Category Archives: Food

Palengke Day

Mommies, do you know what’s my absolutely guiltless shopping habit? Here the more I shop the less guilty I feel because I know I’m doing it for my family. It’s a win-win situation di ba? It satisfies my shopping bug and at the same time I get to shop fresh food for my family.

What else I’m talking about – it’s my Palengke shopping!

Recently, I discovered that I liked going to the wet market every Saturday to shop for food. I don’t know about you, maybe some of you do it daily or every other day or twice a week. But for me I can’t find the time to do it more than once a week. And I discovered the best time to do it is every Saturday after we arrive in our weekend house. It’s my stress reliever and I look forward to my Saturday shopping habit.

Today is an exception because it’s not a Saturday. But we’re back home because its Holy Thursday so that means I have my palengke day early. Yehey!

Since it’s holy week I only bought fish for our food the next few days. Half the market was closed  particularly the meat vendors. I’m not a veteran when it comes to palengke shopping – I know I’m too old to say this – so my technique is I find where the crowd is and shop there. Pag pinapalibutan ng mga tao ang market vendor isa lang ang ibig sabihin nito – fresh ang mga paninda niya.

Here’s my shopping loot. Naks!

I bought 3/4 kilo of bangus, had the bones removed and chopped. We marinated it back at home with vinegar, bawang, and pepper put in the freezer and ready to fry anytime.
3/4 Kilo Boneless Bangus photo IMG_0006_zpsz7cjepn4.jpg

I know they said never to buy tilapia because the food they are eating in the fish pen is bad for our health. But I can’t resist this with pechay and coconut milk.
1/2 Kilo Batangas Tilapia photo IMG_0007_zpsdhne2baq.jpg

My kids and my husband’s favorite fish is cream of dory. It was their lucky day I found this at the palengke today. Usually, we have to go to the supermarket just to buy this. It’s so easy to cook – just add breadcrumbs and fry.
1 Kilo Cream of Dory photo IMG_0008_zpsvep6i0nl.jpg

Who doesn’t like shrimp?
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Last but not the least – fruits! Muntik ko na hindi bilhin ito paano ba naman ang bigat ng fruits. Hirap na hirap ako magcommute pauwi.
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For lunch today I was supposed to cook the maya maya only but ang konti pala ng nabili ko. So I just divided the shrimp in half pandagdag sa sinigang.

Eto ngayon magluluto na dapat kami sa aming induction cooker when we realized we left our cooking pot in the apartment! If you have an induction cooker you know how maarte it is and it will only accept cookingwares especially made for it.

The solution – we cooked sinigang in our rice cooker!

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Patok na patok sa aking mag-ama ang ulam. Wala silang kamalay malay na muntik na hindi maluto ang ulam nila. At first they were eyeing it nervously, you know naman my cooking skills are questionable. But when they tasted the shrimp ang sarap daw. Fresh na fresh daw ang nabili ko. :)
See you next palengke day! Kayo mga mommies what did you buy at the palengke today? Share naman jan!

 

 

Weekly Menu

It’s been a month now since I’ve been writing our menu. I must say this is a good habit. I don’t wake up every morning not knowing what to cook and I can go once a week to the wet market to buy everything I need. This little exercise saves a lot of my time and money and keeps my sanity.

For this week, I wanted to add a lot of vegetables in our diet. It was a conscious decision because well, I have two growing kids and it pains me whenever they say they don’t like to eat their veggies.

Here’s what on my menu this week:

Breakfast Lunch/Dinner Merienda
Monday Tapa Chicken Curry ginataang bilo bilo
Tuesday Hotcake Ginisang Sayote Palitaw
Wed Macaroni Soup Fried Chicken & Patola w/ Sotanghon
Thursday Hotcake Ginisang Repolyo & Okoy
Friday Hotdog Spaghetti

Notice that I didn’t have anything planned for the weekend. The reason was our weekends are erratic. We sleepover at my in-law’s house so we could attend service in our regular church. Sometimes we cook food there but sometimes we eat on the road, depending on where we were at mealtimes.

Creamy Chicken

It’s been a week since our helper left. So how are we surviving? So far so good. We can’t believe we made it this far! I even started cooking again and I think I’m getting better. *wink

Anyway, I promised a few days ago that I’m going to give you the recipe for this chicken dish that I cooked. I got the recipe from my favorite food blogger, Dennis of Mga Luto ni Dennis. I really like his blog because his dishes are so simple. I don’t have to look for ingredients that I haven’t heard of. Most of the recipes in his blog have ingredients you can buy at the local market. Plus he also has two boys so if he says his boys love his recipe then I am encouraged to cook it hoping that my own boys will love it too.

This dish was a hit with my hubby. I based it on Dennis’ White Chicken Afritada but made a few tweaks of my own to suit my family’s needs.

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Ingredients:
1/2 kilo Chicken cut into pieces
1 Carrot, cubed
1 Potato, cubed
1 Nestle All Purpose Cream
1 T Butter
garlic and onion
Maggie Magic Sarap
Fish sauce
Pepper

Marinate chicken in fish sauce and pepper. I marinated it for an hour.
Fry the chicken lightly in butter. Remove. Saute the onion and garlic and add the chicken.
Add the potatoes and carrots, add some water and cover.
Once the vegetables are cooked add the Nestle Cream. I only added half of the contents.
Lastly, add Maggie Magic Sarap to taste.

Here’s the finished product. Looks good isn’t it? Just pair it with wine from the best winery in Sonoma and it would be perfect! Try it now, mommies. :)

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When Our Maid Dropped a Bombshell

Yesterday, our househelp dropped a bombshell.

She’s said she’s leaving us.

I was stunned. I wanted to say, “But you’ve only been here for three days! What’s more, you don’t have to stay long, just a month before Ate Cora comes back.”

Ate Cora left us three days back to attend her daughter’s wedding. Her niece was looking for a new job so she asked her to replace her while she’s gone. I thought everything was fine and dandy until she dropped her bomb on us. Anyway I bit my tongue while the ever diplomatic hubby probed for answers.

  • It turned out she has a back injury from when her father used to hit her. (gasp!) She thought it was already healed but doing housework brought out all the aches and pains again. She couldn’t sleep at night because her back hurt so bad.
  • She used to live with her aunt and she has grown close to her aunt’s kids. The day she was supposed to arrive she was late because they didn’t want her to leave and were crying their eyes out.

Once I heard her side it’s really hard to get mad. I’m glad I bit my tongue and let hubby handle the situation.

The good news is, we had a plan B.

What’s our plan B?

Do the chores ourselves, of course! I even a wrote about it here.

So how’s our first day without house help? So far so good. We’re more than surviving, thank goodness. The first thing hubby did was do the laundry. He separated the whites from the colored and loaded the first batch in the washing machine before he sat down for his 7am work.

Meanwhile, I prepared breakfast and was even able to whip up this dish for lunch (recipe to follow).

 
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Plus I still have shrimp in the fridge to be turned into tempura for dinner later.

Z washed the dishes. He even showed me proudly how clean his plate is after washing.

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Plus he even completed his school work earlier than expected.

Not bad for our first day without help, eh?

I think it’s not going to be so bad after all. :)

Snack of the Day: Puto

For merienda, we either have popcorn or banana cue or bread from the nearest bakery. I thought a few months of eating this was finally enough so yesterday I decided to make something different – puto!

Making puto is so simple and easy. That’s what I found out. Just take a look at its ingredients. These are the things you can find readily available in your cupboard or if one or two are missing, you can just drop by your nearby store to buy.

puto ingredients

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
eggwhite from 4 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder (not baking soda like in the picture)
1/4 cup evaporated milk
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup softened butter

About thirty minutes before you start, make sure to take out your butter from the fridge to soften it.

Combine flour, baking soda, 3 tablespoons sugar, and evaporated milk and mix thoroughly. Here’s Z mixing the batter.

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Separate the eggwhite from the eggs.

egg white

With a wire whisk or fork, beat it until soft peaks form. Soft peaks look like this:

egg white soft peaks

Actually, the real soft peaks should look like this when done in a mixer but I don’t have a mixer so that’s the best we could do. haha!

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Add the remaining sugar and mix into egg white.

Mix the egg white mixture and the batter carefully. Avoid bursting the bubbles because this is what will make your puto fluffy.

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Pour the mixture into your mold. We don’t have that aluminum mold so we used plastic cups instead. Fill it until it’s 3/4 full.

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And for the best part, add two slices of cheese on top.

puto

puto

Steam for a few minutes. Serve. Makes about 30 small puto.

Here’s the finished product.

puto

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Happy merienda!

Dimsum

It’s raining! I know most moms are already wondering if they are going to send their children to school. That’s what I like about our homeschooling setup. I don’t have to worry about sending my child to school out in the rain. I don’t have to guess whether they’ll suspend classes later or not. Today I decided to suspend our homeschooling because the weather is making us all grumpy and unproductive. Instead Z will just practice his guitar and then later we’ll make some homemade puto for merienda. It’s our first time to make this so wish us luck.

Speaking of food, let me share to you the time when we made our first dimsum. I told my eldest I wanted to cook dimsum and was pleasantly surprised when he remembered someone famous eating dimsum.

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Who else but Kung Fu Panda himself?!

I got excited too when I remembered the scene when Kung Fu Panda was eating dimsum. I had no idea how it tastes because I haven’t tasted one but it certainly looked yummy.

So one morning we huddled in the kitchen and decided to try making this famous Chinese dish. And since I wanted to make it harder for me I decided to make the wrapper from scratch. I thought, “Oh this is easy. Just flour and water and knead the dough.” So I prepared the ingredients and started kneading the dough while watching a Chinese woman on YouTube who was expertly doing the same thing. The problem was I was already kneading the dough about 15 minutes and the consistency was still nowhere like the dough she had made. So I knead it about 15 minutes more. By that time, I was already kneading the dough for 30 minutes and my arms were already sore, my armpits were sweating, and I was thinking, “What am I doing? I should have bought a wrapper!”

After about 40 minutes my dough looked like this. Still not perfect but at last enough to go to the next step.
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Next step, I divided the dough into two, rolled one in an outward motion so it will look like this.

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Don’t ever leave your laptop on the table like I did. I was watching a video on YouTube that’s why it’s there but afterwards it got covered with flour! I was scared the tiny particles would go inside and ruin something.

Next, I asked Z to cut the elongated dough into small pieces. He couldn’t believe I let him hold a knife for the first time.

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Next, we took one piece and flattened it. Since we didn’t have a rolling pin we improvised and use a cup instead. My tip, don’t even attempt without a rolling pin. We were crazy to do this because it took lots of time and we came up with wrapper that’s too thick for dimsum.

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Ate Cora added the filling which consists of ground meat and other things and the final product looks like this:

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You can steam or boil depending on your preference. We added this in our favorite Lucky Me noodles and it made it more filling. I wish we still had some in the fridge. It would have been perfect during a rainy day like this one.

Snack of the Day: Popcorn

Don’t you just love popcorn?

The last time I was at the market I bought half a kilo of popcorn. You know, the one that you put in a casserole, add a little oil, and wait to pop. I almost bought a kilo but then I remembered a little amount can already go a long way. I don’t exactly remember how much it was but I think it’s not more then P30 for half a kilo. Popcorn is one of our favorite snacks. It’s healthier than other snacks because it’s low in calorie and rich in fiber and antioxidants. Which means I don’t feel guilty when I serve this to my family for merienda. Add some powdered cheese and it’s already as yummy as the popcorn we buy at the movies.

But our favorite popcorn is not homemade. Whenever we go to the mall, we always make sure to take home our favorite snack – Kettle Korn popcorn. The three of us have our own favorite flavors. Hubby likes barbecue, Z likes cheese, while I love the caramel flavor. During our homeschool lesson this morning, Z and I shared this bag of Kettle Korn popcorn in caramel flavor. Little Zack also likes this one but I get nervous whenever he eats. I read before that popcorns are one of those choking hazards together with hotdog and grapes which he also loves eating.

Kettle Korn Popcorn
I forbid him to eat this for a while but it seems he has alraedy mastered the art of eating it so I allowed him to eat it again. I just make sure he’s sitting down properly and he’s not preoccupied with toys so he can concentrate and swallow it properly.

 

The thing with Kettle Korn is it’s expensive at P50 a pack. Compared to the one I bought at the wet market this is really expensive. If only I know how to make one just like this at home. Can anyone teach me how to do it?

Our Vikings Buffet Experience

Good morning!

I have just finished sending a letter to the BC Blogger members for our weekly bloghop. Allow me to promote BC Bloggers for a bit. We started about three years ago and have now grown to more than 600 blogger members! We hold weekly activities to make your blogging more fun and interactive. I know that sometimes blogging can be a lonesome affair. Most of the time, it’s just us typing in our laptops, right? But blogging is all about sharing and interacting and BC Bloggers helps bloggers bridge this gap. How? We hold weekly blog hops and blog memes. The good news is our group doesn’t discriminate. We are open for all types of bloggers – moms, dads, and singles. As long as you’re a blogger you’re welcome. So what are you waiting for? Come join us here now!

Anyway, last Friday I had a chance to bond with my old friend, Erla. Let me make it clear that she is not old. We’re the same age, in our 30s. But we met when we were five years old which means we have been friends for 26 years. Wow, that’s a quarter of a century. Gosh, I take my word back. We’re definitely old! haha!

So as I was saying, we met last Friday to eat at Vikings. I didn’t really knew about Vikings until Erla brought it up. And since I love eating out but don’t get to do it as often I immediately said yes. I thought it was finally my time to eat food that’s not from Jollibee or McDo or Tropical Hut. Yes, it was supposed to be a girls’ day out but for some reason I wanted to bring Z along. I always enjoy going out with my eldest son now that he is already a big boy. Plus I want to introduce him to buffet eating and see what he rate it against the famous fast foods.

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If you want to eat at Vikings, be sure to call in first to make a reservation. For some reason their phone was not working when I tried to call and found out they were accepting reservations through Facebook. So I posted on their wall a day before and they acknowledged it that same day.

So we had no problems the day we went there and were promptly seated. We saw some people waiting for their turn to be seated outside. I think they were the ones who didn’t make a reservation.

We got seated at the end of the very corner, far from the food. I asked why because I can see reserved tables nearer. She said those reserved months in advance. If that’s true then we’re in for a treat.

Sorry, I don’t have pictures of the food coz I forgot to charge my camera the night before. Tsk, tsk. Anyway, you can find a lot of photos on other blogs if you search for Viking on Google. I love everything they served. Even my little boy enjoyed it. He ate two pizza slices, drumstick, lots of cakes, plus this marshmallow that he kept on dipping on chocolate. I think it’s called a fondue. I paid P400 for his food. You might think it’s not worth it for the amount of food he has eaten but he enjoyed his first buffet experience a lot. He kept on raving about it to his Dad after.

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If you’re planning to try Vikings I advise for you to try it on a weekday because it only costs P699. On weekends I think it’s more than 1k.

Late Breakfast at Tropical Hut Sucat

On the way to the guitar doctor we passed by Tropical Hut in Sucat and decided to have a late breakfast there. Even though Tropical Hut is not as popular as before but we still like going here sometimes. What I like about Tropical Hut is the things on their menu that Jollibee or McDo don’t have.

Like this clubhouse sandwich which Z and I both love. There are four pieces there originally.

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Hmm, my first born is looking more like me as he grows older.

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Zack blended well in this yellow high chair. He’s the real reason why we had to stop by at Tropical Hut at 10am. I told you he was not finishing his food the past two weeks. That day he didn’t eat his breakfast. Since I have an issue with kids not eating breakfast I begged hubby to stop. Sulit naman coz look how happy he was after.

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Anyway, after this we went to the guitar doctor and then to SM. We should have gone straight home had I known what would happen there. Hubby and I just got into a fight.

I wanted to buy Zack new shoes because he lost his shoes last April. We were on our way to a family reunion then when I realized he only had one shoe on. The other one was lost in a fastfood at NLEX. We bought him sandals to replace this but last week he lost that too.

When we got to the department store I roamed around the shoe section to find the style I like. I found two so I asked the attendant to get both in Zack’s size. Zack tried it on and we liked one of the two pairs. I thought it was perfect and wanted to buy it right on the spot. But surprise, hubby wanted it one size bigger. So the attendant came back with a bigger size only to find out it has a little damage which hubby refused to buy. To top it off, it was the last pair in that size. So hubby wanted me to roam some more and find another pair. I didn’t want to do it because Zack was already cranky. At the same time Z was also trying our patience because hubby suggested he can get his own too. But the shoes for older kids are in another area and he wanted to go there right away. Both hubby and Z left us to go there, the salesman got frustrated and asked for the shoes back. I didn’t want to give it to him because I already had my heart set on it but I got frustrated too so I just gave it back. We followed hubby and Z was trying on shoes only to declare in the end that he wouldn’t buy anymore coz he can’t find shoes he likes. So it’s one frustrating event after another that got us all frustrated. Even now while I’m typing this my head is spinning and I’m getting a headache. *sigh

Anyway, we kissed and made up a few hours later. Looking back I realized I have to be more obedient to my husband and I must not get attached to little shoes even though they’re so cute and adorable. haha!

This is also the reason why I think shopping online is the future. Whether it’s shopping for shoes or hip hop clothes it’s truly easier if you do it online. Hay, shopping is so stressful!

Special Buko Pandan for My Hubby

My husband has been requesting for buko pandan for the longest time. I had no idea how to make one so I pushed it at the back of my mind. But this morning I woke up with the urge to finally grant his request so I quickly searched for a special recipe in the internet. Good thing searching for recipes now is as easy as finding green coffee bean supplement online. I found one easily at Yummy.ph. Unfortunately, they had ingredients I didn’t find at the grocery so I tweaked their recipe to accommodate what I had.

Here are the ingredients I bought at the grocery.

Delicious Buko Pandan

Ingredients:
5 pieces Buko – P100 @ P20 each
1 can Alaska Condensada – P35.49
2 T grated Eden Cheese – P39.05
1 bottle Nata De Coco – P36.28
3 packs Mr. Gulaman (buko pandan flavor) P30.00 @ P10 each
2 cans Nestle Cream – P119.36 @59.69 each
3 cups of water
1/4 cup
1 pinch of salt

After coming back from the grocery I put the condensed milk and cream in the freezer.

I started making buko pandan by separating the buko from its meat. I then washed the buko meat under running water. I learned that you have to completely wash away the buko juice from the meat since it can spoil your buko pandan even after storing in the fridge. I drained the meat to get rid of excess water.

While it’s draining I prepared the gulaman. I had disasters preparing this before. If you read the back of the packaging it says you put 6 water for every pack of gulaman. If you want to mess up your gulaman then follow that instruction. I found out 2 cups of water is enough for one pack of gulaman. Since I had 3 packs of Mr. Gulaman that means I added 6 cups of water. I mixed these and the sugar thoroughly while heating. Notice that I used gulaman with buko pandan flavor. Upon tasting I found the pandan flavor was not enough so I added 1/4 teaspoon of McCormick pandan flavor which luckily I had in the fridge. I let it boil a little then poured it in my aluminum container to set. I put it in the fridge for faster setting.

After an hour I took out the cream and the condensed milk from the fridge. I started mixing them together. At this point I also added the grated cheese. I found out later that you should put more cheese (maybe 5 tablespoons or more) coz I hardly tasted this when I tasted the final outcome. I added a pinch of salt too.

While I was mixing the creams, Ate Cora was cutting the gulaman into squares. I told her to cut it into smaller pieces because I didn’t like big gulaman squares in my mouth. hehe

I then poured the squared gulaman in the mixture. I added the buko last. You have to add this last so you won’t end up having a watery salad.

The buko pandan salad is now cooling in the freezer. I am satisfied with its creaminess. It really helped that I drained the buko and the nata for an hour. I have always wondered why my fruit salad before was so watery and now I know the secret. I still don’t know why you should put the buko last but I think it helped too.

Next time I would add more cheese and see if it does make a difference.

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After one day, I’m glad the buko pandan salad is still not spoilt. Hubby said he can hardly taste the pandan flavor so I’ll double the flavoring next time. Ate Cora says it needs more sugar but I think it’s just right.