Odes: Kuya's grilled pork...level up!

Friday, December 31, 2010

LAST WEEK OF DECEMBER 2010. After the wedding was over and all the gifts were opened and hubby has officially moved into our house, we set a time to visit my in-laws. Hubby's family lived in Calamba, Laguna. The area is not in a galaxy far, far away really. But for someone like me who doesn't go out much, any place beyond Alabang and Las Piñas is far. There was a time when I was younger that even Festival Mall in Filinvest felt like it was in China. Hahaha!

We set it on the 27th. I suggested to hubby we have exactly the same thing we had when he took me there for a visit December of the previous year. His mom made pancit sotanghon and his dad grilled liempo and made ensaladang talong and we bought lechon manok from Chook's to Go along the way. It was a very enjoyable lunch. We ate outdoors under the blue sky surrounded by plantations of all sorts of vegetables (they live in a farm area) dotted with large fruit trees and very tall coconuts. We even had hubby's then best man-to-be with us. He is based in Dubai, but always spent the Christmas holidays in the Philippines.

We picked up a few groceries beforehand, but most of the stuff we plan to cook (like the fish and lechon manok) we can buy along the way. Some, like the vegetables, were available in Calamba (they do live in a farm after all), but we still bought some, which turned out to be absolutely unnecessary. We brought a pack of tomatoes, only to find they prepared more than a kilo of it (among other vegetables) for us to take home. Hahaha!

I decided to marinade pork for the grilled liempo. Kuya has this simple marinade recipe especially for grilling, which we all love. I followed it, adding a few more ingredients.

I felt sick when I woke up the next day. I wasn't feeling well since the evening before, which was so unfortunate. My stomach couldn't tolerate much of anything. Ignorant as I was, I had a pregnancy scare. But it was just because of my acidity pala. Hahaha! I skipped a meal the night before, because I ate the meal before it rather late and still felt full. Ayan.

It was hubby's uncle, who had experience running a carinderia, who did the cooking when we were there. Even the delicious pancit sotanghon, with generous amounts of sahog. I was able to eat a bit (but only until I expelled everything, eeew). Personally, I found the pork I marinated a bit bland. But hubby's family said it was good. I thought they will be able to keep some of the marinated meat, but it lasted just as long as lunch lasted. =)

I'm just sorry I wasn't able to enjoy the day much. I spent much of the time lying down after lunch. There was also grilled tilapia, ensaladang talong...sayang. =( Good thing I left some liempo at home, which hubby grilled when friends came over on the holiday after our visit to Calamba. And thank goodness Danes loves taking pictures. Thanks to my indisposition in Calamba, I absolutely forgot to take pictures of my recipe when it was cooked.

Photo credits: Danes 12/31/2010

Olive oil, about 2 tbsps
Soy sauce, about a cup (or enough to soak the meat)
Calamansi, more than 10 pieces
Dried rosemary, about 1 tbsp (pounded/crushed a bit)
Honey, about 3 tbsps
Ground black pepper to taste

Procedure: Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the liempo (good for about a kilo or so). Marinade for at least an hour. I did overnight. ^_^


ILYS: High-calorie Saturday

Saturday, December 11, 2010

11 DECEMBER 2010. I think I did nothing today except cook. My goodness. And eat. OH MY GOODNESS.

We had a few relatives coming over and choir practice later in the evening. On top of that, mom and dad had cake orders to do.

Early this morning, I got up and started. I made my so-easy carbonara with an extra shortcut... Del Monte Carbonara sauce. Hahaha! It wasn't really a shortcut though. More of an "extender". I still used all-purpose cream and cream of mushroom. I tried putting in parsley this time. It was good.

The luncheon meat carbonara was for:

1. Our breakfast this morning

 2. Our guests' snack in the afternoon

3. The choir's after-practice merienda (late night)

And we still have half a pot full of carbonara sauce for breakfast tomorrow. LOL

Mom made nilagang baka and fried chicken wings, as we were expecting our relatives for lunch. The latter dish I spiked with chili garlic sauce.

Mom's favorite fried chicken recipe is very yummy
but very simple: calamansi + patis.

Telltale signs that Renn Xu was here: chili bits

The chicken didn't turn out to be spicy (or maybe it was just me...little bro always comments that I've burned my tongue with excessive intake of chili a long time ago). But the taste did change. I served it with a dip made of mayo and sandwich spread, Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic on the side.

Looks like my relatives liked it. Only five pieces
were left.

I ended up with the task of frying the chicken, after which I vowed I shall steer clear of frying until after the wedding. I have so many spatter marks on my hands. And they hurt! =(

Mom and dad were starting to bake when our relatives arrived. I think I got a bit stressed helping the bakers and serving the guests at the same time. But I did get a treat. After mom poured the cake batter into the baking pans, I asked her for the mixing bowls. I got three of the four bowls (I wasn't able to catch the mixing bowl for the carrot cake in time): mango (my favorite!), ube (we have one mini-loaf! Yay!) and chocolate (sugar high...). No picture of me "cleaning up" the mixing bowls. It's kinda gross. LOL

I admit I'm not in a very artistic mood today. Little

bro's cake order/gift turned out to be a confusion of
multicolored edible flowers and gold pearls. But it
was still cute anyway. And delicious.

Me tired. Bride-to-be must get some beauty rest (which is impossible as it's midnight already. Pfft.) and dream up a game plan how I shall lose all those calories...

Thirteen days to go till the wedding! Oh, make that twelve days to go, because it's midnight already.

P.S. Happy 1st Birthday to my nephew, Zeus! ^_^ *BB*

Odes: A taste of my childhood revisited

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Of the many things I've digested over the years, there's this taste from my childhood days that I have not quite forgotten. Now, years after I had my last dinner there with my family, it lingers as distinctly as a fond memory. The taste goes by the name of Dayrit's Mandarin Spareribs.

Dayrit's Restaurant  used to have a branch in Alabang Town Center. It was almost the default dinner place of choice (if we did have more than enough to spend, it being pricier than fast food). There was nothing too fancy about th place. I even remember it being a bit dark. They had these tables with fixed plastic high-backed benches which was the in-thing in restos then. It had the feel of those 24-hour diners you see in American movies (where conspirators meet in the middle of the night, LOL).

Until one day it was suddenly gone. The area it occupied on the second floor of the old Casa Filipina (tama ba?) building was vacated.

Then, still some years ago, I spotted another branch, the one at Paseo de Magallanes. We promised ourselves we would really go there for dinner one time. But for the next few years, we would only be getting a glimpse of it going to or coming from the flyover connecting C5 and SLEX, but never really go there.

Until my digicam, the first one I ever owned, broke down.

Now what the heck does my digicam have to do with Dayrit's? The nearest Canon Service Center was at Paseo de Magallanes. ^_^

So although I felt bad about my digicam getting broken (thankfully, it was still within warranty), I also felt happy. When mom, dad and I proceeded to the restaurant (which we did before even dropping off my digicam at Canon, as we were already starving--it was already what, 1:30 PM?), we had this guilty feeling that the digicam was just an excuse to go to Dayrit's. Hehehe! Mom commented na kailangan lang pala ako masiraan ng camera to finally get to eat at Dayrit's again.

This branch looked different from the ATC branch I recall. It wasn't anything grand still--just white walls with a frame of something on the wall (I can't recall what it was), rows of tables for two, which you can move together if you're a big group, and a counter at the far end behind which must be the kitchen. But there's a homey feel to the place. It was like going to your lola's house for lunch or your favorite coffee shop where you can unwind. That kind of feel.

Waiting for lunch to come. Dad had a beer, mom had
guyabano shake, which was good.

The only thing I can remember about Dayrit's was the aforementioned spareribs. Looking through the menu, we decided to order different things. Dad got the Roast Beef Platter, a generous serving of roast beef strips with gravy, with mashed potato and veggies on the side. Mom got the Chicken Galantina, so we know now what Chicken Galantina is. LOL

ROAST BEEF PLATE (P300). I don't recall us ordering this
when I was a kid,
but this will now become my dad's
default meal. It's big enough for two. We always
have to help dad finish it.

ever having this when I was a kid either.
It was a bit
on the bland side, but it was OK. And oh,
this is how
galantina looks like!

Of course, I ordered the Mandarin Spareribs served with rice and coleslaw on the side. We all took a bite from each other's plates. We had to order a couple more servings of rice, everything so full of flavor.

MANDARIN PORK SPARERIBS (P205). Years after my last
meal at Dayrit's in ATC, I'm absolutely happy to report that
this dish hasn't changed
. It's still the same beloved dish
I always recall.

Little bro, who was a fan of the spareribs as a child, was almost mad when he found out we went to Dayrit's. So we promised to bring him along when we pick up the camera, which happened about a couple of months after.

Little bro obviously missed the Mandarin Pork Spareribs.

I tried their Pork Binagoongan this time. It was served with rice and green mango slices. I'm not a bagoong person. I sometimes get mad at dad, who puts bagoong in virtually everything he eats and often contaminates the rest of the food on the table. Eeew... But this was delicious. As in, oh my gosh. This is my new favorite ehre at Dayrit's. And the bagoong? Long after the liempo was gone, I was picking at it like it was dessert. LOL

BINAGOONGANG LIEMPO (P225). Glad I tried it. Delicious!

Our second meal there (after all those years) started and ended just like the first:

BEFORE. The feast...

AFTER ...is gone with the wind.

We obviously missed Dayrit's, huh? =)

Branches (according to ClicktheCity.Com):
* Ground Level, Paseo de Magallanes, Pres. Sergio Osmeña Highway, Magallanes, Makati City
* Forum Fort Bonifacio Stop Over, 31st St. cor. 2nd Ave., Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig (will hunt this branch)
* Unit 6, Mother Ignacia Place, 139 Mother Ignacia St., South Triangle, Quezon City, Metro Manila


So ridiculously busy...

Friday, November 19, 2010

19 NOVEMBER 2010. Haven't been able to cook lately. I've also promised to start an ode page to my favorite foods and restaurants, but that hasn't materialized either. =(

And it's just not because of the wedding preps.

Mom and dad had relaunched their cake and empanada business last month, which is doing really good. I'm happy with the response we're getting. We don't seem to run out of orders. But it has its downside, of course. Because apart from conducting wedding supplier transactions, attending to wedding-related prep tasks like guest list update, addressing the invitations, sorting the souvenirs, food-tasting, program planning, church briefing, canonical interview, pre-marriage seminar and visiting suppliers, there's order taking and confirmation, production planning, occasional raw materials purchasing, box assembly, product sorting and packaging, final inspection and confirmation, and delivery. I also do the payment collection and keep my own spreadsheets.

Waaah, alas-dose na! Hindi pa matapos-tapos!

This is more of an apology post. I'll make something more decent later on. I'm sure Danes will remind me to one of these days...

Please visit our wedsite on MyWedding.com and RAKSS Enterprises on FB! (both of which are a lot more updated than this, hahaha!)


SQF: Char-Xu

Saturday, October 2, 2010

19 OCTOBER 2010. The moment I popped open the lid of my bottle of char siu sauce, I knew at once that we were going to have a fantastic lunch.

Chinese barbecue sauce "char siu"

Char siu sauce is my latest discovery. It's a Chinese barbecue sauce which is quite common in Chinese restaurant dishes, usually with pork or chicken. It can be used as a sauce, added a marinade or basted while grilling meat.

I planned ahead that I will make fried rice. It's only me and dad at home. Hubby-to-be, a rice monster, was on his way and would be joining us shortly. Mom and little bro are already out of the house, and we'll meet them in Makati after lunch.

Having a recent meal at Mongolian Quick-Stop in mind, I derived my favorite ingredients and pulled out cucumbers and tomatoes from the fridge. I also borrowed some carrots from mom's stock. I still have chicken breast and a piece of chorizo. And of course, the usual suspects for stir frys: garlic and onions. And my newly opened jar of char siu sauce.


Chili garlic sauce has been a trusted friend when it comes to fried rice, but this time I skipped it in favor of siling labuyo. I only put two pieces, sliced, but the effect was immediately recognizable. It enhanced and "heated up" the barbecue taste.

The ingredients make for a deliciously colorful dish.

I served dad and hubby-to-be a plate each. We were supposed to eat light, as we were going to a birthday party. But they went for seconds.

Their only request. Make it spicier! Next time, I'll double the labuyo. XD

I had some leftovers, which I packed for baon the next morning. Sarap!

Char-Sue: Spicy Barbecue Fried Rice

Spicy Barbecue Fried Rice (ala Renn Xu)
As always, no exact measurements! Hehehe
4-6 cups of leftover rice (or as much as you like)
1 head garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced finely
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 Chinese chorizo, diced (can be optional)
Char siu sauce + water
1 cucumber, diced
1 carrot, julienned
2 pcs (or more, if you want it hotter) bird's eye chili (siling labuyo), sliced
Peppermill (or just pepper) and salt to taste
Sesame oil (can be optional)


SQF: My chicken is Asian

Friday, October 1, 2010

(Hindi ako masyadong mahilig sa chicken, ano? Hehehe)

12 SEPTEMBER 2010. It was Sunday again, and little bro and hubby-to-be were home alone again. My uncle and cousin had arrived the past week from Leyte and Cebu respectively to attend the Manila leg of the Villareal fiesta. They were scheduled to fly back home Wednesday, so they were maximizing the remaining days by visiting relatives scattered in and around Metro Manila.

Just like the Italian version, I've meaning to cook Honey Ginger Chicken since I got a booklet of McCormick recipe cards with the March 2010 issue of Yummy (and that was way back in March). I already shopped for ingredients I could store, like rice wine, but I kept on either using some of the ingredients for other dishes.

But this particular Sunday, everything just happened to be available, like the lemons, which we would only have because I would buy. I put the thawed chicken wings in a very Asian-smelling marinade. The marinade needed at least an hour, so hubby-to-be and I went to church.

When we came back home, it was frying time. It's supposed to be deep fried, but for some reason I'm not very comfortable with deep-frying. I just fried away, so there were still pale spots on the chicken. Hahaha!

The recipe calls for whole chicken parts, but I used wings.

Stolen shot by hubby-to-be.
Oh, I'm wearing that house dress again...

Hubby-to-be helped me with preps for the sauce. And by taking pictures.

Loaded with fresh ginger bits, the sauce is every bit as Asian as possible.

The sauce is easy. Just put together the ingredients. I was tasting it as it was simmering in a pot, and it was weird. I mean, it wasn't the taste I was expecting so I was rather concerned it wouldn't turn out well. But wait until you toss it with the rice wine marinated chicken.

No need to go to an Asian restaurant! Kain na!

But when I tossed the cooked chicken pieces into the sauce...wow! Ang sarap pala. The three of us all had a great Asian dinner. =)

You can do this dish ahead of time by half-frying the marinated chicken and storing in the freezer, as I did with the leftover chicken. I put away the leftover sauce in the refrigerator. That same week, mom requested me to make dinner and I was able to whip this one up in almost a flash. They like it. Little bro even requested me to cook it for his birthday next year. Puwede na raw pang-handa. ^_^

Honey Ginger Chicken (Wings)

Honey Ginger Chicken
If you want to try it, I can scan and email the recipe card. ^_^


WCS: Good morning! =)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010 JULY 29 to 30. Nothing beats a filling breakfast. Although I still personally consider lunch as my most important meal, I attest how having breakfast before leaving the house does make a difference.

But whipping up a nice breakfast for little bro and myself is a particularly big challenge, as I always maximize the hours of sleep I can get (currently with Queen Seon Deok eternally forcing me to keep awake until almost midnight). We usually end up with crackers or sometimes nothing at all.

The weekend before, I attended a great weekend-long seminar, or "careshop" it was called. The careshop made me realize, among many other helpful things, that I haven't been taking very good care of myself. I've been letting myself wander off to face the day without taking time to see if I'm OK. Last month, I was sick for almost three weeks. One thing that I promised to do for myself is make sure I always have a nice meal. I hit two birds with one stone with this: I get to practice cooking in "real time", and I do something good for my own health.

When I was on my way home from the second day of the careshop it was raining. Umbrellas moved frantically across the streets. I felt how nice it would be to have a hot bowl of sopas the next morning. I had ingredients on hand at home.

I suddenly had an idea. Why not make the dish two-step? Meaning, I start the recipe that evening (just the soup) and put it in the refrigerator, then cook the pasta the next morning. And that's just what I did. I spent the night in the kitchen (I didn't do my careshop assignment, hehehe). The next morning, while waiting for my driver who will take me to Quezon City, I finished the soup recipe and made more than enough for my driver and the three people I'll be leaving at home. My aunt and nephew, who visited later that day, even got to have some of the soup.

The week after, I decided to cook the same thing again. However, we did not have evaporated milk, so I used all-purpose cream. Either way resulted in a delicious soup. The difference was with evap, there was this faintly sweet milky taste, and with cream, the texture was almost like pasta white sauce, so you may want to add more water (or chicken stock) to make the soup less thick. I had a bit of leftover frozen mixed vegetables. On a sudden whim, I dunked them in.

I did the soup the night before while having dinner.
Mom didn't realize I didn't eat much dinner. Hehehe!

The second step--cooking the macaroni--I did the next morning while little bro was in the bath.

One of the pasta brands I love. Cheap but delicious.

Doing the dish two-step gave me enough time to fix myself up. Even take pictures around our kitchen. Hahaha!

We're not Lock & Lock addicts, are we? Those are mostly mine,
except the bigger ones.

Mom bought a nice kitchen bookstand.
She also bought an extra piece for my future house.

Breakfast was ready even before little bro finished ironing his polo shirt. Even his cup of coffee was ready for him. =)

Good morning!

"Good Morning" Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4 or more
Variation 1
1-2 cups macaroni pasta, cooked according to package instructions, set aside/chill
oil (regular cooking or olive oil)
half a head of garlic, minced
cooked chicken breast, shredded (saute this with the garlic, then add the rest of the ingredients to make the soup)
1-2 cups (or as needed) chicken stock or water
half a pack of powdered cream of mushroom, diluted in water
half a small can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt (almost did not use any) and pepper (used around 1 teaspoon) to taste

Variation 2
Same ingredients as variation 1, but in place of evap, use All Purpose Cream
1/2 to 1 cup frozen or "takal-takal" mixed vegetables (carrots, green peas, corn kernels)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Note: all measurements are approximate quantities only. Go ahead and do it your way! =)


SQF: My chicken is Italian

Sunday, July 11, 2010

2010 JULY 11. My parents were leaving me, little bro and hubby-to-be home alone. A cousin who lives in Makati is celebrating her birthday. I had to pass--even if a quick trip to Market! Market! was tempting--because of colds and my still-heavy head.

I intended to cook Italian-Style Chicken Wings for Monday evening, but I didn't want to eat sardines or corned beef just now. This is the first recipe under the "Take 5 Ingredients" section of Meals in Minutes. This is actually the first recipe I earmarked, but because I kept on using the spaghetti sauce for pasta or chicken wings were constantly absent from our freezer, this got delayed.
The Italian-style sauce is composed of sauteed garlic,
sweet-style spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning. I also
added a dash of cayenne pepper powder. So easy, right?

I prepared the sauce. I guess I didn't mince the garlic enough. LOL. Also, the recipe called for 500g of sweet-style spaghetti sauce. I only had 250g, so I added a 250g pack of a Three-Cheese version, which did make the dish a bit cheesy.

Coat the chicken wings with breading mix and fry.

Frying the coated chicken took a long time because I made the mistake of using a small pan. And I didn't want to deep-fry. Hubby-to-be already arrived; good thing he ate before he left. But little bro was starving. I decided to toss the cooked ones with the sauce while the last few pieces were still cooking so we can already eat.

Voila! A great alternative to your usual fried chicken.

The dish was simple but flavorful. I was already full after just two pieces as I ate a lot of rice with it. Three pieces were left for dad's lunch tomorrow. Later, I texted sis-in-law, who also owns a copy of Meals in Minutes, to try the recipe. Sayang, my baby nephew can't try it yet. I'm sure he'll love it.

Italian-style Chicken Wings
Find it on Yummy Meals in Minutes


ILYS: Seafood Fried Rice

2010 JULY 10. This dish is self explanatory. LOL. My stupid colds is making me tamad...

Azumi trying to supervise my progress. I'm wondering
she made any progress with that herself.

Anyway, I also planned this ahead of time. The thing was, I left my Quick and Good on my desk in the office Friday. Hubby-to-be, who was on night shift, wasn't able to retrieve it; maybe it got lost amongst my pile of to-do's... so I'm perfectly sure I didn't follow the recipe. LOL

My take on Seafood Fried Rice.

Seafood Fried Rice
(serves 4 and a bit more)
1 medium onion
1 head garlic
half a pack of frozen mixed seafood (got this from Shopwise Alabang)
half a pack of frozen mixed vegetables (got from the takal-takal section of SM Supermarket, cheaper than frozen)
soy sauce
oyster sauce
hoisin sauce (a teeny bit; not necessary kailangan lang gamitin dahil mage-expire na LOL)
chili garlic sauce
leek (actually not necessary rin, decoration lang LOL)
2 eggs, cooked scrambled and sliced


ILYS: Tuna Kani Canapés

2010 JULY 10. It is truly an I Love You Sabado for two reasons: I can try out another recipe. Second I'm sick. I really need to rest. =( I was supposed to spend the night at Danes's with Juligel. But as the weird heaviness in my head developed into full-fledged colds and a headache Friday, I had to pass.

With the modest success I had with Charlie Tsong, I decided to tackle a new recipe without asking the person I got it from if I recalled the ingredients correctly. I put my flavor memory to work. Anyway, the dish isn't as hard.

About the recipe. For some reason, I don't like crab sticks. Funny thing is, I haven't even tasted them, so I don't really know why I don't like them.

Until one Saturday night a few months ago. After choir band practice, the host brought out a chilled bowl of tuna kani. While everyone else was excited to dig in, I wasn't, seeing the telltale red strips all over the thing. There was an alternative, chili con carne. But, as I'm very known to be the "last man standing" in any meal and food trip, I gave the kani a shot and was glad I did. I was so surprised how the strange assortment of ingredients yielded such a nice flavor. I tried to memorize the ingredients as our host dictated them to one of our singers.

Fast forward to this last Thursday. My parents and I got groceries from Shopwise. However, the lettuce there were big heads, the cheapest costing around P70. Mangoes also cost like gold since it's not in season. So the next day, I bought a fat mango from a vendor at our village kanto and dropped by SM Supermarket for the lettuce. I also grabbed another can of tuna, which turned out to be a good idea.

I was greeted by a terrible headache when I woke up around 6:00 AM, so I spent another couple of hours of broken sleep to wear it down (which did to some extent). I got up a bit before 9:00 AM; the kitchen beckons.

The ingredients make the recipe seem elaborate.

Mom found me at the kitchen table preparing the ingredients. She wondered what I was planning to do, as the ingredients weren't my usual thing. She watched me chop, cube and throw everything together and finish in almost a flash (almost, as I had a lot to slice) like magic.

The tuna kani mixture. So easy to do!

For our breakfast, I first made 16 pieces and toasted them, which was both a good and not-so-good idea. The heat toasted the bread and made the mixture settle on the baguette slices, but it dried up and wilted the lettuce, which may look unattractive after some time.

The first batch. Mom already got one piece.

The recipe yielded 32 pieces (I made another batch after we annihilated the first). Sounds like a lot, right? That's what I thought, until I finished the leftovers from the second batch without realizing it.

I thought I was going to store leftover tuna kani in the
refrigerator so I whipped it up in a plastic container.

I so want to rave about the recipe, because it's easy, delicious and healthy, but I can't. Stupid colds. I have to stop here... I hope this entry made sense. LOL. Whether it did or not, feel free to try the recipe below.

Tuna Kani Canapés
Makes 32 pieces (serves 4 or less, hahaha!)
1 can tuna chunks (or solid) in water, drained
1 (or 2 if small) crab stick/s, sliced
half a small onion
1 cheek ripe mango, cubed
half of a small cucumber, cubed
lettuce, sliced
mayonnaise (Japanese mayo if you have, although I used Miracle Whip)
1 French baguette, cut into half-inch thick pieces

P.S. If you don't have a baguette, never fear! Serve on ordinary bread like pandesal, Skyflakes or even Fita!
Also made some to be brought by my mom to big bro's,
this one on pandesal halves.


SQF: Seafood Sunday

Friday, July 2, 2010

27 JUNE 2010. After Charlie Tsong was eaten and the leftovers stored in the fridge, we were resigned to have a the rest of the Sunday in peace. Mom got out a whole fresh chicken from the freezer, ready to be turned into afritada for lunch.

But then, Aling Toning, a vendor with whom my mom is a suki, came ringing at our gate. We bought some vegetables form her. Aling Toning was with another lady vendor who brought fresh seafood in timbas like galunggong, clams, mussels from Cavite, dulong, alamang among others.

Now, it's been a long while since I had tahong; we're constantly in a red tide alert, although there's usually none. Hahaha, paranoid.

And suddenly, aha! We declared it Seafood Sunday. I immediately requested my dear fiancé, who was to quietly spend Sunday with us, to buy quickmelt cheese somewhere on his way here. We ended up inviting big brother and his family over for lunch as well.

Using a recipe on Yummy as a reference (which we didn't entirely follow anyway), we set to work making Mixed Tempura out of the shrimps we bought and a couple of carrots and an eggplant we had in the fridge.

Veggie tempura

Honestly, our Ebi Tempura ended up looking more like
Camaron Rebusado. LOL! Will have to study the tempura mixture...

At the same time, we portioned the tahong: half was steamed and set aside for another meal, the other half was baked for lunch.

Sobrang cheeeeeeeeeeeeeesy!

Big bro's family arrived to find mom, husband-to-be and me in a mess in the kitchen, halfway through the tempura so big bro was able to help out. I had big bro samplCharlie Tsong, which he found good.

Behind the scenes...

My lovely family + a great quick-fix meal = perfect Sunday. =)

Baked Tahong
serves 4 and more (in our case, it served 8)
1 kilo fresh mussels (tahong)
1 small box quick-melt cheese
1 head of garlic, sliced into fine bits (or maybe you can use garlic powder)
Dash of ground pepper

Mixed Tempura
serves 4 and more (in our case, it served 8)
1 kilo fresh shrimps (I prefer good-sized suahe)
Sliced vegetables (we used carrots and eggplants, but you can also use sweet kamote)
(about) 3 eggs Egg
(about) 1 cup flour
(about) 2 cups Japanese breadcrumbs

Photo credits: my sis-in-law! *BB*
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