Feb 27, 2012

Daily thoughts - a new home for Murgeet

Murgeet has finally been adopted out. It is also quite interesting to know that the person who took her in is not someone from my long list of facebook friends. I tried to put the word out on the social networking site because I was getting desperate. It was almost time for me to leave the country. It was exasperating to look for potential adopters. I guess no one wanted to take the dog because she was no longer a puppy or worse because she is an Askal or Aspin (Asong Pinoy or local dog).

I was too worried to leave Murgeet in that house because she had a sad plight since my Dad passed away. I'd hate to later find out that she died because of neglect too.

Im both happy and yet sad to know that our family pet has found a new home. Sad because it just seems wrong that the only pet that actually belonged to my Dad, had to be adopted out because nobody at home wanted her. I am also overwhelmed with guilt because I cant take her with me. But somehow I really am glad that someone is going to take good care of her from now on.

I havent forgotten the pets back home though. I continue to provide for their monthly "stipend". My sister in law and one of my brothers are doing a great job making sure the allowance is allocated to the remaining pets. Im not doing this to come across as kind or generous. I just love these animals and its sad I cannot adopt all of them. I know I cannot save all the animals in the world. But these pets at home I probably can.  I can save them from starvation a day at a time. The value of the money I make here but spent in my country will go a long way..

So who adopted Murgeet?

Ate Mariel, the household help and a good friend of mine, stepped in to bring Murgeet and her little puppy, to their humble home. They arent rich and dont even have internet connection.

But she didnt need facebook to be a real friend to me. She didn t have to have money to impress me  or show her generosity. I am grateful to her kindness and for that I would gladly compensate her in every way I can.

I feel kind of disappointed also that none of my friends wanted any of the cats or dogs up for adoption. I dont want to make any conclusions about it but I wonder if it is that difficult to adopt at least one pet.  I spent the entire year taking care of the many pets at home. It was yes a little taxing, but I think one animal isnt that much trouble.  I brought 3 cats already to the US and am in the process of bringing 3 more.

Why cant some people share their homes to at least one pet? Why is it so difficult to love one cat or dog?

I say it with conviction that there is nothing quite like sharing your life with a pet. I pity those who have valid reasons on why they cant keep a pet- like allergies or have to travel too frequently and cannot look after an animal. But to those who prefer to live without pets for the flimsy excuse that they want to keep their homes immaculately clean or worry about their expensive furnitures , they are missing out a lot in life.

As for Murgeet, she left her home of 5 years, on that cursed street where dogs are regularly run over  like mere twigs. She left the big white  house with a fancy car parked right in front of it.  The house with those people who live in it that go to church every Sunday... to that family who would pray the rosary at night and sometimes invite the neighbors over for prayer meetings and block rosary. They who pray but wouldn't show any kindness to the animals who are also creations of the God that they worship.
"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it. "
-Abraham Lincoln

Feb 18, 2012

Recipe of the day : Peanut Butter Blossoms

You can go the long way (scratch recipe) or do the shortcut (get cookie mix like Betty Crocker's). If you are up for the challenge, you can go for the former. This link has a sample of the recipe.


  • 1/4 cup CRISCO® Butter Shortening
  • 1/4 cup JIF® Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons PILLSBURY BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sugar
  • 24 foil-wrapped milk chocolate pieces, unwrapped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream together shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well.
  3. Sire together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Beat on low speed until stiff dough forms.
  4. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Top each cookie immediately with an unwrapped chocolate piece, pressing down firmly so that cookie cracks around edge. Remove from cookie sheets to cool. 

cookie dough
after 12 minutes
cooling down period

waiting to be eaten
nom nom nom

yum yum yum!

Feb 15, 2012

Recipe for Valentines Day - Indian Chicken Curry

One of my favorite dishes in Singapore is the authentic Indian Chicken Curry. Me and my husband used to have it at least every week back then. After Ive tried it, other variations of that dish just seem to pale in comparison. I always tend to look for the real thing. I want the distinct taste, spicy and fragrant.

When I moved back to my hometown though, I didnt have curry for a year and I really missed it.
I was able to have real Chicken Curry again a few months ago when I arrived in NYC. My husband brought me to this Indian restaurant in the city and the food was affordable and still came out really good.

So last night while I was thinking of what to prepare for the hubby this Valentine's day, I thought of a dish we both love, Indian Chicken Curry. I looked up the recipe online and discovered there are just too many ways to prepare it. I chose the one that seemed "right".

Some of the ingredients that I found on that link werent available at the regular grocery, so I had to research where I can find some of the spices. My mom suggested the one closest to the house.

Today I walked up to 1st avenue between 5th and 6th street and found the place my mom suggested. The place seemed to have all the spices one can think of. They even have catnip lined up along with the rest of the spices.

Other establishments I found on my way to the store.

colorful McDonald's

Bad Burger (there is a Good Burger joint thats why I thought this was funny)
Here is the recipe I found on the ALL RECIPES website:


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions :

(This recipe's Ingredients were scaled to yield a new amount. The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield of 6 servings.)
  1. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with 2 teaspoons salt.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat; partially cook the chicken in the hot oil in batches until completely browned. Transfer the browned chicken breasts to a plate and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-high; add the onion, garlic, and ginger to the oil remaining in the skillet and cook and stir until the onion turns translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of water into the onion mixture; allow to heat together for about 1 minute while stirring. Mix the tomatoes, yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and 1 teaspoon salt into the mixture. Return the chicken breast to the skillet along with any juices on the plate. Pour 1/2 cup water into the mixture; bring to a boil, turning the chicken to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the garam masala and 1 tablespoon cilantro over the chicken.
  4. Cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken breasts are no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Sprinkle with lemon juice to serve.
Interestingly, the guy at the spice store gave me their own recipe while I was looking around for the ingredients.

I figured I cant go wrong on this recipe since the clerk who gave this to me probably prepares this dish all the time. But I thought no harm if I incorporate both the ALLRECIPE and the specialy store's own version.

curry powder

Garam Masala



All ingredients
and the finished product:

it tastes good of course with Nan:

Nan available also at the Dual Specialty store

I want to be modest but the hubby kept telling me it was really good. Mission accomplished, Im really happy he liked it.

**I followed the ALLRECIPE directions except I didnt use yogurt in the sauce. I also used fresh  instead of canned tomatoes.

I replaced the following :
  • 1/2 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (used later with the cooked curry)

with :
  •   1 fresh plump tomato
  •  1/2 cup of coconut milk
I also added whatever ingredients indicated on the second recipe like :

  • 4 cardamom
  • 3-5 bay leaf
  • 3-5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
My own additional ingredients:

  • potatoes and carrots, thinly sliced. Toss the potatoes along with chicken and curry and let it simmer for 25 minutes.You may put the carrots after the curry is done. The remaining heat will partially cook the carrots and it would still be crispy.

Daily thoughts - Happy Hearts Day!

Last year I celebrated Valentines day in the veterinary clinic because my baby girl Thumper was very sick. It was sad... My husband was millions mile away and my sweet kitty seemed like she was going to die.

But this year, things are all in my favor.  I cant be any happier. Im with the love of my life and my 3 cats are also here with us.



Plus Valentine's Day was full of surprises too.

my gift to my mom
my gift to the hubby
gift to the hubby
the cute card for the hubby
He got me surprises too!

A sketchbook and a pencil purse. I love it!

Im not really a "flowers" type of person but I was really touched..yihee cheesy.

And for that cheesiness, I made dessert, cheesecake! lolz.

I also cooked dinner but Ill be dedicating a separate post about it.

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day as well!!
Valentines Day

Feb 12, 2012

Recipe of the day : Gingered Garlic Shrimp Pasta

This is a really good dish. I followed everything on the directions and just added more garlic. Its simple, easy and delicious. Even our cat Marble was demanding for seconds on the shrimp.


  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil, divided
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons cold water
  • 3/4 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cups cooked angel hair pasta

Directions :

  1. In a large skillet, saute ginger and garlic in butter and oil for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, 1-1/2 teaspoons parsley and 1-1/2 teaspoons basil. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; add to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  2. Reduce heat; add shrimp. Simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Add the pasta and remaining parsley and basil; toss to coat. 
You may find more recipes on this link

Feb 9, 2012

Daily thoughts - A remarkable short film that hits home

A friend of mind shared this short video on facebook yesterday. I was so moved by it that I started crying shortly after watching it. I really think a great majority of people can relate to that feeling. Not having enough money but still going out of your way to give and make someone feel special.

I want to proudly say that this short film won  an award here in NYC. You can read more about the story on this link.

Im proud of my kababayan Lance Katigbak on getting his first international accolade for such a touching depiction of how love shines through in the midst of poverty. In his own words  “I wanted to be able to show that poverty doesn’t have to be a hindrance to be able to do loving acts. Even if you are materially poor, if you have the dedication and if you refuse to lose your human dignity, it’s still possible for you to help others,” I cant agree any less.

It was acting, but the message was real. I was fortunate to have experienced it many times. In fact it was more often  I was the recipient of that generosity. In the eyes of my Dad, I was always a birthday girl.

My Dad bought me second hand toys. This was when my family was really hard up. He forgot to remove the scotch tape with the price (written with a marker) on it thats how I knew but it didnt really matter. It was those gifts that I treasure most, because despite being poor, my Dad made an effort to make me feel special.

Over the years, as his health deteriorated, his finances were eventually also wiped out. Each month I sent him a small allowance. I was living overseas and had bills too so the amount I gave him was not even enough to cover all his maintenance medicine. Sadly I have to admit he didnt get all the help he needed at a time it would have been really useful to him.

My Dad's generosity didnt stop though. He took in stray little animals he found abandoned on the roadside and brought them to his apartment in the province and took care of them.  

He used one of those adopted cats as his model when he made this painting for me on my birthday.

My husband and I flew from Singapore one time to visit my Dad. During that trip we chipped in to have a pipe installed in his house. It was odd but his apartment didnt have running water.  On that visit,my Dad bought us cold beers and sizzling sisig and barbecue. I think Ive mentioned that in one of my previous post, but yeah I remember it so vividly. I appreciate how he made me feel important all the time. Not just on that particular visit, but everytime I came to see him, he always prepared a special dish for me.

A few months before he passed away, he still bought me chips, fruits and chocolates during his trips to the supermarket. He even got me brand new flip flops and a small knockoff D&G bag from the palengke. I brought that tiny bag with me here to NYC. 

The pain of losing him has gradually waned and its a bit of a relief for me. I have felt so hollow for over a year and it was unhealthy. Besides, if my Dad was around, he would not like that at all, seeing me all depressed and shit. He would have probably told me to knock it off my system and go run and eat vegetables ( people in my country think that depression can be remedied by running and veggies).

I still miss Daddy very much. His kindness and thoughtfulness are the traits that reinforce me to do the same good deeds to my own family now. Each day me and my husband try to create wonderful memories, . Because at the end of the day, this is what's important, life, love and making the most out of any situation,with or without money.  

I cant help but be grateful, I have been given a great Dad who has taught me what really matters.

Feb 8, 2012

Recipe of the day : Romantic Chicken with Artichokes and Mushrooms

Recipe link. I dont know why this is called romantic chicken, surprisingly it turned out good. Honestly, I wasnt too crazy about it but it made me smile to hear that the hubby loved it.


  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons butter
  • 3/4 (14 ounce) can marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained, liquid reserved
  • 3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons capers


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in oil and butter for 5 to 7 minutes per side; remove from skillet, and set aside.
  2. Place artichoke hearts and mushrooms in the skillet, and saute until mushrooms are brown and tender. Return chicken to skillet, and pour in reserved artichoke liquid and wine. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
  3. Stir in capers, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat; serve immediately.
 note: the only modification I made to this dish is I added garlic. I read some of the reviews on the link and some people attest to the dish tasting better with garlic.



wine, garlic, artichokes liquid


finished product (yeah i know, why the photo was taken so far from the camera)
Simple but really delicious (according to the hubby)