Friday, July 31, 2015



After many years of cooking, I discovered that I have "scheduled seasonal tastes". During summer months, I like to cook continental/American dishes. After that, it's Chinese for me and then Japanese. After that, it's a full on Asian onslaught. Before the year ends, it's a smorgasbord of different dishes. We are now in the Chinese stage so I will be featuring Chinese inspired dishes. Here's one of them.

You need:

beef ( I used small cuts so they would be tender)
oil
cornstarch
spring onions
tofu
green capsicum
red capsicum (I was out so I didn't use any)
Chinese cooking wine
hoisin sauce
sesame oil
dark soy
light soy
ginger

Let's do this!

Cut the tofu and fry them in oil. Set aside.

Fry the beef in the same pan and set aside. 

Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the ginger. Wait for it to brown a little. 

Add the spring onions and peppers. Stir fry and add the beef. Add the tofu.

Mix the cornstarch, cooking wine, hoisin, sesame oil, dark soy and light soy in a bowl. Add to the pan. Mix well and serve with rice. 
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Thursday, July 30, 2015


I got this recipe from the show Pioneer Woman. I love that show and I love Ree's recipes. I wish I could have a kitchen like hers. My kitchen is super tiny, there's hardly room to go around and do stuff. Anyway, I digress. Let's talk about these cheese toasts. 


As usual, I deviated from the original recipe. Here's my version.

You need:

bread ( I used baguette)
2 kinds of cheese (I used sharp cheddar and a melting cheese)
mayonnaise
grated Parmesan cheese
softened butter
pepper
Spring onions


Let's do this!

In a bowl, combine the grated cheeses, mayonnaise, Parmesan, pepper and softened butter. 

Spread on your toasts and pop in the oven until cheese melts. Top with chopped spring onions. 




We ate this for breakfast and as usual, our favorite fruit platter made an appearance. 




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Monday, July 27, 2015


Maya-Maya is such an expensive fish but I really like it. I was feeling extra special one night and though I'd make a fancy dinner for the three of us. If you order this dish outside, it would cost a lot. I got the fish for around 200 pesos. I think, overall, this dish costs around 350 pesos only and it fed 3. This was the first time that I've cooked with it. After so many years, I realized that I only like fish when it's fried. So, that's what I did with this one. 


I fried it and topped it with sweet and sour sauce. 




You need:

big fish of your choice
carrots
onions
garlic
green bell pepper
red bell pepper
ginger
rice vinegar
brown sugar
spring onions
salt and pepper
soy sauce
cornstarch 
water

Let's do this!


Season the fish with salt and pepper and fry. Some people like dredging it in flour first to reduce splatters. Set aside.

In a pan, saute the chopped garlic, onions and ginger. Add the bell peppers. Then the carrots. Wait for the veggies to cook. Add about a tablespoon of water, some rice vinegar and soy sauce. Add the sugar and mix them all together. Adjust seasonings as needed. In a cup, make a cornstarch and water slurry and add to the sauce to thicken. Top the fish with this vegetable and sauce mixture and sprinkle some chopped onions. 




I served this with our favorite fried eggplants and fruit platter. Enjoy!



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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I had some leftover half a can of chickpeas so I decided to make this:


These are crunchy chickpeas. It still needs a lot of tweaking but I will give you the recipe nonetheless. 

You need

chickpeas (I used canned)
butter
oil
garlic powder
salt and pepper

Let's do this!

Heat the butter and oil in a pan. Season the chickpeas with garlic powder. Add the chickpeas. Fry until toasted. I was so worried that I would burn the chickpeas that I took them out too early. Some were crunchy, some were not. This is still all trial and error for me so if you decide to make this dish, please be very observant. 

Season the chickpeas with salt and pepper. 

I served them with some tuna sandwiches. My son loved the chickpeas. He practically ate everything in the bowl. 



As for the leftover tuna spread, I served them again the next day with some chicken noodles. Yeah, I wasn't feeling well so this would have to do. 


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I suck at making dishes that require patience and several steps. Chopsuey may be a no-brainer dish for many but I avoid making it because I always end up with some problems such as - overcooked veggies, lack of flavor and so on.

However, one day, I was craving for chopsuey so I decided to be patient with this recipe and do several steps in order to have perfectly cooked veggies. If you want to try making it, here's the recipe.

You need:

shrimps
juice of shrimp heads
garlic
onions
red bell pepper
green bell pepper
cauliflower 
snow peas
cabbage
carrots
water
cornstarch
oyster sauce
salt and pepper

You can also add chicken but I cooked fried chicken with this so I omitted it. 

Let's do this!

In a pan, saute some garlic and onions in a little bit of oil. Add the peppers. Add the chicken if using. Pour the shrimp juice. I do this by putting a little bit of water in the pan and adding the shrimp heads. When they turn pink, I mash the heads using the spoon, ladle or turner that I'm using. I don't like pounding the heads in a mortar and pestle. I then remove the heads. 

Add the shrimps. When they are cooked, remove from the pan. Add the oyster sauce. Put the carrots and cauliflower. Let cook for 2 minutes. Add the snow peas and cabbage. Lower the heat and cover the pan/pot to let the vegetables cook. Add the shrimps. Season with salt and pepper. Dilute some cornstarch in water and add to the pot.  

Serve with rice. Great accompaniments to this dish are fried meats and seafood. 
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015



If I had my way, I will not eat breakfast, only brunch. I really don't like preparing breakfast. Mainly because I don't like slaving away in the kitchen so early in the morning. Weekdays are hectic in my house. I need to get up before everybody else to get things done and that includes breakfast before my son wakes up. So, I come up with these simple breakfast ideas for both my son and I.

These are easy French toasts.

You need:


eggs
milk
butter
bread
honey

Let's do this!


In a bowl, combine one egg and some milk. I don't measure. I just eyeball everything. In a pan, melt some butter. Make sure that the butter is evenly distributed. Dip the bread (I used white bread, crusts removed) in the milk and egg mixture and fry on the pan with butter. Wait until one side browns and then flip. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with honey. I also served some dried prunes with this breakfast. 
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I like salt and pepper dishes because they are simple to prepare yet taste phenomenal. I tried it with some pork menudo cut and I ended up with this:





By the way, menudo is a local dish that uses small cuts of pork.

You need:

small cuts of pork
Chinese cooking wine
salt 
sesame oil
flour
cornstarch
pepper
water
green chilies 
garlic

Let's do this!

First, let's prepare the marinade. In a bowl, combine the Chinese cooking wine, salt and sesame oil. Marinate the pork for at least 15 minutes. 

Prepare the coating in another bowl. Combine flour, cornstarch and about a tablespoon or two of water until you get a slurry. Coat the pork with this mixture. Fry in oil. Set aside.

In another pan, add some oil and cook the garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the cut chilies and pork. Mix well. Transfer to a bowl and add some more salt and pepper. 

I did some digging in the fridge and found a lonely eggplant so I fried it too:




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Monday, July 13, 2015

Does that sound weird? It actually sounds delicious to me. This was an experiment..and a successful one at that! A few weeks ago, I was craving for delicious Malaysian food. I wanted to make some Malaysian fried chicken but I did not have the ingredients so I ended up with this.




I didn't complain as it was delicious!

You need

Chicken wings
turmeric powder
curry powder
salt 
garlic
light soy sauce
ginger powder
chili powder

Let's do this!

Mix all the ingredients and marinate the chicken wings overnight. Fry in oil and serve. 


I served it with some coconut milk rice. I was really surprised because my son loved this dish. He is not a big fan of chicken curry (I blame you Ahne!) but he really, really liked this. He ate a lot. He also loved the rice. 

I didn't cook all the wings at once. I left some in the fridge. These marinated for 2 days and the flavor was out of this world. 




The color is better too, don't you think?



I served them with some of these fried eggplants which are a favorite in our house. I think I cook this weekly.

 Let me know how you find these chicken wings in the comments below!

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fried rice always make an appearance in my house because it is a great way to utilize leftovers. Just throw them together and you have a meal. However, there are instances when I make fried rice from scratch:




The only leftover ingredient in this dish is the cold rice which is perfect for fried rice.

You will need:

cold rice
eggs
bacon
chopped onions
sugar 
soy sauce
dark soy sauce
salt and pepper
chopped spring onions

Let's do this!

In a pan, cook some scrambled eggs. Set aside. In the same pan, cook the chopped bacon. Set aside. Still using the same pan, add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the cold rice. 

In a bowl, mix the sugar and soy sauces together. Pour this on the cold rice. Taste to see if you need to add salt. Season with pepper. Add the eggs and bacon to the mixture and top with spring onions. Breakfast/lunch/dinner is served. 
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Remember those leftover takeaway chicken wings? I served them with Mac n Cheese and a brownie.



As for the ginataang gulay in the same post, I served it with some leftover KFC chicken and ginisang tuna and sayote. 


You can check out the recipe for this sauteed chayote dish here


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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Actually, this is more of a fruit salad and not like our regular halo-halo. By the way, halo-halo is a Filipino cold dessert.



It uses a mix of fruits. I got this from a show on the Asian Food Channel. As usual, I did not write down the recipe so I ended up recreating this from memory. This is not the exact recipe, by the way, as I like tweaking recipes to suit our tastes. 







It was so good that my glass ended up like this:



The next day, I recreated it and used a bowl instead of the fancy glass.


These are the blurry layers. 



If you're interested to make this, read on. 

You need:


chopped mangoes
chopped avocados
lychees (I used canned)
coconut water
sugar syrup
cubed dragonfruit
cubed seedless watermelon
coconut milk
crushed ice


Let's do this!

Layer the fruit starting with the watermelons then the mangoes, dragonfruit and avocados. Top with the lychees. Pour some coconut water, sugar syrup and coconut milk. Top with crushed ice. Mix them altogether before eating!

This is a refreshing dessert to serve on hot summer nights. My boys enjoyed it a lot. 

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

We Filipinos are big on pasalubong or homecoming gifts whenever we travel. Some of us even make a list to make sure all our loved ones are covered. It is actually a part of our travel budget. My sister recently went to Malaysia with some of our family and she got me a ton of things. She shopped a lot. If you want to get some ideas for your own pasalubong, check out my posts:

Coming Home Gift Ideas

Coming Home Gifts



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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Like most families, groceries are our biggest expense. It wasn't such a big concern when it was just my husband and I. When I got pregnant, that's when the expenses started piling up. I was overwhelmed with the long list of expenses I had to deal with when I gave birth. So, I decided that the grocery budget had to be cut. My solution? Leftovers. Yeah, the L-word. Most people don't like leftovers. I don't like wasting food so my family has learned to embrace it. 

In this post, I give you a few examples of how to make leftovers enjoyable. 




Remember this saucy kangkong in oyster sauce dish? I served it again but this time with a fried daing na bangus above. 



For dessert, I served some of this leftover cake from Banapple which my son demolished. 



After this meal, we had some leftover bangus so I served it with some leftover chicken wings from Wing Stop:





And this newly cooked ginataan dish:



And some leftover chami.





It looks like a feast but in reality, we are just eating leftovers. My rule before was that I only serve leftovers once then I give the excess to our cats. That's because my husband doesn't like leftovers. Now, it's different. I serve them until we consume everything. This has tremendously helped our budget. I normally just buy ingredients for 4-5 dishes and they last us a week. My husband can't complain because I serve other dishes with the leftovers. That's my first tip.

Tip number 2

Try to coordinate your daily menu. For example, if I cook ginataang gulay on Monday, I will write down daing na bangus for Tuesday so that the meals complement each other. This way, your palate does not get tired of the same thing. 

Tip number 3

Variety. Add variety to your dishes. As seen above, I served some takeaway with the leftovers. My son loves variety in his meals. I don't want to disappoint but I also don't want to go overboard with our food budget. 


Tip number 4

Regardless of how much leftovers we have, I cook one dish every day. There comes a time when we get bored of the same dish so sometimes I put the leftovers on hold and serve a new dish for the day. Come tomorrow, expect the leftovers to make an appearance again. 

My techniques is saving us a lot of money and has also cut my kitchen time. I've been dreading cooking for the past few weeks as I am in a cooking rut and this techniques has been a life saver. I don't need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen anymore. 

So, now you know why I serve leftovers, let's get on with today's recipe - ginataang gulay.

You will need

Vegetables of your choice but I used squash and snake beans because yes, they were leftovers from a previous recipe
shrimps or pork, totally up to you
coconut milk (I used the canned variety)
garlic
onions
bagoong (shrimp paste)
salt and pepper

Let's do this!

Saute the chopped garlic and onions in some oil. Add shrimps. Wait for them to cook and set them aside. Add the bagoong. Mix it with the garlic and onions. Pour the coconut milk. Add the squash. Wait for the mixture to boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Add the snake beans and shrimps. Season with salt and pepper. Wait for the vegetables to cook and serve with rice. 

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Saturday mornings are spent indulging in good food our house. I usually prepare a feast or something special for my family. Here is one of those mornings.


Some cut up hotdogs and scrambled eggs with tomatoes.



Triangle toasts to go with some butter and the strawberry jam below.




Rice, of course, because my husband is big on rice. 




Some Yakult for the little one and moi. 



And this fruit platter which is becoming a staple in our meals. 




If you want more breakfast inspirations, just search 'breakfast' in my search bar. Hope you enjoyed this post!

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Sunday, July 5, 2015



It wasn't my intention to make the kangkong swim in a ton of sauce. I made the dish too salty that is why I added water.

I was really surprised with this dish. I was craving for some kangkong and thought I'd cooked them this way. My son is becoming picky with his food so I wasn't betting that he would like this. Well, surprise, surprise! He loved it! He ate a lot for lunch. We just ate this with rice and that's it. I think it's the sauce. Anyway, if you'd like to try this, read on.

You need:

a bunch of kangkong
oyster sauce
garlic
1/2 beef cube
water
cornstarch dissolved in water
oil

Let's do this!

This is a bit tricky at first but with practice, you'll perfect it. Brown the garlic bits in oil. Be careful not to burn them as they will become bitter. Remove from pan and set aside. Put the prepared kangkong (stalks chopped and leaves separated) in the same pan. Add some more oil if needed. Add the beef cube.  Cook the kangkong until wilted. Add the oyster sauce and about 1/4 c water. Let this simmer. Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce. Serve with rice. This is an excellent side dish for fried fish, sweet and sour shrimps, lechon kawali and other fried dishes. 


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Saturday, July 4, 2015



I'm not a huge fan of frozen chicken nuggets even when I was a kid. You just don't know what's in them. When Purefoods released their chicken breast nuggets a while back, I was curious but didn't take the plunge. There was a free tasting at the supermarket and my husband tasted some. He said that they tasted like real chicken and not like the other frozen nuggets in the market. I still didn't get any.

A few days after, I saw a pack in the freezer. Mom bought a bag. She said that they tasted alright. So, I asked for a few pieces. Wow, I was impressed! They are really made from chicken breast meat. A pack comes with 9 pieces and a packet of BBQ sauce which was delicious. My son loves this sauce. My son also likes the nuggets. He can eat 4 pieces in one sitting. So, one pack is just enough for the two of us for lunch. It is now a staple in my freezer for lazy weekday lunches.

Now, let's get on with that superb pasta recipe shall we?

This is a shrimp and salmon pasta. You can use penne or in my case, curls, just because my son found them cute.

You need:

cooked pasta of your choice (use short pasta for this dish)
onion
EVOO
butter
shelled shrimp
one can of pink salmon
cream
tomato sauce
salt and pepper
fresh parsley
mozzarella or melting cheese for a more economical version

Let's do this!

Saute the chopped onions in EVOO and butter. Add the salmon. Break it up into smaller pieces. Add the shrimps. Pour the cream and add about 1/4c tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to simmer for two minutes. 

Transfer the cooked pasta into a baking dish. Pour the sauce. Top with cheese and chopped fresh parsley. Pop in the oven (200C/400F) for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with your favorite cold drink and enjoy!

My whole family loves this dish. They can finish one pack of San Remo pasta in one sitting. That's how good it is. 

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Friday, July 3, 2015

This dish is much like sipo eggs. I think sipo eggs is creamier with the added use of cream of mushroom. I just used regular all purpose cream.



I enjoyed this dish when I was a child. I would order it every time in the food court. Their version does not include cream. I thought cream would make it better.

If you want to try this dish, here's what you need:

boiled quail eggs, peeled
frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn)
shrimps
garlic 
onions
all purpose cream
water
salt and pepper
butter
oil 

Let's do this!

In a pan, put some butter and oil. Wait for the butter to melt. Add the garlic and onions. When the onions are cooked, add the mixed vegetables. Wait for them to cook. 

Add the peeled shrimps and eggs. Let the shrimps turn pink.  Pour about 1/4 c water. Boil and then simmer. Pour one Nestle APC. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice and enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I suck at making dishes that require a long time to cook mainly because I don't have the patience for it. But, one day, I was craving for beef stew and I knew I had to suck it up and cook if I wanted to satisfy my craving. The result was the best beef stew I have ever cooked.





It looks really soupy in the photo. That's because my son and husband love soup so I tend to add more water or stock. But trust me, the beef is there.

I have to admit that I did some cheats in this recipe. I chose smaller cuts of beef so that they would cook faster. I also used beef cubes to enhance the flavor of the beef.

So, without further ado, let's cook!

You need:


beef, cut into cubes
carrots
potatoes
celery
Spanish paprika
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon cornstarch diluted in 2 tablespoons water
garlic
onions
beef broth or beef cubes
salt and pepper
oil

Let's do  this!


In a pan, saute the garlic and onions. Add the beef and bay leaves. Season with Spanish paprika. Let the beef brown. 

Pour the broth or in my case, I poured about 3 cups of water and 2 beef cubes. Let the cubes dissolve while the water boils. Reduce to simmer. Wait for the beef to soften. Check every once in a while to see if there's still enough broth/water. 

Add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Wait for the veggies to cook.

Pour the cornstarch mixture. Stir and serve with rice!


This was absolutely delicious! My husband couldn't get enough of it. He brought it for baon for 3 days and at night, he would still ask for it. My son also ate a lot whenever I would serve the leftovers. I will definitely cook this again. And my total cooking time? Less than an hour since I used smaller cuts of beef. 


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