Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What's Cooking: Lady's Choice Fish Fillet and Apple Sandwich

It's baon season once again and it's very easy to experience lunch box fatigue from eating and preparing the same school snack everyday. As much as possible, we stay away from unhealthy snacks and my kid often brings choco-milk or a yogurt drink, a peanut butter sandwich and a banana. Although she enjoys her food, we also like to jazz it up from time to time. Good thing we have different viands of Lady's Choice Sandwich Spreads, for this recipe we used Lady's Choice Tuna Spread.

Here's an idea we taste-tested a couple of days ago. Since we are trying to cure her of her frozen chicken-nuggets addiction, I used cream dory fish fillet for the sandwich. What I like about cream dory is the mild taste and when breaded and battered, she can't tell the difference between that and chicken nuggets, haha;-)


Apple Slaw:
1 small apple, julienne 
2 tbsp raisins
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar

Fish Fillet:
1 Cream Dory
1 tbsp corn starch
1 pinch baking soda
1 tsp vinegar
4 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
oil for frying

2 Slices of  bread
Lady's Choice Tuna Spread


1. Prepare the apple slaw, start by julienning the apple. I just love saying julienne, it's a fancy shmancy term for slicing the apples into thin strips. In a small bowl, mix the apples, raisins, lemon juice and sugar. Set aside.

2. Prepare the fish batter. In a non-reactive bowl mix  the vinegar and baking soda, don't be surprised when it sizzles, mix the flour, water, salt and pepper. Adjust to taste. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the cream dory fillet then dredge it n cornstarch before dipping it into the batter and deep frying in hot oil for about 5-6 minutes until golden brown. You can also pan fry at 3-4 minutes on each side. 

3. It's time to assemble your  Lady's Choice Fish Fillet and Apple Sandwich. Put some Lady's Choice Tuna spread on to 2 pieces of bread. Put about 2 tablespoons of apple slaw, without the juice, and top it with the cream dory fillet. Enjoy!

The sweetness of the apple-raisin slaw combined with the fish and the balanced taste of the Lady's Choice Tuna spread makes this a perfect snack;-)


Friday, July 13, 2012

The Bashful Mimosa Encounter

It's amazing to be a kid, everything is new and there's always something to discover. To a child even the most mundane things can be a source of wonder. 

During an out of town trip, this little girl discovered the Bashful Mimosa or Makahiya plant. She was in awe of how the plant "closed" at the touch of her finger and ended up hunting "open" ones for a significant part of her afternoon. She was surprised how her simple action can affect change in the plant. I told her that the plant is very shy and sensitive to touch, like the Makahiya other plants also have feelings and we should take care not to hurt them. 

Later on she said, "Look Mommy, it's just like a game in my iPod." . . . hmmmm digital kids!

mommy moments


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Filipino as a Second Language

Before I became a mom, I worked in the outsourcing industry for about 7 years. During this time, I've known and interviewed a lot (and I mean a LOT) of people who could have been hired, except that they were not able to express themselves well in English. In college, I made extra cash from teaching English as a Second Language to Koreans, most of my students wanted to study the language to enhance their careers. 

When we had Sofie, we didn't want her to have the same problem, regardless of what field she may want to get into when she's older, so we taught her to speak in English. The rationale was, when she's old enough to attend school, she'll be able to learn Filipino anyway. This theory would have worked except that her school uses English to teach preschool and almost everywhere we go, specially in urbanized areas, you can hear kids speaking in fluent English instead of Filipino. At home we can not watch a Filipino program without my daughter needing an interpreter. Imagine Going Bulilit translated in English, we don't know whether to laugh first and translate after or vice versa.  

Hubby and I are very much Filipino at heart, given options we always opt for supporting Pinoy made products instead of imported ones. We prefer to live and stay in the Philippines, despite opportunities to go abroad. So why then, does our only daughter have a neutral American accent? Yun na!  Nag Soft-skills training!

A star, a bunny for support and a reward for a job well done!
Since we didn't want her to have a problem understanding Filipino in school, we even considered hiring a Filipino tutor. Of course, after thinking about it I had to mentally smack my behind! A kid with two Filipino parents does not need a Filipino tutor. And if I was able to teach English to Koreans without having a common language with them, I'll be darned if I can't get my kid to speak Filipino. 

We are currently using these methods to teach our kid Filipino as a Second Language. 

1. Reading bilingual books. Thank God for Adarna Bilingual books, which we now read in two languages, as opposed to before when we only read the English translations. There are many resources in National Bookstore and Filipino books are even cheaper that the English ones. 

2. Declaring "Tagalog Day". We do this once a week, although it still a Tag-lish day at this point since Sofie only knows a handful of  words like "Opo", "Hindi po", "Salamat", "Walang anuman" and "Tubig". We know she can understand a bit already since she often joins the conversation when her Dad and I speak in Filipino even if she answers in English. It's not much but it's a start, baby steps. 

3. Filipino Activities / Worksheets. Even though she is already attending regular school, we still do home school at least 3 times a week. We implement "No TV Days", so this is a good way to spend time, since we do not have a big space for her to run around. I found some Filipino worksheets from TheGoMom, although her materials are for grade school kids and we can not use them for Sofie yet, I love it since I can brush up on my own Filipino as well. For Sofie, I use preschool worksheets found online, they're in English but I translate them in Filipino and print them out. I'll check for copyright information first and when I have enough, I'll post them here. 

In hindsight, although we would still want our daughter to speak English fluently, we would also have taught her to speak Filipino and Cebuano for that matter. Now, we speak to her in both languages as much as possible, when we speak to her in Filipino, we also translate in English. So yes, I repeat almost everything I say more often than usual. Paulit-ulit! Paulit-ulit!

Such are the struggles of the first-born child, they always end up as experimental subjects of mom and dad's "parenting skills". Good thing, she is open to the challenge and often asks me what this word or that means in Filipino, Cebuano and sometimes even in Chinese and SpaMish. (Yup, SpaMish with an M!)

We are not Chinese or Spanish, we do not speak either language, so I only have Kailan and Dora to blame for that bit.


Monday, July 9, 2012

What's Cooking: McCormick Adobong Pula

The adobo is one of the staple dishes in a Pinoy kitchen, for me it's my go-to dish when I run out of ideas on what to serve my family. However, perfecting the adobo is a topic of much debate and variety, there are many kinds, adobo sa puti, sa pula, adobo with coconut and so on. It can be done with chicken, pork, fish, beef and even vegetables.  One thing I've learned before I was able to cook my own perfect adobo, is that every household has their own way of cooking it and the taste relies very much on the taste of the chef. 

Sometime ago I got some McCormick Adobo Mixes from YummyEats 2012 and in one of our hectic days I decided to try it. We were busy, hungry and we wanted something homey, hot and fast for dinner. I got some chicken and my McCormick Adobo Pula mix and went straight to cooking. It's pretty much easy peasy cooking with a mix and here's what I did. 


1 packet McCormick Adobo Pula Mix
2 tbsp cooking oil
5 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 small onion
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
2-3 pcs laurel leaves
5-6 pcs chicken, cleaned and cut in serving portions
**for this recipe, I used half a kilo of chicken


1. Using a shallow pan,  I browned some chicken in a bit oil until it began to render it's own fat. I removed the excess and added the onions, crushed garlic, laurel leaves and black pepper. 

2. I stirred in 1 pack of McCormick Adobo Pula mix along with half cup of water. The instructions on the packet called for one full cup but we want our abodo a bit dry in these parts. 

3. I let it simmer until cooked and served with steamed rice. Yumyum!

Overall, it was a good filling dish the chicken was tasty and it had that homecooked adobo feel. If no one new about the adobo mix, it would receive very good comments. I did wish I put a bit of soy sauce or salt though since I want my adobo to be on the salty side, but as for the rest of my family they all gave thumbs up. So, I guess it's a good kitchen helper to keep in my pantry for those kind of days and I can't wait to try the other variants. 


Pink Tights Phenomenon

I'm thankful this little one has a cute fashion sense, since I am no longer able to tell her what to wear! What's with the #pinktights, girl?



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