Thursday, December 2, 2010

flowers in our garden

ampalaya (bitter gourd)


Baguio Beans
I make use of these flowers at home for my flower arrangements.
Sometimes i used weeds and herbs whenever i can find some.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Love My Basil

I love basil in food. I love it's smell. I love it's taste.

I love it in my bread
hot pandesal + pesto + white cheese

I love it in my pasta

I love it in my shrimps
(stir fry shrimps in little oil, add some catsup and basil leaves)

and in my flower vase too!

Guess What?
Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) is now 5 years old!

Sharing my love of Basil to all Weekend Herb Bloggers.
Our dear Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once
hosts our anniversary celebration.

Check out my Weekend Herb Blogging entries:

Lumpiang Shanghai and Malunggay,
my first WHB entry which was also hosted by Haalo

Lechon Manok w/ Tanglad
Roasted Chicken in Lemongrass

Inihaw na Tilipia sa Madre Cacao
(Grilled Tilapia using Madre Cacao)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Steamed Fish

Mom got this recipe of steamed fish from a magazine years ago.
It was an advertisement for Amoy products.

She always use Tilapia for this but I was lucky to buy fresh lapu lapu
from my suki in Los Baños. You can substitute any white fish you like.

4-5 pcs sliced white fish fillet (you can also use small sized fish)
4-5 stalks pechay Baguio
5 stalks spring onions,minced
1 pc medium ginger, minced or grated
3-4T vegetable oil
2T Amoy gold label light soy sauce
2T Amoy sesame oil

Mix together light soy sauce and sesame oil. Set aside.
Place slice of fish on top of pechay Baguio leaf. ( there's no
Baguio pechay in the picture, my fault. I forgot to buy :D).
Wrapped the fish in foil and steam until fish is cooked.
When fish is cooked, transfer each fish into a plate or served
it with foil. Sprinkle grated ginger and onions on top. Heat oil
until very hot but not smoking. Pour over fish just to cook
the onions and ginger. When frying subsides, pour sesame
soy mixture. Serve.

Mom's tip: when using whole fish, place a slice of ginger
inside the fish before steaming to remove the "lansa"
(fishy smell).

Check out these fishy tales:

Kaswela, Sauteed Sinigang?

Salmon Sardines

Paksiw na Isda

Friday, October 29, 2010

Plant Basil, Harvest Pesto!

I got basil seedlings from my Tia Aring last month and now I am
harvesting them! Good thing my sister was here last weekend
to show me how to make pesto. She even brought her portable
food processor for our use (all the way from General Santos City).

Eager to test her new camera, Olympus SP-800ux (it has 30x
optical speed!), she was shooting early Sunday morning outside
the house. I went along, even if i just woke up, because I was
also eager to show off my basil plants.

She didn't use exact measurements for the pesto. Just trusted her
her taste and feeling. In a food processor, basil was mixed with
olive oil, garlic, pepper, anchovies and nuts. I also got some pine
nuts from Tia Aring which we used but run out of them so we
used some Chedeng's roasted peanuts (a favorite pasalubong
from Iligan City).

My sister is right. Plant basil, harvest pesto!

You might also like:

My General Santos City Adventures : GenSan Market and GenSan Eats

October 2008 harvest

October 2009 harvest

I am linking this to Foodie Friday:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Binagoongang Talong

Talong or eggplant ( Solanum melongena) is a favored vegetable
in the Philippines. In the province, it is one of the vegetables
planted in the backyard together with pechay, mustasa and
ampalaya (bitter gourd). Talong is a mainstay ingredient
in pakbet, dinengdeng and sinigang.

Whenever we have excess talong from our backyard,
Dad's favorite, talong binagoongan, is surely in the dinner table.

Talong Binagoongan (Eggplant in Shrimp paste) is a poor man's
version of Pork Binagoongan, replacing pork with talong.

Binagoongang Talong (Eggplant in Shrimp Paste)

100 gms pork fat (optional)
1K talong, sliced diagonally
2T oil (no need if adding pork fat)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, sliced
3 medium tomatoes, sliced
2T Bagoong (shrimp paste)
1/2t sugar
1/2 cup water

Render oil from fat. Remove oil if too many, just leave enough for
sauteing. Saute garlic until golden brown and add onions. Cook
until onions are caramelized. Add tomatoes, cook until softened.
Add Bagoong and stir fry until aromatic. Add talong and stir fry until
talong is well coated. Add water and simmer until talong is cooked,
about 10 minutes. Add more water if necessary.

Sprinkle kalamansi (key lime) juice before serving.

Tortang Talong is another eggplant dish

Buto-buto Nilaga
, a hearty dish for cold nights

Friday, October 15, 2010


Inihaw na liempo (grilled pork belly cuts) is a family favorite
in our lazy Sunday breakfast. Dad call it "inagurasyon" (inauguration).

It started when he bought a new grill on a weekday. He so wanted to
use it, he can't wait for our Sunday breakfast. So he made the excuse
of inaugurating the new grill and cooked inihaw na liempo.

Since then, whenever we have something new at home (a new chopping
board, a new potholder or new place mats) Dad always make an excuse to
inaugurate it by cooking inihaw na liempo.

No special marinade, just rub both sides with salt and grill away. This is
served with our favorite sawsawan (dip) of tomatoes, onions, vinegar,
soy sauce and siling labuyo (Bird's Eye chili pepper). Topped with pakchee,
of course.

our favorite dip

Burong Mangga goes well with grilled foods.

if you like squid, then Adobong Pusit is for you!

Craving for something Thai?
check out Chicken Krapao

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ginataang Sitaw (Long Beans in Coconut Milk)

One of the cooking method that I like here in Pila is "tapâ"
or smoked. This is done by smoking the fish or meat using
bunot or coconut husks to make smoke and covering the fish
or meat with banana leaves or cacawate leaves to trap
the smoke.

Often we would have Tinapang Tilapia when we have visitors.
This is paired with Chicken Adobo sa Gata.

Some days, we had tinapang kanduli (smoked catfish),
the fish usually given by an uncle who have a fish pond.

Smoked kanduli is great with steamed kamote tops
dipped in fish sauce and kalamansi.

The excess smoked kanduli we would cook with
Ginataang Sitaw (Long Beans in coconut milk).

Ginataang Sitaw

1 bunch of sitaw (long beans, cut in 2" length)
2 cups coconut milk
1 medium onion, sliced
1 thumb-size ginger, sliced
2-3 smoked kanduli
salt to taste

Bring to a boil the coconut milk, onion and ginger. Add sitaw and kanduli.
Simmer uncovered until sitaw is cooked, stirring occasionally. Served with

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Turon is a Filipino delicacy usually served as a merienda or snack.
It is also sold on the streets, near schools and offices since it is a
food-on-the-go and budget friendly.

Turon is actually a spring roll of ripe banana. Some would include
slices of jackfruit, chopped peanuts, cheese, peanut butter or cinnamon.

This afternoon I made some Turon with sliced jack fruit, chopped peanuts
and a sprinkle of sugar. To tweak the taste I added some mint. All
wrapped in a spring roll and fried into golden brown. Sarap!

Here's another banana recipe:


Hey, how about an appetizer?

Salted Eggs/ Itlog na Maalat

September Harvest:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tolang Bisaya

One of the things I missed in Iligan City is the availability
of fresh seafoods. Most fish sold in our local market here
in Pila came from Laguna Lake, bangus (milkfish), tilapia,
dalag (mudfish), hito and kanduli (catfish).

I get my supply of seafoods from my suki in Los Baños
who heads to Lucena City everyday to get them fresh.

The other day I got some fresh Pampano, which Mom
cook as Tolang Bisaya, an effortless soup to make.
Mom rarely cooks so when she's in the mood, we let her.
Tolang Bisaya as we call it, is one of her favorite dish.

Tolang Bisaya

1/2 k Pampano or any white-meat fish
1 bell pepper,quartered
1 stalk Salay (lemongrass)
3 tomatoes, quartered
2 onions, sliced in half
bunch of leeks
3 cups water

Place all ingredients in a casserole except fish.
Bring to a boil. Add the fish and boil again until
the fish is cooked. Serve hot.

Check out these fish recipes as well:


Ginisang Pechay

How about a banana snack?


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Salmon Sardines

As a kid living in Iligan City (our house is just about 500 mtrs
from the ocean), I get the chance to help fishermen with their catch.

My cousins, sister and I would help remove tamban (herring)
caught in the fish nets. As a reward, we get to take home some fish.
Often we would have fried tamban, my favorite. I could finish off
a kilo of fried tamban in one sitting! Sometimes Mom would make
them into spanish sardines. I always associate homemade Spanish
sardines with my mom :)

It is difficult to get fresh tamban here in Pila, so i had to settle
with salmon, which I bought from my suki (my regular fish vendor)
in Los Baños. Mom cook them into spanish sardines.

Mom's Homemade Spanish Sardines

1k salmon or tamba (bangus/milkfish is also good)
3 bay leaves
8-10 pcs sliced pickle
1Tbsp salt
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium carrot, sliced
3-4 pcs siling labuyo (chilli pepper)
1 Tbsp black pepper
2-3 cups water

Clean fish and cut into serving pieces. Place in a heavy pan
(Mom used palayok, clay pot) with the rest of the ingredients.
Let it simmer for about 2-3 hours until the meat almost fell
off the bones. Add water if necessary.

If using a pressure cooker, use a little water, about 1 cup
and pressure cook for about 1 hour.


You might want to try these recipes:

Pork and Liver Bistek

Tortang Talong

Minanok na Manok


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