Adobo, whether it’s made with chicken, pork, fish, or a vegetarian version with Kangkong (Kangkong has been translated into English as swamp cabbage or river spinach, but those names don’t reflect what kangkong really is except for the fact that it grows where there’s a lot of water. It has also been called swamp morning glory because of its flowers. In French, it is called liseron d’eau.) is a staple in any Filipino household…but how about upping the ante by diversifying it with bacon?!

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.

Sometimes we can all use a little bit of butterscotch and perhaps a few drizzle of caramel in our lives, right?  Mix this together, along with a few other heartwarming ingredients and place it in a cast-iron skillet …My friends, you’ll have yourself a heart pouncing, whirlwind of a dessert in no time flat!

In the midst of hiatus I found refuge through photography.  I am not an expert by any means, but when I am in the comfort of food, combined with the convenience of my iPhone and/or digital camera, for a brief moment in time, I find peace and harmonious balance through the lens…

This is a rich, smooth, spreadable pâté, ideally using fresh, organic chicken livers.  Goes great with crunchy toasts!  Sealing the surface with a slick of clarified butter (see below), or with jellied stock helps to preserve the pâté’s pink tinge and basically stops it from graying.

Aside from the chicken liver pâté, I also experimented with making potted shrimp since I had a few cooked shrimp left over from making Pancit (rice noodles) just a few days ago.

Liebster Award_TCAOn behalf of The Cooking Apprentice, LLC, A BIG THANK YOU goes out to Emma at Bake Then Eat for granting us the Liebster Blog Award!  This award is passed on to interesting, up-and-coming bloggers striving for success.  Thus, I am personally thankful and humbly accept this award wholeheartedly.

Tres leches” is Spanish for “three milks.”  The cakes that bear this name are sponge cakes that are literally soaked in three types of milk: sweetened condensed, evaporated and half-and-half [for this recipe].  However, whole milk or heavy cream can also be used, depending on your preference.  These cakes are also topped simply with a homemade sweetened whipped cream and maraschino cherries.

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.

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.

Good to be back home at my little corner in the kitchen.  Visited mom for a few days at our old neighborhood in Brentwood, California and ate like there was no tomorrow.  Although back in my cozy kitchen cove, I was not quite ready to dive into the chopping board yet, so I whipped up something quick and easy for dinner.  If you recall my baked tortilla chips and dip(s) post on Superbowl Sunday–where I mustered a variety of seasonings for the baked tortillas, last night’s Bacon & Four-Cheese Tortilla Chips with Chunky Guacamole topped with homemade Crispy Bacon Bits dinner made for a wondrous evening of light snacking, yet was filling enough to satisfy my family’s hungry palettes.

Thus, without further delay, below is my rendition of homemade guacamole, chunky style!

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…

Spring 2012, 10 am.  Hungry for a good, hardy meal.  My family and I recently moved to Placerville at the time and were anxious to experience the local eateries in town.  Whilst perusing through the menu at the Buttercup Pantry on Main Street, I couldn’t help but notice the ‘Hangout Fry’. So when the waitress came back around to take our order, I asked her what this omelet menagerie was all about.  Sure enough and without hesitation, our waitress was overjoyed to share her short-version story of the ‘Hangtown Fry‘…

With my favorite recipe books lined up and food writing class as we speak, I  am off to a good start for the new year!  Speaking of which, as I hone in on my Filipino roots, although I don’t practice most, I still like to partake in learning about our traditions, customs and superstitions.  In matters of food, part of our customary tradition, or superstition, if you may, in preparation for New Year’s Eve is to have twelve (12) round fruits, each to signify a month of the year. Ideally, twelve different round fruits such as clementines, cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruits, oranges, watermelon–but as it can be challenging to gather all things round and fruity, some of the fruits end up being non-circular such as mangoes, apples or the like.  As for me, well, I grabbed one bag of clementines which had at least 12 in a bag, so I was good to go…

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….