Greetings from!

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Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat! Heto po Christmas in Beijing… unlike last year when we had a wonderful time back home. What do I miss? Lemme start with…

Lechon (whole roasted pig)! Wowowee!

I am salivating just thinking about lapu-lapu escabeche (fried grouper with sweet and sour sauce) and halabos na sugpo (prawn cooked from its own juice with salt and no water at all)! Haay… I wanna go home…

Dinuguan (pork stew flavored with pork blood spiked with pepper, garlic and vinegar) and tokwa’t baboy (deep-fried beancurd and pork dipped in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar). There is no way I can buy fresh pork blood here and I don’t have the slightest clue where to find pig’s ears.

Lumpiang ubod (coconut heart spring rolls, usually called fresh lumpia) and chicken lollipop (this one I can do).

Pancit Malabon – a Pinoy noodle dish with squid and shrimps. Waahhh.. sarap! We just had this few weeks ago at the embassy’s Xmas party. Pancit bihon negra – rice vermicelli with squid, my Tita’s specialty. Also yummy!

I really need to list down the ingredients to make my chopsuey look this good. And how I miss pakbet cooked with real bagoong!

Sinaing na tambakol (yellowfin tuna simmered in sun-dried kamias and pork fat) and oh!… for the love of the humble fried galunggong (scad fish)…

Boiled aubergine with unripe mangoes, raw tomatoes and saut?�ed alamang. Philippine mangoes! And the famous Pinoy fruit salad with an inch-thick layer of cream as toppings.

Sigh! Photos taken last year… Merry Christmas to all of you from!

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

8 thoughts on “Greetings from!

  1. 2007 is the year of the Pig. The Lechon is staring at me now. Makes me miss Manila eh. Pig’s ears should be available there too. TO’s chinatown sells them in their shelves, including guts & what have you. Try to check again bud. I miss tokwa’t baboy, fried pig’s ears and my drinking buddies. Maligayang Pasko Iska!!

  2. merry xmass po!!!!!!! damn just by looking at the pics i’m already drooling and the floor is like a pool now. hehehehe. dinner tayo minsan pag free kayo ni fafa i’ll cook for you guys lets check kung papasa sa panlasa hehehehe. tyga mo sa parol ha!!!! happy new year po!!!!!

  3. Hello iska,
    this maybe late, but here in France we got unti the end of january to greet anyone a Happy New Year!
    I hope you’ll more success to your carreer and family life!
    Happy 2007 l

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