Tropical JOE

My Food Blog

Tropical JOE's Cooking

Posted by Ireno Alcala on May 19, 2011 at 2:37 PM


I consumed too much time writing about everything for the first five months of 2011. I momentarily forget that my Food Blog still exists. Thanks tothe staff of freewebs for allowing it to float momentarily, as if sleeping for quite awhile.

I was awakened to continue the exploration in my kitchen and discover the essences of local ingredients where I can make an enticing entrees out of it.

I decided to condensed the food articles that I've written on several sites.  It mostly consists of Tropical Cooking where you can also enjoy trying what I've done inside my kitchen.

Let's start with this one....

1. Tropical JOE's Cocoa Drink:D


I love a cup of cocoa in a cold morning, a good coffee alternative. It is proven to have flavanoids, more than you can imagine that hasten our cadiovascular system.

Cacao trees abound in our backyard, although I have to to our old place at the middle of the farm to harvest the ripe cacao pods.


Most of us here, including my dog, enjoy the taste of the soft flesh of its seeds (the white cottony flesh). Don't throw the seeds, it will be sun-dried for a day or two, then roast it until the aroma signifies that it's ready to be pounded into cocoa powder.

Remove the burnt coatings of cacao seeds, to avoid bitter taste of your drinks. If you have mortar and pestle, you can start pounding the roasted one, like I did.

Strain the pounded seeds, mix with brown sugar, add little water, enough to coat and form into balls that you can grasp closed by your hand.

If you're in a hurry, you can make your cocoa drink once you pounded adn strained finely the first batch of cacao seeds.

I still have an Aztec feeling for this one. Indian people in Central and South Americas have used the magic of its taste. The civilized world just followed their example and brought the cocoa drink and its products (chocolate, ice cream, etc. ) to light!!!


Most Filipinos enjoy their morning sipping coffee, usually the locally grown 'barako' (male) type or roasted coffee beans. They just grounded it then boiled; old folks usually add sugar molasses (tangguli in Bicol dialect - Philippines) during olden times.

Nowadays, you can easily buy sachets of instant coffee mix with sugar and milk powder at the sari-sari store in the neighborhood.

My mom used to roast a handful of rice in a pan then boiled it with water, strain and make a rice coffee while preparing for breakfast.


"How about a FROZEN COFFEE?":| Hmmnnn, maybe when afternoon comes.....;)

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Right now, after eating a hearty breakfast of fried rice (sinangag) boiled egg and drink the boiled cocoa, my tummy felt heavy. I might as well sample the Fruit Selection that I've gathered prior to the Cocoa Drink drama.

A heavy breakfast is a good way to start a day. It's the time where metabolism works fastest in our body.

Too much activities just happened for the first three hours, since 7:00 AM; it's time to prepare for lunch. I'm preparing for just three persons...my mother, eldest deaf-mute sister and me.

The ingredients are all there outside, in the backyard. I can get the mature coconut, first; the gabi leaves while cooking rice.

I might as well prepare other ingredients. My mom already fried the fish as taste enhancer for my main dish this lunch...

2. Laing (Dried Gabi or Taro Leaves)

Tropical Cooking always use coconut milk. It's beneficial because of its good choleterol or saturated fats. It has no free radicals.

I grated the coconut, prior to the plitting (by hand) of dried gabi leaves. The first coconut extract should be pure milk. The next one will be diluted with little amount of water then boiled fopr the dried leaves to loosen up.

Don't forget to put minced garlic, onion and lemongrass. Halfway to being cook, put the cleaned fried fishes, splitted into small pieces.

"What a sumptous meal!":P "Don't forget the Vegetable Soup!":D

"You might as well, try this sweet GELATIN as your DESSERT!!!"8):lol::D

Afternoon comes, most of us will have catnaps or siesta and be active again around 3 in the afternoon.

What do I have in mind, then? Well, the same as yours!" It's time for an afternoon snacks!

Some young enterpreneurs, children of the mothers who made local delicacies are vending Sweet Choices like these:

"Or I might settle for my personal -delight-!":roll:


"Or this one...a Frozen Coffee or FroFFEE!";)

More often than not, rural folks in the country will just settle for rootcrops as snacks. We also eat it during breakfast or when the going gets tough.

"This humble SWEET POTATO is a saving grace!":)

The completion of a particular day will be a comfortable dinner. It should always be light and should also consist of fruits for easy digestion.

My mother insisted that I should catch the native chicken because it laid eggs everywhere; I found some at the roof of my waiting shed; then some on the nest.

We used to call it "kiskis kawali" or pan-skinned. With the usual shrieking and struggling, that particular evening was concentrated on making a Chicken Stew with green papaya as vegetable extender (also a good meat tenderizer, if you don't have a pressure cooker).

"The Chicken Drama didn't stop here....":roll:

On a high note: During BREAKFAST - Eat like a KING; at LUNCH - a PRINCE and DINNER, a BEGGAR."

Everyone of us should follow this GOLDEN RULE when it comes to EATING HABITS in order to stay FIT and HEALTHY all the TIME.


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