Kitchen experiment: Tuna cakes

tuna cakes

What do you do when you’re not really feeling any of the leftovers in the fridge for lunch? If you’re like me, you experiment (so long as said recipe experiment wasn’t too complicated, of course! I don’t pretend to be a great cook).

So here was the situation: After a long morning wrestling with editorial plans, I was getting hungry. I could eat a banana or a tub of yogurt but that was not going to sustain me for long. A glance at the pantry showed that there were canned corned beef; I could make a quick corned beef hash (that’s always good, but we’ve had that recently). There were also packets of instant noodles (not an option, unless there wasn’t anything left to eat and we’re in a midst of a zombie apocalypse. Nothing against instant noodles, but I ate a lot of it growing up and during college. Also, I was trying to eat healthy)… Ooh, there’s canned tuna. Wonder what I can make with that. Quesadillas? An option, except that I have to open a packet of tortillas and only use one or two of them. I didn’t want to add to the leftovers in the fridge. Hmmm, tuna salad? Yes. But yikes, no bread.

Continue reading Kitchen experiment: Tuna cakes


Berrylicious Microwave Minute Muffin

Take a little less than a quarter cup of quick oats, 1 egg, a small handful of blueberries, and some brown sugar or Stevia if you like things sweet, and mix it all up in a coffee mug. If you want your muffin a little moist a tablespoon of plain soymilk or almond milk will do it.

Then place in the microwave for 1 min. Watch it carefully! This could overflow!

If the muffin top does not look firm, place back in 30 sec at a time.

Once ready, flip mug upside down onto a plate and slice some fresh strawberries to decorate.

Super yummy! I served this to my sister and she was so impressed with my quick healthy cooking skills. Try it! Let me know what ingredients you end up using! There’s a lot of room for creativity.

I want to try this — perfect for me with my nonexistent baking skills, haha!

Monday list

April always makes me think of summer, no classes, beach and just having all the time in the world. That is, of course, the April of my childhood and that hasn’t been the case with my Aprils since I was, oh, 18 maybe, back in the Jurassic era! But so what, right? I still can dream of my perfect April/summer season in which all I need do is…

… read and make inroads into my book debt. In the pipeline this year: Stephen King’s 11/22/63, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Unholy Night both by Seth Grahame-Smith, in which the three wise men are protagonists in a sword-and-sandals epic — here’s an excerpt.And yes, The Hunger Games trilogy is also in this book debt. Argh!

… try and live lightly. I need a change in mindset and the article “The Elements of Living Lightly” perfectly encapsulates what needs to change in me: Think of nothing that happens as either good or bad. Stop judging, and stop expecting. It may not always work, but can’t hurt to try. At the very least, it presents you with a clean slate.

… eat right. And I need these portion plates to do that. OK, I don’t need these plates, but they’re just damn cute!

… need to run and walk more, so I need these Japanese sneakers with baked on soles in my life. And these Skechers running shoes.

… go somewhere, anywhere — preferably to a beach.

… or failing that, hole up this Holy Week to watch Game of Thrones, season 2! Here’s a refresher course.

A list of lists

Another manic Monday, as the Bangles said. To get me through it, here’s what I’ve been reading/checking out:

I’m thinking of salads, why? I don’t know — maybe because these main course salads are so pretty and look damn delicious.

Despite my “no-rice” for Lent (two more weeks, please God!). I’m not really dieting, but this article on unhealthy healthy snacks caught my eye.

I’m the type who, after watching a movie, would include a comment like, “I love her wardrobe” in my critique about a film. I mean, sure plot and “overarching story themes” are all well and good (and necessary) but sometimes, you just want to talk about the clothes, so I really like this story on memorable movie dresses. One quibble though: Can Princess Leia’s slave-girl bikini even be classified as a dress?

I haven’t watched The Hunger Games yet and I haven’t read the books (yes, book debt!) — and I hardly know the story, except for the bare-bones plot. BUT! Vulture’s Hunger Games Name Generator is lots of fun! Embedded in the article is a link to figure out which District you belong so check it out. Oh, and my name is Terra Lockhearst, haha!

I like this cover of Cate Blanchett in Intelligent Life. She looks great without Photoshop! I am firmly on the side of retouching for magazines in the sometimes hysterical debate over it, but not to the point where you don’t recognize who the person is. The whole point of magazine profiles after all, is to get people to relate (aspire?) to be like their idols and who wants to see their idols have folds and wrinkles and spots and such? But having said that, it also doesn’t make sense for me — both as editor and reader — to render a subject too perfect. Our folds and wrinkles indicate a life well-lived and who doesn’t want that?

Speaking of interesting lives, musicians pay tribute to their favorite writers. Now I suddenly miss Natalie Merchant and the 10,000 Maniacs!

I also miss The Wire. Mainly because I’ve been talking about it with a colleague! Maybe I should “re-up” and watch it again. In the meantime, there’s this: The Wire: 100 Greatest Quotes. Warning: Contains spoilers!

Here, an impression of moving street art (i.e., Manila jeeps) by a neo-newbie. Good stuff.

I remember my dad would come home from business trips with hotel soaps and shampoos from the various hotels he stayed in. I travel myself, and while I sometimes have the same habit of taking home hotel toiletries (especially if they’re by famous designers/brands), I usually leave them alone. I don’t even use them because I’d bring my own. Or if I’d use them, mostly it’s for washing hands. So what happens to all those unused toiletries or leftover toileties? Clean the World has an interesting — and enterprising — solution.

Big think of the week: Nothing is original — we all steal ideas from someone/somewhere else. But! And here’s the difference: “… admitting that yes, it’s true—nothing is original. Accepting that fact, however, is actually one of the first steps to greatness. ‘If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running from it,’ [writer Austin Kleon] writes, arguing that the idols and ideas you choose to surround yourself with only serve to make your projects more robust.” This quote is from an interview with the author, whose book, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, says that poaching is essential for good ideas to flourish. I want this book!

And finally — things that I’m grateful for this week: I’m healthy, my family’s doing great, my friends are fabulous, my job allows me to be expand my creativity. If I’m down, there’s always a good book to read or a movie to watch. Sometimes it’s the little things that count. And coffee and alcohol, haha…

Happy Monday! 😉

[image from]


Food tally:

BREAKFAST: Still the same: cereal with lowfat milk. coffee

LUNCH: Christmas steamboat lunch with the office. I still think I was following a healthy reduced carb and fat diet. Steamboat is basically all soup and veggies. I chose crabmeat, shrimp and fish from the pot.

It was a good lunch, though kind of weird. I wouldn’t put together a steamboat meal and Christmas get-together.

DINNER: Sushi with Chiquit at Sakae Sushi

EXERCISE DONE: An hour or so of window-shopping and walking around the malls with Chiquit.

Checked the scale this morning: I lost 3lbs. But I’m realistic—that’s still water weight. Let’s see what the weekend and next week brings.


Woke up with arms a bit sore from working out with a resistance band last night — and to think it wasn’t even a very tough band! I am such a wimp. Vowed to do better today.

BREAKFAST: Cereal with lowfat milk. Coffee.

LUNCH: Mortadella ham-and smoked cheese sandwich, a slice of papaya and Coke Light.

DINNER: Cereal with lowfat milk, salmon and greens salad, one apple.

Dinner accompaniment: Now watching The Amazing Race Asia finale. I haven’t been watching this regularly, but I got invested in the episode. Didn’t surprise me that the the male Philippine team is still in the running. They’re pretty good. Point of pride that I got to work with Rich Herrera back in Manual. The drama was the father-daughter team though. One of the challenges was to cross between Tower One and Tower Two of Marina Bay Sands, 55 stories up! Scary! The Riches for the win! Woohoo!

Wow, The Philippine Amboys won! Bawi from Rovi and Marc’s disappointing loss two seasons ago!

(Trying to be) the Incredible Shrinking Woman

Inspired by Mina who had a picture of her (her feet, actually) standing on a scale, I bought a cheap scale on a trip to IKEA about a month back. What my scale showed horrified me! I’m now at 80kg, which roughly translates to 160lbs. It’s more, but I’m in denial about the extra seven or so pounds!

It’s taken me awhile to accept that I am no longer the skinny girl I was in my early 30s. But with age comes acceptance so I can now admit that I am…*gulp* fat!

Or maybe it’s not so much acceptance, as the fact that I became tired of fooling myself? In any case, I decided to not just sit here and get bigger, but at least try to do something, anything to shed some pounds.

But I’m realist enough to know that I’m never going to manage a full-blown exercise regimen. Not just because of my busy schedule, but because I’m lazy (there, I said it, haha!). So I’ve tailored a plan that hopefully will get me to lose weight. I’m not attempting to lose 30lbs at one go but maybe 10 or so pounds by the end of year? Yes, I know, it’s crazy considering I’m going home to the Philippines soon and will be surrounded by an orgy of eating that is the Filipino Christmas season. But I figure, I have to try now or I’m never going to do it.

So what’s the plan, and why am I telling you all—the few people who read my blog—about it? Because I believe in the power of peer pressure and I figure if I put it out there, there’s a better chance that I’ll follow through, if only to salvage some pride in this whole experiment.

OK, so what’s the plan? Here it is:

1. Commute and walk everyday. No more taxi rides, except in the mornings to work. Aside from forcing me to have some physical activity everyday, this will also help me save money. I also promise to walk everyday after work.

2. Diet! Sigh. How the mighty have fallen. This used to be dirty word way back when. You know that Nestle Fitness cereal that says to eat the cereal in the morning and at night, with only a main meal in the middle of the day, for 14 days? I’ve actually started doing that. It’s not as grim as I thought it would be, once I got past dreaming about inihaw na baboy, hahaha!

3. Write a diet diary. This is the first entry. I will also post at The Skinny Chronicles just to get the momentum going. I’m supposed to write down what I ate for the day because those that list down their food intake become more conscious of what they put in their mouths so, here’s mine this week so far:


Breakfast: One bowl banana and almond Nestle Fitness cornflakes with low-fat milk. One cup three-in-one coffee.

Lunch: One popiah (Singaporean fresh spring roll), three pieces hakaw, an order of chicken feet dimsum, Coke Light.

Merienda: Coffee and two melon slices.

Dinner: One bowl banana and almond Nestle Fitness cornflakes with low-fat milk. One bowl salad greens with vinaigrette. One slice pineapple.


Breakfast: One bowl banana and almond Nestle Fitness cornflakes with low-fat milk. One cup three-in-one coffee.

Lunch: A ham-and-cheese sandwich. A melon slice.

Merienda: Coffee and a handful of potato chips.

Dinner: One bowl banana and almond Nestle Fitness cornflakes with low-fat milk.


Breakfast: Coffee and a slice of nut bread. I didn’t get to eat my cereal because I was 30 minutes late for a meeting!

Lunch: Seafood Pepper Lunch, miso soup, Coke Light and Vanilla Frosty for dessert. (BTW, Vanilla Frosty <— major fail!)

Merienda: Coffee and two small pineapple tarts

Dinner: ? (Will post later)

I think I’ve been good this week. Let’s see how it goes for the rest of the week. Weighed myself this morning just before showering and I actually dropped two pounds! It’s water weight, but it’s a start! 🙂


Dinner: One bowl banana and almond Nestle Fitness cornflakes with low-fat milk. Green salad with sesame oil dressing