I was perhaps a Mediterranean in my past life

I love Mediterranean cooking. Pasta, loads of herbs, lots of fresh vegetables, balsamic vinegar olives and olive oil. I know it is nutritious and best of all, it is delicious. This is a fact: the incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean countries is low compared to that in the United States . Could this be entirely because of the food the Mediterraneans eat? You better believe it. But what is a Mediterranean diet? The Mediterranean diet was found to have high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds. Olive oil is significantly consumed which is deemed to provide mono unsaturated fat. Take note that poultry, red meat, fish, eggs are consumed from almost nil to 4 times a week, while wine is consumed from low to moderate amounts. Think about it: more than half the fat calories in a Mediterranean diet come from mono unsaturated fats mostly provided by olive oil. Mono unsaturated fat doesn't raise blood cholestero l levels the

My Weekly Food Menu

To minimize my stress around my cooking chores, I have decided to make a weekly program of our meals. Taking after what my mother did way back. To segue it was a rule that I watch her cook so I can learn. Disinterested yes, but I would always abide. My mom's word was like God's. By the way, our meals were planned on a weekly basis because she needed the extra time away to do some extra income generating activities. To segue again, my own daughter did not benefit from any cooking lessons from yours truly. We could afford the help, those days. Matured or elderly help who are expert cooks. Aside from that my mom stayed with us and so cooking was always on her agenda. But 6 years ago she got her own place and I was left to fend for myself. A good help was out of the question. And I turned out to be the default housekeeper. Housekeeping included cleaning the house, cooking, marketing, supermarting, etc, etc, etc. aside from working on a full time job. (I became a full time SAHM

Care to try Barac -O, Sorry not the Candidate

Certainly, not Mr. Barack Obama. I am talking about our own coffee variety called barako. Four excellent-tasting varieties of coffee are grown in the Philippines . The ‘robusta,’ comprise 90% of total coffee production. Robusta serves as the main ingredient for the local instant coffee products. The ‘arabica,’ ‘excelsa,’ and ‘liberica’ or the Philippine barako'' make up the remaining 10% of total output. Barako coffee beans are largely known for their strong aroma. Many claim that it is better tasting than arabica. Though I think that is true I find it too strong for my palate. Barako coffee beans are round in shape and large, and grow in clusters. The trees grow to be 18 feet, and possess thick leaves. Liberica because of its strong and acidic flavor do not have many coffee flavor fans but I remember almost 40 years ago, I used to buy ‘barako’ coffee from the wet markets. That distinct powerful odor as it was being grinded, overpowered my adolescent sense of smel

Fish, Spice and the Thyme of My Life

Ahh it is the holiest Week of the Philippine calendar. Families taking a break find respite from polluted air city living and go to vacation resorts. Families 'bond' care of the beach and the beautiful rustic and oftentimes rural sceneries. The food? No problem. The locality's food business service will take care of that. They will enjoy the freshness of harvest from the sea: shrimps in Dakak , lobsters from Palawan , and the mollusks of Cavite . For us city-dwellers forever (only because we cannot afford a 5 kilometer travel away from our homes), we plan our meals around fish this time of the year. As Catholics are supposed to be meatless and instead 'endure' fish and veggie eating or none at all. This year would not be any different. I bought some tilapia and bangus , also some yellow fin tuna. Grilled, steamed sauced, our fish will be thymed, oreganoed, basilled, cuminned and black peppered. Delish and healthy. But aren't we Catholics supposed to m

"A man not old, but mellow, like good wine" by Stephen Phillips

There's nothing serious in mortality. All is but toys; renown and grace is dead, The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees Is left this vault to brag of. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Macbeth, II. iii. (100) I am thinking of writing about wines. Why? There this heady and acrimonious feeling that I seem to be wanting to drown with a glass of wine. But I don't really drink. Not even socially. But learning recently, that a SINGLE glass of wine taken twice or thrice a week may be able to improve the performance of the heart's arteries made me stop and give wine drinking a more appreciative look. Despite some bad news in our family's midst, I need to do a post. Okey. I shall write about wine and food. His element is so fine Being sharpened by his death, To drink from the wine-breath While our gross palates drink from the whole wine. W.B.Yeats (1865-1939) All Souls' Night I found out from my

This is no creepy breakfast food

After talking about food toxicity, here's one for health - from farm-fresh, luscious, red strawberries. My cousin arrived from Baguio and brought loads of strawberries. I thought perhaps, aside from making strawberry milkshake for the afternoon snack, I would also prepare crepe with strawberry filling for a very late breakfast. Here’s what I used to do the crepe batter. 4 eggs 1 c. flour 2 tbsp. sugar 1 c. milk 1/4 c. water 1 tbsp. melted butter, cooled Beat eggs in medium mixing bowl. Gradually add flour and sugar alternately with milk and water, beating until smooth. Beat in melted butter. Refrigerate batter at least one hour before use. When ready to use, lightly butter 6-8 inch non-stick pan. Pour scant 1/4 cup of batter into preheated skillet. Immediately rotate skillet until thin film covers bottom. Cook until light brown, turn and cook other side until light brown. Stack with waxed paper between each. Keep covered. Will yield 12 crepes. Strawberry Fill

Clear Case of Toxicity in My Food

Look at what I found lurking at the bottom of my frying pan as I was just about to clean it. Yes I found this black, stiff as ordinary plastic stuff. I believe it's the residue after cooking tocino. Now what and where on earth did this toxic substance come from? I know that it is a by-product of something. And I know it is NOT healthy. Sodium Nitrate I suppose? By the way as defined by wikipedia tocino or "tosino is a cured meat product native to the Philippines It is usually made out of pork and is similar to ham and bacon although beef is also used. It is often reddish in color and has a sweetish taste. Its name is derived from the Spanish word tocino, which is used to describe bacon or cured meat". "The meat is sliced into thin strips. Anise wine, annatto , water, salt, sugar, and saltpeter are combined in a container. Each strip is the sprinkled with the mixture and then piled on top of each other in a separate container, which is covered and ke