Sunday, December 10, 2006

Spaghetti Meatballs

Inspired by a spaghetti, not the sphaghetti pababa at pataas but on "top of spaghetti", I cooked this recipe . While humming to the tune of the song, I merrily baked the meatballs out of these:

Meatballs Ingredients:

1 lb of medium ground pork
1/2 finely chopped onions
soy to taste
dash of ground pepper
2 tbsp of flour

Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Form the misture into small balls. Arrange them in a coolie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

In a pan, put the cooked meatballs and add 1 250 ml tomato sauce. Add herbs if you want.

Cook the pasta according to packaging instructions.

Mix meatballs sauce with pasta and there you go..hum away while you enjoy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Chicken Mami

I was hunting for recipes in my directory for my Lasang Pinoy 15 entry when I came across this one. Not the kind of leftover from a sumptous dinner but does fit the definition of "recycling". What I recall was I was cutting bite pieces for my Malaysian Chicken Curry one day and I didn't need the bony parts. I therefore set them aside and boiled them for soup stock. Flesh and soup stock in a container and discarding the bones, I literally threw the container into the freezer for a rainy day.
Autumn is upon us and the weather is tricky. I had wilting carrots and wombok in my fridge and when it's cold, you hardly want to even get your feet wet. Luckily, I had garlic and chicken boullion in my pantry and a few eggs in the fridge. Voila..chicken mami cook extraordinaire I was!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mao Po Tofu

Before you say Filipino Food are yucky, let me first inform you that this is actually a chinese recipe and the recipe is not yucky at all. This time of the year, I'm busy at work so I count on packaged seasonings to lighten my "end of the day". Together with sweet and sour seasoning, and a jar of black bean sauce, I bought a package of the Mao Po Tofu. The instructions were simple and did not call very much for a lot of ingredients. I'd say it was healthy as well. Tofu and ground pork. Try it if you're busy like me and you might want to get used to it (except that these seasonings might be loaded with MSG of course).
Oh, the spiciness too just makes you have it one more time next week.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lasang Pinoy X1-Coco juice time!

Well, on this other part of the world, it's summertime. I don't intend to make our friends from down under jealous but that's how they will feel actually when I show them my coco juice and processed cantaloupe.


The coconut juice is not that hard to make, that is if you have the gadget and the skill to open the coconut shell in such a way that there'd be at least a glass of the buko juice left. Also, granting that you were lucky in making sure that you chose just the right one, that is. The flesh could be mature and you're forced to just grate it for guinataan. Hey, that's another thought for something to have during summer.

Well, I am lucky in a different way. I chose a hubby who has the skill and the right tools to cut one up for me. In my hubby's hometown, buko is one of their main products. In front of their house are two "million-bearing" buko trees (???). Reachable ones. Everytime we go home, the folks make sure that they reserve the fruits for my children. My mother-in-law exactly knows when they are ready to be consumed.

I do have a problem with buko though. Because of its creaminess, sometimes my tummy acts up when I eat the flesh not cooked. They say the juice is a very good diuretic. I remember when I was suffering from a urinary tract infection when I was a kid. My mother had me drink tonnes and tonnes of this juice. I'd say it did help but it's best you consult your physician first if you're planning to have some because of UTI.

Anyway, aside from buko juice, I do enjoy grated cantaloupe with fresh milk and lotsa of ice in it. I don't put sugar in mine since the cantaloupe is already sweet. Others do however. I have yet to find this grater we use in the Philippines to make the cantaloupe flesh long but thin. For now, I just used the fork.

As for the buko, I just bought them from the Filipino store grated already. I just had to add milk in it.

Thanks JMom for hosting.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Spicy Spaghetti with Prawns

Here's one I should not forget to post for future reference. Only when I try to look for a recipe that I keep telling myself I should be more consistent.


1 lb of prawns, shell on
oil to saute
1 finely chopped medium onion
1 can of 680 ml tomato sauce
lotsa finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp of dried oregano
2 tsp of chili sauce (according to how hot you want your dish to be)
salt to taste

cooked spaghetti noodles

In a pan, saute onions until translucent. Add Prawns and cook until prawns are cooked. Add garlic, oregano and tomato sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes on slow fire. Add chili sauce and salt. Pour sauce over cooked noodles and serve.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Lasang Pinoy 10 : Food Memories From Your Childhood--It's all in the milk!

We all know that Baguio is known for its luscious strawberries. I knew a man who owned a strawberry stall right in the heart of the city market. He would usually bring us day-old strawberries for us to eat. Well, we're from Baguio and we're not so much crazy about them unlike the "bakasyonistas" during Holy Week (when all produce prices go up sometimes twice or even thrice their normal--and watch me roll my eyes).

Watching all these "bakasyonistas" eat strawberries straight from the baskets made me wonder whether they were shocked that strawberries are not really that good? They only looked good in pictures, that's what I think. I'm sour-graping of course because I never had the luxury to eat those bigger, pricier ones. I only got to taste the day-old ones, remember?

Okey, so how do I eat mine? Mashed! Yes, mashed with my own hands. Did I hear you say eeewwwee? And then I add condensed milk to it. Believe me, that's how I used to eat my strawberries when I was young and that's still how I eat them today. And yes, it's something I have handed down to my kids.

Now, eating avocadoes is another childhood food story I have. In my parents backyard a long, long time ago stood an avocado tree which bear fruit unselfishly. And the fruits are huge(twice as my fists put together)unlike the avocadoes we get here imported from Mexico. They were creamy as well. Just so you know, there are avocadoes which are stale-tasting. Because they were so creamy, my parents just added sugar to theirs and they were happy.

Guacamoles were never heard off in our "barangay" that's why I was so shocked when we once had a caucasian guest and she was so excited to make a concoction out of our huge avocadoes. She started asking for mayonnaise, etc and she went to the city to look for nacho chips. You could just imagine how big the question mark was in my eyes. Mayonnaise? Jalapeno? etc? Yuck! Well, imagine me rolling my eyes again. She tried to educate me a bit by saying it was called guacamole.

In my shock, I showed her how I ate my avocado. With condensed milk of course. Well, this time, it was her rolling her eyes and I thought I heard her say "double yuck!". Well, Becky still remembers me with my mashed avocadoes with condensed milk. That's how she remembers me.."the kid who ate mashed avocado with condensed milk".

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Lasang Pinoy: Lamang-Loob; Odd Cuts and Guts -Bopis

Hey I am not totally giving up on LP yet. I was lucky to get a snap shot of this pack just before my son tried to make it disappear. Dinuguan and Bopis are two recipes akin to every Filipino's menu whenever there is a party.

Bopis (right) is made out of intestines, lungs, kidneys and liver. Don't shudder if you are not familiar with this dish. Not everyone is expected to like this, even if you are a full-blooded Filipino. The pungent smell prevents me from cooking at home. The smell does stick to the carpet so I'd rather just swing by Manang's little nook and have an occasional taste of it. Manang's is not so dry, the way my father used to cook it. Father cooks it in oil until it is almost burnt. The process is long and let me relate it to you.

You see, we only have lechon once a year when I was young and that happens at Christmas time. It's a carefully planned one where mother buys a piglet about six months (maybe shorter; maybe longer I cannot recall) before then. Father and mother put a lot of work in raising the pig sometimes I wondered whether it was more economical to buy the lechon from the city market on Christmas day itself. The work was so enormous. Mother planting vegetables to feed the pig, father buying "feeds" from the store and us washing the pen or helping mother in cooking the "binugbog" were only a few.

When Christmas comes, father is not ready to give up all the odd cuts that do not become part of a lechon. Think about all the hard work we've put into that pig. After Christmas, we'd all be ready to smell the day-long process of cooking bopis. First he has to boil the innards for easy slicing, cut them into tiny pieces, boiling this time with the seasoning, and finally cooking in oil. It is all worth the wait at the end of the day. The aroma of a cooked bopis is heavenly. I do not know what makes this dish delectable. It's either we were "lechoned-out" or Papa simply cooked it in a different way.

I told you Manang's was not dry. In fact it had other ingredients that I have never seen in my Papa's. Manang put some kamias apparently to get rid of the smell. My father puts soy, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic and bay leaves in his. If you ask me whether I know how to cook this, I will honestly say I don't but I am willing to learn how to should the need arise. For now, I would just like to keep my neighbors happy!

About the dinuguan, hmmm, I am almost tempted to ask my kids to write their thoughts about it. One day..soon!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cinnamon Rolls-LP8

Way too late for LP 8 but as they say, "better late than never". My daughter baked this for breakfast(eerrr, this should have been fit for LP 7). Anyway, she lifted this from Company's Coming (Breakfasts and Brunches Edition). Ha, I'm slowly catching up.


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or hard margarine
3/4 cup milk


1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter or hard margarine, melted


3/4 cup Icing (confectioner's) sugar
4 tsp Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla

measure first 5 ingredients into bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly.

Add milk. Stir to form a soft ball. Knead 8 times on lightly floured surface. Roll or pat into 10 x 15 inch rectangle.

Filling: Mix pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.

Brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture, keeping in from edges about 1/2 inch (12mm). Roll up from long side. Pinch seam to seal. Cut into 20 slices, 3/4 inch thick. Arrange on greased baking sheet, placing aout 1 inch apart. Bake in 400%F oven for 12 to 14 minutes until lightly browned.

Glaze: Stir icing sugar, milk and vanilla together in bowl, adding more icing sugar or milk as needed to make a consistency that can be barely poured. Drizzle, in pinwheel fashion, over buns while still warm. Makes 20.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Hello Dolly Bars

It's as easy as 1-2-3!


1 cup of graham crumbs
1 cup of dessicated unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 can of condensed milk
3/4 cup of chocolate chips
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts
3/4 cup of chopped pecan nuts
3/4 cup of toffee bits
3/4 cup of raisins
(substitute nuts with any nuts of your choice)

Combine crumbs, butter and dessicated coconut and press on bottom of an 8 x 8 pan. Layer nuts and chocolate chips evenly over crumbs. Drizzle condensed milk ovenly over top.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until brown. Bake for 5 more minutes if you want chewy bars. Cool before serving.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


It does sound like beef steak but it isn't. Bistek is one famous recipe that Filipinos cook with their eyes closed. Did I just hear someone say that I lied? Well, I'd say most Filipinos know how to cook then.

You only need the following:

1 lb of beef tenderloin, thinly sliced
5 tbsp(or more depending on your taste) of soy sauce
3 tbsp of lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp of ground pepper

Mix all ingredients together and marinate meat for about 15 minutes.

In a pan, fry the slices of meat. Ensure that the meat is not overcooked. Beef is always more tender if you cook it for a short while. Set aside. Save the juice that comes from the marinade and possibly from the pan when beef was fried.

In the same pan, saute coarsely chopped medium onion until translucent. Add meat and the juice to taste. Add green onions before serving.

Again, I am still catching up with Lasang Pinoy series and the truth is I had this for breakfast. No kidding! This is for you Jo, for my LP 7 entry. Is LP on its 15th now? Now I'm kidding.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Steamed Oysters (Talaba)

I should be ashamed of myself. I was the host of LP 6 and I wasn't able to come up with my own post. I actually had something ready but I wasn't able to post it on time. Oh well, I wanted a dramatic entrance. Yeah right, so much for the excuses.

Here's mine. I steamed a few oysters for hubby's imported Tanduay. (On the side, if you guys are thinking about what to bring me for pasalubong, a 10 year old Tanduay would do. A 15 year old one would even be better. One bottle is fine. Unfortunately, we have efficient customs officers here so much so that when I brought in 2 bottles of the 10 year old export quality amounting to about $5.00, I paid import tax of about $45.00. An individual can only bring 1.2 liters of alcohol tax free and each bottle of the cherished rhum is .70 L).

I digressed but it's all in the fun of having to prepare pulutan right? I must say that this might be the easiest to prepare. Just steam the oysters for about 10 minutes, just enough for the shucks to open. Then serve with lemon juice. Ooops, save the juice. Sip it like you would with a coffee. Yummy!

Simple enough? I thought so. Just don't forget the Tanduay for me when you come visit me. The oysters will be on me.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pasta Salad

This is the most versatile recipe I ever had. It can be eaten hot or cold.


2 cups of fusilli
1 lb of chicken breast, sliced in bite sizes
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pitted black olives
1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 medium can of whole tomatoes
1 small can of tomato sauce
about 4 piesces of dried tomatoes in oil, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to packaging instructions. Set aside.

In a pan, cook chicken meat for about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add onions, olives and zucchini and cook for about 3 minutes. Add whole tomatoes, sliced dried tomatoes and tomato sauce. You can add cooking wine and balsamic vinegar if desired.

Mix sauce with pasta and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Chill for 2 hours is if eaten cold or serve right way.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Corned Beef with Cabbage

We Filipinos are so fond of corned beef. I grew up getting used to my corned beef sauteed in onions or tomatoes or sometimes both. Other times my mom cooked it with potatoes. Because in our backyard, we grew sayote abundantly (well, they actually keep on spouting out of nowhere, she tried adding sayote to our dear canned corned beef. Of course she never tried to force sayote on me.

Anyway, now that I am the official cook in my family, coming home late from work, I asked hubby to just cook anything in the fridge. He did with a little fear. He opened the cupboard and there was one can of corned beef waiting to be opened. He opened the fridge and there was another one, a cabbage head. Guess what we had for dinner? It wasn't that bad and I actually found a way of incorporating veggies in my children's meal.

Do I need to tell you how it's cooked?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Salmon Cake

Finally, I found a good recipe for a canned salmon a friend gave me a few months ago. My officemate has been raring to have us taste crab cakes from a store close to where she lives but on the day we were to have them, apparently, there were no crab cakes available. She brought in halibut fish cake instead.

I seem to have this talent of dissecting what's in a recipe as long as I see it physically and I get to taste it too. Well, I tried this and it wasn't too bad.


400 gms of steamed or canned fish (deboned and flaked)
2 stalks of green onions, finely chopped
1 big potato, steamed and mashed (coarsely)
1/4 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 yellow pepper, finely chopped
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
2 eggs
3 tbsp of olive oil
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Form the mixture into patties. Grill for about 10 minutes on each side. Serve with any salad. Spring mix is recommended.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

LP 6: Let's wash it down with booze!!, the round-up!

(My first round-up went kaput. 'must have been during the time blogger techies were doing a maintenance. I had to redo this so if I missed anyone, please let me know).

And I thought I knew everything about pulutan. When I did the round-up of all the entries to LP6: Pulutan (Let's wash it down with Booze!), I was quite surprised how people were able to come up with different recipes I haven't even heard of. Sheer ingenuity, yes that is what "drinking" can really bring out in us.

In a very intimate way, pulutan really makes drinking enjoyable and I am sure most of the contributors to LP 6 do not drink. Without further ado, I would like to present to you the contributors to Lasang Pinoy 6. Please note that there is no particular order in the way I presented the contributors.

Let's start with our star Baby Rambutan with her Chitterlings. They're literally flowery pork intestines. Forget about what you're thinking. It's all worth it when You go and visit Stel's site.

Lutong Disyerto tweaked a tuna recipe he used to have on Saturday nights while in college. Find out how an ordinary skyflakes can make a century tuna appealing especially when you're tight with your budget.
JMom remembers her Dad's younger days when Kilawen na Kambing(goat) is the in thing.(Well, it still is). Having moved to North Carolina, goat meat has become a rarity. Just what can she come up with "when the goat is away"? I guess the chicken can now come into play..teehee..
From an Ilocano country, bagis to us was intestines. Well, in the Tagalog region, they call it otherwise. Find out from CeliaK's kitchen what it is.

Now this is Bagis to me, Iska's Adobong Isaw. My father used to cook this but is served dry. As I was reading Iska's, they do use the same ingredients.
When Lani said she was going to prepared adobong bayawak, she really had me twiddling my thumbs. Aside from bayawak being an endangered species, I have yet to see one even in pot. Guess what, I knew I was in for disappointment when she prepared kalderetang kambing instead. It's alright. I am still hoping that I will taste one soon.
'ever wondered why Joey's site is called ChichaJo? Well, it's all because of these crackling, deep fried pork rind that Joey describes sinful and yet satisfying..

Shrimps is a very versatile kind of food. They can fried and seasoned with salt. Yes, just like that. Mirsbin was more in the mood and came up with Shrimps with Sweet and Spicy Sauce
I have to warn you that this is not for the faint-hearted dog owners. No, Marketman did not cook his labrador for this event. Well, I was in for another dis
appointment when someone promised to give me an entry about his pulutan. I guess he was ready to give me one especially when he learned that this event was circulated world-wide. We do have dogs for pulutan but then again not everyone is into it. Marketman has his own take about pulutan when he said "I understand the argument against eating anything that is endangered or anything that appears to have more intelligence than many fellow humans, etc. but if you strip away a lot of the noise, it’s just protein, fat and calories. And for some reason, eating unusual protein or strange animal body parts is often accompanied by a beer or other alcoholic drink.". Really, sometimes it's the culture too.
And yes, they do have tuwalya and laman-lamanan in Antibes or is it in Greece? Well, both. Schatzli talks about how pinoy wherever they man be always have the knack for entertaining themselves with gusto.

Karen of course came up with Sisig Paro complete with explanation how its name came about.
Impress yourselves with Karen's entry. It definitely reminded me of the different terminologies we have of one thing despite the fact that we all are from one archipelago like the egg is called itlog in Baguio but once it reaches Pampanga, has become ebon.

Relly will surely break my kids' hearts when they find out about her Stewed Rabbit recipe. We own two dwarf rabbits that have perpetually looked like bunnies even after 5 years. I have to admit that my father used to cook adobong kuneho when I was young. Thanks Relly who is new to Lasang Pinoy.

Who can beat the most classic pulutan called pinapaitan? Kai has the talent to even come up with a very vivid description of how her townsfolk plan anything just to have kambing.

Full marks of course goes to Ces for coming up with Kilawen na Tuna. I do not know about you but I love raw fish and shrimps and I always get warned by my mother-in-law not to indulge so much in anything raw as my stomach might churn. But like Ces, this is my ultimate pulutan.

Monday, January 23, 2006

How my son prepares our sandwiches

Can you spot the difference?

My son has a very personalized way of preparing everyone's sandwiches at home. If there's one expert sandwich maker I have come to meet, it would be him

He prepares our sandwiches exactly the way we want ours to be. We all want meat, so the meat is on. He also knows exactly how to layer the vegetables so that the tomatoes wont make the bread slices soggy. The cheese should be on the other side to protect the pickles also from well...making the bread soggy.

Now here's the funny part. He puts as many or as little pickles as you want. Sometimes, when we have pickled jalapenos at home, he exactly knows who want jalapenos in theirs and how much. Isn't that neat?

Guess which one is mine?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Pata Tim

One more try on Pata Tim, this time, a diner friendly one. I had to debone the hocks since I had a few oldies for guests. I was also lucky to find "mustasa" from the Filipino store. You will have to pardon me because I actually cook without measuring my ingredients. We call this cooking talent "tancha-tancha" in Pilipino.

Maybe, I should just tell you how I cooked this. First, I boiled one big hock in a pot adding a few star anise seeds, soy sauce and brown sugar in it. I added about two cups of water. I was more generous with the brown sugar this time. I think I actually put about 1 cup of it. The soy sauce is of course depending on your taste but in mine, I might have added about 1/4 cup. Once it was tender, I asked hubby to debone the hocks so that the taste will stick to the meat. I had to simmer this on low heat for about 2 hours. In fact it is better to cook it in a slow cooker but I cannot remember why I didn't use mine that time.

Once it is tender or even better if it could melt right in your mouth, add the mustasa before serving. Do not overcook the mustasa. I made this a day earlier because with pata tim, the taste improves if left overnight in the fridge. Make sure though that the mustasa is added only upon serving.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lasang Pinoy 6 : Let's wash it down with booze! !

(Logo courtesy of my kasaya, Mike Mina of Lafang)
With the holiday season over, I am sure you guys have a lot of stories to tell. Yes, the tender kilawen na kambing that your brother-in-law prepared, the sweet dilis you received as a present from a classmate, the inihaw na bangus you bought from Aling Vering and even the dinuguan when Mang Tomas butchered the pig for lechon.

In the Philippines, drinking is a past time, a way of unwinding (for the men anyway). It's a person's way of de-stressing from a hard day's knock. Not that it is not in other countries, but there is an added twist to how Filipinos enjoy drinking. More often than not, they always have a pulutan to go with their drinks. Sometimes, the reason why a drinking spree is unforgettable depends on how good the pulutan is. Only in the Pilipins, so they say!

So what exactly is a pulutan? Well, out of curiosity, I googled it but even wikipedia did not describe the way I have known pulutan to be. I shouldn't say that. It is a finger food alright but I am sure there is more to it than a finger food, literally. Maybe we should add to wikipedia's with an intimate description of it.

Pulutan is a kind of food that is served as accompaniment to a drink. It comes in different kinds like meat, fish, nuts, chips. It's prepared in different ways...raw, fried, steamed. Basically, it is anything that makes drinking enjoyable. Even a pet might start to look as a pulutan depending on the level of alcohol drinkers(I call them "bingeirs") have had but that is a different story I would not even like to touch.

Pulutan has evolved in a hundred ways. When I was young, I was made sure to understand that pulutan was only for men, drinking men--hands-off that saucer served in front of those drunk men. Of course there were no comprehensible reasons given to me and I wasn't allowed to ask why, lest I'd be sent to bed. In many occasions, I always ended up dreaming about how they tasted. Now that I have reached the age of reasoning, I believe that had the drinking men allowed me to eat their pulutan, I would have finished the pulutan all up before they even got drunk. Drinking wouldn't have been fun for them then.

As street-hawkers and restaurants mushroomed, so did the meaning of pulutan expand. Pulutan is now served as a delicacy and specialty in reputable restaurants, not as a pulutan per se but as appetizers. From a simple dinakdakan, evolved "crispy sisig". I couldn't even draw the line between ingenuity and poverty when it comes to pulutan anymore. The chicken feet that my father used to throw away when he cooked tinola are now delicacies called "Adidas" and you will find out from my round-up why. If you're walking down the streets and see IUD-like barbecues, well they are called IUDs indeed made out of chicken intestines. They do make drinking enjoyable whatever they're made out of.

So, let's not waste our time. Bring out all the pictures we took during the holidays to show-off how we enjoyed our boozes or bring out the pots and pans and cook one up if you haven't done one yet and let's re-live the holiday feeling over again.

Do you want to join? Here's how it works. Write your thoughts about pulutan on or before January 31. Post them in your blog and send me an e-mail at or so I could include you in my round-up. You don't need to be a Filipino to join. Yeah, tell us how your trip to the Philippines was, that's alright!

Take it away!!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Lasang Pinoy 5: Impromptu Christmas Dinner

Ola and cheers to everyone straight from the Philippines. Behind all the revelry, remind me next time not to go shopping for Noche Buena on December 24 itself. The que was just unending and you have to ready to stand behind the lines for an hour just to pay. But then again, our Christmas this year was something unusual. We just arrived from the province, tired from a celebration happening 2 days prior to Christmas eve. My brother's birthday is on the 24th so he was given the task of cooking for us. We were'nt difficult to please. Exhausted, we didn't mind whatever he prepared for us.

My sister who attended the grand celebration herself also had it. She wasn't ready to touch anything in the kitchen despite the fact that we were having the birthday celebration at my parents' house where she lives now. Father does not live there anymore. Since mother passed away, he decided to retire in the province, 6 hours away from the city. The cold water, the weather, the travels we had made us all contented with whatever was on the table. And oh, the helpers gone as well to celebrate Christmas with their families. (sigh!)

I decided to prepare something light myself. I bought a few pieces of Malaga and steamed them. I seasoned the fish with sauteed ginger, soy sauce, knorr seasoning and garnished it with finely chopped green onions. Brother prepared dinuguan from the lechon. My sister prepared lychees with gelatin and ordered a tray of macaroni for the kidlets.

Well, this was our Noche Buena but we had a better one the next day.

Kids were happier the next day. They got to meet cousins from afar and played different games. And this is how it is every year no matter where we are. Same place, same day and same time but maybe not the same people. The host never leaves her post for it has been a tradition as far as I can remember. We know where to go if we happen to be in Baguio on Christmas Eve and Day, for my family anyway.