iris' hearty minestrone recipe: (for 5qt casserole)
  • 15oz garbanzo beans
  • 15oz red kidney beans
  • 15-16oz tomato sauce
  • 28oz crushed tomato (can be substituted with diced tomato) with basil
  • 28oz water or chicken stock
  • 8oz elbow or salad macaroni (can be any small cut pasta), cooked al-dente
  • 1pc bouillon cube (if not using chicken stock)
  • 1-2pcs zucchini
  • 1pc med yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4pcs Italian sausage, chopped
  • 4 stalks/rib celery
  • 3-4pcs carrots, cubed in small pcs
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 1 tbsp butter (used after the soup is cooked for a nice glaze)
Saute' a little amount of onion (leave some for later), garlic, celery, carrots & sausage.  Add just a little of oregano and Italian seasoning.  Add sauces and other liquids.  Add all other ingredients/seasonings.  Let it simmer on high heat without lid until a thicker consistency is achieved.  Add zucchini ad continue simmering until it's just tender.  Stir in butter just before turning off the stove.  Add a dash of parmesan upon serving.

I know I haven't shared any of our little boy's video since his first words.... he's truly grown now and this is just among the things he does at the park. As long as he sees grassy hills, expect him to run up there and roll going down. He was still figuring out how to roll SAFELY that's why he was zigzag-ing all the way. Was still scared to roll sideways all the way down. He's very experimental so I just always keep close look when he does such things.

This was taken last Winter while me and baby were walking back home around the community center. Isn't the sight so lovely?

When I was a kid I used to climb trees...higher than this but of course as a mommy I will be scared to see him climb on such tree at this age.  He's no longer the cuddly tiny baby, practically half my height already and growing.  He talks a lot too.  It's a shame that up to now I haven't uploaded any post with baby talking and moving around.  Anyway, this shot was taken at Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose.  We love this place and will certainly keep coming back whenever possible.  I'm trying to inch my way back to blogging so this will do for now, just a little update to share to all of our friends and readers.


It's true that kids can be quite messy but I love it!  I kick some slack when our little boy wants to be an artist on certain days.  He might not be so good yet in coloring or painting but at 2yrs 2mos he already has a sense of boundary.  He can color within the borders of any image and not just scribbles all over the paper.  Sure this boy keeps me so busy but I'm loving every second of it even during his meltdowns.


This is one of our favorite Filipino noodle dish.  You may use different kinds of rice noodles for this, thick or thin whichever you prefer.  It is best served fresh and warm and not with the sauce and toppings mixed all together.  I miss how my grandma prepares this, she will have everything on the table, all separate for you to create your own.  There will be rice noodles, shrimp sauce, tinapa flakes (smoked fish flakes), ground chicharon (pork crackling), roated garlic, roasted pork meat, shrimps, fried tofu, calamari, eggs, green onions and calamansi or lemon slices.  Such a comfort food even our little boy loves to eat.  I tried making my own version here with whatever ingredients available.  Of course it's not as authentic but good enough to satisfy our craving.  Next time I prepare this I will document the ingredients so I can share it to all of you.

Trailers of movies we have seen on the big screen!
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