I apologize for the lack of posts going on for this blog. It is certainly not from a lack of material. I’ve just gotten so backlogged on my photo editing that I just haven’t gotten around to posting anything on here. Also, I’ve tried to focus my attention to my other blogs which for the majority of them, post on a regular basis (every other day). So as not to leave you out in the dark, please check out those other sites of mine in the Blog Roll on the side as well as conveniently collected on my main site Jara Mae. From there you can be updated on all my blogs, my twitter and various social media sites. Please also support my site by joining the Facebook page (Jara Mae Inc) to receive updates on everything that I’m working on.

In the meantime, I decided to start up a new series called Meal of the Day. Often times I cook/make simple meals at home consisting of leftovers or food that I have around the house. Food that I wouldn’t necessarily devote a whole blog to as it normally wasn’t created by me. I think it would give some insight about what I was eating every day, maybe record some memorable meals. I will try to do them as often as possible, though don’t hold your breath on getting it on  daily basis but I’ll work towards it. If you have meals that you’d like to share feel free to leave a link so I can take a look. It’s always interesting to see what people eat regularly besides all the creative recipes/dishes that you see on food blogs.

This is what I had for dinner last night. A fairly well-balanced meal if you ask me. It consisted of:

  • Half a plate of salad: mixed greens, dried cranberries, feta, almonds, red onion, fresh button mushrooms, lemon citrus dressing
  • quarter plate of white rice: I normally eat brown but this is what I had on hand at the time
  • a few slices of smoked salmon
  • 2-3 tbsp of giniling: Filipino dish of ground meat with potatoes, tomatoes and peppers
  • for dessert: 2 yogurts, vanilla & mixed berry

A very filling meal. I ended up eating a banana as well later in the evening to tide me over for the night. Not bad for student eating :)


Now I know this is not anything gourmet and I’m not about to blog about some unique twist or original take on traditional hamburger helper. I’m here to simply blog about the experience of it. Now I don’t want to assume or generalize too much but based on what I’ve been told by friends, family and society and what I’ve seen via the media, I don’t think it would be too far a stretch to say that food staples such as hamburger helper and mac & cheese are the iconic food of university students and many Americans as they grew up. I never had these things.

In my childhood I had no kraft mac and cheese, no hamburger helper, no chef boyardee or riceroni. I’ve eaten the first one about two times in my life, and I’ve yet to experience the last two. I often talk to people and they describe how there was a time in their life, generally childhood or college years where such things were staples in the household. I was convinced by a friend of mine that I just had to try one of them and I settled on hamburger helper. Growing up I had seen the commercials for it and it always look simple and delicious. Now that I’m more food conscious, I’m highly aware of the ingredients and nutrition of something processed such as this but I did want to give it a chance; and so I did. (more…)

UPDATED 01/12/09 @ 3:45PM — I forgot a few more dishes so for those who have already read this post, check the end to see even more food from the party

New Year’s is a huge event for my family because it’s a two fold celebration. In addition to the general excitement for the new year, New Year’s day happens to be my father’s birthday. My family throws an annual New Year’s bash, invite all of our family and friends and party from the afternoon until the wee hours of the morning. Because it is such a long event and there are more people than the normal get-together, there’s a pretty big spread on our table.

After a year of numerous parties, my family tends to feel like we’ve gone through the majority of the Filipino dishes out there. Therefore, we like to attempt to ring in a new year with different food that isn’t always typically seen at a Filipino party. When deciding upon the menu, we consulted a variety of sources for inspiration and recipes and came up with a menu that features some of our most favourite dishes, some experimental food and some tried and true Filipino food.

Recipes that I reviewed

Recipes from various sources

Click to see more food from the party!


I apologize in advance as this post is more just to record my creation than actually sharing how it was made. I forgot to post these earlier in my attempt to keep things in chronological order. After thanksgiving dinner, along with the apple pie in phyllo dough, I made an attempt at spanakopita since we always had spinach lying around. I follow the recipe found on the box which was fairly simple.

I froze most of them and forgot to take a photo of the rest. They were a lot more simple to make than I thought. They’re one of my favourite things to eat as an appetizer. I’m going to attempt to make them again soon.

Risotto is one of my favourite simple meals. I’m no expert at cooking it and although I’ve done so several times, I still have a long way to master the art of risotto. I first made it many years ago. I was rummaging through my family pantry and came across a bag of arborio rice which is not a common thing to find in there. The lovely part about risotto is that it requires very few ingredients. I often just follow the recipe at the back of the box. I always add mushrooms to give the risotto more body and a meatier taste because I often eat it alone.

Ingredients used:

  •  Arborio rice
  • Beef broth
  • Mushrooms
  • Red Onions
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Parsley
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil/Butter

 I don’t want to include a recipe as there are tons out there. It’s best to follow the instructions found on the box. Risotto takes some patience but it is well worth the wait. While cooking this I also cooked A dinner making his standard chicken & pasta which turned out really well.

I added a chicken breast to my meal and this is the final result:


The risotto turned out really well. I ended making a lot (as usual) and ate it for a few more days. It could have been a tad more creamier. Other than that, delicious as usual. I’ve made it a few more times since.

I decided to drink something a little more special. I decided to mix a jones red apple with an arbor mist strawberry white zinfandel just for the sake of mixing it since they were the same colour. It turned out pretty one. You could easily drink either one alone and it would be just as good. I  don’t often drink alcohol and I am able to stomach both the weak and the strong alcohol but I just wanted something sweet to go with this meal. I most often just drink water with everything.


 My last meal as a 19 year old and it was very yummy :) 

We had some leftover dough so we decided to make a little apple pie with the leftover filling and excess dough. It fit the size of the palm of my hand and was so cute. We cooked this alongside the big apple pie. I ate this with some whipped cream that night and it was delicious.

Brie was also on sale that week so I decided to redo the success from Thanksgiving, especially since I didn’t get a chance to eat most of it last time. It turned out fairly well. You basically just roll out dough, place the brie inside and bake it. There are numerous variations out there especially when it comes to what to fill it with. I just kept it simple. and left it plain.


It tasted pretty good. I prefer the phyllo caseing as opposed to the dough because its a lot light and the cheese is heavy enough. It was warm and gooey. I definitely enjoy it better when they’re other flavours besides just the cheese. I didn’t finish it unfortunately and A wasn’t too fond of it so he didn’t help me out. It was nice to have something new though. Try it yourself!

A usual standby for A and I is chicken and pasta. It’s easy, simple and we normally have everything in stock at home. It’s also very filling which A loves the most about it.

We simmer the chicken in a mixture of a little bit of oil and water. The water helps to cook the chicken and keeps it very moist and once the water has evaporated, the oil is left to brown the chicken and fry the outside. The chicken was well seasoned with mediterranean spices.

 We boiled some pasta. We’re both not fond of sauces. Butter, shredded cheese, parmesan and spices do us just fine.

A very satisfying dinner :)

Next Page »