Cousin Emma’s Sinanta Recipe!!!!

Kain Na Po

I was just back in the hottest, most humid part of the Philippines about a month ago.  It gets so hot there in the valleys of Cagayan, you could cook an egg on the asphalt!   Anyway, while in the place of my youth, we enjoyed the usual Tuguegarao specialties.   Longganisa, the varieties  of pansit,(will post about this soon, thanks to my godbrother, Erick Padilla) zinagan and of course, SINANTA!   Some of you might remember  I posted photos of many dishes we consumed, oy so masarap po!(So very yummy!)  Anyway, I did not have the recipes for most at that time.  Well, I have finally  received a couple of them  so here is the first of many that I will be sharing.   With some luck, I shall be trying them as well, and will report the outcomes. If you get to try them soon, please feel free…

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I am re-blogging this post to honor the man who helped make our days of youth so memorable in our hometown of Tuguegarao.   Students from Cagayan Teachers College, Cagayan High School, St Paul and St Louis  remember  beloved Manong Berong so well.  His  happy go lucky nature and ability to speak English   are  long lasting impressions  shared by many.   Last year, Ading Bong searched for him and thankfully, located Manong Berong. They had such a wonderful visit punctuated with so much laughter.    Manong Berong remembered so many of his pasaheros, it was mind bloggling.   Just recently, dear friends Manang Eileen, Manang Nene and Ading Bong saw Manong Berong at his home. They reminisced details of conversations that Manong Berong was made privy to because of hours upon hours of joy riding!   The photos we saw, spoke of great laughter and then tears.  Manong Berong is now a carpenter as he  had to sell his horse and kalesa years ago.  The trade has not been kind to our kutseros with the streets now filled with tricycles.   Life has not been easy.  He was so touched that many of his pasaheros remember him fondly.   I will be seeing Manong Berong when I visit Tuguegarao in the very near future.


Kain Na Po

Scorching Tuguegarao is surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains , the Cordilleras and the Caraballo Mountains. It grew on the banks of the Cagayan River and the Pinacanauan River, near the southern border of the province of Cagayan…I lived in this once quiet town where I have great memories of the kalesa being the primary means of transportation. Idyllic times, eating adobong mani(local peanuts cooked with lots of garlic), the most sour native green mangoes and joy rides for P1.00 for an hour. Manong Berong put up with 8 girls giggling for a whole hour as we blissfully tested the poor horse’s stamina. That was 38 years ago. Where did time go? I am struck at how it truly has flown by. Tonight, we celebrated my Papa’s 80th bday. Tonight, I laughed and cried…and managed to eat morsels. I know I owe this food blog some photos. So soon after…

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Kain Na Po

Testing..1)Dollop of choc and white choc chip 2) Dusted with hazelnut coffee creamer 3) hazelnut chocolate caterpillar

Shishkabob!  January sure came and went, just like that!!  Wasn’t it just the holidays?  It is so true the old adage, time flies….and I think I was having a whole lot of fun but I also had to tend to some not so pleasant task, like finally taking a derelict former tenant to court.  So here we are, February lst and really feeling these months are going to roll.   I have to keep to my new year’s resolution.  Going to the gym, and that we did with regularity in January.  Now, February heralds the month where I measure my food intake.  Nope, I won’t deprive myself of good eats but certainly, in honest to goodness moderation.  I have exactly 8 months till the first wedding in our nuclear family!  My 26 year old son si getting married to his beloved and they have been together a decade!! I must…

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Summer is revving.  Our youngest has activities she is lining up left, right and center. On her to do list includes going on her  2nd driving lesson (by a pro)tomorrow and they are going on the freeway!  For a few months, we managed to get her to practice on surface streets and now, she is ready for the fast lane.  Prayers, please.   What’s a  nervous mother to do? Cook! And then cook some more!

So the caveman brought home three packs of organic chicken breasts.  I could have easily made adobo or chicken fried rice  but those  just seemed so unappealing.  So I rummaged through our fridge and put on our kitchen counter what could make chicken less  boring!  Suddenly I am reminded of someone who quipped, “death before chicken!”.  One’s serious aversion to manok gave me a chuckle.  I must endeavor to make this chicken absolutely to die for in contrast!  Sana po….

So here are the ingredients I used:

6 chicken breasts

1/3 c bread crumbs(I seasoned this by adding oregano, a little parmesan, a little basil, garlic and onion powder)

1/3 c Parmesan (more if you like)

1 egg

Spinach (about a cup) I cut this up in strips

Half of a bell pepper(this one was red)

Half an onion, cubed

Turkey Bacon!!!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Garlic was in my pantry (used about 7 cloves, minced)


Fresh tomatoes (one large one or two medium ones), cubed

About a 3rd of an onion, cubed

A couple of minced garlic cloves

1/3 Caesar Salad Dressing(creamy variety is best!)

Basil, fresh is best but the jarred variety will do too…

Here’s what I did….

First, I turned on the oven and preheated to 425 degrees…

Then, I rinsed off the chicken breast, made a slit to create a pocket on each…And then I turn on the stove and heated

some evoo.  I threw in the onions and just before it turned translucent, I added garlic and the red bell pepper, careful

not too cook too much.  I put these in a bowl to cool off.  I was a bit impatient so I actually put the bowl in the freezer.

Now, I combined the bread crumbs, parmesan, a little garlic powder, a little onion powder, oregano and basil,

add salt and pepper to taste… I  scrambled the egg and blended all these to a gooey paste.  Then I poured the cooled

vegies I sauteed earlier, mixed  those in.  And then, I stuffed those in the pockets of the chicken breast.  I brushed a little

butter on the   chicken breast and then took a strip of turkey bacon, and wrapped those around the chicken breast, hence the

bra.  :)   And then  I lined the pan with nonstick spray…

Since I have never made this before, I posted the question on FB and sought advise from my kithen magician pals… Pitpat

advised me to turn up the initial baking to 425 degrees  for the lst 15 minutes to get the bacon crispy. So  I did, and

dropped the heat to 350  for the remaining 25 minutes.  Depending upon the size of your chicken breast, a or b  cup,  it could

take a tad longer, ha!    I used a convection oven so it got done within 4o minutes. Conventional ovens  could take up to 55

minutes.  Just check it carefully, there is nothing worst than a tough meal even with a pretty bra, it will turn ugly.

While I was waiting for the chicken to bake, I decided to make a sauce for the dish…So here’s how it went….I simply

sauteed the onions, added the tomatoes, basil and garlic, let those cook to a saucy consistency…And just before

pouring over the chicken, add the Caesar dressing.  It was such a delightful surprise!!!   You can also add more

parmesan on top if you like. I didn’t, trying to keep it not so rich…. And the  empty plates spoke volumes.  Phew!

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Today, is Memorial Day  here in the United States…and the 3 day weekend is coming to a close….

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May.[1] Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[2] Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.. ”  Source:  Wikipedia

And summer truly is here for us…and that also means the BBQ’s are getting fired up, and for us  the turkey patties have been seasoned and formed by the caveman.   My dear friend from my hometown of Tuguegarao,  Ading Malou has a winning food blog called Skip to Malou.   She puts out some pretty amazing dishes spun from old recipes kept in her family for years while putting in her own twist.   We both live in America now so other ingredients have resulted in some pretty unique outcomes, and I must say hers are pretty darn impressive.  For this Memorial Day weekend,    Ading Malou posted her creamy potato salad recipe and got me salivating for it. Her winning recipe was featured on Foodbuzz!!!  Check it out!!  http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/5628313-well-hello-summer-creamy-potato-salad  So,  I quickly took note of the ingredients and instructions on Malou’s blog. My caveman’s famous turkey burgers will certainly go very well with homemade potato salad, a first for me!   As I was fixing to put together the potato salad,  the caveman said, don’t put sugar, and no celery… Hmmmm…..okay. Our Meep chimed in, and said she is not too crazy about potato salad from the market which has  sweet undertones.   Ok then, here’s my chance to play  kitchen witch to my dahling  guinea pigs!!   The wonderful potato salad I was going to copy from Ading Malou has evolved into something a tad different so as to allow the caveman’s request and the Meep’s hints.  There’s two of them, and only one of me. Fine.

Here’s what I used:

3 large potatoes, boiled and cubed

3 pcs eggs (boiled, peeled, dice eggs whites, smash yolk)

3 tbsp rounded mayo

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 bell pepper, diced (set aside a spoonful for garnish)

1/2 red onion, diced  (set aside a spoonful for garnish)

1-2 stalks green onions(set aside a spoonful for garnish)

1 tbsp Pinakurat Spicy Vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Smoked Paprika is also a nice touch, optional of course!!


Mix eggs, mayo, mustard, onions, bellpepper, green onions, spicy vinegar.  Fold in cubes of potatoes.   Salt and pepper to taste.  Add more

vinegar as desired.  Garnish with cubed bellpepper, red onions and green onions, and my Meep loves smoked paprika on it, so yup, try some!!

Serve chilled.   You know what?  It is pretty darn good if I may say so myself!!   

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Creamyt Guitaang Pork (with Coconut Sauce)

Dryer version were infused with coconut flavor and made into finger food

Lately, I have just gotten so enamored with coconut milk.  Laing and Bicol Express are my most fave foods so I guess it is no big surprise that I am finding other dishes with coconut milk so palatable!!!

I was feeling a bit of a rebel one day and truly hankering for some pork adobo…And then wham!  I was suddenly thinking gata this, gata that.  I posted on FB that I was at the verge of making some contraband in our house.  Well, I say that playfully because my hubby and daughter don’t eat pork or beef!   Upon posting my query on FB, I was given this very easy recipe by my dear friend from Ilocos, fierce and fearless Vic.  Oh you ask, why fierce and fearless?  Well okay, she eats live shrimps. LIVE!!  Anyway, I followed her suggesion and made  guinatang baboy and the  another dish, pork adobo!

Here is the guinataang pork recipe:


2 cups cubed pork  or chicken

1/2 medium garlic, mnced

1/2 medium onion, minced

I eggplant, peeled(or not) and cubed (optional)

1 cup coconut milk

salt/pepper to taste of simply use patis(fish sauce)

Sili Labuyo to your liking or red pepper flakes


Saute onions, garlic then add pork and seasoning…When nearly cooked, add coconut milk.  Reduce to your liking…Add more patis as desired, as well as the sili labuyo or pepper flakes. Add eggplant and cook until done… You can reduce so the sauce is thicker and therefore, you will have a drier dish,  or you can have have a creamier version by keeping the coconut juice from evaporating. You can add more coconut mik if you prefer the  latter.  It is that simple!!!

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It’s been just over a year since I started this fledgling of a food blog. I am ever so grateful for your encouragement, your support and presence here.  THANK YOU….I am learning , evolving and trying to be patient so  I don’t post too quickly, and to  learn to edit, really edit before I post…Thanks again…

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