Strawberry Shake

I found 2 small bottles of strawberry jam in the cupboard which I purchased in La Trinidad, Benguet last December. It's 5-6 kilometers away from Baguio City. They're three but 2 are still left. I opened one today to make Strawberry Shake. 

There were bottled plain, with pulps and with whole strawberries. I chose the latter because I prefer to have something to chew. And the sourly taste is much preserved.

This Strawberry Shake is sweet, sour(slight) and with that aroma I so love since I was a child. 

Sinabaw na Borot

Borot is the name of the fish I used in this recipe. It's how its called here in Cagayan de Oro. I don't know in the different parts of the country or in the world. It's the kind of fish that's readily available in the market. And it's cheap. I can use this for Adobo, Sinugba(grilled), Inon-on(paksiw), and many others. 

My ingredients in soup varies upon what's available in the kitchen, but the three should always be present: onion leaves, ginger and siling-labuyo. Bell pepper or atsal is an alternative, but the "kick" to the tongue of the former is what I'm after. The latter is believed to eliminate the unwanted fishy smell. I was told by a native cook in Bukidnon. 

The ingredients for this are fish, tomatoes, siling-labuyo, Chinese cabbage, water, ginger, salt and MSG(just a little bit) and onion leaves. That's all.

The procedure is, again, very simple. Just put all the ingredients in the pot except for the green part of the onion leaves and the Chinese cabbage for they're always to be added last. Put on top of the fire. When the water has boiled, reduce it to low. Just let it simmer. This is the trick I do. I don't rush. I want the natural flavors of the ingredients to come out slowly and are blended. When the water turns cloudy, I season with salt and MSG. I estimate it not to become bland when the leafy vegetable is added. And I don't overcook the leaves. Better to eat them with a crunch:) 

We had this for dinner tonight. Simple but satisfying:D

Date Shake

I like dates. I have the last bag here from Abu Dhabi brought to me by my husband last year. Thinking of what else to do with it which I haven't tried, I decided to make a shake since I wanted to have anything with ice. The result wouldn't have been known had I not dared to try.

I used 8 pieces plus evaporated milk, ice and sugar. I forgot these dates are sweet already. The mixture turned out irritating to the palate. I added more ice. The milk is less because I didn't want its taste to overpower the mixture.

I don't have much idea about dates, if it's normal for it to create a wild popping sound while being processed in the machine. It's like the sound of mosquitoes when electrocuted by the electric mosquito killer but much faster and louder. Honestly, it made me feel like running. LOL! The ice was already crushed very finely but the dates remained almost intact inside. The blades in the blender could not break them easily apart. There were no more seeds in dates, I removed all. It could possibly be that the blades are blunt or something. Anyway, dried dates can be made into shake! It is possible(and why not)! Next time, I'll make another one with coffee. I think it's better off with the bitter taste of it. And with cream. It's good!

Lechon Paksiw

In our family, whenever there's occasion with Lechon, the sure leftover the following day is its head. We then re-cook it paksiw-style. And it's got to have that slight sweetness to match the sourness(not sour face:))

This I cooked was a little older than Lechon de Leche. The head's small. My son volunteered to chop it. I don't know what kind of hatred he had to the pig when it was yet alive that he butchered it well.LOL! I picked the ones bigger in size for photo-taking. 

I know that this photo looks displeasing to the eyes, but this is sort of a remembrance of how my son and I laughed in the kitchen that day when I asked him to cut the lechon head. 

In my recipe and almost always to all the food I cook for my family, I put a lot of garlic - one head. I don't know but I believe it kills off any unpleasant smell, especially to meat or it's just me:) Other ingredients are onion, black peppercorns, laurel leaf, vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar. 

I just dump everything in to the pot, allow it to boil once, adjust the fire to low and then let it simmer. I occasionally stir to even out the flavor and color. I don't like my Paksiw with too much sauce on it but, at times, I've no choice because of our dogs. They're fed with table food.They tend to eat a lot if their rice is mixed with the sauce of either Humba or Adobo or Paksiw. It's done for me when the water has receded and the oil's out, careful not to get burned.

I normally don't like to eat it right away while it's hot. I want an hour or so to pass so that all the flavors have seeped in. 

Chocolate Cake

My cousin ordered Chocolate Cake for her restaurant's chef with a request to make it very simple. I made this!

The cake alone is moist already but with added Chocolate Frosting it melts in the mouth. Yes, this is the kind. I came up with the recipe about 4 or 5 years ago after so many attempts. If you happened to watch the movie, Matilda, there was a young chubby boy there who was forced to eat a whole layer of Chocolate Cake that was sinfully good. I was drooling/wanting to have some while watching that scene. And it inspired me to create a recipe that's as rich, moist and satisfying. It was then when friends and relatives started to request me to bake with pay;)

This cake may already appear perfect but something isn't right here, to be honest. The frosting hardened a bit because I overlooked the process. It's so close to Yema:) It should be of spreading consistency but here's what happened-- I could barely move the spatula because some mound of frosting was clinging to the steel. One false move the next seconds would have been a disaster. Still thankful I managed to make it appear slightly unnoticed:D I should look out the next time.

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