Monthly Archives: November 2013

Sweet and spicy stir-fried noodles with seafood, mushrooms and radishes

Sweet and spicy stir-fried noodles with seafood, mushrooms and radishes

I must say November is birthday month. I know at least 8 people (my boyfriend included) who celebrated/will celebrate their birthdays this month. They all must have been conceived on Valentines Day. That explains it!

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Simple joy #7 Baked eggs for breakfast

Baked eggs for breakfast

Simple joy #6 Some weed flowers and twigs I picked up on the side of the road. Enough to make my day.

Weed flowers and twigs

Pasta Negra aka The dark side of pasta love

Pasta Negra | Seafood spaghetti in squid ink sauce

It is a tradition in the Philippines (and other Asian countries) to serve noodles during birthdays. The longer the noodles the longer and luckier the birthday celebrant’s life will be. Happy birthday, JD, my wonderful partner-in-crime! JD is an adventurous soul so this black pasta is an appropriate birthday dish.  Plus it is really very yummy you yourself won’t regret embracing the dark side!

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Sweet Potato and Fennel Gratin

Sweet potato and fennel gratin

The Food Network Channel can be addictive. It’s a good thing I don’t have a television set! I never knew who Ina Garten was until I saw The Barefoot Contessa on TV while housesitting for friends in Portland, Oregon.

Ina’s potato-fennel gratin stuck to mind because it was so easy to make. You can prepare it ahead of time, keep it in the fridge then bake it when you’re ready. Which was exactly what I did on several occasions. I adapted her recipe and used what was available: parsnip instead of fennel and for this recipe, sweet potato instead of plain boring potato. The result is that extra sweetness that makes this an ideal companion to the roast turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Not that we celebrate Thanksgiving here in Kiwiland. But there is a lot to be thankful for. Every day that we are alive should be Thanksgiving Day.

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Simple joy #5 Baked rice

Baked rice

Sunday at home with nothing to do except create a new recipe and practice food styling and photography.

Simple joy #4 Raquel’s Fish Escabeche

Fish Escabeche

I love looking at this photo of a cooked fish, with its skin intact and the fish belly exposed. It makes me drool. If you do not eat fish unless filleted, with its skin, head and tail already removed, then you don’t know what you’re missing!

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Spaghetti with minced chicken and Marcella Hazan’s famous tomato sauce

Spaghetti with minced chicken and Marcella Hazan’s famous tomato sauce

I have to thank Jessica of for introducing me to Marcella Hazan’s classic Italian tomato sauce recipe. Jessica used the tomato sauce for her Pizza On The Run. The moment I read about it, I just had to make it (Not the pizza dough, just the tomato sauce!) It is the simplest, easiest to make tomato sauce ever. Although it took 45 minutes to cook it, it’s the throw-everything-in-the-pot-and-forget-about-it-while-you-do-something-else kind which is so sexy if I may say so.

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Simple joy #3 That green thing called Kale

Kale smoothie

The first time I was introduced to Kale was three months ago, in the U.S. of A. Not in New Zealand. Not even in the Philippines. If I had it when I was younger, I would have hated it. It tasted like dirt. But knowing what I knew now, like thousands of Kale fans out there, I think it is the most beautiful green vegetable God has ever created. (Followed closely by Kawakawa, of course!)

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