From fiestas, to birthdays to weddings to christenings, you name it, the Philippines is always alive with colorful celebrations. Times may be hard but Filipinos find a way to gather and have fun. And in the midst of all these gatherings is, of course, food. I’m sure most Filipinos out there will agree. I was fortunate to be back there in 2004 in time for my baby nephew's baptism. My sister-in-law cooked all these delicious food. I suggested that she should start her own food catering business, having seen and tasted all the good food she cooked for the occasion. Food business though is a big undertaking requiring much time and dedication. From top to bottom, in the photo above, are embutido ( partly hidden ), pasta carbonara, menudo, beef asado and prawns with peas & quail eggs. My other sister-in-law cooked the embutido and I helped out with the fruit salad. The chinese-style beef asado has become one of our favorite foods to serve at parties. It may be made ahead and reheats well, which makes it an ideal buffet food. In the family cookbook I'm planning to do, I would certainly give one of my aunts the credit for this dish that she has since shared with us. Combining soy and hoisin sauce with brown sugar and star anise gives this dish it’s subtle asian flavoring. The slow cooker is such a handy kitchen appliance to cook dishes like this requiring a very slow simmering process.
This post is dedicated to my sisters-in-law, who both enjoy cooking, in appreciation for the many meals they have cooked for me and our family. Baking commercially for years now, one of my sisters-in-law has been supplying cakes and other baked goodies to a catering business as well as to a company cafeteria. Christmastime is always a busy season for her, with extra cake orders from friends. She has been baking her popular moist chocolate cakes, brownies, chiffon, crema de fruta, and carrot cakes for many seasons and occasions now. The pictures below show some of the baked goods she supplies:
The chocolate chiffon slices, pictured above, are the very same ones I used to sell back in high school. I mentioned this in my previous post on chiffon cake. It has always been a hit, then and now. My mother was instrumental in instilling in us the love of cooking ang baking. She set the example for us by constantly experimenting and cooking in the kitchen, and I'm most grateful to her for this. I was in high school when I started with cookies and brownies but with time and practice, graduated to the more complicated and delicate chiffon cakes. Oh yes, it took several unsuccessful attempts but I have since learned the correct consistency to watch out for especially with the rather tricky beating of the eggwhites until it reached the required soft peaks stage, and then finally learning the folding technique.