12 July 2018

Ginisang Labong at Saluyot

My husband's family has been in this neighborhood since the early 1980s. So they basically know each and everyone in the area. In fact, if you get lost coming here, ask for our surname and they will direct you to our house. Just don't do bad things to us; you won't like what can happen to you, haha. Anyway, my favorite benefit of living here is the good number of community vendors that often knock on our door, er, gate. One of them is Grace, an old woman who sells fresh produce from her own harvest. My pure Bicolana mother-in-law, Mama A, gets fresh gabi leaves from her that she cooks into laing. One day, Grace cheerfully arrived with fresh labong (bamboo shoots). I was so excited I bought it all! Then Mama A prepped it for cooking by boiling and extracting the not-so-pleasant taste of its liquid. Para daw "walang kati". The next day, she bought saluyot, tomatoes and ginger. I bought bangus. We were on a serious mission for some tasty dinengdeng! However, Mama A had allergies that day so I skipped using bagoong isda for this recipe, making it a simple guisado. 

You know what, okay lang naman 'cause I used fish sauce (patis) instead and the natural flavor of fried bangus made it more delish. To be honest, this was the first time that I cooked this! I was so happy it was a success and that my tweener foodie loved it so I'm sharing this with all of you.

07 July 2018

Gratitude Giveaway

Having a huge following on social media is a big deal for small-time bloggers like me. I mean, I'm not a celebrity mom or a wealthy woman who knows everyone. I'm just a regular mom from the suburbs, who found her way around the internet and made a lot of new online friends who don't mind her virtual chatter. Getting the attention from hungry people through my recipes and baon ideas two years ago was a total surprise. Well, I don't want to sound hypocritical that everything happened because of sheer luck. I blogged hard to get to it – I created content that readers love, used the correct Facebook tools and applied learnings from my social media management experience. And yes, it wasn't just luck. It was God's way of telling me that I'm meant for bigger things so I have to really take care of it.

Win these awesome prizes!
So to seriously keep you in my tribe until we grow bigger, like what I've been posting on the page, I am throwing a grand giveaway for all of you! Contest rules are simple but specific. Read carefully.

04 July 2018

Where We Ate in Baler

Food and travel go together well. As in, think of the late Anthony Bourdain. Not sure if he really was but I think he pioneered the will-travel-for-food-and-nothing-else attitude. I mean, please show me videos of him bungee jumping and rappelling. I might just have missed it. But him traveling to a place just to eat? He has lots of those! In fact, he made Jollibee famous in the side of his world. He may have sadly cut his life short for whatever reason he had but he surely touched a lot of lives through his love for food. Sigh. Anyway, this isn't about him naman. Cheer up na tayo. This post took more than a month to be posted 'cause I still can't find the right words to describe our foodie experience in Baler! The town doesn't really have specific delicacies aside from Nanay Pacing's Homemade Peanut Butter but we're so glad they have awesome restaurants that cater to their hungry tourists well.

We arrived in Baler a little before lunch time so after we toured a bit (saving that kwento for another post), we headed to Bayler Restaurant.

26 June 2018

Ginisang Sayote at Carrots

Mashed sayote was Sophia's first food. Eversince, the unassuming and versatile veggie has been a mainstay in my grocery list. It's so easy to feed to kids! In fact, Samantha just had a mashed sayote with breastmilk today. Our baby bear loved it, too – no spills, no mess! So I'd like to share my recipe with you. 

No-brainer dish ito for someone who knows how to cook but I'm sure, a lot of you want to know a fail-proof base recipe of a guisadong gulay. This one can be altered by adding other veggies that match sayote. Serve it for lunch, dinner or for your families' baon along with fried meat. Ready to cook?

17 June 2018

Pinangat na Hiwas

One rainy Tuesday morning, I woke up earlier than usual (and before my girls, which is very rare) so I made sure to use the extra minutes wisely. I went to the nearby talipapa to buy food to cook for lunch. I'm so happy to see some fresh fish other than the mainstay bangus and tilapia the vendor sells. I bought four pieces of Hiwas (Chabeta) for ₱95. Price is reasonable since it's fresh, there weren't too many fishbones and is definitely meaty. I knew I'd cook it pinangat style.

Pinangat is fish boiled in water; one version is sour and the other is cooked with coconut milk. We have kamias tree here at home so I did the sour version. I added tomatoes for a fruitier taste. Ayoko yung puro asim lang ang nalalasahan. I put pechay para more gulay. Also, the more color your food has nga daw, the healthier it is. My little foodie, Sophia liked it so much. It made my homecook heart so happy 'cause it wasn't just so easy to prepare, nagustuhan pa ng bagets. So if you like to try this at your home, too, here's my recipe –

11 June 2018

Family of Four at Playa Azul Baler

Our family travels officially started when Sophia was 15 months old. It was a breezy December afternoon when we went to Cagwait, Surigao del Sur. It was our water baby's first time to step on the sand! And it was so funny I can still picture out her face until now. Definitely one of my most memorable moments as a mom. That's when I realized vacationing with a baby is more fun. Fast forward to now that my firstborn's a certified beach babe, we are on a mission to be in all accessible Luzon beaches. Our trip to Hundred Islands in Pangasinan will always remain a favorite. I hope to never repeat the experience we had in a not so beautiful resort in Bataan. Potipot and Magalawa Islands in Zambales are beaches to beat. Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte, which I need to write about soon, wasn't as exciting as I hoped it'd be. 

Well, we still have a lot of beaches to go to but I got pregnant last year so we only managed to go to Dingalan, Aurora for a much-needed vitamin sea for Sophia. Now that I have two mermaids (the smaller one showing signs of water lovin' when she's at her tub), I am more excited to vacay with my now family of four! So kilig to write four, hihi.

31 May 2018

Life Lately: Hating Postpartum Hair Fall

As most of you know, I just gave birth. It's my big excuse to be this big. Well, I haven't checked my weight yet. I don't want to feel pressured to lose some extra fats, lol. Maybe when baby Sammy starts to eat solids, that's when I'll do something about my size. For now, I'm happy. What makes me really annoyed, though is postpartum hair fall!

Shameless no make-up selfie with my badass shades and that dreadful bald spot! 

My fallen hair is everywhere! I see it on my pillow, in the shirt I'm wearing, on the floor, on the bed and worst, in baby Sammy's neck. It's that ridiculous. But what can I do? It's part of having a baby! I feel so bad for looking at my poor head slowly going bald. The best thing I do now is to tie it up. Oh, how I wish I have these lace wigs from Divatress to use in the meantime! It can automatically make me look like I actually have time for myself. I mean, look at that!