Halfway through the year ….

My life at home gives me absolute joy. There are some days when, as soon as you’ve finished cooking breakfast and cleaning up the kitchen, it’s time to start lunch, and by the time you’ve done that, you’re doing dinner and thinking, “There has to be a menu we can order from.”
                                                              Julia Roberts 

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A friend gifted us with a taste of home!

Even though I have a backlog of around 20+ cooking-related posts, cooking is the one activity that I’ve lately begun to hate. As in really H A T E . What with my boys hungry every two hours and constantly needing feeding, the only thing that’s stopping me from truly detesting that everyday chore is the fact that we’ve been so blessed with good food. And the camaraderie of friends who regularly gather around my kitchen table to converse amidst endless cups of coffee way into the night.

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Another gift that saved me from cooking a meal – ginataang langka at hipon

So. Cook I do. Right now, I can’t get away from the activity. Because.

Number One: It’s Ramadan. Even though I tell my kids to order what they want, they invariably reply “There’s nowhere to order. They’re all closed.” And with iftar at sundown, restaurants open around 8pm.

Number Two: The hubby just gifted me with a Saladmaster set. It’s a guilt-inducing act, to be sure, but hey … the guy probably got tired of my refrain “I need a maid!” and thought a one-time hit to his pocket was better than the constant bombardment of his ears.

Number Three: The hubby’s love language is service and I have this goal (unreachable most of the time) to fill his love tank everyday, especially when he is on shift duty. When he’s not on shift duty, it’s another matter. He serves. ♥

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This gift of chicken embotido and bilo-bilo (sweet stew of rice balls, jackfruit, banana and yam in coconut milk) came on a Saturday when I was sick

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. 
                                             Harriet van Horne

Thus. Below. Are photos to prove that I have been productive this June despite feeling the contrary.

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Fried seabream is one of my favorites but it’s only now that we’re eating fried fish a lot, thanks to the Saladmaster which has eliminated the need for cooking oil

Can’t believe that half the year is already gone … so many meals we’ve shared – will my kids remember our table talk or the food ten years from now?

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You could say our quail eggs are organic since we keep several quail in the backyard

Getting kids to eat vegetables is something I’ve found many parents struggle with. For us, it’s not so much of a problem … the problem is I need to set aside time to chop vegetables. Again, the Saladmaster has helped a lot – maybe I should write a post about the benefits of a Saladmaster?

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Cheese samosas for merienda … yummy!

I really can’t complain, not when I continued to receive cooked, baked and steamed treats all throughout June.

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Made these baked potato casseroles two Thursdays in a row for two despedida parties

Below is a dish I grew up on: menudo. I rarely make it, however, because ground pork sold here is frozen and not appealing to the taste.

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To extend the menudo, I added Century Tuna afritada (hey, a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do to make her life easier – especially if her brood attacks a meal with gusto)

Another favorite is below: shrimp. Unfortunately, none of my kids share my love for shrimp and so a kilo of shrimp goes a l-o-n-g way … Maybe I should cook shrimps more often?

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Squash and shrimp stew in coconut milk

My kitchen work is not confined to cooking, ha. To keep everyone healthy, there’s still vegetable/fruit juice(s) to be made.

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And when there’s nothing left to cook (meaning: we haven’t gone to the grocery or the wet market to shop), there’s always the tuyo that we regularly get as pasalubong from friends.

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Dried squid, anyone?

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