Kitchen MIshaps and Victories, Restaurant Rants and Raves and a whole lotta wanderlust!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

EXCITED for this!My Happy Bacon was part of this 2 years ago and fared well (Thank You!) and now chocolate bacon is EVERYWHERE!

My sister and I are going on Saturday to pig out and discover new food finds! I suggest you do the same. See you all there! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Girls, Grub and Gossip: Indian!

Sarah's back from a very extended vacation so we decided to get together over yummy Indian food to catch up. I love New Bombay and I'll be sad to leave my apartment in Makati that's just a stone's throw away from it!

Get your appetite going with a few starters like Onion and Cheese Pakora and Samosas! These pakoras are SO GOOD. Ananda loves them too!

Choose your starch! We couldn't decide if we wanted bread or rice so we got both! Fried rice and garlic and cheese naan (my favorite!)

OK so this is one of my favorite dishes in the whole world--Butter Chicken! It's basically chicken cooked in spices, tomato gravy,cream and butter. It sounds so bad for you and it probably is but man, it's so good.

I tried to be good and order veggies but this was the closest I got- it's actually potato and some kind of cheese so I guess it doesn't count.

This was some kind of lamb dish. Sorry to be so useless I forgot to write down the names.

We actually got about 6 different mains--2 seafood, 2 lamb, 2 chicken plus the "vegetables" and the starches. I think we overdid it a bit but got to go home with leftovers!

Lastly and MOST importantly, choose the right company :)

New Bombay is located at G/F, Sagittarius Bldg. III, 312 H.V. Dela Costa St. Salcedo Village, Makati City. Call 819-2892. They deliver too!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kitschen Quickie: Tina's Pie Outlet


No seriously. I know I say I love almost everything I eat but PIES hold a special place in my heart. I love the buttery crust that's so nice and crisp and melts in your mouth.

I tried Tina's Pie Outlet at Anton Diaz' Ultimate Taste Test which I was also part of for my Happy Bacon. I remember looking at the selection and missing meat pies from Australia. I think I tried something with lamb and another with salmon back then. They were so good and I really don't know why I haven't had them since.

Anyway I received a box of Tina's savory tarts a couple weeks back and they are equally as good. Bite sized ( ok you'll probably get 3-4 bites form each tart) portions of beef with homemade jack daniels sauce, salmon with roule cheese, shiitake with swiss gruyere and tuyo with black/green olives and tomatoes.

My faves? The Shitake and Salmon ones. The beef was good too. I don't care much for olives so I liked it least, but if you like your olives, this would be a good one, there's lots in it!

Find them here ---> order some now, you won't be sorry :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kitschen Chaos: 4 steps to a happy tummy

I haven't shared a recipe in a REALLY long time. I have to admit, I'm a bit selfish when it comes to sharing what I cook, only because I have this dream of opening a place eventually-someday-maybe and if I shared all my recipes, then who would come to my cafe? Haha!

Seriously though, I want to share this because it's easy, delicious and filling. Oh, and can I repeat, it's EASY? You can be a pretend gourmet chef for one meal, especially since you can throw around words like cherry tomatoes, feta and lamb and make it seem like you are slaving away in the kitchen. In reality, it will take you about 15 minutes to cook this meal!

Gourmet-for-a-day Lamb

1/2 kilo lab, cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
freshly ground pepper to taste
handful of basil leaves
1/3 cup feta cheese
1 package cherry tomatoes

Step one: Chop and saute one medium sized onion in a bit of olive oil. Don't even worry about chopping it so it looks professional coz once it wilts, no one will even see the difference!

Add the lamb- cut into bite sized pieces. For more flavor, pre-marinate your lamb for a few hours before cooking. I used Knorr Seasoning, garlic, rosemary, freshly ground pepper and mustard.

When the lamb is maybe half cooked, throw in your cherry tomatoes. These usually come packages, so get them as such and throw the whole thing in. The imported ones are expensive at about P200 per package, but the local ones, when available are only about P40!

WHen the tomatoes have cooked a bit they will start softening and start popping and become part of the sauce! It's kind of fun popping the little tomatoes. Add Feta cheese to taste. it doesn't really matter if you use the soft creamy kind or the more firm kind. I've tried both. Add torn up basil leaves and stir until the cheese melts into the sauce! Add pepper to taste.

Lastly, place in a bowl or deep dish and arrange a few basil leaves on top to make it look pretty. Serve with rice, couscous or mashed potatoes!

Try it out and let me know if you like it! :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brunch in the Kitschen:Malcom's

Looking for a place to have breakfast on a weekend? As much as I love the food markets, sometimes they amount of choices is dizzying and I just want a REAL breakfast- one that involves eggs, some kind of meat and a huge plate. I have a brunch group that meets once a month and I think I found our next spot-Malcom's at the Fort!

I can safely say that these are THE BEST pancakes I have tried here in Manila. Yes, I said it and until I try better ones I will keep saying it. Their fluffy, with a slight crispiness on the edges, and they totally melt in your mouth. These are awesome to have as a Saturday morning treat!

I've been very vocal about wanting steak lately so I didn't even think twice and ordered steak and eggs. Breakfast of (hungry) Champions! Malcom's grows their own Wagyu cows apparently and they are found in their farm in Bukidnon. What is up with these Bukidnon cows dude? My uncle has a farm there too and their beef is delicious! Don't ignore the home fries coz they are cooked in beef fat and fried onions!

They have a selection of eggs benedict but go for the Irish Benedict- Wagyu corned beef and onions with a generous amount of hollandaise sauce that isn't too thick and won't make you feel sick after a few bites.

Their lunch and dinner menu looks really good as well, with a selection of burgers and pasta and bone marrow with bread anyone? Umm, yes please! Will definitely be back here!Actually, ignore what I said in the beginning of this post, don't wait until the weekend coz they are open everyday!

Visit Malcom's at G/F Fairways Tower, 5th Ave. Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Telephone: 556-3186

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Healthy Kitschen: The Farm at San Benito

The Farm at San Benito is a little piece of paradise just a few hours outside of Manila. One can go for the day, overnight or even up to three weeks if he or she fancies.

One thing that might make people balk at the thought of going is the thought of having to eat only meatless and healthy food for the duration of their stay. I myself will never ever win the Healthy Eater of the year award, but as a foodie, an open mind is always important to enjoy everything in life!

And let me tell you, you will definitely be pleasantly surprised at the food they have over there. Aside from being good for you, it's super delicious, you won't miss your steak. Really.

Take a look at these photos:

Romaine Wrap with marinated vegetables and Thai Vinaigrette. Instead of thinking everything at The Farm is raw (this isn't true) Think of it as eating living food, plucked straight from their own plots of land. The amount of time it takes from picking to eating is so short that the nutrients retained by the produce is so much more superior compared to those in markets that have been sitting on the shelf for days.

In the foreground is the Crispy Potato Napoleon with eggplant, caramelized onions and squash ginger sauce. This was actually my colleague Stephane's food but since he is apparently allergic to potatoes, it was a good day for me. haha. In the background is the Sweet corn cakes with spicy tomato salsa. One dish is cooked (and there goes that myth that EVEYTHING at The Farm is raw) and the other is fresh and uncooked)

Pasta Carbonara--- made dairy free and with coconut "bacon" that ok, does not taste like real bacon but it's a good way to add texture to the pasta--AND it's good!

If you like your Japanese, order the Soba noodles with stir-fried vegetables

Doesn't this look totally amazing (pat on the back for the awesome food shot;p)To go with their dairy free menu, that ice cream on top is made of almond milk! The caramelized pineapple in the bottom was amazing and went so well with the dark and white chocolate layers.

I really enjoyed this fruit Fruit Cassata. At first I thought it was frozen but it was more like semifreddo, kind of half cold, half gelatinous with fruit pieces generously sprinkled in it. I do love the presentation of the food at The Farm, they really take time to make their dishes look nice and do not disappoint with the taste either.

A new weight loss program is about to be launched at The Farm very soon. Dr. Claude Chauchard's Chrono-Geno Nutrition Diet which is about eating according to your blood type- which holds the secrets to your food allergies and intolerances and eating in the right order at the right time. It's really not as complicated as you think and the people at The Farm will definitely help you jumpstart your new life so by the time you go home, you can follow it on your own. It is said that you can lose 3-5 pounds per week--the healthy way of course-- so if you stay two weeks that's ten pounds off. Amazing. Can I try this?

The Farm at San Benito is located at 119 Barangay Tipakan 4217 Lipa City, Batangas. For reservations, call +63 2 884 8074 or email /

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

To market, to market: Salcedo Saturdays

You will find me and my daughter at Salcedo Market almost every Saturday. I love being surrounded by food...the smells, the sights and also, people watching comes a close second after eating. Getting to do both at the same time? Dopeness!

Ananda getting ready to get her grub on...

Mini Japanese pancakes stuffed with cheese, peanut butter, jam or whatever else they have there that day. This is super yummy when fresh and hot!

Cebu lechon is also available at the market. I can't eat lechon all the time and I can't have too much of it, but damn, when I really want it, I don't stop thinking about it until I get it.

You can also buy raw produce here to bring home!

A bunch of Pinoy faves are available including inihaw stuff and that suman stand is super bomb! Don't miss out!

I love corndogs!!! But I DON'T love red hotdog :(

Ananda's usual spot...

some stuff from the Frenchie stall...

My newest favorite! H Cuisine's Angus Beef Belly. So SO SOOO good. I love how the fatty bits melt into the soft meat and it's perfect with piping hot gravy over rice.

And if you need something to go with your corndog... ;p

Salcedo Market is open every Saturday from 7am-2pm

Monday, August 8, 2011

Brunch in the Kitschen: A baby and a bye-bye!

All the ex-Metro staff try to hold brunch once a month, just to catch up with each other and see what's going on in our lives. This particular one was specially because instead of going out, we had a potluck at my house as a sort of Baby Shower for Miss Audrey Carpio (absolutely radiant at 7 months!) and a despedida for Bianca Consunji (currently in new York writing her first assignment at Columbia University)

It's always nice seeing everybody, even for just a few hours each month. Here's some of what we ate.

A meal is not a meal without a cheese platter. Here we have Garlic and Chive cream cheese, Taleggio, Brie with crackers, Fig Jam, Raspberry Jam and Beef Salami.

This suman is available every Saturday at Salcedo market. I absolutely love the mangga ones while Ananda likes the Saging. try all the flavors to find your favorite!

Kat brought super yummy, crunchy chicken lollipops

Creamy mushroom pasta c/o Bianca

Something interesting from Cathy Bu- lasagna tarts! This was so good!

Hungarian Sausage and mustard

Me with Mr. Jacs Sampayan, now the dashing Managing Editor of Town & Country. I didn't get to take a photo of what he brought but it was my favorite pancit from Amber's...and the pichi pichi with cheese!

Blushing Buntis Auds with me and Mr. and Mrs. Mago!

Everyone! Seeing most of the again next weekend! Yay!