January 27, 2012

Kitchen Adventures: Quick and Easy Pork Broccoli in Oyster Sauce

Pork Broccoli in Oyster Sauce

Who says cooking is difficult? Here's my own version of Pork Broccoli in Oyster Sauce. Sounds complicated but trust me its QUICK and EASY!

What you need:
Pork - 1/4 kilo, thinly sliced
Broccoli - 1 head
Garlic - 2 tbsp, minced
Sugar - 1 tsp
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Cornstarch - 1 tbsp dissolved in 1 tbsp of water (2 sets: 1 for marinade and 1 for sauce)
Oyster sauce - 1 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp, melted and mixed with 1 tbsp of cooking oil
Cooking Oil - 3 tbsp

Time to do the cooking (in three parts):
Marinate the pork in soy sauce and cornstarch mixture for about 30 minutes.

Saute garlic and broccoli in butter mixture. Sprinkle sugar and stir-fry until veggies are fully coated. Add water and simmer for about one minute. Set aside.

Stir-fry pork until cooked. Then add the prepared broccoli and the other set of cornstarch mixture. Add it oyster sauce and simmer until the sauce is cooked. Adjust your the thickness of sauce by adding water or cornstartch mixture depending on your preference.

1. It is better to marinate your pork overnight (placed in refrigerator). You can add calamansi juice if you want.
2. You can still use the broccoli stem. Peel it until all the hard part was removed then slice it with almost the same size as the broccoli flower.
3. Sauce is already cooked if no more turbid color is noticed.
4. Adding cooking to your butter prevents it from being burnt.
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January 26, 2012

Kitchen Adventures: Sardines-Kalabasa Siomai

Sardines-Kalabasa Siomai
As I promised on my previous post, here's my experimental siomai recipe.

You will need:
Sardines - 1 can, drained and mashed
Squash/Kalabasa - 1/2 kilo, grated
Onion - 1 head, minced
Carrots - 1 medium-size, minced
Eggs - 2 pieces
All-purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
Celery - 1/2 cup, minced
Seasoning - 1 tsp (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste.
Wanton/siomai wrapper

Mix all ingredients. Place about 1 tsp of the mixture in wrapper then seal all sides. Steam for about 15-30 minutes or until cooked. Be sure that the water is rolling boil before placing the steamer. This will prevent the the wrapper from being destroyed and sticky. Also, brush a little oil into the steamer before placing the siomai. Serve with calamansi-soy sauce mixture, toasted garlic and chili sauce (the last two were optional).

Additional Option: You can further fry before serving.
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January 24, 2012

Kitchen Adventures: Stir-Fry Spinach, My Style

Chinese Spinach or Kulitis can be easily harvested in our backyard in Nueva Ecija. So when Matt’s yaya went home last week, I told Mama to send some veggies especially kulitis.
Source: Project Noah
Last Sunday, I saw carts of cauliflower in the market. They all look good and attractive, so I asked how much per kilo. At PhP40 per kilo, it is quite cheaper compare to its price before.  So I bought a medium head for only 18 pesos.
The featured recipe on Quick Fire at NEWSTV11 few weeks ago caught my mind.  With enough kulitis and cauliflower, ready to go for the recipe. Cooked with some variations (check Quickfire's Fan Page ), our lunch for Tuesday (January 24, 2012) STIR-FRY SPINACH.
Stir-Fry Spinach
For this recipe, you need the following:
Cooking oil, 1 tbsp
Garlic, minced
Onion, chopped
Cauliflower, 1 head
Shitake Mushroom, 1 can (I bought it for only PhP28.50 at SM Hypermarket)
Young corn, 1 cup
Kulitis leaves (Chinese Spinach)
Oyster sauce, 2 tbsp
Cornstarch, 1 tbsp dissolved in 2 tbsp of water
Salt and pepper to taste.

Time to cook:
Heat oil and sauté garlic and onion. Stir-fry cauliflower, Shitake mushroom, and young corn for about 5 minutes or when the veggies are already tender. Add kulitis, celery stalks and the oyster sauce-cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring until spinach are half-done. Serve with rice.
NOTE: you can add a little more water if you want to increase the volume of sauce.
Quick and easy, right?
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Kitchen Adventures: Almondigas Soup Recipe

almondigas soup, cooking, misua, recipe, siomai,
Almondigas Soup, Invention Style
Thinking of what to cook for dinner last night (considering my son, who loves to eat soupy meals, will have the same food that I will cook), I surveyed the kitchen as well as the fridge of what are the available stuffs that can be used.  When I saw the “misua” or rice vermicelli pack and the siomai I made last Sunday night, Almondigas Soup by Pancake House came into my mind. Quite curious about the name? Well, it is as easy as 1-2-3!  I did my own version by replacing some of the ingredients like meat balls and spring onions (as garnish) with siomai and celery, respectively. 

Here’s how I did it:


Cooking oil, 1 tbsp
Garlic, minced
Onion, chopped
Chicken stock (1 chicken cubes dissolved in 4 cups of water)
Celery, finely chopped

Cooking Instruction:

1. Heat oil, sauté garlic and onion.
2. Add chicken stock and let it boil. 
3. Add misua and simmer for about 5 minutes. 
4. Drop in siomai and a dash of salt (you can add salt depending on your preference). 
5. Remove from heat. Sprinkle finely chopped celery before serving.

(NOTE: Best served hot. You can add more water depending on your consistency preference.)

By the way, here's Pancake House's Almondigas Soup Looks Like:
Photo of Jellybean74170

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January 20, 2012

Four Common Mistakes in Weight Loss

Eliminate these four common mistakes if you want to burn more fat.

Photo Source
 1. Drinking "diet" soda variety like water - Studies found out that replacing regular soda with "diet" variety increases desserts and bread intake compared to those who drink water as their beverage.
Reason: Artificial sweeteners rises your hunger for sweets.


Photo Source
2. Trying hard to loose weight - Following strict diet that assures you to loose weight would lead you to gain even more.
Reason: Food cravings will interfere your efforts.

Photo Source
3. Lack of sleep - This tends to increase calorie intake to about 300 calories more compared to those who had enough sleep.
Reason: Lack of sleep boosts your appetite by short-circuiting your brain's sense of reward. See my previous entry.

Photo Source
4.  Too Optimistic - Over-estimated amount of calories burned during exercise.
Reason: Actual number of burned calories during workouts is only 300 calories and not 900 calories. (My assumption: Workouts generally work on your muscle development and not on burning excess fat).

Instead of workout you may try several ways to burn those fats like:
1. Vinyasa Yoga - up to 135 calories
2. Walking - up to 143 calories
3. Shooting Hoops - up to 184 calories
4. Swimming - up to 286 calories
5. Cycling - up to 327 calories
6. Jogging - up to 367 calories
7. Circuit-weight Training - 477 calories

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January 16, 2012

Eat More Food, Loose More Weight

At first, I can't believe when I saw the title of the newsletter from Men's Health Belly Off. How could eating lot of foods make you loose more weight? As I read the article and follow the link about the "ultimate all-day eating plan"  by Men's Health the article has a point though. It shows a diet plan that can help you stay fuller throughout the day without gaining extra weight.

First Breakfast - Load up calories by consuming dairy, eggs, whole grains and fiber.
Start with a glass of milk or slice of cheese with whole-wheat toast or choose to have oatmeal and some yogurt and blueberries (since blueberries are not that available here, any fruits like apples and banana will do). The protein in milk as well as other dairy products helps promote muscle growth and fat loss especially after excercise.

Second Breakfast - Same as the first breakfast. You read it right!
Overall, eating twice in the morning means you are taking in lesser calories. Breaking up meals in the morning keeps your calorie intake shifted to the morning allowing you to start your day.

Lunch - Take in as much nutrition as possible by eating vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts and whole grains.
Since lunch will be the major moment of your nutritional day, this is the chance to feed on at least three representatives from fruits, vegetable, or legumes. Try soups and salads.

Dinner - Keep portion size down by having green leafy vegetable, lean meats, fish, beans and legumes.
According to study, taking low-calorie salad before the main dish can lessen food intake by up to 12%. So try to start with vegetables before protein sources like lean meat and fish rich in omega-3-fatty acids.

Snacks - Starve hunger by eating yogurt, berries, walnuts, red bell peppers with cheese, whole grain cereal with milk, and apples and cheese.
Don't deprive yourself! Studies shows that people who eat less than three times a day have trouble in controlling their appetite.

This guide is an American-based diet. Replacing some item with the locally-available products is definitely fine. So ransack your kitchen and eat but be intelligent enough in choosing the right food.
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January 14, 2012

Seven (7) Habits that Make You Fat

Nowadays, weight-loss is one of the trending (my assumption only) New Year"s resolution. But before wearing those gear for excersise, work-outs, running as well as planning to weight-loss diet, we need to know some ways that makes a peson gain weight.

A I read my emails, one that caught my attention is the Newsletter from Men's Health "Eat This and Not That" entitled "7 Habits That Make You Fat". This article discuss about breaking seven (7) simple habits making us (yes, I include myself) fat. These habits are not associated with execrcise and diets but simple activities that will greatly improve body's health.

Fat Habit # 1 - Putting the serving Dishes at the Table

Scientists had this theory that getting our food from the kithchen counter or stove ate 35% less food compared to those getting food on the dinning table. This is because we think that we're really need more food or not.

Fat Habit # 2 - Getting Too Little (or Too Much) Sleep
Researchers said that people who slept  ≤ 5 hours and longer than 8 hours per night tends to gain abotu 2.5 times abdonimal/belly fat compared to those spent 6 to 7 hours of sleep. Furthermore, persons who lack sleeps tend to eat more but consumed less energy because they are tired while those who sleep longer that 8 hours tends to be quite inactive.

Fat Habit # 3 - Not Multitasking While Watching TV
NOTE: Watching too much is not associated to weight gain.
We must know that doing some task while watching TV can consume energy rather than sitting infront of your TV and watch your favorite shows.  Say for example, Washing dishes or ironing clothes while watching TV can burn up to 70 calories for every 30 minutes. Also, cutting TV time can reduce calories. Study showed that reducing veiwing time into half, let say from 5 hours reduced to 2.5 hours, burned extra 119 calories daily. Perhaps this will lead us to other activities that will burn more calories. According to Jennifer J. Otten, Ph.D. that any activity we do, even reading, can burn more calories that watching TV.

Fat Habit # 4 - Drinking Soda
Soda intakes can increase risk of obesity as researchers claimed. See the risk of becoming obese by the daily amount of soda intakes

½ can = 26 percent increased risk of being overweight or obese
½ to 1 can = 30.4 percent increased risk
1 to 2 cans = 32.8 percent increased risk
More than 2 cans = 47.2 percent increased risk

Take this note from Center for Science in the Public Interest's report: "Carbonated soft drinks are the single biggest source of calories in the American Diet."

(Trivia: Did you know that in 1950s, the average person consumes about 11 gallons of soda a year but by the mid-2000s an average person is already consuming 46 gallons every single year?)

Fat Habit # 5 - Taking Big Bites
Taking big bites and chewing fast will result to overeating thus gaining extra weight. In a Dutch study, a person who chewed big bites for 3 seconds takes 52% more food before feeling full compared for those who chewed small bites for 9 seconds. Reason: Tasting food longer signals your brain to make you full sooner.

Fat Habit # 6 - Not Eating Enough Fat
Just switching hundred calories of carbohydrates with little fat may help reduce weight as well as insulin levels in the blood. Researchers showed in their study that people taking 43% calories from carbohydrates felt full for the next 4 hours with thier blood-sugar levels remained the same than those who take 55% of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates contributes sudden change (from high level to low level) of blood sugar which leads a person to hunger and overeating. Example of carb to fat switch: use butter instead of jams on toasts, bacon in replace of potatoes, low-fat milk rather than sports drink.

Fat Habit # 7 - Not getting the Best Guidance

Signing up for articles that contain weight-loss guides can help reduce weight. Receiving such newsletters helps motivates physical activities and eat smarter, based on reasearch conducted from Canada to 1,000 working adults.

The above were just guides, it is still up to us if we will follow religiously. Self-discipline is also important.
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January 12, 2012

Unang Uwi ng Nueva Ecija sa Taong 2012 (Timeline)

January 06, 2012, Biyernes

12:00nn - Half-day sa trabaho, pero ako whole day pa din, may kailangan na puntahan sa Tarlac (kasama sa trabaho).

2:00pm - Galing trabaho, deretso sa SM Tarlac para makipagkita sa dating classmate, ngayon pulis (Kapitan Angelito Angel) na ninong ni Matthew. Request nya 'yun kasi hindi pa sila nagkikita ng personal buhat ng pinanganak si Matthew.

Bandang 4:00pm - Narating din sa wakas ang SM. Sobrang traffic (almost 1.5 hours). May part na single-lane lang dahil ginagawa ang kalsada. Konting kwentuhan habang nagmemeryenda sa Shakey's na libre ni pareng Angel.

6:00pm - Pauwi na nang Nueva Ecija via Sta.Rosa-Tarlac Road, liko papuntang Aliaga via Cabanatuan-Carmen Road hanggang matungo ang Cagayan Valley Road.

8:30pm - Narating ang CLSU. Deretso sa bahay ng dating kaklase ng elementarya. Get-together kuno ng dating mga magkakaklase. Kwentuhang walang patid. Kainan (salamat Jinky sa inihaw na bangus, chopsuey, barbecue at buko-pandan). Inuman ng konti. Picture-picture.

Elementary Classmates (L-R): Chai, Joan, Jinky, Maye, (Matt), me

11:00pm - Nagkayayaan ng umuwi kahit parang ayaw pa.

January 07, 2012, Sabado (Leave sa Trabaho)

7:00am - Gisingan na. Oras na para simulan ang mga nakatakdang activity. Si Matthew, kasama ng lolo nya na mukang sabik sa kanya habang gumagayak kami.

9:00am - Unang destinasyon, sa bahay ng dating classmate (kaso nasa Dubai), si Ninang Ivy ni Matthew. May pinadala daw kasi sa package nya na para may Matthew. Kumain ng leche flan.

10:00am - Punta sa dating teacher nung college. Ninong namin sa kasal. Gusto daw makita si Matthew. Sa wakas nagkita din sila (after 2 years). Kwentuhan. Kumustahan. Habang may pa-exam.

10:30am - Daan sa bahay nila Nanay para isama sa pagdalaw tuloy sundo kay Gelai, pinsan ni Matthew, sa Lupao.
Matt and his pamangkin, Zarian (wasn't able to take Gelai's pic. Sayang)

1:00pm - Binisita si Ninang Linda sa Dorm 6, gusto daw ulit makita ang apo na si Matthew.

2:00pm - Tuloy sa bahay nila Gwen, Birthday Party (actual birthday  January 04). Nag-lunch muna kami. Pahinga ng konti. Sabak ulit sa kainan pagdating ng 3:30pm.

Gwen and Matt

Gwen and Matt

6:00pm - Uwi sa bahay. Kain ulit. Pahingang konti. Tulugan.

January 08, 2012, Linggo

7:00am - Nag-umpisa nang maghanda para sa pag-uwi ng Bulacan.

9:00am - Bumalik kila Nanay para sunduin si Gelai at ihatid muli sa Lupao.

10:00am - Saglit sa bahay para magpaalam na sa pag-uwi ng Bualcan.

10:30am - Tuluyan ng bumiyahe patungong Bulacan.

3:30pm - Narating ang Marilao, Bulacan.

Spending two (2) days and three (3) nights in Nueva Ecija is very short compared to things that we want do in our hometown but seeing ex-classmates, teachers and friends gave a felling of fulfillment. See you again in February, if given  a chance.
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January 6, 2012

Bohol Travel Package Giveaway

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