Sunday, June 30, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

I have been practicing for weeks how to make Pancit Bihon. I am going to be the caterer for our Wednesday KST session. I wanted to do the pasta/ garlic bread routine but my friend, Tita Malyne Lorayes, suggested I do Filipino or Chinese. So from Chicken Pot Pie and Cheese Pimiento Sandwich, I changed my menu to Pancit Bihon, Fried Lumpiang Ubod, Cua Pao and Dessert.

So, back to one of my Achilles heels.... Pancit. The rest of the menu, I could cook with my eyes closed but not Pancit. I do not know why but I just have a hard time cooking it to my taste. Although some said it was perfect already, but for me.... I can still improve the taste.

I told my family they had to bear with me because I practiced cooking Pancit Bihon again yesterday.

Hahaha.... Ok, where is the Pancit?

My Ate said, I should have mixed at least half of the vegetables with the noodles and not made it toppings. I did not want to mix it with the Pancit for fear the veggies not being crisp tender. I hate overcooked mushy vegetables. Also.... I had to add more seasonings because the noodles lacked a little flavor. I was so afraid to add salt because I tend to be heavy handed with it. I am going to read more on Pancit Bihon in the next few days.

Lechon Kawali was so easy to cook. I have perfected the technique already.

I used the turbo broiler for the the Boneless Crispy Pata.

I did not want to get oil splatter burns on my arm. I still have the scars from cooking pork adobo a few weeks ago.

Hermie cooked our favorite fried chicken with patis marinade.

Gilly brought her homemade Leche Flan.

I also shared the Dumaguete sylvanas from my friend. My Ate said, you can already buy from Cash and Carry the famous sylvanas.

Wish me luck for my "catering" stint on Wednesday! I hope the Pancit Bihon turns out the way I like it.


My Favorite Salcedo Market Goodies

I used to have breakfast at Salcedo Market every Saturday. For a time, I have always eaten Pork Barbecue and grilled corn. Then after a while it was tamales for several weeks..... And then I had to eat the Visayan Lumpiang Ubod and empanada kaliskis.... There was also a time, I was crazy over the Chili Tamarind Popsicle and Sausage in Ciabatta.

My friends and I were able to try almost all the goodies they have at Salcedo Market. I met with Tita Tess Colayco yesterday. She bought the Chorizo poppers and miniature mushroom empanadas from Cupcakes by Anita. There was also empanadas filled with Brie, Blue Cheese, Cream Cheese or White Truffle.

I enjoyed them! The chorizo poppers were marble sized! And the empanada was about an inch and a half in length. They are going to be my favorites from now on. The crust was so buttery and flaky! I wonder if I can make my own version?

Another must have for me is the Chicken Samosa with Tamarind Dip from Kashmir.

And..... Takoyaki Balls from one of the stalls.

I do not get a chance to visit Salcedo Market that often anymore because I usually have to cook for our weekly family lunch.

But..... I am sure, I will buy again the same goodies next time!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Debbie's in Town!

My classmates and I had an impromptu get together at Jodie's house in Paranaque because our friend, Debbie, is in town!

She and her family live in Michigan. It is hard to schedule a date with Balikbayans because their time in Manila is very limited. Good thing they were able to spare a few hours yesterday.

Jodie asked me to cook the Vegan Lumpiang Hubad.

Mona and I shared the cost of ingredients and she also helped me in preparing the vegetables.

Pinky brought boiled corn from Katipunan and everybody's favorite Leche Flan.

Jodie asked Tricia to buy the barbecue.

Jodie cooked the Steamed Fish, she followed the recipe from my blog!

It was very delish, Jodie!

She also cooked Butter Garlic Shrimps


Plain Halabos for Mico.

There was also Buco Pandan. I was not able to take a picture of the dessert. I was sooooo full!

Hahahaha! I tend to do that to myself these days. I really have to do something about it!

Soon, I will go on a "diet" again. Let me just eat the things I've been craving for and then I'm good to go!

Debbie! It was so much fun seeing you again and meeting your family!

Until your next visit!



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jon!

Jon invited Mona, Jing and I together with his family and other friends for lunch today at Italianni's, Bonifacio High Street.

I remember a few years ago, Mona and I greeted him early morning on his birthday. We were teasing him .... Jon, where are you going to treat us?

At that time, he and Mayette were in Baguio. Jon replied, "Have dinner with us! It's my treat!"

Hahahaha Of course.... Do not say those things to us because we would take it literally!

At 2 p.m., Mona and I were already in the bus en route to Baguio. Victory Liner has a special trip which would only take 5 hours top. So, I already calculated that by 7 p.m., we will be able to join them for dinner.

When we were paying the bus conductor, I asked him what time will we arrive in Baguio. He replied, 10 p.m.! It could not be! Only reason why we were going up was to join our friends for dinner.

Apparently, the special trips are only scheduled at 11 am and 11 p.m.



I was not able to take a lot of pictures at Italianni's because our table was soooooooo long.

Just took the ones near me.

Chicken Mango Salad

Roast Chicken

Bacon and Pineapple Pizza

Seafood Pasta

Spaghetti with meatballs.

Dessert was the sans rival baked by Mayette's Mom.

Happy Birthday, Jon! Thank you for the treat!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cooking Rice

Cooking rice has been my Achilles heel almost all my life. Usually, when I cook rice, it will still be "crunchy", take note, not chewy but crunchy. Or...... It would be like porridge.

I do not how to cook rice properly. I asked my family, neither my Ate nor PD can cook rice! Definitely, not my mom when she was still alive. We just always took it for granted that there was rice on the table.

Last Sunday, I felt so proud that the rice I cooked was perfect!

I discovered the secret! Aside from the 1:1 ratio, when the rice cooker button or lever goes back to the warm setting, just let the rice rest 30 minutes before serving. It is the same with meat and poultry, you let it rest first for a few minutes before carving or slicing.

It is what we call in-in. It is what I normally do every morning, I let myself "in-in" for a few minutes before getting up from bed.

I cooked my own rice tonight, feeling confident it would turn out exactly the way it did last Sunday. Hermie already put it in my small 1 C. rice container. I was surprised it was "crunchy"!

I found out that after it went back to the "warm" setting, Hermie AGAIN put it in the COOK setting! And she did not even wait a few minutes to serve it to me! I was so surprised the bottom part was dry and overcooked!

I had to cook my rice again.

So, all along I thought something was wrong with me! I could cook almost anything but my rice would always turn out "inedible" only to find out it was not my fault!


Yay! I know already how to cook rice!

Congratulations are in order! I am very proud of my accomplishment!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tilapia Escabeche

I was able to buy very fresh Tilapia when I went to Farmer's last Sunday. I like the small-sized one, about 6 pieces to a kilo.

My plan was to cook Fish in Tamarind Sauce but when I opened the bottle of tamarind paste, it had molds.

So..... The next best choice was Escabeche or Sweet and Sour Fish.

Tilapia Escabeche

1 K. Tilapia, cleaned and scaled

2 t. Rock salt

1/2 C. Cooking oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red onion, sliced

1 inch knob of ginger, julienned

1 small carrot, julienned

2 pcs. Jalapeño pepper, sliced diagonally


1/4 C. Vinegar

1/4 C. White sugar

1 T. Brown sugar

1/2 t. Salt

1 T. Soy sauce

2 T. Banana Ketchup

1 T. Oyster sauce

1 T. Sriracha Sauce


1 t. Cornstarch dissolved in

2. Water

Season the Tilapia with salt and let it rest for 10-20 minutes. Fry in oil over high heat all the way. Remove and set aside. Pan and oil will be used for the sauce.

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce.

Sauté the garlic, onions, ginger, carrots and jalapeño pepper in the oil used to fry the fish (same frying pan also). Add the sauce mixture but do not stir. When bubbles appear, add the cornstarch slurry and continue cooking until it has thickened slightly.

Pour over fried Tilapia.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Unlimited Yum Cha at Jasmine, New World Hotel

I had my monthly lunch with my Senior friends, PD, Tita Josie, Tita Mita, Tita Butchie and Tita Tess.

We had the Unlimited Yum Cha at Jasmine, New World Hotel

Pork Dumpling, Shao Mai, crab roe

Shrimp Dumpling, "Har Gao"

Chicken Feet, black bean sauce

Chinese Spinach dumpling

Barbecued pork buns

Shredded radish puff

Seafood taro dumpling

Glutinous pork dumpling

Barbecued pork pastry

Wagyu beef mango roll, pan fried chicken bun, shrimp wanton, shrimp cheese spring roll.

Chocolate, peanuts, glutinous dumpling

We also ordered almond cream soup glutinous dumpling, deep fried sesame ball and steamed red dates cake.

I enjoyed the dim sum at Jasmine. PD prefers Lili's but the rest of the group liked the food. I am going back with my friends and so is Tita Tess with her relatives.

Lili's is great but a bit far from Makati so if you have a yen for yum cha and do not want to go all the way to Manila, Jasmine would hit the spot.








Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lia's Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

If Trader Joe's has their own Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips, then I have my own version!

Royce's was the first one I tried. Even before they opened branches in Manila, friends would bring home from Japan or Hong Kong as pasalubong.

Chocolate Fire Bar in Salcedo Village also sells by piece (40/pc.) I think they used Pringles.

Sebastian's has ice cream with chocolate covered potato chips.

It is actually very easy to make.

I used a small pack of Ruffles Potato Chips and Dove milk chocolate.

The finer the chocolate, the better it will taste but Hershey's bar or kisses will do if you are just going to experiment. Personally, I prefer Dove Milk Chocolate because it is creamier and silkier in texture.

Break the chocolate in pieces and microwave it for 20 seconds. Stir slowly with a spatula. I actually burned mine because I nuked it for 30 seconds.

Brush the melted chocolate on the chips and let it dry for a few minutes.

I loved it but I felt so guilty the whole time I was eating it. I know it is bad for me because it is high in sugar but I just could not help myself.

I want to make again tomorrow!

Next time, I am going use Pringles because it is saltier than Ruffles!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Broccoli with Shrimps

I have been racking my brains for days on what to cook for our Saturday Lunch. My family is a picky eater. Each one has a different taste, so the food must be something that everybody will like or else I will have to cook for each one of them.

Ding! I remembered this morning I have frozen shrimps in my freezer. I went to SM supermarket very early so I can buy broccoli.

Broccoli with Shrimps

1 head broccoli, cut into florets soaked in salted water

300 g. Shrimps

1/2 t. Salt

1/2 t. Sugar

1 T. Cooking oil ( for the marinade)

2T. Cooking oil

5 cloves garlic, chopped not crushed

2T. Water

1/2 t. Sugar


1/2 C. Chicken stock

1 t. Sugar

1 T. Oyster sauce

1 t. Cornstarch

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

Peel the shrimps. Marinate in 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. sugar and 1 T. oil for 10 minutes.

Heat 2 T. oil in a wok. Sauté the shrimps briefly until it changes color. Set aside.

Sauté the garlic then add the broccoli, water and sugar. Cover for 1 minute or until crisp tender. Transfer onto a serving plate. Put the shrimps on top of the broccoli.

In the same wok, pour the sauce and stir until you get the the consistency you like. Drizzle over the Broccoli with Shrimps.

I also cooked Sio Mai Mami (soup was added right before lunch because the noodles would absorb it).

Hermie fried the chicken wings which were marinated in kalamansi and patis for 10 minutes.

Cooking is the easiest part of the equation. What I am always having a hard time of is thinking what my guests would like and what would complement each dish.

I should feel very lucky my family only likes simple and easy to prepare food. If they have a choice they only like grilled or fried meat and soup. I always feel I should add a vegetable dish.

I wonder, what am I going to cook for them next Saturday?