With the kids at home and a job from 8 to 5 Monday through Saturday, I am deprived of weekend sewing and blog time! Hence, I have no blog post for July. It’s a really crazy schedule that would go on until the 11th of August after which I would have the luxury of a four-day vacation which in Japan is called “bon yasumi”. I am certainly looking forward to that. In the meantime, to break the silence in my blog for the past month, I am posting some pictures of what I have been doing in my freetime, if you may call it.
On the way home, while waiting for the bus, I passed by Maruzen and bought these sewing books.
Mada, mada, samui desu! These long winters really make me crave for hot soup and rice…So I prepared Chicken tinola for dinner. Chicken tinola is a Filipino dish–chicken ginger soup with green papayas and pepper leaves. It’s very easy to cook and I think every Filipino household in the world cooks this at least once a month. But in Japan, papayas are a rarity, so I have to improvise. The closest to papayas I could find here are the Okinawan togan or winter melon (which is a rather ironic name for it coz it’s a seasonal summer vegetable, and weird that I found it in the supermarket today).
And, chili pepper leaves are not sold in the supermarkets here so it’s either I maintain a chili pepper plant in our backyard or, again, improvise by using what’s available. Usually it’s spinach.
If you’re not a Filipino and are curious about the recipe, you can find it here
I substituted the wintermelon for the papaya and the spinach for the chili pepper leaves. Here’s what I made…
Now, where’s my rice? Itadakimasu
His real birthday is actually a few days from now, but the family celebrated Vito’s birthday today, Sunday, because his dad is scheduled for out-of-town work. My kids’ birthdays are the only times you would see me cook more than two dishes at a time. I cooked some Filipino dishes like beef caldereta and marinated the pork for our barbecue in skewers. My mom cooked kare-kare and bopis.
I baked Vito’s birthday cake, as I have been doing ever since his 3rd birthday. This year I proudly present a black forest cake which, to my surprise, was very easy to make…It was a four-layer cake, with natilla filling in the middle layer (which is really not supposed to be natilla-filled, but son number 1 requested it). I just really make an effort to bake their birthday cakes because we’re just so fed up with the strawberry shortcakes that are sold in the Fujiya bakeshops!
Not bad for a first try, isn’t it?
For extra, I also baked these carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, just in case we run out of cake for late-coming guests, which is mostly my cousins, aunts, and their families.
Happy birthday Vito! We love you! Oriko shite ne!