This title might make you laugh but hear me out. If you live in The Philippines it is likely that you have a helper of some type. I personally have had my lovely helper Chanda for over two years and she has spoiled me rotten. I am not going to deny that I have become accustomed to the luxury of having someone cook dinner 6 nights a week. It is downright dreamy. So, when Sunday rolls around and the reality of what life would be like in our home country hits me, it gets real up in here. I try my best to plan ahead so I can be lazy and pull out the slow cooker to let her do all the work. However, lately I have been pulling from my Contadina loot and I am pretty freaking proud of myself. I have made pizza, sausage ragu, and pesto a la penne. On Sundays I like to give myself a big ole pat on the back and think that even just for one day, I really can do it all. *For those of you rolling your eyes at me, it’s ok I am too.
Planning ahead involves Chanda Poppins making pizza crusts and keeping them in the freezer so we can pull out as needed. On Fridays we usually have pizza night. I put out a spread of ingredients and the kids make their own pizza. As Nigella would say, “Minimal effort for maximum flavor.”
I used to do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s in The U.S. God bless Trader Joe’s. That’s about the only thing Manila doesn’t have. Could you imagine? Sorry family, I would probably never be coming back. Just kidding! What I loved about Trader Joe’s was that they sourced the brands and ingredients from all over the world. Two weeks ago I attended the launch for Contadina here in The Philippines with an endorser none other than, Nigella Lawson. After hearing about the diverse ingredients and products from Contadina I am feeling pretty good about their brand. Contadina has said it best themselves, “The quality that Contadina brings lies in its ingredients origins. Olive oils made with Hojiblanca olives, handpicked from the groves of Anadalucia Spain. Canned tomatoes made with sweet, luscious Roma Tomatoes from the fields of California. Pasta made with 100% Candaian Durum Wheat Semolina known for its fine texture and creamy color straight from the wester prairie provinces of Canada and pasta sauces using authentic grana padano cheese and Italian herbs creating a very fresh and flavorful taste.” You can get your hands on this good stuff come October 2016.
So there you have it, a way to survive those Manila nights when you are on your own. Open the pantry, crack that bottle of Contadina tomato sauce open and bring a pot to boil. You are halfway there. Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back when you finish your gourmet meal. Nigella would be so proud.