Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mimay Pie

Mimay Pie..... Somewhere in this fertile island of Negros way up within the lush mountains, we found wild berries scattered on the moss-covered pathway of the forest. While gathering these guaranteed organic, tiny, squishy, succulent fruit, I thought of our summer vacations at my Lola's where we could just walk around her backyard and pick all kinds of fruits and flowers for FREE. Depending on the season, it could be mangoes and star apples during the summer or guavas, chicos, santol or langka during the rainy months. It's actually the act of finding and picking these tiny berries that gets me all excited since everything seems to cost something nowadays.
They say these fruits contain anti-oxidants called anthocyanins. Check out this website to find out more.

Out of these luscious fruit cousin Mimay made this simple pie no bakeshop can offer. This is real eating... fresh and fast.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Comfort from family and a rainbow.....A life well lived is a life well spent with family and a recent visit of a close relative and her twins had us hying off to the beaches of Oriental Negros and Apo Island. We were welcomed at the resort by an awesome view of Apo Island framed by a lovely rainbow. Why does a rainbow always make us smile? Really....have you seen someone look at one with a sour face or say, "Öh no, another rainbow." There seems to be an unexplainable feeling of elation that comes from within us when we see this untouchable ray of colors. Just like family, they're always a welcome sight.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Awesome G9

How can a tiny black metal box that practically fits in your hand produce and replicate something as beautiful as a lotus? My experience with cameras is that of an amateur but the Canon G9 makes me feel otherwise. I have observed with awe and some envy how the pros handle their lbs heavy equipment and the sound of the shutter is music to my ears. This recent acquisition has me attempting to catch each moment, be it that of a flower, the sun or a loved one. I'm just having so much fun!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Quest for the most Eggccelent.

Eggccelent Portuguese Egg Tarts........So much has been said and written about these teensie pastries that travel brochures and guides would make them a "must try" when visiting Macau. And so I put myself to the task of finding the best ever Portuguese Egg Tart. I've have been told beforehand that Margaret's Cafe e Nata beats all others hands down. Although as expected, other places would claim that theirs was the best.

Of the various tarts I tried, I would agree that Margaret's were the best. The uber flaky pastry and thick, rich and velvety smooth egg custard was a hands down winner for me. A bit of a let down were those from Lord Stowe's but those from KFC in HK were surprisingly good.
Here back home, my thoughts are now on a quest to MAKE these minute and sinful pleasures, but then it's just a thought.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Weight of Nothing

The Weight of Nothing.....Tell me the weight of
a snowflake, a coal mouse asked a wild dove.
Nothing more than nothing, was the answer.
In that case, I must tell you a marvelous story, the coal mouse said.
I sat on the branch of a fir, close to its trunk, when it began to snow heavily, not in a raging blizzard, no, just like a dream, without any wound and without any violence. Since I did not have anything better to do, I counted the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles in my branch. Their number was exactly 3,714,952.
When the 3,714,953rd dropped onto the branch, nothing more that nothing as you would say, the branch broke off.
Having said that, the coal mouse flew away.
The dove, since Noah's time an authority on the matter, thought about the story for a while, and finally said to herself, "Perhaps there is only one person's voice lacking for peace in the world."

This was written on one of the pages of my Ocarina songbook and I thought it was such a wonderful story to share during this holiday season.

From my home to yours, Happy Holidays and may the New Year bring us all the ever elusive peace that we want.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Desert Beauty

Visiting some friends this summer in El Paso, Texas brought a lot of pleasant surprises. We got a first hand introduction to a bit of Tex-Mex culture. Situated so near the Mexican border, you can actually see the hills of this central American country. It felt like we were in one of those tele-novela's and going about was like being lost in translation.

Dinner one Sunday was at Cattleman's, located within the desert just off the city limits. As the name evoke's, it is a carnivore's mecca with it's own cattle ranch. What impressed me more was the unexpected beauty of this seemingly desolate land. Being able to catch the sunset made this experience even more melodramatic.

Going over some photos makes me want to reach out for their Frozen Margarita made with the juice of a local cacti, perfect for an end-of-the-day cocktail.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

USDA Prime Challenge

A good thick steak is something we REALLY enjoy in our house. We have also come to a conclusion that the best steaks are those that we prepare and cook at home either pan-fried or grilled over hot coals and served with whatever we want. No fancy sauces, just the taste of pure meat.

Having the chance to purchase USDA Prime (which we have never tried before), we decided to put it to a challenge against lower graded steaks.'s called Prime because it is.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Bread of the Month

A few months back, the New York Times' own Mark Bittman featured a no-knead bread from the Sullivan Bakery. For a while, I think this was one bread recipe tried in kitchens all over the world. I would visit blog sites and this no-knead bread would keep popping up. This is my own Sullivan bread served still warm, with some Italian salami.

"Get Lost" place

Paradise found.....Living in a small town can be a good thing especially during long, boring weekends. It gives us reason to drive to Siaton town, a 50-minute drive south of Dumaguete and spend a day or two at our favorite "get lost" place, Antulang Resort. Positioned at the southern-most tip of Negros Island, it is a place of refuge from our daily anxious and antsy lives.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Langkawas...I dug up some from my garden to use in my curry. Lovely colors!

Bed of Roses

Life is indeed a bed of edible, high caloric roses and porcine faces....Browsing through all the cupcake books has sent me into a baking binge. There is a bounty of web and blog sites wherein the only food they talk about is CUPCAKES.

The wonderful thing about them is that I don't get complaints from my nephew and nieces about who gets the corner with the most frosting or why the other got a bigger slice (or so I thought). These are simple vanilla cupcakes made with butter cream frosting.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What lies within?....Door & Windows of Sagada

Let my silence speak this time.

Salmon Mini-Bouganvillea

At last it has flowered after waiting 13+ years! This teensy plant has me all excited since this is the first time it has ever bloomed profusely and I just can't stop admiring it each time I pass by the garden. This little patch of land which I have called my,Secret Garden, has gone through several facelifts over the 20 years that I have lived here. When I first started I had such grand illusions of what it had to look like and so like any novice gardener, magazines and pictures were my guide. Once, it had to be a flowering garden and all purchases for the garden had to do with flowers. You know how these seed packets have a picture of how your plants should look like once it starts flowering? Well what was I thinking! I had no idea about zones, temperatures and land preparation, so nothing much came out of the land. Believe me, but I even tried to plant Kentucky Blue grass once only to have the seeds washed out after a night of heavy rain. So we had Kentucky Blue grass sprouting at the sides of the canal outside our house. The garden had gone through a vegetable phase as well but I found growing them a bit labour intensive. I have finally found the garden I want and can live with and it is a combination of all those I have mentioned earlier and some. This tiny Bouganvillea has stood witness to most of these changes, maybe all these flowers are a sign that I am finally at peace with my garden and maybe with myself as well.

Steamed Chicken with Chinese Sausage

Recent health concerns within the family have motivated me to look for more heart friendly recipes and this one has been in my recipe box for more than a decade. It's a simple and no fuss dish to serve when you have not much time. All you need is a good (organic is best) 1.5kl chicken. Cut it into pieces and toss in about 2 Tbps. of corn flour , 2 Tbsps. of Shaoshing wine, 1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil, 1Tbsp. Soy Sauce and some salt. Arrange in a heat-proof dish and insert slices of Chinese Sausages. Put in a steamer and let cook for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle chopped chives before serving.