Thursday, December 20, 2012

#22 Basic French Crepe Recipe


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and the water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter and then beat until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled non-stick griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter into the griddle or pan, using approximately 1/4 cup of batter for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion  so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  3. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.
Serve rolled up or folded, with your favorite fruit/s, melted chocolate, or maple syrup. And top with ice cream if you like.

I had the best crepe when I visited my friend Noreen's house a few months ago. I remember that warm afternoon so well(smiles). Noreen and her husband Lubo, as always, poured me a glass of chilled sweet wine as soon as I arrived. They have the best wine collection. They will automatically take out wine glasses and offer you what they have within seconds of you entering their dining area. As Lubo packed me a huge bunch of freshly harvested mint from their garden, he asked: "Would you like something to eat? I have crepe, have you had crepe?". I think he was expecting me to say, "why, yes of course, many times". But instead, I answered, "Yes, thanks. I'd  like a crepe, I had it once in what.. I guess year 2000? This will be the second time". Noreen was surprised and said,"Really? Oh I always eat it for breakfast. You should try it today". I love the Avgarskis. :) Soon I was enjoying a hot and delicious crepe.

The wonderful taste in my mouth that day inspired me to make my own crepe this week. After the second time of trying it in my entire life! You must be wondering how is this possible, crepe is so common. Well, when there is a family member who is highly allergic to eggs, crepe, which requires 3 eggs per 1 cup of flour,  is difficult to include in the weekly menu. And, I just did not care much for it. I am a serious rice eater, I do not care for bread nor cakes too much. Just rice, vegetables and meat dishes, 3 times a day, all-year-round for more than three decades. Thankfully my diet is slowly changing since I started this blog, it definitely curbed my insane rice consumption and there's a lot more willingness in me to work with flour. I thought Crepe is the hardest thing to make! It is definitely not, I enjoyed making it and so will you.

#21 Delicious Greek Rice Dish: Spanakorizo

I love, love this recipe. I love Greek food in general, and this dish, with lemon and crumbled feta cheese on top, is heavenly! If you have a lot of spinach in your fridge and a bag of rice, make this! Yum! We will be cooking this a lot.



1/3 cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 pounds fresh spinach, rinsed and stemmed
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup uncooked white rice


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Saute onions until soft.
  3. Add spinach, and cook , stirring for a few minutes, then pour  in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, and season with parsley, dill, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in rice, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until rice is tender. Add more water if necessary.
  5. Serve hot, with lemon and feta cheese on the side.
This Greek dish is known as "Spinach Risotto" in English. The dill is what mainly gives that wonderful flavor. Once you try this, you'll understand why I am crazy about Spanakorizo. It  is such a great vegetarian dish.

We looked at photos of an island that we will surely visit soon. Santorini Island in Greece is our destination for our first visit to Greece. Let me share a couple of photos that my best friend Sean sent to me a few years ago while in Santorini:

Don't you want to be here too?! Santorini  is an island in the Southern Aegean Sea. One of the two locations in Europe to feature a hot desert climate. An island with lots of history, character, breathtaking beauty, low crime rate, great food and a flourishing wine industry. I can't wait for us to go. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#20 Italy's Angry Sauce: Salsa Arrabiata

Salsa Arrabiata. Literally "angry sauce" is my new favorite. It's spicy hot and delicious! So versatile, I added smoked turkey slices to the recipe. Ok, why smoked turkey breast? Well, because I had to, otherwise it will all spoil. Might as well. We don't like to waste. We used to like turkey sandwiches but now nobody in my home does. The many turkey sandwiches packed for lunch are almost always unconsumed, and  comes home intact with just a single bite inside the lunch pail from school.  I always do the chicken dance (secretly) when the lunch pail comes home empty. But when it doesn't... I get that sad look on my face that prompts her to immediately explain: "I didn't have enough time to eat".."lunch was too short".."the bell rang too soon", and then finally "I didn't like my lunch today". Single parenthood, has taught me that life is a lot easier when you choose your battles. Certainly not over smoked turkey breast, so I sliced them all! It's better off with the angry sauce!



6 quarts of water
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound uncooked campanelle pasta
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) onion wedges
3 bay leaves
1 (3-ounce) prosciutto end piece, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup pepperoncini peppers, drained, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 (28 -ounce) can plum tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Bring 6 quarts of water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Stir in pasta; partially cover, and return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 6 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bay leaves, smoked turkey slices and prosciutto; sauté 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add peppers to pan, sauté 1 minute. Stir in reserved 1 cup cooking water and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Discard bay leaves.
  3. Add pasta to pan; cook 1 minute or until pasta is al dente, stirring well to coat. Remove from heat, and stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Those little pepperoncinis definitely spiced it up! So good.  While called pepperoncini in America, in Italy it is called frigitello or peperone. It is somewhat bitter, which I liked.
We learned more about Italy.We talked about Prehistoric Italy, showed her a picture of Neanderthals that once were present  roughly 500,000 years ago in what is now Modern Italy. She thought it was cool. We're really liking our "visits", I learn as much as she does. You learn so many things when you  teach. :) I'm so glad we started this.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

#19 Yummy Hamburger

It's getting cold outside to barbecue, and its also been raining a lot. We were in the mood for a hamburger on Sunday last week. Going to a fast food on a sunday night is out of the question! Just does not feel right at this stage of my life. Especially because I have a self-imposed challenge of 347 dishes left to make, I have to cook. Ha! But seriously though, nothing beats the taste of a home made hamburger. It's a tad pricier than grabbing one or two from a fastfood, but it is better because you know what is in your patty. Did you ever hear about those crazy stories that some fast food chains add ground cardboard in hamburger patties? Hmm. Yeah, I freaked out when I heard that. But true or not, that evening, a decision was made unanimously: we we're making our own hamburger from scratch. So off we went to get a little and inexpensive George Foreman Indoor Grill for $30. We wanted to find out if we can make a great all-american hamburger for dinner, instead of firing up a huge grill. :)



2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chili sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pound ground beef
4 slices of American or cheddar  cheese, halved diagonally
2 slices of Swiss cheese, halved diagonally
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Lettuce leaves, sliced tomato and onion, ketchup and mustard


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties.
  2. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 6 minutes on each side or until meat thermometer reads 160F and juices run clear.
  3. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with two triangles of American cheese and one triangle of Swiss cheese. Serve on buns with the lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, ketchup and mustard if desired.
Recipe source: Diane Hixon,

"Who invented the hamburger?", I asked every one. Nobody knows :). A lot of people in the past have claimed they did it, but it is believed to have appeared in the 1800's. I thought about  how truly hard it is to find out which country it originated from, since bread and meat is consumed in almost all countries. In my opinion, it most likely first appeared  somewhere in Europe. Whoever first thought of putting the steak in between the breads, may never be known, but many thanks to that person's creativity! A hamburger is a delicious lunch or dinner for us, especially with crisp vegetables, lots of mustard and ketchup. Yum! Nowadays, the Hamburger is an American Icon. While it is convenient and inexpensive to buy it ready made, I choose to make my own (from now on..). If you haven't made your very own hamburger at home, I urge you to do so soon! It's so easy to make, and you'll be surprised how different and more delicious it will turn out!
As for the George Foreman grill that we bought for $30, thumbs up! It cooked our hamburger indoors without fail and smoke :) I don't have a macho looking real grill, you know, the big high powered looking ones you see in nice homes. I have two reasons for not owning one:  first, when you're living in a high rise with limited space, it's the last thing you want, given a small patio. The second and the bigger reason is that, a friend always bring me grilled food from his home. Always. When he grills, he brings some to us, we are an extension to his table. :) We've been spoiled for almost three years now. But since this quest has started, I've been planning to try grilled food recipes from all over the world, so I thought it was time to get my own big grill. I was going to pick one up since I know they're on sale during winter time. I'm glad I listened to a friend who suggested the little wonder grill. It works, for now, it's very convenient. When I move to a bigger home, I'll get a macho grill for sure. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#18 Philippines' Tortang Talong

This is a simple dish that we always enjoyed in the Philippines. Hope you'll like it too.



2 Chinese eggplants
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 yellow onions minced
1/2 teaspoon mccormick's garlic salt


  1. Grill eggplants. Don't worry about burning the skin. It's important to cook the meat inside.
  2. While waiting, mix the eggs, onions, garlic salt and pepper.
  3. Once cooked, peel and discard the skin of the eggplants. I used a thong and fork since the skin is very hot.
  4. On a baking dish, flatten the meat of the eggplant with a fork.
  5. Pour the egg mixture.
  6. Heat a non-stick pan to medium high. Then add the olive oil.
  7. Remove the eggplants from the mixture, then fry until brown.
  8. Serve hot,  enjoy with fresh sliced cucumbers, fresh sliced tomatoes and drizzle with lemon + salt if desired.

We "visited" the Philippines again. We moved to the United States 6 years ago. We miss home. We talked about the storm that had hit the Southern part of the country and thankfully, there were no property damages or casualties in our hometown. 99% of my family and a dearly beloved still reside there. We wish they can all move up here soon. We talked about how blessed we are compared to the hundreds of homeless families affected by the many storms that visit the  Philippines each year. 

If you would like to find out how you can help the victims of Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) this holiday season, check out this link:

#17 Melt in your mouth pancakes (without egg whites)

Sundays are great for our little family. I heard my daughter say more than once: "I wish there are only two days in a week: fridays and sundays" :) Friday is a fun day, a day when no homework is sent home. And Sunday, is the day when we are allowed to be lazy. Check out early bird movies, make desserts, play outside and, her favorite, start our day by eating a big breakfast without rushing. Instead of driving to a nearby breakfast place, we started cooking breakfast at home every sunday since last year. I thought I should share this delicious pancake recipe that we've always used. We omitted the egg whites since we are highly allergic.

(without egg whites)


1 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
cooking spray


  1. Combine flour with white vinegar and milk, mix it well, then add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk until all lumps are gone.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. 
  3. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
  4. Serve with maple syrup and top with your favorite fruits.

We learned that the Ancient Greeks made pancakes called tēganitēs around the 5th century BC. It's amazing how pancakes come in many different forms and variations. Here in North America, in Canada and Mexico, it is prepared with a raising agent such as baking powder, eggs, butter. We are truly happy with this recipe but we will try different recipes from all over the world soon.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

#16 Tex-Mex Steak Fajitas

I thought Fajita originated somewhere other than..Texas! Here is what we learned from a 2005 The Austin Chronicle article by Virginia Wood:

'In exploring the history of fajitas, several credible stories emerge, and all of them have roots in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. 
The first serious study of the history of fajitas was done in 1984 by Homero Recio as part of his graduate work in animal science at Texas A&M. Recio was intrigued by a spike in the retail price of skirt steak, and that sparked his research into the dish that took the once humble skirt steak from throwaway cut to menu star. Recio found anecdotal evidence describing the cut of meat, the cooking style (directly on a campfire or on a grill), and the Spanish nickname going back as far as the 1930s in the ranch lands of South and West Texas. During cattle roundups, beef were butchered regularly to feed the hands. Throwaway items such as the hide, the head, the entrails, and meat trimmings such as skirt were given to the Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) as part of their pay. Hearty border dishes like barbacoa de cabeza (head barbecue), menudo (tripe stew), and fajitas/arracheras (grilled skirt steak) have their roots in this practice. Fifth-generation McAllen rancher and cookbook author Melissa Guerra heard very similar stories in researching her first cookbook, The Texas Provincial Kitchen, and her upcoming work, Dishes of the Wild Horse Desert. Considering the limited number of skirts per carcass and the fact the meat wasn't available commercially, the fajita tradition remained regional and relatively obscure for many years, probably only familiar to vaqueros, butchers, and their families.'  read more

I'm always hungry for Steak Fajitas. I don't even remember ordering anything else but fajitas when we go to a Tex-Mex Restaurant. It's always great. Typically made with grilled skirt steak or carne asada, I had to use tri-tip beef since it's what we had in the fridge.



1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb flank steak, skirt steak or carne asada
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, core removed and sliced into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, core removed and sliced into strips
salt to taste


1 lime, juiced
2 tbsps. of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 fresh Jalapeño pepper, core removed, and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, including stems
  1. Mix all marinade and coat the meat. Let it marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Wipe off most of the marinade from the meat.
  3.  Heat a large iron cast pan or griddle, in high heat.
  4. Add 1 tbsp. of oil and heat for 1 minute.
  5. Add the steak, frying on each side for 3 minutes
  6. Remove the meat from pan and set it aside, tent it with foil.
  7. Cook the vegetables immediately while meat is resting. Add oil to pan if necessary, then add the onions and then the bell peppers. Let sear for a minute before stirring. Cook for 5 minutes, total, let it sear  then stir every minute.
  8. Slice the meat against the grain into thin slices.
  9. Serve immediately with shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, shredded lettuce and warm flour tortillas.

    We liked this recipe very much. I've always wondered what gives that distinct flavor in a fajita steak.
    I achieved it through this recipe, I think it is the combination of ground cumin and cilantro,  we truly liked it.

    We had too much left to do that day and too tired to look at photos of Texas online. We were so hungry too! We wanted to put the food on the table as fast as we could and so we we're quiet until meal time. After our stomachs were happy, we did talk a lot about the country where we live in and the current events. Even the rumored doomsday on the 21st. LOL. We talked about geography too, she knows a little bit more than I expected. :) 
    It was a great meal and a great time. As always.

    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    #15 I wrap my heart with grape leaves: Dolmas or Warak Dawali

    When I was first introduced to stuffed grape leaves, I was surprised that the leaves can be cooked! Well, back home, a few people planted grapes and eating the leaves is unheard of. Once I tried it, I instantly loved it! It was very good. I loved it so much that when I went to Zanotto's grocery store in Willow Glen, I was so happy when I found cooked stuffed grape leaves. However, once I tasted it, I was very was disgusting! Then, I realized that there are many variations. And I am lucky that I first tried it from the kitchen of a great cook, Aola. She inspired me to attempt to make stuffed grape leaves as great as hers. She told me how to make it, but I forgot all the details by the end of the dinner that she hosted last year. I investigated and looked up many many recipes. I wanted to learn how to make it so bad, because it is just delicious and it was something new to me. After several months of trying different recipes, I found what I just needed: simple, quick and delicious.

    Like me, you must be wondering where the stuffed grape leaves originated. It has many names, to mention just a few: dolmas, wara' einab, dawali (as what my Palestinian friends call it), dolmeh. This dish is very common in the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. It may have other names that I do not know of. In a 1983 NY times article by Fred Ferreti, the following was written about the origin of stuffed grape leaves:

    "As a matter of fact, some Greeks will tell you that the origin of stuffed vine leaves goes back to the time when Alexander the Great besieged Thebes. Food became so scarce that the Thebans cut what meat they had into little bits and rolled it in grape leaves."  read more 

    We chose to talk about Greece the night we made this dish. We read online and discussed about Greek Mythology, she was amazed! She heard about Greek Gods before, but she learned more about it that night. It all sounded magical to her. The whole experience was fun for me of course, although the rolling part can be tiresome after a long day :) This dish is mostly cooked with lamb.  I stuffed mine with beef.


    1/2 medium onion, minced
    1/4 cup uncooked rice ( I used California Rose)
    16 ounces ground beef
    1 garlic minced
    3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
    1 tsp. grated lemon zest
    1 tbsp. coriander
    4 tbsp. olive oil
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. pepper
    2 tbsps. lemon juice
    grape leaves ( I used Orlando jarred grape leaves)
    3 cups chicken stock
    1 lemon, cut into small wedges

    1. Remove the grape leaves from jar and rinse.
    2. In a bowl, combine, beef, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, coriander, 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper, coriander. Mix well. Add uncooked rice. Mix.  It is best if you use your hands.
    3. Dry grape leaves with papertowels. Place leaves shiny side down. Add 1 tbsp of mixed meat, spices and rice. Roll.
    4. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, place them side by side in circular layers.
    5. Place lemon on top. Then put a weight on top of the last layer. (I used a smaller pot cover, others use a ceramic plate). This will prevent the stuffed leaves from moving around during cooking. Fill pot with the chicken stock, covering the leaves. Add the remaining oil. Depending on what you use to cook the stuffed leaves in, you might need to add a cup or two of the chicken broth.
    6. Simmer for 30 minutes on low until the rice is very tender. Then remove from pot and serve. 

    We fell in love with this dish. Serve with yogurt sauce, it's delicious. It takes time to finish rolling each one, but it is totally worth it.

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

    #14 Our Thanksgiving Turkey

    On Thanksgiving day, we roasted a Turkey. And she was, again, very helpful :)

    We chose a medium-sized Turkey and used this amazingly simple yet delicious recipe.



    1 16-18 pound turkey
    1 tbsp dried rosemary, crumbled
    2 tsps ground sage
    2 tsps dried thyme, crumbled
    1 1/2 tsps salt
    1 1/2 tsps pepper
    kosher salt
    1 stick butter, melted
    garlic powder
    1 can broth, for basting


    1. Choose a plump turkey. Clean and dry thoroughly inside and out. Remove giblets and turkey neck.
    2. Combine rosemary, sage, thyme, salt and pepper in small bowl. Rub some in each cavity.
    3. We chose to cook the stuffing separately. For directions on how to insert the stuffing, check out our recipe source:
    4. The skin over the breast may be placed just under the skin to keep the breast meat moist. 
    5. Brush the top of the turkey generously with melted butter, and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika.


    6. Transfer in a roasting pan and roast the turkey, uncovered, at 375 F, basting frequently with melted butter and broth or pan juices.
    7. After one hour, baste and sprinkle with seasonings again, then make a tent with aluminum foil and cover breast loosely. Reduce heat to 325F to continue roasting for another hour, basting occasionally.

    8. Uncover the breast and continue roasting until an instant- read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the thigh registers 165 F ( be careful not to allow the thermometer to hit a bone or the reading will be false). This will take about 90 to 110 minutes longer, depending upon the size of the turkey and the oven being used. 
    9. When the turkey is golden brown and done, allow it to sit for 20 minutes to rest before carving. 
    10. Transfer turkey to a serving platter. Reserve the pan drippings for gravy. Don't wait for the little plastic device to pop-up, or its likely that the bird will be overdone and dry.
    11. Carve and serve with stuffing, gravy and your favorite sides.

    It was a great attempt. LOL. Good recipe but it looked a little dry outside. It's really yummy and moist inside. 
    I'll do better next time:)


    For more information, check out our recipe source:

    #13 Mini Me's Whole Wheat Roti

    Hello everyone. It's been a while! The Thanksgiving holiday was too just busy for us! A lot of good things and changes happened. We had a great holiday indeed. After the holidays,  December 1st, I got so sick that for 5 days I was in so much pain and so weak to do anything but lay down and rest. But I am back and cooking again!
    During the holidays, we did cook :) I will be posting 2 dishes tonight. I am starting with the Whole Wheat Roti that we had to have with our lentil soup that I previously posted. This is one of my favorites since my 7 year old did most of the work! Oh how hard did she work on every roll! :)



    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 pinch salt
    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1/4 cup water


    Sift the flour and then mix it with salt in a bowl. Add in the olive oil and water.

    Knead until firm and elastic. Take a handful and form into a ball.

    Then using a rolling pin, roll as flat and thin as possible.

    Cook the roti on both sides on a non-stick pan over medium high heat.

    I must have tried it once when my friend from India briefly lived with us.  But  I honestly do not remember what it tasted like. And because of this, I thought it was pretty good! I ate a lot to show her how I loved her flat bread! 

    I learned that Roti, which originated in the Indian subcontinent has many variations. Since this is a thinner roti, then it is called Chapati.  It is also widely consumed in South Asia and some parts of the Carribean. We enjoyed it with the Lentil Soup. My mother, who was visiting for the holidays, tried it for the first time and she liked it too. It was a nice morning activity for us since she had no school for the entire week :)

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    #12 Indian Lentil Soup

    Many of our friends celebrated "Diwali" or "The Festival of Lights" last week. It was a happy day. My little one's classmate's mom wore a beautiful traditional dress and gave us a present at her school. As she inspected her present in the car on our way home, she asked me a lot of questions about India. I promised that we will "visit" India soon :) I am glad we did it on Monday this week. It was great! Oh, how I truly miss a good home cooked Indian meal. I am now a big lover of Indian Cuisine because of my dear friend Rekha, my former good boss, Usha and former wonderful neighbor, Ashwini. They always made good food. It's delicious and so healthy. Growing up in a home where the pantry had only the following sauces and seasoning all year: soy sauce, fish sauce, bay leaves, salt, pepper and vinegar, Indian cooking can be too complicated for me. I will definitely need a lot of practice to master the art of mixing different spices, and to make a great Indian dish without using measuring cups and spoons. Thanks to recipes online!

    We found this recipe by André Grisell for



    1- 1/2 cups red lentils
    1 tsp. turmeric
    1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
    1 tsp. cumin
    1/4 tsp. cardamom
    2-3 curry leaves or bay leaves
    6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    3 tbsps. vegetable oil
    2 tsps. mustard seeds
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    salt & pepper
    1 lemon


    1. Rinse the lentils.

    2. Bring to a boil with the stock, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin, cardamom & curry/bay leaves.

    3. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are very soft ( 30 minutes).
    4. If using bay leaves, remove them now. Curry leaves can be left in the soup.
    5. Mash the beans with a laddle.
    6. Sauteé the garlic and mustard seed in oil and add to soup.
    7. Let simmer for another 5 minutes.
    8. Add salt, pepper and squeezed lemon to taste.
    9. Serve hot.

    This recipe is SO good! So inexpensive to make and so filling.

     Image via

    We enjoyed reading about the wonderful meaning of the celebration, and we looked at so many beautiful photos of the "Diwali" and of India. Up next, we made ROTI to go with this soup. We had fun.  ^__^

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    #11 Philippine's simple BISTEK TAGALOG

    What a busy 7 days we had! Most days since my Mother's arrival 5 days ago, we dined at good restaurants. Last weekend , we didn't cook at all. On Thursday last week, we managed to make Bistek Tagalog, as our welcome dinner for my Mama. Bistek Tagalog is a very quick, very simple Filipino beef recipe.


    1/2 lb sirloin beef, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1 piece large juicy lemon
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large onion, sliced into rings
    3 tbsp. olive oil
    3 pieces bay leaves
    chopped cilantro (optional)
    salt to taste


    1. Marinate beef in soy sauce, garlic, lemon and pepper overnight.
    2. In a non-stick pan, heat olive oil in medium heat, then stir fry the onions until slightly soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.
    3. In the same pan, stir fry the marinated beef (without the marinade) for 3 minutes- I like it just enough to brown the meat and leave some pink inside. Remove the meat from the pan and then set aside.
    4. In the same pan, pour in the marinade and bring to a boil.
    5. Add in the stir fried beef and turn off the heat. If you are using an electric stove, it's best to remove the pan from the heat completely.
    6. Remove bay leaves before serving. Add salt to taste. Serve hot over steamed brown rice. Top with chopped cilantro leaves (optional).

    She was very excited to see Grandma again after many years! So even before we picked her up from the airport, we started talking more about the country where I grew up and lived for 27 years. It was so much fun searching for information on the natural wonders back home. I bragged about how beautiful it is there. :)  The power of the internet. So easy to find heartwarming photos!  The pictures of the Mayon Volcano caught her attention and we talked more about it while waiting for the 9:15 p.m. arrival of our special holiday guest. 

    Never got to see this up close, always been my favorite for it's perfect shape.

    As for this recipe, it's very simple. Tangy, easy to eat and appealing to my family, so there was no need to ask every one to try it :)

    Here's our Bistek Tagalog volcano :)