My Speech for The Philippine Blog Awards 2011

Me and my sister at the Philippine Blog Awards 2011It all started when my sister and I joined the Philippine Blog Awards a few months back. I was a finalist in 4 categories: Food and Beverage Luzon Level ,  Food and Beverage National Level, Bloggers Choice and Readers’ Choice categories. The Philippine Blog Awards organizers sent me an email telling me that I was a finalist among many qualifiers. They told me to make a 2 minute speech in case I win. It took me 2 days to do it. I was not able to use it , but my mom told me not to waste it so here it is:

Hi everyone! My name is Enrico Feria. I’m the writer of The Junior Chef. I started writing my blog when I was eliminated from Junior Master Chef  . My blog is like my brain because I write all about my memorable days. My blog is about the food I made, the food I ate, what I learned and my best memories. I love cooking because I like creating my own new dishes. A  long time ago,   I was dreaming of having  my own restaurant named Enrico’s Dragon Chop House. I hope to see that day come. Anyway,   thank you for choosing me as a finalist in 4 categories. I really appreciate it.

I didn’t win but I’m still happy because I was the youngest finalist. (The trophy is a carabao with a man on top.)   I didn’t   win an IPAD 2 in their promo either because we left early.

Anyway, thank you to all the 368 people who voted for me in the Reader’s choice category. I am  very happy.  Each one of you gave me reasons to keep blogging.

Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I gained a lot of experience .  I also learned that there are people out there who love what I do. Thank you indeed!

If you have time, please also visit my sister’s blog at http://theladycakedesigner.wordpress.com/.

Good bye and have a very happy CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Please Vote for Me, (pleeeaaasee…..=))

Please like this page

I’m very happy to be a finalist in Philippine Blog Awards. Please like the link below to vote for me.  The deadline is on December 2, 2011.  It wouldn’t be possible without you, my readers . Thank you very much!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150389489924926&set=a.10150389488519926.357565.102102369925&type=3&theater

Thank you friends!

My great Moussaka and fries

I learned that the word Moussaka comes from Arabic language “Musaqqa’a”, meaning “chilled”. The Arab region is between Asia and South Africa. In Turkish it is spelled musakka but in other languages they call it eggplant casserole. In some countries they use tomato instead of eggplants.

I chose moussaka because I wanted to try to cook it on my own. My father also said ” Eco I want you to cook moussaka for dinner”. Then I asked ” why po?” he said “because it’s so delicious I want to eat Moussaka again”. So that’s why I cooked Moussaka for dinner.

When I was going to cook my Moussaka, I saw a lot of mess on the table. I can’t really prepare properly because my mother and sister were cooking leche flan cake. So I took the things that they didn’t need anymore and put it in the sink, then I prepared my Moussaka. I did not have the list of ingredients we used for Mousakka in my Mediterranean cooking class so I just did everything from memory.

Oregano leaf

Oregano leaf


Basil leaves

Basil leaves

First, I sliced the eggplant, mozzarella cheese, onion, garlic, oregano leaves and basil leaves. It was the first time I saw fresh oregano leaves because we always used the dried oregano from a McCormick bottle. It looked interesting with its pointy edges.

Me cooking the onions and garlic

Me cooking the onions and garlic


Second, I cooked the onions and garlic.

Third I put the ground beef, salt, pepper, sugar and cooked it until the meat is brown.

The stewed tomatoes and meat sauce

The stewed tomatoes and meat sauce


Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce

Fourth, I put the stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and oregano leaves.

Me putting the eggplants

Me putting the eggplants

Fifth, I put the meat sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Then I arranged the eggplants on top of the meat sauce , followed by the ground beef with tomatoes. I put the mozzarella cheese on top and covered it with foil.

The mozzarella cheese

The mozzarella cheese

Me putting the mozzarella cheese

Me putting the mozzarella cheese

Then I put it in the oven and baked it for 45 min. Finally, I cooked fajita fries for 5 minutes until it was brown, in a deep frying pan on medium high heat. I served the Mousakka with fries but cooked rice too for anyone who likes that better. Mmmm….so delicious:-)

My Mousakka

My Mousakka


The Fajita fries

The Fajita fries


Now you know how to cook Mousakka. My father loved it so much, all he said was mmmmmmmmm…… My mother commented that the eggplants were sliced just right. They said it tasted almost the same as the one I cooked in my cooking class with Chef Ernest Gala. But mom liked it a bit more because it’s still hot and the cheese is still melted and bubbling. My siblings , specially my youngest sister really loved the mozarella cheese on top. She didn’t even notice the eggplants.

My youngest sister eating mousakka

My youngest sister eating mousakka

I will give my own Mousakka five stars out of five for the taste and 4 stars for level of difficulty because it took a lot of time.

Me tasting my home made Mousakka

Me tasting my home made Mousakka

The empty baking dish

The empty baking dish

THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG BYE OR ADIOS BLOG READERS :-D.

My Rainy Day Champorado

Typhoon Falcon lorded the skies that morning of June 25. Papa was not able to do the groceries due to the heavy rains the past few days, so mom wanted me to make something out of what we had – sort of my own little invention test. She asked me if we had the things we needed to make champorado. I looked into the old refrigerator where we stock our food supplies. Then I saw that we didn’t have everything but we had a few promising things….

Rice, Sustagen and milk

Rice, Sustagen and milk

Vanilla and Sugar

Vanilla and Sugar


We didn’t have sticky rice but we had leftover japanese rice from two months back, begging to be taken out of its misery. We didn’t have enough chocolate tablets for a decent champorado but we had our staple drink – SUSTAGEN choco. We didn’t have white sugar but we had brown. We didn’t have anchovies so we asked our grandmother down stairs if she had some. Luckily, she did. Here is how I made my Rainy Day Champorado:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Japanese rice
6 chocolate tablets
4 tbsp. Sustagen powder
1/2 cup of brown sugar
7 cups of water: 6 1/2 cups of water for rice ; 1/2 cup of warm water for chocolate tablets
condensed milk (optional)
1/2 cup of dried anchovies (dilis)
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Boil the water

Boil the water

First, I boiled 7 cups of water. When the water is already hot and before it boils, I take 1/2 cup of water and set it aside. (It’s better to use the boiled water to dissolve the tablets but my mom said it is safer to take the water before it boils)

Dissolve the cocoa

Dissolve the cocoa

Second, I dissolved the choco tablets in the 1/2 cup of hot water that I set aside in the previous step.

Add the rice

Add the rice

Third, I put the japanese rice in the boiling water and let it boil for a few minutes.

Add the cocoa

Add the cocoa

Add the sustagen

Add the sustagen

Fourth, I put the chocolate tablets and the Sustagen powder in the boiling water and stirred continuously for 12-18 minutes.

Add the sugar

Add the sugar

Fifth, I put the brown sugar.
Sixth, I added vanilla extract.

Cook the dilis

Cook the dilis


Seventh, I pan fried the anchovies.
Serve

Serve

Finally, I placed the champorado on a bowl and put condensed milk and anchovies on top.

TIP: next time make sure to mash the chocolate tablets because it’s going to take a long time to melt.

My family started to assemble on the dining table before I was done cooking.
As we devoured the chocolate dish in front of us, Typhoon Falcon kept on pounding our rooftops, sending some amount of rain beside our dining table, through the holes on the metal sheet which covered our heads. It was something we’d shrug off, and maybe forget when the sun comes out again, then remember once again when rain comes pouring in on the next typhoon that comes along.

But that hardly matters specially this morning, as the family feasted on that delightful, makeshift champorado I started to cook 30 minutes ago.

As these things went on in my mind, I reached for the pot for a second serving, but just like everybody else, was disappointed to see that everything was gone in about 5 minutes. My mom had the least amount, as always, serving everybody else before herself.

The weather was cold and damp, but I felt warm and full. It might be because we still had a roof on our heads, when others were not as fortunate. Maybe it was the champorado that magically came to be out of nothing. Most definitely, it was the family , imperfect as it was, that took away the stormy feeling that pounded my spirit in the weeks before.