Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Summer Camping III

I took Justin, Trevor, and Kristen out for Summer Camping part III last August 26th and 27th, 2006.The camping site is William Heise County Campground located near a town called Julian still within San Diego County in California. The setting is about 4500 ft above sea level.
70% of this Park was devastated from the 2003 Cedar and Scripps Ranch fires and the cars of the fires are still evident. Slowly, the natural growth is slowly recovering.We were lucky enough to get a group camping site. A pretty spacious campsite with no camp neighbors to bother.Justin, Trevor, and Kristen, as well as my co-worker Dan's daughters Vanessa and Desiree had fun playing at the campsite for two days: build their make believe Fort and enjoy a couple of kiddies nature trail. Of course they got to enjoy classic camp must-haves such as toasting marshmallows and make SMORES.
I get to experiment with my Shrimp and Sirloin Kabobs. Shrimp and Sirloin Kabobs Recipe is provided below.First day, we hiked the Cedar Trail which is about 2 miles. At .5 miles, I experienced cramps on both legs. The cramps could have been from not warming up before the hike. It subsided after a while. Luckily I had a tube of Ben Gay ointment in my first aid kit which I applied on both leg. That relieved a lot of the muscle pain.Second day, we hiked Canyon Oak trail which is about 1.5 miles. The kids loved it and the finished it in no time. At one point, Trevor veered off from the trail and bees started attacking his head. Instinctively he ran, screamed and the bees eventually left him alone.

Check out some of our Summer Camping III
pictures by visiting our photo website:

- Marinated Sirloin Steak slices in cooler shown in figure.

Shrimp and Sirloin Kabobs
- 1.5 pounds Sirloin Steak
- 1.5 pounds Shrimps, skinned and de-veined
- 2 cups Vegetable Oil or enough oil to immerse the sliced steak
- Salt and crushed Pepper
- Lemon Citrus Fruit
- Calamansi Citrus Fruit
- Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
- 2 cups vegetable Oil
- Cloves of Garlic
- Italian Spices : Oregano, ground coriander mix
- Onion bulb- Zucchini SquashMaterials:
- Large Zip Lock bag
- Cooler with crushed Ice
- Bamboo skewers
- One bag of Charcoal
- Charcoal Grille
- Basting brush
- Lighter

Cooking Procedure:
1. Slice the Sirloin Steak in 1.5 inch squares.
2. Pour the vegetable oil in a large Ziplock bag.

3. Squeeze the juice of both Lemon and Calamansi citrus into the Ziplock bag.

4. Add the Italian spices mix. Crush garlic with a mallet and add to mixture.

5. Add Salt and Pepper.

6. Put the sliced Sirloin Steak in the Oil/Citrus juice mixture.

7. Seal the Zip Lock bag with your fingers and allow for three to four hours of marinate time by dunking the sealed Zip Lock bag in a Cooler filled with crushed ice.

8. Prepare the Charcoal Grille. Ensure that charcoals are glowing red and no flame is evident.

9. Peel Onion, and slice in quarter wedges Slice the Zucchini in 2 inch wedges Slice the bell peppers is square wedges

10.Prepare the Shrimp and Sirloin Kabobs by alternating Sirloin slices, the various vegetables, and Shrimp.

11. Do not throw the left over marinate juice. This will be used to baste the Kabobs later.

12. Lay several Kabobs on the Charcoal Grille.

13. Baste each side of the kabobs with the marinate juice left over. Turn over the kabob using a tong taking care not to burn it.

14. Serve Kabob over rice while still warm. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Cooking Connie Veneracion’s Pineapple Chicken

I have the Kitchen to my command with Gloria out this Saturday
because of a two-day-12-hour-weekend shift duty at the Hospital.

I decided to cook Connie Veneracion’s Pineapple Chicken.

You can view the recipe by going to her website:

or view other recipes in her Blog website:

I added a Filipino or perhaps a Thai flair to the dish by adding Coconut Milk
to the Pineapple Juice. Based on the reader’s comment, this is actually a
Filipino Dish called: Pininyahang Manok, a Tagalog dish I take it.

View Connie’s Pinihanyang Manok recipe by going to this site:

variations from Connie Venracion’s recipe:

1. I don’t have dried rosemary so I used Italian Spaghetti seasoning mix (a mixture of dried oregano, spices, garlic, and pepper).

2. I used a can of 12 ounce Dole Pineapple Chunks and a separate can of Dole Pinapple Juice concentrate

3. I followed Fan In Saudi’s suggestion to make Ginger candy by bringing to a boil 1 1/3 cup sugar and 1 cup water, then add 1 cup peeled and crushed ginger pieces then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and dry, then sprinkle with sugar. The sweetness to this ingredient actually created a sweet and sour taste to the dish.

I served the dish for lunch to my three kids: Justin, Trevor and Kristen, my Ate Christine, and niece Caroline.

The feedback: Not bad at all.

I guess its a success. Thanks Connie.

(Sinlao) Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 07, 2006

Summer 2006 Camping I

August 5, 2006

Post: Summer 2006 Camping I
I decided to take the kids out for camping this August 5th and 6th weekend. I might as well do it since Justin is on vacation, and Trevor’s not going to school yet. It’s a good first time experience with the kids (Justin, Trevor and Kristen) and Allen de Leon (Gloria’s nephew). I made camping reservations in the past, twice as a matter of fact, but every time, it was cancelled for one reason or the other. Well, this time I made sure not pass this opportunity to bond with kids. As the saying goes: Life is too short, live life to the fullest.

Actually, this is a dry run camping. Me and the the kids learned a lot from this overnight camping for the actual Camping two weeks from now. The real camping will be at William Heise Campground on August 25, and 26th here in San Diego California. Unfortunately, Charles won’t be able to come along on these dates, but that’s okay, I’m sure there will be other upcoming Hiking/Backpacking opportunities down the road.
I don’t own a Recreational Vehicle (RV) or something, just a Tent, a couple sleeping bags, cooking utensils. I designated the task of planning the food, supplies list, things-to-do to Justin. Actually, he was more excited about the weekend activity knowing what supplies are needed, what activities need to be done. I haven’t seen him as excited as this event in a while.
Charles Balmaceda, my High School classmate was gracious enough to come along. He haven’t done camping in a while and so this is good refresher for him.
He brought Sirloin Steak for the event and cooked it during lunch over a Charcoal grille. Man! Talk about a juicy, delicious steak. His marinate recipe is provided below. As shown in the pictures, Justin enjoyed giving a hand with the Barbecue task. I don’t know, no matter how sleek looking the various Gas Grilles sold in the market, I think nothing beats the taste of charcoal grilled meat or fish. Its okay to indulge in red meat as long as its not a regular daily habit isn’t it?
It was a good time for me to share the experiences Charles. Thanks Charles. I took advantage of the fact that he is still in the Military. My request for him to rent a Lantern, a camping stove, and a handful more sleeping bags from MWR* was a money saver.
High School Batchmates in the Southern California: Alfred Bajet, Sam Valencerina, Erik Paragas; Manny (when you’re done with you sea duty and back to Home Port); all the batchmates I haven’t mentioned; my childhood friend Fred Agreagado; Dominador Fabros; close relatives; lets plan a camping trip one of these months, a hyear from now whatever, just drop me a line.
Summer 2006 Camping II will be in a couple weeks. We’re looking forward to it.

View more camping pictures by going to tis URL:

Charles Balmaceda’s Sirloin Steak
-Sirloin Steak** - 7 pounds
- 4 cups of Oyster Sauce
-Calamansi Citrus
- Garlic
- Brown Sugar to taste
- Salt and Pepper
- Soy Sauce

Cooking Procedure:
1. Mix the marinate:
2. Peel, and roughly crush the garlic.
3. In a bowl, mix Oyster Sauce, Soy Sauce, and garlic.
4. Add brown sugar to taste to achieve a slightly sweet marinate mixture

5. Lay Sirloin steak in a flat Pyrex Pan. Do not stack the pieces
of steak on top of each other.

6. Pour the marinate over the pieces of steak and make sure they
are submerged in the Marinate mixture.

7. Cover the pyrex pan with cling film/plastic food wrap and seal it.

8. Put the sirloin steak soaked in marinate mixture in the refrigerator
for several hours to overnight if possible.

9. Lay several pieces of charcoal in the charcoal grille and prepare it for grilling.

10. Open your palm and orient it facing down to make sure the charcoal grille is hot.

11. Use a tong to lay the marinated pieces of Sirloin Steak on the grille.

12. Baste the steak with the marinate mixture and flip over often until cooked.

13. Cook the pieces of steak according to your preference: rear, medium or well done.

*MWR- Morale Welfare and Recreation – The US Military’s leisure, entertainment support organization.

** Sirloin Steak – Part of beef lying between the round and short loin, this section contains lean, tender meat. Posted by Picasa