Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ika Fry

I have been sluggish the past few days due to a sore throat.  Been moving so slowly that I don't have enough time to take pictures of the dishes I made.   After I am done cooking it's already time to have dinner.

For the past two nights we have had Japanese dishes.  Last night it was Ika Fry (fried squid with panko breadcrumbs), the night before it was Tonkatsu.  Both dishes were a hit with the whole family.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pancakes with Chopped Apples

This is my second attempt at making pancakes.  The pancakes turned out much better than my first attempt. Though still not perfectly light and fluffy, at least I am improving in my pancake making skills.

I was inspired by a recipe I found in the October 2010 issue of Yummy magazine.  The pancakes looked so incredibly yummy with the chopped apples and syrup, I had to try making it myself.  Though not as pretty as the pancakes in the magazine, it was still delicious.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Champorado is truly a favorite Pinoy breakfast.  When I was a child, waking up to Lola's champorado was the greatest thing for me.  I would be so happy to see that she prepared this warm chocolate soupy treat.  To make it even more special she would make milk swirls on top, to me back then that looked so delightful and fun.

It is best to serve this breakfast treat with dried or smoked fish.  The family's choice is tuyo, for me I prefer mine with dried squid.  If you think of it the cocoa, rice, milk and salty fish or squid should not work together.  But somehow the combination of the semi-bitter, sweet and salty works so wonderfully together.  Indeed a great way to start the day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pork Tapa and Coleslaw

We are a family of pork eaters.  In a week we probably have a pork dish at least twice.  I am trying to serve a vegetable dish whenever we have pork, hoping to encourage the little ones to eat more vegetables.

For dinner last night I made coleslaw to accompany the crispy pork tapa.  It was a challenge to convince the kids to try the coleslaw.  They tasted it but they found it to be sour, so next time I'll probably add more sugar, hopefully that will be to their liking.

This coleslaw is super simple to make.  You just need to shred some cabbage and carrots and place these in a bowl. It is best to use a mandoline to shred the vegetables. Add a tablespoon of mayonnaise, season with salt, and pepper.  Add sugar if you like it sweet.  Then toss everything together.  Then place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chili Garlic Squid

The little ones, especially the little girl, loves to eat squid.  So for dinner I made chili garlic squid.  I only use one piece of chili so that it won't be too spicy for the kids.   I can say this is one of my signature dishes.   When all of the squid has been consumed we like to use our fingers to pick up the left-over fried garlic pieces and pop these in our mouths.  Yummy to the last garlic bit.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My First Time To Make Pancakes

The "little girl" asked if we could make pancakes.  I said yes but warned her it would be my first time to make these so I hope she does not expect them to look and taste like the ones from Pancake House or McDonald's.

The first two pancakes did not turn out too good.  I made the batter too thick, and the pan was too hot so the edges were burned.
After adding water to the batter and lowering the heat, the rest of the pancakes turned okay but not as I had hoped they would look.   I had wanted to make perfectly round fluffy pancakes, just like in the restaurants.
The best piece I gave to the "little girl".
Though the pancakes did not turn out like what I had wanted, the little girl had encouraging words "It's yummy Tita, please make pancakes again next week." 

So next week I will try again, does anyone have any tips on how I can achieve making the perfect pancake?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tortilla Chips

The "old man" had the munchies the other night.  He was craving chicken and pizza, it was already 9:30 PM and the only place open was Yellow Cab.  I have never been a fan of their food, except for their tortilla chips.

So while the family had their hot wings and pizza, I enjoyed my bag of chips with salsa.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cheese Sticks

I made cheese sticks for the little girl's and little boy's merienda.

Cheese Sticks were my comfort food in college.  After an exam I would head straight to the cafeteria for my cheese sticks fix .  Taking the first bite was always the best, hearing that crunch, then you get to taste the gooey hot cheese inside the crispy wonton wrappers dipped in ketchup.  This was the perfect reward for all that studying.  

After college my love for cheese sticks waned, I have not had them for years.  But now I am happy to introduce this old favorite to the little ones.  Based on the empty plates and the satisfied smiles it seems the littles ones are glad to have met this tasty snack.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chicken Teriyaki

The “little girl” is determined to learn how to use chopsticks.  So for the past two days she has been practicing.  Last night’s dinner was Chicken Teriyaki, though at first she had a hard time picking up the chicken pieces with her sticks, eventually she got the hang of it and based on my count ate about 10 pieces. 

It makes me truly happy that she has a huge appetite these days.  There was a time when she barely ate anything except for chips and other junk food.  Nowadays at the end of dinner she would turn to me and ask “Tita Eileen, what are you going to cook tomorrow?”  That’s enough encouragement for me to continue to learn new dishes and improve on the old ones.  

But I have to be honest, yesterday I was not feeling so well.  For weeks now I have a cough that just won’t go away.  So I cheated.  I did not slice the chicken fillets as thin as I should have, and instead of making the teriyaki marinade from scratch I used a bottled version from the grocery store.  The dish tasted fine, though with the bottled marinade the chicken pieces turned darker than usual. 

By using the bottled marinade this dish is super easy to make.  Just marinate the chicken fillets for at least 1 hour.  Then either pan-fry or grill the chicken until both sides are brown.  To make the teriyaki glaze just mix together in a pan the remaining marinade, some soy sauce and sugar.  Heat until the mixture is reduced.  Then pour over the cooked chicken fillets, or if you don't want it as a glaze, transfer the mixture to a small bowl and use as a dipping sauce.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Adobo Flakes

Adodo is considered by many as the Philippine's national dish.  Every Filipino home most likely has their version of adobo. 

I probably have been eating adobo since I was 2 years old.  I can still recall whenever Lola cooked adobo you could smell the delicious scent of pork being cooked in garlic, soy sauce and vinegar.  That scent would prompt me to go to the kitchen and anxiously wait for Lola to finish cooking.  When the adobo was done, she would transfer it to a serving plate, and then would get day old rice and stir-fry the rice in the pan where the adobo had been cooked.  I would eat every morsel of that adobo rice together with several pieces of the delicious pork adobo.   

I never got her recipe for adobo, she passed away before I could ask her for it.  My mom’s version is good but Lola’s will always be the best for me.  Miss you Lola.

Now on to the recipe, these days the “little girl” prefers adobo flakes, probably because she lost 2 of her front milk teeth and a molar recently.  It would be easier for her to chew the flakes than the cubed adobo pieces.

To make this dish you need to shred by hand cooked adobo into flakes.  It really depends on your preference how thin the flakes should be. We like ours to be somewhat still thick.   In a pan heat up some oil, then fry some crushed garlic.  I like to leave the skin on the garlic.  Then add the shredded adobo with its sauce.   You can add a pinch of rock salt if you like.  Fry until crispy but make sure it does not burn.  Serve this with rice and tomato plus fried egg.

You can also use this dish as toppings for lugaw, for this purpose it is best that you shred the adobo super thin.  This will make the flakes super crispy when you fry them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuna and Roasted Bell Pepper Spaghetti

I cook pasta at least twice a month, mainly due to the following reasons:
             1.  It is super easy to make.
             2.  It is very filling and satisfying.
             3.  And most importantly the "little girl" loves to eat pasta.

A few years back I remember making this dish every week for a month.  But since then I have not cooked it until today. 

You will need the following:
1 red bell pepper
1 can of tuna
spaghetti noodles
minced garlic
chopped parsley
parmesan cheese

1.  Roast bell pepper over flame until all sides are black.  Then place roasted bell pepper in a bowl with water.  The blackened skin will be easy  to wash off.  When all the skin is gone, remove the seeds and dice the pepper.
2.  In a pan saute garlic in olive oil, when the garlic is fragrant add the diced bell pepper, afterwards add the tuna.
3.  When the tuna is cooked add the cooked spaghetti noodles, stir to coat noodles with the sauce.  Then add the parsley, afterwards transfer to a serving plate and top with parmesan cheese.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chicken Salpicao

I don't eat beef.  So whenever the family eats out and orders salipicao I don't have any.  But I do love the butter-garlicky smell of the dish.   When I found a recipe for salpicao that uses chicken instead of beef I had to try it out. 

Love how it turned out, the butter-garlic sauce is superb, while the marinade lends to the dish a salty-spiciness.  Will definitely be making this dish again.

You will need the following:
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 kilo chicken menudo cut
2 tablespoon hot sauce
3 tablespoon liquid seasoning
3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/3 cup minced garlic
1 piece finger pepper (sili pangsigang) slice diagonally
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional) for garnish

Marinate chicken in hot sauce, liquid seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and pepper for at least 5 minutes.  Melt butter in a pan with oil, and saute garlic until fragrant.  Then drain chicken from marinade. (don't throw away the marinade).  Now add the chicken to the garlic, saute over high heat until the chicken turns brown.  Add the marinade to the pan.  Simmer for a minute.  Continue cooking until sauce reduces.  Remove from the heat and add finger pepper, mix well.  Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Yesterday at the market the "old man's" suki had live suahe.  Even though it was pricey we could not resist buying.  The suahe was so fresh that when we got home a couple were still jumping, much to the "little boy's" amazement.

With them being so fresh no dipping sauce was needed, the meat was so sweet and delicious on it's own. A simple satisfying dish.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baked Tahong

If you are like me who lives with individuals whose palettes are dissimilar to each other you need to learn to tweak your recipes to suit everyone’s taste buds.

Today I made baked tahong two ways.  The “old man” believes that cheese should only be eaten with bread and maybe with pasta, while the “little ones” love to eat anything topped with melted cheese. 

This is how the "little ones" like their's.

This is the way the "old man" prefers his baked tahong.

You will need the following:

1 kilo tahong (mussels)
½ cup softened butter
8 cloves of minced garlic
1 cup grated quickmelt cheese

1.      Boil a pot of water then add the tahong, cook until the shells open.  Then drain and let it cool.
2.      When the tahong has cooled down remove the other half of the shell and arrange on a dish.

With cheese version
1.      Combine the softened butter with the minced garlic.  Then place on top of each tahong about a teaspoon of the garlic-butter mixture. Top with cheese.
2.      Place the tahong in an oven or toaster and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Without cheese version
  1. Melt the butter in a pan then add the garlic.  Cook until fragrant, make sure you don’t burn the garlic.  The garlic should still be soft.
  2. Put a teaspoon of the melted butter-garlic mixture on top of each tahong.  Then place in the oven or toaster for about 15 to 20 minutes.

If you don’t have an oven or a toaster you can use the microwave.  Just place the setting on high and cook for 5 minutes.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Crispy Squid Heads

Don't discard the squid heads you can use these.

Growing up I remember that my Lola used to throw away the heads because she felt it was unusable.  About 2 years ago I decided to try cooking the squid heads.  The dish has become a favorite of the "little ones" because it is super crispy.  I've been trying to perfect this recipe for about 2 years.  It turns out crispy however the squid tentacles tend to clump up when fried.  I am still trying to find a way to keep the tentacles separate once I have discovered the secret to accomplishing this I promise to post the recipe.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thai Cucumber Salad

This is a great accompaniment to grilled fish and pork dishes, and it is extremely easy to make.  I have several recipes for this dish, I tweak each recipe to suite our taste buds.  I am posting the original recipe I found you can adjust it according to your liking.

You need the following:

1 cucumber (you can peel it if you want, I like to keep the skin on because the nutrients are there)
1 small white onion or shallots
2 spring onions finely sliced
1 red chili (siling labuyo)
1/2 cup of coriander (I don't like coriander, but if you do then add it)
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

2 tablespoon fish sauce
juice of 1/2 lime or juice 2 pieces calamansi
1-2 clove of minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon of shrimp paste
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar

Cut the cucumber lengthwise then repeat with each half until you have a number of long strips.  Now slice the other way to create bite-sized rectangular chucks.    Place in a bowl.  Add the onion, green onion, chili and coriander. 

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in another bowl, stir until the shrimp paste is dissolved.  Taste the dressing for salt-sweet-sour balance.  Pour dressing over the salad, toss well then transfer to a serving plate. Top with chopped peanuts.

If you would like to serve the salad as a main course just add about a cup of cooked shrimps.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mom's Liguria

Mom can't exactly remember which restaurant she had this dish, but she loved it so much that one day she decided to try to replicate it at home. Since that day this has been one of her signature dishes, everyone she serves this dish to will always ask for another serving.

It is super easy to make you just need garlic, onion, olive oil, shrimps, dried basil and pasta.  Sautee the garlic and onion in olive oil, when fragrant add the shrimps.  When the shrimps are cooked add the dried basil.  Afterwards add the cooked pasta.  Transfer to a serving plate and top with cheese if you like.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cream of Corn Cheese Soup

There are days when all you want and need to make the day right is warm soup.  That's what I was craving for today.  I found a recipe for cream of corn cheese soup in Yummy magazine. This is what's for dinner tonight.

A very good friend of mine suggested that I should share the recipe of the dishes I post.  So here is the recipe for this yummy and tummy filling soup.


1 cup corn kernels, drained
1 cup cream of corn
2 cups chicken stock or water
2 tablespoon cheese pimiento
1 cup cream

1.  Place corn kernels and cream of corn in a saucepan.  Pour in stock and bring to a boil over high heat, and let simmer.
2.  Stir in the cheese pimiento until dissolved.
3.  In a bowl, temper the cream by adding some of the hot liquid from the soup into it.  Take this warmed mixture and stir into the soup.  Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
4.  Serve in individual cups and garnish with spring onions and nachos if you like.

My Favorite Breakfast

Several pieces of Spam, fried eggs, sliced tomato and sinangag that is the perfect breakfast for me.  In every bite I take I make sure I have a bit of spam, egg, tomato and rice.  The best meal to start the day with.

This post is dedicated to my friend Mikhail.  Hope this makes you happy :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Garlic Cream Sauce Pasta

The "little girl" these days has a fondness for eating pasta with white sauce.  So for her merienda today I made spaghetti with garlic cream sauce and shrimps.  It was the first time I made this dish for her.  Did she like it?   Looks like she did because she had 3 servings.

Lechon Kawali

Yesterday's dinner was lechon kawali.  This dish is always a hit with the family.  Our secret to making the skin crispy without drying out the meat, is to slowly drizzle hot oil onto the skin using use a fish turner spatula.  This makes the skin extra crispy while the meat remains tender.

Of course we can't forget the sawsawan.  Usually vinegar with garlic is partnered with this dish.  But for those like me who don't like vinegar, my dipping sauce is spicy soy sauce.  I chop up an onion and 1 siling labuyo, pour about a tablespoon of soy sauce, add  some water,  then put in about a teaspoon sugar.  Just mix everything together to have a delicious dipping sauce.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pansit Canton

For merienda we ordered pansit canton from a nearby eatery.  I like my pansit canton with very little sahog.  I don't like my noodles to be overwhelmed by a heap of toppings.  I like it to be simple.  I prefer that the flavor comes from the stock the noodles are cooked in. So I usually pick off  the sahog I don’t like (the pork pieces, the liver, and any other undesirable ingredients), leaving me with the vegetables and seafood.   Before eating I drizzle the noodles with kalamansi juice to add a tangy zing J

Saturday Lunch

Saturday is market day.   So for today's lunch several seafood dishes are on the table.  I did not do much cooking today but I will do a lot of good eating.
I only did one dish, the rest are Mom's. 

Crispy Kangkong is what I made today.   Both the "little  girl" and "little boy" are at the age where they love to eat crispy food.  The "little ones" finished the whole dish even before we could sit down to eat lunch.  

Halaan Soup is a Saturday lunch staple.  Mom has perfected this dish over the years.  It is best served steaming hot.   Eat the soup first then when it has cooled down a bit use your hands to get the clam meat from the shell.

Talangka is another family favorite.  Though I find it hard to get the meat out when Mom serves this halabos style.  I like it better if the taba has already been extracted and then sauteed with lots of garlic, super yummy.

Among all the dishes today Ginataang Hipon is my all time favorite.  I remember when I was young whenever Lola made this I would be the first one to sit at the table and the last one to leave.  Best partnered with several servings of steamed rice.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fried Garlic and Pepper Squid

The Little Girl requested for another squid dish for dinner.  She loves to eat squid. 

So for dinner tonight I made a Thai squid dish called Thod Grathiam Prig Thai Meuk, English translation - Fried Garlic and Pepper Squid.  I found the recipe in a magazine a couple of years ago. I probably made this dish twice before but never for the "little girl".  While I was cooking she came up to me and asked to have a taste.  She loves it.  It makes me very happy when she likes the meals I make for her.

This is a tasty dish because the squid is marinated in garlic, fish sauce and chicken powder.  You can serve it without a dipping sauce but I like to serve it with sweet chili sauce.

Here is the recipe:

100 grams squid
50 grams minced garlic
15 ml fish sauce (preferably Thai because it tastes less salty)
15 ml soy sauce
15 grams sugar
60 grams all purpose flour
1 cube chicken powder
dash of ground pepper

Cut the squids into halves to thin paper-form and then slice into one inch strips.  Mix all the ingredients to coat the squid.  Dee-fry until golden brown.  Serve with sweet and sour sauce or sweet-chili sauce. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Squid Sambal

I felt like cooking a Malaysian dish.  I found a recipe for Sambal Tumis Sotong, translation in English is Squid Sambal.  It is stir-fried squid with garlic, shallots, sambal, chillies and tamarind juice.  This dish is a combination of salty, sweet and spicy - flavors my taste buds love :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bagoong Fried Rice

The first challenge has been completed.  It was a hit with the family. I did not have a recipe for this dish.  I tried to remember what was in all the bagoong fried rice I had in restaurants.  My version is no match  to that of the Flavors and Species version, but for a new home cook I must say it turned out pretty good.

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