Thursday, April 29, 2010

COKE Chicken : A recipe everyone would love.

I was in Dalian City, China when I first tried this recipe.  I am a big fan for any dish with sauces.  "COKE Chicken" is one of my latest favorite.  I have to give credit to my Chinese good friend, Gloria (her English name) for teaching me how to cook this wonderful, mouth-watering dish.  She wasn't a good cook -- but whatever, she taught me a good way of preparing this dish.

Ingredients  :
Chicken (chicken wings are what Chinese prefer)
Star Anise
green onion stalks - sliced
ginger  - sliced (I love ginger so I use a big one)
cooking oil (about 3 tbsp)
soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
sugar (2 tbsps)
dried red chili peppers (optional -- if you want a bit of spice)

How to cook  :   
(Note  :  This was how I was taught and how I do it --  
this recipe has different ways of preparing it.)
1.  In a pan, add oil and saute green onion stalks and ginger.
2.  Add chicken.
3.  Add star anise and stir in 1/4 cup of soy sauce.
4.  Stir until soy sauce and chicken is mixed and having a brownish color.
5.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
6.  Add coca-cola (just enough to cover all the chicken).
7.  Boil until chicken is cooked and add sugar. (make sure that there is more than enough coke mixture left for sauce).  
8.  Add 4 tbsp soy sauce for final sauce.
9.  Remove from heat when sauce is thick and dark reddish in color (please see picture).
10. Serve hot.  Best with rice.  

My girls has been a bit picky with the food they eat.  However,  this is one recipe they love.  I was told, that you can substitute chicken with other meat.  For Filipinos, this is a cross between the all time favorite "adobo" and "humba".  Try it and I'm pretty sure your family would love it.  Oh, this can be garnished with chopped green onion leaves -- and I've tried adding cashew nuts, once.  Turned out very nice.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Be Passionate Of Your Kids' Passion : A Solution For Generation Gap

Generation gap is one of the problems that parents and children face in their daily life.  Most of the time, children are having a difficult time understanding parents because of generation gap, and vice-versa. 

The generation gap is and was a term popularized in Western countries during the 1960s referring to differences between people of a younger generation and their elders, especially between a child and his or her parent's generation.” – Wikipedia

How do we solve generation gap between us and our kids, nowadays?  I don’t know if it works for you, but this method works well for me.  In my case, I respect and support my children’s passion.  Fortunately, my girls and I share the same passion – these are books, music, movies and sports (not much for my eldest girl). 

EAM during the US Tour Concert 2008
Music:  My girls love anything and everything new in the sound waves.  Sometimes I have to admit, it’s difficult for me to like what music that they love.  Maybe it comes with age; some tend to be too noisy for me or too blunt.  Well, what else can I do but to join in and learn their music – on the other hand, my kids are trying to love the music that I love.  One common thing we enjoy most is Broadway, Disney, and pop tunes.  Oh, and the three of us loves to sing.  My eldest, being the performer and the star of the family, is highly supported by her younger sister and me; us being her number one fan. All her performances, here and abroad, are  all well-documented.

EAM performing "TOMORROW"

EAM's 1st US Tour (videos of San Francisco, Washington DC, South Carolina finale number)

Homecoming Concert (after the US Tour) - "Castle on the Cloud"

KIM with ITF-Davao and trainer Ryan Cordero
Kimmy during her first days in ITF-Davao

Sports:  It was just recent that my youngest daughter found her passion for taekwondo. As much as I wanted to learn the sport, I guess I’m too old for it.  Instead, being with her and supporting her in all her classes is the best I could do for her.  Her sister, on the other hand, joined her this summer and learned taekwondo to show her love to her sister.  She’s not the sporty-type of girl.  

Books and Movies:  EAM, my eldest girl, lives in the world of books since she was four years old.  She’s a bookworm.  When she was younger, she would rather read than play.  She would rather go to the book shop than go to the toy shop.  To show my support for her love in books, I’d read most of the books that she has and discuss some of our favorite parts.  I remember how much we enjoyed the Twilight Series.  My little girl, KIM, is hooked with Nancy Drew right now.  Having read most of them when I was a little girl, we too have our own moments of sharing our favorites.  Like books, movies are one of the bonding moments that my girls and I share.  We’d watch movies together – I’d watch even the silliest cartoon with them.        

Being supportive and being passionate of what your kids love would definitely bridge the generation gap between you.  Let your kids know that you care for whatever is important to them.  Teach them to compromise – to learn loving what you love, and in return, love what is important to them.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

TRUST YOURSELF -- especially when no one else believes in you.

It was in 1978 when this movie came out.  I was eight-years-old then.  I'm guessing it was the first-ever full-length movie I've watched.  I fell in-love with the movie.  It has always been in  my favorite movie list.
And who would ever forget the famous soundtrack, "Looking Through The Eyes of Love by Melissa Manchester?  Being so much of a fan, this song was my first ever piano recital piece and my song piece when I joined a singing contest in school.  

Since then,  I have been a huge fan of the sport of figure skating.  Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to learn the sport.  I never had the courage to wear skates (blades or roller-blades).  I guess, I'm too wimpy to do so.

Plot Summary courtesy of Wikipedia  :
"Alexis "Lexie" Winston (Lynn-Holly Johnson) is a young girl from a small town who dreams of becoming a champion figure skater. Her high-school sweetheart, Nick (Robby Benson), dreams of being a hockey player.
Lexie enters a regional championship and is discovered by an elite coach (Warren) who sees her potential despite a lack of training and qualifications at an advanced age for figure skaters. Despite initial protests from her father (Tom Skerritt) Lexie moves from her home in Waverly, Iowa to train at the legendary Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is not well received by the other girls because of the attention lavished on her natural talent, but she proves herself and qualifies for the next level. Lexie's life is drastically changed; she becomes a star, alienates her high school sweetheart, and she begins dating an older man.
One night, while skating, Lexie tried coming down after trying another triple axle and her skate caught on the metal bar between the tables and ice where she tripped and fell into the tables and chairs and hit her head on the middle bar of a table. This accident causes her to lose her sight due to a blood clot in her brain. In the midst of feeling sorry for herself, she and Nick rediscover their love for each other. With help from Nick, her father Marcus and original coach Beulah, Lexie begins to realize that she can still fulfill her dreams."

Things I have learned in this movie, is to TRUST YOURSELF when nobody else believes in you.    Self-pity has no place in this world.  NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.  Allow me to share with you part of this movie.  Of course, it is the best part of all (when she was skating blind and no one else knows except for her family and her boyfriend).  

Recently, they made a remake of this movie.  Comparing the original from the new one, I'd say I still love how they've made the first one.  I have watched this new version of Ice Castles with my kids.  Like me, they have loved the movie.  We all ended up crying after the movie.  I strongly recommend that you watch this movie. ( a box of tissue would be handy).  Both versions if you can. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Smiling Crippled Girl : Be Grateful With What You Have : (Borrowed and Repost)

I am not going to get any credits for this blog. I got this from a forwarded email and I thought, we could help in our way by reposting or reblogging this one.


This is Qian Hong Yan.
Qian HongYan lost her legs in an accident.  Her family in China are poor and couldn't afford prosthetic legs, so she uses a basketball to help her move.

Qian uses two wooden props to drag herself, and never complains, even though she has worn through six basketballs.


Despite all these, she still attends her class and tries her best to live like a normal girl. 

She is a very cheerful girl.  She always smile.  She is always positive.

With your help she is now able to afford a pair of prosthetic legs.

Repost...reblog --- let everyone know that we need to be grateful with whatever we have.  Be thankful ---  Life is good.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hachiko : A Dog's Tale

Saturday is my normal bonding day with my two girls.  Today, after bonding with my eldest girl (a whole afternoon of shopping), we decided to watch a movie entitled  :  Hachi : A Dog's Tale.  Coming from a family of dog lovers, the tv room was joined in by my mom, dad, my girls and a niece, all excited to watch.Hachi : A Dog's Tale is a true story about a dog and a professor.  It is a good movie to watch with the entire family. 

Allow me to borrow whatever Wiki has to say about the story of Hachiko.

"In 1924, Hachikō was brought to Tokyo by his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. During his owner's life Hachikō saw him out from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return on the usual train one evening. The professor had suffered a stroke at the university that day. He died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting.   

Hachikō was given away after his master's death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. Eventually, Hachikō apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachikō waited for Professor Ueno to return. And each day he did not see his friend among the commuters at the station.
The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.
This continued for nine years, with Hachikō appearing only in the evening time, precisely when the train was due at the station."

A bronze statue of Hachiko was was erected in his honor at Shibuya Station in April 1934.  Hachiko, himself, was there.

In May 1935, Hachiko died but his stuffed and mounted remained and kept up to this day in the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Japan.

Personally, I would say - movies would give a big impact on us and in our kids' lives.  A good way of teaching them values would be sharing a good book or a good movie with them. 

This movie would teach them the value of  LOYALTY and that you should never forget anyone that you've loved. It would remind us that FRIENDSHIPS CAN LAST FOREVER.


My girls and I were going through some old stuff today when they found an old card dated way back 1985 . It was a card given to me for my birthday by my homeroom adviser.  He was a Jesuit priest.  On the cover of it was written the poem, Desiderata.  
I went to a famous Jesuit school in high school and I grew up in the Catholic teachings.  I grew up learning Desiderata and after reading it again today, I realized that everything is more applicable in my present life.

So my kids and I went through each line, discussed it and compared our favorite lines. Desiderata has been a huge part of me while growing up --- and I felt that it would be nice to teach them whatever has been a big part of what I am today. 

Desiderata has touched my life in a big way.  I hope that after today, my girls' life has been touched the same.  I hope that in 25 years, when they will be going through some old stuff -- a copy of Desiderata would be found to remind them of this day.

Allow me to share my favorite lines  :
.....remember what peace there may be in silence

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, 
even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become bitter or vain,
for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself.

be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be 

keep  peace with your soul
it is still a beautiful world

Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Baby is Now A Lady

Another first for me and my eldest daughter.  Today, my baby became a lady.  I have been trying to prepare myself for this day -- but maybe it's just me, but I took this experience as an emotional one. When my daughter asked for my help to check whether this is the big day -- and after confirming that it is -- I found myself in tears.  It was a mixed emotion.  (And my daughter thinks I'm a loonie for crying about it). As a woman, I knew that this day would come.  Maybe I wasn't ready to let go of my baby.  Perhaps I wasn't emotionally prepared.  Maybe I have fears that she was growing up so fast.  

When I broke into tears, my daughter hugged me and assured me that things would be okay.  Then I realized, I was scared -- not for my daughter but for myself.  That one day, soon enough, my baby would need to go out in this world.  For the first time, I feared of being alone.  Yeah, soon she has to go and face whatever fate has for her.  But yeah, I guess I'm just being too emotional.  Hey, don't blame me -- I have the best relationship with my daughters.  I guess that's just the way it is --- I have to face and enjoy this new chapter in our life.  I have to learn to realize and embrace that my baby is now a lady.