Category: personal

Lunch Wrapped in Banana Leaves

There are many uses of banana leaves. Filipinos are known for being resourceful and know how to use them. You give them something, they’ll create something useful or edible out of it. Give them banana leaves, they can make you delicious Filipino delicacies wrapped in banana leaves. That’s just one of the many uses of banana leaves.

Another thing you can use these leaves for is wrap your rice and viand in it, the leaves will give your food that appetizing smell the longer it stays wrapped. Start by putting in all your rice in it, bury the viand while both are still hot.

The result is amazing. I brought my lunch yesterday at work and two other Filipinas shared and tasted my food. They haven’t tried doing it or not experienced it when they were little but we did. My grandmother used to wrap our lunches with these leaves when we were just in elementary.

I kind of missed how delicious the food is when wrapped so I tried it again after two decades! Pictured below is grits, fried pork, seasoned with salted fish, soy sauce and pork oil. Sooo yummy that I want to do it again one of these days! My co-workers even asked me to bring enough lunch next time so they too can enjoy it.

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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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I Cook to Make Up with My Kids

I work, just part-time now though yet I still feel exhausted when I work 4 straight days in a week. When I am working, I cannot always cook fresh foods for my girls but when I am able to, I make sure it is appetizing and appealing to them so they’ll eat what I serve them. As much as possible I try not to repeat the dishes, otherwise they’ll get tired of it.

My girls are fun to cook for, they eat almost anything I offer them. That alone encourages me to do my duty as a mother and give them nutritious foods for their growing body and brain. Thankfully, my girls aren’t picky and if they try to refuse the food, I will just remind them the photos of those malnourished children on Facebook so they’ll eat and have no option to say no.

One of the dishes I can very well serve them which they accept willingly is this breaded baked pork chops for dinner paired with baked asparagus and brown rice. They liked it, oh not just liked it but loved it. I feel accomplished when my hard work to make them dinner is eaten and all gone.

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Nongshim Noodles After a Day of Hardwork

A bowl of very hot soup is all I want each night after working 8 hours shift. I want nothing else than Nongshim black Korean noodles. It is so delicious, spicy and just awesome-goodness noodles. I know instant noodles are bad but hey, having it once in a while is not bad, is it?

Maybe it is just me who wants something warm or hot after work. Some may prefer cold desserts or whatever but nothing is more satisfying than slurping that warm soup until I get full. Instant noodles are to the rescue, I have enough stock of this noodles and always comes in handy whenever I need it.

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Kelly and Katie Totes Clearance at DSW

I know a great deal when I see one like these totes I availed at DSW two days ago. I visited the store not knowing what I could buy that day, my main purpose was to look for discounted umbrellas. Unfortunately, there was none. So, as usual, I proceeded to their shoe rack clearance area and found two pairs that I actually fell in love with but having a hard time choosing between the too. I ended up not buying both.

Anyway, since I did not have anything in mind to buy, I roam around the store some more and I found these lovely totes on clearance with “red” stickers on them. Red at DSW store means the item is additional 50% off. Each tote is marked $39.95, plus I had a $20 coupon off of $49 purchase and a free scarf coupon to go with it. BIG SCORE for me!

I came out of DSW that day very happy and proud that I got to save a couple dollars for buying three sets of summery/floral reversible totes. These are decent size totes with matching medium size zipped pouches each, plus a bonus of dust bags.

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Deals This Week

It always makes my eyes go big when I go in the store and see unexpected clearance sales whether it be food, chocolates, clothing or household items. I would not say no to sales you know! One best example for a really good sale is this Ghirardelli chocolates at Walgreens. From $3.29 down to 89 cents. Mind you, expiry date is until January 2017. A few expire in two months, but hey, it’s chocolate. My daughters will eat them in no time if I let them.

Another great store to go for sale items on food is Kroger. Every Monday, I go there when I have the time to scour for yellow/red stickers on items in dairy, center aisle, seafood and even in produce area. One of my best buys in Kroger is this Hawaiian rolls which is 50% off the original price. I don’t buy it in full price because it is kind of pricey for me. I wish I grabbed two instead of just one in Jalapeno because it is so good!

Not pictured is the third deal I got this week is the price matching of spam canned meat at Walmart, I got 52 pieces of the lite and original flavors for just $1 each, normally $2.68. You wonder why I got so many spams? Half of it will go to my box for the family in the Philippines.

I’m such a sucker when it comes to deals because I want to help my husband by saving money on groceries and anything we need and use in this house.

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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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My First Jollibee in the US

Only Filipinos can relate how much we love dining in Jollibee. Wherever we may be in the world, we would always crave for that Pinoy taste only Jollibee can make. So here we are in Texas, we only have one Jollibee franchise here in Houston. And that is four hours away from where we live.

You see, going to Jollibee is a treat for us no matter how far it is, we are eager to drive to go there because it satisfies our cravings. Being on the road for four hours was nothing because of the anticipation that what we’re getting after such a long trip is heavenly.

An added bonus is that, Red Ribbon and two other stores are adjacent to Jollibee which made it very convenient for us. We brought home lots of goodies from JB and Red Ribbon. If money was not an issue, I could have bought the entire Red Ribbon stocks and re-sell it from here, just kidding! Anyway, chicken joy and gravy was my order and a taro boba. It filled me up, made my tummy happy and most of all, I had a lot of fun during the road trip. If we have to do it again, I will not say no!


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Honesty is what I Can Give as a Reviewer

As you may have known, I am or have been reviewing products since 2008. Either paid or receiving free items, I am willing to do it. I have countless reviews over the years and I must say, I have become better at what I am doing.

Doing the thing I love most somehow gives me skills and knowledge to properly examine the products that the seller or advertisers entrusted me to do. Some weren’t happy of the feedback or review I gave them but then, honesty is all I can give when it comes to reviewing their products for the sake of their prospect buyers/customers. Because, I myself, would rely on other/previous customers’ feedback if I were to buy something that cost a tremendous amount of money.

One of the perks of being a reviewer is that the free items you actually get that you love to use or wear. Example is this boy shorts swim with matching strappy bra top and a cover up. It is a stylish set that has a beautiful pattern that I chose for myself.

I was not disappointed for it fits right, hugs my body and yes, I am comfortable with it. You see, I got to pick the style I want, color or design and all it takes is my honest review after testing the product. I hope I made the seller happy with it.

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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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