Recipe: Puttanesca Linguine paired with Kalamata Olive Bread

Because we’re such small eaters, we have to wait for company to be able to cook with gusto.

Especially since I found a source for kalamata olives here in the Philippines,, located in Antipolo, am pretty happy about that. Speaking of kalamata olives, I like the its saltiness, so good with cooking and as an appetizer.

So, so we decided to make puttanesca pasta, did you know that it got the name because that was prepared by the ladies of the night in Italy for when the come in from their gig. The would just put together whatever is in the fridge. Sharing here:

Barilla is my favorite brand, it is not very pricey too, we use to be able to get it on sale for less than a dollar.


bacon strips cut to size (would have been nice if there are thicker slices here in the Philippines)
olive oil for the pasta and for sauteing
Kalamata olives
black olives (just because)
anchovy paste (i used our fish paste bagoong)
fresh or canned whole tomatoes
smoked salmon (optional or you can use canned tuna)
fresh or dried basil
onions and garlic
we don’t have parmesan cheese, so we added left over brie in the sauce
we have lovely dried cherry tomatoes from japan, threw it in too



Cook pasta according to package instruction, save pasta water for the sauce.

Cook bacon until fat has been rendered, add olives, tomatoes, add the rest of the ingredients, letting it simmer until thick, oh add the pasta water gradually. Mix in the pasta, voila it’s done. Serve immediately.


A friend brought kalamata bread from Boudin bakery in SFO, a month or so ago, it was sitting in the freezer, it was a good accompaniment, dip in vinegar and oil


I’m finding that I enjoy spaghetti more than any other type, maybe it’s the texture but the flavor seems to be absorrbed more by the spaghetti.


What we forgot is the wine, not sure if would have paired well but we have an opened bottle of chocolate wine, a gift. Haven;t tried it yet, my mom did, she said it was different.

Anyway, if you haven’t tried making puttanesca pasta, hope you will.

It is fun to make and so enjoyable, the melding of flavors makes up for the clean up after he he.

Cheers —






Recipe: Red Bean Chili and Flour Tortilla turned Roti

It was our group’s early Christmas party (oh what a relief to call it as it is, instead of calling it a Holiday event without offending anyone, am in the Philippines, which is a Catholic country). Originally, it was going to be a catered event, until they decided to spend for a worthy cause and have a potluck. For my share, I brought Red bean chili and flour tortilla that turned into a roti. To do this:


1 small bag of red beans (of course any kind will do)
1 small bundle of celery
red and green bell pepper
chicken (boiled and shredded)
cumin powder
chili flakes
1 packet taco sauce  (Lawry’s)
grated cheese
sour cream


  1. Wash beans thoroughly, picking through for stray “dead floating beans” and foreign objects (just as you would when preparing beans). In  large bowl or pot put water enough to cover the beans and soak overnight.
  2. In a large heavy bottom pot, saute the diced onion and garlic until it has caramelized. Add the beans, that has been rinsed from soaking overnight.
  3. Add the chicken broth from the boiled chicken, and add more water if necessary, good enough to cover the beans. Let it boil (rolling boil and simmer)
  4. When the beans has reached the doneness that you prefer, mash a portion, this will serve as a thickening agent.
  5. Add cilantro, chili flakes (depending on your spice level desired) and the packet of tack sauce.
  6. Simmer some more, until it is really thick add the celery (the stalks are diced and the leaves ribboned) and the diced pepper. Salt to taste.
  7. Serve top with grated cheese of your choice and sour cream, if desired, and tortilla or tortilla chips on the side.

I initially started making this on my instant pot, sauteing the onion and the garlic on a small amount of oil, once the onions has caramelized, put the beans (rinsed from being soaked)  added enough water to cover the beans then set it on beans/chili. The setting read 30 minutes after boiling, I said okay fine, this is good. However, 30 minutes has passed and still it is hard as rock, so changed the setting to slow cook for 3 hours. So I transferred it to a heavy bottom pot, simmered cooked it to the doneness preferred.

Sorry, am sharing this with you so that you won’t make the same mistake I did. I would normally cook this on a slow cooker,  leaving it on overnight or during the day before I  leave for work.

It didn’t take too long to cook on the stovetop, seasoned it as instructed above, transfer to a serving bowl topped with cheese and sour cream.

Flour Tortillas that turned to Roti

While the beans is simmering, I was preparing the flour tortillas, recipe by Cafe Sucre Farine. I followed everything, but I doubted the consistency, it was close to 5 minutes running on my stand mixer and it was still lumpy, so I added water.

See, I have a friend from Mexico, who invited me for dinner and made us prepare our own tortillas as we are getting ready for dinner. I thought that was cool, she never got around to sending me a copy of her recipe.

The additional water, was a definite error (DON’T), because the batter became so sticky that it was sticking to my tortilla press. I persisted, didn’t start a new batch, instead it was rolled, using a french roller, with that consistency it was hard to create a round tortilla, and I think it was too thin, that it was a little crunchy. Hah! and my original plan was to make oven tried tortilla chips.

It did look like tortillas when heated on a pan with all the bubbles and the browned parts. Oh, another tip, don’t let it stay too or put the stove on high heat, as you will have burnt tortilla and smelly flour dust left on the pan, not good.

I followed the recipe and came up with 16 pieces, though. Still I think this is a good recipe it is my execution that was a little erring. Will try again.

I like my food homemade that way I am sure that all the ingredients what they really are and there are no unnecessary preservatives included. Besides, it is fun to discover what I shouldn’t and should do. And the joy of savoring the result of my work, be it a successful or a failed attempt.

Cheers —





>Thoughtful recipe: sinigang and lechon: Actualizations, needs, motivations, the self continues to persist

>I am always fascinated about what makes a person say things, their motivations, how they react to stimulus. A wide breadthe of study. I learn from it, there is a saying in Tagalog, “itago ang mabuti, itapon ang masama”. Loosely translated, “keep the good, and toss the bad ones”. Íf the results are positive, then it must be good, eh!.

At lunch one day, Victoria who’s visiting me from LA, she is going to help me move (a story for another day), I was saying that perhaps we do things in response to a need, a need to be appreciated, a need to feel needed, etc. She said, oh that’s the actualization theory by Maslow, she continued there is the need to know oneself, which I readily responded as that is our God hole, that indescribable feeling of being lost. Which some responds to by hurting themselves because they need to feel.

Image from

Incidentally, lunch was pork sinigang, a stew of pork belly with tamarind seasoning, radish, eggplant, tomatoes, and spinach, and roasted pork. Two kinds of pork offerings.

The sinigang is cooked by parboiling water (you can also use the rice wash) the tamarind seasoning, tomatoes, onions, add pork until it is fully cooked, then add the radish, followed by eggplant. The spinach should be placed on the pot last,  because it cooks rather quickly.  Season with fish sauce for that savory taste.

The roast pork or lechon, definitely not up to par to the zubachon of market manila is boiled first and then cooked in the nuwave oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. The skin will be very crunchy and the fat would have separated itself from the meat.

Word of the wise, be careful when you buy pork belly, I got this from a Korean Market on Telegraph here in Oakland, and found thar there is almost nothing in the middle of the cut, totally disappointing.

As we mature and develop our personas, and know where to get the best cut of pork belly. Sometimes through experience, influence, and acquired knowledge. I said to G, yeah I noticed that there is a certain confidence about me as I age, like good wine ha ha.. She asked me, if it was pronounced, and I said yes, although I can’t really say how or what made me draw that conclusion. I am tempered, but then again Lordy has a lot to do about it too.

>Thoughtful Recipe Coconut Ice Cream: Personal Summers, a Tribute to Women

>I first heard of personal summer in a play called, “Menopause: The Musical”. While it was a hilarious play, it brought some realities that women had to deal with, “personal summers”.  This significant events in women’s lives are very personal and varies in its manifestation. For some, there is a lot of physical challenge, the personal summer occuring in the dead of winter. The imbalance being more pronounced in others than the rest.

There is also that psychological challenge of being incomplete, that something very important is missing that their essence as a woman, effectively changing their beings, making them feel less of a woman.  What they are forgetting that what comes with that phase is that maturity, that wisdom of knowing that only a woman has.

It is really no big deal for a personal summer to arrive. It is great that there is no more of those pesky monthly visits of mother nature, women have to deal with personal summers instead.

Then, there is this thing called pica. It is an extraordinary craving mostly by women, unusual because sometimes it is a craving for non food items. Soap, cigarette ash, my mom when she was conceiving me had a craving for young mango leaf from a specific tree. The tree that is perched  near a river that can be reached from a bridge, ha ha and my dad had to be the one to get it.  It is indeed a psychological phenomenon, which the enterprising ones are capitalizing on by providing food items that comes in different forms, i.e. rock, etc.

That makes us special, eh! As a special treat, how about some coconut ice cream. I followed this recipe  from whole foods, it was perfect. The churning took longer than if I was using dairy, which made me wonder if it was going to work, ha ha…

egg is an important ingredient to ice cream making,


Ice Cream Maker
heavy bottom pot


4 eggs
1 can coconut milk
1 can cream of coconut
1 cup sugar or less
coconut flakes

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, cream and the cream of coconut once the sugar is sufficiently melted, put in a heavy bottom pot. In slow fire heat the mixture without boiling or the eggs will cook and curdle. So as soon as the mixture will stick to the ladle (the test of consistency) transfer to the mixing bowl and cool.

Once cooled, put in the ice cream maker and following the directions of the equipment churn until the desired consistency is achieved. Add remaining ingredients gradually.  If a harder ice cream is desired, put in freezer before enjoying.

 To combat personal summers, ice cream is the best, but you want to make your own so that the sugar is controlled, creaming ingredients can also be substituted, like cassava or tapioca flour instead of cream. The tapioca and flour ideas are from my mom, she used to make ice cream using cassava flour without the ice cream machine.  I can’t remember if we enjoyed it, but she is one to experiment.  She became a wife and mother without knowing how to cook, became a grandmother and a great-grandmother cooking up a storm.


>Thoughtful recipes: Saturday fritata and blueberry muffins


Saturday was the last day of our Bible Study for the year, it has evolved a great many times.  Now, people are moving on, a friend and I decided to stick to it, since we have declared every other Saturday, as time reserved for that purpose and to hang out, discover new restaurants, scour through repurpose items, look for interesting craft items, pray, and adore Him. It has bee 5 years for me, to others more. It has seen happier moments, of babies, marriages, of someone’s passing, the breakdown of marriages, travels, life – trials and tribulations.

I was finishing making breakfast, in between talking about old age, personal summers, and the requirements for a successful aging, personality. Which I beg to differ, personality is the result of environment and its influences, even chemical imbalance in the brain, whereas character breeds from the soul.

A podcasted HBR interview on the Starbucks turnaround from the brink of destruction to a continuing growth, touched on social construction and social constructivism. If I remember correctly, this was a 1976 sociology theory. Social construction, it seems is a response to certain scenarios. Clearly, a response to external reaction,  or the general precepts, that unconsciously forms our opinions. Is it cultural? It is not too individualistic because it is being formed from what is obvious.  This is of course, different from the infantile attitude where one is bereft of rational or logical way of thinking. Rather. the thinking process is centered on emotions, which when examined closely is more of the id.  An unChristian way to do, or the Michavellian way where it is not just the attention that is sought but how they will benefit though fair means or foul. For some reason, CS Lewis”‘ Mere Christianity, came to mind. Where he said, if kindness is not inherent in you, that means you have have not earned the virtue, it is okay to preted to be kind, as it will grow into you, virtousness will come. Is it virtousness or virtousity?

Whooow, I am digressing, I was going to share with you, what I served during this breakfast. Honestly, I was going to suggest to just meet at a diner, but L was rather rushed during her turn, and I felt I need to return the compliment. 🙂

Cooking is such a joy for me, it is also while cooking that I formulate all this ideas, the beginning of a social construction :).

Anyway, the blueberry muffin was from James McNair’s Breakfast, except that I thought I had maple syrup, alas! I threw it away, there was maple sugar which I can’t find.  It turned out a little light, which is good. It didn’t contribute to the grief of my arteries.

Here’s the recipe:

Then I made fritata, like most of the items that I create is dependent on what is in the fridge, so for this:
olive oil to saute
half a head of onion cubed
zuchini, cut in cubesbaby spinach (i like to cut the stems – this is an optional step)

4 eggs
milk or water as a softening agent for eggs
basil, optional
pepper and salt
cheese (can be cubed or grated) (I can’t find my cheese grater so I used the
citrus zester, it worked.

Preheaat oven in 250 or don’t turn off your oven after you have removed your muffins, in a medium-sized pan, heat olive oil, then caramelized the onions, followed by the zuchini, sprinkle a little salt (not sure it if changes the water content of the zuchini, once it is wilted, add the spinach. While this is cooking, in a mixing bowl beat the eggs with the milk, add a little salt and pepper. Once the spinach is wilted, but not totally cooked, pour in the egg, fold a little so that the egg mixture will sit at the bottom of the pan. At this time, you want the fire to be on low or medium, once the egg has settled or firmed a little, top with cheese, finish  cooking in the oven, broiled but very slow and should be in the middle position. You are only cooking the top and melting the cheese without burning. Serve on pan, can be served with creme fraiche or sour cream. Side of bacon, fresh fruit for dessert, which I forgot to serve.

I like to make meals where there is versatility and flexibiity of ingredients, that I am not tied to one method and limited to certain ingredients.  There is no creation in the process but rather the implementation or the execution of someone else’s creation.

Wait, that is just 3 hours or so of my Saturday, there is more gastronomic activities done during the weekend.


>Pinoy Recipe: Chicken Afritada

>The following is an exchange of email from a friend about chicken afritada.

De:  So, R is planning to invite his co-workers over for dinner and he commented how much he liked your simple dish of chicken stew from the last time you had us over. I’d like to try to make that for this dinner…the dish with chicken, tomato paste, potatoes, and veggies…I hope you recognize which one I’m talking about. So when you have a chance, can you email me the recipe?

Me:  So, because I don’t follow a recipe I am giving you a recipe, with tips on how I make it.
I don’t particularly like to see the shape of a leg, it does not absorb the flavor in cooking process, it is not too economical, and if you are serving more than 1 viand, as Pinoys are wont to do then there will be a lot of left overs of the guests’ plates.

Afritada Recipe from a Filipino Cookboosk
The image of afritada from the cookbook

So, I cut the chicken into 1 inch bits the rest of the ingredients are cut in the same size (this is so that it is convenient to eat, nothing falling off the flatware)

If you want it to be a little sweet, add raisins, or a little sour add pickle relish, and olives for a little saltiness. You can add all of these too ..


     Olive Oil
     chicken thighs
     2 pcs good sized potatoes
     2 pcs potatoes (red skin)
     1 pc carrot
     bell pepper
     fish sauce
     ground pepper

What I do is in a heavy bottom pot, i saute the diced onions, tomatoes in olive oil, then the chicken until a liltle brown, add tomatoes, add the potatoes and carrots, enough water to cover the chicken, let simmer for hours, halfway through you can add pickles, olives, and raisins (optional)..the water would have evaporated leaving a thicker, flavorful sauce.  season to taste. This is best when the potatoes are really cooked that it renders as a thickening agent.  When it is almost done, add the bell pepper.

My version

As a variation (because of the versatility of the ingredients). If you add basil and other herbs it will have italian flavors cumin will be mexican. etc.

De: Thank you so much for taking the time to send this. I love how you write…even with a simple message as below, you have a way with words. I had to look up the definition of viand (an item of food)!

>Recipe: Tuna salad, a new discovery..

>There is someone in our Bible Study Group regularly brings a 2-can tuna salad to everyone’s delight.  It is so good that I have developed a taste for it.  Being that I eat her concoction every week, I thought I would try a different variety. I thought of hmmm how about kalamata olives and capers. It turned out tasty, so I thought I would share it here.

        1 can of tuna or salmon
        1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
        quarter onion minced
        salt and pepper to taste
        chopped kalamata olives in brine maybe 10 pcs.
        1 tablespoon of capers

         Mix all the ingredients, enjoy.. good with bread, cracker, or chip