Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Saving money on FOOD!

I noticed how expensive it is to go to the grocery store this days. I can't imagine some families with more than 2 children. I would say, the most expensive 5 minutes of my life is at the grocery check out. So,  I come up with the list ideas on how to cut down expenses on food and sharing my experience with you. Hopefully, I can save more money at the end of the year. C' mon let's start saving some buck on food.:) wink..

Food Inventory -Check your pantry, freezer and fridge before shopping. It gives you an idea of what you of already have and the amount of food you need to buy.
* using leftover on smart way- for instance Fried Rice is perfect pair with Beef Paris . Don't forget! always come up with back up plan for left over food.
* Cook by for portion- is best way to avoid left over food.

 Weekly Sales Ad-  products goes on sale every other week or so, use this advantage to score inexpensive stuffs enough to go through until the product will gonna be on sale again.

* Rewards Program/ Store loyalty card- Don't think about it twice, Sign Up! some store give you discounts and rewards for the product you normally used. 
* Clip Coupons- Pair your coupons with weekly sales ad or reduced/ mark downed products.Don't buy the product just because you have coupons.
* Compare Prices- Help you determined which store is the best for your needs.

Meal Planning-  This will save you time browsing and thinking what you gonna get at the grocery store, and save you money for spending only to those ingredients you need on the menu.
* Plan your meal for what's on sale.
*Home-style cooking- cooked what you have on your freezer and pantry and recipes with same main ingredients for instance; Chicken and Ground beef
Monday-Chicken Stir Fry
Tuesday- Lechon Manok
Wednesday- Pancit canton
Thursday-Vegetable Stir Fry
Friday- Pansit-Bihon
Saturday-Taco Salad
Sunday- Chili
* Stick to the meal plan-

Shopping- there must be temptations along the way, but if you have this 2 basic ingredients before heading to the store, guaranteed you gonna save money, A little lesser than you normally spent at the grocery store. 
* First- Eat before you go- when you're hungry everything looks good, that's not a good thing. You ended up buying more than you anticipated.
* Second- Stick to the list!
Additional tips:
Shop Alone- shop without kids if possible,so that you can focus more on sales, rather than what the kids wants.
Try store brand products is little cheaper than brand name products. Like toilet paper, dish-washing soup etc.

Cooking - I cooked our food most of the time, especially dinner. Not only it will save me money from dining out. It also enhanced my cooking ability,learning new recipes, and having fun spending time with my kids at the kitchen. It doesn't mean, I won't order food outside or avoid dining out, I still do! but not as often as we used to do.

What's your favorite money saving meal ideas? I would love to know:) wink..

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chicken Afritada Recipe

Chicken Afritada Recipe

( Mj's recipe)

 Chicken Afritada is just basically stew with tomato based sauce. It's kinda look same with Pork Menudo   but differ on taste. It is also very popular to most Carinderia's in the Philippines. I remembered my college days, eating at Carinderia's with my friends during lunch time. It was FUN! and chicken afritada is always on the menu. It's the bright red/orange color that make it so inviting to eat and the smell is irresistible.
So, Last week, I brought some cassava cake  to my friends house for our lunch get together. Rachel, made some delicious hot spicy chicken with beans, I forgot the name of the dish ( hahah) Rose, made some pork adobo and Mj brought some chicken afritada, its very yummy! So, this dish today was inspired by my friend MJ. It's her version of chicken afritada and to tell you its very easy to make at home.. This is also perfect for potluck party, family gatherings or simply just for family dinner..:)
C'mon let's start cooking and be inspired with this Chicken Afritada Recipe:)

NOTE:  Add some of your favorite ingredients like bay leaves and bell pepper, etc.:)
1 /2 lbs. chicken tenderloins cut into cubes- ( used what whatever you have in hand )
1 large potato
1 medium carrots
1/2 cup sweet peas
2 clove garlic finely chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
Salt n Pepper- to taste

1.) Put oil in large pan, add the chicken let it cooked until golden brown.
2.) Add the onion and garlic,sauteed until translucent.
3.) Put the tomato sauce, little water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
4.) Add the potato and carrots. Let it simmer until everything cooked.
5.) Salt and Pepper to taste, throw the peas and let it stand for 5 minutes.
6.) Serve it HOT with rice. ENJOY!
Happy Weekend Everyone!:)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Binignit Recipe

Binignit/ Ginataan Recipe

(my own version of binignit )

Some people called this "Ginataan na Halo-Halo or Ginataan" but in the place were I grew up, we called it "Binignit"  its pretty popular in the Philippines some people sell this in cups for snacks/merienda time on the whole neighborhood, this is usually served during Holy Week in the Philippines  Last couple days I've been thinking about making binignit and finally I made it, luckily for me! I have some fresh riped banana left over from Banana Que I made last week.Throw everything in one pot and wholaa! enjoying binignit in minutes.  Everyone have its own delicious version of making this delightful snack  My version of Binignit was inspired on how I remembered my Mom's made it for us, simple yet deliscious. But due to the  unavailability of some ingredients I only have some few on my binignit. The taste still good though!:).~  I would say that.. simplest ingredients is the best!!C'mon lets start cooking!
Below is the recipe Binignit:)
NOTE: Feel free to add your favorite ingredients like ube, cassava, gabi, landang, small tapioca pearl, bilo-bilo, etc.

1/2 cup sweet rice
1 large size sweet potato- cut into cubes
2-3 pieces Saba banana- cut into cubes
1 cup tapioca- it just happen that I only have the purple tapioca, but different color of tapioca is recomended
Sugar- depending on how sweet you want it to be
2 cans coconut milk
1 cup water

1.) Cook the tapioca in hot water for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
2.) In large pot, put the sweet rice along with the 1 cup water. Let it boil until for 10-15 minutes and the rice start to cook.
3.) Add the sweet potato and coconut milk. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
4.) Add the banana's, tapioca pearl and sugar. Let it stand for another 5 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
5.) Add little sugar or coconut milk if necessary. Serve hot and ENJOY!

 ( c'mon over, let's eat some! )

Friday, April 19, 2013

Banana Que

Banana Que 

( Deep fried banana covered with caramelized brown sugar )


This is one of the things I missed the Philippines, Banana Que! Can't beat this classic mid-afternoon snack, fulfilling and simply delicious. Every time the clock strike at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I have this intense craving for Banana Que. I don't know why? hahah.  I guess I just missed it that much, that I been thinking about it for quite sometime now. I wished that ( Saba-banana ) is that popular from where I lived right now in that way, I can make it whenever I want to.This is one of my favorite street food back in the Philippines until nowadays still craving for it. Last week, I guess it's my lucky day, I finally found this (Saba-Banana) at Asian market while picking up some few stuff for my weekly consumptions ( hahah ) Oh! boy!! I just grabbed it right away with big smile on my face, heading to the check out with a thing on my mind.. Banana Que here I come!! haha..
The process of making this fulfilling mid-afternoon snack is no different in making Kamote Que ,just simply replaced the sweet potato with banana.
 Everyone can master Banana Que just by reading this... that's how simple it is:) C'mon lets start cooking!!

SABA- banana particularly used on banana que
Barbeque stick
Brown sugar

1.) Put oil into the pan about, 10-15 minutes until its HOT enough to fry.
2.) Add the brown sugar, wait until the brown sugar floats and then you can add the banana
3.) Turn the banana from time to time to spread the caramelized sugar coating.
4.) It probably takes 8-10 minutes and its done.
5.) Take it out in the pan, and skew it into the barbeque stick. Enjoy!

( My mid-afternoon snack..yummo! )

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

( my own version of taco salad )

  Sometimes, I just feel lazy or just simply one of those busy days of my life, I admit, sometimes I felt like not cooking at all, and my easy way out is simply heat up some frozen food, or left over from last night, or TACO night.
  I choose Taco night, Since it is the easiest and fastest way to whip up something for dinner. One time, I'm making taco's I just felt so tired filling the taco shells and every time it breaks on me!, So, I just crushed all the taco shells put the taco meat, cheese, sour cream, taco sauce and lettuce. It's good and fun to eat, you got a little bite of everything..
This is just my version of simple taco salad night, even little kids can help in the process of making this fast delicious meal. It is so easy, imagine making taco's...then just simply replaced the taco shells with tortilla chips or whatever chips you like... and whola ! taco salad in no time..and the more fun about eating food is sharing with someone you love.. :)
Below is the recipe of what I called Taco Salad..:)

1 lb.Ground beef
1 packet of taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup water
Chopped or shredded lettuce
Sour cream
Shredded cheese
Tortilla Chips
Taco sauce

1.) Put the ground beef in the large pan and let it brown. Drain and put it back in the pan.
2.) Add 3/4 cup hot water and seasoning mix, Stir until all combine.
3.) Let is simmer for 5 minutes.Remove the cooked taco meat on the stove top.
4.) Assemble your taco salad according to your preference and ENJOY!

Tips: Feel free to experiment with your taco's, add your own twist and flavor into it. ENJOY!
( sour cream overload for my taco's:) )

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fried Tilapia Recipe

Fried Tilapia with Sauteed Vegetables

What is Tilapia fish?
Tilapia fish is a kind of fish that is high in protein levels. It is found in freshwater that is categorized with firm white flesh. It is mainly found in the supermarkets filleted but can be found whole. ( source: ask.com )
Tilapia fish is perfect for steaming, grilling, baking and frying because of their firm white flesh. I grew up eating tilapia everyday of my life, Its one of my favorite fish. Today, I'm so inspired to share my favorite way to cooked this tilapia fish, I just like how, the sweetness of the vegetables pair with savory fish, It just so perfect meal itself, As you know ME! I'd like everything paired with white rice..hehe wink:)
You can totally rock this recipe by using your own twist, like combining your own favorite vegetables and use boneless skinless fillet waiting for you at the supermarkets. I simply love everything seafood and its fun cooking them:) C'mon lets start cooking..wink!
 Below is my recipe of Fried Tilapia with sauteed vegatables

Ingredients:Fried Tilapia
Tilapia fish- I used whole  ( you can totally use the boneless skinless tilapia fillet )
Salt n Pepper
Cooking oil 
Ingredients :Sauteed Vegetables
Peppers- red and orange
Green Onion

1.) In large frying pan, put cooking oil, wait for couple minutes until it HOT.
2.) Meanwhile put some salt and pepper into the fish. Slowly put the fish on hot pan and let it cook for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.
3.) While waiting for the fish to cooked. Chopped all the vegetables
4.) In small pan, add little oil and sauteed the chopped vegetables. Add little vinegar and sugar and let it simmer for like 4-5 minutes. Taste according to your preference.
5.) Put the cooked fish in large plate, put the sauteed vegetables on the top of the fish.
6.) Serve it with hot rice and ENJOY~

Tips: The cooking oil should be HOT in order to get that crispy skin. :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Easy Spaghetti


( Family's favorite )

Pasta is the second most consumable food in our household next to rice.

Macaroni, Rotini, Spaghetti noodles is just few dried pasta always present in our pantry. I'd like to make easy quick dinner using dried pasta every once a week and Spaghetti is one them :)
This Spaghetti is no different from the rest of spaghetti  recipe flooding on the internet. As, you know ME :). I'd like to keep my recipe short and simple yet taste delicious. This Spaghetti is our family's favorite dinner, their super easy to make and my kids loved them. 
Every person I know, knew how to make spaghetti, they even have their own version on how to make them, and there all delicious!!. It makes me happy knowing the stories behind their recipes.
 I like my spaghetti with sweet meat sauce like sausage, ground beef whatever available at the house and top with cheese. What do you like with your spaghetti?
Below is my version of Spaghetti:)

Spaghetti noodles
Italian Sausage
Pasta Sauce- (store bought)
Salt and Pepper- to taste
 2 tsp. cooking oil

1.) Cook the pasta in large pan according to the package direction. Drain and set aside;
2.) Put oil in large pan, sauteed the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the Italian sausage cooked until golden brown.
3.) Add the pasta sauce, salt and pepper and little sugar. Let it simmer for like 5 minutes
4.) Add the cooked pasta into the spaghetti sauce. Let it stand for couple minutes until everything incorporate.
5.) Taste according to your preference. Serve hot! top with your favorite cheese and  with garlic bread on the side. ENJOY~

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mango Float Recipe

Mango Float Recipe

Aside from the good sunny weather that we enjoy during Spring and Summer, this yellow mango is one thing to be excited about, they're everywhere in the grocery store. It only mean one thing, perfect time to make this delicious dessert, Mango Float! often serve during Christmas and New Year in the Philippines, but from where I lived now, Summer is the best way to have it, taking advantage of mangoes abundant..( hahahha) I can't denied the fact that I LOVE MANGOES! I love everything with mangoes..:)
This Mango Float dessert, is very easy to make and with only 4 ingredients, that's like WOW! for family gatherings and friends get together,  no cooking required, no measuring of the ingredients, can be prepared ahead of time, and no mess in the kitchen, just few nicest thing about this dessert.. wink:) So, if you're a Mango lover like ME! this is the perfect summer recipe for you.. 
Below is the Mango Float recipe:)

2 Mangoes
1 small can Nestle all purpose cream
1 can Condensed Milk
1 box Graham Crackers
Note: Perfectly sweet ripe mango is required for this recipe..wink:)

( I already ate 3 sliced with my kids, hahaha! don't tell )

1.) Combine the the nestle cream and condensed milk in separate bowl, Set aside;
2.) Thinly sliced the Mango, Set aside;
3.) Grab a square or rectangle baking dish. Start assembling this yummy dessert:)
4.) Arrange the graham crackers on the bottom of the dish, spread the cream and condensed milk mixture, carefully spread out the thinly sliced mango.
5.) Repeat the process until all the ingredients is used. 
6.) Chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or so. SHARE and ENJOY it with your loveones!

( My kids favorite dessert )

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pork Menudo Recipe

Pork Menudo Recipe

There lots of varieties and ways of cooking Pork Menudo, different provinces have different approach on making Pork Menudo.This recipe is not your typical Pork Menudo Recipe, I added and omit some ingredients to make it my own version and also due to availability of a traditional ingredients like the pork liver, which can be found in traditional Pork Menudo Recipe. I also added some sweet peas and couple handful of green beans since they're my favorite and it added to color to the dish, make it look more delightful for my kids, Also, this is how my Mom made it for us back in Philippines :)
Pork Menudo, traditional or not, is one of my favorite dish especially on special gatherings and occasion like Christmas, New Year, Birthday and Fiesta..etc. I like how the flavor just blend in together, the sweetness of the tomato sauce and the chunk of pork along with delightful veggies, just simply good! I always have Pork Menudo once a month, I always have it, during my lunch break at work ( wink! ) something to look forward!
Below is my version of Pork Menudo Recipe- you can't believe how easy and simple it is to make. Try it for your next potluck party or family gathering:)

Pork- cut into cubes
1 cup of tomato sauce- (add more to according to your preference )
carrots- cut into cubes
potato- cut into cubes
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup corn
green beans- handful
soy sauce
Salt n Pepper - to taste

1.) Combine the pork and soysauce in bowl. Marinate for 30 minutes or so. Set aside;
2.) Heat oil in large pan. Saute the garlic and onion for couple minutes. Add the marinated pork and let it cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
3.) Pour in the tomato sauce, Add the carrots, potatoes, peas and green beans. Let is simmer for another 10 minutes. 
4.) Salt n Pepper to taste, check the vegetables if they're cook. In this case, you can add more water or tomato sauce, depending on your taste preference.
5.) Serve with hot rice and Enjoy it with family and friends.:)

( This is my lunch box at work, with my favorite dish, Pork Menudo, Sausage and Rice )

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