Slow cooker recipe: Chinese-style braised pork hock

slow-cooker-recipe-braised-pork-hock

I seriously believe that I am under-using my slow cooker. Blame it on a bad experience the first time I used it. I followed the instructions in the manual that said there is no need to add a lot of liquid because the meat's natural juices are enough. I also paid attention to the part that said adding fat to the meat or using fatty meat is not recommended because fat raises … [Read more...]

Warm sausage and potato salad with honey-mustard dressing

sausage-potato-salad

We have a new agreement, Speedy and I. If it rains, I cook lunch and dinner. If it does not, I cook lunch and we can have leftovers or sandwiches for dinner. It's not a permanent arrangement but only until the extreme humidity lets up. In this heat, I just don't feel too inspired to cook and one cooked meal a day is better than sandwiches for both lunch and dinner.It … [Read more...]

5-ingredient sweet-spicy chicken

soy-sriracha-chicken

At the risk of sounding boring, I'm going to whine anyway. The rainy season is so darn late, the air is heavy with moisture, the humidity is punishing and I'm taking short cuts with our meals. I figured that the less ingredients I use, and if I can do away completely with chopping and slicing and mincing, the better I'd feel.This chicken dish has no more than five … [Read more...]

Herbed chicken liver pâté

liver-pate-hibiscus-jam0

Until last week, I've paired liver pâté with butter and nothing but butter. Then, on the last day of our Negros vacation, our gracious hostess, Isabel, mentioned liver pâté and my ears pricked up. Cafe Uma, she said, has a unique way of serving their pâté -- with cranberry. I couldn't let that pass. We skipped Manukan Country (it was pouring anyway and an open-air eatery … [Read more...]

Cucumber and carrot salad with herbs and crushed peanuts

carrot-cucumber-salad

When dining out, it has often been my sad experience to have my meat or seafood meal accompanied by a side salad that looks and tastes no more than an afterthought. A few slices of vegetables drizzled with some generic dressing that, often, don't even complement the meat or seafood. In many cases, the side salad appears to be a token or, worse, a filler to make the plate … [Read more...]

Angel hair pasta with crumbled chorizo

pasta-chorizo

When I travel, I make it a point not to buy anything that I'd be able to find back home anyway. Travel is about discovering new things, after all. Or, when travelling somewhere I had visited before, it is a reacquaintance with food specialties and delicacies that had made previous visits memorable.So, the loot from my food shopping adventures in Negros Occidental was … [Read more...]

Makopa salad with herbed hibiscus vinaigrette

macopa-tree

A large part of our Negros Occidental vacation was spent in a hacienda in Cadiz. We enjoyed homecooked food, and meals were extended and relaxed. We never ran out of things to talk about but one recurring theme was food. Had we tried tambis salad? No, we hadn't. Tambis is the Visayan name for makopa which I have always translated into English as mountain apple or Malay … [Read more...]

Hibiscus juice, inspired by the Negros Museum Cafe

hibiscus-rosella-juice

Our first afternoon in Negros Occidental found us at the Negros Museum. The suffocating heat left us feeling dehydrated, our parched mouths and throats led us to the Museum Cafe (or did our host suggest that we go there? I can't remember...) and we were introduced to a bright crimson drink that we never heard of before -- hibiscus juice.Many of us know hibiscus as … [Read more...]

The accidental granola breakfast

homemade-muesli

Occasionally, I make granola bars for vegetarian Sam. We've tried different versions, we've cut them into different shapes and we've experimented with different combinations. Most times, I pack the granola bars so Sam could take them to the condo. They're a quick and convenient snack especially since there aren't too many vegetarian places where she stays on weekdays and … [Read more...]

Linguine with spinach and yogurt sauce

linguine-yogurt-spinach-tofu-skin

The girls are on their summer break. Meal times are irregular as they catch up on sleep and their favorite TV shows. I have stopped trying to predict when they would come down for a meal so I cook whenever is convenient for me and spread everything on the dining table. I'm really not a believer in eating meals according to where the hands of the clock are pointed. My motto … [Read more...]