Smoothie Sailing


Smoothie in the Making at the Osterizer

For the past two months, my husband and I made use of a Herbalife shake mix setup for breakfast. Since the post-holiday carbs have piled up, my tummy needs January as the best time to go back to my old optimum shape.

I was quite surprised with the smoothie because it is not too difficult to prepare and I do not have to force myself to like the taste. Today, we blended two bananas and around 2 pomelo slices with the vanilla Herbalife mix. My mother-in-law initiated this last year and if done religiously by two people, the regimen mix costs around 4,000 to 6,000 pesos per month.

After indulging in chocolates, I find fruits and vegetables to be refreshing to the palate. It does not leave me with a bloated feeling after meals; additionally, it kind of cleanses my system and aids in normalized digestion. There may be other amazing mixes like my friend’s recommended Usana Reset diet mix. I just happened to choose Herbalife because of proximity and availability.

I got into the smoothie and juice bandwagon about six months before my wedding. At the time, I recovered from chicken pox and I wanted to improve my lifestyle for good health. My father designed this nice herbal juice which greatly aided my recovery. And then I ventured in trying out other juices regularly.

Also, when I eat with good quality and with nutrients, I feel that it is much easier to be productive and happy. It is really true that food affects mood.

This is one of my healthy eating decisions this 2015 and I am really glad to start the year wise gastronomically.

Spicy Red Tuna Pasta for the Kitchen Klutz

That’s the photo grid summary of my first self-created food trip. I never tried to cook because I used to live in a house full of culinary geniuses. Cooking does not come naturally for me and I end up secondguessing my creations or attempts so I never really bothered. I was content with the consumer role.

And then I married my husband, a picky eater. For the first five months, I avoided the kitchen. My husband can cook my favorite spaghetti, leche flan, and his favorite sinigang.

I have long decided that I’d be the low maintenance geek who can live on leaves and computer pursuits. As the days go by, however, I slowly made peace with the kitchen. Tomorrow is the second anniversary of our engagement. And I wanted to begin my cooking attempts on this day so that I will remember it when I grow old with my husband.

The final straw that encouraged me to try cooking was a Lifehacking article online that suggested the role of one’s cooking to long-term happiness. Since I am frequently loopy and lethargic,I decided to test the theory.

The whole time I was telling myself: Hey you are a daughter of two cooking geniuses. Something right will happen if you try. So I did that and what do you know, I am so happy about it!

I looked for a fairly simple recipe. I was a complete noisy clumsy mess in the kitchen but I was all alone and nobody had to nag, criticize my methods, or make fun of my clumsiness.

The ingredients are quite few: the Italian spaghetti pasta, Del Monte tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, 2 cans of Century Tuna (hot and spicy), Nestle all-purpose cream, 3 garlic cloves, a single onion, and hot water.

In preparing the pasta, I made a tiny life hack. I measured 1 liter of water for one pound of pasta. I put in an extra factor for evaporation into gas after boiling. So it was really 1.1 liters. I put it in an electric kettle first and boiled it there before transferring it into the pan and shooting the pasta inside. I saved a bit of time since electric kettles have smaller bases and are technically faster in boiling the water.

I googled everything. I had to make sure the pasta won’t go soggy. I used engineering precision to time the pasta’s simmering at exactly eight minutes and tested the pasta’s texture thrice. It was fortunately successful. I think I placed it in the stove for nine minutes. I got a tip from an Italian blog that the starch boiling water can be used as magic ingredient to the sauce so I scooped that out after straining the pasta.

Googling only held one danger: I almost dropped my smartphone in the pasta. Maybe I can invent a cooking-proof iPad or casing? Lol.

The sauce was crucial and tricky. It will hold the taste and determine the fate of my al dente pasta. There were three tablespoons of olive oil heated on the Teflon pan which marked the beginning of sauce preps.

I began by putting in the garlic and onions. The onions hurt my eyes a lot. I think I said “this cruel world” over and over again while wiping my eyes in between mincing motions. It is a good thing to do when you need a desperate excuse to cry or clean your eyes.

I made a huge mistake here. The garlic turned black because the fire was turned up too high. But it turned out OK later on with a tiny spoon removal fix. I placed the tuna flakes (drained of its oil) and mixed. Then I put the tomato sauce packet, a deviation from the original sliced tomato instructions online. Afterwards, I mixed in the Nestle all purpose cream. I kept heating and reheating for an hour until my husband arrived from work.

I was going for the romantic candlelit look but it failed so I ended up using normal lighting in the end.

All in all, preparation time was a little under two hours. I could have saved time if I already sliced the onions while I simmered the pasta. But it’s really an OK job for an inexperienced beginner like me.

The best part was that my ultra picky husband loved the taste. Finally, he gets  normal food from his super weird wife. I am just jumping for joy. He made some mild comments about the garlic and the salt and the cheese but he actually ate a lot without me forcing it. The taste was actually satisfactory. It tasted like pasta!!!

I am silently on the lookout for the next kitchen klutz project. This is a shocking discovery for me. I might stand a chance in being good at this, too, in my own strange way. And I am really excited because it’s something that wives do and I feel connected to the universe of cooking wives. I am no longer this awkward outsider to cooking. I love Math more but I cannot eat tensors and determinants for sustenance. At least I can feed my husband with a decent meal from time to time until I can do it everyday.

If a klutz for 29 years such as me can make this thing, any kitchen-averse person can recreate this dish. So I am sharing the recipe.

Useful References:
(To follow soon!)

Day 84: #100HappyDays
Echoing Healthy Advocacies


I was scouring QC area for some accessible healthy food. And whenever I embark in this kind of quest, I end up in one place: the Echo Store. It has become one of my most favorite places to hang out in and buy good organic food from. For today, I opted to get their special Spinach and Cheese Tortilla-wich and chilled taho.

I find it ironic that healthy options for food is less common and more expensive than the fast food counterparts. Some foreign web developers for a recent project were asking me  for some salad restaurants and I even had to google to get them a decent place near their area.

In this side of the world, it seems like the only other option for those who want to stay healthy with their eating habits is to prepare the food from raw ingredients bought from farms, or in case of urban dwellers like me, public markets’ or supermarkets’ fresh produce aisle.

Having said that, I believe that places like Echo Store are pockets of organic paradise in the midst of the hype for bad food.


Day 77: #100HappyDays
Embutido Enrichment


Today, I did something that I hardly do: share my food. Haha. Don’t laugh. I shared it with five other people, three of whom are foreigners who have never tried embutido. This is often called the Filipino-style meatloaf, some form of cured sausage… Embutido has Portuguese and Spanish origins, so strictly speaking, it’s not 100% Pinoy. I got this from my soon-to-be hubby’s fridge. I have been on budget for weeks and I have been raiding refrigerators as a side job. HAHAHA. I almost created fire in the kitchen when I put the embutido in the microwave with the aluminum foil wrapped around it. It was a horrible kitchen klutz mistake. Fortunately, my beloved was on Gtalk and told me to take out the aluminum foil. Hoho. I will really need more than heating embutido skills in the coming months. I cannot bear to see the love of my life eating hard boiled eggs day and night. I really need to do something about this kitchen klutz dilemma I have had for 28 years. While I avoided a physical blast in the kitchen, the French guys loved the embutido. Bon appetit! 😀

Day 54: #100HappyDays
Coolitan sa Cool Beans

homer helen machele I discovered Cool Beans Maginhawa with my two close friends Homer and Machele. Just take a look at our very happy faces and you will get the idea that we had a very satisfying time. In fact, we spent around 5 hours in that place after we ordered coffee and pasta. It was just so nice to relax with Machele and Homer. It’s been a while since we last saw each other and it’s nice to catch up with them minus all the talking shop that other people are horribly fond of doing. Some from our group just cannot stop talking about their jobs and other professional prospects and it’s refreshing to be with the friends who are still the same fun and awesome people they were before we got our licenses.

We did not talk about math or surveying or programming this evening. We talked about our personal lives, our romantic interests, our investments, our future ventures together, our dreams, and how things turned out after we took our board exam in 2010. This is slowly but surely becoming a rare thing for me. If you wanted an intimate winding down dinner with a friend or your circle of close pals, you should try going to this place.

The food is not the most sumptuous or unique I have tasted, but just about right for its price range (Php 200 per head would do). I must say though that I got quite intrigued with the coffee beans from Apayao up North. I had to order that, even though it was too strong to drink on a Monday night. My drink was the smallest one on the far left of this photo:

Cool Beans Coffee

Cool Beans Coffee

Apart from the good food and the good company of my close friends, I enjoyed the bookshelves. 🙂


And I was not the only one who cozied up to the substantial variety of reading materials:


We had around 100 photos during this dinner date because of excessive camwhoring but it was well worth the time. I felt at home on the outside and on the inside. I went home late, but really happy with how my evening went. <3