A Slice of Wife

Compound Butters: Do It Yourself!

Another quick fix for the working woman! Okay, a not-so-healthy quick fix since it is butter, but it is enjoyable and easy for days when you want a little flavor and a little break from healthy eating.

I first encountered a bright pink blob on my steak in (Nevers) France and thought they had just mixed red beets with the butter; but the flavor was certainly not the earthiness of the beet. After much research, I was introduced to the world of compound butters and Cafe de Paris butter.

RECIPE FOR PESTO BUTTER AND BEURRE ROUGE

I had some leftover pesto. Grabbed half a stick of butter (at room temperature), around 1.5 tbps of pesto and mixed until it was of a unified color. 

For the Beurre Rouge (Red Wine Butter), check out this great recipe with a video on how to form your butters into logs. 

http://www.simplebites.net/back-to-cooking-school-easy-flavorful-compound-butters/

Butters stored in the freezer last longer.

Great on beef, fish, poultry and vegetables! You may also make other compound butters with the following ingredients: parsley, dill, lemon zest, rosemary and other herbs to your liking.image

image

Travel Feature: Nishiki Market, Kyoto

image

Nishiki Market, known as “The Kitchen of Kyoto,” has been in existence since 1311 having started as a fish market. Presently, it consists of hundreds of stalls selling seafood, pickled vegetables, skewers (they serve cuttlefish on a popsicle stick that my husband decided to nickname “cuttlepop”), tea, spices, sushi, rice cakes: all served beautifully and with so much effort for, well, humble food. 

Pickled vegetablesimage

Seafoodimage

Seafood on popsicle sticksimage

Beautiful, fresh sushi image

Among the more unique food we tried were:

TOFU DONUTS

image 

QUAIL EGG INSIDE AN OCTOPUS’ HEADimage

EEL TEMPURAimage

MUGWORT-FLAVORED RICE CAKEimage

We also got a few items to take home:

During our first lunch meal in a restaurant that only served tempura udon, we were curious to find green powder served with the ebi tempura with no tempura sauce in sight. We were told that the ebi tempura was to be”dipped” in the salty green powder. It was green tea salt!image

We stumbled upon the only stall that sold green tea salt, Kyoto’s original table salt. Been researching on recipes using it- others mix it with other spices as a rub, make green tea-salted popcorn, or sprinkle seafood with.image

Next we came upon a unique stall that sold spices that may be used as a rub for fish/meat OR made into soup! Got me a can of lemon-peppery spices for the nights I need a quick fix.image

Lastly, who doesn’t love Japanese rice? Got us a kilo of traditional “Kyoto rice.”image

The local pulse was surely felt in Kyoto’s Kitchen. Conde Nast, in its article (http://www.cntraveler.com/food/2012/07/nishiki-market-guide-kyoto), sums it up best: “It’s the perfect place to come to find a cheap meal or a snack, or just to witness the quality and care with which the Japanese treat even the most ordinary, the most humble, objects of life. After all, that attention to detail and presentation is, as much as the food itself, what makes Japan the place it is.” 

CREATING A HOME FILING SYSTEM


Happy New Year!

A lot of us are bent on accomplishing the goals we’ve set for ourselves this 2013. Before 2012 ended, a lot of us did our fair share of spring cleaning and de-cluttering to usher in the good vibes for the new year.

One little goal I set for myself  was to be more organized with the accumulating paperwork that comes with married life. I finally came up with a home filing system after a year of organized chaos. 

After reading through various websites and Youtube watching on the how-tos, I came up with my own categories that are enough to serve our newly-married life: Housing, Vehicles, Medical, Important Documents, Home Appliances, Employment, Heirloom Recipes. Others are more detailed with their filing system. For a more complete list, see this website for more ideas: http://www.plan-and-organize-life.com/support-files/home_filing_system_categories.pdf

Off to get the supplies!  File box, suspended file folders (per category), and clear/plastic folders (for sub-categories)  to be inserted in the suspended file folder. I prefer suspended file folders because they allow me to maneuver through the records easily by sliding the folders— as opposed to stuffing all folders in a box.

I decided to color code the suspended file folders: blue for my husband, red for me and yellow for conjugal matters. I used corresponding color-coded clear folders as well. A suspended file folder will have one or more clear folders depending on the sub-categories. For example: inside the “Medical” (one for the husband, one for you) suspended file  is a clear folder for “dental,” “heart,” “General,” etc. 

When everything was filed, I arranged the suspended file folders alphabetically and made a “Filing Key” (or a legend) to guide me (but most especially, my husband) when filing incoming documents. I also made an Inventory or Table of Contents to serve as my master list of all documents and records filed.

I got all the supplies from National Bookstore: File Box- P350; Suspended Folders- P32 a piece; Clear folders- P8.25 a piece

Here’s to accomplishing our goals and resolutions for 2013!

"I REALLY LOVE MY…"


Just as fashion websites have an “I Really Love My…” section on Hollywood stars’ favorite fashion accessories, I have decided to start the same section on my favorite home appliances and home accessories

  1. Breville Indoor Barbecue and Grill
This made it to Oprah’s Favorite things and I’m lucky it has made its way into my kitchen and my husband’s heart. This wonder is a panini maker, indoor barbecue grill and stove in one! There are three buttons: to gradate the heat from “sandwich to sear”, tilt the top at an angle and a timer. I’ve used it to grill meats/vegetables/seafood and make sandwiches using different kinds of bread. The press also comes with those embedded vertical lines for the beautiful grill marks on your meat. 
It may also be used to make crepes and omelletes!

    2. Joseph Joseph Index Color-Coded Chopping Board Set

This set comes in four colors with corresponding color-coded knives. Each chopping board has a tab with a symbol for its purpose: fruits/vegetables, seafood, meat and cooked food. The specialized set with a friendly finish eliminates food contamination, food stains and odor that may otherwise be had from using the same chopping board for all types of food. It also washes easily. The knives come in appropriate shapes that are meant for the type of food that is being prepared. It’s compact and easy to stack— very appealing for those who work with a small kitchen or don’t have too much storage room.
      3. Moulinex Juice Extractor
I’m in love with this! This juice extractor is so effective in juice-making! It comes with a button that is meant for soft fruits/vegetables and another for harder ones. It makes a clean extraction of the fruits’ flesh and roughage that do not necessarily have to be discarded if you get creative in the kitchen. That blender is just not up to par…. who needs Jamba Juice when you can have fresh and organic juices in your own home! 
     
All available in Rustan’s. 

COLOR CODING YOUR CLOSET


The holidays gave me the time to re-organize my and my husband’s closets.  When it comes to choosing what to wear, some rely on their moods, others by their functions while others think in color. Organizing the closet based on these factors will shorten dressing-up time as well as the time it takes for us to put fresh laundry back in.

I divided my husband’s clothes into the following categories: round neck shirts, collared shirts, sports shirts, casual shorts, sports shorts, white shirts, undershirts and winter clothing (to be tucked at the highest shelf). I then arranged each category by color. 

Opening the closet and choosing clothes becomes an easy, visual and functional experience! (See photo. Second photo grabbed from website below). And maybe… just maybe…  when the husband  sees the order and careful attention you put into organizing his closet, he will think twice putting it in disarray faster than you can say “color coded.” 

This website offers other helpful tips! http://goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com/2012/05/color-coding-will-help-keep-your-closet.html

Enjoy adding some ROY G BIV in your closets! 

WHERE TO: EDSA GARDEN HOUSE PICK N’ PAY HERBS GARDEN

A few weeks ago, Manila Seedling Bank Foundation, Inc. was seized by the Quezon City local government for alleged non-payment of taxes amounting to almost Php57 Million. The wonderful garden paradise in the middle of the city was PADLOCKED just when I had scheduled a weekend to go there and buy potted herbs. Nooooooo!

Last week, a news article  stated that the tenants were nevertheless allowed to operate their businesses within the compound. Yeeeeees! 

I dropped by EDSA Garden House (which is one of the shops within the Manila Seedling Compound) and bought a pot of tall and lush sweet basil (P150), a pot of holy basil (P150— to try “hacking”  People’s Palace’s Chicken Basil recipe at home) and a humble pot of Cuban oregano (P50). These will join my two pots of sweet basil and rosemary at the balcony. 

Upon payment, you will be given literature of the potted herbs you purchased (see photo). The literature includes a short description of the herb as well as tips on its cultivation, propagation and harvest, among others. It is still best that you do research on the peculiar care for each herb you purchase.

Its website boasts that EDSA Garden House sells 102 kinds of herbs. However, only a few were available during my visit. I was informed that the herbs are more abundant during the summer months. 

EDSA Garden House is located in EDSA corner Quezon Avenue (opposite Centris Hypermarket). 

FRUITY ICE CUBES


Sharing a new way to infuse flavor into your water aside from fruit slices!

MAKE FRUIT JUICE ICE CUBES!

Juice oranges or lemons (or any fruit of your choice) and pour the juice into the ice stray. When frozen, simply pop the cubes into your pitcher or glass of water. You may also include the fruit slices for more flavor, aesthetic appeal and vitamins! 

PRODUCT FEATURE: DAPHNE’S HOME SCENTS
Finally found scent reed diffusers that aren’t so expensive. 
Daphne’s Home Scents come in Acres of Lavender, Lemon Tart and Mint Jasmine Infusion. A box has two sets of reed diffusers and an elegantly designed bottle containing the fragrance:  all for the affordable price of P348. 
I got Acres of Lavender to complement my lavender sachets and Mint Jasmine Infusion. 
Available at Dimensione. 

PRODUCT FEATURE: DAPHNE’S HOME SCENTS


Finally found scent reed diffusers that aren’t so expensive. 

Daphne’s Home Scents come in Acres of Lavender, Lemon Tart and Mint Jasmine Infusion. A box has two sets of reed diffusers and an elegantly designed bottle containing the fragrance:  all for the affordable price of P348. 

I got Acres of Lavender to complement my lavender sachets and Mint Jasmine Infusion. 

Available at Dimensione. 

HEALTH COMMANDMENTS 
I have let these rules (together with my mom’s trusty words and Super Healing Foods book) guide me when choosing ingredients and preparing meals at home. 
Sharing the rules with you! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-servanschreiber-md-phd/20-new-anticancer-rules_b_450166.html

HEALTH COMMANDMENTS 


I have let these rules (together with my mom’s trusty words and Super Healing Foods book) guide me when choosing ingredients and preparing meals at home. 

Sharing the rules with you! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-servanschreiber-md-phd/20-new-anticancer-rules_b_450166.html