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Friday, August 29, 2014

My 4 Minute Thrill on TV

Wow! I just did another segment on a local morning TV show.  And the excitement is as thrilling as the first time I appeared on the boob tube. 

I was featured on Great Day St. Louis on KMOV Channel 4 as the Food and Lifestyle  expert to do a gadget round up on how to throw the ultimate labor day bash even on a budget.   This is to help viewers to end summer with a bang. 

But it was challenging - as the verse "the show must go on" meant nothing to me until I experienced it yesterday.  Phew! It is funny now in retrospect but a few minutes before the I was "live" on TV, I had to go through different challenges, that I couldn't even think about being on the show.  But then .. yes I have to say it: THE SHOW MUST GO ON... lol!

Here's the link for you to check it out.  But before you view it, let me say thank you to the hosts of Great Day St. Louis, Kent, Virginia and Matt for making me feel at ease in front of the camera.  And to Patti and Daniella, thanks so much for all the help and moral support.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Turon (Fried Banana Rolls) with Grape in Red Wine Reduction ala Mode

"Why did you stop blogging?"  

Half asleep, I gave him a glance and saw his face lit by the glare of his smartphone.  I looked at the clock by the bedside and it read 11:30 pm.  

"It's 11:30" I mumbled as I pulled myself back to sleep.

"I've been reading your blog and I'm immensely enjoying it.I wish you were blogging again"


I froze... and then suddenly I'm awake.

His words resonated deeply within me.  He sounded like the voice in my head, nagging me over and over again the past few months.  And I guess it's time to start writing again. 

Besides from being busy with my You Tube Channel, my business partner, Marita, and I started  a Filipino pop-up restaurant here in STL called Almusal.  We run the pop-up (offering brunch) every second and fourth Sundays of the month.  Almusal is actually a Filipino term for breakfast.  But we take the meaning to be more than just breakfast. We want Almusal to be your "first" meal on our take of traditional Filipino food.

Wow, I could feel my face light up as I type these words.  Indeed I'm thrilled that after blogging for several years, I'm actually in the kitchen cooking the recipes I've been sharing and developing through this blog.  I love to put my own take on traditional recipes, and  our team at Almusal does just that.  And to passionately spread the love for Filipino food... I am excited to report that it's been doing more than what we expected. (If you want to know more about Almusal please feel free to check out our Facebook page here.  But I'm sure as I resume blogging, I'll be telling more details about the pop-up brunch we offer).

Along with saying that I am back, I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected to be a VIP Blogger for a Dole promotion.  I am taking part as an official Peel the Love Blogger Ambassador in STL. 

Yes folks, Peel the Love  is a year long DOLE campaign that celebrates the fun, irreverence, and whimsical side of bananas.  A highlight of this campaign is the ongoing Peel the Love Summer Banana Cabana Tour.  This tour aims to cover 26 cities across the country that started during Memorial day and ends on Labor day.  They will be in the St Louis area on August 14-16 : Walmart in Manchester at 201 Highlands Boulevard or August 16 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Walmart in St. Peters at 2662 Jungemann Road.

Do stop by at the Banana Cabana for free tastings of smoothies, dessert and FREE bananas.  There will also be free recipe cards and coupons.  Food, fun and all things bananas! I'm sure you'll  be inspired and surprised by the new recipes shared. 

And while we're talking (or going) bananas, let me share with you a recipe of one of the most raved desserts at Almusal.  It's Turon (Fried Banana Spring Rolls) with Grapes in Red Wine Reduction ala Mode, also called An Ode to Elvis.

Turon (Fried Banana Rolls) with Grapes in Red Wine Reduction ala Mode

For the turon
1-2 pcs Dole banana, sliced into strips (pick the ones that are firm)
6 pcs. spring roll wrapper
3-4 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup oil for frying

On a flat surface, lay the wrapper shaped like a diamond in front of you.  Now put a piece of sliced banana on the bottom of the wrapper.  Sprinkle brown sugar and roll the bottom of the wrapper over and tuck the sides in and continue to roll like a cigar.  Seal the edges with water.

Deep fry the rolls in a hot pan of oil until golden brown.  Now discard most of the oil and add more brown sugar into the pan.  Allow the brown sugar to caramelize. Drain excess oil on a tray lined with paper towel.

For the Grapes;

2-3 tbsp of white sugar
1 cup Red wine
1 cup grapes.

Put all the sugar and red wine in a pan.  Swirl and allow the sugar to melt.  Add the grapes and let it simmer until the sauce is reduced to a sticky texture.

Assemble the dessert the way you like it.  You may serve like I did, or you could put them altogether in a bowl.

The inspiration behind this treat is  the  Elvis sandwich ; the famous sandwich consisting of sliced bananas, peanut butter and jelly - sometimes with bacon - a known favorite of the King, Elvis Presley. I tried to infuse a Filipino street food favorite which is Turon (Fried Banana Rolls)

So come on, sprinkle some nuts, scoop some ice cream and pick a turon and dig in.  Enjoy

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dear Blogger... | How to Make Filipino Style Spaghetti

Dear Blogger,

No, I didn't desert you silly... I'm still here.  I am just spending TOO much time with Youtube, your sister... and  you see we hit it off quite nicely/

I'll still be around and as you see, I am sending peeps over to grab the recipes around here. Also, I'll be posting the new links as I post there too.  (Oops , I think I will try to catch up with that as I think, I am a little behind in sharing it over here).

I am thrilled to tell you that I'm getting new friends there too. As a matter of fact, I'm overwhelmed.  For instance my post on Pineapple Glazed Ham got over 13,000 views, isn't that exciting?

So here's the latest video on HOW TO MAKE FILIPINO STYLE SPAGHETTI.  Filipino Spaghetti what??? Yes come and watch it to find out what makes it distinct.  And please let me know what you think about the video... I'm a newbie over there so I really need your feedback!

 I know I posted the recipe here before and that makes me think that you two will do fine two-gether.

See you there!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Video Blog | How to Make Leche Flan

Are you ready for 2014?

Yes, I can't wait. For I know that a new year brings in fresh starts, new dreams, new plans... oh well should I dare say that includes new diet plans? haha!  

But before we embark on a new diet plan, let's indulge for a few more days before the new year commences shall we?  How about a creamy, delicious, rich leche flan? So, I am excited to share a new video blog featuring my brother in law, Dick.  If you've been following my blog I have featured him in so many blog posts in the past.  But I'm so happy that this time, he agreed to do a video with me and for sharing one of the most raved recipe that he makes: LECHE FLAN.

I hope you will enjoy the video.. and I would like to wish you a...Happy New Year!

Leche Flan ala Benedict
(double recipe for 2 pans of flan)
16 egg yolks
2 cans of evaporated milk
2 cans of condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon, rind
1 c sugar

Watch the video here:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One with Tacloban: Dinner no. 3 (Lemongrass Bulalo Broth with Zucchini Shavings)

I 've been MIA for a while and I believe it is for a good cause.  A few weeks ago, I launched  One with Tacloban, a fundraising campaign to help the victims of the super typhoon in the Philippines.  Since its inception, I have been cooking up a storm.  5 dinners in a span of two weeks and an almost $9,000.00 collected.

Now, I think that's huge... and a valid excuse for being MIA.

You might wonder why I skipped writing about dinner no. 1 and 2.  Well, I'd like to honor the request of the donors that they remain anonymous.  But for dinner no. 3, two of my friends stepped up to the plate and I'd like to thank Vel and Vivian and, of course our hubbies, for doing the project with me.

Vel is a pediatrician by profession but she runs a lifestyle blog called Life & Home at 2102. She wrote about the fundraiser in her post last week, so I invite you to hop over to her blog and see all her beautiful setting and the details about the event. Here's a glimpse of the elaborate setting but click here to see more.

One of the elaborate settings that Vel prepared.
Now for the menu, I designed a repertoire inspired by Filipino daily meals.  I featured common Filipino comfort food and changed it up a bit. Thankfully, the guests loved everything about the spread.

So before my family and I park our boots and head out to somewhere where we could wear our flip flops, I thought that for the next few posts, I should share some recipes I designed for my fundraisers.  For starters, here is a simple recipe for 

Lemongrass Bulalo Broth with Zucchini Shavings

For Broth:
2 lbs pig's feet, chopped
2 lbs beef shank// bulalo
1/2 c salt (you could adjust it as you go)
3 tbsp of fish sauce
3 tbsp of fermented fish (bagoong isda)
1 bunch of lemongrass (bruised)
1 bunch of green onions
1/2 can pineapple chunks
2 tsp of annato powder
2 thumb size yellow rock sugar

For garnishings:
Cilantro chopped
Toasted Garlic
Zucchini shavings
Shreds of meat from the beef  shank tossed in hoisin sauce

Clean the pigs feet and beef shank on running water.  Fill a pot with water.  Submerge the pig's feet and beef shank. Cover the pot and let it boil.  (rapid boil is good as it removes all the impurities of both the pig's feet and beef shank)

Discard the water.  Clean the pot and clean the pig's feet and beef shank.  Now fill up the pot again.  Put all the broth's ingredients together including the cleaned pig's feet and beef shank.  Let it simmer (I would suggest not to rapid boil this time).  Cook until the meat fall off from the bones. This process takes about 3 hours.

How to assemble:

Pour the broth (use a strainer to remove all the tiny bits).  Place the shredded meat (tossed in hoisin sauce).  Add the zucchini shavings.  Top it with toasted garlic and chopped cilantro.  

Your guests will love this new twist that I made with our old bulalo.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 25, 2013


A table  showcasing the ingredients for a roasted turkey at the grocery store made me realize that the Holidays are here again. You see, I have mixed emotions about the holidays. One is that it's the most "merry" of times, while it also reminds me of holidays past--- and yes it makes me miss home a lot!

One of the ways where I could bring myself closer to home is revisiting my mom's old recipe notebook. It never fails to evoke warmth  and  love. Seemingly it triggers powerful and pleasant memories. So today as I leafed through its fragile pages,  I came across my mom's recipe for Home-made Ham.  I felt like it  called my name. Instantly it gave me the inspiration to make another video... so voila click away to watch another episode of my MODERN ASIAN COOKING SERIES.  

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