Food · Mrs. Monologues

What’s Cooking? What’s Blanching?

Once I have the time, I will blog about these dishes that I whipped up in my kitchen

Crepe with Cookie Butter filling. I have a good excuse for the green color. I did not want to go out just to get the 2 tablespoons of butter for this recipe. The closest that I had to butter was buttercream frosting from Aki’s dinosaur cake.And that black thing is not bagoong. That is ganache from Franco’s birthday cake last August. Please don’t judge me for making the most out of our leftovers ūüėõ
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Chelsea’s Graham Balls.

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My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Poached Fish. Since we are pretending to watch our weight, I have been trying out new ways to cook.

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Here is something from our pre-diet days — Philly Cheesesteak. We are now fans of caramelized onions.

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Speaking of healthy, I would like to share a cooking method that I discovered lately — Blanching. There are so many reasons why you should try blanching. It is fast and easy. It preserves the flavor, texture and nutrients. I learned from a very reliable source, the home TV shopping channel, that when you boil your veggies, the nutrients are transferred to the water. If you want to get all the nutrients, you have to eat the veggie and drink all of the soup. When veggies are overcooked, their nutritional value also diminishes. Continue reading “What’s Cooking? What’s Blanching?”

Food · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

Ate Dorina’s Eggplant Burger Patties

For the 4th time this year, we are maid-less once again. Ate Dorina is on emergency leave because her 3rd child is in the hospital. When I learned that her child is sick last Tuesday, we agreed that she will go home today, Thursday. However, when I got home, I could see how worried she was. I remembered how stressed I was when Aki got sick last August. All I wanted to do was to look after my sick son. What really helped me during that difficult time was having a supportive and understanding boss who told me that my child is more important than everything else. So, I told Ate Dorina that if she wants to go home the next morning, she may do so. She left yesterday at 2:45AM.  I am happy to report that Baling, her daughter, is now getting better.

Ate promised that she will be back as soon as Baling is okay. I am crossing my fingers and toes that she will keep her word though deep inside, I am worried. From experience, I learned that leaving clothes behind, a great employee-employer relationship, a salary advance, a work-issued phone, character references that we know personally, genuine love and care for Aki and a hundred promises are not guarantees that a helper will come back. Oh, and tomorrow is Aki’s school party. Then, Saturday, we will have a simple lunch celebration at home. Good luck to me!

Anyhoo, I would like to share this recipe that Ate Dorina taught me. Our picky eater loved this dish so much that he asked for a second serving. Even Franco, who is not the biggest fan of eggplants, enjoyed this dish.

First, grill 3 eggplants until the skins are black. Peel the eggplants. Mash them with a fork. Continue reading “Ate Dorina’s Eggplant Burger Patties”

Food · Gardening · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

Hoisin Honey Eggplants

I invented this recipe in celebration of our ever first harvest of my dearest eggplants. Ever since my friend and Aki’s godmother, Ameron, reintroduced me to eggplants, I have not met an eggplant dish that I did not like.¬† That is why, of all the plants in my garden, the eggplants are my favorite.

Ingredients

4 eggplants, sliced

3 tomatoes, sliced

olive oil

2 syanse-ful  hoisin sauce РSorry, I did not measure. Our syanse or laddle is small though. It is just a little bigger than a serving spoon

1 syanse-ful of honey.

Continue reading “Hoisin Honey Eggplants”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Kinilaw(kilawin) na Cream Dory

I read somewhere that when the first Spaniards came to the Philippines some 500 years ago, one of the things that they noted was that the yet-to-be-colonized Filipinos were savages. This is because our ancestors ate uncooked meat. The “uncooked meat” that they were referring to, according to the book that I read, is actually our kinilaw. Fish or seafood is soaked in vinegar and the chemicals of the vinegar cooks the meat. No heat involved.

Here is an easy oil-free recipe that I got from my mother-in-law. Franco says this kinilaw na cream dory would pair well with beer.

1 cream dory fillet, cut into bite-size menudo-like cubes

3 pieces kalamansi

3/4 cup white vinegar

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 red onion,  chopped finely

ginger, chopped finely

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

1 siling pan-sigang (finger chili), cut

Salt

Pepper

Continue reading “Kinilaw(kilawin) na Cream Dory”

Mrs. Monologues

Seeing, Thinking and Eating Green

Still on gardening…

Despite the lack of tender loving care from me in the last couple of weeks and unwanted attention from those pesky pests, my little garden has continuously been giving me so much satisfaction.

My current favorite color is green.

my heart-shaped alugbati leaves

my upland kangkong in 6-litre mineral water bottles


my petchay in hanging softdrinks plastic bottles

and.. drum rolls please…
Continue reading “Seeing, Thinking and Eating Green”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Brining and Grilling Chicken and Pork Chops

I read in one of my Ladies’ Home Journal magazines that brining is one of the hottest trends in grilling nowadays. Brining is soaking the meats in a solution of salt and sugar. Thanks to osmosis (do you still remember your high school lessons on permeability?), the meats will absorb the fluid, making it tender and juicy.

The original recipe calls for 6 quarts of cold water and 3/4 cups each of salt and sugar. I was too lazy to convert the measurements so I just came up with my own salt/sugar solution.

Continue reading “Brining and Grilling Chicken and Pork Chops”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Cilantro-Calamansi Grilled Chicken

This recipe was adapted from Paula Deen’s 5th Anniversary Keepsake Issue. This issue promises the best recipes published in the last 5 years. For only 35 pesos in Booksale, I just had to take it home.

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (wansoy)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup calamansi juice. The original recipe calls for lime which is expensive here in Manila

1 tsp cumin

Continue reading “Cilantro-Calamansi Grilled Chicken”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Easy Chicken in Wine Sauce

Last month, I finally got the chance to ask the question that has been in my head for quite sometime. I had to find the right timing or else he will not take me seriously.¬† My question was “How can I be a better wife?” . Not that I feel I had been a bad wife. Franco is very expressive so I know he appreciates me.¬† I just wanted to know how can I be better. I try my very best to be a better mom all the time, so why not make more effort to be a better partner? I tried to anticipate what his answers would be so I can be less defensive and more open minded. Comb your hair at least once a day. Get yourself sexier underwear. Make more effort to get close to my friends. Stop nagging me about my jujitsu trainings. Keep the shelves orderly. Less Aki, more me. No more magazines please. Stop pressuring me to stay awake and drive you to the shuttle terminal. What would he say?

Well, his answer was short. The message was straight to the point. STOP BUYING CHICKEN BREASTS. Haha. For the past couple of months, health has been a priority. We have been eating fish, chicken (well not me. I still don’t eat poultry) and vegetables. I read somewhere that chicken breast fillets are the healthiest because they are fat free. Unfortunately, Franco hates them. He thinks they are heavy and bland. Despite his complaints, I kept buying breast fillets. So, when Franco told to stop buying, I switched to thigh fillets. They are fattier but I guess they are healthier compared to pork and beef, right?

Here is my hubby’s current favorite chicken thigh fillet recipe. This recipe was adapted from my 15 pesos South Beach book. I know it does not look good in the picture but they say it is really good. When Jyl was visiting last month, I had to ask her to stop eating because there won’t be any chicken left for Franco. hehe.

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
6 chicken thigh fillets, fat removed
1/2 cup white wine
3 tomatoes, diced
Continue reading “Easy Chicken in Wine Sauce”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Fish en Papillote {Fish in Parchment Paper}

Don’t be fooled¬†by fancy shmancy name. This is¬†one of¬† the¬†easiest fish recipes ever! ¬†Just put the fish, the veggies and whatever flavors you want to add in the parchment paper. Crimp the edges and bake.¬† The possibilities are endless! You can also use aluminum foil if you run out of parchment paper.

Here are two fish en papillote recipes that I adapted from my South Beach book and from one of my Martha magazines.

In a bowl, mix the following together.

1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil (let me confirm if I used one tablespoon or one teaspoon)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
sugar

Fold a 2 foot long parchment paper in the middle. Place half of a fish fillet on one side. Add the Asian sauce mixture. Top with sliced mushrooms and young corn. Fold away.

 

For the second fish, I put the asparagus first, then the fish. I poured the juice of one calamansi and then added half of a small onion and half of a red bell pepper. Lastly, I topped  the fish with a teaspoon of butter and dried thyme.

When it comes to folding the parchment paper, the more and the sharper the creases are, the better. The idea is to let the fish cook in its own liquid and steam while infusing flavors.


Bake for 15 minutes. In my SB book, the fish are microwaved on high power for 6 minutes.

What I liked about this cooking technique is that I was able to cook two dishes with very different flavors simultaneously.

After 15 minutes, here is my Teriyaki-ish Fish en Papillote. Yum yum yum. Continue reading “Fish en Papillote {Fish in Parchment Paper}”

Gardening · Mrs. Monologues · Personal Finance

Farming in the City

I have a new hobby! In addition to being a mom, wife, menu planner, party organizer, craft enthusiast, sister, daughter, recruiter, aunt, wealth builder, playdate scheduler, Booksale loyalist, now, I am also an urban gardener . 

I have always been interested in gardening but it is only lately that I decided I want to concentrate on growing our own food. No more crafts or any decorative project for me for now because I will channel my time, energy and resources all to gardening.

These are what I have been reading

And these are what I have been collecting. If you have bottles and cans, let me know! I particularly need empty 6-liter mineral water bottles.

If you are a resident of Los Banos, you are in the best city to get into gardening. Our municipal hall buys seeds from farmers and gives them out for free. My mom said, she also got a sack and a half of compost for free! Good job, Mayor Genuino! I hope more Elbi residents would learn about your seed dispersal project.

Goodbye ornamentals, hello vegetables. I like the idea of having my own herb garden but the truth is, we don’t use a lot of herbs when we cook. No more marjoram, sage and vietnam mint for now. Instead, I want to grow my own kinchay, green onions and kangkong. These are the okra, eggplant, tomato and squash that we planted a few weeks ago. They are big now. The squash plant is almost as tall as I am.¬† Continue reading “Farming in the City”