Day 102

After a hiatus from blogging, I am back with a vengeance. Or at least, a good dinner idea.

Work and everyday existence is the ultimate energy-zapper. The past couple of weeks, I’ve been trudging around mechanically: answering emails-doing laundry-heading off to events-sleeping. On some nights, I barely had the energy toss my bag on the sofa. I sleep with my work clothes still on, teeth unbrushed, and shoes kicked off as my husband looks on, aghast. I guess it’s safe to say that the honeymoon haze has been lifted.

I would love to say that I’m a little peppy, beacon of sunshine but the truth is my personality has always been on the acerbic side. Especially when I’m sleepy. My husband affectionately calls me a grump. But, I am happy to say that I have redeemed myself a little bit with dinner the other night.

Sorry for the bad phone camera shot

Porkchops with Caramelized Onions

What You Need

1/2 kilo porkchops

1/2 cup soy sauce

3 tbs. sugar




3 whole onions

olive oil

vegetable oil

Dissolve the sugar in soy sauce. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Marinade the pork chops for at least two hours. Fry in vegetable oil.

For the caramelized onions, add some olive oil to a pan under medium high heat. Add the onions. I used red onions but I think white or yellow ones would be better. Once the onions are translucent, bring down the heat to the lowest possible setting. Cook it down until it starts to look soft and caramelized. It usually takes about 30 minutes. It may seem like a long time spent to cook onions but they are the best, I swear.

Zucchini and cherry tomatoes

What you need:

Two whole zucchinis, diced

A package of cherry tomatoes

olive oil


Steam the zucchinis and tomatoes. It’s best when they are barely cooked. The center of the zucchini (don’t peel them!) should still be firm. It takes about five minutes. After, add some olive oil and season with a little bit of salt.

This is the simplest, most amazing side dish ever. The zucchinis are mildly sweet and then when you bite into a whole tomato, it pops in a burst of tangy goodness. So fun to eat.


Day 69

In our quest to become choose healthy when it comes to eating, we have welcomed bell pepper wraps into our rotation.

bell pepper stir fry wraps

easy peasy dinner

What you need:

4 pieces bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips

1/4 kilo ground beef

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

whole wheat tortillas

shredded lettuce



Cook the ground beef in a little bit of olive oil. Drain the excess fat and add the bell peppers. Add the oyster sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer a bit until the bell peppers are cooked. Heat up the tortillas and assemble. We topped ours with the shredded lettuce and caramelized onions.



Day 48

Dinner over the past two days has taken on some form of a theme. The other night, it was lemons. Last night, honey was the star at the dinner table.

I wanted to make beef pares ever since I encountered this article on I’ve actually never had pares before, which is a sticky situation when you’re cooking something. I just followed the recipe here although I did substitute the beef with chicken (just because I wanted to finish up the chicken before buying any more meats) and the sugar with honey.

I suggest to skim the fat off while the chicken simmers so it would not be too oily. I also separated some of the broth before I thickened the sauce to make a soup. Paired with garlic rice topped with caramelized onions (makes a world of difference instead of just frying the onions with the rice and garlic), it seemed like a pretty decent interpretation of beef pares. I still have no idea what pares is supposed to taste like but dinner was pretty good.

it tastes a lot better than it looks, i promise.

I also wanted to make some kind of dessert. My sweet tooth has been neglected recently. I encountered a recipe for tapioca pudding on Heart of Light (I love you, Rachel!) and it looked amazing. It was perfect because it does not require the use of an oven, which I currently do not have and it lets me use up our overflow of tapioca (sago, for the rest of us).

I followed the recipe, with the addition of a little bit of chocolate powder  and it turned out to be a huge, blobby mess. The tapioca disintegrated into mush. My theory is that the tapioca sold here does not require any soaking. After all, the instructions in the package said to just dump the contents in boiling water.

With the first version rejected, I made a second batch using honey as a flavoring. I tweaked an old custard recipe and it turned out to be just what my sweet tooth ordered.

honey tapioca pudding

Honey Tapioca Pudding (makes four servings — two, if you like sweets)

What you need:

1/4 cup of honey

1/4 cup of tapioca

1/4 cup of cornstarch

1 egg yolk

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of butter


Cook the tapioca in boiling water until it becomes fully transparent. Stir it occasionally to prevent sticking. Drain the tapioca and let it cool once it is cooked. Dissolve the cornstarch in the milk and bring to a boil. Put in the honey — you can add more or less depending on how sweet you want it. When the mixture starts to thicken, add the beaten egg yolk. It helps to temper the egg by adding a little bit of the hot mixture into the egg before putting it back in. This prevents the egg from being scrambled. When the mixture starts to look like custard, take it off the heat and put the butter in. Fold in the tapioca and chill before serving.

If I had shot glasses, I would have served these up in them for better presentation. In this reality, I just ended up spooning the pudding in juice glasses.