guide to cooking and entertaining with LOVE

About

Hello! Welcome and thank you for being here! 

I know you would totally enjoy this blog if you ~

  • are a foodie
  • are adventurous
  • love to eat
  • love to cook
  • love to entertain
  • love to spend quality time with family and friends
  • love the social aspects of cooking, entertaining and….. eating 
  • want to be all of the above!

So come on. Let me show you how easy it is to cook like you’ve traveled the world even.

For real! No LIE!

It really is super easy, a lot less costly and further more, no jet lag. Love that!

And here’s another great thing, with me as your gourmet guide, I can help you find exotic ingredients for most of these online, so you won’t have to hunt for these at stores that may be unfamiliar to you. My goal is for me to be able to help you recreate these things in your own kitchen so that you can share them too with your own family and friends. 

So let’s start from the beginning….

 

MY STORY MY ORIGIN:

I was 12 years old when I learned how to cook. It wasn’t something I enjoyed at first. I did it more out of necessity to feed my siblings because my parents always worked twelve-hour shifts. You see, we migrated here in the States from the Philippines when I was only 12 years old. And back “home” my mom never had to work and we grew up with maids who took care of us and cooked and cleaned the house. Lucky!

So talk about culture shock to the max!! I mean, what?! Clean? Cook? Ugh….not us…not…. ME!

YES. ME! 🙋🏽‍♀️ I read cookbooks, encyclopedias (we didn’t have internet at the time) and growing up in the Philippines, I was surrounded by family who loved to cook. So I took that knowledge and just ran with it. I even went to school and earned my degree in Food and Nutrition so I can have the know-how of the science behind my cooking. As you can see Nutrition is my middle name. And food is where this whole journey began.

So believe it or not, looking back I am forever grateful for that experience, because without it, I wouldn’t be here today blogging and sharing with all of you the cuisines from my childhood. 

COOKING IS MY PASSION!

I’ve read that many of the things we do as a child give us a glimpse of how we would be as a grown-up. How we played as a child is connected to our passion. We are born with no filters and judgments. How we played is an indicator of our natural interests. My favorite childhood toys were tea sets and palayoks. I never played with dolls (that’s more my sister’s thing; and organs – ask her about this!). 

I on the other hand, played with tea sets and palayoks. OK, mini lessons here for a sec. Palayoks is Tagalog word for clay pots used for food prep in the Philippines. I had the mini version ones and what I would do is light up some dried leaves to cook whatever it was I was cooking; most likely dried twigs. Eeek.

Hey! I was a little kid, and they were just toys, so they were very tiny for cooking real food. They sort of  look similar to these. And Tagalog for those who aren’t familiar with the Philippine language is pronounced təˈɡälôɡ. The origin of the word is Tagá meaning native and ilog means river. Bet you didn’t know that! Honestly, I just learned about it now too. Hah gotta love that Google! I suppose that’s why I always have this desire to be near water. 

So here’s what Wikipedia says – Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a quarter of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by the majority. Its standardized form, officially named Filipino, is the national language of the Philippines, and is one of two official languages alongside English.

OK, wait a minute…….Austro-who?! A lesson for another time.

Onward….

 

A HUGE THANK YOU TO MY LOVES 😘❤️😍❤️😘❤️😍

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. <<< I love this!

I have many people to thank for this life’s journey…

My mom for that wonderful gift of tea sets and palayoks which allowed me to play chef as a little girl. And because she had to work long hours, I had to step up and cook for my younger siblings. So thank you mom!

To my sister and brother, because they motivated me to get in the kitchen and cook so they won’t starve! hmmmmm…..

Huge thanks to my dad for uprooting us from the Philippines, to give us the opportunity of a better life here in the States. And better it surely is! Thank you dad!

Of course, my husband who says one of the reasons he married me was for my cooking. Hmmm…I wonder what the other reasons are? Hah! There better be other reasons. Thank you hubby for your love and continued support in my many endeavors! You always believe in me and for this I’m eternally grateful. Love you with all my ❤️😘

My two HUGE FANS, my daughter and my son who never disliked anything I make for them. I made my own strained food too by the way, so I never fed them any of those jarred or boxed foods. Nothing was good enough for my kids, except for something I made from my very own kitchen using nothing but the best and finest ingredients. You’re welcome kids! Please never stop coming to visit…you know I always love to cook for you!! I always enjoy our dinner times together, you know how much I like that! You two are my reasons for my being. ❤️❤️

All my nieces and nephew who have also inspired me to make this blog so they too can have a go-to resource for “Auntie Joz’s” cooking at anytime. Thank you!

To all my wonderful friends who I’m blessed with and are much like family to me. Thank you for your insights, guidance and accepting my invites for get togethers at my house. I love what I do and I’m glad I get to share my passion for cooking and entertaining with you! So thank you!

Last and certainly not least, thank YOU to all my blog followers – for being here! I can tell already, that you will inspire me to do more of what I love to do. See you more!

 

ISLAND FLAVORS & PHILIPPINE CUISINE:

Here’s a did you know – Philippines is situated in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, and it consists of about 7,641 islands. That’s a whole lot of islands for such a small country. Take a look see!

No wonder the flavors of the cuisine are very robust, with that population alone! Furthermore, the Philippine cuisine is influenced by many of the countries that inhabited the Philippines like Spain, America, China and other Asian countries throughout history. The flavors lend itself to many different flavor profiles which has evolved due to the many ingredients and spices that have become available to Philippine cooking.

And as such, the dishes can be as simple as fried fish and rice to something more elaborate like a Paella dish. You’ll notice too, because of the many influences from various countries, many of the original Philippine cuisine have been renamed, example is a recipe for Pancit to Stir Fried Egg Noodles

What I pride most in Philippine cuisine is that it’s never unassuming and it’s not complicated to make. You taste what you put in the dish. At least you should anyway! That’s a sign of a good cook by the way. If you can taste every flavor profile in that dish, you’ve won! Philippine cuisine is never just one note. There I go again, comparing it to music. 😉

Oh, and one more thing, we don’t eat with chopsticks, we use silverware. Personally, I use a knife and a fork when I eat, but most Filipinos (native of the Philippine island) use spoon and fork or at times even their hands. Why? Because most of our meals are eaten with rice and the dishes have very flavorful and savory sauces that it would be a great miss if you’re not able to mix them up and enjoy every single morsel in your mouth. #Salivating

 

THE RECIPES IN JOZ MAHAL:

What you’ll find in this blog is a fusion of Philippine and other cuisine. The recipes are easy to follow, with ingredients that are easy to find. You will gain great confidence that will enable you to recreate something exotic in your very own kitchen. I’ll even help you navigate your way in Asian markets or online so you never have to worry! You’ll be able to get the right ingredients to make something you may not have tried before. 

Also, I’m a busy mom/wife and as much as I love to cook, I love to eat more. So I try to keep my recipes very simple and flavorful so you’re able to enjoy a meal with the family in less than an hour.

The key to success in the kitchen is preparation and organization. So if you can create your menu, grocery shop and prepare some of the foods in advance, I do a week in advance, cooking will be less daunting for you. I’ll help you with meal planning too, so don’t you worry! 🙂

So let’s be {taste} buds and bookmark my blog. I have lots more to share with you! I promise to make it a fun CULINARY JOURNEY filled with SPECTACULAR DISCOVERY and guaranteed to always ENLIGHTEN THE SENSES.

Huge THANKS again for stopping by and hope to see you again. 

PS: Mahal means love in Tagalog. So remember to always cook with love and it will make a difference in your attitude and the end result of your cooking. 

TTFN!