I wouldn’t exchange my childhood in the Philippines for anything. The whole family sat down to supper just about every night: my grandparents, mom, dad, and my two brothers. But every Sunday, all my mother’s brothers and their families would arrive in the afternoon and stay till late into the night. Those suppers were extra special. Sunday suppers meant not just fiesta-worthy food (and lots of it!); they also meant hide-and-seek or capture-the-flag games that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Yes, Monday was a school day, but we didn’t care. We would have played until the sun came up if the grownups let us. (They sometimes did.) Continue reading One-Dish Dinners: Doable, Delicious Paella
Lunch with mom has always been a treat I’ve enjoyed since my early college years in the Philippines. And by “early” I mean as early as the first of my three majors. (Just call me Ms. Decisive.) I still remember one of the first places we frequented on our Wednesday lunch dates: Cosa Nostra in Manila, which at that time was a tiny restaurant with only a handful of tables, where I had some of the best puttanesca ever.
Then we moved to the New York area, and suddenly, it was like an invitation to the big league. So many different restaurants, celebrity chefs, dinner-and-a-show packages … my mom was soaking it all in, and I was right there with her. Alas, much as I enjoyed being my mom’s date as she explored what the big city had to offer, I eventually had to give up the student life and join the working class. (In other words, I realized how old I was and stopped mooching off my mama.) And, as one of our many family mottos goes, work got in the way of having a good time. Continue reading Lunch at Khun Thai
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you. For you. For all that you do for me. Please bear with me as I attempt to count the ways I do love thee. Continue reading Dear chicken
Two months ago, I was at my local library borrowing Pam Anderson’s “How to Cook Without A Book” and quickly going through my new stack of post-its to mark the pages. How I got from there to having the amazing trio of Pam, Maggy and Sharon of Three Many Cooks guest post in my blog is still a bit of a mystery to me. But I do know that I’m incredibly fortunate to have gotten to know them, especially Maggy, who already feels like an old friend. Pam and her daughters are just about the warmest, most giving, and absolutely genuine people I’ve never met in person. That “never met in person” part will change soon, but I’ll save that for a future post. Continue reading The Circle Of Lamb
1. Pretty colors can sometimes be a guide to creating new recipes.
Lately, I’ve been craving ice cream. I don’t know if it has something to do with the warmer weather, or hormones. Or my sweet tooth awakening at the same time the flower buds are. Or hormones.
Maybe it’s hormones.
The thing is, my favorite ice cream flavors aren’t exactly the kind you can just pick up from your neighborhood grocery. Unless your neighborhood is in the Philippines. Or any other place in Asia. Or somewhere in the Caribbean. Continue reading Ice Cream
My mom and I try to have lunch together as regularly as we can. Even when I was still living at home in the Philippines, we would have regular “Wednesday club” dates and movie nights. We always found reasons to hang out together, which would explain why I’m such a mama’s girl.
Last week, our lunch date took us to Woo Jung, a Korean restaurant in Palisades Park, New Jersey. I happened to mention to my mom that my husband Tom had never been to a Korean restaurant before, and while galbi jjim (Korean braised short ribs) happens to be one of my earliest specialties, my version is probably not truly authentic. So, rather than schedule our usual sushi lunch, she decided we’d introduce my husband to Korean cuisine instead.
Continue reading Lunch at Woo Jung