Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The trouble with writing about food is that it makes me eat what I write about all the time! I couldn't wait for the day to end and eat at Kirin tonight. Since I was alone, I couldn't order a lot because I couldn't finish it and I don't want to take it home and reheat.

My favorite siomai which I wrote about in yesterday's post was truly YUM! Aside from the chunky fat, pork and shrimp, it even had crab roe on top and chopped mushroom. I've been experimenting with siomai and I couldn't get it right. Mine just tasted like ground cardboard or no taste at all. I don't know why.

I also ordered the Seafood and Vegetable Fried Noodles. The last time I ordered it, the serving was huge! Came in a platter, but tonight, they put it in a small wok like serving dish. It was just enough for me! But I liked the fried noodles, not oily nor did it have the taste of stale over used oil. The sauce was clear and tasty. I wonder what they used as stock? The seafood part consisted of fish fillet, shrimps and squid and the vegetables they used were carrots, broccoli leaves and snow peas.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Siopao and Siomai

There is this little place in Greenhills Shopping Center near the post office called Siopao Boy by Masuki. Masuki is owned by the descendants of Ma Mon Luk. I remember the big siomai in Assumption and the asado siopao with the sweet sauce which we also used for the siomai. I have feeling Ma Mon Luk was their supplier because the siopao and siomai taste the same!
So today.... I ordered the siomai and it had that same texture.... all meat with a little crunch, probably water chesnut or singkamas. Then just squeezed calamansi over the it and poured the sweet sauce. YUM! Although the siomai was a little smaller in Siopao Boy, than in Masuki in Madison and Ongpin( both branches have the same jumbo size as the ones I used to eat in Assumption). I haven't tried the food in Ma Mon Luk, Quezon Avenue and near Quaipo Church.

The Siopao Boy siopao is a smaller version of the BIG siopao in Assumption, with flaked sweet pork asado meat. If you like the siopao in Floating Island, Makati Med, then you will like the one made by Siopao Boy/Masuki.

My favorite siomai in Metro Manila is the one from Kirin in Bonifacio High Street. It has big chunks of pork, glistening fat and fresh shrimps. You can not compare the all meat version of Siopao Boy and Kirin because they are two different kinds.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ben 10 party of Renzo

Finally, the day/night is almost over. The Ben 10 party I prepared for my nephew, Renzo, was a success! It was just a very small party, with about 9 children in attendance and more yayas and grown ups!

I am very happy because my guests said the food was delicious! I have been cooking since yesterday.

Children's Party Menu

Fried Chicken Lollipop
Purefoods hotdog bites
French Fries (Barbecue, Cheese, Cream and Onions)
Fish balls with sauce (like the one you see in the streets)
Buttered baguette
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Ice cream
Fresh Mango shake
Gulaman and Sago

First thing I prepared was the callos - food for the grown ups, served with buttered baguette. My helper boiled (used the smokeless charcoal stove I bought at a food expo) the tripe and knee cap for about 10 hours!!!! So imagine how tender it was and not mushy. The meat and ligament from the knee cap was falling off the bones.


1 kilo beef tripe - from Monterey or Garcia's a.k.a. Farm Fresh in SM
1 kilo beef knee cap - bought the kneecap from Rustan's Rockwell

* Boil in water for 10-15 minutes until the foam rises to the top. Discard water and rinse the meat. Boil in water, no salt added, until tender and meat is falling off the bones but not mushy.

Saute until soft:

Olive Oil
1 head native garlic
1 cup white onion


1-2 El Rey Chorizo de Bilbao, sliced
Boiled tripe, then knee cap
250 grams Del Monte tomato sauce, original
2 Tablespoon tomato paste
about 2 cups of the broth or more as needed
2-3 Knorr beef cubes.

Simmer(low fire)for about 30-40 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Add the cubed red pepper, canned garbanzos.

Season with salt, pepper and Lorin's patis.

See how easy it is???? Cooking is really easy as long as you read the recipe beforehand and understand the procedure. Most of the time, if I'm cooking something new or haven't cooked it in a while, I would read the recipe over and over until I don't need to look at the recipe anymore. I visualize what I am going to do so I can prepare the ingredients and necessary equipment/materials.

Days before the party I couldn't decide if I will make honey crunch cake or chiffon with marshmallow frosting. I even did a survey in FB. As I was surfing the web, I came across a very easy fudge cake recipe! Even my niece Gilly who is 10 can bake it. And the chocolate ganache frosting was a walk in the park.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
3/4 C. dutch processed cocoa (Bensdorp)
2 t. baking powder
2 t. espresso powder or instant coffee
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
4 large eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 C. water

- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and line two 8" x 2" round cake pans.
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients.
- Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beating until smooth.
- Gradually add the water beating until smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake for 35 to 38 minutes or until a tooth pick is inserted and it comes out clean.
- Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes, invert over a cooling rack, peel of the paper.
- Frost when cake has cooled, about 1-2 hours. Slice off the risen top of the cake before frosting.

Filling and frosting:

Microwave for about 1 minute 10 oz. bitter sweet chocolate, chopped roughly and 5 oz. all purpose cream. ( Sorry if you don't have a weighing scale. I know 1 oz = 29 grams. I hope that helps.) Stir slowly until the chocolate melts. You can put it back in the microwave for about 30 seconds more if chocolate is still lumpy. Use 1/3 of the ganache as filling and the rest as frosting for the cake. Pour on top, let the ganache slide off to the sides, then "smoothen"(?) with an offset spatula.

Note: It is best if you prepare a day ahead and let it "sit" overnight at room temperature. Do not refrigerate but I suppose left overs, if there are, should not be left at room temperature especially in a climate like ours.

I have a cake thief in residence so I had to tape the cake container or else wriggly will open ( yes, he knows how) the cover.

I don't know why cooking and baking seem so easy for me. My friends and family tell me it is as though I am only playing, do my hocus pocus and !VOILA

My helper, Hermie, who has been with us for about 13 -14 years already cooked the chicken lollipop, under my supervision.

Chicken Lollipop

1.5 K. chicken lollipop, bought in SM Makati at the chicken station

Marinate for 30 minutes in:

6 pcs. calamansi
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 C. Patis
2 eggs, beaten

Put a few pieces of chicken in a bag or plastic container with cover, add MERT'S fried chicken seasoning (you can buy in the wet market - dry goods area or in Metro! Metro! supermarket. Shake! Shake! Shake! Fry in hot oil until crispy. Do NOT overcook or else the chicken will be tough and dry.

There is only 1 kind of Spaghetti that I like. It's the sweet children's kind of spaghetti. Here is my tried and tested recipe.

Children's Spaghetti Sauce

1/2 K. Ground round
white onion, chopped
green pepper, chopped
500 grams Del Monte Tomato Sauce, original
1/2 T. salt
1/2 T. msg (optional, but for me, it's not)
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 C. white sugar
1/4 C. pickle relish

Saute garlic, onion and green pepper. When soft, add the ground beef, cook until not bloody anymore. Add the rest of the ingredients, simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add boiled noodles, toss and serve with grated magnolia quickmelt cheese.

Note: 1/2 K meat/tomato sauce is good for 1/2 kilo or 500 grams noodles.

I always follow the recipe to the dot. I can't do the "tancha" thing because I may not get the exact taste next time.

Am I tired after all that cooking and party preparation? Honestly, I'm not. I suppose because I love to cook and feed people, especially people I like and love.

I often tell my niece Sophie that the only way I can show her my love is when I cook for her, especially her favorites. I don't know any other way.

Love is food and food is love.

An eventful journey today..... filled with happiness... fun... laughter... yummy food and most especially... good company.

"with love"

I love to cook and invite friends over. My favorite part is when I hear their comments and make my heart swell with pride. For me, when I prepare something for friends or family, they know it is always done with love. There really is a difference in the taste... my friends can tell. One time, I was not in the mood and baked something, it didn't taste good or it didn't rise well. A friend commented: This is not done with "Amore!"


Today is the beginning of my Food Journey. I would like my friends, old and new, to join me in this delicious adventure.