I think for once I am lost for words; not because I have nothing to say, but because I am ever so grateful for all that I have.  Blessed with two boys and a very caring and loving husband,  I simply cannot ask for more.

Pancit or pansit is the term for noodles in Filipino cuisine. Noodles were introduced into the Philippines by the Chinese and have since been adopted into local cuisine.

Pancit palabok and pancit luglug are essentially the same dish, the difference being primarily in the noodles used in the recipe. Luglug uses a thicker noodle than the traditional bihon of a pancit palabok.

There’s a lot to be said about the comforts of Indian Cuisine.  Amongst my long list of favorites is Chicken Tikka Masala.  When I am at the market, I make a point of picking up the essentials, to include a few pounds of organic party chicken wings.  I love chicken, cooked in so many different ways; but I would have to say that party wings are the most versatile part of the chicken for me to venture upon in my kitchen.  Given that I am of Filipino decent, I would normally make Chicken Adobo…with a twist, as I once again experiment with ingredients and overall presentation.  This time, however, I had an exotic food craving instead.  With this said, I took an original, authentic Chicken Tikka Masala recipe and made it my own–taking away and changing up the ingredients here and there.  I hope you find my semi-homemade version (just beneath the original version below) as simple and easy as I tried to make it.  Enjoy!–gcc

In an effort to promote the livelihood of the Bayan Ni Juan community, this recipe is especially dedicated to ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.  They have a program called BayaniJuan, an organized community composed of former Estero De Paco dwellers and victims of Ondoy.  They help as much as they can for the community to earn a living.  One of their livelihood products are salted duck eggs.

Family MealA visit to my mom’s house and the old neighborhood in the Bay Area usually means honing in on my Filipino roots. So what I made for you today at my home is Pork Sinigang (Sinigang na Baboy)– Pork ribs and/or riblets with sour broth, daikon, spinach and taro roots, alongside fish sauce for taste in reminiscence of our comfort foods from the Philippines.

Cioppino (pronounced chuh-PEE-no) is considered San Francisco’s signature dish, and no trip to this West Coast city would be complete without a bowlful. Because of the versatility of the ingredients, there are numerous recipes for it. Cioppino can be prepared with a dozen kinds of fish and shellfish It all depends on the day’s catch of your personal choice. This fish stew first became popular on the docks of San Francisco (now known as Fisherman’s wharf) in the 1930s. Cioppino is thought to be the result of Italian immigrant fishermen adding something from the day’s catch to the communal stew kettle on the wharf. The origin of the work “cioppino” is something of a mystery, and many historians believe that it is Italian-American for “chip in.” It is also believed that the name comes from a Genoese fish stew called cioppin.

When I was dating my hubby a few years back, I was no Martha Stewart, nor a Betty Crocker in the kitchen.  My husband (boyfriend at the time) would simply purchase our favorite meals from supermarkets and pre-heat.  Don’t get me wrong, both my hubby and I knew how to cook, we just ‘didn’t’ do much at the time.  Looking back, shrimp scampi was always on our ‘to-buy’ list and became a weekly staple on the kitchen table.  Our favorite kind usually came in a ‘box’, frozen, and ready to add over pasta or rice.  So cooking scampi last night was reminiscent of our ‘dating days’ and just how much we’ve come a long ways with our cooking skills in the kitchen…

Happy New Year! 

It’s mid-afternoon here in sunny, but crispy cold Placerville, California…and as I sit here in the wee corner desk in the kitchen of my humble abode, I clearly contemplate on the many great days, as, too, of the trials and tribulations that has bestowed my life throughout the past year.  Moving forward, I focus not on a ‘resolution’ for the new year but on goals for the next 364 1/2 days left of 2013…

Although I have kept myself busy in the kitchen since my last post, I’ve managed to stumble upon the Holidays writer’s block.  Thus, in the midst of playing around with the idea of what to do with the left-over pot roast from last’s night’s (or two days ago) dinner and in collaboration with my wonderful husband, we bring to you today The Cooking Apprentice’s first recipe share of the year….

Alas, after a couple of years in storage under the stove top cabinet and a few more months stored in a moving box, I FINALLY got around to using the pizza stone…and I can definitely vouch that it made for an honestly good pizza crust. Thus, from this day forward it shall be with pizza stone!

Good Afternoon! Last night I ended the evening with ‘50 Shades of Chicken‘, a cookbook parody on my Instagram portfolio… Although this recipe is adapted from a different cookbook: Memories of Philippine Kitchens, this morning I start the day early with my own ‘first shade’ parody of Chicken: RED. Hence, I bring to you a popular dish from the city of Bacolod, Philippines, ‘Chicken Inasal’. This dish uses different ingredients for its marinade and basting sauce that create a unique flavour. Cooking it calls for a constant basting of lemon butter sauce with annatto (a natural plant extract used as dye) which gives it a unique hue of red in colour.

For the love of ‘Sisig’…a Filipino cuisine, considered mainly in our culture as a side dish, or even a snack…along with a bottle of ice-cold beer 😉 The word ‘Sisig’ refers to a method of preparing fish and meat, especially pork, which is marinated in a sour liquid such as lemon juice (kalamansi) or vinegar, then seasoned in salt, pepper and other spices.
What I made for you is Sizzling Pork Sisig alongside Indian Basmati Rice with a vinegar and chili pepper-based dip for the pork.  An easy and versatile recipe you can make, as well!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into Springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into Springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad…

The Sound of Music Lyrics of My Favorite Things

Born and raised in the Philippines, until the age of 8, I was familiar with seeing unripe mango eaten with bagoong, fish sauce or with dash of salt.  It was also a staple for making juices, mango nectar, and as a flavoring and major ingredient in ice cream and sorbetes.  These are my experiences with mangoes.  Although not quite my choice of fruit to pick up at the market when in season, I may have found my niche with mangoes by making them into a refreshing salad.  This recipe happens to represent a menagerie of my favorite herbs and vegetables alongside it.  The versatility of this salad are endless–have it as is, serve it with grilled steak, fish, BBQ, chicken; use it as a salsa for tortilla chips, etc.

Indian cuisine is among the most diverse and versatile in the world, employing a wide range of cooking techniques and a vast array of ingredients and flavors.  The influences of geography, history and religion have resulted in a huge range of dishes that cater for almost any palate.