Monday, July 14, 2008

cooking again!

last post was in may. since that time my interaction with my stove has been erratic. hmmm kitchen is there, but mainly for opening the fridge to get the yoghurt and soy milk. an occasional use of the microwave for sausages and the like. making coffee and toast. but no serious cooking. but yesterday, sunday, i was cooking again! rather, we were cooking again! maybe the lack of homemade meals in our diet has taken its toll, we were craving for something different. so last saturday we went to our suki seller of organic vegetables. bought some stuff. as there was a fisheries exhibition in the same mall, we went there and saw that the DOF was selling smoked milkfish (bangus). we bought one to try it at home. yesterday, after church, we cooked our lunch at home. we seldom do lunch at home, by the way. after putting on the rice cooker, i prepared the fresh shitake mushrooms (เห็ดหอม/fragrant mushroom) and spinach (ผักขม, Popeye's food accdg to the seller), and sliced some garlic and onions. then it was time to stir fry them! my dear hubby volunteered to stir the veggies for me. he took over the cooking then! i just placed the oyster sauce and the soy sauce nearby so he would know these have to be added. he can cook it better than i can, i supposed. i tend to overcook the vegetables but for him he knows just when to take them from the fire, the thai way of stir frying veggies. after that it was my turn to heat the smoked milkfish. it was not boneless but the DOF pressure cooked it first before smoking. so we did not have to worry about the bones. it smelled good but did not know how it would taste. so when everything was ready, we were so hungry that we sat down to eat, after thanking the Lord for His provision. we forgot to take photos of our sunday masterpiece. some other time. the taste was ok, but since we ran out of our chilli powder (pla ku lao prik thai), there was no spicy flavoring. it was still ok though. except that the black belly that milkfish is famous for among the Filipinos was missing!

Thanks to the following sources, esp. for photos. Visit them for more information and links:

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I was glad to be able to eat halo-halo when I went home to the Phils last April. Actually I really wanted to eat halo-halo from Chowking but I was not able to. One day we went to the beach and we had some at a nearby shop. It tasted good. With the heat all around us, eating halo-halo really refreshed us. There are many variations to the mixture of halo-halo. The best ones are those that put a variety of fruits in season, with toppings of ice cream and ube halaya. Some have roasted pinipig and peanuts. Hmmm wish I can have one again. Somehow the khanom wan yen here in Thailand does not taste the same, despite nearly similar basic ingredients, like crushed ice, milk, sugar/syrup ... and any topping of fruit and nuts.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


This dish is very basic and simple. Potatoes can also be added. At home, we use cooking bananas (saba) and sweet potato (camote) instead of carrots, beans and potato. For a nice smell, we also add edible lemon grass.

Tenderloin pork (cut into pieces) - can be substituted with beef, chicken or fish

How to cook:
1. Boil the meat until tender.
2. Add carrots and beans. Cook until soft.
3. Add cabbage. Season to taste.
4. Bring to boil one time and remove from fire.

Italian Spaghetti

So easy to make! Italian spaghetti is quite sour compared to the Filipino spaghetti sauce. But it is still delicious, of course!

Friday, February 29, 2008

An exciting Friday evening!

Great news! The long-missed Thai Isan food vendors are back on campus! Just before the year 2007 ended last year, all the vendors in the campus cafeteria had to move out. Gone! Coz cafeteria services have been outsourced to a company. So gone were our favorite food sellers. Our acquired taste of the food that is truly authentic campus cafeteria taste could not be satisfied by this new group. That's why we had been having fun with our food marketing and kitchen adventures. But then, this evening when we were moving around the campus, we saw a crowd at the Thai Isan food kiosk by the swan lake. It was announced last week that a new concessionaire has taken over there selling Thai Isan food. It did occur to me that maybe this Isan couple might come to sell food there. But since I was so busy during the past week it slipped my mind to go and check. Anyway, tonight I was planning to cook pasta with tomato sauce and pepper ham. I had already taken them out to prepare when we had to go out. And thus we passed nearby the kiosk. So we decided to see what was going on there, and maybe we were hoping that the new vendors would be our favorite one! And we were not mistaken! We were so excited to see them and we were so happy also to know that it was them! I bet that nearly all their loyal customers on campus feel the same way as we do! So we decided to eat dinner there. Al fresco! By the lake, with a huge monitor lizard coming out once in a while to say hello. Unfortunately I did not bring my camera so I could not show all the favorite food we ordered, namely som tam, namtok mhu, kho mhu yang, sticky rice! And coke. We were being bad but we just shared a bottle. And we were celebrating. Now I am drinking ampalaya tea. So I think it would be ok. Our taste buds were so happy to be tasting some delicious Thai Isan food again. Aroy mak mak! Sep lai lai!

He can cook, thank God!

Last night I left the office at 730 pm coz we had to do some more budget calculation for our annual work plan. So my husband had to cook dinner. Again since it was already towards the end of the week, the food supplies in the kitchen were nearly depleted. When he called me at around 6pm or so to inform me that he had already arrived, and I mentioned that I would be late coming home, he volunteered to cook dinner. Yehey! So nice of him! It seems it is becoming a habit! Anyway, we only had morning glory and mushrooms left in the crisper. No more meat and fish. We did have some pepper ham and eggs. When I got home he had already prepared the veggies and he was about to cook them. It was good he did not forget to cook rice!

I left him to cook it and I just took photos so I can post them here! I gave instructions only ha ha ha! So first was to heat the wok and add some oil, then saute the chopped garlic and the sliced red onions. The smell started to come out from the spices! And my stomach started to growl. I was already hungry and it was only the initial ingredients! Then add the veggies, oyster sauce and some powdered black pepper. Just stir fry for a few minutes and dinner was ready!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What's cooking, again?

Yes, again because I am back to cooking mode. Even though the other day the exhaust fan in the kitchen broke down. It was working well the night before. But then the cleaners came and they cleaned it. They must have broken something in there. The motor was running when we turned it on but the blade just would not turn with the motor. So I was planning to inform the Housing Office yesterday but I totally forgot about it coz of too much work. My husband said I should have noted it down so I could remember. Oh yeah, well I forgot to write a reminder note ha ha ha. It will have to wait tomorrow because today is a holiday. So last night when I cooked dinner, there was no exhaust fan. The kitchen got really hot. Even the dishes on the rack were also hot to the touch! I opened the windows a bit and directed the fan to it to blow the hot air out. Nevertheless the cooking smell still remained. Especially so since I fried some fish (pla salit ded deaw). This is a gurami fish which has been dried under the sun for just one day. You can imagine the smell. But it was yummy coz I fried it until it was crispy. Sort of intentionally and also because while frying it I could not stay in the kitchen so it stayed longer than necessary but it was not burned. It was too hot in there so I went to the dining room to continue with my crossword puzzle. Then my husband would remind me a few times that there was something burning in the kitchen. I told him that I was frying fish and I wanted a crispy one. Not the 'yeh yeh' kind you get from vendors who did not want to waste time to fry it longer than necessary. Anyway, I also cooked stir fried vegetables to go with the fish! Just 2 kinds of vegies, 'Baguio' beans and morning glory (pakbung, kangkong, tangkong). I added some oyster sauce, then I remembered that I had some basil leaf mixture. Just to have some spicy flavor so I also added some. The end result was very good, indeed. My husband told me it was delicious! That was enough to make my day I was so happy to wash the dishes later, even though actually it should be him coz I already did the cooking! But I did not mind :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

New but ...

Something new was coming up on campus this new year! Guess what? A new cafeteria, as in, new management, new vendors, new service, new everything. So what we have been used to before is now gone! Thus on the first day of work on campus, I deliberately planned to have my lunch at the new cafeteria. By the time my stomach was growling at around past noon, I was ready to venture to try & taste something new. I decided to walk so I could get some exercise. I was quite excited at the prospect of trying out this new thing as it was hyped earlier that outsourcing cafeteria services is the answer to all our cafeteria woes! So there I was, walking excitedly with a spring on my steps, despite my weakening knees due to hunger. I went in and sensed that things were sluggish and the mood was quite subdued. People were idly milling around in front of the stalls, some flitting from one stall to another, others were queuing up and waiting for their food, & then leaving. I saw some friends moving around, complaining there was nothing to eat! I had to see for myself what was on offer. And indeed, I myself did not find the food appetizing or palatable! Despite my hunger, it was not able to coax my mind to accept just any food. Was it that bad? Hmmm. I saw a friend who was brave enough to order from the Thai salad stall. She said she would just try it. I was afraid to just try anything. I felt like I lost something! Me with my hungry stomach felt like a kid who was left at school waiting for somebody to pick her up but that somebody never came. I made another round again to really see if I could order something. But there was really nothing. It was not as if there was no food there. There was but they looked like hmmm somebody said, “hospital food”? I decided to just leave and find food elsewhere on campus. I went to the Arcade where a grocery shop was also selling some food. I met a few friends there who had the same experience as I had earlier. So we bought sticky rice and fried pork. And banana. That was my lunch that day. I took it to the office and ate it there. A couple of officemates who had lunch at the new cafeteria came and they were talking about how expensive the food was, the serving especially of rice was so little it would not last them all afternoon, the service was slow, and many more. I told them that I had to walk out and find food elsewhere! Another officemate arrived from there and said that she would never go back and eat at the cafeteria anymore!

Oh well, I do not know whether this is a normal reaction, something like “resisting change”? But I do not think so. We are mature people here and we know when a thing is good and when it is just so-so or “cheuy cheuy”. My observation if I use colors is like this: previously things in the cafeteria were pink, yellow, orange, green and a kaleidoscope of colors, but this time, we just see gray and white and black. I hope that things can be rectified soonest, before the avalanche comes, i.e. when offices open full blast and classes start, which is next week!

For me, so I wouldn’t go hungry and get some ulcer and blame the new cafeteria, I planned my own feeding strategy ha ha ha just like fish culture. I would buy food in the morning at the Arcade and keep it for lunch, similar to bringing a lunchbox to the office. I did that for lunch earlier and it worked ok. Also, that means that I have to do more cooking at home, especially for dinner. That was what another male officemate said yesterday, he had to start using his kitchen and stock up on kitchen things. We do not have a choice really until the situation improves (if ever).