Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Goldilocks Restaurant, Eagle Rock (Food Review)

Goldilocks is a Filipino restaurant with roots in the Philippines ever since I can remember.  They started out as a bakeshop and it eventually expanded by offering hot food items, equivalent to what you will find at cafes and Chinese tea houses.  In other words, Filipino comfort food.  They then expanded their operations overseas, so Filipinos abroad, particularly in the US, can satisfy their cravings for Filipino food.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hot Peppermint Mocha

If I can compose a Christmas carol, I will make one out of peppermint mocha.  Afterall, coffee and chocolate are just a few of my favorite things.  

As the song goes, 

"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."

That and a few close friends I can share a homemade peppermint mocha with, will surely make my day.  I'd like to raise my mug to a dear friend of mine who celebrated her birthday recently in Manila.  Ms. L, this is for you.  -GG-

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Jazzed Up" Meatloaf to Go

When stuck with store bought food, I usually do something to it to make it look a little more creative than just having to settle for food straight from a box.  In this case I "jazz it up" to some degree just to give my senses a little bit of a "kick."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Beef Sukiyaki (Japanese hot pot)

Sometimes I'm amazed at just how much comfort one simple dish can bring to me. Tonight's dinner, Sukiyaki, did just that.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spaghetti Carbonara

The traditional carbonara recipe includes butter, olive oil, and eggs on top of the already sinfully delicious bacon and bacon fat.  While my version is still not a dieter's version, I tried to make it less sinful, but delicious just the same. -GG-

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftover Remake: Post-holiday Ham Soup

We're at day number four, post-Thanksgiving, and most of my leftovers are gone now except for a slice or two of ham, an itty bitty bowl of green beans and one giant ham bone. My favorite part about holiday ham has always been the bone because all I can think about (after the meat has been sliced off it) is that it'll make one mighty fine tasting soup. The same goes for rotisserie or roasted chicken. I never discard the carcass because there is still so much flavor left in the bones and they're just perfect for flavoring soup.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Biscuit & Eggs w/ Country Sausage Gravy

Back in the late 80's to the early 90's, during my party days, when my big group of friends and I used to call it disco, we would always find a Denny's Restaurant after we danced the night away.  As if we hadn't had enough of each other's company, it's just a nice way to wind down, with a comfort meal before we headed home....just in time to pick up the newspaper off the driveway.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftover Remake: Potato Cakes & Stuffing Cakes

I can't tell you how tired I am of eating leftover Thanksgiving dinner. For the past three days, we've eaten the same leftovers for lunch and dinner and we still haven't been able to finish them off! I was hoping for a few relaxing days of not doing much (especially cooking) but I've about had enough of boring leftovers. They needed some serious revamping so back into the kitchen I went.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Thanksgiving Feast

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving.  While it's an American holiday here in the U.S., but to our readers elsewhere, the message is to be thankful everyday.  This year, as in years past, our cousin "J" always hosts a lavish and delicious Thanksgiving dinner, the classic American way.   Join me for a photo montage of what was on the table.

Cranberry Bars

Happy Thanksgiving to you! If you're still up at this ungodly hour (3:35 a.m. here) surfing the interwebz, you must be either still trying to digest some of that Thanksgiving feast you wolfed down earlier in the evening or browsing all the sweet Black Friday sales online that's just getting into full swing. It's ok. Thanksgiving is the day for indulgence, or rather, over indulgence. Just make sure you're giving thanks while you're indulging. That's the spirit!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quick and Easy Corn Chowder Soup

I love it when a recipe works the first time I try it.  I just based this on taste and a little research.  What I created is a deliciously hearty comfort food that is so easy to make.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

When the mercury dips down, my kitchen gets steamy.  I love hot soup dishes, and this is one that I make during cold days.  It's hearty, it's meaty, and it's packed with flavor, yet it's so easy to make.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Love Them S'mores

The classic American campfire treat --- S'mores.   The word s'mores supposedly came from the shortened form of "some more."  I love chocolate and graham crackers, put them together and I will definitely want some moresss....

Monday, November 7, 2011

Breakfast Omelette --- The Works

If you've read my previous breakfast posts, you would know that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  And the bigger the breakfast, the better for me.  Today, I dedicate my post to my niece in Malaysia, whom I will call Little Miss B.  To my cute little niece, I promise I will make you breakfast the next time you visit L.A.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Classic Adobo

Adobo has got to be the Philippines' national dish.  Whether that's official or not, I'm not really sure, but it practically is.  Ask any Filipino if they know how to make adobo, and I'm almost sure they will say yes.  Adobo can be cooked in different methods with different ingredients in it, but what I am doing today is the very basic and classic of them all.  I made it with chicken, but you can definitely make it with pork or a combination of both.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Classic Meatloaf

From what I've heard, meatloaf has a bit of a bad rep even though it's considered to be a quintessential American comfort food. Apparently, school cafeteria meatloaf with its mysterious lump of meat submerged in some runny brown sauce has some people scarred for life. I wish I could relate but I really can't because I wasn't raised in the American public school system and had never actually tasted meatloaf until I was in my late twenties.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chicken Alfredo W/Penne (from Costco)

Hello bloggers!  It's been awhile.  I miss writing, I miss cooking, and I miss reading mouthwatering posts.  It's been a hectic week, with the release of my calendar, a new part-time job, and the usual household chores...it's been fast food and take-out in my household the past week.

Halloween news + Mikomi Sushi

Ten years ago, my 2nd child, a girl, was welcomed into the world on Halloween night. My son, who was just two and a half at the time, had gone for a quick round of trick or treating with his Grandma before arriving at the hospital, just in time to meet his little sister. Ever since then, Halloween has always been more than just a day for dress-up and candy. My daughter loves celebrating Halloween, in fact, maybe even more so than her own birthday so October 31st has always been a very special but super hectic day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chinese Ground Pork and Green Beans Stir Fry

Told ya. We're back up to 80 degree temps in So. CA. The day started off cold and windy but warmed up by early afternoon. I suppose I shouldn't be complaining. I could be shoveling snow in some other state and it's not a pretty picture in my head.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup

Lovely winter weather finally hit Southern California today -- cloudy, drizzly and just a tad chilly. However, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it all went away tomorrow and 80 degree temps came back to haunt us again. Unpredictable weather is just something that we Southern Californians have to live with regardless of what season we're in. For now though, a nice hearty bowl of soup like this Italian wedding soup is the order of the day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stir Fry Veggies

For all you veggie lovers out there, here's something quick and easy for you.  And if you're a lazy cook as well, this one's for you.  I had a Veggie craving the other day while I was at the supermarket.  I wasn't shopping for veggies that day, but when I passed the produce isle, I immediately had a craving for some veggies. -GG-

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Paula Deen's Old-Time Beef Stew

Beef stew is somewhat new to our dinner table. I never used to cook it "BMVG" (Before Mr. VG) because we used to eat Asian food much more frequently. But since he came along and is the epitome of a meat and potatoes guy, beef stew had to make its appearance somehow. Over the years, I've tried several beef stew recipes ranging from extremely easy to not-so-easy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Binagoongan (Pork with Shrimp Paste)

Bagoong (bah-go-ong), that's the root word of Binagoongan (bee-na-go-ongan).  Bagoong is shrimp paste, but not just regular shrimps.  These are tiny, tiny shrimps we actually call "alamang" in Tagalog, that belongs to the shrimp family.  Binagoongan then is a descriptive word meaning, something was bagoong-ed, if you will.  Or something on which you put or added bagoong to.  Ok, enough of the technicalities.  Let's get down to this delicious dish.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shabu-Shabu (Japanese Style)

I learned how to make this from my mother in law.  Basically, no measurements, just add everything to the pot.  It's almost fool proof.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vegetable Thai Red Curry

It feels like it's been forever since my last post. Oh wait, it has been ages. Ok, more like two weeks but that's still a long time in the blogging world. I have had a hectic couple of weeks (mostly due to work deadlines) but I feel like I'm finally able to come up for air now so here I am!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Funnel Cakes

Every year, the L.A. County Fair takes place at the Pomona Fairplex for one month.  This year it's from Sept. 3 to Oct. 2.  While I won't have the chance to go this year to try greasy fair food, I thought of bringing fair food home.  No more excuses, right?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Penne in Almond Sauce

Last week, I was in the company of very dear friends to celebrate my birthday.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chinese Root Vegetable Soup

In my earlier childhood days, my parents, brother and I lived with my maternal grandmother ("Por Por" as I used to call her). She owned a rather large house and therefore, had plenty of room for us. My parents didn't explain why we moved in with her but I'm assuming it was so that she could help care for my brother because they were both working. My mom was a career-minded woman and owned a small computer business so she kept long hours at the office, as did my dad who held a government position at the time. Because of my mom's hectic schedule, she was unable to cook so that was left to my grandma who happened to love cooking. All the nostalgia involving home cooked meals when I was a kid comes from the dishes that my grandma prepared for us on a daily basis.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Champorado (Chocolate Rice Porridge)

It's been cool here in Southern California the past few days, and I always go for comfort food when it's cold.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Asian Pot Roast

With the arrival of fall and cooler weather, I find myself craving lots of warm comfort foods such as pot roast. The last time I made pot roast was probably several months ago so when my son came grocery shopping with me last week and saw chuck roast on sale, he asked me to make it for one of our "meat night" dinners. I granted his request but instead of the usual, traditional American version, I gave this one an Asian twist. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chicken Curry

When my mom was still alive, she would often brag that even though she taught me how to cook, I have become a better cook than her.  Awww, how sweet of her to say that.  Although I know moms would sometimes say things to encourage their children even if it may not be true.  But thank you anyway mama for your vote of confidence.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shrimp Scampi

Ok, I'm gonnna make this quick.  It's the season premier of Dancing with the Stars, that's why.  Yeah, truth be known, I'm a fan of DWS.  So, I'm gonna get on with the recipe.  It's also easy to make by the way. -GG-

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kale Salad

The Oprah Show is now gone, and what better show to replace it than the Dr. Oz Show.  Weekdays at 3:00 p.m. on ABC.  Although it's hard for me to have a "3 o'clock habit," I was able to watch the first two episodes last week, and that is where today's recipe comes from.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cheater Thai Sticky Rice

Every time I go to a Thai restaurant, I've always been tempted to try their sticky rice dessert with mangoes on the side, but never really ordered it.  And the reason is, I cannot accommodate another rice dish into my stomach after just feasting on rice requiring Thai dishes.  So I justify my avoidance by saying it just tastes like our very own "suman" in the Philippines.  Wrong!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chicken Salad Sandwich

It's September and it's the beginning of the "-ber" months.  We have holidays and celebrations to look forward to in the remainder of the year.  To some people, the "-ber" months are the exciting part of the year, while for some it could mean a lot of running around as we prepare for Holloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, on top of the already busy schedule we have at home, with the kids (for some), and of course work, for most of us.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Crab with Chili and Coconut Milk

I love it when an experiment turns out to be good.  I love coconut milk, and yesterday I was wondering what I can make with it.  My other requirement is that I need to already have the main ingredient in the freezer, as I don't want to step out to go to the grocery.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vegetable Sesame Noodle Stir Fry

Have you ever seen a person change right before your eyes? I have and I'm still seeing metamorphosis in this person today but not quite as rapidly. It's more of a steady change these days, for the better I would say. The person I'm referring to is Mr. VG. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chicken Congee for the Soul

I'm sure most of us had wished at one time or another, that somebody cooked for us, that we did not have to open the fridge, thaw stuff, cut up the veggies, eat, and then clean up.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Slow Cooker Creole Beans and Sausage Stew

We had this stew for dinner yesterday and while it wasn't exactly suitable for yet another sweltering, 100-degree day in the valley, I can't really complain because it was made in the crock pot and required minimal kitchen time on my part.

Another huge reason as to why I made this dish was because one day last week, I opened up my pantry and suddenly noticed that I had a gazillion cans of beans piled up in a corner. There were black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, Cannellini beans, black-eyed peas...well, you get the picture. How I amassed that many varieties of canned beans, I'm not exactly sure but if I had to guess, I bet I saw them on sale at one point or other and thought up a grand plan to cook them up in a stew or soup but of course, never got around to it. Until now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lighter Pasta Primavera

I've only had Pasta Primavera once in my lifetime and since then, have never ordered it again as vegetables drenched in a heavy cream-based sauce is just not my cup of tea. But then, I chanced upon Giada de Laurentiis' Pasta Primavera recipe and her version sounded so tempting, I just had to try it. There's no cream in her recipe but what it does have are seasoned, oven-roasted veggies tossed with pasta and finished off with grated Parmesan cheese. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Where Children Sleep

My cousin recently forwarded me a link to James Mollison's documentary photography piece titled "Where Children Sleep", a gallery of children's portraits alongside a photograph of where they rest their weary heads every night. Ever since viewing it, it has occasionally returned to haunt me and to remind me that there's a much bigger world out there beyond our little cocoon of normacly and everyday life. As a mother of two, a 9 and a 13 year old, it was both fascinating and saddening for me to see some of the living conditions in which some of the children have to endure. Before I go any further, click the image below to view the gallery for yourself. Make sure you view it in full screen mode and read the little captions below the images.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Five-spice Pork Chops

Whew, this has been a week of tight work deadlines for me, all in preparation for an expo that my company puts together in Indonesia every year. This year's show is in two weeks so I'll be working pretty much non-stop up to that point. That coupled with the kids' first week back at school has made for very hectic, short days, so much so that some most household chores have had to be put off. Yes, I'm living in a pigsty at the moment, folks. I've got dusty floors and massive laundry piles. Guess what I'll be doing all of this weekend?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Clams with Black Bean Sauce

Put me in a Chinese restaurant in the company of seafood eaters, and more than likely I will suggest to order this dish.  This is one of my favorite seafood dishes.  There is just something about the combination of shellfish and black beans that make it so tasty.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Korean BBQ Burgers with Kimchi Mayonnaise

Today was another scorcher and when the temps are in the triple digits, I absolutely can't stand going out. I'm just super intolerant of sweltering hot weather...always have been, always will be. But I had a very bare refrigerator and pantry to contend with and I really needed to go grocery shopping. My daughter happily offered to tag along so we drove to two different stores (Asian and American) just to be able to get all the ingredients I need for the week.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rice cooker chicken rice to the rescue!

So back-to-school fever hit our household today as we scrambled around shopping for last minute school supplies, uniforms and acceptable, "cool enough" clothing for my middle schooler. Throw 100 degree weather into the mix and you've got one very reluctant cook (yours truly) in the kitchen. I could have very easily picked up something quick for lunch but I was determined to stick to my pre-planned menu for the week which listed "chicken fried rice" as today's lunch. With some improvisation and a lot of help from my good ole' trusty rice cooker, I got out of slaving over a hot stove and was instead, able to focus on my to-do list.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Take a Cake Break

Imagine you are working hard all day, I mean physical labor, where you have to go up and down a ladder, work with hot steam and remove wallpaper.  But you're not done.....there's still clean up to do, furniture to move back, and tools to put away....wait....I need  a break!

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Srirachup" Tofu and Eggplant Sauté

Is it me or does time go by faster now? This summer has literally just zipped by me, so quickly that it hardly feels like I've experienced even a portion of it. It might be because I didn't do much this summer, as opposed to last year where I went back to Singapore with the kids for a relaxing holiday.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Steamed Spareribs with Black Beans

I've been craving steamed spareribs for a while now, in fact I have the ribs in the freezer but not really had the time to experiment on this dish.  This is a popular item on most dimsum carts, and since I haven't had dimsum in about two years (or has it been three?), I think it's time for me to experiment.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Teppanyaki Fried Rice with Pork

Thursday lunch: Ham sandwiches.

That was what I had jotted down on Saturday when I had decided to try my hand at planning a whole week's menu in advance. OK, I'll admit it. I'm an impromptu grocery shopper and I can be over eager at the store, often buying more than what I can use (especially vegetables). Then I'll end up feeling guilty when I have to throw out mushy, rotting produce a week or two down the road. No longer! I'm proud to report that I've stuck to my menu like wallpaper glue (GG will appreciate this analogy - inside joke, sorry) and have so far, cooked every dish specified for that day...that is, until today.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sauteed Ground Pork Omelette

What do you do when you made too much food?  Yes, I know eat them as leftovers, but is there a way to freshen it up a bit to give it new life, or a new twist to your leftover perhaps?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Stuffed Tomato

The tomato ranks as one of my top 5 favorite vegetables -- yes, I know it's technically a fruit but I think of it as a vegetable -- so when I saw some jumbo beefsteak tomatoes at Fresh & Easy priced at just $1.99 for a 4-pack, I had to buy some so that I could stuff 'em!


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