April 13, 2012

There is lots of cooking going on in this house these days. It’s nice to have fresh, well thought out meals for my family. I like to serve them with yummy food.
One night, I made Pancit Bihon
family meals
We had left over rice noodles from when I made Spring Rolls last week, so I attempted to make my girls some Filipino food. I am a Filipina (never been to the Philippines though), but sadly I don’t know how to make any authentic dishes and when I try, I make it healthy, so it kind of loses all the filipino-ness from the food.
I know my girls like pancit when my mom makes it, so I attempted to make it too. I used tofu instead of meat and it came out eh. Something was missing and I couldn’t figure it out. I pretty much followed the recipe, but me thinks that it wasn’t made by a Filipino because something was just off. Anyone familiar with pancit have any suggestions? I would not recommend this recipe, but I would like to find a good one and master a healthy version of it!
Ben actually got in chef mode again and made us some Spicy Grilled Salmon
family meals
The rub we put on the salmon is just so good and super spicy. The girls just have their filets salt and peppered. This is one of our go-to faves and it hits the right spot every time.
family meals
It stood out to me when I was going through my latest Food & Wine and it sure was tasty. Plus, we had some fresh homemade kimchi from my BFF’s mom, so I knew it was going to come out fabulous. It was fast, easy, and tasty! We had ours with spinach and some brown rice. Actually, my parents were over for dinner, so I also made Scallion Meatballs and they were all so yummy together.
family meals
I saw it on Stephanie’s blog last week and the combinations just sounded good and it indeed was. I cooked the eggs a bit longer since the little ones were eating it, so ours wasn’t quite poached, but it didn’t hinder the flavors at all. The recipe calls for one can of chickpeas, but I doubled it and I think I might have doubled the tomatoes too. I am trying to let go of being so precise and just going based on experience and things we like. We love tomatoes and chickpeas, so I though a bit more wouldn’t hurt. We paired it with pita bread and the girls were devoured all of it.
It really makes me smile to see my girls eating well and trying new foods. I am loving this family meal planning thing and loving the time spent at the dinner table a whole lot more.
Week 4/16 – 4/20
Monday: Shrimp Gorditas
Wednesday: A healthier version of Panda Express Orange Chicken (or Seafood Pasta, not sure which one yet)
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza
Honestly, I didn’t like cooking much before this. It just wasn’t my thing. I am having fun now, but cooking was always more of a chore than a love. If you get stuck on what to make for dinner, try meal planning for one week and take it week by week. You will slowly get familiar with your family’s taste buds and what’s in your pantry, that cooking will slowly get easier. I am still no pro, but I am loving the challenge! Are you a cook or does planning meals stress you out?
p.s. i’m pinning! follow along here or repin cakies stuff here, since you can’t do it straight from my blog because i use flickr. well, it seems you can pin from my blog again, but i didn’t change anything in flickr settings. i’m so confused! weird because now you can no longer pin… again.


  • lidia says:

    NOT planning meals stress me out!
    I'm definitely a planner.

  • Kathya says:

    I love cooking. I just wish i had good eaters an that includes my husband. We do lots of whole foods and now, i am concentrating in eating full, great fats to strengthen my girl's teeth and bones.
    i never appreciated my country's cooking until now. Bone narrow stocks, whole chicken stocks, fermenting, soaking,etc is just another world i am experimenting and i am loving it. Hoping to grow some veggies this year, but we are all caught with house things so we are just sticking to organic and local eating for now until we can get it all together. πŸ™‚ i love your recipes BTW. i hope to try some of them soon.

  • I am Filipina! I've been reading your blog and didn't know you are too! Nicebto know πŸ™‚

    It looks like your noodles were overcooked.What I do is I soak the noodles in chicken stock,then when it's softer,I put it in the wok with all the other stuff and just mix everything for like 5 more min. and it's all done.

  • Alekat says:

    my boyfriend (who is filo) and i always joke that his dads lacklustre cooking is always missing something compared to his mums excellent cooking. unfortunatly we think that missing thing is MSG!! We're sure she doesnt use it, but it is sitting in the pantry…

    • dyna says:

      hahaha, MSG is definitely the “secret” ingredient in pinoy recipes!


    • Rubyellen says:

      me thinks you might be right! πŸ˜‰

    • Keeks says:

      Chicken Stock, even the organic ones are a great sub for MSG. πŸ™‚

      I always use Tofu when I make Pancit Bihon (the meat chunks distract me from the veggies and noodles), but made w/ stock, it always has a great, well rounded and deep flavor. πŸ™‚

      When I feel the need for meat, I grill some chicken breast in the oven, shred it and throw it in the mix. πŸ™‚

  • Jean says:

    i love meal planning, too!

  • Vang says:

    The food looks awesome! I think I might try the poached eggs recipe with my family. I slowly started cooking more often when I started blogging last year. I was never a cook and thought it was a chore as well. But seeing my family eat the healthy meals that I make is a wonderful reward. I'm sure you know the feeling well!

    Vang πŸ™‚

  • My mother in law made me some “vegetarian” pancit on Easter. She didn't realize I can't stand the smell of Filipino food while pregnant, and cooking it in fish oil kind of defeats the “vegetarian” purpose. She mixes noodles- some were fat and some were thin. There are lots of vegetables that I don't normally cook with. I make a vegetable fried rice that looks like your pancit, but with rice instead. I have a good adobo recipe if you'd like. πŸ™‚ My husband likes the chicken, but the okra isn't bad.

    • Beth says:

      I would love your adobo recipe! We are moving to the Philippines in the future and I'd like to start learning how to cook Filipino food. jbstamper(at)hotmail(dot)com thanks!

    • Rubyellen says:

      really? that's is cool! do you like filipino food? they put sugar on everything! even spaghetti!!!

  • Anne says:

    Mistakes in that pancit recipe:
    Soaking the noodles in warm water and wait for them to get soft. That will get them mushy.

    Not enough flavor in the sofrito.

    My rec to make the pancit better is to soak it cold water as your doing prep work. Then cook shrimp with onion garlic and and then add the tofu or chicken if you like. Then add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Then add noodles and the broth will help steam and add flavor.

    • Rubyellen says:

      do i need patis or oyster sauce?

    • Anne says:

      Patis. Oyster sauce is more for pancit canton/chow
      Funny about the spaghetti. My husband loves Filipino food but he's Italian American (well half Italian half German but very close to his Italian side) and thinks the Filipino spaghetti with all the sugar, added hotdogs and ketchup is a travesty.

    • Rubyellen says:

      lol. yeah, i can't do the hot dogs either! but i do like the bit of sugar added. πŸ˜‰

  • I love what you had to say about family meals. It is so vital to connect that way…good for you to try new things even if it didn't turn out the way you wanted/expected…trial and error usually helps. My problem is I usually don't add enough of the fat (oil, butter, etc.) in my attempts to make it healthy…se la vie…

  • Erin says:

    I love kimchi too! Have you ever tried the Korean dish bibimbap? I don't know if your family eats beef, but you could make it with tofu if not. I think I'd choose it as my last meal ever. It's flank steak marinated in a soy/sesame/green onion sauce, cooked in a wok aNd served over rice with a fried egg on top, kimchi, and sriracha. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

    I use the Matthew Amster Burton recipe from the book Hungry Monkey. I'll email to you if you're interested!

  • Maylanie says:

    Hey your pancit looks really yummy! My Nanang usually makes pancit canton and I'm very picky with my pancit because I loved hers so much. I loved adding calamansi juice instead of lemons to my plate!

  • dailydoily says:

    Yum!!! They all look delicious. Happy Weekend β™₯Lindsay

  • Love your family meals posts! I do posts about weekly meal planning too… but there hasn't been a single week since I started doing it that things have gone exactly as planned πŸ™‚

    Also, I don't know what's going on with Flickr pins! Mine are working now too, but now they say the title of the photo on Flickr + “by Nerd Nest, via Flickr”. Weird.

  • nicole says:

    You have the best blog ever. Best topics. Best pictures. Best stories. And a fresh perspective on life and admirable parenting style too! And I can't get enough of the meal planning series. πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie says:

    Glad you loved it too! I actually made it again tonight πŸ™‚ I realized that the Trader Joes Feta in Brine works really nicely with it. I used another brand tonight and thought it not quite as good. I could eat this every week…

  • karlacola says:

    Baked eggs has been my go to dish for the last month. The one I create does not have chick peas but spinach under the sauce and pine nuts, no feta. I also like to reduce the tomatoes a while makes it thicker. This has been a favorite for some time now so was funny to check your blog and see my fav. Dish!

  • Aye Two Bee says:

    I lived in the Philippines (Iloilo. you can read about it all here if youd like for 3 months on an internship a few years ago. It was so amazing and I would love to go back one day. The people are so kind and welcoming and offered you everything they had (which a lot of times was not much). It was such an eye opening experience to live in third world conditions. Anyhow, I love Pancit and even though it is just a topper – using calamansi instead of lemon would make a big difference!

    Nothing in the world is as good as a real Philippino mango either. Totally different from anything you can get over here. I brought two show boxes full of them back to Canada in my luggage!

  • Jenn Kirk says:

    Patis and lemon! Can never have pancit without it. I've never tried making pancit. Seems complicated, so you're awesome. I pretty much stick with fried rice, adobo, sinigang, and halo halo.

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