Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy 1st Anniversay to Lia's Food Journey

Happy Anniversary!!!   To me!   To my food blog!  Time really flies so fast ... who would have thought I've been writing about my food journey for a year now!!!  I am very happy with my accomplishment ... although my waistline is not that ecstatic about it.  It is struggle ... to diet .. or to cook and eat?  The latter always win but I never give up and try to diet and exercise.

I am surprised to know that I have readers from all over the world... from Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.  It makes my heart swell when friends and people I do not know write to thank and tell me that they followed my recipes and  turned out well.

I learned how to cook because people shared their recipes with me.  I do not understand why others refuse to share what they know.  Sometimes I would forget how to cook a certain dish and I could always count on the people who have learned from me to teach me in return.

I invited my friends to celebrate with me today.

I put them all to work... Celine sliced the baguette and shredded the sweet basil.  Mona chopped the tomatoes .... Jing was my assistant in the kitchen ... Sherman opened the bottle of wine and Corry put the ice in the glasses.

For the antipasto ... we had  Bruschetta.  I could "hear" everybody's MMMMmmmmm of approval.  I must admit, it was really delicious. 

The salad had sweet baby blends, seedless black grapes , candied walnuts and crumbled blue cheese with...

Honey-Cava Vinagirette

2 T. honey
2 T. Cava wine vinegar
4 T. Extra virgin olive oil
rock salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Put all ingredients in a clean bottle with cover and shake... shake... shake before using.

Italian Spaghetti

Tuyo Pasta...  This was more popular than the traditional red sauce spaghetti.

250 grams spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained but save 1 C pasta water.
1/4 C olive oil
1 head garlic, sliced thinly
1/2 t. pepper flakes
1 bottle tuyo, drained
juice of 10 calamansi
1/4 C. basil, shredded
grated parmesan cheese.

Heat oil, then saute the garlic until light brown in color.  Add chili flakes and tuyo.  Break the tuyo into small pieces as you saute.  Add the calamansi juice, then the pasta water.  Toss in the noodles and basil.  Serve with parmesan cheese on the side if you wish.

Jing and Sherman bought Butter Rum Cake from Cake Ave.

My friends loved the food!  They said it was really YUM!   They really liked the salad and the Tuyo Pasta... they came back for seconds and thirds.

I love blogging.... it gives me a sense of purpose... to share my recipes and to tell the whole world about my love and passion for cooking and of course.... the best part of all ......  to enjoy the food with very special people.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dinnerssss with Mimi

Mimi is Tita Portia's friend but she is sharing her with me.  She lives in Vancouver, Canada and visits her parents here as often as she could.  We went out yesterday... did a little shopping and had dinner at Felix in Greenbelt 5.  It was Tita Portia who invited us to dinner but the Auntie Cora of Mimi, who is also a friend of Tita Portia insisted it was her treat.

Felix, Greenbelt 5

Mimi and I shared an order of ...

Figs, Walnuts and Blue Cheese Salad

Truffle Cream Pasta with Crunchy Parma Ham - Loved the crunchy Parma ham!  It was like bacon but without the fat!

Tita Portia had the Sea Bass with Fried Potato Ribbons ( I do not know what the dish is called  hahaha I just made it up)


Auntie Cora of Mimi had the Pork Baby Back Ribs.

We all shared a bottle of sweet French wine and a slice of Macadamia Sans Rival.


Tonight, Tita Portia and I invited Mimi, Auntie Cora and cousin Sammy for dinner.

Tita Portia made the salad with lots of fruits... mangoes, chico and marang.  It also had cherry tomatoes, yellow pepper and kani sticks with Mango vinaigrette.

Hermie made the Baked Mussels.  My helpers are lucky because they learn to cook different kinds of food.

I cooked my Simple Paella

and Lechon kawali.

Our guests brought dessert and wine.

It was such a fun evening!   We talked about our upcoming trip to Boracay next week ... well ... our food itinerary.  As usual .... 3 days are not enough to eat your way around the island.

Auntie Cora of Mimi was so sweet!  She gave me a beach bag and a bottle of sunblock!


I really love the beach bag because it is waterproof inside and out  with a secret pocket for the camera or coin purse!

Can't wait to go back to my happy place!  I hope Mimi and Sammy will enjoy MY (yes, I consider it mine  hahaha) island as  much as I do.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Birds of the same feather.......

We do not deny it .... my friends and I love to eat.  We think of activites just so we can eat.  My Kuya once said:  Obesity is contagious!  Hahahaha  I am not saying that my friends are obese but......  they all used to be so slim ...  now.... Ummm ....  hahaha  I better keep my thoughts to myself!

We had our Garage Sale (again ???) last Wednesday.  I did not bring out lots of things, just the leftovers from the previous sales.  What I was excited about was the food and  to be with my eating buddies!!!!

Our day started very early ...  hahaha well ... my day started at 8:00 am.  I went out of my room in my night gown and saw that there were  lots of people in my garage!!!  I was not yet ready to wake up so I let my friends and Yaya Hermie man the sale. I thought it would start at 8:30 but since they were there before then, they opened the gate already.

I changed into shorts and tank top, carried Wriggly to my little deck and sunbathed for a few minutes before joining the rest of the world.  When I was "fully awake", for our breakfast,  I fried the luncheon meat I bought in Cebu and reheated the pan de sal I asked Jing to bring for me.

Jing has not yet tasted Mayette's Adobo.... so... I took the opportunity to let her try.

With tomatoes and wansuy, of course.

Jing made fresh vegetables lumpia with no meat.

Mona's contribution was the Inihaw na Bangus.

She is also our official Chili/Salt/Sugar dip  maker.   I brought some for her from Bangkok years ago, researched the internet and taught Mona how to do the dip.

Crush the red chili using mortar and pestle... then add iodized salt and sugar  according to taste.  Best eaten with green mangoes or pineapple slices.

Celina brought from San Pablo El Mare Buko pie and puto Binan.

It was also the birthday of Irene - sister of Hermie.  She helps me with my barbecue business.  I cooked Pancit bihon, just got some for my friends and told her to celebrate with the staff of all my tenants.

The food was sooooo good! We were stuffed to the brim!  Our bellies were at their limit, about to burst!  hahahaha.  Around 4:00 pm, I told to them close the gate already because we were all so sleepy!!!  Jing and Sherman went home early.  Later in the evening, they told us that they fell asleep also as soon as they got home.  It was a quick deep nap.  We were all snoring.  I wonder why?????

We all met for breakfast at Salcedo Market yesterday.

Jing and Sherman had the callos,  fried chicken fillet with rice, barbecue and dirty ice cream (which was overpriced at 50 pesos per cone).

Mona ate grilled corn, tamales and tamarind ice pop.

Celine had no meat vegetable lumpia, hakao, grilled corn, pancit puti, tamarind ice pop and buko sherbet.

I ate grilled corn, 2 pcs. lumpiang ubod, roti with curry dip, buko sherbet and pork barbecue.

Mariger had the pork barbecue, nasi goreng and buko sherbet.

One would think after reading this post that we will not eat lunch anymore, huh?

We decided to continue our food excesses at home.  We shared one bottle of  PURE SIN!!!!

Taba ng Talangka from Everybody's cafe.

They asked me to saute it in garlic.  Aligue, steaming white rice and kalamansi! Deadly combination.

I started cooking the turbo chicken earlier in the day because Ate and the family were supposed to eat lunch in my house.  But I called her up and rescheduled for next Saturday.  I kept the spaghetti sauce in the freezer I prepared the day before.

I served the chicken but we hardly touched it ... not when there was ALIGUE around!

Mona made again the DIP because there were green mangoes and pineapple.

They also bought  mini Canonigo and  little yellow mangoes.

How can I ever lose weight when I am around people who love to eat?  Jing said I should still go on a diet when I am alone but when with friends or traveling, I should not.  But with my schedule of activities... do you think it is still possible?

Sunday - Tempura Lunch with Chel
Monday - lunch with classmates at Chelsea
Tuesday - day trip to Cebu
Wednesday - garage sale lunch with the eating buddies
Thursday - Dinner with my church group at Tita Josie's Condo, Manasala in Rockwell
Friday - Lunch with my senior friends at Mogu
Saturday - Breakfast at Salcedo Market and lunch at my house.

Now I understand when God said that we should rest on the day of the Sabbath.

I am  almost out of hope of losing weight. Some people say it is because I love to eat and think of food all the time.  But see????  I am not the only one!  My friends are just like me!  Hehehehe  they are catching up fast, then we would all look so healthy!!! hahahahahahaha!!!  Birds of the same feathers .... flock together!

Lunch at Mogu with the Seniors

Everybody in our group looks forward to our monthly get together.  The seniors, the friends of my Mom, adopted Tita Portia and I as my Mom's replacement.  We went to Mogu in Serendra last Friday.

Mogu used to be Mezzaluna, so in their menu ... you will still see some of the pizza and pasta.

I love their Uni Sashimi ... can not go to this place without ordering it.

Tempura Maki - Next time, would rather order the Ebi Tempura

Harami - thinly sliced imported marinated beef shortribs, served with edamame rice, miso soup and kakiage.

Toffee Date pudding with vanilla ice cream

Homemade Strawberry ice cream

Tita Butchie Ayuyao and Tita Mita Ampil said they enjoy our company every time we are together.


We talk about different stuff and of course different "chismis" about people we know and people we do not know.  We already set our date for our April lunch.  So... until  then......

Happy Birthday Chel!

Happy Birthday, Chel!  Long over due post.... she celebrated her birthday last March 14.  I have been so busy the whole week, this is the only time I can write my post.  Hehehe  busy with eating every day!!!

I invited Chel for a Tempura lunch last Sunday.  I cooked Mixed Tempura for her.  As I've mentioned in my older posts... you are a special person if I  cook it for you because the preparation is quite tedious.  The vegetables I used were eggplant, carrots, sitaw and sweet potato ... which reminds me ... I still have to replace the sweet potato I borrowed from my sister in law who is my neighbor.

We were looking at Lisa's email photos and we got envious of her Domino's Thin Crust pizza.  We shared an order of Pepperoni Pizza with extra Cheese.  So Yum! The crust was craker thin and so much cheese you can not even see the pepperoni slices anymore.

The next day, to celebrate Chel's birthday, my friends and I had lunch at Chelsea Market and Cafe, Serendra.

Foccacia with Roasted Garlic

Chelsea Greek Panko Crusted Feta Cheese Salad

Roasted Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Beer Battered Fish Fillet

Truffled 3-Mushroom Cream Fetuccine - I want to go back and eat this again.

Pasta Vongole

Iced Latte

We went to Gelatissimo for dessert.... Marianne ordered the espresso with vanilla ice cream.

Chel's Birthday cupcake.

 I forgot to take a picture of my melon sorbet.

It was nice to be with Chel as she celebrated a milestone.  Happy Birthday, Chel!!!!