Monday, January 28, 2013

Foodie journey: Jollibee Style Spaghetti

When I got engaged, I started to find the "cook" inside of me. Besides of having long life in our genes (read My ooh la la-Lola ) I just knew that being able to cook good just runs through our veins.

From my lolas, to my mom, to my aunts and to my sisters, all of them cook well and when we hold family get togethers, we all leave with happy-filled tummies. Because of this, it's a struggle to maintain a healthy diet in our family. Hahaha.

In my early years, I didn't show any interests in cooking because my mom would always cook for us. My forte was cleaning the house and washing our clothes, but cooking...hmmm never!

Oh but I remember I mastered cooking those instant pancit canton/yakisoba (noodles) back in the day because I loved to snack on them, with soft boiled egg. Yummo! Later on I realized that it's not good to eat them all the time because of their high sodium content. I had to say goodbye to those little monsters.   

When I was about to get married, I became best of friends with the kitchen. My mom still cooks for us but occasionally  I would volunteer to cook. I had to learn the basics so I started cooking breakfast. It's the simplest thing like frying an egg, spam, sausage, bacon, fried rice etc. I just had to get rid of my phobia of splattering, hot, melts-your-skin oil!

However, I just don't want to feed my husband with egg three times a day so I sought after my mom's help. My mother has this tantsa-tantsa way of cooking. She doesn't depend on exact measurements when she cooks. Luckily, I acquired the same thing because I know how her dishes taste like, I knew that I just put the right amount of salt or pepper. Also, I liked googling recipes in the internet when I feel adventurous. 

One of the dishes I learned to cook was spaghetti! It really was a no brainer dish. You just have to mix all the ingredients together for the sauce, and boil the pasta and you're done. Here in the US, you can even buy a ready-mixed spaghetti sauce jar that you can just heat and it's good to go if you're lazy.

However, I still like cooking mine from scratch. I liked my spaghetti but I was hoping it would taste like Jollibee's. Jollibee is the biggest fast food chain in the Philippines. I grew up eating their well known sweet style spaghetti with chickenjoy! Yummo! 

This weekend, I helped my aunt cook spaghetti for her guests and finally achieved the Jollibee style! Now I know how to make it and probably won't be missing Jollibee's spaghetti anymore. One of my friends asked me to share the recipe so I would like to share it here on my blog.

Moving forward, I will be sharing some recipes that I cook and hoping it would help young moms out there and young wives like me. 

So let me share with you my Filipino Sweet Style Spaghetti or also known as Jollibee Style Spaghetti!

2 lbs. of spaghetti pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1 tbs garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper
5 pieces of sliced hotdogs 
1 big pack of Filipino sweet style tomato sauce (available in Asian stores)
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 bottle of banana catsup (I used Jufran)
1 small can of all purpose cream



  • In a large pot, put water and bring to a boil. 
  • Once water boils, put a bit of oil and salt
  • Add the spaghetti pasta and cook until it become tender or al dente.
  • Drain water and set aside.
  • In another large pot, heat oil and saute onions and garlic. Do the onions first than the garlic cos garlic burns faster.
  • Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer until cooked.
  • Mix in the red bell pepper and sliced hotdogs. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the Filipino sweet style tomato sauce, tomato sauce, banana catsup, and cream. Mix it well and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
Mix the pasta and sauce together and add cheddar cheese on top! Serve and enjoy! The serving can feed a crowd so if you want to lessen it, just adjust the ingredients accordingly. I have a big family so I don't know how to cook smaller portions. Hehehe. 

What sets this spaghetti apart is its sweetness by adding cream and banana catsup. I'm sure kids will fall in love with this and also those kids-at-heart. I am glad my hubby likes it. Nothing compares to the joy of satisfying my hubby's tummy. 

Till my next foodie blog!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My ooh la la-Lola!

Last Sunday, my Lola/grandmother turned 91! If I didn't tell you how old she is, would you believe she’s really 91 years old?

Me, I would never guess because look at how great she looks! Her beauty is impeccable inside and out. Some people say there's a resemblance between us and that certainly flatters me. (walang kokontra blog ko to!hahaha) It is so good to know that long life is in our genes :)

That makes me wonder how long I'm going to live with all my food nitpicks, fad diets, running and all that things I try to do to obtain a healthy lifestyle. lol. I believe on my lola's younger days, she didn't have time to work out. She was always busy working and making ends meet because she was the bread winner of the family. I guess her commuting to work was considered her exercise back then.

She also is the best cook therefore all of her home-cooked meals tasted heavenly. Imagine all that patis (fish sauce), MSG that she used to put to her dishes to make them oh so good! (ngayon magic sarap nalang ang katapat.hahaha)

At this point, she no longer cooks and her crown for best in cooking was bestowed to my mother (of course all you guys will also say that your mother/wife is the best cook in the world. hahaha). Yet, after cooking and eating unconsciously (and after all the bypass surgeries) she managed to live all the way to 91 years old. Uhhh-ma-zing! 

Will all our best efforts to live a healthy life carry us through a happy, old age? Of course, it makes sense to be wise on what we eat and to stay active because it will have a tremendous effect on our bodies. Although I think however hard we try to look and feel good to live longer, only God knows when our journey on earth ends.

It's good that while we exert all our energy to live healthy physically, we should also feed our hearts and souls to become healthy spiritually at the same time. Keep the balance. The best example of a healthy mind, body and soul, of course, is my Lola. A woman who is living life to the fullest. She devoted most of her life in prayer, nurturing our family, and in helping other people.

So on her special day, I asked her what her birthday wish was, she only said, a happy death. Boom! That was straight-forward like right-in-yo'-face statement! My lola can be  pretty morbid sometimes pero may karapatan naman. I know she couldn't ask for more. She has lived her life well and completely satisfied for whatever she's done and whatever she's received from the Lord. I guess she's just waiting for that time to come. You know, that "time."

But I'm happy to know that she's accepting it freely, joyfully and with all her heart.  I can say that is true gratification and serenity, my dear readers. Her life is a living testimony of a happy, old age. A life that has meaningfully made it's way to the path of holiness and true joy. 

However, for me, I still want her in our lives. Even for a bit more. She's such a joy to be with and her presence is always delightful. Pero hindi pa time lola, may utang ka pang kiss and hug kay lolo. hahaha. at at at you still have to wait for little Joselle and Alan ;) I love you Lola!

Here's a video I took asking her what her birthday wish was:


Thursday, January 10, 2013


Yesterday, I was doing some personal accounting and finally closed my 2012 Budget Sheet. It was three years ago since I decided to create one. It's a very helpful tool that works for me in helping me to budget my own money (soon I will have to budget my husband's too when he gets here permanently). As I looked at the three excel sheets (2010, 2011 and 2012) I felt so relieved and glad that there were still surpluses at the end of each year, and that's on top of my savings! It's amazing how I got no deficit! All I can ever say at that moment was "Alleluia, praise the Lord!" :) 

Let me show you a screenshot of how my budget sheet looks like. It's pretty simple and I did it in such a way that I can easily understand it. I hate math and accounting but thanks to Microsoft for inventing Excel! It's a life saver! lol. You can personalize it whichever way you can. Here's mine, and please do not judge! hahaha  

At the top left, you will see my fixed expenses. I have to make sure that I pay them all first before anything else. I just add everything from the 1st row all the way to the 13th row and subtract the total from my net income (take home salary). The difference is the remainder or surplus. If I know or if I see that there's still a remainder for the month, that's the time that I can confidently spend my money on my wants. However, should there be a deficit for the month, I have to make sure that I am careful on my spending for the next month. I shouldn't get another deficit rather I should get a surplus to make up for the last month's balance. I hope you get what I mean. Feeling financial analyst ako dito. hehe. That's why I said that this tool is super helpful because you can keep track on your spending and your savings.

My "other expenses" row may consist of different kinds of things that are not fixed like groceries, car registration, car needs like oil change or tire change, Singles for Christ conference registration fees, birthday gifts for family and friends for special occasions, donations and so on and so forth. These things I consider a priority but the prices change from time to time so as soon as I make payment for those, I log it right away. As mentioned earlier, after I make sure that all needs have been met, then that's the time I go and give myself a treat (like shopping at H&M and F21 :) After all, I worked hard for it right? There goes Donna Summer singing in the background "She works hard for the money" hahaha

I'm sure you see pictures of my husband and I on dates, eating at restaurants but we have a secret to tell. Shhhhhhh. Have you heard of Scoutmob, Groupons or It's like Ensogo in the Philippines. These are just some of the many websites/apps that offer dining deals so we're practically saving a lot of money there. It's like 2 people eating for the price of one or something like that. On Scoutmob, newly opened restaurants advertise themselves there to get more customers and that's why they give out deals to people. It's kind of a "win-win" situation right? My husband and I love to eat and like to try new things and dining areas in town so Scoutmob was really handy and money saving tool for us for the past few months. For movies, we wait for deals from Groupon or my sister buys student discounted  movie tickets from her school and sells it to us. lol. If there are no deals out there at all, we just go to or DVD marathon nalang! hahaha. We're no stingy couple you know, we're just frugal and there's completely a big difference to that! 

When we splurge, it has to be for a special occasion or reason of course. Fortunately, we have been and dined to fancy places, traveled locally and internationally, and still haven't been broke. Thank God! Personally, I save because I like to travel and see the world. Some material things don't last but memories do! (except if you get amnesia like in the teleseryes or Alzheimer's.hahaha)

If you still live with your family like me (don't judge me ok. there's a reason for that, parang there's an app for that lang. hahaha) you should still contribute to the house. Let's not be a free loader! Your parents have bills to pay too and if you're already earning, it's nice to help out ya know. If you're not employed yet, you can still help by offering your services like mowing the lawn, help in cleaning the house or your dad's car. You can do a lot of things to extend help and gratitude to your family. It's nice to go home to a family that cares and loves one another divuhh? Walang drama and family feud promise!

I guess my motto is save money, live better, Walmart? hahaha. corny ko na. Basta my mantra for this year is to live simply! Bye bye muna kay Michael Kors. But malay mo regaluhan ako ni hubby? hahaha, hindi ako nagpaparinig ha! lol. I'm just so thankful that my husband is there to spoil me occasionally because he knows I rarely spend for myself. And vice versa. I remember when all my friends have their smart phones and I was only using a dumb phone. (dumb kasi hindi smart eh. gets mo? lol) He was the one who surprised me with an iPhone for my birthday. I admire all that expensive and branded stuff.  I'm trying my best not to become too materialistic. Why are we like that girls? I try to save for it but when I already have the money to buy, I suddenly back off from getting it. Oh well, I guess it's the holy spirit telling me that there's more important things in life :) I remember when I bought my wedding dress and shoes. I got the dress from a designer store but it was sitting at the clearance section. It was the last one and it fit me like a glove. I even had to bargain and told them to cut $100 off because I saw a missing button at the bottom. Nauto ko naman. hehehe. As for my shoes, it's made by a designer too but I really patiently searched for an affordable one. Hinalukay ko din yung clearance section ng Designer Shoes Warehouse. lol. I know I won't wear it a lot naman after the wedding cos I don't wear heels much. Confessions of a kuripotholic na ito! hahaha. And uhm oh, do you also pack your lunch to work? It really does save a lot of money and calories too! 

Also another piece of advice which you might have heard in the past is when you use your magic card (credit card) and when your bill comes, try to pay it in full. So do not buy something which you don't have the money to pay for. If you just pay the interest, the money you owe builds up and earns interest. You will just end up with more debt and then you will most likely tend to open up another card because you've maxed out the other. Then another one and another one. Haaay! Try sticking to one credit card as possible.

I think I mastered saving well because back when I was still gusgusin (pauper.hahaha) my mom would only give me a small amount for my allowance. I would budget it well and will save it in my alkansya (piggy bank) Then when it no longer fit in my alkansya, she had to open me a time deposit at the bank. It amazed me how much I had saved just by putting coins in it everyday. Every penny/peso counts!    

Last but not the least, God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7) Like what our church teaches us, we should put God above all else. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10) Every thing we have is from the Lord after all. Set aside a portion of your money to your church. If you could give 10% of your income or maybe more, that's great! Give generously to our church and to the poor however you can with a joyful heart. The act of giving generously to the Lord means you do not worry about money and that you absolutely trust that God will provide. It teaches us not to be selfish, self-centered and greedy too. Even if you do not earn a lot (like me. oh yeah! I just know well how to budget. hehe) you could still be a good steward of God's riches. If He can entrust you with small things, then He would most likely entrust you with big things!   

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10

As always, may you find this blog helpful.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Beginnings

2012 has been a great year for me. As I contemplate back to all my blog posts of last year, I feel really grateful for the many blessings the Lord has given me through my journey. For the great memories and time I have spent with my husband, my family, my friends, my community, for all the travels we've made, for all the life lessons and much more.

I am so excited for what 2013 has to offer. The thrill of the unknown titillates me like unboxing a present. Whatever it may be, I'm pretty sure that God has perfectly prepared it for me. Good or bad, I am certain that nothing would separate me from the love of Christ.-Romans 8:35

I want to start the year afresh. This is a time for new beginnings. The time to set my feet and leave fresh footprints in the sand. I don't have a long list of new year's resolutions cos I know it's just not going to be fulfilled. I only have one thing in mind and that is to be a better person, wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee, citizen, and most important of all, I want to be a better Christian. I want to make this my goal not only for this year, but as long as I live. 

May God bless us all and all of our goals this new year.

photo credit: