Thursday, January 21, 2016


I almost forgot about my brother's birthday - his 41st - which falls the day before my parents' wedding anniversary - their 45th . I didn't realized it till 2 days prior while I was re-checking my pantry for ingredients I needed for the anniversary dinner.

Shoot! What am I going to cook?!?!

I found some (God knows how many) egg yolks in a plastic container sitting in my freezer, then I saw a couple of tin of condensed milk in the cupboard and went like *eureka* creme caramel! I then decided to make Chicken Pot Pie since I haven't made one for quite a long while. Great! I made the menu in such little time. I like to cook ahead so I spent an entire evening cooking the chicken filling, making the creme caramel and marinating the pork ribs. I like to cook some of the dishes ahead of time so I don't have to spend an entire day slaving myself in the kitchen.

The following evening, its assembly time sadly, I found the chicken filling covered with thousand of tiny bubbles and distinct aroma. Yes, the filling was rotten and my mind was filled with a thousand F-bombs! To make the matter worse, the supermarket is 20-minute drive from my apartment and it was already 6PM. If I have to make the filling from scratch, the pie has to be in the oven by 7PM obviously, I can not make it. I have no Plan B whatsoever. Without any hesitation, I calmly announced to my family that dinner is late than the usual, grabbed the keys at get a chicken rotisserie.

It was almost 8PM when I got the pie in the oven, but minutes later, the puff pastry sunk in the filling. I felt so horrified; next thing I knew I found myself arguing with the oven. Then my family was horrified when they saw me. Anyway, I fished out the puff pastry placed in on a cookie sheet and popped it in the oven.

I never really imagined that after all the years of cooking and many recipes that I have tried and mastered, such disaster can happen.

Chicken Pot Pie

And that's was my chicken pot pie, of course this picture was edited many times to make it looked appetizing. :P


The following evening was my parent's wedding anniversary. There wasn't any drama but I did worried a little because I thought made it too spicy for my mom.  Dinnertime, everybody was quite - - did I get myself into another disaster?

Darlene's Sticky Pork Ribs

To my relief, they enjoyed it and even suggested used the same marinade with pork chops. I am happy that they have forgotten the disaster I had the night before. Well, I guess I'll have to find another occasion to celebrate.

Until then,

Happy Cooking

Thursday, January 14, 2016

model member challenge: inspiration

Darlene's inspiration: Tent Dress

I've been wanting to make a tent/trapeze dress for sometime. Although, I am not pretty sure I could pull it off since I am petite (5ft tall) and I do not wear dresses or even skirts with hem above the knee. I saw this  basic shift dress sloper   and I thought: this can be easily modified to a tent dress!

Then Burdastyle announced another "Model Member Challenge" using the said sloper and modification was allowed. After 2 cups of strong coffee,  my game face was on!

I closed the bust dart, just as shown in the diagram (F). Initially considered lengthen the dress upto mid-calf but I felt it going to look weird so I opt for a floor length dress. I chose silk crepe de chine for this project; it may not be the most luxurious type but it's wrinkle resistant. So if I have a party to attend on the weeknight, I could just put it in a bag, along with other accessories, pull it out, wear it, retouch my make-up and I'm off! Convenient! Plus, this has 58" width with non-directional print, it didn't cost me much. 

Darlene's Maxi Dress

I modified the neckline as well (from bateau to jewel). Both neckline and armhole are finished with facings This doesn't have a zipper, just a 6" opening, a hook and a little thread bar at the back.

I submitted my entry sadly, I didn't win the challenge. It was a good experience though.

Hopefully, I'll win next time. ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

goodbye, betty

Darlene's Astoria

I was supposed to use the title "planing and procrastination" for this post as I was or still is planning for what to sew for this year. Some of you already have plans, or have set up a mood board but me, slowly decluttering my clothes.

Darlene's Floral Circle skirt

My strategy is well, start new. However, it is a slow process for me as I find it hard to let go of the clothes I have made. Am I the only one struggling?

Darlene's Refashioned clothes

This is one of the dresses the I decided to let go.  I made this dress during the height of "Mad Men" fashion and my transition in sewing. My mentor taught my how to draft flat sewing pattern but, I never really perfected it. The tops I made from the pattern looks nice yet, I could barely move my arms. I was not able to figure out what I was doing wrong so I gave up. I started consider to use commercial patterns.

The bodice was based on the free bodice sloper and I gradually learn the adjustment and alteration. If you notice, the bodice looks ill-fitting because it was and this had taught me the importance of making a muslin.

No matter how ill fitting this dress on me, I still could not let this go.

Finally, I decided the take a seam ripper. I added a waistband on to the circular skirt and just like that, it looks new. The top is Seamwork's Astoria in textured knit:

Darlene's Astoria (close up look)

The bodice will be facing a different fate: as a patchwork.

Until then,

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

insta-recap: december, 2015

Alot of cooking and celebrations happened last December, here's a recap:

New pattern in my inventory: Vogue 2931, McCalls 7154 and a vintage 1970's McCalls 5239:

We celebrated my mom's birthday with Pansit Malabon - it's a stir-fry rice vermicelli noodles with minced beef and seafood. Mom's favorite!

 Ube-macapuno cake for dessert!

Celebrated my brother's birthday with Chocolate Cake (his request):

I participated in Burdastyle's Model Member Holiday Challenge, see my entry here:

Details of my bold jacket:

We celebrated Christmas with Roasted Pork Belly, Carrot & Potato Mash, Roasted Veggies:

Buko - Pandan, a fruit salad consist of meat of a young coconut, cream, pandan infused gelatin,  for dessert:

And Crab and Corn Soup as appetizer:

Another set of vintage patterns 1950's McCalls 3550 and 1970's McCalls 3031:

I've seen alot of flower wreath cakes so I tried to make one and gave it as a Christmas gift to one of my friends. Though it didn't turn out to be as pretty, but it was well appreciated and enjoyed:

Lastly, my family and I welcomed the New Year with Chicken Barbeque, Szechuan Noodles and Hatosi:

Catch these in real time via 

Happy New Year, everyone!