I’m Skewed!

The other side of summer is white hot, oppressive heat.  Lethargic, too, because who would want to move a muscle when the sun is high and blazing like mad. In my part of the world summer is unlike continental summers where the temp is on defrost and still nippy.  Unless there’s a heat wave (then you can relate).

Here, summer heat could melt the rubber off your flip-flops and you’ll wish you could wear as little as decently possible. Tank top, shorts and jelly slip ons are just the thing.  Or long dresses and flow-y skirts, tube tops and long sleeved shirts in sheer, color splashed fabric, white cotton frocks and kimonos.  Kim of Gakuya made these fashionably summer ensembles and designed the matchy clutches and T-straps, too.  Waaay fun and flirty.  Now that’s the other side of summer –bold splashes, lots of color!
I’m fortunate that I don’t have to dress corporate five days a week in this heat and as someone with a rep for being free spirited and boho chic (so I’m told hehe), it’s not like people in my circle would bat an eye when I do step out in these. Of course realistically, unless you are at a yacht party, beach or poolside shindig or posh resort, you’d just be donning swimsuit, tank tops, capris, leggings, roomy shirt, cover-ups (shawls, capelets etc.) and a pile of neon or pastel Forever 21 swim-proof jewelry.
This summer I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will finally find the time to go to a beach or a friend’s place in the province.  I don’t have any, btw, Manila born and bred that I am.
I'm not really aiming for a beach bod, too taxing!
Plus, there’s a Robinson’s Town Mall now that’s manna for home bakers and cooks in my area, just a taxicle away. A taxicle is really a tricycle or motorcycle with a passenger cab attached.  We call it a taxicle because if you don’t have a car for loads of groceries, a taxi cab is the next best thing.  Having a taxicle drop us off at our gate is cheaper and convenient.

Which brings me to my point:  all these access to food and cooking stuff is not helping when I am trying to lose a few inches so I don’t look dumpy and boohoo in boho mode.  
Exercise is out for now, because I’ve developed asthmatic bronchitis.  Basically my allergic reaction of sniffles and colds to pollutants, scent and changes in temperature escalated to a distinct wheeze and rattle in my chest and coughing most nights. Exercise will trigger it too.  My UP Sundays is shot until I recover a bit.  I have to go around the city wearing a mask over my nose and mouth.
The only recourse is to lighten my courses hehe. Bread and soup; baked mac or club sandwiches (at Cafe Cyrilla, the one run by St. Scholastica's culinary college). 
A bit of meat - sausages, hotdogs. Heavy on the breakfast but light stuff onwards.  Since getting sick meant being home a lot, I cooked "light" (or so I hoped).  I was into dishing out one dish meals.

I’ve made Kung Pao pasta three times with instant Clara Ole mix, tweaked with button or shiitake mushrooms, chili oil or spicy peanuts, barbecue marinated chicken strips or teriyaki sauce marinated sukiyaki cut pork.  The family eats it all up.
I’ve made pomelo salad with ready to eat (peeled) fresh pomelo slices from the fruit counter with nuts and lots of coriander (yum) with this dressing.  Sorry, my pomelo salad looks anything but!
We’re enjoying loads of summer fruit from our and a neighboring uncle’s trees.  Guavas, Indian mangoes, papaya, makopa (bell fruit), avocado and balimbing (star fruit). The avocado we mash with condensed milk and a bit of sugar and keep chilled.  Refreshing! I haven't been baking for the family so desserts were pretty healthy.
Except when mom brings home nilupak and tibok tibok.  Double drats!
Nilupak is basically sweet potato, cassava and banana mash  with condensed milk, butter, sugar, grated coconut and margarine.  This one is extra special with loads of cheese!!! Delicacy upgrade! I had to take pictures fast because nilupak is so delicate the heat will make it spoil quickly.  You’ll know it’s so when it tastes sour.
Tibok tibok on the other hand, is sticky rice flour cake made with carabao's milk. This one has a mung bean filling and caramel syrup -definitely a nice tweak on the malagkit and latik original .  This is one of my favorites.  I’m planning to make some one day. Or mom might hehe.

And then there is the Mang Inasal across the supermarket!  Mom and I have taken to dropping by there when the heat gets unbearable…for halo-halo!  I love chunky halo-halo and this one is bliss.  I’ve had it twice this week and here it’s only Wednesday!
How can I not cheat? I let my mom thwart my diet plans.  Like all moms, she thinks I don’t eat enough plus I’m her eating buddy – I get half of her "senior discounted" meal, so she tends to order a lot of different stuff to try.
It’s when I eat out alone (eating with a group make you eat more) that I opt for light: no rice and no soda pop (another thing my family loves in the summer –ice cold soda, there’s no getting away from it).  I’d order pasta or soup or skewered meat. 
One time I had beef kofta, another time I had ginger chicken.  With mashed potato or rice and a side of greens.  The kofta came with yogurt sauce and the ginger chicken had a ginger, garlic in sesame oil dip (like a deconstructed Hainanese chicken or a soup-less Filipino Tinola.   Healthy, light but very tasty eating! Thankfully a chef friend serves 'em up at Old Bonifacio Grille (nothing old about the food, nicely tweaked; the resto/bar is named after the condominium it was in which was named after the avenue it was on. Hmmm?!?).  It's the same chef friend who created the menu for my Rizal book launch event with the special Pinakbet Pansit! I posted all about it last time but wasn't happy with the pictures I took.  But I give in, just so you get a better idea what the pansit looked like: delish! Pinakbet pansit is the bestest! All those healthy nutrient rich veggies like ampalaya (bittergourd), squash, okra, sitaw (string bean) with Bagnet (crisp fried fatty pork... whew!) as topping on noodles. That's a fine art right there: balancing guilty pleasure with some healthy bits thrown in.
So I’m skewed basically, dieting-wise, and loving it! 

Happy Summer-ing! 


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