Almond and Oatmeal Cookies

Now that I am quite comfortable with my cookie recipe which started when I first tried baking chocolate chip cookies which I have posted here, I have also become more confident to try out other popular flavors to put a little variety to my repertoire, hahaha! Initially, I have added a little bit of oats in my chocolate chip cookies, but then the Big Ate said the cookies were good, but could be better if I removed the chocolate chips altogether. So that's what I did, and even better, instead of the chocolate chips, I had replaced them with flaked almonds. It is quite good, if I may say so, a fine combination of the chewy cookie and crunch of the almond flakes. 
It was so good right out of the oven, but I am just disappointed that it had turned a little hard (although still ok) after 2 days of storage. It was not the case with my chocolate chips and choco marble cookies. Both had remained on its original state even after almost a week of baking. hmmm... note to self.... I have to find a way how I can keep these oatmeal cookies fresh until their last days! :)

Back to Basics: Fried Chicken

You may be wondering why i still need to write a post on fried chicken when it could be one of the easiest and fastest dish to cook. But what I really want to share is how you can truly enjoy the dish at its best. I mean, there is fried chicken and there is fffrrrrieeeed chhhicckkeeeen! Hahaha! Well, that is the case in our family anyway. We don't just make fried chicken anyday when there's nothing else to cook, but we cook it when we truly crave of a mean fried chicken. So, what do I mean by mean fried chicken? It's when we use fresh chicken, as much as possible the ones we get from the live chicken shops around town. If that's not possible, then we buy from the fresh section of the supermarket --- not from the frozen section. And of course, we cook the chicken immediately when we get home, not storing it over night or else it just defeats the purpose of our mean fried chicken. :)
To lessen the cooking time and to make sure that the chicken is cooked through, I cut the chicken in half. What I do is just to rub the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. I have also crushed about 4-5 cloves of garlic to give the chicken a hint of garlic flavor. Heat a pan with enough oil to submerge the chicken fully. To check if the oil is hot enough, just drop a very small amount of corn flour in the oil. The flour should not splatter, but instead sizzle as the flour touches the oil. I then dropped the crushed garlic and then slowly slide in the chicken. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken (at an average I cook about 1.2kg chicken cut in half). Turn the chicken and cook the other side for about the same time.
Remove from pan. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes, this will make the chicken skin retain its crispness. And I tell you, it will be as crisp as a crackling while the meat of the chicken remains soft and juicy.
Serve with a dipping sauce combination of UFC Banana Ketchup and Liquid Seasoning just the way our Big Ate loves it or with a siding of sliced tomato,onions with fish sauce.
Just one mean fried chicken from my kitchen to yours!

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Butterflied Tilapia with Sweet Ginger Sauce

This again is another experiment inspired by the food I crave from the Philippines. This time it's the butterflied Pla-Pla from Abe at Serendra. Of course it should come come with the Pako Fern and Salted Egg salad, but then Mindoro is too far away for our yaya to go home and collect some :). So in the meantime, we can make do with butterflied Tilapia, but to make it a little special, I have also prepared some stir-fried carrots and onions and poured in some sweet ginger sauce somewhat similar to the Tonkatsu sauce I have made previously and posted here.

Asian Integrated School Woes - it just keeps going on and on and on and on and on....

And the woes continue! Ok, I guess it's about time to throw in the towel and admit that I made a big (no not big but HUGE!) mistake to enroll my girls in Asian Integrated Shool. After all the assessment and evaluation I made last summer and as embarrassed as I am now, I would have to admit that it was really the biggest parenting mistake I've ever made for the girls, and now we all have to live up to that mistake.
Just this morning, I have been pulled aside by our Small Ate's teacher to very gently (as gentle as she possibly could, mind you!) remind me that the tuition fees are due today for the month of October and failure to make the payments, my child will be pulled out from her class! And this just after they had pulled her out last week! Just imagine how much patience I had to muster when I learned about it after I got home. I had this very great urge to go back to the school and raise h*^%!!! Apparently, the "Finance Officer" was not able to update his records to reflect our tuition fee payments! Can you imagine that? I have 3 children, which parent in their right mind will pay for only 2 of her kids and leave out one?! It is just plain unacceptable that because of their failure to efficiently discharge their duties, my daughter was left to suffer their inefficiencies?! I can only imagine the trauma she felt during the day and I was close to tears with the first words she told me when I reached home "Mei-mei, I don't want to go to school anymore because they kept me in the library just like a prisoner!" MY GOD!!!!!!!
Ok, given for example that we were not able to pay as I heard some of the cases were, is it right to involve the child for the shortcomings of their parents?! It is not the child's problem! And I heard some of these kids were in the elementary level too, who are old enough to understand the situation and old enough to be embarrassed from the predicament! This is just totally unacceptable! Of course again I would have to make a disclaimer here, I will again say, I only have myself to blame! Entrusting my children to these unprofessional, rude and heartless school! Yes, that's the best way to put it, heartless indeed! So can you blame me to be ranting about it when it was not my child nor even my own fault as a parent that our payments have not been reflected ---- and my child was left to suffer?!

Labanos Kilawin (Radish Saute)

Okies, before anything else, I would like to apologize for not being able to update the blog for i think more than a week now. Life had just taken over and I didn't have time alone to write my posts. I however have been updating my drafts to write titles of the dishes I have prepared that I think would merit some time from you readers... just so I wouldn't forget. Like this dish for example. I have been meaning to prepare this for the longest time and will definitely not pass up the chance to write about it once the opportunity comes. The ingredients have been frozen in the ref for months now, and I made sure not to touch them until I remember to buy some labanos or white radish from the supermarket. A few times I remembered to look for it but is always not available. It was this one time only that I was also going to cook sinigang that I remembered to get one of this. For those of you here in Qatar, you would know that radishes sold in the supermarkets are not exactly like the ones we get from the Philippines. Here they are just so big that you woudn't really include the entire thing in just one cooking, unless of course you're planning to feed at least 10 people.
So, for this dish I had used half of the radish left over from the sinigang and the left over pork offal I had been using for my dinuguan and bopis... ooops! that's another dish I should remember to take a photo of, the dinuguan. I'm sure most of you are intrigued with this dish made of pork blood! Ok, ok... so I admit another half of the world would say yuck! But if only they would give it a chance, they'll know why we also love the dish.
Now to go back to the Labanos Kilawin, this is nothing like my Tuna Kilawin I have posted here, that other one is a raw dish and not really eaten as a viand for rice, but more so as "pulutan" for finger food with your favorite alcoholic drink. the Tuna Kilawin I would say is a "man-dish", I mean, I observed that the raw kilawin is not really very popular among the female population :). On the other hand this Labanos Kilawin is cooked food, though still with a bit of a "ngyaiks" factor as it uses pork offal, but to address that, you can just use ordinary meat cuts as an alternative --- although I must say, it wouldn't be as good :)