Buko Pandan

I mentioned in my previous post that when our Small Ate received a call back for a print ad modelling job, we flaked the birthday party of a very close friend. Well that friend of ours didn't mind that we weren't at the party, surely she still enjoyed herself to the hilt and the party was a success. What I am sure she minds is that the Buko Pandan I promised her did not also reach the party! LOL!
When I posted the photo of the Puto Pandan in My Expat Mommy Facebook Page, she complimented that it looks delicious and it made her crave for another pandan dessert dish which is Buko Pandan. So since she has a standing invitation for her birthday bash, I promised her that I'll bring the dessert for her. And the rest as they say, is history. Everybody now knows that the Buko Pandan did not reach the party! :)
Last night was not so hectic so I had the chance to make the dessert. It was such a hit that it was finished even before we had dinner. So obviously I need to prepare a fresh batch for our friend. 
Preparing the dish actually is very simple, it's just like making your ordinary buko salad. Well, that is, if you are in the Philippines. But here in Qatar, the main setback is finding the ingredients. So far, I have not yet seen any pandan extract in any of the supermarkets so I had to make my pandan water from scratch. Fortunately, I already had an idea how to do it from the Puto Pandan I made previously. Now it is the buko which is posing as an impediment to the perfect Buko Pandan I intend to make. Of course there is no choice but to use the frozen "young coconut" available in the Pinoy Supermarkets and Lulu Hypermarket. The first pack I bought was Lucia brand grated young coconut. It was not good! First off it is not young at all! I mean it is in no means a buko at all. The grated coconut was already mature and also, when I thawed it in a strainer to drain the water, the next day the coconut was already spoiled, even in this cold weather. So that was no good at all. At this point, I am already tempted to use the bottled macapuno. But then it wouldn't be a Buko Pandan anymore would it?

Introducing My Expat Mommy, a.k.a. The Stage Mom!

Our fashion model wannabe

And the ad agency tells me: "Please, please no matter what you do, please don't post the photos on Facebook yet, until we have launched the ads!" Oh wow, such a strict reminder, and I'm following it, ain't I? Have you seen it on My Expat Mommy Official Facebook Page? Not really, eh? LOL! 
Yes I'm a self confessed stage mom! Ha ha ha! And no matter how hard I try to keep it under my sleeve, I just can't stop giving you a tiny little hint of another proud mommy moment for the Expat Mommy --- our Small Ate has been chosen to be part of a print ad here in Qatar! Yaaay! 

Pancit Guisado (Mixed Noodles)

The Fam's ultimate comfort food! This is one of our eternal go to dish whenever we couldn't think of anything better to cook for dinner... Yes, mostly dinner. See, I arrive home with our Big Ate at about 4PM, while the grandma arrives at about 3:30PM and the Expat Daddy at 5PM. Upon arriving home, the first thing we do is eat! I know this is not a good practice as it ruins our meal schedule. But then we are just too famished upon arriving home and so if there's a thing called brunch, we have what we call lunner, which a meal combining both lunch and dinner. :)
And so with this, we usually kind of loose our appetite for dinner. But of course, we'd still be hungry, hehe! So what we usually do is think of a light meal for our dinner. Just to satisfy our hunger. This would often be either a soup or noodle dish. One of our favorites though is pancit, that's why we always keep stock of pancit canton and bihon at home, and then the basic vegetables like cabbage, carrots and string beans to go with it. 
For this dish in the photo however, it's a more elaborate dish with all the works and trimmings. This is how we prepare our pancit for our special occasions, most ordinarily on birthdays, because after all, we Pinoys believe that pancit is the representation of long life.
For this dish you might notice that I only have included oyster sauce, salt and pepper for seasoning, this is because, I already have a very flavorful chicken broth, cooked from bones and other parts we have discarded whenever we debone our chicken for other dishes. I keep those chicken parts frozen until "Pancit Time" to make the broth adding vegetables and herbs to make it more flavorful. This my friends is what makes our pancit special. So if you ask me what my secret ingredient is, it's actually just the broth I cook my pancit with. :)
If you are however not in the mood for making your own homemade broth, you can always use chicken broth cubes, my brand of choice is Knorr -- the once imported from the Philippines, as it has less artificial flavoring compared to the other ones sourced here in the Gulf. :)

Kulinarya Cooking Club: Fresh Lumpia (Spring Roll)

I am pleased to have joined a group of Filipno cooks who enjoy writing just as much as enjoy cooking. The Kulinarya Cooking Club showcases each month a unique theme for the recipes to be shared by its members. For our year opener this month, our hosts, Thea of Words of Nosh and Pearl of Sassy Chef decided to challenge us with a healthy dish or a healthy version of a dish we'd love to serve for our birthday. Whoa! To me at least, that is quite a challenge! Hahaha! I must admit, I am not a healthy eater. I always go for a feel good veeerrrryyyy fiiiillllingggg food. Took me a while before I could decide on which dish to make. 
Eventually, I settled for what people have been requesting recently when we have get-togethers at home. May not be my favorite dish of all, but I'm not saying I don't like it. I love it and best of all our guests always love it too!  
For the filling, I did not include any meat and made it pure vegetables. Also, instead of making the fried spring rolls which is a staple in our celebrations, I will be sharing our recipe for Fresh Lumpia which is a new favorite. By "our" means I will have to give credit where credit is due. The wrapper as always is prepared by our Expat Nanny. I did not attempt to take away the spotlight from her! hahaha! Yes, she's our expert in the wrapper division! However, I do think that the recipe calls for far too much eggs. I guess I'll have to adjust this one when I got the chance. :)
So all in all, I can say, the dish is truly healthy with less oil and less fat!

Pancit Canton Stir Fry with Shrimp & Broccoli

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Oh the power of television --- the power of Ms. Kris Aquino! Hahaha!
I must admit one of the shows we never fail to watch in The Filipino Channel is Kris TV. We always enjoy the discussions she have with her guests. They were not just entertaining, but informative too. I have learned quite a number things from those lively discussions and cooking demonstrations. 
The past week was all about the Chinese New Year, and after watching it day in and day out, we just can't resist! The show's power seems to really rub on us and also got interested in following some tips advised by their guests. Actually, what we did was mostly the ones related to food. So, out of the blue, we had a buffet spread last night to celebrate the Chinese New Year! Hahaha!

Chicken Teriyaki

Did I mention that My Expat Mommy is now into food business? A very small-time food business actually, just to satisfy my addiction to cooking! Hahaha! This blog had actually started it all, it was the time when the Expat Daddy and the girls were still based in the Philippines, and me being a homebody thought of doing something fun in the confines of our home. That's when I started to try out baking, unfortunately, till now, apart from the cookies and crinkles, I still am a struggling baker. But I can say, I am a better cook than baker. During those wee hours of the night, I spend so much time on the net and is always partial to recipe and food blogs. That's when I thought of making my own too! And from there, I needed people to sample my cooking... I mean my family can only take in enough food! hahaha! So from orders of cookies and crinkles, I decided to venture into food delivery. "Business" is doing good actually, and the best part of it is that I get to do what I love most and earn from it at the same time! :)
Just yesterday, we received an order for chicken Teriyaki among a lot of other dishes. Oh, was I so excited! My not so eventful day just turned exciting and the kitchen would again be abuzz. Let's see when I can post the recipes for the other items, but for now, let's have the Teriyaki first. Oh, the Fresh Lumpia will also be coming today as I will post that under our KCC Challenge for the month for a healthy birthday dish. :)

Puto (Steamed Rice Cake) - Pandan and Cheese Flavors

Puto Pandan

I have been making cheese puto for quite a while now. It was a recipe, or should I say a list of ingredients I got from one of my old friends when I was just new here in Qatar. I have written it in one of my journals which I kept for years. When I was cleaning up last year, I managed to find the journal again and thought of making the puto from that list of ingredients. Oh wow! It was so good! I really did not expect it to be that so, but it is. Everyone who tried it loved it, and that's how I got back my interest in cooking and started baking. To date, it still is one of My Expat Mommy's bestsellers and though I personally think that puto is such a boring dish, sometimes I wonder, what was so good about that puto that people just can't get enough of? hahaha!