Friday, May 28, 2010

Breaded Porkchop

My kids went to the same school I went to when I was in high school, so they're in fact 2nd generation Louisians. My two eldest went to JOLCA for Junior Kinder, then transferred to SLCV. Having 3 kids in private school is no laughing matter, and with only my husband working in the family (I stopped working after giving birth to my 2nd child), it was really hard managing our finances. But my husband and I made a commitment to try and give our kids the best education we could afford so we enrolled them in a private school.

All my kids are gifted (in my opinion, but don't we all!!! LOL...) My eldest has always excelled in academics (he was the salutatorian when he graduated in 6th grade), he was at the top of his class when left for the USA last year, and has always participated and won in interschool Math and academic competitions. My 2nd may not be as academically gifted as my eldest (she's doing good in school too) but she is exceptionally good in arts. She loves to draw (most especially anime) and the drawing she submitted recently to her school's literary magazine made it to the front covers. The youngest, though not as brilliant as her Kuya either (she's an honor student too) is a good writer and a voracious reader. They were also into taekwondo when we were still in the Philippines. Lance is a 1st grade brown belt (which meant he's just 1 promotion away from being a black belter), Bea in 2nd grade brown belt, and Kaye is a 4th grade red belt, and they also competed and won in tkd tournaments back home.

I (or my angel at home) usually bring lunch to my kids every school day. Why you ask? Because they never got used to eating cold food. There was a time when I let them bring their lunch in the morning and they would come home in the afternoon with their lunch boxes still full, complaining that the rice is cold. So I decided from then on to will bring their lunches to them every single day so they'll eat it (their school was 1 jeepney ride from our house, about 5 minutes away without traffic, 30 to 45 minutes with traffic.)

I take them to school every morning, riding the jeepey (they have a jeep service to take them back home in the afternoon), all 3 of them, with their big bags full of books (8 or 9 textbooks, notebooks, pencils, pens, etc,), their snack for recess, umbrellas (when it is raining) and other things that they needed to bring to school, and they had to be in school at 6:45 at the latest. After dropping them off to school, I rush to the talipapa (mini market) near our house to buy ingredients for lunch, then rush home afterwards to start cooking. I had to be in school by 10:30 am, their lunches ready. It was that way every school day, except on Fridays because they come home at 12 noon. I bring them piping hot rice, hot soup (they love sinigang) or other ulam, fruit and juice. And the breaded porkchop shown in the photo is a favorite of the kids.

One day after coming home from school, my eldest asked me "Mom, why can't we be just like the other kids in school?" I thought why, on earth is my son asking me this question? Am I doing something wrong? So I asked him what he meant by that, and he told me "why can't we be like other kids in school who eats rice and hotdog for lunch everyday? Hahaha!!! There I was, knocking my head off thinking about what to prepare for lunch everyday and all that my son wants is rice and hotdog!!! That made me remember this funny comic strip Pugad Baboy by PM Jr. In once scene, the son of one of the characters was complaining to his Dad:

son: "Tay, araw araw nalang hotdog ang baon ko sa lunch, pwede bang bukas iba naman? nagsasawa na ko sa hotdog eh."

Tatay: "sya sige bukas frankfurters naman"

son: "Yan!!!"

After that, I let them have hotdog and rice for lunch once in a while, just so they'd feel like "normal kids" hehehe...

Now they're here in the USA, my eldest is in 9th grade, the second in 7th grade and the youngest in 4th grade. My son buys his lunch at school (or he goes to Mc Donalds or some other place after school, yeah he's complaining again about school food), the girls bring their lunches with them in the morning, and that means... I am less stressed now than before yay!!!
For the video on how to prepare the breaded porkchops shown in the photo, pls. click this link:

Part 1:!/video/video.php?v=1392910419596&ref=mf

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lumpiang Sariwa

Whenever I see lumpiang sariwa (fresh lumpia) I think about our little piece of heaven in Tagaytay. Maybe it's because of the fresh vegetables I see at Mahogany market, or maybe the numerous plants surrounding the house. My parents bought a small piece of land and erected a modest 2-storey house right before my father retired from working in London for more than 30 years. Yes, my Tatay was an OFW even before the word was invented (that was in 1972).

Around the house we planted trees... Indian mango, atis, anonas, rambutan, buko, santol, duhat, chico, papaya, langka, guyabano (soursop), guava (the big ones), we even had an apple tree (it flowered, but never had any fruit). We also have sili, malunggay, kamias, kamoteng kahoy, tubo (sugarcane), luya, at one time my brother planted eggplants, okra, even pineapples. My Nanay also have flowering plants like roses and orchids.

How can you not love a place like that? The cool, fresh air, the serenity of the place, the plants, the crowing of my brother's fighting cocks early in the morning, the sound of birds greeting you upon waking up, and the chirping of crickets at night lulling you to sleep... yep, it's heaven all right!

At first, we only stayed there during weekends because the kids go to school and hubby works in Manila. We'd leave for Tagaytay every Friday evening, then return to Manila a little after lunch on Sundays. All we did there was sleep, eat, watch TV, sleep some more, and eat, eat and eat. Oh, I forgot to add that I cook a lot when we are there, and the kids get to run around and have fun outside.

We would go to Mahogany Market and buy beef for bulalo, vegetables for our lumpiang sariwa, tinapang tawilis, danggit, and tuyo, fruits in season (if there are no ripe ones in our yard), espasol, kalamay Indang, and other kutkutin like nilagang mani. We very seldom buy chickens because as I have said, my oldest brother owns a lot of fighting cocks and hens too, so when we want to make tinola, we just run after one of the hens foraging around. Occasionally, when one of his fighting cocks win in sabong and he gets to bring home the "loser", we cook it too, but fighting cocks need to be stewed for a loooonnnnggg time before you'd be able to eat it, but the broth is oh so yummy!! Come to think of it, a fighting cock is called "tinali" in Filipino, when it loses in a cockfight it becomes "tinalo", and when it is brought home it becomes "tinola" hmmmm....

The tinapang tawilis, fried crisp and served with my nanay's homemade atchara (the papaya comes from the yard) is to die for. How can you go wrong with that? I think we always go back to Manila a few pounds heavier everytime LOL...

It is so much fun to pick fruits and vegetables in your own backyard. Somehow, fruits and vegetables that you yourself have planted and harvested seem to taste a lot better than the ones bought elsewhere. Isn't it nice to hear someone say... "pumitas ka nga ng kamias para sa pinangat", or "ikuha mo nga ako ng dahon ng saging at magsusuman ako", or "kuya, ipitas mo nga ko ng dahon ng sili at ihukay mo ako ng luya para sa tinola."

Maybe this is why I love playing FarmVille and Country Story on Facebook, because it reminds me so much of that little piece of heaven that we call our second Tagaytay :)

For the video on how to make lumpiang sariwa please click this link:

PART 1: (ingredients, making the lumpia sauce)

PART 2: (cooking the meatless lumpia)

PART 3: (assembly and presentation)

March 12 is Kaye's (or Kikay's) birthday and I wanted to make something that she could bring to school and share with her classmates. I got this recipe from my friend Cindy and it turns out that this recipe is the same one that can be found at the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can. I made them, together with the icing and decorated the cupckes with it. I put candy sprinkles on top and it was a hit with the kids!!! The cupcakes not only looked good, they taste even better!

After posting the photos on my facebook account, my friends started asking me how I made them and asked me for the recipe, including how I decorated them and this is actually how I started making videos and posting them on my page Pinay Cooking Lessons because I was having a hard time describing the decorating process through typing. I got good responses from my friends and the rest is history.

I was making the cupcakes for my other daughter Katrina's friend Val when I made this video. They too love the cupcakes and said that they looked too pretty to eat.
If you want to see the video on how to make these pretty cupcakes, then click on this link for part 1 of the video:
for the part 2 of the video, pls click this link:
for instructions on how to make the icing, pls. click this link:
for instructions on how to decorate the cupcakes pls click this link:

Biko with Latik

I love native kakanin!! My chilhood memories are filled with them because my grandmother on my mother's side made them for a living. Biko, puto, kuchinta, sapin-sapin, palitaw, bibingka, suman and a lot of other yummy stuff!!! I remember her making two big bilao's everytime, one for selling, and the other one to divide among her many apo's. My Nanay told stories about them walking long distances (from the now Valenzuela to Sta. Maria, Bulacan) just to sell my grandmother's kakanin especially during fiestas.

I bet you don't know that there are many tpes of suman... among them are: antala (malagkit with coconut milk best eaten with minatamis), maruecos (the purple ones made from pinipig with latik in the middle, one of my favorites!), kamoteng kahoy (looks similar to maruecos but uses cassava instead of pinipig), suman sa ibus (like the ones sold in Antipolo), suman sa lihiya (the ones wrapped in dark green banana leaves and served with grated coconut and sugar on top (another one of my favorites!!) and many others.

Another one of my favorites is the kalamay. But... I am not too particularly fond of the ones sold in Antipolo (sorry!). What I love is the kalamay sold during fiestas and Christmas in our place and coincidentally made by our lola's. They're very thin and laid flat on banana leaves, so chewy and a bit sweet topped with a bit of latik and comes with a small packet of budbud (pan-roasted grated coconut) that you sprinkle on top just before eating... arrggghhh!! I miss that sooo much!! All the Lola's who used to make them are now gone, and I guess they were not able to pass the recipe on to their children :(

I also love love love puto bumbong!! That purple elongated kakanin brushed with butter or margarine, with grated coconut and sugar mixed with toasted sesame seeds on top... yum!!!! It's one of the things I missed so much last Christmas because for the life of me I cannot find puto bumbong anywhere here in Oregon :( . I remember my Nanay and I going to Meycauayan (we live in Valenzuela which is about 2 jeepney rides away) just to be able to buy some puto bumbong near the big church there. I was never into drinking tea but somehow I loved having it with my puto bumbong. My Nanay told me that in the old times they did not use food coloring for puto bumbong, rather they use a dark-colored sticky rice called pirurutong.
I myself make cassava cake but I haven't made a video about it yet. What I have here instead is a video on how to cook biko with latik. So if you want to learn how to cook it, then just click on this link: .

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nanay's Melt-in-your-Mouth Leche Flan

This is my Mom's recipe. She's been making leche flan this way ever since I can remember. It has always been a hit with everyone who tastes it an dit is a staple in all gatherings at home, be it birthdays, weddings, baptisms, during the holidays, and all other occasions I can think of.
When I was in my teens, my barkadas would always ask me if my Nanay made leche flan and they are really happy when I tell them yes because they know that they will be able to taste her famous leche flan again. Nowadays she doesn't make this very often because she's already in her late 70's, so now it is I who makes it, and it is my turn to pass her recipe on to my own kids.
This recipe uses whole eggs unlike other recipes that uses only the yolk, but it really has a really fine, creamy texture. The delicious caramel topping makes it easy to transfer from the pan to a serving platter. The technique for making this really creamy leche flan is in the cooking process. If you want to learn how to make this, then please click this link:
Included in the video are the ingredients and the procedure for making my Nanay's melt-in-your-mouth leche flan.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Butter Macaroons

I have always loved macaroons. I love cooking with coconuts and coconut milk and this is one of the things that I crave for since we moved here to America. These macaroons are buttery, moist and chewy, yet not too sweet. The accompanying video shows the ingredients and the procedure for making them.

Welcome to my Blog!!

Hi!! Welcome to my blog!! As you can see i'm a newbie here, and this is my first attempt at blogging so please bear with me :) With this blog I aim to share my love for cooking and baking. I always say that you can leave me in the kitchen all day and I will be just fine. I am married, and a stay-at-home mom of 3 kids (HS, Middle School and Elementary) so I have a lot of free time on my hands on schooldays when hubby is at work and the kids are in school. I love to cook and bake (which I do on a daily basis) and I also cook for friends who orders from me when they have parties at home or when they want to bring food somewhere else.

I also have a page on FaceBook (Pinay Cooking Lessons) and my aim for making that is to teach my friends how to cook. At first, I was only posting photos of the food I cook and bake at home. My friends started asking me for the recipes and procedures on how I make them, so I started to make instructional videos because it is easier to show them how to do it, than describing everything through typing. A lot of other people had started viewing the page, and now there are 133 people who likes it. (I hope you check it out too if you have a facebook account)

Everything that I know about cooking, I learned from my Nanay. She is a pretty good cook, and watching her cook (apart from eating what she cooked) was one of my favorite things to do when I was growing up. She used to take me to the market on Saturdays or Sundays and though I hated to walk in the market's wet section (where fish is usually sold) I quite enjoy doing this with her. Until I was in my teens, she was the chief cook in our house though I bake cakes and brownies using ready mixes once in a while. It was my Tatay though, who pushed me to start learning how to cook. I remember him asking me to make omelette with onions. I didn't know how to make it so I just mixed the raw onions with the beaten egg and the resulting omelette was... let's just say... not too good. My father raved about it though, and told me that it was the best tasting omelette he has ever had. I was so proud of myself!!! LOL....

When I got married I started cooking for my family and realized that I actually learned a lot from watching my mom. There was a time when both my hubby and I had no job so we decided to put up a small store in front of our house and we started selling halo halo and fried snacks like fishballs, squidballs and tokneneng. I remember selling the halo halo for 10 Pesos per glass, and during summer time, we were selling up to 1,800 Pesos worth of halo halo per day which is a lot!!! We made our own ingredients, from the minatamis na saging, camote, beans, even our ube and leche flan. People from far away come to our tiny store just to buy our halo halo. Intermitently I also sell meriendas like pancit, sopas, spaghetti, pizza pie, siomai. Sometimes I put a sign outside our gate saying "kare-kare or laing available" and our neighbors would come and buy too.

I plan to post photos and videos of the food that I cook, so that others who are willing to listen may learn (even just a little bit), and share it with their family and friends. So here goes....