Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Serendipitous Notes

I’ve been busy at home this past few days (and I haven’t even printed my resume) and I thought maybe I could start journaling what I’ve done so far. Some may be planned and some may be spontaneous and that includes the photos. Some of them may turn to into blog post but some may not. Let’s see where this weekly food and kitchen notes go and if I could keep up with it every week.

Anko (Red Bean Paste)

These are made with adzuki beans that have been pureed, sweetened and thickened by cooking the mixture over low heat. I’m still modifying the recipe as I find the paste a bit too dry. When I made this before, it was too wet.


I love this stuff. I love eating this pillow-like glutinous rice balls. They area usually filled with anko or strawberries or both. I made these last Friday along withe the anko. My brother and sister liked it very much but I’m not satisfied with the outcome. So, until I’m satisfied I’m not posting it on my blog yet. I also want to fill this daifuku with chocolate truffles. Penny, are you doing it yet?

Quinoa Pilaf

This was one of Friday's dinner. I have some leftover quinoa in the fridge where I use a quarter of it for my Quinoa-Stuffed Mushrooms which I will post in the coming week. Don’t you just love quinoa? I really love the texture and the consistency but they’re five times more expensive than rice. This pilaf, which is almost like a quinoa paella is cooked with some bell peppers, zucchini, some left over tyrolian bacon, chorizo and fragrant smoked paprika. This reminds me of Joe Girard’s Chicken and Chorizo Rice at Rouxbe Online Cooking School which is really good.

Bananas are indeed the ultimate fast food

A thirty-minute drive home from the supermarket turned into a 16-hour drive around flooded Metro Manila because of the typhoon yesterday (Saturday). I do have a lot of things to say but I decided to maintain the integrity of the post. I think I ate 4-5 bananas that day but there are 6 of us in the car. My 5-½ year old nephew Joshua just kept asking “are we there yet?” and “aren’t we going to pass through the flood?” No child should ever go through that but he was well-behaved.

All of us survived with 3 half bundles of Cavendish bananas and my sister’s whole grain bread. We do have some apples, pears, dragonfruit, plum, pineapple, papaya, pomelos and grapes. We also have some vegetables. But bananas are the easiest ones to eat. Even if you can eat the grapes, the apples and pears, they’re not yet washed. Apples and pears are quite messy to eat. But the bananas, they’re just perfect. We also have limited amount of water. If you haven’t read my post of Bananas: The Ultimate Fast Food on Rouxbe Online Cooking School Blog (with the help of Dawn Thomas), please do so.

Healthy Salmon Salad

It’s Sunday and we’re still cleaning the rooms downstairs. So I need an easy recipe with an impromptu photo. This Healthy Salmon Salad is from Mary. I have almost all the ingredients except the parsley so I added some sautéed oyster mushroom. For the dressing, I added some Dijon mustard and replaced the olive oil with a combination of rice bran and sesame oil. But it’s just my personal taste. As I was reading through the recipe a few minutes ago, I realized that the fish is supposed to be poached but I seared my salmon with some spices. Now, you have two cooking methods to choose from. You can either choose to cook a Poached Salmon with Herb Vinaigrette or a Warm Salmon Salad Nicoise both found at Rouxbe Online Cooking School. And Mary, thanks for the recipe.

Here’s to a more productive and serendipitous week. Lorraine (@NotQuiteNigella), thank you for letting me use this word more often. How come I never thought of using that considering it's the one of the titles of my blog?

Let me know what you think. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.


  1. Ooh chocolate truffles in your daifuku-sounds gorgeous! Hehe you're welcome! Serendipitous is one of my favourite words. If ever I were to be taken hostage, that would perhaps be my proof of life word :P

  2. Beautiful photos, I love the salmon salad, I am going to have to make that!

  3. Woah! Your photos are awesome.

    As a sidenote, I can't believe what happened to you and your family. At least you are all safe now. And I am sorry that your nephew had to go through all of that.

    I'll keep RT-ing your message on twitter about the redcross...

  4. oh, another red bean paste recipe!!!! i'm so dying for your glutinous rice balls!!!!

  5. I'm so glad to read that you're safe. What a terrible experience! Thanks for the notes and the photos. These sound so delicious!

  6. Wow you have been busy with both cooking and more intense stuff. I am so glad that you are OK. I hope things do not get worse and that you all get the help you need after the typhoon. Blessings!

  7. I am very curious about Daifuku, never had those, wondering if I could find ingredients in SF...I will wait until I know what's in there :)

  8. so many beautiful dishes!and healthy,of course!i wish you a good week,divine!and!

  9. many recipes to tempt me. I love all of them. They are enough for my breakfast, lunch and dinner and desserts. I think I love your salmon salad more than my own one...haha. Awesome photos. I have heard a lot about quinoa but haven't tried. Must try one of these days.

  10. @ Lorraine - There's something enchanting about that word, isn't it?

    @ Southern Grace Gourmet - thank you. I love the dish as well.

    @ Kamran- Thank you. And thanks for your concern. Very much appreciated.

    @ lululu - I'm still working on it. Please be patient with me. :)

    @ Kate - Thank you. We're all fine and you're welcome.

    @ Kari - Thank you.

    @ tokyoterrace - Thank you. Everyone's fine and hope the others have recovered as well.

    @ citronetvanille - I think they're available in Asian Stores even in SF. I will post the recipe soon.

    @ alison - Thank you Alison.

    @ Mary - I'm tempting you with your own salmon dish. :) Quinoa is really good. Once you try it, you'll always eat it.

  11. I will wait for your Daifuku...haven't tried one yet. Is that similar to the Chinese peanut balls "chiong-gwan-ee"? and I agree that bananas are the ultimate fast food!

  12. Sorry about the flood but glad to learn that your are fine and can quickly share with us so many lovely dishes.

  13. Hi there, now I know what you mean about your red bean paste that you told me a couple of days ago. It was dry and rough! You should blend them with water by using an electrical blender untill really really smooth and then cook with 1/2 cup cooking oil over low heat untill smooth & thicken. The paste will became a smooth dough once it's cool down. Your daifuku looks really delicious though. I should try it soon..ha ha!Thanks for posting it! Cheers, Kristy :p

  14. I'm so glad you guys are okay! The salmon and pilaf dish look wonderful, tasty and very healthful I love it

  15. Yesterday I was watching the video footage on the news of the all the flooding there. Just terrible. Hope you and your family are okay.

  16. @ Mom-Friday - Wow,everyone's waiting for that daifuku. More pressure on me and hope to do it right.

    @ TasteHongKong - Thanks for your concern. We're all okay now.

    @ MyLittleSpace - Exactly Kristy. :) I already did another batch this afternoon. We'll see what what happens when I make the daifuku already. Thanks Kristy.

    @ Jessie - Thanks Jessie for your concern.

    @ Kari - Thank you. We're all okay. Hope the others are being helped ASAP.

  17. Fantastic stuff Divina, can't wait for the rest of the recipes. You do a great job and you get people to think outside the box...which is really great.

    thanks for sharing! BTW that salmon looks so beautiful and inspiring.

  18. Divana,
    I think your rice balls looks really good. I'm not sure why you aren't satisfied yet. I love the chocolate fillings. East meets West:)


  19. So many new flavours and ideas for me to try. Thanks Divina and I'm glad you and you're family are OK. And thank goodness for bananas!

  20. @ Dawn - As always, thank you for your support.

    @ CheapAppetite- haha. You haven't tasted them yet. Thank you.

    @ The Klutzy Cook - Thank you and thank God for bananas.

  21. Divine, glad to know that you're safe, my sister-in-law had the same experience.

    You cooked up so many dishes,I love the salmon and I'll be waiting for that daifuku too :)

  22. Hi Divine! Your recipes are healty,nutritious & tasty. The way our diet should be. Not pasta with cream & cheese with no nutrition value at all but actually a rubbish.This is of course my and health proffesionals view.
    I've bought so much Azuka beans. Is it possible to put some savory recipes with Azuka beans. Thank you.

  23. @ Sevill - Thanks for dropping by and for your wonderful comments. Yes, it's possible to put up some adzuki bean recipes. I believer we're talking about the same adzuki beans? Here's a pureed soup made with adzuki beans and shiitake mushrooms. Hope you like it.

  24. Thanks for sharing Divina. I actually went out and bought some quinoa after I read this. It's one of those things I have to be inspired to cook.

  25. @ Michael - you're welcome. I'm grateful that it inspired you.


Your comments, suggestions, feedback are all welcome.