you complete me

There is only one thing in my kids’ mind when you ask them about their ultimate comfort food… it’s lasagna. (See below if you want to know my lasagna recipe). And what is lasagna without cheese, lots of cheese? My fridge is never without cheeses… cream cheese, quick melt cheese, cheddar and mozzarella.

Cheese makes everything delightful. It is so FLAVORFUL, so good, so addicting. It is so versatile too. It could be an appetizer, a dip, mixed with desserts and great for baking/cooking. Just thinking about it makes me want to grab for some bread right now and make a grilled cheese sandwich. Cheese… you complete me. Yum!

How about you? What’s your ultimate comfort food?


My lasagna recipe. (I’m sure i already blogged about this but i’m sharing it again)

As a busy mom, i oftentimes make shortcuts when cooking. So i use ready bake lasagna sheets and store bought spaghetti sauce when i cook the ground meat. I sometimes make use of mozzarella sheets if i have them. It’s not often available so grated mozzarella is the next best thing. If out of mozzarella or on a budget? I also make use of quick melt cheese.

For the white sauce. Just melt butter in pan, add some flour, stir to cook and slowly add milk. Stir to prevent lumps. Season with salt to taste or in my recipe i just drop a pork bouillon cube to add more flavor. You may add some cream too for that creamier texture. Bring it to boil with constant stirring to make it even more glossy.

For the ground meat. I usually buy a combination of pork and beef. Based on my own experience, purely ground beef results to an oilier meat sauce. Put ground meat on pan, add some salt, chopped garlic and onion. When cooked, stir in store bought spaghetti sauce. Give it a dash of italian seasoning, some salt if needed and a little sugar to balance acidity. Simmer and set aside.

For layering. Just alternate white sauce and ground meat on a baking pan adding some mozzarella if you want an ooey-gooey lasagna but quick melt cheese will do just fine. I bake it for about 40 minutes with the pan covered in foil at first to prevent burnt cheese topping then i remove the foil covering and bake it just a little more time until the topping has a golden glaze. (Tip: To test if your pasta is cooked, just pierce it with a toothpick or a chopstick and you will know and feel if it’s done.)

Cool… serve… and enjoy! Best paired with toasted french bread with garlic parsley butter spread.

Boots: Mom… did you just say LASAGNA?
Mom: Yuppp! Oh! I thought you’ve just eaten ’cause you still have food stains on your mouth, hahaha… 

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goodbye Lemon

Yesterday morning i lost Lemon.. It was as if she just waited for me to wake up because she knows that i will go straight to her and check on her which i do everyday. I hold on to her and she did not even struggle, no biting, no chirps. She was just so weak to do that. I noticed how thin she was under those orange and and yellow feathers. I gently dipped her beak to her water bowl and she sipped a little. I began to worry because she feels cold. I wrapped her in both of my palms to give her warmth but i know her end is near. I decided to take some photos because i know i may never see her again…

As i was taking photos, she slowly faded away, looked at me and closed her eyes one last time. And there i was, i couldn’t stop it from happening, i was trembling and i was crying watching her fade.

Lemon and Lime were given to us way back 2009. If they were a year old at that time, Lemon is about 9 years old.

I will miss her. I will miss her noisy happy chirps and her PENCHANT of crunchy vegetable stalks. Oh boy, she loved them. (Lime loved vegetable stalks too). I used to watch her biting at the stalks and make little threads out of them which she would then tuck in her feathers to bring it to her nest.

Goodbye Lemon. Fly free little one… Lime is at the rainbow bridge to welcome you. I could almost imagine how happy you are with Lime now… perched on a tree and singing happy chirps while kissing beak to beak.

my lemon

Lemon is my African lovebird. She used to have a mate named Lime that sadly crossed the rainbow bridge last November 2016. They used to be very loud but i am happy hearing their happy chirps. When Lime passed, i seldom hear Lemon chirps. Over the years, they never had any chicks but i often see eggs thrown out of the nest.

The birdies were given to us around 2009. It’s been a long time. It breaks my heart and is so painful to watch Lemon now struggling to go to its nest and i sometimes give her a little push so she could get inside her cozy home. She used to bite but these days she welcomes my help and doesn’t struggle anymore. Maybe it is because of old age but i’m sure she is not sick. Yesterday i made a ramp to help her navigate.

For now, i will just take it one day at a time and will continue caring for Lemon. I want to be hopeful and wait for her to be better but i know it has been 8 years and she is looking old. I feel sad watching her.

Here’s a photo of Lemon and Lime from a post i made about them in 2012. Click here if you want to read the post.

The Daily Post Daily Prompt: SYMPATHY and Weekly Photo Challenge: WAITING

priceless things i could afford

A Hermes Birkin designer bag is priceless for an ordinary person like me. I couldn’t buy an island nor have my own jet.  But the rich and the famous could afford them and they don’t seem to be that priceless. Lucky me, i do have priceless things that i really could afford.

Time. Yes, i could afford to live every moment of time. With so many bad decisions in the past i need to be really careful now in the choices that i make. What’s done is done and i cannot turn back the time.

Happiness. The key to achieving happiness depends upon one’s outlook in life. I may have endured a lot of challenges and problems because of a failed relationship but the power to be happy rests on me alone. I choose to be happy in spite of everything. As they say, happiness should not depend on things that we don’t have but appreciate and be happy on things that we have.

Family. I am thankful for having a wonderful family. It is a busy world and we all have our own lives to live but we do make it a point to celebrate every occasions together.

Nature. The gift of seeing nature is priceless whether it is just a pocket garden of flowers or just a tree in the yard. I love watching the birds that occasionally visit my one and only citrus tree. I love butterflies that hover from one flower to another. I love the bees that make stopovers from one flower to the next. I love watching the sky on a clear night. I love to watch the phases of the moon. Just yesterday i managed to take a photo of the sky and saw that the moon is almost full. Maybe tonight it would be.

Oh wait, i almost forgot… My cat Star is PRICELESS too.

shades of red

Note to self today:

Live life one day at a time…

Stop for a while and enjoy the little things in life like the beauty of the flowers… so brightly colored, loving and embracing the warmth of the sun…

to have more laughter, less stress, to let go of negativity and just enjoy life.

As always, the song Christmas in our Hearts is the first Christmas song i hear every September 1 … looking forward to greater things up ahead.

Hello September… Hello BER months.

In response to The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Structure

 

Goldie is my number 7

When i had my first cat Star i really planned it out that i would adopt another cat so she would have a playmate and a sibling. I am so happy with two cats and now within a span of 5 years they are 7.

There’s Star, adopted Tiger to be Star’s playmate, fostered Boots when his humans left for Dubai to work, rescued a teeny-weeny Ashton almost 2 years ago, rescued Kuting when i found him beaten up with his tail almost severed, adopted Puti an all white deaf kitty from my mother and… then Goldie who showed up on my terrace about 6 months ago, very thin, begging for food, love and attention. Click here to see how he looks like when i first saw him.

 

GOLDIE, you are my number 7.

my love and hate of juicing

Combining carrots and apples in a juicer is my absolute favorite. I choose bright colored carrots as they produce very vibrant orange colored juice that is so wondrously appealing. Adding some apples gives it the essential sweetness. I drop in a slice of lemon to my juice for that added zing.

I love juicing because i could always customize how my juice would taste by experimenting with different fruit combination. It gives me joy as i relish every drop of the end product… pure and healthy juice that is gleaming with awesome goodness.

Do you want to know the hateful part? the cleaning.

The Daily Post Daily Prompt: RADIATE