In God’s Time…

Happy birthday, Ma. See you in God’s time… So for now, I’ll keep singing our favorite song and keep believing that God will make a way…

By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will still remain
And He will do something new today

God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way…🎶

“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” – John 16:22

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The House That Baked Chicken Built

I usually make a list of menu each week to help me plan my grocery shopping. It does not only make my trip to the grocery store easy and quick, but it also helps me in my pursuit of discipline in terms of budgeting wisely. The only exception to the rule is, my menu does not extend to the weekends. Since Saturday is usually our errand day, we would just grab something to eat outside. And I must admit that I do love to look forward to our Saturday date nights.

Yesterday was a different Saturday though. I had to go to work in the morning and I kind of felt a little tired and lazy to do anything after. Even my favorite restaurants did not sound appealing to me so I thought I would just make an easy fix for me and my husband, and eat at home. So there I was, standing in front of an open freezer door scanning and staring at all the frozen stuff I have available and could not make up my mind on what to make for dinner. While nothing seemed to look interesting, I remained standing there hoping that my blank mind would come up with something. A minute has passed and still nothing. The next minute slammed me back to reality when all of a sudden, I heard my husband pound his fist on the computer desk and blurted out in a scary disappointment, “Oh no…”

Curious and worried, I shut the freezer door and asked what was wrong. The reason of his disappointment was unbelievable.

He just read from an online gazette that his favorite Filipino food chain which is Jollibee, will open soon in a Chicago suburb. Why is he disappointed? About three years ago, he thought of, and have actually submitted an application online, to franchise the first Jollibee here in Chicago. Although he did not, and does not have enough resources yet to purchase this franchise, he was confident the he will be able to bring Jollibee to Chicago. All he need is time to put the resources together. Whew. I thought it was an ‘end of the world’ kind of situation that he was in for him to react that way.

But guess what, this is all I need to finally come up with an idea from my earlier quest for an easy fix for dinner. I am going to make Chicken ala Jollibee! Hmm, wait. Actually, let’s make it a little special. How about Chicken ala Maxx’s instead with its tender juicy inside and crispy on the outside? Yes! I am confident that this will compensate his disappointment on losing the first franchisee to someone else.

So I immediately thawed 2 pieces of chicken quarters in the microwave, took my steamer out, and preheated the oven to 365°F. It looked like my disappointed husband has some more sorting out to do with his KidzArt stuff on his computer so I think I have enough time before he is ready for dinner. 2015-02-22 15.59.10

I’ve made this recipe more than once before and we both not only enjoy eating it, but we also love how it brings a lot of memories back home. It had always extended our time on the dinner table as we share and reminisce the good old days we spent with my family in these restaurants. I look forward to the day we can visit home again and maybe then, we do not have to take them out to eat where your fellowship on the table is limited in a restaurant, but make some at home instead and spend longer and enjoyable time with everyone. After all, nothing beats homemade food.

I invite you to make your own memories with your loved ones through a simple yet sumptuous chicken recipe. It’s easy, quick and definitely mouthwatering. Try it for yourself!

Ingredients: ( I usually don’t have specific measurement for my ingredients so make sure you estimate well according to your taste.)

2-3 Chicken quarters or thighs, or a whole cut up chicken for more servings

lemongrass

Salt, pepper, minced garlic

For steaming – celery, lemongrass, cilantro leaves/stems, bay leaves

Cooking oil if you prefer to fry the chicken instead of baking it. I’ve tried both and had good results

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Procedure:

  1. Pat dry the chicken with paper towel and rub the pounded lemongrass all over it. Make sure the lemongrass is pounded good to get the juices out. Do not discard the lemongrass after rubbing in on the chicken. Add it to the rest of the vegetables that you will use for steaming.
  2. Combine salt and pepper and season the chicken. Apply the minced garlic on the chicken gently sliding under the skin to seal the garlic flavor. Be careful not to tear the skin.
  3. Throw in cut up celery, cilantro and the left over lemongrass from rubbing off on the chicken earlier. You made add a fresh one if you want some more. You can also throw in some more herbs of your choice to add more flavor.
  4. Steam the chicken for about half an hour. Bake open for about 15-20 minutes
  5. Serve with mashed potatoes and cream corn ( rice for me please), banana ketchup or gravy like Mang Tomas.

Bon appetite!

Super Answered Prayers on a Super Stormy Super Bowl Night

My husband’s work place is about 10-12 minutes from where we live but it took us almost 2 hours to reach home last night because of the heavy and prolonged snowstorm that has covered all the streets. He had to work on a special task for the Super Bowl which has something to do with the commercials that needs to be shown for the live game. The best part is, I can get to go with him and see him work on this. But while this task is so interesting for him, he would rather stay home and enjoy the game himself. I guess he is left with no choice because someone needs to make sure all the commercials in the queue for the Super Bowl will feed smoothly, so in spite of the drifting snow and wind gusts of up to 45 mph, we braved the terrifying blizzard that is sweeping through the whole city to get to his work.

And so as anticipated, we got stuck. Right on the corner of the street of our block. I started to worry so I began to pray while he kept rocking the truck back and forward to get it out from getting stuck. Nope. It isn’t working. He kept looking at the time. He needs to be at work in 20 minutes and I knew what he was going to say next. He will walk to work and he will ask me to walk back home while we aren’t too far yet and leave the truck there for now. My mind and my heart resisted this idea. I can’t let him walk with this weather condition. It is going to be too dangerous. I prayed again. I don’t know how and what to pray exactly but I just kept asking God to help us. It felt too impossible to ask God to send someone to help us out. What happened next brought tears to my eyes and slap on my face. A group of three teenage boys were walking towards us with shovels on their shoulders. Without saying anything, they started to shovel the snow in the front of our car and worked their way through the back, and clearing a pathway for us. What a answered prayer and a reminder that nothing is impossible with God“ Thank you, Lord. Please forgive me for my little faith.” Because of these teenagers, who we later learned were brothers, we reached my husband’s work place 8 minutes early. We gave them money but they declined. They told us they are happy to have helped us. But we insisted so they can get themselves some cup of coffee. They took it like we were the ones who did them a big favor. The youngest of them, who to my surprise, was actually a girl about 12-13 years old, voiced out how she wanted a big mac sandwich from McDonalds. I told the other two older ones to make sure she gets what she wants and to not stay out too long in the cold. They both replied very sweetly, “Yes ma’am.”

My husband started getting settled at his work desk after punching in and logging into his computer, while I prepared the little lunch table that is right next to his cubicle for us to eat on when he takes his break. When he got the chance, he toured me to the Video Hub Office (VHO) where all the video equipment are at and explained how each one works. It was fun to learn something new, although complicated, it was very interesting. Now I know the technical side of how programs and commercials are fed into our televisions through fiber, and then through electronic units to a router, to a server and then out on fiber again to reach the subscribers. Sounds very smart doesn’t it? Hmm, I think I want to switch career now. 🙂

We were supposed to stay there until midnight to complete my husband’s 8 hour shift but at about 10:30, his boss called and told him we can go home since the game is already over anyway, and he was probably also thinking about the weather condition. We headed out to the same fierce winds and non stop snowfall as when we left home six hours ago. The snow has continued to pile up making it more difficult to drive through it. Our vehicle is a pretty strong one but with a slippery road and about 13-15 ft of snow, it can only go as far as it could. So we got stuck for the second time. Learning from what happened earlier, I knew what to do immediately and that is to put our trust and complete and absolute dependence on God alone. My husband and I looked at each other with a forced smile as he tried to rock the car back and forward again and getting off the vehicle too many times to check where it is at. But God had shown Himself mighty again and total refuge in time of need as two men from two different direction came up to us with their shovels to clear up some snow and helped push our car out from getting stuck. What a might God we serve indeed! We got home dripping with snow all over, but we got home safely, period. We concluded the night with a hot chocolate and a prayer of thankfulness for how the Lord had rescued us in the series of unfortunate evens that we went through the whole night.

Below are some pictures I took from my camera phone. Forgive me, but I do not have a lot of time to arrange a nice lay out of it to go with this blog post. I hope you can identify with the photos after reading the whole story. Until then.

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