it. Hubs raved about it. He said it was the happiest day ever since we got married. ;)  

I thought we could have a good sit down dinner, and talk and romance over dinner and wine. However, the meat was still quite raw in the center. The recipe recommended to cook the meats for 6 mins on each side, which I followed to the second, for medium rare meats that the Hubs liked. However, it turned out to be too raw. Had to run back and forth the kitchen to refire the meats to make them slightly less red and more edible. I would reccomend to cook them for around 12 minutes on each side and that should make it more edible. 

Candlelights, and wine.. What more could I ask for in a romantic dinner at home, for less than $20. ;) 
Happy Anniversary Hubs, love u always. Recipes on how to prepare the food step by step... Coming up next!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I love you. 1 year of marriage.

It only seems like yesterday that we were standing in the little white hut by Keppel Club saying our vows, and I dos. I held back my tears as you put the ring on me, knowing that we're gonna have each other till death do us part. We have had many ups and downs in our relationship, our journey to getting married, and our moving here.

We were hesitant, somewhat afraid, at the thought of being here alone, of being unable to cope, never having lived on our own before, the fear of managing everything on ourselves were huge. Yet we've overcome it, and came so far. The combination of you and me, leaves us no fear. We have fought, and quarreled, shouted hurtful things to one another, argued our insecurities, and at the same time, letting one another know our fears. Each unhappy episode led to tears, and sadness, not forgetting the hurt we feel inside. But each time, allowing us to know one another better, building our relationship, as it gets stronger every day.

Every day we are together, we learn about one another. We stay strong together, because we never stop working on our relationship to stay together. Thank you for being the man of my house. Thank you for supporting me through my successes and failures. Thank you for looking after me all these times. Thank you for working hard to bring the dough back so I have no other worries, than to do my best to look after our home, and focus on what I should. Thank you for thinking for me all the time. Thank you for bringing me on all our travels and planning for future ones. We will hit our goal to travel around the world one day. Together we'll make that journey happen.

So many words to describe how I feel for you, but you should know it by now. 8 years dating, 1 year of marriage. Every moment with you is a celebration. I love you.

Happy 1st Year Anniversary of Marriage.
Aaron & Natx 09/09/09.
With many more to come. ;)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The dreaded dependence on the pill

I'm taking a break off the pill this time. Long or short, I still don't know. But hubs doesn't want me to get back on, after he heard the dangers of eating the pill. I've been on it for almost 8 years, after my doctor prescribed me to take it to control my fainting spells during my period. I'm pretty dependent on it to control my monthly period, and my hormones. One thing good, it keeps my complexion clear, and also, my hormones in check. I don't get PMS as badly as I used to, and my mood doesn't swing as crazy, I don't get painful cramps, and of course, no pregnancy.

I bought 2 year supply of pills to bring over, thinking that we're here for only 2 years. Hub's contract got extended and the good news is, we're here for 2 years 11 months in total. Somehow or the other, I wouldn't have enough pills to last me thru our entire trip here. But hearing the advertisements harping on how the pill causes a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, its really getting to me. Probably when I'm much younger, I rather face these risks than get married and have kids unprepared. As of now, i'm married, and probably ready to have kids as they come.

We've decided to come off the pill, but I'm surprised to see the side effects coming on me now. Pimples are popping out (must start to make use of all my masks!!!), skin is getting from bad to worse. All of a sudden, my weight is dropping pretty scarily. Well, hubs is losing alot of weight too. I think its probably because I've been cooking the healthier choices, and adding herbs to our food to make it more tasty, thus, fulfilling. My last period after getting off the pill almost killed me. It was hurting like crazy all week, and lasted 5 days. I'm really hoping the effects are gonna wear off and my body can go back to usual. I'm hoping to start another workout regime, and my body can bounce back to the healthier state, as well as improve my appetite and increase my weight again. Sigh.

I hope coming off the pill now will help the effects of the pill wear off soon, and once my body goes back to normal, maybe we can consider having kids. ;P Wish us luck! hehe

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Portabello Mushrooms with Tomato and Mozzarella Cheese

I've read a few times how Portabello mushrooms are like steaks to vegetarians, but I couldn't understand why. I've wanted to try cooking with portabellos for sometime, but felt intimidated by the size of the mushroom cap. So the other day, when we went to get our groceries, I decided to just grab a pack of 2 caps to try cooking for lunch the next day. I mixed and matched it with whatever I had in the fridge, and it turned out so good, the guys wanted me to cook it again next time. Here's what I did:

2 portabello mushroom
salt & pepper
McCormick steak seasoning
1 tomato, diced
Mozzarella cheese, shreded

1. Preheat oven to 395F.
2. Scrape out gills from underside of mushroom cap. Rinse clean.
3. Season with salt and pepper and steak seasoning.
4. Spread out tomatoes on the underside of mushroom cap.
5. Top with plenty of Mozzarella cheese! I love cheese, so I used plenty of it.
6. Put mushrooms on tray, and put in oven for 20 mins, checking every 10 mins.
7. Slice when its done, or eat the caps whole!

This tastes amazingly juicy, its almost like a burger without the bun. A good lunch would be to put the mushroom between a burger bun, and its almost gonna taste like a mushroom swiss! The guys loved it, and I'm crazy over it. I'm quite sure i'll be doing another one soon.. Its easy to make, and very healthy, since all of it is vegetables and cheese. I've always wanted to try cooking with tomatoes, and I believe if I kept eating it, I would eventually come to like it. And I was right! ;) More tomato recipes to come!