Friday, December 18, 2009

Stuffed and Baked Potatoes

Since baked potatoes were born in Wendy's I couldn't help but feel sad with the little amount of toppings. Now where is justice there? Can i just say bitin at tipid

Then came my goal to make my own simple baked potatoes with oozing cheese and lots of bacon bits to die for.

I wanted to submit this recipe to Eden Cheese's Sarap ng Buhay event as a contribution but failed due to laziness. Sorry! Next year nalang! Anyways, I am still happy that my pizza made it there! Yey!

On the photo I used:

3 medium sized potatoes


1 tbsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup Cheez Whiz
1/4 cup All Purpose Cream
about 1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup Grated Eden Melt Sarap, and some extra for topping (optional)
Mashed Potatoes


about 100 grams fried bacon bits (drain the oil!)

Because I would rather go the faster way, I boiled the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes until they're tender. Then after waiting a few minutes for it to cool, slice the top horizontally, scrape off the remaining potato meat then set aside. For the bigger potato slice, scoop out about 2 tbsp as if you are making a potato bowl. The scraped and mashed potatoes will be added to the cheese stuffing later on.

While boiling the potatoes, save time by making your cheese stuffing:

In a small saucepan, melt the butter then add the minced garlic, cheez whiz, cream, milk and grated cheese. Allow to simmer then set aside. Add the mashed potatoes and mix well

and then put about 2 tbps of cheese stuffing on the potato or until full.

Top with extra grated cheese if you want, then the bacon bits, then bake it in your toaster for only 10 minutes or until cheese melts

Now I wouldn't have to be sad with other baked potatoes :)

I started this blog because of other great bloggers and realized that it also came through as a therapy (well, until now it still is).

I was dreaming to reach a hundred entries this December, obviously I didn't. Maybe I will, when I reach my first birthday here! So wish me luck!

My making up for lost times with my blog still led to another moment of making up for lost time. What on earth happened to the last 33 days? P-L-E-N-T-Y.

Anyway, it's the holiday season! It's time to cram!

Until my next "making up for lost time"!

In case I don't get back sooner --- Merry Christmas and a Happy 2010 to you all!:)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Steamed Cream Dory in Light Soy Sauce and Garlic

Just a short break from the banana festival.

Way back 2000 something with a few good friends (if they can still remember!), we pigged out in the wee hours of the morning in this resto along Wilson St. in San Juan called Hap Chan.

Why did we pig out? :P Don't even ask!

One of the best orders we had was their famous Steamed Fish Fillet (Hong Kong style). After that night, I came back for it in every opportunity.

For the past years, I have been trying to make it at home using lapu lapu or gindara fillet. My dad loves it! He loves fish!

I tried it again this time using Cream Dory, and I think this is best fish by far for me to use in this recipe because of its softness and flakyness. Melts in your mouth!

Here's what you need:

For the steamed fish:

3 cream dory fillets, sliced in serving pieces
a pinch of salt and pepper for rubbing the fish
1 tbps of sliced ginger strips
water for boiling

- rub fillets with salt and pepper, put them in your steamer and place the ginger strips on top and on the sides of the fish and steam for a good 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside

For the light soy:

1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 1/2 cups of water (or more if you still find it salty)
1 tsp grated ginger
more or less 4 tsps brown sugar
1 tsp oyster sauce (optional)
about 1/2 tsp of sesame oil to taste

- in a saucepan put all ingredients together, mix well and simmer to a boil.

For the garnish, just prepare:

about 1 bulb of garlic, chopped finely (the more the merrier! i love toasted garlic!)
about 1/2 cup of chopped spring onions

- saute the garlic in cooking oil until golden brown or toasted if you like. Then set aside.

To assemble the dish: put steamed fillets in a serving platter or shallow bowl, pour the sauce and garnish with
toasted garlic and chopped spring onions, as seen on the photo and as served in the resto :)

TO my bloggy: Ok, now I am making up for so much lost time with you. I hope you are happy, my dear bloggy! 'Coz I am. *lol*

Have a wonderful Saturday! :)

Sweetened Banana and Sago Pearls in Coconut Milk

OR Minatamis na Saba at Sago with Gata...

I was too curious and eager to make this since I laid my eyes on its recipe page. I have been eating sweetened bananas with the usual evaporated milk or condensed milk or fresh milk, so why not try something new?

The original recipe and procedure can be found in
Good Housekeeping's Easy Everyday Meals vol 6. Page 122.

For this version, I used:

8 ripe saba bananas - sliced horizontally as seen on the photo
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
more or less 3 cups water
1 cup Cooked Sago Pearls
2 stalks pandan leaves
1/2 cups fresh or canned
gata (coconut milk)

First make the sweetened banana:

In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Stir, add the bananas and stir well, bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Simmer until bananas are tender and the liquid is somewhat thick and syrupy.

Feel free to add sugar and/or water (little by little) to achieve your desired amount of sweetness and consistency.

Then add the sago pearls, and the pandan leaves, simmer for about 5 more minutes so the sago will also absorb a little sweetness from the syrup.

In case cooked sago pearls aren't available you can use:

1/2 cups small sago (the packed ones from the supermarket)
3 cups water
2 stalks pandan leaves

To cook the sago pearls:
Boil sago with pandan and water until cooked, this may run for more or less 30 minutes, depending on the size of your sago pearls. When done, wash sago and add them to the sweetened bananas, then same drill as above,
simmer for about 5 more minutes so the sago will also absorb a little sweetness from the syrup.

***If you have access to the market, I'm sure there are stalls selling cooked Sago Pearls (together with other
Halo halo ingredients). It's good to use the cooked ones to save time, effort and gas. Just wash them carefully with water and drain well before adding them to the bananas et al.

To serve, put bananas and sago pearl on a bowl, pour the syrup, some crushed ice (optional) and lastly, pour over the coconut milk.

This is one of the many versions of our good ol' saba con yelo that I love to make and eat (oo naman!). Indeed it's a great way to appreciate Gata (Coconut Cream) in your dessert!

Thanks to Good Housekeeping! :)

Happy banana festival! Happy weekend! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Banana Choco Nutella Cream Pie

My blog has been appearing in my sleep, talking to me, saying how irresponsible I have become. No single entry for the past 4 weeks? How could you??!

How could I?

I felt like I left another baby in the middle of nowhere. Sorry bloggy. You see, I have been busy, but it doesn't mean I forgot about you. No, I think about you all the time! :)

I have been trying to write drafts in my notepad however I couldn't finish them just yet. I have been praying for second winds at night but they never came to me.

But anyway, I am here now! :)

And so the quest for the banana festival continues!

Banana Choco Nutella Cream Pie --- Long title? :) ChocNut is even supposed to be in there!

This version is inspired by Ross' recipe (whom I have been convincing to make her food blog as she loves to cook too!) and another version from Pauline. Thank you ladies!

Some time ago, Nestle All Purpose Cream came up with two flavors of their All Purpose Cream: Chocolate and Mixed Berries. Given this recipe, I grabbed the Chocolate All Purpose Cream (luckily, it was buy 1 take one then for only 50.00 Php) and made this cream pie.

As done here, it's best to make the cream filling first so that you can chill it. It's easier to assemble your cream pie if the filling is chilled.

For the filling:

6 ripe lacatan bananas - sliced (about 1/4 inch and will look like thick coins)
2 packs of Nestle Chocolate all purpose cream
about 3/4 cup of Nutella (or any other hazlenut spread available in the market)
4 tbsp of white sugar (you can put less, depending on your sugar level)
a small drop of vanilla essence

Beat cream, nutella, sugar and vanilla and if they are totally mixed well, fold in the sliced bananas and chill for about 1 to 2 hours.

For the crust and toppings, I used:

about 1 cup to 1 and a half cup of crushed MY San graham
about 2 to 3 tbsps white sugar (you can put less, depending on your sugar level)
a small pinch of salt
about half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
about 3 to 4 tbsp melted butter (I used Magnolia's Baker's Best)
about 16 pieces crushed ChocNut (Pauline says to crush it with your fingers!)

Mix crushed graham, sugar, salt, cinnamon in a bowl then create a well in the center, add the melted butter. make sure the butter is evenly distributed and as much as possible try to achieve a kind of "slightly wet and sandy" kind of crust.

Put half of the crumbs on the bottom of a rectangular container and press it down and set aside or put it in the fridge. Set aside the other half but do not put it in the fridge. The butter will harden and it will not be easy to loosen the crumbs for your topping.

After 1 to 2 hours, pour the chilled filling onto the crusted container and smooth the top with your spoon or with a spatula. Top it with the remaining crumbs and the crushed ChocNut and chill it one more time for at least an hour before serving.

Nestle Chocolate all purpose cream is not available anymore in the market (unless they bring it back, that will be great!) So in this case, you can use the regular all purpose cream about 1 and a half pack and mix it with 1 cup of melted chocolate.

I like to add more ChocNut on top however, my body says DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. Heeheehee! Hope you'll enjoy this!

Ooops, it's almost time to go now!

It's nice to be back!

Until the next KusinaSerye and banana festival entry! :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lemon Butter Cookies

After Ondoy, a Pepeng scare, after a week of stomach flu and fever --- who does not deserve a new haircut, a hair color, a pedicure, a little shopping spree and lots of delicious home made cookies?

Ok, I will not go into details about my
ka-artehan. But thanks to hubby for all the pampering and spoiling! I enjoyed! :)

The making of these cookies is inspired by Chichajo's Lemon Butter Cookies / Sablés Au Citron entry that I can very much relate to - most especially because of the typhoon that hit our area.

My cookies however are tinier than the original version. And my little cookies also reminded me of Eggnog cookies. How cute is that?! To this date I have already made 3 batches, all gone and will make some more by next week. A lovely lady wanted to order some of them - I said I am glad she liked it and I will just make some for her and no need for any payment whatsoever! ;) Friendship ito!

Here's the recipe of Lemon Butter cookies (original recipe and post can be found here):

1 cup + 2 tbsp All purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used Peotraco Caster Sugar)
1 tsp Fleur de Sel
1 tbsp fresh lemon zest, finely chopped
7 tbsp of butter, chilled and diced
1 egg yolk

- Mix altogether the first 4 ingredients, add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture until they look like coarse breadcrumbs, then add the egg yolk, blend it very well (with your hands or with a fork) with the mixture, knead lightly and form into a dough ball.

- Halve the dough and roll each half into a log about 1-inch in diameter. Wrap each log in cling wrap and tuck in the freezer for about 30-minutes.

* Unwrap the logs and slice into 1/4-inch rounds using a serrated knife
(roll the dough a quarter-turn after each slice so the log stays round)

**OR if the cookie is not as round as you wanted them to be, just get about a teaspoon full, roll it into a small ball and flatten it a bit in between your palms.

***OR on a very clean table use a rolling pin - spread out the dough and cut the cookies using your cookie cutter.

(I have done all these three ways in the 3 batches I have made!)

- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and pop it into the oven for 12 minutes or until done (I had mine in 18 minutes).

Transfer to a rack and let the cookies cool completely before adding the lemon-sugar glaze.

For the Lemon Sugar glaze:

1 and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar

- Put ingredients in a bowl, whisk until syrupy. You may want to add more sugar little by little if you want to add more sweetness.

A few ways to glaze the cookie:

- Use a pastry brush or the back of a teaspoon...

- As for Chichajo's: Place glaze in a ziplock bag or parchment paper cone and pipe onto cookie in any design you wish!

- What I did here is I just dipped the cookies (top part) onto the glaze, set them aside and allowed the glaze to dry for about 10 minutes and repeated the process for that double glaze effect!

(Since I was able to produce about 44 baby cookies and got very addicted to the glaze, I decided to DOUBLE glaze them.)

Some photos below:

Fleur de Sel is not available in my pantry, so I used Iodized salt instead. The slight saltiness complements the buttery feel and the lemony kick! I heart it! :)

These cookies brought back our energy and took away stress from all the sad memories of Ondoy. Indeed, this is the perfect "happy cookie"! :)

A great weekend to all! :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Gorgeous aren't they?! Thanks a lot to AverageBetty! The attempt to make these cupcakes is long overdue. Yesterday morning, aside from having other things in my head, upon checking the fridge after breakfast, I realized that the butter needs to be consumed ASAP.

So it's really high time for some
Cheer Up Yourself Moment! And boy, these cupcakes are miraculous!

Now I am on happy mode again! ;)
The original cupcake recipe actually has pudding inside. Yummy! If only I had all the time in the world I would make the pudding but for now I only had time to make the cupcakes and frosting.
Nonetheless I am thrilled to say that it was a success even without the pudding in it. Maybe next time! :)

If you are planning to make these cupcakes, make sure to take out the butter and eggs at least 30 minutes to an hour before you start, to achieve room temperature : )

For the chocolate Cupcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk (buttermilk info below! read on!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350(F) / 175(C)

Melt chocolate and set aside - either in the microwave-carefully Or the old way. (I used the old way!)

Cream butter, white sugar and brown sugar using your electric mixer

Add eggs and mix well

Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix very well.

Add flour and baking soda and combine thoroughly.

Add buttermilk slowly and combine thoroughly until smooth.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter and bake for 20-25 minutes or so. (my cupcakes took 28 minutes)

Just test the doneness on the 20th minute by inserting a toothpick in the middle and see if it comes out clean with very few crumbs. Otherwise, allow a few more minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 10 minutes.

Remove from the tins and cool completely before putting (filling and) frosting

Note: If you don't have ready to use buttermilk, you can make some by mixing together 1/2 tbsp calamansi or lemon juice plus milk of almost 1/2 cup. If I may suggest, in a measuring cup, put the calamansi or lemon juice first, then slowly pour some milk until it reaches the 1/2 cup mark/line. For other buttermilk substitutes, click here :)

For the Frosting:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
(Original recipe used 2 1/2, however, I would like to lessen my sugar intake.... *lol* NYEH!!!!)

1/2 cup butter (I used 1/4 regular butter and 1/4 UNSALTED butter)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons whipping cream (I used, chilled Nestlé All Purpose Cream)


Mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-4 minutes.

Blend in vanilla.

Add tablespoons of cream gradually and continue to beat on medium-high speed for several minutes more, until light, fluffy and smooth.

Mixture will have a pearly sheen and perfect spreading consistency.

For my Pink frosting, I added about 4 "dots" of Red food coloring then i just folded it until I achieved the pretty pinkish color.

Get a big load of frosting on a knife

Swirl frosting and put on some candy sprinkles

Note: Do not refrigerate before frosting cupcakes.

Let me share some highlights below:

Look at this egg!

This is was the first cupcake liner I have ever filled! Really, I was nervous! Walang exaj ito!

Because I was nervous, I am dead sure I overfilled some cupcake liners! Hehehe!

I wanted to make Blue, Purple and Yellow colored frosting. But Pink was the winner!

Little J had the privilege of being the first "customer".

He ate a cupcake and a half. BUT, Mommy gave the unfrosted ones!
Too much sugar + Toddler = HYPER ACTIVITY *lol*

It's almost the weekend! Cant' wait to have another cupcake tomorrow!
I still have a few left in the fridge! Goodnight!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Banana Pancakes

Good morning! :)

Banana adventures are here again so expect more banana action in the future.

As a start, I would like to have some banana pancakes. I have said before that I like french toast more than pancakes, but that does not mean I totally dislike the latter.

I can never say NO to banana pancakes.

Ooooh what more if I have a waffle maker. I can try Banana Walnut Waffle a la Pancake House... right, honey? (

I have tried a couple of mixes when I was younger and lazy (lazier?). I used to make them using the "Just add water" and your done kind of mix. But it just doesn't match the classic good ol' thick, fluffy and moist pancakes.

So I went back to Maya Original Hotcake Mix.

I just followed package instructions, added 5 very ripe mashed bananas, mixed them well and cooked them in a very hot non-stick pan. I used up the whole box (which i think was 500grams) and 8 pancakes came to life.

On the photo however, there's only 5. The last three were not included anymore ;)

I tried to make whipped butter, but unsuccessful. I wanted to achieve the Pancake House style but couldn't! Any suggestions? :)

For the syrup, here at home we use Clara Olé Maple Syrup. I guess this is one of the most affordable and still yummy pancake syrup I have tried. I like this brand in fairness!

Swak Sa Bujey
!!! (Fits the budget! / Bujey = Budget).

Know more about Clara Olé here.

I also like the combination of banana and cinnamon, so just before serving, sprinkle some cinnamon powder over the pancakes.

MMMMmmmm.. smells good and tastes a whole lot better! :)

How about you, what's for breakfast?

A happy Monday and a great week to all! :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Siomai House - My one true dumpling love

Commercial muna tayo.... I'm hungry and it's late :(

This isn't paid advertising. But if they come across this entry, I hope they can give me 1 year supply or maybe a lifetime supply of their very delicious, succulent, juicy, mouth-watering Siomai!

I have eaten tons of siomai from different stalls or restos in my lifetime and I never really "patronized" any of them. But after trying Siomai House, I can definitely say they can count on my loyalty for life.

I never liked "chilli" in my dumplings, but Siomai House made the difference and it totally changed my outlook about adding some spice to my food.

During mealtime you would see a lot of people lining up in their stall/kiosk. That's how good it is.

Their chilli-garlic sauce is superb and different from the rest!

And I bet you my last 25 centavo you will either get another order or have a take out.

4 pieces of Siomai for only
25.00 php. Yup. Great, right?

Me? I can eat 8 pieces in just one sitting..or standing...and take home 32 pieces for 200.00php.

Di naman ako adik noh?

And take note, their siomai is actually a bit bigger than the others' siomai size.

Sonia says, "parang puto!" Hehehe.

They also sell Gulaman as refreshment, for only (drumrolls please!) 8.00 php!

So affordable, right!?

If you had a loooooooooooong day just like mine, don't you wish you can eat something you really want right at this very moment?


If only I can have you for my midnight snack... Maybe tomorrow. Or the weekend.

I wish I can provide all the branches of Siomai House in the Metro here. In the meantime, here's a list of the Siomai House stall/kiosk locations I am aware of:

Robinson's Metro East
Libis (foodcourt beside Piandre)
MRT stations
Marikina Public Market

I will update this list when I get more info : )

Goodnight everyone!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Homemade Atchara

Huwhat? MASON JARS at 30% off at Handyman? I want. So hubby got them. It was a good catch. 12 750ml jars for only less than 600php. SKP? (Rica: San Ka Pa?)

Thinking of what to do and what to put in them, out of all the ideas I had in mind, I remembered my Mommy Tess' famous Atchara. I knew it was very famous in our neighborhood. I can still vividly remember the many containers she used to fill up with it and sends them to those who ordered from her or to some relatives who simply "requested" :)

By the way she even makes tinapang bangus from scratch (which they say is best eaten with atchara)
--but I have no plans of trying it.

To be honest, I am not really an atchara eater. I have tried it a few times but I am okay without it. How ironic isn't it? I love food - but I am actually a boring eater when it comes to condiments. The few condiments I pair with food are: mayonnaise, fish sauce,
calamansi, soy sauce and Knorr Seasoning... and I am not kidding!


Hubby loves atchara (and any pickled veggie for that matter), as well as our household's tres marias. For Little J, not sure yet. I have yet to know. My in-laws eat atchara, as well as my Dad.

In this light, I pretty much believe that putting a great effort to make homemade atchara for the ones I love will be very worthwhile, right?

So let me share with you Mommy Tess' recipe of homemade atchara:

For the Atchara Syrup

2 cups of white vinegar
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp salt

- Best to make this ahead of time. Stir all ingredients together until sugar and salt has dissolved. Then simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes until it boils. Then set aside to cool on room temp.

Next, prepare:

2 medium size Green Papaya - peeled, washed and grated
1 medium size Sayote - peeled, washed and grated
2 tbsp salt

- Mix the grated papaya and sayote with the salt and leave for about 5 minutes.

- After 5 minutes, wash with water, drain and squeeze all the juices, then repeat this process (i did mine 5 times) until the saltyness is gone.


- either you air dry it (which may take longer) , or you dry it in your oven toaster for about 15 minutes at 300F/150C

- when they are dry, let cool and set aside:

Then prepare:

About 15 to 20 pieces of shallots/
sibuyas tagalog, peeled
1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced (or buy the peeled ones)
3 to 4 tbps of ginger cut into strips
1 green chilli, sliced (seeds and stem not included)
1 carrot sliced into strip and some in flowerettes (my favorite part! see photo below!)

I was so "kilig" when making these flowerettes!

When the syrup has cooled down, put all the veggies in the pot, mix them altogether until the veggies have absorbed most of the syrup, then start filling up your jars - unless you cannot stop appreciating the wonderful colors it has created:

Don't forget to sterilize your containers first!

After filling them up, put them in the fridge until consumption.

This recipe filled 2 Mason Jars (750ml each) and 1 250ml jar.

Looking at these beauties, I was happy that it was a success. Hubby took the taste test, so that's enough for an A plus! ;)

I suddenly thought I might be missing a lot. I know I am. Hubby told me so!

Please... just give me a little more time and maybe I will have the urge to finally put this on my condiments list ! :)

In the meantime, I will watch the atchara fanatics enjoy this with whatever fried, smoked or BBQd food we have! :)

Cheers! The weekend is here! :)

P.S. Credits to my angels for helping with the "grating" part. Thank you ates! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ube Roll Cake - An attempt.

I have been dying to try this recipe of Kusina ni Manang for the longest time. I have waited for my Dad to arrive from his Baguio trip so that I could have Baguio Made Ube Halaya. MMMMmmmmm. Yum. (tapos, gawa pala sa Cubao at dinala lang ng Baguio eh?!! Joke!)

Just a brief background: I-HEART-UBE. Especially UBE Cakes - wherever it's from I don't mind. I like buying Ube Rolls from neighboorhood bakeries. My Dad brings me Ube Rolls in some of his visits. Hihihi.

To my dear Manang Kusinera - thanks for sharing your recipe! It was a blast! I super enjoyed making it. Though I goofed on the chiffon/sponge part, like I told you, the filling and icing took away my frustration in an instant!

Just to let you know, Manang's filling/icing recipe is the best by far. The combination of Ube and Cream Cheese made the difference. It was 'heavenly' for me. No exag, promise!

My Boo-boos on the cake roll:

1. I used a jelly roll pan (12X16) larger than the the size indicated in the recipe. My supposed roll became quite flat.

- It was the closest one to the size in the recipe (15X10). The other pan available is waaaay too small.

Gintong Aral - Huwag magmadali. Maghanap ng kaparehong sukat ng pan. Lookie down!

2. My first time to use egg whites in cake: Beat egg whites until stiff.

My egg whites never went 'really' stiff. I think I started whipping it when it was still cold.

Pers taym eh!


Manang said:
Best to whip whites when they are room temp.
And this.

Sorryyyy! I was tooooooooo excited. Really. Just like what i said here about Tyler Florence's Ultimate Cheesecake: Now I know better. :P

The sponge instead became moist and heavy and definitely not like what Manang has perfected.

Nonetheless, it was all good - according to my friendly testers ;) Thank you guysh!

I will make this again and again until I get it and because I will never get tired of ube cake. Especially Manang's recipe! :)

'Till my next attempt! :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sinigang na Liempo (Pork Belly in Sour Broth)

My good friend RC who is now thousands of miles away dancing the hoola, sent me a text message saying that he enjoys reading my blog. I AM SO TATSD! (I am so touched!)

I asked him about his favorite food so that I can dedicate a cyber dish to him. He answered (after 48 years.. JOKE lang!) that he and his wife, Lisa love the following: Pork Binagoongan, Crispy Pata and Pork Sinigang. Ah eh, hindi naman puro baboy noh??? :P

I am glad I have one dish ready for you now. So here it is! The beloved Pork Sinigang:

For this set, I used:

1/2 kilo of pork liempo
about 4 to 5 cups of rice wash (for the broth) (or water)
1 medium sized white onion chopped
2 small native tomatoes chopped
1 small pack of Knorr Sinigang sa Sampaloc with Gabi Mix (you can use two if you want it really sour)
1 small Gabi, grated
Fish Sauce to taste
Pepper to taste
1 Talong (Eggplant) sliced
1 Small Labanos (Raddish) sliced

1 bundle of Sitaw (String beans) cut into 2 inches long
1 bundle of Kangkong
cut into 2 inches long

1 green chilli (optional)

Boil the pork in the rice wash/water until very tender. Then add the onions, tomatoes, sinigang mix, grated gabi, fish sauce and pepper and allow to boil again. Turn fire to low then add the eggplant, raddish and string beans, then simmer for a few minutes. Hold on till the last minute before adding the Kangkong as this cooks and wilts really fast. Turn off fire and let stand for about 2 minutes then serve.

Hubby loves the sinigang boiling hot (as well as our other soupy dishes!)

I grate my gabi in my sinigang because I don't eat the chunked one. The grated ones also make the broth thicker, faster!

RC, if only this Sinigang can come to life on your PC screen as you read this... I hope it's still boiling hot and ready to be served for you and Lisa! By the way, wish we can make on your church wedding! But we'll be there in spirit! (Plingkanting kanting!)

Enjoy! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ginisang Munggo on a Friday

Is your family like my family? When Friday comes it's like "Hey, it's Friday, it's munggo day!"

This was something I grew up with in my Father's side. They, my dad, titos and titas have ginisang munggo in almost every Friday of their lives. They never get tired of it. What is it with family food traditions? :)

Anyway, here at home, we do not have ginisang munggo every Friday, but we have, for a couple of Fridays and one Friday is today.

It was perfect timing because it has been raining since Thursday night until early this morning, so I thought we should have it. It's a great dish on a rainy day! Our household's ginisang munggo recipe is not so different from yours. But there is just one "deadly" thing that we put as a topping.

We used to have chicharon with it until Mang Romy (the pork vendor in the market) highly recommended to use "batok ng baboy" (pig's nape) instead of the usual chicharon. So we did and we never went back to chicharon eversince.

If you enlarge the photo, you can see the crispy pig's nape on top of the munggo bean stew, beside the ampalaya leaves -- that's what I'm talking about!

The cut of the pig's nape looks a little like liempo but with more fat. It's cut is thicker as well. I wish I took a photo of it to show you!

In the meantime, let me share with you our household's ginisang munggo recipe:

For the Crispy batok ng baboy (pig's nape), I ordered 2 pieces of the pig's nape from Mang Romy.

The how to:

Cut the pig's nape in small cubes, marinate it for about 30 minutes in about 1 tsp of fish sauce and about 1 to 2 tbsp calamansi juice and pepper.

After 30 minutes or so, fry it until golden brown and crispy, drain the oil (please!) then set aside.

For the ginisang munggo:

1 cup of green munggo (mung beans)
3 cups of water (for boiling)
1 small onion, minced
about 1 tsp of minced garlic
2 small native tomatoes, chopped
2 medium sized smoked fish/tinapang galunggong, flaked
about 1/4 cup of dried shrimp (hibe)
1 Pork bouillion cube
Ampalaya leaves (sometimes we use Malunggay leaves, especially when I was still breastfeeding!)
Fish sauce to taste (optional)
Pepper to taste

The Way

Boil the Munggo beans until they are soft, drain. then set aside. Set aside the water as well to be used as the broth.

Sauté the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Stir in the munggo beans, tinapa flakes, hibe (dried shrimps) and water. Allow to simmer. Then add the Pork bouillion cube, fish sauce (optional) and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Then add the ampalaya leaves and simmer agian for about 5 minutes.

You may want to add some more water if you want it to be soupy. You can squish some of the beans using your ladle to make the soup thicker.

Serve it while it's hot: in a soup bowl, or as rice topping plus the crispy fried pig's nape on top!


Happy Saturday and Sunday! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pork Bacon Cuts in Garlic Soy Sauce: A Diary of a Pepper Lunch Fan

Let me start by saying that hubby, I and little J have been in and out of Pepper Lunch in most of our weekends for the last 2 months (ok, besides TGIFriday's)... Di naman kami sobrang adik noh? (Are you on drugs? - some Pinoy Joke)

And through it all, I had some nights thinking and dreaming about their Pepper Rice Beef and their irresistible garlic soy sauce (karakuchi), bugging hubby about my idea of trying to make a close copy of it here at home. So when the time comes when there's no budget for Pepper Lunch at least we have something close to it, right? Remember.. Recession!

So, my first attempt: Kikkoman + Water + Garlic Powder. BOINK!

Second Attempt: Kikkoman + Water + Garlic Powder + a little sesame oil. SUPER BOINK!!!

Jam: "Waaaaaaahh! Ayoko naaaaaaaa!!!"

Jam talking to Jam: "Hindi, kaya mo yan! One more time!"

Third Attempt: "Ok, super strong the Kikkoman. hmmm, I have light soy sauce here"

Light Soy Sauce + Water + Garlic Powder.... PWEDE!!!

Me, thinking out loud:
"May kulang parin eh!" (something's missing!)

Then all of a sudden, I have thought of adding butter and Ajinomoto and remembered UMAMI.

Ok, Fourth Attempt: Light Soy Sauce + Water + Garlic Powder + Ajinomoto + butter
Pwedeng pwede!!! Yey!!!

So after four attempts, let me share with you the recipe of the garlic soy sauce:

(Without heat first) In a saucepan, mix:

1/2 cup of light soy sauce
1 and 1/2 cups of water
about 4 tbsp of garlic powder
about 1/4 tsp Ajinomoto
about 1/4 tsp of pepper
a tiny pinch of salt and white sugar

***you can make some more. store in airtight container and in the fridge so you can use it anytime you want :)

Put the saucepan on the stove and turn the heat to Medium High and allow the mixture to boil. Turn of the heat after boiling then add 1 tbsp of butter and allow the butter to melt in the hot mixture. Set aside.

For our Lunch today, we had Pork Bacon Cuts (50% of from Rustan's Shang!), stir fried them with some of the sauce, and assembled them around a cup of rice topped with corn, chopped chives and a little butter. I wanted to cook it using our sizzling plate but i was too lazy to reach for it as it was kept at the top most part of the kitchen cabinet. tsk. sigh.

If only i have that electromagnetic plate and induction cooker right here, right now! Oh, not to forget the japanese rice and the special butter! hahaaa!! ;)

So anyways, back to reality. I am at home: I placed the plate in a microwave to reheat and melt the butter, seasoned it with a little more of the sauce and mixed everything together!


To Ms. Cecile and Chef Jeroen, nothing beats the original, of course! If you ever come across this blog entry, I promise I was not one of those folks who stole your sauces and I promise I will always be a Pepper Lunch Fan! ;)

Cheers! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Puto Bumbong: A Maskipaps Moment

I know that the countdown begins when the calendar hits the BER month. But please allow me to start now - We are 120 days away 'til Simbang Gabi and we are 129 days away from Christmas. Forgive me for I had a sudden craving for Puto Bumbong last weekend and I really wanna have some so bad that I could not wait for simbang gabi to arrive.

I do not have the luxury of making an authentic puto bumbong, however. That is why the title of this post has "A Maskipaps moment" - Maski paps, meaning Maski Papano. Hehehe. Desperate times call for desperate measures? ;)

As we all know, the authentic way to do it is putting purple colored ground glutinous rice (galapong), or pirurutong rice into bamboo tubes, then placing them on top of a special/custom-made steamer called "lansungan". I would love to try this out soon. First, I would need to get a hold of that special apparatus. Hmm.. maybe I can check out our market?

So anyways, for more information about our authentic puto bumbong, you can check out this video and this site :) Cool eh?! :)

Now, for this UNauthentic one (hehe).. but still very satisfying!

Here's how to make the maskipaps version of our country's Puto Bumbong, in case you will have a desperate moment like moi:

- 2 packs of Malagkit Powder, more or less about 1/4 kilo
(It's available in the baking section of your supermarket, if it's not there, don't be afraid to ask your friendly attendant!)

- Water (prepare about 1 1/2 cups)

- about 6 tbps Violet food coloring (depends on you if you want it darker or lighter!)
- about 1/4 tsp Pandan Essence

The Way:

Put the malagkit powder in a bowl then add water little by little until it achieves a doughy or clayish consistency. Then add the coloring and the pandan essence. Mix and knead very well.

With your clean hands, grab about a spoon full or 2 from the purple dough and shape it like the shape of the real puto bumbong (so it's about 2 to 3 inches long and about 1/2 inch for its diameter...ulk, Geometry!)

When you're done, drop them in boiling water and wait until they float. Then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain very well. (This is the same as cooking palitaw)

After draining, roll them in grated fresh coconut, then serve with butter and muscovado sugar.

Making this improvised puto bumbong is very fun and relaxing! Thanks to my Ate Jeng who taught me how to do this! :) Thanks as well to our neighboor who is always willing to give me banana leaves!

This is dedicated to a great friend who loooves puto bumbong...

Happy Birthday, Ross! Mwah! :)

August 21 2009 Addendum: I was almost half asleep while doing this post, but just quick a note. With regard to the texture, it's the same as the palitaw or bilo bilo in your ginataan. Of course, the authentic one is still the best ;)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Easy Pork Stir-Fry

It was a Thursday and I found a nice Thursday recipe from Yummy Magazine's Weekday Cooking from their September 2008 issue. What a coincidence! And yes, you're reading it right. It's a 2008 ish. An old magazine can still serve its purpose! Especially food/cooking magazines!

Funny how I landed on this - I was looking into another dish however I did not have all the ingredients that day and there is no way I can make it. Good thing this recipe came to my rescue and I was lucky, like really lucky to have everything I needed! One more thing it's easy to prepare as it will only take 15 to 20 minutes to complete this dish. And it took just few minutes of dinner time for it to reach our tummies. Yeehaaa!

Here's the recipe for Pork Stir-Fry, page 47, Yummy Magazine September 2008

1/2 kilo of pork rounds/kasim, cut in strips (I used pork tenderloin strips)
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 garlic cloves minced
1 small bunch green beans, chopped into 1/2 inch lengths
1 pack pf mixed frozen vegetables (green peas, carrots and corn kernels)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch strips
half of a 200 gram of button mushrooms, chopped
(I used everything in the can! we lurve mushrooms!)
Water for boiling
Pepper to season

1. Make the marinade: Mix soy sauce, honey and garlic. Marinate the pork and set aside.

2. Place green beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until crisp tender. Add the frozen vegges to the pot and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from water. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in wok/pan and stir fry pork for about 30 seconds on high heat. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms. When pork is cooked, lower the flame and pour the excess marinade. Add all veggies and stir well. You may want to add a little pepper as well. Serve warm.

Just a thought: You may want to make another set of marinade and add it to the stir-fry if you want it to be a little more saucey.

And another thought: this works as well for beef strips and chicken strips!

I ate this using chopsticks! Feeling oriental! :)

Chicken Afritada: A Karinderia Moment

When I was younger, I have thought of a lot of careers - I wanted to be a doctor, a pilot, a stewardess, an architect, a painter/ an artist and a showbiz superstar. Later on, I wanted to become a chef. During my time in college, taking up Culinary Arts was the latest craze... only to find out that the course of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (in my school) required 2 College Algebra subjects, 2 or 3 Accounting subjects and another term for practicum, aside from the humongous amount of tuition fee.

Huwag nalang!
(never mind!)

With that, I decided to take Human Resources Management. I said to myself anyway, I can still continue cooking even without a degree in culinary. The dream to be called Chef Jam flew in the air and now in the milkyway. OK lang. Promise!

Well, if I did pursue culinary, I might have not met my darling hubby and not have our little J, right? Aww, destiny! :) HAHAHA!

Cheesy aside... Since I find extreme joy in cooking, and despite that I do not have the toque... Still, I really want to have a food business. Not a fancy resto but Karinderia or a Canteen that serves the masses. I would partner with my Mommy Tess, Ate Jeng or my friend Sheila who are all great cooks! We just need to save up for a capital, and a good good place for it.

What do Pinoy canteens/karinderias serve? Easy. Pinoy Comfort Food! What else, right?

So let me then share with you another favorite in our household: Chicken Afritada

I play with the name by sometimes calling it Chicken Africhado (chado, from Mechado), Chicken Caldechado (Caldereta and Mechado) Chicken Caldetada (Caldereta and Afritada) because they taste so close to each other! I realized this after reading

For this dish, I used:

canola oil
1 small onion, minced
about 1 tsp of garlic, minced
1/2 kilo of chicken, cut in serving pieces
3 medium sized potatoes, cut in quarters
1 big carrot sliced in bite size pieces
Fish Sauce to taste (careful with the Salt!)
Pepper to taste
1 250 grams pack of tomato sauce
about 1/4 tsp of brown sugar to taste (optional)
about 1/2 cup of grated cheese (Eden MeltSarap)
1 tbsp of McCormick Caldereta Mix (optional)
1 cup of water/chicken stock/rice wash (hugas bigas)
about 1/4 cup of green peas
1 Red Bell Pepper sliced in strips

The Way:

On Medium to Low heat, sauté onions and garlic in canola oil. Throw in the chicken and wait until it becomes a little brown in color, the chicken will release its own juice while you are frying it. Then add the potatoes and carrots. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then season with fish sauce and pepper, pour the tomato sauce, add sugar (optional), add the cheese, a tablespoon of caldereta mix and 1 cup of water/chicken stock/rice wash. you may want to add water little by little if you want a thick consistency. Taste your afritada once in a while so that you can decide whether or not it already suits your palette. I like my afritada with a thick sauce (aka ma-sarsa). Lastly, add the green peas and bell pepper and simmer for more or less 3 minutes to avoid the bell pepper to overcook.

You might want to garnish it with cheese just before serving. :)

'Till my next
Karinderia entry :-)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

Hubby is addicted to T.G.I. Friday's Caesar Salad and we have searched far too long for a copycat recipe of its dressing in the internet but always fail. Ang sad noh?

But hold on, as we are told, when there's life, there is still hope. So I have attempted to make something out of the many Caesar salad dressings I have "reviewed", compared notes of each recipe and was finally able to come up with I guess, 99% close to what I wanted to achieve.

Special shout out to my friend Sheila for the info on Doña Elena canned anchovy fillets. I really do not have any idea where to get them, not knowing it was just right under my nose in the "sardines" section. NGEK!!!

Anyways, I just really wanted to share my happiness with you because of this homemade Caesar Salad Dressing, inspired by the best two recipes I have referred to (out of the.. uh.. lost count!)

Happy Tummy's Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

1 cup Lady's Choice mayonnaise
1/4 cup egg whites (keep the yolk in the freezer for future use!)
1/4 cup KRAFT grated parmesan romano cheese
2 tbsps water
2 tbsps olive oil
Juice of half a lemon (you may opt not to squeeze and include all the juice)
2 anchovy fillets, chopped finely
about 2 tsps garlic, chopped finely (you may want to add some more, if you want a stronger garlic kick)
about 1 and a half tsp of white sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Just mix all ingredients in a bowl. Beat it for about 2 minutes and chill for at least 2 hours. You may want to add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of all purpose cream to add a creamier texture to the dressing and just add a little more salt, pepper and garlic if needed.

Store it in a clean container and label it with the date so you can remember when you made it and you will kind of get an estimate until when you can use it (about 2 weeks max). The above photo shows that I am a scrappy kind of person. Hubby calls me Mommy Scrappy Doo. I like to keep used containers from commercial products that I believe can be of great use in future kitchen 911s. Just make sure it's really clean and dry before you use it. Better yet, sterilized. So up there, as you can see, I poured my home made dressing into a clean bottle of a then commercial caesar salad dressing :P

I swear, it's really clean. I know, next time I will use a glass container when I get to grab one!

Better to place in the chiller than in the fridge. If you have made a lot of this, store some in the freezer for longer shelf life and just thaw it when it's time to use it.

On the photo, I tossed it with Romaine Lettuce, Croutons, Left-Over Chicken Pesto Fingers (from Magnolia Chicken) cut in cubes and Parmesan Romano Cheese:

Try it and you will say T.G.I. Finally made it! Enjoy!

A happy and well-deserved weekend to all! :-)