Monday, October 26, 2009

My midnight foray in the kitchen

I felt like a stranger in my own kitchen. I haven't done any serious cooking lately and I find it so frustrating that my kitchen has been re-arranged/"organized" by my housekeeper and I couldn't find anything! It took me almost five minutes to look for the salad spinner and it was waaaaaay up in the cupboard with the "baking stuff". First, I had to look for a stool so that I can see the contents of my rarely opened cupboard, then, I had to shuffle some baking tins and paraphernalia to get to the friggin' spinner.

Why are cupboards so high anyway?

The real question probably is: Why did I stop growing at age twelve? :-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cake

This is one of the best cakes that I've tasted. It was given by a client to our boss and he shared it with us. It's a flourless cake from Kitchen's Best by Roselyn.

The chocolate ganache is so smooth and creamy and the cake itself (oh the cake.... h-e-a-v-e-n) is very moist, not too sweet and so melt in your mouth. What more can I say? You have to taste it to appreciate it :-)

The picture above doesn't do it justice.

Upon searching the net, I found out that Roselyn is a legend in the confection and patisserie world. Her banana toffee pie and white chocolate macadamia brittle cheesecake come very highly recommended.

I can't wait to try out her other goodies.

Contact Details:
Kitchen’s Best Patisserie
575-60-12 / 812-09-08 / 812-09-11
(0917) 896-62-48

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's all about Comfort................Food!

Hubby and I were debating where to have lunch on my birthday (last Monday, in case you're wondering, he he he). Tagaytay? Makati? The Fort? There are literally hundreds of choices. We narrowed it down to somewhere near and comforting and the winner was........... Racks!

I think hubby coerced me so that he can sneak in some pork in his diet. Hmm, well, it was worth it. Comfort food to the max!

The baby back ribs? Falling off the bone tender, yeah!

A Quiet Sunday Lunch at Home

It's the day prior to my birthday, hubby and I decided to spend it at home to relax. I made really simple dishes based on what I could find in our fridge.

Fish Siomai and Chili Prawns


Chicken Inasal

I got this recipe from hubby. A friend emailed it to him and he forwarded it to me so that we can try making it at home. We've already tried the recipe twice and both were a huge success despite the frightening image you see below :-)

Chicken Inasal

1 whole dressed chicken, sliced into quarters, or 8 pieces chicken drumsticks or thighs (I used whole butterflied chicken)
1 c native cane vinegar
1 bottle (about 1 1/3 cups) 7-up
1 thumb-sized ginger, minced
6 pcs calamansi
2 tbsp rock salt
2 tsp pepper

For basting sauce:
1/4 c cooking oil
2 tbsp margarine (I used butter)
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp achuete seeds
2 pcs calamansi

Marinate chicken in mixture of vinegar, 7-Up, ginger, calamansi juice, salt and pepper for at least one hour, or overnight in refrigerator.

When ready to cook, heat an indoor grill or charcoal in an outdoor grill to medium. If desired, thread chicken into barbecue sticks. Cook chicken over grill until done, basting frequently with the basting sauce.

To prepare basting sauce:

Heat oil in a saucepan then add margarine (I used butter) and salt. Drop in achuete seeds and stir until color is extracted. Remove from heat and add calamansi juice. Use to baste chicken.

This recipe is from Chef Pauline Banusig. A guest chef at the Hotel Intercontinental Iloilo Food Festval held last September. You can find a write-up at

Based on personal experience, chicken thighs grill the best.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tuna Soft Tacos

More about the swapping thing. When I told hubby that we were having soft tacos for merienda (mid-afternoon snack), he was so happy but that quickly faded when I told him it would be made of tuna, instead of beef.

Hubby grudgingly agreed to try it while he kept a monologue on why he's on a diet when he's not even sick.

Here's my ultra simple recipe for Tuna Soft Taco:

2 Cans of Century Tuna in Calamansi, drained
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Lettuce, shredded
Grated Cheddar cheese

1. Heat the Century Tuna in 1 teaspoon of its oil. Add cumin, lighly toss until heated through. Turn off the heat. Set aside.

To assemble:
1. In a tortilla, add the lettuce, salsa, Century Tuna and cheese.
2. Roll.
3. Bite.

Hubby, ate his words and had five, yes five, tuna soft tacos.

Don't knock it 'till you try it.

From my garden

Can you believe all these flowers are from my garden?

I was feeling a little sad that hubby had to work on my birthday weekend. These flowers brightened my morning immediately.

I made some sort of fritata/omelet this morning which also helped my mood a bit. I didn't go all out with the ingredients since it was just me eating. Hubby had his corn flakes already and I'm limiting his egg intake.

Vegetable Fritata

2 Eggs, beaten
Non fat milk
Grated cheese
1 small potato, diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 small bell pepper, diced
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix together beaten eggs, milk, cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. In a separate pan, heat up the olive oil and cook the potatoes.
3. When potatoes are cooked, drain off excess oil. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers, toss gently until warmed through.
4. Add the egg mixture and cook until eggs are set to your liking. I like mine a bit runny.

This fritata would go well with scalions, mushrooms, blanched broccoli and spinach. For a healthier variation, use only egg whites.

For a more decadent version, use butter instead of olive oil, cream instead of non-fat milk and add lots of bacon!

Darn, I would have added bacon if I had some. He he he.

Tuna and Asparagus Aioli

This is a super easy recipe to do. I made this the other night after coming from work. This literally takes less than 30 minutes to pull off and very healthy to boot.

You will need:

1 can Century Tuna Flakes in Oil (202 can, that's the tall can), drained
Spaghetti pasta, cooked in boiling salted water just shy of al dente
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Clove of garlic, minced
2 diced tomatoes
Pinch or two of anchovy fillets
Baby asparagus spears, sliced
Fresh basil leaves, torn

1. While the pasta is cooking, saute garlic in olive oil (do not brown).
2. Add tomatoes to the pan.
3. Add the asparagus to the boiling pasta, 30 seconds before you drain it.
4. Drain the pasta and asparagus.
5. Immediately add the pasta to the hot pan with olive oil, garlic and tomato. Toss.
6. Add the Century Tuna and basil leaves and toss gently.


Friday, October 16, 2009

My birthday weekend!

The company that I work for throws a big lunch for all it's monthly birthday celebrants. This month there are six of us celebrating our special day.

We had some really nice food from Amber's and Northpark. Our lunch consisted of Chicken Teriyaki, Fish Fillet in Sweet and Sour Sauce, Lengua (Ox Tongue), Lumpiang Shanghai, Pork Barbecue, Tofu Vegetable Stir-fry and Pichi-pichi for dessert.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dining al Fresco.. at lunchtime!

It was pleasant overcast afternoon in Makati. I couldn't resist eating al Fresco at Glorietta 5. My friends and I went for a short shopping expedition during our lunch break. Since I've already bought the item that I was looking for just within ten minutes of getting off the cab, I had plenty of time to wander around the mall by myself while the rest wandered off by themselves to shop.

I wasn't particularly hungry but the lovely weather urged me to sit down at the verandah and enjoy the breezes. I decided to have a light lunch at The Soup Kitchen. I ordered their combo meal of half soup and half sandwich, which was more than enough to fill me up.

I had the she crab soup, it's creamy and tomato-ey kind of soup with imitation crabs and chopped onions. Not very impressive. Maybe I'll try the clam chowder next time.

I also had half a ham sandwich, which was nice. It's got moyannaise on it, I can't believe how much I miss having mayonnaise in my sandwich!

The soup kitchen has a wide variety of dishes on their menu. Their soup specials change daily.

The Soup Kitchen also offers a wide variety of breads for your sandwiches, you have a choice of brown, raisin, herb, cinnamon pecan, strawberry, honey oak (now that seems interesting for a crab and mango sandwich, oh sorry, I'm daydreaming again). I may have to go back to The soup Kitchen to try their specialty sandwiches next time.

The weather was so perfect, I'm glad that I ventured out of the office for a short while to enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Macaroni Aioli with Kielbasa

I came home surprisingly early today. I even had time to whip up a quick pasta dish for myself with whatever I could find in my pantry. The basil in my garden feels a little bit neglected since I haven't used it in a while so I added it here. Tomatoes and basil, marriage made in heaven, right?

Last Minute Macaroni Aioli Pasta with Kielbasa Sausage
Good for one

You will need
1 small handful of dried macaroni (or any pasta you like), cooked shy of al dente (about 6 to 7 minutes)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 to 2 pinches of anchovies in oil
2 Tomatoes, diced
Kilebasa, julliened
Handful of basil, sliced into ribbons

1. While pasta is cooking, saute the Kielbasa in olive oil until slightly curled. Reduce heat and add the garlic, anchovies and tomatoes. Do not brown the garlic.
2. Add the cooked macaroni and a little bit of the pasta water.
3. Turn off the heat and add the basil.

This dish was surprisingly good. As I was developing this recipe in my mind on my way home, I wasn't sure how the flavors will compliment each other (I was supposed to add bell peppers but I was fresh out). I think I'll make this again. You can certainly add cheese here but it doesn't really need it. The anchovies and sausages provide just the right amount of saltiness and the tomatoes balance the aioli quite nicely.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Typical breakfast

With hubby's new "diet" requirements, I find myself eating the same things as well. Today, I had instant oatmeal and muesli for breakfast.


Tocino, longganisa and daing na bangus win by a mile. If only they didn't go straight to my waist... (insert wishful thinking here)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chicken Barbecue Sticks

I'm trying my best not to disrupt hubby's food "traditions". I'm trying the swapping thing to help both of us be healthier.

Hubby's nutritionist told me to limit hubby's intake of fried foods, fatty foods and have more fiber in hubby's diet. Vegetables and fruits should always be present in all meals. Use olive oil instead of regular oil. Seems simple enough but, (there's big BUT) if you're like us who love pork, sweets and anything sinful, it's a major change. We still like to eat foods that we love.

We love barbecue. Since we can only have pork once a week, no skin on the chicken, I just purchased some raw chicken barbecue sticks from the supermarket, already cut and threaded. I used a classic Filipino barbecue marinade and just made a bit healthier by using chicken breast meat. I hardly measure anything when cooking savory foods. The measurements for the marinade are just an approximation.

Chicken Barbecue Sticks

12 sticks of raw chicken barbecue, marinated in:
1/4 cup Soy sauce
1/5 cup Calamansi juice
5 cloves (or more) of chopped garlic
1/4 cup banana catsup
Optional: 7 up

Grill on hot coals until done.

We had some blanched squash and green peas with it. It was surprisingly good. Who would have thought?

Strawberry and Raspberry Granola Crisps

I saw some frozen strawberries and raspberries at the supermarket last weekend. Hubby asked me when I will cook again (which is dagger straight to my heart). He misses my cooking. Awww.

I decided to use the frozen strawberries and raspberries that we bought in the supermarket. I'm trying to get hubby's weight down by swapping things so that he can still enjoy the usual things that I make but with a healthier twist. I made this crisp recipe using as little as sugar and butter as possible without sacrificing taste. I also added granola for a crunchy twist. Here's my recipe (I didn't measure anything):

Strawberry and Raspberry Crisps
Serves 4

1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
1 Tablespoon of sugar for sprinkling
1/4 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 Teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon of butter
Pinch of salt
Handful of granola

1. Preheat oven.
2. Sprinkle the berries with sugar. Let stand.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, butter, salt and sugar until it resenbles bread crumbs. Add the granola and mix well.
4. Place the berries in ramekins, top with the granola mixture.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the topping turns brown and berries are bubbling.

Hubby prefers his version with a scoop of frozen yoghurt on top :-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hubby's healthy iced mint tea

Ok, so here we are post op, doing my best to provide healthy meals for hubby at home. Hubby refuses to bring a packed lunch to work and deemed it "uncool" to bring his own food. So, the loving wife that I am, I always ask him what he's been eating. He answers mostly Subway grilled chicken or turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread (I'm hoping he's telling the truth, he he he). Imagine my horror when he told me that he usually have bottomless iced tea with his sandwiches. Whaaaat?!! Those sugary drinks are the main cause of the spare tire in the first place.

As a compromise, I make him bring Mint Iced Tea to work. Hubby's Mint Iced Tea uses freshly brewed mint tea, fresh calamansi juice and honey instead of sugar.

Honey is a healthier alternative to sugar and since hubby's unwilling to give up his beverages, this is a healthier alternative. He seems to like it.

I also make him bring fruit to work so that he can munch on them instead of chips.

I have no photo of hubby's iced tea but do have one with him in a dress :-)

Healthy Spring Roll

Hubby was ordered by his doctors (yes, plural) to lose the spare tire hanging around his mid-section for the past ten years or so. I get part of the blame for contributing to that. Doctors' orders, low fat high fiber diet. That means so more fried stuff, less pork and chicharon should be obliterated from our grocery list (dang!).

I think that we've made some progress already with hubby's eating habits. We've lessened our pork intake by 85% (yes, I used a calculator to compute that). Pork will be consumed only once a week, reserved for family lunches at LP. Fortunately, hubby's doing his best to adhere to my "plan".

Hubby likes fresh spring rolls. This is my simple, no fuss version:

Rice paper
Cucumber, julienned
Crab sticks
Carrots, jullienned
Bunch of cilantro

1. Soak the rice paper in warm water, when soft, remove from water and lie flat in a kitchen towel.
2. Add the filling to rice paper and wrap like an envelope. Roll. Slice diagonally in half.

I did not make any dipping sauce with this because hubby prefers spring rolls without it. A peanut dipping sauce will be a great accompaniment.

The spring rolls turned out great. The little buggers are a little tricky to roll at first but I think they turned out fine, after I've sliced them in half to expose the colorful filling. The spring rolls just need a bit of salt after you've had your fifth. Other than that, they were huge hit with hubby.

Some mint leaves inside the spring roll will also provide an extra zing to this dish.


I am so happy that the super typhoon "Pepeng" has veered off from the Philippines. It is a wonderful rainy day today!