Friday, December 19, 2008

G's Birthday

It was G's birthday yesterday and of course, I've been looking for easy recipes that I can follow so I can somehow cook something up. Finally, the birthday dinner consisted of bacon-wrapped asparagus, a chicken and shrimp pesto pasta and a banana cream pie.

This was a dish that I got from Rachel Ray's 30-minute meals ( I made use of a bundle of large asparagus spears (16pcs) which I wrapped with honey maple bacon. After placing it in a glass oven dish, I seasoned it with a dash of pepper and some garlic powder before topping it with 3 tsp of EVOO. I placed it inside an oven which was pre-heated at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and just left it there to cook for 15 minutes. For it's dipping sauce, we just used a combination of Kikkoman soy sauce and lemon juice. It's very good and since I only made 8 bundles (each bundle consisted of 2 asparagus spears and 1 bacon), it was "bitin". Next time, I'll try to make more!!!

The pesto was easy because we just used the pre-made mixes. All I have to do was to cook the thin spaghetti noodles, saute the chicken and the shrimp (separately, because the chicken is actually for Oed who is allergic to shrimps) and then, add the pesto. I then mixed it with the cooked pasta and topped it with toasted pine nuts and some Parmesan cheese.

Abby absolutely loved the pine nuts! That's her hand showing a toasted pine nut which she started picking from the pasta.

And now this is the pie that just wouldn't cooperate... Abby calls it "Tita Rhea's Arctic Jungle Banana Cream Pie". It's a pie that doesn't look like a pie but tastes like one. I would've waited for the pastry cream to really thicken...sigh. But in fairness, it tasted really good. The combination of the pastry cream, graham, whipped cream and banana plus the cinnamon was enough to make G get more than his "fair" share. By the way, this was inspired by the banana cream pie recipe that I got from Yummy magazine's October 2007 issue. (Yes, I brought some of my Yummy mags with me and I hope to be reunited with some of them soon.) I promised myself that I will do this again for G but this time, I hoped to get it right just like the one in the mag. sigh.

G said it was a very good birthday dinner and he even volunteered to wash the dishes. (How sweet!!!) But since it was his birthday, I think it is but right to give him a break from his dish washing duties.


Monday, December 15, 2008

A Porky Business

We have guests that fine Sunday afternoon. Oed asked me if I have anything in mind. The truth was, I was up til the wee hours of the morning minding our laundry and browsing Eric's slow cooker recipes. I saw one interesting recipe.....Smothered Pork with Caramelized onions. I have never tried it before but it was a dish that calls for really simple ingredients so.... Smothered Pork it was!!!!

I dredged the pork loins in 1/2 cup of flour which was seasoned with salt and pepper. I browned them in 1 tbsp canola oil and 1 tbsp butter (I used the "I can't believe it's not butter" brand) and placed them in a baking pan.
In the same frying pan, I caramelized 2 thinly sliced onions to which I added 2 tsps of sugar and after what seemed forever (translate:15-20 mins), I deglazed the pan with 2 cups of chicken broth (made by using 2 cups of water and 2 small chicken bouillon cubes).
The onion mixture was added to the browned pork loins and I baked them for an hour in a pre-heated oven of about 325 degrees Fahrenheit. They turned out pretty good and tasty. The meat was moist and the caramelized onions imparted so much flavor to the meat. I paired it with buttered mixed vegetables and rice. It worked well with mashed potatoes too! Super!

And look at this darling of a boy who kept us busy at the dining table.

Diego is such a cutie patooooteeeee!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

out and about with ayen and joon

This is what we looked like after scouring various stores last black Friday. Ayen got a new vacuum cleaner and Joon got a new GPS. G got me proper winter clothes.

This was taken inside Golden Corral, a buffet restaurant. The food here is great but kinda oily. But we love the overflowing bread, sweet tea and honey spread. This was Ayen's treat.

This was taken when we went to a very nice furniture store called Ikea. It has its own cafe and they make really good Swedish meatballs.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Misplaced in Baltimore

hey! i'm baaaaaaaaccccckkkkkk!

i'm re-united with my husband after what felt like forever. it was a 22 hour trip. from manila to nagoya. then from nagoya to detroit. and finally from detroit to baltimore.

my husband G(with flowers and teddy bear in tow) plus the torregozas fetched me from the airport.

upon arriving at bonnie ridge where we are currently residing, i was told that there is a dinner party waiting for me at the belvedere towers where some of our friends are staying.

here are several pics that i got from ayen who is our official photographer.

we are obviously hungry!!!!

- this was taken during my welcome party. these people went out of their way to throw me a welcome dinner. thank you so much! joon, thanks for hosting!!!!

to my left you have: ayen, joon, miss ditas, kuya mon and sir andy

next to me is cyrene and to my right, my husband G and ayen

i was a bit tired but the warmth and love shown by G and my friends really made my day.