Monthly Archives: July 2008

trying to get that feeling again

heehee apologies to non-Barry Manilow fans.

but when i had my first bite of beard Papa’s cream puffs (see previous entry, search for bearded Grandpa–the iconic logo)…i knew that i could make some at home.
Chiboust cream-filled puffs

i mean, it cost almost $30 for a dozen and a half. :melodramatic:

it wasn’t that hard to make either. except that i decided to try Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recipe from the Pie and Pastry bible. it was more involved than my usual from Betty Crockers.

then i chose to make Rose’s Chiboust cream from the filling. it is pastry cream (milk+egg yolks+sugar+vanilla bean essence) lightened with whipped cream. it is named after the chef who invented Gateau St. Honore, which has got to be the most complicated dessert ever invented. probably meant to impress the in-laws. aristocratic in-laws? :chef:
whipped cream+pastry cream=Chiboust cream

anyway…the verdict: just like the real thing! thumbs up from all my discerning diners. i skipped the powdered-sugar sprinkles, after all, with the diabetic blood coursing through my veins, i made one tiny effort to lessen the sugar load on my poor little kids…. :stirthepot

Chiboust cream-filled cream puffs 1

if anyone wants it, i’ll post the recipes when we come back :bread !

back from LA! on to Baltimore and Washington, DC…

thanks to my sweet friends for visiting the lonely blog, it took me a while…you know, jet lag plus wishful wistful thinking, separation anxiety, and then the serious business of unpacking and cleaning up and washing up and getting back to the real grind.

yes, it was a grueling ride. i don’t likereally hate airplanes. i wish i never have to ride one again, but such is modern life that this is just about the only means to a happy reunion at the end; the treat of seeing our loved ones far outweighs MY anxiety over the plane ride. i can’t describe the joy i felt over seeing my ma and dad, of hanging out with my nieces and nephews, and of bonding with my siblings. i even saw some favorite older cousins whom i haven’t seen in what seems like decades!
i can only pray that it won’t be so long till the next time…
i can only hope that my dad will hold up and fight the disease that is slowly tearing him away from us.
we should all learn from my ma about the power of unconditional love.
we only had a precious 7 days to spend, and i chose to concentrate on hanging out with my parents… as time marches on the long gaps in between make the life changes that much more pronounced. i often close my eyes to remember how we were, how they looked, when i was a child.

but next time i’m scoring some Librium or something. and i’ll be re-reading the statistics of transportation safety to reassure myself, and ward off the horrid awful panic attack i tried so hard to suppress (and i did succeed somewhat, i did not do anything too utterly scandalous, other than some strange stretching and breathing exercises, my children were watching!!!)

it was a big mistake to switch places with sonny and sit by the window. just as the pilot flew right into a raging thunderstorm over Boston! :faint:

here are a few photos of the highlights. food trips, actuallly. it’s amazing how my siblings have zeroed in on all the destination spots for food in their area. wonder where we got it from?
now i’m packing, again! i have to go get ready for the next planned part of our vacation. we’re going south, IN A NICE COMFY MINIVAN. :drunk:
jackfruit and banana turonCalifornia cousinsWest Lake? Thousand Oaks?pinkberry frozen yogurtpinkberry partysnapper joe'sPICT0048PICT0049PICT0050PICT0056Cold Stone Creamery frookie cookie ice cream cake73rd bday, 2 of 3 cakes!PICT0144PICT0145PICT0146buko pandan coolera demolished halo halo fr. Jollibee

in the photos: sis-in-law’s homemade turon (fried wrapped jackfruit and sweet saba bananas), pinkberry frozen yogurt with fresh fruit toppings, Snapper Joe’s fish tacos and nachos, kids got a kick out of this sushi restaurant,
finally found peach ice cream, Dad’s 73rd birthday lechon, Dad’s birthday cakes:frookie cookie ice cream cake from Cold Stone creamery, ube/mango cake + mocha cake from Goldilocks, beard Papa’s cream puffs at Japantown, Jollibee buko pandan cooler w/ sago, Jollibee halo halo.

missing in action: my mom’s paksiw na lechon (roast pork stew with vinegar), secret recipe lengua (tongue) with mushrooms and the best butter sauce ever!, and pictures of cousin Chiqui waiting on us at her Japanese restaurant job (daughter forgot her camera in California!!)

waaaah…we miss them :tragedy:

we will return!

a bunch of plane tickets fell on my lap! thank you o Great Benevolent Benefactress Matriarch!
we are going away for a little while.

we (not using a royal we), i mean my three kids and i, are going to visit mom, dad, older sister and baby bro, and their families,
in Los Angeles.

i don’t think we’ll be able to do much of any touristy stuff, as our main purpose is to hang out with family and especially Dad/Lolo (Grandpa), and to meet our newest family member, the cutie patootybaby “Neil.”

i have no idea what kind of internet connection i’ll be able to sneak past…but certainly i’ll do my darndest to get it! if not i hope my friends and readers will still continue to visit and maintain my page visit stats and browse through my silly little posts in the archives.

enjoy the hot summer everyone. :lei:

peach ice cream

so this popular ice cream brand has been featuring in its commercials, peach ice cream.

that this ice cream has only all natural ingredients.

that this ice cream is so good you’ll have to have some.

and of course, the idea was mind boggling. fresh peaches! cream! sugar!

so off i went looking.

and there was none to be found.

yup we tried, all the stores within reasonable driving distance (this, despite the escalating gas prices! we were compelled), and the company seems so unreachable(no 800 number to call, no “contact us” button on the webpage).

exasperating? sure, so i tried to make some.

peach ice cream

end product: tasted too much like custard. it must have been the…cheating. yes i confess i didn’t follow instructions. instead of using fresh peaches–blanched, peeled, pitted, sliced, and THEN macerated with sugar, for 8 HOURS!– i used canned slices in heavy syrup.

oh well, next time i’ll be more obedient. anyway the in-house ice cream aficionados are eating it up. :thumbsup:

faking sisig, again

sisig is a popular Filipino “pulutan” or appetizer or cocktail accompaniment of chopped up roast pig parts, especially the pork cheeks or jowls, the brain, and the ears, with an internal organ or two (liver especially). the whole mixture is then sizzled on a hot plate then served with lime juice and hot pepper sauce.

the skin on the cheeks, that part that is called the “maskara” (mask) and is really the entire face, just roasts up really impossibly crisp and tender. the ears lend crunch, the brains and livers, the mush.

all together, you must eat it to believe it.

me want it! even though it is so bad.

this is what husband almost did, after i begged him to please please please go up to the Butcher’s counter of the Chinese grocery, and ask for a fresh pig’s head: :fryingpan

once in a while they do sell cooked pig’s head but it’s flavored, i am guessing with five-spice powder and soy, and somehow it does not compute with the sisig formula.

my neighbors brought me some on our first barbecue together, and that is how i got inspired to make sisig with other pig parts, since my husband who had vowed to love and to cherish, to have and to hold… refused to procure me a pig’s head. :melodramatic:
they also suggested the sizzling plate. :thumbsup:

my sisig-sisigan, made with deboned boiled pork leg and hocks, ears, chicken livers, roasted over charcoal, chopped up, then poured into a hot plate, with red onions and hot red chili peppers (i used my fajita pan), then broiled under the toaster oven heating element, and THEN drizzled with lime juice:
sisig at home
i was a finalist in one of the contests of the “does my blog look good in this?” four years ago when i started out babyrambutan.blogspot.com.
i did not win.
i suspect it was because i described it as a “weird salad.” :stirthepot

cool me down, cool me off

with a carb-y and a fruity salad!
bow tie pasta (farfalle) salad
a pound of farfalle, a pound of asparagus, a pint of grape tomatoes, a cup and a half of crumbled feta, a bunch of mint(they’re taking over the garden!)…dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
bowtie pasta salad,recipe from the Boston Globe Food section, July 2, 2008.

buko+nata de coco+kaong+frutas=frut salad!
buko (young coconut) fruit salad…i would love to dive in and drown in it! a packet of frozen shredded young coconut, 2 cans of fruit cocktail, nata de coco (coconut gel) and kaong (palm fruit), a-swim in a softened-cream cheese/condensed milk/heavy cream concoction.
in a fit of self-righteouslness i did not devour it… :melodramatic: i dove into the YMCA swimming pool instead.

just perfect for this heatwave we’re in :wizard: .

you want S’more?!

the campfire treat in a cheesecake!
this flavor combination of milk chocolate, graham cracker, and toasted marshmallow is so famous and beloved, did you know that it has its own National Holiday? yeah, August 10 or 11, depending on whom you ask.

the invention is attributed to girl scouts, and it has spawned the creation of S’mores flavors in ice cream, granola bars, chocolate bars…and now cheesecake.
this is from the latest issue of bon appetit.
S'mores cheesecake, in the dark
i must confess, i only used up half of the marshmallow topping, since i found it quite deadly, cloyingly, toothachey sweet. if you can afford the sugar, go ahead and use it all up on top, then broil away, with a blow torch, or watching over carefully, with the broiler function of your stove.

all-American cheesecake
pyros on the loose
notwithstanding my making this cheesecake,
my pyromaniacs still went ahead and made s’mores the classical way:

light up a big roaring bonfire.

melt a marshmallow on a long maple twig that you foraged for yourself from the back yard.

sandwich between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate bar wedged in between…
open wide, bite, then say “yummmm!”

my voluptuous buns

for our cozy little 4th of July family picnic (“staycation”) the kids asked for homemade cheeseburger.

i’ve been baking sandwich bread with my Dak bread machine, but still buying bulkie or kaiser rolls from the supermarket. i think they’re too soft and often times get downright soggy. i wanted hefty, dense… yet buttery and tasty, buns to defy the gravity and stand up to all the fixings we wished to pile on.

the store we’ve nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” sells designer brioche buns for almost $5 for four– count ’em, 4!– measly buns.

it was time to take matters into my own hands.

i searched for and found “Moomie’s Burger Buns,” from King Arthur Flour, the recipe that everyone was raving about. i made the dough er my Dak made the dough, on manual setting, and i shaped it into 8 luxurious dough balls, and let them rise into puffy glory.
"Moomie's Burger Buns"

brushed with egg wash and baked on a lightly greased cookie sheet for about 12 minutes. we split and grilled them before stacking up our fixings.

my all-homemade deluxe burger

i think we’re getting spoiled!

garbanzos and tuna salad

i found a tuna salad combination that was just perfect for the sweltering summer day. chickpeas, or garbanzos, tuna, tomatoes, red onions, basil and spinach, which i dressed with my favorite Delia Smith garlic lemon pepper dressing. (scroll way way down if you click this link, the transferred posts from my old babyrambutan.com are all below the fold, somehow.)

tuna and garbanzos salad

when it’s too hot, you don’t have to get out of the kitchen :penguin:
you just don’t have to turn on the ovenstove :highfive: !!!

I see motorhomes!

In my not too distant future! Husband and I are daydreaming of the day when we can retire to a comfortable and leisurely retirement, when he won’t have to go to work, when we have successfully launched our kids off into their hopefully happy and fulfilled adulthood.
We are hoping that at that point we will be hale and hearty and still full of the zest for life, and possibly occasionally babysitting our grandkids. We are actually thinking that it may happen in less than ten years, is that too optimistic?!
Wouldn’t that be just grand!
One of our dreams is to look into Motorhomes to explore this great country of ours and have adventures with a portable home with a comfortable–nay!–luxurious!–ride, a bed, a kitchen, a shower…
The great open road beckons to us and we think the ride would be so luxurious in something like THIS. And this one is previously owned.
A brand new one would definitely be the cat’s whiskers though.