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27 February 2014

Natural Vitamin C Citrus Salad With Pine Nuts & Fennel

When we feed kids, we only think of the act of feeding them with a balanced diet and giving the necessary nutrients that they need for growing. Right. I sound like a line in a health book. Then, as a secondary consideration, we think of how it's going to taste like. After all, kids have the tendency to astound us with exceptional food combinations like fries dipped in vanilla ice cream (not my kids but some I witnessed when I was young), bread dipped in dollops of ketchup (my very own daughter) or peas sandwiched in between miniscule pieces of bread (my very own daughter again).

25 February 2014

Salt-Crusted Baked Whole Fish

There was a time when as soon as my daughter arrives home from school, she tackles her clay to make miniscule biscuits, cakes or sandwiches. She spends her afternoons  "baking" and "feeding" me with her creations. I'm actually fond of her multicolored layered sandwiches that she slices with so much attention. Every single dish comes with stringent rules of proper eating. I am extra attentive in minding my manners, always, when I am "eating" in front of my daughter. She watches my movements with eagle eyes and reprimands me if I didn't use the table napkin to wipe my mouth nor if I quickly used my fingers to grab the "food".  

24 February 2014

Crostini With Drunken Figs and Ricotta

Traveling is a big learning process. It breathes new knowledge and hope to my tired brain sometimes. When I am cooped up in my little world of computer-cooking-home, my mind and body scream for a break at the same time. It's a relief to close the computer and look at other beautiful subjects to photograph and to eat new kinds of food. I need it. I can feel the difference in me when I go home and attack my work again. There is inspiration to help me move forward again.

23 February 2014

Dried Herring, Fried Rice & Egg (Tuyosilog), A Philippine Breakfast

The best thing that ever happened to the tuyo or dried herring industry in the Philippines is when they started selling them already pre-cooked, preserved in olive oil and bottled. All ready to be eaten. You will understand why because when you are in the country and you are woken up by an insistent smoky pungent odor wafting from the kitchen, you will want to run for cover. 

20 February 2014

Filipino-Style Sweet Spaghetti With Hotdogs

Ever since I reconnected with my classmates from Elementary and High School, memories of about everything imaginable that we went through together started coming out again. Fond memories of so many years of staying together every single day from morning until late in the afternoon took all of us to a different kind of closeness bonded with companionship that grew into beautiful friendships. 

18 February 2014

Quick and Easy Garlic-Cognac Shrimp

Shrimp is my weakness. It's almost impossible for me to pass by a fishmonger's counter without buying those big red crustaceans. Really impossible. I love them cooked in the most simple way, shelled and cooked on a hot griddle or with the shells intact on a barbecue grill without anything, not even salt. That's the best way to enjoy the freshness of the shrimp. They can be so unbelievably sweet when you get the good ones. 

White Wine Sole With Arugula and Leeks

White wine is good for your sole. How do you cook your sole? I cook them in a number of ways but there are only two that I hang on to because as luck touched my kitchen, both my children love sole. One loves it covered with breadcrumbs and lightly fried while the other one likes it like this but with my Mediterranean version (plaice & sole are similar kinds of fish). It's not the easiest task to convince the kiddos to eat their fish but this recipe is an exception.

17 February 2014

Kale & Beef Sautè With Parmesan

How did your weekend go? Did you celebrate Valentine's with a bang? The big day was on a Friday. It is our usual busiest day of the week with our kids' activities so my husband treated me and our daughter, his two girls, a day ahead, to a splendid lunch in a restaurant we had been meaning to try. The day came out so beautiful with the sun finally out and the sky so blue.

13 February 2014

Bacon-Wrapped Baked Brie With Port Wine Cranberry Sauce

I don't jump for joy when confronted with fresh gooey cheese because I have this certain dislike of anything with strong milky aroma and taste. Brie included. But do scratch that away when the Brie is baked and mixed with port wine cranberry sauce. God, this appetizer is as lovely to the mouth as it sounds.

12 February 2014

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Because I haven't seen salted caramel syrup on the supermarket shelves in Italy for years, I actually forgot all about it completely. Until, I had to make one for a recipe that I was developing. Maybe if I was somewhere else, I could have easier access to it with just one trip to the local supermarket but I am in the outskirt of Rome so supplies are nil and that means only one thing. I have to make my own syrup from scratch. Besides, it is the best time to use my growing collection of fleur de sel.

10 February 2014

Black Venere Rice Stir-Fry With Shrimp & Peppers

The first time I encountered black Venere rice at the supermarket, I was able to read what's written in the package for at least a couple of minutes. What's the big deal about it, you may ask. You see, when you have two active children with you at the supermarket, you have this perennial fear of losing a child to lurking bad people who just happen to like showing the kids to the exit without the parents' knowledge or hearing breaking bottles somewhere in the supermarket.

07 February 2014

Risotto With Squash and Sage

Going to the farmer's market is one of my favorite errands on weekends. The market I go to is not on the grand scale and the stalls are mostly unique from each another. There's a meat stall, bread and white pizza, a honey producer, artisan chocolates, potted herbs and different kinds of cheese. The vegetables and fruits are perhaps the only ones that have a bit of competition among themselves.

06 February 2014

Cinnamon Oatmeal With Caramelized Apples & Flax Seeds

Having kids, going out on dates with my husband has become a rare occurrence. I take it as being officially categorized as a family instead of  being a couple. It's normal, you forget how it's like to be a couple when the kids are ruling your life. From the time they open their eyes in the morning until they close their eyes at night, your hands are 100% full. Maybe when they reach the age when they are more independent, then that will be the time when my husband and I can retrace our steps to being a couple again.

02 February 2014

String Bean, Potato and Tuna Salad

On the first day of the year, we all vowed to eat less and burn all the calories that wrapped us during the holiday of enjoying food. We closed our eyes and promised, with every bite, that we will go on a diet as soon as we set foot on 2014. Now that a month has already passed, are you still following your healthy routine? I sometimes do and sometimes I don't. You can't really look up to me as a health guru because I am also human, I succeed and I fail at times. I never stop to forget the importance of food and eating which is enjoying it.  Whether I am aware that that yummiest looking cheeseburger is going to give me 100 times more calories than I should get, at least it gave me happiness for a few minutes. I always believe in moderation. I eat everything (unless the doctor says no to something I shouldn't touch!) but I am quite strict on the moderation front. 

01 February 2014

Panettone Gastronomico (Italian Sandwich Tower)

3. Three. Tre. Tres. Tatlo. Trois. Drei. That's about it. That's the extent of my knowledge of numbers in different languages without googling it. Three years have passed quite fast and so many things have changed for me. What I started on the first day of February in 2011 as a diary of recipes, stories about my family life, traveling and photographs slowly paved way to a full-time job.