Blogged: Rekindling Memories of Philippine Kitchens

“This is the book that I’ve always wanted to write.” I told Amy Besa, co-author of Memories of Philippine Kitchens, a book of Filipino stories and recipes gathered from all over the country.

Memories of Philippine Kitchens

“I get that a lot,” she replied with a sweet smile on her face. She was about to sign the book, so she asked, “What’s your name?”

“GJ,” I said. “I’m a food blogger. I blog about my lola’s recipes.”

“That’s great! You should write a book too!” she said. And that’s the same message that she scribbled as she signed her name on the title page.

Continue Reading

Blogged: Lola’s Top 3 Android Apps for Food Lovers

Eeek! My food blog was hijacked!

I’ve been freakin’ out for the past weeks because I couldn’t get into my blog’s dashboard. There was an error on my WordPress log in page, and the ignoramus in me had no idea what was causing it. I’m not exactly the best person to ask about technology and programming, you know. But thanks to my friend, Mij, who tweaked some codes on my blog to resolve the problem. And now I’m back!

Speaking of techie, and being an Android fan myself (yes, I like keeping myself updated with the latest news in tech and gadgets), I made a list of some of the best Android apps for all the techie Pinoy foodies out there — something that you may find useful when you’re out for lunch or while you’re prepping something nice for dinner.

So, ready your Android devices, open the Google Play app, and download my top 3 favorite Android apps for food lovers:

Continue Reading

Lola’s Kitchen Tips: Top 6 Essential Filipino Seasonings

Filipinos around the world love to cook and eat. But no Filipino kitchen can be complete without these basic seasonings that help us achieve that distinct Filipino flavor we have always loved. Here’s a list of the most common seasonings that can be found in a typical Filipino kitchen.

1. Salt 

A photo posted by GJ Coleco (@gjcoleco) on

You can’t cook without salt. Well, technically you can, but who wants to eat bland food anyway…unless you’re on a salt-free diet. However, when we talk about Filipino food, or any other cuisine for that matter, salt will always be one of the key ingredients.

There’s more to salt than saltiness. Salt brings out the flavor of the food by combining the various tastes of different ingredients in order to create a flavor that makes every dish distinct from each other. There are many types of salt worldwide, but inside the Filipino kitchen, the two most popular types are rock salt and table salt.

Rock salt is cheap, easy to find, and natural. What I like about rock salt is its unique straight-from-the-sea flavor. Its coarse texture makes a great salt rub on fish and other meat to remove the unpleasant smell and to enhance the flavor. I prefer using rock salt over table salt when cooking because it makes the food tastes so much better.

Rock salt is not only great for savory dishes; it also perfectly complements the sourness and sweetness of food. That’s why I love sprinkling some on my fruits!

Table salt, on the other hand, is great to be placed on what its name suggests – on the table. I rarely use table salt for cooking because it has a stronger salty flavor which I personally find difficult to measure. Also, I find the flavor unnatural because it underwent certain chemical processes, especially if it contains enhancers, such as iodine, as an additional nutritional supplement. But just to give you an idea (in case you run out of rock salt), to substitute one for the other, my estimated ratio is 1 measure of rock salt to ¼ measure of table salt.

2. Pepper

A photo posted by GJ Coleco (@gjcoleco) on

Pepper is the perpetual partner of salt. Although salt and pepper are not distinctively Filipino, these two seasonings will always be the most popular food enhancers in our kitchen, pepper being the top among the spices. It simply heightens the flavor of your food to a new level.

Like salt, there are various kinds of pepper, although in the country, black pepper is the most commonly used. What I would like to focus on is pepper’s different types of texture and their uses. We have three: whole peppercorns, coarsely ground, and fine ground.

Peppercorns are whole dried seeds of the black pepper plant. In Filipino dishes, peppercorns are typically used in cooking Adobo, Paksiw, and Nilaga.

Coarsely or roughly ground pepper is great for general cooking usage. I use this as a rub when marinating various types of meat. Its rough texture is effective in bringing out the natural flavor of the food.

Fine ground pepper is perfect as a table condiment to conveniently adjust the flavor of the food to your satisfaction.

Pound peppercorns with mortar and pestle or grind it with a pepper mill to produce fresh ground pepper at home. Take control of the fineness  depending on your needs. Better yet, bring home some bottles of McCormick Black or White Pepper for a hassle-free cooking. Now, it’s easier for you to achieve that special Pinoy flavor sans the tedious grinding and pounding.

Continue Reading