Sunday Sloooowing waaay down

Whew what a week it has been! Sorry I’ve left you alone for awhile again but I’m seriously keeping to my promise this time around!

It’s now the beginning of June and the past few weeks have been incredibly crazy for me and my little tribe. The most recent development is me moving back into the corporate world after nearly 3 years of not being in it. Suffice it to say, that it took a LOT for me to move out of freelancing, and my new job gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. (Yeah, I did the reference there.)


So because I’m spending less time at home (this, by FAR is the biggest drawback and my biggest fear about going back to corporate world), I’ve gone back to doing what I call “package meals.” What do I mean by that?

Well first and foremost, there are 4 heads (and two rambunctious furry ones) that I need to feed in this house. Because we’re still trying to be as frugal as we can be, so we can save up for a rainy day, I’m trying to find the best ways to keep our food natural and less package-y so we all more or less know what goes INTO everyone’s tummy and internal system. Also, we would like to do it without spending a ridiculous amount in these artisinal organic stores, that though are SOOO yummy, are also one of the many reasons why my wallet weeps. So I tend to make stuff myself.

In the past entries I’ve put in here, you probably noticed that I usually cook in vast quantities. Now, this is because as I am out of the house a lot, now more than ever, I need to be able to know that everyone, in their various schedules are still eating. I would rather they eat IN than out, apart from the cost, most times we grab the easiest thing there, and those tend not to be healthy.

For example, as far as Sunday lunches are concerned, I made a healthy one today:

This is my favorite version of the mighty tomato sandwich. Just lightly toasted bread, butter and sliced tomatoes, with mixed salt and pepper on it. In the cup is a roasted vegetable soup I’m still trying to perfect, though the grated ginger adds the kick I want to it. The whole lunch probably cost me about P150. It is still relatively healthy (bread is whole wheat, and the only “packaged” thing I put in that is one bouillon for the soup), and will last us a few days.

The problem with vast quantities is that most times the whole thing doesn’t get eaten, and tends to get rotten… and thus wasting more, rather than letting everyone save instead. So I am about to tweak this mentality a bit. I’ll still buy and cook in quantity, but I will do a specified version of my packaged meal. What do I mean by that? I mean I have been teaching myself to approach this with more strategy, than just wanting to save money. I need to make sure that the HOUSE will also EAT all the damn food in the fridge.

What I realised is that they inevitably, get tired of what is in the fridge, like “OMG wtf, it’s chicken breasts again.” To me, it is a bargain if I buy the chicken breasts in bulk rather than piece by piece (I really need to top my S&R membership again), or porkchops by the pound. Now, what I realised is that I need to be more creative with what I make with this. Example: instead of making 2 big dishes with a kilo of chicken breasts, I should divide that by 3: make one dish I’d like, one that the house would like, and the other pieces should be left to whomever wants to cook them themselves, in whatever way they want to eat it.

In other words, though I’ll still buy more or less in bulk, I will make it so that there is more variety. SO! To get this challenge started, which I will do in the coming weeks, I’ve decided my first mission is the two of the more easier meats: beef and pork. Beef just because it can be made into many things, and pork, well coz the meat is yum.

So here I go. Another mission into the (guerrilla) culinary world. I will record the process every step of the way, and I’ll keep you updated with what’s going on.

What are you budget food tricks you do for your family and friends at home? Any tips you want to share with me (god knows I need it haha)?

Here’s a little slowdown music for your Sunday from a friend of mine ๐Ÿ˜‰


Some things in my inbox

Hello all. Before leaving for Holy Week vacation, I’ve decided to try and clean my inbox. ย Some interesting things found and….. truth be told, I haven’t gone through ALL my email subscriptions but I’m getting there! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have a TEENY tiny kitchen and any way that I can make more space would be awesome. Here are some things I would like to try…. SOMEHOW.

I have several junk drawers hehehehe! I’m hoping this will help ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t know about this. Any thought about 70s decor?

I love eggs in the morning. A perfectly scrambled two egg breakfast with cheese is heaven. Checking these recipes out to add on to my repertoire.

Because I need more inspiration for left over night.

And also because I’m in need of some sort of organization in my recipe folders, both online and off.

And this is a great read for those who are like me, still trying to figure out what they want in their homes ๐Ÿ™‚ (Personally, I’d like a different sofa, and a sitting area and a work area for myself….)

Steady sounds for the rest of this Tuesday… and week for that matter ๐Ÿ™‚

The Year Long Challenge of Recipes

This year, more than ever, Iโ€™m trying to eat heathier for my sonโ€™s health as well as my own.ย  As heโ€™s starting to mimic our movements, like when we do exaggerated feedings of ourselves, so as much as possible Iโ€™d like to instill in him the quality of trying things even before disregarding them all together, especially because I love to cook (yes and EAT! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Iโ€™d like to have him at least try the things I make.

So one of the resolutions I have this year is since I have a ton on recipes, in this computer Iโ€™m working on, the hard drive beside it, and the bookshelf holding my cook books and folders. So Iโ€™ve decided to start out making a dent in these recipes and make them for the little one. Also, more than organic and whatnot, I do want to be able to buy local, and be more contentious about where our food comes from and how it is made. The amount of sugar and salt especially that goes into our food, two of the things that could most likely cause disease as my side of the family is prone to diabetes.

The first recipe is that of Jamie Oliverโ€™s that I played around with. Kept the main the ingredients and I just played around with the quantities and measurements. It is his Milk Roast Chicken. Now see, I had a couple of problems: one is that I donโ€™t have a stove and the recipe calls for the whole chicken to be browned first.ย  The second is that my oven toaster is rather small and I only have a roasting pan, so the liquid I put in had to be minimal, which made me scared that the chicken wouldnโ€™t be as juicy as the recipe promised.ย  Also I used tarragon instead of sage just because I couldnโ€™t find any sage in the grocery.

Now I have a whole bunch left.

Now I have a whole bunch left.

Hereโ€™s the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

This is what I ended up with:

The Final Product!

So far so good. Iโ€™m happy with the result and so was the rest of the house! ๐Ÿ™‚ We also have enough left over chicken to last a couple of more days, through sandwiches and maybe a salad or two.

Tomorrow, in an effort to get my not so little punkus to eat more veggies I will try to make zucchini and carrot pancakes ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™ll write about that soon. Meanwhile, Iโ€™ll research on the best pancake batter recipe for this challenge ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve been listening to this because I’m helping a friend’s daughter get some gigs and thought this song would be awesome for her to cover. ย Maybe with a beat boxer ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wednesday Wishes

So ok, I’ve just ended my week long sabbatical.ย  I’ve resigned from my job last week, and my last day was exactly one week ago.ย  It has been both a relief and frightening, but mostly it’s been exciting. The possibilities seem endless and I cannot wait til I maximise the potentials that are and have been thrown my way ๐Ÿ™‚

Before I get into all that though, there has been a major breakthrough ๐Ÿ™‚ WE FOUND OUR NEW HOME! ๐Ÿ™‚ It fits all the little bullet points on our list, is quiet, and is in a little village right here in the neighborhood so it’s such a plus that it is so near!

*doing the happy dance*

So now comes the arduous task of packing.ย  Of course first thing I did was check the internet! ๐Ÿ™‚

So there’s this, cute little infographic and this.ย  The keeping clothes on hangers is new to me but makes absolute sense.

Then, because I need to have the perfect bed and we cannot take the bed frame with us, I’m thinking of doing one of my own (I will post about it of course!) using wooden pallet boards. With anything that is being recycled or upcycled or just been used for many a different things, it is always good to err on the side of caution.ย  So read this first.ย  There’s a whole bunch of other pointers in that article to tell which ones are good, which ones have been used for what, which wood has been treated with chemicals, etc. Really interesting reading. This article too.

After which check all these ideas out!ย  And these ones too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Some recipes I thought I’d try. I love peanuts and I’ve been dying to try to make my own recipe of peanuts for picking. These sounds FAB.ย  And because I LOVE CHEESE, I really do want to try this out as well.

Getting me excited to move ๐Ÿ™‚ If you guys have any other tips, do let me know! Be back again soon. Take it easy and HAPPY HUMP DAY! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Here’s your earworm for today ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tosser of a Tuesday

Ah Tuesday. This particular one, was a doozy and so now I’m just going to post stuff that made my day bearable.

Today, I was basically looking at a lot of food stuff that I want to do here at home.ย  I like making lots of food for the house, and big batches that we can all just heat up without much fuss, especially as my schedule is still a little crazy, until I leave my present job.ย  Staples in our home are things like ground beef that I make into burger patties, and meatloaf.ย  Well MY idea of a meatloaf, which I put vegetables in it that it is half and half, and one layer at a time.ย  So today, what made me happy was to look through various recipes that I can do for the house, and maybe put my own twist on it.

I love that you can make a bunch of stuff in the rice cooker.ย  There’s this one where you can cook a frittata in there, which is a revelation to me.ย  There’s also risotto, which is my absolute FAVE.

I am trying to get into sweet potatoes after I tasted some sweet potato fries at this burger place named Cue.ย  Anyway, ever since then, there has been a whole world of possibilities, so I looked it up and found these things to try out: the sweet potato spread, and the sweet potato dip.ย  And who knew you could do this many things with zucchini!ย  YUMMY and healthy! ๐Ÿ™‚

And to put the two things I love together, literature and food, like this book has done, just made me super duper happy.

So now, off to bed with dreams of grilled cheese ๐Ÿ™‚ Bon appetit! ๐Ÿ™‚






Stuff I saw from my subscriptions mailbox today

Today being a holiday, I thought I would tackle sifting through my email box and sorting some stuff out, especially in under the “SUBSCRIPTION” folder.

I started at 10am. It is now nearly 7pm. What the hell.

But nonetheless, I’ve found some gems that I wanted to share ๐Ÿ™‚

I love the site The Kitchn. I love to cook (and eat), and this site has always given me interesting ideas to feed people with.ย  Because I’m a full time working mom, I try to keep things simple, healthy, at the very least not processed, and something that can be heated up in 10mins. Let’s be honest: there are A LOT of days that I come home and the last thing I want to do is pretend to be Ina Garten, even if I want to be her, and swish around the kitchen plopping things into a pan I know I will have to clean later anyway. Plus, yeah, the tropical heat.ย  So I love the idea of cooking huge batches of stuff, and sticking it in the freezer.ย  This entry is awesome:

I love steak. I love Vietnamese food. Put the two together and I am a happy bunny:

My hubby loves squid so I think I will make this sometime soon ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been on a sandwich making kick lately and this landed in my mailbox. The basil outside is getting unruly so I think I will make this next week ๐Ÿ™‚

And because this summer seems to be dragging on forever (it just started and I want it to end already), here are some summer recipes ๐Ÿ™‚

I also love SAVEUR. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you click on this link. This recipe is for dolmades, a favorite of mine, just hard to find grape leaves here in Manila ๐Ÿ™‚

If you like eggs as much as I do, check this recipe out. Seems simple enough, right?

This post is just cool. If you haven’t subscribed or looked at the blog BRAIN PICKINGS, I suggest you do, especially if you’re a reader. They have awesome posts like THIS one:

There’s even a reimagined Periodic Table ๐Ÿ™‚

Saw these lovely, but very sad photographs from WIRED, whose online publication I’m subscribed to and love.ย

I love looking at maps. These are pretty cool:

Something to help push the creative juices flowing even in this heat:

If you like art, like I do, check these cheeky buggers out:

And how lovely and a little eerie are these pictures from INSIDE musical instruments, or rather what the artist thought they would look like:

Ok off the computer I go. Need to indulge in some “mommy time” with my books ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I’ll leave you with a little Liz Phair of yore. Twas her birthday the other day ๐Ÿ™‚