Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thank You Yummy

I got my June 2011 issue of Yummy Magazine yesterday. When I got to the "Your Letters" page I was surprised to see that they published the letter I sent them over a month ago.  I never really expected the letter to be published.  I merely wanted to express my gratitude to the Yummy Team for being such an inspiration to me. 

To the Yummy Team, once again I would like to thank you for being such an inspiration.  You don't know how much this means to me. You continue to make me better :) 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lola Tela's Shrimps with Garlic

The other day Mom was in the mood to cook.  You see my mom is a good mother, however cooking is not one of her favorite mom activities, to her cooking is chore she would rather not do.  She is more of a arts and crafts kind of mom.  She makes beautiful gift wrappings, and whenever there is a kid's occasion to be celebrated she makes beautifully done decorations and give-aways.

So when she is in the mood to cook it usually is a good dish.  Last week she made my Lola Tela's Shrimps with Garlic, a simple yet flavorful dish.  Mom rarely makes this dish, probably she cooks this twice a year. Mom learned this dish from Lola Tela, upon taking my first bite of this dish I could not help but remember Lola.  

She was the aunt of my Dad.  I only met her when I was in my teens, because she lived in Zamboanga. I wish I had met her sooner because she was a great woman.  She always had a zest for life and had a great sense of style coupled with a fantastic sense of humor. I remember her telling me the story of her going to church to pray that she be blessed with children. At this time she had been married for a couple of years and yet they did not have any kids.  Soon after that prayer she became pregnant with her firstborn, soon after that she was pregnant again with her second child, then she was pregnant again with her third.  She was blessed with 6 kids. So after she gave birth to her youngest she went back to the church and thanked God for the blessings, however she also requested that God stop blessing her with babies because she already had 6.  God did hear her prayer, however after several years she was blessed with a 7th child.  I guess God really loved Lola to have blessed her 7 times.  

I loved how she told this story in her distinct voice and perfect English and how animated she was. Sadly she passed away early this year, she was a great lady and she is missed by all she touched.

Love you Lola Tela.

Here is the recipe:
1/2 kilo shrimps, leave the shells on
1/2 a bulb of chopped garlic
salt to taste
cooking oil

Fry the chopped garlic in oil until it is aromatic.  Then add the shrimps, season with some salt.  Cook until the garlic turns brown and the shrimps are fully cooked through. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fun Time at Mommy Diaries

We were at the Mommy Diaries event at the NBC Tent Saturday morning. When we were nearing the NBC Tent the Little Boy said "Yehey nandito naman tayo sa tent".  You see we were at the same venue last week for Yummy Eats. He likes being the Tent because it is big and carpeted, he loves running around inside. 

My sister-in-law and I got free tickets to the event through Groupon, while the kids got to enter for free. Thanks Groupon!

Our first stop was the Praise Party Shop they were giving away free balloons for the kids.  They also had a glitter tattoo section, the Little Girl chose a cute pink cupcake design.  While the Little Boy opted for a green car design, he said he chose that design so that his tat would look like his Lolo’s green Mazda. Praise also offered a mini salon where the girls can have their hair done, and if they liked they could also get make-up for kids.  The Little Ones loved their cute glitter tattoos, and these did not wash off easily it lasted the whole day. The staff was very nice and attentive to the kids.  If you would like more information about Praise Party Shop here is their website – www.praisepartyshop.multiply.com

The Little Girl at the mini salon

The Little Boy getting his tattoo  made

Our second stop was the “Big & Fab Fashion House” a clothing shop for Plus-size women, run by two stylish sisters.  One does the designs and the other is the pretty voluptuous model.  As a plus-size woman I know how hard it is to find nice clothes in a country wherein women are “balingkinitan” (slim).  So whenever I come across a store selling clothes for us Rubenesque type women I have to check it out.  Their clothes are stylish, well-made and the best thing is it is affordable.  I wanted to buy this beautifully beaded blue tunic, unfortunately there was only one left and it was not in my size.  I told the sisters that I would be checking their website often to see what their recent designs and finds are.  If you are also a Big and Fab Gal you should visit their website www.bigandfab.multiply.com.

I loved the pillows at Precious Organic Herbal Pillows booth.  The pillow stuffing is made from natural grains, aromatic herbs and has essential oils.  It really does bring comfort to any aches, especially an aching back which I had from all the walking.   The pillow perfectly fit around my lower back and instantly I could fell the warmth from it.  Their pillows come in different designs and sizes.  Check out their products at http://preciousherbalpillow.multiply.com.

My favorite discovery at the event is Sassy Delights.  We loved their Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie so much that we declared it tasted better than any Mrs. Fields cookie.  Their cookies are huge and super duper delicious.  We bought a couple hoping that we could enjoy them again at home, but they were so good that we finished all the cookies on the drive home.  Wish we had bought more.  The Little Girl also liked their Cookies and Cream Cupcake, while my sister-in-law fell in love with the Red Velvet cupcake.  You can check out their Facebook page or contact 0905-6653-063 for more info.

It was also wonderful to see that Dec Chinese Deli had a booth. Dec was a favorite of ours when I was young.  Our parents used to bring us to Dec Greenhills to buy siomai, hakaw, asado, siopao and other Chinese goodies.  For our lunch I bought a tray of siomai and hakaw.  The hakaw was delicious, each piece had huge succulent fresh shrimps, and the siomai was just as good.  I had wanted to bring some home but the owner told me that since I was going home late evening, their food would not keep that long.  I like it when merchants are honest, that shows me that they value their customers more than the money they will make from the sale. 

There were other wonderful finds at event, plenty of booths selling children’s clothes and shoes, at discounted prices.  There are several booths selling home products and other wares.  And there are free health talks and demos you can attend.  So check out Mommy Diaries today, (May 29th) is their last day. They will be there up to 8:00 PM.  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cheesy Tuna Macaroni

The Little Girl was craving for pasta.  It has been a while since I made a pasta dish for her.  So I checked what we had in the pantry - there was a can of tuna, a pack of elbow macaroni, canned milk and in the fridge we still had a huge block of sharp cheddar cheese that was to expire in a few weeks. Since my choices was limited I ended up making a simple cheesy tuna macaroni.

I was afraid that the the Little Girl would find this dish too simple and not enjoy it. Below is a picture of the serving I gave her, upon taking her first forkful she said "Ah I missed this, so delicious, thanks Tita".  She had the biggest smile ever, it made me so happy to have pleased her that much, my heart was smiling. I guess simple food can indeed be delicious if it is made with love. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


This is the Little Girl's favorite squid dish. She can easily finish 20 pieces of these on her own.

I've tried different ways of cooking calamares - dipped with batter made of water, egg and flour; batter with flour and water without egg; batter made of water, egg and cornstarch; and one with water and cornstarch only.

But the best cooking technique is simply dusting the squid pieces in flour seasoned with some salt and pepper.  After dusting the squid deep-fry these for 30 seconds so that it will have a crispy coating but the squid remains soft, not chewy. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lechon Wraps

Scanning the contents of the fridge I saw that we had some left-over lechon and flour tortilla.  So I thought let's try to be creative by making a lechon wrap. 

I shredded the lechon meat and fried it slightly in the pan.

Then I made a wonderful mango-tomato salsa to go with the lechon.

Warmed the flour tortilla, added some shredded lechon, plus a spoonful of salsa topped with green onions and sour cream.

Folded the tortilla, then took that delicious first bite  =)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Humid Sticky Weather and Sour Grapes

It is cloudy today, and it is extremely humid and sticky.  I pray that if it is going to rain that it does already.  Hopefully that will bring us some relief from this weather.  I had to find a way to cool down, scavenging the fridge I saw that we still had the grapes that the Old Man brought home last week.  It has been sitting in the fridge for a week because they were too sour to eat.  So I took them out to try to make something out of them.

In the blender I threw in the grapes with some water, lots of ice and plenty of sugar, pressed the stir button to mix everything up.

I ended up with two glasses of icy sweet grape juice, exactly what I needed to cool down.

Camaron Rebosado (Battered Prawns with Sweet and Sour Sauce)

One of my favorite dishes that my Lola use to make.

Fresh and succulent prawns + crispy batter + sweet and sour sauce = PERFECTION!, no more words are needed.

Here is the recipe:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 kilo prawns, shelled and deveined, leave the tails on
2 large eggs, beaten
oil for deep frying

1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.  Dredge each prawn in the mixture, then dip in egg then dredge again in flour.
2. Heat oil in a pan or wok.  Cook prawns in batches until they are cooked.  Drain on paper towels.

For the sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup water

Place sugar, ketchup and vinegar in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over low heat.  Stir in cornstarch mixture.  Continue to stir until sauce is thick, make sure to stir occasionally. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Udang Assam (Tamarind Fried Prawns)

This is a Singaporean dish featured in Yummy Magazine a couple of years ago.  When I was living on my own I used to cook this dish at least once a month.  The first time I made this I even had a friend, who is living in the San Juan area, buy for me tamarind pulp from Chef's Nook. If you can find tamarind pulp it is really best to use it since the dish will taste better. However if you can't find tamarind pulp or paste the Sampalok mixes found in grocery stores will do.  That was what I used recently when I cooked this for the family.  It was the first time that 1st Brother tasted this dish, he liked it so much that he asked that I give his reliable Ate T (that's their helper) the recipe.

The dish is primarily sour from the tamarind but there are hints of salty and sweet that makes this dish a winner in my book.
Here is the recipe:

1 cup assam (tamarind liquid)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 kilo prawns, deveined but with shells intact
oil for frying
pepper to taste

1. To obtain assam or tamarind liquid, squeeze out the pulp in a little hot water then pass through a sieve to strain the juice.  If you can't find tamarind pulp use 3 tablespoon tamarind mix, dissolve in 1 cup of water.  You can also use tamarind paste.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the tamarind liquid, sugar and soy sauce.
3. Marinate prawns in this mixture for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
4. Heat oil in a wok over medium to low flame.  Add the prawns together with the marinade and fry until slightly burnt and aromatic.  Season with pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Great Time at Yummy Eats

Had such a great Saturday at the Yummy Eats event.   Had a wonderful time sampling all the free food.  Everything tasted great, here are my favorites:

1. General's Lechon - hand downs the best ever lechon I have tasted.  I always thought that nothing could  taste better than our favorite Cebu Lechon, but this Negros style cooked lechon did.  The skin was super crispy and the meat delicious without being fatty or greasy.  Definitely does not need any liver sauce or any other sauce for that matter, this glorious lechon can stand on it's own.

2. Chef Bruce Lim - huge servings of super scrumptious chicken lollipops with chili sweet dressing.  I did not mind getting my fingers sticky with this one, it was worth the mess.   His buko dessert was also very good.

3. Honest Juice Apple Wheat Grass drink - this one I was quite apprehensive to try because it looked liked pureed bermuda grass, not very appetizing to see.  I was happily surprised it was a refreshingly good tasting drink and claims to be good for you because it detoxes your body.

4. Oriental Basket's Bagoong - this booth gave out the biggest portions to sample.  They served their sample bagoong with lots of chopped green mango and pineapple tidbits. They also had the most amiable and knowledgeable presenter, Luis.  He knew everything about his product and spoke about it with gusto that you could not say no in trying it out.  Great thing that their bagoong is indeed the best one I have ever tasted.  Perfect combination of sweet and salty.  He has different varieties - plain (this is the one I bought) then there is the spicy kind there is enough heat to give you a kick, and for those who are brave enough and do indeed love the heat he has an extra spicy version for you.

5. Divine Dessert - this was the first booth we visited and the owner is so friendly, she has a aura of kindness and goodness about her.  She had us try all of her goodies starting with the delicious cheese pimiento spread.  Then the equally good home-made pickles.  Then she gave us two kinds of biscotti, and the surprisingly delicious wasabi kitkat mousse, when you take that bite it starts off sweet then suddenly you get a wasbi kick at the end.

I took my nephew and sister-in-law to the event.  The three of us had a wonderful time, especially since we only paid P100.00.  I won a free ticket to the event, my nephew got in for free because he is below 10 years old.  I paid the discounted ticket rate for my sis-in-law because I had the May issue of Yummy.  This is the best P100.00 I have ever spent in my life.

I apologize I was not able to take pictures of the food because my nephew was a handful for me and my sister-in-law to handle.  He was having so much fun and kept running around.  Also my sis-in-law and I were quite busy sampling all the goodies, we made it a point to visit all the concessionaires.

There was a BaiCapture photo booth that gave away free photo souvenirs, a nice reminder of  how much fun the day was.

BaiCapture photo booth pic of the Little Boy and his Mom
Little Boy wanted a picture with him holding his pic from the photo booth
So looking forward to the next Yummy Eats :)


After I posted this entry I was delighted to find out it was featured at the Yummy Magazine website's "Yummy Eats Recap Love from 8 Blogs" article. 

And then today May 27, Yummy posted a video recap of the event, and I was surprised to see that there are shots of me in the video. Can you spot me?

Yummy Eats from Yummy Magazine and Yummy.ph on Vimeo.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Okonomiyaki - Japanese Pancake

When I was still living in Makati every Sunday I would drop by Legazpi Sunday market.  I loved discovering new food items every time I was there.  One of my favorite discovery was Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake).  It was sold by a  friendly Japananese gentleman who always had a smile on his face.  In his disticnt Japanase accent he would say "Taste, this is very good".  He did not speak much English but he delivered this line with conviction you just had to try his food. 

Since moving I have not been back at Legazpi for over a year now.  So when I found a recipe for this tasty dish in Yummy Magazine I definitely had to make. Of course Mr. Japanese's version is far superior to the one I made.  His was perfectly round and beautiful, while mine crumbled when I flipped it.  But my version was good enough to satisfy my craving for Okonomiyaki. 

Here is the recipe:

In a large bowl whisk together 1 cup all purpose flour and 2/3 cup water until smooth.  Add 2 eggs, 3 cups cabbage (thinly sliced) and 2 stalks sliced green onion, mix.  Heat some oil in a non-stick pan.  Pour half of the mixture into the pan.  Using a spatula flatten the pancake.  Place 2 to 3 strips of bacon on top of the pancake.  When buttom is set (about 3 minutes) flip over the pancakeabd cook for 4 minutes.  Flip again (bacon side up) and cook for another 3  minutes, or until brown and firm.  Transfer to a serving plate drizzle with Japanese mayonaisse and okonomiyaki sauce.  Garnish with bonito flakes and sesame seeds.

I did not have bonito flakes so instead I used small dried fish instead.

To make your own sauce combine 1 cup ketchup, 1 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup oyster sauce.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yummy Eats

I have been sick the last couple of weeks.  Last Monday was the worst I woke up with a horrible pain in my lower back and stomach that put me out of commission for 3 days.  I was feeling sad because I have had health issues for the last couple of years, and I was thinking what is it this time?  The pain was so bad all I could do for 2 days was lie in bed to get some relief.  Yesterday I was feeling better and had enough energy to check my email, there was surprise waiting for me.  I entered a contest about a week ago at `http://www.kitchencow.com/2011/05/07/yummy-eats-a-very-yummy-event/ I had to post why I love Yummy Magazine, the prizes  are free tickets to Yummy Eats.  I won one of the tickets I am so happy! You can't imagine how happy I was to read that email. 

Yummy has been a constant inspiration to me not only to cook more but to try to beat my health issues.  On days that I can't get out of bed, I leaf thru my Yummy magazine to get me thru the day, and give me some encouragement to get better so that I can make the dishes I have bookmarked.  So I am counting the days to Yummy Eats, and hoping that I will be well enough to go.  Correction whether well or not I am definitely going, I believe it is fate that I won that free ticket, I should not let it go to waste.

My Frist Time to Cook Humba

I came across this dish when I was looking for different adobo recipes.  Humba is similar to adobo, though it is sweeter because sugar is added.  According to my Mom this dish is popular in the Visayas, this is one of her favorite dish to have whenever she is in Cebu.  As for me I have never had this dish, I've seen it being offered in cafeterias and as packed lunches delivered to offices.

I liked how this dish turned out.  I live the combination of the sweet, sour and salty flavors.  I particularly loved how the banana pieces turned out, in fact I had more banana than pork.  Though it did turn out that I added too much sugar when I adjusted the water.  The sauce should have been thick but not caramelized, well next time I'll know better.

Here is the recipe:
1/2 kilo pork, adobo cut
4 hard boiled eggs
4 pieces saging na saba
2 cups water
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 pieces bay leaf
black pepper, preferably freshly ground
6 cloves minced garlic

1. In a pan add oil, saute the garlic until it turns golden brown.  Then add the pork pieces and brown on all sides.
2. Add water, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 1 hour.  During the 1 hour you may add more water if required, but the final consistency of the sauce should be thick.
3. Add the saging na saba and the boiled eggs, season with black pepper, then simmer for 10 more minutes.

(I had to repost this entry because the original one was deleted when Blogger had technical issues the 2nd week of May 2011)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Please let brag a little. Ever since I learned to make Tonkatsu it has been a family favorite.   In fact whenever we eat out we don't order this dish anymore because my version is really good.  I get requests to make this at least 4 times a month. 

Try out this recipe it is super easy to make, and I guarantee you will love it.

4 pork chop pieces, we prefer using butterfly cut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil for deep frying

1. Flatten the pork pieces.  Season with salt and pepper.
2. Dredge the pork in flour, then dip in egg, then coat and pat with panko bread crumbs.
3. Deep-fry on both sides, until golden brown, then drain on paper towels.
4. Let it stand for about 5 minutes, then cut tonkatsu into pieces.  Serve with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.

Recipe for tonkatsu sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  This will make about 3 cups of sauce, refrigerate the extra sauce, this will keep for about a week.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Country Fried Chicken With Gravy

The Little Girl has been under the weather for the last couple of days.  She lost her appetite and would only eat instant mani.  Today she was feeling better and requested that I make fried chicken with gravy.  Even though I was also sick and not really in the mood to do any cooking, I had to give in to her request. It makes my heart happy to see the Little Girl's appetite is back, she had 4 servings and wanted more.

This recipe is from Yummy magazine, if you want to try it here is what you need.

8 boneless chicken breast halves, pound lightly using a meat mallet to flatten the meat
1 1/2 tablespoons of calamansi or lemon juice
2 tablespoons salt. divided
2 teaspoons pepper, divided
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
cooking oil or lard for deep-frying

For the gravy
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup warm milk
1 cup warm chicken stock
1 teaspoon liquid seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

1. Season chicken with calamansi or lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, remaining salt and pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano.  Mix well.  In a shallow bowl, mix together the beaten egg and milk.
3. Dredge the chicken  in the flour mix then dip in egg mixture, then dredge again in flour mix.  Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Heat oil or lard in a deep-frying pan over medium heat.  Deep-fry the chicken a few pieces at a time, about 8 minutes, until the coating is golden brown and chicken is cooked through. 
5. Make the gravy.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute, until lightly golden.  Add warm milk and whisk until smooth. Add stock and continue whisking until thick.  Season with salt and pepper.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

It is recommended that you serve the chicken with mashed potatoes and buttered vegetables.  Or do what I did, I partnered it with a salad with thousand island dressing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Favorite Cooking Companion - Yummy Magazine

Since I started this blog last March I noticed that several of the dishes I posted were inspired by Yummy Magazine.  As of last count there are 8 Yummy inspired dishes that have been posted, and there are other dishes still in my drafts folder.

I would like to thank Yummy for being my helpful companion in the kitchen.  You have ignited my passion for cooking, and my family is appreciative of this new interest of mine.  They look forward to what new dish have I discovered from Yummy.  The Little Girl would be especially excited whenever I tell her I am preparing a meal I read on Yummy. 

I owe you a depth of gratitude for helping me be a better cook.  Keep up the inspiring work!

Chili Mussels in Lime Soda

This dish was a wonderful revelation.  When I was reading the recipe in Yummy magazine, I thought that it would probably be an ok dish, might be a little bland because the ingredients were few and simple.  Boy was I wrong.  The combination of everything rendered the clams with a chili-sweet taste without overpowering the fresh salty taste of the clams..  It was a delight to eat, it seemed that the ingredients were in perfect harmony with each other and created a masterpiece truly enjoyed by all.

Here is the recipe:
2 kilos fresh mussels, scrubbed and cleaned
1 chopped onion
1/4 cup minced garlic
4 pieces chopped siling labuyo
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
1 can lime soda (I use Sprite)
rock salt to taste
1/2 cup shredded, fresh cilantro (we don't like cilantro so we leave it out, it's up to you if you would like to add it)

1. Saute the onions, garlic, and siling labuyo in vegetable oil for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add the mussels, ginger and lime soda, then cover with lid.
3. Allow the mussels to steam until they open, about 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Discard any mussels that do not open.
5. Season with salt, then if you want toss in cilantro, then serve.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Deep-Fried Crab

This is my parent's favorite crab dish.  We use to order our deep-fried crabs from Aling Letty's at  the Seaside Market in Baclaran, but we have not ordered from there in  years.  So when I found a recipe I had to make it.  The first time I made this dish Mom and Dad upon taking their first bites both looked towards me, with smiles on their faces, and they gave me the thumbs up.  My Dad says that my version is even better than that of  Alling Letty's.  I don't quite believe him, I think that's just him being  encouraging and a loving Dad. 

May I suggest that when you make this dish, eat it with your loved ones.  It makes it a more fun and fulfilling eating experience.  I have plenty of fond memories eating crabs, not just with my family but with my dear friends. I have enjoyed several crab meals with my Mars Jen and Joan.  Both of whom I have not seen for a long time and miss dearly.  I hope to sit down at the table with my Mars soon and enjoy eating crab while sharing stories and laughs.  

Here is the recipe:
2 large live crabs
minced ginger (optional, I don't use ginger because my parents don't like the taste of it)
chopped siling labuyo
2 tablespoons sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper
oil for deep frying

1. Wash the crabs, then place in the freezer for about 2 hours to put them to "sleep".
2. After 2 hours take the crabs out of the freezer, take off the talukap (top shell) and the claws. Then chop the body in half.  Crack the claws using the back of your knife or cleaver.
3. In a bowl mix together the minced ginger, finely chopped siling labuyo, salt and pepper, and the sesame oil.
4. Pour the mixture over the crab, make sure to coat each piece.  Marinate for 30 minutes.
5. Lightly season flour with cayenne pepper.  If you like it hot you can add more cayenne pepper.
6. Dredge each crab piece in the seasoned flour. If you like a thick coating for you dish, add water to the flour to create a thick batter, then dip each piece in the batter instead of dredging.
7. Deep-fry in hot oil until cooked.  Drain on paper towels, then serve immediately, and most importantly happy eating :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...