ROASTED HERB CHICKEN: A Culinary-Idiot Friendly Recipe

It sounds gourmet-ish, doesn’t it? Roasted Herb Chicken… sounds pretty difficult to make too.  I wanted to impress Dear Hubby with my, well, “culinary skills”.  Yes, albeit limited, I have a few skills  in the kitchen.  Somehow I have managed to serve my boys edible meals without any of them getting choked or something.

It’s Father’s Day and this lunch has got to be special… AND easy to make! A very important factor there.

To all you wives and mothers with the same level of kitchen talents as I do, let me share with you this recipe that saved my day.  I got the basic idea from the internet but I tweaked it a bit to suit my taste.  I was quite a bit apprehensive as it requires to use an oven to do the roasting. Whoah, why don’t I just make fried chicken?!

It turned out to be so easy you only have to put everything in a dish and place it inside the oven. Roasting is close to the maximum level of complexity that I’m okay with, there are only THREE (3) easy steps to remember.

Let me assure you:  If I can do it, ANYBODY can do it too. That’s how easy it is 🙂   Checkirawt!

HERBED CHICKEN

Step 1:  Marinate the Chicken Breasts OVERNIGHT with the following:

Calamansi or Lemon Juice
Soy sauce
Garlic
Rosemary (preferably fresh but dried will do)
Thyme (preferably fresh but dried will do)
Salt & Pepper
*I have to emphasize that it has to be marinated overnight so the flavor seeps through.

Step 2: Get Ready To Rumble

Assemble the following on a baking dish:
Marinated Chicken
Baby Potatoes: properly washed, halved
Onions, halved
Garlic, halved
* Drizzle with olive oil
* Sprinkle with salt, pepper, dried rosemary and thyme (if you don’t have fresh ones)

Step 3:  Roast Away

– Place the baking dish in a pre-heated oven
– Leave for 15-20 minutes or until chicken gets fully cooked
– Baste the chicken with melted butter from time to time
– Top with fresh chopped Basil leaves before serving

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A BREAK-UP LETTER TO MY BLACKBERRY

My old Blackberry with its perennial white screen... sometimes it's black.

My old Blackberry with its perennial white screen…

Dear Blackberry,

I fell in love with you the moment I laid my eyes on you.  Your perfect keyboard helped this large-thumbed woman create perfectly spelled texts every time.  You and I knew each other so well, I didn’t have to think which punctuations or emoticons to use.  We’ve been through a lot together. We made travel arrangements, sent messages to family and friends, read news (and gossips) from across the globe.

That’s why what I’m about to say is very difficult.

I’m breaking up with you.

I know there’s no easy way to say it but you’re all business and I wanted to cut the chase.  You seem to be powering down a bit… no, a lot, lately.   My daily routine of rebooting you has caused my entire phonebook to go kaput. It was fine, I just had to update all my contacts manually. I’m a very patient woman.  But must you make me do this everyday? I didn’t give up on you but I gave up updating my phonebook and handle the embarrassment of  sending out a “who you?” message.

When you asked me to upgrade my Facebook to version tra.la.la,  I said yes.  But you conked out again and made the whole app disappear.  You know very well that Facebook, together with Twitter and Instagram, are my connections to the “outside world”.  I need them to stalk, uhm, to keep up with everyone.  You didn’t have Instagram but I remained devoted to you.

And because of my fondness on your alarm features, I let you sleep on my bedside so you’d be the first one I would see when I wake up.  Why did you choose to stop working and sleep like a log on the morning that Little Boy had a performance in school?! Had we not made it on time, I wouldn’t have forgiven you.

Out of respect for you, I’m telling you that you’re being replaced by the iPhone.  Dear Hubby gave it as a present to me on Mother’s Day, who says no to that?   I’ve flirted with the iPhone on my mind but you know that  I’m a Blackberry in a world of iPhones.  Please believe me when I say, “It’s not you, it’s ME.”

iPHONE.BB

I’ll terribly miss you even when others made fun of you.  You know I hate those fingerprints on my screen!  This new guy is pretty intimidating, I hope it will be just as patient with me as you were when I was just learning which buttons to press.

I hope we can still be friends.  I’m putting you in a safe box and shall bring with me anywhere a new sim card would be required and we’ll still reconnect.  Thank you for your years of service and dedication, I will always treasure our time together buddy.

Thanks again,
A

DOMESTIC DIVA DAYDREAMS: Home Office

I know, I know… One might wonder,  I have long been away from the corporate world and have become a housewife so what would I need a home office for?  Guess what. I’m not “just” a housewife or a “stay”-at-home mom, I’m a WORK-at-home mom.  Yes, we work and you know as they say, “Every mother needs a cockpit”.

This is where we run the show, our very own mission control center where we make our grocery lists, prepare the weekly menu, update budgets, pay the bills, write our blogs, and a gazillion other things that a mother like me are preoccupied with.  When I work at home and I hop from one work area to another (our dining table, the living room, my bed, the guest room), I can’t help but daydream of having a space like this…

image courtesy of Houzz.com

image courtesy of Houzz.com

Isn’t this the sweetest home office you’ve ever seen? I can’t help but lust over this, look at those walls!  And the color scheme, feminine but not juvenile.  I’ve always been drawn to fun and bright spaces, white furniture and chic chairs.  Such a perfect place where you can clear your mind, gather your thoughts and just be creative.  It’s a sanctuary.  But I must admit, I might not do actual work in this space but just look at it the whole day admiring this beauty… and do a lot of cleaning and organizing in this understated glamor.

I really really REALLY want to have a space like this.  If men can have their man-cave and the kids can have their study area, I need my glammed-up cockpit as well… and I will have it.  I’m saving up for it.  Someday, this home office will no longer be a daydream. Someday :).

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

The Jakarta women’s hairdo has influenced me to daydream about curls.  Big wavy curls.  Most women here have either the Imelda Marcos up do (yes, the one that destroys the ozone layer due to excessive use of hair spray) or the long and wavy I-look-fabulous hairstyle.  I was partial to the latter so I had it all planned out:

Step 1.  No haircuts, grow them longYou know that Filipino myth that if you want your hair to grow fast, you have to brush it 100 times in a day? I did that!

Step 2.  Window shop and save up for the perfect ceramic hair iron/curler.  Yes, this is a big project that requires an “investment” hence, the cost analysis.

Step 3.  Practice on Velcro rolling curlers.  Basically a test run before the real deal.  Little Boy gets totally weirded out and thinks his mom wears big batteries on her head.

This trial stage yielded good results I couldn’t wait to grow my hair much longer and rock those curls.  I could already see myself looking like this…

Okay, let me re-phrase that: I could already see MY HAIR looking like this.

Step 4.  Layer it.  For that desired  fabulous wavy finish, I figured  I should adjust my hair from one-length to layered. 

Now this is where my dreams started crumbling down.

I came to this salon armed with a photo reference just in case they wouldn’t understand my Bahasa Indonesia, pointed at my shoulders to show up to where they should TRIM.  The hairdresser even took out a magazine and showed another reference, “Yes, just like that” I said.

Then he snipped a portion of my hair up to my chin! Oh, that might be the shortest of the layer. The rest would be up to the shoulders.  Then he cut everything, the length was just below my ears!  I just wanted a trim.  A TRIM! At this point I knew it would be useless to argue with him.  He didn’t understand me when I had a simple message, he still wouldn’t  understand me now that there are  more things I wanted to say.  Besides, what’s done is done.  I just formulated a back-up plan as I waited for him to finish  blow drying:  Go to another salon and have this fixed!!! That’s it, there’s still hope. Meantime, I had to pick up Little Boy from school donning my Amelie look.

I love Audrey Tautou but this hairstyle just doesn’t work for me.

Okay, the hair is much shorter now and the only possible solution is the pixie cut.  Can you believe that?! Oh well, at least it’s still stylish and now easier to manage.  Saves me some shampoo and conditioner too.  It surprised some people (believe me, even I was in denial) but I’ve gotten a few compliments for it so I’m beginning to dig it.  My curly-wavy dreams are temporarily put on hold until I grow my hair back again.

How about you, do you like your hair long or short?

Goodbye, curly-wavy dreams! Maybe next time…

OF POOP AND PUKE

image courtesy of parenting.com

WARNING: As the title suggests, this post might have contents that may challenge your senses. 🙂

I’ve been remiss in my blog updates because, as some of you may have heard, Little Boy caught Rotavirus which caused his Stomach Flu or Gastroenteritis .  It started happening one morning when he woke up (unusually early, that is) and announced he had pooped on his pajamas.  Thinking it was just an “accident”, I cleaned up the mess, gave him a shower and prepped him for school.  And as we were about to leave for school, the “accident” happened again, this time he started throwing up too.  This is not good, we have to see his doctor. Thank goodness for leftover disposable diapers from 2 years ago  and stocked discomfort bags in the car (sometimes it pays to be a pack rat :)), we survived that 30-minute ride from our apartment to the clinic.

Anyone who has heard of Stomach Flu or Gastroenteritis would know that this is a major poop and puke alert.  And poor Little Boy, who threw up even the anti-vomiting medicines, had to be admitted to the hospital and dextrosed – food and meds had to be administered through I.V.  to avoid dehydration.  It’s heartbreaking for any mother to see her child throw up on that basin like he was possessed, or groan in anguish on his 7th diarrhea episode just for the afternoon, or cry in pain from all the shots.  I could only give my tender lovin’ care (TLC) and channel my inner Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale on the times  when I would have him lean on my chest, touch his forehead and murmur soft comforts. Don’t worry baby, you’re going to be well soon.  And when I would have to wipe the edge of the toilet when he wouldn’t make it and assure him that I wasn’t mad for the mess.  It’s alright hunny, it’s not your fault.  And when I had to keep an encouraging front as his weight dropped a pound each day and he became skinnier and skinnier. Oh your appetite will come back and you’ll be healthy again.   Aaaand most of all, when I had to open that soiled diaper to collect (watery) stool sample for lab test– this last one, my dear friends,  could be the ultimate test of a mother’s love for her child. Of course this is an exaggeration but the clearer message is: Oh you kids out there, love your mothers!

The good news is that, while uncomfortable (and let’s face it, gross) in most kids, a stomach bug is not a serious illness and will resolve on its own after re-hydration efforts and TLC.  Re-hydration: check.  TLC: double check.  He’s now back to school and back to his regular activities, that means I’m back on the grind too :).   I join every parent’s prayer on trying moments like this: Please let me have my child’s illness so he won’t have to suffer.  And to even add to that: … and the weight loss too.  Oh let me have it. Please, God! 🙂

Catch you again soon… Stay healthy and safe, everyone!

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MERYL

Finally!  After 16 nominations (with only 2 wins), Meryl Streep got her 3rd Oscar award on her 17th try.  Her first after 30 years!  Please excuse the fan girl in me, you’ll be reading a lot of gushing on this post.

I started liking her in the late 1980’s when our Christian Living teacher made us watch “Kramer vs. Kramer” to later on submit a reaction paper on the topic “divorce”.   She was just sooo pretty! The eyes, the cheekbones, those nice set of teeth.  Her appearance on that film was probably just about 20% of the entire movie but it made such an impact that it earned her an Academy nomination. I swear  I would have gotten a very high grade if I wrote about HER on that paper 🙂

Then I started renting VHS tapes (kids, ask your parents what they are) of her movies.  I can’t remember anymore how “The Deer Hunter”  went but I can still clearly recall how gorgeous she was.

I was deeply moved and touched in “Out of Africa”…

Laughed at “Death Becomes Her” in her hilarious role as a has-been and aging movie star obsessed to look young again…

Then when I was old enough to enter the movie house, I caught “The Bridges of Madison County” and was just impressed in her performance as a lonely housewife longing for her own happiness.  She lost to Susan Sarandon in the 1995 Oscar’s for “Dead Man Walking”.  Tough competition there.  This photo by the way, was my favorite scene in the film. No words, just pure acting talent.

I was already working when “The Devil Wears Prada” was shown and I remember praying fervently to God not to give me this kind of boss.  I should’ve been more specific because the kind of “devil” that I met wore CHANEL.

I’ve seen a lot more of her movies, some were remarkable and some were just forgettable. I have yet to see the “Iron Lady” but I would like to thank the Academy (naks, feeling!) for finally allowing Meryl Streep to go back to that stage and accept her long overdue award.  She holds the record in the Oscar’s for the most number of nominations (17) but also holds the record for the most number of losses.  Can you imagine how I screamed when her name was announced as winner?! I was just a mere grade schooler when this woman last received an Oscar!  I waited with her so her victory is also mine… What an ultimate fan girl statement, huh! 🙂

Going back to “Kramer vs. Kramer”, my perspective about this film has changed now that I am a mother myself.  I viewed this film recently and unlike when I first saw it 25 years ago, it surprisingly brought tears to my eyes (and Dear Hubby’s too!).  I still found Meryl Streep gorgeous but more than that, it made me realize that no matter how challenging a task motherhood is, YOU NEVER WALK OUT.  Especially if you have a husband like mine who makes mean French Toasts which your Little Boy absolutely loves :).  Thanks for this lesson, Meryl!

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