Saturday, February 23, 2013

Great Deals For Treats

Since September 2012, relatives from Georgia's been visiting us. It was quite a year because we don't get to go abroad and yet, we always blessed with visits from our relatives in America. The visits didn't end in 2012 though, because as early as January of the new year, a close auntie of my husband paid us a visit as well. As early as December 2012, we were already talking about our aunt's visit, making plans with our other relatives here in the Philippines as well.

We thought of several places that has restaurant discounts and dining deals. When it comes to dining deals, these are restaurants that offers packages.  From a single order to family size meals. Yes it is cost savings, because you get to choose meals that's according to ones budget. And so, we were able to treat our aunt to a perfect place with nice view and cool ambiance. These restaurant deals  will sure come in handy, especially for people like my family who likes to treat guests.
$20 for $40 Worth of Mexican Food at Chepo's Mexican Restaurant  
For this month, we're set again to meet another relative who'll be visiting us from Georgia. As of now, we are still looking for a great place that offers a wide selection and that has an extraordinary take. 

Once we get to visit Georgia ourselves, my family and I will make sure to go on a food adventure.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Will I Go For A Dishwasher?

We have been renting a condo most of our 8 years being married and I fell in love with it. For some, they don't find condo living healthy at all. But with proper spacing, condo living can actually make you feel like you're in a real house. It offers the same atmosphere. Especially, that most developers now includes a family- friendly environment surrounding the community. 

Among the things I have been pondering on for my new kitchen is a dishwasher. In our location, a dishwasher is not as common compared to other countries. A friend advised us that since it is going to be a brand new place and we will be getting our unit bare, might as well maximize the space and bring in all the kitchen essentials that can fit, including a dishwasher. So my husband and I went and searched for dishwasher reviews. We like the brand GE. Most of our kitchen appliance are from GE. Our recent by from the brand is a stainless steel microwave oven and we are loving it.

I plan to get something that has all that I need. A dishwasher that's durable, it has an advance wash system, it dries, sanitizes and that has a built- in Piranha Hard Food Disposer with removable filter. It is my first time to go through a list of dishwashers and the specifications for each blows me away.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tapa o Tapsilog

It's Valentines Day and for breakfast, I cooked my husband's favorite Filipino Breakfast of Tapsilog. TAPSILOG: Tapa (cured beef), Sinangag (fried rice) and Itlog (fried egg) 

Tapa or cured beef is a famous Filipino viand that's often served for breakfast. But for some, it can also be an all-day dish.
Servings: 3-4
Ingredients: Basic Tapa
  • 1/2 K beef (breakfast steak) (sliced into thin pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 whole garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar or 1/4 cup calamansi juice
  • 1/2 tsp granulated pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar or none
  • 1 1/2 cup water
How To:
  • In a bowl or a large Ziploc, mix all ingredients and marinate the beef for at least an hour or 2.
  • In a pan, boil prepared beef in 1 1/2cup water .
  • Once water is reduced, in low heat, continuously stir beef in it's own oil. * once water evaporates, the beef will secrete it's own oil. Or add cooking oil if necessary.
  • Serve if desired texture is reached.
There are various ways when it comes to the preparation, cooking and serving of tapa.

1. Aside from beef strips, the meat can also be marinated and cook steak- style (whole meat).
2. It is very common for some to add "salitre" or saltpeter. It is a preservative.
3. Sugar is optional.
4. It can be served with your usual sunny side up egg or slices of salted egg and tomatoes.

Actually, which ever way you choose, when it comes to this dish, definitely,  your tapa is going to be delicious.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Something New and Easy

Have you ever been caught in a state of mind when you wished that there's a website that can give answers to almost anything? I "did". I cook a lot, but I still search online for other sources, especially when it comes to new, easy recipes and exotic dishes to prepare. 

Right now, since I'm preparing for our new home, I'm looking at good reviews on kitchenware and recipes that I can try. I found a lot at wikitalks. I never thought that I'll be able to find a place online where I can get tips on almost everything. For cooking, family needs, household and even things that I can produce for business.

Here's one interesting food find:  A cheese casserole that is easy to make. A dish that can be served for breakfast. Actually it can be eaten anytime of the day.

It would be nice to try this newly found cheese recipe, it will  make our typical Filipino meal extra- special. Not only that, I can also serve it to our guests.
A new home, a new kitchen and a new dish... that's going to be awesome... I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Farinas Ilocos Empanada

It just keeps getting better. That's why I love QC! Everything is here, it's a good location for food business owners to put up their restaurants. Just recently, Farinas Ilocos Empanada graced us with  branches very near to our place:

1. Kalayaan Avenue QC.
2. White Plains QC. 

But before anything else, I would like to share that my husband and I developed this 3am ritual everytime he would come home from work late. He would often buy goodies from food stops along White Plains- Katipunan Avenue since it's along the way going home. Early last month, my husband surprised me with a new delicious treat. We've tried several restaurants that offers Ilocano delicacy, most of the food we tried were okay, but it wasn't as good as what we have tasted from Farinas.
Our first food trip from Farinas was their Bagnet meal. It's Bagnet served with hot rice, salted egg, tomatoes and best eaten with Farinas' special bagoong and Ilocos vinegar. In one of the parties we attended over the recent holidays, we brought Bagnet from Farinas, everyone liked it.

Today, we went to a different store location, Kalayaan Avenue. It just so happen that we were having our car fixed. The manager of the auto shop told us that they will be going on their lunch break. So we thought that we should also go for lunch. At first, I was totally clueless where my husband and I can go for lunch. Apparently, my husband was ahead of me. He knew that there was a nearby Farinas. It was so close to where we were, we just crossed the street.
The Kalayaan branch was roomy. I noticed that it is also equipped with a CCTV camera. For a change, I ordered Longganisa meal (90php) which is Ilocos longganisa served with hot rice, salted egg and tomatoes.
To match my food and to be able to get hold of the Ilocos dining experience, I added an order of Farinas' Special Empanada (50php). As always, best eaten with Sukang Iloko.
The Special Empanada filling is composed of egg, longganisa and green papaya. The Special empanada is close to the traditional Ilocano empanada which is green papaya, mongo, egg and longganisa. It is packed in rice flour, then fried. It is orange in color. Best eaten with sukang Iloko.
A simple afternoon of errands was made way extraordinary because of an accidental discovery. 

Thank you  Farinas for bringing the heart of Ilocos near our home and for spreading the love among Ilocano food enthusiasts here in Manila!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stir- Fried Ho Fun Noodles

I've always wondered where and how to cook Ho Fan or Ho Fan noodles. Ho Fan has a fettuccine- like noodles. Texture is similar to vermicelli. It is white, others are transparent. In restaurants, usually Cantonese, it is often served in a platter drizzled with sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds mixed with in a secret sauce. In the condo where we used to live, our neighbor gave us Ho Fan as a welcome present. Our neighbor told us that her son cooked it and it's like pancit mixed with a different kind of sauce. I take that the sauce is the secret behind the delicious dish she gave us. 

So I tried cooking my own stir- fried ho fan. I created my own sauce and a set of dry ingredients that I thought will fit perfectly. Actually, I based this recipe on the Ho Fan our neighbor prepared for us.

Please take note that I will only share the basic on preparing the sauce. Finally, I was able to concoct my own and of course it will always be my key ingredient.
Servings: 3-4
  • 300g Ho Fan Noodles (soaked in hot water, drained)
  • 2 chicken breast fillet (chopped)
  • 10 pcs. Squid Balls (chopped)
  • 4 tbsp. Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped spring onions
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts (I prefer short sprouts)
  • 1 small carrot (chopped into thin strips)
  • 1 small Pechay Baguio ( chopped into thin strips) *or any green vegetable of your choice
  • 1/2 cup roasted nuts (optional)
*Other add-ons: Tofu, Shitake, beef, pork, tuna, shrimps or mixed seafood and bell pepper. 

How To:
  • In a sauce pan, saute garlic and onion for a few seconds.
  • Add chicken and squid balls and stir until chicken is cooked.
  • Add carrots, mung bean sprouts and nuts. Stir until vegetables are half-cooked.
  • Add Oyster Sauce and chili. Mix everything well.
  • Add green vegetable strips, spring onions and sesame oil.
  • Mix everything evenly.
  • Add soaked Ho Fan noodles and mix evenly.

* To soften the Ho Fan Noodles soak it in hot water, drain, then mix it immediately with the prepared sauce..