Friday, July 1, 2011

Cathy's Birthday with a Feast of Filipino Food

Owner Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) SG ⌚ 6:01 AM
Finally this day has come and I'm so excited!I'd waited so long for it! About 2 months ago, I had already planned to cook Filipino food on 28th June. I know all of you must be wondering why must I wait for so long, why can't I just cook it on any days I like? 8-) This is because 28th June is Cathy's Birthday and I planned to surprise her with a few of her favourite Filipino dishes!
Cathy is our helper who has been with us for 1 year and 5 months. She is one year older than me and has a 9 years old only daughter currently in good care of her parents-in-law. Cathy is a very shy, polite and soft-spoken nice lady. She's also very thrifty and even helps me to save as much as possible (as in not wasting anything)!:thumbsup: She never spend on food for herself except on her off-days (once every month) for lunches. The only 2 things that she'll spend more on are her cellphone's top-ups and basic skin-care products. The most precious is her complexion! As she's slightly more tanned (she hates it), she's always mistaken to be an Indonesian. 
This is Cathy's first time working in Singapore. Previously, she worked in Dubai for only 6 months and ran away from her VERY BAD employer because she couldn't take it anymore!Her ex-employer and 2 daughters are very nasty!They abused her and a few of the other helpers verbally and physically! Some of them ran away after 2-3 months of torturing. There was once when the mother couldn't understand what Cathy said (she don't understand English and her daughters were not around), she got angry and splashed a kettle of HOT water at Cathy!:eek: Luckily she missed!*PHEW* From then on, Cathy tried to find chances to run. With the help from another Indonesian helper who was kindhearted enough to give Cathy all her secret savings, she finally got outta that nasty house and went back home from the Philippines Embassy in Dubai. 
I was so angry and sad when I heard of her bad experienced and I assured her and her family that we'll treat her as one of our family members since she's staying with us now. From day 1 until now, Cathy is very hardworking, I don't really have to teach or tell her what to do, just simple instructions and although she tends to be very forgetful (nobody is perfect, not even myself), she works non-stop, always keeping herself occupy until after dinner!Now she even helps me with Cheeky's spelling learning. I'm really very lucky and thankful to have Cathy:D
I got the idea of cooking Filipino Cuisine for Cathy's birthday when I saw Tina's post on Leche Flan from her blog. I remembered that Cathy did told me about this popular dessert that her Mom used to cook for her when she was still around. Too bad she doesn't know how to make the Leche Flan although she'd seen how her Mom cooked it but told me she can try if I want to eat. She too has the interests in cooking and trying out new dishes. We used to have lots of fun, chatting, joking around in the kitchen before we move over to my parents' house. We really missed those days we told each other and wish that our new house to be ready ASAP! We're still having our fun in my Mom's kitchen with the 3 of us together! Not everyday though because my cooking doesn't suits my Dad's taste buds. I only cook when I feel like cooking, when my girls request for certain dishes or when I wanna try out new dishes but I'll go and join in the fun when I'm free or bored. 
On Tuesday, which was Cathy's birthday, the 2 of us had the kitchen all by ourselves. My Mom just enjoyed her TV shows and waited for dinner to be ready. I did most of the cooking while Cathy helped to prepare those ingredients needed. Luckily I decided to cook on the actual day as Cathy already knew about it so it won't be a surprise anymore. We started cooking from 2pm and stayed in the kitchen all the way to 7pm!Gosh!I felt like staying inside a suana room that whole day but it was all worthwhile and happy
Here are the recipes I chose from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner with slight changes of certain ingredients while all the seasonings used remain the same and one recipe is from Adora's Box. Both Tina and Adora are Filipina and they cooked the most mouthwatering Filipino Cuisines!:drool:
Can you see that few pieces of papers full of words?
That's my way of writing down those recipes I wanted to try and I'll clip them all together, sticking on my fridge so that it'll be easier for me to refer when I want to cook the particular dish again. When Cathy just came over to Singapore, she did not know how to cook our dishes, just a few of her own simple family dishes. I'd to write down EVERY single steps and details like: How I want the ingredients to be cut, cook, boil etc... For EVERY single night before I went to bed but now, ever since moving in with my parents, she can cook very well and some dishes are even better than my mom!
 Lumpiang Shanghai from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner
The fillings are almost the same as my mom's Signature Ghor Hiang, only the seasonings and the wrapper used are different. Messy likes this the most and she ate the most too!
Pancit Palabok from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner
I used the egg whites left-over from the Leche Flan and added in the seasoned sauce strained from the Lumpiang Shanghai while wrapping. Mixed together to cook scrambled egg instead of omelette for the toppings and I couldn't find the annatto powder or seeds for the sauce's coloring. As for the ingredients, I used only minced pork and prawns w/o the rest because there were TOO MUCH dishes!This has to be served hot otherwise the aroma of the shrimp exact will be too strong. We still like its special taste and I quite like this. 
Tahitian Pork from Adora's Box
This is quite similar to our Sweet and Sour Pork (古老肉) and also the ONLY dish my Dad tried. All of us like this except Messy who seldom eat meat especially pork belly. Cheeky LOVES this and ate a lot of the pineapple cubes!
Pancit Canton from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner
This is quite similar to Pancit Palabok but the egg noodles used has got much more flavor than the Bee Hoon which makes this more tastier.
Cheeky and my mom had a few helpings for this!
Leche Flan from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner
Look at the bright orange color yolks!
I'm so sad and disappointed to see so many 'bubble' holes after chilled and over-turned on the plate. Maybe I poured too fast as time was running out. Anyhow, it tasted great and Cathy was SO HAPPY telling me that this is truly the taste of the Philippines Leche Flan!We find it too sweet for us so I added about 2 cups of water to the 2nd batch to dilute the sweetness.
This time, I POURED IN REAL SLOW hoping there won't be any bubbles and when I saw the smooth top after steaming done, I was quite confident but who knows THERE'RE STILL HOLES IN THEM!:((
A Feast of Filipino Food with Ice Cool Korean Honey Citron Tea
The last photo showing the left-overs after dinner. This shows that they like Filipino food especially the Lumpiang Shanghai!Messy ate the most of that!
Happy Birthday Cathy!
Cathy told me that she was so grateful to me and very happy that I cooked her long cravings of Filipino Food for her birthday. I felt very happy too!
Cheeky insisted to light a candle because she LOVE blowing candles so much and they sang birthday song to Cathy.
After singing, Messy grabbed hold on Cheeky preventing her from blowing out the candle and that made Cheeky CRIED SO LOUD and lasted at least half an hr!
This was the photos taken last year on her birthday, her first birthday spent with us. I bought her favourite mango fruit cake and really surprised her with it. The girls also made birthday cards for her themselves when she was busy doing her things. She was so touched and cried which got me a shocked!She told me that she had NEVER EVER cut a birthday cake before in her entire life!I felt so sad and my heart really sank at that moment but I was glad that she really appreciated it so much and she kept ALL the things on the cake - candle and knife. She even wanted to keep the ribbon that has got cream wordings (she wanted to wash and keep) but I told her not to because it's oily. So I replaced the ribbon with the red punched tags for her. We are really very lucky to have Cathy in our family and ever since she came, my life changed (of course as I don't have to do everything all by myself!), I'm happier and not so boring at home because there's Cathy to chat with me, to tease the girls together with me and everything!Thank you so much Cathy and I consider you as my friend, my family.
Too bad that she misses her daughter so much and wanted to go back but yet she wanted to earn more money for her and her daughter's future. She's still doubting to stay on together with us or just go back for good. Of course we'll be more than happy if she choose to stay and actually I'm praying so hard for that!

22 Foodies ➸:

Jeno on Fri Jul 01, 06:15:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Lyn that's soooo sweet of you! I can tell by Kathy's smile how much she enjoyed her birthday dinner, and how close she is with your lovely family. I feel bad to read about the abusive treatments she received at Dubai, it sounds traumatizing and I am so glad she's working for you now, what a difference I bet! The dishes look so sooooo yummy! I am so impressed with the time and efforts and love that went into them. What a wonderful post!

Kath (My Funny Little Life) on Fri Jul 01, 06:32:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

I was shocked when I read Cathy's story ... I think I'll never be able to understand how people can treat others to badly. :( I'm happy she stays with you now and was welcomes with such open arms!

All the food looks so good! And don't worry about the holes in the cakes, it happens! :D

PinayinTexas on Fri Jul 01, 12:41:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

You're really kindhearted, Lyn! It was so nice of you to do all those cooking for Cathy...and I'm truly glad that my blog helped you make Cathy's birthday a memorable one!

I was teary eyed while reading Cathy's story. It's really sad how a lot of Filipina domestic helpers are being maltreated. I'm happy that Cathy is with you now...and I wish that she can just stay with your family until the time that she's ready to give up being a domestic helper.

Regarding the bubbles in the leche flan, maybe you whisked the mixture too fast or you steamed the flan on high heat. You should avoid doing those next time and for sure, there will be less bubbles in your leche flan. :)

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Fri Jul 01, 09:27:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Tks Jeno! Tks for your lovely compliments! :D
Yeah! Cathy really enjoyed her birthday dinner and even copied down those recipes! :D
She's closer to me and the girls. She'll tell me almost everything and I'm so glad that she's willing to. ^.^
All the dishes are really yummy and they're better than I expected! All tks to Tina and Adora for their recipes! They really can cook very well! :)

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Fri Jul 01, 09:35:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Kath! Tks for your sweet comment and comforting words. You're always the best! :D
Yea, my heart truly went out to her when she told me about her bad experienced and I kept cursing on the nasty ones! Actually there're similar or even much more worse cases here in SG! All these people are worse than a beast! >.<

All the food not only looks good but tastes good too! I'm beginning to like Filipino food! All tks to Tina and Adora for their recipes! You should try them out Kath! ^.^

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Fri Jul 01, 09:55:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Tks Tina! Tks for your sweet compliments and also those tempting mouthwatering dishes on your blog that inspires me to cook for Cathy on her birthday to make it so special to her! :D

Yeah, you're right, especially when they are so far away from their home and work so hard. I'm really lucky to have Cathy too! Not only that she helps me a lot, she'll think of my girls and always want to save the food for them even when I told her that she can have it or share with them. Not many will do that :) Yes! I wish so much that she will stay! :D
The 1st Flan I used too high heat coz Cathy told me her mom did that but using the woods though.. lol
Tks for all the tips Tina! I shall try again! ^.^

yummylittlecooks on Fri Jul 01, 10:49:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Lyn,
What a sad story from Cathy,and she's very lucky to have you as her boss now.You're doing good karma though.BTW, Wish her Happy Birthday from me.

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Sat Jul 02, 02:31:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Tks for your lovely comment Cindy! :D
Sure I'll send your birthday wishing to Cathy! Tks to you on Cathy's behalf. ^.^
Btw, I love all the dishes you posts! You really can cook and bake very well! I also subscribed to your posts to make sure I don't miss out any of your yummy food! :)
Enjoy your weekend!

Food Glorious Food! on Sat Jul 02, 03:05:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

You are so sweet! I am so touched!! Please wish her a happy belated birthday :)

Cooking Gallery on Sat Jul 02, 04:09:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Cathy seems to be very happy in all her pictures! She's lucky to have you as her employer :). I have read and heard a lot of cases about maltreatments to South-East Asian domestic helpers overseas. I do get very angry when I read those stories and I absolutely do not understand how some people can be so cruel to others. I am glad to see that you have 'saved' one of those unlucky domestic helpers...:D).

adorasbox on Sat Jul 02, 04:13:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

I feel so sad for all the Filipinos being maltreated abroad. It just happens to so many. I am very happy that Cathy is in good care now. You are such a kind hearted person, Lyn. May you be showered with a million blessings. Please extend my birthday wishes to Cathy. She had such nice food on her birthday. Thank you for cooking my Tahitian pork. It looks even better than mine. Take care, Lyn.

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Sat Jul 02, 11:45:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Tks so much FGF! :D
I'll send Cathy your birthday wishes for her. Tks! ^.^

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Sun Jul 03, 12:14:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi CG! Tks so much for your lovely words! :D
I'm the lucky one to have Cathy instead, I should say! ^.^
She's so much so much better than those that I've known and what I like most about her is her self-discipline, not easily under influence and temptations which not many can do it :)

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Sun Jul 03, 12:35:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Tks so much Adora! Tks for your sweet comments and blessings! Truly appreciated! :D
Sure, I'll send your birthday wishes to Cathy and I'm sure she'll be very happy and touched knowing that so many of my blogging friends whom she doesn't know are sending her birthday wishes! :D
I'm the one thanking you for this delicious dish!
You take care too, Adora. ^.^

Chris's Gourmet Fashion on Mon Jul 04, 12:30:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Happy Birthday Cathy! I'm so sorry to hear your story but so glad that you are now with such nice people - it is sad though not to see your own kid grow up. I wish you the best. What a wonderful feast worthy of royalty - so nice of Lyn to prepare this feast and so lucky for them to have you as part of their family.

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Mon Jul 04, 06:37:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Chris! Tks for your birthday wishes and kind lovely msg for Cathy. I'll pass them to her. :)
Yea, we're really lucky to have Cathy! ^.^
Have a great weekend Chris! :D

Manuela on Tue Jul 05, 06:43:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

I can't believe there can be such mean people in the world!!! Cathy's story is so sad! But I am glad she found you and your family!!! You are a great friend Lyn! How sweet of you to cook Filipino cuisine for her birthday! She looks so happy! Yeahhh!!! <3

Angeleyes on Wed Jul 06, 08:28:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

You are the sweetest employer!
The food looks good!!!

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Thu Jul 07, 12:16:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Manu! So sorry for my late reply :(
Tks so much for your sweet compliments! :D
Frankly, there are even more meaner and nastier people! >_<
I'm so glad that I found Cathy too! I understand that she misses not only her family but also her favorite dishes in her hometown. So I decided to cook Filipino Cuisine for her and we also get to try a totally new cuisine to us! All tks to Tina's and Adora's blogs for their inspirations! Yes! Cathy was really really happy and she even keep the candle! ^.^

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Thu Jul 07, 12:20:00 AM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

Tks Alice! Tks so much for your sweetest compliment! :D
The food are delicious too! Cook them when you're free, they're really worth trying out! ^.^

melonpan on Sun Sep 25, 03:37:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

what a delicious birthday menu :-)

Lyñ (My Little Messy N Cheeky) on Mon Sep 26, 07:12:00 PM GMT+8 said... Best Blogger Tips

@melonpan Thank you, melonpan! ;D
Cathy was very happy to be able to taste her fave Filipino dishes on her Bday and we like these dishes too! ;)


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