BREADMAKING, a delicious escape from the Pandemic nightmare

FEATURED RECIPES: War Bread, French Toast, Open-faced Turkey & Poached Egg Sandwich

Where have I been all this time? My life took a turn with some life changing events. I sold my country home and moved 50 miles away. With my house gone, I temporarily lost my bearing for not having my own space and independence. Then, I changed my job to a better, more challenging one – all these happened in just 2 years.

Then, the great COVID pandemic came to town and conquered the world in a lock down for about 8 months or so. Everyone found themselves quarantined except for the so-called “essential workers”. I was one of them! I was working my way through the pandemic. I felt lucky I still made money; yet scared that I might catch the virus in the process.

In the last 2 years and especially in 2020, life for me and for everyone in the world has been a plethora of tales that taste like salty and sour (expressions of anger) since the world has suddenly shut down without notice; as well as bitterly unhappy since people couldn’t do things they have normally done.

Some tales were sweet and savory for those who can see the silver lining behind the dark clouds of the pandemic. I believe most of us in the beginning of 2021 were hoping the pandemic was already behind us or gradually drifting away so that we can eventually return to our normal lives; or to the new normal.

Most people turned their energy into bread making, baking or cooking in general! I’ve seen many celebrities and home folks showcasing their cooking skills and delicious creations over social media. All of a sudden, everyone is baking!

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EGGPLANT SKILLET CASSEROLE: Removing traces of a shady past, the eggplant story.

savoryI only knew one kind of eggplant growing up in Manila – the eggplant that my mother used to cook or buy from the public market. Little did I know; there are so many varieties of eggplant to this day. The most popular variety available to most Americans is Italian eggplant.


Based on Specialty Produce information page (a fresh produce wholesaler based in San Diego, CA) Italian eggplants are oblong and small to medium in size with bulb-like bottoms. The outer skin is glossy, smooth, and ranges from lavender to deep purple in color. The inner flesh is firm and ivory white with barely any visible seeds. Italian eggplants are tender and creamy with rich flavor when cooked. ”


The Filipino eggplants that I grew up with look similar to Japanese eggplants. They are long, slender and sometimes curved with slightly visible seeds that are also edible. Compared to Italian eggplants, the Filipino eggplants have thinner skin with mild and sweet taste when cooked.

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Kingman, AZ – the Heart of Historic Route 66

With my cooking job, I seldom get a 4-day weekend off. This past Easter holiday I was lucky! So my partner and I decided to go on a long road trip out-of-state just to get away from the cold wintry Wisconsin Spring for few days. We drove off heading to Kingman, AZ. We packed a few light clothing anticipating the temperature to be around upper 80s or lower 70s.


The eating journey…

There were a lot of things to write about this trip! So let me begin with our food journey to Arizona excluding the many shortstops in between. Since we already booked our hotel online, when we arrived in Kingman, I immediately searched or googled for popular local restaurants in town. recommended 10 best places based on customer reviews. Of these ten, we went to four of these places in the course of our three-day staycation in Kingman.  And here are my thoughts about these restaurants:
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BANANA COCONUT BUNDT CAKE with Peanut Butter Frosting – No guilt for the sweet tooth

One of my resolutions this year is to cut down on my sugar intake. It is easier said, especially for someone like me who developed sweet tooth later in life when my metabolism starts to slow down. But, there’s a way and I know that!


It just takes a little amount of self-control to eat in moderation. Plus, I need to get busy in the kitchen to create and test new recipes while juggling with work and everything else in life.


Since I love banana muffin which is my go-to coffee match, I decided to make over this recipe and change most ingredients using healthier substitutes.
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Mexican Taco, Wrapped in a Paradox of its Time

Who doesn’t like tacos? For many of us who do, taco Tuesday has become a regular date night for the family, friends, and co-workers or even for couples who like to enjoy a buffet of tacos in a taco bar.


Taco is usually consists of soft or crunchy folded tortilla filled with choice of seasoned meat and freshly cut vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes and onions with toppings like shredded cheese or sour cream or both. This is a very versatile meal so other veggies can be added too like beans, avocado or guacamole, corn, green peppers, or sliced olives.

But do we know the tacos that we all know today are already the American version? They are tacos on American terms?


We love to eat tacos. We talk about how we love this food and created so many versions of the dish such as taco salad, taco burrito, taco casserole, breakfast taco, taco pasta salad, chicken taco, and others alike.

However, there is one side to the tacos that we seldom talk about or maybe don’t want to talk about – how about the heritage and the people who brought this food into the American tables? Seemingly, it’s not too “safe” to talk about them.
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Tilapia and Squash in Coconut Curry Sauce

Let’s talk about good protein. All food made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. However, not all proteins are created equal.

According to protein from animal sources are high in saturated fats which could raise cholesterol levels in the blood which could then lead to heart diseases if consumed “excessively;” and by excessively it means more than once a week. Some studies conducted by the American Cancer Society showed that red and processed meats have been linked to certain cancers and diabetes.

The good news is – there are good proteins! These are leaner cuts of meat, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, poultry without the skin, fish and other seafood, and plant-based sources such as  nuts, seeds, beans, soy products and whole grains.
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Jump-starting the New Year with RED KIDNEY BEAN CUPCAKES

It is not easy to eat healthy nowadays!

Every minute of the day we are bombarded by images of mouth-watering food in television, the internet and social media. These food and beverages are packed with either bad fats (saturated or trans fats); bad carbs (high calorie, high sugar); or bad proteins (meat with high saturated fats). Worst, some of these food contain genetically modified ingredients if not chemically-laced. We are well-aware of this reality. We just chose to give it a cold shoulder.


Do we have choices left? I certainly believe we do; however it needs serious work and smart decisions. Buying pre-packed, ready-to-heat, processed food is always easier and convenient than making meals from scratch. But always, home-made food are healthier especially if the ingredients are chosen appropriately (healthy).
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A Post-Thanksgiving Note

Happy (Late) Thanksgiving Everyone!

I always make a list of things I needed to buy or do prior to any holiday meal. I’ve been doing this for years. Often, I forget a thing or two. This holiday, I overlooked two staples of a traditional Thanksgiving meal – cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie 😦


Not that it really matters. I’m sure for many of us, there are more important things to look back to and be grateful for. I hope you all had a wonderful and memorable get-together dinner with your family, friends and loved ones this holiday. This is the true meaning of the holidays anyhow.


However, for the sake of learning from my mistakes, if I were to go back to my list I’ll probably find other things to improve on.


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Zucchini Parmesan Fries

What else can you do with Zucchini besides baked-roasting or grilling? That was precisely my thought when I saw a bunch of golden zucchini in the breakroom at work.


Zucchini is a summer squash that grows abundantly in a short period usually couple of months after planting. It should be harvested and eaten while the skin is still soft. To cook the zucchini, just wash, cut and leave the skin on. It is rich in Vitamin A and C, magnesium, fiber, folate, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamin B6. It is also high in manganese, a mineral which helps the body process fats, carbohydrates, and glucose.

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Potosi: A short bike ride in the crisp October air

​One afternoon in the middle of the week,​ ​my significant other and I were both home and off from work. We​ ​went for a short ride on the bike. Not knowing where we were heading, I dressed up for the ride: leather chaps, boots, jacket, and gloves. I also put my shades on, tightly wrapped my bandana around my head to keep my hair from blowing in my face and in my boyfriend’s face. Then I jumped at the back of the bike.

fall ride.JPG

I know I will not delight the feminists when I​ ​say I’m quite content just riding on the back of the bike with no intention of moving to the front seat. Bikers have specific word for rear rider which I cannot mention here. Just ask a biker and he/she will speak the word. Rear riders go with few other nicer names, the one I prefer is rear admiral which I will explain later.


There’s​ ​something​ ​wild and rebellious about​ ​riding​ ​a​ ​motorcycle.​ ​One of the obvious reasons is that you take off​ ​​the​ ​comfort, safety​ ​and​ ​convenience​ ​of cruising in an enclosed​ ​vehicle.​ ​There’s no​ ​seat​ ​belt,​ ​you are​ ​exposed​ ​to​ ​the changing​ ​weather​ ​as well as ​the​ ​elements​ ​on​ ​the​ ​road.​ ​And​ ​if you’re​ ​a​ ​rear rider, you relinquish total​ ​control​ ​of your​ ​own safety​ ​and​ ​fully entrust it ​to the​ ​person​ ​in​ ​front​ ​of​ ​you.​ ​Also, you let Mother Nature​ ​define​ ​the​ ​outcome​ ​of​ ​your​ ​day’s​ ​ride. It could be raining, too hot and humid or super cold and chilly, who knows?
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