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Le fang, le kwatsa!



Leica's personal food and travel blog



Updated: 2017-10-22T11:10:35.622+08:00

 



Mongolian Noodles

2016-09-30T12:24:09.200+08:00

Hubby and I enjoy Mongolian bowls. This recipe is as close as I can get like the ones that we eat at a Mongolian place at the food court. I love all kinds of noodles, so this is comfort food for me.

Mongolian  Noodles

2 small packs of vermicelli noodles (sotanghon), soaked in cold water.
Assorted vegetables, cut thinly (I use whatever is left in the crisper - carrots, sayote, Baguio beans etc.)
Choice of meat (sukiyaki cut, chicken fillets, cut in thin strips, squid etc)
Cooking oil
Chopped peanuts (optional, but highly recommended)

Sauce:
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
3/4 cup soy sauce (Kikkoman or any Korean brand)
2/3 cup brown sugar (or adjust to taste)
1 1/4 cup chicken broth (more, if your noodles feel a bit dry)
4 cloves or garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, sliced
Red pepper flakes, optional

Procedure:

1. Mix all the sauce ingredients and set aside. Let marinate for at least 15-20 minutes to infuse the garlic taste in the sauce.
2. In a wok, saute the meat/s in a bit of cooking oil and some of the sauce.
3. Add the vegetables and saute until vegetables are half done. Add the remainder of the sauce and simmer quickly. (I pass the sauce through a strainer, to remove the bits of garlic and ginger)
4. Drain the noodles and add to the pan.
5. Cook the noodles and add chopped peanuts.
6. Serve immediately.

This is nowhere authentic to a real Mongolian bowl,  but this is how we like it.

I've been cooking a lot lately but have not taken any photos of my experiments. I make recipes that are quick easy and with ingredients easy found in supermarkets.

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Chicken Teriyaki

2016-09-30T12:02:12.600+08:00

This is a recipe that I made recently for Hubby. He liked this version the best. I'm saving this so that it doesn't get lost in my files.

Chicken Teriyaki
2 Chicken fillets (thighs, boneless, skin on)
Cooking oil
Sesame seeds

Sauce:
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman or any Korean brand)
2 Tablespoons mirin
2 Tablespoons Sake
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1/2 inch ginger (sliced or grated, if you like the ginger flavor to be stronger)

Procedure:
1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
2. Using a non-stick pan, pan fry the fillets in cooking oil until slightly browned. Set aside.
3. In the same pan, place the sauce and let boil. Once boiling, add the chicken fillets and swirl around the pan until fully coated on both sides, be careful to keep the skin intact. Simmer for just a minute or two until the sauce thickens a bit. Do not leave for too long, the sauce will caramelize quicky and will leave a mess.
4. Take out of the pan, drizzle sauce ove the chicken and garnish with sesame seeds.

Hubby doesn't enjoy the flavor of spring onions, so I didn't add any but, you can add some on top for color, if you prefer.

I have no picture, but it sure was good. This is my go to recipe for teriyaki sauce from now on. It's easy, affordable and I always have the ingredients handy in my pantry.



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West Coast Trip

2016-05-13T12:48:52.390+08:00





Hello from California!

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Bundles of Joy

2016-03-28T17:08:49.304+08:00

This year has been one of my most emotionally challenging ones for me. The saying goes "Catastrophies come in threes.".  I must say that I've met my quota even before the first quarter of this year ended.

However, nothing hurt the most than family calling us worthless simply because of the fact that we are unable to bear biological children of our own. Why is it such a curse? My husband and I have been living a simple, happy, contented and peaceful lives in the 21 years that we've been together. Sure, there were hurdles, some were larger than others but, we've managed to power through. We've been blessed with the life rich in experiences and love, even in the absence of children.

Why is it such a shame to be a childless couple?

Bundles of joy, don't just mean having children.

Bundles of joy can be experienced in countless ways.

I experience joy traveling with my husband.

I experience joy visiting beautiful churches, lighting candles, praying and giving thanks.

I experience joy trying out new things or reading something funny.

Giving, volunteering, spending an afternoon laughing with friends over a cup of coffee.

Cuddled in bed with my husband.

Celebrating milestones together.

I could go on and on about things, people and experiences that bring me joy.

Absence of children doesn't mean, absence of joy.

Joy and happiness can be derived from living a life of peace, contentment and simplicity.

Joy and happiness can be experienced by sharing your love and blessings to other children otherwise neglected by their own parents. Joy and love know no boundaries, it can be shared many times over, it is ever expanding. It is the beauty of being human. Our capacity to love is endless.

Yes, me and my husband will never have children. We have embraced that fact and we are at peace with that. So what? Deal with it.

We are happy, thank you very much.



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Chicken Yakitori Recipe

2016-03-10T22:28:04.768+08:00

This Chicken Yakitori recipe is one of Hubby's favorites. It takes a few steps, but doable.

Chicken Yakitori

2-3 pcs of quarter cut chicken thighs, deboned, but keep the bones.
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Kikkoman soy sauce 
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
2-4 tablespoons of brown sugar (dark)
2 inches of ginger, peeled and sliced
5 cloves of garlic, chopped

Preparation:
1. Soak barbecue sticks in water so that they don't burn on the grill.
2. Debone chicken, set aside the skin and cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and skewer them on the barbecue sticks. Skewer the chicken skin together on barbecue sticks as well. They're quite tasty.

To make the sauce:
1. Gather all the bones and broil for a few minutes. I broiled mine for around five minutes. Set aside.
2.  Combine Kikkoman, sake, mirin, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a sauce pan. Mix well until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the chicken bones.
3. Simmer the sauce in medium heat, until reduced in half.
4. Strain and divide the sauce in half. One is for basting, one is for dipping.

Grilling:
1. Grill the chicken over hot coals and baste it with the sauce until chicken is done.
2. Serve with the sauce on the side.

Variation:
1. Wrap okra or asparagus with bacon and skewer them by threes. Grill and baste until bacon is done.

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Sweet Spicy Squid

2016-03-10T22:04:53.583+08:00

Another one of my nephew Jayjay's favorite dishes. I should really start listing all these recipes so that I don't forget. Most of the recipes that I will be posting here will be made on the fly or put together based on the ingredients that are available in my fridge or something that I saw on TV, Youtube or read somewhere. I usually make it my own by adjusting, substituting or adding a few other ingredients are are more suitable to my family's tastes.

Sweet Spicy Squid

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1/2 kilo fresh squid, preferably small ones, cleaned, dried and sliced in rounds. I used baby squid in this photo, be sure to remove the "spine" before cooking.
Cooking oil
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small white onion, minced
2-3 fresh red or green chilies (bird's eye or pang sigang), sliced
2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar
A few dashes of soy sauce or Knorr liquid seasoning
Sriracha (if you want extra spicy), or
Banana catsup

1. Saute the garlic and the onions, until fragrant but not brown.
2. Add the chilies and saute for a few seconds so that the chilies can release their oil.
3. Add sugar and Knorr. Stir to combine and to dissolve the sugar.
4. Quickly add the squid. The squid will release some of its water, keep stirring until most of the water has evaporated. Don't worry, the squid will still be tender.
5. Finish off with sriracha or banana catsup. Stir until well combined and heated through.  Serve immediately.


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Mongolian Style Beef Stir Fry

2017-04-20T11:51:09.292+08:00

MONGOLIAN-STYLE BEEF STIR FRY

This is one of Jayjay's favorite dishes, which I tweaked and made on the fly. Will keep the recipe here for my archives.

Ingredients:
Sukiyaki cut beef or shabu-shabu style beef (found in Korean grocery stores)
Cornstarch
Cooking oil

Sauce:
1/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce (or light soy sauce, if you're cutting down on sodium)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger, cut into strips
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
1 carrot, cut into strips
Sesame oil

Procedure:
1. Lightly dust beef with cornstarch and let stand for about five to ten minutes (this will provide a slight crispy texture to the beef). Set aside.

Sauce:
1. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar and water until the sugar dissolves completely.
2. Heat oil in a small sauce pan, saute the garlic and ginger until fragrant but not brown.
3. Add the soy sauce,brown sugar and water mixture and let simmer on medium heatforabout fiveto eight minutes.

To assemble:
1. Heat vegetable oil in a wok, stir fry the beef.
2. Remove beef from pan and set aside.
3. In the same pan, stir fry the carrots and bell peppers and drizzle some sesame oil. Until the vegetables are half-cooked.
4. Add the beef. Toss.
5. Using a strainer, carefully add the simmering sauce to the beef mixture and toss once more until well combined.
6. Serve immediately with rice.

Variation:
Make extra sauce. Toss in vermicelli noodles and other vegetables and crushed peanuts, for a Mongolian-style bowl.

I have no picture since this was a first attempt and I made more sauce than the amount of beef I had. We had no leftovers and my nephew Jayjay asked me to make it again tomorrow.

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0 Comments

2016-01-15T19:01:56.896+08:00

Wow, I missed a whole year (and then some).

Belated Happy New Year!(image)



Progress, Not Perfection

2014-09-18T02:49:40.938+08:00

"Aim for progress not perfection". That's what the experts say. My body's not perfect and it's ok! :-)

I've hit a plateu, my knees are giving me a bit of trouble lately. I'm switching to Piyo and Yoga to ease the pressure off my knees and quite frankly, I am liking the slower pace of yoga. Yoga is VERY challenging. Holding the chair pose is my least favorite, so far. Ha ha ha. 

I've lost a total of 16 lbs since I started but, I feel that I need to let go of ten more pounds. The jelly belly and my flabby arms refuse to budge lately but, I'm not giving up! 

I love sweating too much!




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Get off your butt!

2014-08-11T18:46:51.841+08:00

The weekend is over! Time to sweat it out, it's gonna be worth it, I promise you. Keep moving and don't give up.

This is me, motivating you :-) 
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Daily Accountability

2014-08-08T14:22:45.301+08:00

Getting fit and healthy is never easy. Letting go of bad eating habits probably is the hardest. Comfort food suddenly becomes bad for you (goodbye, bacon!) and you have to find other ways to comfort yourself when you feel a little low. I find that a long warm hug works the best. So, much more enjoyable than bacon, in my opinion.Getting daily exercise is also crucial. I started with just a few minutes on the treadmill and worked my way up with intensity and longer speed walks (I hate running, for now). I often catch up on my Asian teleserye while on the treadmill and the time just seems to pass by a lot quicker. Before I know it, I've done almost two hours on the treadmill and burned around 600 calories. Not a bad way to pass the time, right? I also do some hand weights and I'm trying out a new exercise video, which proves to be very challenging!Self motivation is also very important when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle but, I find that getting fit with a buddy, works really well. It's nice to be around like minded people to keep you on track. I "work out" with my college friends, away from each other. We always get in touch via Viber daily, and send sweaty selfies to each other and motivate each other. Sort of like a daily accountability of the work that we've done for the day. We live quite far from each other. One lives in the US but, Viber helps us to keep in touch. Giving out sincere compliments to each also boosts our self confidence and helps us to keep going. It's a give and take situation and I love how my friends always encourage me to push and get my butt off the couch.Now, get off your butt and start sweating! :-)[...]



My Journey to Better Health

2014-04-29T12:03:26.411+08:00

Wow, it's been more than I quarter since I logged on to my blog. My blog has been mainly all about eating out and travel. I have done very little lately.About three months ago, I quit my job. I felt that I had to because admittedly, I was shitty at it and I felt it was best to just pack up and go. It was one of the best decision that I have ever made in my life.For the past few years, my weight had been steadily going up, I was almost 30 lbs overweight. I was experiencing daily migraines, I felt miserable because I was trapped in my fat little body that refuses to function the way I want it to. I couldn't wear the clothes that I wanted because nothing ever fits right.My blood pressure was at its highest at 145/100, which is ridiculously high for some lady who's just five feet tall. I was advised by my cardiologist to lose weight, have at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, brisk walking is what he said, and a low salt, low fat diet if I want to avoid the maintenance pills. I did all for that for about a week then I went back to my old ways, eating out, trying all the restaurants, most of which I did not blog about. I did not exercise even though I had bought a treadmill.Finally, I was sitting on my desk, one wrong thing after another, I decided to quit my job and focus on my health and my family life instead. I had worked for the past few years, saving for a property that we intend to rent out so that I could someday quit without putting too much pressure on our finances so that we can still comfortably maintain our lifestyle. The decision did not come easy for me and it actually took me year to finally get the courage to let go of my income and live simply. I have not regretted that decision.I started my health journey even before I quit my job. I started juicing daily. My daily migraines stopped, which was a Godsend. Still, I did not lose weight. Because there was always a bag of Cheetos in my drawer, always. I was juicing so, I felt that I still could get away with the junk food. The juicing will negate the effects of the junk that I was eating. Wrong! My weight stayed the same, my blood pressure stayed dangerously high. Only my migraines and dry skin were "cured".I knew I had to clean up my diet and get my butt moving daily. We all know that, right? Easier said than done. I am 40 years old, I hate exercise and I'd rather die than go on a restrictive diet. Well, I was truly on my way to dying, with the way I was spending my life. Eating out my frustrations.This photo was taken just a month after I started my journey. I felt that I had made a bit bait of progress. I somehow had a waist but still, a long way to go.I did my research for many months, looking for that special "diet" that I can live on for the rest of my life. I decided to focus on clean eating, which I feel is more realistic and doable. Clean eating isn't really a diet but more of as lifestyle change. I drastically cut down on meat (pork, beef and chicken), processed food and my beloved junk food. Instead, I had green and fruit smoothies daily, when we eat out, we order only vegetables and seafood, preferably rilled or baked. At home, we rarely eat meat, except when the kids are here. We stock up on fruits so that every time we get hungry, we can just grab one and eat it. My personal focus is to be on a more raw plant-based lifestyle so that I can eat as much as I want. I hate restrictions.It hasn't been easy. I have slipped up several times. There are days that I just have to have my cheetos, but it only happened twice in three months. Hopefully, I can reduce that to only once a year, maybe on my birthday, ha ha ha. As a special treat.I got used to eating healthier, too. I no longer crave for bacon with every breath I take. Drastically cutting down on our belo[...]



Chairman Wang Premium Noodle House - Molito Alabang

2014-01-22T20:54:28.065+08:00

We chanced upon this newly opened Resto in Molito, Alabang. We got curious and tried it. They are currently on soft opening and only accepts cash.


We ordered quite a few items, Hubby tends to over order for fear of not getting full, I don't know really. We ordered from top: black fungus ang jelly salad, smoked duck breast with hoisin sauce and mixed seafood dry noodles in XO sauce. Hubby also ordered Chairman's braised beef dry noodles. Not in photo, chicken feet dim sum amd cream of crab and corn soup.

The duck breast was delicious. The rest were quite average. The noodles were overly done and were sticking together in large clumps. The price is very reasonable though, not premium like we were led to believe. Thank goodness, otherwise it will be huge waste of money to pay for clumpy noodles.

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Maligayang Pasko

2013-12-25T12:02:47.709+08:00

Mula sa aming pamilya, Maligayang Pasko!

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Barbie Cafe - Taipei

2013-12-21T22:42:19.994+08:00

Barbie Cafe in Taipei is an explosion of pink and ruffles. From the waitresses' uniforms. Down to the seat covers. I love it! 


Surprisingly, the pomegranate and strawberry tea was faaaabulous. 

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Migraine?

2013-12-04T17:44:47.173+08:00

I've been eating good today. I had a small fish and a few bites of veggies. I had lots of green smoothies throughout the day.

A friend offered me some commercially available cheese chips. I got one small piece and now I have a full-on migraine headache! I haven't had them in a long time and with just one chip, I get this massive headache. What the heck is in junk food nowadays? 

Also, Hubby and the kids got sick this week, my niece Ashley brought a virus from school, I suspect. Hubby was almost too sick to make his flight this afternoon.

I think my smoothies saved me. Juicing also helped Hubby heal in record time.
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Ano ba?!

2013-11-26T13:59:41.201+08:00

There are days that I feel so stupid and better off locking myself in my room. 

It's one of those days. I could just kick myself. 

A reset button, please. 
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Frustration

2013-11-20T22:45:38.955+08:00

I am so damn frustrated everyday. I stopped eating beef, pork and chicken when I turned forty. I juice, I make green smoothies daily. The weight just doesn't want to come off! 

Darn it to hell! 

I know what to do, really I do. Drink green juices and smoothies, no white carbs, no meat and my most dreaded activity....daily exercise!

Darn it to hell!

Everyday is a struggle.

And my pants don't feel right. 

I gave them all away.

It's for my own sanity.





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Surprise

2013-10-18T11:08:59.051+08:00

I got a lovely pre-birthday surprise today. Hubby sent me these lovely pink roses, my favorite! It was sent with a cute pink teddy bear, too! 



Thank you, Hubby! I love you so much.
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Butterbeer at Hogwarts

2013-09-21T23:11:43.026+08:00

Finally had butterbeer at Hogwarts yesterday. So sweet! 

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Toronto Food Porn

2013-09-10T18:55:41.796+08:00

I'm in Toronto, so far I am having a blast. The food has been really amazing. For a sneak peek, here's the pic from yesterday's food crawl with my aunt. 


Yumminess all over. More details to follow. 
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Sprouts

2013-08-26T14:11:14.094+08:00

I watch eagerly everyday for new growth. 

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Beets!

2013-08-25T15:19:20.275+08:00

Beets just starting to come up! So excited! It's crazy that I watch the seedling "rack" everyday and see what has come up. We placed the rack in our covered verandah, to protect them from the rain. We get morning and afternoon sun in the area and I thought that we would get best results there. We planted seeds in reusable grow bags using organic potting soil, compost and horse manure. All sourced from FTI weekend market in Bicutan. A bit of a drive but worth it. They like me there because I always buy a lot of planting medium and recently bought additional three trees, a lemon and two kaffir limes for my nephew Jayjay who loves Tom Yum.



We've had a disaster with some seedlings because they were left out in the rain and drowned. Some herbs like sage and rosemary that I bought from FTI also perished in the rain. Anyway, lessons learned. 
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Growing Food at Home

2013-08-18T15:56:27.138+08:00

Operation "grow our own food" has officially started. Already bought nine various dwarf trees to be planted throughout our small garden. Non-flowering bushes will be replaced with citrus trees, and other fruits to make our garden more productive. We already removed much of the non-productive greenery. Some will be used for compost and some will be used for mulch. It's such a shock to see my garden so "naked". But I know soon, it will be lush again with the added bonus of fresh vegetables growing. I kept all the flowering plants because they're pretty when they bloom and the  bees, birds and butterflies love them, too.Plant boxes will be hung on the garden fence to grow various vegetables. I bought all kinds of seeds and I am so excited to start growing!We already have some cucumbers growing and some other things that have sprung up from compost thrown at a large flower pot in the verandah.I also purchased some organic soil and horse manure to build up the soil that we currently have. Organic vegetables are so expensive and hopefully by making our garden more productive, we can have freshly picked veggies and fruits right here at home.I know that the journey will be challenging at times, but I hope with some research, hard work and my housekeeper's green thumb, we can make our garden a productive one.Wish us luck! [...]



Aratiles

2013-08-16T20:43:44.583+08:00

Mmmmmmmm... My dinner.  Aratiles from the garden center's tree. Yummy! Last I had these was when I was still in school! We used to pick them from trees from various vacant lots in the village. 

Aratiles is a huge part of my childhood. I'm feeling very happy at the moment.

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