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Pinatisang Baboy (Pork in Fish Sauce)
Jul 26th, 2012 by niceyfemme

Don’t be deceived by this photo. It doesn’t look like it’s going to rock your world but it did rock mine. 😉

This is a dish from Bulacan. I’m half Bulakenya by the way. More than a month ago, I reached a point in my pregnancy where no food satisfied me and I’m one person where satisfaction is a big deal. (This made me realize I am at that point again, no contentment with food grrr.) And it’s as if I’m missing and craving something I can’t put my finger on. Then it hit me. I’m missing the dishes I grew up with, the dishes my Nanay prepared for me and my cousins. Then I set a date to go back there and it’s not near where we live now. Without traffic it will take me around 2 1/2 hours of driving and that is without traffic. So I headed there early in the morning before 6am and wow it was heaven driving in Edsa at that time. In around 30 minutes I was already in NLEX. 🙂 Yes guys that is possible in Edsa even I couldn’t believe it you just got to have extra scorpion motorcycle helmets on hand. 😉

Going back, I asked my aunt to show me how to cook this dish and Tinumis which is the Bulacan version of Dinuguan which is pork in blood stew. It sounds yucky but it is at least for me one of the best dishes in the world. I tried my best to document the steps through video and by writing it down but it got a bit confusing since she was cooking these two dishes at the same time. I went home with big containers of Tinumis and Pinatisang Baboy. I froze them after putting them in smaller containers and we had enough supply to lasts us for months.  It’s amazing how much rice I can eat with gusto with this dish. Now my tummy is quite large now and I shouldn’t be driving to far places so I guess I will have to try to make this dish myself. I truly hope I can make this dish and make it taste like the original version. Fingers crossed. 🙂

 

Two Of My Most Favorite in The World
Feb 20th, 2012 by niceyfemme

I love this baby! She’s so happy and her laughter is contagious and just hearing her laugh like that makes me feel good. This dog touches my heart. To be honest, I’m seeing Bambi in this dog. I still miss Bambi up to this day and I know for the rest of my life I will still miss her, she will always going to be a part of it.

I Will Be A Mommy!
Feb 18th, 2012 by niceyfemme

I’ve always wanted to become pregnant and be a mommy. Since I know that I need to do these kinds of things in the perfect time and with the right person, I put a full stop on this dream for years. Fortunately, I reached a point in my life where I am in that place and everything is right for that dream to happen already. I am now married to a wonderful and funny man, and I felt ready for motherhood since last year even before we got married. I am one who do things when it feels right. He asked me to marry him year 2008 but I did not feel like I am ready for marriage then more so having a baby.

After getting married baby is next on our plan but it seemed to be more difficult challenging for me, that’s what my Reproductive Endocrinologist told me. Still it is possible, we just need some help. So I took medications for a year. Wow, it was not easy on me. Those medications made me feel down and low and even caused me to gain a lot of weight. There are times when I was so down I always cried. It was so stressful and the fear of  not knowing if it will ever happen or if it is even possible was just haunting me. Add to that other different stresses life brings and I was a mess on the inside. I was always mad at the smallest things. Thank God I have my family who understands.

Then by December of last year, a really big stress in my life is finally gone. I guess I was stress free that month and happy. I also reached that point when I just prayed to Him leaving everything up to Him since having a baby is beyond my control. I said to my husband, we will do our part then just pray. If it happens then great I’ll be very happy if not then we just have to try again. Trying again is much trickier since distance is going to be a challenge. But I have my faith. Knowing the odds, I didn’t keep my hopes too high.

Then I got the biggest surprise of my life. It was positive! That was after feeling sick and feverish for about a week .I was actually really scared to test because seeing that single line really broke my heart many times before. I really waited for cycle day 35 before I used a home pregnancy kit. I really couldn’t believe my eyes. TWO LINES!!!! I immediately went to Asian Hospital for the first pre-natal check up. Talking about being excited. I was only 4 weeks and 4 days along then.

Still can’t believe I am now pregnant. My husband is happy same with my Mommy and my Dad is so cute and being extra caring with me. Haha he is really excited which is something I somehow knew would happen. Why? He is the one who keeps on asking me when I’ll give him a grandchild. Haha I told him, “Daddy, you know it’s not easy! It’s not like I could just go to the mall and pick the one with the most dots!”

Now I am at 8 weeks and boy it’s not been a walk in the park! I have trouble eating as it makes me feel like vomiting so I can’t eat much but also, I am always hungry! I’ve never felt this hungry before! This kind is different, the type that worries me. The first week I lost 2 lbs now I guess I lost even more. I really lost a lot of weight. I even wake up in the middle of the night because of severe hunger.

I stopped using lotions. I am extra careful now. I want to use comodynes but I guess that will have to wait until after this whole pregnancy.

All of these inconveniences are worth it because after a few months I will have a baby! I so wanted to have a baby that I tried to adopt many times before and even went to an orphanage just to cuddle a baby. Now I will have my own. Thank You Lord. I am so happy.

 

Gorgeous Macapuno
Oct 21st, 2011 by niceyfemme

Once upon a time I got somewhat addicted/obsessed to some kind of Halo-Halo.  (Well I just realized, I’m always addicted to something, obsessed with something.) So yes, macapuno.

See I always want to make things myself, this is usually with food, to make them better than if I just buy them. (I want to learn how to sew now.) But I also get lazy hehe. So What I do is I compromise with myself. Like in this case, instead of having an all star cast of Halo-Halo The Movie with sweetened munggo, beans, bananas, jackfruit (langka) and gulaman and tapioca pearls (gelatin and sago), I just pick my some from my favorites or whatever is available in the market. So sometimes my halo-halo will just consist of sweetened saba (plantain) bananas and sweetened macapuno. It taste as good. For me, together with the effort (effort counts like 60% of everything) nothing beats homemade.

So buying macapuno is a hit and miss as you won’t know the quality of it until it’s cracked open but somehow the vendors know which is good and not. So I just want to share this photo. These gorgeous gooey macapuno. This should act as basis for future macapuno purchases. It shouldn’t look like simple coconut. It flesh should be thick and gooey, water thick as well. Hmmmn… temptation temptation!!!!

Best Pizza
Aug 10th, 2011 by niceyfemme

I have baked so far. What do I look for my pizza? First is the crust. I want it not too thick and not too thin. I need it to be a bit chewy but is crunchy as well. Then for the toppings I I prefer more veggies and cheese than meat.

After trying way too many recipes online, I finally have a recipe I could depend on. Thanks to Mommy who bought an old issue of a local food magazine where there was a promising and very simple recipe for pizza crust. Not many ingredients, just flour, salt, yeasts, water and oil. That’s it.

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Sinigang na Baboy
Aug 8th, 2011 by niceyfemme

Been craving for Sinigang na Baboy (Pork in Tamarind Soup) recently so I let it over power me. 🙂

This is sinigang my way. Just perfect.

I am very particular with my sinigang though, well like with the other dishes I cook. I NEED native yam first, without it then I’d rather not cook this sinigang at all. Then I need pork belly ( liempo). This is just the perfect cut of pork for this. Then I need completely ripe red tomatoes. Then fresh okra, sitaw (string beans), labanos (radish), kang kong (water spinach) and talong (eggplant) which is optional in this dish. I just don’t like eggplant wet, but I would kill for fried eggplants yummm!

Going back to sinigang, this is how I cook this. I boil the cut up pork belly in not much water with onions and tomatoes with fish sauce. Then I add in sitaw with gabi. (I like my gabi real soft.) Then after a minute I add in the okra and labanos. Then talong and kang kong. Then season with tamarind and salt.

To those new moms out there, have your baby monitors on and savor this delicioso sour soup, this will surely revive you.

I could eat this for like a week straight. Rediscovered love for sinigang is sweet. ♥☻♥☻♥

Justin and Jeremy: The cutest twins ever!
Jul 27th, 2011 by niceyfemme

Saw this is facebook. If you haven’t seen this then you’re missing major cuteness overload.

Can sing too! Not just a kid singing along with the song, but a kid singing IN TUNE. Has the moves too. Wow. I’m sooo impressed with them. 😉

Now the idea of having boys in the future is not as bad as I thought if they are going to be as cute as these two. Their parents must be so proud of them! Oooh specially the grandma and grandpas. 🙂

How to Roast Chicken using Charcoal in a Big Pot ala Weber Grill
Jul 15th, 2011 by niceyfemme

For some reason I wanted roasted chicken that I prepared and cooked. But electricity cost in this country I’m in at the moment would make you think twice about using the oven for hours. And I’m cowboy this way. I have always wanted to try these kinds of things myself.

(Juicy and oh-so delicious chicken!)

I have observed how the local roasting shops’ machines operate, I think it’s very simple in fact. There’s just charcoal and the thing that rotates the chickens around so it all cooks evenly. Ohh I like lechon manok (roasted chicken) of Beski’s (?) but they have closed. (This scares me, a good business with yummy products and a very loyal market has closed..) So I decided to roast my own chicken and do it camping style.

No flash. I wanted to show the live coals which is not evident with the pictures with flash.

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How To Make Homemade Taho or Tau Huay
Jul 4th, 2011 by niceyfemme

 


(First time I’ve tried making a video so forgive me for mediocre editing skills.)
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Gypsum: Found!
Jun 15th, 2011 by niceyfemme

Where we live, a real market is not close by like a stone’s throw away like in our place in Singapore. Here, either you settle for SM supermarket where produce is much more expensive and the freshness is compromised or go to Imus Market (where price is reasonable but fresher produce) which is the town next to where we live and go through exhausting traffic. Oh and there are two small village stalls which is really expensive, so this last one is not an option for me as I feel I’m being ripped off. So I only have only two options where to shop, until today. 🙂

Two years ago, Mommy together with the helper went to a market on the other side of the town, side of the town I’m not familiar with. I only drove past it a few times only. Every time, after marketing in Imus, I complain of exhaustion. The last time, Mommy mentioned the other market she only went to once. That it’s nearer and more option of fresh produce. Then I remember something.

I’ve been wanting to try make taho or soya beancurd at home for ages;  ok a few years now. But not knowing where to but the thing that solidifies the soya milk hinders me. I asked the vendor about it and at first he said he didn’t know. I did my research and turned out you can make taho or tau huay using calcium sulfate aka gypsum or with GDL (Gluco Delta Lactone)  aka lactone. The street vendors use gypsum. I was able to find lactone in Phoon Huat.  A few months ago, I went crazy over making taho at home. I successfully did it with the lactone/ GDL I bought in Singapore. Oh I haven’t posted it here I totally should post it asap. So next I want to try and see the difference of using gypsum myself. An online forum mentioned where I can buy it in Singapore but it’s available in bulk at 5 kilos and priced around $7 which I think is too much for an experiment that’s only needing 3 tsps the most. And buying it there would be hard as I need to explain to them that I need the gypsum that’s cooked or else my beancurd will fail. I don’t speak Mandarin so that’s a problem so I didn’t buy.

Then I asked again for the nth time our favorite beancurd vendor about where they buy their gypsum. He said it’s in Zapote market. I remembered this when Mommy told me that market is better so I decided to drop by and try finding it.

I totally loved this market! So many choices! Fresh veggies and lots of fruits available! It’s like I’m seeing diamonds in the fresh pineapples and bananas everywhere! It’s like almost everything is available. I even saw native/free ranged eggs which is not easy to find and even steel drums from the shop in the corner. I was like in market heaven and grinning to myself. Then I tried asking around where I could buy the ingredients for taho and as usual they didn’t know (it’s been years that I’ve been asking around in different markets wherever I go and no one knew). Then I bought coconut milk and asked again while they were pressing the coconut. They didn’t know. BUT the woman on the next stall overheard me asking and said, “Ah, calcium sulfate?” I was like, “Yes! It’s so nice that you know!, then she said, Oh I took beancurd making seminar.” She’s so nice! I loved her at that time hehe and she totally get me why I like making bean curd at home. It’s a different feeling, maybe contentment, knowing that you make one at home and it’s better quality than the one you buy from vendors. She said that I could buy it at the bakery supply store across the street. Thanked her many times and I almost hoped to that supplies store. I asked again for it which is a pain to explain, and they said, “ah calcium?” I was like, “I guess.. if that’s what you call it here..” So I asked if I could buy just half a kilo and they said it’s fine and I asked if I could see the “label” of the powder I bought and I almost shrieked when it said, GYPSUM. Oh yes! After what 2 or 3 years I finally found it! I can’t wait to try making bean curd using gypsum. And I saved a lot because I didn’t buy the 5 kilo gypsum available in Singapore. Whoot! Even though my fingers hurt like hell because of the heavy stuff I bought, I was still so happy with the discovery of the better and nearer market and of course, finding gypsum! Yeah baby!

P.S. Many people are scared of using gypsum aka calcium sulfate aka plaster of paris as they are scared to turning their insides into something solid. But they say it’s safe as long as you don’t eat way too much every day. Many tau huay/ taho stalls in Singapore prefer to use GDL aka lactone as this is a natural ingredient that is naturally existing in fruits I think.  Let me try my hand at gypsum and let’s see which one gives better result. 🙂

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