Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Easiest Bicol Express Recipe

I have been cooking Bicol Express for several years now.  Sherman and Jing taught me how to make it.

This is one of the easiest dishes that I have ever learned!!!!

We have perfected the recipe!!!

Jing and Sherman's Bicol Express

1 K. Skinless pork kasim cut into cubes

2-4 T. bagoong alamang (not the sauteed bottled bagoong)

1 big onion, sliced

1 head garlic, chopped

400 ml. Coconut cream in can

200 gr. sili pang sigang (jalapeno, cut lengthwise, deseed then cut crosswise)

1 t. rock salt, as needed

1 t. MSG, optional

Place all the ingredients in a pot with lid except the sili and salt.

When it boils, lower the heat and simmer until pork is tender, about 2 hours, stirring occassionaly.

Season with salt if needed.

Add the sili in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serve with lots of steamed white rice.

I also cooked bagoong alamang which the Uber driver taught me.

Ohhh how beautiful!  Look at all the fat I used!

I am dreaming of the Bicol Express.  I shared it with my neighbors, Kuya and family, so now I want to cook it again!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cocido De Pollo Con Chorizo

We had the Culinary Journey Cooking demo last Tuesday.  Our guests were The Huenefelds of Calidad Espanola.

They make their own chorizo and other sausages and sell at Salcedo Weekend Market.

I liked the soup dish they cooked for us during the demo and tried to recreate it for my guests last Friday at The Batcave.

Jing, Sherman, Michael, Adiel, Cecille, Armi and her son, Uno.

Cocido de Pollo con Chorizo (Our version of Nilagang Manok with chorizo)

1 K. drumsticks
2 pcs. Chorizo El Rey, sliced (The recipe calls for 1/2 K. chorizo Pamplona but I only had 2 El Rey in the freezer.)
1 liter chicken stock (I used 1 kilo chicken bones boiled in water with 2 t. rock salt.)
1 small pc. King Sue ham feet (recipe calls for ham bone from Terry's)
3 cloves garlic
2 pcs. bay leaves
3 pcs. potatoes, cut into chuinks
3 pcs, carrots, chut into chunks
green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch length
1 head cabbage, sliced into quarters
1/8 C. olive oil
1/8 C. chicken oil, rendered from the chicken fat

Heat the pan and add the chicken and olive oil.
Sear the chicen, a few pieces at a time.
Return the chicken to the pan then add the stock, garlic and bay leaves.
When it boils, add the chorizo and ham feet.  Let it boil then simmer over very low heat for 3 hours.
Add the garbanzos, potatoes and carrots.
Continue simmering until the potatoes and carrots are cooked.
Add the green beans and cabbage in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

I really loved the Cocido.

Jing and Sherman brought Bicol Express... SPICY!!!

Adiel asked her driver who also cooks to make Chicken Cordon Bleu.

I was so impressed!  The few times I tried to cook it, it just fell apart after slicing.

Cecille brought fresh spring rolls from Bon Banh Mi.

Loved it, as well.

Armi was our soda supplier.

I baked a batch of cookies for my guests.

They all loved it! What's not to love? I used Hershey's semi-sweet chips, Hershey's milk chocolate chips and local semi-sweet chips.

I also baked a tray for my nephew, Renzo.

I promised him freshly baked cookies will be waiting for him when he comes home from school.

We all enjoyed our lunch!  Hope we can do this more often.

Thank you everybody for the good food and the great company!

Friday, October 21, 2016

KST Graduation 2016

October 19 was the graduation day of our KST participants.

For 22 weeks every Wednesday, the facilitators and the girls, with a few boys, would all go to the Bel-Air function room to attend the sessions.

KST means Kabalikat Sa Tahanan, a project of Barangay Bel-Air which started 22 years ago.  The aim of the program is to help the participants realize their potential and have a more meaningful relationship with God.

Before KST Batch 23-2016 started, the facilitators attended a 2 day recollection to prepare us spiritually so that we could be in a position to guide the participants.

I was so afraid to fall asleep during the recollection! It already happened one time!

The recollection then was held at Mandarin Hotel.  We had to leave early so that meant, I had to wake up earlier than usual!

After the morning prayer, Bishop Mylo said to close our eyes and pray for 30 minutes on our own while the blessed sacrament was exposed.  After a few moments into meditation, while sitting upright, Mona and Tita Linda Floro (who passed on recently), elbowed me at the same time because I started snoring!

So, ever since, I have been trying so hard not to fall asleep during our yearly recollection.  Oh, boy! That was so hard!  My mind tends to wander during homily and that is only 10 minutes during mass, so imagine 2 days worth of homilies!!!!

My eyes really felt so heavy but I fought the urge to fall asleep and I won!  I think I learned the art of falling asleep with my eyes open!

Hmmm.... I wonder what was so funny during the sharing?

It was also a chance for us to get to know each other.  My KST partner this year is Pudgy.

Launching Day with Capitana Nene, the Kagawad Members and some of the facilitators.

When I first met the girls, they seemed so shy and quiet.  I could hardly hear them when they speak.

They barely talked to each other.

But after a few sessions, they became friends.

I am so amazed by the fact that I saw them bloom right before my eyes!  Hahahaha Cliche-ish? But true.

Week after week, you would notice that they would start believing in themselves.  Whereas before there were probably doubts in their minds on what they are capable of doing.

When you show the girls and let them feel that you believe in them, that they can handle whatever challenge life throws at them, they begin to have self-confidence.

When they discover who they really are, their inherent nature comes out.

They had skills training like table setting, napkin folding, sewing, flower arranging, gift wrapping, etc. etc., to showcase their artistic side. (One of the girls even won 1st prize in flower arranging.)

Sure, skills are a necessity in their line of work but what is more important to me is for them to discover and accept who they are and in the process, they learn to love themselves and their work.

Finally, the main goal is for them to realize that there is dignity in being a household helper and not be embarrassed when asked what they do for a living.

This is already my 6th year as a facilitator.  Some people would ask me, "Don't you get bored doing the same things year after year?"

No, it has never been boring because every year, we are given a new set of participants.  Each one has a different story to tell, each one teaches me something new about myself. It is not just a learning process for them but for me, as well.  I get a glimpse of a life that I am not familiar with, at all.

I am so grateful for the opportunity given to me to help people who need me more than I need them.

Will I volunteer again next year?!?!?

A big fat YES!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Scary Menu

It's not yet Halloween but my menu tonight was SCARY!!!!!

Well... scary for most but not for my friends.  They were so fearless!

Tita Nene, Pia, Babita, Tricia, Shey, Cat and Mona.

Let's start with the star of the night.

Bulalo..... just the bone marrow, no meat.

I bought it in Rustan's Rockwell several weeks ago.  I already know who my intended guest was at that time.  I whispered in Tita Nene's ear that I have a big bag of marrow stored in the freezer for us!

I added a few leaves so it would become healthy dish.

A lot of people are afraid to eat the marrow because they think it is high in cholesterol.

Yes, it is high in cholesterol but the good kind of cholesteriol.  I have researched extensively and consulted with Dr. Google. Hahahahaha! But seriously, I am not kidding you.

I had about 3-4 of the "utak".

Lechon Kawali.  I know it is Pia's favorite.

Adobong Alimango.

Last Sunday afternoon, the sun came out for a bit.  I rushed to Seaside Macapagal to buy small female crabs.  Small, because I needed the aligue for the sauce.

Shrimps in salted egg yolk sauce.

I think this is the deadliest of the bunch.  It looks so unassuming and safe but.... on the contrary....

I used half a cup of butter, half a cup of oil wherein the shrimps were fried, 6 salted egg yolks and a tall can of evaporated milk.

My guests brought dessert and drinks.

I asked them to buy Arce Dairy Mantecado ice cream.

A perfect match for my canonigo without sauce.

I used the egg whites of the leche flan I cooked the other day.


Chocolate Truffle cake.

I am very happy because my guests were happy, as well.

Everybody had a fill of their favorite food.

Dear Lord,

I hope everybody wakes up tomorrow!

Hihihihihi.... (imagine my witchy like laugh)  I forgot to ask my friends to sign a waiver!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

My Paisley Dress

When I woke up yesterday, I received an FB message from PD that she was inviting Mona and I for a quick lunch in Power Plant Mall.

Power Plant is just like the "sari-sari" store in the corner for us.

So... from my night gown... a quick change into my paisley dress... a dress that I would normally wear when I go to the "sari-sari" store.

We had lunch at Kaya.  Little did I know that the paisley dress would be my wardrobe for the whole day and night!

Jing and her friends, Cecille and Adiel, also had lunch at Kaya!

I sat with them while Mona bought some things from the supermarket.  I brought her home after wards because she had to go home to Alabang already.  I went back to the mall to be with Jing and company.

We had dessert at Eight by UCC.

I really loved the crepe so I ordered Strawberry Crepe with Strawberry ice cream.

Jing and Cecille had crepe also but different flavors.  Adiel ordered the Tiramisu.

I was supposed to go home and change because I was going to the wake of Aloy's Dad. The plan was Cristina and Bernie will pick me up at Market Market.

Cecille volunteered to take me there because she was going to BCG, as well.

Still in my paisley dress, off I went to BGC then to the wake and finally, to "pag-pag".

We rounded up the Ka Escapades!  I was texting and texting Pinky to join us after work.  Eric met us at the wake.  Jodie and Carrie went directly to the restaurant.

Mensakaba Geishu Ramen Bar on Aguirre Ave. in BF.

I ordered the Shoyu Ramen.

Mona had the Gyoza.

We just shared our food with each other.

After dinner, we were on our way to the Bing Su place when I suddenly saw a BBQ stand.

Eric!!! Stop the car, please!

I went down and  told them I would just walk to where they were going.  Doc Bernie accompanied me.  I ordered BBQ, 3 pcs. for 35 pesos!!!!  How could that be???  Doc wanted to buy another set of 3 so the others could try.  I told him he had to order more because the 3 sticks of bbq were all mine!

OH Goodness Lord!  I loved it!  I am still dreaming about it now.  I want to go back to BF Homes just to eat BBQ.  Next time I am going to order 12 pcs.  just for me!  I would probably eat it with fried rice or pancit!!!!

Dessert was at Cafe Seol Hwa, BF Homes.

I did not order anymore and just got a few spoonful from their dessert.

It was great that we were able to have an impromptu get together in the South!

Hopefully, we can do this more often.  We are waiting for some one's first pay day!

"Pinky!!!  BBQ lang, solve na!"

So.... that was the story of my paisley dress.


I love Snowball!!!!

I also love the fact that I only borrow her occasionally!!!  Which means... Kuya pays for the Vet, groomer's, food and vitamins!!!

Such a sweet, sweet baby girl.