Of Eggs and Marriage

You’re so lost, you do not even know what eggs you like!” said a very furious Richard Gere as he paced to and fro in front of a very confused Julia Roberts. “That’s called, changing your mind,” she explained.

“No, that’s called not having a mind of your own!”

Have you seen this movie? Runaway Bride? I am a self-confessed Julia Roberts fan! I watched a lot of her movies when I was younger – Notting Hill, Pretty Woman, including the film I just mentioned. AAAH those were the days when Hugh Grant was a passable celebrity crush of our generation.

Fast-forward to the point – the ending.

Her last few lines were subjects of my daydreams when I was a teenager that I prayed that my love story would turn out that way in the future (of course, God was a better story writer than Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott). I thank Him for that.

Maggie Carpenter: I love Eggs Benedict, I hate every other kind. 

I am a Maggie Carpenter. I love Eggs Benedict, even though poaching is not a traditional way of cooking; only because it takes effort.

I wonder whether what Richard Gere said was true in the movie. Should you really know how you like your eggs to be cooked? Is not knowing a telltale sign that you are living somebody else’s life instead of your own? Whatever the answer is, I am glad André and I know how we want ours to be done. Mornings became easier that way. If his choice of meals were a test, I would have aced it, only because he told me beforehand what kind of food he likes.

Mornings became a sweet routine actually, composed of the same old rice meals (the silogs as we call them in the Philippines) and eggs on toasts. We have a list of his and her preference going on each day – like my stomach could not digest rice as part of the first meal of the day, while André’s breakfasts could not survive without it. I just discovered how we are pretty much different from each other in so many ways, but I am thankful that we move like clockwork on things that matter. We have been in sync in convictions, faith and principles and I truly glorify the Lord for that. He has shaped our hearts and lives to move as one, just as He intended.

Married life is pretty much the same as when we were still single, only better – we get to do more things together and no more going home to our individual houses for we have our own; on that note, I get to hug André more often (hihi cringe), not to mention serve him better by taking care of his needs and making sure everything is in tip-top condition at home. In other words, I am where I want to be and our days as a married couple is everything I dreamed it to be.


– Lica

Mac and Cheese + Trip to the Farm

One of my go-to comfort foods is Macaroni and Cheese for the very reason that it is so easy to do.

I had two objectives for this recipe : 1) I got home at 5 pm and I only had 30 minutes of window time to catch the natural light for my shots (thank God for summer! the sun sets at 6 pm) and 2) I needed a quick meal to prepare for André’s lunchbox tomorrow before we leave for dinner. With all that has been said and done I had to narrow my choices to something quick and good! Thankfully, my husband loved Mac and Cheese. ( I mean who does not, right?)

Gone are the days that I use those blue boxes. Now that I know how to cook, I make them from scratch (yeeeees, sosyal! haha) 


Macaroni and Cheese

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour all purpose
  • 1 cup milk full or non-fat (whichever you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pasta

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a medium-sized pan (as you are doing this, simultaneously warm the milk inside the microwave for a minute), when the butter has melted, add the flour and mix together until it resembles a paste. Add warm milk. It is important that the milk is warm to avoid unnecessary lumps as you blend it with the flour mixture. From here you can add your uncooked noodles (if you are up to washing another stock pot and/ or if you are in a hurry, you can cook your noodles separately! but if you are single handedly washing the dishes like me, this will do). When your noodles reach the desired consistency (which may take a longer time compared to when you make them separately in boiling water) gradually add the cheese. This is when it gets interestingly yummy! From the way it looks, you can actually eat it from here haha, I kid. 

  2. Let's continue with the process. Take the Macaroni and Cheese out of the pot and into a plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, top it with Parsley and enjoy! 

    ** I added bacon bits in this post for extra flavor, which you can put on top of your dish! If you do not want the unnecessary grease, a plain Mac and Cheese is good enough as well. 

I got home late today because I went to a local market and farm in Indang, Cavite this morning! It is not everyday I get to say I went to both places haha but on this very day, I did. 🙂 One of those educational things I do on a not-so everyday basis. I was enlightened on the value of composting and how it actually worked. The proper kind of compost would be helpful if in case you decided to put up a garden. Honestly, that would add up to the whole homemaker image ya’know (I got the mint from my plant box! haha) BUT NO, I do not have a green thumb and plants just die on me in a heartbeat.

My dad joined this culinary group called Chops and they go around the country exploring interesting finds related to local ingredients, historical landmarks, and of course, the art of quality noshing. Since I am a foodie (or at least trying to be), I decided to check it out.

The good thing about all of this was that I was able to bring home freebies, and freebies I mean herbs like Oregano, Peppermint and the like haha! I shoved them all inside the ref, all to be devoured! Or mushed and mixed in Andre’s future meals (I am kidding, love. I will not do that to you, I know you hate these things and edible flowers. )


great day, it was!

On a side note, I love chickens haha I do not know why. While we were doing our grocery this evening, André just asked me if I wanted to buy a tray of chicken thighs considering, and I quote…“ikaw and reyna ng mga manok.” Hm. I do not know if I will be amused.

-lica

Ham and Egg Sandwich

After I realized my husband has left for work, I sent him a message telling him I wish we had more time in the morning. I long for Saturdays when we could just stay in bed longer and have meaningful conversations over breakfast once we finally decide to get up. That is pure bliss, but it just happens once a week (since we prepare early for church on Sundays). Rrrrr. ADULTING. Sometimes I wish we married young so we can just dismiss the responsibilities of being an adult but still be together. WHAT AM I SAYING?! HAHA. HUHU (even my emotions are confused) I am just that sad.

This is the second time I decided to sleep in! I remember because the other instance was when Andre sent me a message telling me a funny story of how he tried cooking spam inside the oven toaster, since he did not know where the pans were (shout out to those husbands who try to work themselves around the kitchen! it is so adorable really). It was a failed attempt, but he ate it anyway. I do not know why I even explain myself but not being able to wake up early in the morning just feels awful because I know I should. I worked on my blog late into the wee hours of the morning, that I failed to get up in time. That will be the last time I will be sleeping late (I hope).

Today, I decided to fix myself breakfast since I was no longer in a hurry. I usually accompany Andre’s quick fix of corned beef and rice with my usual jam and bread.

Insert emo music here haha. This photo does feel like a scene from a movie. 

I prepared a Ham and Egg Muffin sandwich which seemed like the Mcdonald’s Mcmuffin Egg sandwich, only healthier. My husband brought home a cheese loaf from Bread Talk last night (which happens to be our favorite!) so I made use of it. The meat was Excelente Chinese Ham which my dad gave me a few weeks ago.

I do not normally cook my eggs like this but this kind of plating called for it. There are many ways to rustle up round-shaped eggs; if I had cylindrical cookie cutters, this would have been easier. Hence, I placed mine inside circular molds and steamed them to hard boiled perfection. I could also bake them inside the oven but it will take too much time, so this what I preferred (it still came out the way I wanted it to). Plus, brushing the baking mold with olive oil enabled these babies to slide out and retain its shape. Voila! 


Happy Morning, Everyone!

– Lica

 

Beef Keema

Call us creatures of habit but for the sake of convenience (and because we no longer want to go through the trouble of debating), André and I eat at the same place for the past two weeks. We have been recently attending a bible study at our church and sadly we never get there on time (or given at least a few minutes to eat in leisure before it starts). Which is why we end up eating at the same place, at almost the same time. It saves us the additional 10 minutes of arguing where to eat!

So much for the introduction.

We ate at Mazza because we loved middle eastern cuisine. André has been ordering different dishes, but I have just one favorite- Beef Keema.

I mean…that first bite,oh, what heaven that first bite is. The bun, like a sesame freckled breast of an angel, resting gently on the ketchup and mustard below, flavors mingling in a seductive pas de deux. And then…a pickle! The most playful little pickle! Then a slice of tomato, a leaf of lettuce and a…a patty of ground beef so exquisite, swirling in your mouth, breaking apart, and combining again in a fugue of sweets and savor so delightful. This is no mere sandwich of grilled meat and toasted bread, Robin. This is God, speaking to us in food. – Marshall, HIMYM

Maybe not that intense but I enjoyed it so much that I decided to create one myself.

I have loved Keema since I first had a taste of it in Mr. Kabab! It is the ONLY thing I order in these sorts of restaurants (maybe a Kebab if I feel like it, but those occasions are few and far between.) 

For this dish, I did not have Garam Masala, but my mix of spices still produced the same taste. 🙂

So, yeah.


Beef Keema

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword keema
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 People

Ingredients

  • 250 g ground beef
  • 1 tbsp butter I use real butter, not margarine
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 whole onion medium size; chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 piece tomato medium size; chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp parsley minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Garam Masala Substitute

  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat vegetable oil and butter in a pan. As soon as the butter melts, add onions and garlic. Saute both ingredients together, and once they caramelize, put the beef onto the mixture. Blend the curry, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper in a separate bowl then combine them together with the beef. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. 

  2. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for five minutes longer. Add chopped tomatoes on top of the dish, then garnish with parsley just before serving. 

Being Off the Grid

As Filipinos (need I say citizens of the world), we value our voice in society, even if the scope of the people we influence are limited to our families and a few friends. We need to be heard, seen and witnessed live on social media.

But this small, piece of tropical land eliminates all that – in a good way at the very least. It is after all a good excuse to bid your responsibilities good bye for a few days. *wink*

U-Busuan-Gani-ng-pera gyud!

I call this my cannot-be-reached experience haha.

Cannot be reached again because it will take a long time before André and I can save up and journey to Coron soon enough. And cannot be reached via calls and messages because there was hardly any signal!

Ahh but all is good! We all got our much-deserved Vitamin Seaaaa and sun!

This journey to Busuanga (the largest largest island in the Calamian Group of islands in the province of Palawan) came as a surprise when one night André told me he was being sent to Coron (the nearby island which is popular for it’s lakes and lagoons) for a business trip. You can imagine how our conversation went from there; it was a leap of faith from a permission to a prayer that God will help us find seats for the flight and rooms for accommodation.

I tagged my dad along with us to the trip because he wanted to witness Busuanga in all its glory. He has been going places, I tell you! I love his life and I am happy he is enjoying it.

After searching for an ideal resort (money-wise and relaxation-wise), I booked two rooms in Busuanga Bay Lodge! And I never regretted a single day while we were there. We were well taken care of and the food they prepared during our stay was amazing. André flew ahead of us down south, while my dad and I followed him the day after. Besides, he went there for business so he could not really enjoy a full day until he finishes his tasks. (Good job, baby! You are doing so well. I really admire your determination to provide for us and to make sure we live a comfy life.)

(I love taking photos of him hahaha my apologies! He would often say, ako nanaman! bakit ganyan!)

The Welcome

The friendly workers of BBL gleefully welcomed their guests with a quartet of what appears to be a Pinoy Rondalla ( bandurria, the laúd, the octavina, the Twelve-string guitar and the double bass) as ladies of the front desk placed handmade leaf necklaces around our necks. As we settled our documents in exchange for room assignments, people from the kitchen staff handed us a welcome drink.

The best part of traveling is knowing that “flying” is over and you are on your way to tasting what you actually paid for. I do not know how and when Welcome Drinks in hotels started but one thing’s for sure, they can make a good first impression! In this case, BBL made a lasting good impression from start to finish.

The Scene

Upon arriving, the picture that welcomed us was an infinity pool against the background of the sea. The ambiance gave off a tropical vibe (alohaaaa oe) that made me want to slump myself on a rattan chair, order a virgin Piña Colada (emphasis on the virgin, haha yeeeees! new life) and stretch my legs to the end of summer. I got a glimpse of the guestrooms from the pool area when I looked across the direction of the villas – it was a mix of Satorini and the jungle (haha do I make sense?). White houses popped out like mushrooms amidst a blanket of trees.

The Room

When we finally got inside our room, I was delighted that it was bigger than I imagined it would be. It was a spacious room! Both the bedroom and the bath were generously sized. I usually pay attention to the details of the bathroom since I spend a long time in it, and it did not disappoint. They also had a food bar that had a coffee press, electric kettle and selection of coffees and teas.

The only disadvantage was that there was no signal (you cannot even make a call or send a message to anyone) while inside the rooms, you must go to the lobby to receive a faint connection. Before you give a negative reaction, sometimes these occasions are a must haha, I actually enjoyed it…you know, being off the grid.

The Service

was spectacular even before we got to the island. You see, I have been having difficulties using online booking services when it comes to paying them hence I had to ask for assistance from one of their reservations personnel. Ms. Felma was so kind of walking me through each process and making sure that I am updated whenever there are changes to our billing. Ah, it was a breeze! (Thank you so much, BBL!).

One of the things that I found sweet was their nightly delivery of sweet treats to our bedrooms. Each delicacy came with a quote from prominent people (i.e Helen Keller etc) complemented by a good night greeting from the staff. I found it to be going the extra mile for a personal touch and I truly appreciated that gesture.

An unforgettable experience was how they catered to us while we were in South Cay, a private beach for BBL guests. This is the reason why we did not get to see most of Coron haha, we decided to do an R & R along the shore while sipping unlimited drinks and listening to Etta James croon on a Spotify playlist. We were very much introverted and tried our very best to avoid the crowds, which became a good decision! (My special thank yous to Kuya Rolly, Ate Matet, Kuya Dante and the rest of the team for valuing our needs!) 

I praise God for lovely weather and good food that day! OH MY GOODNESS! I feel like I was sinning for enjoying too much haha (but I still did my quiet time even on vacation haha, guilty eh). I CAN JUST REALLY THANK THE LORD for a nice time to end the summer.

For BTS (the Korean group) fans, I met this cat named Bradley! Our guides mentioned that this kitty was featured in one of their videos! haha He is famous! Buti pa siya, peymous! haha I KID!

When André flew back home ahead of us (because it was his client who fixed his airline tickets. I kinda protested in a loving manner haha), my dad and I discovered a quaint restaurant in a hotel across us called Al Faro Hotel. We took a speedboat to get across and it was really something else (have you been to a backpacker hostel? it seems like that and then turn it into a restaurant haha). It has this reggae feel to it and was perfect to view the sunset! The only downside is that going up to view that sunset meant facing a steep pathway! I really lost my breath a few times (huhu I need to exercise more, I guess). 

Feasting on his sunset years is the best way to put this.

Fun Finds

I got to buy the famous cashews! The nuts can be a bit pricey but I love cashews so I had take some home with me! Also, I was able to find Palawan coffee in Epic! THEY HAVE EPIC AND POCO DELI in Palawan! Hello, Manila haha! I was trying to find a hint of our hometown but I could not find any establishment that spells home! Not even Jollibee haha till I saw Poco Deli. Of all the restaurants, yun pa talaga!

 

As a verdict, I will definitely go back if God provides us the finances to bask in all its beauty again!

So, thank you dad for being with us! Having you around truly feels like home. AND thank you, Andre for the best summer ever! My super duper big heart loves you more than you will ever know! (even if I tell you this every single day, and almost fives times a day hahaha. I JUST DO!) 

That’s all, folks!

(Does it look like I am two shades darker? HAHA BECAUSE I AM! Goodness, I got burned from having too much fun haha my husband was poking me and making fun…”ang itim mo, babe!” he’d say. THANKS A LOT. )


Lica

Katsudon Rice Bowl

my favorite Asian sauces!!

It was a fun day at Lander’s today for it seemed empty! The superstore just opened a branch a few blocks from our house and I was beaming with excitement. Sad to say, so did a million other people! On it’s first day, the huge warehouse seemed like it was housing a John Mayer concert (haha that is the only event I can compare it to, for I think that was THE only concert I have been to). Note to self: do your grocery every 10 am to skip the crowd of womeeeen. I am not kidding, it was mostly women…haha like me. 

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Throwback Thursday: A Proposal

            

The date was August 4, 2016 and the one thing that I will not forget about that fateful evening was how my date went the extra mile of donning a suit before asking me to be his girlfriend. 

Our courtship stage was not a walk in the park; before I witnessed Andre mouthing those words, “will you be my girlfriend?” there have been a series of doubts, moments of me wanting to end our friendship and asking God whether our encounter was yet another test of His faithfulness to each of our lives. Read more