Friday, December 31, 2010

After the success of our Christmas lunch, I was inspired to continue to serve meals that way. So now, this is how we eat everyday:

breakfast spread - franks, ham and bread, by 240baon

I bought a new table cloth and some placemats. The other plates are a mishmash because I really only have 2 of each kind as I only did this for MB and I before. But I’m slowly building my collection so it will improve soon.

breakfast - swiss miss, eggs, german franks and ham, by 240baon

Ignore the eggs. Everyone in my family (including MB, excluding me) likes very well done eggs that’s why I did that. There are some German franks and ham slices as well.

breakfast - apples and grapes, bread with cheese, by 240baon

I always include fruits. The selection of fruits also varies every single day. These are Washington apples and grapes. The wheat bread has some Australian Colby in the center then I stuck them in the toaster. (We’re now using our McDo glasses!)

And to end this post, here’s my crazy sister’s equally crazy plate:

my sister's crazy plate, by 240baon
She insisted that I take a photo of her plate.

I’ll be showing more of our table spreads in the coming days. I am really very inspired to do this each meal time. Of course, I do all the cooking and prepping and more often than not, organizing the table.  I’m still adjusting. I was used to cooking for two, now I cook for 4-5 (my cousin decided to be a permanent fixture on our dining table during meal times). But it’s really fun! I sit at the head of the table because that’s the closest to the kitchen and I play the hostess almost every time, refilling the carafes, getting extra rice, getting dessert, etc. I think this is really pushing me to the direction of owning a café/cafeteria of my own. We’ll see.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What happens when Chocolate Heaven goes ala mode?

chocolate heaven slice with haagen dazs vanilla ice cream, by 240baon



Chocolate Heaven + Haagen Dazs Vanilla = Pure, unadulterated bliss.

chocolate heaven with vanila haagen dazs, by 240baon
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


If you’ve been following me on my personal blog, you’d know that I got sick 3 days before Christmas so my sister had no choice but to step up to the cooking challenge.

In spite of being sick, I tried to organize the “front of the house” to accommodate 9 people. We only have a 6-seater table and so sitting 9 was quite of a challenge. For the chairs, we settled with extra monoblocs. As for the table setting:

table setting


It didn’t really matter anymore as long as everybody was able to eat. In all the excitement though, we forgot to take pictures of the food!

where's the food

We had Bouillabaisse, Russian Salad, my afritada, Bolognese pasta and a whole bunch of desserts. That’s sparkling grape juice (which I had with Sprite) on the table beside the Bouillabaisse.

Mom bought a Mango roll and Chocolate Heaven from Red Ribbon. We actually remembered to take pics before dessert.

fruit salad and chocolate heaven
Fruit Salad and Chocolate Heaven

dessert
With the Mango Roll and different ice cream flavors

goodies

We also had cherry M&M’s and an assortment of chocolates.

Here’s my cousin’s ice cream which I lovingly prepped for the photo op:

cat's ice cream



My uncle’s ice cream:tito's ice cream

And my Haagen Dazs Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream that absolutely rocks!

my ice cream bowl...haagen dazs belgian chocolate rocks!

I was the only one who had Haagen Dazs because I cannot tolerate the lactose content of local ice creams. Score!


Oh, we actually have a photo of the afritada:

i think my afritada was a hit

You might think that we shelled out a lot for the table setting. Mind you, these are all from Melaware which was 50% off when I bought them! I don’t like ceramic/glass plates as I have polymyositis and I tend to drop things. These plastic ones are light enough and I don’t worry about dropping them.

The wine glasses are also on sale at 100 pesos each. The table cloth is only Php199 while the place mats are Php69.75. As for the centerpiece, I just filled the glass with Christmas balls. The glass costs around Php170. These are all from SM. I had fun shopping for this event.

What made your Christmas? At our house, it still feels like Christmas. I’ll show you why in my next posts.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I’ve been hanging out in this place since it opened. I love the relaxed vibe that this place gives. I love the décor and the cozy feeling of the furniture. The gelato on the other hand, is good, not great.

the ti amo tree, by 240baon

I love the fact that they’re trying to give the place an outdoor Italian Café, thus the tree in the middle..It may be weird for some but I kinda like this tree.



ti amo love to talk, by 240baon



ti amo long couch, by 240baon


I don’t like this couch because it’s impractical. The tables are placed side by side. What if you’re in the farthest corner and want to go out? Do you ask your neighbor to move his table or do you ask everybody in the couch to move out?


ti amo anything area, by 240baon
I love this Anything Area!


crystal rocking chair, by 240baon

I want that crystal/ghost rocking chair! I haven’t tried sitting on that chair yet as it’s always occupied.

ti amo bookshelf, by 240baon
Books and magazines for everybody


ti amo chocolate mint and dark chocolate gelato, by 240baon

Here’s our usual gelato order – choco mint for me and dark chocolate for MB. Their ube gelato is also good. I haven’t tried the other flavors just because I don’t fancy them.

Gelatissimo’s gelato tastes better but Ti Amo’s doesn’t melt like crazy like Gelatissimo does. Ti Amo’s is also more affordable at only Php49 for the solo cup. The choco mint tries to duplicate the taste of Andes chocolate mint bars but the mint is too much. You can barely taste the chocolate after a few spoonfuls as the mint numbs your tongue. Hehe.. I don’t really mind as I like chocolate mint. The dark choco is delicious. I think I’ll try to  be more adventurous next time and try the ube gelato. I only tasted it when MB ordered one and it was good. I don’t like ube ice cream so this is going to be a challenge for me.

I like Caffe Ti Amo better because of the laidback vibe. The noise is also less and the place is bright. There are no annoying long lines but the staff, since they’re new, can be somewhat slow. I stay here for a couple of hours a few times a week and I’ve enjoyed it whether alone or with MB. The crowd here is also better. No kids running around, just a few business men in suits, old people enjoying affogatos, yuppies typing away on their laptops, girlfriends taking a break from shopping and the occasional group of friends who just want to hang out and chit chat while enjoying a cup of gelato. 

Caffe Ti Amo is at Greenbelt 5. Photos taken using my Nokia E71.
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I was all by my lonesome the other night having this for dinner:

crab and shrimps in coconut milk, by 240baon

MB was late for dinner and I was really starving so I started eating. I think I had dinner for more than 2 hours just because I enjoyed the crabs immensely. I haven’t touched the shrimps yet and there are still some leftovers so I’ll probably have this again for dinner. MB likes crabs but he doesn’t like getting into the nitty gritty of it so I had almost all the crabs to myself. Hooray!

First, you must boil the crabs in water with sea salt until they are done.

Pour one can of coconut milk in a pot and simmer. Add chopped garlic and onions and cook for about 1 minute. Add some bagoong. Yes, I add bagoong to my gata as my grandma taught me this. She’s Bicolana and that’s how she does her gata dishes. For this dish, I put 1 heaping tablespoon of sweet bagoong and 1 tablespoon of spicy bagoong. Mix. Add the cooked crabs. I already sliced my crabs into two as the other one was a monster crab. It was so big. It didn’t fit my kawali. I let this simmer for a while then finally added the shrimps.

I would have put some green chilis and malunggay but I was so exhausted the other day (from shopping) that I kinda forgot to get some when I did the groceries. 
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

chocolate heaven, by 240baon

This was MB’s birthday cake. It’s called Chocolate Heaven from Red Ribbon. This is the junior cake that costs Php395. It’s a very rich chocolate cake that chocoholics will surely love. They will really be in Chocolate Heaven after this.

chocolate heaven slice, by 240baon

The bottom layer is a whole brownie. The middle part is chocolate mousse and the icing is very thick chocolate topped with more chocolate shavings. I have to admit, it took us a few days to finish this small cake. One small slice is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth unless you have a really large tooth. = )

On my first taste, I started with the brownie first then the mousse. It made me umay! The trick is, you have to include all the layers in one bite as they all complement each other’s flavors. It was delicious nevertheless.

If you’re feeling blue or want to surprise someone, I suggest you get this cake and celebrate the little things that make you and your loved one happy.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

I’ve been very busy doing a lot of things for the house and for other people. And we don’t even have decorations yet! I’m also busy preparing my Christmas lunch menu. We don’t have noche buena as the old folks don’t want to eat at night so what we have is Christmas Lunch. Usually, my sister and I are in charge of food but as with the several Christmases that passed by, I was left alone in the kitchen. She always tells me that I cook better. Wrong! She’s just lazy. There are 3 cooks in my family – my  lola, my sister and me. My mom cannot cook. We try to keep her out of the kitchen as much as possible. Sssshhh!

This year, I’m preparing myself to cook up a storm (alone) again so that I will still have some time to enjoy the day and meet up with friends. Last year, I was stuck in the kitchen for almost the whole day.

So, this is where you come in. I think we will be expecting more company this year. I might cook for 8 people and I need a menu! My grandmother is spending Christmas with us and I need to feed her! She has been the designated cook for many years and it’s time for her to have a good sit-down meal.

These people are a mish mash of sorts when it comes to food choices and that is why I will prepare a mish mash menu – freestyle, just the way I like it.

I’m thinking of cooking afritada (this is special for me if you’ve been a follower of this blog as I found a slam dunk recipe) and my pseudo paella dish which I posted some time ago. I will just add more chicken and some seafood to it. I’m also thinking about doing some seafood kare-kare, probably for dinner but will be served on the table too as my sister would probably want to taste some. My sister and the kids will probably look for some pasta and I am stumped. I don’t like cooking the usual spaghetti so I need ideas please! I also need a chicken dish. If we can buy an oven before Christmas, then I’ll probably roast one. If not, oh boy… I don’t want the usual fried chicken that my sister cooks for Christmas. A few Christmases ago, I cooked some Hainanese chicken but that won’t be bagay for this year’s menu. The kids will be looking for chicken! And for dessert? I am really stumped. I might make some fudge for snacks in between meals. I usually make a frozen peach pie but I have a tiny ref. Maybe if we can manage to buy a new ref then I’ll make some ahead of time. I really think a frozen peach pie at the end of the meal will be lovely as my pie is like an ice cream. It’s just frozen cream and peaches in 4 layers and ends with a crushed graham crust. It’s light and cleanses the palate. But I need a ref! What do you think? If you have any other desserts that are slam dunk worthy, please tell me!

You might think that this is a lot of food. Don’t fret. Our guests will surely ask for take away and the rest will serve as our food for the next couple of days or so. That way, I can just sleep and not worry about feeding people.

And the cats? They always look forward to their Christmas tinola and all our leftovers. Such spoiled cats, these babies are…

What are your usual Noche Buena fares?
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Well, that I cooked anyway. I suck at cooking Filipino dishes. When I cook, I go freestyle. Hehe… and I think Filipino dishes require a lot of patience and precise steps. I don’t do precise. I’m bad at following directions.

There are only a few Filipino dishes that I can claim that I cook well – adobo, afritada and sometimes sinigang. I say sometimes because it’s hit and miss. I want to cook sinigang the proper way, using boiled tamarind. But that’s for some other time. Let’s focus on this wonderful dish, shall we?

the best beef kare kare ever, by 240baon 
I don’t eat innards that’s why when I cook kare-kare, I use beef or seafood. MB and I both loved this dish. He also agrees that this was the best kare-kare I ever cooked.

I got the recipe from the Nestle Club.

I boiled the beef in water with quartered onions and beef cubes for 1.5 hours. Ask your butcher what the best cut of beef is for kare-kare. I was in a hurry that day when I did the groceries and didn’t go to my usual butcher as he was busy with a gazillion other customers. It was a bad decision. I ended up with tough beef. Nevertheless, the very long boiling time made it edible.

You will need annato oil for this to give the kare-kare an orange color. Fry the vegetables in this oil. Fry the eggplants, banana heart, string beans and pechay in batches then set aside. You should use the white puso. I didn’t find any so I went with the red.

When the beef is tender, drain the liquid and set aside. We will use this liquid later.

Chop some garlic and onions. Saute these in annato oil. Add the beef and cook for just 30 seconds. Pour the broth over the beef. I used all the excess broth because MB likes a lot of sauce. Add peanut butter and mix well. Pour one pack of Nestle Cream. Mix well and cook for around 2-5 more minutes.

To serve, pour the beef mixture in a bowl and top with the fried vegetables. Serve with lots of rice and bagoong. I will try this method with seafood next time. 




.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tomato and Parmesan and Ham topped with sticky cheese! That’s a good combo. My evidence:

tomato, parmesan and ham pasta with australian colby, by 240baon

This is what we had for lunch the same day we had the apple and cheese tortillas for breakfast. You can definitely tell how in love I am with that cheese.

I made this pasta very simple because I want the cheese and pasta to complement each other.

Saute some finely chopped garlic and onions. Add sliced mushrooms and chopped ham. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add sauce. I used Del Monte’s Herb and Parmesan (?) or was it Tomato and Parmesan (?) sauce. Sorry, my brain is in Japan today, petting cats at the Cat Café. Anyway, season with salt and pepper if needed. I always put a little sea salt and some liquid from the boiling pasta. 

Mix the pasta into the sauce and transfer to a serving dish. I purposely topped this with blocks of cheese rather than grated cheese because we want big pieces of cheese on our plates. Plus watching the cheese slowly melt on top of the pasta then mixing it was fun!

Was it any good? We finished the whole thing. And had this again for dinner.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

This should have been but the baby arugulas were so bitter! Next time, I’ll use lighter greens Nevertheless, it was delicious!

cheese and apple tortillas, by 240baon

These are apple and cheese tortillas. This is how I made them:

Place some cheese squares on a tortilla. Heat on very low fire until the cheese melts. I used Australian Colby. It’s very light and not salty. I love how gooey and sticky and bubbly it is when melting. Fantastic!

Once the cheese is melted, top with arugula or any greens of your choice and thin apple slices. Fold and toast both sides. Oooohhh, the crunchy/chewy tortilla plus the warm cheese and the sweetness of the apples was simply unforgettable. MB picked out the arugula while I sucked it up and ate everything because I know it’s good for me.

I will definitely do this again! Breakfast is one of my poorest areas but this was a definite slamdunk!
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Well, now that I’m not working anymore, I don’t need to bring bentos. Well, sometimes I still prepare bentos for lunch for myself just for kicks. It’s fun to eat bento at home while watching DVD’s. It’s also hard to prepare bentos for MB as he wants the masculine bentos. But sometimes I can get sneaky and give him the cutesy stuff. Harhar!

olive foccacia and roasted chicken bento, by 240baon
Olive and parmesan foccacia(?) and roasted chicken which I had for lunch sometime ago

salad bento, by 240baon
I adore salads


instant brownies in a bento, by 240baon

Instant brownies from my trusty toaster. I miss baking the real stuff…. and muffins and cookies and bars. Oh, did I mention I make a mean Food for the Gods? I used to make batches and batches of the stuff to fulfill orders for weddings, Christmas, birthdays, parties, etc. I miss having an oven…


olive foccacia, majestic ham and salad bentos, by 240baon

I miss making bentos…
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Soup always warms my soul and comforts my sick body, not to mention make it heal faster too. I didn’t have this yesterday but on one of my sick days a few weeks back. We had some leftover balsamic beef strips and I made them into fried rice:


carrots and balsamic beef fried rice, by 240baon

What’s nice about this dish is it’s quick, healthy and delicious. You just need cold rice, beef strips from a previous dish and chopped carrots. Season with anything you like.

But because I was sick, I needed soup so I made this:

chicken alphabet soup, by 240baon

Alphabet soup is my favorite! I loved it when I was a kid and I still love it now. That’s why when I saw the alphabet pasta at Landmark, I quickly grabbed it and put it in my cart without checking the price. Don’t worry. It’s less than a hundred pesos.

This soup is too rich. I made a simpler version of it last Saturday. This is made by cooking some finely chopped garlic in oil, add chicken pieces to cook or use some shredded boiled ones. Then add chopped potatoes. Wait for the potatoes to cook a bit then add  chopped red bell peppers then mushrooms. Add broth or water and chicken cubes. Bring to a boil. Pour some milk, stir. Add some cream and season with salt (if needed) and pepper. Oh my, this soup was so rich and filling that one bowl made me full already and I usually have seconds and thirds when eating soup. My cats loved it too!

And yes, this was a carbo overload meal. = )
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Friday, November 19, 2010

This isn’t really a Japanese dinner so let’s just call it black and white although the set that I used is Japanese.

japanese setting, by bitsandtreats

Aside from shopping for personal stuff, I also love shopping for home décor and kitchen stuff. I’m slowly building my dinnerware but I only buy in 2’s. This is my latest favorite set.

The roasted chicken is from Rustan’s supermarket. I just cooked some buttered herbed potatoes as a side. I don’t like serving all takeouts or leftovers that’s why I try to add simple side dishes to make it more personalized.

japanese setting 2, by bitsandtreats
Photos are dark because my ‘light box’ (MB’s laptop) was turned off

The placemat is from Japan Home Center (Php88) and the plate, etc. is from SM and Landmark. I think the brand is Melaware. They’re very affordable. You just have to be able to mix and match from their different collections as some designs can be baduy. Hehe.

The three pieces cost a little over Php100. I’m excited to build more sets!
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

shrimps and mushroom rice, by 240baon

I know it looks like it but it’s not. I don’t know what it’s called because this is something I came up with when I was stuck in traffic the other day. So let’s just call it Red Shrimp and Mushroom Rice.  This isn’t the dish that I’m supposed to be featuring but I’m really excited as it turned out soooooo delicious! MB and I finished the whole thing. Well, my mom had a bite and my sister had a tiny portion too. 

Here’s what you need:
Cold or leftover rice (I used Jasmine)
6 Shrimps
Chopped red bell peppers
Sliced onions
mushrooms
achuete oil
sea salt and pepper
Magic Sarap
Boiled eggs

This is how we do it:

1. Fry the onions in achuete oil. When transparent, add the chopped red bell peppers. Add the mushrooms. Stir fry on high heat for 1 minute.
2. Add shrimps. Wait until one side of the shrimps turn pink. Season with half a packet of Magic Sarap, some sea salt and black pepper. Add about 2T water. Let steam on high heat, just enough to cook the shrimps.
3. Mix the rice in, making sure that everything is evenly coated. All the grains must turn orange.
4. Transfer to a serving platter and top with sliced boiled eggs. Serves 2-3.

It’s very simple to cook but the flavors are amazing! Try it, you won’t regret it.
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That’s exactly what this dish is. You just need to add tomato sauce, quick melt cheese, garlic, onions and seasonings to complete it.

tuna carrot pasta with mushrooms and bell peppers, by 240baon

Let’s start.

Cook shell pasta according to package directions.

Saute some chopped garlic and onions in a pan. Add chopped bell peppers. Add some shredded carrots. Cook for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms then the tuna. Don’t forget to separate the tuna chunks. Pour 2 medium packs of spaghetti sauce or any flavored sauce of your choice. Stir well. I added about a cup of quick melt cheese and seasoned the sauce with sea salt and black pepper. Serve with garlic toasts.

This is great when you have impromptu guests as it’s very easy and very fast to make. The ingredients are also very common so you probably have most of them in your fridge or pantry.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When we’re stuck at home on Saturday nights, we are usually desperate for food. We do the groceries on Sundays and we deal with what’s left in the fridge and cupboards. That is, when there’s anything left. Such was the case of this dish.

tuna and quail egg noodles, by 240baon

It may look blah and unappetizing but we were surprised that this dish turned out to be quite tasty.

Boil the quail eggs. Cook egg noodles according to package directions. In a pan, dump a can of tuna (with most of the liquid drained, please) and separate the chunks. Season with oyster sauce and a little bit of soy sauce. Top the noodles with tuna and quail eggs.

This is so easy to make. I was inspired by one of MB’s stories that when he was still living in the staff house, he would just buy a can of tuna and toss whatever it is that’s available in the kitchen to have a good meal. So I did just that and ended up with this dish. I had some leftover takeout which we completely ignored because we were satisfied with the noodles.  I think girls will have to adjust to this combination but for boys, I think there’s no problem.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I make them into this:

mixed leftover rice with eggs, wombok, chopped shanghai and leftover beef salpicao, by 240baon

It has eggs, wombok pechay, some chopped leftover lumpiang shanghai from Max’s and some leftover beef salpicao from a previous recipe.

What do you do? Just mix them all together and season with any flavoring of your choice. I seasoned this with a little Magic Sarap, oyster sauce and a few shakes of Maggi Savor.

Quick, easy and very filling, always perfect on haggard nights.
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

This dish didn’t quite turn out how I imagined it to be. First, I suck at butterflying shrimps. Second, I think I may have simplified the recipe too much and third, because MB and I are such suckers for sauce, I let the shrimps bathe in it instead of discarding it. Well, can you blame me? It’s Kikkoman, for crying out loud! It’s too expensive to discard!

Nevertheless, it was still delicious!

steamed shrimps, by bitsandtreats

You need:

chopped leeks both white and green parts
lots of minced garlic
Chinese cooking wine
sesame oil
soy sauce (preferably Kikkoman)
salt and pepper
prawns, if you can butterfly them, please teach me how!

In a bowl, combine leeks, garlic, wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and black pepper. Mix well. Arrange prawns in a heat-proof platter and pour the mixture little by little, making sure that each prawn is bathed well in sauce. Top with leeks and garlic. Steam until shrimps turn pink. Why do they say pink when in reality it’s orange?
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

balsamic beef salpicao, by 240baon

I used the same recipe as that of the Easy Salpicao with the exception of the garlic. I used onions instead, caramelized them for a bit then added a bit of balsamic vinegar to heighten the taste. It was a good decision indeed.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

This pizza is made from leftovers. This was literally all I had left in the ref and in the cupboard.



tuna pizza with oregano, by 240baon

I used one can of Century tuna flakes in oil (drained), garlic, onions, leftover tomato sauce from previous pizza recipe, salt, pepper, sugar and oregano.

Cook the garlic and onions first in some olive oil. Add the tuna. Break them up into smaller flakes. Add the tomato sauce and season with a little sugar, salt and pepper and oregano. Spread on leftover mini pizzas and go cheese happy. Stick the pizzas in the oven and wait for the crust to brown and for the cheese to melt. Serve with beer. Haha! No, I don’t drink. I served this with soda and ice tea. Now that’s a 10-minute lunch recipe.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

mini eggplant pizzas, by 240baon

As you may have already noticed, there is a cycle to my food mood. Sometimes it’s Filipino, other times it’s Japanese. There are times when I feel like cooking and on other times, I just want a quick fix. This is one of those days.

I spent less than 30 minutes on this dinner. First, wash eggplants thoroughly. Chop them up in your desired size. Place in an oven proof tray or in my case, the oven toaster. Sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt. I baked this for about 10 minutes. I just checked from time to time because it might burn.

Meanwhile, chop some garlic, onions and tomatoes. In a pan, eyeball some olive oil and sauté these three ingredients. Add some tomato sauce. Season with a little sugar, some sea salt and a little pepper. You can also add oregano or basil or both if you like. I skipped those because sometimes, MB just has to eat “normal” food.

Assemble the mini pizzas. I used the frozen ones then topped them with the sauce, placed a couple of baked eggplants on top then smothered it all in grated quick melt cheese. Pop in the oven toaster until cheese melts and when the crust is a bit brown. Enjoy with your favorite ice cold drink. I think we each had 6 mini pizzas.

eggplant mini pizzas, by 240baon
Who says pizza can’t be healthy?

Next up is another pizza recipe.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

When I’m sick, I tend to crave traditional Filipino breakfast – meaning heavy food.  I normally don’t eat rice or anything heavy for breakfast but when I’m sick, I just need to eat. I believe my body heals faster with the proper food.

This is a classic Pinoy breakfast – sinangag and ginisang sardinas (fried rice and sauteed sardines). I don’t always eat/cook this but when the craving hits, I just have to cook some. I can’t shake off the craving until I eat this dish.

sauteed sardines breakfast, by 240baon
It’s quite easy to cook. Just saute some chopped garlic, onions and tomatoes in a little oil then add one can of sardines. Break down the sardines into smaller pieces. Add some water and season with fish sauce or in this case, some Maggi Magic Sarap.

My fried rice was also seasoned with Magic Sarap:

magic sarap fried rice, by 240baon

I think I also added some garlic bits. I know that’s a lot for one person but I finished 3/4 of this. Hehe… I really try to eat a lot when I’m not feeling well. This is comfort food when my body is down. The rest, I gave to my babies. They were happy alright.

What’s your favorite comfort food when you’re not feeling well?
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

the emporium pastillas for winners, by 240baon
The Emporium Pastillas

the emporium polvoron for winners, by 240baon
The Emporium Polvoron

the emporium polvoron, by 240baon
Thank you Emporium!
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I made a mistake. I forgot to include Stacy in the winners list. So forgive me Stacy if this is rather late but Congratulations! You also get a prize from The Emporium and 240 baons + 365 meals giveaways. I already emailed you. Please send me your shipping address asap so that I can ship your prize.

For the other winners, your prizes are scheduled for pickup either tomorrow or Friday. The Emporium is the one in charge of shipping.

Thank you all for participating and I hope to see you again in future giveaways!
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Tanigue has got to be one of the most searched, most popular posts in this blog. So, without further ado, here’s another tanigue recipe.

pan fried tanigue with lemon butter sauce, by 240baon

Let’s make the lemon butter sauce first. Heat about 1T oil in a pan and add 1/4 c butter. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant. Turn off the heat and add 3T lemon juice. I think I used more. Add Maggi Savor or Knorr Seasoning, whatever you like and as much as you like. Add chopped parsley if you have. I think I didn’t have any when I cooked this dish but put parsley as it adds a lot of flavor. Taste. Adjust seasonings and add some salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm and set aside.

Season both sides of your tanigue steak with liquid seasoning and pepper. Fry the tanigue. Be sure not to overcook and be careful when transferring.

As you can see, I served this with steamed beans. I would have used haricot verts had I had some but regular beans just had to do. After eating, I’d say that French beans are a better choice.

You can drizzle the sauce over the fish or just serve this on the side. I drizzled mine little by little while MB just went sauce crazy. He also had this with Sukang Pinakurat which simply boggles my mind.
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2

The winners of The Emporium and 240 baon giveaway are:

1. Kitten
2. Naria
3. Rhian
4. Bec
5. Stacy

If you still want to join, you have until Sunday night, October 17, 7:00 pm.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

I like eating adobo with a little extra side dish. If you’re a regular, perhaps you might have seen me serve adobo with boiled chicken/quail eggs, potatoes, etc. For this very special adobo sa dilaw, I decided to make the side dish special too.

steamed eggplants with tomatoes and bagoong, by 240baon

I don’t always put an extra effort to my side dishes but for this, I took the time to steam the eggplants and wait for them to be perfectly cooked. I have no patience for steaming but I did it. Plating too. I served this with chopped tomatoes and bagoong. I also squeezed one calamansi all over the tomatoes and bagoong. It’s just something I do with tomatoes and bagoong when green mangoes are not available.

You can use any steamed vegetables that you like for adobo sa dilaw. Next time I’ll serve this with kangkong or even okra just because MB likes okra.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Adobo is one of MB’s favorite dishes in my repertoire. But I’m not a big fan of adobo so I try to experiment with it as much as I can. Here’s a slam dunk recipe of adobo that we truly enjoyed.

adobo sa dilaw, by bitsandtreats

I’m not a ginger lover. I only like it when it’s shredded into tiny portions and swimming in tentsuyu. But luyang dilaw (turmeric) is a different story. I don’t know why I’m so drawn to this ingredient. Must be the vibrant yellow color that it gives to a dish or the taste. Whatever it is, I love it!

Cook this when you have the luxury of time and cook this a day before you’re planning to serve this so that the chicken will absorb all the flavors. I tell you, patience is a virtue. You won’t be disappointed.

The original recipe is from Yummy. This version is slightly amended.

You need:
  • Chicken
  • 3 bulbs garlic (2 bulbs left whole and washed, one bulb peeled and smashed)
  • 1/2 c vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ginger
  • powdered turmeric (because I don’t have the fresh ones when I decided to cook this)
  • black peppercorns
  • cooking oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 1/2c water


How to:
1. Put all ingredients in a nonreactive or stainless steel pot (don’t use aluminum or copper pots). Boil for 3 minutes.

2. Take out the scum. Reduce the heat to simmer until the chicken becomes fork-tender, about 1 – 1.5 hours. Add water as needed and only little by little. Always taste to see if you still have the right flavor. Add more seasoning if needed. The adobo must be saucy, not soupy. But MB wanted it to be soupy so I added more water. I also added a little bit of fish sauce (patis).

3. Refrigerate and serve this the following day. When you reheat this, smash the garlic and mix with the sauce for a more robust flavor.

On my next post, I’ll show you what I served this with. Stay tuned.
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P.S.

Kitten, don't make tampo. I already know your shipping address. = )
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

About a couple of weeks ago, MB and I had lunch at Mr. Jones in Greenbelt. As with every new restaurant that we try out, we order at least 3 dishes. We ordered Caesar’s BLT (Php375), Hot and Spicy Shrimp Scampi (Php295) and Honey Drizzled Fried Chicken and Homemade Biscuits (Php450). For drinks, I had Frozen Lemon Lime (Php125) and MB had the Frozen Tropical Fruit Punch (Php125).

I have no photos of the restaurant and the actual plating but I’ll show you something later.

The place is quite small. I think they encourage outside dining here as that area is bigger. Really weird for a diner. It was a hot day and there were no more seats inside. I told the hostess that we would like to transfer inside once a table becomes available. Inside, they seated us into this tiny space on the far left with one tiny table. Obviously they were trying to maximize the space but sacrificing the comfort of the customers. There was another couple sitting beside us so it felt really cramped. When we eat out, I always choose the couch or two tables as we tend to order a lot. It didn’t help that Mr. Jones has big servings and even bigger plates. Our table was cramped. I was sitting on the couch and MB in front on a chair.

The food is something I expected as Mr. Jones is a part of the Chelsea, Momo, etc. family. They taste all the same to me. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. MB and I both agreed that the Caesar’s BLT was the best. It was a huge serving with lots of lettuce, chicken, 2 slices of very salty bacon (which we didn’t like) and  a stick of bread. It was really sulit  at Php375. It was very filling.

Next came the shrimp scampi which was forgettable as it was very, very, very salty. I like salty food but this was too much. It wasn’t sulit  at all as they used tiny shrimps. It had a generous serving of black olives though.

The  Honey Drizzled Fried Chicken and Homemade Biscuits was very nakakaumay. It’s okay. Not spectacular but okay. I was expecting to taste a hint of honey but it too was salty. What is up with their chef anyway?? The biscuits were okay although, and forgive me for saying this, I find the instant biscuits that I make more delicious. I thought the cranberry (?) jam would help but it didn’t improve the taste. The vegetables were nicely done. I also liked the mashed potatoes but after the salad and the salty shrimps, our taste buds were already complaining. So we had the leftovers for take away.

chicken and biscuits, chicken caesar salad and shrimps with olives from Mr. Jones, by 240baon

I thought that they would at least pack the food properly but just look at what they did! Everything was a mishmash. The mashed potatoes had jam inside (I don’t know how it got into the center of the potatoes) and the biscuit was smashed by the huge chicken. The bread was soaked in the scampi oil. The only thing that looked okay was the salad because it only had a few pieces of lettuce, tomatoes and one slice of bacon left. Sheesh.. Max packs better take away food! Even McDonald’s does a better job for crying out loud!
On the other hand, the frozen drinks were delicious! I really liked the lemon lime and MB said his was great too.

We would go back to Mr. Jones if only for the salad and the frozen teas. Aside from that, I already have a pretty good idea of how their food tastes like.

The prices and food names were taken from Munch Punch. Mr. Jones also charges local tax and service charge of around 8-10%.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

But I like vampires too so that seems to be a problem.  = )

Anyway, when MB went home to Iligan last year, I asked him to buy a bottle of garlic chips. They were really good. I used them a lot – on rice, pastas, viands, etc. Until one day, they ran out.

They don’t sell that particular brand here so I looked for another. Found this:

all natural garlic mill, by 240baon
Anti-Vampyr Chips

It’s an all natural garlic mill. It tastes good but my only problem is it dispenses too little of the garlic chips. They’re so fine and it takes me a long time to get enough (I like putting a lot of garlic in my dishes) of the chips. I think westerners really don’t like too much garlic. If MB  goes back to Iligan then I'll be sure to ask him to buy me a couple of bottles of those wonderful garlic chips. But until then, this will be a good substitute.

This costs Php95 at The Landmark.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Here are shots of some of my experiments that turned out really well:

beef and onions with sauce, by 240baon

This is a beef dish with onions and sauce. I really can’t remember what type of sauce I made but I think one of the ingredients is Balsamic Vinegar. If you haven’t tried balsamic vinegar with your adobo yet, you are missing a lot! I also like pairing beef with potatoes. I think these are home fries. Yeah, home fries for dinner!

ground beef with veggies and mashed potatoes, by 240baon

Here is another dish borne out of leftovers. It’s like a Shepherd’s Pie simplified. It’s a mixture of buttered corn and carrots, beef with spices and mashed potatoes.

nachos with cream cheese dressing, by 240baon

Nachos! I love experimenting with different kinds of ingredients for nachos. Here, I used a mixture of cream and cream cheese for the sauce. It was love, I tell you.

cherry sprite, by 240baon

Lastly, Cherry Sprite. No, not the canned one. I literally put 2 maraschino cherries in my sprite. Well, I photographed only one because it looks weird with 2 cherries in there with all that ice. I just love the taste.

So tell me, dear readers, what have you been up to lately?
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