Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fettuccini in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

It has been a while since I wrote my last recipe. It does not mean that I stopped cooking. I got busy with my yogurt business, the research and development part is such a monotonous work until you get the right formulation.

I learned this recipe from my nanay (mother) after I got bored with the usual Italian spaghetti. I do not like the sweet, Filipino-style spaghetti. It is like eating a dessert in the middle of the main course, though kids love it much.

My fettuccini in cream and mushroom is easy to prepare. Instead of making the cream and mushroom sauce, I used Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom. It saves time making the white sauce,  I just supersized it by adding more mushroom, evaporated milk and butter.

½ kg fettuccini
½ kg ground pork
½ stick butter
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 bulb medium-sized onion (minced)
3 cups Campbells condensed cream of mushroom
1 cup pre-cooked sliced mushroom
2 cups water
1 cup grated cheese
1 ½ evaporated milk
Ground pepper and salt to taste


Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a saucepan, melt butter in low flame. Sauté minced garlic and onion until onion is translucent. Add ground pork, season with salt and pepper. Cook until ground pork is done.  Pour in the sliced mushroom, condensed cream of mushroom and water. Mix well to soften the condensed cream of mushroom. Bring it to boil, and then add evaporated milk and grated cheese. Simmer for 2 minutes. Mix the sauce with the pasta buy folding it gently until pasta is covered with the sauce. Let it stand for 2 minutes and transfer to a serving bowl.

Before I gained weight, I usually put 1 full stick of butter in the sauce topped and served with lightly-fried bacon but I stayed with this recipe so I can still enjoy more of it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Living Under Down Under, New Zealand

A good friend of mine, Lorien Longcob, worked as a
farm manager in Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

New Zealand, one of the countries in the world where families who want to migrate would consider it their next home. The comments that we usually hear of the place is so good.  The environment is quiet and calm that you feel like you are on a vacation while actually working to find a living. The place is not crowded yet and job opportunities are good. With these, New Zealand might be an option to stay for a greener pasture.  

However, it is inevitable that our inquisitive mind start to pile up questions about the place.  We could not grasp the feel of how it is to stay there and what could life be if we will bring our families there especially if we have kids.  A lot of things are to be considered, the way of living, the institutions like school of the kids, and the security of the place.  These are just few of the many things that might bother our mind whether we will push through with our plan of staying for good in New Zealand.

One chilly morning in NZ.
I know of families who are enjoying their stay in New Zealand as immigrants.  Some are nurses who brought their families there and eventually have found the place a real good place to stay for good.  Few also worked as farm managers and workers attending hundreds of milking cows. They are now already full pledged Kiwi nationals and have been there for more than a decade.  On the other hand, I heard from others that their experience of staying there was not good.  These are but some of the real life experiences that might be of help in weighing things out whether the plan has to push through.  Testimonies from people who are currently staying there would be one thing that we might consider.

Sky City, Aukland, NZ
With The New Zealand Immigration &Relocation Report, we can get the information that we need and so we need not to be in the place to prove that it is worth a stay for good.  Information has been collected regarding the place that would be of help for those who are still planning to go there.  It is like a one stop shop where all that you need is there.  Everything that you want to know about New Zealand is provided. 

With The New Zealand Immigration & Relocation Report, it is like sitting in front of a travel consultant where all your questions are satisfied.  At the comfort of your home, you can slowly come up with your final decision after a good read of this very informative guide.  

To get The New Zealand Immigration & Relocation Report, CLICK HERE.

Monday, November 26, 2012

And the winner is?

I am not fond of watching beauty pageant. I find it degrading on part of those women who compete with others to get the beauty title.  In my opinion, there is not enough time to find the real beauty in such a short period of time on stage.  Though, the swimsuit portion is a real head-turner.
Venue: Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wisconsin

 There is one contest that most audiences stick their heads and focused their eyes on the boobs. This is the most important part of the contest where they are judged on how big it is, how is it attached to the body and the veins connected to it. As a first timer in this event, I was fascinated how they were able to judge it. But after 3 days of watching and observing, I got the hang, feel, and eyes for the best dairy boobs.

Entrance parade of contestants!
This is the dairy cattle show of the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. Every year, dairy farmers around the world will gather in this prestigious event and bring their best cows to show off and compete against each other for the title of best calf, heifer, and dam of the specific breed.

Right side view

The boobs or udder to the cows, can produce milk up to 40 - 60 liters per day .

The crowd.
Up close and personal at the dressing room!

The purpose of this event is to find the best cow to produce the greatest amount of milk. 

After the event, an auction is conducted. The highest bidder will take home the champion breed,  that is if the owner wants to sell it. It does not come cheap though. A winner cow sells from 50,000 – 75,000 US dollars!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Two Mansions

Mansion, as what Mr. Webster defined, is a large imposing residence that is meant to be magnificent, grand and impressive. Last year, I was able to visit one in Mt. Vernon, Virginia and just this year in Baguio City. Both of these places had significant history that every citizen should know.

George Washington’s Mansion at Mount Vernon Estate in Alexandria, Virginia, USA

At the entrance of The Estate
George Washington’s Mansion located at the heart of Mt. Vernon Estate in Virginia is one of the most famous destinations for tourists who wanted to see the abode of the first and one of the greatest president of the United States, George Washington. The mansion is a 3-story, built of wood, overlooking the Potomac River. It is fully preserved together with the other structures such as the servant’s quarter, vault, smokehouse, and tomb.

Washington Family

Front lawn

Washington's Vault. Knock, knock...

Servant's Quarter

The smokehouse - where he kept the "tapa".

The estate is being run by the Mount Vernon Ladies’Association, a private, non-profit organization founded in 1853. It does not accept any grants from the government. It sustains its operation on revenue from retail store and restaurant, ticket sales and donations from foundations, individuals and corporations.

The Mansion in Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City, Philippines

Caption not needed.
I just wondered why there is a yellow ribbon at the lawn. 
The Mansion, built in 1908 for the US Governor-Generals but rebuilt in 1947 after being destroyed during the American liberation, held some important functions such as the Second Session of Economic Commission of Asia and the Far East in 1947 and first meeting of the South East Asia Union known as the Baguio Conference of 1950, conceived and convened by President Elpidio Quirino.

It has a mini-museum showcasing memorabilia and works of art collected over the years of being occupied by the past presidents. Within the compound is a 2-story building that serves as the official residence of the President of the Republic of the Philippines in Baguio City.

The whole compound is being maintained by the Philippine government and is guarded by a contingent of Philippine marines.

Conference room of The Mansion (Photo from

Front Lawn  (Photo from

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What really is a yogurt?

I asked this question because a lot of Filipinos do not have an idea what yogurt is or have not tasted yet. I am a Food Technologist specializing in dairy production and processing and would like to share with you some inputs about yogurt. I am producing yogurt for commercial and personal consumption.

We had the opportunity to participate a couple of months ago in an Agri-Fair hosted by the City Agriculture Office of Cagayan de Oro. During the week-long event, it was an eye opener at the same time a good experience worth pondering.

In one occasion, an executive–looking guy walked in and bought a bottle of blueberry-flavored Fruits and Yogurt Creations. A few steps away from the booth, he opened it and took a sip. Without hesitation, he walked back and complained it was sour.

Huh, sour? I did not expect this comment. I was dumbfounded for a while before I replied. What came out from my mouth was, “That’s a yogurt sir, not a flavored milk.” Realizing that other people might hear him, he walked away with a timid smile before taking another gulp. He must have liked it already.

Judging from buyers’ reactions, I found out that most of the kids love yogurt and have an idea what yogurt is but many oldies are still ignorant about it. This is probably that generation 60’s to 80’s are still used to canned and powdered milk. It was only in the mid 90’s that local milk production started.

With recent trends to be health-conscious and aggressive push of multi-national companies of their products through TV advertisement, it is only now that we get to know what yogurt is. But is the yogurt that you know the real yogurt?

Yogurt is fermented milk, either, set, stirred, or strained. It is made by adding bacterial culture ( Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus bacteria) to a cow’s, carabao’s  or goat’s milk making it sour after a period of time.

Set yogurt is milk allowed to ferment in a cup and served or sold in a form of undisturbed mass. Stirred yogurt, also known as Swiss-style yogurt, is milk fermented in a pot or vat that after the fermentation process, it is stirred to form a viscous liquid. Strained yogurt, also called Greek yogurt is fermented milk filtered or strained to remove the whey making the consistency very thick.

Unflavored yogurt is called plain yogurt while added with sugar is a sweetened yogurt. If added or flavored with fruit, it will be fruit-flavored yogurt. The sweetened fruit-flavored yogurt frozen using an ice cream machine is called frozen yogurt. If yogurt is added with water, sugar and flavor, it is called yogurt drink. All of these variations should contain probiotics or live microorganisms to be called yogurt. A fermented product that does not have live microorganisms or has microorganisms but eliminated by further processing or cooking cannot be called yogurt.

There are lots of yogurts in the supermarket now. Before you grab one thinking that it has probiotics in it, read the label first. You might be surprised there are also lots of dummy yogurts out there.

To know more of what a real yogurt should be, visit