I have cousins who do really good in terms of cooking. There may not be a chef in our clan but a lot of them (excluding me since I only have the interest but not the skill) really can make delicious dishes. We have been teasing one cousin to put up a catering business – this excites me in all honesty. I just wish she would soon agree and have the guts and capital to start the business.
I have been wanting to serve the family something out of the usual dish we have everyday and so I thought of Kare-Kare. Kare-Kare originated from Pampanga, Philippines. Kapampangans use either oxtail, tripe or beef but there were sophisticated variations which use chicken. This Filipino dish is normally served during special occasions as it somehow requires some time from preparation to cooking.
I decided to use beef since it was my first time and I was just to use Del Monte Quick n Easy Kare-Kare mix I bought from the grocery. I have added string beans, eggplant and Pechay leaves (Chinese Cabbage) to complete the stew. Thanks to Del Monte as my first attempt in cooking Kare-Kare turned out yummy, easy and quick! I was saved from the stress and effort in preparing the peanut sauce which I truly doubt to perfect. One huge off point though – I forgot the Bagoong (Shrimp Paste)! This dish wouldn’t be complete without the shrimp paste. Well then, next time will be perfect!
My tabletop electric oven was a gift. I have been eyeing a beautiful oven from the appliance center for a long time but saving to get it will take a lot longer. So, with a friend’s suggestion, and since I am not really planning on using it for business purposes (using it now just for my kids), I told Ronald (yes, he’s the financier for this oven) that I would go for this one.
I have been Pinterest inspired! As soon as I have read the manual for this tabletop oven, I started baking! I have had my share of baking failures but have a lot of successful ones too.
Most of my baked goodies were Chocolate and Banana flavored and Carrot too. I make them during weekends so it will be ready as school snack for my elder daughter, K. I would always let her bring more than she could eat so she can share some to her friends too. Or sometimes, I remind her to eat (if there are leftovers) as afternoon snack while she is travelling home bound.
Last Christmas season, I got the chance to frequently use my tabletop oven – served its purpose very well for some goodies which we made and gave as gifts. I am sure that this oven will last for quite long, besides it being durable (a testimonial of my baker friend, Iris of Project Happiness ), I have been extra careful using it. =)
If I have had a baking sad story, I can tell you more successful ones at least. That disappointment I felt with the cupcake disaster that happened the first time I tried to make buttercream frosting did not stop me from baking. As most positive individuals do, I took it as a challenge to be better.
Since most people here says no to super sweets, I decided to do bold cupcakes instead – muffins! The photo above shows a carrot / yogurt muffin and in the next photo are chewy Lemon cookies. Pardon the photo quality as these photos were taken using my netbook’s camera.
Besides cookies, cupcakes and muffins, I tried making carrot loaf. Now, this is something I am definitely proud to have made. I used the same recipe I found for my cupcakes and voila! It came out of the oven like an eye candy! Just right! It even tasted so good that my elder daughter brought few slices than she could eat to school. Well, she sure gave some to her classmates and came home with compliments that made me wish to learn more about baking. It did not stop there though… I dreamed of having my own bake shop / cafe which was set up beside my own gift shop. Both businesses were set up in the front of my own house. Okay, wake me up now!
Ahhh! I wish to win the Lotto! Ha ha!
When I was still young, I never want to eat anything that has too much coconut milk in it. I feel like throwing up because of dizziness it causes me – no, I did not have hypertension then or even now. I think it was more of a psychological “kaartehan” or an alibi so I could eat or ask for something yummier for a child. My Mama was from Bicol province where people are known to cook almost all their delicacies with coconut milk and wild chili (local name: siling labuyo). But when I started to mature, and became interested working in the kitchen, my alibi faded. It came to a point that I finally enjoy Bicolano delicacies and even asked my Mama to teach me cook some. There is one dish I have never tried cooking though, Bicol Express!
I got the inspiration from one of my cousins, Ate Jen. One time I was planning what to prepare for the family, I decided to get all the ingredients necessary for Bicol Express dish. I even found myself browsing for the recipe even if I already know it. And, this was how it looked like when it ended in our table.
The pork was tender and the dish has a balanced salty-spicy taste that even my 10 year old daughter enjoyed it. My Bicol Express dish has given me added points of confidence in the kitchen. Having said that, I may have to try few more Bicolano delicacies soon!
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Catholics observed the Lenten season last week. No meats, that is! As expected, prices of seafood and vegetables went up. For a budget conscious mom like me, “diskarte” is what I implemented! Ha ha!
I bought a can of Ligo sardines and a medium sized Chayote. I have 2 kids that needs to eat too so this is the idea that came to my mind last Good Friday. Very timely for the Holy Week. My 2 year old loves tomatoes and fish and my elder daughter likes to eat vegetables, Chayote in particular. Hubby and I can go with anything that is not pork that day.
I normally saute Chayote with Tuna flakes but I did something different with this dish. I boiled the Chayote slices over medium heat while sauteing the sardines with butter, onion slices and tomatoes. I just had to pour the sauted sardines on top of the half cooked Chayote and voila! Viant was served.
“Wow! I love the presentation Mommy!” and “It tasted good!” – Those were the words my elder daughter told me after eating lunch. She never really liked sardines at all but was thrilled to see it was served over her favorite vegetable, Chayote. Our Holy Week was filled with simple recipes and vegetable too. I actually can deal with that anytime, even if it ain’t Holy Week at all. I am not just sure with hubby and the kids. LOL!