Monday, February 1, 2016

Baked Teriyaki Salmon

I have been gearing towards eating fish lately due to my above optimal cholesterol level. That means I'm not getting any younger!! I need to stay away from the bad fats and hang out more with the good fats. Aside from taking fish oil daily, my doctor recommended for me to eat food that are rich in omega-3 like those found in salmon. 

On that note, let me share with you one of my favorite and easy salmon recipes. Baked Teriyaki Salmon.

Ingredients for the teriyaki sauce: 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 4 salmon filet

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To make the teriyaki sauce from scratch: 
  • Add oil and garlic to a saucepan. Cook till garlic turns golden brown.
  • Throw in soy sauce, water, honey, brown sugar and ginger. Mix and bring to a simmer for 2 mins.
  • In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water and slowly add this to the sauce. Stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat. (you may adjust saltiness/sweetness to your own liking)
3. Line out a sheet of aluminum foil on your baking dish and lightly oil it. Place salmon on top and brush each salmon with teriyaki sauce. Another option is dipping each one in the sauce if you don't have a brush.
4. Cover them with another sheet of aluminum foil and fold the edges.
5. Throw in the oven and bake for 20-30 mins or until the fish is fully cooked.
6. Serve immediately with your favorite salad or brown rice.

That's it! It's really simple, easy and I love that it's not as expensive as eating salmon out in restaurants. Hope you found this helpful. Till my next kitchen journey. Happy baking! 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What I learned in 2015

2015 came so kind to me. The few years prior were better but last year was roundly special!!

It was the year I turned in to a full-pledged wife when my husband came in February. I learned a lot of things. I learned that my husband eats light breakfast in the morning. Fruits and tea are essential. I learned to adjust. I learned that I have to let him be on the driver's seat and I take the passenger's. Not because he is the better driver, but he likes to serve me. On the other hand, as a passenger, I learned that I was an annoying  backseat driver and so I had to take one step back and let him do his thing, freely and humbly. 

We learned that we like doing things together. Like tea and milk, peaches and cream, adobo and rice, we were inseparable. Even in doing the house chores. He does the laundry with me. And that makes it fun. After a few damaged clothes, he finally knew which of the clothes go to the dryer and those need to be line dried.

It was also last year when we finally moved out and decided to get our own place. I learned that bringing a notepad with a checklist of things to look for an apartment while negotiating with the leasing manager can make you look like a pro. When in fact I have never searched for an apartment in my life. It may seem overwhelming but actually moving can be feasibly done if you do your research on point. I learned that interior decorating is not so expensive if you know where and what to look for.

It was last year too when together, we joined a couples discipleship group. We learned about how so much of a cradle Catholic we were and there's still so much to learn about our faith. What's refreshing to know was that while we were learning about our faith, our relationship grew deeper and stronger and we made wonderful friends. We learned a lot from each others experiences and so much so from our household leaders.
I learned that God does and always will take care of my job. He builds my ladder even if I don't realize it. All God expects me to be is that whatever I do, work at it with all my heart as working for Him (Colossians 3:23) and He will take care of me. I learned to give priority to what utterly matters and figured out what was dispensable and what's not.

I learned that my writing skills got better, however, I didn't write as much. I felt sorry but not so sorry. Family, work, community, got in the way. A good kind of way. I learned that influencing people could be done more with actions and not so much with rhetorical words. To be truly intentional with touching other people's lives is to first making yourself better. I know I still have a long way to go. Through God's grace, he taught me how to control my emotions, my anger, my frustrations. That your one and only enemy is the evil one. The more you try to be good, the more the devil tempts you to do bad. And that's just how the world works.

I learned that the pressure is getting real in the baby department. Now that Alan and I are together, people seem to be in a hurry for us to get pregnant. Whenever I check my Facebook, babies and new moms dominate my news feed. I learned that I should rejoice and be happy for them and to not think something is wrong with me. I learned that God is still preparing me and Alan for parenthood.

My favorite learning of all is that the happiest moments of my life is not the accumulation of things but the moments I get to spend with Alan and the memories we made. Life is simple and less complicated that way.
2015, I learned a ton from you and you really took my breath away.  I'm now getting the hang of being a wife, and prayerfully a new role would be nice, 2016. 


Monday, December 28, 2015

4 Years

Alan and I reached our 4th year wedding anniversary today. Being a wife to my husband each year is wonderful but this year it is even more so. Now that we're blessed to live happily together, I'm getting to know him on a much deeper level and there is so much more of him to love. 

My family, especially my mom, would tell me how lucky I am to meet such a good man like Alan. To me he is a unicorn, surreal, one of a kind. And I have God to thank for that. It can only be God who could adeptly orchestrate uniting two distinct people, who lived oceans apart to be together. When Alan was younger, he discerned to be a priest. Good for me, it was not his calling. On the other hand, when I migrated to the US, I thought I would marry a blonde-hair blue-eyed man. However, our plans are not God's plans. And God's plans are always absolute best. I couldn't be more joyful that I married Alan, a beautiful man, with a heart. My one and only man in the world, the universe rather (O diba feeling Miss Universe haha)

Looking back at the 4 years we've been married, we hardly get into fights. No dramatic, screaming scenes so far. I guess because Alan has the softest and calmest voice in the world, it is close to a whisper so to yell is alien to him. And I like to take my chill pill once a day regularly. LOL. Kidding aside, we are pretty much a great team. We have each other's backs covered. Such that problems turn into sweet little adventures when we deal with them together. 
At the end of the day, when he snuggles at my back, and my body pressed against his, I could not help but feel like I'm over the moon. This warm feeling of blessedness is still surreal...even after 4 years.

Thank you to our dear friend AP, for the photos below taken at Savannah.




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The bug was back

December is here, and it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. In the front door, there is a wreath hanging filled with lush red poinsettias that seem almost real. In the living room, a cute pink tree pops in, filled with ornaments glistening in every angle. Yes, our first tree is pink and unapologetically so, always what I have dreamed of. In the dining area, another wreath sits in the middle of the table albeit much more special than the one outside the door. It's an Advent Wreath filled with various evergreen, pine, holly, mistletoe and candles. In our family, we feel that it is the most significant decoration of all. More than a decoration, it's a spiritual symbol that has been part of our family tradition every Christmas time. Beginning on the first Sunday of Advent or first Sunday after Thanksgiving, the family gathers around the table before dinner. We light the wreath, we pray and sing together to remind and prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

There are boxes stacked in the corner of my room waiting to be wrapped in pretty papers. I know I will have a lovely time wrapping them up one by one, if only I can find the time. I remember happy stories of my Lola Remy when she used to work at the wrapping section of Bloomingdale's. Each item she would delicately and beautifully wrap and in return she would receive generous gratuities from her gracious customers. It's sad that they stopped doing that now in the malls. Anyway, I don't really mind wrapping. It will always be a sweet remembrance of my Lola Remy.

Christmas parties have begun here and there. I gaze in to my calendar and my weekends are all blocked! I have one this weekend and another one on the next. Both are potlucks. I know the oven will make a great companion through the course of this holiday season. 

Food food food. Holidays are always a good excuse to mingle and overeat. Except in Alan's case. Over the weekend, we attended various holiday get-togethers and from one of those, he developed a stomach flu. It's draining and it's painful but it's not as bad as his previous flu back in July. My poor hubby got the bug back. He stayed home on Monday and rested. I also took a day off to take care of him. 

I ponder on today's gospel, Come to me … and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28). Perhaps God wanted us to take a break from the restlessness this holiday brings. Although it wasn't the kind of break we wanted, God knew it was the only way that could allow us to receive his rest and rely in his comfort.. Even for one day. All day, my attention and care was all for and consumed by looking after my husband, holding on to God's mercy and grace and not by the holiday frenzy.

Time runs fast. But I hope December will be kind and will run slowly so I could enjoy and spend time with all the people that truly matters. 

It makes my heart swell with so much gratefulness that Alan and I are together this Christmas. Yesterday, he asked me what I wanted to get for Christmas and I couldn't think of anything else. Maybe the reason is I have already received that one thing on top of my Christmas wish list for the past few years, that he and I would finally reunite. Thank you Santa, thank you Lord!


Monday, November 9, 2015

The Beauty of A Christian Marriage

It's one thing to marry your spouse for the first time and another thing to marry your spouse all over again. There's something romantic in saying "I do" for the second time after being through every difficult situations. Choosing to marry the same person, accepting all their imperfections and forgiving them for all their shortcomings has never been sweeter.

Over the weekend, Alan and I attended the CFC's Marriage Enrichment Retreat 1. (There are 3 series I believe). We were tremendously blessed to have been invited to this kind of retreat as we were profoundly enlightened on our roles as husband and wife, on how to communicate effectively, on how we could build our homes for God and on how we could pastor our future children as a team and with the grace of God.  Unfortunately, our household leader has limited us on sharing the details so we don't spill out all the exciting things that are in stored to the future candidates. But basically, it was such an awesome experience. Really a priceless investment of our time and money.

My decision to marry Alan was the best I have ever did in my life. We are married for almost 4 years now and there's not a single day that I have regretted marrying him. Even when he forgets to throw his dirty clothes in the hamper, even when he forgets to flush the toilet sometimes haha. Especially that we live together now, our relationship is a lot vulnerable to quarrels, misunderstandings, and disappointments. But at the end of the day, we choose love. And by loving each other, we honor the Lord. The God that brought the two of us together for his glory. This is a marriage that is saved by God. Without him and without his humble teachings, this is not possible at all. We couldn't do it on our own strength. It is easy to take each other for granted. It is easy to become selfish. It is easy to judge and irk each other. It is easy to surrender when the going gets tough. But because the Lord is our core, we have a marriage that is enriched with love, understanding, grace, respect, and forgiveness. Our marriage is not perfect, but by God's grace it is perfect in every way that matters.

In the world we live in now, marriages are being constantly attacked by the evil one. And that's why I'm grateful to be part of a community that makes us thrive to have a holy marriage. I'm grateful that we have shared this event with our friends who also have the same goal in their marriages. I'm thankful to all those people whom God used mightily to make this event so much memorable for us and a success.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Birthday Prayer

Dear Lord, I give You glory and honor for You are GOOD. Your loving kindness is everlasting. Your generosity abounds and you give great gifts to your children. I could never be grateful enough to You for blessing me with another year. Thank you for satisfying the deepest desires of my heart. No one else but You can supply my needs dear Lord. Thank you for answering my prayers. Thank you for your everyday love validated through my spouse, my family, my friends, and my community. 

Dear Lord, thank you for Your amazing grace and mercy. Although I may be unworthy of Your love, you still love me anyway. That is how forgiving and compassionate You are. Your love is unconditional. How blessed I am to be loved by You. Day by day, I live by your grace. My life is not always happy happy joy joy, but You are my saving grace. You give sense to all life's trials and adversities. You reveal to me the power of prayer. You teach me to hope and to trust relentlessly. You teach me how to be patient and kind. In Your holy words I find comfort. Through your holy words, I am purified. 

Dear Lord, I look forward as I age gracefully to know you more.  I'm thankful for the 29 years worth of love and wisdom You have given me. My heart is full and I couldn't ask for anything more than You to bless all the people reading this blog. May they too experience Your everlasting love! 


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October rambling

This month has always been special to me. Besides of my birth month, what is there to not love October? The mornings are crisp, the leaves are too. The afternoons are warm but not too hot. The evenings are cool but not freezing. We could go days without turning the AC/heater on. What an energy and wallet friendly month! haha.

This month is also kind of sucking me in a whirlwind of activities. Thus explains the sporadic writing. I decided to gift myself a day off today to rest. But because the weekdays and weekends were hectic, I had no time left to do the house chores. Instead of taking the day easy, I caved in to cleaning the apartment and cooking. Sometimes I wonder if I have developed an OCD in me.   

Although I enjoy them, sometimes I still dream of a perfect, chill day. A perfect day would be waking up without an alarm clock, going out for a walk along a trail covered in crisp autumn leaves, stopping in a cafe and grabbing a cup of tea while I sit for an hour to read my bible and meditate. Then I go back home and watch episodes of my favorite tv series. Invite my favorite people over for pizza, lemon pepper chicken wings, and board games. Nothing fancy, just chill.

Going back to the cooking, today I cooked Arroz Ala Cubana. It's a family recipe and a great comfort food. It's made of stir fried ground beef/pork, bananas, eggs (I like mine over easy), and rice. All of my favorite food in one dish. I enjoy cooking. So much so when Alan eats more than I expect. Most of the time I encourage him to eat in moderation which he does so well, but when I cook, that rule doesn't apply any longer.

Other than cleaning and cooking, today has been really a good day! Besides my hour long nap, I got some good news in the mail! Alan's green card finally arrived! Long story short, his initial green card that was supposed to arrive after a month of his arrival unfortunately got lost in the mail. So we had to re-apply, mail another application form, go to the whole bio-metric she bang and pay another ridiculously high fee. What a pain. After 8 months, he finally got his green card. America, you know I love you but this is not a good way to welcome immigrants who strive to come to your country in good order.

Anyway, that's about it for October. Life has been good. Busy but good!