The Tagine Experiment

I can only be on my home computer 15 minutes at a time – the kids keep interrupting. So without belaboring this story, we received this tagine as a Christmas gift from some friends who frequent Morocco. It’s probably been years that we’ve been talking about tagines (both the cooking implement and the dish) and finally, after all that time, we finally have one! It’s been with us for about a month now. What’s taken me so long to put it to use?

I was getting conflicting information on whether I can cook with a glazed, decorated tagine (some said yes, some said no), and I was told I had to ‘prime’ it so that the glaze doesn’t leech into the food and change the flavor.

In the end, the couple who gave it to us insisted that it could be used for cooking and not just for serving. This was based on reliable information from another common friend who had lived in Morocco and continues to use these decorated ones for cooking to this day. And I just decided to prime it with whatever I had in the house this weekend, after all, it’s my first free weekend in weeks!

I literally raked through my freezer and found some frozen fish fillet, and through my pantry and found some bottled herbs and spices (Mrs. Dash, basil and rosemary). Turned the oven up to 200°F, threw the stuff into the tagine with some olive oil and topped with tomato sauce, and forgot about it for about an hour.

Voila! Pretty good sarciadong isda, very tender and flaky, with not a trace of glazed earthenware taste. And tagine is intact.

Forking through this fish dish brought back some tagine memories from our past life living in NYC. My first taste of Moroccan food was when my husband and I lived in New York and were adventurous with our food picks. I had lamb tagine served in what else but a tagine at this place the name of which escapes me right now. Somehow I am remembering the name Blue Orange, or was it Blue Tangerine? It was also the first time I had couscous and had no idea what it was. My husband and I launched into a debate as to what kind if grain it was (barley, lentils?) only to discover later it is closer to being a pasta product and not a natural grain at all. I was enjoying the new tastes, textures served in a funny looking dish that looked new to me, while Euro futbol blared on the wide-screen at the bar attracting crowds more interested in football and liquor than the cuisine.

Nuff said, kids are trying to insinuate themselves again (quite physically, between myself and the computer). In conclusion (like a true experiment), using the tagine was easy enough, and I will use it next week to make lamb tagine (got the recipe from and couscous. If anyone has other recipes to share, those would be appreciated.

January 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm 4 comments

Booked for Kids: 15 Priceless Investments

Got this tag twice on probably the biggest social networking platform ever: “Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I’m interested in seeing what books my friends choose.

Don’t take too long…” Hahahahahahahaha… That would be the day. Books and me – now there’s a relationship that would last forever. Harder even to make me choose just 15. Besides, that list would include such an eclectic and varied spread of stuff: from “The 7 Habits” to “Molecular Basis of the Pathogenesis of Bacterial Disease” to “Bonfire of the Vanities” to “Le scaphandre et le papillon” – I am losing my English version of this book by the way… maybe I lent it.Yoohoo, whoever borrowed it, please return.

So I decided to focus on one genre – Kids’ books. I’ve always wanted to review my kids’ books on this site, but I’ve really lost hope in being able to blog regularly that my kids would probably be in college by the time I finish (or start?).

So here goes, without thinking too much:

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Photo is from Eric Carle‘s website

My daughter J was only 6 months old when she picked this out from Fully Booked in Rockwell. She was in a stroller and as we rolled by the kids’ books aisle, this was at her eye level. Can’t blame her for picking it up intuitively: the cover art is very attractive, as is the rest of the inside of the book, and as is true of all of Eric Carle’s books. The reason we all love them is because of the simple yet meaningful stories, plus Eric Carle’s characteristic art. Check out The Official Eric Carle Website for more of his work. My kids have about 1/3 of his books, including Mister Seahorse (see below). One of my dreams is to take the family one day to his museum in Massachusetts, USA.

2. Fuzzy, fuzzy fuzzy! by Sandra Boynton
Photo from Sandra Boynton’s website:

Another one of my daughter J’s picks that same day she picked out #1 at Fully Booked. Everyone just so loves Sandra Boynton’s silly prose and her cartoon art. This book is perfect for babies as it is ‘interactive’. The textured art allows young babies ‘touch and feel’ the book, while enjoying the funny and memorable narrative. ‘Moo, Baa, Lalala’ is another favorite, and I still remember my young nephew Mark who at 2 years old, had memorized the silly lines from this other signature Boynton book.

3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Photo Credits:

A classic from the 40s that kids love. They were one when they recited from memory, and almost two when we would go through saying Good Night to everything, just like in the book. Perfect book to tuck them into bed with and to introduce the concept of rituals – what do we do before we go to bed?

4. The Runaway Bunny also by Margaret Wise Brown (more…)

July 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm 4 comments

Abot Langit

Inilalahok ko ang ilan sa mga paborito kong kuha ng sari-saring mga gusaling sa iba’t ibang sulok ng ating mundo.

Mula sa Melbourne, Australia, isang night shot mula sa Observation Deck ng Rialto Tower, isa sa mga pinakamataas na gusali sa Melbourne…



Mula Singapore naman, isang kuhang dapithapon mula sa itaas ng Hilton sa Orchard Road. Gustong gusto ko ang tanawin kung saan nagsasama ang modernong arkitektura sa katutubong arkitektura.


Mula sa Chicago, Illinois, USA, kuha nang tanghaling tapat, mula sa isang ferry boat. Ang lumang Navy Pier sa background ng sikat na skyline ng Chicago.



Nguni’t ang aking paboritong gusali, mga simbahan ng Pilipinas. Napili ko ang simbahan ng Sta. Monica sa Minalin, Pampanga. Siguro sa lahat ng kuha rito ay ito ang pinakamaliit kung isusukat ang taas ng gusali. Nguni’t katulad ng sinabi ko sa isang lumang post ko tungkol sa simbahan na ito:

“Somehow, I feel more insignificant inside this church than I did amidst the skyscrapers of Melbourne.”

Nakapangliliit nga naman, dahil ang simbahang ito ay 400 years old na, at isang survivor ng pagputok ng bulkang Pinatubo at kung anu-anong mga delubyong idinulot ng kalikasan sa bayan ng Pampanga.



Ito ang aking lahok para sa L.P. ngayong linggong ito. Ang tema ay gusali. Mahalin natin ang sariling atin – bahagi ito ng ating nakaraan at ng ating kinabukasan. Mabuhay!

April 22, 2009 at 11:43 pm 49 comments

Melbourne in 0.5 days

No I am not currently in Melbourne. Re-posting stuff from my old blog. Original post is here, originally posted on 29 May 2007. I did update this with more photos as compared to the original post. The previous platform only allowed 1 photo per post.

Here I am in my hotel room overlooking the Yarra river set against an electrifying Melbourne skyline. Right away, I feel an affinity for this city.


In the cab from the airport, the approach to Melbourne rekindled memories of driving eastbound on the Eisenhower. From a distance I could catch a glimpse of what promises to be a spectacular skyline. At the right moment, it is breath-taking. Up close, it is intimidating, yet it feels comfortingly familiar. I could have lived here in a previous incarnation. (Or maybe I did – no, that was Chicago.)


It is 3 pm when I get to the hotel. Because I only have 3.5 days here, 3 of which I will be spending working my A off, I decide to make the most of this 0.5 day. I don’t even bother to spruce up. In the clothes I left Manila in and a light coat over these, I set out on a walk. My hotel is on the south bank of the Yarra. (more…)

April 21, 2009 at 9:35 pm 5 comments

In Transit

Note: I was supposed to be traveling again, but that didn’t happen. In the meantime, while I catch up on life outside blogging, please enjoy re-posts from the my former blogsite. Am trying to migrate everything over the next two months. 20 April 2009

Posted first in my old blog here, on 26 May 2007.


I’m in the Hong Kong International Airport en route to Melbourne, Australia for business travel. I have 1.5 hours to kill in between flights, so I’m taking advantage of the free wi-fi service. After checking my work e-mail and finding no messages, then twiddling my thumbs for a couple minutes, well, what the hey, may as well write a blog entry.

So you’re wondering why I have a picture of me and my daughter, the Boracay sunset in the background to accompany this post. It’s not totally disjointed you see. Actually, 3 hours into this trip, I’m already homesick. Started before I even left the house.


April 20, 2009 at 12:00 am 2 comments

Color My World


This facade always catches my attention on our numerous trips to Tagaytay and Batangas (and back), cutting through Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Silang, Cavite. The drab landscape is briefly and refreshingly interrupted by this colorful scene. I finally had the chance to stop by when my mom and I were on our way to Tagaytay for a mother-daughter spa escapade (another post coming up on this).


I had the idea to buy unpainted birdhouses for my kids and I to work on this summer. (more…)

April 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm 10 comments



Tawanan ang kailangan natin ngayong napakainit ng panahon. Kuha ito sa Hidden Garden sa Vigan City, Ilocos. Isang topiary na hugis dinosaur ang nakatawag-pansin sa anak kong si M___. Tawang tawa siya dahil naka-shades ang dinosaur.

Ang Hidden Garden sa Vigan ay nasa isang tagong purok, Magtanong sa mga tiga-roon kung papaano makarating doon. Kahit ordinaryo ang mga halaman, napakaganda ng presentation. Saka may munting restoran sa loob nito kung saan pwedeng kumain ng Vigan empanada, Royal bibingka at halo-halo. Pampalamig talaga!

Pampalamig sa mata ang kulay luntian, kaya angkop na angkop ang tema ng Litratong Pinoy ngayong linggo, “Hardin” dahil sobrang init!!

April 16, 2009 at 6:35 pm 5 comments

Older Posts

Recent Ramblings


As Seen Through My Lens

01 Capped

02 Uncapped_corr

03 Prima Nib Front

04 Prima Nib Back

05 Artista Nib Front

06 Artista Nib Back

More Photos


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.