Category: cooking

Time-consuming Delicacy but It’s Delicious

It is here in America that I learned how to cook. I want to eat and to do that is to learn how to prepare my own meal. Growing up, we always had our mother cook and prepare our meals for us. I married and moved to the USA 11 years ago and from then I have learned how to cook Filipino dishes. It was not hard actually, things can be learned fast if a person is interested.

Anyway, I never have any idea how to do any of the delicious Filipino delicacies, you know when in a country where no one is selling the foods you are craving, that left you with no other choice. The internet is a good source to search for information you want to know and voila! Different recipes, different outcome. Throughout the years of making this “cassava suman” I think I perfected it this time. It is so soft, just the right sweetness in it. Or I can best describe it as ” when you get to taste it, you don’t wanna stop and will want to eat some more”. Yes, is that good!

I use the usual ingredients to make this delicacy, grated cassava or yucca root, 2 cans of coconut milk, brown sugar, young coconut strips, vanilla, banana leaves to wrap it and lastly, I mixed it with sweet purple potato. Maybe it’s the potato that makes it different from the past sumans I made before. It took me 3 hours from peeling off the cassava until I start steaming them. Yes, it is that time-consuming of a process to make this delicacy, mind you!

Sorry I don’t give measurement of ingredients as I only did this of estimation.

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Pinoy Versus American Food

I love to eat, I love food and most of all, I love cooking our own food at home. Cooking these days is difficult because I got a job and I can only cook on my day off or when I work the afternoon shift. So, in order for me to save time in the kitchen, I just cook two dishes at a time.

Like for instance these foods pictured below. I cooked “pinakbet” which consists of Asian veggies for me and the mac and cheese for the husband and the girls, well, unfortunately, I put spinach in there so my little girl doesn’t like to eat it all.

Cooking these dishes at one time gave me the opportunity to compare both which tastes great and delicious. I even asked my friends on FB which one they prefer best and they voted for the Filipino food. Well, that’s sucks huh because they’re all Filipinos.

As for me, I would prefer the Pinoy food also. Don’t get me wrong, I like mac and cheese but I can only eat a cup of it because it’s too cheesy and “bidli”. The food does not stay in my tummy for long too so yes, I love Pinoy food. Nothing beats Pinoy food!

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Native Visayan Stew in America

Those who grew up poor and in the province anywhere in the Philippines can relate to this kind of food with the exception of shrimp because it is expensive in my home country. A native Visayan stew or “utan bisaya” as we call it consists of Asian spinach, yellow squash, long yard beans, eggplant, bamboo shoot, malunggay or moringa oleifera, okra or anything that can be grown in your backyard can be made into a stew.

This is one of those that I so appreciate here in America because not all Filipinos have access to native veggies like me. I grow this in our own backyard free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. When I feel like cooking native stew, I just go out there and pick some vegetables. I am blessed to have the ability to plant my own food that I enjoy so much!

Native stew freshly cooked paired with dried fish and leftover grits, anyone? This is my kind of food, belly filling, nutritious and it satisfied my craving for a healthy dish. Aside from that, it also felt like I was home when I gobbled this up!

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Visayan Adobaw Na Manok Recipe

Growing up, I still remember that chicken recipe that my grandparents and or father used to cook. It is a recipe that only Bisayan people can make and for years of residing here in America, I could not seem to get its taste nor cook adobaw na manok the way my old folks did.

There is something in it that I really love, the aromatic smell of ginger, onion and garlic is so heavenly that I have been wanting to taste for so long, finally satisfied. Thanks to a friend who shared her mother’s recipe as well as the technique to really come up with the delicious taste of the dish. The dish is so common in the Philippines yet seemed mysterious to make (at least to me).

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Ingredients:

1 whole chicken – I prefer Cornish chicken for it’s similarity to native chicken taste.

3 laurel leaves, 2 tsp. ground black pepper, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, garlic powder, onions, vinegar, oil and salt.

I don’t put exact measurement on those because all I do is estimate the amount of each ingredient according to my preference.

Here’s how:
~ Buy a whole chicken and cut up the meat into desired pieces. Bones in please.

~ Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or more with Filipino soy sauce, vinegar, grated ginger, ground black pepper and garlic powder.

~ After marinating, bring the meat to a boil, covered and stirring constantly until meat’s natural juice come out. Cook some more until desired tenderness of the meat is achieved.

~ Saute minced garlic and onions until brown. Put in the chicken and its juice, wait until all juice is absorbed and dry, it’s optional if you put in the marinated sauce or not. If you don’t, it is also good and still make a great adobaw chicken taste.

~ By then, the chicken should be almost done, put some laurel or bay leaves, cover and cook a little bit more. Stir. Add some salt and ground pepper according to your taste.

~ Serve hot.

WARNING: Rice killer, make sure you a got a whole big pot of cooked rice before serving! Enjoy!

Angel Hair Pasta with Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Broccoli

I only had a little time to rest today before cooking for dinner, I took my girls to the pool and came back at almost 3 o’clock. Took a shower, laid down a little bit and did my mommy duty in the kitchen.

Anwyay, I planned of making my family some angel hair pasta tonight, so even if I was a bit tired, I had to make it. I did not follow any recipe. I just made up my own, bought a jar of Ragu Cheese Creations Classic Sauce and that’s it! It is tasty and sure is filling in my stomach. Now that the new Italian study says eating pasta does not contribute to BMI, might as well, cook pasta a lot and serve to the family.

With my pasta, I used the following;

Half a box of store brand pasta
two regular size roma tomatoes
a jar of Ragu sauce
sliced mushrooms
a whole flower of broccoli (cut up)
minced garlic
4 tsp. avocado oil (you can use any oil of your choice)
5 cloves minced parsley for garnishing
a tbsp of sea salt
half a teaspoon black ground pepper
cut up chicken meat ( guessing the amount of chicken, no exact measurement or weight how much I used)

Here’s how:
Boil 5 cups of water to cook the pasta. In another pot, boil 3 cups of water to blanch the broccoli. Brown chicken on a hot oil, stir occasionally. Brown the garlic when chicken’s tender, sautee that mushrooms, tomatoes and add the sauce, cover until mushrooms are tender.

Add the pasta and broccoli, sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Mix evenly. Garnish with parsley. Serve hot!

A healthful dinner that does not need rocket Science to make. You can make your own pasta recipe, anyway you want it, it is possible!

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Perfect Cooked Rice on a Stove Top

In America, things are done fast and easy with the help of technology. Almost everything can be done in a flick of a finger, this includes cooking rice. Most people use a rice cooker in order to cook a perfect rice for meals.

I don’t know for some reason what got into my husband’s mind when he opted to choose cooking rice manually just like what we normally do in the Philippines by putting rice grains in a pot and on the stove top. He did not say anything or ask me how to do it. He just went on and did his thing.

When I came back from across the street an hour later, there it was! A perfectly cooked rice on a stove top greeted me in the kitchen. I was amazed because, for someone like him who probably have not done that method of cooking would have burned the rice. It resulted to an edible cooked rice, haha. Salute to the husband who was not afraid to risk burning the rice that day!

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Tuna Steak Soup is Just What I Need

There are times in your life when you don’t want to spend too much time standing in the kitchen cooking, then this delicious tuna steak soup is perfect to make. I don’t feel good and all I need is this kind of clear watery soup as what my husband call it.

Just a tomato, 3-4 pieces small cut tuna steak fish, some onion leaves, a piece of ginger, sword pepper or what call in Bisaya ” siling espada”, half of knorr cubes, a pinch of salt and voila! It only takes 30 minutes from preparation and cooking. The result is awesome goodness hot and delicious soup that I like especially if it is served with a bowl of newly cooked rice paired with steamed veggies and fried dried fish!

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Chicken Flavor Porridge

As we get into mid November, our temperature here in Texas continues to get cold each passing day. With that said, this chicken flavor porridge is perfect for this kind of cold and gloomy day or any soup that is warm. We, Filipinas, love the taste and how warm foods and soup make us feel on cold days.

This porridge is so easy to make although it can take 30-40 minutes to cook depending on what kind of rice you use to make it. If you prefer leftover cooked rice, then it is faster than what I usually do for I use rice grains to make a pot of porridge.

Just mince some garlic, some chicken strips and ginger, sautee them and add the rice and water. Boil under rice is cooked, add a knorr cube, ground pepper if you want it a bit spicy and some fish sauce. Garnish with cut onions. It is best eaten or paired with hard boiled eggs and eggrolls if available.

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First Time Making Japanese Rice with Seaweed

One of the many things I love eating is seaweeds. I grew up eating fresh seafood and seaweeds. It has iodine in it and other minerals that are beneficial to our body. With that said, trying out Korean or Japanese seaweeds are heavenly to me.

I remember when I first tasted Korean seaweed soup years ago, I thought it smelled strange and I did not like it much but then once I get used to it, I learned to love the soup. However, with Japanese seaweed, I loved it the moment I put some in my mouth. I just love the smell of sesame oil and seeds that’s in it.

So when we went to Korean store three weeks ago, I was happy to see seasoned Japanese seaweed also, I bought me two packs and I still have them in a jar these days, eating them slowly you know? Anyway, I found a a small jar of Japanese seaweed rice seasoning. I did not regret buying it for it makes my rice tastes good.

Sprinkle the rice with the seasoning, a spoonful of sesame oil, a bit of salt, a spoonful of apple cider vinegar and some sesame seeds, voila! I made myself some Japanese rice paired with pickled Korean cucumber, marinated fried milkfish and of course, Japanese seaweed. My meal is sooooo delicious that I can eat it forever!

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My Second Grader’s Lunch

There’s a saying, ” you are what you eat” or “your body shows what you eat”. So if a person is overweight, you can tell by the kind of food she eats. That is what I observe from people I see at the grocery stores, those who are obese are filling their carts with frozen foods, boxes of sodas, pizza, corn dogs, ice cream and a whole lot more. Not even a single fresh produce can be seen in their carts.

The school my second grader attends to offers free breakfast and lunch. Although they are free, I still pack her lunch instead of just relying from what the cafeteria is giving to the kids. Their food falls in what we call “junks” category. I have to make sure how much my child eat during lunch and to ensure what she’s getting is good and not just random junks like what they feed to the students.

Brutal as it sounds but it’s true. Besides, we are not that poor to not being able to afford our child’s meal. At home, I do 99% cooking of our meals. There should be vegetables and fruits in every meal or I feel guilty not giving my children the necessary nutrients their little bodies need for growing up.

Here’s samples of what I pack for my second grader. First photo was yesterday’s lunch and it’s a Filipino food for that’s what she was asking for. It is actually a repeat of what she had the previous day. She said, she liked the fried pork and rice very much, so her wish is my command.

Second photo is today’s lunch. American food this time so she doesn’t get tired eating the same meal everyday. I kind of packed her too much today but if she really likes what’s in her lunch box, she would eat it all. I shall see if there’s a leftover when she comes back from school this afternoon.

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