Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Promise of a New Beginning

In my post, A Rosy Adieu, I featured the rose I gave as farewell memento to Mae Ann. In that post, I said I will also feature the yellow rose I gave to Eleanor. This is it!

Here are the roses I crocheted for both Mae Ann and Eleanor. Pink-purple-blue for Mae Ann because her favorite color is pink and for Eleanor, yellow because it's her favorite color.
 See this? 
I'm so sorry, the rose is not very prominent in this view. Photo uploaded by Lea in FB.
  Here, take a closer look!
Another photo of the rose taken by Lea
Oh yes, she already used her yellow rose identifier --- fastened on her luggage! I'm so glad it really served its purpose. :) Thank you, Fiber Flux for the idea and Apple Blossom Dreams for the pattern!

I confess, I never knew until now that yellow rose could mean any of the following: joy, gladness, friendship, delight, promise of a new beginning, remember me, jealousy, and "I care". Of all the meanings mentioned, I like "promise of a new beginning" best. Very timely and appropriate as Eleanor, the recipient of the rose, has just left for the U.S. And so, it is indeed a promise of a new beginning for her. In fact, I was so amused when I saw her post in Facebook where she said, "Buds beginning to bloom". How very appropriate, indeed!
Credits to Lea for the photo she uploaded in FB
I pray Eleanor will soon be able to adjust to her new world. Just as the budding tulips all show signs of life and growth, it is with much certainty that she will continue to live and grow gracefully and in prosperity where she is planted.

All of God's care and protection be upon you all the time, Lea! We will always cherish fond memories of you back here.
Linking to:

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pan Fried Gindara Tic-Tac-toe en Petitchef

For my Easter foodie post, here's my new creation... and my fifth recipe entry in Petitchef.
Garden Chef's Gindara Tic-Tac-Toe
I opened my Pursuits Journal, supposedly to write down some thoughts that have been piling in several pieces of paper by now. But look at what I saw in one of the pages of my journal... a recipe of a dish I tried several months ago that I haven't shared with anyone yet. You may call it perfect timing because 30 minutes ago, I thawed four gindara (sablefish, black cod, or butterfish) pieces from the refrigerator. Isn't that wonderful?

I just made a quick check of the ingredients if they were available. Except for the lemon, everything else was present! But I have calamansi and other veggies in store that needed to be consumed ASAP so I made some modifications in the original concoction. Here we go...


250 gms gindara slices
2 tbsps lemon juice
Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
1/2 medium-sized carrot, sliced lengthwise
1/2 medium-sized green bell pepper, sliced
1 pc medium onion, sliced
1 pc large tomato, sliced
1/2 tbsp leeks, sliced thinly and diagonally (or green onions)


1 tsp garlic, pressed and sliced thinly
1 tsp lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon or calamansi juice
1/2 tbsp leeks
1 tsp olive oil
Pinch of salt

1.  Wet both sides of gindara slices with lemon juice, then sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Let      stand for 5 minutes.  

 2.  Place half of the butter in a non-stick pan.  Pan fry carrots, bell pepper, onions and tomato for 2  minutes.  Add leeks then set aside.  
 3. Sprinkle paprika on both sides of the fish. Using the remaining butter, pan fry the gindara slices in the same pan. Cook uncovered for 3 minutes until color becomes brown. Shake pan every now and then.
4. Turn fish slices over. Cook until fish meat becomes soft and skin becomes crispy, shaking pan in between.
5. Prepare the dressing: Mix together garlic, lemon rind, lemon juice, leeks, olive oil and salt.
6. Pour dressing over cooked fish garnished with tomatoes and onions on top, with carrots and bell peppers in tic-tac-toe arrangement on the side.

Wondering over the name of the dish? Well, while plating and garnishing the fish, I just made (would have wanted to, to be honest) a tic-tac-toe arrangement of the carrots and bell peppers only to realize after taking the photo that I lacked two carrot slices to complete the tic-tac-toe.
Oh, by the way, as you can see in the photos, I only cooked 2 (instead of 4) slices of the gindara using the featured recipe. The other 2 slices I used for another dish with fish broth for my 87-year old parents.) I can feel my stomach gurgling. Time for lunch! Come on!

Oooops... wait, Petitchef, here I come!
Linking to:
Home Maid Simple
Simple Living and Eating Foodie Friday

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Dynamite's Exploding now!

In my post yesterday, The Message of the Cross, I mentioned about what's good about Good Friday. Today, I just found one other crafty reason. 

 Here's the unveiling of the grand announcement:
Photo from Crochet Dynamite Argyle Crochet

 Hear ye, hear ye!

Well, how about that? Oh, I'm really hoping I can avail of this offer! How about you? Hurry up and click on the link above now!!!! 

Enjoy a happy and crafty Easter!

Linking to The Best Blog Recipes

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Message of the Cross

With only one day left before Holy Thursday, the local news on TV today flashes people's travel preparations and plans in going to the provinces, churches and and other private and solemn places where they could celebrate the Lenten Season. This perfectly reminds me of a poem I wrote in 2002... a silent personal soliloquy of grief for the utter deceitfulness of sin even before a man is born into this world. It embodies the sentiments of the Psalmist David as he acknowledges God's redeeming and renewing power through the Cross of Calvary where Christ shed His precious blood.
My original poem superimposed on a Cross photo taken from
I am also reminded of text messages sent by a friend a few years back that tell about the significance of Christ's death.

"What's good about GOOD FRIDAY? 
Well, there'd be no CROWN-WEARERS in heaven 
had CHRIST not  been the CROSS-BEARER on earth!"

"Our faith can never have meaning even if we have CHRISTMAS. 
It only makes sense because of the EMPTY TOMB!"

Shouldn't we be rejoicing then, at the reality of this miracle? --- the redemptive power of His death and  resurrection! For "if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our ... faith is also empty. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then ... your faith is also empty..."  (1 Cor 15: 13-17)

Have a blessed Lenten celebration and happy Easter, everyone!

Linking to:

Driven by Hope

Photo from The Sun
"Ma, you should watch this movie! It's beautiful!" was my husband's welcome statement for me when I got home from work yesterday. And so I did for the first time, after watching my own favorite TV series. Just as I said in the message I posted in FB a while ago, as I watched the movie, I was reminded of the Hospital Preparedness for Emergencies (H.O.P.E.) Training I attended early this year. It was indeed a touching movie, I couldn't help shedding some tears as the story unfolded the saga of how a family, who was on a vacation in an Asian country, was temporarily separated by the devastating effect of a disaster.

Movie marathon coming up as the four-day Lenten break starts. I'd like to watch the old biblical movies I used to watch as a child --- Then Ten Commandments and Jesus.

Would like to hear your plans to celebrate the season! Do share in the comment box below.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Showers of Blessings

Networking along the blogosphere,  attending link parties, blog hopping and socializing with bloggers have led me to Julie Danielson's blog site, More of Him. Julie is a wife and mom who loves and follows the Lord, Jesus Christ. Julie is a writer and artist who at the same time, enjoys crocheting, embroidery, scrapbooking, stamping, quilting and beading. Blessed so much by the Lord, she shares her blessings weekly in her blog site's Counting Our Blessings - Link Up.

Before inviting bloggers to share their links, she would enumerate God's blessings to her such that joining her weekly link up has made me aware of the ups and downs in her Christian life. Her weekly list has sent showers of blessings into my own direction. This in turn has inspired me so much that today, I am led to count my blessings and share them with others, too! As the chorus of the popular Christian hymn, Count Your Blessings (written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. and composer Edwin Excell) goes...

"...Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done..."

... so here, let me count my blessings and name them one by one.

I am blessed that despite the asthmatic episodes I've been through for the past weeks, I am still able to  report for work and do my household routines for the family. Although I confess, there have been times when getting up from bed becomes a real struggle after getting awakened by irritating bouts of allergic cough in the middle of the night. The extreme change in climate has affected me so much--- too much cold environment at work and too much heat outside, plus the daily stress at work...

Praise God that the turbuhaler prescribed by the doctor has finally given me some relief. This has allowed me to join the congregational singing last Sunday in our church!

Thanks to Him who never gets tired of showering us with provision for our daily needs and protection for all members of the family. By His grace, we are able to enjoy the simple joys in life.

Lastly, for this post,  I give Him thanks for the coming long weekend :)) that I can enjoy bonding with my family.
 Now, your turn to share your own blessings! Share them in the comment box below! 
Linking to Mom's the Word Making Your Home Sing Monday

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Rosy Adieu

"...So long, farewell
Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight
So long, farewell
Auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu
To you and you and you.."

An excerpt from an old song from the soundtrack of a popular movie of all time, The Sound of Music, one of my family's favorites! (My family loves musicale movies that my kids, even in their early adult age, still enjoy watching.)

In my heart, I sing the song to two dear colleagues to whom we said our farewells. I wasn't present during the send-off party, instead, I gave each one of them a rose bag/luggage identifier very much like what I made in the past (see my two previous posts about roses and rosebuds, Rose Buds as Identifiers and Rose Garden) only that this time, I used the Granny Rose pattern of Astri from Apple Blossom Dreams. But instead of making granny squares with roses at the center, I just followed the pattern for the rose. Astri's granny rose pattern doesn't require sewing at the center while turning the petals around to form the flower. Her picture tutorial is very easy to follow.

See the original rose from Apple Blossom Dreams on the left and what I made on the right.
        Photo from Astri's Granny Rose of Apple Blossom Dreams                       My finished product

Mine is made of variegated pink and purple (with blue) yarn. I gave this rose to Mae Ann because she likes pink. I'm so glad that she took a very nice photo of this rose which she immediately uploaded in Facebook :) So here it is...
Photo courtesy of Mae Ann
I will feature the yellow rose I gave to Eleanor in another post. Watch for it! 

Happy Sunday to all!
Linking to  The Best Blog Recipes
                  Mom's the Word's Making Your Home Sing Monday
                  The Busy Bee's Blog Hop 
                  Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading Link Up

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Buttons Up!

Two buttons grabbed in a day!!! Yipee! Garden Chef has just been featured twice!

Simple Living and Eating
Superthanks to you, Diane of Simple Living and Eating Foodie Friday,  for promoting my foodie blog (Uncover the Strata) featuring the Strata recipe I got from "The Old Farmer's Everyday Cookbook Almanac."
Garden Chef's Strata
  "This is a very frugal recipe. You can throw your stale bread in to it, and whatever meat and vegetables you have in the fridge. Mixed with some cheese and eggs and you have a comforting meal," says Diane.

Life on Lakeshore Drive
Fabulous Friday Features, thank you for taking notice of Garden Chef's Crocodile Crochet (CROC-het) Purse

Garden Chef's Crocodile Crochet (CROC-het) Purse

Your sweet comment is as soothing as the cool winds of the night:
"Garden Chef's Needle and Pen created this beautiful crocodile crochet purse.  So pretty!"

Happy weekend on cloud nine, everyone!!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Crocodile Crochet (CROC-het) Purse

Black Water, Rogue, Lake Placid... what's the first word that comes into your mind? Crocodile, yes, of course! How could anyone miss that? Grrr... I don't like the sight of crocodiles although I have watched several crocodile movies on TV. But when I first came to know about the crocodile crochet stitch from the many crochet works in craft websites and YouTube tutorials, I already fell in love with it. 

Having crocheted three crocodile projects in the past was of great help in following the steps for this Croc Purse I made.

I have already featured my very first crocodile stitch bracelet 

and the two pieces of crocodile stitch necklace I made recently in my previous posts. 
But the moment I came across My Merry Messy Life's Crochet Crocodile Clutch Purse I seemed to experience sleepless nights thinking of what color to use for this project.

Playing safe, I chose black for the body and white for the top edging.

See all the crocodile stitches on the front side? I enjoyed making each one of them!
Now, for the back side, here are 15 rows of HDCs
For this version, I didn't skip spaces to make a handle. I just continued making HDCs around until I finished 4 rows.

This is how the inner part looks like just before I fastened the zipper
The other modification I made aside from not making a handle was sewing a zipper to the white edging.
The result was a Crocodile (Croc) Purse instead of a Crocodile Clutch Bag. I hope Sara of My Merry Messy Life wouldn't mind at the changes I made. Afterall, isn't that cute?

Oh, I'm so happy and proud to have made this! I hope my cousin, Judy, will like it.

Ayana Grace, my daughter, would like me to make a bigger one like this. Now, I'm thinking again... what color is it going to be? Can you guess her favorite color? Hmmm... how about writing it down in the comment box below? (Let me give you a clue. She's following me and I'm following her, too!)

Linking to Creative Design

Tilapia Curry with Diced Mango

I woke up late one day so the multitasking begun. As I was dressing up (errr... putting on make-up), I was, at the same time, listening (because watching would all the more make me late for work) to Umagang Kay Ganda, a morning show in a local TV channel, ABS-CBN, that features not only the latest news and current events but also advices, practical tips on daily living and the hottest issues about celebrity and showbiz stars. One of highlights each day is a cooking demo of innovative and healthy dishes that viewers could easily follow. I chanced upon this featured dish: Tilapia Curry with Diced Mango (the recipe which I translated to English was taken from Umagang KayGanda Official Page in Facebook). 
3 tbsps vegetable oil
2 pcs garlic, minced
2 tbsps onion
4 pcs tomato
3 pcs green chili pepper
4 tbsps curry powder
3 cups coconut milk
Sugar, fish sauce and ground pepper to taste Ripe mango (diced)
Wansuy or Cilantro

1. Fry fish and set aside.
2. Sautee onion, garlic and tomatoes in vegetable oil.
3. Add curry powder and simmer for 5 seconds. Add coconut milk, fish sauce and pepper.
4. Place fried tilapia in coconut milk sauce and cook for 3 minutes. Add green chili and sugar to taste.
5. Add diced mango and cilantro.

Hmmm... I love the smell of curry powder!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Warm Spinach and Orange Salad in Asian Vinaigrette

Whew! How time flies! It was just a few weeks (one month, actually!) ago when Ana Cristina, my youngest daughter, brought home for the second time Yummy Magazines. Here they all are!
I have already featured in this site an introductory post about Yummy Magazine and a number of its yummy recipes, as well.  Browsing over the September 2012 issue, I was inspired to cook the following dishes which are all featured in my recent posts ---


Today, I'm featuring another veggie salad recipe which I also found in the same issue of Yummy Magazine --- the Warm Spinach and Orange Salad in Asian Vinaigrette. Yes, after browsing over this same issue for the nth time! :)

200 grams spinach leaves
2 oranges, peeled and separated into segments
1 red onion, sliced thinly
The main ingredients
For the Asian Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tbsps rice vinegar
2 tsps soy sauce 
1 tsp garlic paste (to make: place peeled cloves of a whole head of garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add 1     tsp iodized salt. Mash until mixture has turned into a paste.)
1 1/2 tsps sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp calamansi juice

1. Place all ingredients for the salad in a bowl.
 2. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette. Cook over low heat, simmering for 2 minutes.
3. Pour hot dressing over salad.
4.  Toss well. Serve warm.

See, very simple and easy to prepare. You will love the the vinaigrette, believe me! It made a perfect partner to the Tuna Steak slice I served Billy, my husband, for dinner last weekend.
Try this, I dare you, and you will give it not just another try! Meanwhile, I have another browsing to do... the cauliflower and broccoli florets are waiting for me. Enjoy the weekend!

Linking to Simple Living and Eating Foodie Friday, Serenity Now's Weekly Bloggy Reading 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bitter Melon and Cucumber Salad

Today, we didn't have the usual Jolibee meals which Billy, my husband take home every Saturday, so I fried some dried danggit (rabbitfish) and pusit (squid). Perfect for fried eggs and fried rice for breakfast! But that's not what this post is all about. Today, I'm featuring the Ampalaya and Pipino Salad (Bitter Melon and Cucumber Salad) I made for lunch.

I discovered this new salad recipe from Yummy Magazine (again!). Yes, the same September 2012 issue where I got the Pork Stew in Unripe Mango recipe I featured last week.

Very easy to prepare... here's how:


1 bitter melon (ampalaya), seeded and thinly sliced
1 cucumber (pipino), thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced into small cubes
1 medium-sized red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons white vinegar
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a bowl, toss together bitter melon, cucumber, red bell pepper and onions. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. Make the dressing: In a separate bowl, combine vinegar, water and sugar. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Drizzle vinegar dressing over salad. Toss and serve.
For this recipe, instead of slicing thinly the bitter melon and cucumber, I used my mandoline slicer such that I had very, very thin and small slices of both. The juice naturally came out so I didn't add water anymore. 

Now, the finished product...
It made another perfect match to the left over dried danggit and pusit from our breakfast. Do you think you would enjoy this kind of meal?

Crocodile Garland

It's not a mistake... oh, yes, you read it right--- Crocodile garland, that's it! Last week, I posted about my purple crochet necklace made of Crocodile Stitches. I made it the other week but last week, I worked on another Crocodile Necklace of another color. Here, see this.
Do you like the color? Can you spot the difference? I still used the pattern of Tia Davis but this time, instead of making Double Crochet Stitches to create the crocodile stitch, I made Trebles in order to make larger petals. So now, do you see the difference? Or maybe in the next photo you will notice...
I've been practicing making all these crocodile stitches in preparation for another project I have in mind. I hope it will become a reality before this month ends, March being the National Craft Month.

Oh, please do share any crocodile crochet project you may have made in the past! :) That would be exciting! Happy weekend to you!

 Linking to Serenity Now's Share your Best Post at Weekend Bloggy Reading