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Pineapple fried rice

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Pineapple fried rice

I was doing my pasta post (please see previous post) when I saw the pictures intended for my pineapple fried rice blog which I totally forgot to share last week.

Last week was mostly work and being stuck at home because of the weather. And instead of opting to explore new places within the village, my friends and I opted to visit our village (newly opened) Shakey’s and Starbucks (both located along Matalino Street of our village.

Then last Sunday, we were stuck at home again and yes, again, I had nothing much in my pantry. So it meant another leftover recipe!

What did the little girl want? Pineapple fried rice.

I copied this version of fried rice from the street food in Taipei. It was a favorite of mine while I was studying at National Taiwan Normal University (Shi-Da). There was this one lady who would prepare this either with ground pork or ground chicken – depending on what you want. And the secret ingredient : pineapple tidbits.

When I was tired and hungry (and yes, short on cash), I would go to her stall and order my “piantang” (lunch box) of chicken pineapple fried rice. It always came in a cardboard “piantang”, a pair of chopsticks and a bottle of yakult.

Here is my version using leftovers :

  • Leftover rice
  • Leftover luncheon meat (Maling works best for me). Cubed.
  • Pineapple tidbits.
  • Butter
  • 1 medium sized egg, scrambled.
  • Garlic
  • Very minimal oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Around 2 TBSP soy sauce for taste and color.
How I do it :
  • Scramble the egg in advance and remove from heat.
  • Add a little oil into the pan. Add in butter. (don’t use too much oil as the Maling or luncheon meat gives out oil as it fries – adds yumminess to the fried rice too). I’m lazy and I don’t have a helper so I have to do everything. In order to minimize wash ups, I just move the items to the side of the wok as I cook the other ingredients.
(scrambled egg on the left side, maling on the ride side)
  • Fry the maling and remove (as per photo, I just moved it to the side of the wok. Same with the egg.)
  • Saute the garlic.
  • Add in the leftover rice.
  • Saute everything together – egg, garlic, maling. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add in the pineapple tidbits and mix more.
  • Add in the soy sauce for color.
Tadah! Pineapple fried rice is served!

It’s not leftover but it’s our trusty pasta

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It’s not leftover but it’s our trusty pasta

Today was stay at home day.

I have the luxury of staying at home because aside from being a full time, hands on mom; I’m also a full time freelancer.

It could’ve been any other left over dinner night. We’ve had “ulam” leftover from lunch but the little boss wanted pasta. So, out came the tried and tested vegetarian pasta. (it can be vegan if one item is eliminated).

Here goes.

Ingredients :

  • Spaghetti (cooked according to package instructions)

  • Diced tomatoes (I used 3 medium sized ones)

  • Minced garlic (we love garlic. I used 6 pcs)

  • Basil leaves (I think I used around 12 pcs)
  • Olives (sliced)
  • 4 to 5 TBSP Olive oil and 1 TBSP butter (latter can be omitted if opting for vegan pasta)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
I couldn’t find my pan that I use to cook my pasta. So I used my trusty (and favorite) wok. Imagine cooking Italian in a Chinese cookware. Funny but hey, it works.
According to one of my favorite chefs, Susur Lee : “Cooking is about adapting.” (italics mine)
How I do it :
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in pan.
  • Add in butter. (this can be omitted)
  • Saute tomatoes in olive oil until soft.
  • Add in garlic. (I prefer it in this order so that the garlic doesn’t brown).
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. (option : for spicy pasta, add in chili flakes)
  • Toss in the drained pasta and mix (I don’t have the technical skills to toss so I mix it).
  • Turn off heat and add in olive slices and basil leaves.
  • Toss / mix one more time so that pasta is coated with olive oil and other stuff.
  • Serve as is or with grated cheese on top.
One order please of our veggie pasta for one hungry girl.
Digging in.
Nom, nom, nom.
Look ma! All done!

Mashed Potato Nuggets – as Micah calls them

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I rarely cook. It doesn’t mean that I can’t cook – I just rarely cook. Why? Because its just the two of us — my little angel of a daughter and myself. Its not worth the effort, time and money to go through the preparation, cooking and cleaning up with only two mouths to feed. So most of the time, we get something from the “suki” neighborhood “carinderia” and we’d be fine and happy. No mess and no stress.

Everyone in the family cooks. My mom is a mean cook — cooks restaurant class fantastic Chinese dishes (and other dishes with questionable origins) without following a recipe. Her steamed fish, haaay (funny, found out lately that my mother doesn’t even like fish).

My dad’s humba and chicken feet — to die for. Literally too. You eat too much, you die (if you have high blood pressure). Its a recipe for heart attack but the oil … man, you’d wipe your plate clean with just rice and the oil from his recipe. Tried to replicate it but never been successful. But this will go to another post.

My younger sister tries to cook. 🙂 Didn’t say she can’t. I’m saying she is trying. And yes, we do eat what she cooks.

My younger brother is a turbo broiler expert. His ribs with nestea and mustard rub sounded weird until I tried it myself.  He too can cook.

The youngest? Well, he cooks enough to take care of himself. 🙂 I remembered a long time ago, when honeycured bacon wasn’t available in the supermarkets, he would fry his bacon in a caramel bath and finish one pack of bacon in one sitting.

See, everyone can cook – as per the movie Ratatouille. (did I get the spelling right?)

But this is not about my family. I just started blabbering there. This is about my leftover recipes and what I do with food I find in the ref for the day that I hated to throw out.

Today, a Saturday, the carinderia was closed and I had nothing in my ref. So creativity had to kick in and look what I found.

  1. Leftover mashed potatoes from Kentucky Fried Chicken
  2. A small block of mozzarella cheese (honest, I had this)
  3. Some flour
  4. Japanese breadcrumbs
  5. An egg
  6. Salt and Pepper
  7. Canola oil
So what to do with these? My version of a mozzarella stick but Micah called them Mashed Potato Nuggets.
  • Cut mozzarella into small cubes. Cover all around with the mashed potatoes. They would look like these.
  • Coat the potato squares in flour all around. They do end up looking like mochis.
  • Dip everything in the beaten egg (seasoned with salt and pepper by the way).
  • Now, let them take a final coating in the Japanese bread crumbs.
  • Time to fry them. Drain and serve.
Final verdict? Mama, you are the bestest cook ever! 🙂

It’s not all about food :-)

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My village has lately become a foodies haven. Either the newly graduated chefs couldn’t find a job in more established restaurants, or they just rebelled against the thought of working for someone else. Who can blame them? The tuition fees for culinary schools are insanely high. Whatever the reason, its great for us Maginhawa-ites.

But more then the restaurants sprouting up left and right (not all of them good by the way but reviews will come later). It’s about a place that we call home.

Our village is part of the Diliman territory. And yes, just 5 minutes by tricycle ride from my place is Quezon City hall. While I cannot get to many of the government offices in 5 minutes time, these government offices can actually be found in the Diliman area.

Most of Diliman area is still residential but you can see signs of commerce and development everywhere. Where I live is actually a small portion of 4 or 5 baranggays all adjacent to the UP Diliman Campus.
Firstly, you have UP Village. Then Teacher’s Village East and Teacher’s Village West. Also part of this is Krus na Ligas and going towards East Avenue are Baranggay Central and Baranggay Pinyahan. Oh yes, towards Kamias isSikatuna Village. In my previous post, I mentioned that we are a microcosm of the bigger society. Just cross a boundary, and the changes in social status are very much visible and obvious. Krus na Ligas and Botocan are cramped and populous places but cross over to UP Village and you will have streets so quiet you’d be afraid to make a noise just passing through.
To fully appreciate and understand what I mean, I have attached a map as reference. So friends, Maginhawa is not merely a foodie haven. For many of us, it is adjacent to home.
Hence, Buhay Maginhawa … because it is afterall, home.


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I have been ghostwriting for a good client for almost a year now. Everytime I would visit her page, I still am amazed at the words and ideas that came down from my brain, flowing down to the computer’s keyboard and finally materializing as words on a page.

Skyping with my sister the other day reminded me that it’s high time to build my own brand – under my name. What better way to de-stress from the stressful world of ghostwriting than by more and more writing. 🙂 I know, it doesn’t make sense but when you write about a topic that requires a lot of research, it’s stressful. When you just blabber and type that blabber down, now that’s fun.

I finished my college course at UP Diliman – a quiet campus far away from the noise and hustle / bustle of Metro Manila. We were secluded in a world that created and encouraged idealism. Living on campus for 4 years had made me fall in love with the campus and its part in Philippine history.

Hence, everytime I had the chance to live in Manila, I chose and gravitated towards UP Campus / Teacher’s Village / Sikatuna Village. If I remember right, I’ve had addresses such as Maimpok, Maamo, Maalahanin and lately, Malingap. Friends have (unsuccessfully) tried to entice me to move in a condominium unit but I’ve remained stuck here.

Lately, the village that I’ve grown up in and grew to love has undergone a facelift. It was a minor change here and there and finally, voila! We were a microcosm of the big society — with our own beloved restaurants that bloggers raved about and people came a-visiting for.

So what better stuff to rave about but my own neighborhood?

I don’t have to leave the village for anything at all (well perhaps if someone decides to put up a cinema somewhere). We have good schools, grocery stores, restaurants, spas, salons, coffee shops, hotels and what nots all within a 5 minute tricycle ride.

Yes this is a lifestyle blog. A lifestyle blog from someone who lives near the famed or near famous Maginhawa strip (that is quickly turning out to be a younger version of Tomas Morato) dotted with many artsy places and good foodie places.

First stop – a Maginhawa strip map that pinpoints where the eats are.  And yes, will tell you if I ate there or not.

Till then! Ciao!