Finally! After a few months of just thinking about it, I have baked another lemon pound cake – successfully! Haha. And I added some poppy seeds, too. So I am calling this recipe a Popping Lemon Poundcake. It doesn’t matter what it means in context; I find it catchy 😛
This is inspired by the Lemon Poppyseed Poundcake from my favorite site by Ella at the Home Cooking Adventure. You can find the recipe here. I love going to her page because she made it so easy, plus the videos had good music in them. It sets me in the mood of creating something on my own.
I’m currently enjoying my monthly mental break, the time where I spent the day doing nothing and absolutely everything that I can think of, except work. It has been five months since I decided to start doing it. I have lots of vacation leaves that were not used since I did not have the chance to go home and visit my family during this pandemic period. And since I work-from-home full time, I need this kind of break to enjoy myself in different kinds of self-care. That also includes limiting myself from going online. Usually, I am found curled up in my sofa reading a book or coloring or sketching, or in the kitchen trying out a new recipe, or walking outside. It’s therapeutic.
Ever since I moved out of the Philippines and started living abroad, I had difficulties getting the exact ingredients for the Filipino dishes that I want to cook every time I feel homesick. The taste is different when I don’t use Reno liver spread for my calderata. The adobo will taste different, as well, if it’s not the local brands for the soy sauce and vinegar.
And when it comes to the sinigang, it is different when it’s not kangkong or water spinach.
Sinigang is a soup characterized by its sour taste due to the tamarind mixed into it, or any other sour fruits (such as kamias, guava, unripe mango, etc.) or leaves as a souring agent. When I was in Thailand, they asked me to describe it, and I cannot think of any other easy way but say that it’s similar to tom yum, but without the red-chili spiciness or coconut milk in it.
Sinigang is typically cooked with pork. But the variety is endless, as there’s an option to use seafood like fish or shrimp or chicken, as well.
And since I’m away from home, I just used the sinigang powder mix I can buy in the Asian stores. Sometimes, there’s kangkong in the fridge, but it’s too expensive. My friend suggested using spinach instead, since it’s the one she uses anyway, and it’s cheaper.
This turned out so good. I bought the fish from the Pinoy store, where a pack of 8 cut pieces is priced at 4.99Eur. I only used 4 of them for this recipe, and I enjoyed it because the fish is fatty, and it adds flavor to the dish. The long Japanese eggplant is bought at the Indian store. I am fortunate to have a variety of stores in this part of France! 🙂 I only miss this recipe using long chili, which adds flavor, spice, and more aroma to this dish.
Ingredients: 1 pc eggplant (any will do), cut into medium-sized pieces 1 kl spinach 2 medium-sized tomatoes, cut into quarters 1/2 kl long beans, cut into medium sizes 1 pc white radish, sliced 1 white onion, sliced 4 pcs fish, sliced in a serving portion (or pork or shrimp, amount is whatever you desired) 1 pack sinigang mix pinch of salt 3-5 pcs long chili (if available)
Boil 5 cups of water in a pot. When it starts to simmer, add in the pork if you are using pork. Cook it first until it becomes so tender.
Once cooked and tender, add the onion, tomatoes and radish.If using fish as the meat, when the water starts to boil, add the fish along with the onion, tomatoes and radish.
Put the sinigang mix, too. Stir gently to mix it in the soup.
If you have long chili, add it in the pot after 5 minutes since you put the sinigang mix.
Once the radish is cooked, put the long beans, and cook for about 10 minutes.
Put in the spinach (or kangkong, if you have). This is the last and the easiest to cook, so turn off the heat. Season with salt or a teaspoon of fish sauce, and mix it gently. Cover the pot. The heat will help to cook it.
After a few minutes, this is now ready to serve!
I usually don’t put salt or fish sauce; I tend to forget about it. I love my sinigang sour, and it works for me most of the time. I leave it to you if you want to season it with salt or fish sauce to add a bit of salty flavor. How about you? Do you have a different way of cooking sinigang? Let me know, and maybe I can try that one, too! 🙂
I need to finish some presentation slides for this week’s session that I will be conducting in the office. But right now, all I want is to just lie down and relax. Today started with the sun greeting everyone with a smile, but after lunch, it started to get gloomy. I went to the local market this morning to buy some new flowers for my apartment, a small bottle of essential oil for my diffuser, some fruits and vegetables for this week, and cinnamon rolls in the bakery. Yummmmmm!
I just heard about this in early March because I don’t have a TikTok. A friend who loves cooking and trying out something new as much as I do share it with me. When the word easy and lazy days came out of her mouth about this recipe, I decided to try it myself. Haha. I tried to look for where it came from since several people posted about this already, hence being viral, and I found this video from the blogger grilledcheesesocial.
It’s as simple as this: get a block of feta cheese, tomatoes, pasta, and herb and spices that you want to mix it with. The idea of it is basic, and I could not wait to try it. Off I went to the grocery for some feta cheese and cherry tomatoes. I only got tomatoes, as it seems like the trend has already reached the French shores, and the shelf was already empty of feta cheese. Still wanting to try it, I took a block of cheese from the Boursin brand instead.
Gosh, it’s been a long time since I last made a blog here. Work kept me busy, and on weekends, I would rather be offline and reading books or watching movies or series on Netflix or Amazon. By the way, this is the second or third (?) weekend since the full lockdown (again) was announced. Honestly, I lost track of the dates. All I know was that it had been a year since I’ve gone full-on working from home, and we’re on lockdown here in the south of France with fewer restrictions compared to the previous lockdowns we’ve had. But let’s not talk about this for now, because it’s getting wearisome not knowing when this will end.
For the past weeks, there were books finished and movies watched. Have you seen Coming to America 2 on Amazon Prime? I’m easy to please, and I find it hilarious despite some expressing their discontent. I like it, and it made me laugh, especially in those key moments like the introduction of General Izzi (Wesley Snipes’ character) and Morgan Freeman. C’mon! Last week, I also saw the Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League, which I found amazing and much better than the theatrical version. Everything made sense in the movie!
I am sure that it’s not only me who has been taking those mental breaks since it dawned on us that this pandemic would be here in a while. When the 1st lockdown ended here in France in mid-May, I was able to adjust to the new norm – that we’re all going to be working from home longer than we thought. It’s not only me who needs this. We need this. We live different lives, but I’m sure that we go through things, and we need to have that opportunity to pause and re-group ourselves. A new year has arrived, the vaccines have been developed, but I’m still working from home for almost ten months. Not that I’m complaining. I am grateful for the work I have and love, and I was able to find a balance between life at home and at work.
And that’s where the mental breaks come in. There was so much happening personally and at work in June. It’s my birthday month, but I was sad. And even when I love my job, it was also causing some strain in me. That’s when I decided to take the break during the week of my birthday. It did me some good, even for a short time. I had the time to relax and rest my mind and reset it for the coming weeks. Since then, I decided to take those breaks once a month. Besides, I need to use my holidays, and I have about forty-five more.
We just got over the seven-day trial of 2021. Of course, we do not have any choice but to take it and continue forward to this year. It’s the first week of the year and to say that a lot has happened is an understatement. For me, a lot has happened at work where decisions have been made, as well as in my personal life.
Moving forward, I only wished that this year would be kinder to every one of us. In Chinese zodiac, the year of the Metal Ox will start on February 12 for the Chinese New year. I read that this year will be the year for relationships of whatever kind, and the year for economic recovery. I read these things because it’s interesting. Hehe. 😛
This is derived from the recipe in cooking Hainanese chicken, but I personally decided that I will not be able to make this dish perfect enough to be rightfully called as Hainanese chicken. I have tasted the said delicious Singaporean pride and it’s one of my favorites, one that I always should have every time I set foot in Singapore.
Now, with respect to this dish that I love so much, I made my own in the comforts of my French home because I miss it so dearly.
It is always a big bunch of hope every time we end a year and face the new one. And from the previous one we all have had, it’s safe for me to say that we are all looking forward to a better new year. Of course, at the back of our minds we know that the virus is still there, and will be for quite some time, but with all the experiences we’ve had and the lessons we’ve learned from these, we are looking forward to a fresh start.
On the eve of the new year, I spent my afternoon with my colleagues at one of their houses. We cooked (I did pansit, while they did tartiflette) and had late lunch / early dinner, and had some games and wine afterwards. Since there was a curfew here in France that starts at 8pm, and I don’t want to stay overnight in their house, I bid goodbyes and new year wishes to them at about seven in the evening. It’s a quiet, New Year’s eve for me, as I read my books and listen to others in nearby apartments having a party of their own. That certain kind of quietness might have been less appealing to some but I am most content in those simple moments. I love going out and be with friends, too, but there are times that I just don’t want to expend so much energy into. Before the clock struck at midnight, my sister called. She’s spending her holidays in one of the islands in Thailand because like me, she could not go home to the Philippines to spend time with our families, too. So, I welcomed the new year with my sister on a videocall, and it’s nice. It’s simple, quiet, but nice.
To say that nobody expected a global pandemic to happen this year was an understatement. Like it always does to many of us, I had so many plans in early January about the things I look forward to be doing for the rest of the year. I was even planning to send my parents here for vacation in March and take them around Europe.
The first quarter was a mixture of many things. I had a scary bus accident, and thankfully came out with nothing but a bruise. Things were looking fine at work. And, it may have sounded cliché for some but I met a good man on the day after Valentine’s Day 🙂 And then, the half of March came and things have never been the same.
It was Christmas two days ago, my favorite time of the year. This time, I celebrated Noche Buena, a traditional Filipino Christmas eve dinner with a few friends here in Antibes. Of course, in observance to the safe health protocols, we were only four. 🙂 But it was divine. I got to enjoy my time with these few but dear people, and I am fortunate to have them especially at this time.
In our Noche Buena, we prepared a fusion of our Filipino and the western culture, as we live through it now. We had paella, lechon, embutido, salad and roasted vegetables. The night was full of shared memories of the country we miss so much, laughter, a bit of games, wine and coffee, and of course, the exchange of gifts. 🙂