Lallie Cooks | Breaded Sardines over Garlic Basil Pasta


My husband and I once attended a lunch gathering where the host gave away living fortune bamboos. My husband kept his alive to this day, while mine dried out in 2 days because characteristically, I forgot to water them. I thought it was just decorative. One day, he asked, “Why didn’t you keep it alive?” To which I replied, “What for? I don’t see the point if I couldn’t eat it.”

“So you’d only take care of a plant when you can eventually eat it? Ohkay.”

One time, we were on our way home from Los Banos, I saw seedlings being peddled on the sidewalk and I asked my husband if we could buy some. “I don’t think you can keep them alive.” I was being challenged and I replied in the most mature and dignified way, “IcanIcanIcan.” So for 50 pesos each pot, we got ourselves 3 seedlings — an Italian sweet basil, a Thai basil and one arugula. Barely a week in and the ants already beat me to the arugula. Fortunately, I kept and have successfully replanted the basil plants. They have become the gifts that keep on giving. I’ve kept me alive nearly 2 months after. You know why?

Because I can eat them.

Last week, typhoon Glenda ripped thru Metro Manila. I barely slept with the howling winds keeping me up since 2 am. I was just anxious, and it really felt like our roof was tearing up, until it dawned on me that I lived in the 3rd floor of a 4-floor low rise building. My upstairs neighbors will fly with the wind before I get rained on. I decided there was nothing better to do at that point but pray and sleep, so I did at about 6 am. I slept alright, for a good 20 minutes, until I jolted myself back to consciousness realizing I left my basil plant at the mercy of  Glenda’s 185 kph winds outside on my balcony.

I don’t care if a roof flew by and threaten to decapitate me. I must saves my basil!

And then, I got them inside, all safe and warm and decided, for all my life-risking efforts to rescue it, all four incredibly tensed steps it took me from my door to the planter and back, I should be rewarded with pasta.

Whenever I felt like I needed a quick, satisfying meal, I make myself some garlic-basil pasta.  If I happen to have any left overs tupperwared up in my fridge: chicken, smoked fish, even tuyo, I’ll just toss them in, too. In this video, I got to top it with some breaded spanish sardines and a few cubed up and all-melted kesong puti.

Yup, let the storm rage on.

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So One Day, I Put Up A Cooking Video on Youtube…


If there is one social network I spend a lot of time on, it’s not Facebook, it’s not Twitter, it’s not Instagram. If I do get in front of my computer, I spend most of my hours completely sucked in the black hole of Youtube related videos. First, I go in, looking for full length documentaries of Bill Cunningham or Annie Leibowitz and somehow I end up watching a playlist of English bulldogs snoring.

I always end up on some kind of video about english bulldogs. Always.

Also, if there is something I know nothing about and I need to learn about it fast, I bet there’s a tutorial posted in Youtube that I could just loop until I get it. And I bet there’s a bunch of related videos on the sidebar I could just readily click on to advance my research. It’s my University of Youtube, my post graduate school of sorts. Language lessons, morning dose of TED talks, make up tutorials, ridiculously funny gadget reviews — it’s there, all lined up on my subscription box.

And then, one afternoon, as I was pouring over one video over the next, I thought, hey, I can make one of these.

Things kinda escalate quickly in my world.

I figured I have a camera, and an editing software and an internet connection. I can’t stand my face on camera so doing make up tutorials is absolutely out of the question (the horror). We all know by now that I have a slightly unhealthy, borderline stalker-esque obsession with food.  I know how to cook, and friends have been begging for recipes of what I feed them. Let’s just embrace our brand of weird and weird people out by doing what we know we can do. I can do cooking videos! Plus, I don’t have to show my face for that. Yuh. I am with you in breathing that collective sigh of relief.

And then, it took me two days to film, do a voice over and edit a 5 minute video. 2 days!



…And I actually enjoyed doing it.

It’s a kick planning out future videos — what to cook next. My friends, the culinary-challenged ones, have a few suggestions. I am looking forward to the day when they ask me to cook pork humba for them and ill say, I have a video up, you cook it for me. Yes, to see you guys eventually cooking inspires me. Please let these efforts pay off.

I am having fun playing with Final Cut Pro X. It’s never too late to learn a new skill. I have never handled video before. I am more of a photographer and PS is more of my jam. But I am starting to like how much more complicated video editing is. I am always up for a fun challenge.

And I get to eat my stuff after. I’m sure I wont be able to say that if I went with the make up tutorial route.

Oh, the things I do just for the heck of it. Just because I can.

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