My dad often told me to look at the silver lining when the going gets rough. An old quote says that “THE OPTIMIST sees the doughnut; the pessimist sees the hole.” Two wonderful opportunities came out of the family’s financial challenges in 2004: (1) More Family Meals at home and (2) Butch learning to cook.

I learned to bake before I tried my hand at cooking because I grew up in a bake shop that mom started when I was nine years old. By the time I was 21, I lived off-campus with my dorm mates which forced me to learn how to cook. Even the sauteeing and frying scared the hell out of me. I learned from watching. Soon, I got tired living in apartments that I built a house with my dad’s funds by the time I was 23 years old. Having my own home paved the way for me to experiment on cooking fancy dishes. I relied on my mom’s dishes and experimented or innovated on existing recipes. Having a degree in BS Food Technology helped me to be more creative with recipes. Through the years, I’ve accumulated these perfected recipes in a black notebook.

Baking hit the peak of my life when the girls were very little. I baked and iced their birthday cakes because the commercial cakes tasted dry and ordinary. How my girls marvelled at my Barbie or Disney themed cakes. Not only did they look magical, my cake tasted special. These days, I bake simple pies or desserts. Recently, I purchased a convection oven which ensures even temperature throughout the baking. Friends often wished I start a bake shop but I believed the bake shop’ stress caused mom to die early from breast cancer. I vowed never to venture into a large scale bake shop operation like mom did. Maybe one day, I will open a small coffee shop with baked goodies.

My daughters started cooking just before they hit their teen years. These were simple dishes like soups and pasta. As they got older, they ventured into more complicated dishes. I beam in pride because at their age, I dared not touch a pan. Their dad felt it was his turn to cook for the family and recently cooks our sunday lunch and dinner. It’s a feast whenever my husband cooks because it’s extra special such as barbecued steak, tuna or burgers to mention a few. It’s also the novelty that the dad is the cook of the day.

A few of these recipes are already in my Pinoy Food Photoblog. I intended this blog to showcase food photos and a few of our eating adventures. It’s been more than a year since the launch and my readers often ask for more recipes. It’s the reason for a new domain, Pinoy Food Blog which I acquired last month where Butch and Lauren are my co-bloggers for this latest blog venture. M shows off some of her culinary talents in her personal blog . Hopefully one day, she will soon be one of the bloggers in this new food blog when her study schedule permits it.

I never really took an interest in my old food blog until I received emails asking for recipes. The blog was a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experiment which I placed in a subdomain. My Pinoy Food Blog lovingly uses the word “pinoy” in honor of Filipino-Americans, Overseas Filipino workers, balikbayans who have been regular visitors of our Photo Gallery since 2001. Due to the high traffic at the old food blog, I haven’t transferred everything to the new food domain. Yes, the SEO experiment worked. The transistion to this new domain will take the course of three to six months.

Looking back in 2004, the best lessons learned was cooking at home and the value of Family Meals which we now share in our Food Blog. Our food blogs show memories of our family meals and traditions, recipes, food experiments and food events I attend.


Do you keep a notebook of treasured recipes to hand down through the next generation?

About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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