Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Kris Kringle Gift Ideas this Christmas

Kris Kringle. 'Tis the season of giving gifts. And many offices and groups are having what we love best -- giving surprise gifts. And the best was t do that is via Kris kringle, I don't know how that got that name but I'm quite sure Kris Aquino has no hand at it. lol

Anyway, here are suggestions for some of the common "something" to give your baby or monito/monita.

SOMETHING RED: the usual would be apples, red candies or a set of red pens. For practical and useful gifts you may give red Christmas balls or a pack of red Christmas gift wrappers. Your monito/monita will like it because lines in gift wrapping sections in malls can be too long at this  time. For unique gifts, give a pack of red tomatoes, a kilo of red rice (it's available n some supermarkets like Rustan's) or a can of tomato sause/spaghetti sauce.

SOMETHING SCARY: i don't know why some groups include this as a category for the "something" this season. It's so Halloween haha. But you can buy some horror story books at National Bookstore. A DVD of a horror movie you like.

SOMETHING LONG AND HARD: common gifts would be a pencil or ruler. But you may choose a hula hoop, a train track, a stack of plastic cups (no, not the disposable cups) or a ream of long bond paper.

SOMETHING BIG: if you don't want your identity to be revealed, do not give something that's literally big as it is difficult to carry to the office or wherever your doing your Kris Kringle. Instead, give a box of Zesto BIG or BIGGIE fries or drinks from Wendy's.

SOMETHING YUMMY: of course you'll think of chocolate or cake or whatever you like, But make it a little bit unique by giving a pack of Kopiko (remember their Coco Martin commercial?).

SOMETHING NAUGHTY/SEXY: an FHM magazine will do. Or a sexy underwear from Bench. Or a pack of condoms. Or that souvenir from Baguio.....the man in a barrel or THE ashtray.

SOMETHING SOFT: a pack of cotton come to mind. Or marshmallow. A roll of bathroom tissue is useful. If you want, you can also give a dozen sanitary napkins. Or perhaps a handkerchief. A bottle of shampoo will also be fine to give your monito/monita soft and flowy hair.


Friday, July 03, 2015

Nutrition Week - Fruit and Vgetable Costume Ideas

I got surprised when I saw the increasing number of visits this blog has been getting for two weeks now. The I realized it's July. here in the Philippines, this month is considered as Nutrition Month. And I have several posts about Nutrition Week costumes hence the increase in number of visitors.

If you want unique ideas, please read my previous post. I wrote there suggestions on how you can make homemade costumes (illustration below). I also added ways to use "old" costumes (like Cinderella, Snow White, Mickey Mouse) for Nutrition Week Programs.

Additional ideas:

Come as a cellphone. Yup, you heard that right. Cutout a drawing of the front of an iphone. Make sure it's big enough to cover the front of your body. Then cutout an illustration of the backside of an iphone. Attach them with garter or string so you can wear the costume over your shoulders. Hard to describe -- just look at the illustration below.

Draw fruit slices on a cartolina (white then color according to the fruit that you chose or cut out using colored paper). Attach the "fruit slices" on a skirt. Best fruit for this is orange (see drawing below). You can also try tomato.

You can use balloons to make a  bunch of grapes costume. Just blow several small balloons and attach them together to resemble a bunch of grapes.

Lastly, you can also come as a "fruit ninja". If you're familiar with the game then you know what to do. Let your child wear a ninja costume and let him carry s fruit sliced in half. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Health and Culinary Benefits of Oregano

This summer heat is terrible. Everyone is complaining about it. This heat is making a lot of people sick. That includes me. I've been coughing for several days now probably because of sweating too much -- as the old people say, uubuhin ka pagnatuyuan ng pawis.

Since I always try home remedy first before taking pills, I decided to rely on my childhood cough medicine -- oregano.

When I was a kid, my mother would always boil oregano leaves whenever I have cough. Initially, I did not like the idea of drinking the concoction. But because of my mom's persistence, I learned to like it eventually.

When I was in high school, I found out that oregano is also used for other health purposes. Aside from healing cough and other respiratory tract problems, it is also used for urinary tract infections. They say it also aids in treating gastrointestinal problems.

They say all these is because it has antibacterial properties. On top of that, they also say it has antioxidant properties. Since it is has antioxidant properties, it is safe to say that you can drink this for prevention of different kinds of diseases.

What you need to do is to boil several oregano leaves until they become soft and the water turns greenish. My mom also adds other medicinal plants like sambong leaves and basil. Sometimes, she squeezes calamansi on the concoction to improve its taste (do this once you've removed it from fire).

Aside form health benefits, oregano also has culinary uses. I usually use it when I cook chicken using turbo broiler. I put oregano leaves together with basil, tomatoes, onions and garlic at the bottom of turbo broiler. It gives the chicken a distinct but subtle flavor. It also gives the chicken an appetizing aroma.

I have also tried putting oregano leaves in almondigas (albondigas)-- misua with meatballs. Since almondigas has a very simple taste, adding oregano makes it a little fancier.

I've also used oregano with grilled bangus (milkfish). I added it with the tomato, onion and garlic mix that I stuffed in the belly. My original intention in adding oregano was to mask the smell of the fish (lansa) but I found out that it also added an interesting flavor to it.

If fresh oregano is not available, you can use the dried oregano that's available in most supermarkets. You just rub it on the meat you're going to grill to make it special.

McRib - Ribs or No Ribs

I attended a whole day seminar about Behavior Management conducted by The Medical City Pediatrics Department yesterday. On our way back to Makati City from Pasig, my friend and I decided to drop by McDonald's first to buy something to eat because we knew it was going to be a long ride. It was 5 in the afternoon so traffic was really bad.

I ordered McRib since I've heard about it but have not actually tried it. There are two variants -- McRib and McRib Deluxe. The former has onions and pickles while the latter has lettuce. The former is sold at P129 with small fries and soda while the latter is sold at P149 also with small fries and soda. I chose McRib Deluxe.

At first bite I already concluded that it really tastes like barbecued ribs. The sauce tastes authentic. But I think the one pickles and onions would have been a better choice. I think pickles and onions would be a better match with the sauce. But it was still great.

While we were eating, my friend said she has some friends who didn't like the McRib. For them, it was not good because there's no real ribs. I was surprised at this comment. I mean who would actually think that they will put real ribs on their sandwich. Yes, that's what the name says but honestly, do you really expect them to put ribs there? Go to a fine dining restaurant or a steak house if you want real ribs. The price alone would tell you that it's just burger patty.

I saw on the internet a video showing how McDonald's make McRibs. The video shows that they use real meat which is different from the myths that say they use stuff other than meat.

Anyway, will I have McRib again? Yes. It tastes good for a fastfood sandwich. I'll have it again and this time I'll get the one with pickles and onions. But I'm not trying it again real soon. Probably I'll give it a week or two.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cabalen and Their Food Choices

I had dinner with some friends at Cabalen restaurant last Friday. It was an unplanned trip to the mall so we didn't make reservations. Fortunately, there weren't a lot of people when we arrived so we were seated right away.

The first thing I noticed with their dishes is that many of them were vegetables. There were still meat and seafood dishes but it felt like they were reduced. If you are not fond of vegetables, you will definitely feel shortchanged. The good thing is they still have lechon. And unlike in the past, their lechon has greatly improved. The meat tastes good even without the lechon sauce. The skin is also crispy unlike before when they were usually rubbery.

Dessert choices has also lessened. They still have the halo-halo that many people actually looked for. They also have chocolate fountain with nothing but marshmallows to dip. I didn't see sliced fruits so I had to ask for bananas which I always like to dip in the hot chocolate fountain. They gave me bananas -- unpeeled -- so I had to peel it on my own. Sliced apples would have been nice too but there weren't any.

I was happy with the lechon, sisig and spicy tahong but overall, I wasn't satisfied. I mean I ate a lot of these three so I left Cabalen full but I was not really satisfied with the limited choices.

I understand that it is priced lower than Vikings or Buffet 101 but those restaurants have so many choices you wouldn't really mind paying that much. Cabalen's buffet dinner is just P398. This is lower than the P888 of buffet dinner at Vikings and P899 at Buffet 101 on weekdays but it still feels more expensive because of the limited choices.

I do hope they will improve their food choices in the future so the P398 would feel more acceptable.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Arana't Baluarte -- Chandeliers and Arches

I was feeling sad last night since I was not able to go home to the province for the Arana't Baluarte 2015. It's a festival in honor of San Isidro Labrador. It's similar to the one of Lucban, Quezon's Pahiyas. But instead of decorating houses, what we have in our town are Baluarte or Arches where Arana or Chandeliers are placed. Each chandelier is designed with fruits and vegetables. This is like thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. Remember, San Isidro is the patron Saint of farmers.

These arches line the major streets in town where the procession will pass by later in the afternoon. As soon as the procession pass by an arch, the chandeliers will be released/dropped for the people to get their share of fruits and vegetables. It can be rowdy at times because naturally, the people would want to get as much bounty as they can. But in spite of the rowdiness, it is generally fun.

In the past, the arches which are usually made of bamboo are kept plain and simple. But through the years, people started to design these arches such that they are now really fabulous looking. Then it became a contest. Each barangay or cluster of barangays has its own arch to design. Now, you'll really be amazed at the creativity of the people in charge of designing these arches.

I've compiled some pictures I got from facebook pages of my pamangkins for you to see. Thanks Karen and myleen.

Gumaca, Quezon

This arch or baluarte is near our house.

Arch by one of the barangay clusters.

Believe it or not, this is an arch.

The chandeliers or arana.

These chandeliers will be dropped as soon as the last part of the procession pass.

Although the main even is in the afternoon, many people are already going around town to see the arches.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Benefits of Guyabano Leaves

Last Monday, a friend gave me a bottle of El Shaddai luya oil and Guyabano (Soursop) leaves. While I know what the ElShaddai oil is for, I had to ask her what she wants me to do with the Guyabano leaves. She said she knows that I always have urinary tract infection or UTI and kidney stones problem so she decided to give me the Guyabano leaves to boil. She said her mom said it's good.

I know many are saying that Guyabano is good for the health but I'm not sure what exactly the benefits are. So this prompted me to ask around and here's what I got. Apart from being good for UTI, it also has cancer fighting capacity. An internet article said that it's even better than chemotherapy.

I also gathered that it also helps increase the immune system since it contains Vitamin C. It also aids in digestion and prevents constipation. I wonder if it can also help reduce weight.

It is also rich in B Vitamins so it's good for the nerves. Potassium is also listed as one of the contents of Guyabano so it is also good for those with heart conditions. Add to that the help it could give to athletes like runners who are into long distance running (fun runs are famous these days, right?) because it could help prevent leg cramps.

Manang, who I asked to boil the leaves for me a while ago said that in their province, Guyabano is believed to help cure skin infections. Those with rheumatism and arthritis also use Guyabano for that much needed relief.

Of course, these benefits do not come from the leaves alone but from fruits, bark and roots as well.

Guyabano Leaves
It looks and tastes like any other tea so no need to worry.
Anyway, what I was told to do is to boil the leaves really well and have it as my morning drink. I hope it helps (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ginataang Pako with Mussels Recipe

Last Sunday, a vendor passed by our house carrying a bundle of pako or ferns. I only know two dishes that can be made out of it, pako salad (ensaladang pako) and ginataan. I decided to cook Ginataang Pako with Mussels . I wanted another kind of shellfish but unfortunately, it was not available at the market that day so I settled for tahong. I usually see it sold at the flea market in our town every Thursday. Anyway, I haven't really done this dish in the past so like the many other dishes that I wrote about here, I invented my own recipe.

Ginataang Pako with Mussels

1 bundle pako
1/2 kilo mussels
3 pieces medium tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
1 cup water
salt and pepper

  • Boil mussels in a pan.
  • Once cooked, set aside.
  • Add the pako and chopped tomatoes where you boiled the mussels.
  • When the pako is tender, add 1 cup of coconut milk.
  • When the sauce is already thick, add the remaining coconut milk.
  • Let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add the mussels (shells removed). 
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. 

I am cutting down on rice but this dish made me forget about that for a while. Try it. 

Yakimix Greenbelt 3 -- My Favorite Yakimix Branch

I had dinner at Yakimix Greenbelt 3 last week. It's the 3rd branch I've been to and I must say it's my favorite Yakimix branch. I've been to Yakimix Tomas Morato (which is closed already) and Robinson's Ermita but this one is the best one for me.

What I like about this branch is the interior design. It has an elegant appeal to me. The two others seemed small and too crowded. Whatever "elegance" they tried to put was somehow lost in the sea of people.

Aside from the ambiance, I also like the fact that they have more sushi and sashimi choices in Greenbelt. They also have better dessert choices.

Another plus point for me is that they change the grill pan often. No need to request. They change it as soon as they see you've finished grilling.

 Try this branch out guys. You'll like their service.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Experimenting with Seasonings and Mixes

I started writing this piece early this morning but I got sidetracked when I saw a post about the Finals of Asia's Got Talent. The post was about the great performances of El Gamma Penumbra, Junior New System and Gerphil Flores so I watched them first. I was really stunned by their performances. El Gamma Penumbra's performance was touching. It brought me to tears actually. I was also amazed with Gerphil. Her voice was so powerful I thought the lights would break. And the Junior New System really brought the house down. Their stunts were amazing. There's another act from the Philippines but I'm gonna watch it later. Anyway, what I'm gonna write now is about seasonings and mixes. There's no connection at all. Lol

Last Sunday, I was talking to a cousin who also loves to cook. He told me that he does not use seasonings and mixes anymore. He's into healthy stuff right now. I told him I still use them occasionally. I buy some mixes like Kung Pao Chicken Mix, Sisig Mix, etc. But the thing is I do not use them for their intended purpose. What I mean is I do not use the Sisig Mix to make Sisig or the Kung pao Chicken Mix to make Kung Pao Chicken (I don't even know how to do this). 

I use these mixes to create other dishes. For example, I've used the Sisig Mix as marinade for barbecue. I tell you those who tried it had fun eating my barbecue. I once used it also for the ground pork that I topped our pasta with. Even the kids who like the basic red spaghetti liked it. But it wasn't for snacks though. We had it for lunch.
This is an example of the mix I use. This picture is from

The Kung Pao Chicken I used a lot experiments already. I used it for mixed vegetables with chicken strips. I also used it for a tofu dish. I just added shitake and button mushrooms. I also once used it as marinade for chicken barbecue. I even used it for fish sarciado.

What I'm trying to point out here is that there are a whole lot of things that you can do with these seasonings and mixes. You can create dishes that are out of the ordinary. You can make dishes that you've never tried before. This will make your husband or wife and kids excited about what you will cook for lunch or dinner. You can make great alternatives to the usual adobo, caldereta or menudo. Do not be afraid to experiment. Just do not be like. I mean I do not write down the things I've made so I am never able to repeat them -- expect for the barbecue. But then again there is nothing wrong with that. At least what you serve is always something new, right?

Thursday, May 07, 2015

5 Benefits of Honey

While traveling to Manila last Sunday, my nephew who was driving the car stopped at a gasoline station along South Luzon Expressway or SLEX. He was sleepy already so we decided to stay for a while. I went to Starbucks so I could sit comfortably while waiting.

I ordered Hibiscus blend which is my favorite flavor of hot tea at Starbucks. The guy at the counter asked me if I want to have honey for my tea. I normally do not put honey -- nor sugar -- in my tea but I said yes. He gave me two packs. After a couple of hours we left for Manila -- with the two packs of honey in my bag.

This photo of Winnie the Pooh is from Thanks.

Anyway, seeing those packs of honey last night made me recall the benefits of honey that I've heard from my parents and relatives while I was growing up. Here are 5 that I can recall.

5 Benefits of Honey

1. Honey is a good remedy for cough and colds. Whenever I would have cough and colds, my mom would always make me have her honey-calamnsi mix. She pours honey on a teaspoon then she squeezes a few drops of calamnsi on top. I always get better with her TLC (which includes the honey-calamansi mix) so I suppose it really works. There are also researches now that says honey has antibacterial properties.

2. Honey gives you energy or as my dad would say, honey is "pampalakas". I can't recall any specific incident when he made me have honey for it's energy giving capability but I know he did that a number of times when I was in high school. I think saying honey is "pampalakas" actually makes sense. Honey is sugar. Don't raise your eyebrows -- I didn't mean sugar as in processed sugar but the unprocessed kind. I think it's glucose. Or perhaps fructose. But whatever it is, honey is sugar so it considered as energy-giving food.

3. Honey can cure wounds. This one I haven't tried but my aunt said it does. She told me that when she and my other aunts were young, they had to stay in the mountains because of the Japanese occupation. She said whenever any of them would have wounds, they'd apply honey on it. I remember this because I told her they shouldn't have done that because honey is expensive. She laughed because she said they actually get honey for free. She didn't say how but I believed her. Good thing she didn't say they used honey to help treat wounded Japanese soldier because that would make me think this whole thing is just fairy tale. Anyway, this can is also probably because as said above, honey has antibacterial properties.

4. Honey helps relive constipation and indigestion. When I was young, my mom would make me take two tablespoons of honey whenever I would get constipated or whenever I would eat too much and have indigestion. As far as I can remember, it worked.

5. Lastly, honey can make your skin look beautiful. That's according to the same I aunt I mentioned above. And this is I think is really true because she and my other aunts were beautiful.

Now, I did not write these benefits to encourage you ask for honey at Starbucks or other coffee shops. If they find out, I might be banned from entering. I wrote this because it just feels good to recall the things I learned from my loved ones. Hey! Today is Thursday. Consider this as my #throwbackthursday or #tbt post.

I hope you learned something, honeys!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

PineCuT Salad (Pineapple, Cucumber, Tomato)

Last Saturday I was feeling so bloated I decided to just have salad for my meals. So I made myself PineCuT Salad (Pineapple, Cucumber, Tomato). I'd like to share with you my recipe.

PineCuT Salad

1 medium sized cucumber
5 medium sized tomatoes
1 can of pineapple tidbits (115 grams)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup pineapple juice (from the tidbits can)

1. Cut the cucumber to about the size of the tidbits.
2. Do the same with the tomatoes.
3. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
4. Chill and serve cold.

Just so you'd know what to expect, this mixture with be a bit sour. And the salad will also be a bit more juicy than the usual salad given that pineapple juice was added on top of the small amount of mayonnaise. You can adjust the amount of pineapple juice and mayonnaise to suit your taste. 

By the way, I got the inspiration to make this salad from the salad I had from the calorie-counted food service I had last week.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Calorie Counted Meals Delivered at Your Doorstep - How to Lose Weight

Calorie counting. I know it's the IN thing now in terms of Health and Fitness. They say you should count the calories of the food you eat so you wouldn't go beyond what's right for your age, weight and height and thereby lose weight. It's not difficult now because there are calorie counted meals that can be delivered to wherever you are.

I actually tried this delivery thingy  this week. I'm on my fourth day and I'm happy with most of the meals I've had. My favorites were Monday's Cucumber Cherry Tomato Pineapple Salad (lunch), Tuesday's Cobbler Tomato Pescatore (lunch), Wednesday's Tuna and Mushroom Feta Salad (breakfast) and today's Beef Salad, Nouc nam (lunch).

All the meals delivered were delicious. They looked great and tasted great. And I'd gladly have them again next week. My only concern is I get hungry easily. But it's my fault really. I ordered the 1200 calorie meal package per day. And I'm like big and I should have selected the 1800 calorie package.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures of the calorie counted meals I've had so far.

Cobbler Tomato Pescatore with Red Rice Pilaf

Cucumber Cherry Tomato Pineapple Salad

Tuna and Mushroom Feta Salad

Beef Sala, Nouc Nam

There are a lot of companies offering calorie counted meals for delivery. As I said, it's really the IN thing now. The one I tried has the lowest price (Healthy Eats by Chef Jam Melchor) but the others are not really very expensive as well.

I'll keep you posted about this especially if it will do something about my weight. haha

In the mean time, let me enjoy my Pastrami Club Lite for dinner while I imagine what food I'll have tomorrow. 

Check out Healthy Eats on Instagram @healthyeatsmnl

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How to Cut Onions with Less Tears

I love cooking -- this you have probably figured out after reading my previous posts. But what I don't like is the cleaning up after everything's done. Oh, and I also don't like cutting onions. I don't like the "crying" it causes, that's why. But I've learned several tricks to lessen the crying through the years, thanks to some friends who shared their ideas. Now, I'm going to share with you these tricks.

Before I go into that let me tell you first why cutting onions makes you cry. You see, when you cut onions, a certain chemical is released in the air. It is this chemical (in the form of gas) that triggers your tear ducts. The more you rupture the onion, the more gasis released.

The first trick is very practical -- you need to choose the best knife to use. It is best to use the sharpest knife you have -- wait, this has more to do than just making the job easier and faster. You see, a sharper knife causes less rupture into the onions (sharp knife leads to smoother cuts). The lesser the rupture, the lesser the amount of gas released.

Another trick is to put the onion in the refrigerator (but not in the freezer) first before you cut it. When it is colder, the release of gas into the air is slower.  This I think has something to do with molecules mowing slower in lower temperatures.

You can also light a candle when you are cutting an onion. I got this idea when a friend told me that a lighted candle lessens strong scents/bad odor. I thought that maybe, the light absorbs something in the air to tame the bad odor down and maybe this will also do the same thing with the gas coming from the onions.

You can also put salt on the chopping board before you start cutting. The onion will somehow absorb the chemical released.

Lastly, do not remove the outer skin right away. Halve the onion first and put the cut side down. Once done, remove the  outer skin and start cutting. 

Please do not take these tricks as scientific or the gospel truth. I did not do scientific testing to prove them although I used  some prior knowledge in science when I thought of  them. But I can guarantee you they worked for me.

And last reminder, there will still be tears. But they'll definitely be lessened.

Happy cutting.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sauteed Hotdogs and Hotdog Steak Recipes

So you decided to serve hotdogs to your kids. You already told them about it. Then when you opened your fridge, you realize you don't have enough for them to have at least one each. What do you do?

Here isa recipe to "multiply" the hotdogs available.

Sauteed Hotdog


1/2 kilo hotdogs, sliced diagonally
2 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp ketchup
1 medium white onion sliced into rings
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp garlic powder

  • Heat oil in afrying pan.
  • Saute onion rings.
  • Add the sliced hotdogs and cook for about 2 minutes. 
  • Add the soy  sauce, ketchup and garlic powder.
  • Cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Serve hot.
This recipe is not for kids only. You can tweak it a bit to make it more appealing to adults. You can even have this as pulutan or beer match. We now convert Sauteed Hotdogs into Hotdog Steak. The recipe is similar with just minor changes.   

Hotdog Steak


1/2 kilo hotdogs, sliced diagonally
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp calamansi juice
1 medium white onion sliced into rings
3 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
siling labuyo (optional)

  • Heat oil in afrying pan.
  • Saute onion rings (use only half -- the remaining half will be used later).
  • Add the sliced hotdogs and cook for about 2 minutes. 
  • Add the soy  sauce, calamansi and minced garlic. 
  • Add siling labuyo if you want.
  • Cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Serve topped with the remaining sliced onions.

Adobong Pusit Recipe -- with a little twist

I craved for adobong pusit (squid) yesterday so I headed to the market praying it's available. Good thing there's squid and the right size I was hoping for -- the small to medium sized squid.

Here is a recipe for Adobong Pusit that I got from my father.


1 kilo small - medium squid
1/2 cup vinegar
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 pcs siling haba (the green one)
bay leaf
1/2 cup sprite or 7-up (our secret ingredient)

  • Wash and clean the squid. There are cooks who detach the head from the body (and remove the ink sack found in the head). I prefer to keep them attached. I also do no like removing the ink sack that gives the black coloring. The darker, the better -- that's how I like my adobong pusit.
  • Saute minced garlic in oil. 
  • Add the squid. Let it stay for a while.
  • Add sprite or 7-up. Simmer for a few minutes. 
  • Add vinegar, bay leaf and siling haba. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice. 
I like to have my adobong pusit served with the black sauce. I like to mix it with rice when I eat. Sometimes, I even fry steamed rice in the pan I used to cook the adobong pusit. Black is beautiful -- or in thiscase, YUMMY!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Gourmet Street Balls Recipe

Do you eat squid balls, chicken balls, kikiam and fishballs? I like these street foods. But my friends always tell me I should be careful because these street foods are not clean and I could get a lot of diseases. Sometimes I listen to them but more often than not, I  don't. I just go out and "make tusok-tusok" the fishballs whenever I want. But I also tried to make my own version of this at home for those times I listen to my friends and get afraid of all the germs they are talking about. You can cook this meal (which I call Gourmet Street Balls) for lunch or dinner. It's easy to prepare and it's cheap.

Here's the simple recipe for Gourmet Street Balls


1small pack of fishballs
1 small pack of squid balls
1small pack of chicken balls
1small pack of kikiam
500 grams mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, green peas)
1 can of button mushrooms
2 sachets of oyster sauce

1. Fry the fishballs, squid balls, chicken balls and kikiam. Set aside.
2. Saute onion and garlic in a pan.
3. Add the button mushrooms and mixed vegetables.
4. Add the fried fishballs, squid balls, chicken balls and kikiam.
5. Put the oyster sauce and simmer.

Additional notes for this very affordable meal:
  • You can add hot sauce if like it spicy. 
  • You can add sliced young corn. 
  • I once added soda (sprite, 7-up) to make it sweet and spicy. I think I added about 1/2 cup but I'm not sure because I didn't measure. You just do it according to how you like it.
  • Quail eggs can also be added. 
Enjoy this recipe. Again, it's very affordable so no worries. You can double your ingredients without hurting your budget.


Monday, April 13, 2015

What to Bring to the Beach -- Your Simple Food Guide for the Summer

It's been a while since I last posted here. I've been too busy with both work and family concerns. Anyway, summer is here as I we all know too well because of the heat. So I'm sure many of you are planning on going to the beach anytime soon.

Here are some suggestions of food that you can bring to the beach.

Fruits. They are must-haves. You have a lot to choose from. Watermelon, both red and yellow varieties. Melon. Mango, ripe and not. Banana. Singkamas, technically not a fruit but who cares. Dalandan. Fruits are heavy so I suggest you just buy them on your wayto the beach. If you're headed to Quezon, Batangas, La Union, Pagudpod, etc. you will surely find stalls selling fruits along the highway. Some say they are less expensive in stalls like these but I think they are not. I think they put the price a little higher especially if you look "tourist-y". But the good thing is you can bargain. Yes, "tawad" is usually allowed. I may be wrong about the "higher price" so, please don't quote me on this, lol. Anyway, a few pesos added can probably justified by the fact that you don't have to carry them from Manila all the way to the province. But I have another suggestion. You can stop by a local public market to get your fruits. They are priced for the locals -- no tourist factor to consider. But then, not all public markets are along the highway so you would have to exert a little effort looking for it.

Barbecue (or grilled porkchop, liempo, chicken, fish, hotdog). It is easier to prepare this than menudo, afritada, caldereta, etc for lunch. You can just buy meat at the supermarket and marinate it overnight. No need for so many other ingredients. Many resorts have grilling facilities anyway (but make sure you ask when you book your trip).

If you do not want to do anything like grill meat anymore when you are already at the beach, the best food to bring is adobo. It is easier to prepare than the other common ulam plus it doesn't get spoiled fast.

Fried chicken is also good if you have lots of kids. But I suggest you use chicken fillet instead of the usual cuts so you wont have to worry about disposing chicken bones later on (plus regular cuts is more difficult to eat if you will only be  using plastic spoon and fork).

Noodles. Pancit is also good to have. It can be for lunch and snacks. If you're going to take a ling trip, pancit may get spoiled. My suggestion is to ask the resort of any good pansiteria in town. Get its number and order pancit sa bilao in advance. Just pick it up when you reach the place.

So there you go. These are simple stuff to bring to your outing. Nothing really fancy about it so no hassle.

I hope you enjoy your vacation. As for me, I've already been to BORAWAN in Padre Burgos, Quezon with side trips to Dampalitan Island (also in the same place) and Kwebang Lampas at Puting Buhangin in Pagbilao, Quezon. BORAWAN is a beautiful place. Try and visit it. I'm already planning my next trip to La Union or Laiya in Batangas.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Amber Pancit Malabon, Pichi-Pichi and Pancit Puti

I know the holiday season is over and there aren't as many parties anymore but this post is about something you can have for parties -- there are parties other than Christmas parties, right? Well, I'm talking about pancit sa bilao.

One restaurant that makes pancit is Amber. It is known for The Original Pancit Malabon and Pichi-pichi. But they have other good products like their Spaghetti, Barbecue and Chicken Lollipop. 

Many like their pancit Malabon because of the big shrimp slices they add on top. It compliments that distinct Pancit Malabon taste. Their Pichi-pichi is good too. The one with cheese is loved by many but I like the original version which is the one with coconut. I heard they have a new variant - with honeyed peanut something that I have yet to sample. Their Spaghetti is well loved by Filipino kids. By that I think you already have an idea how it tastes.

I also like their Sotanghon Guisado. It reminds me of how pancit at hoome tastes.  But my recent favorite is Pancit Puti. It is like your regular pancit guisado but without that brown coloring which is obviously due to the use of soy sauce. You'll be surprised that even if it is "colorless" it is really tasty. I must admit though that I like the Pancit Puti of another store better than theirs. It has more of the garlic flavor that I'mlooking for.

I'm not sure of the branch in Makati (Filmore Street, Palanan - near Cash and Carry) is the original store but I knowit's been there since I started working in Makati during the late 90s. The nice thing about Amber is that they have "dine in", "take out" and "delivery" services. For inqquiries, call 884-8888. It's a call center so no need to look for the number of the branch near you.