Friday, August 23, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Cookies with Dates and Almonds

The heavy monsoon rains intensified by the tropical storm these past few days resulted in suspension of government offices such that the working members of the family had no choice but to stay home. Time to rest, bond together around the table, while doing some social networking, or in front of the TV to get some news updates on the extent of the damages caused by the flood, if not watching a movie. 

With the whole family at home, I had to think of what to prepare and serve on the dining table. Good thing I had a number of dishes lined up, waiting to be experimented on. I started the showcase with Mushroom Tortilla which I featured early this week. Click here for the recipe.

In the evening, I tried for the first time Jill's Banana Oat Cookies
Original recipe from Jill's Simple Daily Recipes

I was so attracted at her cookies which I found in one link party that I had it pinned!I don't like raisins and shredded coconut very much so I used dates and almonds instead. Wow, my family loved it! Ayana Grace doesn't like nuts but she gave the cookies a thumbs up! I also gave some to a friend who gave me the dates and almonds. :)  

I wasn't able to take good photos of my experiment after they were cooled. Just straight from the cookie sheet.
 Thank you, Jill, for sharing your recipe!
Linking to:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Moshi is crying, rain is coming!

Ever since I started blogging, this is the first time that I am featuring Moshi, our family's dog. It's time you meet Moshi, our 10-year old Labrador-Golden Retriever-look-alike pet. 


He sings to the tune of Selecta Ice Cream each time the ice cream vendor passes by. He can sing, yes, but he can also cry, cry and cry out loud!  
Asking permission that he be allowed in
 Get to know Moshi a little bit more...

His first call is to alert us in the morning when it's time for him to pee and a little after eating to poop, that is, if nobody is around to anticipate his personal needs. He would also cry when he senses that rain is coming, or when he would like to sit or sleep on his chair but it is out of his reach, or when there's lightning and thunder and certainly without a doubt, when fireworks start to explode during Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Most often Moshi wouldn't pooh on any wet space in the garage. In my post yesterday, I mentioned about the southwest monsoon enhanced by a tropical storm that brought heavy rains. This nonstop downpour for the past three days has left our garage wet, so wet that Moshi has been crying incessantly.

The rain still came on and off today, though not as heavy as the past two days. After feeding Moshi his breakfast, I patiently walked him around the open garage until he was able to do his thing.  With the rain starting to pour, he attempted to run back to his corner had I not pulled on his collar. Well, just like yesterday, it was worth the wait after all! Yeah, patience indeed is a virtue, as it took me almost 30 minutes standing there outside, just watching and following his every movement with an umbrella (lest we both get drenched in the rain), whispering to him once in a while to hurry, as I had something brewing in the stove inside.

Just awhile ago, I heard his cry again. You guessed it right, it's raining! I peeped thru the window to see the chairs out of position. I went out to fix his sleeping carpet on the chair but he wouldn't use it. Guess where he preferred to lie down instead?

Oh there he is... underneath the chair with a newspaper for his mat. Do keep still and give us a quiet night tonight, okay? Back to work tomorrow after the two-day holiday and a two-day work suspension due to the storm. Does that call for a 
 or a 

Linking to:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mushroom Delight: Oyster Mushroom in Tortilla Wraps

 Welcome this new dish--- Mushroom Tortillas--- on a rainy day.
"Incessant heavy to torrential rains spawned by the southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm  Maring" (Inquirer News says) struck the northern part of the Philippines yesterday. This brought heavy rains since last night and has left many flooded areas that aside from being a holiday in my place today (being Quezon City Day), suspension of classes and government offices has also been declared in the affected provinces.

The photo below shows part of the South Luzon Express Way (SLEX) that Billy, my husband, was supposed to traverse today. It's a blessing that he was spared when he decided not to drive to the university (as he does very early Monday mornings every week) even before the no-class declaration was aired.
This re-posted photo was shared by my husband via Facebook
This simply means that, with hubby at home, I had to cook something healthy. So here's this new mushroom dish I still haven't tried before. Oh, yes, still using my stock of oyster mushrooms delivered to me a few weeks ago, that I kept in the freezer (the saleslady said it will stay months in the freezer, and that I still need to prove). I mentioned that in my previous post.  

I remember the several pieces of tortilla wrappers left in the fridge although I already bought some lumpia wrappers specially for this mushroom dish.

300 gms. oyster mushroom, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 of large piece of carrot, grated
1 bunch of spinach cut into small pieces
1 egg
Salt, ground pepper, cumin, and cayenne powder according to taste
6 pcs tortilla wrapper (or lumpia wrappers)
Ceasar or honey mustard dressing

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
2. Wrap 2 tablespoons-full of mixture in tortilla or lumpia wrapper and roll

 3. Heat oil in a pan. Fry rolls until they turn golden brown.
I made two sets: one set using lumpia wrappers and another set using tortilla wrappers
  4. Drain in tissue paper. Serve hot with favorite dip.
Mushroom mixture wrapped in Tortilla
We enjoyed both sets using alternately honey mustard and Ceasar dressing.
Linking to:
Life on Lakeshore Drive
Home Maid Simple Foodie Friday

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pesto Spanish Sardines Pasta: A Remake

There's a saying that goes, "One is enough, two is too much..."Uh uhhh, not for this!!! I'm referring to the Spanish Sardines Pasta which was my welcome post this year. My daughter, Ayana Grace, bought a bottle of pesto from the grocery store last month (she usually does...we seldom run out of pesto sauce in our cupboard) and I just wasn't able to resist making another try of the Pesto Spanish Sardines Pasta so here it is...

2 tbsps reserved oil from bottled sardines
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 cup flaked Spanish sardines
1/3 cup Pesto sauce
1/4 cup pitted black olives
1/4 cup button mushrooms
1/2 kilo pasta noodles, cooked according to package instructions
salt and pepper to taste
Whole pieces of Spanish sardines (1 piece as topping per serving)
Parsley for garnish


  1. In a large saute pan, heat oil from sardines. Add olive oil as needed.
  2. Saute garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add diced tomatoes.
  4. Add flaked sardines and cook for a minute.
  5. Add Pesto sauce, olives and mushrooms. Simmer for another minute.
  6. Toss in cooked pasta.
  7. Season with salt and pepper. 
  8. Place two pieces of sardines and some parsley over pasta on serving dish to garnish and one piece of sardines each per serving plate.

This dish is a product of the recipe from Yummy Magazine with some modifications I made. Click here to view my previous post where I featured Yummy's original Spanish Sardines Pasta recipe.

Well, it's always better the second time around! ;)) Perfect with brewed coffee!

Happy Saturday to all!
Linking to:
Life on Lakeshore Drive
Home Maid Simple Foodie Friday

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mushroom Delight: Tempura

After making Fresh Oyster Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce, the first of the series of mushroom dishes I planned to feature, I ordered more packs of mushroom from the distributor CMAR Mushroom World. I was fortunate to have the mushrooms delivered to my workplace. So I was able to make another mushroom dish, Tempura. Here it is...


Oyster mushrooms
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Cornstarch (or ready-made breadcrumbs) for dredging

Mushrooms dipped in batter and dredged in cornstarch. Ready for frying.
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Slowly whisk in eggs and water.
  3. Continue whisking to make a smooth batter.
  4. Dredge mushrooms in cornstarch, then dip into batter.
  5. Deep fry. 
  6. Serve hot.

For the first batch, I followed the instructions to the letter. But when I was about to refill the cornstarch for dredging, I suddenly remembered that I still had some Japanese breadcrumbs in store.
  In frying, I used a deep stainless pan but used only adequate amount of oil.

Hmmm..., I (we) loved how it turned out. In just few very simple and easy steps, we enjoyed a hearty mushroom meal! Perfect with Caesar dressing!

I had to remove the serving dish from the center of the dining table lest Billy, my husband, forget that Ayana Grace hasn't had her dinner yet after she has fallen asleep in the living room.  ;)

Bon appetit!

Eating the Rainbow: Bitter Melon Salad 3

When I posted the Bitter Melon - Cucumber Salad last week, a blogger friend commented that it's like "eating the rainbow." I loved her comment and I said that sounds like a very nice title for my next blog post! Inspired by that, I'm featuring one of my signature dishes, an appetizing dish I learned from my parents and grandmother years back. Another rainbow dish, Astri? :)
Very simple and easy to make, this salad has become a favorite of my colleagues at work. Searching the net would yield many recipes of this salad appetizer, some giving tips on how to remove its bitter taste. Oh yes, some bitter melons are more bitter than the others, that's exactly why many people don't like bitter melon (known as ampalaya in the Philippines).

Through the years, I learned that sprinkling some rock salt over the ampalaya and squeezing out the juice remove the bitter flavor. Removing the juice however reduces the nutritional value one can get from this vegetable... I mean, fruit. Afterall, they say, "the more bitter, the healthier." With that in mind, I have always made it a habit to make thin slices of the ampalaya. You heard me right! Yes, very, very thin slices. Thanks to my mandolin slicer!  This, as I observed, helps reduce the bitterness such that one need not squeeze the ampalaya anymore before mixing the other ingredients. That preserves the antidiabetic properties and other nutrients therein.

Cutting ampalaya into thin slices, my secret in removing the bitter taste without losing the nutrients
Now, for the ingredients, click Bitter Melon (Gourd or Ampalaya) Salad.
Thin slices of ampalaya, onions and tomatoes plus vinegar and pinch of salt, pepper and sugar to taste
Oh, wait... make sure you have your pork or fish on the grill while preparing this salad! That would make a real enjoyable perfect hearty meal.

Enjoy your weekend!!!
Linking to:

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bitter Melon (Gourd) Salad: Season 2

This is not the first time I'm making this salad. I posted about this appetizer early this year. Here it is. Click this link to view. Garden Chef's Needle and Pen: Bitter Melon and Cucumber Salad. I discovered this salad in Yummy Magazine.

For this post, I'm featuring a remake of this salad that I prepared last week when Ana Cristina, my younger daughter celebrated her 21st birthday with her friends at home. The salad was not part of my planned menu (Creamy Potato Salad, Caesar Crusted Crispy Chicken  Strips, Shrimps-on-Wheel and spaghetti, Tin's fave pasta, which Ayana Grace, my eldest daughter, cooked). Spur of the moment decision, however, caused me to make the salad so that  Billy, my husband, would have some veggies. I always make sure there's vegetable whenever he is at home.

Here's the photo of the remake.
I didn't regret making this as her friend, Karla, liked it! I'll feature the other dishes in another post.

Weekend Bloggy Reading