Thursday, December 23, 2010

#22: Vietnam, France, and Palawan in One Sitting

During one of JuanFoundSound's project with Compassion International, we were brought to Palawanto document how a family's life improved after being under Compassion's care. Our handler, E, has been raving about this noodle house that serves Chao Long. So after a long day of shooting, he took us to this rather dingy, flourescent lamp-lit karinderya-looking place named Bona's. Not that I mind. I believe that you will really experience the real deal in a culture's cooking by visiting places that are often visited by the mass. But I digress.

So there was a big board on one side of the wall that lists the menu. If I remember it right, the menu goes like this: 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#21: Tuna Vegetable Pasta

This recipe was taught to me by one of my Sisa girlfriend, Charis (hi Yox!). I was initially curious and eventually it earned my respect (after I sampled it, if two servings can be called a sample) because it was sooooo flavorful for something nutritious and has eggplant. Imagine, it has carrots, chunks of tomatoes, sweet white onions, bell peppers and eggplant swimming in tomato sauce and a dash of olive oil. What's more, it has tuna in it. I usually place a dish in my hall of fame if i get to have my my good friend "I" to eat something she hates. In this case, eggplant. *pat in the back* (Good job, Anne.)

Indeed, who will not eat eggplant when it is what gives this pasta dish its distinct character. It's smoky flavor punctuates (or rather gives it an exclamation point!) all the merry flavors that are at play in this tomato-based recipe. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

#20: Combi and the Frugal Me

I am consistent. I am usually frugal. As much as I want to be embarassed in saying this but it takes a bit of emotional anesthesia or emotional panic for me to want to spend 250pesos ($ 5.80) for a single meal just for myself. Not even for both my husband and myself combined, hahaha! I dunno... I think I got it from my mom and my maternal lola who's really practical and frugal, even if they can afford it. As for me, striving artist, remember? Ask my closest friends; they can attest to my consistency.

While waiting for our meal
Anyway, one day my husband and I went around Metro Manila the whole morning for errands and meetings and lunchtime found us cruising through the Maginhawa cool cuisine belt. As always, I cracked up when we passed by this Persian resto. The name which starts with a certain letter A just gets me. Find out for yourself, wink wink! Well, we didn't eat there. Our chosen budget for that particular lunch was for either a carinderia or a fast food tipid meal that I was surprised that my husband even offered to go see if we can find a place to eat there in Maginhawa. So our instinct is to go to this pares place where the students are crowding.  We parked our car and checked. 65 pesos. Not bad but it's hot and cramped.

"Let's see what else is on the other side." 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

#19: My Banoffee Pie

My daughter's bear even covets to have a bite.
So, I got enamored with the flavor, elegance and simplicity of Banapple's Banoffee Pie. I wanted to eat some more so I said I'd rather stuff myself with it at home. I then relived all  the flavors I enjoyed, checked the internet for some of my co-foodie's versions and came up with my own. Yeah! One whole pie just for me and my household!
You will just have to have a hand mixer though to whip the cream that we have in our recipe. I'd like to make the caramel sauce our featured ingredient but it is not exactly an ingredient. Caramel sauce calls for its own recipe so we'll make it the banana. 
We are used to eating banana just as it is when we need a quick snack or when there is nothing else to eat. Well, it is becoming increasingly popular anyway as a breakfast or meal substitute because it has all the works: vitamin C, potassium, energy from natural sugars, digestible carbohydrates, zero fat and cholesterol, dietary fiber. However, we fail to see that we can squeeze it into a sandwich with some peanut butter, or toss it with some orange segments and simple syrup,  or turn it into a luscious dessert just like this one! Oh this is going to be exciting! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

#18: A Banoffee Pie and 10 Books

A very good friend took me out a month ago because my system was aching for non-Anne cooked food.. or to be more specific, pastry. Or anything with cream and caramel! Help!

So the sky took pity on me and caused a friend to take me to Banapple in Il Terrazo in Tomas Morato. It is such a cozy place with light, flowing curtains, soft lighting, homy decor and warm , happy colors. 
Thanks to banapple for their picture!
Their tables are very nice, too! It is made of marbles stuck in clay or cement then let dry, as seen on this picture on the left. It feels ticklish in my palms. It makes the plates wobbly though but I really did not mind it much. :-D

Saturday, October 9, 2010

#17: Pininyahang Atay ng Manok (Sarap nito!)

Perhaps I was treated to a death-by-tomato-dishes when I was young that is why I'm more inclined to prepare coconut or milk-based sauteed dishes now that I have my own kitchen. I still loooove kalderetang baka (the type that has peanut butter, and cheese and coconut milk *sigh*. I'll share the recipe for that soon!) but there is something refreshing and light about this Pinoy dish that we're going to bring to life this time.

This is an attempt to make you liver-haters to love the luscious, buttery, slightly bitter and earthy taste of our featured ingredient: chicken liver. Chicken liver is much smoother and lighter on the palate than pork or beef liver. Its rather eccentric characteristics are balanced out by the beach-loving, tangy flavor of pinapples that is sweet, sour and fruity at the same time. Then the whole marriage is tied by the rather subtle but creamy contribution of milk, both cow's and coconut (or whichever is available in your pantry at the moment). This nutritious and friendly viand could easily become a favorite in your repertoire of good food.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

#16: Why Saute?

Filipinos, being stove-top-cooking creatures, love dishes that involve sauteing. When my friends ask me to teach them how to cook most common Pinoy viands my first line is always "So long as you learn how to saute, you will be well on your way." That is because that is the foundation of most Pinoy favorites like afritada, menudo, kaldereta, guinataang gulay, pininyahan, tinola and of course adobo. The next thing you should know after that is an idea of how long your ingredients cook. The only rule there is, you place first the ingredients that cook longer, then add later the ingredients that cook faster (unless you need to sauté them).

Thanks to for thepicture! 
So why sauté?

Friday, October 1, 2010

#15: Pumpkin Bisque

Don't you just love that dollop of cream on top?
Thank you for
the tantalizing photo!
Okay fine, it's really just pumpkin soup. Bisque just sounds more expensive. :-D

A  very good friend of mine hate our featured ingredient today: pumpkin or what we Pinoys commonly call kalabasa. The mere mention of kalabasa as part of her meal will make her stick out her tongue. Maybe because her only idea of kalabasa dishes are Pinakbet  and Guinataang Gulay (Vegetables in Coconut Milk). But I take pride in the fact that I was able to make her enjoy kalabasa through this hearty soup. She liked it so much she requests for it every now and then if she’s ever gonna visit our place. When we have this in our home, I just eat a big bowl of this filling soup with 4 pices of buttered toasts (although that is not a very good diet option, is it? Wheat bread perhaps?) and I’m good for lunch. Even my almost-2-year-old loves her rice to be swimming in this soup. Come to think of it, this is one tasty way of having your children get that beta-carotene in their diet.

Monday, September 27, 2010

#14: In Lieu of an Oven

We Filipinos are not the type that will cook in an oven. We are a stove-top people and we will try to do as much as we can on top of a fire. Besides, a gas range with an oven is not the most affordable kitchen appliance there is. I got mine as an exchange wedding gift from my gracious mother-in-law. She saved up a sum of money from her dressmaking gigs and bought herself a gas range even if she never baked. So, knowing that I do bake dishes and pastries, she agreed to just exchange the 2-burner stove we got with her gas range as a wedding gift. She knows that I will be able to maximize our gas range friend better. Anne was happy! 
This funny cartoon came from
Thank you!

So most Pinoys cannot afford an oven and some of us with an oven think that cooking in them uses up more gas. I'm not so sure about that.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

#13: Simple Pinakbet (The Recipe)

Calm down, calm down...

The recipe you waited for is here. :-D This is simple because it only has the bare necessities: kalabasa, string beans and malunggay. The more elaborate ones include eggplant, okra, malunggay fruit, patani, kalabasa flowers, some wrinkly vegetable that looks like short string beans like the one in the upper right of the picture here. Are you familiar with that? Anyway, the more vegetables you use, the more bagoong and pork you should use as well to make sure that it will stay flavorful.

Monday, September 20, 2010

#12: Simple Pinakbet (yackety yack part)

Pinakbet was something frowned upon by us three Nicomedes siblings. During our youth, we were carnivores. But learning how to love vegetables come with the wisdom of age. :-D This used to be a non-favorite because one, I was too young to want to eat veggies, and two, too foolish to realize that it is one of the tastiest pinoy vegetable dish ever. You just have to learn the trick to cook it right.

Friday, September 17, 2010

#11: Food Finesse

One of the things that makes my face twitch when in parties or buffets is when people dump 5 different kinds of food on their plate. Yes, even the cake and ice cream beside the menudo and pancit guisado. How can they stand that?

I know people will tell me, but it will all go in your tummy anyway? Why bother separating them in your plate?

C'mon guys. Then if you're gonna run that by me then maybe you should just blend all those in an osterizer and just suck them through a straw.

Enjoying food is an art that takes much care and respect.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

#10:Blackened Chicken on Creamed Leafy Bed

I saw this on TV a few weeks ago but it required spinach. Hmmm... spinach may be affordable in POpeye's town but not here in the Philippines. So you know what I did? I substituted it with kangkong (water spinach) and  malunggay! It looked the same, tasted really good and is sure-fire to be very healthy. If you don't know yet, malunggay, when cooked right, it is the ultimate vegetable. You can practically live just eating malunggay leaves as your vegetable! Take this:

"Gram for gram, moringa leaves contain four times the calcium and two times the protein in milk. It also contains seven times the vitamin C in oranges, three times the potassium in bananas, and four times the vitamin A in carrots. "(Ernesto Ordoñez, IInquirer)

I thought that this is such a nice balanced meal that is perfect for lunch or baon for your kids. You just have to stock up on a number of spices first before you do this because this is spice-heavy. Meat and veggies, spicy and creamy, strong and mild. I love this because it is so simple yet when you serve this, it oozes with elegance, flavor, and wholesome goodness,  this should be part of every family's menu! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

#9: Sgt Pepper is Lonely...

...because few understand what peppers are for.

Salt and pepper are soulmates. They are meant to be together in almost every savory dish. Although we know what salt is for, why do you think there is pepper? 

This is my attempt to put together my knowledge, logic, assumptions and articulations to put meaning in these taken-for-granted granules.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#8: Buttered Vegetables

These baby carrots from
indeed look tasty and refreshing
This vegetable side dish is so versatile because it can go with any fried or baked meat dish that's relatively dry or monotonous in color. I usually pair this with Pollo Al Ajo because it balances the chicken's rich, spicy flavor with the light and refreshing flavor of the beans, carrots, the earthiness of the mushrooms and the sweet bursts from the corn. The light crunch and color definitely add not just nutrition but also life and depth to your meal whether it be simply fried chicken or fried fish. At the end of the recipe, I added variations to this to suit your taste and the main dish that it will be partnered with.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

#7: Pollo al Ajo

What's for lunch mom?

It's gonna be Pollo al Ajo and Buttered Vegetables. *wink*


Just saying the name makes you feel like a hotel chef. Remember my post when I said I'll share a recipe that involves chicken, garlic and ginger but it is not tinola? Well, here it is. I learned this dish from a bargain bookstore recipe book. It turned to be a very tasty dish! We have another featured ingredient here that will spell the difference and make an ordinary P50 chicken dish taste like P250. ;-) It's time to try THYME! It is an herb that has a fresh minty, woody bouquet or scent. The dried variety of these little leaves is so potent that a little goes a long way. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#6: My Late Lolos

I trace my interest in cooking from both my grandfathers.

My late maternal lolo (whom we lovingly called "Tata") is a farmer and is also the community chef of our then still provincial Baranggay Bancal in Meycauayan. Whenever there is a wedding or a debut or any occasion in the town, you'll be sure to find him in the front yard with his gigantic stove and equally gigantic talyasi (it's a very big wok, you can even take a bath in it).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

#5: Pig in the Farm Omelette

As promised,  I'm sharing this omelette recipe to you dear friends. Again, you can stuff it with anything sensibly delicious with eggs. As for this recipe, I stuffed them with what's left-over in my fridge and they are namely canned corn, some bacon, baguio beans and tomato paste. But hey, it turned out to be a hearty lunch for my family that we ran out of rice. See the picture? I just snapped it with my cellphone. I promise to take better pictures next time. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

#4: Making Peace with Omelettes


It's a bit unglamorous calling them that so let's just call them omelettes.  I am usually discouraged to cook these because one, they turn out to be hard, dry and gummy. Two, they don't fly out of my pan looking immaculately intact. In fact, the last 5 attempts before this successful last attempt looked more like messed up scrambled eggs. Three, I can't seem to think of anything decent to fill up these omelettes with. I mean, do I really have to cook ginisang giniling first AND THEN make it into an omelette? Isn't that too much effort? Might as well eat the ginisang giniling as it is, right?

Well, I finally made my peace with the omelette and here are the tips and tricks that I learned to make the omelette your friend in the menu list.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

3: Chili Con Carne

Thank you to for the yummy picture!
  So the chili got a bit of that smoky flavor because the bottom got burned while I was writing my blog. You can actually avoid that by using a heavier bottomed saucepan and low fire. The thing is I only got low fire, a flimsy stainless steel saucepan and a forgetful mind. So attentiveness is also a precious asset in being able to cook well.

I love chili because they go with anything. Bread, rice, crackers, chips. Cook up some chili, stock it in the fridge and you can rest assured that you have something tasty and a bit sosy to feed friends who ambushed you for dinner. The thing with my chili, it doesn't have so much chili because I actually want to make it edible. Secondly, however which way you bend over backwards, it will not taste as Mexican as you want it to be without our featured ingredient: CUMIN! Sige, tama na ang satsat. (That's it, enough of the yackety-yack).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2: Disclaimer: What I Am Not and What I Am

Firstly, I am not a culinary arts graduate. I earned my chef-ness in the confines of my own home. But tell you what, I loooooooove food and there's nothing like (shooot! I think the chili con carne I'm stewing is starting to burn it's bottom! *gasp*) Tsk, tsk. See? I'm human.

Secondly, I love food tripping but I have not food tripped extensively because I am not your typical yuppie with lots of cash to burn. I am a striving/starving artist/ entrepreneur who also turned into a wife and mom. Going to all sorts of casual or even fine dining places is difficult to prioritize in my state. But that has an advantage because if some wealthier friend thought of bringing me to a new exciting food place, I am able to appreciate the food better. Ganun kapag patay-gutom di ba? Lahat masarap? Hahahaha! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

1: Training a "Cement-mixer" Eater

I started this blog because of my husband. He has been egging me ever since to write down my kitchen experiments and to write about my food trips. During the first few years, I thought that I haven't really been doing  a lot of successful experiments but after a while, I thought "Hey, I'm getting good at this!"