The scorching summer heat in the Philippines is something that you either love or hate. You love it because a fine weather complements our picture-perfect beaches. You hate it because you don’t like the feeling of heat as you drip with sweat while commuting or walking along the streets of Metro Manila. The oppressively hot and humid weather in the past weeks has been getting worse — no thanks to climate change — and there are no signs of it alleviating anytime soon.
But, hey! We’re Pinoys! We can always find solutions in every problem. We are very adaptable to changes. Ika nga, if you can’t beat them, join them! And the summer heat, despite the temperature rising every year, is no exemption.
So, in order to cool us down, we have concocted different ice-cold sweets that are perfect in our tropical climate. One of which is the Ice Candy. Doesn’t it instantly remind you of your childhood? Don’t we all remember knocking on Aling Nena’s gate every afternoon to buy a stick of this amazing cold and refreshing treat? I’m sure you do!
Ice Candy comes in a variety of flavors, and I know everyone has his or her own personal choice. There’s red mung beans, mango, pinipig, chocolate, and my favorite — avocado. In fact, even your preferred juice flavors can be turned into Ice Candy.
On this blog post, I am sharing my mother’s Avocado Ice Candy recipe which she made yesterday. Everyone in the family loves this flavor, and I’m pretty sure many of you would love it too. If you don’t like avocado, you can replace it with mango or any fruit that you like. Just make sure that your fruit of choice is in season. If you want to use red mung beans, click here to learn how to make the paste. Ice Candy is very easy and fun to make; you can actually involve the kids in making them. Not to mention, it’s easy on the budget.
Bistek Tagalog is one of my all-time favorite Filipino dishes. Bistek is a local version of the very western beef steak, hence the name. But the etymology of the word may have come from the Spanish word bistec, which means, well, steak in English.
What makes it distinct from the western version is its mild, citrus-y flavor, which is produced by combining the tang of calamansi and the essence of soy sauce. Also, the Filipino bistek is usually thin in slices, compared to the thick chunks of meat and large servings of the American beef steak.
Beef is the typical meat ingredient, but you can also use slices of pork, such as pork chops and liempo (pork belly). I choose pork over beef because I like the taste better, and I try to avoid red meat as much as possible. My favorite cut is liempo, because it’s easier to cook and the meat is more tender and tastier.
When you prepare bistek, make sure not to overcook the onions to keep them crunchy. The potatoes are optional, but please, include them to your grocery list. Who doesn’t like potatoes, anyway? If beef steaks are great with mashed potato, consider this as our alternative.
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.
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.