Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Greetings From My Kitchen and Beyond!

Enchie's Kitchen is busy, busy, busy... 
Starting with dessert, chilling Fruit Salad and now, preparing Leche Flan for tonight's Noche Buena and tomorrow's party!!! 
Loving Christmas Pinoy Style!!!

Merry Christmas!
from: The Cruz Family

Friday, December 17, 2010

FTF: A Taste of KFC's Double Down Chicken Sandwich

Please be advised that: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own.

I actually made my first purchase of this sandwich phenomenon the was day before we left for our vacation. Since everytime we visit a KFC store at night or middle in the afternoon, by that time, they're out of stock or it's sold out. For brunch after taking my son to school, I decided to make a quick drive to the nearest KFC and lucky enough, I was able to buy not only 1 but 3 Double Down Chicken Sandwiches, and it's their last 3 sandwiches at 10:20 in the morning.
₱100 ala carte, ₱135 with a regular drink and a fixin
It was just "okay" when I thought it would exactly taste like the one I imagined. A sandwich, only it's chicken. But it was too salty for me. It would have been better if they added some greens to balance the mix of flavors. In a real sandwich, the buns or the bread itself brings balance to the whole meal. So if you're going to eat pure protein, might as well add something like lettuce or tomatoes to kill the "suya factor" or lessen the salt of the chicken considering that there's bacon included. Everything here is based on my personal point of view as a consumer. Over-all, it's not as bad, you know why? because my husband is the #1 fan of KFC's Double Down Chicken Sandwich. When it comes to KFC,  it's always Double Down for him. I have 3 Double Downs in the first picture above, 2 of those are his.
Food Trip Friday

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stop Smoking!

When I was a kid, I remember asking my dad to stop smoking. Out of nowhere, I approached him and asked. I wasn't expecting that he will seriously take that simple request of mine. And I was 8 years old then. Now, every time we look back, at 32 years old, he's still thanking me. My dad is healthier, he looks young for his age, he doesn't have any ailments. And when it was my turn,  I stopped immediately when I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. How did I ever survive the process of stopping? Just thinking that I asked my dad to give up cigarette smoking, gave me the inspiration to help me stop. I guess it was my motherly instincts working too. And like everyone else who went through the very same dilemma, I started to have some cravings after quitting. I turned to candy as a solution to permanently cut off my cravings. Up to this very date, I still crave for it but much lesser. While I was able to conquer smoking, my husband on the other hand, is having a hard time from at least lowering his sticks daily. Through time, he doubled from 1 pack to 2 packs. I guess, most of his co-workers are also undergoing the same thing. And it's more of a struggle now, since smoking has become a stress buster to working individuals.
Cigarette smoking is a big contributor when it comes to health risks. It  lowers our immune system then it targets the main organs of our body. Diabetes alone, if not controlled and worsen by smoking can affect the heart and the kidneys by disrupting its functions in the body. And of course, our lungs is directly affected. Don't forget to add the risks of aging. Put it this way, Smoking and aging put together will give the worst results when it comes to health. Believe me, everyday, I help my husband get through  by  lessening his sticks. Good thing that the company he is working for also prioritizes the health of their workers. When the electronic cigarettes came out, they provided each smoker a set. Start smoking E-cigarettes with our standard starter kit. This kit includes the following:

Single Electronic Cigarette Batter Kit
Premium Electronic Cigarette Charger
Premium USA Adapter
1 Pack of 5 - High Nicotine Cigarette Flavor
1 Pack of 5 - Medium Nicotine Cigarette Flavor USA made Cartridges
 Electronic Cigarettes helped my husband stop smoking. Smokeless Cigarettes will eliminate bad breath, will give you a mess- free and an ash-free smoking alternative. It will also help an individual cope properly without forcing one's self to stop smoking. My husband took him about a month to finally eliminate smoking. It came naturally. I wasn't expecting for instant results.  I am very thankful that we were able to achieve our main goal on having a healthier lifestyle.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Red Lion Bar Baguio City

I've been reading some negative feedback about Red Lion. But I was told by frequent goers and regular guests that it is the perfect place to hang out and discover Baguio's little secrets. And so I decided to extend my birthday celebration at Red Lion. One person who is close to me, who can testify regarding Red Lion's good reputation is my husband. Another is a Baguio local who is also a good friend of ours. So whatever bad  review's been stirring about Red Lion, I think, it is just a matter on how we view things, how we carry ourselves and how we interact with other people.
Our evening started with my birthday dinner at Rose Bowl Restaurant. After, we took the kids back at the hotel with Kat's cousin. Then the 4 of us namely: Perry and Kat, Me and my Husband, went to Red Lion for some drinks. When I'm in a new place, I don't just sleep the night away. I know there's a long day ahead of  us touring the following morning. But hey, being able to travel will just keep you going. If one can enjoy the usual day in the city, might as well try what it has to offer by nightfall.
I started with a Margarita. Just to let you know, I always warm up with a cocktail  or a shot and end it with a bucket, I mean buckets of beer.
Red Lion is always full especially on weekends. To add, Red Lion also serves as an Inn for tourists. When we got there, a pop band was playing, the bar was occupied, people were happy and dancing. It was perfect!
We went all the way at the back of the bar, where guests can actually smoke and more tables were available. From the deck of Red Lion, if one is lucky enough to have a table reserved, you will see one of the best views of Baguio City at night.
The warm people of Red Lion was able to find us a nice spot where we can have some privacy, and  at the same time, a safe location where we can't be bothered by drunk guests. Hey it's a pub, it's a Saturday, it's cold so expect people to get drunk. After 3 buckets, I was already making some noise of my own. It was a fantastic night! We were sharing our stories as couples. From the time we met our partners, how the spark between 2 people began, advises, jokes, life, laughter, love, family, friends... Everyone was an open book but  we all kept an open mind.
The food that went with our beer were Tokwa't Baboy and Sizzling Sisig. If there's something to be disappointed about Red Lion, that would be their Sisig, which turned out to be Sizzling "Onion" Sisig. But it didn't matter, maybe they've run out (lol!) Even the girl behind us in our picture didn't matter (lol!) The pub was full night of November 27. Besides, I was actually enjoying my beer more than the food. Did I get drunk? Well, almost. I was able to control it, (if there's such thing as "controlling it")  but I almost hit a beam or something on my way to the bathroom (lol!) It feels good, I'm good!
I owe it all to this guy...
 I had a blast at Red Lion!!!

Red Lion Pub and Inn
92 General Luna, Leonard Wood Rd
Baguio City, Philippines

Gustaeu's Restaurant Baguio City

We arrived at our destination around 1pm in the afternoon, just in time to enjoy lunch in Baguio City. Gustaeu's  was one of my favorite restaurants during our vacation. It is located at the ground floor of our hotel, EGI Albergo Hotel. After checking- in, we went immediately to the newly opened Gustaeus' Restaurant. At 1:30pm I was having an all-day- breakfast meal, Tocino. Most dishes we ordered came in a whopping size, a plate can be consumed by 2 people. When I saw my Tocino Meal,  I knew that Gustaeus' Restaurant is going to be home for breakfast.

enchie’s kitchen
Longganisa Meal
It is not your ordinary longganisa, it's Baguio's Special Longganisa!
enchie’s kitchen
Tapa Meal
enchie’s kitchen
Tocino Meal
enchie’s kitchen
Salisbury Steak
I completed my morning food adventure in Baguio, by having a mug of Hot Chocolate to match the cold morning.

 I renewed my love for Baguio City through Gustaeu's Hot Chocolate, it made me want to live in this wonderful place.
Baguio Hot Chocolate
Gustaeu's Restaurant
Ground Floor EGI Albergo Hotel
No. 1 Villamor Drive, Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City, Baguio, Philippines

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Breakfast: Tinapa at Sinangag

Tinapa: Smoked Fish
Sinangag: Fried Garlic Rice
Favorite breakfast meal of most Filipinos. The smoked fish can also be served with cane vinegar. I like mine with tomatoes and white onion.
enchie’s kitchen
I was originally planning to cook spam and eggs for breakfast today. I seldom cook dried fish or smoked fish for breakfast, my husband isn't really a fan of it. My son... he's learning to love it now. This morning, I made a quick visit to the market. I was one of the early birds so I was able to buy fresh Tinapa. The smell was not only tempting but it was inviting as well. When I got back, I immediately prepared Sinangag which has been the perfect match, some tomatoes and onions on the side.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fresh Finds From The City of Pines

Aside from Baguio shirts, walis tambo, silver from Ibay's  and other handicrafts, Baguio is also famous for various food preserves, pastries, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Buying "pasalubong" would be easier if you choose stuff that you don't have back where you live, and items you may have but sold for a very expensive price.
Know their "house specialty".
Chocolate Crinkles, Strawberry Preserves, Pot Holder made of Pine and products from Good Shepherd. Though we have Chocolate Crinkles here in Manila, Baguio Crinkles is a pastry to try. My husband and I bought some Silver too. And for me, some accessories.
Good Shepherd will always be priority for the simple reason of helping  the makers of your favorite Lengua De Gato, Snowballs, Chocolate Crinkles and Mountain Maid Strawberry Jam, be sent through college. Good Shepherd products are good. Especially their Strawberry and Ube Jam.
A Baguio visit will not be complete if you didn't have a dose of their fresh vegetables and fruits. Most vegetables and flowers being sold in Manila are mostly from Baguio. And when you buy it straight from Baguio, you get almost 50% off from the Manila price. Let's say an 8 piece- pack of carrots for ₱10. A kilo of Broccoli for ₱60, that will give me 3-4 medium heads of broccoli. 

Not bad right? I mean, they sell Broccoli in Manila  around ₱40-60  per head. and choices are mostly small in size.

Plus, one should never miss out on "SAGADA Oranges". If some vendor insist, give that vendor a chance, because I guarantee you that 100% he/ she is not lying on how good these oranges are. But I was told that the real  so- called oranges from Sagada  are the big Dalandans (Philippine Orange), literally the big Dalandans, seedless and very sweet. In fairness, they will give you a taste test first, and then, you decide. Mines View Park Souvenir Area have lots of those Oranges.
The main highlights of my "pasalubong" shopping,  was being able to buy 2 of my favorites ---a fruit and a vegetable.
1. Bought fresh Strawberries straight from the Strawberry Farm La Trinidad. Fresh Strawberries are cheaper during the harvest season, which is around March.
2.  Fresh Shitake and Button Mushrooms
As you can see in most of my food entries, mushrooms are always present. I just love mushrooms!

Pasalubong Locations:
Mines View Park
Strawberry Farm La Trinidad
Baguio Market
Good Shepherd

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Left- Over Magic: Pastadobo

Featured Dish from Enchie's Kitchen

enchie’s kitchen

Celebrate Christmas Joie de Vivre with Delifrance

The spirit of Christmas is in the air, with carols being played in speakers and lanterns being sold in stores, and most of all, in the happy, expectant faces of people everywhere. It is during this festive season that the Joie de Vivre or Joy of Life, is most felt and celebrated.

Gift-giving can be a challenging task. Delifrance makes Christmas shopping much easier with its wide selection of gourmet cakes, hampers, and treats, sure to please any discerning palate.
Featuring a selection of delicious cakes, affordable goodies and premium gift boxes wrapped up in a cheerful palate of magenta and silver, Delifrance’s Christmas treats are sure to delight and enthrall loved ones.

Christmas Cakes
Start with these three beautiful Christmas cakes, primed to be the centerpiece of any holiday banquet. This holiday, indulge in the new French Espresso Fruitcake, a luscious masterpiece teeming with walnuts, pecans, and dates, from the tempting toppings to the rich espresso base. Brimming with beautifully arranged premium toppings, Delifrance Christmas cakes are visual works of art that taste as scrumptious as they look; perfect for giving or receiving and celebrating a truly Joyeux Noël.
Christmas Hampers
Delifrance is also famous for its festive Christmas hampers. Each gourmet item is carefully selected and packed in exquisite silver boxes, making it a remarkable gift both for aspiring gourmands and true connoisseurs. The warmth of Christmas certainly shines through with the Warmth Hamper. The assortment of baked goodies will surely tempt cookie lovers and sweet tooths alike with the rich Dark Chocolate Pistachio cookie, chewy Coffee Cinnamon Cookie, scrumptious Mocha Macadamia Cookie, and crunchy Almond Toffee Bark. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for cookie lovers and sweet tooths everywhere.

Christmas Treats
Christmas is never complete without thoughtful gifts to make a lasting good impression. This year, Delifrance introduces a new selection of affordable gourmet treats that bring Yuletide cheer to every dinner table.

Cookie lovers everywhere will rejoice in the chewy Coffee Cinnamon Cookie and the refreshing Dark Chocolate Mint Cookie, perfect for the holiday plate. A dark chocolate shell hides delicious buttery pistachio nuts within the Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cookie. Revel in the Mocha Macadamia Cookie and enjoy the texture of macadamia nuts covered in a mocha blanket.

Chocolate lovers and sweet tooths alike will enjoy the Fantasy Fudge, a luscious chocolate-almond confection! A toffee candy topped with chocolate and a generous layer of almonds, the Almond Toffee Bark is a delight to indulge in.

Feel the warmth of Christmas infect your taste buds with the Assorted Bars, an exquisite selection of bars that are a bit nutty, a bit dark, and just truly divine. A mixture of Dark Choco Chip Butterscotch, Choco Chip Cookie Dough Brownie, Butter Pecan, and Turtle Brownie, the delicious flavors of the Assorted Bars will really leave your celebrations on a sweet, high note.

With a selection of delicious cakes, affordable goodies and premium gift boxes wrapped up in a cheerful palate of magenta and silver, enthrall your loved ones and spread the spirit of giving this Yuletide season with gourmet gifts from Delifrance.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Celebrating My 32nd Birthday At Rose Bowl Baguio

After our fun night in Burnham Park, we scouted for a good restaurant.  We went around several streets. Baguio City was filled with Christmas lights,  pretty cool to walk around the city.

We were hoping for Star Cafe (another classic Chinese Restaurant) but when we got there, it was already closed, so Kat suggested Rose Bowl (thank you Kat), it was a perfect choice! I love Chinese Cuisine! Made my birthday celebration complete! Rose Bowl is an important tourist destination for food lovers.

Rose Bowl Restaurant: One of two classic Chinese restaurants in Baguio with family-style service.
Chinese Cuisine
7 Harrison Road Baguio City

My Birthday Menu was made of the following dishes...
Pork Asado
2 orders of Lechon Kawali
2 orders of Yang Chow Fried Rice
Fried Chicken
Beef Broccoli
Instead of a birthday cake, my husband ordered Birthday Noodles
We had tea after... To be honest, maybe some of you are waiting for some pictures... well, we didn't take that much photos. We were just enjoying our food, the cold weather and of course the presence of my family and close relatives, Perry, Kat and Sofia. We were just having fun, loving the bits and pieces of our first night and my birthday celebration.
This I must say is the most extraordinary celebration my whole life... I went back to Baguio after 7 years and this time,with my own family. I was able to embrace Baguio, a trip always worth remembering.

Left- Over Magic: Pastadobo

Featured Dish from Enchie's Kitchen
enchie’s kitchen

Friday, December 3, 2010

Spaghetti Bolognese

Bolognese sauce is often associated with tomato sauce. A traditional Bolognese Sauce is composed of  beef, pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, meat broth, white wine. With Italian Bolognese, pasta is mixed with the sauce, than served on top. For my Bolognese,  instead of pancetta or regular ground sirloin, I used Beef Meatballs coated with Parmesan cheese. I basically came up with the usual red sauce pasta then I added red wine, chopped parsley and mixed dried herbs.

  • 450g spaghetti
  • 1/2 K ground sirloin
  • 1 egg ( beaten)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 clove garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp of mixed dried herbs ( basil and rosemary)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup Italian Style Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium red tomato (diced)
  • salt and ground pepper
  • In a bowl, mix ground sirloin with beaten egg, a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Start making meatballs and coat each with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Deep fry until golden brown, then set aside.
  • In a sauce pan, saute minced garlic in olive oil until light brown.
  • Add diced fresh red tomatoes. Stir for a few seconds.
  • Add Red Wine and crushed tomatoes. Simmer for a few seconds.
  • Add chopped parsley and mixed herbs. Stir for a few seconds.
  • Add Italian Style Spaghetti Sauce, a dash of salt and pepper, then simmer for a few seconds.
How To: PASTA/ Plating
  • In a sauce pan boil pasta until Al Dente.
  • Using a pasta ladle, slowly set pasta on a plate. Drain water through the ladle.
  • Atop pasta with 2 meatballs per plate then pour red sauce.
  • Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.
* Using a serving platter, you can also mix the cooked pasta with the sauce, top with meatballs and Parmesan cheese.
Servings: 2-3

FTF: Midnight Snack At Malcolm's Burger

As we all know, I didn't celebrate my birthday on the exact date right? I stayed at home the whole day feeling woozy and dazed. And so, we continued our regular task. I went on with some chores, my husband went to work, my son went to school. Night of November 25, my husband gave me a call that he is on his way home and asked me and Frank to dress up because he is taking us somewhere. So I got ready with my regular shorts and shirt but still sleepy. I know he's going to take me to a restaurant, but I have no idea where. I opted not to bring any of my cameras and settled with a Blackberry.

Malcolm's Burger is located along Mother Ignacia St. Brgy. South Triangle, Diliman Quezon City, right beside Abs-Cbn. Malcolm's Burger offers almost everything. From Classic Burgers, Pasta, Pizza, Rice Dishes, Salads, Side Dishes, and various hot and cold drinks to match your meal. Malcolm's Burger Quezon City is open 24 hours.

Their tender and juicy beef patties made Malcolm's famous.  So, at 1am of November 26, I was munching on a mouthwatering burger from Malcolm's.
enchie’s kitchen
Malcolm's Classic
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The Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger
enchie’s kitchen

*Prices Range from Php120-Php300

Photos: Blackberry Curve 8900