Tomato and Pasta Soup Recipe

This is going to be a very lousy post. My camera died on me a couple of days ago, and busy as I was, I didn’t have the time to charge it. The bottom line is there’s no picture to go with the recipe. But I hope I describe it well, and I bet you have an excellent imagination so you’ll get my point. 🙂

Here we go:

  • 1 250 g of macaroni pasta
  • 1 small can of evaporated milk
  • 1 pack of tomato sauce (I prefer Clara Ole’s tomato sauce with basil)
  • oregano
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 of a huge white onion
  • 2 to 3 cups of water

1. Heat the pan and pour in the olive oil. Saute the garlic, then the onion. I prefer white with this one since I want the dish to be a bit sweet. Wait for them to turn brown.

2. Pour in the water and tomato sauce. Then combine your macaroni pasta. Bring the mixture into a boil.

3. Flavor the soup with oregano and black pepper. I added more basil since I just love the herb.

4. To make it richer, creamier, and sweeter, add your evaporated milk.

5. Let it boil continuously. When the soup has already thickened and the pasta has softened, you can now turn the fire off and serve!

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Cleaning Checklists

Cleaning and I have a love-hate relationship. I actually prefer getting rid of trash, dusting, and all sorts of domesticated chores in the middle of the night, when all is quiet and my mind is very clear. I can organize things very well then.

But usually these allergens beckon me anytime during the day. Worse, every time I see them, I almost always remember my mom. She’s the neat freak in the family. I’m scared she’ll drop by one of these days, and she’ll see a speck of dust perhaps on the dining table. She will then look at me in the eyes and tell me how “dirty” I am.

Another problem I have with cleaning is I don’t really know where to start. Normally, I go with my gut feel, if not spend more time on a couple of areas. However, by the the time I turn my attention to the untouched, I have no more energy left.

So I decided to check out 3 checklists I can use to add more organization and perhaps speed up the cleaning process. (I don’t own a vacuum cleaner right now, so I’d expect to spend a few more minutes than expected, though.)

Amazingly, I found some great ones:

It’s very straightforward. It tells you what to do, allowing you to address the major issues in every section of your home.

If you’re an ultra-organizer, this link is the right one for you. There’s an everyday checklist, weekly checklist, monthly checklist, home keeping checklist, moving checklist, etc.

If you don’t want to be pressed for time, use the checklist.

I’ll probably make my own very soon. After all, no one really knows my house better than I. But while I’m still figuring out how to make an excellent, easy-to-use, and practical checklist, I’ll stick to any one of these.

Meatless Monday!

Yup, I have officially joined the Meatless Monday Movement. As its name suggests, I and my husband are not going to eat any meat on Mondays.

I know it’s just 24 hours, but it’s going to be hard for us, meat eaters we are. Nevertheless, unless we take this step, we’ll never learn how to eat vegetables or keep ourselves healthier this year.

I am still undecided on what to prepare. Though it would be nice if I could just cook a typical Cebuano veggie soup, I know Bernard wouldn’t like it yet. So let’s see what I can come up with tomorrow. 🙂

If you’re interested to join or even get to know more about the campaign, visit Meatless Monday today.

 

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7 Ways to Save Money

Let me begin by telling you I don’t have a lot of money in any bank account. My family is not rich, and I don’t have any business or even a dependable secondary income yet. However, I am proud to say I’m able to save enough for the rainy day.

I am not saying this to brag. Instead, I want to show you anyone can save even a very small amount. The following ideas have worked for me, and I believe they will for you too:

1. Make it an expense. 

Rather than using the old formula, income less expenses equals savings, I go for income less savings equals expenses. Sometimes my monthly expenses are high, and I need to reduce my potential savings. But I try my best to keep at least 8 to 10 percent of my total income.

2. Keep jars around.

I actually still have my piggy bank since I was in first year high school. There are also a couple of “coin jars” all around the home. Bernard and I tend to place coins anywhere, unfortunately. These jars ensure we can easily account them later on.

3. Plan ahead. 

I don’t like surprises, especially if they are in the form of bills. That’s why I plan well ahead of time. I keep track of my budget using the traditional method: a spreadsheet.

4. Pay things in cash.

I’ve been credit card free for the past 3 years, and I don’t miss it a bit. It also pushes me to spend things using cash. If I can’t afford it, then it may not be meant for me, or perhaps I save until I can pay for it. Sometimes I just wait for its price to go down. If I definitely need to pay something other than cash, I use a debit card or my PayPal account.

5. Keep a “real” savings account.

A lot of us have a savings account, yet we still draw money from it. What I did is to keep a separate card for all my savings. I don’t carry it everywhere so I won’t be tempted to spend it.

6. Control yourself. 

Lately, I’ve been wishing for a Kinect because I want to play Dance Central. But the technology will cost me  a lot of money, and I’m not willing to spend that much for a plaything. I admit it takes intense control, knowing how impulsive I sometimes get.

7. Stay out of debt as much as possible. 

This closely relates to tip no. 4. Because I pay for things in cash, I am able to avoid piling up debts. In the process, I don’t spend for interest or late repayments.

Do I fall short with some of these? Oh yes! Sometimes I allow myself to give in to bad investments, wrong financial decisions, and complacency. But I learn from them and become more empowered financially.

 

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