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Choosing Cutlery

>> Thursday, June 28, 2012



Perhaps you need a chef knife or some other piece of cutlery – it’s fun to shop for new things but when it comes to choosing the right cutlery the decision making process can be daunting. All new knives look shiny and sharp but they don’t all hold an edge or perform well over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to go with brand name cutlery by top makers – JA Henckels and W├╝sthof® cutlery come to mind as they have both been around for a very long time.

The JA Henckels brand originated in 1895 so they have had over a century to develop the most efficient designs and the best quality goods; in fact they are known as the value for money brand of cutlery and one of the leading manufacturers of high quality knives. Value conscious customers along with amateur and professional cooks appreciate a good quality knife and an educated consumer will look for some specific features which can help to determine quality and craftsmanship. 

Precise workmanship is essential – the parts of the knife should be joined seamlessly with no transition between the bolster and handle which could harbor germs and bacteria. The surface finish of the blade should be finely ground and refined to get its compressed surface. The handle and bolster should be ergonomically designed to ensure a safe grip and reduce the chance of slippage. Cutting edge retention is important – it means a knife will be sharp for a longer period of time. Corrosion resistance is another important factor and a by-product of how finely the surface of the blade is ground or polished.



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Food For Free, No Advertising Necessary..

>> Tuesday, June 19, 2012



We received a few goodies this week and last week.. My sister arrived from Singapore and she brought home a few goodies courtesy of my mother's funds given to her to buy chocolates and coffee.. She studies there and my mom sends her money from time to time for goodies like these.. Of course, that's for us to share here at the apartment.. 


My brother came home last week with the goodies below. Goodies from Malaysia given to him by a friend of his.


But the kids loved the one that isn't fully free.. Bought Jumbo Hotdogs and the 1 Kilogram pack has 1 pack of large marshmallows for free.. 


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Chef Tony's Sugar Free Popcorn: Premium Original Organic Corn

>> Sunday, June 17, 2012



This is a long overdue post, but is actually timely for Father's day. Why? Because this is my father's favorite Chef Tony's Popcorn because it's Sugar Free. Anyway, this photo was taken last January 31, 2012 and I got really busy, I forgot to post about this here.  Fresh from his Sendong experience, two weeks to be exact, my sister and I bought a tub when we saw that it was sugar free. In those two weeks, my father had been silent and didn't talk much. Nor did he eat much. Seeing him eat the popcorn made me think that somehow it has become comfort food for him. 


With my father's health, a lot of food are simply not allowed or should be taken in moderation. And since this was sweetened using Splenda, I thought it was better than all the other gourmet popcorn. It wasn't sweet at all, nor was it salty. But just the same, it had that melt-in-your-mouth goodness. 


It was just right for my father, and he told us that he really liked Chef Tony's Sugar Free Popcorn: Premium Original Organic Corn. And so, every time we find that there is a tub of the said flavor, or any other sugar free popcorn at the display area, we buy one for him. Chef Tony's Sugar Free Popcorn: Premium Original Organic Corn is even cheaper  than all others. Imagine this large tub is only P 120 while the small tub of other flavors will cost P 110-140.


Unfortunately, when we bought Chef Tony's Gourmet Popcorn: White Chocolate Parmesan the other day, we didn't find any Sugar Free Popcorn there.. 


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Chef Tony's Gourmet Popcorn: White Chocolate Parmesan



It's been a long time since we bought our last tub of Chef Tony's Popcorn. My sister and I were craving for the impeccable taste of Chef Tony's and sure thing, when we passed by the display area at Lim Ket Kai Mall, we couldn't help but stop and see what flavors are available and what flavor we'd end up buying...


So we ended up buying this tub of Chef Tony's White Chocolate Parmesan.


We noticed that it had been packaged much differently than our previous purchases. But then, when we looked for the price, we noticed that it was much less than previous. 


Oh well, when we started eating  Chef Tony's White Chocolate Parmesan we didn't really notice any change. We still love the crunch. We still love that wonderful explosion of flavors in the mouth.. And we so love how the taste of white chocolate and Parmesan blends perfectly..  


We may be on budget right now, but giving ourselves a chance to enjoy life in the simplest form, eating Chef Tony's Gourmet Popcorn, Chef Tony's White Chocolate Parmesan enjoying the company of my sister and daughter, is surely the most relaxing thing ever.. 



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Curried Pork & Eggplant in Coconut Milk

>> Saturday, June 16, 2012



I love curried food. Chicken Curry has always been a favorite, and Beef Curry too. When I was in Singapore two years ago, I had a chance to try Lamb Curry, and it was oh so good. I also tried curried vegetables at the Indian Cafe, and loved it too. Yesterday, I was craving for curry, but I seem to have imagined curry, right after I saw the tanning supply of my sister. All those brownish liquid and spray that she kept locked in her closet. Anyway, what we had was pork, and some eggplants available. All the rest of the meat in the fridge were either marinated already or cut differently for specific usage.

So my version of curry comes in the form of Curried Pork & Eggplant in Coconut Milk. At least that's how I want to call it. I always start by having the garlic, onions and ginger heated with no oil in a dry pan. According to a friend of mine who cooks a really delicious curry, this process brings out the flavors in the dish. But unlike her, I only heated the three while the rest of the spices I placed after the pork.


I didn't use any oil because the fat of the pork somehow came out while it was cooking. And I didn't use fresh coconut for the coconut milk because we didn't want to go out just to buy it. Good thing we always have a ready mix for Ginataang Gulay, or Vegetables in Coconut Milk. 


What I did was dissolve the coconut mix in water, together with the curry powder. And before adding the eggplant to the pork, I seasoned it and added chili powder. 


After that, I poured the coconut milk/curry and left it for awhile to simmer.


I added the rest of my ingredients, mostly spices. We didn't have basil leaves, so I used Laurel Leaves instead. When it came to a second boil, I transferred it to a glass pot which also served as our serving dish later on.  


After the last boil, I tasted the Curried Pork & Eggplant in Coconut Milk and when I got the taste perfectly to my liking, turned the stove off, and prepared the table. 


Everyone had a happy hot hot hot lunch yesterday.. Thank God everyone love my Curried Pork & Eggplant in Coconut Milk...

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Vegie Pastel

>> Monday, June 11, 2012



I think I have not posted about this yet. Well this has been a long over due post. Have you ever tried pastillas that's carrot flavored? My brother brought this from one of his trips to Davao City.  


It was actually good. Milky and of course, carrot flavored. Kids loved them..


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Curly Tops



You could say that I grew up with this Chocolate brand. I love this especially when it's taken directly out from the refrigerator. It's not impossible that my daughter loves it the same was as I do.. 

Love this as a simple dessert, or a pastime chocolate treat..



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Notes While Making Maja Blanca

>> Friday, June 8, 2012



In this post, I will not be sharing any recipe for Maja Blanca because it is easy to find. You may even have your own recipe. What I will share though, are some pointers I learned while my aunt, cousin and even my mom while they cooked Maja Blanca..  


Of course, to top the list is using clean utensils and a clean, well ventilated kitchen environment. Best of all, energy to continuously stir the mixture, lol.. Seriously!!!

Of course, some molders.. Clean and easy to use..

My mom says that we should use a wooden spoon or ladle to stir, instead of those metal ones. Why? Metal when used to stir is quite harmful in the sense that metal, with direct contact to food, and heated, may bring about some unwanted reactions. It easily becomes warm and hard to handle as one stirs.. Lastly, one can create a variety of flavors for the maja blanca, but should stick with the basic recipe as base. 



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Rent Books Instead..

>> Wednesday, June 6, 2012



It's the opening of classes in the Philippines and some parts of the world, while others are still on summer vacation. Some parents may now be looking for ways to buy expensive textbooks, while others may just be able to save 40-90% off of bookstore prices if they would just rent textbooks from CampusBookRentals.com, with free shipping both ways. What's really great is that, students can actually highlight in the textbooks, no need to feel being policed every time the book rented is used. Surely, that is how some students use their textbooks. I should know, I do that when I was in college.  Unlike borrowing from the library, there is a flexible renting period for each book. This book rental company is trusted since 2007, and has a growing clientele. Must be because they have a live customer support, should it be needed, and a 30-day risk free returns.

With you renting from them is also a good cause because they actually donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented. Operation Smile is an organization that performs cleft lip surgeries on children whose families could not afford. Aside from that, the company have also set aside $90,000 in textbook scholarships which will be distributed to students in communities. A lot of books to touch a lot of students who could use a hand. 

I looked into some books and I found that the price difference is really something that could help a lot. Take for instance Cooking for Geeks, which I actually bought a year ago. My golly, it came out so cheap than expected.  

In case you wanna know how bookrentals work, here's a video:



So why don't you rent books instead of buying them? If it worked well for me, I am sure it work with you too. 



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Sweet's Pinakbet

>> Tuesday, June 5, 2012



Pinakbet is an Ilokano dish that has been given localized rendition everywhere else in the Philippines. It matters actually in the main ingredient used, "Fish Sauce". I mean, it's what sets every Pinakbet recipe apart from each other. In Cebu, and other parts of the Visayas, "uyap" is being used. That's the color pink paste, shrimp paste, that is sold in the local markets. 


In other cities, crushed salted eggs are used. For my sister's Pinakbet, we used Boyong's Spicy Bagoong, one that we always favor to use when we enjoy green mangoes. 


Before, every time I have a chance to be in Cebu, I not only buy screen accessories, souvenir items, but also Alavar's Bagoong. It's not only the best Bagoong for mangoes and all others, but also the best alternative to fish sauce for a Pinakbet dish. Now that CDO has Boyong's, we can actually buy it anytime. 



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Beef Tapa By The Sea...



This is just one of those moments when one is alone and there is nothing left to do but eat.. Well, actually, I didn't have breakfast or have taken anything before we left for the hotel last Sunday, for the make up and hair style of the wedding entourage, of which, my sister and Lili were part of. We left the house at four in the morning, when we were informed that the make up artists were already there, as well as the hairdressers. 

So why was I alone? The wedding coordinator asked us, people who are not part of the entourage, to go out of the hotel room, because the room was quite small with all of us inside. I was actually relieved  for it gave me a chance to go to the restaurant and eat breakfast.. 


The first thing that caught my eye, when I got to the restaurant area, was the on going road construction, instead of the usual view of the bay and harbor.  But I was told by the waiters that once the construction will be over, everything will look good again. The said road will actually connect to the Laguindingan Seaport. 


So that's what I saw while I enjoyed my coffee, alone at the Harbor Lights Hotel Restaurant.. My hot coffee is part of my Filipino breakfast which I ordered upon entering the restaurant.


It was quite hot in the spot that I wanted to sit on so I opted to move where there was a shade of a tree, at the edge of the platform. It's actually okay because I could not see what I wanted to see anyway. 


Sipping my coffee followed by the hearty breakfast of Fried Eggs, the way I wanted, Garlic Fried Rice, and best of all, my all time favorite breakfast viand, wherever I go, Beef Tapa. The plate also comes with fresh tomatoes, cucumber and some shredded papaya.


And the ice cold Mango juice makes all the difference.


I paid P 213 for the meal, but on the receipt, it appeared to be less than that, just P 0.20 actually. But since it was a good meal I enjoyed, and a really good service, I left a little tip for the waiter too.


If one has checked in the hotel, breakfast is actually enjoyed as a complimentary meal for the guests.


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Fiber in Meatballs



I have often used flour or corn starch in making meatballs. But a few days ago, I realized that corn starch or flour was making it too heavy and unhealthy. So while we were at the grocery, instead of all items going through the barcode scanner, I simply went back to the aisle where I got the corn starch, put it back and went to get some oats instead.


As soon as I got home, I prepared the meat balls recipe, but instead of the corn starch, I substituted it with a cup of oats. I noticed that the mixture was even more firm when shaped in balls, and when cooked, it was much better.  I will not share any recipe here. All I did was substitute an ingredient. If you wish to try using oats in your own recipe, do try and tell me how you will find it. 

Oats is better than flour or corn starch because it is a good source of fiber, which the body needs to stay healthy. 


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The Cheese Had A Hole



A few days ago, my father came home with Jollibee Champ for each of us here in the apartment. I usually eat my Champ without any fuss whatsoever, but this one, I happened to open for pictorials. Well, I was actually bored and full perhaps. Hehehe


So there I was taking photos, and when I purposely opened to look at the insides of the burger, I was greeted by a hole on the cheese. 


So I wondered why there was a hole on the cheese... And I guess I wondered too long that my Champ was already cold when I started eating it.  Was there always a hole on the cheese of every Champ? The next time I eat one I will go ahead and check.. I never really look at that part of the sandwich before.. I never had to because somehow, I never found any reason to. Guess that is the effect of being bored and you are left  with nothing but your food to toy with while eating.. Hahahaha.. 


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A FOOD BLOG FOR ALL ISSUES AND CONCERNS, STORIES AND LEARNING, BITS AND PIECES OF WHAT-KNOTS IN THE KITCHEN AND LIFE---

PART OF ITS CAMPAIGN IS TO INTRODUCE FOOD, FOOD PLACES & FOOD MASTERS FROM CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY..

THIS GASTRONOMIC JOURNEY OF THE EMPOWERED MOM DOES NOT ONLY START AND END WITH FOOD IN MIND.. IT'S MUCH MUCH MORE THAN THAT---

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