Instant Pot Masoor Dal

You know how in love I am with my Instant Pot, right?  It makes cooking lentils a lot easier for me because I get scared with the simple pressure cooker pot.  My imagination always makes me think that it will blow up and blow me up too in the process.

Dal, or dishes made of lentils, are the easiest to cook for Indians, I think.  They eat this almost every day.

I tried my luck in cooking this and made Masoor Dal which is brown lentils.  I followed this recipe from And Then She Said blog because I found it the easiest.

How did it turn out?


I think it turned out very good.  I am still waiting for the verdict of my taste-tester who I am sure would tell me that I should have added more salt (but I hate salty food!).

The only thing I did differently is that I pressure cooked the dal for 5 more minutes because the 18 minutes the blogger wrote in the instruction was not enough to make all the grains soft.

Highly Recommended


The Spaghetti Travesty

I saw an ad of Jollibee spaghetti and I got so jealous I vowed to myself to make the best Filipino spaghetti this side of the earth.

But yeah, how can I?  How can I when I cannot even find Filipino hotdog?  That red, chemical-laden, with God-knows-what-ingredients is considered a treat for Filipino kids and we grew up loving that.  Filipino spaghetti is not good without Filipino hotdog.

But I was hungry and I wanted spaghetti so I just cooked what I call, after seeing it, Spaghetti Travesty.


Sure, the noodles were al dente but remember all those articles that say that in Italy, the birthplace of spaghetti, this dish should not swim in sauce?  So it is a travesty for us non-Italians to cook it swimming in red, white, or a mixture-of-both sauce.  But I am a Filipino by heart and our spaghetti has lots and lots of sauce.

Another thing, I use milk when I cook spaghetti.  Do.not.cringe.  Or make that fake vomit sound.  My mother would always cook this dish with Alpine – a full cream reconstituted milk available in the Philippines.  I don’t even know what reconstituted milk is.  All I know is Alpine is delicious.  My mother would put some in her spaghetti, straight from the can, without any measurement, and the rest goes to us kids who were eagerly waiting for whatever’s left.

My spaghetti may not be cooked right the Italian way but in the world we live in now where fusion is the way to go, there is now a very, very thin line on what is wrong or right in terms of cooking.

Maybe all these Asian Fusion, Italian-Mexican fusion, and all other fashion (fas-yon) fusions, is a start of a peaceful world.  I don’t know about you but if we can mix different cuisines and create wonderful masterpieces, it is possible for different cultures to mix too, right?

I leave that food for thought to you.  As for me, I’m going to gobble down this spaghetti with milk because I know it will not taste like travesty in my mouth.  It will be a wonderful fusion of flavor.

65 Books,


This year, I am challenging my self to read 65 books.

I choose 65 because it was Mama’s age when she died.

Each of the 65 books that I will read will be my homage to her.

I always tell people that I find people who don’t read books boring.  I know, I am a snob.

But I think books are the most wonderful thing in this world.

How else can we live the lives of others if we don’t read?

How else can we travel to exotic places?

How else can our minds grow, our ideas come to life, and ourselves to be inspired if we don’t read?

I pray that in the 65 books that I will choose this year, there will be stories or lines that will remind me of my mom.  I hope the lines I will read will let me remember all the lessons she taught me.  I hope to cry, to finally cry uncontrollably to release all the pain that still doesn’t want to come out of me.  I hope to smile, to laugh, and to remember.

I hope that all the 65 books will be able to do that.

If not, there’s always next year.

You Learn

Because my little girl told me that she would want to be Moana, the newest Disney princess, for her English class impersonation task.

And because I cannot get mad at her for asking for a costume even if this activity is just for their classroom, I said I will make her one.  You see, I absolutely have no right to be mad in this regard because I was the one who taught her to do her best in every task however small that is.

So I went to the mall, bought cloth and sewing kit and armed with confidence coming from the much abused line “If others can do it, why can’t I?” that is forever stuck in my head, I learned how to sew.

So after an hour of snipping, stitching, sewing (or whatever my attempt is called), and a lot of praying, I was able to make a Moana costume or something to that effect.

It’s not perfect but I know it will make my little girl happy so mission accomplished.

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I think this is how life is supposed to be.  When you absolutely are left with little choice, you learn.

You learn to cook when you’re hungry.

You learn to lead when your group needs you.

You learn to let go when things are no longer healthy.

You learn to move on when someone leaves.

And you learn to sew when your little girl needs a Moana costume.

Just like the song in Alanis’ Jagged Little Pill, you live, you learn.


Wonderful Days

I made this blog because I miss writing.  One boring day, I was browsing through websites and blogs that I have been following and realized that I miss reading personal stories.  Nowadays, all I read are sponsored posts and shallow thoughts.  I do not blame the writers.  It is hard to put your thoughts out there.  Nowadays, people hide behind their online persona and bash to the point that it discourages writers to be honest about their ideas and feelings.  But I am not famous nor have I more than 10 followers so it is still safe for me to write.  It is still safe for me to be myself.

My mother died.  Three saddest words to write.  To let go.  Three hardest words to do.  How can I still write about wonderful days and my wandering days when all I can think about is she is no longer here to encourage me, to laugh with me, to chastise me, and to love me?

But that is how life is, I guess.  I have to continue writing.  I have to look for the wonder in my days.  I have to look for reasons to wander.  I have to continue living well because this is what my mother would have wanted.

I’ll be okay.  Three hopeful words.  Three words I will try to always remember.