Thursday, May 16, 2013


When I first saw the movie poster of Ratatouille, I always thought that it was just an ordinary cartoon for kids. As I went on with the show (and that was 6 years ago), I found so much inspiration in it. As a person who loves to cook, the movie Ratatouille brought me to become "a chef" in my own little ways around my humble kitchen. The dish Ratatouille has always been a target of mine. Finally, I was able to make my first. A no- bake version.

Please take note of my ingredients because the vegetables I used were the ones present in my chiller. Actually, you can use any vegetables. The original recipe is composed of round slices of eggplant, yellow and green zucchini, tomatoes, perfectly layered, baked then served with a special sauce.

As for my Ratatouille, though it didn't turn out quite beautiful and presentable like the traditional dish, I can say that I still enjoyed a good mixture of flavors and texture in my mouth.
  • Round eggplant sliced thinly
  • Red tomatoes or red capsicum sliced thinly
  • Squash sliced thinly
  • * Yellow and green zucchini sliced thinly
  • 5 cloved garlic (minced)
  • 1 small can of Hunt's diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 tbsp quick- melt cheese or grated Mozzarella
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped sweet basil
  • salt and pepper
How To:
  • In a sauce pan, blanch vegetables until half-cooked, set aside.
  • In another pan, saute garlic in olive oil. 
  • Add chopped herbs and canned tomatoes. Stir for a few seconds.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a baking dish or any microwavable container, pour about 1/2 cup  of the tomato puree with herbs.
  • Layer vegetables
  • Top vegetables with the remaining tomato puree
  • Add Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Cover and pop it in the microwave for 30 sec or a minute.

Serve it with rice, pita or how Anton Ego likes it--- plain Ratatouille.

Anton Ego: "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more." imdb Ratatouille (2007)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

YABU On Mother's Day 2013

We went on with our Mother's Day celebration early. My husband opted to treat me and our 2 little boys out for brunch instead of dinner. I didn't know that he had Yabu in mind.  In Yabu, based on our experience once lunch time strikes, the waiting line is going to be endless. We were at the Sm Megamall branch as early as 10 in the morning. But since the mall just opened, I suggested we look around for other restaurants. After an hour of browsing through menus, I thought that Yabu is enough to celebrate. We were lucky to get a table. Even if it's outside the restaurant, we didn't mind because a few minutes after we were seated, the line started to build up.

It's Mother's Day!
The famous House of Katsu was a good choice for the day. It was my son's first time to experience Yabu. He enjoyed grinding the sesame seeds. He mixed his own sauce and drizzled his cabbage with his choice of dressing. Of course, my son loved the fact that he ate using chopsticks.
Our food circled on Tonkatsu Sets: Rosu 180g and Rosu 120g
Then we had an additional order of  Seafood Katsu Set: Black Tiger Prawn, Scallop, Cream Dory, Oyster and Squid. It was indeed "my day" because we were served with more oysters. Usually, they serve this set with 1 for each kind. I got a seafood set just because of Yabu's giant oysters and they're fresh.

When it comes to good food, a refreshing drink must follow. It's Yabu's House Blend bottomless iced tea!
For my son, he had the Kid's Katsu Set Meal which includes: potato croquette, edamame, Japanese rice, cabbage and a bowl of fruit. My son loves it! It's a healthy set for kids.
After lunch, we went around the mall for awhile and no I didn't go shopping which I usually do on occasions like these. Well, I thought I'll save up for some kitchen essentials instead. I'm very happy for this simple and fun Mother's Day celebration. Seeing my love ones happy with what I do for them and with what they experience doing with me makes yours truly complete not just as a mother to my 2 boys, but also whole as a person. I love you guys! Your Moma is always here for you...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mushroom and Cheese Croquettes

So I was enjoying buffet dinner with my family over the weekend, and it just so happen that City Buffet's croquettes was the highlight of my meal. It was plain potato croquette but it was delicious and it matched the salsa sauce that came with it. I thought, as a week opener, beating the Monday blues, I decided to make my version. Mushroom and Cheese Croquettes.

Croquettes are easy to make and it can be stuffed with almost anything. Ground meat, vegetables, different cheeses, ham, bacon and a mix of any of these. It can also be served with any sauce but most of the time it is paired with salsa.
Since it's my first time to make it, I searched for an easy recipe. Please check the link: Croquette Recipe
Instead of Ham and Cheese, I replaced the ham part with minced mushrooms.
My sauce recipe:
  • 1/2 cup Hunt's Tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ready-made salsa
  • 1/2 tsp cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp chopped parsley
  • a dash of salt
How To:
  • Mix everything in a microwavable container and pop it inside the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Also best served when chilled.
*Please take note that you can use any brand of tomato sauce and ready- made salsa. I prefer Hunt's because their tomato sauce is thick and rich.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Afternoon Delight at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

Labor Day was spent with a very good friend of mine. We drove all the way to Alabang to meet up with her and plan our summer getaway for this year. After lunch, we decided to look for a cozy place where we can have dessert and refreshments and continue our talk. It just so happen that the Vanilla Cupcake Bakery branch at the Alabang Town Center is already open, so we walked our way to one of the cutest dessert place I've been to.
Like any other Vanilla Cupcake Bakery branch the Alabang branch is also appealing. The Daphne chairs made it more stylish. Makes me want to buy one for my dresser and few for my soon- to-be- new dining room and balcony.
I was set to get a taste of my favorite Luscious Salted Caramel. But unfortunately, they didn't have it on the day of our visit. There were less choices for the cupcakes as well.
The cheesecakes on the other hand, are overflowing.
Our dessert for the day went around with their best sellers: Red Velvet, Chocolate Malt, Banofee and Toffee. We also ordered some Strawberry Iced Tea and a Strawberry Smoothie. I'm not much of a cupcake person but I still do have my list of favorites.

1. Anything with rich chocolate is worth trying.
2. Red Velvet being one of the Vanilla Cupcake Bakery's best sellers, is also a must- try.
3. Banofee, though I've fallen in love with Banapple's banofee, Vanilla Cupcake's version is not as sweet which makes it a good choice for me as well in case I need my banofee fix.
The whole time we were at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery. We were just loving and enjoying our friendly talk. That would be from 2 until 5 in the afternoon. The ambiance was very homey. It felt like we're at the veranda in one of our houses enjoying our usual girl talk while having some cool refreshments and pastries.
While Rach and I spent the afternoon at the bakery, my husband and my son Frankie went around the town looking for toy shops. We're looking forward for another visit and hopefully with the rest of the girls--- and boys too.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Celebrating Mom and Ella's Birthday at Papa John's

The recent week, I have been occupied searching for a nice restaurant where the whole family can celebrate my mom and my sister's birthday. Usually, we do the celebration at home. We cook luscious dishes, spent with a whole lot of endless bonding moments. Since my dad is out of the country and my other brother wasn't also available,  my mom decided to treat the rest of the family some place else. At first she wanted buffet. Then, Banapple. Until she finally made up her mind to try Papa John's.

Papa John's as most of us know, is a famous pizza- pasta restaurant that originated in America. It's one of the fast- growing restaurants in the Philippines. For family gatherings and for group get- togethers, Papa John's is perfect.
One of the things I like about Papa John's is their cozy dining room. Even when the restaurant is full, there's room for movement. The tables are aligned properly and offers enough privacy.

My Pink Grapefruit Soda
I love Papa John's Sodas. On my second round I went with Green Apple.
Each went with an order of any pasta of their choice. Most of us got Seafood Carbonara.
Mediterranean Seafood Linguini
Diablo Burst
3 orders of each: Mozzarella Sticks and Battered Onion Rings
Papa John's Signature Pizza: All the Meats Pizza
Papa John's Signature Pizza: Super Papa's
Papa John's Specialty Pizza: Fisherman's Catch
We sure made our mom happy by simply going with her choice of restaurant. I know that Papa John's will fit our needs as a big family. We love the food, the ambiance and the friendly people at Papa John's.

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