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Posts Tagged ‘food’


Mango

Last Sunday, a friend who came over for lunch brought a bagful of green and golden ripe carabao mangoes. We could not consume it in three days so I decided to make some smoothie drinks by simply adding a small can of evaporated milk, a few spoons of sugar and crushed iced. There you go, a sweet and refreshing glass of pure mango.

Most people say that the Philippines has the best sweet and delicious mangoes in the world and I agree. Summer is the best time that you’ll enjoy this fruit. I am planning to make a mango jam out of the remaining ripe ones. You might not believe this but I love green mangoes more. I enjoy eating them fresh, sliced with the skin on and just sprinkled with a pinch of salt. Heaven!

I also baked chewy oatmeal raisin cookies using yellow raisin instead of the dark ones. Yellow raisins have more natural taste, not too sweet and not too dry.  Preparing  something in the kitchen need not be that elaborate. It’s Holy Week  and I suggested to my son that we do away with meat for the whole week and eat sea food and veggies instead.

Have a blessed and meaningful Holy Tuesday!

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Once in a while, I see  it  in the wet market and it  looks  so fresh  that I am always tempted to buy. This morning, my son and I did our twice a month marketing  and saw it,  there were just four bundles on sale, I bought two and we had it for lunch along with lumpiang shanghai.

Locally, fiddlehead ferns are called pako. They are wild and nutritious greens which you can make into salads or cooked in coconut cream. Either way, they taste wonderful.  Here’s the simplest way to prepare this delicious treat. I just blanched  it  then topped it with fresh tomatoes, red onions, strips of fresh ginger  and sautéed ground pork.

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Two weeks ago, a friend from Hongkong sent me three packs of pitted dates and a pack of dried yellow raisins. Eating the pitted dates direct from the plastic pack is not really an option because I find them too sweet to my liking. I searched the internet for a simple bar recipe for dates. What do you know, it came out really yummy. As usual, I reduced the sugar since the dates are naturally sweet.

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If you want to try this, here’s the recipe.

You would need:

1 1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup dark brown sugar (reduced it to 3/4 cup since the dates are sweet)

1 cup old-fashioned oats (I always use rolled oats when baking)

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup (equal to 1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Rub butter on an 8 x  8 inch baking pan. Set aside. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to simmer in a saucepan. Add dates, simmer until very soft and thick, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature then stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl, stir to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until moist clumps forms. Press half of oat mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread date mixture on top. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture by pressing gently. Bake until brown at edges and golden brown and set in center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack. Cut into bars and serve.

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It seldom happens now because they are always busy at work, yesterday though, Josef and his girlfriend Jovy took me to Mont Albo in Timog Avenue in Quezon City, a spa and massage facility that offers several massage therapies including body scrub. The three of us availed of the Hilot, a Filipino healing method practiced for  thousands of years. It is a total body massage characterized by slow deliberate strokes to remove blockages by using virgin coconut oil.  It was a very relaxing one hour therapy. The three of us also availed of the additional  Bentosa, a therapy used by placing suction glass cups at one’s back to remove energy blockages. Josef practically went to sleep when  the therapist did that because we could hear his gentle snore while waiting for ten minutes before they remove the suction glasses and resume massage of the arms  and legs. I used to have foot massages  before (another way to unwind and relax) in the nearby beauty salon but it has become quite expensive so I only go there when I need to rest and enjoy the quiet times.

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We had an early dinner at Papa John’s  in  Tomas Morato before going home. I told Josef that we used to live in that area back when he wasn’t born yet. The quiet neighborhood in the early eighties has now become a busy avenue of several high-end restaurants and eateries.  It was my first time to sample Papa John’s cheese and bacon pizza and its crispy onion rings, better than what we usually order at Burgoo’s. Such  a lovely day to spend  it  with them. I wish that next time we do this, my daughter and son-in-law and of course my darling baby Nate  could join us.

The weather here for the past  two or three weeks was a good 20 degrees Celsius.  It is colder at night and windy in the early morning and late noon.  The coldest morning so far in Metro Manila was at   17.5 degrees Celsius early Saturday  while Baguio City was at its coldest at 8.1 degrees Celsius last Sunday. Most days it’s cloudy, a perfect time to catch up on gardening and do a little weeding too.  It’s  a lovely time too to read. I’ve done six books since the start of the year and I planned to read around 50 books till the end of December. I really hope I could do it since I neglected reading last year, read a measly 20 titles, I guess.

I am listening to Richard Clayderman  and Ernesto Cortazar  while writing this blog. It’s a lovely day :)

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Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
-  Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

I’ve been a lazy bug lately. No, don’t get me wrong. I am just resting my weary body from fatigue. The last few days, I was so busy that I was not able to check my blog and post something.  Finally, I found time to sit here for a while  and update my blog. When you haven’t been blogging for a week, it seems as if you’re starting all over again.

It’s all worth it though because our little potluck  lunch party was a success – lots of food, laughter and sharing. Those precious and priceless moments that only friends can enjoy together, something worth-reminiscing and the thought of it makes me smile.  We were joined by two priest friends, Fr. Tacky, a Franciscan and Fr. Boy, a Dominican. Not that it matters that they belong to different congregations because  they both studied in Rome and met there.  We took lots of pictures of course, what’s a party without those wacky poses and shots that make us laugh. We even have to use a tripod so we could all fit into the frame. There is this picture window  at our house that never fails to attract our friends and visitors to have their pictures taken there. Believe me, it has become some sort of trademark for the members  of our Catholic community  who drop by when they are on vacation.

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We had an exchange of gifts just for fun. Imagine the laughter we had when we simultaneously opened them and found things like a roll of tissue paper which Darlene said she will take with her on her trip back to Abu Dhabi, a small bottle of efficascent oil from Reena  which Matt got, packs of marshmallows  and so many more. What do you think, the gift should only be worth P30 and what can you buy with P30?  Reymon, aside from bringing three whole roast chicken gave us individual bags of gifts from Bench.

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They were surprised to learn that eating green mango with the skin on is the best way to eat one. I asked Joan to bring me some and when they saw me eating a slice, they all tried it  except Matt :)  Endless laughter!

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We can’t get enough so the party extended on to early dinner with ice cream, Fuji apples  and suman na pinipig (the best  suman I’ve tasted) for desserts. And they all said, “sa uulitin”.  Until next time guys.

One of the best gifts that we could ever have is the gift of friendship.

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Category: Meat & Seafood
Style: Japanese
Special Consideration: Quick and Easy
Description:
The term teriyaki means shining(teri), broiled or panfried(yaki). Mirin, a sweet fortified rice wine is used. This is one of the recipes that I have collected from our BPI Culinary Club many years ago. It is very simple to make, you can use either pork, beef or chicken.
Ingredients:
1/2 kilo pork (lomo)/beef(serloin)/chicken
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Vino blanco or Anisado wine
1 onion, chopped
8 pcs. garlic – poundDirections:
Mix all ingredients and cook over small fire for about 2-3 minutes.

Let cool, then marinate with the meat/pork/chicken for about 6-24 hours.

Grease pan with little oil, stir fry fast until brown

Serve with bun, loaf bread or rice.

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Before you think I am super excited about  Christmas, I am. Since  December 21 is about to end in a few hours, let my count be, it’s  three days to go before Christmas.

It was a busy day for me  (weekends are always busy days). We went back to the wet market to buy last-minute things that we need to prepare for Noche Buena. I’m finally done cooking embutido, our Filipino version of meat loaf. My son requested that I put whole hotdogs inside so I also bought Purefood’s tender juicy hotdogs. I normally don’t put hotdog in my embutido recipes  but it’s Christmas anyway so I let my son indulge a bit.  This afternoon, I made a lightning visit to the grocery store to buy confectioner’s sugar since I am also planning to bake  chocolate crinkles  (another request from my son)  but I was a bit disappointed when the sales clerk told me that he doesn’t know what confectioner’s sugar is. They have baking supplies in their shelves and  he pointed to the baking powder lined up there, such a shame because they clearly lost a customer because I am not going back there.  I am reminded  a few months back when I was looking for  baking soda in another supermarket and the sales clerk told me that it was quite sometime since they had a box in their shelves.  I asked how could they sell all those baking goodies when the ingredients are not even complete. On my next visit, I was surprised to see small boxes of baking soda   prettily lined-up along with  all-purpose flour, cake flour, rice flour  and boxes of baking mixes. I smiled. At least they listen to the needs of their customers.

Christmas time is a perfect excuse to make those sinful and calorific sweets. I don’t eat much of them anyway because I usually give them to our neighbors and friends. There is nothing like a home-cooked  food to share, right?  I am planning to bake  chocolate chips cookies with cashew nuts. Yes, you heard it right, cashew nuts. Although there are plenty of cashew nuts here, they don’t come in cheap but compared to other nuts like pecan or walnuts which cost an arm and both legs, they are more practical to use.  Come Christmas Eve, I’ll make carrot squares to go with the traditional pancit bihon and fried chicken.  I usually spend my time laboring  in front of the stove after the holy mass come Christmas day.  This  will probably  be the only time that I won’t do it because I can always prepare the Callos    and macaroni salad the day before.  Would love to spend my time playing with Nate when they come over to celebrate with us.

And Christmas will always be the best time of the year to share love and joys  and make peace with those who may have offended you at some time in your life.  I remember  a  year ago, I posted this message on my wall, Happy Birthday Jesus!  And a child of nine, a relative asked me, “why happy birthday” so I told him, He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Two days ago, Josef and I did our twice a month marketing at our wet market here in Cainta. And look what I found inside the stall of my “suki” (favorite vendor), some fresh produce that are old-time favorites. I seldom see these in other stalls in the area, something as fresh as they look.

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I love zucchini but they are not regular fares in our household because I seldom see them in the wet  market and the ones they sell in supermarkets no longer look fresh. Do you eat fiddlehead fern? We call it locally as paku or pako. And boy, it really tastes good made into salad.  Those new slim and long green ones are called French beans,my suki said, and they are now locally grown in the uplands in Baguio.  How nice, can’t wait to taste this with a few drops of oyster sauce.

 

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It’s been a busy week but son managed to make siomai a few days ago. We were able to buy fresh molo wrappers and thought of preparing one of our favorite Chinese recipes, siomai. Even my nine-year old niece knows how to prepare it (sans the cooking of course) because it is also her favorite.  I put half of it in the freezer  and thought of making siomai/molo soup but I could not find fresh noodles in the supermarket. When there is no expiry date attached to it, I ignore it no matter how fresh it looks unless you buy them in wet market from a suki.  And since I don’t want to reheat it and steam it again, I decided to make do  with vermicelli noodles, a lot cheaper than other noodles but taste good just  the same.  Using a few stalks of green onion from the garden, a bit of garlic and  chopped red onions, salt and pepper, it turned out yummy. And a hot soup is perfect for that unexpected rainy evening.

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Siomai soup, anyone?

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Sundays are spent either reading or laboring in the kitchen. I heard mass at 6am so there is plenty of time to just relax and watch the monsoon rains create puddles in the street.  I always say, as long as it does not create flood, the rain is welcome.

Last week during our rare trips to Pasig market, Josef and I bought a whole head of squash, big enough at P40.00 a piece. I don’t know if squash are in season now because they are so cheap or it’s just that the price of vegetables in Pasig are way cheaper than those we normally buy  in our own place in Cainta. What to do! We’re done with a bit of pinakbet (that delish blend of different vegetables cooked with fish sauce and grilled bangus). I made a small tray of squash flan four days ago and yet, there  was about a third left of  the squash so I made this simple recipe combining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil,  1 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, dash of salt and ground pepper for flavoring and about three cups of diced squash. It turned out quite flavorful. A perfect partner to the pork adobo I made yesterday.  Adobo is best eaten a day or two after, when it has absorbed the tartness of  the vinegar. It blends well with any dish.

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You might say, “watch out, I am on a diet” because the adobo needs a lot of rice in the bargain but then you can indulge once in a while.

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