Sunday, May 27, 2012

Candice's Cusina @ Philippines Days Festival!

Philippines Days
Saturday June 9; Sunday June 10, 2012
Waterfront Park 200-Block West Esplanade
North Vancouver, BC
(beside the seabus terminal)

I'm so excited to announce that yours truly, is the official blogger for the 2012 Philippine Day Festival! Hosted by Metro Vancouver Philippine Arts & Culture Exposition Society (MV-PACES), this newly extended 2-day celebration will be held on June 9-10, 2012 at the Waterfront Park in North Vancouver.
Did you know: Philippine Days celebrates the day the country was declared independent on June 12 in 1898 under the revolutionary forces of General Emilio Aguinaldo. It was also the day that unfurled the national flag of the Philippines.

After visiting Philippine Day Festival for the first time in 2010, I observed not only the patriotic gathering of thousands of Filipinos but many other cultural minorities came to be part of the festivities. There was a wide array of booths featuring delicious Filipino delicacies, international delights and merchandise. The centre stage was booming with musical talent, dances, raffel prizes and presentations highlighting the Filipino heritage.

I learned that Philippine Days is considered the 2nd largest community event held at the Waterfront Park, next to Caribbean Festival, drawing over 12,000 people last year. Kuya Alvin, President of MV-PACES announced that the 2012 festival's theme will show honour and respect to our Seniors, the Aged, our Veterans and Elders.

Director Robert Tongko, the front man who has organized the celebration's program for the past seven years, will be introducing a new addition Senior Moments. Weaving in the theme, this special event feature will include the search for the Senior Idol singing champion - a fantastic opportunity to exhibit local talent!

Direk Tongko encourages all Filipino families and attendees to bring your elders, seniors, veterans of 65 years or older on Sunday, June 10 as they will be given an honoree ribbon with a reserved front-row seat to watch the stage presentations. So bring your family and friends with empty stomaches to eat, dance and enjoy one of the largest Filipino community events in Vancouver this year.

If you spot Candice (me!) in the festival, be sure to say "hi" and be featured on the Philippine Day "Camera".  Look forward to seeing you there!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Easy Veggie Bibimbap!

I was first introduced and quickly taken by this classic Korean dish while visiting a good friend in Seoul. She raved about this meal that is served pipping hot in a hot stone bowl carrying a warm bed of rice, topped with sauteed vegetables, fried egg and chili sauce.  

The presentation was beautiful with all the ingredients neatly separated so you have the joy of mixing them up together. This dish packs tasty, full flavours with a fun and whimsical name, Bibimbap! 
Did you know: Bibimbap means "mixed meal" or "mixed rice" in Korean. So fitting;)
Only enjoying Bibimbap in restaurants, I tried cooking it after work last week and happy to report - it's quick and easy to whip up this bountiful bowl of goodness!

This recipe is just a guideline as Bibimbap is eminently versatile and do encourage you to incorporate leftovers. Soon you'll have a delicious, healthy and cost-effective meal in minutes.

1 1/2 cups brown rice
5 cups baby spinach
2 1/4 tsp vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup shiitake or oyster mushrooms (dried or fresh), trimmed and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 large eggs
4 tsp toasted sesame oil
Sriracha sauce, for serving 

1. In a medium pot, cook brown rice according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high.  Add spinach and cook, stirring constantly until wilted, about 30 seconds; drain. When cool enough to handle, squeeze dry with paper towel.
3. Wipe out skillet, heat 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook until crisp and tender, 3 minutes. Add garlic & scallions and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook 4 minutes. Add cucumber and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add spinach and soy sauce and stir to combine. Transfer vegetables to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
4. Heat 1/4 tsp vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggs, reduce heat to medium, and cook until whites are set and yolks are still runny, about 5 minutes.
5. Divide rice among 4 bowls; top with vegetables and eggs. Drizzle each with sesame oil, sprinkle with reserved scallion and serve with Sriracha sauce.
Try this: Add beef or tofu to your Bibimbap. I like to marinate the beef and/or tofu with soy sauce, minced ginger, garlic and sesame oil for 20 minutes prior to sautéing. Yummers!!
Recipe from Everyday Food