Monday, May 25, 2015

Easy Maya Banana Cake with my Pre-Schooler

One of the things I love about being a SAHM is being able to do fun activities with my kids any time of the day. 

For our merienda, I decided to make an easy Maya Oven Toaster Banana Cake with my 3-year old, Caleb.  He's into fast food/Play-doh Ice cream lately so he got really excited when I told him we're going to bake his favorite Banana Cake together.

The Maya Oven Toaster Banana Cake recipe only calls for a few ingredients:

1.  Maya Oven Toaster Banana Cake Mix 230 grams

2.  3 Tablespoons of Cooking Oil

3.  1/4 cup Water

4. 2 Ripe Bananas

5. 1 Medium Egg

Because I love nuts, I added half a cup of almonds slivers. Walnuts would have been better but we only had almonds in the pantry.

Caleb identified the ingredients like he was on a cooking show. He also learned about some basic baking utensils like the measuring cup, measuring spoon, wire whisk and baking pan. By the way we only used 1 egg for the cake.

Any good chef should have excellent knife skills. I showed him how to slice the first banana and look at how he sliced the second banana almost perfectly. He's now promoted from using the plastic knife to the dinner knife. This is a big step for my junior master chef! 

The recipe is very easy, a three- year old can do it without any fuss - just mix all the ingredients together. Actually, you don't need a whisk to put them all together, but of course I won't disappoint his fascination to the whisk.

Our finished product after 30 minutes. 

Yum yum!  

It's never too early to involve our kids in the kitchen. When Caleb was younger, he would just observe and help put ingredients in the utility bowls. I feel proud that he can now slice the bananas and mix without making so much mess. Easy banana cake today, chocolate souffle tomorrow. Who knows!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Learning about Tire Vulcanizing

I have been driving more than half my life and I am blessed that I seldom get into any kind of car trouble. That's a good thing because the only thing I knew about car maintenance is to fuel up, add water to the radiator and fill air to the tires.  I know that as a driver I should take interest on these things. Admittedly though, I had always relied on the men to do the job of car repair and maintenance - my dad's driver, my dad or brothers. 

When I got married, I thought that my husband would also take care of these things. After all, he's the man of the house and this is his responsibility, right? Much to my dismay, he did not baby me this way.  

It was long overdue anyway. I started learning about "car stuff"  when I got married. Instead of doing it for me, Randy taught me how to go to LTO to have my car registered and also bring my car to the shop every time it needed some repair or maintenance work. So for the past 5 years, I've learned about aircon condensers and evaporators, starter and other terms or car parts which seem like French to me. 

One time I was in a gas station to fuel up and fill air in my tires when the manong told me that there's a slow leak in one of my tires because of a nail tack. It was a good thing I was 10 mins away from the house so I called up my husband to ask what is the best thing to do. He told me to go straight to this tire shop around the corner of our subdivision and have my tires vulcanized.

While there are a lot of vulcanizing shops, I wouldn't suggest that you just head on anywhere. It would be nice to get a referral from someone to be sure that the vulcanizing shop is reputable. Also ask if they do cold patch vulcanizing. I learned from my husband about another method - heated patch or "tusok" as they call it. This is an old method that will just ruin your tires even more.

So when I got to Jonel's Tire Shop in Levi Mariano, I acted as if I know what I was doing. Hahaha! I first asked how much their vulcanizing service is and the manong said 100 Pesos which is the amount my husband told me. I told him that my husband went to their shop before (I-name drop lang even if he doesn't really know my husband para at least manong would know that my husband can get back to them just in case they do a lousy job..)

First thing he did was remove my tires was to use a wrench to loosen the nuts.  He showed me the part where there was an air leak and got the nail out.

Using a tire changer, manong removed the tire from the rim. He then used a buffer to clean the surface where the patch will be placed.

This is manong's makeup kit, este, tool kit. He placed the patch on the inner part of the tire so it was not at all visible from the outside. He let it dry for a few minutes.

After which he soaked the tire in water to check for "bula" (bubbles)

He installed back the tire and I'm good to go!

The entire vulcanizing process took about 15-20 mins.  You may choose not to give a tip because the P100 payment is actually the tip itself. 

It looks pretty simple, but I was actually proud of myself for being able to do it instead of waiting for my husband to handle it for me. If I did so, the tires might have deflated and he'd have to take it out and replace it with the spare one which is more time-consuming.

So sometimes, it's also good for us women and mommies to learn about basic car troubleshooting and maintenance instead of always relying on our hubbies to do these things for us.

How about you, do you handle car issues yourself or rely on your husband to do it?