FILIPINO HALO – HALO DESSERT

Halo halo is a refreshing Filipino dish especially created for hot climates. It can be served after meals like a traditional dessert, or as a delicious treat in the middle of a long, hot summer afternoon. The eclectic combination of fruits makes halo halo great fun for a summer get-together.

Halo halo

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Honeydew melon
  • Bananas

Bring the water to boil in a saucepan, and add the tapioca. Lower the heat to medium, and continue to cook the tapioca for at least 15 minutes, stirring often. Rinse the hot tapioca in cold water, and set it aside.

Prepare the strawberry gelatin as directed on the box, but cut the amount of water in half. Refrigerate the gelatin until it sets up.

Use a melon baller to prepare the honeydew melon, cantaloupe and papaya, and put it into a cooler or punch bowl. Stir in the shredded coconut.

Cut the strawberry gelatin into squares the size of dice, and add it to the fruit mixture along with the tapioca and banana.

Place the ice cream in a large bowl and smooth it into a thick paste with a large spoon, a potato masher or your bare hands. Scoop large spoonfuls of the ice cream into the fruit mixture, and put crushed ice over the top.

Cover the halo halo and let it set for 30 minutes without stirring, and then stir it to combine the ingredients.

Ladle the halo halo into paper cups and serve it with spoons.

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GRADUATING COUSINS

I have a couple of cousins that will graduate this year. I am really happy and excited for them. This is one proof that time really flies fast. I still remember when I used to baby sit them now they are all grown up and will be facing the real world of adulthood. I can’t help but be proud. I decided to give them gifts on their graduation. They love headphones so I would probably give them beats by dre studio. I know they will be ecstatic about this gift because we are all a fan of this headphone brand. I hope that my gift would give them a good luck facing the real world of adulthood.

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Exciting Food is No Longer Limited to Posh Houses

When I was a kid seeing a custard cream on the kitchen table was a pretty big event. I am not looking for sympathy but in our house the food was exceptionally boring. For example, the only biscuits we usually had around the places were those dry ones which tasted like cardboard unless you dunked them into your tea; in which case they tasted like soggy cardboard.

Whenever we went to my posh aunt’s house it was like a trip to the Ritz for me. She would lay out fancy little cakes with icing on top, exciting looking chocolate biscuits and things which I later discovered are called vol-au-vents. If I had known back then what their name was I would probably have fainted with the excitement of it all.

Of course, once I got my own house I made sure that the food in it was as interesting as possible. This used to be a bit of a hassle and an expense but I have since discovered some tips for making any house one with exciting stuff to eat.

Look for Recipes

I love looking online for recipes and I have found some great ideas that way as well.  Even difficult sounding meals like soufflé and lasagne isn’t all that hard to make if you take the time to find out how to do it. As well as learning how to make good meals I have also developed a bit of a penchant for baking cakes and biscuits. This means that when my nephews come over I can proudly present them with some treats which they have never seen before.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Most of us go round the supermarket in a kind of daze. We all have our favourite products which we buy every time and it is easy to forget to look for anything new. My outlook changed one day when I went shopping with a work colleague who veered straight into the fish products aisle. I had never even been in that part of the shop before and I was amazed to find some new products which soon became firm favourites of mine. At this point I decided to keep my eyes open for any new foods I could find. I was also immediately rewarded when I came across something lovely strips of exotic dried meat. I had never even heard of this before but the packaging looked so exciting that I decided to give it a try. Well, it turns out that it is an enormously tasty dried meat product which is great on its own or as part of a steaming hot stew. Whenever I go to the shops I now head straight for some of this stuff but I also make sure that I look out for anything new in stock as well.

Get to Know Foreigners

Isn’t it weird how food which is mind blowing in one part of the world can be completely normal in another? Even those old tea biscuits I used to dread seeing on the table are probably regarded as an exotic delicacy somewhere on the planet. If you have foreign shops near you then it is well worth taking a look around them. That dried meat product I mentioned earlier is from South Africa and when I realised this I decided to see what other food from around the world I could try. I work beside some foreigners and thanks to them I now regularly eat plantain bananas from Africa, dulce de leche from South America and a whole range of spices and sauces from Asia. Like the other ideas I have mentioned here none of them are particularly expensive to try and they can make eating more fun than ever.

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NO GUTS NO GLORY

Planning your own business nowadays can put you under a massive pressure. This is because our economy today is not as stable as decades ago. You really have to think about and prepare a lot before putting up your own business. But then I believe on what they say that: No guts, no glory. Having believing on this mantra I decided to put up a clothing business specifically ready to wear ones which I plan on putting on catalogs or brochures. Good thing I know where to find cheap brochure printing that could help me begin this business venture of mine. Hopefully I could be one of those success stories in a couple of years.

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ATCHARA RECIPE

Green papaya is the most common Atsara, though other vegetables can also be pickled, such as Radishes, Ampalaya, Singkamas, etc. The process of making atchara is easy but quite tedious. The green papaya is shredded, then salt is sprinkled to first sweat out its liquid, then wrung out (pigain) to remove as much liquid as possible. The bell peppers, carrots, onion and ginger are sliced and mixed with the papaya, then boiled vinegar and sugar are poured on to it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups Green Papaya
  • 1/2 cup Bell Peppers, cut in strips
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, cut in rounds or in flowerlike decorative rounds
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 thumb-size Ginger, cut in small strips
  • 1/4 cup Raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Rock salt

PROCEDURES:

1. Shred the papaya using a fine shredder or a food processor with a shredding disk. Sprinkle with salt, mix and set aside for 5-10 minutes.

2. Boil the vinegar and sugar together, then set aside.

3. Wring out the liquid from the papaya, then add all the other ingredients.

4. Pour the vinegar/sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.

5. Pack in sterilized or clean containers and keep refrigerated.

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Top Ten Kitchen Gadget Gifts – Check these Out

Whenever birthdays or holidays come around I always end up spending way too much time on the computer searching for the newest and coolest gadget gifts for my friends.I want to get them something they don’t have and will actually end up being used, not just collect dust in the back of a cupboard somewhere.

I assume I’m not the only one struggling here, so this one’s for you guys – enjoy!

1)      Wall clock and timer

 Very resourceful and also quite stunning the Bengt Ek wall clock and timer gives users exactly what they want. The best part of it is the detachable timer; you can have it hanging with the clock in the kitchen or take it with you out to the garden, or down to the store!  You’ll still be able to keep track of your cakes in the oven and you’ll need no more timers attached to your oven that you can only hear if you’re actually in said kitchen.

2)      Knife block

Most knife blocks come with specifically designed slots for particular knives, which don’t help much if you have an eclectic collection that you want to protect and put away. This is where the Kapoosh knife block comes in handy – it will protect and store your knives, all of them. No specific slots that only fit the knives you had to buy with it!

3)      Beep egg

 I may be a grown woman with two kids, but I still have trouble making boiled eggs the way I want them. I like them semi-runny, my husband loves them extra runny, while my kids will refuse to eat them if they aren’t as hard-boiled as possible. So I love the beep egg, I always get my eggs exactly the way I want them.

4)      One touch jar opener

 Ever passed around a jar for every family member to attempt to open? Hit it against the counter, held it under hot water, anything to just open the damn thing? No longer, with a one touch opener there’s a totally stress-free way to open even the toughest jars.

5)      Fridge savers

This is an especially great gift for loved ones who live alone. When cooking just for yourself you might not need a whole onion or pepper, but if you just stick them back in the fridge they will probably dry out before you want to use them again. Fridge savers will help make sure no food goes to waste!

6)      Electric wine openers

Ever misplaced the screw wine opener or tried to open it the wrong way so that you’re left with half a messed up cork between you and your lovely glass of wine?  Of course you have. Electric wine openers prevent all of that, you won’t end up bent over with a bottle of wine between your legs trying to pry out a cork, worried it’s just going to end up everywhere if you pull too hard and end up flat on the floor.

7)      Cookie cutters

I’m much more of a cookie person than cake, and I make them all the time, this is why I have an endless supply of cookie cutters in all shapes and sizes. Does your girlfriend love Star Wars, or is your dad a fan of Christmas cookies? Why not get them some beautiful cookie cutters that make baking a blast?

8)      Party toaster

 Breville has created a toaster with a radio, so now it’s even easier to enjoy your morning tunes or the latest football update while snacking away.

9)      Magnetic apron and oven gloves

 So handy, how many times have you been multitasking in the kitchen only to forget about the cake/lasagne/chicken in the oven? You’re running around looking for your oven mitts, trying to stop whatever is in there from burning. They’re nowhere to be found so you grab the nearest wash cloth and end up with a nasty burn on your thumb. With a magnetic apron and gloves, your mitts are always at hand, no frantic searching.

10)   Pasta timer

Ever tried to scoop one strand of spaghetti out of a boiling pot to see if they’re properly cooked, wondering if there’s a better way to go about it? Well, there is, and as someone who eats pasta like it’s going out of stock I can’t tell you how useful this little gadget has been.

Depending on how close you are with the gift recipient, you might want to match up some of these. For more ideas on kitchen-geared presents I like to make trips to kitchen showrooms to get inspired. You don’t necessarily need to be renovating your entire kitchen to enjoy some showrooms, even just that little bit of detail can be enough.

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PORK RIBS STEW or Nilagang buto-buto ng baboy

Pork ribs stew is another simple soup dish. Pork ribs boiled until tender then add onion, peppercorn, salt, potatoes, cardava banana, cabbage and green beans. This dish is usually serve as main dish specially during rainy season.

Ingredients:
500 grams pork ribs, cut into serving pieces
7 cups water(add more if necessary)
1 onion, sliced
1/4 teaspoon peppercorn
1 piece pork bouillon cube(optional)
2 potatoes, quartered
3 pieces cardava banana(saging na saba), cut into 3-4 pieces(optional)
1 bundle green beans, trimmed and cut into 3-4inch(optional)
1 bundle bok choy(pechay) or cabbage leaves(repolyo), cut into serving pieces
fish sauce or salt to taste

Procedures:
Part 1
1. In a large casserole, place meat and add water then bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat or until meat is tender.(Remove the scum as it rises.)

Part 2
1. Add onion, peppercorn, pork broth cubes and sprinkle some salt.
2. Add banana and potatoes and continue cooking until potatoes are cooked.
3. Add the green beans. Simmer for 3-5 minutes then adjust seasoning according to taste.
4. Add pechay then turn off the heat and leave for about 3 minutes before serving.
5. Transfer to serving bowl then serve hot with steamed rice. Enjoy

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MUSIC HOBBYIST

Being a musician is a very hard career to sustain and making music your hobby is also as hard as sustaining being a musician. I am a music hobbyist, if there is such a thing or a word, and I can tell you stories on how difficult it is in terms of money to feed this hobby. The other day I bought the best thomastik at guitar center and it cost me a week of my food allowance. I am not complaining though because music can feed my soul so it somehow a must for me. I just want to share to you the harsh reality behind it. To encourage you, I will most definitely say that it is all worth it.

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PINAKBET

English: Pinakbet

Famous dish from the Northern Ilocos Region, where the people need to make something from their harvest. Eggplants, okra, string beans and other vegetables are stewed with their famous Ilocos fermented fish.

INGREDIENTS:

4-6 pcs malunggay fruit (remove the skin and cut to 1 1/2- 2 inches long)
Small pcs of squash
1 pcs eggplants
1 pcs bittermelon
6-8 pcs of stringbeans
8-10 pcs of okra
10 stalks of kangkong
2 tbsp sauted shrimp paste
1 cup water
1 tomato
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
Cooking oil for frying

Salt

DIRECTION:

  1. In a cooking pot, boil the shrimp paste in water, until dissolve.
  2. Add the vegetables in a layer, start with tomato, onion,
    bittermelon, eggplant, stringbeans, malunggay fruit okra squash and
    garlic.
  3. Layer the fried or grilled fish, cover and cook on high and when it
    starts to boil, lower the heat to simmer.Cook for about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Add the kangkong leaves, and simmer for few minutes.

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PROTECT YOUR EYES, PICK THE GOOD SUNGLASSES

When buying sunglasses one of the most important that you buy ones a good quality otherwise you may be doing more damage to your eyes. Here are some tips.

  1. Select sunglasses that have a UV protection, in order to make sure that your sunglasses has a quality buy it on the sunglasses specialize store or on an optical stores.
  2. Buy sunglasses make from high quality polycarbonate as protected from UV rays.
  3. Select polarize sunglasses, this will help to reduce glare for activities like driving or boating.
  4. Choose photo chromatic sunglasses, this is useful if you wear prescription sunglasses. These have a capability to adjust UV rat of the sun.
  5. Test to see the sunglass is easy to look through, take the sunglasses and hold them at least half an arms length from our body.
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