Monthly Archives: March 2009

“dirty” rice

grey gloomy glum weather again, and still cold, but. at least…. it’s FRIDAY!
i’m not too fond of the name of the dish (it just reminds me too much of the sisid *as in dive underwater* rice stories my Ma told us, about the harrowing times during WW2 :brokenheart: ).
Southern style rice sounds a bit better, but then how to distinguish it from the what, several hundred? kinds of dishes with rice from the South.
so dirty rice it is.
chicken livers, chicken gizzards. you like?
Southern "dirty" rice
we love! husband discovered how to make this, one of our favorite side dishes for fried chicken when we buy it from our preferred take out joint (hint: named for a sailor man who loves his spinach, canned. his goyl’s name is Olive Oyl.)
i used duck gizzards but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter…except i was a bit worried that pulsing the livers, as the recipe commands, would render it bitter so i just roughly chopped them up, same way as the gizzards.
i’m thinking of adding some thick cubes of bacon next time, just to make it even more wicked.
fried chicken, yes, but i think it would also be a good foil (foyl?) for grilled fish or shellfish, Cajun style perhaps?
from Continue reading

Litratong Pinoy#51: sapatos! (shoes!)

ang tema sa linggong ito ng Litratong Pinoy ay nakakatuwa…sapatos!
nagkakaintindihan tayong lahat, kaway kaway, kindat kindat, mga kababayang Imeldific!

ang aking lahok ay ang sapatos kong panglabas o pang-gara. dahil ako’y isang maybahay lamang bihira naman ang okasyong kailangan ng magarang sapatos. pero nung nagtapos ang aming unica hija sa mababang paaralan ang napusuan kong bilhin ay ang ginintuang Cole Haan ballerina flats.
this week’s theme for the premier Pinoy photoblogging event is so much fun…it’s all about shoes!
since we have these Imeldific genes :wave: *wink*wink*
my entry is my “going out” Cole Haan ballerina flats. i’m just a stay at home mom i rarely go out to fancy occasions anyway, but last spring when our only daughter graduated from middle school i was kind of forced to get a pair. in metallic gold!

shiny gold flats
ang lambot lambot ng balat nito, at ang sakong nito ay NikeAir, puwedeng tumakbo o mag basketball!
it’s really comfortable and the leather is soft and buttery, while the soles are “NikeAir”–i can run, or maybe even shoot hoops???

naalala ko siguro yung paborito kong suot nung ako’y musmos…
i think i got nostalgic for my favorite pair, from babyhood.
gold baby shoes
pero sa totoo lang, heto ang mga suot ko, araw gabi, sa tindi ng ginaw dito sa amin.
in my real world these are my outdoor and indoor footwear, i jump from one into the other; they’re sheepskin lined, for the bone chilling temperatures over here.
in and out shoes

plantains in caramel syrup

lucky you if you have access to saba bananas, which i found were called “pear bananas” in a Filipino store in Glendale, CA.
i don’t, so i make do with plantains. they’re a worthy substitute as long as you get them just-right ripe–i buy them green and then wait for the dark sugar spots on the skin and tender-firm touch.
my kids love it this way for an after school snack. i get really nostalgic about the way my best friend C and her family poured a splash of fresh carabaomilk on their bowls.
my Ma makes a simple syrup made with dark brown sugar or palm sugar tablets(panucha)–this time i caramelized some sugar and then poured water and simmered to dissolve completely, before adding the slices and cooking for about 10 minutes until done.
the sweetness was richer, darker, deeper. i prefer it this way now.
minatamis na saging

a blondie i’ll never be

i’ve just survived another harrowing visit to the hairdresser for a much needed haircut. i truly dread going, because they almost invariably end up sighing heavily at the sight of my thinning hair. but i figure, i’m a paying customer and i don’t want to look like a hag anymore.
the guy is a bona fide hair artist and i only regret i don’t have more hair to offer him. he charges a fair amount for his talent, and i justify the cost by going only twice a year at most….hence the hag look.
this time around, he looked at me and said, “why you not color your hair?”
i almost backed out and ran out the door, but i just smiled and said “no thanks, i’m afraid it will just ruin my hair further,” and marched on to the shampooing area.

so that’s how i escaped becoming a chunky blonde, and how i segue into this recipe which i made really quickly one afternoon before heading out to our daughter’s dessert potluck at the non-profit service volunteer group she joined…it was easy to put together but i didn’t have enough time to let it cool completely before cutting into bars, that’s why it looks soggy and gooey.
i doubled the recipe, and you can put in any other add-ins you want instead of the chocolate chips, walnuts, shredded coconut and butterscotch bits.
chewy chunky blondie brownie

    chewy, chunky blondie

from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking From my home to yours,” 2006.
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp.
1 &1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet/semisweet chocolate, chopped into chips, OR 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips (i used Ghirardelli 60% cacao)
1 cup butterscotch chips or Heath Toffee bar bits (i used a combination of butterscotch chips and caramel bits)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconuts

butter a 9″ by 13″ baking pan and put it on a baking sheet. preheat oven to 325F.

whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated. add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients mixing just until they disappear into the batter. using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts, and coconut. scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even out the top as best as you can.
bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. the blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. transfer the pan to a rack and cool for about 15 minutes before turning the blondies out onto another rack. invert into a rack and cool the blondies to room temperature right side up.
cut into 32 bars, each roughly 2 &1/4″ by 1&1/2″.
i think serving it a la mode with a premium vanilla ice cream would be just perfect…and i solemnly swear, i did not eat too much of this or of the other items in the dessert buffet…that would have been suicidal.

dessert buffetdessert buffet, Boston

smashed potatoes

i made these for our half-hearted attempt at a St. Patrick’s day dinner…i say half-hearted because i didn’t follow through on all the traditional Boston-Irish side dishes to accompany the boiled corned beef dinner.
i wasn’t even going to do it at all, not being very fond of that grey tough cut of seasoned beef. but then i overheard two little old ladies at the poolside, talking about how they had run out of corned beef and were now out to get more because it was so good and they needed to serve the leftover carrots and potatoes and cabbage all over again…
smashed potatoes

i’ve eyed this recipe since my March 2009 Gourmet arrived. my kids loved it so much, i made them twice in a week. whether you like your potatoes boiled or fried, i guarantee you’ll flip for these. just make sure to use red potatoes (yukon gold is just about the only other one i think would work).

scrub the potatoes and boil until almost tender. (pick the same sizes so they all cook at the same time). it’s important that they still be firm but cooked, yet not cooked through that they mash. let rest a bit to cool down.
press down with a wide spatula or even a potato masher. careful with this step, you want the potatoes to retain some shape. heat a skillet with olive oil and butter (amount depends upon the number of potatoes and how wide your skillet is, you want it to brown). over medium heat brown each side about ten minutes each. sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
transfer potatoes to serving platter and then sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

serve with grilled meat or roasted chicken.

7 things i love

i was tagged by ces, my sweet neighbor. and it has sort of coaxed me out of my incommunicado mode. i reckon, here’s my chance to explain, where i’ve been and/or what i’ve been up to! sorry, i’ve been in hibernation, just sticking close to home, “nesting,” as it were.
somehow, i just feel so cold, six months of cold already! aaaaarrggh! :penguin: i really just want to snuggle down in bed under two down comforters and snooze, but i can’t do that all day…i even mentioned it to my Doc, and he’s checking it out.

so here’s why i’ve been absent.
7 things* keeping me from blogging, i love: *inanimate, tangible, just stuff.

1. the swimming pool!
i think maybe that’s why i’m cold–getting out of the pool even after only a half hour of laps and despite taking a good strong hot skin-peeling shower, i am chilled to the bone, and ravenously hungry! yet i can’t stop swimming, there’s something addictive about it, and i know i will feel physically and mentally BAD, and lost, and guilty if i skip. and as soon as i get out i am plotting my next session. i try to go every other day but it doesn’t work out for weekends very well, i feel guilty about not hanging out with my kids.

2. movies!movies!movies!
ever since i got my own tv in the kitchen, and husband switched our cable service provider, i have been watching them, while i do dishes, while cooking, mopping, etc….
in particular i like movies where the scenery is engaging, like the English countryside, French (kahit subtitled!) castles,…and i’ve even seen “The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros” on sundance. made me wistful for Manila.
i also borrow from the $1 big box at the supermarket, and from the public library (free for two weeks! only in America!)
*i’ve recently been blown away by “I’ve Loved You for So Long”, in particular the performance of Kristin Scott Thomas. couldn’t take my eyes away from her–and she’s onscreen 99% of the movie.

the bloodiest yet funniest movie i’ve seen in a long time: “Hot Fuzz”, it’s worth mentioning because i really hate bloody movies but this one is the bomb.

i love where kids are the stars: “August Rush,” “Millions,”
“Nobody Knows,” “Eve and the Fire Horse.”

i love funny guys like Ricky Gervais, in “Ghost Town.” and when a funny guy’s in a sweet drama, e.g. Adam Sandler in “Punch Drunk Love.”

Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married,” was a revelation; i had pegged her under the Meg Ryan/Julia Roberts/Sandra Bullock category, where in each and every movie they somehow end up playing themselves and not the character. Anne H. proved to have another dimension in there somewhere. the movie itself? thumbs down because it felt like watching someone’s wedding video–i found myself flipping through my Saveur magazine during the long bits of wedding rehearsal and ceremony.

3. costume/period dramas on yootyoob–“Lark Rise to Candleford,” (help me, somebody! i need to watch Season Two!!!), Little Dorrit, Masterpiece Theater, Mystery, and any old BBC special…i am there.

4. daydreaming about summer–and that includes perusing garden catalogues, searching for peonies and snowdrops and bluebells, and climbing white roses, and looking for our new charcoal grill. first day of spring today? guess what, it’s freezing cold and windy, and it feels like we’re in a time warp/twilight zone/nightmare kind of trap. planning our first cookout of the year keeps me sane.

5. poring over old cookbooks and cookery magazines. (shockingly predictable!) see #2.

6. glass…i love glass things! it’s got something to do with transparency. long before it became a Presidential campaign byword, i wanted to surround myself with glass when i kept getting disappointed by deception, duplicity, and pretext. so i go to the ukey ukey[second hand] store to look for interesting glass jars, drinking glasses, vases, and so on. .50 cents each lang naman! i think husband throws away some of them when i’m not looking….it’s okay dahling, i know, it’s my sickness. :wizard:

7. cat fur. especially on the cat, in between the ears and the suede like fur on their ears. meow!
i’ve been hanging out a lot with my cat, just enjoying his presence. i am contemplating getting a dog, but i don’t think i can convince my family, they think dogs are smelly.

so…i hope i will get back into the swing of things again. here’s to hope, that the warm weather really is coming back, SOOOOOOON. or else. :faint:

you reading this? you’re tagged! please let me know if you did by leaving a link and if you don’t have a blog, just post them here….sige na.

falling out of love

just with the blog, i mean :kitty: .

only because there are so many other things i’d rather do lately, that blogging pales by comparison. and i’ve been cooking and baking still; i just got lazy to take photographs, then upload, then blog. it got to be too much work, man.

outside the drizzle goes on, it’s dark and grey and gloomy. it’s one step forward to spring then two steps backward (as in 50 degree temps one day, freeze and swirling snow the next :melodramatic: ) i wonder how long before our bodies get used to the daylight saving switch. i know for sure our biorhythms are all messed up and no matter how early i go to sleep, my eyelids just won’t budge open next morning at the appointed wake up time.

i’ve resorted to spiking my coffee with an extra tablespoon of grinds to jolt myself awake.
an extra splash of cold water helps too.
and then there’s the iPod for the drive to school. here’s what i’ve been playing (i also wanted to help the kids shake off the fish sandwich jingle that’s been stuck in their heads–secretly i like it; it’s creepy, i know.) i think i saw eyes rolling from the rear view mirror :glasses-slip:

i’m off to look for 54% cacao dark chocolate for a “surprise cake”: for daughter, winning a $$ award for her science fair project (a lot of blood-sweat-&-tears equity in that one!); for #1son, sleeping it off after all the late nights in college–studying, mind you!, more than partying :cheerful: ! and for #2son a.k.a. “fantastic boy” who took home a most excellent report card yesterday. congratulations, mga anak!