Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Oh my, it seems like months since I last posted here.  Thank you for those visits even if there is nothing new to read.  No valid reason though except the same old one, been busy the past few days.  Blogging took a back seat for a while.

Gardening has been a priority of course. It rains almost every day now so those unwanted weeds sprout like crazy too. Every two weeks, I need to trim our carabao grass, a tall order for aching backs and sore muscles.  The reward though is more than enough to make me smile. All the Portulaca I planted three weeks ago are blooming now in different colors of yellow, white, orange and pink.  They are the most easy to grow annual plants.

Saw this white rain lily in early bloom. Flowers only appear during rainy season bu they are nice grown cover.

Saw this white rain lily in early bloom. Flowers only appear during rainy season but they are nice ground cover.

Yesterday, I attempted to cook my version of Bicol Express  for our lunch.  It’s  that popular dish from the Bicol region where coconut seems to be the main ingredient in lots of their local dishes. And know what, the main ingredient here is not the pork but the sliced green Thai chili peppers that we have plenty of.  The dish is really hot and it requires a lot of rice to go with it. I omitted the shrimp paste since Josef is allergic to shrimp, used ordinary rock salt instead.  It was yummy.

Bicol Express

Bicol Express

Some of my friends are urging me to cook another dish in coconut cream which we call Ginataang Santol.  I asked  my favorite vendor yesterday if they have the Bangkok variety but she told me it is not yet in season.  Would love to cook this again when I find those sweet Bangkok santol in the market.

I was able to transfer all the photos I took on my tab at Photobucket and to my hard drive.  Better be safe than sorry. One  more thing I need to do and it is a hard and dusty undertaking – to clean our book shelves and separate books, the favorites and most important ones from those we just bought on a whim. There are some authors that I have never known before but surprisingly delivers a good  piece of  a story.

Eight books in advance for my 2016 Reading Challenge in Goodreads. Hooray!


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I am afraid  I haven’t been as active posting as much as I like this month. All I have are two blog posts.  And it’s the middle of March.

It’s been a while since I blogged about  our kitchen experiments at home. Lately I found a simple recipe on how to make skinless  longanisa, it’s just sausage to you dear readers. Yesterday was market day so I asked Josef if he could help me make it. I didn’t expect it was so yummy and I would  like to make some more after Holy Week when we are back to the usual fare having meat in our  meals. Next week would be a meatless week for us. Josef did it without my help. Tried it this morning for breakfast.



The good thing about it is that there are no artificial preservatives. Here are the simple ingredients culled from Panlasang Pinoy recipes. You would need the following:

1/2 kl. Pork

12 cloves garlic,  minced

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 teaspoons vinegar

2 tablespoons   soy  sauce

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix them well, form into  4-inch long sausage. Refrigerate for a while before frying.  Makes 16 pieces longanisa.

The garlicky flavor tastes so good.












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I love Sundays.

I came home from an early morning mass and thought of trying a banana bread recipe which I copied several days ago. I found this site . It’s a Japanese array of cuisines and desserts where I  found several recipes using pancake mix. They had me at “sugar-free”. I love it.

You could try this, here’s how.


150 grams Pancake mix

3 ripe bananas

1 egg

50 ml milk

Use a fork to mash the banana until creamy. Add the egg and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk. Stir in the milk.

Add the pancake mix and roughly mix it with a spatula. Lightly grease the cake pan with a little oil or butter then pour in the batter. Bake for 40 minutes at 180 °C.

That simple, I adjusted the amount of ingredients though using 4 ripe bananas, 200 grams pancake mix and 100 ml evaporated milk. It turned out like this, a yummy sugar-free banana bread.


Have a blessed Sunday everyone!



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It’s a rainy Monday and PAGASA said we will have these monsoon rains for the next five days. Typhoon Egay hasn’t left yet and there is another one coming but has not yet  entered the Philippine area of responsibility. I hope it will divert its course farther from the country.

Josef and I have thought about it even before we reached the market this morning, braving the early morning shower. He asked me what is the best food for merienda (snacks) on a rainy day. I suggested soup with crackers but he didn’t buy it. What about arroz caldo or minatamis na saging? Can you prepare both, he asked. Why not?

Arroz caldo or congee is best prepared with sticky rice and chicken wings with lots of fried garlic while minatamis na saging is the easiest version of cooking saba banana (Philippine plantains) but you can simply boil it or eat it raw, it does not matter. I bought eight pieces and a cup of mini tapioca pearls. We had this for snack this afternoon.

Believe me, it's yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Believe me, it’s yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon...

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon…

If I am not too lazy tomorrow, I will cook arroz caldo  not for merienda but for dinner. Dinner today is fresh bean sprouts topped with  crunchy flaked tinapa, another comfort food on rainy days like this.

The sun showed its face for a while so  I went out to visit the garden and took a few shots. I love those silver raindrops clinging to  the leaves  after the rain.

Look at those dark threatening clouds...

Look at those dark threatening clouds…

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I am excited.

Over a month a go, I blogged about mushroom growing when Nissa brought me an oyster mushroom fruiting bag which was a gift from a relative in Amadeo, Cavite. I waited about two weeks before finally opening the bag and religiously followed the instructions attached there – spraying water three times a day, putting it in a place that has moisture so it won’t dry out and waiting for the pins to come out. She said that they harvested theirs in two weeks while I got so frustrated when three weeks passed and it  won’t bear those nice oyster mushrooms that I’ve been waiting for.


I was about to spray it again early this morning when I noticed these small grayish growth at the sides of the bag. Kevin was so specific in his instructions that I stop watering when I see those pins because in two days, they would have grown big enough for harvest. Since I was just excited to see them grow, I looked at the bag again a few minutes ago. Gosh, I was smiling like crazy when I saw these and they are just in one portion of the fruiting bag, there are more small ones at the center and at the other side.


a closer look....

a closer look….

Maybe, I could harvest these over the weekend. Now, my big problem is, how to cook them  while still fresh aside of course from experimenting on the mushroom burger which we often order at the Mushroom Burger House In Tagaytay City every time we go there.

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It was a busy weekend but days before that I was so lazy even to go out because of the summer heat. I finished three books in one week.

Fancy an early morning breathing  in the heavenly fragrance of Gardenia and Amazon Lily flowers mixed with the lemony scent of Calamansi (Philippine lime) flower buds.  It’s a perfect excuse to stay in the garden for a while. My Gardenia shrub is flowering again, a bit early for the month of May when it shows its blooms almost in every tip of the branches. I didn’t know that Gardenia symbolizes love, harmony and grace and it was named after Dr. Alexander Garden, an American botanist, until now. I just love Gardenia and when it is in bloom , I always take shots of the lovely white flowers.  Our two Calamansi trees are on their flowering stage too but the fruits are there all year-long.

Finally, one of our jackfruits was ready for harvest. I was as excited as Josef when we finally harvested it the other day and this morning, I sliced  it with a sharp knife and  separated the pulp from the rind. Josef just wants  it  fresh and cold from the ref.  One can cook it as “langka preserve” or marmalade, the way you cook other fruits in season.

Jackfruit, anyone?

Jackfruit, anyone?

The young green one is cooked as a yummy vegetable dish, either sautéed in pork or cooked in coconut cream with lots of chilis. Try it, it is best served a little hot and spicy.

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Some friends are coming over tomorrow, friends I’ve met at my online Apostolate when I was just starting as an admin there. Time flies, it is almost five years now since I met them.  They are definitely younger than I am, some call me Mommy, a lot of them call me tita (an adopted auntie) and I consider them my extended family. They help me grow and in the process, I am learning a lot too. There is no dull moment when they are around because we could talk about anything under the sun, we could share some serious stuff about their lives and their families. Sometimes, I wonder how we have bonded this close considering we don’t see each other often, they are just a text away though. Two of them are celebrating their birthdays this month so we decided to hold an informal gathering here at home. They told me not to stress myself preparing the food as they will just bring it over so I will just probably bake marble potatoes and boil a kilo of fresh peanuts  which I bought from the market this morning. I already prepared a laing dish, a personal favorite. Laing  are dried and shredded taro leaves cooked in coconut cream, diced pork  or shrimp and chili. It need not always be spicy, but  the chili goes well with the coconut cream and that is applicable for some dishes that use the latter.

We chanced upon this fresh alupihang dagat in the wet market today and my son told me that he hasn’t tasted it for more than a decade so we bought a kilo. I have to make research on what it is called in English, it’s mantis shrimps. The only downside is, it is hard to get the meat because of its pointed shell but I think it taste better than shrimps. It was a yummy lunch paired with sautéed ampalaya with eggs.

Bear with me, I am just excited meeting old friends again. Never mind the gargantuan task of preparing and  washing drinking glasses, plates, utensils for us to use tomorrow because I a not a fan of disposable plates and such.

When friends meet, hearts warm. I just love this Scottish proverb. It always holds true.

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