Posted in Finance, Tips

Side Hustle 1: Balikbayan Box

Around March of this year, I reconnected with an old classmate of mine.  I asked her if I can help her with any products from the US to ship to her through balikbayan boxes.  If you’re Filipino, balikbayan boxes are much awaited by relatives back home in the Philippines.  They bring much joy especially during the holiday season as these become gifts or much needed supplies for celebration.

In any case, my classmate asked me if I can help her with some stuff that she sells to her regular customers.  In return, I will get 10% of the cost of the items to pack them in boxes.  She will pay shipping and the cost of the packaging (tape, bubble wrap).

Thus, my first side hustle in the US started.  It doesn’t give me much (approximately $50-$80 per box) but it’s stable and an income I can count on.  What gives me a better return are the points I earn from the stores or on my credit card.  The points I get are mine to use.  I usually send a box almost every month or every other month depending on the sale that I can get from the products she usually orders from me (soap, M&Ms, Skippy, lotion, vitamins).

This side hustle gives me something to do and helps a friend with her side hustle too.

Posted in Cooking

Jalapeño and Cilantro Sauce

Two weeks ago, our department hosted a potluck burrito bar.  My colleague, who’s Mexican-American, is famous for her sauces.  She made several types of sauce for this event, the cilantro jalapeno sauce, members only sauce and a burrito sauce.  Of the three sauces, the cilantro jalapeno sauce caught my eye due to it’s lime green color.  It has a mild jalapeno kick and a rich cilantro goodness.  A lot of people asked for the recipe and she graciously shared it with us.  She mentioned getting the recipe from the America’s Test Kitchen show.

Jalapeño and Cilantro Sauce

Ingredients:  (makes 1 cup)

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, and stems, trimmed and chopped coarse
  • 3 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


    1.  In a blender, put the cilantro, jalapeño, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic and salt.  Blend it for 1 minute.
    2.  Scrape down sides of blender jar and continue to process it until smooth, about another minute.
    3.  With blender running, slowly add oil until incorporated.
    4.  Transfer to a bowl for serving or jar for storage.  

    For a mild spicy sauce, add chile seeds of one chile.  For an ultra spicy sauce, add all chile seeds from all 3 chiles.