Here’s a cookbook which would change the lives of families with Filipino domestic helpers. I am sure there are many households out there who have to go through the difficulty of teaching domestic helpers how to cook and prepare some of our local dishes here in Singapore. These helpers probably already learned basic cooking skills but all they need now is some guidance to whip up meals which suit our local taste buds. Frog Michaels, the author of this cookbook has heard you! Her newly published cookbook, A Helping Hand, is literally an ‘extra hand’ to handhold your very own Filipino domestic helpers to prepare warm home-cook meals which are as good as those served in cafes and restaurants. This cookbook is written in both English and Tagalog. I wouldn’t be going out to do cafe-hopping if I have a hardworking helper who is able to follow the recipes and prepare such restaurant-standard meals right at home!
1. Great Meal Planner
|Source: A Helping Hand|
Recipe books usually categorize their recipes according to the various types of food like smoothies, beverages, meat dishes or salads. But in this book, Frog categorizes it into different meals of the days from breakfast, light lunches to supper. And the dishes are more family-oriented and it caters from the older ones to the little ones too. So it really facilitates you or your helper to plan what to cook throughout the day or week. There is also a good mix of Asian and Western dishes which is inclusive of some local delights like Kueh Pie Tee and Mee Goreng. It would be nice to include recipes like Hainanese Chicken Rice and Popiah, though!
2. An Educational Cookbook
I would actually recommend this cookbook to anyone who is just starting out in the kitchen, learning the ropes of becoming a MasterChef. That’s simply because the book itself has a lot of useful basic cooking information such as the various types of kitchen tools and even pictures of herbs, fruits and other ingredients used in the recipes. Each picture is accompanied by a short description of how to prepare it and where it is available. All the ingredients listed can be found in Singapore so everything here is pretty much written in our local context, unlike any other cookbooks which are usually published overseas. But with online delivery and overseas shipping, you can pretty much get any ingredients you want. It was so difficult to get fresh sage or rosemary in the past but now you can get them conveniently at Cold Storage.
As mentioned on A Helping Hand website, “No previous cooking experience required”.
3. Useful Cooking Tips and Remedies
Even for myself, when it comes to writing recipes, I prefer to write it informally and provide as many tips as I can. I didn’t like traditional recipes which are usually written in a more formal and instructional approach. It wouldn’t particularly be useful especially for someone who is new to cooking or baking.
I particularly also like to highlight the difficulties faced when preparing the dish and suggest ways avoid them. Likewise, in this cookbook, Frog included useful cooking tips and remedies just so anyone who reads her recipes is able to try out these fail-safe recipes.
4. For A Good Cause
A donation from each purchase of this book will be made to the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME), a society and charity dedicated to upholding the rights of migrant workers in Singapore. Who says consumerism can’t be meaningful?
5. Healthy Recipes
|Source: A Helping Hand|
Frog’s recipes are largely English-inspired so there are common English breakfast staples like oats, muesli, fruits and eggs in her recipes. For the health-conscious people, you will be salivating over recipes such as Ginger Flower and Orange Fruit salad, Caramelised Tray Roast Veg, Guacamole, and Hummus. There’s no lack of vegetarian-friendly dishes too. I might want to try her recipe on Tzatziki too!
Available online or in-store at the following locations in Singapore. Hop over to A Helping Hand website for more details.
And if you are still wondering if the author’s name is really called Frog, you can drop an email and check out her blog at changmoh.com, to find out more about this ang moh.