Before I start posting other blogs, I would like to dedicate this blog for my lola, the late Narcisa Cadile Parcon. It was a game changer when she commended my very first DIY Pasta, it was a Fusili topped with corned tuna and a handful Cheese Melt, a survival dish I came up with once upon a time when my paycheck got delayed.
When I was younger, I never imagined my self cooking since I feel like the kitchen hates me with all the bruises, burns, cuts and everything I acquire every time there is an attempt to cook. Until when I moved in the metro, all alone, adult life taught me a lot!
I can still remember her face when she had my 1st dish and immediately, she announced that I’ll be cooking the same dish in our Family Christmas Lunch. Hahaha! That was really crazy but extremely flattering. My cousin would drop by my room and verify if what lola said was true hahahhahah! Pinagkalat niya po talaga!!! sigh, Seniorito Duane no more.
Last Few Words
Few days before God fetch her, I got the chance to talk to her. Not knowing it was our last. I told her “Pag uwi ko, may ipatikim ako sayong bagong luto ko la” (I’ll cook something new when I get home) “Ay gusto ko yang luto mo” (Oh I love your cooking) she responded.
Unfortunately I didnt make it in time, so it was my siblings who tasted it on her behalf.
Since most people wonder how I survive with 500php per week budget, hahaha here in this article, I’ll share a part of my cost cutting meals yet does not deprived you. I hate it when people think that you can’t eat a decent meal on a tight budget. I believe discipline and a good menu / meal preparation is the key.
Related | Revamp Your Left Overs ala Lee Kum Kee
What you Need
I usually pick my grocer at Landmark in Makati or in Robinsons – Venice Piazza Mall in McKinley, SM does not make the Tito in me happy hahaha insert rant here.
Going back, here are my grocery staples rounded off to the nearest 10(lol) :
Fusili : 60Php (makes 6-10 serving) Variants of Pasta are for Visuals only. But above all, I love Fusili, with it’s shape, it takes in the sauce and it fills up your appetite.
Clara Ole Cheesy Pesto Sauce: 120Php (good for 4-6 person)
Clara Ole Chuncky Tomato: 40Php (good for 4-6 person)
Century Bangus: 40Php (good for 4-6 person). Nasa 65php ata ito sa 7/11. Sa grocery na lang para tipid.
Marinated Magnolia Chicken: 60-80Php Would be enough for a week.
** I always have McCormick on the side since I prefer to explore natural flavors rather than using MSG or Instant whatever enhanced MSG hahahahaha. Black Pepper, RoseMary, White Pepper — I use this especially with Chicken or Black Pepper for Leftover viands to enhance the flavor, usually each cost below 70Php depends of the variant**
Yes this is the Bangus In Can you can see in your local supermarket, hence not all SM don’t have the Spanish Style. With this, it lessen your prep time since all you need to do is just dump your fusili after you mince the bangus as you stir fry it with garlic, add tomatoes if you feel like, just dont over cook the tomatoes. No need to pour all the sauce/oil, a decent amount makes it very flavorful and really spicy.
Add the Fusili Pasta, mix, add a dash of rock salt on top then voila! Bangus pasta is good to go!
This is the most expensive in this cluster, I usually make one when I feel like rewarding my self even if Im broke hahaha.
This is my favorite in all Clara Ole sauces, it feels like it came from a legit restaurant yet at your own pace hahahha. Perfect for lazy weekends.
Put Pesto Sauce in the pan as if boils. Then add your linguine, stir until sauce is evenly distributed, add a dash of lemon for enhance flavor then top chicken. There you go 😀
The easiest, I keep this as is since this is the most versatile among all my pasta dishes.
Playaround on how you like Clara Ole’s Chunky Tomato, sometimes I make my own salsa, jalapeno etc. In the Photo, I just added the Chicken I fry or grill on top. a dash of Basil and everything is is harmonic 😀
At The End Of The Day
Sometimes cooking relives stress and Kitchen Magic is the best when you want to save or you’re just to lazy to eat at a nearby canteen or in Jollibee.
Most of all, I see cooking more like growing up. You dont rush things, you let everything slow cook until everything is well done. In the end, you add up Basil Leaves, Salt or Black Pepper and let the natural heat brings out the natural flavor in all this spices, achieving the dish’s potential flavor and inciting scent that makes you hungry even by scent alone.
If you’re living alone, I suggest you go out, try new dishes and one day it will give you an idea on which ingredients fit the other, and one day formulate your own version. Something that can tell a story.