My First Carbonara

For the second time, I am planning to cook something on Christmas eve.  I tried cooking my first spaghetti last year and it was successful.  I have this tendency of losing my appetite after I cook so I made sure to leave something for myself. And it's surely a leftover, my brother, thought maybe that I've had my fill almost consumed my share. So I thought it was good.

I did not really plan doing it again but I am inclined to cook, this time I thought of something quick and easy yet tasty. There's already the fettuccine waiting to be cooked so I thought of cooking carbonara.  So I searched online for some receipes and I am glad to have found a lot but I am not really interested in following everything, I just wanted to get an idea how it is cooked and what are the ingredients needed.  Here's what I have on my list (combined from other sources:

The gathered recipe:
500 gms. Fettuccine
200 gms. bacon
200 gms. ham
2 cloves garlic, minced2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese - grated
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsely
2 Nestle All Purpose Cream
2 cans Cream of Mushroom
Olive Oil
salt and pepper

What I end up with:
200 gms. bacon - not available
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese - grated (not available in small size)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsely - not available
2 cans Cream of Mushroom - don't feel like mixing it with these :)
**Most of the ingredients are not available because I decided to shop the next day, can't bear long lines.
400 gms. Fettuccine
200 gms. ham - diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 250ml Nestle All Purpose Cream
estimated 2 tbsp. Kinchay instead of Parsely
1 regular sized Magnolia Quickmelt instead of Parmesan
Settled with regular Cooking Oil :)
salt and pepper

Here's what I did (5 steps to cook my Carbonara):
Step 1.  Heated the pan and put a little oil to cook the diced ham.
Step 2.  Once cooked, removed ham and set it aside.  With the remaining oil, saute the garlic.
Step 3.  When the garlic is about to turn brown but make sure it's not brown, saute kinchay for 3 seconds.
Step 4.  Pour the all the All-Purpose Cream, add 3/4 ham and 3/4 Magnolia quickmelt & slowly stir in one direction.
Step 5.  Simmer until the mixture becomes a little thick then add the fettuccine pasta. Mix thoroughly and slowly.

It's now ready to serve!  Make sure to spread a little of pepper and a dash of salt to taste.  I served the first serving to my gf and guess what, she didn't like it..haha co'z it wasn't sprinkled with salt but after I did she asked me if she can bring home some of it.

Anyways, whether it's just to please me or not, I saved half of it for her to bring home.

*Updated with pics, never thought this is easy and cheaper than spaghetti - more delectable too.

Make Your Christmas Message Felt

I can still recall that day when we (me and my one and only) went to the church on the first day of Advent.  The priest sermon was about how we could possibly celebrate this Christmas, in a way different from the previous years but still the spirit remains the same.  He specifically mentioned about giving love on Christmas day.  He reiterated many times about the love for our family or those people close to our heart, the love for other people whom we do not know, and the love for our enemy.

We possibly heard this message a zillion times.  We could possibly say we've done our part and we may be true to ourselves saying those words, but have we felt any difference? or is it just something usual because let's say you're really that kind of person and this would come easy for you but have made sure our message went through?

Doing things like we normally do doesn't seem to exert extra effort on us and this could mean something else to another person. It could impart another message that you're just too good doing it that it doesn't really matter if you mean it or not. It could simply be interpreted differently.

When I say something to someone dear to me or to a family member, they oftentimes treat it as simple conversation even if you're serious about it.  It takes a little effort to show that you're serious, that you mean it.  On the other hand, showing any gesture of kindness to other people not related to you mostly don't take much effort and they easily appreciate it.  Try giving a gift to your sister and to someone unknown to you. Or maybe call  the person who  mistreated you before and say that you have a gift for him/her.  What do you think their response be? Maybe you can imagine how your sister would respond to you. How about the one whom you do not know?  And the one who wronged you? What difference does it make though when you're giving them all a gift?

Obviously there is a significant difference.  A message when heard according to how you mean it resonates accordingly whereas if you simply act according to what you think should be done could also mean otherwise.  So this Christmas, try to make a difference.  I know you have something to say so surely make your Christmas message felt.

Merry Christmas everyone!

*Belen painting taken form Fr. Chito's website at

The Making Of A Magical Christmas

Every time we see lanterns, blinking lights, bells and other Christmas decorations hanging around town, villages and in our homes, we feel that Christmas is in the air. When December comes, almost every week you’ll probably attend a Christmas gathering. Whether it be a gathering of friends, colleagues, team building or company sponsored we all relive the spirit of Christmas.

So how do you relieve Christmas spirit?

Usually we find answers like giving love on Christmas day, hmmn… sounds familiar? Yeah, just as the song goes. Christmas is always a time for sharing: sharing blessings, gifts, love, joy and forgiveness. We all have our own unique way of expressing ourselves.

While reading news clips online, I came across a very interesting story about a couple who started a "Magic".  This is not something about potions, this is something real - well in another sense :)

Here's how it goes: the couple went to Aramingo Diner in Philadelphia for breakfast.  After their meal, the  couple decided to pay double: for their meal and for one of the resto's diners.  They asked the waitresses not to say anything until they left.  They only greeted their customers "Merry Christmas" and said "that person picked up your tab."  And then the next paid for another creating a chain reaction.  This went on and on for hours.

What can you say?  This is just wonderful!  I would love to do the same thing.  It feels good to be able to do something for someone you don't even know and knowing that it created a chain reaction is just amazing!

Read the full story here by Danielle Johnson .  Photo taken from the video clip on the same site.

Mayon Volcano Spews Lava

Mayon Volcano, the "Perfect Cone" and the most beautiful of Philippine volcanoes glowed mightily in the dark, spewing lava from it's center down to its slope. A magnificent but dangerously beautiful sight at dawn on Tuesday awaken the town of Albay, prompting the immediate evacuation of these affected areas within the 6 to 8 kilometer danger zones.

As of today, almost 60,000 people (est. 10,000 families) were displaced seeking refuge to nearby towns. The towns of Bonga, Mabingit and Buyuan are in immediate danger according to Phivolcs director Renato Solidum. The lava flow is directed to these towns.

Alex Baloloy, a science research analyst said that a major eruption of Mayon might occur within the period of two weeks if ever the abnormalities would continue and further intensify.

Read more about these report here.

Photo credit:

Immaculate Conception

The Philippines being largely a Roman Catholic nation is celebrating today the feast of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The doctrine of Immaculate Conception is the belief that Virgin Mary is free from original sin.  Unlike all human beings, it is a special gift given by God as she would become the mother of the Lord's only son, our savior Jesus Christ.

Virgin Mary's life is a challenge to us all, to live our life in obedience to God's will. As she remained to serve the Lord to the very end, and remained without sin, we too must strive to live a good life and follow her lead 'til the end of our life.

 *Image by by Diego Velázquez (1599-1660),  Immaculate Conception (c. 1618)

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