Archive for July, 2010

Steamed Fish

Last night, my father brought home a gigantic Tilapia that was given to him by a friend.  According to my mother, Tilapias are measured by fingers. She told me the size of the one I was challenged to cook was 8 – 9 fingers depending on the gender of the person who’s measuring it. LOL.

Check at the scale of the extra large egg with the Tilapia below. Figure it out how big it was!

My father was requesting for a dish he sampled before where the fish was cooked with mayonnaise.  Since the Tilapia was big, I don’t want to cut it out, so I prepared one where its size was preserved.

I checked one of my cookbooks and found a recipe for a steamed fish which I did revisions.  Here’s how I cooked it.

1) I rubbed the cleaned tilapia  with butter, salt and pepper and put it on an aluminum foil.  I filled the inside with fresh basil and left a long stalk of celery on one side of the fish.

2) The wrapped tilapia was put in a steamer and was cooked under a simmering water for about 30 to 40 minutes.

3) I unwrapped the foil and preserved the drippings.   One square of chicken bouillon was dissolved to the preserved drippings and was cooked under low heat until it thickened a little.

4) The thickened drippings was poured over the tilapia that was transferred to a serving platter.  I made sure that the sauce was scattered evenly so the fish would absorb it equally.

5) I dressed the tilapia with mayonnaise leaving the head and tail still exposed.

6) Lastly, for the embellishments, I added chopped carrots, eggs and pickled relish.

The fish dish was delicious though it’s somewhat “nakakaumay” because of the mayonnaise.  It was tasty though even without the toppings.  I know this recipe would work better with Lapu-lapu, Maya-maya or Talakitok.  Let’s try it with Lapu-lapu next time. 🙂

Oh, by the way, here’s an interesting note on the etymology of Tilapia from Wikipedia:

The common name tilapia is based on the name of the cichlid genus Tilapia, which is itself a latinization of thiape, the Tswana word for “fish”.[1] Scottish zoologist Andrew Smith named the genus in 1840.[2]

Tilapia go by many names. The moniker “St. Peter’s fish” comes from the story in the Christian Bible about the apostle Peter catching a fish that carried a shekelcoin in its mouth, though the passage does not name the fish.[3] While the name also applies to Zeus faber, a marine fish not found in the area, a few tilapia species (Sarotherodon galilaeus galilaeus and others) are found in the Sea of Galilee, where the author of the Gospel of Matthew accounts the event took place. These species have been the target of small-scale artisanal fisheries in the area for thousands of years.[4][5] In some Asian countries including the Philippines, large tilapia go bypla-pla while their smaller brethren are just tilapia.

So I guess the tilapia I have been talking about is actually a pla-pla.  :p


Twin yolks

This egg made me giggle that my father commented I am like a kid laughing  over a simple thing.  Hehehe!  I was preparing the ingredients of a dish I prepared last night and egg is one of the main ingredients.  While, chopping one of the eggs, I saw one egg with a double yolks! I have been cooking and baking for long but this is the first time I saw one.  Cool, isn’t it? 😀

Last week’s diary

Last week was a busy day for me.

Sunday – I reported to work as usual.

Monday – My mother and I went to Makati Medical to get the results of all the laboratory tests that her doctor requested as preparation for her operation. From there, we headed to St. Luke’s Hospital to get a third opinion on her illness – a cyst  observed 8 years ago in her thyroid that two doctors already advised to have it removed immediately. The endocrinologist that our medical insurance referred to at St. Luke’s gave the same feedback – to have a thyroidectomy ASAP since her last biopsy was already past 5 months and it showed significant findings. Right there and then, after contacting my other sisters, we decided to have the operation done at St. Luke’s instead of Makati Medical.

My mom with her Fish Pomodoro meal at Delifrance  in St. Luke’s where we had our lunch while waiting for the Endocrinologist’s arrival.

From the hospital, after all was done for the preparation of the operation which was scheduled on Wednesday of the same week, we went to Banawe to meet my Aunt who was having her car reconditioned, brother-in-law, another sister and friend.  My aunt would treat us for dinner.  We decided to have it at Tong Yang in SM Megamall.  Thanks, Aunt Melda for the dinner treat!

Tuesday – I had to report back to work as I would be on leave on Wednesday and Thursday and I had to finish a number of tasks needed for the week.

Wednesday – I traveled with my father to St. Luke’s in Manila and arrived there at 2 PM.  My mother’s operation was scheduled at 4 PM.

I took this picture on our way to Manila.  Do you know this bridge?  We always pass by this Candaba viaduct whenever we travel to Manila.  When I was in college, I would travel weekly to go home and when I reached this bridge, my heart would leap for I know I will just be a few minutes away from home. Haha!  On some occasions, out of boredom, I would time the length this 5 km bridge would take to end and would always surprise me that it  would always give a result of  3 minutes via bus.  It always amazes me too that half of the bridge is part of Apalit, Pampanga while the other half is of Pulilan, Bulacan.

Before 4 PM while mother is waiting for her operation.

My mom is actually at the operating room while we were at Delifrance to have our dinner.  We got tensed in the room waiting for the operation to end so we decided to get out and have our dinner instead. Below is at Delifance with my three sisters, Maureen, Marinel and Maricar.

Thursday – A few hours after my mom’s recovery from the operation, together with my sisters, Mau and Mye (shown on the pic below), we decided to go to SM Megamall to do a little shopping and grab a dinner treat.
Mau @ the newly-opened Forever 21 at SM Megamall. My sister, Maricar  finds it funny that she commented Mau loves having pictures taken at the mall. LOL. I can’t blame Mau when she gets excited in a mall for she’s deprived of this when she’s at her husband’s hometown in Isabela. Hahah!
Mau’s husband, Mon gave a dinner treat  at Dad’s in Megamall.  A very fattening and heavy dinner!  I consumed a plate of callos and chicken liver. Thanks, Mon!
Friday – My mom was discharged from the hospital before noon.  Art, my sister, Maritza’s boyfriend gave us a lunch treat before we headed to Pampanga at Tong Yang’s main branch at Quezon Avenue.  It was his birthday the day after and we didn’t know.  Thanks, Art for the lunch treat and belated happy birthday!
Here’s a picture of mom after the lunch treat at Tong Yang.  Check her wrist she still has the “bracelet” from the hospital. Hahaha!  It seems like she didn’t have a recent operation for she finished all the food that I put on her plate which was A LOT!
Before going home, we passed by Marquee mall in Pampanga.  We were supposed to go to Trinoma but due to time constraint and vehicle coding, we decided to just go to Marquee Mall.
Maricar at Crazy Crepes finishing my mom’s order of Banana-Caramel Crepe.
Saturday –  I just stayed at home but was busy for I assisted a helper in cleaning the house.  That concluded my week.
PS: Having an unexpected illness in the family made me realize that money and time will never be an issue.  All my sisters were able to come to Manila to share their time with my mom, even the two who were from distant places in the Philippines.  It was a reunion except that we missed our other sister who’s currently in Vietnam.
We thank the Lord that even if the result of the cyst is malignant – Papillary Thyroid Cancer, the operation was successful and my mom was able to recover immediately and that her illness has a long life expectancy.   Thank you so much, Lord for more time with my mom!

Happy 4th of July!

Today, my family unknowingly celebrated America’s Independence Day with a sandwich that my sister and I prepared.  She grilled the frankfurters and later on we loaded them with vegetables – romaine lettuce, sliced pickles, sweet tomatoes and topped them with mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and melted cheddar cheese.


Some information about today’s celebration from Wikipedia – In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.[1][2][3]

Happy Independence Day, America!  🙂

Eclipse & Filipinos

I watched Eclipse today at SM Clark with my youngest sister, Mylene and we were both frustrated! Frustrated not with the movie but with the people watching it and place where we viewed it.

Even on its  3rd or 4th day with two cinemas  available at SM to choose from,  people of different ages swarmed the place.  Yes, I anticipated that the movie house is full on a Saturday as the movie is a phenomenal success as the previous ones (Twilight & New Moon).  But what I did not anticipate are teenagers nicely seated in the aisle/stairs chit-chatting while the movie is starting. Oh well, I just had to be myself and glared at them while saying in Pampango “Nanu, mipagkwento ta namo?!” (Okay, are we just gonna be chatting here?!)

I also didn’t expect a noisy couple seated next to me (my sister was seated 3 seats apart from my chair as there were no more seats available except those that are very near the screen which I didn’t like).  The wife who’s pregnant kept on telling stories from the book of some scenes so her husband can catch up with the story and reacting while saying YUCK whenever Bella kisses Jacob!!! How rude is that?!

Lastly are the employee and activities of SM.   The female security guard of SM kept on walking multiple times throughout the movie and insensitive of the people whom she might  be blocking their sight.  How discourteous!  There was an orchestra playing at SM Activity Center at the time we watched the movie and I mistakenly thought the music was a background  from the movie while Edward and Bella are exchanging sweet words at movie’s ending.  Indeed a very disappointing experience.

With all these frustrations, I told my sister while walking out of the cinema that I wished manners on how to watch a movie were taught in school.  This way, Filipinos will be able to show respect of their  seat mates and all people surrounding them in the Cinema.  Movie houses regardless of location (be it at the Podium, Greenbelt, SM, or elsewhere) will not be the issue then for its the people’s discipline that would matter.

Some delicacies and sweets of the North

Food has always been my company especially when I travel.  I am an adventurous eater so I love varieties.  During my travel to the north, I sampled different native delicacies though some of them I have already tasted before.

Tupig is very famous in the North. I first tasted this when a friend who came from Pangasinan years back brought some as pasalubong.  I loved it instantly!

Inatata – Ilagan’s version of our “suman” though this one is somewhat similar with “inangit”.

I wasn’t able to get the name of this delicacy as my aunt kept on laughing on what the saleslady told her when she asked for its name.  I guess it’s the way the lady pronounced it.

Bibingka from Claveria, Cagayan.  Claveria is the last municipality in Cagayan going to Ilocos Norte.   Bibingka of the North has a big difference on the bibingka I grew up with.  Theirs is very sticky while ours is somewhat spongy.  Both bibingka are delicious though I prefer the bibingka of Vigan over the one in Cagayan.
The “STARS” of the Northen delicacies…
G & B Buko Pie of Nueva Vizcaya.  This is not the usual Southern buko pie of Laguna for the pie is thin as compared to Laguna’s thick filling.  I prefer this over Laguna’s because even if the pie and filling is thin, it is loaded with shaved coconut as compared to Laguna’s where you can only eat a few shaved ones.
Alcala from Alcala, Cagayan. This candy is their version of “pastillas”.   I love this soooo much!!!  I suggest though that you eat it right away on the day you bought it or a day after, otherwise it loses its freshness.  It can be frozen for days but the taste is as not as delicious as the day it was bought.  This can be comparable with Bulacan’s pastillas that also uses carabao’s milk.

Half and Half

Yay!  First half of the year has ended and looking back, there’s nothing much that  is remarkable that happened except for baking where I was able to do my first fondant cakes and blogging where I had more posts as compared to the year and a half  since I started to blog.  Hehe!

I just can’t wait for the year to end. Just kidding of course!

I have lots of things in mind to do before the year ends so I better start this month.  So many ideas running that I want to happen be it with cooking, baking, make-up, fashion, photography, travel and studying here and abroad.  Hahaha!   A lot, huh? It’s as if I have enough funds to cover all of them.  Well, there’s always “The Secret”, right?

Oh, there’s one more thing, it’s a wishful thinking really and it’s another “secret”. LOL.

I wish all of them would materialize this year.