My sister-in-law Cesca called Friday night to tell us that they were driving to San Diego. “You don’t have to prepare anything Ate Malou”, she insisted “because we’re going to meet with Chami’s (her hubby) best friend from high school, so please don’t worry”. Cesca and I are like that…we always say to each other… “No pressure”… especially during impromptu moments such as this.
"No pressure” means flexible schedule, no meals for me to prepare… just a stress free vacation for them… yes San Diego is Chami’s and Cesca’s favorite destination when they want to unwind from their busy medical careers. And why not, San Diego is only 4 hours away from Nevada and it gives us a chance to reconnect in person. We would just enjoy talking and laughing, getting updates with each other, just a very relaxed and casual get together.
O is their one and only child. He is always excited to come visit us as he is very fond of my kids, especially my son Joey. O is one smart kid, (oh well that’s more of an understatement). It’s refreshing to see how an 8 year old boy prefers to play games that involve family interaction rather than his computer games and gadgets. “Give me some letters and I will form words, then make them into a sentence” he would command my son, and they would laugh at the words he makes and laugh even more when he tries to use it all in one sentence.
O and my hubby Chi have a special bond too. O calls him his Tito Ninong (meaning uncle at the same time godfather) and if you ask him who his favorite uncle is, he would say Tito Ninong. Their conversations runs a gamut of topics from Mozart to musical instruments to science, and listening to them makes me feel like I’m on the Discovery channel! And what’s my way of connecting with O? Of course it is through food! LOL! “What do you want tita to prepare for breakfast O?” I asked him and he just shrugs his shoulders… So I recited to him a long list and he picked French toast.
O was so easy to satisfy. “What’s that?” he inquired as he pointed to the champorado…. “It’s chocolate rice porridge”, I said. He replied “I think the last time I ate that was 8 years ago”, meaning he has never tried it before. But he enjoyed stirring the milk and sugar into the porridge. He said, “Can you give my mom the recipe for this so she could make me some at home?” He definitely loved it. I also made him some double French toast. I added French Vanilla Creamer in the French toast. His parents loved it too, and they kept guessing what the extra ingredient I added in the toast was.
Their visit was short, but it’s always a wonderful thing to reconnect with family, with the adults having fun and the cousins sharing a good laugh as well.
Double French Toast
1 cup milk
2 tbsp French vanilla Coffee-mate
8 slices of white bread
3 tbsp butter
Break the eggs into a bowl. Whisk it lightly then add milk and French valilla creamer.
Heat a skillet coated with a thin layer of butter. Soak the bread slices one at a time with the egg mixture then put it on the skillet. Cook it until golden brown. Flip it and brown the other side as well. Serve it with butter, whipped cream and syrup.
Champorado (Chocolate Rice Pudding/Porridge)
Unlike the traditional champorado recipe, I used Jasmine Rice for this recipe. It turned out to be just as good. And it took me less than 30 minutes to cook it!
2 cups cooked jasmine rice
4 cups water
4 cocoa balls (you could use powder as well)
Sugar to taste
Put the already cooked rice in a pot. Add 4 cups of water and let it boil. Add the chocolate balls. Stir constantly. Add more water if necessary. Cook until the rice is soft and gooey.
I like my champorado cold… better yet, cook it the night before. Put evaporated milk. Top it with whipped cream and sprinkle some chocolate chips… this will give the extra chocolate that's so divine and it would surely make you say… YUM!