I have mentioned earlier that cooking is really my first love. It always gives me great pleasure to cook for my family and friends. When inspiration comes, creating new dishes is just like painting on a blank canvas, starting from scratch, stretching my imagination.
So, last December, while I was preparing one of my favorite recipes, I decided that I should also try taking a video of it. It was my first time after so many years of cooking! I did not use a tripod or mono-pad. The video clips turned out shaky, of course. I did all the editing I could, though.
Anyway, I told myself that I should not be too hard on myself. There’s still a lot of opportunities to improve and learn.
I went on editing and editing the video. It was challenging and it took me several hours to finish. Finally, it was ready to be exported to my computer. I wanted to upload it to my YouTube channel but I was hesitant at first. After viewing it for several times, oh well, I felt it was okay. What the heck? It’s now on YouTube!
Several years ago, I just had this sudden urge to paint using watercolors. I did not have any formal training. I did not even consider myself an artist, especially in this field. I just had this unexplainable desire to express myself through this kind of art. And so, I bought some watercolors, some paint brushes although I wasn’t even sure what the right kinds to use, and just a sketch pad, thinking that buying a canvass would be too much for a novice like me.
I just let go, let things flow. I did not really think it. My mood dictated the colors that I used and the strokes of my paint brushes. Like a child, I was just having fun.
Here in video form, I compiled some of my works. Enjoy!
This is one of my favorite pasta sauces, Pesto. It is healthy and very easy to make. Its ingredients are quite expensive, though.
Its main ingredient is Basil. The leaves of the sweet variety or the Genovese are the best to use. They are more aromatic and flavorful.
According to Natural Food Series, Basil belongs to the mint, lavender, and sage family. Its health benefits include the following:
- Supports healthy brain
- Manages arthritis
- Manages stress
- Slows down aging
- Supports bone health
- Manages epilepsy
- Aids in metabolism
- Relieves post-menstrual syndrome
- Provides energy
- Prevents cancer
- Supports eye health
An authentic Pesto Sauce is made from the traditional Italian way of using a mortar and a pestle. Hence, the name pesto; it was derived from the words “to crush.” Ingredients are pounded in a mortar through a circular motion using a pestle until everything forms into a paste-like consistency. It’s not a smooth paste, but the minute chunks contribute to its texture.
Pesto is uncooked, therefore, the more it is ideal to use the freshest ingredients available as possible. When I prepare this, I just eyeball all the ingredients. However, I do not make it the traditional way, I only make use of the blender or food processor. Below are just estimates of the ingredients:
- Approximately 250 grams to 300 grams washed and dried Fresh Basil Leaves, sliced or coarsely chopped
- About a big bulb or more of Fresh Garlic, coarsely chopped
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, depends on your preferred consistency
- ¼ cup to 1/3 cup toasted Pine Nuts
- ¼ cup or more grated Parmesan Cheese
- Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste
In the blender, I first put a small amount of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, some Basil Leaves and some Garlic. I blend for a few seconds, and then I alternately add the Basil Leaves, Garlic, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan Cheese, gradually adding the Extra-Virgin Olive Oil until all the ingredients are incorporated and an emulsion is created. Lastly, I season to taste with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. Blend for a few seconds for the seasonings to meld with the sauce.
To store, pour into a clean and dry glass jar with air-tight lead; cover sauce with a thin film of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil; and tightly close the jar. Keep chilled inside the refrigerator; best to be consumed until three (3) days.
You can serve this with any pasta of your choice but I usually use Spaghetti noodles. To make it more appetizing, I sometimes top the Pesto Spaghetti with strips of Grilled Fish Fillet, or strips of Grilled Chicken Breast Fillet, or Grilled Shrimps (like in the photo). For a better presentation, garnish with Fresh Basil Leaves … and we can now enjoy savoring our pasta dish. Buon appetito!
“Dance itself is beauty and art, an expression of one’s soul. It has rhythm, movement, and order … everything that characterizes life.”
Although I am not a good dancer, dancing has become one of my favorite hobbies. An hour or so session is a stress-reliever that makes me feel good.
It was a great experience being able to organize a weekly Special Dance Class near my community … dancing just for fun! I had the opportunity to meet different people and was able to interact with them in some unique way. What was also nice was that we could request a particular song or music that we would want to be choreographed by our instructors.
Because of this, I created our Facebook Page that I named “Binayle.” It’s a native Visayan dialect which means “sayawan” in Filipino; or “dancing” in English. In this way, we were able to post photos, videos, and announcements of our class schedules and other events.
We had various instructors from ballroom dancing to Zumba, to retro, and to dance fusion. However, my ever favorite and majority’s favorite as well, and which I retained for our weekly special dance classes was “Dance Fusion.” It encompasses a wide variety of dances such as modern, basic hip-hop, retro, Zumba, and some contemporary steps.
For me, dancing is such an enjoyable activity. It can be for all ages, shapes, and sizes that would help people stay fit. According to BetterHeath Channel, it has the following physical and mental benefits such as:
- Improved condition of your heart and lungs
- Increased muscular strength, endurance, and motor fitness
- Improved aerobic fitness
- Improved muscle tone and strength
- Weight management
- Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Better coordination, agility, and flexibility
- Improved balance and spatial awareness
- Increased physical confidence
- Improved mental functioning
- Improved general and psychological well-being
- Greater self-confidence and self-esteem
- Better social skills
Somewhere along the way, though, as the organizer, I encountered several challenges. Students had different tastes and I had to accommodate them as much as I can. They had different preferences especially when it comes to instructors. The venue was another factor. It had to be accessible to most of the participants.
I was glad that there were those who continued with us. It was just sad that later on, where to hold our dance classes became a situation for me. We continued for a while but in the end, we had no available venue to go on with our weekly special dance classes. However, I believe that the right time and the perfect venue will surely unfold so that we will be able to continue expressing ourselves through dancing and go on with whatever bonding we had shared with one another.
In this video that I created, I put together some of the video clips of our dance classes from 2016 to the present. It is more than 13 minutes long but just chill and enjoy watching. I am sure you will feel like dancing along the way.