Recipe #41: GINATAANG HALO-HALO (ALFAJOR)

Ginataang Halo-Halo is another favorite Filipino merienda or minandal which is usually served as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. In my hometown, this delectable dish is popularly known as Alfajor. A warm bowl of this sweet delicacy can be enjoyed at a nearby carenderia, usually being served along side lugaw and other kakanin.

Root crops are the key ingredients of Ginataang Halo-Halo which easily fill your stomach and give you enough energy for a day’s work. Saba bananas and ripe jackfruit add an extra sweetness, and the sago and glutinous rice balls (bilo-bilo) provide a chewy texture.

Just an additional note, I personally find it challenging to prepare Ginataang Halo-Halo because I get allergic reaction while peeling taro roots (gabi). It gives me an itch that lasts for several days. Gabi is naturally toxic when raw, but its toxicity diminishes when cooked. What I do is I wear a plastic bag or hand gloves whenever I prepare the root crop. So, take extra precautionary measures as you might also experience the same discomfort.

Meanwhile, the glutinous rice (malagkit) dough is the same ingredient that we use in making Palitaw. Check out my Palitaw recipe to learn how to make the dough at home. When you shape it into small balls, it is locally known as bilo-bilo, which perhaps came from the Tagalog word bilog which means round in shape.

Just like many of Filipino dishes, Ginataang Halo-Halo can be prepared without one or two of the ingredients especially when they are not available in the place where you live. Check out Filipino stores in your area for canned varieties if you can’t find fresh produce.

Ginataang Halo-Halo

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Recipe #40: MINATAMIS NA SAGING (Kusilbang Saging)

 

On today’s recipe, we have Minatamis na Saging or Kusilbang Saging. If the word kusilba is alien to you, it’s the Tagalog word for preserves, as in fruit preserves, such as jams and marmalades.

Minatamis na Saging is mouth-watering and very easy to prepare. You will need this recipe to make Saging con Yelo. This is also one of the ingredients of our favorite Halo-halo. Personally, I like Minatamis na Saging served as it is.

Pro Tip: Make sure the saba bananas are super ripe, which means that most of the skin has already blackened. This is the best way to use saba bananas because they easily absorb the sweetness of sugar and the final product has a soft, yummy texture.

So, to make this sweet, simple, and short, check out the recipe below for Minatamis na Saging.

Minatamis na Saging / Kusilbang Saging

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Recipe #36: TEA-ROPICAL HOLIDAY PUNCH with LIPTON

What is so exciting about waking up each day?

Aside from being a blogger, I also work as a writer for an American company. Not only that, I’m a full-time student at the UP Open University. I work and study at home, which means that my room (and the Internet) is pretty much the only world I see the entire week.

Lipton
Click photo to go to Flickr.

You can just imagine how crazy it is to carefully juggle my schedule in order to accomplish various tasks in the confines of my small space. That’s why it’s important for me to feel inspired and excited to get out of bed and face my laptop each day.

Coffee helps me to jumpstart my morning. But to keep me up and rolling all throughout the day, I concocted this refreshing fruit iced tea made special by Lipton Yellow Label Tea. I named it Tea-ropical Holiday Punch. Its natural minty flavor makes it also a great alternative drink for the holiday season.

Lipton
Click photo to go to Flickr.
Lipton
Click photo to go to Flickr.
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