If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that my IG stories are full of either Rafa photos and videos, or my latest experiments in the kitchen. And while it may seem like I’ve been a fan of doing the grocery and preparing food since forever, I have this big confession: I didn’t know how to cook until I got married.
Yep. Ask my family and they will tell you na ako yung pinaka-tamad na tao sa bahay. Hahaha. Well, to be fair, I can cook hotdogs and simple things like that but I used to have this mantra in life, “I would rather choose not to eat than be in the kitchen and cook my own food”. I mean, you can always dine outside or go for food delivery, right? But I guess, married life changed me.
So, let’s do this. I’ll be sharing here 24 dishes that I have successfully prepared after getting married last 2018, with zero skills (okay, maybe 5%?), but with a big thanks to our Google friend who’s always available 24/7. I’ll include the links to the recipes as well!
1. Beef Nilaga
One of the easiest Pinoy dish because basically you just have to put everything in the pot. I remember excitedly posting this on Instagram because we just got back from our Honeymoon trip and it was the first time that I cooked for Darel. Kitang kita naman diba na ang saya nya diba? Haha! Although I lack some vegetables here like potatoes pero Nilaga pa rin yan. Hahaha. Photo below is the one with potatoes and it tastes even better!
2. Brunch Plates
Recipe: No specific
When we started opening our home to friends and family, one of the first meals we served was a brunch plate. Super easy! Here you have bacons, quezon longganisa, eggs, tomatoes, avocadoes, bread, mangoes, and some dewberries (hahaha). In short, it could be anything you have in your ref or pantry. Darel and I found this round wooden chopping board at SM and decided to buy it since we figured it could save more space than putting each item in separate plates. We only have a small dining table so it is really helpful. And besides, when you put the food all together like that, it looks so yummy and pretty.
Here’s another variation of it with hotdogs, bacon, embutido, fruits, snacks, and yes, some sotanghon soup!
3. Pork Sinigang
They say you’re not Pinoy if you don’t love Sinigang. Sabi lang nila yun. Haha! Sinigang is like cooking Nilaga but it tastes different because this one’s sour. Pero si Darel ayaw nya ng sobrang asim, so sorry na lang sa mga bisita namin. Haha. I prefer this with beef (buto-buto) instead of pork kasi yung pork minsan puro taba. And besides, request yun ng asawa ko, bakit ba. Hahahaha.
4. Adobo & Steamed Kangkong
Sabi nila (ito nanaman tayo sa sabi nila) Adobo is super easy to make but I find this quite difficult! Ang hirap timplahin nung alat. I like my mom’s Adobo, yung medyo dry pero may super konting oil na sauce, pero until now hindi ko sya magawa so minsan na lang din kami mag Adobo ni Darel. Hahaha. I paired this with some steamed kangkong and bagoong. Yum!!
5. Leftover Veggies
After about 2 weeks of starting to get acquainted with the kitchen, I was starting to worry about the vegetables na hindi namin nagagamit. It is challenging to buy ingredients when you will only cook for two diba. So one day, I decided to do a little experiment. Hahaha! String beans, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. I’m thinking, mas okay ata ‘to ngayon na we have an air fryer.
I remember when I was a kid and the one thing that I always look forward to in weddings and fiestas was Embutido. Ewan ko ba. Sa mga ganun lang ako nakaka-kain nito eh. Haha.
Making one is easy but has quite a long process so I will usually do this on rest days. After doing about 4 to 5 pcs., I can easily store this in the fridge and we already have a quick meal anytime. Btw, I love this with cheese!
7. Buffalo Wings
Exploring the world of marinades with some buffalo wings. At this point, feeling ko inlove na inlove na sakin si Darel. Hahahaha.
8. Lumpiang Shanghai
Whenever I know that my schedule for the week would become busy, I would either make Embutido or Lumpiang Shanghai. It’s good for lazy days when you want something that’s ready to pop in the fryer anytime.
9. Chicken Tinola
I wish I could say that I like making Tinolang Manok but I hate preparing the Malunggay leaves. The first time I cooked this, paramihan kami ng stem na makukuha sa sabaw. Hahahaha. Is there a way for it to become easier? Or wala bang nabibiling ready na?
There were days na masipag ako ng sobra so I made burger patties. Tapos yung asawa ko nagddouble patty pag nag-a-assemble sya kaya ang bilis naubos. Hahaha.
11. Beef Kaldereta
This was when I invited some girlfriends over and I cooked Beef Kaldereta for lunch. Super sarap! Pero ang tagal pala nito maluto. One tip I got was to put fork or any metal utensil in it para daw mas mabilis. Hindi ko alam kung totoo yun pero I tried pa rin. Hahaha.
One of Darel’s favorite. I have cooked this many times last year and few magic ingredients to this is some banana ketchup and sugar. ;)
13. Chicken Pochero
I haven’t eaten Pochero in my entire life until the day I decided to cook one. Hahaha.
14. Sweet & Sour Fish
For some reason, I find it quite difficult to think of what fish recipes to include in our weekly meal plan. I used to buy the marinated bangus (the spicy one) at the grocery just so we can eat fish but later on we got tired of it. So ito, just add some sweet and spicy sauce to any fried fish to make it more interesting.
15. Tuna Sisig
Did you know that I just used canned tuna for this?? Yes, the flakes in oil. It could’ve been perfect if I was able to buy some chicharon as toppings.
16. Pork Tonkatsu
I love how this turned out. Yung tipong miso soup na lang yung kulang because I even made the Tonkatsu sauce myself!
On random days that I have enough energy to wake up early, I would prepare Darel’s baon for work. Tapos mukhang serving bowl yung dala nya kasi super dami. Hahaha. He doesn’t eat rice to I had to give him more ulam.
18. BBQ Chicken Wrap
I’ve been looking forward to the day when I will have enough kasipagan to do this again. Actually, preparing the ingredients is easy but assembling everything is sooooooo tedious. Pero in fairness, masarap ‘to.
Hahahaha! I finally know how to make omelette. Before, Darel was the one would cook breakfast because I hate cooking eggs. Eh kaso nung tumagal, natutunan ko na din so ako na talaga taga-luto. Hahaha.
20. Fish Steak
We have this thing with onions so minsan mukha syang onion steak na may konting fish. Hahaha.
21. No Bake Lasagna
There was a time when I was so into recipes that requires an oven but unfortunately wala kami nun. Buti na lang may hack!! Yes. I was able to make lasagna without an oven!!
22. Beefsteak, Porkchop
I have made easy dishes (nuks yabang) like this na I wasn’t able to take a photo pero yun nga, the power of marinating everything ahead of time. It saves you extra hours during busy days.
23. Macaroni Soup
Last December, Darel got sick so I made him some soup. I didn’t know that macaroni soups could be this colorful! Funny thing was super dami ng nagawa ko so I think this lasted for about a whole week. Hahaha. Sawang sawa na kami sa sopas.
24. Crunch Wrap Supreme
Photo not mine. This is one of my personal favorites but I served it when I had some friends over so I got busy and wasn’t able to take a photo. Sayang. Pero I tell you, super sarap nito! Medyo effort lang gawin and medyo pricey pero super worth it. I’m planning to make some again one of these days.
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So there! Hope you got hungry este got inspired to cook some of these dishes yourself. It’s not yet too late to start learning! Btw, I’m trying out new recipes this year specifically meal preps so watch out for more IG stories about it.
I remember Darel and I had this conversation some months ago when he told me that before he asked me to marry him, he asked himself the question, “Willing ba ‘ko ipagluto ‘to araw-araw?” Eh kasi nga before ‘di talaga ‘ko marunong, at siguro inassume na nya na hindi ako mag-aaral. Hahaha. Sabi ko sa kanya, “Grabe! Factor talaga yun?” He answered me, “Syempre.” Well, I guess we all know that his answer was yes, hence the proposal, and we eventually got married.
When I think about it, tama naman nga sya, and that’s just one of the many things we often miss out when we think about marriage. Syempre, hindi yung pagluluto per se pero yun bang sacrifices that you are willing to make once you are already living together. Yung little things that composes the reality of starting your own family. I mean, what if Darel didn’t think through about it and I didn’t become interested in cooking? Malamang sa malamang, isa yun sa major na pag-aawayan namin ngayon. Haha. I’m not saying that knowing how to cook makes you a better spouse, but it could surely contribute on keeping each other’s love tank full. For example, Darel’s love language is “service” so that means he feels loved when I show him how much I love him through my actions, and I do that whenever I cook. I fill his love tank. At the same time, I love it when he compliments my cooking, because “words” is my love language, therefore he fills mine. Isn’t it amazing how God created each one of us so different and so unique? So if cooking can help make the world a better place and full of love, then keep on cooking! ;)