oatmeal walnut cookies.

"It gets better everyday," that's one of my former boss' favorite expressions. Whenever we're faced with challenges in the office, she always reminds us of that phrase.

I'd have to agree. Life gets better everyday... if you're looking at it positively. Glass full, not empty.
My friends always referred to me as the "pensive" one. I worry and whine a lot. I complain before I even get to look at the whole picture.

When I became a trainer, we had to discuss empathy, rapport and positive scripting. Those are my weaknesses. I'm no good at making small talks. Never.

I was always coached on focusing on the "can do" attitude. Instead of focusing on what you CANNOT do, focus on what you CAN do to help.

In the past few weeks, especially ever since I started practicing yoga, I've noticed a few changes in my lifestyle. I am not sure if it's really because of yoga, but I seem to have mellowed out. I complain less and I sleep and wake up a whole lot better.

And more importantly, I'm learning to look at life in a more positive manner.

Good job, good job.
DSCF4166 I’m learning to love myself more… and pampering myself even more. ;)
The same idea goes with cooking and baking, I think. The more I cook and bake, the better I become at what I do. Yesterday I even told myself that I have talent -- simply because I have two left feet and I can't carry a note. I sometimes can't distinguish right from left. Seriously!

So I realized, there's something I am good at, other than eating, of course.

Today, I proved myself right -- I tried to bake oatmeal walnut cookies without a recipe. I just followed my gut and threw whatever ingredient I wanted right in the batter.


The result? Delicious. Not too sweet, not too nutty. They're crispy yet chewy at the same time. Perfectly balanced... and healthy!

Of course, it's fairly similar to any cookie recipe... but it's still my own.

Oatmeal Walnut Cookies 
1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tbsp baking soda
pinch of salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
a handful of peanuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used Callebaut) 
Preheat oven 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 
In another bowl, mix together nuts and chocolate chips, set aside. 
In a large bowl, whisk together sugars and melted butter until combined. Add egg and vanilla, beat until incorporated. Stir in flour mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. 
Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet/s, about two inches apart. I used a small ice cream scooper to get uniform sizes. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and cookies are slightly set.

It’s almost my birthday… should I give away some baked goodies? Hmmm.


The View.


cupcake project | 07: vanilla cupcakes for two.

Well, hello there, dear friends.

I have noticed that my statistics has gone up lately, I am not sure why and who my readers are, but really… Thank you for dropping by. I am so glad that you have come across my little niche in the big web.

My blog has been utterly neglected in the past few days (again), but that doesn’t mean I don’t have any new stuff to share. Truth be told, there are a lot! I just don’t know how to process them… yet.

If you’ve been following this blog, you would probably know that I have an on-and-off relationship with writing. As of the moment, let’s just say we are on the “not-talking-cool-off-muna-tayo” stage. In a gist, inspiration has flown out the window for now.

Today, I mustered enough willpower to write because there are just a lot of things lined up on my to-do list and I am not in the mood to work. How easy to say… but hard to do. Heh.

Last Saturday, I attended an event sponsored by Coke and Araneta Center – the Coca Cola Caravan and Giant Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. I have yet to finish my post about it –- I don’t know where to start! I am still overwhelmed by the whole experience. If want the deets, you can hop on to Krissy’s site – she was too kind to have invited me! Thanks, dear! :)

DSCF4110 Christmas came a wee bit early.


26 Wishes for my 26th Year

I’m turning 26 in a few weeks. I feel pretty old. Haha.

For as long as I can remember, wishlists have always been a part of my birthday celebration. If you can ever call it a celebration, that is.

This year, I came up with 26 wishes and I am giving myself until November 30, 2012 to complete them. Such a feat, I know.


Yoga and the Start of Something New.

Today marked the start of something new in my life.

I decided to attend a yoga class. I've  long wanted to try a formal yoga session, but I guess my reservations got the better of me. A few weeks back, I purchased a voucher for one-week unlimited sessions at around 70% off the market value.

Last week I started practicing sleep yoga to help me sleep better, and to be fair, it did work wonders for me. That was my sign to grab my butt off my bed and head out the door to go to the studio -- even though it's a 20-minute cab ride away from my apartment.

I've never tried yoga before. The closest thing I got to practicing it would probably be my stretching class when I was a freshman in college. I decided to leave my expectations and reservations out the door and just enjoy the experience.

The class was at 7:00 AM, I barely had sleep the night before, but I was up and about before the sun has risen. Yes, I was THAT excited... and scared shitless. ;)

I was the first one to arrive at the studio and then shortly after, the instructor arrived. I was amazed at how friendly and accommodating he was. We went to the same University, he graduated when I was just about to enter college. He also earned his Law degree in the same University. To cut the story short, he quit his law practice and started to focus full time on teaching yoga.

"Wow, you're doing what you love to do." I said.

He replied, "I always thought it's just a Hallmark greeting card -- If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."

And then we started our session. 75 minutes has never felt so short. I didn't feel tired. I felt rejuvenated. Alive and stress-free.

I felt freedom, this could really be the start of something new.
*** I attended the Yoga Basics class of Marc at Beyond Yoga.


chocolate crinkles, version 2.

I couldn't get over the success of yesterday's baking attempt that I baked another batch using a different recipe.

The first batch of chocolate crinkles were all gone when I brought it to work, so I thought baking a bigger batch wouldn't hurt.

I was right all along. I brought 24 cookies and more than half of them were gone in less than an hour.

They must be utterly delicious.

Definitely. How can you go wrong with a sinful combination of dark chocolate and dark cocoa powder?

You cannot go wrong. I bet you that.

This batch came out more beautiful than yesterday's -- puffier, chewier and chocolatier. Can anything get better than that?
DSCF4053Aren’t they beautiful? 


chocolate crinkles, version 1.

When I was a little girl, spending summers in my Lolo and Lola’s (grandpa and grandma) house in Malaybalay, Bukidnon were a must. Summer vacations are never complete without the “mandatory” visit. It was like a routine, except that it wasn’t boring. We were always woken up at 6:00 am to have a steaming mug of Milo and my cousins and I would compete with each other as to who finishes first. Never minding if it would result to having scalded tongues. We would go back to sleep afterwards. When we’re finally awake, we play the usual “bahay-bahayan” or card games. If not, we intently watch Lolo Max play Solitaire. We always looked forward to reading the Sunday paper to solve the “Spot the Difference” puzzle. In the afternoon, we’d play patintero, bulan-bulan, tag, piko, tumbang-preso, luksong tinik, and jack stones with our neighbors. We also sneak out and take a bath in the nearest spring but we always make sure to be home before 5:00 PM lest Lolo would find out. Haha.

When Lolo got sicker because of his emphysema, he was brought to Cagayan de Oro so that there’s easier access to healthcare. My Mom’s sisters are doctors (plus one a nurse), after all. When that happened, summers in Malaybalay stopped, but we still spent it with Lolo and Lola. At that time, Lola was helping out one of my aunt’s businesses – a bakery. We also helped, we were the ones who gave the customers their orders and one of us was tasked to be the cashier (that’s one of my “dream jobs” when I was a kid!).

After a day at the bakery, I would always look forward to eating some of the breads and pastries we sell. One of my favorite items was chocolate crinkles. I really don’t know why, maybe because it looked so appealing?

When I started baking last year, one of my very first projects was baking chocolate crinkles… which failed big time. I haven’t tried baking it again until today. I was kind of hesitant to give it another try, but I thought, “If I can bake cupcakes with such ease, why can’t I try crinkles again?

Try I did. And I am so glad it came out beautifully.