Home-Cooked Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta

Few years ago, I told my friend in the office that I was exploring recipes and trying to learn how to cook.  Yup, I just started learning how to cook rice and to boil egg when I got married.  For the past 28 years of my life, I was just a consumer of whatever my mother will cook for the family.Being a fan of pasta, my friend requested for a recipe that will replicate Yellow Cab’s Charlie Chan.  So I searched the web and tried the recipe first before giving it to her.  According to my critics (my hubby and my sister), my recipe is more delicious than the original Yellow Cab’s Charlie Chan.  Whether what they said is true or not, I cannot gauge.  But, one thing’s for sure…  They are trying to persuade me to cook again for them.

1 bottle Java sauce
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 can Jolly canned mushroom or Shitake mushroom
300 g. Breast chicken fillet, cut into strips
1/2 cup Hot & spicy roasted nuts
500 g. Spaghetti noodles
Cooking oil (canola)
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish

Cooking Instructions:
1. Marinate the chicken strips in java sauce for 10-15 minutes.
2. Cook spaghetti noodles until Al dente.  Do not forget to add few drops of oil and a pinch of salt on the pasta.  Drain water from cooked pasta.
3. Over low heat, in a non-stick pan, pour canola oil.
4. Add the minced garlic and saute until it turns brown.
5. Add the chicken strips and mushroom.  Then the roasted nuts.  Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.
6. Pour 1 bottle java sauce.
7. Mix the cooked noodles and sauce.  Toss until the noodles is completely covered with sauce and other ingredients.
8. Serve hot.  Sprinkle or decorate with parsley.

Number of servings:  good for 5 -6


Saucy, Chili Chicken Wings

Fried chicken is considered as one of Filipinos comfort foods, making Jollibee, McDonald’s and KFC lucrative in the Philippines.  Myself is a self-confessed fried chicken lover even when I was young.  Though I hate frying, this is one of the recipes that gives me courage to conquer my fear.  Haha!  So, here it is.  My humble Saucy, Chili Chicken Wings.
10 pieces Chicken wings (tips removed)1 1/2 cups rice or cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups Soy sauce
6 pieces Calamansi
3 tbsp. Chili powder
1 bottle UFC/Jufran/Del Monte Sweet Chili sauce
2 cups Cornstarch
3 cups Cooking oil
Chopped spring onion, for garnish

Preparation of Marinade:

  1. Pour 1 1/2 cups of soy sauce in an airtight container.  Squeeze 6 pieces calamansi and mix with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Chili powder and soy sauce.
  2. Place the chicken wings in the airtight container.  Make sure that the chicken wings are covered with the prepared ingredients.  Marinate overnight.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Mix 2 cups cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder in a bowl.
  2. Dip the marinated chicken wings on the bowl and toss well so ensure that it will be covered by cornstarch.
  3. Heat the frying pan.  Once hot, pour in cooking oil.  At low heat, fry the chicken wings.  (Note:  It is suggested to fry at low heat so that the meat will be cooked well).
  4. Heat another frying pan and pour in few drops of cooking oil.  At low heat, pour UFC/Jufran/Del Monte Sweet Chili sauce and place the fried chicken wings.  Toss well for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Place the chicken wings on a platter.  Sprinkle with chopped spring onion to garnish.

Number of servings:  good for 3-4

My 31st birthday (no-holds-barred) wishes!

It’s few weeks from my 31st birthday.  I told my husband that I will have my much needed me-time on that day.  It’s been over a year since I gave birth that I selflessly took care of my baby Marty.  Being a wife and a mom, I’m at a stage in my life that myself is my last priority.  Also, the entire family has been through a lot of hurdles during the past months, that looking after my well-being was set aside.

I’m grateful that this year is turning out to be one of the best years of my life.   Things and events fall into their rightful places.  So, if a geenie would come to me and ask what my birthday wishes are, I will gladly wish for the following and expect an answer that sounds like “Your wish is  my command.”

  1. Luxury of time – I do a lot of things in a haste.  The word “hurry” has been a big part of my vocabulary during the past months.  I never get to enjoy simple mosundialments of life because everything seems to be urgent.  I never get to savor each moment of eating food, taking a bath, walking, or breathing.  On my birthday, I want to  enjoy each moment of my day as I take a bath, brush my teeth, eat, dress up, walk, breathe.  Just for one day, I will never look at my watch and just let the moment pass by as I enjoy my day.   On my birthday, I will take the pleasure of killing time.  I will savor the hot coffee at Starbucks as I write a blog or read a book.
  2. Freedom from stress – It’s been months since I had my last salon session with my favorite hairdresser – Ramir of Going Straight Salon branch in SM Molino.  And it’s been years since I had my last full-body massage.  On my birthday, I will relax as I have my much-needed pampering.  I will definitely shoo stress away.
  3. Freedom from pressure and distraction –  woman relaxOn my birthday, I will turn off my mobile phone that will contain messages like, “Where are you?,”  “This is urgent.  Can I call you?,”  or “Please return my call ASAP.”  My birthday is MY day and I demand respect for my time.  On that day, there will be no emergencies that will require my attention.
  4. Happy money for shopping – People who are close to me can tell that I am a certified frugal.  I always make sure that I get most out of each penny that I spend.  Besides, what I spend is my hard-earned money.  But for one day, I will buy things my heart desires (new clothes, new bag, new pair of shoes, new accessories, etc.).  I’ve been harsh on myself during the past months that whenever there is an urge to buy something for myself, I always end-up buying necessities (e.g. groceries) just to satisfy my urge to buy.
  5. Special moment for praying – I pray everyday.  In fact, I pray at least three times a day (before each meal).  But on my birthday, like any other birthday celebrants, I believe that God will grant my wishes.  So my prayer for this day will be extra special.  I will pray for everything my heart desires – fantastic health, peace of mind, happier relationships, abundance on all aspects of my life, etc.  More importantly, I will take this special moment to thank God for all the blessings and guidance I received that kept me sane, alive, and kicking despite the hurdles I’ve been through.

birthday cake

We celebrate our natal day only once a year.  I feel that it is a good practice that apart from dinners, parties, and dates with friends and loved ones, I will take this time to pause and look at my life as an spectator.  Oftentimes I’m so engrossed with meeting deadlines, earning a living to make ends meet, and acting as a superwoman, that I forget to live my life.

Nevertheless, I’m happy and grateful for the past 31 years of my life that made this existence wonderful, fantastic and breath-taking.  Indeed, life is beautiful, and living life with happiness and contentment is extraordinary!

Living life beautifully,

How to deliver dynamic presentations?

It was in November of 2012 when I, together with my three work colleagues, attended a three-day workshop on how to deliver dynamic presentations at the Ateneo Center for Continuing Education.

The training is worthy of every penny that our company paid as it is full of valuable information.  We took home a lot of worthwhile learning that we can use in our work and in our everyday life.  Listed below are some of the things I learned on delivering dynamic presentations:

  1. The only reason why we should give presentation is to change the world.
  2. Great speakers are not born, they are trained.
  3. Speaking and presenting are skills that we learn through desire, effort, and practice.  Thus, it takes a while before you can call yourself a good speaker.
  4. The objective in presenting should be:  “To WOO the audience, WOW the audience and WIN the audience over.”
  5. There must always be a greeting when starting a presentation; Say “Good Morning”
  6. Never point finger to your audience.presentation
  7. Say “Thank you” to end a presentation;  Never say “That is all.”
  8. Your audience evaluates you during the first 5 minutes.  You never get a second chance after you make a first impression.
  9. If your audience don’t like you (Likeability), and more important, don’t trust you (Credibility), they won’t be receptive to what you have to say.  Likeability is a mindset.  You have to like your audience first even before he/she meets you.  You have to reach your audience with both head and heart.
  10. When you crack a joke, don’t laugh with your audience.  Allow them to enjoy what you said.
  11. Your audience expect a professional presentation, so they expect to see a “professional.”
  12. Never go down to the level of your audience.  But, never pretend that you are better than your audience.  Instead, help them rise to the level where both of you will feel comfortable.
  13. A good posture conveys energy.  Hiding hands inside your pocket means that there is something lacking in terms of confidence.
  14. Never allow the audience to distract / unsettle you.  Be in control.
  15. When you do not know the answer to your audience’s question, say “I’m sorry, but I’ll get back to you.”
  16. As a speaker, use the pronoun “We” instead of “I” during a presentation.  Eye contact is a way for you to tell every person in the audience that, “You are important.  I’m talking just to you.”
  17. Never argue with a member of the audience.
  18. Pronunciation and enunciation are two different things.  Pronunciation means correctness, while enunciation means clarity.
  19. Prepare before any presentation.  If you fail to prepare, you are prepared to fail.
  20. Your audience only get what you give them.  It’s not what you say that counts in the end, but what the audience hears.

stage fright

You ARE Beautiful

You ARE Beautiful.

I happen to stumble upon this beautiful video shared by a fellow blogger when I was checking out my blog after having lunch. It feels good to have reality checks like this from time to time.  Most especially during moments that your happiness succumbs to life’s pressures, stresses, and challenges.

To Simple Tom, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this with us.

Happy and beautiful,

31 Roles I Played During My 31 Years of Existence on Earth (Part 6 of 6 Series)

It’s been weeks and I can’t believe  that I’m already on the last part of this 6 part series.  In case you wish to back-read the past 5 parts of this series, you may click on the following links below:

The last 4 roles that I played are very dear to me.  Apart from the family I was with since birth, I’m blessed and grateful to be given the opportunity to have my own family and to bring another life to this world.  The roles that I’m about to share with you taught me how magnificent it is to love and be loved.


Photo taken during our prenuptial pictorial

28.  Girlfriend – I’ve been a girlfriend to my ex-boyfriend (now my husband) for 8 years, 5 months and 25 days before we got married.  It’s been long years of love and hate relationship that made us grow together as partners and grow individually as mature and responsible  adults.  Actually, we were childhood sweethearts back when I was around 13 years old (while he was 12).  Until something came up that we parted ways and got reunited 4 years after, when I was about to graduate from college.  The trials we faced even grew larger, but our love and faith that God will help us through even grew larger than those trials that we proudly surpassed them all.


I and hubby showing off our engagement watch

29.  Fiancee – I can’t remember the date I actually started becoming a fiancee as there was actually  no marriage proposal that happened (Ssssshhhh!  This is a secret that I just revealed now).  In fact, I actually have no engagement ring (with that beautiful, delicate stone) to show off.  Ours is just a simple engagement watch from Skechers that we both have.  Though there is no formal engagement, I can still remember how we planned the details of our wedding, canvassed and negotiated with suppliers, talked with our primary and secondary sponsors, opened a savings account for our wedding, bought our first house, etc.  Being hands-on in preparing for the wedding is a gruelling yet wonderful experience.  I and my fiance (now my husband) got to know each other better.


Taken during our first travel as husband and wife

30.  Wife – What most married couples say, “Despite the long engagement, there are still lots of things that you are yet to discover as soon as you live together in one roof,” is really true.  The snoring that keeps you awake until your body gives up and automatically hibernates, the shared closet, the dirty sink, the overcooked meals, etc.  The first few months of our marriage pushed our patience to the limit, but our love and respect for each other prevailed that we learned to adjust and to accept our differences.  Despite all the trials that we faced (including those that we are yet to face), I believe that our marriage vows and God’s blessings will guide us ’til death do us part.

31.  Mother – There is nothing more rewarding in my entire life than being a mother.  This is the role that will always be my favorite from the moment that I saw those two red bars when I had my pregnancy test done, to shopping for those mittens, onesies, booties, etc, to feeling those little kicks inside my tummy,

My baby boy baring his pearly-white teeth and gummy smile

My baby boy baring his pearly-white and gummy smile

to knowing that we are having a baby boy after the ultrasound, to seeing my baby boy for the first time after the excruciating labor pain, to witnessing his milestones, etc.  Indeed, motherhood is a gift.

I’m grateful to have the opportunity to portray all these roles during the past 31 years of my life, and I’m excited on having more fruitful years and more wonderful roles to portray.  As I celebrate my birthday, I thank those who took time reading this blog series.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Grateful at 31,

31 Roles I Played During My 31 Years of Existence on Earth (Part 5 of 6 Series)

It’s fascinating how technology changed our lives.  It is easier to communicate now than it is 10 or 20 years ago, not to mention that it is less costly also.  Today, you can send a message to a person who is at the other part of the globe in just few seconds.  Technology helps us also reunite with our childhood friends who now reside in Timbuktu.  A lot of businesses also save a lot of time and money on business travels because of technology (i.e. teleconference or video conference).

For me, technology became a tool to gain new friends and to express myself, without being judged.  Because in the virtual world, people do not care where you came from, the kind of family that you have, the grades you got in school, the mistakes that you did throughout your life, etc.

Today, I will share with you the four roles I played that evolved the same way technology evolved through the years.

24.  Phonepal – Way back in highschool, when having a mobile phone is too costly, I was introduced to the wonders of meeting new people and gaining new friends through phone.  I spent an average of 3 hours on the phone everyday talking about life, what I am doing at that very moment aside from talking with somebody at the other side of the line (see, I my multi-tasking skills were developed because of this), etc.  I met a Eric, a band member, was introduced by my aunt to Frank, a guy who looks life Joacqs of TGIS and who became my friend for a couple of years, and Che, someone who I considered an elder sister and adviser who became a close friend until now.  As I look back, the time I spent with these people over the phone may seem as a waste of time, but I consider it also as an experience that gave me valuable life’s lessons – of  expressing myself confidently.

25.  Textmate – When I was in second year college, my parents were so generous to buy me a mobile phone.  My fist one was the colorful COM 509 Bosch mobile phone, then I asked for a smaller (so small that you can hide it inside your hanky) C25 Siemens mobile phone.  Until, the proud Nokia 3210 came in the picture that made everybody salivate with its one-of-a-kind features. 31 roles mobile phone With my new Nokia 3210, I had a lot of text mates – gained a lot of friends, and spent a considerable amount of money on cellphone loads during the time that Smart’s Alltxt 10 and Gaantxt 10 are not yet conceived.

26.  Chatmate – I never had a typical debutante party when I turned 18.  I’m not a fan of formal gatherings or cocktail parties that you are obliged to wear those itchy gowns  and to have your hair transformed into an unimaginably hard and ultra-sticky work of art by a local hairdresser.  Instead, I asked for a desktop computer – something I dreamt of having as an amateur writer of a college paper.  Until I got entertained by chatting online when I started visiting http://www.excite.com, then eventually discovered the now defunct Java Room of http://www.globalpinoy.com where I learned branding (Haha!).  When I first logged on Global Pinoy’s Java Room, my user name is just “May.”  Nobody noticed or dared to ask for my ASL (age, sex or gender, location).  Until I left the room and re-entered with my brand new user name “Gorgeous May.”  There, I met a lot of people – US immigrants who never want to go back to the Philippines anymore, OFWs in the Middle East and Japan, employees, students, bums, etc.  Until now, I’m amazed at how we all met with just few clicks.  To this day, some of them remaine31 roles- heartd to be life-long friends, while I lost touch with most of them already.  Nevertheless, my day-to-day communication with them somehow developed by confidence in dealing with different people from all walks of life, not to mention that it also honed my typing skills.

27.  Blogger – Writing is therapeutic.  For some, shopping, going to the gym, eating their comfort food or going on a vacation relieves their stress.  I’m glad that mine is budget-friendly and does not require much cash except for my initial investment of a netbook and a handy internet connection which I can bring along wherever I go.  Blogging creates a different world for me, apart from my life as an employee, as a wife, as a mother, as a daugther, and all the other roles in my life.  Blogging allows me to speak my mind and to reach out to strangers who can relate to my posts.  I guess, I will do this for the rest of my life as I have found an immeasurable joy and sense of fulfillment for every blog that I finish writing.

For the past 31 years of my life, I’m astounded at how technology changed our way of living.  I’m glad that I’m part of a generation that witnessed and experienced what used to be a dream of the previous generations.  The everyday learning that we gain by just figuring out how to use Instagram, how to sync your Blackberry with your PC, how to create traffic on your website through SEO, etc. is something that you cannot learn inside the four corners of a typical classroom.  With that, I commit to be adaptive of all the changes that are yet to happen in my life.

Adaptive to life’s changes,