Monday, July 25, 2016

Soul on fire

If there is one thing that I learned from the workshop I attended over the weekend, it was to be FEARLESS and RELENTLESS in the pursuit of happiness. And what is happiness for me at this point? It is to be successful in what I am currently doing. Because I want to inspire as I have been inspired. I want to help build people's lives the way I am being taught to build mine. I used to think that the measure of my success would be to be able to wear a toque and finally be called a professional Chef.

But you know what? Every function I've attended only made me realize that I have so much more to unlearn and even more to re-learn. That there is so much more for me to share than just the food I cook for my clients. I don't even remember who I was a couple of months ago. When all I could ever think about is how to rebuild myself in the corporate world. Had I known that there was a huge difference between what I was trying to do before and what I am doing now, I would have done this earlier.

The road is indeed long and hard  but I will make sure I make it to the finish line. I will open myself to endless possibilities. And I will want you to all be part of this wonderful change. If you think you are fearless and want the possibilities I see, come and message me and I will help you be the best version of yourself!

Friday, July 22, 2016


I call this dish Chapchae but others refer to it as Japchae while there are some who calls it Chapchee... however, it's spelled or referred to it still is one of my favorite Korean dishes and remains one of the frequently ordered dish on my menu. I'd like to think that I was able to translate this dish into the tastebuds of my Filipino clients. But more often than not, I prefer to think that I put a lot of love into preparing this dish.

To those who are wanting to make this dish, I share with you the recipe. Most especially to Arra O. who recently requested for me to post the said recipe. The dish is so versatile you can use other vegetables of your choice.

For this recipe I also used cucumbers

잡채 Korean Glass Noodles

Ingredients needed are as follows:

This is the only brand I use.

170 grams Korean glass noodles (dangmyeon)***
2 cloves garlic minced well
1 small sweet onion
2 scallions (spring onions/green onions)
1 small carrot
110 grams lean beef (sirloin or rib eye)
1 can shiitake mushrooms (optional)
170 grams fresh spinach
vegetable or peanut oil for stir frying
salt and pepper
3-4 cups chicken or beef stock

***Soak glass noodles in purified water for about 30 mins to an hour

For the sauce:

2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
Egg for garnishing - beaten and cooked over low heat, cut into strips (optional)

How to do it:

1. Cut the beef into thin 2-inch long strips and mix with 1 tablespoon of the sauce. Cut the stems off the mushrooms, and slice into 1/4-inch thin strips. Season with 1 tablespoon of the sauce.

2. Cut the carrot into match sticks. Thinly slice the onion. Cut the scallions into similar lengths.

3. Blanch the spinach in boiling water only until wilted. Drain quickly and dip in cold water. Squeeze out excess water, cut into about 2 inches in length. Season with just enough salt and pepper. But in my case I don't.

4. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well until the sugar is dissolved.

5. Saute in vegetable of peanut oil garlic and onions, tip in the beef and mix until a bit brown.

6. Pour in chicken stock or beef stock and tip in noodles. Simmer in low heat.

7. Pour in combined sauce. Simmer for about 5 mins. 

8. Tip in the vegetables cover and let cook for another 15 mins or until glass noodles becomes transparent or easy to the bite.

9. Remove from heat and pour sesame oil. Mix noodles. 

10. Transfer noodles into a serving dish and top with egg and chopped scallions. Serve hot!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Star for all Season(ings)

This is what a highschool friend of mine called me one time during a get together in her place. It sprouted from a joke when I told her if I can sideline as an actress, Of course it was all in jest when I said that! And then she called me Star for all seasonings and that stuck. Some of you may have noticed how long I've been absent from blogging again. Well, not too long really! I've been busy with my food business because since I joined Good Meal Hunting I've had my hands full, apart from my other project that takes most of my time. 

Once again I would like to thank Good Meal Hunting for the exposure! Even I surprised myself during the interview. I thought I had to bring out a lot of my lost english vocabulary from my "baul" (antique trunk) and even imagined my nose bleeding at the end of the interview from all the questions that would be asked from me by Mr. RJ Ledesma. 

To those who might be interested hahaha (as if)... The show, Bright Ideas, which would feature other Kitchen Merchants like me, would air on August 11, 2016 at 9PM at the Bloomberg channel. I know I made a slip on one of the questions asked. I won't tell you which one hahaha you'd have to watch if you want to find out! hahaha

I prepared Beef Caldereta and Crapple salad roll for this particular video shoot.

Beef Caldereta

Crapple Salad roll

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Race to Freedom!

captured from the ceiling of the dela Rosa elevated walkway in Makati City

While walking I looked up and saw this obra on the ceiling. It reminded me of who I am, who I am with, and where I want to be. I say I will walk, then I will run... and eventually I will fly too!

I will not waste my time on mindless things but I will make sure that my loved ones will have a future to look forward to.

Someday I want them to say "Mommy took that race and won!"

Just do it!

This struck me and I believe that there is an iota of truth to it... thinking again. it's a whole new world of truth!

"Stop blaming your circumstances and take responsibility for your loved ones"

When will you start if not now? When will you ever have time? If you keep telling yourself that, then there is no real progress. Courage starts when you tell yourself that there is no better time than TODAY!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

1...2...3... Action

I've never thought of myself as someone good in socializing. In fact, in all the years that I've brought my kids to school I've been unsuccesful in building my network with co-parents. Believe it or not (though am sure most of my friends would vehemently disagree), I am a little more of an introvert than an extrovert. I am NOT the type of person who will go out of my way to get to know you. It takes a lot of warming up before I am able to open up. So when Warangkana Gear Fajardo, CEO and Founder of Good Meal Hunting told me that there will be a video shoot of Viaña's to be scheduled soon, I was already imagining all sorts of scenario that may happen during the actual interview.

Anyway, the video shoot of my actual cooking demo and interview was done last Thursday here at my humble abode. I prepared 2 dishes, Chapchae (Sauteed Korean Glass noodles) and Barbecued Pork slab. Since I was pressed for time to buy pork ribs, I just used the one that I already have at home. The group who worked with me were all young girls; fresh graduates of Ateneo de Manila University. A very vibrant group of young ladies! 

After the cooking demo,  photo and video shoot, we did the interview next. I had to prepare for it. I know I am not really that good in answering extemporaneously. But I guess my experience in Saudi Arabia helped a lot in this area. Back there when my husband went to work and the children are in school, I would talk to myself 😂😂😂 .. well sometimes to the walls of our home., all things considered. I would even jokingly tell my husband that even the walls talk back in Arabic, so that any kind of communication is futile! 😂 hahaha Anyway, the interview went well, but it was as if I was suddenly on fire. I would like to think that I was able to answer the questions to the best of my abilities. But most of all I hope they could do something about my chubby face on cam hahahaha

Friday, July 8, 2016

Popping it up with Good Meal Hunting

My marinating, prepping up, and eventual cooking of the dishes that I was bringing to the pop up kitchen organized by Good Meal Hunting went through without a hitch. Thanks to my ever reliable nanny Sheila and my youngest son, everything went on smoothly except that we forgot the parsley that I was supposed to use for plating. My husband knows how much I abhor driving through Edsa as I expected traffic to be horrible. But thanks to the phone app called HERE (which by the way is an app developed by Nokia and is still useful even without internet service), I was able to breeze through the trip via C5. 

As soon as we arrived we prepared everything on the table.  For the life of me, I wanted to knock myself on the forehead for not checking out Pinterest. I wanted my first pop up to look rustic or picnic like even but this is the best I came up with, with the limited time I had to come up with other ideas. 

The dishes I prepared for this event? I did Slow cooked Pork Belly with 2 kinds of gravy - Creamy mushroom and Apple raisin. It was served as a complete meal, with macaroni salad to complement the dish. I also prepared Chili Tuna Pasta, Coco Custard cups, and Oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips.

Slow cooked Pork Belly set meal 

All in all I had fun, am sure our nanny Sheila and my youngest son Alloy enjoyed themselves too! We almost burned the rice though as I just noticed. that part of my warmer was missing so, that the bottom of my warmer was directly in contact with the can of wax that I used. It was my first and I am ever so grateful for Good Meal Hunting for giving me this kind of opportunity and exposure!

Awakened... a super late post

July 1, 2016

Having slept early I woke up at a little past 3am and remembered that I had to marinate the pork slabs in preparation for the event this coming Monday. I won't say tbat yet here as I want it to be a surprise! 😍 So, I hastily rose from bed and went straight to the kitchen to clean the pork slabs, rub it with my secret 😊 spices and do the marinade. I thought of putting it on slow cooker as there were 3 more slabs to prepare. Well what turned out to be a short trip to the kitchen brought me into action when I saw the piling laundry by our washing machine. Of course my OC-ness won, and I just had to finish doing the laundry too!

Interestingly enough, I suddenly thought of Fawaz broasted chicken! hahaha I wish Fawaz would put up a franchise here in the Philippines soon! #musingsofanearlyriser

Friday, July 1, 2016

Perfect timing

Yesterday I excitedly told my husband the result of a business meeting I attended to earlier that afternoon. I was struck by what he told me after sharing with him the good news. He said "See Mom? Remember that time when you were frustrated about not being able to find work, I told you that things happen for a reason, in God's perfect time - right?  Well, this is God's answer to you! "

Indeed, it was! For every failure there is a reason and we should not stop just because of a single hiccup. We must move on... we move forward! We look for better opportunities not just wait for it! Nothing comes from just waiting for the right time or the right circumstance. For every big plans, we have a bigger God!