Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Who doesn't like Shakey''s Mojos? This isn't exactly Shakey's level but if the mojos craving hits you, you can easily make this at home. 

Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Slice into thin rounds. Dip in milk then dredge in a mixture of flour, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Fry until golden brown. The taste can actually stand on its own but if you want, you can serve this with tomato ketchup. I think if you serve this with Caesar dip, it will be too salty and the flavors would confuse your taste buds. Better to keep it simple. 

I'm getting hungry just looking at this photo. Maybe I'll cook some for tonight's dinner. 
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


If you're feeling a bit harassed, here's a simple dinner menu for your family. For the fried chicken, you can use a homemade marinade, recipes here and here or you can use an instant breading. I use Crispy Fry breading mix when I'm pressed for time. 

While you're frying the chicken, prepare the mojos. (Recipe to follow)

After frying the chicken, fry the mojos. Be sure to change the oil. 

While frying the mojos, assemble your simple salad of red lettuce and croutons. The croutons are pre-made and pre-packed. Serve the salad with dressing of your choice. We usually have Caesar dressing on stock. 

You can serve these with rice or some dinner rolls. You'll have a very filling dinner in no time.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

If you want a quick side dish with your meat, fish or vegetables, I suggest you cook this:

Bagoong Tofu

It's a no-brainer side dish. Just fry some tofu and drain onto paper towels then set aside. Heat some bagoong (I use Barrio Fiesta, Sweet) and toss the tofu with the bagoong. Be careful as the bagoong tends to splatter. Sometimes, when I'm feeling weird (yeah, weird) I add the juice of one calamansi to the bagoong then mix it good then add the tofu. It gives the dish a little kick. 

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Friday, June 25, 2010

This was supposed to go live last Friday but something came up and it's a Saturday breakfast idea so it had to wait.


Remember this? We had the leftovers with breakfast along with fried espada and garlic rice. Oh, and don't forget the Sukang Pinakurat! We were so full that we had lunch at 3 pm.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hectic and tiring- those are the words to describe my schedule for the past couple of weeks. I'm sorry if I haven't been posting regularly but aside from my 'to do list', this time of the year is really tough for me. My body literally breaks down because of the weather. With that comes more take out food, deliveries and instant whatever. But when I do find my strength, I try to cook a decent meal. After all, too much junk is bad for me too. Here's an easy and quick dish I whipped up on one of my 'able' days.


Please bear with the pictures for a while. I'm asking MB to get this problem fixed. 

You will need some carrots, shiitake mushrooms, cauliflower and boiled quail eggs. 

Saute some garlic and onions in a pan. Add  the sliced mushrooms. Cook for about a minute or two then add the carrots then the cauliflower. Season with oyster sauce and a little bit of soy sauce if you want. Add about half a cup of water to the pan. Mix. Bring to a boil then lower heat. Season with a tiny pinch of sea salt and pepper. Taste. Add the boiled quail eggs and turn off the heat. 

Can I just say that sea salt rocks? Before, I thought that all salts were equal. I raised my eyebrows every time I read a rave about a different kind of salt other than rock salt and iodized salt. For me they were all salt! What difference does that make? I didn't want to buy sea salt because it was expensive. It's just salt, right? Wrong!

So, fast forward to a year or so, I am now truly, truly thankful that I tried sea salt. It makes a whole lot of difference! Even regular dishes get a special kick. I love it! And you only have to use a little to flavor your dishes. Never mind the expensive price tag. One pack will last you for a few months. I've been using sea salt for more than a year now and I've never looked back.

Have you tried a different kind of salt lately? 


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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hi everybody! I'm trying this new thing where I try to blog everyday but today I had to go to the doctor so I think today's post will have to wait. In the meantime, amuse yourselves with the posts in the archives. Maybe you can find tomorrow's baon or Saturday's breakfast somewhere there.

We will be back to regular programming hopefully tonight. Thanks!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In this sweltering heat, be sure to keep hydrated by drinking lots of fluids. And what better way to replenish your supply than a bottle of electrolyte-spiked water?


Nothing can quench my thirst better than water. Actually, it's just water. When I'm thirsty, juice or ice tea just won't help. Even after a meal with ice tea or juice, I still need to drink water. During the day, I drink about 4-5 Starbucks tumbler worth of water in the office. After a meal, I can down 3-4 glasses. I've always been a big water drinker but having polymyositis and all the meds that come with it made me an even bigger water drinker. 

Electrolytes are important for you and me. A few years ago, my mom's electrolytes and sodium dropped. She had a heart attack. We rushed her to the hospital and the doctors were saying that they were going to intubate her. That means they're going to stick a tube down her throat to help her breathe. My godfather said that his friends who had their sodium drop hardly recovered. They became isip-bata, child-like afterwards. Thank God my mom is a fighter and she was out of the hospital, normal and strong after only a week. The doctors said that it was indeed a miracle. That's how important electrolytes and sodium are. To read more about water-electrolyte imbalance, let me direct you to Wikipedia.

If you have a kid who's active in sports, pack one bottle in your child's lunch box. If you're stuck in an air conditioned office for 8 hours or more, you need this to hydrate your body and your skin. If you work on the field, then I definitely recommend you always have one bottle handy. 

This isn't a paid advertisement. I just happen to believe in this product. I mentioned that I drink about 4-5 tumblers of water per day in the office. With this, I only drank one bottle plus filled the same bottle again with regular bottle and I was hydrated for the whole day. That's how effective it was for me. I bought a bottle for my mom and she and my sister liked it. The ref is now filled with several bottles. 

And the taste? Very clean, very crisp like water. No weird taste or smell. It's like you're drinking regular water.

One 650 mL bottle is only Php20 at Landmark Supermarket, Php25 at Mini Stop.


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Monday, June 21, 2010

Here's a special dessert for you to whip up for your dad. Mom's, you can serve this to your kids as a prize for getting through the first week of school unscathed. = )


This is very easy to make and the ingredients are readily available in the supermarket. 

You need:

  • Oreo cookie crumbs (take out the white filling) 
  • 3T melted butter
For the filling:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1c fresh milk
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2T sifted cornstarch
  • 1/4t salt
  • 3/4c semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3T butter
  • 1t vanilla
  • whipped cream and more chocolate chips for topping
Let's make the pie crust!
Combine the cookie crumbs with the melted butter. Press firmly onto a glass pie plate. Chill in the freezer for about an hour. That's it!

Now onto the filling:
Combine the egg and milk in a bowl. Mix well. In a small saucepan, mix together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Slowly add milk mixture to the pan, whisking continuously until smooth. 

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, just until it comes to a boil. Add chocolate chips, butter and vanilla. Keep stirring until smooth. Pour onto prepared crust. 

Freeze overnight. When the pie is ready, top with whipped cream and chocolate chips. 

This is one of th easiest and best desserts I've ever made!

Note:
One big log of Oreo would suffice for this recipe. 



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Thursday, June 17, 2010

My absolute favorite pasta is puttanesca or whore's spaghetti. I had the privilege of dining with a very fine lady a few years ago and she told me a story about puttanesca. She said that it's called puttanesca because it was the only spaghetti that puttanas (whores) can afford. So basically in Italy, the ingredients of this pasta are very inexpensive whereas here, they cost an arm an a leg. There are other theories about the origin of puttanesca. You can read them here at Wikipedia.


My puttanesca is always short on ingredients because when I crave for it, there's usually one missing ingredient. This one is no exception. I had no capers when I cooked this.

I used Rachael Ray's recipe for this puttanesca.

You will need:
  • EVOO
  • garlic
  • crushed pepper flakes
  • black pitted, sliced olives
  • anchovies
  • capers
  • canned crushed tomatoes
  • S&P
  • parsley
  • thin spaghetti
  • grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Put some EVOO in a pan. Please make sure that when you cook sour/acidic food, you should use a Teflon, non-stick pan or anything that's not metal/aluminum. It's bad for your health, causes Alzheimer's. Well, that's what they say but doing a quick research suggests that there is no link between aluminum cookware and Alzheimer's. Hmmm.. What should we believe then? My rule of thumb is, it never hurts to be safe/careful. If you have an alternative cookware, by all means use that. But if you don't, you have research to back you up. I use Teflon because I have one and it doesn't hurt if I believe that Alzheimer's thing, right?

So on with the program.

In a pan, add some chopped garlic and anchovy fillets. Break up the anchovy into tiny pieces. Cook until the anchovies dissolve into the oil and the garlic is fragrant. Wonderful smell, I tell you! I didn't want the anchovies to dissolve into the oil so I kinda skipped that part. Add the rest of the ingredients - olives, capers, canned tomatoes and parsley. Season with pepper. Taste first before you put salt as the anchovies are already salty. I had to put sea salt because the canned tomatoes were too sour. Bring to a bubble then simmer on low heat for about 5-8 minutes. Be sure to check every now and then as you might run out of liquid. Toss with cooked thin spaghetti, top with grated Romano or Parmesan and serve with bread to sop up the sauce. Wonderful to have on a romantic dinner for two. 

Notes:
For affordable EVOO and anchovies, I use the Dona Elena brand. The anchovies cost around Php97 a can. For black olives, Figaro is quite affordable too. Just around Php70 for one big bottle. 



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Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This isn't your average tempura bento. This is quite healthier. NO meat in this bento.


So sorry for the inverted pic. Blogger does that sort of thing.

Anyway, this is eggplant tempura which MB and I absolutely loved! It's so easy to prepare too! Just cut up an eggplant(s) diagonally, dredge in flour then dip in beaten egg then roll in some panko and fry! That's it! You can have crunchy on the outside, firm on the inside tempura in just a few minutes. For the tentsuyu, you will need some dashi (I use dashi granules diluted in water), Kikkoman, mirin, sugar and grated ginger or ginger powder if you don't have fresh ginger. I usually take 1/4c dashi, 2T Kikkoman, 2T mirin, 2T sugar and lots of ginger. To be sure, taste as you go along. You might want to add more soy sauce or more sugar. It's really up to you.

For the tofu, just make a soy sauce + vinegar + sugar + chilis + onions sauce. Heat for a minute then pour on top of the tofu. 

The tentsuyu is in the small container. I wish I packed more rice into bento...

Moms, this is a trick that my officemate uses to feed the kids in his house veggies - make them into tempura! Pack the tempura in a bento, add some fruit and chopsticks and you can be sure that your kids will finish their baon.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Some people don't like kangkong (water spinach) stalks whereas some don't even know that this part is edible. Some dishes don't include the stalks but I don't like throwing this away so I added the stalks to this classic tofu side dish.


This is not adobong kangkong with tofu. The main ingredient is the tofu. Make a sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, onions and chilis.Mix well. Heat for a few minutes then add the stalks. Add the cooked tofu then your done! Very affordable and very tasty!
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Friday, June 11, 2010

This is my first time to use Balsamic Vinegar. The price always turned me off but now I see that this is a very good investment. Yesterday, I showed you a baon idea for kids. But what about the big kids in high school? I've got something for them as well.

Oh, the sauce!

Yum factor? Off the roof! If you love adobo or bistek, you'll love this. It's also very easy to prepare so it's mom friendly. 

What to buy:
  • chicken
  • onions
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt
  • soy sauce
Brown the chicken in oil. Add equal parts balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Add a teaspoon of soy sauce. Taste. If you already like the taste, skip the sea salt. I sprinkled a few bits of sea salt to add more flavor. Add the onions. Cook on low heat until the onions are transparent. As you can see in the picture, I was in a hurry to eat so there were still some onions that are white. Teehee.

To assemble, pack on top of rice (as rice toppings). The rice will absorb the sauce which your kids will surely enjoy come lunch time. Pack separately if your kids don't like their rice wet. 


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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Schools coming! And you know what that means, right moms? You need a list of baon food! Here's a recipe that will surely get two thumbs up from your kids. You can pack this as is with some fruit and vegetable sticks with dip or a salad or you can also serve this with rice, some juice and fruit for dessert.


Just look how colorful and fun that is! Your kids definitely won't be able to resist this baon.

What to buy:

  • lean ground beef
  • onion powder
  • ginger powder
  • S&P
In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well with your hands. Form into balls. Remember that the beef will still shrink while frying so be sure to make the meatballs bigger than the actual desired size. Fry in hot oil then drain on paper towels. 

I used my fun veggie mini forks instead of a bbq stick. I recommend you do the same also as these are safer. They're plastic and the edges are rounded whereas a barbecue stick can be quite dangerous especially for very young children. 

Send me some love if your kids liked this!
For the sauce, I just used regular bottled sweet and sour sauce. Put in a separate spill proof container so that the meatballs won't get soggy come lunch time. 
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010


If you love creamy pasta, this one's for you. I'm not a fan of creamy pastas but just looking at the picture and remembering the taste makes my tummy grumble.

I can't remember the brand that I used for the pasta. The packaging has red and white stripes, the whites are thinner and got it at The Landmark super. This type of pasta gets soggy fast so you need to be vigilant when cooking.

You need:
  • garlic (I love garlic so I used a lot)
  • EVOO
  • onions
  • boiled chicken breast fillet, cubed or shredded
  • 1 small can button mushrooms
  • sliced tomatoes
  • 3T all purpose flour (APF)
  • 2/3c milk
  • 2/3c chicken stock 
  • S&P
  • grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Saute tomatoes in EVOO until limp. Add garlic and onions. Or, if you want your tomatoes firm, saute the garlic and onions first then add the tomatoes. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Add the mushrooms. Sprinkle the flour and mix fast, and mix well. Let this cook for about a minute or two. Remove from heat then add the milk and chicken stock. Season with S&P. Be sure to mix. Add some cheese and toss with the pasta. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and top with more cheese. Bake for 10 minutes and serve immediately.

Serve this with some sliced baguette and an ice cold drink and you have a very satisfying and filling dinner. 


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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You already know about my love affair with seafood particularly shrimps. So I guess you won't be surprised if I wax poetic about this dish:


The flavor was amazing! Grilling the shrimp resulted in a firm meat outside and soft, juicy meat inside. These are just a few pieces of shrimps but we ate a lot of rice with these. It was really good. If you're hosting a dinner and would like to impress your guests, I recommend this dish. It's very easy to make and you get a head start. 

For the marinade, you will need some shallots, fresh ,lemongrass (pounded and chopped), some garlic, 1/2c of coconut milk. I used the Thai canned coco milk because I was too lazy to use fresh. 2T brown sugar, 2T dark soy sauce, 1T fish sauce, 1/2t turmeric powder. Combine the solid ingredients in a food processor then blend. Add the liquid ingredients and blend until smooth.

Marinate the clean, deveined shrimps overnight. I grilled this using a stove top grill. Make sure that you brush the shrimps with the marinade every so often to ensure that the flavors are packed in. I absolutely heart this dish!
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Monday, June 7, 2010


This is my somewhat futile attempt at Kamameshi Rice. What went wrong? First, I didn't have long grain rice. This is premium rice. Second, I really suck at cooking in a rice cooker except for that wonderful Hainanese Chicken Rice that I made one Christmas back when I was a teenager. 

This is quite easy so I don't think you can botch it like I did. You will need:
  • 2c long grain rice
  • 1/3c Kikkoman
  • 2T sake
  • 2T oil
  • 1T sugar
  • 1/4t pepper
  • 1 small sachet Maggi Magic Sarap
  • chicken breast fillet, cubed
  • shiitake mushrooms, sliced into desired size
  • 2c water
  • 1T  dashi
  • 4T butter
  • shrimps, deveined
  • diced carrots
  • sliced beans
  • spring onions
  • 1/2c water
Combine first 12 ingredients in a rice cooker. Mix well and cook until done. If you think the rice is too dry, add water little by little, about half a cup will do. I had to add more than one cup. Add the remaining ingredients and cover once again to let the veggies and shrimps cook. 

My version was okay. Not slam dunk great but just plain okay. MB ate a lot. I didn't like it that much. I was still looking for that authentic Kamameshi taste. Another thing is that some parts were crispy and the other parts were still a tad hard while some parts were perfectly cooked. Hmmm... Must be the rice cooker. 

I got this recipe from Yummy mag so do tell me how it works out for you. I give this a 3 out of 5 stars because it was still edible and surprisingly flavorful.
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Friday, June 4, 2010

Sorry for being absent. I was sick. The climate is changing and you know how it is with my body when it's cold. Anyway, here's another summer dessert 'pahabol' . We had this dessert after lunch on election day.

Election Colors?

This is very easy to make. Just scoop out some watermelon and melons into balls, add nata de coco and sprinkle with some freshly squeezed calamansi juice and mix gently. Chill before serving. I used my kawaii  dessert fork from Saizen.

If you're going to do this, make sure that you drain all liquids from the fruits and the nata especially. Also, just make enough for one meal. I made the mistake of making a big batch of salad. The next day, it was all spoiled already. I don't know if it's because of the nata and calamansi juice but just don't make the same mistake. This is a wonderful summer dessert or snack which you can enjoy anytime of the day. This sure was a heat buster.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If you love bacon, you will definitely like this pasta dish.


You will need some honey-cured bacon strips (as many as you want!). Chop it up into tiny pieces. EVOO, some chopped onions, garlic and some grated carrots. You will also need a can of crushed tomatoes, dried thyme, chili flakes and some S&P to season. 

Let's start cooking!

Heat some oil in a pan and fry bacon pieces until your desired doneness. Set aside. You can leave the bacon fat or you can chuck it. I chucked most of it. I only retained just enough fat to coat the pan. Add some EVOO and saute the onions and garlic until fragrant. Add the shredded carrots. (This is one sneaky way to make the kids eat veggies). Cook for about a minute or two. Add the tomatoes. You can season with a little sugar if the tomatoes are too sour. Just be sure to taste every now and then. You want the perfect balance of sweet (bacon), salty, sour and spicy. Bring to a boil then simmer until the tomatoes get very limp. Just boil if you want a chunky sauce. Add the bacon, thyme and chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper.

I used thin spaghetti for this dish. Words cannot describe how wonderful this dish was. MB and I almost finished everything! We stopped only because dessert was also great which I will share with you in a bit. 

You can serve this to kids as long as you omit the chili flakes and make the sauce a bit sweeter. Try this, you won't regret it!
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Remember my honey-orange chicken? Well, I put that to very good use. Lookie:


I just spread some mayo on some panini then put some lettuce and top with sliced/shredded honey-orange chicken. This is the perfect summer lunch bento:



honey-orange chicken panini, homemade salsa and nachos

This bento is super easy because you only need to use the leftovers from the honey-orange chicken and the nacho salad. No more cooking involved! So economical, easy and yummy!

What's your perfect summer baon?
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