COOKING JOURNAL: a classic take on spaghetti

One of my frustrations in life is to be a chef. I love to cook and that includes baking. Its been awhile since I got my kitchen renovated that I actually stepped into it and cook. Today I am turning the wheels around and starting a new project of a COOKING JOURNAL.

I live a busy life mostly spent working graveyard shift or socializing. Lack of sleep and sleeping against my circadian rhythm drains my energy away that all I wanted to do in my days off is to rest and be lazy. What started all this? … As I was driving home from a class today I was so hungry. I was craving for something but I don’t know what (don’t you get that feeling sometimes? that if you don’t eat what you want you will never get satisfied?) so I was thinking hard what it is that I wanted that I narrowed my cravings into eating spaghetti but I don’t want just any kind… I wanted A special one. The kind that I grew up eating, I know that there are different kinds of spaghetti and different ways to cook it, but I was looking for a SWEET, TANGY with a kick of SPICYNESS.

COOKING MODE ON … I made my trip to the grocery store and bought the stuff I need for cooking and that is where it HIT me. I decided that I shall get back to what I love to do. I shall cook again of at least one dish when I am not working and I will share it to my readers for a challenge to try it and maybe eat something out of their comfort zone. Sometimes all we need is a little push and a reminder of the things we are passionate about (somehow I lost track of mine).

For today’s menu: RED SAUCE SPAGHETTI
(ingredients and how to cook will be posted towards the end of the page).

STEP #1: gather your main ingredients to make you spaghetti tasty (ground beef, onion, garlic and hotdog are not featured here but you do need those)

STEP #2: begin chopping (half of the red onion needs to be chopped like the bell peppers below, I was crying I don’t even have time to take a picture of the chopped onion). Chopped the hotdog diagonally.

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STEP #3: start cooking the beef, hotdog along with onion and garlic.

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STEP #4: add your chopped bell peppers, tomato sauce and ketchup
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STEP #5: the finish product ready for eating!

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WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS?

  • 2 gloves of garlic (slightly pressed)
  • ½ of red onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell peppers (diced)
  • 1 green peppers (diced)
  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 10 pcs. Hotdog (cut diagonally)
  • 1 pack or 36oz of spaghetti sauce (pictured) can be bought in all Filipino stores
  • 1 bottle of ketchup (pictured) preferably to get that sweet and spicy taste. Can be bought in all Filipino stores
  • 1 – 2 lbs pasta (depending how many people will eat) I used wheat pasta for mine for a healthier option, but it does taste better using a regular pasta (cook as desired)

THE COOKING PROCESS:

  • Begin to boil water for the pasta
  • Begin heating a sauce pan (large enough for the whole sauce) with 1 table spoon olive oil and 1 table spoon canola oil
  • Add the garlic and onions and stir for at least 1-2 minutes
  • Add the ground beef and stir frequently to prevent it from forming into bigger chunks (add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste) 20-25 minutes.
  • Add the hotdog and stir once in awhile to let it cook about 10 minutes
  • Add the bell peppers and let it cook for about 5 minutes (removing the gloves of garlic after)
  • Turn the heat to medium and pour the pack of spaghetti sauce and 1 bottle of ketchup (1/2 cup of water to thin the sauce a little bit)
  • Let it simmer 10-15 minutes then turn the heat off
  • Served with sauce on top and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or any choice of cheese that you like.
  • The left over sauce can be kept inside the refrigerator or freezer and use for another time.
  • You can also use the left over sauce to make a pizza bread ( a very good snack for the kids )

I hope you guys enjoy today’s menu. For questions or any suggestions please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. If you decide to try this at home and got good results please let me know what you think and maybe a snap of your finish product (bad result is also open for discussions).

I have the social medias available so feel free to look me up.

BON APPETIT!

ROAD TRIP – what Arizona desert have to offer (places to be on your bucket list)

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When 2015 of this year started…I made a deal to include a road trip for this year’s travel venture-so I gathered the young at heart and grabbed our bags and drove for hours.

Being an outdoorsy kind of person, I always think that Summer is the best time to pack your bags and hit the road despite of the heat that can  reach as high as 105 degrees along with unexpected sand storm, wind storm or occasional thunder and lightning. 

Being on the road to go from places to places can be fun and tiring at the same time, but no matter how much you love to drive it is still highly recommended to rest and have a backup driver. When I get sleepy some caffeine and  a few energy drinks will keep me awake, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. My only advice to all is don’t push yourself to the limit and learn how to hand over the wheel to someone else to get some rest or pull over and take a nap. Safety first before everything else!

ROAD TRIP is fun when you have the right people.  A few guidelines to live by to make your trip an enjoyable and memorable one.

  • Be with the people who have a sense of adventure and willingness to try anything or everything. People who have the same interest as yours.
  • Take the young ones who are legally old enough (not a minor)because they tend to crave for challenge and they also have that adrenaline rush, which makes things exciting!
  • Someone who knows how to drive but also a SAFE driver so that you can take some rest.
  • An outdoor person who can appreciate nature, take a hike, and expect long walks (the last thing you want is someone who will make your trip problematic right?)

A few things to bring when traveling on the road for long hours:

  • cases of water (very important to hydrate yourself specially under extreme heat)
  • Some filling snacks (peanuts, energy bars, dry fruits, cookies)
  • Snacks to keep you awake while driving (sunflower seeds and very spicy food-hot Cheetos! is always my best bet)
  • Tripod and camera
  • Flash light for emergency purposes

Las Vegas, Nevada

Our first stop after 4 hours of driving from Los Angeles, California is Las Vegas, Nevada also known as “Sin City” or for me “The city that never sleeps.” We got here very late due to heavy traffic because it’s a  weekend (seems like everybody wants to get out of the city). We checked-in to our hotel in Paris for an overnight stay and head out immediately for some late dinner.

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After we filled our tummy with good food, we head back to the strip for some walking and a little booze of alcohol (what is Las Vegas without getting a little drunk right?)

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We kinda lost track of time and got back to our hotel just in time to pack our bags and head out again to our next destination. This is where a back-up SAFE driver comes to the rescue =]  We left Las Vegas to head to Sedona, Arizona (a 4 hour drive and an opportunity for us to catch some snooze).

Sedona, Arizona

A desert in Arizona well-known for the red rocks that illuminates to red-orange color, pine forest, and steep canyons. There are a lot of hiking trails here that can be explored. However, we are here for a quick stop, get some lunch and a few hours to stroll around the village. Nevertheless, its beauty is breath-taking.

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Grand Canyon, Arizona

One of the well-known tourist spot to visit when in United States and a UNESCO World Heritage site. A 2 hour drive from Sedona, Arizona we arrived at the South Rim of the National Park just in time to enjoy the glow and colors of the rock during the sunset’s magical hours.

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 Paige, Arizona

An hour and half drive from Grand Canyon is a small town that boast a lot of amazing things to see and do. Our first stop is a meander of Colorado River shaped as a Horseshoe Bend (thus the name)

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BRAVING IT BY SITTING AT THE EDGE PLUS SOME STRONG WINDS (PLEASE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN TRYING THIS)


NEXT STOP:

Antelope Canyon or “slot canyon” is located in Navajo land. This is part of Paige, Arizona about 20-25 minutes drive from Horseshoe Bend. There are two areas of this canyon to explore: The Upper Antelope Canyon known as “The Crack” (a less challenging and mostly visited) and the Lower Antelope Canyon “The Spiral Rock Arches” a less visited part which a bit more challenging because of the steep stairs and slots of rocks you have to go through.

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We were unable to visit the Upper Antelope Canyon due to time constrictions and arriving late in the afternoon. The tour is about 2 hours of walking (water + sunblock is a must). To those who wants to take their time and get that perfect shots they do offer photography tour which is longer hours with a smaller group.

Guided tours can be book ahead or you can buy it at the site itself. Our trip almost went down the drain only because we came late afternoon, the tickets are almost sold out. Also, to prevent longer waiting hours for the next tour schedule book your tour ahead. They only allow certain visitors a day (tickets do run out) and all must be a guided tour in preservation of the canyons. 

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 The gruel part of the trip is driving back home only because all the fun is over and the excitement to your destination are all gone. Being home though gives you that feeling of comfort and the feel of your own bed is nothing compared to all the hotel room we got. We are glad we made it all safe after 7hrs +++ of driving and a few bathroom breaks and snacks along the way. The memories we made will last a life time with the stories we all have to tell. My version is this.

I hope that you had a great time reading my blog. I am glad to take any suggestions of the road trip I shall embark soon (Yellowstone is on my top list for next year).

My upcoming blog is another untold story of my time in UTAH so standby and join me for another ROAD TRIP.


Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any tips for me.Thank you for visiting and how about we stay connected in one of these: FB, TWITTER OR INSTAGRAM