Good Morning Garlichippy Pandesal!

Ever since I was a kid, I would always be excited to eat breakfast (not that I’m not ever excited to eat…just extra excited) when I would see a brown paper bag containing warm, soft pandesal on our dining table. Pandesal (Spanish pan de sal or “salt bread”) is not really salty at all (at least in the Philippines) and is a breakfast staple in many Filipino households. I love pandesal! This morning I started feeling like a kid again when I saw pandesal in our table. When I got back up to my room to have my quiet time, I began thinking about how I can make our pandesal extra special today because it was a bit stale. Also, I felt like cooking and inventing–and with a lot of pandesal and eggs (another breakfast staple and personal favorite) and CHEESE available from our cupboards, who wouldn’t wanna whip up something extra special?!

I forgot to mention: I also love garlic! Our entire family loves it. Thankfully the odor doesn’t stay on our breaths so we don’t worry about turning people off. :p So anyway, I thought about how I can marry  my favorite ingredients (eggs–scrambled–cheese, and garlic) with pandesal. And thus, Good Morning Garlichippy Pandesal was born!!! 🙂 😀

It’s easy to make and requires no fancy ingredients. 🙂

Good morning garlichippy pandesal

Good Morning Garlichippy Pandesal

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Serves: 4-5

INGREDIENTS:

5 medium eggs

6 1/2 tsp low-fat milk

5 pandesal, each cut in half

10 slices of Quickmelt cheese (mozzarella)

5 tbsp grated cheddar cheese (you can add more if you like!)

8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped  (I used a lot because, as I mentioned earlier, we really loooove garlic)

15 tbsp cooking oil (3 for the egg; 12 for the garlic) or butter

parsley flakes for garnish

salt and white pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork. Add in 2-3 pinches of salt, white pepper, cheddar cheese, and milk. All the recipes I found before stated that the amount of milk (in teaspoons) should be the same as the number of eggs you use. This time I want my eggs to be fluffy & creamy, so I added more milk. Whisk some more until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  2. In a steel pan, put the 3 tbsp of oil (or butter) and heat enough before placing the eggs. Pour the egg batter to pan and after 10 seconds, do the Martha Stewart technique to achieve the creamy scrambled eggs texture: with your spatula, push the outer edges of the egg mixture to the center. Keep doing this until the eggs set and there are no more runny parts in the egg. This takes about 30 seconds. Add 2 more pinches of salt. Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Pour the remaining oil (or butter) over the pan and heat (or melt). When warm enough, place the garlic and fry until they are golden brown and really crispy. Just don’t burn them! Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Top each pandesal with about a spoonful of eggs (depends on how big or small your pandesal is. Make sure the top is filled, but not overflowing). Place the slice of Quickmelt cheese on top of the eggs.
  5. Toast the bread for 1 minute & 30 seconds, or until cheese melts (since it’s quickmelt, 1.5 minutes works mighty fine).
  6. After toasting, place a teaspoon of the garlic chips on top of the egg & cheese. Garnish with parsley flakes. Serve warm and with the biggest, ear-to-ear smile on your face!!

CHEESY GARLICKY PANDESAL!!

I hope your morning will be good when you take that first bite of your “gourmetized” pandesal! 🙂 You can also substitute the garlic chips for bacon, or use BOTH! I would love to try that sometime. Anyhow, if you do try this good morning bread, let me know how you find it! 🙂

Source: 

Photo of pandesal grabbed from pigpartsandbeer.com via Google Images

Pan-fried Dory with Lemon Butter Sauce

Can you feel the Christmas spirit?! Because I can!

Hola chicos y chicas! There are only 53 days left till we celebrate the 2000++ human birthday of Jesus Christ. I wonder if He throws a Christmas party in Heaven on the 25th of December in our time and exchange gifts with the Heavenly Father, Holy Spirit, the angels, and Christians residing there. Hmmm. Guess I’ll find out when I get there!

Anyway, I just want to post this dish which I made Saturday last week. If you’re the type of person who can’t cook to save your life but you have to or you want to give cooking a try, this is the dish to make! It’s easy, delicious, satisfying, and appealing to all palate types.

I’ll divide the cooking process into 3 simple steps: Seasoning, Frying, and Saucing (i.e., making the sauce)

Ingredients

Dory fillet

Maggi Magic Sarap

dried basil leaves

salt

white pepper

parsley flakes

Seasoning

  1. Before seasoning your dory, make sure they’re DRY. Pat them with paper towels if they’re wet.
  2. I followed this recipe from Bubbly Blabber & used the ingredients mentioned, which are: Maggi Magic Sarap (it’s a seasoning pouch available in sari-sari stores and local Filipino markets and grocery stores), salt, white pepper powder, and dried basil leaves (McCormick). In seasoning your dory fillet, I did not have any specific measurements. Just place the salt, Maggi, white pepper, and basil on one palm and use it to coat the dory. In Tagalog, we call it tantsa. Tantsa-tantsa lang yan, hindi naman ‘to baking. 🙂
  3. Once you’ve seasoned your fish, put flour (again, on tantsa mode) on a separate plate. Even the flour on the plate. Then roll your dory in the flour, covering all sides. Brush off excess flour. “Pagpagin” mo yung dory. 😀

Frying

On a frying pan, place a large chunk of butter or margarine and let it melt. Once the butter’s melted, fry your fish! Turn it every 1-2 minutes to avoid burning, since it cooks pretty easily. I like mine a little bit brown and toasted on the outside, so I let the fish cook for 5-6 minutes. 

Saucing

The first time I made the sauce, it was a disaster. I put way too much lemon zest! On the same pan you used to fry the fish, melt another large chunk of butter, larger than the first chunk. Once it’s melted, add 1 tsp lemon zest, or to taste. But definitely not more than 1 lemon, not even 1/4 of it! Believe me, I tried. Stir the sauce and pour it on the dory. 

So there you have it! It’s pretty easy, right? Spoon warm rice onto your plate and serve the dory as an ulam (viand).

Enjoy! 🙂

Nutty Oatmeal Recipe for an Oatsome Breakfast

Who wants oatmeal for breakfast?!

I love having oatmeal for breakfast, especially if it’s rolled oats. I like how it’s so common, relatively cheap (although rolled oats are a tad more expensive than instant oats), and versatile–you can cook it plainly, with just milk and sugar, or go overboard with the toppings by adding fruits (apples, bananas, cherries), nuts, cinnamon, chocolate, cocoa powder, and even gummy bears!

When I cook oatmeal at home, I usually just mix it with sweetened cocoa powder in the saucepan. Just before I enjoy my oatmeal, I sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon, stir in thin banana slices, and pour a few tablespoons of milk. Last Wednesday I found a very easy and cheap oatmeal recipe at Fully Booked Rockwell, a favorite store of mine. The recipe I found was written by Chef Susan Irby in her book, The Giant A$7 A Meal Cookbook. As I always do when I don’t have the exact ingredients mentioned by the chef or cook, I adapted the recipe. As usual, it turned out palatable! My tummy was pleased. 🙂

So here’s my modified Nutty Oatmeal recipe. Hope you guys like it! I also included the original recipe from Chef Susan Irby’s cookbook,  in case you want to try it out. But try mine first. Hahahaha 😀

To make this totally oatsome (pun intended…even if it’s corny, haha) and delicious dish to feed 3 people, you need:

  • 1 cup of rolled oats oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons crushed or chopped almonds (the actual measurement is 1/2 cup, but since I only had a handful of almonds with me, I was only able to make 2 tablespoons. You can add more nuts for a nuttier, crunchier oatmeal! You may also substitute walnuts for almonds. See the original recipe below)
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder dissolved in 1/3 cup of hot water (if you don’t want a chocolatey oatmeal, use 1/4 cup of milk instead)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I didn’t use up all of the sugar, and it still tasted delicious. You can leave out 4 teaspoons of sugar if you want to go easy on the sweetness)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 ripe lakatan banana, thinly sliced (optional)

Now to really make the totally oatsome and delicious nutty oatmeal, follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Place the oatmeal in a medium skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Toast the oats, stirring constantly for 5-6 minutes or until the oatmeal is fragrant and begins to brown around the edges. Just make sure they don’t burn! Remove the oatmeal and transfer to a medium saucepan.
  2. In the same pan, melt the butter and add the crushed almonds. Toast the almonds over medium heat, stirring constantly until the almonds are a dark brown color and toasted. Switch the positions of the skillet and saucepan in the gas stove so that the oatmeal begins to heat. Add the water, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon to oatmeal in saucepan.
  3. Bring the oatmeal mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes until oatmeal is tender. Add the brown sugar and nuts, stir, then cover oatmeal & let it stand for 3 minutes or 10 seconds if you can’t wait to taste your totally oatsome and delicious nutty oatmeal.  Stir & serve.
  4. To upgrade your oatmeal’s oatsomeness, add the banana slices and stir. Eat, savor each bite, and enjoy!!! 🙂

NOTE: If you are serving for 5-6 people, just multiply the amount of the ingredients by two except for the water and sugar. If you’re using rolled oats, add another cup or 1/2 cup of water because rolled oats absorb the water faster than instant oats, and if your oatmeal lacks water, it will be too sticky and not as oatsome. Go easy on the sugar, and adjust it according to your taste. But don’t add too much, unless you plan on having diabetes.

Here is the original recipe from Chef Susan Irby’s book, The Giant $7 A Meal Cookbook

serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups regular oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Place oatmeal in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toast, stirring constantly, for 5-6 minutes or until oatmeal is fragrant and begins to brown around the edges. Remove to large saucepan.
  2. In the same skillet, melt butter and add chopped walnuts. Toast over medium heat, stirring constantly until nuts are toasted. set aside. Add water, milk, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to oatmeal in saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer 5-6 minutes until oatmeal is tender. Add brown sugar and nuts, stir, then cover oatmeal and let stand for 3 minutes. Stir and serve.

Have a happy breakfast! 🙂

Back To Running & Cooking! (Pasta Recipe Included, Too)

Last Tuesday, I started running again! It felt so good to wear my running shoes and run ’till I sweat, pant, and can’t talk no more. 🙂 Next to meeting God, running a few kilometers in a garden in the middle of the Makati Central Business District (CBD) is one of the few reasons I look forward to waking up in the early morn.

I ran at 7 AM and unfortunately, didn’t get to see the sunrise. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed my 30-minute run. However, since I was on hiatus for several months (only with running, not exercise), my body cried for an adjustment phase that it may recall my former running stride, if I had any. =))

Then last Thursday, I cooked a healthy, low-cost pasta dish! Now that I have all the time in the world I can run and continue enhancing my cooking skills. This dish I adapted from Women’s Health Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Sweet Peppers and Chicken Sausage recipe. As usual, I lacked the exact ingredients stated in the recipe so I tweaked the dish using  ingredients available at home. Thankfully, my Dad brought home a few cans of Spam so I used that instead of chicken sausage. It turned out swell! Everyone at home enjoyed the dish.

Spaghetti With Spam, Bell Peppers, and Basil

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 500 g pasta noodles (spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 can Spam lite, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 tsps dried basil leaves or 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 4 large assorted bell peppers
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add Spam and brown lightly on both sides, about 7 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Wipe out the pan.
  2. Add remaining oil to the skillet. Saute garlic over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add peppers and saute until shiny, about 1 minute. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until peppers are soft but not mushy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add Spam and basil to pan, and mix gently.
  3. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain in a colander, leaving a little water in the pot. Pour the pasta back into the pot and toss to prevent sticking, then add it to the pan with the sauce and combine. Divide among  plates, garnish with fresh basil, and serve.

Voila!

I know it’s not the most appealing photo of a supposedly delicious pasta (but really, it’s good), but I don’t exactly have a very good camera (or photography skills). My Dad wasn’t home when I cooked this so I had no one to take good photos with an excellent camera. At least I tried!

By the way, if you’re a runner and you’re searching for a playlist that could help fire up your albeit monotonous run, then I suggest you update your playlist with these songs emailed to me by Chris Lawhorn of Run Hundred.

Tim Berg – Seek Bromance (Avicii Vocal Edit) – 127 BPM

Katy Perry – The One That Got Away – 135 BPM

Alexandra Stan – Mr. Saxobeat (Maan Studio Remix) – 126 BPM

Flo Rida – Good Feeling – 129 BPM

Wolfgang Gartner & Will.I.Am – Forever – 128 BPM

Hot Chelle Rae – Tonight Tonight (Goldstein Remix) – 118 BPM

Taio Cruz & Flo Rida – Hangover – 129 BPM

Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull & The WAV.s – I Like How It Feels – 129 BPM

Kaskade & Skrillex – Lick It – 128 BPM (I did not use this, though, The title turned me off. haha)

Kelly Clarkson – What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) – 117 BPM

I also suggest ending your playlist with Israel Houghton’s, “We Have Overcome.” It’ll seal your hard work! 🙂

Until my next run and dish! 😀

I Helped Clean Manila Bay! Sort of.

“Intention does not determine destination. Direction determines destination.”

– Pastor Peter Tan-chi

Yesterday I ran my 3rd fun run that was hosted and organized by the Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC). In all my exceptionally amateur runs (totaling three :D), the Manila Bay Clean-Up Run was the most fulfilling because I beat my own record. As if my record’s worth beating. Hahaha! In the previous 5K runs, the Philippine Daily Inquirer Run and Run to Build (CCF), I ran for over forty minutes. Guess how long I ran yesterday? 36 minutes and 3 seconds! I also decreased walking time to 1 minute (compared to the previous runs where I walked for about one-fourth of the race. HAHA)

Kenyans spearhead the race  with their long, slender legs. They are present in almost every fun run.

her epic finishing shot

my more epic finishing shot

and another

Swimmer, T.V. host, and actress Christine Jacob-Sandejas

with singer Luke Mejares

 MBC sales team with their president Ruperto Nicdao Jr. (third from left)

one of the top 3 placers in the 5K women’s category. I’m jealous :p

Fstest 5K female runner: Y U No Smile?!

Running is simple. You don’t have to sign up for a class at a gym or a studio to learn how to run. The do’s and don’ts of running you may learn from the growing number of health magazines, but you don’t actually learn how to run step by step. You just do it. It’s an innate, human ability. Even if you’re not capable of running due to an injury or a disease, you still know how to run. Running is simple. Finishing a race, however, is another story.

Between the starting line and the finishing line is a stretch of a road constructed with pain, temptations, sweat, distractions, and other runners. Fifteen hundred men, women, and children all hoped and wished to run and end triumphantly (that is, without giving up along the way), but only several people actually do so. By God’s grace, I was one of those “severals.”

My goal for this race was to topple my 40-minute record. I knew this objective could be achieved by limiting my walks, water breaks, and simply running even if my entire being screams YOU ARE TIRED STOP RUNNING NOW! Indeed there was truth in my former P.E. coach’s words when she said that the greatest enemy in any race is yourself. My mind loved playing tricks on me even if I did not give it my permission, and I must fight every single one of them. One of those tricks was what I called the premeditated walk.

After fifteen or twenty minutes of incessant running, I believed I deserved a rest. Dear reader, pay extreme caution to your beliefs as they easily permeate optimism or pessimism into your being which could build you up or tear you down. Wrong beliefs lead to wrong choices. “Do you really deserve a rest, now?” a voice called God spoke to me. “Continue running. You can have all the rest you want after the race. You’re almost there.”

Had I opted for a premeditated walk, I would have finished the race five minutes late–a disheartening forty minutes. But I wasn’t going to give in–not anymore.

True enough, I achieved my goal even if I have only been jumping ropes and dancing instead of running for the past several weeks. God is good, and He is true to His Word. I’m still enjoying the rest I longed for so much.

Most of us intend to succeed, accomplish much, and excel in something worthwhile, but how many of us actually manage to do so? A handful, maybe. Why? Because most of us think we deserve to rest and opt for premeditated walks. We do not deserve anything in this life! God gives us rest when we need it, so until you hear God say, “Rest,” just keep on running. Don’t stop. Run.

By God’s grace, I helped clean Manila Bay in the most unusual way. I did not pick up pieces of candy wrappers or painted old walls.

I ran with patience the race that was set before me. 🙂 (Hebrews 12:1)

*Photos courtesy of my loving and ever-supportive Daddy, Ferdie Talam. 🙂