I should have been  at the Manila Memorial Park (MMP) in Sucat, Parañaque City to observe two special events yesterday.

First is the 37th death anniversary of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.. Second is my tenth year anniversary as a runner. My running and Ninoy Aquino’s heroism are inseparable episodes of my life. A decade ago, my very first registered run was my own way of honoring the man whose assassination sparked the People Power Revolution of 1986But yesterday, I was again in absentia. The last time I was at MMP was two years ago. 

True liberty is not achieved thru a “color.” My being a true Filipino cannot be manifested thru running. Yet today, allow me to celebrate my eighth year as a runner by remembering Ninoy Aquino’s heroism which is being determinedly erased from our history. 

Had it been a different circumstance, may be I would be running and visiting my hero’s resting place. 
So where was I? I had to do an important errand with my youngest son in tow. 
However, I was already planning of turning this day into something exceptional just like the good ol’ days. First in mind was to bake brownies again and make sure that I’d achieve the wholeness and moistness in this retry to be true to the recipe’s title Super Moist Brownies.
The big improvement could be clearly seen and tasted. I just followed my niece’s instruction to change the vegetable oil to butter, and voila, it worked!

With our Friday dessert ready, I had to come up with our viand. Yes, it must be a never-heard dish in the house. Here I come, Google! Hahaha…

My search directed me to Julia Album’s site where I found her Easy Mozzarella Baked Chicken with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms. Of course I had to check the available ingredients in our fridge before deciding on this recipe. Since we did not have exactly the same ingredients, I just improvised.
Season the chicken with Italian seasoning and salt. (I used here McCormick rosemary whole, powder garlic, and salt.)
Top each chicken breast with sliced mushrooms. (I did not anymore fry or grill the mushrooms.)
For the marinara sauce I found the recipe from Spend with Pennies. I’m thankful that the preparation was easy and quick. 
These are the ingredients of my marinara sauce — minced onion, garlic, parsley, grated carrot, whole peeled tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese . The last two ingredients are originally for my first home-made pizza, but I put off making it. 
Thankfully the instructions were not complicated. Ha-ha.
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

  • Add whole tomatoes (with juice) and gently break apart with the spoon.  Stir in remaining ingredients.

  • Simmer uncovered on low heat for 20 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency.

Looking like one of the photos which I saw
Once the marinara sauce was cooked, I returned to Julia’s recipe.
Pour marinara sauce over the chicken breasts.
Place the minced parsley. (This is not in Julia’s recipe. I tweaked it.)
Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Hallelujah! The 25-minute baking was not similar to Waiting for Godot. *echoing e-laughs*
Likened to a Mama Lou’s dish by my Knight
You might have noticed that it’s again a chicken dish. Obviously we’re chicken fans, but we often buy the breast part minus the skin for its low-fat protein. Pork is no longer a part of our meal since it’s a  high-protein food and contains varying amounts of fat. Yes, we’re all trying our best to be healthy. And I, being the cook, am responsible for everyone’s well-being. 
With these developments in my baking and cooking, my August 21 did still turn out momentous.

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