Thank you Biggest Little Garden in Town!


The Gardening Saga continues (=

After our first attempt to plant, God has blessed us with ALL the necessary equipment we need to start our patio paradise FOR FREE!

The purpose of Fraserside’s Biggest Little Garden in Town (BLGT) project is to increase food production in urban settings. The BLGT is a container garden project which teaches and encourages individuals and the community in general, to utilize small areas to grow vegetables.

Thank you Biggest Little Garden and thank you Wilf and Vicky for going being patient with my husband’s constant e-mail request to be a BLGT member and for going great lengths to deliver this awesome Starter kit from New West all the way to our home here in Burnaby (=

BLGT Starter Kit (includes watering jug, trowel, cultivator and a selection of assorted vegetable seeds  that grow well in containers)

BLGT Starter Kit (includes watering jug, trowel, cultivator and a selection of assorted vegetable seeds that grow well in containers)

What a wonderful sight to behold! This Little Garden Guide is a 60-page booklet that provides tips and tricks on how to plant, care for, harvest and prepare vegetables grown in containers)

What a wonderful sight to behold! This Little Garden Guide is a 60-page booklet that provides tips and tricks on how to plant, care for, harvest and prepare vegetables grown in containers)

2 bags of organic potting soil

 

BLGT Apartment Garden (includes 3 cedar boxes, base, lattice)

BLGT Apartment Garden (includes 3 cedar boxes, base, lattice)

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Can you believe that these are just the left-over roots that we chop off green onions???

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BIG THANKS to these wonderful people!

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Healing Foods, A Multicultural Potluck


This was another of my homeworks in the Coursera on-line class that I am taking right now. I thought it was really fun!

I had to identify a food from my own culture that has purported effects on health promotion or disease prevention and “actually” prepare it at home, do an independent nutrient analysis, provide visual documentation of the final product, and then share the health-related significance that this cultural dish has.

So, I made…

My Homework: Arroz Caldo!

Arroz Caldo! ^^,

After reading the assignment details, the first thing that came to my mind is the traditional Filipino thick rice porridge called lugaw (loo-gaow).

This dish can be cooked in different variations like the one I made called Arroz Caldo – a lugaw made with chicken and ginger. It is often thought to be a European dish because of its name but is actually a Chinese congee that was adapted to the tastes of the Spanish colonial settlers who patronized Chinese restaurants in the Philippines.

I chose this primarily because all the ingredients in this dish are readily available at my pantry and I don’t really want to go to the Superstore again after doing grocery the other day =)

When I was young, I can often remember people favouring this dish (I even watch it on telenovelas) where they would serve lugaw for someone who is sick particularly those who have a cold,fever or an upset stomach.

It’s remarkably comforting, warming from the inside, soft, and easily digestible. They say that when you’re feeling unwell, one of the last things the body needs is to expend extra energy digesting and the higher fiber content of unrefined rice can upset the stomach. So it actually serves a purpose.

Also, this dish has a lot of herbs like garlic, ginger and onions.

Garlic, which according to Wikipedia has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity. Ginger on the other hand contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and inflammation. Researchers also believe the chemicals work primarily in the stomach and intestines, but they may also work in the brain and nervous system to control nausea.Last but not least, onions contain chemical compounds with potential anti-inflammatory, anticholesterol, anticancer, and anti-oxidant properties, such as quercetin and glycosides.

Here are the ingredients to prepare this recipe:

Ingredients:

Chicken Broth (adapted from Simply Recipes)

  • Leftover bones and skin from a cooked or raw chicken carcass
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Carrot
  • Salt
  • Pepper

1. Put the leftover bones and skin from a chicken carcass into a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add veggies like celery, onion, carrots. Add salt and pepper, about a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper.

2 Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to barely a simmer. Simmer uncovered at least 4 hours, occassionally skimming off the foam that comes to the surface.

3 Remove the bones and strain the stock.

Arroz Caldo (adapted from sarahlynnpablo.wordpress.com)
3 cups jasmine rice
3-4 cups Chicken broth, or a substitute like vegetable broth
3 eggs, hard-boiled
4 thumb sized, ginger, cut lengthwise
*one chicken breast (optional)
1/2 lemon, juice
1 whole onion,diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
fish sauce, soy sauce, salt and fresh-cracked black pepper (catered to your taste buds)
green onions, chopped+fried garlic for toppings

Procedure:

1. Cook 3 cups of jasmine rice in a rice cooker. Using cooked rice speeds up the process than if you started the recipe using raw rice.

Spoon the cooked rice into a large pot on medium heat. Start with as much broth as it takes to meet the top of the rice.

2. Stir to over cook the rice without burning it. Once the broth-rice comes to a simmer, lower the heat, and stir every 3-5 minutes.

3. Dice four cloves of garlic and half of a medium-sized onion. Warm a little vegetable oil in the bottom of a pan on medium heat.

4. Using the fresh or frozen ginger, cut into thumb-sized pieces that are more manageable.

5. Saute garlic, onion and ginger and add it to the rice.

6. Stir everything together approximately 30 minutes.

Easier additions to lugaw include hard-boiled eggs, fresh-cracked black pepper or salt, fish or soy sauce, basically anything.

What I really like to do is add a generous amount of fresh lemon, green onions to give it crunch and color!

Nutrient Analysis:

  • Serving size = 1 bowl of Arroz Caldo
  • How many servings your instructions in Answer 2 makes = 6 servings
  • Calories = 362 calories
  • Total fat (grams) = 10 grams
  • Saturated fat (grams) = 3 grams
  • Sodium (milligrams) = 1522 mg
  • Carbohydrate (grams) =51 grams
  • Dietary fiber (grams) = 5 grams
  • Sugars (grams) = 0 grams
  • Protein (grams) = 18 grams

I arrived at this numbers by plugging in an estimation of the amount of ingredients in a bowl of arroz caldo. I used the Super tracker to adjust the servings and calculate the nutrients of each food. I did the nutrient analysis of my Arroz Caldo using the Super Tracker Software.

After 3 consecutive meals of lugaw (dinner, brunch and dinner tonight)…my husband and I finally finished eating them!

I guess all the effort was worth it, but I might not do this dish for the next 2 years. ^^p

Whole Wheat Stawberry Pancakes


Weekend Mornings aren’t complete without this lightly-browned fluffy creatures lying on your breakfast table.

Like many “health and fiber-conscious” people,  I don’t really want to use the “empty” refined all-purpose flour. Remember, the dietary expert and my Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention instructor Katie Ferraro MPH,RD, CDE said that “fiber” is the future!

Therefore, the more fiber you add in your servings the better off you will be.

And so, here is a recipe that will satisfy that premise.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Whole Wheat Pancakes
Adapted from Skinny Taste
Servings: 7
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Organic Whole Wheat flour 
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp fat free milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • sunflower oil
  • Nutella spread (for a little swirling only!)

Directions:

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Add wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots; don’t over-mix.

3. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Lightly coat it with oil and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter.

4. Wash strawberries, cut the top part off and cut them lengthwise.

5. When the pancake starts to bubble, you may add your strawberries if you wish. (or you can add them on top of your pancake tower later)

6. When the bubbles settle and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes.

7. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.

8. Get that fork and dig in! ((=
Makes 14 pancakes.

Calories: 171.7 • Fat: 2.1 g • Carbs: 31.5 g • Fiber: 4.9 g • Protein: 8.9 g • Sugar:2.5 g
Sodium: 561.4 g

Hopelessly Romantic: Project Home Spa + Hubby Coupons ^^,


Have you ever felt like… Oh no! It’s so and so’s Birthday next week and I still don’t know what to give him/her! The next thing you think is…well…I don’t want to be a “typical” gift giver who just buys things and call it good! For me, a gift is something that comes from the heart, and should be given enough time and effort to make….So, I wanted to surprise the husband with a fun, hand-made and exciting gift for his “nth” birthday…

Handmade Birthday Coupons

Handmade Birthday Coupons

I had to think, plan and execute…in secret ^^, Well…as far as I know…it was a success.

I will let the photos speak for themselves (=

1. The Plan

Planning Stage

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2. Assembly Stage

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3.Execution Stage: Revealing the Surprise

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Coupon #1

Yummy and Healthy Dessert Coupon

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Coupon # 2

The Bubble bath Adventure

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Coupon #3

The Unforgettable Hour

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Coupon # 4

Bonus Feature ^^,

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5. Result: One very Happy Birthday Boy (=

IMG_6113 I love you Sephie Ko! I really do ^^,

DIY Menu Planning Bulletin Board


To all homemakers out there, who would have thought that old magazines could be used for some Menu Planning and Organization? Well, I hope this might spark some ideas ^^,

Menu/Weekly Organizer using old magazine scraps

Menu/Weekly Organizer using old magazine scraps

Materials:

cork board

old food magazines

articles

scissors

thumb tax

glue

Sharpie marker

Directions:

1. Look for pictures to cut/ assemble for you planner

DIY Menu Planner

2. Write the title, days of the week etc. on the foods/items you have cut

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3. Arrange/Glue the days of the week on the left side of your cork board

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4. Pick helpful scoops/trivia for you to learn/ apply in your day-to-day life

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5. Put your favorite pictures to make even more personalized (=

Menu/Weekly Organizer

6. Enjoy planning and organizing! (=