Friday, April 30, 2010

This bangus tocino is from Century, the makers of the popular canned tuna. It costs 87 pesos and is good for about 3-4 servings, that is if you're serving it with something else. I just scrambled the eggs with some chopped tomatoes. I was trying hard to replicate the scrambled eggs which MB's mom made for breakfast on our last day in Iligan. The tomatoes there are awesome! They're juicy and they lend their color to the eggs which gives it a very appetizing look. Our tomatoes here are dry. Boohoo!

On the far side of the fish plate is Calasiao puto  from the province of Pangasinan. I used to call them putong pulo but after a quick Google search, I found out what they're really called. These rice cakes are my ultimate favorite. A good family friend of ours never forgets to bring home one bag for me, I mean us (hehe), whenever she goes home to Pangasinan. Our lawyer (who's like my 4th dad) also brings me these puto for pasalubong. I've been bugging him to spill his source but he wouldn't budge. The ones that he gives me are the real thing and he buys them here in Manila! Oh, gee...

And if this meal wasn't enough, we also had rice and some cold milk. That was a very filling breakfast indeed. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

This is a great summer dessert or snack. We ate this for dessert every night for a week! MB loved it so much that he didn't drink soda for a few days if I promised him that we'll have this for dessert. 

You will need a box of unflavored gelatin, one ripe mango with the flesh cut into cubes, some milk and mango ice cream. I used Arce because that's the only brand that had mango flavor the day I did the groceries. I would like to try making this with Selecta next time. Or with BTIC.

Mix the gelatin and the milk. I didn't measure. I just eyeballed it. But don't worry. There's light at the end of the tunnel. Heat until the mixture becomes bubbly and the gelatin is completely dissolved. Mix the gelatin with the ice cream then add the mango cubes. Transfer into cute dessert glasses and chill in the freezer for about 3 hours. I had this in the freezer overnight because my ref sucks. And I wanted an ice cream-like texture. 

For exact measurements, visit Pinoycook! Told ya there's hope! Thanks Pinoycook!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I hate eating rice during summer that's why for the past 2 posts, I've only featured light dishes. Don't be deceived. This may look like just a bunch of veggies to you but it kept me full the whole night better than a cup of rice. 

I can't really say that this is healthy because of the abundance of croutons and Romano cheese. I had to. This is the only way to make MB eat a vegetable salad. Not to mention the Caesar dressing. 

To assemble, tear some red lettuce into bite size pieces. Add some grated carrots. I used 2 baby carrots. Then add about 2 tablespoons of black pitted olives. I think I added more. I just love olives! Then add croutons and sprinkle with some finely grated Romano cheese. Skip the last two parts if you're dieting. You can also use lighter dressings for this salad such as honey-mustard. Not the thick kind. Serve some Caesar dressing on the side. Better if you serve this with some fruit shake! Perfect summer dinner!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Here's another marinade idea to jazz up your fried chicken. You already know my basic marinade. I just tweaked it a little here. I used leeks, fish sauce (patis), dried chili flakes and the juice of 5 calamansi (calamondin). You can omit the calamansi if you like. Just mix the ingredients together and marinate the chicken overnight. See those flecks of chili? That gave the chicken an extra zing. MB loved it! I think he ate this with Pinakurat. I told you he eats everything with vinegar.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The soup base tastes very close to Pho Restaurant's pho. I even used chicken because we didn't have any beef and it still tasted like beef! The packaging says no preservatives, no msg and no artificial colors. I sure do  hope so. This is the "just add water" kind and for P35, I'd buy this again to satisfy my Pho craving. MB doesn't like pho so I guess I'll be sharing this with the babies next time. Available at SM and Landmark supermarkets. 

Friday, April 23, 2010



I look forward to Saturdays as it's not only a no work day, it's also a time for good home cooked meals, long lazy breakfasts and bonding with MB and my cats. Not to mention the obligatory movie/series marathons.

But first, a shoutout to my friend, Ms. A for giving me this idea. Asuhos (whiting fish according to Tagalog Lang) is normally used for paksiw (a Filipino sour dish) but I don't like paksiw so I fried it instead. For the salad, I chopped some salted duck eggs, tomatoes and white onions. I served this with Sukang Pinakurat (lots of it!). This meal was so good that I think we had 5-6 cups of rice between MB and I. On top of that, I served this with some iced Sprite. Imagine this - crunchy perfectly fried asuhos plus the salty, sweet, sour taste of the salad and the spicy/sour taste of the vinegar all in perfect harmony with a few morsels of rice in one spoonful. Then you wash it all down with some ice cold Sprite. This is truly a perfect summer lunch that you can enjoy with your whole family. 

What's your perfect summer lunch?  

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On some days, we drop by Starbucks on the way to work to grab some breakfast. One day I decided to order one of their sandwiches. I don't usually like their sandwiches for breakfast because they're too big. But you have got to try Starbucks' Chicken and Turkey Tuscan Sandwich. It's L-O-V-E in a sandwich. It costs P140. The bread is focaccia with sundried tomatoes and cheese. The filling is turkey, chicken, sundried tomato paste, waldorf spread (mayo, walnuts, red and green apples) and peanuts. It's huge so you can share or just slice in half and eat the other half for merienda. I had the other half for dinner. Feeling that half a sandwich might not be enough as I was famished, I decided to make a healthy side dish to go with the healthy theme of the sandwich. 

I checked the fridge and found one potato and one carrot. Hmmm.. What to do, what to do...

I peeled the carrot and chopped it up into smaller pieces, scrubbed the potato clean, left the skins on and sliced it into thin pieces. I got a pan and put a little butter then fried the veggies. I seasoned this with some sea salt, pepper and some basil. Et voila!

This side dish was amazing simply because the carrots were sweet and the the butter was salty. The sweet, salty taste plus the basil were a delight for the palate. The freshness of the ingredients ups the ante. This was the perfect accompaniment to the sandwich. Try it, you're in for a nice surprise!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I love buttered garlic shrimps for a main dish and I love buttered garlic mushrooms as a side dish so why not have them both on the same dish? I had half a can of mushrooms and 6 pieces of shrimps left and I did just that. The result was baon for a day.

Chop some garlic and fry this in butter. The amount of butter is up to you. If you want a healthier dish, use EVOO. Add the mushrooms. When they're cooked, add the shrimps. Season with Maggi  Savor or sea salt.

I got to use leftovers plus I didn't need to stress out to prepare our baon. You can cook this at night then just pop in the microwave to reheat. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Of course it's not really a red turtle. It's just shaped like a turtle. This is one of my best cheap finds ever! It's from Saizen and costs only P85. I'm so glad I bought this. Have you ever tried opening a new bottle of mayo, bagoong, olives or some other last minute ingredient while in a rush? Oh, my. I panic when MB is not around to help me and my sauce is almost burning. With this bottle opener, no more worries. I've tried using it to open a bottle of marmalade (which is one of the hardest to open) and it worked! Sure, sometimes you have to put in a little effort but it doesn't matter. You'll still be able to open the bottle. 

I've tried using this on wine and other small necked bottles. It worked like a charm. All you do is place it on the lid, hold firmly then twist. I haven't asked MB to open a bottle for me since I bought this late last year. = )

I recommend this product for all you working girls and mommas out there. It saves a lot of time in the kitchen so you can get a few minutes of relaxation for yourself. 

Available at Saizen Robinson's Galleria and comes in different shapes and colors too!

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Friday! Can't wait for the weekend. Lately I've been so stressed out from work. I'm burning out. There's just too much work and too little time and too little resources (people) to get the work done. That's why Saturday mornings are meant for sleeping in. The problem is, my system won't allow me to sleep in because of the stress. This stress has got to go otherwise I might end up spending a lot of time in bed again.

This is a quick but wonderful Saturday morning breakfast. These biscuits are from Betty Crocker's "just add water" line. You can buy them at Landmark or SM supermarkets. They cost less than P100 and yields 8-12 biscuits depending on how big you make your biscuits. 

I found some leftover sliced ham in the freezer and cut them up further into little squares and fried them. Serve the biscuits with some marmalade. We washed these down with a cold glass of milk. Now, if I could only figure out how to get back to bed...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Because I'm a noodle lover and I consider noodles to be my all time comfort food, I always make sure that we have a pack (or two) in the cupboard. It's also a quick hunger fix especially on nights when you're too tired or too lazy to cook. This dish is exactly that - born out of sheer laziness.

Heat some oil in a pan and add some sliced onions. Add some carrots and bell peppers. You can add mushrooms if you like. I didn't have any so I left it at that. Add some water and yakisoba sauce. Add some mirin if your yakisoba sauce is too sour. Add the noodles and steam by covering. With this brand, you have to  leave it for 2 minutes then mix until the noodles become soft. If using the same brand, make sure that you remove the noodles from the pan as soon as they're cooked because they have too much starch and they become sticky. I topped this with some nori strips. Serve with a very cold drink and dumplings. 

Safoco noodles are available at The Landmark supermarket. Two rolls are good enough for 1-2 persons. One pack has 24 rolls, I think. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This is a recipe that most Filipinos are familiar with. I don't know if our international readers do this as well. I grew up with 7-Up shrimps. Whenever my grandmother had a kilo or two of shrimps around, she would make this quick dish to satisfy everyone in the family. We had an extended family in the old house. Everybody was there and there were a lot of mouths to feed. This makes for a wonderful lunch (or breakfast) with the family. Using your hands to eat this with freshly cooked rice isn't a bad idea either. 

It's very easy to make. You will need shrimps, a bottle of 7-Up, some chopped garlic. Others put butter in this as well. I don't. I think the 7-Up is too much already.

Heat some olive oil or canola oil in a pan. Add the chopped garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the shrimps. Pour  1/4 to half a small bottle of 7-Up depending on the amount of shrimps that you have or depending on how much sauce you want to pour on your rice later. Turn up the heat to high. Season with salt or fish sauce or in my case, some fish sauce and Maggi Savor. When boiling, cover the pan to steam the shrimps. Once the shrimps turn a bright orange, remove the lid and serve immediately. 

If you haven't tried this yet, I suggest you go and buy some shrimps now! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I love this dish! The flavor is exactly what I was craving for. I had been craving for beef with broccoli for some time now but I suck at making it. It was a surprise that I didn't screw this up. 

Let's start making this shall we?

In a bowl, marinate the beef in soy sauce, rice wine and sugar. Allow the beef (I used beef strips, by the way) to absorb the mixture for about 15 minutes. The beef will be ready by the time you finish prepping the other ingredients.

Fry the beef strips in oil. Do this in batches and do this quickly. You don't want to end up with tough beef. Set aside. In the same wok, add some chopped broccoli florets. Slowly add water, about a few tablespoons at a time and stir fry until the color turns into a vibrant green. Add some red bell pepper slices and chopped garlic. Stir in some oyster sauce. I don't measure so I just put enough to cover everything, about 3-4 tablespoons. You can add more later. Add the beef and bean sprouts to the pan and mix. For a thicker sauce, dissolve 1/2-1 tablespoon cornstarch in a little water then add to the pan. Mix. Season with more oyster sauce or a little salt. Add some black pepper for a little zing. Serve with a hot bowl of rice. Now does that make you salivate or what?


Monday, April 12, 2010

Kit Kat is a crazy brand. I love how their people are so creative in Japan, coming up with all sorts of cool and sometimes weird flavors - think Pepsi Kit Kat, mochi Kit Kat, sakura Kit Kat etc. I wish they'd come up with different flavors here too. They're too conservative here. Cuchinta Kit Kat anyone? Or Halo-Halo Kit Kat? 

I love Kit Kat and seeing a dark version of it at SM's Snack Bar made me snatch it up without blinking, or thinking then I immediately went to the counter to pay for it.

This Kit Kat is too sweet for a dark chocolate. Probably because of the wafer inside. There's a subtle hint of dark chocolate on the outside but the sweetness of the wafers is just too strong. There's nothing special about this bar. I'd recommend this for people who are scared of tasting dark chocolate because of its bitter taste. It's a nice introduction to dark chocolate. Who knows, you might start liking dark chocolate. And if you haven't heard about it yet, dark chocolate is good for you.

Dark Kit Kat is available at SM Snack Bar for only P41.75.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Saturday morning breakfasts are heaven for me. It's the only time MB and I get to sit down to a proper home cooked breakfast, not like the breakfast that we eat on weekdays. Weekday breakfasts are usually glorified leftovers or courtesy of Starbucks. Saturday breakfasts allow for longer preparation time and creativity. Since tomorrow is Saturday, why not serve this for breakfast?

I love Spanish sardines and I've been on the lookout for a good bottle/can of Spanish sardines ever since Victoria pulled theirs off the shelves. I tried this SM bonus SS. It's cheap, around P75 for a bottle. It's so-so. Good but not great. I liked the pickles though. = )

I served this with some scrambled eggs seasoned with salt and pepper and some sliced tomatoes. I served this with plain rice because we always eat fried rice for breakfast and the thought of warm, white fluffy rice with this excites me. The trio did not disappoint. I guess you really have to serve the sardines with something else otherwise it just won't cut it. 

Can anybody suggest a good Spanish sardine brand? One that doesn't break the bank, please.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Triple S - Squid and Squash Stir-Fry. I'd give this dish a 3 out of 5 stars. The squash was too sweet for me. But this is a healthy dish so it's worth a shot and it doesn't taste bad either. 

You will need:
  • squid, cleaned and sliced into bite-size pieces and scored with a knife
  • squash
  • onion
  • grated ginger
  • soy sauce
  • honey
  • less than 1T cornstarch dissolved in water
  • water
  • Bok choy
  • sesame oil
  • chicken stock (if you have)
After cleaning and slicing and scoring the squid, fry them in oil. Move quickly, you don't want the squid to be rubbery. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 

Saute the onions in sesame oil. Add the grated ginger. Add the squash. Make sure the squash is sliced into small pieces to cook faster. Add some water or chicken stock, just enough to cover the squash. I didn't have chicken stock so I made do with water. Allow the squash to cook. Gradually add water if the mixture becomes too dry. Season with soy sauce and honey. You can also add some salt at this point if you think the soy sauce won't be enough. Add the bok choy and squid. Add the cornstarch dissolved in water and mix. You don't want the dish to get too thick so turn off the heat when you reach your desired consistency. 

Because the squash was too sweet, I served this with chili prawn and it was spot on! 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

When ingredients are scarce, turn to fried rice. When time is limited, turn to fried rice. One day last week, I only had 3 pieces of shrimps, 1 small carrot and 2 eggs left in the fridge. So what's a girl got to do? We ordered take out siomai from Hen Lin and cooked this. 

As what I've said in the title, you will only need 3 major ingredients for this dish minus the rice and seasonings.  You can also substitute with leftover chicken, beef or pork. I think even leftover fried fish would taste great. I think leftover chicken/pork adobo, pork chops, beef stew (minus the sauce, just the beef shredded into smaller pieces) would taste great.  

I didn't even put garlic or onions to this dish. Just saute the carrots then add the chopped shrimps. I cooked the eggs separately. Mix in the rice and season with Kikkoman, salt and pepper. You can also use oyster sauce or Maggi Savor. Add the eggs and serve with siomai. Preparation and cooking time for this dish is only 5 minutes. Yeah!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Remember this? Well I used the leftovers to create this dish. We had it for breakfast. 

To make, please refer to the original recipe then omit the tomatoes. You can use the leftover onions and garlic in the dish. You also need to peel and chop the shrimps into smaller pieces. I added leeks to the rice. Just mix the ingredients with the rice and season with more oyster sauce and soy sauce or Maggi Savor Classic and you've got yourself a quick, filling breakfast or brunch!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Oooohhh... I could wax poetic about this stuff. I really love mint chocolate but it's very seldom that I find good mint chocolate from local brands. And dark chocolate at that! This is such a cheap thrill because it only costs P9.95! Sure, the bag isn't full but what the heck. That's what hoarding is for!

These are rice crispies covered in minty dark chocolate as the bag states. They look like cockroach eggs though:

Close up:

Just think of them as Raisinets but smaller. They're really good. I finished one bag in less than 5 minutes. I even got stingy with MB. I didn't want to share. Lol! The texture of the chocolate is just right. It doesn't melt in your hands (or maybe because I ate them too fast?). The mint doesn't taste like toothpaste like other local mint chocolates. The rice crispies are still crispy. One bag is bitin though because you will probably be eating by the handful. 

Repurchase? It's already on my weekly shopping list! You can find this at SM Makati's Snack Bar. 


Friday, April 2, 2010

Have I ever given you my recipe for fried chicken? No? Well, I have to warn you though. This is not for the faint-hearted. Like literally. This uses patis (fish sauce) for the marinade.

I used to buy those ready made fried chicken batter but got tired of letting them go to waste because we never finish one bag. So I decided to make this instead. I got this recipe from an old officemate. I modified it to suit our taste. His recipe incuded Maggi Magic Sarap and chicken cubes. That's a killer.

You will need patis, calamansi and finger chilis. Yep, that's it. You can also add some garlic, onions, bird's eye chilis or herbs. It's up to you on how creative or simple you want your dish to be. 

Measure some patis and calamansi according to taste. Do not put too much patis as this will make the chicken very salty even if you marinate it for just overnight. You might think that the patis-calamansi mixture tastes okay but try to lessen the amount of patis by about 20%. Then add some chopped green chilis. Allow the chicken pieces to marinate in the mixture overnight then fry in hot oil. Serve with banana ketchup and lots of rice. I tried eating this with tomato ketchup but didn't like it. It tastes better with Jufran Banana Ketchup. It's like Max's chicken - no other ketchup tastes good with it than Jufran. You also want to fry this slowly to make the skin crispy and to make sure that it's cooked through. And for a better dining experience, eat this with your hands! 

What's your go-to fried chicken recipe?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

So sorry for the long hiatus. My laptop, Coco, crashed. We had to look for another photo editor that is easy enough for me to use and is light enough for Coco. 

I'm also sorry to report that there were no exciting food adventures in Iligan. Everything was in fast forward mode. I didn't even realize that I already spent 3 days there. One morning I woke up and it was time to leave.  Did you guys participate in Earth Hour last Saturday? In Iligan it was more like Earth HOURS. There were 3-hour scheduled brownouts everyday from 6-9 pm or 9 pm-12 am. 

I'll be posting some of our pics in my other blog later so if you'd like to see them, feel free to hop on over.

Now we go to this week's cheap thrill. This should have been posted last Sunday but due to technical problems mentioned, I failed. This pic was taken using my phone that's why the low quality.

This is KFC's newest cheese snack which for the life of me, I cannot remember the exact name. These are mozzarella balls which have been coated with batter and deep fried. It costs P50 ala carte and P75 if you want some salsa and drink to go with it. Here's the salsa:

I didn't like the salsa at all. It tasted like Kraft's sundried tomato salad dressing. I'm 95% sure about that. Or maybe I'm wrong. I'm quite happy with the cheese balls and some ketchup, thank you very much.

I also have a theory on how to make these addicting cheese snacks. When budget permits one of these days, I'll try and make them. Mozzarella is just too expensive here. Any new finds this week? Share!


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