Crazy Town Upside Down: An Alphabet Book
A fun, rhyming, and innovative finger tracing alphabet adventure book!
The Silly Potty Story (for boys)
A very helpful, amusing, and interactive story that will make potty training fun and help motivate your son in a positive way!
The Silly Potty Story (for girls)
A very helpful, amusing, and interactive story that will make potty training fun and help motivate your daughter in a positive way!
April 11, 2014
March 20, 2014
- 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cups of butter
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 8 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 7 oz Hershey's bar chocolate milk
- 1 can of table cream (creme media)
- Leave both the butter and eggs out of the refrigerator (in room temperature) for at least 30 minutes
- Butter a 9 inch round teflon baking pan
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- In a bowl, add the chocolate chips and butter and heat it in the microwave for 40 seconds
- Remove bowl from microwave and stir it until smooth
- In a bowl, add the sugar, chocolate powder, and the mixture of chocolate and butter
- Use the mixer at low speed and stir it until blended
- In this bowl, add the eggs and the egg yolk slowly and continue mixing at low speed, gradually increasing the speed to medium high
- Increase the speed to high and keep mixing until all ingredients are well mixed
- Pour the batter into the buttered pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes
- With a knife, separate the edges of the cake from the baking pan
- Place a serving plate on top of the cake and flip the baking pan
- Break the chocolate bar into small pieces (rectangles) and place them in a bowl
- Place the bowl in the microwave and heat it for 40 seconds
- Remove bowl, stir, and place in the microwave for an additional 40 seconds
- Remove bowl from microwave and stir the chocolate until smooth
- Add the table cream (remove the liquid that comes inside the can) and stir it until well blended
- Pour the ganache over the cake and let it fall on the edges of the cake (to create the "meltdown" effect)
- Smooth the top with a spatula
- Serve with some strawberries if you'd like.
February 14, 2014
YOU NEED (for 1 Monster Necklace):
- 1 1/2 inch pom-pom (any color you want)
- 2 wiggly eyes (any color you want)
- 5 1/2 inch chenille stem-any color you want (for the ears/antennae)
- 2 1/2 inch chenille stem-same color as the antennae (to make the small ring)
- 20 inch neon necklace with connector (to close the necklace)
- 40 beads (assorted colors) I like to use the *Perler Beads
- 5 1/2 by 4 inch card (any color you want)
- Take the 2 1/2 inch chenille stem and make a small ring.
- Take the neon necklace, make a loop around the ring and tie a knot (see picture).
- Glue the ring with the necklace on the back of the pom-pom. I like to use *Glue Dots Adhesives (*1 inch Glue Lines).
- Take the 5 1/2 inch chenille stem and fold it in half (see picture). Bend the two edges in the shape of small ears/circles (or antennas).
- Glue the chenille stem on the front of the pom-pom. I again use the *1 inch Glue Lines.
- Glue the 2 wiggly eyes on the top of the chenille stem (see picture). I use the *Glue Dots 3/16 inch Mini, or you can buy the peel-&-stick wiggly eyes.
- Insert the 40 beads in the necklace (20 for each side). After adding the beads, tie a knot to keep the beads in place (see picture).
- Insert the connector inside the neon necklace.
- Use a hole punch to punch two holes on the top of the card (about 1 inch from the edge or 3 inches apart).
- Attach the necklace to the card (see picture).
- Write "Be my Monster!" or any other lovely personal message you and your kiddos want!
- Have fun!
February 10, 2014
Step 3: Introduce my 4 lovely guests for next week's Blog Hop.
Here we are.. I'm proud to introduce you to...
February 2, 2014
- 1 individual size "ready to bake" pizza dough
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 1 can of undrained whole peeled tomatoes (should create enough sauce for 4+ small pizzas; you will only need approximately 4 tbsp for each)
- 4 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 thin slices of ham
- 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
- 5 round slices of yellow onion
- 14 half slices of kalamata olives
- 1 tbsp of oregano
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Brush olive oil on the top of the pizza dough
- *TOMATO SAUCE: Pour the entire contents of the can of undrained peeled tomatoes into a bowl and squeeze them with your fingers leaving some thick, irregular chunks of tomatoes to make the sauce more robust. Spread approximately 4 tbsp of this sauce onto the pizza dough, making sure to add some of the tomato pieces
- Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce
- Top with the 2 slices of ham, onions, egg slices, and olives
- *OREGANO: Pour the oregano into your cupped hand and then rub the oregano using both hands over the pizza, making sure to sprinkle the oregano on all the toppings. By rubbing the oregano in your hands, you enhance its flavor.
- Place the pizza directly on the rack into the oven and bake for 9 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for 1-2 minutes before eating.
January 31, 2014
The public know that our bodies are affected differently by several food products, especially with preservatives and colors. Some of the common effects might include caffeine that is known as energy booster; red wines and aged cheeses triggering headaches; or high fat or even acidic foods that cause heartburns. But what is worse about this scenario in which most people don’t know is how these preservatives, artificial food colors and flavors affect our growing children. It is also a reason why organic superfoods advised to be part of our children’s diet. These superfoods can actually preserve a healthy lifestyle.
January 27, 2014
January 21, 2014
- FISH Preferably fresh, contains a large amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the amount of plaque that builds up inside the walls of your arteries. Plaque comes from bad cholesterol that sticks to your arteries. Both the FDA and the American Heart Association recommend eating fresh fish at least twice a week.
- NUTS (mainly almonds and walnuts) - Nuts have flavonoids, an antioxidant that raises the levels of your good cholesterol. They also have a large amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E (antioxidant), fiber, *folate, and magnesium. Moderation is the key: It's recommended only a handful of nuts every day. Blue Diamond brand has tasty dark chocolate covered almonds. Dark chocolate also has antioxidants. *Benefits of folate: (a) support red blood cell production and help prevent anemia, (b) allow nerves to function properly, and (c) help prevent osteoporosis.
- BEANS (any kind) - They're full of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and potassium. They also don't contain any cholesterol. Among the health benefits of beans are (a) lower cholesterol levels, (b) lower blood pressure, (c) reduce risk of many cancers, (d) regulate functions of the colon.
- TOMATOES They have lycopene, a vital anti-oxidant that helps in the fight against cancerous cell formation. *Note: Research studies show that by cooking the tomatoes, we can actually increase the lycopene levels; however, Vitamin C content decreases when compared to uncooked tomatoes.
- BLUEBERRIES (raw) - Ranked in the U.S. diet as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables. Some of the health benefits of blueberries are (a) reduce bad cholesterol, (b) help control blood sugar levels, and (c) improve brain health. A low calorie food (about 84 calories in 1 cup), it's recommended 1 to 2 cups of blueberries per day.
January 14, 2014
- 1 Gala apple (peeled)
- 1 Tbsp of butter
- 1 tsp of raw sugar
- 1 ½ tsp of cinnamon
- 16 RITZ crackers
- 4 slices of mozzarella cheese (cut each slice into 4 squares for a total of 16 small squares)
- Cut the peeled apple in cubes and put it in a pot. Add the sugar, butter, and cinnamon, and sauteed until soft and golden (medium heat for about 10 minutes-keep stirring).
- Heat oven to 350F
- Place crackers in single layer on baking sheet and top with cheese and about 2-3 small apple cubes.
- Bake for 4 minutes.
- Let it cool for about 1 minute before serving.
- Have fun! :D
January 9, 2014
Don't get me wrong, I have eaten lasagna many times in these 8 years, but not her comforting, home cooked, hearty lasagna, filled with both red meaty tomato sauce and a cheesy white Parmesan sauce, layered with slices of ham and mozzarella cheese, and topped with melted Parmesan cheese. Her recipe is very different from the recipes I have seen in the US. My mom doesn't use ricotta cheese or some veggies, instead, she uses both ham and mozzarella, and she also adds two sauces to make the lasagna noodles extra tender.
When I called my mom to get her delicious recipe, she gave me three important tips about the noodles. First she said that I should go ahead and buy the 'oven ready to bake' noodles, since the ones that must be boiled first are harder to deal with and break easily. The second tip she gave me was to prepare the lasagna dish the day before, cover it, and let it set in the refrigerator for a day to allow the sauce to sink in and moisten the noodles (since we are using the 'oven ready to bake' ones). She also told me to make sure to really add extra sauce on the edges of the dish to avoid the noodles from becoming hard and chewy. The last tip she gave me (which came in late, a week after I had already prepared and eaten the lasagna) was to cover the dish with parchment paper instead of aluminum foil. According to my mom, the aluminum from the foil is released into the dish when baking due to the acidity of the tomato sauce. So, we're actually eating aluminum. I don't know about this for sure, and please don't hold me responsible for it. :) Do your own research. But I believe my mom because she has about 45 years of cooking experience... and some of the tips she gave me in the past I saw, years later, in cooking shows like Martha Stewart and Food Network.
By the way, about my friend, I just received a wonderful thank you note from her saying how she loved it, and how her picky-eater son (he's about my oldest son's age) had three servings of it! :D
Here's the recipe. My mom likes to go the extra mile and makes her sauces and seasonings from scratch. I, on the other hand, like to take short cuts. So, this is my "short cut" version of my mom's recipe. This savory lasagna dish serves about 6-8 people and takes approximately 45 min to prep and 1 hour to bake (better to do it the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight):
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp meat seasoning (I like Chef Paul Prudhomme's Meat Magic)
- 26 ounces of tomato sauce (I like Ragu Traditional tomato sauce)
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 Tbsp of flour
- 1 Tbsp of butter
- 2 1/2 cups of shredded Parmesan cheese (1 1/4 cups for the sauce and 1 1/4 cups for the lasagna layers and topping)
- 1 can of table cream (Nestle Media Crema)
- 18 'oven ready to bake' lasagna noodles
- 18 slices of ham
- 18 slices of mozzarella cheese
- Warm the canola oil in a large skillet at medium heat for a few minutes (2-3 minutes). Add meat and sprinkle the seasoning on top. Cook the meat until brown. Drain the fat.
- Add the tomato sauce, stir, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer until you're ready to assemble the lasagna. Stir occasionally.
- In a saucepan, add the milk and butter and cook at medium heat for about 1 minute. Slowly add flour into the saucepan and stir with a whisk. Keep stirring and cook the sauce until the flour dissolves and the sauce thickens (3-5 minutes).
- Add the Parmesan cheese (1 1/4 cups) and keep cooking for 2 additional minutes (or until the cheese dissolves into the sauce).
- Reduce heat to low, add the table cream and cook for one more additional minute. Remove from heat.
- Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Arrange 4 noodles lengthwise and 2 on each side (you might have to break a few inches off of these 2 noodles to fit better) over meat sauce.
- Top with 6 slices of ham (3 on each side).
- Spread 1/3 of the white sauce.
- Top with 6 slices of mozzarella cheese.
- Top with a 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat layers 2x, topping with remaining 6 mozzarella slices and Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, remove the plastic wrap and cover with parchment paper, making sure the paper does not touch the Parmesan cheese.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let stand for about 10-15 minutes before serving (remove paper of course).
- Enjoy! :D