Saturday, October 22, 2016

Monster Pompoms: Vampire

I try to have at least one crafting activity with my 6-yo son. He loves creating things, and I guess he's the one that really inspired me to start this blog.

Anyway, I saw this video tutorial on Facebook: DIY Halloween Decor, and thought  that  my son would enjoy doing this with me. So today, we decided to make a vampire as our crafting activity this weekend.

Now, don't laugh, but this is a post where the reality is far from the expected outcome. To give you a visual, I grabbed this image on Kids' Craft Ideas. Isn't that cute? So fluffy!


And now, I give you our finished product. It may not be as cute and fluffy as what we saw on the video or on the image above, but my son loved it. While I was being so pessimistic, he was all "Mommy, it's starting to be cute!" and "I love it!" I even got a free hug for making him a monster.


So, are you still interested to know how we did it? Or did our vampire scare you away?


  • thin wire
  • yarn
  • craft eye (we only used one)
  • glue
  • glue gun + glue stick
  • scissors
  • cardboard
  • watercolor + brush
  • masking tape

Step 1: Make the attachments - wings, fangs, ears, and tail. My son wanted to put a tail (not in picture). The ears, although we made a pair, we were not able to put it.

  1. Draw one side of a bat's wing [tail/ear/fang] on the cardboard paper. Cut and use as a template to make three [one] more. 
  2. Paint the wings [tails/ears]. Set aside to let it dry.
  3. Cut two wires, the same length as the wing [tail/ear]. Note: we didn't put a wire on the fangs.
  4. Tape one end of the wire in the middle of the wing [tail/ear] (unpainted side).
  5. Put glue on another wing [tail/ear] (unpainted side) and stick it on the wing with the taped wire. Painted sides must be on the outside. This will be the first wing.
  6. Repeat 4 & 5 for the second wing.
Step 2: Make the pompom. Because I botched my pompom, please refer to this site on how to make the pompom: Halloween Pompoms.

Step 3: Stick the attachments to the pompom. Secure the attachments with a glue stick.

Step 4: Glue the eye (or eyes) and fangs on the pompom.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Lemon Thyme Chicken

I love cooking for my family, which made me a recipe book hoarder. Every week, I try to cook dishes we haven't tried before. This week's trial dish is Lemon Thyme Chicken. But to be honest, the recipe I looked at didn't really use lemon nor did it use thyme. The recipe called for calamansi and tarragon, ingredients that I don't have on my pantry. So I made do with what's available and hoped that it will turn out great.

While we were eating the dish, my husband asked me what herb I used. I felt self-conscious because I didn't really know that thyme and chicken is a good combination so I searched for recipes online for chicken with thyme. And boom! Lots of Lemon Thyme Chicken recipes are available online. LOL! At least my instincts were right to combine lemon and thyme.

Anyway, let's get to the recipe.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Marinading time: 2 hours
Baking time: 90 minutes at 200C (I'll explain my baking time later on)

  • 4 pcs of chicken quarter leg
  • salt
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • thyme
  • lemon juice from 1 lemon


  1. Rub enough salt on each quarter leg. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix minced garlic, thyme, lemon juice, and olive oil. I have no idea how much thyme and olive oil I used, but a rough estimate of 1 tbsp for thyme and 2 tbsps for olive oil.
  3. Line chicken in a shallow pan and cover each quarter leg with the marinade. Cover with an aluminum foil and let it sit for 2 hours. You can change the marinating time according to your preference.
  4. The chicken marinating for two hours.
  5. Bake each side for 15 minutes with the cover. Remove the aluminum foil and bake each side for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remember to remove excess liquid before turning the chicken.

Lemon Thyme Chicken

Baking time explained:

I have a small electric oven, with a maximum temperature of 250C. I did not use the maximum temperature because this is what I'm used to. If you have a bigger oven, adjust your temperature and time accordingly.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Beef in Mushroom Sauce

I tried a couple of similar recipes, but this is by far the best I've cooked yet. And you know what the best part of this is? I didn't plan to cook it. We just had a few strips of sirloin left so I decided to look for a good beef recipe. I saw a recipe from Kawaling Pinoy but I ended up not using the recipe at all for two reasons: (1) I don't like using flour in sauces, and (2) I tried using cream before and I wanted to try something else. I did, however, used the idea of searing the beef. I always slow cook the beef to make it tender, but doing this still gave me tender strips of beef.

This recipe is quick and easy to make. It took me an hour to prepare and cook. 

  • 500 grams beef sirloin, cut into strips
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 can cream of mushroom sauce
  • 1 small can of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 head of onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • water, half a can of the sauce
  • butter, for sautéing
  • pure olive oil, for searing

  1. Combine salt, pepper, and beef in a bowl. Make sure that the beef strips are evenly coated. Set aside.
  2. While the beef is marinading, chop onion and mince garlic.
  3. Ready the mushrooms, mushroom sauce, water, and butter.

Cooking directions:
  1. Drizzle a non-stick frying pan with olive oil. Sear beef strips on each side. Do it in batches so you can cook the beef nicely. I don't really know how many minutes I did on each side, I just placed the strips one by one, waiting for a few seconds, then flipped each strip. I waited for another few seconds before I removed it from the pan.
  2. On the same pan, cook the mushrooms. Set aside.
  3. Still on the same pan, melt the butter and sauté the onions and garlic. 
  4. Add the mushroom sauce. 
  5. Add in water a little at a time, making sure that you don't dilute the sauce too much. 
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Fold in seared beef and cooked mushrooms. Remove from heat.
I updated this post to put in additional details on the ingredients.