Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Italian Slipper Bread

How can you tell if you have good quality bread?.....Not by the smell....not by the shape...but by the sound......crrrunchhhhhh =) according to Collet ! (from Ratatouille) hehehehe (I hope I quoted her correctly! ;P )
This is my friend Elaine's Ciabatta! True to the virtue of artisinal bread....it has a thin and crisp crust with that crusty crunch when broken into; a wonderful light airy crumb with substantial air holes attributing to the lightness of the loaf and a sublte yet complex flavor that a savory bread should bear. Love it with strong coffee or a smear of butter---for a great breakfast ...have it with soup for a hearty meal... =)
Thank you Elainey for this wonderful loaf! Now I am inspired to make bread again =)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunday Breakfast: Banaple

we had our strong brews with news =)

Sunday breakfast once again...Sal and I went to try the morning treats of Banaple =) They have quite a selection of savory meals to enjoy on a leisurely Sunday morning.

They had the usual pinoy fare of tocinos, longanisas, bangus and tapa
...which we chose to have.
Their tapa is sweetish---Filipino style so to say....served with buttery rice and creamy scrambled eggd with parsley =) Yummy. We both like the eggs...they are soft but cooked through and yes, they are creamy =) I like the sweetish tapa as well.

We always want to enjoy our food together, that's why we always share 2 meals so we get to try both. Sal and I love pancakes ...favorite ko yun sa McDo!!! =)
Banaple Pancakes

Not bad for Php 70.00! You get 3 thick medium round fluffy pancakes, drizzled with chocolate syrup with maple syrup on the side! The butter is not real butter...but pwede na rin =) It was good but....love ko McDo pancakes pa din =) harharhar!!!!! Mas fluffy even if they are thinner! ;P
We enjoyed our morning very much! It's great to relax on a Sunday morning...have a nice tete-a-tete with a good friend over good breakfast =) Gawain ba ito ng middle aged people??? hahahaha Well, maybe so, but its great start to the week's end.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pizza Ovale Love

Pizza ovale al Funghi!!! I don't think I have posted a picture of this lovely oval shaped pizza! The crust is just the right thickness....not too thin...not thick and has a crisp and a bit chewy bite! The simple topping of tomato sauce, mushrooms and mozzarella....perfecti!!! My choice and Elaine's =)
We chose to have this over a fancy dinner at in-yo resto....but we vow to go there soon =)

3 girls, 3 desserts at 3 cafe's

What are three girls to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon? We were supposed to watch Ratatouille (round 2 for me---but its fine), but we missed the showing time--rats!!!hehehe So we just went on dessert hopping...3 desserts at 3 places at Eastwood City!

NAKU PO!!!! How did they claim this to be SUPER MOIST...when it's not even the MOIST in any way! A total disappointment. The cake is dry and crumbly...and I could not detect any chocolate in the taste! It's brown all right, but is it really chocolate? Hmmmm...perhaps we got an old piece of cake. I have had cheesecake and other desserts here before and they were fine. I just wished they had a stricter quality control---please don't serve cakes that are beyond the storage limit! It's like it has been in the ref for a week! We thought of complaining and returning it..but having 3 forks dig-in one slice of cake---well you could just imagine what was left =) hehehe (wala na ma-return to complain with ;P)

2nd STOP: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf....Pistachio Sansrival

This was really good =) The Wafer nut crust--like dacquiose, was very good. Our only complain?---Too small a slice! hahaha But then again, I think desserts are best when bitin and great eaten with kaagaw! hahaha Right girls?!

3rd STOP: Cafe Xocolat......Dark Chocolate with Rum Brownie ala Mode

At this point, our palates were getting tired of tasting sugar! Nevertheless, we wanted to complete our dessert trio event, so we sat down at Xocolat, amidst the rain.

Well we agreed on one thing...their brownies are HUGE!!! It's really good for 3 people =) However, it was a disappoinment again. Brownies from a place named after chocolate, one would expect real good and chocolatey treats. This brownie was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too sweet! Sugary sweet!!! The sad part was, it was devoid of the chocolate promise its name suggests.

One out of three, in dessert search success! Nonetheless, it's all good, we had so much fun talking about carrers in the culinary realm. Elaine, the pastry chef; Chiqui, the food stylist and photographer...and yours truly...le boulangère =)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Baang! Baang!!!

I used to hang out a lot at Baang Coffee when it was newly opened a few years ago (if I'm not mistaken 2003 or 2004). Since then, I think I've only been there 3-4 times over the past years.

My friend Anj was craving for some Baang Carbonara! We were supposed to have coffee anyways so I obliged to her request that we hang out there.

Pasta Carbonara

She told me that the previous night she was there and her sister Penny had this, hence the craving! I had a bite of it and boy did it taste rich!!! The sauce was vry rich and creamy...and rich and creamy. Angela was all smiles!

The following evening I had dinner at Elaine's house to share some barbeque from Ilio-ilo that her very sweet mom sent.

After dinner de decided to have some dessert, so we went to KOZUl green tea house. Unfortunately, we were very full and so we were a bit picky for our after dinner treat. Nothing in the display appealed to us, so we went to hang at Baang coffee, since it's just beside the Tea house. Sorry Kozul...maybe next time!

We share a piece of the Walnut Pie

This served as our license to hang! To our surprise, it was quite good. The sable’ like crust was desireable and the pie filling not too sweet, but we just wished it had more walnuts =) Despite being full, we found it good--so it must be good then! hahahaha

Baang now offers a lot of food now, even Steaks for Php 99!!! Geez...coffee shops are now riding the cheap steak band wagon ei? I guess when a lot of people hang out at your shop at all times of the day, you might as well offer an array of meals so they wouldn't have to leave =)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pièce de résistance =)

Don't mind the picture below...NO, I haven't watched the Simpson's yet! hahaha This just happen to be at the movie area at the Power Plant mall.

How cute are we??? ;P

First showing day of Ratatouille...I was able to watch it with Oli, Chinang and his girl friend Lyn! We thought the theatres would be packed, but to my surprise...konti lang tao!

I sooooooooooooo loved it and so did Oli!!!!!!!! We both have a passion for cooking! Oli is a trained chef too you see =) (right Krass???)

A cute, fun to watch and delicious cartoon! Anyone can cook!!!

Over at Wonton

It's been quite a while since I've spent time with my dear, dear friend Harry. I missed him na talaga! We've been very good friends back in UP days. I remember the numerous lunch outs, hang time, "takas" na gimmicks and hours and hours on the phone alomst on a daily basis! My best guy friend since college =)

Wel, as you get older, lifestyles change, schedules change and little by little days separate you and before you know it...months have passed or sometimes years. Nevertheless, I believe that no matter how long or how far two friends have been separated, when they come together again, it's like that gap is just a mere day. Don't you believe so? I do.

Yesterday we finally got the chance to catch up...over a little merienda at Wonton in Greenhills, a small and simple chinese resto. We did more talking than eating.

Siomai for me

Siopao for Harry

It was great to see him again! We both bicker about how old we are now...how we seem to be bored with the monotony of rutinary life sometimes; how we crave for a little excitement; how tamad we get to go gimmicking at spiffy bars (which the ideal of used to excite our socks-off when we were back in College).
I can't help but feel nostalgic. I thought about the good ol' days....One great life factor we had in common back then, was that we both had awfully strict parents! Our curfews are unbelievable, I tell you. Our social lives was close to being non-existent! hahahaha---well night life lang naman :p When we do get the chance to go out at night, as bad as mga 9pm pa lang our cell phones will be ringing at manlalamig na kame kase we know it means we need to head home! But during the time we spend in school we enjoy our free cuts to the utmost level! Katipunan Avenue was our canteen! Cars were our study hall. Life was still very much fun back then, even with minimal party time =) hahahha I remember talking hours and hours on the phone about anything and everything. After college we still kept close, seeing eachother through good and bad times...love and heartaches...success and defeat. I guess it only these past months or year na ba (?), that we haven't been as close as we did.
So glad our schedules finally met! It was great spending time with you my friend--pero bitin..bitin!!!
One lesson I've learned in life (before 30): Love may come and go, but real friends stay forever.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On a Cookie Frenzy

Elaine & I were well on our way to the gym to take the body jam class. She says to me, " Jen, we need to stop by my uncle's house to drop-off cookies I made...you wana try o diet ka?". I looked at her meaningfully and told her "NO WAY AM I on a diet noh!" bwhahaha and got myself an oatmeal cookie and a chocolate cookie from the container! I go, "sarap nito with black coffee"...she broke off some parts of the cookie I was eating and says to me "sarap nito with ice cream!"....we looked at eachother, smiled and drove to the nearest McDo to take out some ice cream! We ordered vanilla ice cream cones na di namin pinalagay sa cone, but rather in cups!!! hahaha They placed our ice cream in small drinking cups, and when the McDo person handed them to us ...."ang konti naman, pwede padagdag??? PLEAAAAASE " we pleaded with our most ice cream destituted look! hahaha It worked! ;P

We threw-in the cookies pieces in the white glory of the McDo soft serve and ate our delectable dessert duo with great gusto!!!

Oh boy did we enjoy our cookie-ice cream treat..so much that we drove back to her apartment to replenish our cookie supply.

The cokie drive-by: Here is manang bringing us the our cookie refill =)
What sugar high we were in, after having 6 cookies each!!!!!! Grabe---we were both so jolly, jumpy and giggly---sugar makes people happy, indeed =). A very good thing we were heading to the gym--if you had seen us dance that evening----all that James Brown and Pas de Bourrée done with such vigor hahaha!!! I just hope we burned off all that sugar! hahahahaha

Sometimes the best moments in life come from the simplest of things. Sweet cookies + cheap ice cream + great friendship = rolls of laughter =D .... One need not spend a lot for good times, right?

Show I'm Lovin' Now...

I love watching the food network, as I love learning new recipes and cooking techniques from cool chefs. Its just basically amusing to watch making good food, don't you think?

Aside from Tyler Florence, another cute chef has captured my minimal TV attention time, and he is none other than the Naked Chef...Jamie Oliver! =)

He is so adorable! I really like watching him on Oliver's Twist, his new TV show on the FoodNetwork, where he whips up amazing meals and desserts in an apartment set up and have friends over to dine with. Cute noh?! They way he moves in the kitchen is sooo cool, easy goin' and laid back...oh and that British accent IS, by all means, a plus factor!!!! =)

What a guy ei? =)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Think Green

Sometimes the body naturally craves for something healthy. I brought my sis Che to Greens, a vegetarian restaurant, tucked away on one of the side streets near Roces. It is situated near Wheatberry's, Max's Fried Chicken and the new location of Zuccini (I am anticipating it's opening=D )

It's like a small house, with a garden up front and simple interiors, turned into a restaurant. NO MEAT HERE! 100% Vegan!

We had the spinach soup.

It's a clear, grassy soup!!! hahahaha You have to season it with salt and pepper for taste! ;P

Here are the vegetable sticks...
...they are sticks of carrots and bagiuo beans battered and fried. It could have been better if they were more kakaiage like...the batter was like that of a camaron rebusado! hehehhe It was k naman and filling.

I had the Tofu Kebabs.

Cubes of Tofu, zucchini, botton mushrooms, bell peppers, faux pork pieces (pretending to be bb hehehe) They were actually good, although the tofu--is tokwa ;P the firmer tofu variety---maybe chosen to hold up while being grilled?

My sis had the Shepherd's Pie

It had broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and sponge gourd pieces topped with mashed potatoes. It was served with wheat bread and a side of more vegetables!!! (see chopped cucumbers and tomato siding)

It's a great place for heart friendly and healthy eating. They also serve brown rice, fyi! =)

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Pretty Bakery Cafe: Mom & Tina's

I read about Mom & Tina's Bakery Cafe on one of Ms. Lori Baltazaars post on dessertcomesfirst. I actually stumbled upon it on our way back home from our recent trip to Pagsanjan Falls, when we had dinner at Panceria San Jacinto, which is on the same compound as this pretty bakery cafe. I vowed to visit it and try some of their goodies, as they all look so enticing and the place a lovely hang out =)

During breakfast with Kitty-pooh and Sal, I told them about this place. Fortunately, I stirred up the foodie curiosity of Sal, so after breakfast, we headed on to C5. Mom and Tina's is located complex situated along C5, just across Tiendesitas.

Look at the dislpay of yummy looking pastries!!! They had brownies, food for the gods, Brazo de Mercedes, cupcakes, muffins...it goes on and on....

On the other display are the breads...a slection of filled pan de sals, empanadas, cookies, meringues...

Loaves of wheat, wheat rasin, mongo and cheese breads!

Carbohydrate overload to at its MAXIMUM level!!! They have display refs/freezer with an array of ice cream tortes, cakes and more cookies and goodies to bring home.

The interior is just so adorable.... ...so girly and homey. I like the comfy couches. The whole feel of the place is "dainty".

This is what we picked out from the ref...it's called Dark Chocolate Torte

It's vanilla and chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate chunks and a dacquiose like layer in between the ice cream combo.

From the bread section, we chose to try one sausage and one cheese pan de sal.

The bread is somewhat like egg pan de sal. See the yellowish finish of the bread?... They are soft, sweetish and rich tasting. The sign says "white cheese pan de sal", but when we bit into it...it was just like quickmelt cheese with butter ;P...nevertheless...cheese and butter---always a good combination don't you think? On the other hand, the sausage was ok. Php 12.00 each, a bit pricey for such a small piece?--a bit =)

We also tried the chicken empanada
The crust was very flaky! reminded me of Hopia actually =) The filling had too many potatoes and too little chicken which made it somewhat like samosas to me =) This is not one of my preferred chicken emps...but it was ok naman at Php 24.00 lang
We had fun sampling several goodies their--feeling like food critiques ba? hehehe. Sal brought home a big tub of chocolate torte and several filled pan de sals. They also had pastas, salads and entrees on the menu that seems worth coming back for a try.
After that we headed to Shopwise to do a littlle grocery shopping and then headed home.
Thanks Sally!!! It's always fun hanging with you! I miss our Sunday Market trips na din=)

Breakfast with the Girls

Sunday morning, I had breakfast with my girls' Sal and Kitty. I wasn't able to join them for "walking" in U.P., so Kat just picked me up from the house and we met up with Sal at Figaro outside our village.

Bottomless Cafe Americano for breakfast!!!! An absolutely great deal for me!!! =) Super sulit, I had 4 cups of these (may self-control pa yun ah! )

We always like sharing our food. We had the Bacon and Eggs

It had creamy scrambled eggs with a few bacon pieces (which I wished were fried to a crisp), side salad and 2 slices of toast.

We also had the Mushroom Omelette, which had a side salad and toast as well.

It was a great day tp perk up a lazy Sunday morning...good friends, good breakfast and lots of coffee!!!!!!!!! =) Yey!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Flower of The Lily =)

I haven't visited Fleur de Lys fro quite a while now. This nice pastry shop, located at the Vicky Belo building in Tomas Morato. How appropriate, don you think? After eating calorie ladened cakes & pastries..one may run to Vicky Belo for instant Liposuction!!!! hahahahhaa ;P

My sister's and I had some desserts there---it was a rainy afternon, and we just wanted to have a little break on a Saturday work day.

Both my sisters had the Madacamia Nut pie...served with a small scoop of Pistachio ice cream....

I wasn't in the mood for cake that day. I saw a basket of cookies...and picked out the Dark Chocolate Chip Rum Raisin Cookies....Php 80.00 for 4 pcs

I asked the waitress to serve one cookie for me...instructed her to warm it up and put a scoop of vanilla ice cream =) and...

...exactly what the doctor ordered! I so was happy she obliged to my somewhat finicky request. A nice hot and cold combination treat! I had it with a big cup of black coffee ...I love the contrasting temperatures and tastes...warm sweet cookie (loved the rum-raisin duo with the chunky dark chocolate bits) ...cold creamy vanilla ice cream, that was great to bring down the sweetness of the cookie with each bite and hot bitter coffee to highten all the flavors! I find that drinking strong black coffee really sets the palate while enjoying rich and sweet flavors...so a little dessert goes a long way!!! I love it!

A perfect rainy afternoon escape =)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cocktails in Bloom

Elaine and I went to an cocktail party thrown by Robert Blancaflor. He is quite popular in the bridal industry, providing design and florist service.
It was his birthday cum opening of his new office, in Pasig. This was the buffet spread by Via Mare...a nice black and white theme.

Carbohydrate overload!!! They served mini Laguna cheese pan de sal, mini sandwiches, pasta alfredo, more bread, eclairs, food for the gods, fruit salad and chicken lollipops.

It was a different experience, meeting various people in the Wedding world. Amoong the familiar names I met was Penk Ching. How timely as I am still helping out with my shobe's up coming wedding. I got her some new contacts =)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Picture Sharing: Shooting the Rapids

Here is the pic of my sis Che, Moi and my Dad during our river ride towards Pagsanjan falls =) They sell these pics for Php 100.00 a pop! hehehehe

Off to Pagsanjan Falls....

My cousins wanted to take their kids to Pagsanjan falls for a little nature trip. ur family took a day off from work to accommodate their request. For the love of children =)

I have never been to Pagsanjan..I don't think I have never seen waterfalls in real life, so it was a good expience for me.

Traffic was horrible!!!! It was a Monday, and we couldn't believe the severty of traffic jam we were in! Ganun ba kadame ang waterfalls fans???

When we gt out of the rut, we stopped for lunch at a small resto, recommended by a friend of my cousin. Durafe Restaurant. It is stuated along roadside. with NO AIR-CONDITIONING!!!! Naku po! This was the major set back, specially when it was scorching hot outside!!!!

This was supposed to be the house specialty...the Durafe pancit....

It's like fettuccine pasta...na pi-nan-cit-ify with sweetish sauce. Well, for me..I didn't find anything great about it....but it was ok.
We had the sweet and sour fish...which had a funny yellowish sauce!!!!

This was the chicken adobo..but I didn't get to try it.

We also had fried chicken (with orange colored sauce!! They really seem to fancy using food coloring), which turned out to be really good actually, and beef ampalaya.
I wish we had tried a different resto, but then all inthe name of adventure I guess this was ok.
After lunch, we went back on our tracks to seek the falls. We stopped at this area where you have to leave your car and take a canoe ride along the river. No pics here because I left my phone in the car.
That was the amazing part for me. It was a 2 hour ride along the rapids and along side you see lush greens and foliage. It was astounding! Nature is indeed beautiful and despite the heat of the sun, the ride was relaxing. The river widens and narrows and at times the bankeros would have to lift the bankas over steel posts layed on rocks, so that we may pass throughit. Good work out! hahahaha When we reached the end of the river, we had to take a brief raft ride towards the falls. I was surprised at how small the falls was!!!!! The raft would take all of us through the falls. It felt like going through a typhoon! Painful on the head but bareable. It was a short experience, but when the bankero asked if we wanted another go---I said NO!!! ;PI'll try it once but not twice! hahahaha
The river ride back was even more fun than the ride goin to because it started to rain and we were all drenched already!!! I love how the rain fell on me while it was sun down and starting to get cool and breezy. ..watching the greens and foliage once more...it was beautiful indeed =)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Full Family Fun Day Sunday!!!

My cousins' family is in town from L.A. and we threw a little get together for them and invited our other cousin's family and my brothers. We hired a japanese chef ...(err..well cook lang ata..he was not the gourmande jap chefs you'd find in fancy shmanzy jap retos if you know what I mean, hehehe but he was good) We had simple jap food lined up for him to cook and prepare.
These were the tiger prawns being preped up tp become tempuras....
How neatly he slitted the backs of the prawns so that they won't curl when fried in the boiling pool of oil....

Well, they turned out to be great and madame pala!!! I didn't get a good pic of the tempuras as we were all so busy devuring them as they came out from the kitchen (sarap when piping hot!!!!) I also requested kakaiages (they are my favorite) =)

I was able to snap a pic as he was making the maki, sushi and sashimi platters

He was able to make around 5 or 7 of these...yikes...japaneseOVER LOAD!!! We had oo much left UNTOUCHED!!! aAnybody interested ain few days of maki, sushi and sashimi platters??? =)

Let's see..there is california maki, ebi maki, tuna maki, kani maki, ebi sushi, tuna sashimi, salmon sashimi...just the old time favorites =)

A top of the Jap line up, we had our home made goodies of kiddie sapghetti , bbq, roast chicken (we made 6!), inihaw na liempo, menudo (this was out of line)..to add variety because we had kids there too (kasali ak dito ;P hehehehe)

The dessert line up was simple...here is the Frozen Tiramisu from Cakes to G0

Baked Blueberry cheesecake made by my atsi =) Soooo good!

And several lianeras of Leche Flans

The best part of the party aside from great food is being together with family =) My nieces and nephews seems to have all grown so much since last time I saw them. How time flies noh? Well, if the babies are all grown up, then I would be...... =Phappy! hahahahahah Please...don't do the math!!!!

Can you belive this was all just for lunch???? Yes my friends...we ate out for dinner =) bwahahahaha to meet with some other cousins pa!!! Talk about Sunday being a family day---we took it up a notch this time!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Night Cap at Dome

Elaine and I went for a night cap at Dome...she told me the chocolate cake was good daw, so we tried it as oposed to goin back to the usual Starbucks.

We chose this fallen chocolate cake....hmmm that really did look FALLEN!!!
We are never really that fussy with our food..but we just had t return this because it looked like the waiter stepped on it before it gt placed on out plate =) hahahaha

I chose to have an affogato...to get my caffeine and ice cream fix at the same time--hit two birds with one stone! hahaha

The espresso was strong..the ice cream scoop just about right..not too much not too little, so that you end up with a creamy latte like finale sip!

Instead of the chocolate cake, we had the Carrot cake....

...which turned ut to be really, really good! We were both surprised! The cake had a moist crumb that was not dense nor crumbly. No hint of cinnamon here but it was really good carrot cake..one of my favorite now =) The cream cheese frosting was great as well...perfectly complimenting the cake!
We had lovely chit chat for hours...what lengths a carrot cake and affogato can take two people noh? hahaha
Why do I blog with food, food and more food?? It's because I feel that, great experiences are best complimented by good food, like when we eat out or throw a party to celebrate a special event, day or moment in our lives. How delicious it is to relish fond memories with friends and loved ones by associating them with places and food that you have shared and been to. Don't you think so? I think so. I like it how I remember or think of certain people when I am at certain restaurants or eating a particular food. =) (basta mag work out ka after!!!!!----harharhar ;P)