Thursday, February 25, 2010

This is a no-meat pasta that I was actually apprehensive to try because Master Fryer (MB) may not like it. The absence of meat in a pasta dish is somewhat alien to him. But I guess the bird's eye chilis did the trick. = ) He loves spicy food.

Cook pasta according to package directions. This is San Remo shapes. In a pan, saute lots of chopped garlic and onions. Add one can button mushrooms. If you have fresh ones, the better. Add some pitted black olives. Add 2 chopped bird's eye chilis. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Add one can crushed tomatoes and allow to simmer for about 4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. You can add a little bit of sugar if it's too sour for you. Mix the cooked pasta in and stir to coat the pasta well. Top with lots of grated cheese for picky boyfriends/husbands. Serve with buttered garlic baguette and a glass of ice tea or Coke. 

This dish is really spicy. Try to pick out the sliced chilis before eating unless you can tolerate chewing them (which I can't, by the way). Guys, this one's for you too!

This post is for all my man friends out there who rely on this blog to feed them (haha!) or give them ideas on what to eat aside from the regular junk food that they buy dyan sa tabi tabi. Or at the very least, give them a nudge to eat decent food. 

We were supposed to have this for baon but my kuya invited us for lunch so we had this for dinner instead. Filipinos are very creative when it comes to cooking food that will feed every member of the family. Even some well-off families serve simple gisa or sauteed dishes. Men are also taught this very simple way of cooking. Ginisa dishes often include a vegetable and some meat. But some go without the meat especially if the budget is low. Ginisa is very popular with the middle class, down because they normally have soup which is a good extender and helps you get full without eating too much. This is especially true with families in the poverty line. Hot soup over rice is enough to feed the family.

To cook this, saute some chopped garlic, onions and tomatoes in oil. I put the tomatoes first so that they become limp. Add some of the oil from the tuna, about a tablespoon, to the pan. Drain the remaining oil. Add the tuna flakes and break them into smaller pieces. I use Century Tuna and their flakes look like chunks. Then add the sliced or cubed sayote. Mix. Add some water. 1-2 cups will do and turn on the heat. Season with very little salt, some patis (fish sauce) and pepper. Serve with rice. This is a simple, hearty dish that you can pack for baon or cook for dinner when you're running out of time to prepare a decent meal. 

Is it guy approved? MB aka Master Fryer finished more than half of this.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This is a very light dish. It's easy to prepare too. Fry some fish fillets in olive oil. You can also do this with butter. When the fish are almost done, add some garlic. Oh, before I forget. I seasoned the fillets with salt and pepper before cooking. 

Add some French beans to the pan. Mix well but mix carefully. Transfer to a serving dish. I topped this with some crispy chili prawns. I had this with a little bit of rice but I liked it better as it is. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Friends and Beloved Readers of this blog,

I am a writer. I've had several essays, articles, short stories, etc. published in different newspapers and magazines since I was 6 years old.  Now I'm not boasting. There is a reason behind this so please stay with me.

I have a background in journalism, half of it comes from school and the other half comes from my sister, who, among other things is an accomplished journalist, editor-in-chief and an award-winning writer. Most of the things that I've learned and applied to my position as (ex) editor-in-chief/writer of different publications came from her.  I myself have won several writing competitions during my days as an active writer.

Now that I've built up my credibility as a writer, let me say this again. I AM A WRITER. I am a writer first, then a blogger second. I say this because I know some writers who are irked by bloggers who are self-proclaimed writers. Just because they have a blog, they immediately claim to be writers. I am not one of those bloggers. I am a writer and a blogger and I am not perfect. I accept checks, criticisms and opinions about my writing with open arms. They make me better after all.

Though I didn't get on the blogging bandwagon right away, I've been blogging since 2005 via a private blog that I still have. It's no longer updated but I keep it for memory's sake. This new blog was put up as an extension of myself, of the things I enjoy and sometimes hate. This is my online diary. This is a small glimpse of my very private and personal life. I blog because it's fun. I blog because it makes me happy. I blog because I am able to share my two cents worth on things and people actually find them useful. I blog for me. These are my opinions, feelings and ideas on products, events, current issues and people poured on the pages of blogspot. The products/restos/places/services that I review are not paid advertising. These are all for my self-satisfaction. These are based on what and how I feel about something during a particular time. My rants are based on what I feel about something and believe my opinion to be  just. Since this is my diary, no one has the right to censor me on what I should and should not write about. I believe I do not cause damage to my family, friends, community, work, environment, business, colleagues and clients with the things I write here or on my other blog. After all, I blog about fashion, beauty, food and issues that catch my interest. If you feel hurt, offended or scandalized about anything I say/said here, you are welcome to express your opinions to me and not to anybody around me. If you want to rant and blow off steam, I suggest you put up a blog yourself. Again, this is a personal blog and no one is allowed to censor my actions as long as it is not damaging to others. There is such a thing called freedom of expression. But I also know that with that freedom comes great responsibility. I have learned that many years ago as a young journalist that's why I put it into practice every single time I write.

My personal life is separate from my work life is separate from my business life is separate from my artist life is separate from my hobbyist life. You get the drift? There is Lady E outside the blogging world and a Lady E inside the blogging world. And never the twain shall meet.

If you are negative, defensive and angry, this is not the place for you. If you don't have anything good to say or do, if it is not for the betterment of your peers, your community or your country, then I suggest you keep it to yourself. You are not welcome here! Life is too short and there are too many wonderful things around us to deal with negativity even for just a minute. Oh, malicious and judgmental people are not welcome either.

On the other hand, if you are happy, positive, empowered and looking for a good read, why, you're more than welcome to browse through my blog and enjoy these things that I feature with me. 

I know it's a bit trite but smile and be happy! 

You know you love me...


Lady E

I finally got around to photographing that yakisoba pack that I've waxed poetic about (exag!) This is called Hiyakoichi Yakisoba and costs P198 at Landmark Makati. 

It comes with 3 packs like this:

One pack is enough for me and MB. It also comes with 3 packs of powdered seasoning.  I prepared this with just sliced onions, cooked in oil. Then I steam the noodles in a little water, add the seasoning pack then season some more with my bottled yakisoba sauce from Saizen. I also added a little bit of mirin. I then topped it with bonito flakes:

I used the other pack for another type of noodle dish - toyomansi noodles or noodles with soy sauce and calamansi (calamondin) juice. You can use fresh onions or onion powder or both. I think I used both. Saute the onions in a little oil then steam the noodles like you would with yakisoba. In a bowl, combine dark soy sauce or Kikkoman and add the juice of 5 calamansi. I used about 3T soy sauce. Season with onion and garlic powder. I didn't have garlic powder so I just used the onion powder. Pour over the noodles and top with spring onions, chili flakes and sesame seeds. Mix well. I don't like local instant noodles. I can't digest them so I've decided to make this instead. Be sure to cook fast so that the noodles won't get too starchy and won't stick to the pan. I also cook this on high heat. 

Junk food heaven...


Friday, February 19, 2010

My officemates would often tease me about my baon especially if it's a salad or weird looking food of some sorts. Some think that I'm on a diet. I don't think I'll ever do that. Back when I was younger, I thought girls who ordered 'just a salad' were on a diet. Little did I know that a salad can actually be quite filling. Like this salad bento for instance.

This bento is made up of lettuce, cucumbers, croutons, chopped ham, apple slices and a Babybel. Okay, I don't like Babybel but for that price, I have to finish everything off. I had this with Caesar dressing. I also like thousand island dressing but I can't find one that tastes like the one they serve at Almon Marina. 

I didn't eat the ham. I put it there because I thought this wouldn't make me full. But I actually had a hard time finishing this meal! I'd say this is good for people on a diet. Just change the dressing to a lighter one. And if you're not on a diet but would like to have this for baon, just ignore your officemates who tease you. I'm petite, not fat at all but I have 'laman' in places where there should be. When they tease me about my food, I often say to myself, that's why I look like this and you look like that (or you're fat and I'm not! hahahaha!) Happy Friday everyone! Tomorrow I'll be doing some serious makeup shopping in preparation for my cousin's prom which will be posted in bits + treats.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This sandwich is not great but not bad either. It would have been better if I added some apple slices. I just fried the fish in oil. The fish was seasoned with S&P. Then I spread some butter on the sliced baguette then popped both the pieces in the toaster. I then spread some cream cheese and put the fish on the bread then topped it with onion rings and sliced tomatoes. Like what I said this would have been a slamdunk sandwich had I added the apple slices. Nevertheless, it was a very filling lunch. You can also try this with smoked salmon. (2 posts in a day! Whoa!)

I've been trying different ways of cooking eggs and this is one of the results of my experiment. It's prepared similarly to the regular omelets Filipinos are used to eating for breakfast or the tortang talong. But this time, the egg serves as the eggplant's 'house'. 

Beat 2 eggs then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chop some garlic, onions, tomatoes and an eggplant. Saute the tomatoes in oil until wilted. Add the garlic and onions. When fragrant, add the eggplants. Now here's the 'new' part. Season with Kikkoman and mirin. Allow the eggplant to absorb the seasonings. When cooked, remove from pan then cook the eggs, omelet style then put the filling in the middle and fold. I served this with French beans sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. 

MB ate this with Sukang Pinakurat. Until now, I still can't understand his food pairings. I on the other hand, had this with catsup. I really can't eat omelet without catsup. But I also felt that the catsup complimented the seasonings well as they became more flavorful. Well, that's just my taste buds. Adjust to what works for you. We had this for dinner. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This is a quick, healthy lunch with the exception of the Caesar dressing. = )

I just cooked the chicken in olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepah. For the salad, I used some red lettuce (not sure if this is correct), cucumbers and croutons. I would have used Mandarin oranges but all I had were navel so I used that. Again for the dressing, Caesar. 

Was I even satisfied? Yes! I didn't even eat the chicken because I was already full. I only ate one piece and that's it. Plus, I brought one whole orange and more croutons. Also, that's half a cucumber and 6 shredded lettuce leaves. And no, this isn't turning out to be a salad blog. I will feature different types of food in my future posts. I had Elle et Vire Berry Yogurt for snack. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

I needed a fast dinner and I needed to use the wilting pechay fast so I ended up with this dish. I just sauteed some chopped garlic and onions in a little tuna oil. Then poured the tuna flakes which I again flaked into smaller pieces as they looked like chunks. I then added the chopped pechay and seasoned everything with oyster sauce. That's about 5T. I used the free pack I got. Then added some Kikkoman and mirin. Don't overcook the pechay.

MB fried the tofu sticks. He's the master fryer.

I just added chopped onions, green finger chilis (panigang) and red chilis (labuyo) in the Sukang Pinakurat (a type of vinegar native to Iligan), soy sauce, sugar mixture. Dissolve the sugar then add the onions and chilis then the tofu. Make sure the tofu sticks absorb the mixture. This was a real delight! Fast, easy and cheap.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

If you love ice cream, then you'll love this. My sister went to Baguio and brought home a bag of strawberries. I initially wanted to make strawberries and cream but saw an unopened pack of Dutche cocoa powder in my cupboard and decided to make creamy choco strawberries instead. It was an experiment. I didn't know what would happen if I used cocoa powder. But it turned out great.

Thinly slice some strawberries and set aside. In a pan, pour 1/3 of a pack of Dutche cocoa powder. That's about 1/3-1/2 cup of cocoa powder. This is alkalized cocoa powder, by the way. I then added about 2T of water and heated the mixture on very low heat, just enough to melt the chocolate. Add water little by little just until all chocolate is melted. Turn off the heat. Allow to cool. Add one pack Nestle Cream and mix. Add confectioner's sugar according to taste. The chocolate that I used was bitter. I put just enough confectioner's sugar to make it bittersweet. You can also use brown sugar. I ran out of confectioner's so I added brown sugar. Mix until the sugar melts. Transfer strawberries in a container (which you can put inside the freezer) then pour chocolate-cream mixture. I arranged the strawberries by layers. I poured chocolate after every layer. You can start enjoying this on the second night of freezing. This melts really fast but tastes soooo good!

Take advantage of the abundance of strawberries this season with this easy dessert recipe!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yes, I've been flirting. With Vegetarianism that is. Ever since I got sick back in my teenage years, I have changed my diet 360 degrees. I don't drink softdrinks and coffee. I avoid pork as much as I can. I don't eat chips as often and when I do, I try to find the healthier ones. I don't eat ice cream. I eat frozen yogurt. Although Haagen-Dazs is an exception because it's the only ice cream my lactose intolerant tummy can tolerate. 

For years now, I've been trying to find healthy alternatives to different types of food. I thank the people who brought Healthy Options to our shores. I've been going in and out of Healthy Options ever since it opened a few years back. When I first came in I thought the food was soooo expensive. I thought that was going to be my last visit. But as I researched about food, nutrition and illnesses, the more it made sense to go back there or to any other store like it. I justify the cost against my medical and medicine bills. It always made sense to me - to heal my body through food and to pay more for food that will make me healthy. I don't want to go back to taking 13 different meds each day. That was awful. After that, I decided to focus my energy looking for alternative ways to heal myself both physically and emotionally. The first person to take me on this journey was Maureen Salaman. Her book inspired me to change my diet. I was about 15 or 16 back then.

Another person who is trying to convince me is my good friend Alicia. You all know her. Sure, we're not personal friends but I feel we really are as her passion grows on me. And when I read what she writes, I am taken one step closer to her and her kind life.

So going back to food and Healthy Options, isn't it better to spend 250 pesos on something you can eat that you know will make you healthy rather than spending it on a few pieces of meds with contents you are clueless (pardon the pun) of?

Here is an example of that:

One box costs P255. You get about 20 flatbreads which contain spelt flour, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, spices, etc. It's all natural and low-fat with no trans fats or cholesterols. I eat this as a snack. One piece satisfies my hunger pangs. I usually eat this a few minutes before doing Yoga. Yes, I do Yoga... Did Pilates before and now I'm hooked on Yoga. 

The taste gets a lot of getting used to though. MB didn't like it. He almost gagged when he took a bite. I, on the other hand, love it! I like the taste of the seeds intermingling in my mouth then the aftertaste of sesame seeds. I've always liked sesame seeds. I used to pluck them out of those McDonald's burgers when I was a kid. 

Today I brought 2 pieces to work which I intend to eat for merienda with half of my Babybel (which I tasted for the first time). And if you're wondering what lunch was, I had a salad and a few apple slices. Did I get full? Yes, satisfied full. 

So what does this new diet mean for 240 baons? It won't change anything except the fact that I will be featuring more health conscious food choices. Am I going vegan/vegetarian? No. I can't give up fried/adobo chicken and shrimps. Shrimps are my absolute favorite food in the whole world. But I will lessen my intake of these two. I will still cook and feature food with meat in them. I can't let Migraine Boy starve, no! But I just want you to know the change that is happening to me. So stick with me okay? I can't do this alone. 


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wow! I'm running out of posts! I'm blogging in almost real time! This is what I had for lunch yesterday. And yes, I had French toast for lunch. (Eeeep!) MB had pinakbet for lunch. The guy needs to eat rice.

It's that time again when I'm sick of eating rice. We had stuffed French toasts for breakfast so I decided to make an extra to pack for lunch. To make, spread some cream cheese on a whole wheat bread and top with cooked ham. Place another bread on top to make a sandwich. Cut into half. Beat an egg and some milk together. Dip the sandwiches into this mixture and fry on a pan slathered with butter. This cooks fast so be alert. Drizzle with honey if you like. I did. Yum!

I packed this with some orange slices and some potato chips, garlic and cheese flavor. I had a nice lunch. Not too heavy, not too light. I also packed some Elle et Vire yogurt in mixed berries which I ate for merienda. Elle et Vire yogurt is on sale at the Landmark Supermarket Makati for only P33.50 each.


Monday, February 8, 2010

If you're wondering if we were able to get through 2 weeks on seafood alone, the answer is YES! It's easy because MB and I are both seafood lovers. Shrimp is one of my go-to ingredients when I'm too lazy and too hungry to cook. With shrimp, you can still end up with decent, satisfying food without slaving in the kitchen. You can boil 'em, steam 'em or cook 'em this way.

Chop some garlic. Lots of it! Slice some green finger chilis (panigang) and 2 pieces red chili (labuyo). Heat some butter on a pan then add the garlic. Cook until fragrant then add the chilis. After about 20 seconds, add the shrimps. Season with fish sauce (patis) or Maggi Savor. Serve with lots and lots of rice. Yum, yum, yum!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This is one of those dishes that MB makes that makes me want to pretend to be sick and stay in bed for a week. (Grin). MB can cook as long as you give him detailed directions. But there are some dishes that he's already mastered such as arroz caldo, sinigang and frying fish and bacon to perfection. This is a fairly easy sweet and sour fish recipe.

We fry the fish first. He used dalagang bukid. Coat the fish with salt and pepper and cornstarch. Fry. On a separate pan, heat some rice vinegar and brown sugar. When the sugar has melted, add ginger, onions and carrots. Sometimes we put red bell pepper. Season with salt. Pour on the fish and serve with rice. Is that easy or what?

This is the first time MB cooked this dish and it was spot on! The heated leftovers were even more flavorful. This lasted us for 3 meals. 

I made another version using fish fillets and tofu. I fried the tofu first then fried the coated fish fillets then proceed with above. We had that for baon. It was delicious!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

There are so many things that I want to improve on this dish. First, I wish I bought frozen fish fillets instead of the fresh ones. The guys at SM Makati did not do a good job on picking out the bones from the fish. They said the fillets were a mix of lapu-lapu and maya-maya. I thought it was all maya-maya. For a few small pieces of fish fillets, I paid a little less than P200 whereas had I bought the frozen ones, I would've paid about the same price for bigger pieces of meat. And without bones too.

The hoisin sesame fish went to our baon. The leftovers went to this dish. To make the fish, first wash the fish thoroughly. If they're too fishy smelling, wash with some calamansi or lemon juice first. Make sure you rinse off all the juice. In a bowl, combine cornstarch, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Dredge the bite size fish fillets then fry in oil. Discard the oil. In the same pan, put about 3-4 tablespoons of hoisin sauce and spread onto pan. Add the fish and coat with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

For the rice, saute some chopped garlic and onions in a pan. Add the chopped leftover fish. Add mashed rice then mix. Add about 2 tablespoons of bagoong then mix well. 

I would've liked it had I put some gochujang and Kikkoman. I didn't put gochujang because my mom doesn't like spicy food and I had to feed her that day. So I skipped that. I also didn't add soy sauce because we're watching her pressure and all. 

Another thing that bothered me were the bones which became a bit hard because of repeated cooking. It made the texture of the fish terrible. So, if you would like to try this dish, I suggest you get the best ingredients possible to make this a success. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sorry for being MIA. I have two reasons: I ran out of posts (gasp!) and I got sick. Anyway, I'm back. I've decided to go on a seafood diet last week and this week. This is one of the first seafood dishes I cooked. And like what the title says, this is my first pesa.

Sorry for the photo. I didn't bother arranging the fish and vegetables as I was really hungry already. I got this recipe from pinoycook.

I used 2 slices of tanigue, one bunch of local pechay, the trinity of garlic, onions and tomatoes; some ginger, one small packet of whole peppercorns and some patis to taste. For the miso sauce, I used half of the yellow miso (leftover from sinigang na miso), garlic, onions and tomatoes and patis.

Let's start cooking!

Saute the garlic, onions and tomato in a little oil. I put the tomato first so that by the time it gets soft, the garlic and onions will be just right. Add the fish. Be careful not to break the fish. When a bit cooked, add some water, just enough to cover the fish. Bring to a boil. Remove the froth/scum because it's kadiri. Hahaha! You need to remove that because you want a clear soup. Next, add the pechay and make sure that they're all submerged in the soup. Cook for about 2 minutes more then cover the pot and turn off the heat. Prepare the miso sauce.

Saute garlic, onions and tomatoes in a little oil. Add the miso. Mix, mix, mix. Season with patis. Add some of the soup little by little because this will be too dry. Add soup according to the consistency you want. Taste. Add more patis if needed. I like my miso sauce like this:

MB asked me how to eat this dish. Take some rice, pechay, fish and a little bit of miso. I also mix the miso with the soup and pour over my rice. This miso is different from the Japanese miso that you use for miso soup. I don't know if this kind of miso is available abroad. If you know where/how to get this abroad, please leave a comment for the benefit of our international foodies. Thanks!



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