Avocado Smoothie

>> June 30, 2011

For a load of fiber.

I'm recently following a new breakfast scheme - having a full glass of fruit shake for breakfast every other day. I alternate between having a normal breakfast and then just fruit shake the next day. This scheme seems to work pretty well for me to help me lose some unwanted fats. But just a reminder, if you want to put yourself on a diet, make sure you don't starve yourself. Starvation is never healthy.

If you love your pancakes swimming in syrup, or your bacon and eggs in the morning, try to replace it with fresh fruit shake and a low-fat breakfast cereal. Alternate between your normal breakfast menu and your diet menu - it helps.

So today's fruit shake is avocado smoothie - a tropical fruit that's known to be rich in fiber. It's also packed with carbs so I have the energy I need for my morning tasks.


- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 8 cubes of ice

1. Slice the avocado and scoop out the flesh, discarding the seed.
2. Put everything in a blender and blend. Add more honey if necessary.

Serves 2.


Tika's Take On Filipino Buko Salad

>> June 25, 2011

Here's the much awaited first ever featured post in this blog by Tika Hapsari Nilmada, a foodie, food photographer, a friend, and a cat lover (like me). I wrote a short introduction - turned long that I decided to put it on a separate post(click the link to read). Thanks Tika for guesting on my blog :).

Marvie is one of my foodie blogger friend whom I met through Flickr. It's funny how I can find nice and talented people from around the world who has the same passion as I am in cooking and food photography. This is what I called "Circle of Friends". No matter who you are and where you are, we still can be friend, though we've never met physically before. I have known Marvie for less than a year, but we get closer through our works on Flickr, blog, Facebook and Twitter. See what internet has done for us, makes the world is on your finger.

Aside that we share the same passion in food photography, we also work as QA Software Engineer (in two different companies) and we are cat lovers !!! What a coincidence. Nice one :D And to give some respect and appreciation to my dear Philippines friend for our friendship, I volunteered myself to write something on her blog as a guest post.

Honestly, I knew nothing about Philippines foods until I found Philippines recipes on a food magazine in Indonesia. So, I picked the easiest recipe, Buko Salad ! Buko means coconut. It's the most famous fruit salad in Philippines. The main ingredient of Buko Salad is young coconut flesh. You may also add more fruits to the salad. Anything you like according to your taste. Coconut in salad ?! Have you ever tried ? A bit creamy, sweet, fresh all goes perfectly well in one spoonful of it. Me love it and my hubby looovvveeessss it !! (you can imagine how he loves the salad :p)

Before we go to the recipe, I want to thank Marvie for giving me the opportunity and let me write something for her blog. I would love to have her to write something on my blog as well. Indonesian food, perhaps :) Please come and see my other recipes on my blog (http://cemplangcemplung.blogspot.com). It would be my honor to see you there.

Buko Salad

Ingredients :

- 1 can of fruit cocktail (about 250 gr), drained
- 250 gr young coconut flesh, shredded
- 200 ml heavy cream
- 3 tbsp sweet condensed milk
- 250 gr grapes, cut in half
- 200 gr cantaloupe, shredded

How to :

Combine and mix thoroughly all the ingredients in a bowl. Chill in the fridge before serve."


A Special Guest Post From Tika

I'm very excited to share with you the recipe and photographs of Tika's take on Buko Salad, a Filipino traditional dessert that's always found on the table of typical Filipino families during town/barrio/baranggay fiestas, Noche Buena (Christmas eve dinner), and Media Noche (New year's eve dinner).

A bit of background :

I stumbled upon Tika's photos in Flickr while I was researching about food styling in general - and that's where we first met and became friends. Technology rules! From then on, I kept myself up to date with her Flickr and blog posts - learning from her tips and techniques, and at the same time being acquainted to Indonesian cooking.

Aside from being a good cook, she's also a very talented food photographer. Tika has a great eye for composition and framing, and I have always admired her taste in layout and lighting. If you have a passion for food and starting to cultivate that food photographer in you, I would definitely suggest that you visit her food photography blog too, where she shares tips, her techniques (with visuals, I must mention!) and tools, and funny stories when she makes food photographs (my favorite hehe). I bet you'd learn a lot from it ;).

So enough about my blah blahs and let's go down to business.

Tika, thank you so much for dedicating this recipe to me :) I really appreciate it! And I'm very glad to hear that you and your hubby enjoyed the Buko salad experience!


High Fiber Diet Project

>> June 24, 2011

Aside from bringing back the old sports and physical activities I used to do 2 years ago, lately, I also took some time to asses how healthy my cooking is. I mostly cook vegetables than meat but still, I feel like I'm still not eating right. Actually, I was alarmed that I could hardly fit myself in my shorts, pants, and xs clothing. I partly happy because I've been struggling to gain for years. As much as from XS I am now S, I then, should and must remain S. My waistline is now 27, and although my arms, thighs and legs doesn't look fat, it's accumulating right at the middle - my belly :P. I don't look fat, but I'm definitely getting there. I figured, it's easier to work on those extra fats now than 120 lbs. later. I'm 5 feet tall and my frame is small so I can't really gain that much, else I'd look like Doraemon.

So I reviewed my food intake. I realized that I should also watch the food I eat when I'm not home. I realized that although I rarely eat red meat when either I'm at home or out with friends, I eat a bunch of crap with them. I am also deeply inlove with rice. And if I order out or cook my favorite Filipino dishes, I can consume 2 1/2 cups of rice. It's not too often, but I feel like it's often enough to make me gain. So now that I'm a few pounds over my ideal weight, I figured I should start getting a bit conscious of the food I cook and eat out.

So my menu for the rest of the week will be high fiber food and lots of fruits and vegetables. I will also lessen the amount of salt I use in my cooking (I love salty food), and salty food causes water retention in your abdominal area. Not that I'm vain, but I still wish to see myself next summer in bikini without feeling uncomfortable and conscious :P.

So let's see what healthy stuff I can come up with this coming days!


Welcome New Food Crew

>> June 20, 2011

I went to the mall to go to an alteration shop for my dress, and to get my favorite stilettos fixed - but ended up geeking out in the department store home section for interesting plates and nice glasses plus cute forks. So here's my new crew which will grace my foodies soon!


Not Your Ordinary Lemonade

>> June 12, 2011

I recently discovered Two Tarts, another food blog that was introduced to me by my colleague in Articulate which is being maintained by his wife. Very impressed with the photography, I browsed for more pages until this recipe caught my eyes. I immediately fell in love with the idea of lavender on lemonade. I patiently waited for the weekend, but at the same time, I was obsessing about the lavenders. I remembered I saw lavender plants at some sort of market around here but didn't buy once since I don't really know what to use it for. So I went out the next day after reading the recipe to hunt for dried lavender flowers. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one - but later on realized that I wasn't looking hard enough.

On Saturday, I visited the Saturday market close to our house with hopes to find dried lavender flowers. It's a specialty market that sells organic vegetables, and hard to find food items. And there, I finally found my dried lavender :). Luckily, I also found lavender plants so I grabbed them as well ;).

Thanks to Two Tarts for sharing this wonderful lemonade drink, we totally dig it! Lavender was indeed a great addition to a yummy lemonade. I just love the flavor, and the scent. I can smell it in my head hehe.

- Tbsp. dried lavender flowers (you can get it at Salcedo Market on Saturdays, from Spices and Flavors at PHP150 for 50g)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used 5 standard sized lemons)
- 1 cup honey
- 2.5 cups water
- Additional 2 cups of water

1. Heat 2.5 cups of water and honey in a pot and bring it to a boil. Stir occassionaly to ensure that honey dissolves.
2. Stir in 1 tbsp. dried lavender and remove from heat. Let it sit in for about 20 minutes, or when it's cold enough.
3. Strain the mixture and transfer it to a pitcher.
4. Add the 1 cup lemon juice and 2 cups of water.

Serve with lots of ice.

You can find this recipe with lots of beautiful photographs of the preparation process at www.two-tarts.com.

Dedicating this drink to the new member of my herb garden :).


Arugula in Your Omelette

>> June 11, 2011

Inspite of the vast range of breakfast meals, I almost always end up with eggs. Apart from being high in protein, it's very easy to cook - takes 5 minutes. But eggs everyday can get boring. So since we eat eggs a lot for breakfast, I decided to compile all the eggs breakfast I tried and still cooking in a regular basis and so you can as well try it if you are tired of your normal fried eggs in the morning. Let's give that egg life and justice ;).

- 2 small eggs, beaten (optional: add milk)
- fresh arugula leaves
- goat cheese, crumbled

1. Heat oil in pan. When it's hot enough, pour the beaten eggs and cook them the way you cook an omelette.
2. When it's almost cook but still wet, lay the arugula leaves on one side.
3. Sprinkle goat cheese.
4. Fold the omelette and let it cook for about a minute, in low heat, or until cooked the way you like.

Serve with a piece of bread.


Pasta Vegeta

>> June 8, 2011

When I was young, I was a big fan of Dragon Ball Z. My uncle who used to live and work in Japan used to record the episodes and then send it home so kids in the family can watch it. So even before our local network started to broadcast it, we were already familiar and have watched all the episodes. The only downside was the recordings were in in Japanese, so we kind of learned the story by mere movements of the characters. Funny, but as kids, we were very very satisfied.

Vegeta was one of my favorite characters. I used to associate his name with the word vegetable and thinking it might be connected, until I learned the correct pronunciation of the word "vegetable" . So I'm dedicating this recipe to Vegeta - the villain turned hero who reminds me of vegetables (ve-ge-ta-bols).

Pasta used : Fetuccini, cooked al dente!

- 1 pack tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 long egg plant, chopped in tiny bits
- salt and pepper
- dried oregano
- garlic powder
- dried basil
- 5 pieces swiss brown mushroom, stems removed and sliced
- olive oil

- small yellow bell pepper, chopped in to tiny bits
- 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped in to tiny bits
- 1/2 cup white onion, chopped in to tiny bits

1. Boil water in a pot.
2. Prepare a bowl of iced water.
3. Blanch the toppings (yellow bell pepper, zucchini, white onion) in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain and transfer them to the iced water bowl to shock it. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the chopped eggplants. When it is quite golden brown, remove and set aside.
4. Use the same pan and add olive oil again. When it's hot enough, saute the mushrooms until cooked. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.
5. Heat sauce pan. Add the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup water and bring it to a boil. If you wish to have a thick consistency, add flour to thicken the sauce. I usually dissolve a tablespoon of flour in 1/4 cup water and pour it in. This way I don't have to exert more effort in dissolving the chunks in the sauce.
6. Sprinkle the spices. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may also add sugar if you want a bit of sweetness in the sauce.

To serve:

Get a big plate and pour generous amount of sauce right at the middle. Sprinkle enough egg plant bits. Place the pasta on top of the sauce. Sprinkle the shocked toppings around the pasta and on the sauce. Top the pasta with the swiss brown mushroom. And there, your ultimate vegetarian pasta ;)

smakelijk eten!


Bubble Blahs

I work and live at night time. I am a person deprived of natural light. I rarely cook in the morning as I'm almost always asleep, else busy with house chores. As much as I love natural light in my photography, I'm afraid I don't usually have that luxury, unless I sacrifice my sleep, or make an effort to stay up longer during the day to do a cooking + photo session. So I depend on my flash, and sometimes, available light from my fluorescent bulbs. Although, in my opinion, nothing beats the natural light, I am, so far, satisfied with my shots using my flash that I learned to love.

I always look forward to the weekends for some sunlight.

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