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.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

St. Kieran's Ginger-Date Balls.....Now don't let the ginger turn you off from trying these crunchy sweet balls. Ginger has been known to be a natural cure for motion sickness, as a poltice for arthritis and rheumatism, sore throats and of course indispensable in the kitchen for tinola, steamed fish and chicken. This recipe came about when one of the mom's in my grandson's school, St. Kieran's, brought this during one of the school's fete's. It turned out to be such a hit that everyone was requesting for the recipe which she most kindly printed and shared.

St. Kieran's Balls
In a saucepan place the ff:
1/2 cup chopped dates
4 oz.(125g) butter
4 oz. preserved ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
Cook on low heat till dates are soft.
Cool, then add 2 1/2cups rice bubbles.
Mix well, then
form into balls.
Roll in dessicated coconut.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cubed Truffles

Quinito's Truffles..... My grandson loves almost anything chocolate and these truffles from Simon Johnson in Sydney are his favorite. Rich, pure chocolate at it's finest, with a sprinkling of nuts...ahh...I'm in heaven.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Shortbread from HRH Prince of Wales

Duchy Organic Shortbread......If only we stuck to just satisfying man's basic needs, our lives would be much less complicated and stressful, albeit a bit boring. But then, don't we all go through days when we just crave for the best of something simple and uncomplicated? These are by far the best Shortbread biscuits I have ever had! Rich, buttery and made from organic ingredients grown and harvested from organic farms in Britain including the Home Farm at Highgrove in Gloucestershire.