Archive for the ‘Guinatang Laing’ Category

Our taro plants are blooming well. They  have large and healthy leaves. Yesterday, I gathered two young shoots of the leaves and made them into a tasty laing.  Laing  is cooked in  coconut cream. I added a few shrimps for flavor.

I added three pieces of sliced seed hot pepper for that kick.  Yummy 🙂



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It seems like the month of April is rapidly fading into oblivion. I used to blog about beginnings and endings of each month but I got tired of it eventually. There was nothing that significant about this month except the canonization of the two Popes that I admire and yes, seeing Obama speaks  to the Filipino people. I think  during those almost two days that he was here, the Filipinos loved him more than they did PNoy.  I remember, I met another online friend  (one of our newest admins at our Catholic page) who came over to visit me two weeks ago. The month really seemed to have come and gone too soon.  I am grateful though that I was able to update my TBR list, read a few books from unfamiliar authors and posted short reviews at Goodreads.  When I’ve finished what I am reading now, I would go back to e-books. I still have around ten books there that I haven’t read. Lately, I came across  Josephine Cox and Elizabeth George. Cox’s Whistledown Woman and The Beachcomber are quite engrossing, although some reviews at Goodreads are quite disappointing.  I don’t base reading a book on previous reviews because I prefer to explore it on my own.  This is the first time that I got hold of one of Elizabeth George’s books. I found her personal page and read about how she wrote those mystery novels  (in a series, that is).

May is such a lovely month, they call it  the month of flowers. We don’t have spring season here but summer always brings lovely new blooms in my small garden. Never mind the inevitable heat that we have every day (you’ll get used to it when you live here), never mind your exposure to the sun’s rays when you are brave enough to go out  and do some errands that need to be done, just don’t forget your umbrella and a handy fan in your knapsack  to beat the heat. In a few months, when rainy season sets in and you find yourself dreading flash flood and heavy traffic, you would wish it is summer again.

Sometimes, I ask myself  “have I become a recluse?” preferring to just pass the days quietly doing household chores, playing with our dogs, gardening when the sun has set  or before it shows its face in the morning, reading, reading to my heart’s content and experimenting with some recipes in the kitchen. Oh well, you’ll reach that age when happiness are just quiet days that you spend doing the things you love, no pressure and no deadlines. Of course I always look forward to the monthly visit of my grandson, my daughter and son-in-law. Those are the times that I really treasure. Nissa tells me that Nate now knows how to say Nonna. I can’t wait to hear him call me Nonna.

I ran out of butter. I was planning to bake chocolate crinkles just for the fun of it. This afternoon, I harvested more than a kilo of calamansi in our backyard. There are more than we could use, almost every branch is thick with fruits and yes, I still have about seven jack fruits to harvest and a few ampalaya for pinakbet. Living a provincial life in the city, wouldn’t you say?

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I miss going on road trips. I haven’t done any this year yet but I remember the joys of seeing countryside scenery in all its glory. I love the feel of morning air and the fresh scent of some places far from the madding crowd, so to speak. I found these photos taken about three years ago on our road trip passing by SCTEX going to Olongapo City. SCTEX (Subic – Clark -Tarlac Expressway is a  93.77-kilometre (58.27 mi) four-lane expressway north of Manila adjoining the North Expressway. It ends up at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales.




My son who took the wheels when we reached Subic was fined P200.00 for traffic violation back then. The traffic regulation they have there is quite different from what we have  in Metro Manila. If you rely on the traffic light here in the metropolis, in Subic, it’s a first come, first go basis even if the traffic light turns green on your end of the road. If you are not a resident of the place, you’ll surely won’t know that you are violating any traffic rule.  That’s traffic discipline, so they say.

It takes simple things for one to enjoy life and going on road trips is one.

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If you’re following my blog you would definitely ask, “what, food again?” I am wondering myself why lately, my blogs are focused on food.  Summer definitely brings that hungry feel, because every time I open our fridge, I often wonder what to prepare for the next meal. So I’m done with the tortilla  but I bought ten pieces of juicy apples which I plan to make as apple crumble. It’s not an immediate plan though because I am still in a quandary whether to use almond nuts which definitely cost sky-high  and which I still have to buy or  the local kasuy which you can buy cheaper.  One can eat the apples fresh  anyway if I decide not to labor again in front of the stove.Gosh, I am getting distracted because I am watching the Binibining Pilipinas Beauty Pageant 2012 while doing this blog.

Yesterday, a neighborhood suki passed by and he offered a bundle of these  young taro leaves which he says taste better than the traditional dried leaves which we make into laing. And he was right because it definitely didn’t need longer cooking  and it even tasted sweeter than the dried ones. We had it paired with pork barbecue , it was a yummy dinner. Sometimes, you don’t need to think of elaborate meals to enjoy eating, right?  You just need to be  a little enterprising , and a little budget goes a long way for one to enjoy home-cooked food.

Today, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. It’s rather late to wish you a happy and blessed  one. Oh yes, I’m rather getting good again from hopping on a tricycle to a jeepney and I spent the afternoon at Metro East mall visiting one of my favorite jaunts, Booksale.  I found hardbound copies of Frank McCourt’s  ‘Tis and Angela’s Ashes but I have to forego buying them (could have been an upgrade on my two old paperback copies, one couldn’t  be too greedy)  in favor of another book by Preston and Child (my third one) and one more book from another favorite author, Barbara Taylor Bradford.

         One could not go wrong with a Bradford book since it always is a good read. And Preston and Child’s books are fast-paced, and never boring. I was actually looking for a book by Mary Oliver since a friend told me that she found a copy in one of her forays at Booksale.  And even the bigger National Bookstore don’t carry it.  Another friend told me that she sent a package with Richard Paul Evan’s book in it and she won’t even tell me the title.  It’s a result of our book discussion once at Facebook  which I put in a blog two weeks ago. It would really be a lovely surprise.

I was looking for some authentic Thai food ingredients since the ones Nissa brought home from her trip to Thailand didn’t last long in the kitchen.  I’ve tried the red curry paste and Pad-Kapraow  and they tasted different from the more popular yellow curry powder which is locally available. This time though I was lucky enough to find two bottles of Thai ingredients, a green curry paste (it has lemon grass) and basil garlic and chili stir fry paste.  I am excited for another experiment in the kitchen, be sure it will be  here soon.

The joys of living can be found in simple things – books, friends, cooking!

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We had this for dinner tonight paired with crispy fried Samaral fish. It was so yummy but the dish required more rice. I occasionally cook Laing  when we have gathered enough taro leaves to dry in the sun. Hubby prefers to have them harvested from our garden and since it does take a while for the leaves to reach the size ideal for drying, it always takes a while before we’re able to serve it on the table.

Laing is a typical Filipino dish mixed with coconut cream (gata) and lots of jalapeno peppers (the hotter, the better). Here are the ingredients of a basic Laing dish.

  • 20 to 25 pcs. gabi or taro leaves, dried and shredded
  • 1/4 kilo pork, diced or ground
  • minced garlic
  • one big red onion, chopped
  • one heaping spoon of diced ginger
  • 5 or 6 pcs. Jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 3 cups coconut cream, reserve one cup until the last-minute of cooking
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of water

Some still saute it on a frying pan, what I usually do is have the ingredients (except the taro leaves)  boiled in the coconut cream and let it simmer for around fifteen minutes. Then add the taro leaves until cooked. Add the last cup of coconut cream last and bring to a boil.  I substituted shrimps which tasted better than ground pork.

Try it, it’s really yummy!

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