Monthly Archives: February 2008

two delectable dishes

by dear darling husband.

from all recipesbaked Vietnamese-style chicken wings

roasted scrod with basil butter from epicurious.com.
(i apologize severely for these photos, i even tried to doctor them but alas no improvement. they were taken with the bright over head “green” lights at night. i know that natural day light would be perfect but these were our dinner items over the vacation week, when darling husband gave me a break and cooked from some new recipes he found on the web.)
anyway! they were really truly madly delicious! three thumbs up from the childrens! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
recipes supplied, on request!

these oysters were made for shucking

oysters were made for shucking
that’s what they should do
one of these days these oysters are gonna
shuck all over you

(to the tune of Nancy Sinatra’s boots)
I dunno why, the song just stuck in my head. Do you remember the first time you had oysters? Do you remember the first time you had oysters on the half shell, oysters in the raw?
Wow! I do, and it’s just one of those epiphanies in life, or at least in a wanna-be gourmand’s life, that stands out forever etched in one’s memory.
Anthony Bourdain describes it in such graphic, almost lurid, detail, that it equates to a person’s libidinal initiations.
Yet, as with any other guilty indulgence, raw oyster consumption comes at a price and must be consumed with caution. Some people just cannot eat them raw and so it truly pays to get educated about the risks and dangers involved in consuming oysters for individuals with conditions like diabetes or immune deficiency.

Take the guess work out of the safe consumption of the briney bivalves by checking out Gulf oysters and keep yourself healthy and informed while enjoying one of the greatest foods ever from the beckoning sea.

the comfort of food


don’t judge a book by its cover
beauty is in the eye of the beholder
and there’s more to this casserole than meets the eye! hmph!

this is something i crave, when the skies are grey and it’s nippy and chilly outside.
my best friend from childhood’s nanay used to serve this to us when i (or more of a barkada‘s worth of a bunch of girls) would show up at their house, hungry and tired from school.
she’d ask, would you like to stay for dinner? and all my senses would wake up and get sharper. i lived just across the street, just to cross the dividing barrier with the tall acacia trees in between was no more than a hop and a skip away–yet an invitation to dinner at their house was such a thrilling, clapclapclap kind of a treat for me.
i’d stay for dinner and sometimes for breakfast too if it was an impromptu sleepover!.
this is my tribute to Nanay N., the legendary cook of my childhood days. she used to make her own patis fish sauce! in Quezon City, in their kitchens…it was an ooh-and-ahhh moment when she let me have a taste.

pork chops with pork and beans casserole

4 thin pork chops, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 large cans of pork and beans
worcestershire sauce
maggi or Knorr seasoning sauce
Dijon mustard
thinly sliced onions

preheat oven to 375F.

this is a maskipaps, maski papano, extemporaneous kind of recipe: no measurements, just keep tasting until you feel it’s perfect. mix the pork and beans, sauces, and mustard together in a small bowl.
arrange the pork on the glass baking dish and pour the pork and beans over. top with thinly sliced white onions. bake with aluminum foil tightly sealed over the top for about 30 minutes until pork is almost tender. remove the foil cover then bake for about 20 minutes more or until pork is very tender and onions have browned.

THEY’RE BAAAACK!!!!
:fryingpan :stirthepot :glasses-slip: :grandma:
[audio:lonely.mp3]

the week that was

this new year is supposed to be husband’s lucky year…so we accompanied him to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, the nearest of his “playgrounds,” for some playtime. we stayed in a little generic suite hotel, with an ample free breakfast!, and had us some of that bad buffet. bad as in big, grand, sinful, gluttonous! we stood in line for a good half hour, building up an appetite. thankfully there was a little sitting area for the kids to wait it out, and by the time we reached the cashier we were able to give the buffet due justice.
nothing too exciting except for a scuffle on the buffet “veranda”, we followed the line of boys in teal uniforms who separated the women…too bad we didn’t find out what the fight was about. a huge crowd gathered around to watch the drama. i think it’s human nature: crowd curiosity, morbid fascination and neck craning, you just have to look back on a bad scene.

a wall of security boys in teal
sigh, luck wasn’t raining down on us for this foray though…rain was raining down on us when we drove back home.

another cold day= kakanin day! #2son had a bad cold and was very sad to stay home and miss all his playdates on this vacation week (winter break).
had to make a vat of pancit sotanghon (glass noodles) and a huge pan of bibingkang kamoteng kahoy (cassava bibingka) for husband’s work party (“multiethnic” day or some such holiday made up by his co-workers) so i finagled a little portion for the kiddies, and then made a pan of what i really wanted to eat…bibingkang malagkit (glutinous rice cake) with coconut custard topping.
i think it was the memory of eating something cooked in a roasted fragrant banana leaf that triggered all this bibingka making.

i tried to cheer him up by having him assemble a large deep dish pizza with his favorite topping–pepperoni. i think that it coaxed a big smile out of him.

then what do you know, a snowstorm blew into town and dumped 8 new inches of the fresh and fluffy kind…time to make a snowman?


how about a fry-up for breakfast, the morning after?

just! answer!

cheshire cat
Cheshire cat?

tagged by thesserie
“The rule is very simple. Just copy the following entire list of questions and change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then tag and pass it along to other blogging friends. Let’s see how well we can get to know one another!”
sorry if i sometimes give out T.M.I.

1. What is your occupation? inang yaya πŸ˜† chuperkusineradyanitoralabandera at iba pa

2. What color are your socks right now? “flesh” as in wala, none.

3. What are you listening to right now? the quiet

4. What was the last thing that you ate? green grapes

5. Can you drive a stick shift? yes! i taught husband, too, 16 years ago, and i never, ever, want to drive a stick shift ever again!

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? cornflower blue

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? #1son, in college

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? me loves her!

9. Favorite drink? bir da bir da bir

10. What is your favorite sport to watch? none really….unless people-watching is a sport?

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? nevah. i think i need to cover up the salt and pepa but i don’t want to.

12. Pets? 2 kitties, a grandma (Murphy, grey American domestic longhair), and a juvenile delinquent, Jack BaoBao, (Napoleon lynx point non-standard),
plus 2 tropical fish, a striped Raphael catfish and an upside down catfish (for now, will be adding more soon hopefully)

13. Favorite food? aaah… sushi/sashimi

14. Last movie you watched? Pride and Prejudice (again), starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

15. Favorite Day of the year? favorite days…my kids’ birthdays.

16. What do you do to vent anger? i cry. a lot.

17. What was your favorite toy as a child? my kittens! oh wait they’re not toys…hmm. my miniature palayok-palayukan (clay pots and pans)

18. What is your favorite, fall or spring? SPRING! hurry up and come on down! love the green shoots sprouting from the bare branches and bare earth…

19. Hugs or kisses? yes please.

20. What kind of pie? almond paste or frangipane.

21. Do you want your friends to email you back? immediately! frequently!

22. Who is most likely to respond? my oldest dearest ones.

23. Who is least likely to respond? the cold hearted ones.

24. Living arrangements? husband; three kids (one of them intermittently, the college kid)

25. When was the last time you cried? yesterday.

26. What is on the floor of your closet? dustbunnies, and leather BAGS!

27. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? English Patis’ CeliaK.

28. The friend you have known the shortest amount of time that you are sending this to? Midge

29. Favorite smell? breast-fed babies’ breath

30. What inspires you? children, their innocence and earnestness and honesty

31. What are you afraid of? LOSS

32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? cheesey

33. Favorite car? my present car, an old Honda minivan

34. Favorite cat breed? no i can’t play favorites, i’m a cat!

35. Number of keys on your key ring? 6, but coveting a 7th: a key to a gym locker!

36. How many years at your current job? almost 19 πŸ˜‰

37. Favorite day of the week? Friday, particularly Friday evening when we can kick back and relax.

38. How many provinces have you lived in? two in the Phils. (Manila and Bataan): if provinces were states then it would be 3: NY, CA, MA.

39. How many countries have you been to? lemme think first….16

tagging my friends (even if they’ve already been tagged…) Atinna, celiaK, JMom, and Midge.

of V.D. disasters…

i’m beginning to think Valentine’s day is getting so cheesy.
maybe it has something to do with the baking and cooking disasters i had that day.
it got so bad that i quit in the middle of the “best ever butter cookies” from Land O’Lakes and went out and…egad! bought a tray of cookie hearts from the supermarket….yikes! and brought them to my #2son’s class party. crikey.
oh well anyway. at least they were edible.

another Bundt cake calamity, i really have to try something more than buttering the pan. i always forget! :fryingpan i ought to PAM it maybe. or maybe i should just be obedient and use a tube pan like it says i should.
i made this chocolate chunk coffee cake (from the Domino’s granulated sugar bag) as a gift of gratitude for a friend who gave us, and installed, “the best seat in the house” *wink wink* !
instead my kids are very grateful that they got the calamitous cake for themselves. sigh. wonder if they cast a spell on it?


then in escalating exasperation i made these chocolate cherry brownies from the Green & Black’s cookbook given to me by my dear sweet celiaK of english patis… sweet success na sana but i forgot to pour in the sweet-tart dried cherries! aaargggghhh. so i just studded them in, pressing the pieces into the batter before putting them in the oven.
turned out great anyway, and this time i made sure i had enough for two pans one for my friends and one for my kids (so they won’t bewitch my baking anymore…. ) :wizard:
all this baking was conducted under severe time pressure, in between driving the kids and running errands and chores (hehe that’s my classic excuse).

recipe for the brownies later!

a symptom of my o.c.c.d.

admitting one has it,obsessive-compulsive cake disorder?, is the first step to a cure, right?
i do admit when it comes to cake baking, i am a cake-mix snob.
i truly have a hard time shaking it off, this haughty habit of turning up my nose at these ready-mix boxes–i just can’t help it, i can immediately tell from just one sniff or one nibble when i am face to face with a cake mix cake.
the only exception is bibingkang galapong mix…
my kung hey fat choy cake

and i’ll admit it’s from a cake mix box.
i’ve burnt this at least once before!

searching for olive oil

When I was given free rein in the kitchen of our childhood home one of the first dishes I decided to tackle was spaghetti Bolognese, because I just couldn’t stand the sweet version that was so popular in our home and in our extended family parties. It was also then that I first dabbled with what was then the exotic ingredients of olive oil and oregano and discovered the different kinds of sauces and pastas with which to cook.
A quick survey of my cookbook collection reveals that aside from the Asian editions, my most numerous is Italian, indicative of my fondness for the simplicity and straightforward methods and strong bright flavors of this cuisine. (Sounds like Filipino food too huh?)
I have Mario Batali, Carla Capalbo, Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, and a voluminous Reader’s Digest tome with the regional specialties. (and I am plotting to get a few more from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich)..and in every other recipe olive oil is a staple.

While it is sometimes a challenge to find “best quality” and best price together in one bottle, there is an online source for the genuine ingredients I could possibly need for Italian cooking that makes it easy and convenient and saves me the trouble of driving here and there, to and fro: pasta (organic, wheat, or corn), olive oil, balsamic vinegar, coffee, sea salt; produced by small independent producers using ancient traditional methods; from the farms and orchards of Tuscany, Marche, Sicily and Puglia for generations. There are also specialty cookbooks, to help you capture the true taste of Italy, the next best thing to actually going to Italy!
They are experts in Italian cuisine, who’ve culled the sources for us fellow foodies. They back up their products with a money-back guarantee even, and are now offering free shipping until Feb. 11 to addresses within the continental US.

I would love to receive one of their gift samplers, and I would definitely pick one out for that special friend, the one with the discerning taste…
who deserves such a sumptuous reward!

one fridge magnet’s worth

..of unsolicited advice.

because every child needs “safety rails,” the inner wisdom of knowing where the boundaries are.
and oh yeah, you don’t have to be a friend, your child needs you as a parent. a friendly parent?
p.s. this only works for children who are already verbal. yes i’ve seen parents explaining lengthily to tantrum-y babies and toddlers, when they should be scooping them out of harm’s way and putting them in a safe time-out.
i’m posting these because i’ve really had quite enough of spoiled children, especially when they are acting out in front of mine. it’s safe to assume that by the time they’re in pre-school it’s really really hard to undo all that unspoiling. so DON’T.

put a lock on it

one of the scariest consequences of modern life is identity theft. our reliance on automation and numbers leaves us all so vulnerable, that one has to be constantly vigilant.
there is a service out there to take away the anxiety of always “looking over your shoulder” to check if anyone has pilfered your identification or credit card numbers, to steal away your good credit standing and your good name.
it’s like your home security system. the minute any suspicious activity arises, they sound the alarm and you are able to lock up even tighter.
they offer so many services, such as monitoring your credit score every three months.
and they back up their service with a $1 million guarantee against identity theft. if heaven forbid, you are ever compromised while under their care, they will hire the best of the best of whatever you need–lawyers, accountants, investigators–to get you out of the quagmire.
lock out those identity thieves with lifelock!