Roasted Chicken with Shiitake Mushroom and Black Bean Sauce

Were there also times in your household when you just can't seem to think of anything to eat anymore? That you get a bit tired of your usual fare of chicken, beef, and fish. Well to us it does happen a lot! Even if I love to cook, there just are days when we just couldn't think of anything to make with the chicken or the beef in the ref. When it's our nanny or yaya doing the cooking, our chicken most of the time turns into Adobo, Afritada, Fried Chicken or Roast Chicken. It had now been a running joke between myself and our yaya whenever she asks me what she would have to cook for dinner. I always tell her that she had already been asking me that question everyday and until now she still doesn't know the answer! Hahaha! 
Well, these I believe are also common fares for ordinary Pinoy families here in the Middle East. And sometimes, we must admit, we just want something new. But something new doesn't mean dining out or having dinner take out. Sometimes, it is just giving a fresh tough to an ordinary dish. Fortunately last Saturday, I had a sudden inspiration to do just that. And was I so glad that the kids loved our new dish. Something so simple yet, delicious and I was able to add veggies in the dish too! Don't you just love that? :)
The dish call for a simple roasted chicken recipe. I have halved the chicken for a faster cooking time in our turbo broiler, but you know what, you can just even buy a cooked roasted chicken from Lulu or Carrefoure then you can skip the roasting part and just go straight to preparing the sauce. I have also posted here my Garlic Butter Roast Chicken recipe if you're looking for that garlicky flavor in your chicken. 

Pork Menudo

We were pleasantly surprised when an uncle came back from vacation two weeks ago. Another aunt had kindly sent us a package of pork, menudo-cut. To those of you who are not from these parts of the world, pork packages are quite common here in Qatar, actually. Although they are now starting to sell pork at QDC, most people do not have access to the shop anyway, so having pork in your refrigerator is quite a privilege. And so, the following weekend I decided to cook the pork, mainly because we were not able to go food shopping and we don't have anything else to cook :)
Pork Menudo is quite a common dish in the Philippines, apart from Afritada, it is one of the easiest pork stew recipe to make at home. It is also a popular dish during Fiesta or other occasions. Personally though, I would opt for the Afritada anytime, since Menudo includes other ingredients I don't particularly go for with my dishes, like the hotdog and the raisins. Of course you may say you can strike them out anytime, but taking them out defeats the distinct taste it provides to the dish.

3 Mini Ladies and a Mommy

3 Mini Ladies and a Mommy is now alive! Check out My Expat Mommy's first couple of posts. :)

And to my fellow Qatar peeps out there, don't forget to visit Doha Domestication too! :)

Kulinary Cooking Club: Lomi

For a few months now, I have been cooking with a group fellow foodies around the world known as the Kulinarya Cooking Club. Members of the group were assigned a month of the year to think of the theme for the members to cook and blog about. This month, our hosts, Abigail of My Nappy Tales and Marni of Kensington Kitchen had come up with a very interesting theme. This is to cook something that reminds you of your first love. And so, I'm whoa!!! Wait a minute! Hahaha! Geez, I really don't know how to do it. As I am not comfortable talking about topics like these in general outside of my circle of 6 closest friends, I really don't know what to do about this. LOL! Geez, how am I to talk about my sacred love for Allan Caidic, the PBA player! Hahahaha! Yes, friends, Allan Caidic is my first love! I believe i was about 13 then, first year high school when I started to have crushes or appreciate boys in general. At that time, I have just moved to La Salle Lipa for high school and at that time, PBA is so big for high school girls. Although that was the only time I had been introduced to the sport, I also got hooked with the influence of my new classmates and friends. 
The good thing about it was that at that time, La Salle was just a high school and so all of us had come from different schools in elementary. It was equal ground for everybody. Being so timid as a child, I found transferring to a new school very refreshing. I thought it would be the best time to reinvent myself to be more outgoing and friendly. So there, I guess really that was the time I fell in love. I fell in love with Life itself. A whole new world had been opened up in front of my and it is time to take it all in and enjoy myself. I can be who I am, to be more open to new ideas and experiences. I fell in love with everything, my school, my classmates and friends, all the clubs and extra curricular activities, even my classes and teachers. I think that was even the stage where I learned to giggle and enjoy myself! Haha! 
And so, for this month's cooking challenge, I have opted to cook something that best reminds me of my high school life in Lipa City. What else but the very popular Lomi. See, your visit to Lipa wouldn't be complete without having a taste of the heavenly noodle soup that is available in big and small restaurants and even hole in the wall eateries. And, if I may say so, this is totally different from the Lomi you get from other parts of the country. Our Lomi in Lipa does not include vegetables in its recipe, instead it is just a simple noodle and meat dish, but oh so delicious. Unfortunately, for my dish I wouldn't be able to recreate that particular type, due to the circumstantial limitations I have in my part of the world. So before anything else, to all Lipenos out there reading this blog, who I know are very propreitary to the lomi, pardon me, and I am not in any making any presumptions that this is Lipa Lomi (Oh my, you wouldn't believe the comments I've read on recipe blogs which had titled their post as Lomi ng Lipa when they are in no means a representation of the dish, so I wouldn't be attempting to do the same! Hehe!) Anyhow, this is My Expat Mommy's version of Lomi. Maybe in the future, I'll also get to prepare the Lomi, Lipa City style!

My Expat Daddy's Cuttlefish Kilawin

I would have titled it as Kilawing Pusit, as cuttlefish being a mollusk, belongs to the same class as squids and octopuses. Last week, our Expat Daddy with a large garbage bag full of cuttlefish which he bought from his fishermen friends (if you've been following this blog, by now you would have already known about the Expat Daddy's circle of friends! LOL!). 
Oh my, you can just imagine my shock when I saw those fresh cuttlefishes, some still breathing! It's really something more than we can handle. Thing is, the Fam is not really into mollusks. Aside from the times that our Big Ate craves for Calamares (which I have also posted here), we are not really big on adobong pusit and so I don't really know much when it comes to ways to cook the cuttlefish. 
It was a good thing that the Expat Daddy's relatives are coming over to the rescue and take these mass of seafood off our hands. 
But before they go, they opted to grill some of them and a couple make into Kilawin. And oh wow! Was it good! Admittedly, I didn't even want to taste it in the beginning as it is something new to me but it was such a pleasant surprise to the palate. The cuttlefish is sweet and soft, not chewy at all and combined with the marinade it was such a delish appetizer! It's like eating gummy bears, hahaha! And now I start to drool. :)
Preparing the dish is no different from the Tuna Kilawin that our Expat Daddy also makes, only difference is in the preparation where the cuttlefish is first cleaned, skinned and washed with very hot water before mixing it with the marinade.

2 medium cuttlefish, cleaned and sliced
1 medium onion, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
ginger (about 1in size), finely chopped
2 chili peppers, finely chopped (optional if you want it hot)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp salt (adjust as desired)
1 tsp white pepper

spring onion, chopped

After cleaning and skinning the cuttlefish, wash and dip into hot water to slightly cook the meat. Remove and drain of excess liquid. Set aside. 

Prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste first if the desired combination of salt and sour is achieved. Adjust as required. Mix well to blend the flavors perfectly.
Mix in the cuttlefish and toss. Taste to ensure desired blend of flavors is maintained. 

Transfer into a serving bowl, garnish with spring onion and serve. Enjoy!

Mommy Tip: To save leftovers, Drain excess juices and transfer into a resealable container. Serve cold. 

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Katara Sports Day for Family Bonding on Valentine's Day

And so, from our pig out sessions during the Doha Food Festival last week, we now compensate with a healthy bonding activity this coming Valentine's day which also happens to be Qatar National Sports Day. To celebrate, the government agencies and corporations have lined up a number of sporting activities around town for all the family to enjoy. And the best part of it is that they're all free of charge! 
For the PascuaFam, The Expat Mommy would be suggesting that the family trip to the Katara Cultural Village to participate in a couple of fitness sessions among a list of activities they have lined up. you can find more about the Katara Sports Day Event and the PascuaFam's bonding itinerary at Doha Domestication.
I would also like to call on Expat Mom's out there, why don't we try out the Zumba together? It's at Building 15 from 11:15am - 12:15pm. Heard it's the in thing these days! If you're interested to try this out with me, you may email your registration at :)

Corn Dogs

My girls and I have very different motivations when we thought of making corn dogs over the weekend. For me, it was the memory of childhood when I used to fight my way in the school canteen just to be able to get one. I remember this was so popular and so special for me since I couldn't buy it anywhere else. I don't think we even called them corn dogs then. It was more popularly known as waffle. In any case I just loved them. 
In the case of my daughters, they only knew of the hotdog waffles we used to get from the stalls in the malls. But of course it just is not the same and they know it. Their intrigue for corn dogs started in the internet cooking games they play. Corn dog is one of the easiest and fastest dish to prepare and available at lower levels of the game I think. And so from there, they wanted to see the corn dogs first hand. And what better way to achieve it? Ask mei-mei! 
It was a good thing that I have corn meal on stock in our pantry, which is the crucial ingredient in making corn dogs, in terms of texture and color as this gives you the yellowish color of the dough. I have bought it a few weeks back from Megamart for another purpose, but came in handy when we decided to make the corn dogs in the spur of the moment. It also came at the right moment since we need a little break during our review marathon for this week's quarterly exams, for which we could not go out for the weekend.

Taste and Fun Food Festival, 8 - 11 Feb 2012

The week had just started but it's looking like the PascuaFam is gearing up for a fun weekend in 5 days, or would it be earlier? Of course with the Expat Mommy's passion for food, it is but expected that the entire crew will be seen at this year's Taste & Fun Food Festival to be held at the Qatar Exhibition Center on 8 - 11 February 2012. 
It is exam week though so it will not be a party party weekend for us, so I'm thinking of taking the girls either on the 8th or 9th of February during their afternoon playtime. The hours between 4-6PM daily are sacred to the girls as this is their free time where they can engage on an afternoon play, watch their favorite kids channel or play a bit of games on the net. I make sure to respect their own personal time to maintain a structure in their daily activities. On their part on the other hand, they also know that at 6-8PM, it is study time. Hence, eliminating any power struggle to make them study. The moment I say it's study time, all three girls go straight ahead to collect their diaries and books to start with our lessons. Another tiny little thing that makes me so proud of my girls!
And so, since it's going to be exam week next week, they are aware that most of our weekend will be spent studying that's why I'll be taking them to the Food Festival in its early days. Surely, it will be loads of fun not just for the girls but including myself too, even for just a short time! 

For more details on the Taste & Fun Food Festival, please visit My Expat Mommy's other blog,  Doha Domestication.

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The Expat Nanny's Going on Holiday and How to Get in Touch with My Expat Mommy :)

And so tonight, our The Expat Nanny will be flying out to go home to her family in the Philippines. Surely she is so excited. Unfortunately, just as she is now preparing to leave there are still some glitches that just came up this morning while she is acquiring her exit permit. But we're now working on it, so by God's grace she'd be able to leave tonight. 
In the meantime, the PascuaFam will be left here to enjoy whatever's left of the Qatar winter with the rest of the family and our Expat Yaya. Ok, now I can see some eyebrows raising this very moment! LOL! But before you do that, let me just say that our Expat Nanny and our Expat Yaya are both considered family already and although we do pay them wages, we still allow them to find other opportunities to earn. See, you just can't end contracts with family, right?  And so, in order for them to be able earn an OFW income, we have partnered to put up My Expat Mommy Catering and Food Delivery Services and as a half-true joke actually, we have appointed our Expat Nanny to be our "Sales and Marketing Director", our Expat Yaya as our Finance Director and the Expat Mommy as the CEO. LOL! I mean who knows, in God's own time, we might be a real flourishing Food Company! Well, as we all say, it's free to dream, and so we choose to DREAM BIG! :)
Having said that, let me again introduce to you My Expat Mommy Catering and Food Delivery Services for all your catering requirements, be it for parties, small get-togethers, office and school lunches, or even just for intimate family dinners. I have posted our packages and price list in the Notes Section of My Expat Mommy's Facebook Page
To our regular customers or those who by chance, already got hold of our fliers and business cards and trying to reach us through our mobile no. printed there, you may in  the meantime, reach us by posting or leaving a message with us on Facebook, leaving a comment in this blog or using our alternative contact information below.

Mobile: (974) 77662084
BBM: 234842A8

It would be our pleasure to be of service to you and your family and friends. And as The Expat Mommy always says: Enjoy! :)

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Single Serving: Daing Na Bangus (Milkfish in Garlic and Vinegar Marinade)

Milk fish is probably one of my favorite fishes, no actually it is indeed my favorite fish in this lifetime. So when the Expat Daddy started bringing home about 5kgs of bangus which he purchase from his fishermen friends near his worksite, I am in Bangus Heaven. Unfortunately, I am the only one in the family who loves Bangus, and so I have too many in my hands to think of ways to cook them. Thus, what I did, is to marinate the fish in batches to be cooked for either breakfasts or during times when we can't think of anything interesting to eat. Actually I do always have beef tapa, chicken tocino and daing na bangus (and sometimes Tambakol (tuna) in adobo marinate) in the ref. The girls love the meat for their lunch box while we usually have the fish during Friday breakfast.
See, I guess the best fit description for me would be a DIY homemaker. Not a real fan of consumerism, so definitely bad business to the suppliers. Well, let's just say, if I can sew my own clothes, I would! LOL!