Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Burnt Offering

Hailing the new year with renewed vigor, spirit, enthusiasm and promise of a new beginning, I decided to post an entry as an offering to the blogging spirit. I am slowly coming out of my so called hibertnation and eventhough I know not when I can post again, it is safe to say that I am proud and excited to share with you what I created. Plus there are other things which I would like to share but would rather not (yet). I believe that this new year is going to bring in some tidal wave of blessings and I hope and pray that they are what they seem to be.
I cooked up this dinner for my husband who is going away on a trip. It's the much loved Chinese pinsek frito (or crispy wontons), stir-fry bean sprouts with Spanish chorizo and pan fried Tilapia fillet with garlic, butter and coriander leaves.
For the pinsek frito, you would need:
90 grams ground pork (or chicken)

1 whole onion, minced

2 cloves of garlic, grated

1 whole carrot, grated

1/4 c of cheese, cubed

3 Tbsps flour



wonton wrappers

1 egg white

Mix together the first eight ingredients using your hands. Believe me it would taste a whole lot better rather than using a spatula or fork. Make sure that you season it considerably well since there's no way for you test its taste once you've mixed everthing together.
Crack one egg. Separate the white. Place it in a small bowl. You would need this to seal the wrappers. Depending on the size of your wonton wrappers (mine was the smallest) pinch a few amounts of your ground pork mixture and place it in the middle of your wonton wrapper. Dip your index finger in the bowl with egg white and smear on the sides of the wonton. Fold it such that you will make a small triangle with the filling in the middle. Use more egg whites as necessary to seal the edges.
Repeat with the rest of the wonton. Deep fry wontons for about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve with sweet-sour chili sauce.

For the stir fry bean sprouts with Spanish chorizo you would need:
25 grams Spanish chorizo, sliced thinly

about 25 grams of bean sprouts, washed

1/2 onion, minced

2 cloves of garlic, slivered

1/2 carrot, julienned

coriander leaves



Saute garlic and onion until onions become translucent. Stir fry the Spanish chorizo for about 3-4 minutes. Its going to give out red juices. Push the onion chorizo mixture to one side of your frying pan, lower down the heat then scoop out the juice as much as you can and transfer to a different container. Reserve.

Add the bean sprouts and carrots, turn on the heat once more and stir fry for about 4-5 minutes, being careful not to overcook the bean sprouts. Pour one scoop of the reserved red juice into the bean sprout mixture then mix well. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with slices of carrots and coriander leaves.

For the fried Tilapia with garlic and butter, you would need:

1/2 a kilo of tilapia fillets

5 cloves of garlic, minced (more to your taste)

cooking oil




Season the fillets with salt and pepper (both sides). Lightly coat the fillets with flour. Pan fry for 3 minutes per side until considerably browned and crispy. Fry the galic in the remaining oil. When toasted, remove from the pan. Lower down the heat and transfer much of the oil to a container. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in the same pan. Throw back the garlic and coat with melted butter. Pour sauce over the tilapia fillets. Serve right away.

For the sweet sour chili sauce:
about 1/2 cup of sweet chili sauce

about 2 Tbsps of good vinegar



Mix everything together. YUM!

For the stir fry bean sprouts I used soy-chili sauce:

about 1/2 cup of kikoman soy sauce

about 2 Tbsps of sweet chili sauce



Mix together. Another yum!

Come to think of it, all three dishes should be served right away because one way or another one of them is going to go soggy. In my case since I cooked the pinsec first, it lost some of its crispiness. Nevertheless, I received acolades from my number one fan, my husband :D

Dinner was served with our household favorite - RC cola. I know I know...its not a healthy softdrink at all..but was a Saturday and I just had that feeling... ;D


Monday, November 9, 2009

Gone on an emotional hybernation

To anyone who is reading my blog, you've of course noticed by now that I have been writing any posts at all. To any self respecting blogger, it is a must that you post something on your blog once in a while but, I guess you could say Im still on an emotional hybernation. More like physical if you analyze things with me actually, haha!

You can say I've lost inspiration, motivation, cultivation, dramatization, any -tion you can think about. I mean what is it that really makes me tick? I keep telling myself if only I have that or if only I can do that or if only I have the means to this end, etc etc. But the truth of the matter is, my emotional spark ran out. Is there anywhere I can buy fuel from?

I can tell you that I used to read up novels (pocketbooks) like a sponge absorbs water. I can tell yuo that I used to believe that I really am good at baking and cooking. There was a time when I believe that I can do all the things I want to do. There was a time when ideas were seeping in through the deepest recesses of my brain and come out if not the nicest, then definitely a nice piece of literature, from poems to short stories, to narratives, to essays.

There was a time when I believed in myself to be everything that I can be.

NOW?.. You can say I got side tracked. Life trully is never easy and its definitely not about the destination but all about the journey. You got this one solid goal in your mind but for some reason, the road does not seem to converge on that same goal. It's like imagining what your destination looks like and pinning that in your mind and all of a sudden, the twists and turns of the road does not look anywhere near how the destination should look like.

I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a worker..but before all of those things, I am me. I am myself and I used to believe in myself. I used to believe that I dont have to look before I leap. I used to believe that I dont have to rely on anybody to catch me when I fall. Because I can catch my self just fine thank you.

NOW?..well now, well now then has become a different story. Am I whining? You can say, I dont like keeping my dreams tucked away just yet. But then again, what choice do I have? Well now...I leave it up to you the reader, to tell me if I shouldnt be on this hybernation. Then again, who reads my blog?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Despite Ondoy....

The weekend promised to be fun filled -- but it did not keep its promise. While the original plan was to go swimming, as it had been quite hot the past few days, the plan got postponed first due to some unavoidable circumstances. So me and hubby decided to just take B to the zoo for the very first time. The only animal she can recognize at the moment are cats and dogs (aptly referrd to as "meow!" and "aw aw!").

So anticipating a great weekend, I hurriedly finished off deadlines and prepared for Saturday.

Then came a rude, unpleasant and always expected visitor by the name of Ondoy. Tropical storm Ondoy, brought forth a year's amount of rain in just six hours. Most of Metro Manila flooded, thousands of people displaced and I'm pretty sure damages to the millions.

So what was a mother like me to do? Nothing. I couldn't do anything except pray that my loved ones are alright. It was a very long event actually. Come to think of it, I got so impatient at that time that I even asked my hubby if we can go out and stay at the mall for a few hours just to pass the time. But sorry no can do. The streets were all flooded and the rain just wouldn't let up.


I looked around the house to check if there is anything at all that I can bake and lo and behold, I bought a box of Betty Crocker's Angel Cake. It was a sale item in SM Supermarket. Two boxes for the price of one. I looked at the box and asked myself, do I really want to make an angel cake?. I guess on a normal sunny day I would have, except that it just felt to awfully boring. I decided to experiment. It wasn't until the bars came out of the oven that I knew what I was doing.

I call it Angel Bars with Lemon Buttercream Filling. It was fairly simple to make. I got 517 g of Angel Cake Mix. I halved that, so it came to around 260 g of cake mix.


For the bars:

260 g of Angel Cake Mix (Betty Crocker)
1 whole egg
about 80 g of butter; softened

For the filling

about 40 g of butter; softened
about 3 heaping tablespoons of icing sugar
juice from 3 kalamansi

Cream the butter. Mix in the cake mix. When everything is well incorporated, whisk in the egg. Beat thoroughly.

Decant onto two small baking tins. I used baking tins from a small oven toaster and popped those in my electric oven. Preheated to 200 C and baked them for 20 minutes.

Let bars cool before transfering to a wire rack.

For the filling, cream the butter and sugar. When both are incorporated, add the pure kalamansi juice and mix well. Place in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes. After this time, you are about ready to set your bars.

Turn out baking tins onto a wire rack. Spread the filling on top of one un-cut angel bar, then place the other un-cut angel bar on top. Cover with baking sheet (like when you're wrapping a gift) and replace back in the fridge for 2 hours to set.

Cut, serve and enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

French Toast Bites and Homemade Mango Jam

Inspired by Crystal's Cozy Kitchen, I decided to make my own french toast bites over Sunday morning. The day was a bit sunny, though It was still a bit dreary for me and I wanted nothing more than to just laze around the house, play with my daughter B and just snuggle under the covers with my husband M. Truthfully I didnt want to get up the bed. If it wasnt for my daughter needing to be fed her breakfast and vitamins, I would have loved to just mosy on back to bed.

So anyways, this breakfast is pretty easy to make. Though Crystal's Cozy Kitchen said that she usually makes french toast bites out of bread ends, well as the picture shows in my case, I didnt mind using any part of the bread loaf hehe..

What you will need:

Bread slices


1 whole egg

1/2 c of milk



Mango jam (recipe below)

So first, whisk up the egg, add the 1/2 c of milk and set aside. Cut up the bread into little squares or bite sized pieces. Soak up the egg and milk mixture using the bread.

Heat the pan, and melt the butter, about a tablespoon. When butter is melted and heated, place in your bread slices.
Fry about a minute and a half. I like my french toast a bit more toasty. When it's about toasted as seen in the picture below, you can flip to the other side and fry about a minute and half again, 2 minutes more if you so wish.

When you are finished frying, transfer to a plate and sprinkle with sugar cinnamon. You can also add vanilla to the egg and milk mixture. I would have, except that I ran out of vanilla so I settled for the sugar cinnamon.
Serve with mango jam or any other jam of your choice. The mango jam I used below in the picture is homemade. Thanks to eCurry's Spiced Mango Jam, I got a simple recipe for homemade jams/preserves.
What you will need:
2 whole pcs of ripe mango
4 tbps of sugar
cinnamon powder
1/4 c of water
Slice up the mango (any which way you want is ok). Place in a saucepan with cover. Pour the water, add the sugar and about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Let boil for roughly 30 minutes. It will turn syrupy and a bit thick. You can do the jam doneness test after 30 minutes and if you are satisfied of the outcome you can remove the jam from heat and let it cool inside the pan before you transfer to a sterilized mason jar or any glass bottle available. Since this jam doesnt have any pectin in it, you would be wise to realize that the jam will not sit for a long time, unlike commercial jams. So better use it all up in a week!. Anyways, the jam I was able to produce was only enough to fill up a Gerber Juice Bottle (which was what I used). Roughly 4 ozs. So Im pretty sure it's gonna get used up soon enough. I'm just glad my husband M liked it heeeheeee!!!

And last but definitely not the least, I would like to make known (to anyone who's reading my humble blog)...I would love to have me my own photographer's camera!..Imagine the world of beautiful still life I could picture. Haaaa...what a remarkable camera....Why did I add that to my post?..Nothing..just want to shout out!...ciao! I hope you will enjoy doing this as much as I did.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sundays with a Chocolate Cake

If you remember my previous post about Effortless Sundays, you will remember that I wrote it was moot point to say that my Sundays are effortless. And to prove my point, here is a rusty-c (read as rustic) chocolate cake that I made for my daugther for lack of a better alternative to going out. Sunday was a bit rainy and windy in this part of the globe so to make up for a dreary and grim afternoon, all cooped up in our tiny abode, I baked a chocolate cake for her (and for hubby).
Rustic by one of its definition means lacking in social graces or polish, which is definitely what my chocolate cake is. Now I said rusty-c because my skills in baking when it comes to anything chocolate is really rusty, and by one of its definition it means inept and slow through lack of practice. The first times I baked with anything chocolate -- most of it ended up in charity. I had to call our barangay captain to assist in distributing cupcakes and brownies to charity just for my efforts to not get wasted and of course for the food to not be thrown away or get spoiled.

Anyways, as I mentioned, rather than sulking up in the rain and boring musings of a Sunday afternoon, I decided to make use of the last of my flour, the last of my butter, the last of my eggs in the pantry and just DO this chocolate cake.

And it turned out ok! In the words of the Little Einsteins " I caannnooot buh-lieve it!!!". So in my best efforts to capture my elated sense of accomplishment, I am posting my rusty-c chocolate cake and how it is made:

Preset oven to 180 degrees C.

a cup of flour

a tsp of baking powder

half a tsp of baking soda

a dash of salt

half a tsp of chili powder

half a tsp of cinnamon

90 g of butter

1 cup of chocolate bits (chips)
nuts for garnish

1 whole egg



Melt chocolate ang butter in a saucepan over uber low heat. When both are incorporated, remove from heat. Set aside. Using a separate bowl, blend together all your dry ingredients. Beat in the eggs. Add about 3 tbps of sugar. Beat well. Slowly add a few amounts of milk to soften and even the consistency of your batter. When your choco butter mixture has cooled considerably, whisk this in to your batter. Beat well.

Transfer to a baking tin or to your ramekins. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

I love that my daughter loved the cake...or she probably thought she didnt have any choice in the matter. Anyways, it was really good...hope you like 'em too!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Effortless Sundays

pretty much doesn't exist in my world. When everything is in disarray and deadlines are running rampant in my calendar. A breezy weekend has not visited me in such a long time that I have begun to wonder what it would feel like to just let the day pass by and laze around the house.

I would probably experience something short of a movie special effects when the main character is standing still and everyone and everything around him is in a continuously fast forward motion. I'd probably go insane in minutes.

Truth be told, effortless Sundays are ethereal for me. I would probably choose to have a busy Sunday rather than a lazy Sunday. But hey if I can squeeze in a cheat here and there why not? Which I rather did. And my little cheat presented itself when I decided to concoct clear pork stew for lunch. Why was it effortless?

Basically, I never realized it was what I was cooking until I started boiling the pork. And from there, things just rolled off down hill. I had potatoes, I had sweet corn, I had pechay leaves, I had time on my hands! I popped everything inside the osterizer (except of course the pechay leaves), added salt and whole black peppers. Pressure-cooked the whole batch in 20 minutes and viola! We had one delicious port stew in clear broth in no time.

As soon as I was finished pressure-cooking the meat, I added a few more seasoning, added the pechay leaves and let it simmer for a minute or two, and that's that.

Sundays can be hectic, but it doesn't mean I have to wallow in misery or frustration for that matter. Just a little bit of magic, a little bit of determination, you too can have your effortless Sundays.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How Much of a Virtue Can Patience Be?

I asked my husband what i should write about today and he came up blank. I almost cried. Was I that too much of a mystery to my husband for him to suggest a topic that I can write about? Or worse, he's just not that in to me.
I have written for a few webmasters about book reviews, cell phone reviews, bling reviews, beauty product reviews (all for a few extra bucks) and well its not a secret that writing is one of my passions. So when I asked the one person who was supposed to know more about me than any other person in this world for advise, and came up blank, well it was mostly disturbing. Let me tell you, i was ready for a good heaping of argument.
And then, after a heartbeat, he suddenly asked "Why not write about the amount of patience and understanding we're extending to each other in this time of crisis?" I came up blank again..was he serious? And then I looked into his eyes, tired and a bit sad and wispy...with a wee bit of hardpressed laughter indicated only by the little twinkle in his eyes. I knew then that my husband knew me enough to know that as of this moment, more than anything else, I want to share our hardships to the few who'd come across this post.
My mother always tells me to be patient. (Mag pa sensya ka.) We have this Filipino saying "Habaan mo ang pisi" (lengthen the thread) which basically means you have to extend what ever needs and can be extended. In my case, I need to lengthen the thread of my patience towards my husband, in this relationship, during our time of trial. My mother always tells me, when it feels like you cannot be patient anymore, that's the time that you have to force yourself to be patient.
Practicing patience is never easy. There are times when it feels like I'm going to explode and this lava of irritation, angst, anxiety and frustration would bubble over. There were times in the past when we would argue so much and say hurtful words to each other only to be consoled by our mutual silence afterwards. It left a great painful chasm in my chest. It left me feeling alone and defeated.
As time passed by, I knew we couldn't always live like this. Fight like there's no tomorrow and leave it alone to rot in our souls. Eventhough I cannot change the past, I know the future for both of us is a long way coming and its going to be long unknown road for both of us to travel. I know that if we are ever going to survive that journey, I have to always be wee bit more patient. I know that my husband knows this too. I know that he realizes we both have to work in this relationship for it to be successful.
We weren't blessed with lots of riches, but we were blessed with good intelligent minds, sound judgement and sturdy souls. Enough to let us live this life to the fullest. There will be more bumps in the road, hurdles to overcome. My patience to my husband will always be tested, but I think I'm ready.