Midnight's Knock

Poqui-poqui and Ginisang ampalaya

All my friends who know me well are aware that I used to be a kitchen disaster. I used to hate the kitchen. I don't like staying at the kitchen for a long time. I can state so many stories about how much of a failure I am at cooking. My worst, I think, was when I had the condo's fire alarm rang and had everyone went outside the building because I was trying to fry an egg! Okay, back story -- I got a phone call while I was about to drop the egg, and totally forgot I was cooking! I didn't realize the smoke because I was at the balcony. That's plain dumb and stupid, I know. That was 2011.

I can't even perfect a hotdog that sometimes, I would cook them through an oven toaster. For instant noodles and pancit canton, I had to set the timer because I tend to overcook them. Even coffee -- my friends also know how bad I was when it comes to mixing my own coffee. Back when we used to share a coffee press at Starbucks during petsa de peligro, I always have the worst coffee that sometimes, my friends, out of pity would volunteer to make my coffee. (Tipid Tip: Not sure if this is still available, but we used to order a whole coffee press of brewed coffee at Starbucks, priced at Php 200, then we make our own coffee. It can serve 4-5 people.) 

This, despite the fact that my family is kinda popular in my place as good cooks. My dad, my mom, my uncles and aunts, even my cousins can cook really well. I don't know where I was when God showered my family with good cooking skills. This, despite the fact that I love to eat (who doesn't?).

Prawns and somethin' else

Fast forward to today. I am no longer a kitchen disaster. Yay! Living in Eastwood for 7 years now, I realized it's not practical to always buy food at the food stalls and restaurants. Aside from these food being relatively pricier, these are usually unhealthy. 

Today, through the help of a former colleague, Cristy, along with some patience and determination, I now have acquired the passion for cooking. It started when I crashed into Cristy's place when she moved to Eastwood. Working until late midnight in my former company, you can't expect any restaurant that is still open after our office hours but the 24-hour fastfood chains. 

Cristy may not be a professional chef, but she's really patient when it comes to teaching me the basics of cooking. I found myself delighted as well that she has a very nice set of utensils. What I'm also amazed is that she is not a fan of the packed seasonings and condiments - no Magic Sarap, no Ginisa or Sinigang Mix, no Knorr broth cubes, no msg. She would usually make them from scratch. She also shared with me some fun facts, techniques and some health benefits of each ingredient (this is good for the health because... do not use this on this... the proper way to cut this is this way because it's more likely to... make sure to do this before doing this... etc.) Thanks to her, I now prefer healthy dishes and I have learned to stay away from fastfood. 

Salad Olivier

That one-time invitation to enjoy a midnight snack at her condo became a habit, and I eventually got involved in her kitchen - from food preparation to supervised cooking, to cooking on my own. Had I known that I will write about my newly-acquired skill, I should've taken notes on the complete ingredients and steps on how to prepare the dish.  

Anyway, I think I can safely claim that I'm a good cook now (weh?). Not intended to boast about my newfound skill, but my friends and some family members who have enjoyed my recipe are actually consistent in saying that they love and enjoy the food I serve them. I believe they are not being kind, they are just being honest. Sometimes, they even request and ask me to cook for them because they love my version. Ha! 

Italian Garlic Chicken

Shout out and thanks to my kitchen mentor, Cristy, for inspiring me to love the kitchen. It has been really helpful to my health, especially now that my doctors have advised me to stay away from unhealthy food. Now I can prepare and enjoy my meal, however way I want it. Thanks also to Google, of course, for some basic instructions, if I am not familiar with the dish I want to prepare. 

Sharing to you some of the dishes I prepared, under my mentor's supervision. Let me know which of the recipes do you think you would love. 

Enjoy! For more, scroll further or check out my Facebook album or my Food Instagram

Pancit Guisado

Tokwa't talong (this was quite oily)

Grilled salmon belly

Longanisa Bolognese

Quick and easy breakfast dish - scrambled eggs, tomatoes, sweet peas and turkey pastrami

Chicken adobo on mashed potato and cauliflower

Chicken Alfredo

Meatballs Noodle Soup

Clam Pasta

Salmon with black bean sauce on couscous

Pinakbet with bagnet and repolyo

Sauteed radish

Thai curry

Spam and scrambled eggs (yes, not healthy)

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