March 31, 2010

Easter break

Breakfast in bed

There are few things in life sweeter than the realization upon waking that you don't have to jump out of bed to dress for work because you're on holiday. This morning was pure bliss. When this dawned on me, I burrowed deeper into my pillows with a groggy smile for a short snooze. Then I finally got up to make breakfast. I celebrated the start of my 5 day Holy Week/Easter break with a yummy breakfast in bed of yogurt & berries with agave syrup and a glass of OJ. I loved that I wasn't rushing through breakfast like I normally do on the weekday. I enjoyed every lazy minute and morsel of it.

But now I need to finish packing as I'm spending my holidays in Dumaguete. Yay! I'm extra excited this time to be going back because many of my friends from Manila and old friends from Cebu are heading there as well. So for sure I'll be back with lots of stories and photos. Until then, I wish you all a Happy Easter and safe travels if you're going anywhere! :)

March 4, 2010

Cheezy Chorizo Dip

Cheesy chorizo dip


About a month ago, I had 5 kgs. of chorizo hubad (chorizo not in casing) in the freezer. This stash was just a fraction of a bigger order a bunch of us had placed and it was flown in on the first flight from Dumaguete. It's fantastic chorizo! Each time I go to Dumaguete, I return with a few kgs. packed in a box along with my other favorite goodies from there like budbud kabog, tuba bread, danggit, puto etc.

As much as I adore a sinful breakfast of garlic-fried rice topped with spicy chorizo and a fried egg, I can only indulge in such once a week at the most. Any more than that and I swear I can almost feel the fat infiltrating my arteries to gear up for an attack. So I'm trying to have it in slightly smaller quantities, and in other equally satisfying ways: either snuck into a wholesome bowl of lentejas, stuffed into a breakfast burrito or omelette, tossed with some pasta, or tucked into a bun with some cream cheese. The choices are endless and it's been fun cooking with it.

Chorizo is so versatile, it not only makes for a perfect breakfast or part of a main meal, it's excellent as an appetizer or mid-day snack. This cheezy chorizo dip is one example. So easy to make and so many items you can serve it with. (You can even stuff it into a pan de sal for a quick and easy choriburger!)

Cheezy Chorizo Dip

250g of chorizo
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup mayo
1 pack cream cheese
smoked paprika (optional, depending on the chorizo you're using)
chili pepper, sliced (also optional, depending on your chorizo and spice threshold)

Cook the chorizo in a pan until the fat begins to melt. Mix in the minced onion and cook some more until the onions become translucent. Add the mayo and cream cheese and continue cooking until the cheese is melted well into the chorizo. Remove excess oil.

Serve hot with crunchy tortilla chips, potato chips, melba toast, or baguette slices.

February 27, 2010

Mom's Sukiyaki


Sukiyaki

Wow, it's been over 3 months since my last post. And so much has happened since! I had planned on finishing my posts about my US/Canada road trip but haven't even gotten halfway through that. (I do plan to finish that series someday soon!) Well, as John Lennon said, life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

Anyway, here I am, another effort to revive this blog. And I'm pretty excited, albeit more than a little overwhelmed, to tackle all the backlog of posts in my head. One tiny step at a time and I'lll get there somehow. To celebrate a new year of blogging, I'm starting with one of my all-time favorite meals, my mom's sukiyaki. It's a family favorite and for good reason. It's usually made on the weekends when everyone is home and it's one of those meals that actually has the power to make you change your lunch or dinner plans, should you have made any, in favor of a meal at home with a big (big!) bowl or three of mom's sukiyaki.

It's absolutely delicious! I usually like to add more mushrooms and tofu then the recipe calls for because they're my favorite ingredients in this dish. And if your family is like ours, you'll need to make 2 batches of the broth to keep everyone happy. We just can't get enough of it!
Mom's Sukiyaki

Ingredients:

1/4 kilo tenderloin sliced very thinly
3/4 Tbsp. Kikkoman soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups beef broth
3/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
3/4 cup mirin or Japanese sweet rice wine
about 8 pcs. shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water and cut in half
2-3 cakes of firm tofu - cubed
2 large onions quartered
1 pc. carrot sliced into thin rounds
2 stalks leeks chopped
5-6 Chinese cabbage (or Baguio pechay) cut into bite size pieces. Separate the stalks from the leaves
50 grams glass noodles or sotanghon, soaked, and drained and cut but not too short.
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp. olive oil

Procedure:

Marinade beef in 1 tbsp. of soy sauce 1 tbsp. of sugar.
Pour the beef broth into a bowl then mix in the remaining soy sauce, sugar and rice wine.
Heat butter with a little oil in a wok. Stir-fry the onions until transparent and push aside. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry then push aside.
Stir-fry the beef slices until barely pink. Then pour in the beef broth and add the tofu.
When broth starts to boil, add the carrots, the cabbage stalks and leeks and let cook for about a minute. Lower the heat then drop the noodles and cabbage leaves and simmer for 5 mins.

October 2, 2009

I've never been prouder to be Pinoy

Filipinos

People from all walks of life, everywhere, helping, giving even when they themselves don't have much, so grateful even when so desperate. It's so moving. The supermarkets are full of people wiping out the shelves, not to hoard but to donate. People of all ages tirelessly involved in relief and rescue operations. I feel truly blessed to be a part of it.

June 30, 2009

My Yogyakarta on Lifestyle Asia Travel

LAS_junejuly

Yay yay, another published article! I am extra thrilled this time because like my last article on Santorini, this one also made it to the cover! This time I wrote about Yogyakarta in Indonesia and the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. It was an experience I won't soon forget, and I hope I did it justice.

I love this issue (Lifestyle Asia Travel, June/July) because it is the Asia issue, so you can expect lots of breathtaking pictures and alluring descriptions of places in our own backyard and in neighboring countries. My favorite is the very comprehensive feature on Macau written by my friend Pierra and photographed by her husband Toto. I was not planning a return to Macau in the near future but that's changed now, thanks to them.