Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Closing Year 2008

I've been reflecting on the Year 2008 as it closes in a few hours.

The year started great with my early purchase of excellent seats for Roger and Hammerstein' s Cinderella which featured my forever idol Lea Salonga.

Followed by my unexpected last minute ticket purchase of Lea's concert Celebration 30 years in the business, Lea... My life on Stage and winning in the raffle.

Bizniz is steady despite current worldwide economic crisis.

A relative was diagnosed to have pituitary cyst but after months of medical treatment and prayers it was eventually ruled out.

Been looking forward to celebrating the Holidays since I'm exicted to show off my new recipes I learned and cook noche buena and medya noche for my family.

But when we reached the end months, November 10 the passing of our dear Tita Ding and with the Holidays coming up it was a struggle to be and feel genuinely happy.

I'm grateful for the new and wonderful things I received this year 2008 but at the same time I'm deeply saddened that the upcoming events in my life, in our family's life We are less of one.

2008 you are one heck of a roller coaster ride!


t-na @ 6:49 PM| 0 comments

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Baking Episode One: Sugar Cookies

I was excited to give my new mixer a dry run hence Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing. Got the recipe from one of my old cookbooks and decide to cut down the sugar since the icing would provide the needed sweetness. The cookies filled the house with freshly baked smell.

Looking at the picture, you might not see the icing I didn't get to take the picture after since we lost track of time making and decorating with the icing and cookies.

My sister will be attending a Christmas party with her friends and she is planning to give some of the cookies as gifts.


t-na @ 6:55 PM| 0 comments

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wishing all of you A Very Merry Christmas!

t-na @ 12:55 AM| 2 comments

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I was actually hoping that my rents would give it to me as a Christmas slash Birthday gift. When I realized that I have to earn it by myself and rekindle my baking skills first before upgrading my tools.

I've been drooling to have my very own Kitchen Aid Mixer but since it will cost me an arm I decided to be content of what I can buy within my budget.

Recent upgrade from a wire whisk to handmixer.

My cousin recommended an Oster Handmixer she saw at ATC. There were 2 models to choose from (1) Standard Handmixer PHP1065 (2) Handmixer with Stand and Stainless Bowl PHP 4000.

I opted to buy the standard Handmixer aside from the good reviews I googled. The deciding factor aside from the price, was the size of the bowl. My dad bought me stainless bowls of different sizes and I always use the biggest since I always bake 3-4 batches per recipe. If it was at least as big as what I am using then my decision would be quite hard. At a steal price of PHP1065 backed up by an Oster brand I'm sold. I happily skipped my way home with my new gadget.


t-na @ 8:53 PM| 0 comments

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Years back, my first encounter with a takoyaki was at a small stall located at SM foodcourt. My sister bought these little seafood balls covered with some sort of sweet sour sauce and drizzled with mayonnaise. EEewWw... was my initial reaction.
Mini-trivia about t-na:
I don't like mayonnaise or to be more specific I don't like the after taste if I chase it down with plain water. The after taste of mayonnaise blehhuck! So in the event that I do eat something with mayo I have to have sweet tea or juice.
Whenever they came home from SM they kept taking home takoyaki. One day I just finally gave in to my curiosity. It was like squid ball but the center is soft and it has a small chunk of octopus. At first it was just okay... its edible. Then suddenly I found myself asking my siblings to buy me some takoyaki if they go to SM. After sometime the Takoyaki booth was closed down and we never ate takoyaki... till this year.

Just a few months ago, out of nowhere my sister and I wanted to eat takoyaki. We saw a booth at festival mall but it wasn't as good as the last time we ate ( a couple of years back).

We decided to make our own Takoyaki. The hardest part was finding a Takoyaki Pan which we had to special order from a family friend. For the sauce, I made our own Sweet and Sour Sauce and we bought Japanese Mayonnaise (it makes a big difference instead of using plain mayo).

I found a recipe at Youtube. The dog host of the cooking show is absolutely entertaining.

How to Make Takoyaki (Japanese Octopus Dumpling Balls)

- Takoyaki Batter -
1 Egg
340ml Icy Water (1.437 u.s. cup)
1/2 tsp Granulated Dashi (1/4 tsp Kombu Dashi & 1/4 tsp Bonito Dashi)
1 tsp Soy Sauce
A Pinch of Salt
100g Soft Wheat Flour (3.527 oz)

150g Boiled Octopus (5 1/3 oz)
1/2 cup Tenkasu - crunchy bits of deep fried flour-dough
6g Beni Shoga - Pickled Ginger (1/5 oz)
2g Sakuraebi - Dried Pink Baby Shrimps (1/10 oz)

Okonomiyaki Sauce
Aonori - Green Laver
Hanakatsuo - Dried Bonito Flakes
2 Long Green Onions

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t-na @ 9:20 PM| 0 comments

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


One from my list of most hated things is Cigarette and Cigarette Smoke.

It's my active choice not to be a smoker. I don't hate people who smoke that is their thing but I hate it the most when (1) they do their thing in public or (2) when I am around and I smell the smoke they make, (3) parents who smoke while their child is around or (5) worst pregnant women who still smoke. I strongly suggest smokers (non-pregnant) to lock themselves in a enclosed private space and freely inhale all the pollution their making without compromising other people.

Growing up I remember my Tito, Tita and Lola used to smoke. Though I haven't seen them actually smoke, I always saw packs of cigarettes, tobaccos and different designs of lighters. I used to play with my Lola's silver lighters. Early 1990's, my Tita Ding and Tito Ric quit cold turkey when they were diagnosed with Asthma.

By 2006 my Tita Ding was diagnosed to have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Emphysema and enrolled at a COPD Rehabilitation Center at Perpetual Help University Hospital. After a number of classes her health improved. She became more aware of how to deal with her attacks, managed to walk long distances and more educated with her condition.

What is COPD?

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. "Progressive" means the disease gets worse over time.

COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus (a slimy substance), wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust, also may contribute to COPD.

COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit your ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent you from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of yourself.

Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in middle-aged or older people. The disease isn't passed from person to person—you can't catch it from someone else.

COPD has no cure yet, and doctors don't know how to reverse the damage to the airways and lungs. However, treatments and lifestyle changes can help you feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease.


There was constant struggle to manage her attacks and being more dependent on her nubolizer to relieve and make breathing easier. There were good days, there were bad and some worse. Then her visits to the center became less, until she stopped attending. Year 2007 the unfortunate violent death of my Tito Ernie shocked the whole family. Tita Ding was really affected. Recent events and dealing with her illness, it was a slow downhill from there.

I have personally seen the struggle my Tita had gone thru. If your a smoker or planning to start because you think it's cool, I encourage you to be educated of the consequences your about to face and make your decision.

As odd as it may seem, the very next morning after we laid to rest Tita Ding we turned our television on and Channel 2 Salamat Po Doc! their topic was about COPD.


t-na @ 5:39 AM| 0 comments

Monday, December 01, 2008

One Sweet Day

Sorry I never told you
All I wanted to say
And now it's too late to hold you
'Cause you've flown away
So far away

Never had I imagined
Living without your smile
Feeling and knowing you hear me
It keeps me alive

And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One sweet day

Darling I never showed you
Assumed you'd always be there
I took your presence for granted
But I always cared
And I miss the love we shared

And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One sweet day

Although the sun will never shine the same again
I'll always look to a brighter day
Lord I know when I lay me down to sleep
You will always listen as I pray

And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One sweet day

Sorry I never told you
All I wanted to say


t-na @ 5:33 AM| 0 comments