Saturday, August 28, 2010

collecting seashells

Weekend mornings usually start really slow for us at home... but this particular Saturday is slower than usual. as I am home alone! With my husband out of the country, my daughter back to Berkeley and my two other kids out enjoying the last days of summer, I felt lost in the deafening silence of my home.

 Is it noon yet?  I quizzed myself,  I opened the blinds in my room, and the rays of the searing sun blinded me.  Yes, it must be noon... The glass jar on the shelf filled with seashells glistened as the sun's rays struck through it. I smiled, remembering how I gathered those shells on the Atlantic coasts when we lived in a coastal town in Florida. It felt strange how our 6 years of stay there was seemingly reduced to a jar filled with seashells. A jar that continuously remind me of family and friends whom we miss terribly.

A thought popped in my head:  Hmmm I should just go walk on the beach today...but before I could put my flipflops on, I said nah, I can't go to the beach alone!... so pop goes the balloon in my head as my thoughts drifted to think about my friend Roushel..  Was it because I am home alone and I am trying to draw inspiration on how she copes living alone? She inspires me constantly... On how she could go places and do things solo:  on how she goes salsa dancing until her feet are sore... on how she drove to Neverland Ranch during Michael Jackson's death amidst the sea of fans. On how she could drive long distances to visit her husband... how she discovers the world and pursues her  dreams. And oh, don't let her age fool you, this woman knows how to live.

I met Roushel in a peculiar way. I was still in Florida when she interviewed me on the phone for a job in southern California.  She hired me on the spot, asked me to come over to the West Coast to start my training. Amidst packed brown boxes and a long list to do, I dropped everything and flew 3.000 miles to meet her.  However, her decision was stopped by some corporate politics.  You think that would be the first and last time I'd see her right? Wrong... a few months after settling in San Diego, I already had a job and I was just starting to find new friends, I called her up.  As it turned out, she was hiring.

"How did you know I am hiring?" she asked.

"No, I' m just calling to say let's do lunch".

She hired me again that day.  And this time, the hiring went through, We parted ways a few months after when she went on to pursue her dreams and take up Nursing.  I was her cheerleader, beaming with pride that she knows what she wants and she's on her way to get it...

As I look into my jar of seashells, I realized Roushell is the first shell I collected on this side of the Pacific rim. She has always inspired me to do what I love and no matter how many plans and dreams I share with her, I would always hear her say: "Go for it, I'm rooting for you!" with her usual warm smile and a hopeful look, she's definitely a precious shell to keep.


In the Philippines, corned beef is usually served for breakfast.  As I discussed in my recent post Let's talk breakfast this is usually served with silog (garlic fried rice) but since today is my alone-day and it's way past lunchtime, I decided to jazz up my usual corned beef meal.  So this is how my corned beef meal started:

Let me tell you what was on my plate:


On the upper left is a sweet brioche, which we Filipinos call ensaymada.  But sorry folks, I still have to convince my aunt to share me her recipe.  Of course we have the egg, sunny side up, the sauted corned beef and my home fries.  I spent less than 15 minutes gettting this plate altogether... so let's begin:

Corned Beef:  I just opened a can of corned beef (I prefer the brand Palm).  Sautee it with onions, garlic, tomatoes and green peppers.  Add a dash of sugar (yes sugar, that's my hubs' secret.. so shhh!), salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Home fries:  You could boil the potatoes first or if you want it on the fly just like I did, microwave the potatoes for 4 minutes.  Slice into big chunks, then brown the sides.  Add some onions and parsley, salt and pepper.  Done!

But then, I tried to jazz it up a bit... something that may frown upon... so here:

I stacked them up together on an ensaymada.  See how flaky the ensaymada is?
Then I went further...

I drizzled some honey mustard...

The result? A sweet and savory jazzed up corned beef on a brioche.  Being alone has its benefits.  I could have my food  just the way I want it.. . right Roushel?


  1. Wow first to comment! I love it as usual. Very inspiring, great way to start the weekend.


  2. Roushel sounds like quite a decisive lady. It's incredible how things work out and the ways we create relationship in our lives. I hope to meet you too someday. Unfortunately, we will be leaving SF by the time you arrive this September. :(

    By the way I graduated from Cal a while back. What is your daughter studying?

  3. Hi TagaTugue, great to see you again. I hope I will get to know who you really are haha!

    Christine: That's too bad, we won't see each other then... but foodblogworld is a small one, we will meet each other someday. Btw, my daughter is a senior at CAL double majoring in Legal Studies and Classical Civilizations.

  4. Roushel would be proud of you :-). This was a terrific post. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. No wonder the FB status you posted. Glad the Dr. is back.
    I hope I'm one of your seashells too just like your friend Roushel. Great way to enjoy being alone: a cornedbeef meal.


  6. Another beautiful post. I leave here, uplifted, each time I visit. I also leave with foodie ideas.

    I wanted to note to you that you also use you microwave to help yourself along. I do potatoes like this also and then make them special.

    I forgot, what I microwaved, at my blog, I do that with butternut and acorn squash and eggplant. You have to be careful, if you are slicing it, not to cook too long or you will be slicing mush.

    Once, you get the right timing, you have the perfect texture to stuff it or use it, in other ways.

    This recipe is making me hungry and I have nothing in the house, except eggs that I could make. Sigh.

  7. Yummy that looks sooooooooo good! I haven't thought of jazzing up the ensaymada this way :)

  8. I love how you tied Roushell into the recipe! She seems like a wonderful person. It's funny how random life you meet someone and they show up recurrently in your life even though you can't quite explain why.

  9. Your daughter sounds impressive and accomplished. I majored in P.S. but fell short of a few credits from doubling in legal studies. She's in good shape with those two majors, I bet she's a great writer.

  10. yummy... nice quick beautiful looking breakfast... again, do you deliver?

  11. Oh my, all my favorite things in one plate! I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

  12. Mary: She called me up and she said it made her cry. But I truly meant what I wrote about her here. Happy Sunday Mary!

    M: Are you the M from New York??? hmmm makes me think who you are hahah.. but yeah for sure you are in my jar already M. You commenting here makes you a real friend... so there! haha!

    Chaya: Thank you for the kind words. I know you don't eat most of the postings I have but you are so sweet to come visit me still.
    Im glad I found some microwave alliance here haha. Some frown upon the use of microwave but hey it comes in handy all the time!

    chef_d: Heya D. Great to see you..I loved it.. you must try it. My hubs just came back and brought home some MaryGrace ensaymada, so Im making this again.

    Joanne: That's so true! And can you imagine "us" on the blogworld.. how we stumble into each other's blogs and become friends. When we meet personally it would be more of a reunion than a first meeting haha!

    Christine: Thank you, I give her the credit as she is working so hard. Hope she gets to a good grad school... btw, there's a sister rivalry in the house now that my daughter is an incoming Bruin... it's funny how they taunt each other.

    Megan Caroll: I only deliver within the United States haha... Just kidding! Great to see you!

    Caroline: yeah my weekend is doing great as hubs is back...

  13. I would love breakfast at the Malou home. Another awesome dish!

  14. wow malou, that's a nice way to serve corned beef :) i'm still stuck with corned beef with tomatoes and potatoes served with rice for breakfast :)

  15. Lazaro: So have you booked yourself a flight hahaha. Thanks Lazaro!

    Thella: Hello welcome. That's still a favorite but it's good to have a twist once in awhile. I hope to see you around!

  16. Love your impromptu late breakfast! This reminds me of a book about what we eat when we're alone -- when you're not constricted by what others like/want, what do you make for yourself? It's an intriguing question and one I think you answered deliciously!

  17. I would love to have this for breakfast tomorrow or right now for dinner :)

  18. Oh my! Corned beef on ensaymada?! That's crazy! Crazy good! I haven;t tried that though, I always make a corned beef pan de sal sandwich but that sounds really good... sweet and salty! Yum!

  19. Malou, my son just left this morning for his 15 hour flight back to university. Sulk! I need your comforting corned beef breakfast.

  20. I heart corned beef. and WOW.. that runny egg. YUM!

  21. What an incredibly satisfying looking breakfast! looks like a fab start to any day.
    *kisses* HH

  22. Lorena: that's a benefit but to tell you honestly, I still miss having a company to share the food with.. right?

    Natasha: this is a versatile dish, you could either have it for brekkie or dinner. I hope you get to enjoy this meal soon.

    Jun: ensaymada and cornedbeef duet is in good harmony... yummy perfect!

    Annie: aww sad, but you know what they will always be near since you have him in your heart. Go ahead suit yourself, make yourself a good meal haha.

    Cherrie: Cornedbeef comes in handy every single time you need a quick meal... yum!

    HH: with the calories and carb loaded plate like this? hmmm you really have to start your "aerobic-filled" day. haha!

  23. My partner and I really enjoyed reading this blog post, I was just itching to know do you trade featured posts? I am always trying to find someone to make trades with and merely thought I would ask.

  24. I would love to do something like that although I have to admit that I haven't done it yet. Email me for more details. Thanks!


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