Officially missing you...

Monday, September 26, 2011

After 2 months of hibernation I finally got back to work and came face to face with dear old desktop again. First of all, I just want to say that I am extremely thankful to all my considerate friends and bosses in the office who helped and supported me through my recovery from a very sad and painful loss. It had been a long and insightful vacation that I’m feeling a little uneasy now, like it’s my first day at work. Over the months, many changes had occurred at the office and I know I’ve been missing a lot. My area still looks like a total mess when it should have been arranged before July ended. The new air conditioning system had been installed too. Not that I’m looking forward to this specific change. If there’s anything to blame for my becoming sick, I’d say it’s the air-con. New faces and perhaps rules or even customs and of course, there was the team building which I had been looking forward to but perhaps the biggest event I’ve missed were the many stories that went on around my friends’ life. Not to mention that there was hardly any entry on my blog too. Well, there’s no use crying over spilled milk. It’s just a matter of perspective. I decided long ago to make the best out of whatever situation I’m in and it’s proven its value once again this time.

So while I was at home for 60 days recovering physically and emotionally, I did my best to still be helpful about my impending work at the office. It wasn’t so easy especially when the kids played with my cell phone or won’t even let me out of their sight (geez, I can’t even check my email unless their asleep). Now that I’m here at the office, I guess I could say that I surpassed the challenge. :D

But what’s really bothering me now is that I’m missing the routine I had established over the days while I’m on vacation. For 60 days straight, I’ve grown accustomed to being greeted in the morning by my little kids’ faces beaming with happiness because they’re happy to see mommy still beside them. This morning even though I woke up really early, they caught me and made leaving home a bit more difficult. I miss watching cartoon movies with the kids and picking up their toys which they scatter around the house twice as fast as you keep them. I miss fooling around with the kids while Daddy prepared our lunch too. I let him do this not only because the kids like me better (hehe) but also because I discovered that he has talent in cooking. I long for the kids’ regular nap times when Daddy and I chat about endless topics while the kids took a rest. And I’ll definitely yearn for the casual strolls we took some afternoons which the kids look forward to in sheer delight. Now I’ll just get to enjoy these priceless moments every weekend. I admit there were inevitable times when the kids would get on my nerves especially when both of them demand for attention at the same time. But every night, we always end the day happily recalling the simple joys we had together.

I officially miss them now… At about this hour, the kids were about to wake up from their naps while Daddy and I might probably be reminiscing together our favorite topic that is our love story. Well, it isn’t such a sad day today. If I haven’t had good friends in the office, perhaps it would have been a tough adjustment. Still, I miss my family so much. I just can’t get enough of them. For now, I’ll be ending this post and calling it a day at work. I just can’t wait to be home…
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Cooking Lessons

Friday, September 9, 2011

For the month of August, I have learned a couple of meals that are delectable, easy to cook and most of all, very affordable. I am a very thrifty person so the last consideration is very important. The meals to name are Molo Soup and Creamed Vegetables with Egg and I intend to share the menu with newbies like me who might be looking for something new to serve on the dining table.

The first meal, I learned from Yanah’s grandparents, tita Toy and Mam’da when they visited over and cooked for her birthday. Just a brief intermission, Yanah, my niece, turned 11 last August 10, but since it fell on a Wednesday, we just had a simple cake party and had the celebration itself on Friday night. In the morning, Nilo and I offered to get the ingredients from the supermarket. Lucky for us, we got to know the ingredients to this super treat.

The recipe, which was good for 20 people, costed Php230 only which got my attraction primarily hehe. While Mam’da and tita Toy were preparing the food, I invited myself over for a free lesson. I called on Nilo too, since he cooks our meals more frequently than I do (and he’s a better cook, I admit) and while I got lessons from tita Toy on how to wrap the molo meat, Mam’da taught Nilo how to make the broth. A few days later, we gave the dish a try and I must say for first timers, it was a delicious success. It wasn’t as good of course, so I’ll be sharing the original recipe. The ingredients of a molo soup follow:

Molo meat
1/4 kg ground pork
2pcs carrots
2pcs eggs
1pack molo wrapper (the biggest size)

1/4kg chicken
Onion spring

For the molo meat, mix the ground pork, grated carrots and beaten eggs in a bowl and season to your desired taste. However, for those who would like to skip this tedious procedure, you may buy the ready-made shanghai mix at the supermarket. This was what we did which caused no significant difference in the recipe. Wrapping up the meat is quite difficult to describe so I took pictures unfortunately, virus got to it first (inconvenience of procrastination). First, place a chunk of meat on one corner of the wrapper then fold that corner over the meat so it would look triangular. Then, roll from one side of the triangle until it meets the other side then use water to seal it.

Before proceeding to the broth, it is advised to use a more expensive brand of molo wrapper or if available, Dinks is highly recommended (by Mam’da and tita Toy, that is). On Yanah’s birthday, we used Bambi’s instead. However, to save up a little, I used a cheaper brand when we cooked it and Nilo made me never hear the end of it. He blamed me for being so stingy because our soup didn’t turn out as thick as Mam’da’s. I said though that it was because he didn’t put in all the molo into the soup. We saved a few pieces for frying and they turned out like dumplings, really crispy and worth trying too.

For the broth, boil the chicken in a generous amount of water. Set aside the chicken broth and shred the chicken meat into fine strips, then sauté the cut-up meat in garlic and onion. Afterwards, put in the chicken and molo meat into the broth. If there were leftover wrappers, cut them to strips and put them in too. They add thickness to the soup. Add water and seasoning if necessary and desired. Lastly, sprinkle in the sliced onion spring.

Our finished product did look good although most of the meat got out of the molo wrappers haha. Our very eager first customer was my brother and he must have found the soup really tasty or he’s just starving (hehe).

The next meal, I learned from the same neighbor. This time it was Yanah’s auntie, Tess, cooking for an ordinary dinner meal. It wasn’t the first time I have encountered creamed vegetables but we used to serve this dish only on special occasions. Aside from the tedious shredding of cauliflower and cutting up of the other vegetables, the cream is a little expensive. However, Tess taught us a technique to cut on the expense. Lovely (hehe)! Instead of using cream, she used evaporated milk and cornstarch. The result? Creamier and sweeter taste!

The ingredients of this simplified dish are:

1stalk cauliflower
450gms young corn
2pcs carrots
1can evaporated milk (smallest size)
2tablespoons cornstarch
4pcs eggs

Just cut up the vegetable into small pieces and make sure they are clean and free of vegetable caterpillars (ewwww! hehe). After that, sauté them in butter, garlic and onion and season to desired taste. Simultaneously, boil the eggs in another pan. Once the vegetables are slightly cooked (do not overdo because the veggies might turn saggy), put in the evaporated milk and cornstarch. Cook for another two minutes before finally putting in the cut-up boiled eggs.

It’s funny to realize that although I have often cooked meals for my family since I was in college, it’s always exciting to learn new dishes and I just can’t wait to encounter other simplified ones to serve on our dining table. I must say though, that my first consideration is “affordable” hehe. For now, I have some prospects like bico and maja blanca from tita Myra, although the latter might be removed from the list if it turns out to be costly (hehe). I just hope she visits us soon and frequently too because a slow learner like me could only know a recipe one at a time (:p). Anyway, costly or cheap, I promise I’d be sharing the recipes when I learn them, sooner or later. :D
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