Saturday, October 22, 2011

Home made rice puffs

In the Philippines, rice is a staple food. It's like bread for Spain; will never be out of the picture in a meal.  Heck, we even eat rice for breakfast (or merienda).   Due to hot and humid weather in the Philippines too, food can easily get spoiled and rice is number one victim most often.  Getting food spoiled is my mom's number one pet peeves especially that many times, we wouldn't even have enough food for a whole day.  So my mom has some tricks under her sleeves to recycle left-over and not put them to waste.  One of which is making her own rice puffs.  She would normally do this in the afternoon and we'd wake up from our nap with the smell of rice puffs freshly made with a touch of sugar on top of it.  

These are normally done with the left-over rice; sometimes even rice that are already on the verge of getting spoiled.  The rice is extended on a bilao and let the rice dry up under the sun.  She'd normally put it on top our roof.... ahhh, the memories of drying things up under the sun... daing, pusit.... I gotta stop.


Once the rice has completely dried up (hard consistency), she'd fry it in small batches in a deep frying pan.  Voila, home made rice puffs.  She'd sprinkle it with sugar and we'd gobble them hungrily.

I've been wanting to do this here in Spain but I have one big problem:  The moment I put the rice under the sun, they won't last not even for a minute.  The doves and seagulls would feast on it in no time.  So I kind of held back for a while until I discovered that I can dry the rice up in the oven too!  It wasn't bad at all.  Hubby loved 'em.  He ate 'em with his soymilk and his exact word was espectacular! (spectacular).  

Rice puffs freshly made

Close up

As for me, I love it just the way we used to eat them.  Plain rice puffs sprinkled with sugar.  Little Spanish Pinay loved them too!  She ate them like they were chips.  

Here's how I made them:

Preheat oven to 100ºC.  Extend the left-over rice (or even freshly made) on an oven tray covered with parchment paper and place inside the oven.  Lower down the temperature to 80ºC and let it bake for 2 hours or until it's completely dry.

Heat oil on a small deep frying pan. I used a small pot.  250 ml of oil should be enough.  Fry in small batches in over just a minute without letting the rice get browned (unless preferred).

That's it! Easy peasy breezy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I've been craving to have pandesal.  Pandesal is a staple bread in the Philippines good to eat anytime of the day but most especially on breakfast and merienda.  It's good to eat plain or with something else like corned  beef, peanut butter, butter (with a hint of sugar), liver spread, chiz whiz, cheese, spam,  and the list is longer than Santa's list.

It's been a while that I've been dreaming of being able to do make my own pandesal because in this part of the world where Filipino or Asian store is unheard of? One can only taste hot pandesal if he makes his own.  Although the name pandesal (pan de sal or salt bread) has a Spanish bread, there's really no pandesal here.... yeah, life's irony.

One day though (that was last week), I found some courage to dirty my hands with bread flour and make my own pandesal. Hubby cheered for me and I swear that really helped a lot.

I tried to search for a simple recipe where ingredients are readily available here and this is the best I found from Kusina ni Manang.

was really happy my pandesal rose! Don't ask me about the shape... rolling and cutting the pandesal dough is something I need to practice more :)

The whole house filling with the smell of fresh bread...

They are finally done.  Looks like a little bit overbaked but they are delish! 

It can still improve though... I believe I didn't give them much time to rise.  The recipe called for rapid rise yeast and I just realized I used a normal yeast so I should have let them rise for a longer time.  So that's lesson learned.  The next time I do them,  I'm pretty sure they'll be even better.

I told hubby to let them cool down a little bit before trying them but he sneaked behind my back this sneaky sneaky man.  But I am really happy he loved pandesal.  Yesterday he just told me he can't wait for me to make some more.  (His subtle way of commanding me to make some more)

home made pandesal partnered with home made peanut butter IS happiness :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The time I really blushed and was thankful I met this blog friend

This sweet lady I met in blogosphere has been beating the records of firsts... she's the first who grabbed my button, the first who has added me on twitter (among blog friends) and the first who has interviewed me and featured me in her blog!

Barbara, you are such a darling, really.  You know how I love to follow you on your blog but lately life is crazy (most of the time crazy-fun though so I am not complaining :) ) and I just couldn't find time to stay more time in front of my personal laptop and enjoy my blogging time.  Coz my blogging time? Was temporarily (I really, really hope it is just temporarily) to de-cluttering the house even for just a little bit, or spending more bedtime routine, or just sitting in the couch with my butt almost falling off the couch and arms wide spread to just breath. I seriously need to improve my time management skills or at least develop this skill as I have been thinking I don't have this skill at all.

Anyways my lovely blog friends, if you want to take a peak of Barbara's interview with yours truly, please go and visit.  It's in English so don't worry ;-) but if you feel like brushing up on your Spanish a little bit, go ahead and browse more on her blog as you will definitely learn something!  It's fun :)  


Barbara, thanks once again!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Should we punish?

I am a member of Circle of Moms but haven't been active.  I get a newsletter (daily I think) about the latest topics in the forum and would just normally delete it as I really don't have much time to read and reply - although I would want to.  Some questions by fellow moms are really interesting and many times, I'd like to share a piece of my mind but I just couldn't find much time.  Yesterday though, one question from a mom hit me and got me to reflect.

How do you punish your kid for hitting?

was the question.

I clicked on the link on my email and was automatically brought to the main forum page.  I started reading the responses.  One of the many popular response is that they give their kids timeouts.  Others say they'd pop or smack the hand a little.  Some talk about positive disciplining etc.  

Punish - I find this word harsh to be used for disciplining a kid more so for a toddler.   I know how important it is for children to learn what's good and what's bad; what's wrong and what's right and make sure they don't turn into bullies.  But with punishment,  could we be just teaching them to have fear of getting punished for doing what we don't approve of?   When our kid hit another kid out of frustration, and to tell him it is not good to hit others, we hit  our kid - wouldn't that just send them the wrong signal about hitting?   "It's ok for mommy to hit because I did something wrong and mommy was upset... but that kid took my toy and that's wrong and I was upset... isn't that the same?"

As I've said from a previous blog entry I was a disciplinarian on my younger siblings and have hit them more than a couple of times for behaving badly.  Before, I strongly believe about punishment, hitting on the hand, yelling to prove I'm the right one and I have power over them etc.  But I totally regret that now.  Since I've become a mom, I realized all those behaviors of mine towards disciplining were not right.  

I don't have a degree in child psychology and neither I've seen tons of kids raised differently by different moms to have a basis on the thoughts I have about punishment on toddlers or very young kids.  Time outs, I have never done it.  Light smacks or popping on any part of the body, not considering it.  And I do pray that a situation won't come when I'd lose control and hit LSP.  I am not even saying that hitting may have a bad psychological effect on kids as I do not have a way to prove that.  No, I can't do lab test nor have I read books and books about investigations on the effect of hitting on kids.  I am not even going to declare that not hitting kids is the best way of disciplining or parenting.  It's just what my instinct tells me to do.  

I can't think of any situation where my little one would deserve spanking no matter high light it could be.       There had been a few times when out of desperation, I have raised my voice and yelled LSP's name in an angry note.  Just by seeing her startled face, I regret I've ever yelled right at the moment.  So I can't really imagine how crappy I'd feel the moment I lose myself and hit her.

So, my question is do we really need to punish toddlers?  It may be effective on the surface since most probably punishments will remind them not to do whatever it is that would send them not to eat their meal, or spend minutes of time outs in a corner, or lose their most favorite toy.   So what happens when punishments are gone?  

I'd personally choose talking and discussing what happened, why my daughter acted as such and why we should not be doing the bad deed that was done.   I'd rather make her understand that hitting (for instance) is not good because it can hurt someone.  And we don't want to hurt anyone.  Nor would mommy want to see anyone hurt her dear daughter.  It may seem futile to explain things to a 1.5 yr old for instance but I myself would get surprised later on, on how it would impact her what I have told her a few days back.  Sometimes we just need to have more faith on our children.

As a child, I was hit several times (uhm, ex-bratinella anyone? ::me raises hand::).   And I turned out ok.  Neither do I have a shattered relationship with either of my parents.  I love them so much that it just aches right now that I am far from them.  But would I choose not to be hit at the time I was misbehaving when I was a kid?  Your bet, sir! I do.  My mom would explain to me why I was hit and what I did was wrong.  I accept the "I was wrong part" But never accepted the hitting.  Then later on,  unknowingly, I just started thinking it's the way to discipline and so I became a "popper" for my younger siblings.   I am glad motherhood has changed me.

Would I regret one day that I never spanked my little one to discipline her?  That I couldn't answer.  As a parent, I know I am going to make good and bad decisions.  And it can take a lifetime before I'd finally know if I have done well or not.   But right now, hitting her or making her feel bad to learn a lesson doesn't feel right - says my motherly instinct.  

Think I may be raising a bully?

Nah.  Anyone who has this smile can never be a bully :)

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