The Isley Brothers - “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You)” - This Old Heart of Mine [1966]

Source: soulofmotown
Photo Set

The good thing about mango season is having a plethora of mangoes at home. Mom “asked the Google” for a recipe on mango bread, so this was what I woke up to this morning.

I already loved my Mom’s banana bread, but this was just spectacularly delicious. I warned her that I might end up eating the whole loaf.



The short and amazing life of dairy.

Source: symphonyofawesomeness
Photo Set

On Pancit Palabok

I’ll admit, I was a picky eater when I was younger. I was wary of foods that had a weird color, peculiar smells, or had stuff that I never tried before. My parents never forced us to eat, though. While there was one interesting Filipino dish on the dinner table, there was the usual chicken adobo or menudo present as well (so there was always that).

It was when I got older, and I developed a more open mind and palette towards food, that I decided to go back and try those dishes I used to scoff at as a kid. 

Exhibit A: my mom’s pancit palabok. I tried to ask my parents how they would describe pancit palabok. 

Mom: “It’s pancit palabok, it’s the palabok. What else is there?

Dad: “It’s got shrimp flavor, smoked oyster…

Mom: “Chicharrones…”

Anyways, according to Panlasang Pinoy, pancit palabok is a noodle dish that’s topped with a shrimp sauce along with other additions like crushed chicharrones, hard-boiled eggs, crushed shrimp, and so on. 

While I’m not at liberty to share my mom’s recipe - she’s a firm believer that everyone should have their own take on things through trial and error - it’s obvious that she took the smoked oyster route on her palabok.

My opinion on pancit palabok definitely changed since I was a little kid. I went from totally not wanting to eat this to wanting to eat it forever. 

— A



But it’s only $0.33!

NOTE: I took this picture at a store called Rocket Fizz in Denver, CO.

There are some things that just don’t translate well.

Like this.

Source: roboticscorpionvoodoo
Photo Set


Big day.

Big day, indeed, for Sir Patrick Stewart.

Source: digg

Fancy meals, multi-course dinners, flights of wine. Those are all nice and good. Some days though, simple meat, potatoes, and veg is all that is needed. Tonight is one of those days. My son and I dined on simple fare, but when done right, well, it was a good night of eating.

Meat du jour: chimichurri skirt steak. Skirt steak is a cut of beef from the plate of the cow. Not to be confused with flank steak which is different cut, skirt steak can be rather tough. This cut is good for grilling, like in fajitas. Tonight I marinated our skirt in chimichurri for about 3 hours. Now, chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce made with parsley, garlic, oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. Because this was my variation, I added a little cilantro to my mix. I placed all the ingredients into my blender and let it combine. I chose to marinate the steak in the sauce, but you can also reserve some to top the steak at the table. After 3 hours, I set my oven to broil (since my condo HOA does not allow me to grill on my balcony) and placed the marinated steak on a broiler pan with a drip tray underneath. I broiled each side for about 5 min each till the meat hit about medium, medium-well. Safety warning: I leave my oven slightly ajar with the vent fan on high so the smoke from the pan will not set off the smoke alarm. Broiling is similar to grilling, so a lot of smoke will come off of whatever you are cooking. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation, unless you really like having the alarms go off and the fire department at your doorstep. As with all meats, I let the steak rest for about 10 min before I cut into it.  Came out perfect for my Kid.

While the meat was resting, I changed the oven temp to bake at 420 degrees for the starch and veg.

The starch was roasted yukon potatoes. AKA yukon gold potatoes, these yellow potatoes are slightly sweeter than russets, with not as much starch.  They are excellent for roasting and using for mashed potatoes. I cut ours into large dice size and tossed them with simple olive oil, salt and pepper. I planned on cooking these at the same time as our whole corn, so I laid them out single layer on a baking sheet and put aside.

Florida corn is in season, so I picked up a couple of ears of yellow/white corn. I placed each ear in individual pieces of foil and added a few splashes of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a small pat of butter. Wrapped up each packet tightly, so the oil and butter wouldn’t leak out and placed it in the middle of the oven along with the sheet tray of potatoes. I set the timer for 30 minutes. After the 30 min, I removed the potatoes which were nice and golden and reset the timer for an additional 10 minutes for the corn. When the timer went off, the corn was ready. 

Simplicity is sometimes best. No frou-frou plating, no exotic ingredients, and no special cooking maneuvers. Meat, potatoes, and veg: it’s whats for dinner.

Now how about a glass of wine?



Photo credit: J. del Fonzo

Waldorf salad a la the Waldorf-Astoria Orlando Bonnet Creek


Photo credit: J. del Fonzo

Oyster shooter with vodka cocktail sauce, fresh horseradish, and lemon