Sam’s take on vegetarianism and the food chain

When Sam declared she was going vegetarian and I agreed to support her, I started to do a lot of reading about meatless diets. To start with, a meatless diet is not necessarily healthier than a carnivorous one. A lot of people think that by giving up meat and limiting one's intake to vegetables, ailments will miraculously disappear and health threats will go down to zero. … [Read more...]

Donuts and donut holes with white and dark chocolate ganache topping

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Exactly fourteen months ago, Sam and I worked on a project -- homemade donuts. I made the dough, she did the cutting, the frying and the frosting. Tonight, we had homemade donuts again but Sam did them all by herself. And hers, based on a recipe by Alton Brown, were so, so, so much better. Softer and fluffier.And the frosting? Ah, the frosting. That's the thing about … [Read more...]

Sam’s jellyfish jelly

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My daughters have this habit of cooking something -- anything -- when they're stressed out. It's final exams week and moods are volatile. On Saturday evening, Alex de-stressed by cooking a cheese omelet. Well, Sunday morning, actually because it was after midnight already. And, on Sunday evening, Sam made a gelatin dessert that she called jellyfish jelly. Two layers of … [Read more...]

3-minute salad dressing

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There are two things that, in a perfect world, Sam would vote to be on the dinner table for each and every meal -- soup and salad. Sad to say, it isn't a perfect world. We had a soup for lunch yesterday but no salad. And, for dinner, we had a salad but no soup. Still and all, since she got both a soup and a salad on the same day, I'd say she got a pretty good deal.Now, … [Read more...]

Rj’s bacon-wrapped siomai

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Literally, the siomai were wrapped in bacon, threaded in bamboo skewers, deep fried then served with chow mein. It's not even proper chow mein -- more like instant noodles with fresh carrots and bok choy thrown in.What's the idea? In answering that question, I'll also be answering the more obvious question -- who the heck is Rj? Rj is Sam's schoolmate who likes to … [Read more...]

Tips for making good tempura

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I like making tempura using the flour-egg-panko coating -- dredge in flour, dip in egg, roll in panko then fry. Sam prefers the camaron rebosado way -- dip in seasoned starch mixed with iced water then fry. It's simpler and there are less bowls to wash. She's like that. She doesn't like complicating things. So, when we go to the grocery, she keeps her eyes open for … [Read more...]

Microwave recipe: cheese-topped baked egg and sardines

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It's 1.00 a.m. on Sunday morning as I start writing this post. We're still up, Sam and Speedy are watching cartoons, Alex is taking a shower and I am here near the oven where I can watch the tray that will yield what I will call dulce de leche squares when they're done. But more on that later; I can't write about something that's still in the oven.The point of this … [Read more...]

Watermelon iced tea

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It was Sam who gave us our first taste of watermelon iced tea. She cut seedless watermelon into small cubes, dropped them into glasses of iced tea, gave Speedy and me each a glass and, oh wow, were we wide-eyed with surprise! So simple, so basic, so very refreshing. How could we not have thought of that?The key, of course, is good iced tea and seedless watermelon. … [Read more...]

Lobster balls and long beans stir fry

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Sam likes buying those frozen seafood balls in the grocery -- fish balls, squid balls, shrimp balls, prawn balls, crab balls, lobster balls... I always ask her to choose fish balls over the others because I am allergic to crustaceans. Last time, she wanted lobster balls and she couldn't be persuaded to choose something else. I sighed -- resigned to the fact that I won't … [Read more...]

Chocolate ice cream and pink mochi

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When Sam's in the mood, she makes magic in the kitchen. She browsed the web for instructions on how to make mochi, I gave her a bag of glutinous rice flour and she made pink mochi with a bowl, a fork, the microwave oven and red food color. The first time she gave me a sample, the mochi was round and had chocolate ice cream filling. I was in awe of her. The next day, I told … [Read more...]