Thursday, June 30, 2011


Life is all about choices. The choices that we make sum up our life. I don't normally think philosophically like this, but I randomly pondered about this subject one morning while I was in line at Starbucks.

Looking up at the menu, I read the myriad of choices of drinks and pastries that they offered. The thought of a tasty green tea latte danced in my head... a warm sip would lend a comforting stroke for this gloomy day. "Green tea latte please!"

"Grande, Venti or Tall," asked the barista.

"Venti  please."

 "Low fat 2% or whole milk?"

"Whole milk please."

As I sipped on my delicious drink, I thought it needed more sweetener so I walked to the condiments station, where I was met by even more choices. I had to decide between pink, yellow or blue sugar packets, agave syrup, or any other sweetener you prefer. I went with the pink ones, and finally I was ready to enjoy a freshly brewed green tea latte. I was happy that I made the right decision.

On days like this, you feel as though everything is exactly how it should be. But then there are also days when you make the wrong decision, one that you regret, and consequently, you have to deal with its repercussions.  Ahh choices.

So as I waited for my daughter to move out of her dorm on her last day of freshman year in college, I pondered even more about choices. I was thinking about my daughter's choice to attend UCLA. It was a tough decision for her to make because she was accepted by a lot of respectable universities. Although I honestly wanted her to go to Berkeley since my eldest daughter was already there, my husband and I still allowed her to make her own decision. It took her a long time to decide as she carefully weighed her options, discerning what was best for her.

I watched her hug her friends goodbye and clutch her belongings, which contained her suitcases and rolls of K-pop posters, and I became filled with great joy and comfort. She made the right decision and she owned it. She feels at home in UCLA. There, she spread her wings and learned to fly on her own. My Izzy is coming out from her shell, and I was proud of her decision.

 "So where do you want to eat?" I asked her. "Do you care for Japanese food, Korean, or Filipino food?"

"I just want to go home and eat home cooked food," she replied. I started the car and headed home. Ultimately, it was the best choice because there's nothing like a warm bowl of home cooked food that says: "Welcome back home!"

Chicken Pochero

2-3 lbs chicken 
3 pcs chorizo, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 pcs. plaintain bananas, sliced (1 inch thick)
2 pcs medium sweet potatoes, quartered
1 bundle of green beans
1 can chick peas
1 small cabbage head, quartered
1/2 ground pork (make meatballs by seasoning the ground meat with salt and pepper to taste)
Fish sauce (optional) and salt and pepper to taste

First off, sear the slices of chorizos.  I do this to get the flavors out.  Sear chicken slices as well. Then remove chorizos and chicken slices.  Set aside. 

On the same pan, add olive oil.  Saute garlic, onions and tomatoes.  When tomatoes are wilted, add chicken back to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken broth.  Let it boil.  Midway into cooking, add chorizos and meatballs.   Let it simmer or until the meat is cooked.  Add all the other vegies. Let it boil until everything is cooked.  Season with fish sauce or with salt and pepper.

This is best served with a side of Mashed Eggplant.  (Sorry I didn't get any picture of the Eggplant siding)

Boil eggplant, peel it and mash.  Season with minced garlic, onion, vinegar and salt and pepper.  Perfect siding for a comfort food like this! 



  1. I would like to come home to a bowl of Pochero anytime. The joys of homecooked, you can't beat that.

  2. You made me miss my mom's puchero! So happy for you, your mini-me is home. My admiration for you grew even more when silly me, thinking it was you who picked up your phone was greeted by Izzy instead. She was polite, and may "po" pa.

  3. Congratulations on your daughter's decision! UCLA is a wonderful school! She will leave no regrets in life, looking back and knowing that she chose the right school for her. What a delicious meal too, it's no wonder she wants home cooked food.

  4. Tagatugue: definitely! I won't trade it to any other fast food or resto food.

    Annapet: you too you are doind an excellent job with your little boy... I'm sure he will grow up to be a fine young man. Thanks mucho my friend.

    Jessica: during the process of her decicion making we told her that she could go to any of her choices since they are all good schools anyway, but I think the fact that she owned the decision makes it more meaningful. Thanks Jessica for dropping by again.

  5. Congratulations on your daughter's decision to attend UCLA! It's also the best feeling when your kids prefer the home cooked meal! By the way Malou, thank you for voting me for Babble. I didn't pay attention to this kind of thing until I was nominated. I now see it on your blog and I'm "aware" what it is! I'm your 665 voter! This number is AMAZING! You are close to top 5 Malou! You can do it!!! You have my full support!

  6. I really regret reading this post, Malou. Now I am craving this so badly. We call this cocido (we add beans) and my favourite part is the sweet potato and bananas. You made it so nicely. I like those meatballs. No restaurant food could top this.

  7. your such a good mum hard to believe it will be us leaving Jasmine one day ;-) and your kids always love your food thats cool

  8. Wow, these pics are so mouthwatering. Lovely post. I love the write-up on choices. And the pochero brings back memories of Sundays growing up when we used to have it for family dinners. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I've never heard of this dish, but it really sounds delicious. What a wonderful way to welcome your daughter home. I hope you have a great day and a wonderful holiday. Blessings...Mary

  10. Such a wonderful thing to see our children's choices work out for them...and such a difficult task to initially let them do so. Glad she will be home with you on break ans such a wonderful welcome home meal you have prepared :)


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