Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

I’m Still Sad!

Hello! My name is Jake!

Jake here: Where are you Tom?
I’m the only cat around now. I miss my cat friend, Tom. I’m having difficulty adjusting to this loneliness. To divert attention, I lick myself to oblivion. If not for the loving care of my human caregivers, I would be hairless by now.
Where is he? Where did he go?
His birthday is coming up, and usually there’s lots of food to go around. I miss food.
Where is he? huh?

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Blueberry Cake from Market of Choice

My Precious had just had a birthday Monday. As always, he wanted a quiet celebration. So unlike his younger days,  when 10 or more little terror guests, mostly boys, were invited. Now, it’s only a family affair.

Last Saturday, part of his gifts was to drive him anywhere he wanted. There was a limit to distance, of course. He wanted to hike Mt. Hood hiking trails. But that’s out of the choices. Explained to him that if it’s raining locally, it would be snowing up Mt. Hood. He opted to go to this place:

Uwajimaya Beaverton

Uwajimaya: only 3 stores, 1 in Oregon and 2 in Washington. Visited all the store aisles; bought dessert goodies. We had a very Japanese lunch. The restaurant within the store looked all Japanese except for the background music. It was playing Hawaiian songs. Sushi is always part of the dishes that we order when we go Japanese.

Then off to downtown Portland, about 20 minutes west of Uwajimaya. Walked around and window-shopped. All in 1 hour of getting there. Then, the birthday boy got bored. So we went home. I couldn’t complain. It was his birthday after all.

What he got for his birthday:

  • The much-anticipated Lizard Ridge Afghan:  He was quite surprise with this unusual present. And he loved it. My Precious is a blanket person. Never a sweater person, so I cannot make him sweaters. He stopped wearing sweaters once he reached grade school. ‘Tis sad!

Folded Lizard Ridge

  • A tire gauge: very practical. Dad only gives him practical gifts.
  • A Border’s gift card: bookstore gifts are always handy. There’s always a bookstore gift card in any present we get/give.
  • A clock sticker: his car’s clock somehow breaks every now & then. Must be a loose wiring somewhere. Everyone is lazy to have it fixed. So Dad just got him this.
  • Lots of chocolate: Euphoria chocolate, a local chocolate maker.
  • And lastly, he got 2 days off from work. This child who’s never taken days off just because. He’s learning. haha!

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What the h*ll is that word?
UKOY ~ U (sounds like the ‘o’ vowel in TWO); KOY (sounds like COY in McCoy)

Seriously, Ukoy is Shrimp Fritter in Pinoy language.

Ukoy is one of only few (alas!) Pinoy dishes my husband likes. Mr. Wonderful is NOT a foodie. He does not get excited about it; will only eat for the sake of survival, nothing more. Now if you add BEER, then that’s a different story there. Anyway, one Christmastime years ago, we discovered a Filipino restaurant somewhere in SoHo, NYC called Manila. No doubt, just the name itself is well-known as the biggest city in the Philippines, the hub of the country. Manila, the restaurant (I don’t think it’s still around anymore), had a splendid array of regional Filipino dishes, one of which was the UKOY. Mr. Wonderful was amazed with the taste of the dish. He was sold to this dish; wanted me to replicate it. But I couldn’t promise him that I would/could. Cooking does not come naturally to me. It’s considered an absolutely necessary chore, like ironing; not quite the joy of dancing.

After reading about Ukoy from the blog, Burnt Lumpia, decided it’s time to make it. Burnt Lumpia is such an inspiration to me. First, because Marvin loves to cook. He’s dedicated himself to hang on to his parents’ heritage especially when it came to cooking. He’s detail-oriented. Second, he’s one funny guy.

So, the best person to describe this dish would be Marvin. I promised him that I was going to test-cook this dish. I did mention to Marvin I was going to make the dish on my husband’s birthday. However, the hubby requested prime rib instead and I never mentioned about the Ukoy. I did buy the ingredients at that time and I really, really wanted to make the dish soon enough. And here it is. So check out Marvin’s blog for the recipe, while I provide that not-so-great photos of my attempt on the dish.

 Ukoy Ingredients     Ukoy Being Fried     Fried Ukoy & Fish Sauce Dip

Shrimp Fritters

My only substitute to Burnt Lumpia’s Ukoy recipe was jicama for the red onion; and added mushrooms as well. And the sweet potato and jicama were roughly cut since I do not have a mandolin to finely julienne them. Also, PATIS (fish sauce) was not included in the batter. That would have been a HUGE TURNOFF for the hubby; it has a strong smell and taste that some non-Asian folks have a hard time getting used to. However, having no patis around, a store-bought Fish Sauce for Springroll was substituted. Good enough. And not as smelly.

The dish is a success! Mr. Wonderful asked for seconds and thirds.

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Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon!

That’s the Pinoy version of Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Happy Holidays To All! Hoping that everyone is safe at home having a most wonderful time together with the family and friends.

What better way to hear Christmas music and a favorite dance to go with it.

click here if Youtube vid does not open automatically.

And how about the lively tune, Wonderland, sung by (surprisingly) Heidi Klum.

I’m still awake at 1 a.m. And no, I’m actually off from work.

Just came back from Simbang Gabi (that’s Midnight Mass for those who aren’t familiar with the traditional Pinoy’s/Catholic’s special Christmas mass). Unfortunately, there’s nothing to pig out on, another Pinoy tradition of eating to your heart’s content after a midnight mass. I miss Puto Bong-bong, a sticky rice dessert that is one of my favorites.

¡Disfrute de su Navidad con sus seres queridos! Enjoy your Christmas with your loved ones!

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Sort of.

Mr. Wonderful had a birthday yesterday. This year, I thought to make him a special dinner. As Christmas overshadows any other event close to it, anyone who has a birthday days before or after it (or even on the 25th itself) knows not to compete with the ultimate holiday celebration. Or they lose that special attention bestowed on their special day. Some years, I just blend his birthday dinner with the Christmas dinner.  It’s just easier that way. But this year, he didn’t want anything special not even gifts, so I thought I will do the reverse.

A perfect dinner has been prepared. Everything was ready. My Precious came home just in time. Except, the birthday boy wasn’t getting home any sooner. He got caught in holiday rush traffic. 

But finally he got home and brought tons of birthday and Xmas presents from work. After all the excitement of checking out his presents, we proceeded with dinner.

There was prime rib and crimini mushrooms; mashed potatoes and gravy; baked squash and onions with cheddar cheese sprinkle. Everything was delicious! I was surprised to discover that prime rib is one of the easiest dishes to make. I should make it a point to have it either on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas from now on.

Prime Rib with Crimini Mushrooms

Baked Cheddar Squash w/Onions

Then it was time to attack his birthday cake, a Vanilla Fudge cake.

Store-Bought Birthday Cake

After which, he opened his presents from his family. It looked like he received more bookstore gift certificates than ever before. He is a book fiend! Out of 52 weeks in a year, he devours about 30 to 40 books. And he’s picky with his reads. The other gifts consisted of what I might call men’s usual gifts of shirts, socks, pants, sweaters.

Two presents he received, top the list; both of which came from his boss.

Jameson is an Irish Favorite

This would put a smile to any Irish out there.


Plain Looking Binoculars

His boss has such a sense of humor. He gave him a pair of binoculars. Not just any plain binoculars.



Binoculars with a different purpose.

Dual Purpose Binoculars The Jameson can fill both flasks.

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The March of the Crayfish

Hello, I'm Crayfish!

I’ve never tried a crayfish or crawfish before. I’ve always wanted to try it. Crayfish looks like a small version of lobster.

Ain't I cute?

The other day, on my irregular food shopping day… irregular, because I food-shop on impulse; that is, when I run out of food to cook is when I go shopping… I happened upon cooked crayfish at the market’s seafood deli.

Naturally curious and a seafood fiend, I had to buy some. Try some. A pound, which is about a dozen of them, was just the right amount for 2 people. I had to tell Mr. Wonderful that we were having crayfish for dinner. With some hesitation and lackluster response, he agreed. The reason for this, he’d rather eat whatever is served than go hungry. hahahahaha! Even if the food sounds foreign and weird. His laziness to cook is actually a stronger feeling than going hungry.

After being heated up and served, we were expecting mini-lobster taste. The much anticipated taste amounted to disappointment from both Mr. Wonderful and me. In fact, it tasted kinda weird and funny. Next time, I will buy them raw and cook them myself.

SO WE LET THEM MARCH…Crayfish Cheering!



I really did not want to waste them. I have tried weird food before, but I don’t gamble my stomach, which I consider made of cast-iron, when it comes to bad seafood.

Can someone out there let me know what crayfish should taste like? I mean if they were just plainly boiled with a little seasoning? I still think they are no different from lobsters or crabs taste-wise.

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Yup, My Precious has reached one of his milestones in life.

October 26th. Very Important Day. Always.

This precious person has impressed upon people to be low-keyed, subdued, humble, gentle and very private. He exudes an inner intellectual that he guards closely, but surprises us on occasions he lets his guard down. He rarely smiles on cue. But every now and then, he will exhibit a wicked smile that translates to a playful naughtiness he’s about to spring on someone dear to him, most especially on the cats, specifically on Jake. I just realized now that this behavior is exactly the same as Mr. Wonderful’s. Like father, like son.

Here’s one of his playful moods.

The parents sprung a joke on him.

He thought it said, “You’re 21 Now Go Home…..”

Overall, the occasion to celebrate his birthday was what he wished for. Quiet and only with his loved ones + a very dear childhood friend, BH. He got to talked to his Titas (aunts) and Lola on the phone when they called to wish him a wonderful birthday. BH, by the way, is only 2 weeks younger than him. So both get to celebrate birthdays twice every year.

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