Tuesday, September 24, 2013


One of the places my family was fond of visiting when I was kid is Cubao in Quezon City. Who will never forget the fun rides at the Fiesta Carnival, toy shopping in COD after watching the Christmas Display Show, window shopping with my mom at the Rustan's Department Store, a quick trip to Farmer's Market and of course, the old Marikina Shoe Expo. I'm not the only person who loves Cubao, my hubsand as well. My other half practically grew up in Cubao. His family lived across Aurora Blvd. the road that links Cubao to their old house. Just recently, my husband took me to Nena's Bibingka located beside the old building that used to be COD which is now, a SM Savemore supermarket.

We talked to the waiter and even told him our story about the old Nena's restaurant... Nena's restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in Cubao that's still open. We had lunch at Nena's after our quick errand in SM Cubao. Nena's has become my husband's one of the memorable places he visited during his childhood. He told me that his dad would take him there all the time. It brought good, old memories back as we waited for our food.

Our lunch went around on an order of Lechon Kawali, Eggplant Enchilada and Beef Mechado. The serving per viand is good for sharing.
As we enjoyed our food, it felt like we never left our "old" homes. I can taste my "lola's" cooking with the food I ate at Nena's. It was wonderful to feel and imagine my childhood days with traditionally prepared food at Nena's.
Nena's specialty is their Bibingkas. Right now, they have a Buy4 Get 1 free promo for Php80. It's all-year round favorite. They also have a Merienda Buffet at Php170 with a No Leftover Price of Php85. Prices range from Php30-200.
Aling Nena with the young Vilma Santos

(These vintage photos were taken from a display in the restaurant.)

Located: General Romulo Avenue, Corner Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Quezon City
beside the old COD
Restaurant hours: 8am-8pm Monday- Saturday

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Healthy Burgers

Everyone loves hamburger! The only thing that matters when eating a hamburger is the amount of trans fat and carbohydrates we take- in, especially food coming from fast food restaurants. Some of us have switched sides to a healthier diet. In my family, my husband used to indulge with hamburgers. But he grew big and now, as much as possible we try our best to avoid not only burgers from fast food chains, but anything that's already processed. But in reality, there will always be room for processed ingredients. Let's face it, no one's perfect, as "humans", we still crave even just a little for delicious food like hamburgers. In that case, as the head of our kitchen, I try to look for products with less harmful ingredients. If I can make one from scratch, I try...

My healthy hamburgers are made from natural choices. The only processed ingredients in this recipe is the mayo- lite and the cheese.

Ingredients: Hamburger Patties
Makes: 6 palm- sized patties
  • 1/2 k fresh lean ground beef 
  • 2 medium red onions ( minced)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • a dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
 *The  meat I used is freshly ground beef. I get to choose the lean part then have it ground.
  • In a bowl, mix all ingredients evenly. Set aside.
  • In a frying pan,  heat olive oil and fry patties until golden brown.
  • Or grill the patties.

Ingredients: Sandwich
  • 6 pcs. Hamburger Buns (wheat is preferred)
  • 6 pcs. cheese (singles)
  • 1 medium cucumber (sliced)
  • 1 big salad tomato (sliced)
  • 1 white onion (sliced)
  • 6 pcs. lettuce
  • a small pack of mayo lite or any dressing you like

  • Toast hamburger buns. Set aside.
  • Put dressing over one side of the bun, then make your own sandwich (according to your preference).
I like mine with:
Beef Patty
TCO - tomato, cucumber, onion

One can still enjoy a delightful hamburger without the hassle thinking that's it's unhealthy or it can make you fat. Remember, too much of "everything or anything" is bad. Not only burgers. Give yourself a break try this simple and healthy burger recipe. Just substitute the ingredients you think will not work for you with something healthier. Enjoy!

 I paired my burgers with some homemade potato mojos, mustard and catsup on the side as well.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

Aside from burrito, Quesadillas is one of my favorite snack to make at home. With almost the same set of ingredients like of the burritos, one can easily make a set of snacks composing of both Mexican delights. 

Let's concentrate on the Quesadilla recipe I'm about to share.

Quesadilla is tortilla with a cheesy filling inside. It's folded and heated up in a dry pan. Cheese is one of the main ingredients in every quesadilla because it glues everything together. I also prefer using flour quesadilla to get the soft- bread effect. It's easy to fold and flour tortilla can hold more filling than a corn tortilla. The exciting thing about quesadillas is the filling. You can practically use and combine anything. As for my choices, I went for chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces, sauteed in onions and with my left- over chili con carne sauce. Ground beef is also a good option.
Servings: 10- 15 medium slices

Ingredients: Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla
  • 2 chicken breast fillet chopped into small pieces or 1/4 k of lean ground beef
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup chili con carne sauce or tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 3 large tortillas 
  • 2- 3 cups grated quickmelt cheese or mozzarella 
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • a dash of salt and pepper
How To: 
  • In a frying pan, heat oil, sauteed chopped onion with chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked.
  • Add chili con carne sauce or tomato sauce and cilantro. Stir for a few seconds.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
* same procedure goes with ground beef  and add cheese sauce as an option.
  • Prepare a bigger, dry, round frying pan. In low fire, heat tortilla wrapper.
  • Fill one side with 1/2 cup from sauteed chicken and top it with 1/2 cup grated cheese. Spread it evenly.
  • Fold other end of the tortilla, press for a few seconds, then flip it carefully to heat the other side of the tortilla.
  • Flip it one more time and notice that it's more intact and both sides are a bit brown.
  • Plate and slice.
  • 3 medium red tomatoes minced
  • 1 medium red onion minced
  • 1/2 tsp cilantro
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp olive oil (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice (optional)
In a bowl mix everything together. Ready to serve.
Enjoy your weekend with these and some ice cold soda pop.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Black Angus Steak for My Birthday?

It's September and once the "BER" months sets in, for my family, it doesn't only mean that Christmas is just around the corner. But also, it's within the "BER" that we get to celebrate 3 birthdays. Mine and my children's birthday. Let's concentrate on my plans for my special day this year. First, I'm not much of a spender when it comes to my special day. Usually, I only celebrate by spending the day with my family at a mall, then eat somewhere that caters simple food and drinks. For some reason, I want something different this year. Aside from my husband and kids, I thought of inviting 3 of my best pals (2 of my childhood friends, my maid of honor) and of course, my mom and sisters for dinner or lunch in a restaurant I haven't tried before.

Come to think of it, it's been a long time since I've organize a day out or a night out with any of the girls. I thought of having steak for my birthday. It's something new really. Usually, I go for Chinese, Italian and even Mexican food. My husband who is more familiar with steaks is going to help me out. I was advised to check online for black angus coupons 2013 . Coupons is not new to me, I've enjoyed expensive dining experience with the help of coupons. Sometimes, they give you big discounts, a free appetizer and dessert or an up-size on your favorite drink.

For the mean time, I have to serach for restaurants that will give me and my guests the best steaks ever. Maybe some of them are offering such great deals too.