Guacamole Ole!

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Do you want to spice up your slumber parties with friends?  try your very own guacamole and enjoy watching videos with your favorite chips.

guacamoleWhat you will need:

2 to 3 pieces ripe avocado (hinog sa puno/ripen from the tree)

½ cup green bell pepper

3 medium-sized tomatoes (diced)

1 teaspoon siling labuyo (jalapeno is a good alternative)

3 clove minced garlic

½ medium onion, finely chopped

Extra from two pieces of calamansi or lemon

Salt and pepper

Spatula, glass bowl

What you have to do:

  1. Take only the flesh of the avocado.  Slice into small pieces.
  2. In a clean glass bowl, mix all the ingredients together with the avocado slices.
  3. Use a spatula or any wide spoon for even mixing.
  4. Dash with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Sprinkle a little more of the calamansi extract over the mixture.
  6. Let stand for one hour before serving.
  7. Serve with favorite chips.



Jay R. Lomeda, conversation with the editor,

24 June 2005

Visual source:  avocadopoint

Homemade Sushi

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7471What you will need:

Sushi rice (sushi-meshi)

Nori (sheet of dried seeweed)

Bamboo mat

Toppings and Fillings

●  Raw fish (tuna, salmon, or mackerel)

●  Seafood (squid, shrimp, sea urchin)

 ●  Vegetables (pickled daikon radish or tsukemono, fermented soybeans or natto, avocado,  ucumber, yam, tofu, pickled plum or umeboshi, gourd or kampyo, burdock or gobo, and   sweet corn mixed with mayonnaise)

 ●  Red meat (beef or ham)

 ●  Quail eggs


●  Shoyu (soy sauce)

●  Wasabi (green paste with a sharp, horseradish-like flavor)

●  Gari (sweet, pickled ginger)

What you will do:

Preparing the rice

  1. Rinse the rice carefully until the water runs clear.
  2. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain.
  3. Cook the rice in the conventional way.  When the rice is done, turn the heat to high for a few seconds, then turn the heat off.  Let the rice sit for 15 minutes.

Preparing the Sushi

  1. Put a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat.  Cover about two-thirds of the nori with rice.
  2. Place your toppings across the rice.
  3. Fold the bamboo mat over, rolling the nori onto the toppings.  When the mat touches the far edge of the rice begin tightening the roll. 
  4. Hold the roll with the mat over it, and grab the far edge of the mat.  Pull on it at each corner and in the middle to tighten the roll.  When the roll is tight enough, finish rolling by pulling the mat forward.  You can repeat the tightening process if the need arises.
  5. Slice the roll in half with a very sharp knife, pressing straight down through the roll to avoid tearing the nori.  Serve with the condiments and enjoy.



How Sushi Works. .

Photo courtesy:  lifestylefood

African Lovebirds: From Hobby to Business

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BT13160_1Here are some important points to consider when breeding African lovebirds.

Selecting the Birds

♥  Purchase birds only from well-established dealer or recognized breeder.

♥  Start with a single pair—male and female.

♥  Learn about the birds’ color, age and health before making a choice.

♥  Pick out lively birds that sit actively, are proud and react to movements.

Care and Housing

♥  House African lovebirds in bigger cages for comfort as well as for easy and frequent cleaning.

♥  Prepare individual cages (24 inches long, 30 inches high, and 24 inches wide) made from wire mess or metal.

♥  The cage should also be provided with perches and trays for the birds droppings.

♥  Near the perches, put a piece of dried cuttlebone to keep the pet’s beak in good condition.


♥  Elect a regular feeding schedule (once a day only) for the birds.

♥  For each pair, the feed consists of two small cups of millet seed and one teaspoon of salad (mashed hard-boiled egg, chopped carrots, birdseeds, or sunflower) placed in separate cups.

♥  Clean water should also be provided and changed twice dayly.


♥  Lovebirds mate anytime of the year.  Prepare for nesting boxes with woodshavings for the young.

♥  Eggs are hatched 23 to 25 days.  After 1 ½ months, the young birds can be transferred to other cages.

Source: Roa-Ilan, Mabelle, Raising African Lovebirds

Photo courtesy:  birdtrader

Sweet-and-sour Pickle

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This classic sweet-and-sour pickle is an example of a fresh pickle, which means that it’s preserved by vinegar.  It’s high sugar content helps retard bacterial growth.

picklesWhat you need:

Soft vegetable brush

8 pounds small pickling cucumber

4 cups cider vinegar

8 cups sugar

2 tablespoons pickling salt

2 tablespoons mixed pickle spices

A large, deep, stainless-steel, nonreactive pot

8 to 10 1-pint glass canning jars and two-piece canning lids

Canning equipment

A narrow plastic spatula

What to do:

  1. Using a soft vegetable brush, scrub the cucumbers in cool running water.  Cut 1/16 inch of the blossom end.  Discard any cucumbers that are bruised or damaged.
  2. Put the cucumbers in the nonreactive pot and cover with boiling water.  Let them stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
  3. Drain off the water and again cover with boiling water.  Repeat the process daily for three more days.
  4. On Day 5, bring the vinegar, salt, sugar and spices to a boil in the nonreactive pot.  Slice th cucumbers into ¼-inch thick chips and add to the pot.  Let the pot stand at room temperature for one more day.
  5. On Day 6, drain off the liquid and bring it back to a boil.  Add the cucumbers.  Boil 1 minute and portion the pickles into clean, hot canning jars, filling each to within ¾ inch of the top.
  6. Cover the pickles with the brine, filling to within ½ inch of the top of the jars.  To remove air bubbles, gently run the plastic spatula (don’t use a metal one) around the jar, keeping the utensil between the pickles and the jar’s inner surface.  If necessary, add more liquid to readjust headspace.  Wipe any residue off the rims with a clean, damp towel.  Apply lids and screwbands evenly and firmly until resistance is met—fingertip tight.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.  The pickles will be ready to eat the next day. – Bato Balani

Photo courtesy:  foodpreservationguide

Homemade Candles

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27621You’ll need a saucepan, paraffin wax, string, molders, crayons, a sharpener, and some sticks.

  1. Use the sharpener to gather crayon shards of your favorite color.  Make sure you collect plenty.  You can use a cutter for this as well, but be careful not to cut yourself.
  2. Put the paraffin wax in the saucepan and heat over a flame.  Once it is consistent enough to stir, add in the crayon shards.
  3. Take a piece of string about three inches longer than your molder.  The one end of it to the center of a stick and place the rest of it inside the molder.  The stick should be longer than the molder’s opening so it will hold the string up.
  4. Once the paraffin wax and crayons have blended together, pour the mixture into the molder.  Let stand, or refrigerate for quicker results.
  5. When the wax has hardened, clip the string, leaving about half an inch.  This will be the wick of your candle.
  6. Take the molder and heat over a flame to melt the wax just enough for the candle to come loose.
  7. Repeat step 1 to 6, using other colors this time. -Bato Balani

Photo courtesy:  demandstudios

Flowers in Frames

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Flowers are precious mementos or souvenirs when dried.  You can make delicate and fancy designs by neatly mounting dried flowers in frames.


Pressed leaves and flowers of different sizes and shapes, sharp scissors, tweezers, mat board in pastel colors, thin cardboard, white glue, precut mats and frames, old PLDT directory, transparent plastic.


  1. Press the flowers and leaves separately in an old and thick telephone directory.  Be sure not to overlap the leaves and flowers.  Add weights to assure firm press.  Note:  Don’t use glossy paper since they don’t absorb moisture well.
  2. Make an outline of a ring, wreath,  heart on the mat board.  Use light traces of pencils for the outline.
  3. Carefully lift the pressed flowers and leaves with tweezers and place them on mat boards with pastel colors.  Match the mat board with the colors that will complement the pressed specimen.
  4. Apply white glue sparingly to the back of the pressed specimen.  Do not allow glue to smudge the pressed specimen on the mat board.
  5. Follow the outline and glue the pressed specimen according to your desired shape.  Mount your shaped pressed flowers to the thin cardboard.
  6. Wrap in trasparent plastic to protect the pressed flowers.  Stretch the plastic and fit to frames to finish.  A precut frame with glass plates will make your flower frames more attractive. – Bato Balani

Photo courtesy:  prettythingsdecor

Egg Shell Decors

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Inspired ideas for home decorating may come from many sources.  Today, many people are inventing their own accessories to make decors more exciting.  There are many low cost or reusable materials in the kitchen which you can use.  One example is the egg shell.  You can do many things with an empty egg shell.


Clean and dry egg shells

Colored tissues

Decorative ribbon

Small plastic beads

Baby rickrack

Gold card

Dried mall grass flowers



  1. Cut a two cm hole on one side of the raw egg.  Remove the egg white and yolk.
  2. Wash the empty egg shell with warm water and detergent.  Let it dry.
  3. Glue colored tissues inside and outside of the egg shell.
  4. Glue rickrack around opening on the inside.
  5. Glue bead at opening on the outside to hide any irregularities.
  6. Attach the hanging card from the top of the egg down the center and back.
  7. Arrange the dried flowers as you see fit.

Source:  Gifts to Make

photo courtesy:  aeb

Pickling Mushrooms

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Mushrooms have long been valued for their taste.  Pickling mushrooms is one way to ensure that you’ll always have this delicious item to perk up your meals.  Pickling is the process of preserving food y using salt or vinegar solution.  Mushrooms can be preserved just like other vegetables.  This is how it is done.


1 kilo fresh mushrooms

3 cups vinegar

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup salt and red pepper

20 grams onion and carrots

2 grams ginger



  1. Blanch mushrooms in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain in tray.
  2. Heat vinegar in casserole.  Don’t stir.
  3. Add all ingredients and oil.  This will be your pickling solution.
  4. Pak the blanched mushrooms in small bottles and press down to remove the air.
  5. Slowly pour the pickling solution to cover the mushrooms.
  6. Cap the bottles loosely and steam for one hour.
  7. Seal the cam with the candle serving.

Photo courtesy:  topnews

Compost: Natural Fertilizer

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fertilizerWhat you need:

Composing materials (plant residues, animal manure)

Compost fungus activator, CFA (Trichoderma harzanium)

1 kilogram CFA per 100 kilogram composting materials

1.5 meters bamboo (with pierced internodes)

Sieve (2.5 centimeters in diameter, opening size)

Plastic bags for packaging


What you will do:

  1. Identify a sloping, shaded site for composting.  Create a ditch around the site to avoid waterlogged condition.
  2. Set up the organic materials in layers.  Pile the plant residue (such as rice straw or sawdust) and animal (chicken or goat) manure at a ratio of 3:1.  Spread the CFA on the pile.  Repeat the layers until the pile reaches a height of 1` meter.  Install the bamboo breather at the center of the pile.
  3. Water the pile to enhance the growth of Trichoderma and lower the temperature during decomposition.  Cover the pile with sack (or plastic).
  4. After two weeks, turn the pile to even up the decomposition.  The materials on top should be place at the bottom and vice versa.  Successive turning is done every week afterwards.
  5. After two to three months, whe the pile has finally become black or brown in color and the original materials are no longer recognizable, the compost is ready for harvesting.
  6. Sun-dry the compost for two days to kill the pathogenic microorganisms and to lower the moisture content.  After drying, pass the compost through the sieve to remove extraneous materials.
  7. Pack the compost in plastic bags.

Source:  Carl B. Monterey. 

Photo courtesy: ggpht