Monday, January 31, 2005

Ceasar Salad with Prawns

(Ceasar's Salad with Prawns)

Easy and delectable. I learned this from a Pinay married to a German.

All you need:
About two hearts of Romaine Lettuce
1/4 cup Croutons1 cup of Cooked Prawns
1/4 cup of Renee's Ceasar Salad Dressing
2 tbps of Parmesan Cheese1 Tsp of Lemon Juice

Toss salad in a big bowl a couple of minutes before dinner. Yup, it's that simple.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Fried Smelts

Dipped in eggs and dredged in flour seasoned with salt and then deep fried is just one way of cooking this variety of fish commonly found in North American waters. That's just how our friend prepared it in one of our occasional gatherings. I usually buy the gutted ones and cook them in salt and vinegar (paksiw style) before frying them. My friend does not bother gutting them anymore believing the water is clean. He fished these himself. Usually, there is a season when we can go fishing and it's not just Filipinos who fish this variety. I might have an idea how the Vietnamese cook theirs..same way as the Filipinos do but I am curious how the Italians cook them. Any idea?

Yes, in summertime, the Italians go to our shores with pails and wine to dine and fish.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


I wasn't particularly ill the day my husband cooked this for us. I just wasn't feeling fine. I could tell he was itching to cook these shanks. He's a person who loves to have soupy dishes. In fact it was him who bought this when we went grocery shopping. I slept on the couch while watching a show and he didn't bother waking me up. He turned on the stove, prepared the pressure cooker and kept it going. It was the whistling sound of the pressure cooker that made me drift in and out of my sleep.

He only woke me up when it was time to eat. Guess what? He took this picture too. I must admit that it was good. More patis and kalamansi please...and back to the couch again.

That day, I could say my kids and my husband were very excited to have a command in the kitchen. They had fun slicing the veggies and guessing what to put in the dish. I heard my husband asking my son to turn on the computer and look for bulalo recipes. The aftermath was left for me to deal with the next day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Baked Spare Ribs

I cooked these spare ribs in the slow cooker for about 3 hours or until they were tender with the left-over salad dressings in the fridge. Yes, Raspberry, Golden Italian, Catalina and Ketchup. The lefover dressings were approximately 1 - 1 1/2 tbsps each. I threw in a couple of finely chopped garlic cloves, a dash of ground pepper, 2 bay leaves and about 2 tbsps of soy sauce. I used about 1/2 cup of water.

Half an hour before our dinner, I drained and arranged the sliced ribs in a platter, topped the slices with barbecue sauce and baked them at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Who would know I almost do not have time to cook anymore?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Sloppy Joes

Chili con carne on buns with cheese for winter. Cook it this way but make it a little sweeter by adding 2 tablespoons of sugar. Just before serving, spoon about 3 heaping tablespoons or more of the chili con carne on top of a bun, spread cheese on top and cook in toaster at 350 for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with salad.

I'm on a time crunch here so I will make my posts shorter. Busy months are here as far as my work is concerned. Things will normalize in May. Did I tell you our office is moving in May after our busy season? Yes, our company is no longer going to be renting a space. We just bought our own space and officially ours in March but we can't move in March because that's when our office makes the most hay.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Copenhagen and lemon Squares

Did you know that these are my favorite desserts? Lemon Squares and Copenhagen. My favorites because I don't make them. They're baked by our favorite Danish Bakery for the Copenhagen and Chinese Bakery for the lemon squares.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Shaky Baky Chicken Thighs

When you're down and lonely and you need a helping hand, Shake and Bake is always there for you. You don't need to look high and low. It's just right in front of you, right when you need it most. Just make sure to replenish your cupboard so it's there when you need it most.
The weather's not been very friendly for the last 7 days. We had snow for a week. It's a record actually. The weather wore me out emotionally. I cannot walk to work. Neither can I drive. I tried driving in snowy conditions last year and ended leaving my car where I got stuck and waited until the snow melted. I'm left at my hubby's mercy so I'd better be nice to him.
Well, we can have vegetables when the weather get's better. In the meantime, I can live with this. Oh, did I tell you that tomorrow is going to be 6 below? 'glad I have chicken legs in the freezer. Guess what were going to have for tomorrow night?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


More leftover stories! So this is another Filipino pulutan. It could also be an appetizer. I have tried avoiding foods like this but my friend gave half of a pig's head to me before Christmas. She wanted to have the whole but had no faith that she was going to give justice to it.

My husband's eyeballs were of course popping with excitement. In his mind we were lucky to have even just half of it. We haven't had this for a long time. Mind you, I was so guilty at the end for being a devil's advocate. Every bite I had scared me to death. Time to hit those exercise machines I guess.

2/3 cup of coarsely chopped shallots
1/3 cup of vinegar
salt to taste
1/2 cup of green onions finely sliced
pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp of ground pepper
2 tsps of finely chopped green hot chilies

I boiled the pig's head in a big saucepan for about 30 minutes or until I could literally separate the skin and flesh from the skull. I sliced the meat into small pieces, the way you'd normally slice carrots for soup. Oh well, not that clear but get the idea from the picture, okey?

In a pan, heat the oil and saute the shallots until shallots are transparent. Add the meat and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the green onions which should be added after the stove is turned off and the meat just about ready to be served.
Eat with guilt!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Fruit Salad

You will find this dessert in almost all Filipino parties. I do not know why, but this seems to be a must have in every occasion in our family anyway.

In my daughter’s class when she was still in elementary, each student was asked to bring to school a dish native to their country of origin one day. My daughter did not have a hard time coming up with the idea. She right away came up with the fruit salad idea. And she also prepared it herself. What was neat was her teacher compiled the recipes and they all had a copy of the compilation including our Filipino Fruit Salad.


1 can of Fiesta Fruit Cocktail
1 jar of sweet kaong (any color)
1 jar of nata de coco
2 tbsp of mayonnaise
1 cup of whipped cream
raisins (optional)
fresh fruits (like grapes and apples)

Drain fruit cocktail, sweet kaong and nata de coco and pour in a big mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients mix everything. Cool in the fridge preferably overnight.

Others, add condensed milk in theirs but I find the nata de coco and the kaong sweet already. Also, others add cheese. I substituted cheese with mayonnaise in mine.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Roast Beef

I love roast beef! The butcher was quite surprised when I ordered a 4 ribber for 4. You see, John the Butcher has not seen me personally but we talk over the phone. Over the years we always get our prime ribs from him. I place the order but it is my husband who usually picks up my orders from him. I do not blame him for being surprised. I ended up splitting the cut into two and saving the other part for an upcoming birthday.

I placed my order really early this year. Prime Ribs go fast especially at John's store. Everytime I order, John does not forget to remind my husband how long I am supposed to cook it in the oven. This year, I decided to write it down here so I can tell John the next time to skip reminding me how long I am supposed to cook it.

For prime ribs, you are supposed to cook it in the oven for 30 minutes per pound so that the outer side does not burn while the inside is still raw. You also want to keep your roast juicy and tender. 1 rib is approximately 2.5 lbs. Pre-heat your oven at 250. Because I had a 2 ribber, I put the ribs 2 1/2 hours before serving at 250 for the first 2 hours. Half an hour before our dinner, I raised the temperature to 350. My daughter had the outer part for a well done and the rest of us had the inner part for medium rare.
I only rubbed the outer side of the rib with rock salt so we could taste the real flavour of the beef. No garlic or cracked peppercorns.
I served it with gravy, horseradish and honey dijon.

Sunday, January 02, 2005


One thing I learned to do this season was to prepare only a few slices of everything for appetizers and saved the rest for the coming days to come. I know the person helping me at the grocery store was not pleased with me for ordering just a few gms of each item of the red meats. I tried to be a bit diplomatic everytime she had to carry the whole piece of each ham only to slice 50 gms for me. I just said to myself that I was only going to be 2 minutes more.

Anyhow, I managed to squeeze in olives stuffed with provolone cheese, a few slices of swiss cheese, a few slices of havarti, cubes of cheddar cheese, a few pieces of smoked cocktails, cherry tomatoes and a few gms of honey ham, forest ham and pastrami in my tiny plate. It does look big but believe me, that plate is tiny.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Satay and Sausages

This' got to be one of my favorite kitchen helpers. Although winter is a little mild this year, I still find the temperature outside to be freezing cold. Preparing the grill outside would be the last thing I will do even though the whole family voted for barbecue as our quick and easy New year's fare. This is smokeless and believe me, it does not leave smelly odors in the kitchen afterwards. It is dishwasher safe too but I never dared use the dishwasher to keep this clean.

If you looked at this platter, you'll think that this was a lot for four. I must be a quick learner(or the other way around). You see, over the years, being a Filipino I noticed that it is customary that we prepare 10 times more than what our expected guests can eat with the idea that our guests would be able to bring home some of the leftovers. I used to love taking home leftovers myself but I also noticed that we Filipinos prepare almost the same recipes every ocassion.

Party going for me started as early as December 11th. By the time Christmas was here, I was just so tired of all the leftovers that I had to literally throw them in the garbage. I was damned right not to buy meat last December(except for my roast). I knew it.

So this new year's eve, I grilled 3 bratwurst sausages, 3 pieces of longanisa (native Filipino sausage), skewered a few prawns and just a quarter lb of chicken breast and 6 pieces of chicken wings. The prawns and the chicken were not marinated. I prepared a satay sauce.

The feeling is so satisfying after the ocassion to think that the food was just enough and there are no science projects happening in the fridge two weeks from now because of all the leftovers that you knew were not going to be consumed afterall. I saved myself from toiling and from wasting food and money too. Okay, i'll settle for the word frugal to describe me for now.

Tonight we raised our glasses for peace in our family and for the world as well.
Here's one for everyone!

New Year 2005!

We decided to have a light New Year's Eve celebration. Compared to other preparations in the past, this was light and I must say very relaxing and quiet too. With the many disasters hitting Asia and our family being away from our original home, we felt it was inappropriate to be noisy. I know life must go on you might say but it was our way of respecting the plight of our compatriots.