Local finds: food from Laguna

Our former househelp accompanied my aunt on her recent trip to Manila. She brought with her several local finds from Laguna. If you will be going there, you can try these specialty products.

Local fruits like rambutan, lansones and mangosteen.

Monay bread

Honey. According to her a lot of Korean tourists buy this.

Ube candies.

Home made tapa.

She taught me how they eat it. They usually pair the monay and tapa together.

What are your favorite local finds?



In the Kitchen: Bento boxes (part 1)

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, I like home cooked meals. I bring packed lunch and snacks so that I won’t have to worry that I’ll go hungry while working. Also, I always have a hard time choosing what food I would like to eat so bringing food conserves my mental energy. And these home cooked meals cost less and are more healthy.

Here are some ideas that you can add for your lunch boxes.

Sautéed mixed vegetables + fish + rice + dessert

Teaz forgot to include rice!

Boneless bangus with teriyaki sauce + laing (Bicol delicacy) + brown rice

Shrimp + french beans + rice

Shrimp with parsley + cabbage + rice

Fried chicken breast + broccoli + rice

I transferred my food on the plate because we ate at a cafeteria.

What are your go-to meals?


Fresh market trips: Cartimar Center

The good thing about living in a tightly knit neighborhood is that you can get tips from other people where to buy stuff. Teaz asked other house helps where we can buy more varieties of meat, fish, seafood and vegetables. Ate Elsie suggested we try to go to Cartimar.

You can go there via LRT station. Get off at LRT Gil Puyat and take a jeepney going to Baclaran. You may also opt to walk. There are also parking spaces if you want to bring your car.

I was surprised that there are a lot of stalls. There’s even a Savemore branch. There are also a lot of pets for sale!

A lot of Chinese, Japanese and Koreans visit the place because of imported items from China, Japan and Korea. My aunt told me that this place was really well known for its imported products before.

I haven’t tried this store’s taho but it looks delicious!

This cart full of fried tofu ready to be packed!

Packing in little plastic wrappers

Korean cooked white rice. Asian staple made simple!

Peanuts and rice crackers from a japanese store!

This flakes are added to a japanese dish for toppings.

Japanese rice for sushi!

Dainty bowl designs

Leaves for plating a japanese dish

When you reach the farthest store and have crossed the street, you will see a wet market.

I was surprised to see this big fish. When I asked what type of fish this is, they said this is tuna ready to be cut in portions.


Button mushrooms

Clams with very ornamental shells



We also source our taro root crops here.

Lotus roots used in chinese dishes. You can also find sesame leaves and red cabbage. I think these are imported from China.

I don’t know what these are but I think it is also imported from China.

Water bamboo shoot

root crops

When you visit Cartimar, you should be there around 6-7 am because the vegetables and other fresh finds ran out that quick! Also, be sure to use your haggling skills. Don’t forget to ask other sellers as well.

I hope you’ll enjoy your wet markets trips and find delight in fresh finds!


Food trip: Pooja’s Cafe

In the knack of trying something new, I headed to the nearest Indian restaurant in our place. I usually pass by Pooja’s Cafe while I was still working in the office but never really tried the food.

We had a bad experience with Indian food when we were on a trip in Singapore. The food was too spicy for us! I couldn’t eat anything except the rice. I think Pooja’s food has already inculcated a bit of filipino palette.

I ordered Combo No. 4 because I it gave me an option to try their chicken curry. My meal included dried vegetables (sabji), lentils (dal), flatbread (chapati) and chicken curry.

As shown in the picture above, I placed the lentils on two separate bowls. The peas on the left bowl is smaller. Both are better eaten with the flatbread.

The way they cooked the chicken curry is a bit different to the one I’m used to. They didn’t put in too much curry powder.

I liked the fried vegetables the most. I cannot identify the type of vegetable that they used but I think it is kale.

I was only able to finish half of what I had ordered! The portion was too big for me! Nonetheless I enjoyed my Indian food experience!


Musings: Sugar apple (Atis) food art

We bought a fruit called sugar apple (Atis in filipino). While I was eating, I wondered how many seeds this little fruit had so I set every seed aside.

Although that is the case, I didn’t count the seeds. Instead, I got a plate and formed art out of it.

This one is a budding plant. Back then I didn’t like to eat this fruit because sipping from each seed is painstaking!

Our lives will always be a work in progress! We ought to grow in all areas.

A flower. Doing this art made me slow down. You also need to slow down while eating.

And heart! Eating different kinds of fruit and food in general is heart filling. Physical food fills our bodies and strengthens us but spiritual food fills our souls. We need to have both!

I realized that this fruit can be turned into something creative.

What did you create recently?


In the kitchen: DIY breakfast in 10 minutes

As you probably know in my previous posts, Teaz cooks for us most of the time. When there are days that she’s out, my sisters and I usually purchase bread and do our favorite peanut butter sandwich.

This time we wanted to do something different and be creative. We also like it to be prepared quickly since we have to leave home before 8 am for our Sunday worship.

I cooked sunny side ups for the three of us. This time I got them right except for my egg!

I also heated a can of tuna and took out the cream cheese from the fridge.

I usually drink hot water in the mornings but I noticed the cacao balls sitting on the shelf. I took one and put in hot water.

What do you usually prepare for breakfast? Have you tried this combination?