MOMMY CHEF DONNA G. MORALES
For the "clueless" young homemaker, always
have the following in your pantry; they are basics in cooking Filipino dishes
- garlic, onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, cooking oil, patis, soy
sauce, vinegar, calamansi, cornstarch and flour.
Invest in a good pressure cooker to allow preparation
of your favorite dishes at half the time such as everyday fares (sinigang,
nilaga or adobo) or festive choices (beef kaldereta, pata tim).
Wash your meats (beef, pork or poultry) immediately
after purchase. Marinate (if necessary), then portion in plastic containers
or resealable bags before storing them in the freezer. This makes meal planning
easier; next time you cook, you only have to thaw what you need.
To have balanced and nutritious meals, always have vegetables--whether
it's a simple and affordable vegetables like kangkong, pechay or broccoli
leaves--these greens are so versatile, you can match them with almost any
If your family is not in the mood for veggies, have
at least a serving of fiber-rich fresh fruits for dessert like pineapple,
melon or other fresh fruits in season.
Have at least one fish dish in a week; if you're not
keen on cleaning and preparing raw fish, get canned fish like Century Tuna
or Pink Salmon, 555 Sardines or marinated, frozen fish.
Try making simple sweet treat such as cookies or cupcakes
on weekends. Your kids will love them and your husband, too as they go well
with freshly brewed coffee.
Other must-haves in the kitchen--a good, sharp knife,
chopping board, saran wrap, aluminum foil, rubber scrapers, measuring tools,
mixing bowl and colander for draining pasta or vegetables.
For working homemakers (like myself) who do not have
time for breakfast, set a day during weekends or holidays as your "big
breakfast day." Prepare a really good, heavy breakfast such as pancakes
with bacon, fried rice with sausage and eggs, fruit juice and freshly brewed
coffee. It's a good time to bond with the family and an occasion they would
look forward to.
Always keep a small notepad and pen with you. It will
help you list down your "to do's" or things you need to buy for
the kitchen or the home.