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 …

Connie VeneracionSam’s take on vegetarianism and the food chain

Donuts and donut holes with white and dark chocolate ganache topping


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 …

Connie VeneracionDonuts and donut holes with white and dark chocolate ganache topping

Sam’s jellyfish jelly


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 …

Connie VeneracionSam’s jellyfish jelly

3-minute salad dressing


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 …

Connie Veneracion3-minute salad dressing

Rj’s bacon-wrapped siomai


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 …

Connie VeneracionRj’s bacon-wrapped siomai

Tips for making good tempura


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 …

Connie VeneracionTips for making good tempura

Microwave recipe: cheese-topped baked egg and sardines


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 …

Connie VeneracionMicrowave recipe: cheese-topped baked egg and sardines

Watermelon iced tea


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 …

Connie VeneracionWatermelon iced tea

Lobster balls and long beans stir fry


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 …

Connie VeneracionLobster balls and long beans stir fry