Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fish Balls Sauce

We held the monthly batch meeting at my house today.  My contribution was fish balls and  home made sauce.  Whenever I see the street food, fish balls, all over Metro Manila, I always.... always... always want to buy!  But I am too scared because they are cooked in the "street".

I interviewed a lot of fish balls vendor on how to cook it.  They said to fry over low fire.  I try not to buy the frozen ones from the supermarket because it always come out flat after frying.  I like using the "Shanghai" fish balls from Guadalupe or EDSA Central Market.  More often than not, they become round when you fry them.

I googled for fish ball sauce recipe in the net today, but when I followed it to the dot... it was a little bland so I adjusted it according to my taste.

Fish Balls Sauce

1/4 C. vinegar
1/4 C. Pepsi or Orange soda

1/2 C. white sugar
1 T. Datu Puti Soy sauce

1 T cornstarch
1 red onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
chile pepper, optional

Combine vinegar, cornstarch, soy sauce, Pepsi and  white sugar in a sauce pan and stir until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Switch on the heat and  let it boil without stirring until slightly thick then add the onions, garlic and chili.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lia's Diet "Day Off"

I know! I know!  I just started my diet last week ... I already lost 5 lbs. in one week just eating Nestle Fitnesse cereals for breakfast and dinner.  I declared  a DIET day off.

When I woke up this morning, I looked outside my window and the sun was not shining so brightly.  It was really hot yesterday, so ... today was perfect for an excursion.

I texted Mayette: Elar's ????   She said YES!

I got to Elar's, Quezon Ave.  first ...

...  and she asked me to buy already so we could get good parts.  We both like the belly.  I got us 2 platters, 1/2 K. for Mayette and Jon and 1/4 K for me.  When I got my order, people were staring at me as I was carrying the tray to our table.  They probably thought all the Lechon was for me!!!

Mayette texted me not to eat yet and wait for them but  I was hungry already so I ordered Pork and Beef Sinigang.

They finally arrived after a few minutes and we enjoyed our Lechon.  The skin was crispy and had the pre-requisite layer of fat.  The belly was really tasty.  We dipped it alternately in liver sauce and in soy-vinegar.

After eating our lunch, Jon said we need dessert.  Betty's was just around the corner.

We ordered 1 slice of sans rival each.

Since we were already in the area, I told them I wanted to go to Causeway Bay along Banawe Street... according to, it serves the best siomai in Metro Manila.


I just had to try it! I could not give it justice because I was really so full from my last meal.

Mayette said they have very good chicken feet ... so.... we tried it as well.


We also ordered steamed spareribs.

I like the spareribs of Le Ching better because it is more tender.

We were soooooooooo  stuffed!  I did not think I could eat another bite of anything anymore.  I mentioned to Mayette I will only eat cereals for dinner.  But it did not happen.  We went to Metroclub in the late afternoon and I had Cheeseburger.

The whole day was a Diet "day off"!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holy Week 2011

Most people spent their Holy Week attending various church activities.  Some went of town or the country with friends and family.  But for me ... every year I make it my "panata" (pledge) to be with my niece, Sophie.  When she was little, she was really very hyperactive, precocious, inquisitive.... hahaha  I'm running out of adjectives but I suppose everybody gets the general idea...  that being with her felt  as though  it was a sacrifice - "penitensya".  Luckily... Thank you, God! .... she is more mature now at 12 and being with her does not feel like a "sacrifice" anymore.  I truly enjoy her company ... in small doses.

Holy Thursday

Sophie and I went to my Ate's house.  This is a special time for us to be with Ate and her family and we do this every Holy Week.  Gilly's and Sophie's bonding moments.

My Ate makes very good "Bistek" - Filipino Beef Steak , one of my favorite food which I have not mastered yet... so, I asked my sister to cook for me.

Yaya Bebing's  Fried Chicken.


It was really crispy on the outside and inside, falling off the bone.  I asked what the secret was, Ate said, they used a thermometer for deep frying.

Chinese Stir-Fried Vegetables


Sophie's favorite food of all time is Carbonara.

Pork Sprite.... tender pork belly ... it was like sweet pork adobo or humba.

Holy Friday

A day of fasting and abstinence.... but I am exempted from fasting because I am diabetic.

The friend of my brother in law, Butch, gave them 25 pieces of bangus from Roxas City.  I helped my Ate debone a few and we made Rellenong Bangus.


I now have 5 pieces of bangus in my freezer I have yet to debone.

Yaya Bebing's Fish Tempura

I cooked the Meatless Pancit Canton using the Mama Sita's Soy - Stir sauce.

After lunch, I told my Ate that I have been having back to back dreams of my Mom ever since Holy Week started. So, we visited Mom at Manila Memorial Park.

We went to BF to check if there were establishments open for merienda.  Lo and behold! I saw several cars parked outside Little Quiapo.

I ordered Mais con Yelo. I know... I do not make sense ... I can not do fasting because I'm diabetic but I can eat this..... shakes my head.

Ate ordered the Halo- Halo.

We just shared the meatless Pancit Palabok.

Sophie and I went home before dusk because I did not want to drive late at night with a child.  We ordered from Shakey's, Ultimate Cheese and Garlic Pizza, Mojos and Friday's Special. (No picture, too tired.)

Holy Saturday

I asked Tita Portia where she wanted to go.  I told her:  "The streets are clear, we can go anywhere in Metro Manila!"  We went to Resorts World, Newport City.

Lunch was at Johnny Chow's.

Seafood Siomai (forgot to take a picture)

Pork Siomai


Tofu Salad with Sesame Dressing

Lechon Macau

Yangchow Fried Rice

Merienda was at Stacker's

Stacker's Cheeseburger


Chocolate Malt Shake

Easter Sunday

Jing invited Mariger and I for lunch.  It was an "ihaw ihaw" affair.  It was so cute and sweet of Jing to use Easter place cards she brought home from the UK.


Grilled Tilapia

Grilled Pork Belly - Sherman's expertise.


Grilled Squid.  So tender... even the "dentally" challenged can chew it!!! hahahaha

Thank you, Jing and Sherman!

We, the girls, had an Easter  Tea at The Pen.  We just shared the Afternoon Tea Set plus ordered another pot of tea.  Hahahaha  sorry ... could not help it ... lots of "tea".

I did not forget God in the midst of all the activities ... I prayed and went to the Easter Vigil Mass.  My first time... I did not know that there were SIX readings!!!! And SIX Responsorial Psalms!  The mass was 2 hours long  but it was a new and good experience for me.

Holy Week is best spent with the family .... it is a time for reflection, prayer, sacrifice and thanksgiving.  As my Ate would say:  "Thank you, Lord for dying for us ... so we may be able to enjoy the Halo-Halo."

It may seem funny and trivial .... but in my opinion ... that is truly the essence Holy Week.... to remember to say,  "Thank You, God for dying and saving all of us so that we may celebrate the life that You have given us."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Steamed Seabass on a bed of Garlic Spinach

I'm trying to stay with the healthy program.  Cereals, skimmed milk and fruit for breakfast.... healthy lunch - 1/2 C.  brown rice, fish and vegetables and...  for dinner ... cereals again with skimmed milk and yogurt.  I'm following the diet written at the back of the cereal box.  It says, if you do it for 14 days, you will see a significant difference.  So... let's us find out if it is true..

My schedule today was after breakfast, I would go to Poblacion market and buy fish.  But Sophie and Renzo wanted to swim in our little instant pool which I set up every summer only..  Their yaya was busy with something else so I had to watch over the kids.  Hehehe  and I joined them also.  I bought toys for the pool ... mine was the lounging bed... I sprayed on Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning oil.  I want to have a healthy golden tan this summer.

My little 5 year old nephew, Renzo,  was so cute.  I think it was the first time he saw me in a swim suit ... He said: You are big, you ate a lot????? Hahahaha An understatement!!!

Since there were no more fish at the market at 11 am, I just went to Rustan's Rockwell.  I was able to buy a small Seabass ... about 200 grams in weight and a bag of Spinach.

Steamed Seabass on a bed of Garlic Spinach

200 g. Seabass (Apahap is the local equivalent)
1/4 t. fine salt
1/4 t. sugar
ginger, julienned
leeks, julienned
wansoy leaves
2 T. oil (I just used ordinary cooking oil, best if corn or peanut oil)
1 T. Kikkoman soy sauce

Cut diagonal slits on the fish... season both sides with salt and sugar.  Put the fish on a heat proof dish and steam for 10 minutes.  Drain liquid from the dish, arrange on top the ginger, leeks and wansoy.  Heat the cooking oil until smoking then pour slowly over the steamed fish.  Drizzle with soy sauce.

Garlic Spinach

1 T. oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
spinach leaves, soaked in water

Heat oil until smoking, saute the garlic until light brown, Drain the leaves and saute until the color changes.  Transfer into a serving platter.

Put the fish on top of the spinach bed and pour the sauce.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How do we love thee.....

My friends and I had a wonderful day at Mona's and Corry's house.  Delicious food, swimming, chismis and more food!  We probably gained 5 pounds today at the minimum.


"How do we love thee?"  Let me count the ways ........

We loved the Crispy Fried Hito!

So crunchy we even ate the fish bones and spine! Mona's contribution to the picnic.

We loved the Adobong Pusit!

I told Celina to buy 1 K. of squid only but she said it seemed too little after she had it cooked so she bought a box of Sapin-Sapin from Dolor's.

We loved the Bicol Express Jing and Sherman brought... super Spicy!!! And the coconut milk so creamy!

We loved the Baked Tahong  Hermie prepared!


I put it in Mona's oven when I got to her place.

We loved the Steamed Crabs Corry contributed!


The flesh was so sweet!

We loved the dipping sauce of Tita Cena....

Olive Oil
crushed garlic
crushed ginger

Saute in olive oil the garlic and the ginger.  When brown, remove from heat, transfer into  bowl.  Add vinegar and sugar to taste.

It was really so YUM!  So good!  Not just for the crabs but we used it for the shrimps and Hito also.

We loved the Indian mangoes ... freshly picked from Mona's tree.

We loved the Bagoong... Mariger asked ... who made this???  Hahaha we all said, Barrio Fiesta!

We loved the Butter Garlic Shrimps Mariger brought!

We all had several servings of rice! I couldn't believe I had 3!!!! 


My first serving of food ... I came back several times!

After lunch, we could barely stand up! So full! I think we have to go to confession and tell father we have committed the sin of gluttony!  We even opened a bag of Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar!

hahahaha I told them to enjoy it before the kids who were swimming discover the bag of chips!

Mona made this yummy dip she calls "echos" (eh -chos).


Several layers of cream cheese, salsa and grated cheese.

Today is the last day of "eating".  Tomorrow is the start of a healthier way of life.   Hahaha  Rewind the tape recorder... several months ago, I already announced it to the world.

What is nice about it now, is that my friends are going to join me!

Everybody is very supportive!  Even Sophie was cheering me on.  We were in Rustan's Rockwell tonight, I was looking for a box of healthy cereal when she said, I just saw a slim and sexy woman who looks like a model put a box of cereal in her cart!!!  I asked her to look at the lady's cart for the brand... Nestle Fitness ... so I put a box in my cart too :)) 

My friends and I have agreed that when we are alone or at home, we should follow a diet but when we are together .... NO diet!   Hahahaha   I hope I see my friends often!

It was an enjoyable day.  Thank you, God for my friends and scrumptious food!