What must it be like being born to a family of cooks? For Namee Jorolan Sunico, it means growing up in a restaurant (literally– her home was the floor above the service area), waking up to the smell of food, and to the voice of her grandmother commandeering the kitchen. It meant that playtime was spent counting vegetables, watching the butcher portion meat, pretending to be a cashier using an actual cash register.
Namee comes from a long line of Pampanga culinary experts. Her grandmother started the family restaurant, Everybody’s Cafe in Pampanga, which her mom now runs. After university, Namee pursued her love of food by studying culinary arts in the US and then worked in various kitchens in Chicago, New York, and California.
These days, Namee is running her own household where she says she is applying her culinary training, cooking for her husband and preparing homemade food for her little girl, Juliana — recipes of which she is compiling in her blog, Girlcookph.com. Actually, her journey as a mom-who-cooks-professionally has brought about a baby cookbook due to be out next month! It’s called “Whole + Natural: Baby Food” Cookbook” — the first Filipino baby food cookbook with recipes from local, organic ingredients.
She shares with us a new breakfast recipe she made for Juliana, now a toddler. She tells us, “Juliana seems to love tart treats these days. She would nibble on orange slices for snacks. Sometimes she would happy chew on a wedge of lemon too.”
Namee says that this recipe for Chilled Oats, Yogurt and Minted Fruit Salsa is inspired by Juliana’s favorite yogurt combination at Pinkberry, and a variation from the usual warm oatmeal that is served at breakfast.
Chilled Oat, Yogurt, and Minted Fresh Fruit Salsa
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, cooked and chilled
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup natural yogurt
1/2 cup Baguio strawberries, diced (about 5 medium strawberries)
1/2 cup Zambales mangoes, diced (about 1/2 mango cheek)
1/2 cup green kiwi, diced (about 1 kiwi)
3-5 pieces mint leaves, chiffonade or finely chopped
- Cook the rolled oats according to package instructions then chill. I usually do this the night before and loosen it with 2 tablespoons of milk in the morning.
- Make the fruit salsa: Cut the fruits into small dice and chop the mint leaves finely. Mix everything together.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of yogurt in a bowl. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of chilled oats. Top the oats with Fruit Salsa
This recipe makes about 2 to 3 servings, depending on your child’s appetite. You may add additional sweetness by drizzling with all-natural maple syrup. You may also use honey for older kids.