Pompano Ginger Stew w/ Chayote & Bittermelon Leaves

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Hi, everyone, I am really taking advantage of this surprisingly extended warm weather to use most of my pocket garden harvest. So I will use bittermelon leaves, lemon grass and green peppers  from my garden to complement our dish and it is famously called ‘Tinola.’ In our native tongue it is called,’ Tinolang Pompano sa Sayote at Dahon  ng Ampalaya.’ A soupy fish dish that will warm not only your body but also your soul as the flu season begins. Let’s first gather up our ingredients.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 huge Pompano fish

3 cups rice washing

2 huge and plum tomatoes (sliced)

a thumb-sized ginger (julienned)

1 Chayote (thickly sliced)

1 green bell pepper

3 pieces small hot green peppers

2 shallots (sliced)

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 stalks lemon grass (smashed)

lots of bittermelon leaves (soaked in water/drained in a colander)

PROCEDURE:

1. Have the fishmonger in the fish market clean and slice the Pompano fish as to your preference. Inspect the fish and wash them properly and drain in a colander. Season well with salt and set aside.

2. Rinse 3 cups of Jasmine rice in 3 cups filtered water and save the 1st washing as soup base for this dish. After 2 more washings, drain the rice, add 3 cups filtered water and cook in a rice cooker.

3. In a huge and deep cooking pot, add the ginger and tomatoes then  pour the rice washing and let it boil for 5 minutes, add the shallots, the lemon grass and fish sauce and re-boil for 10 minutes until the tomatoes are wilted.

4. Add the sliced chayote, bell pepper and hot peppers for few minutes until the chayote is slightly tender.

5. Add the fish slices, gently submerge into the broth for 2-3 minutes until cooked. Add the bittermelon leaves, Cover the pot and turn off the stove. When ready to serve, open the pot, submerge the wilted leaves into the broth then  gently gather up the fish in a serving soup bowl and pour out the broth. Serve the fish and the chayote in individual soup bowls and pour the broth on top. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.

As always, Masarap! The blending of the lemon grass and the chayote is flavorful!

-Peaches-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving Backyard Party for Jesse

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Our dear friend, Sister Lilian threw a backyard party at her place and celebrating Jesse’s Thanksgiving Party after a successful open heart surgery. Attended by our closest friends from 2000 Hail  Mary’s and registered nurses from Mt.Sinai Heart Manhattan and nurses from Woodhull Hospital. Kind of Christmas on September ( Christmassy tablecloth this September! hahaha!) A  very informal one indeed! I brought the Spicy Chili Crabs, Lilian  and Ate Belen prepared Barbecued Chicken and Spareribs, Grilled Bamboo Leaves/Foil Wrapped Pompano Fishes, Vermicelli Noodles prepared by Darelle, Cucumber Salad and Tomato/Mango Salad,  ‘ Ginataang Saging, Camote and Gabi ‘  a dessert of banana, sweet potatoes and taro boiled with coconut milk and sugar,  prepared by Jopay, Mangoes and ‘Bagoong’ , (Sauteed Shrimp Paste) and sweet grapes and more fruits by Banengneng and friends. Fr.Ted and Fr.James came to bless the occasion. It was a very nice  goodbye to summer and a warn welcome to September month. We are forever grateful to God and Mama Mary first and then to all the people who continue praying for him. SJDC Class ’80, Dr. Rowena Sonza, Jesse’s friends from Australia, The Tayumanerz, Eve and Tito Bert and friends from all over the world, guys you are not here but we’re thanking you all from the bottom of our hearts.

We are also praying for the safety of our countrymen and women and children in Florida, prayers already reduced Hurricane Irma from category 4 to 2. So, lets continue praying. Thanks everyone for just reading this post.

 

Shrimp Salad with Mango, Avocado & Sriracha

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Summer is gone and I am pretty lazy to heat the stove and the oven. I am so used to salads, shrimps, seafoods, no heat hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Anyway, let’s pretend that it is still summer time as the temperature is still decently warm. Let’s prepare our ingredients, no heating or baking I promise.

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INGREDIENTS:

24 pieces of large shrimp (peeled/deveined/tails on)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

zest of 1 orange + 1/4 cup of its juice

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tsp. Sriracha seasoning

2 small red Jalapeño peppers (sliced)

half each of a green and a yellow bell pepper (sliced)

1/2 of a ripe mango (cubed)

half of an avocado (cubed)

a handful of chopped cilantro

1/4 cup of thin round slices of leek

PROCEDURE:

1. Boil the shrimp for 3 minutes until pink, drain in a colander until they cool down.

2. Whisk together all the liquid ingredients like the olive oil, ketchup, orange and lime juices.

3. Mix in the orange zest, cilantro and leeks. Add the colorful bell peppers and hot red Jalapeño pepper and mix very well before adding the shrimp. Taste and add seasoning like salt and pepper but for me, I didn’t add anything as the Sriracha seasoning is already salty for me.

4. Add the avocado and mango cubes on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

As always, tastes amazing, Masarap! (Delicious!)

-Peaches-

 

 

My Own Spicy Falafel with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

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While I was working as a registered nurse in Saudi Arabia, I just loved eating falafel there but has not inquired how they were made then, now in North America, I just crave for  falafel. Falafel is a common street food eaten throughout the Middle East and in Israel and now  found around the world as a replacement for meat. According to a popular Israeli book author and peace activist, Jonathan Kis-Lev, falafel and humus are often used as symbol for peace bridging Israelis and Palestinians. Prior to 1970’s falafel was found only in Middle Eastern and Jewish neighborhood restaurants but today, it is a common and popular vegetarian food in North America. I found it easy to make so here are our ingredients in the picture below

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INGREDIENTS:

1-15oz can chickpeas (drained)

4 garlic cloves (finely minced)

2 Tbsp. cilantro leaves (chopped)

2 Tbsp. fresh mint (chopped)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground red pepper

1/2-1 piece of red Jalapeño pepper (finely chopped)

2 Tbsp. bread crumbs

1 tsp. baking powder

4 Tbsp. wheat flour

dash of black pepper

PROCEDURE:

1. Grind the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth. Mix well with all the other ingredients in a big bowl, forming a thick creamy paste. Add a dash of pepper to taste. Add 2 tablespoon of water if too dry.

2. With the palm of your hand, shape into 8 small balls and deep fry for 8 minutes, turning the balls until brown. Drain on paper towel. You may eat it just like that or you may flatten them before inserting  into pita pockets  with chopped lettuce and tomatoes drizzle with the sauce.

Yoghurt Dipping Sauce:

Mix 1/2 cup each of yogurt and mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 2 teaspoons of chopped cilantro leaves, minced garlic (1 clove), salt and pepper to taste.

As always, Masarap! (Delicious!)

 

 

 

 

Mini Fruit Bowls

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I was trying to incorporate my freshly picked mint as a garnish for these mini fruit bowls. Right after work, we went to Stop and Shop and found these Grapery Moon Drops, these grapes with a one of a kind shape that taste so heavenly sweet. Cylindrically-shaped grapes by Jack Pandol, 3rd Generation Ca Grape Grower, his email is jackpandol@grapery.biz, added these unique grapes to my other fruits. And I will show how they look like in the next picture below.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 box of mini oval bowls (got mine from Party City)

few slices of half a mango

strawberries

raspberries

moon drops cylindrical shaped grapes or any green or red grapes

PROCEDURE:

1. Wash all the fruits, paper towel dry them very carefully .

2, Assemble the fruits and the fruit slices in an oval bowl, repeating the color scheme in each bowl.

3. Garnish the top with any of your favorite miniature stems like mint, basil or lemon leaves as the last finishing touch. You may cover each bowl with Saran Wrap and place in the refrigerator if you are not eating it yet.

As always, Masarap! (Delicious!)

-Peaches-

 

 

 

 

Hot Almond Milk Peanut Buttered Bramblewine Tea

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Hey, Julie Rybitskiy, have you noticed the owl mugs you gave to one of  your Fav Nurses like me? Anyway, this is my way of thanking you and also I was about to hang our clothes outside in our pocket garden on this early morning  and didn’t realize how balmy is the sudden 61 degrees right now, this 30th of August and I need something hot, pronto! before i head to the garden. So I created this hot tea with a twist and I like this very much with the accompanying breads and sugar-free doughnuts from our nearby bake shop. Who could resist a sesame ball? Ingredients are already laid out here,  you just need the measurements, Okay? Remember that this is a non-GMO, Natural, Vegan, gluten free and Kosher PB Trimmed powdered Peanut Butter, only 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup. of hot water

3 Tbsp. PB Trimmed powdered peanut butter ( Find it in walmart, Jet.com, amazon.com)

1 cup Organic Almond milk

1 tsp. Nature’s Promise Organic Coconut palm sugar

1 bag  of Tazo Organic Bramblewine tea (decaffeinated)

1 tsp. Agave nectar

PROCEDURE:

1. Steep tea in a cup of boiling water for few minutes, make it mild or strong according to your preference then mix powdered peanut butter, add another cup of almond milk, stir well in a bigger mug. Add coconut sugar and add Agave nectar if you want it a little bit sweeter. Stir again.  Enjoy while still brimming hot.

So this is it, folks, a tea with a different twist that you and your children will like too. Only 1.5g from 15g  total fats and only 80mg  from 150mg sodium found in your ordinary peanut butter in oil and you can serve it cold too by adding  crushed ice.

As always, Masarap! (Delicious!)

-Peaches-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unguilty Pleasures: Yaourt Aux Fruits en Coupes A Dessert

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I am always fascinated with the French language and sounds sexy to my ears but hard to pronounce anyway, my creation is called Fruit Yoghurt in Dessert Cups. I bought these Botticelli Coupes A Dessert (Dessert Cups), my youngest son already opened the box and tasted it and he said that they are so good. These cups are premium dark chocolate, not only certified gluten-free and Kosher check, also Canada made. I have 4 left inside the box and making our fridge more cramped, so lets get creative and see what other ingredients we can utilize from our tiny fridge.

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INGREDIENTS:

fresh strawberries

fresh blackberries or blueberries

Chobani Greek yoghurt

tiny slices of yellow apple

tiny slices of ripe mango

PROCEDURE:

1. Wash, drain and paper towel dry all the fruits and herbs carefully.

2. Drain off the excess water from the yoghurt  and make it smoother by  stirring the contents very well with a teaspoon.

3. Cut the strawberries in halves and layer them inside the chocolate cups, spoon yoghurt in the middle and insert some fruit slices and only 1 blackberry into each cup. You may add a basil, mint or lemon leaves for a flash of more  green color.

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Amazingly simple and fun to create.

As always, Masarap! (Delicious)

-Peaches-

 

 

Home-made Red, Orange & Purple Potato Fries

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Commercially prepared French Fries are not good for our diet but I will tell you that you can make your own in a fun and healthy way , control the salt and be able to choose a variety, fresh from your nearby organic farm stand or grocery store and I also  need to put to good use my Progressive Julienne and Slicer which  I bought from Woodbury Common Outlet many summers ago. Also I am off these weekend so I have ample time to hit and miss the recipe and come out swinging after successfully making it, worthy of your precious likes. So let me show you the few ingredients and I just can’t control myself nibbling on them or  I might finish them all as I prepared only a piece each of the red, orange and purple potatoes.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 piece each of a red, orange and purple potatoes

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/8- 1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

a pinch of cayenne pepper

Progressive Julienne and Slicer or any mandolin slicer ( if you have none, you can thinly but very carefully slice them with a very sharp knife)

a micro-wave oven

1/4 gallon Ziploc freezer bag

PROCEDURE:

1. Wash, brush and dry all the potatoes. Adjust the slicer to no. 2 medium thickness and turn the option button on the right side to slice not Julienne. Angle the slicer for efficient slicing and slide the potato until you complete slicing them perfectly, careful not to slice your finger as it very sharp. You can buy the protective finger guard but I don’ t have one as I bought it on sale.

2. Pour 2 tablespoon of oil into a Ziploc bag and add the potato slices, shake to coat.

3. Spray Canola cooking spray into a large plate, arrange the red and orange potato slices in a single layer, microwave for 5 minutes until crispy depending on the temperature setting of your oven. Continue until you finish them. Gather them into a porcelain covered container like what I have below. Don’t expose to an electric pan and keep it covered.IMG_6612

4. Now microwave the orange potatoes for 6 minutes or longer until you achieve the crispness you desire. Sprinkle salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper for added zing to it. Carefully distribute the flavorings gently as they break easily. Once it cools down, you may store in an airtight tin can container if there will be any more left for storage like on this picture below.

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As always, Masarap! Just simply amazing to prepare!

-Peaches-

 

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Colorful Spring Rolls w/ Shrimp & Peanut/Almond Butter Sauce

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I was so fascinated with these spring rolls that my coworker Zoe was always bringing in, but I unfortunately lost the recipe she gave me. Also, I finally got some rice paper with English instructions on the back, so I finally prepared some rolls for dinner and I have only 4 pieces left to showcase as it is very healthy. My son said it tasted like a fresh garden harvest. I gathered the fresh scallions and the basil from our pocket garden. Let me show you the ingredients as I am about to cook other dish also this afternoon.

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INGREDIENTS:

1-12oz. Bang Trang Ba Co Gai rice paper

1 lb. shrimp (de-veined, boiled 3min/drained)

2 hard-boiled eggs (sliced)

4 pieces water chestnuts (peeled/ sliced)

carrot, cucumber, mango, red and green bell peppers (sliced in thin matchbox)

1 head of lettuce

1/4  of red cabbage head (sliced thinly)

few sprigs of scallions, cilantro & basil

half of a ripe avocado (sliced thinly)

For the Peanut/ Almond Butter Sauce;

juice of 1/2 of a lime

3 Tbsp. orange juice

2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

3 Tbsp. fish sauce

1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

2 Tbsp. Skippy creamy peanut butter

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 inch fresh ginger (minced)

2 Tbsp. Bragg apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. Kirkland almond butter

50 ml water

Your ingredients would more or less look like this below.

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PROCEDURE:

1. Soak a piece of the rice paper in a wide basin with a very warm but not hot water. Submerge well for 5 seconds then lift off from  the basin and wiggle the last drop of water then lay flat on a dry wide tray, gently pat dry with a paper towel then flip and dry also the other side, be swift as the paper softens immediately.

2. Layer the shrimp, lettuce, basil, cilantro then vegetables, water chest nut, egg and mango. You may experiment and layer specific ingredients you would like to showcase from the roll.

3. Fold the bottom side and the left side of the rice paper, enclosing the contents, rolling up tightly from your left side going to your right then fold the top to finally finish it, carefully avoid stacking it together with the rest of the rolls as they stick so easily.

4. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and stir well and add sliced scallions and cilantro.

As always, Masarap!

-Peaches-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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