Saturday, December 31, 2011

Swiss chocolates

Frey Swiss Chocolates from Switzerland. My friend Thea brought me some from her recent trip!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Lunch 2011

This year was my first official Christmas celebrations with the family here in Australia. And check out what we had for Christmas lunch.
Shrimp cocktail

Salad platter

Meat platter

The pudding with brandy custard

Prize from the pudding.

A little bubbly

Monday, December 26, 2011

New year at Manila Hotel

No plans for the new year and stuck in Manila? Well, fear not! Maila Hotel has the perfect NYE celeb for you!
Manila Hotel is throwing a grand Dinner and Dance Party on December 31, 2011 as we welcome the New Year. With a crossover buffet featuring Cafe Ilang-Ilang, Champagne Room, Mabuhay Palace, Taproom and Lobby Lounge and live entertainment from Filipinas Band, this is one big party you should not miss!

Dinner: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Party starts at 9:00 PM
Inclusive of sparkling wine for the midnight toast
P 3,000 ++*
For inquiries and reservations, please call +63527 9469.

*Prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable local taxes.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Potato cheese sticks

I just read the book "Julie and Julia" by Julie Powell
and like most people who have read it, I got inspired to try out some of the recipes myself.

 Well, one recipe in particular - Potato Cheese Sticks.

The recipe: Bouchées Parmentier au Fromage (potato cheese sticks)
½ lb. baking potatoes (2 medium potatoes)
1 cup sifted AP flour
1 stick softened butter
1 egg
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
⅛ tsp white pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne
pepper Salt, to taste
Yields: 60 pieces
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Boil in salted water until tender.
Drain, then put through a ricer. You should have about 1 cup. Stir the potatoes over moderate heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan for 2-3 minutes until they form a light film on the bottom of the pan, indicating most of their moisture has been evaporated. Beat the flour into the potatoes, then the butter by fractions, then the egg, cheese, and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasoning. Preheat oven to 425. Either butter 2 baking sheets or cover them with parchment paper. With a fluted pastry tube ¼ inch in diameter, squeeze the mixture into 2½-inch lngths spaced ½-inch apart onto the baking sheets. Bake both sheets at the same time for about 15 minutes, or until the sticks are lightly browned.

While waiting for the sticks to bake, I couldn't help myselp-- I kept checking it every 2 minutes. Is the oven hot enough? Is it browning too slow? Too fast? Why does it look the same after 45(!!) minutes!!!

Arg, I should've realise it earlier........... the recipe  called for a 425 F oven. We use Celsius. I didn't check the proper conversion. I asked S who told me to put the oven to 160C. I should've checked!!!

After 15  minutes, they were still as soft as they were when I first put them in the oven. And 45 minutes more in the oven did not help. As I said, I should've checked. The oven should be arounf 220C. So okay, technically it IS S's fault but I should keep a little blame on myself.

So being someone who will eat absolutely ANYTHING, S resumed cooking them on the stove in a little olive oil and promptly ate them. At least there's an audience for my experiments! Albeit for now, failed experiment!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Honeycomb: first attempt

S was craving for Honeycomb so we found a recipe in M's vast library of cookbooks.

Our ingredients for this deceivingly easy recipe.

I researched a bit for suggestions as we did not have any golden syrup on hand and most agreed honey would be the next best thing and would work equally as good. I might beg to disagree The end result
Does not even resemble a honeycomb. Trying to figure out where we went wrong- didn't boil the mixture enough, not enough bicarb of soda?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Word of the Day for Sunday, December 11, 2011

Word of the Day for Sunday, December 11, 2011

à la mode \ah luh MOHD\, adjective:
1. In or according to the fashion.
2. Cookery. A.(Of pie or other dessert) Served with a portion of ice cream, often as a topping: apple pie à la mode. B.(Of beef) Larded and braised or stewed with vegetables, herbs, etc., and served with a rich brown gravy.
I do not yet know what is the fashion in England, but naturally if you assure me it is not à la mode, I won't have a lover. Can I have a house in town?
-- Georgette Heyer, The Talisman Ring
However that may be, Wilhelm was undeniably à la mode; the greatest ladies in England would beseech and entreat of him to write but one line in their albums...
-- Hamilton Murray, Falkenburg: A Tale of the Rhine
À la mode literally means “of the fashion” in French. (The sense of a scoop of ice cream on top of pie arose in 1903 in America.)


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Midnight snack - biscuits

Sometimes, I get a craving and my tummy growls for more sustenance. But still trying to be healthy, here's hoping!

We had biscuit with a little butter and tomato, topped off with some freshly ground black pepper.

My tummy says thanks!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nachos night

We used Dorito's (any flavor will do), Dorito's Salsa Mild and Shredded cheddar cheese then baked in the oven.
I should've added my jalapeno's!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thai Chicken

Our should I say, our version of Thai chicken. We got a free sauce to cook with and voila, here goes our experiment. And of all things I forgot to take a picture of it before I threw it out!

The ingredients included: Coconut milk and leeks

The leeks cut into 1 inch pieces and 1 medium Onion cut length wise

The sauce sachet sauteed in oil

Added the chicken in the sauce and the onions after Then the spring onions
Served with rice

Friday, November 25, 2011

Moroccan calamari in tomato sauce

As S keeps catching squid, we decided now might be right time to try some squid recipes. S found a recipe for Moroccan calamari in tomato sauce

Ingredients all lined up
  • 1 pound of calamari (squid) - cut into rings
  • 2 tomatoes - peeled and pureed
  • 1/2 onion - chopped
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika

calamari (squid) that was cut into rings
2 tomatoes we pureed in the blender

  1. Add the olive oil, tomatoes, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and paprika in your cooking pan. Cover the cooking pan and let all the ingredients cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.

  2. After few minutes, add the calamari to the sauce. Cover your pan and let the calamari cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour. Stir from time to time.

We used Basmati rice which I rinsed around 3 times in cold water then boiled stove top with a little salt and oil
For more Moroccan recipe ideas, check out Cooking with Alia.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nigella Lawson's "How to Eat"

Reading this morsel of a cook book, Nigella Lawson's "How to Eat".

It is not your regular cookbook with recipes laid out in every page. Instead, Nigella talks about what the dish is about, how to prepare, how to develop and what it evokes. And of course, as the title suggests, how to eat.

Something to chew on. (forgive the pun!)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Breaded Tommy and garden salad lunch

Or should I say Brunch?

Slept in after feeding the dogs this morning and woke up at a respectable weekend time - 1130a.m. I couldn't think about cereal at this time so S decided to cook the batch of Tommy GG caught off the jetty yesterday. We decided on a simple breaded fish and salad.

For the coating, we used, flour, eggs and bread crumbs. For the breadcrumbs we just used store bought as we didn't have the time, recipe or energy to make our own though I'm sure it would be easier than it sounds. Or maybe it IS as easy as it sounds.

Our breading production line

All breaded and ready to fryThe trick for not getting all the breading on your fingers is to use one hand for the wet - egg batter and the other for the dry - flour and breadcrumbs

Fry until golden brown.

We had a discussion about this with S's brother DO on how to properly fry fish. I said flesh down while he said skin down. You be the judge.

For the simple salad, we had lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and beets drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Simple lunch for a lazy Saturday at home

Friday, November 11, 2011

Romulo cafe despedida

My friends threw me a surprise despedida (going away party) before I left at Romulo Cafe in Quezon City. I rarely go beyond my comfort zone so this was my first time here.

Like regular restaurants that serve Filipino dishes, the food comes in family style. So we all agreed to try their best sellers

Tito Greg's Kare Kare
We all agreed that to make a good kare-kare, you need good bagoong to go with it or else the dish fails. And Romulo cafe had good bagoong. Enough said.
Crispy Pata
This is a Filipino dish made from deep fried pig leg.

Pomelo Salad
The Flying Tilapia
We were all so intrigued by the name and expected the fish to be laying flat on the plate but this blew our minds!

Tilapia is a common fresh water fish in the Philippines.

Romulo Cafe is located at 32 Scout Tuason corner Dr. Lazcano, Tomas Morato, Quezon City. It's quite out of the way but definitely worth a trip. You can call for reservations at telephone: +632 332-7275.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DEKA Makati

I have lived in my current residence for about 2 years now and in the street opposite to mine is this Thai restaurant called Deka. And in my 2 years, I have never gotten the chance to eat there and before my big move, I decided to have dinner there with my friend from work.

The milk iced tea we both got

From my friends Thai Bagoong rice meat dish (no pic of the actual bagoong rice)
Bagoong is a fish sauce made with salted fish or shrimp.
My green chicken curry
Satay which we shared. Satay is a skewered meat either pork, beef or lamb etc. and usually served with peanut sauce
The outdoor eating area
Portions were skimpy for the price ( we got the solo meals which cost Php150 =around Aus$3). Maybe we should check out the portions meant for sharing. And the taste was okay not bad for a neighborhood thai place.

Terms from Recipetips.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Barnacle Bill fish and chips

Was so hungry but too lazy to get dressed up for a night out so we decided to get take away from Barnacle Bill, known for their fish and chips.
The exterior with the Barnacle Bill mascot

Fish and chips with shrimp, squid and coleslaw.

Check out the Barnacle bill website for more details.