Archive for November, 2009

New Deli in Kapitolyo

I’m starting to develop an aversion towards Pasig. Traffic, especially in the Ortigas area is horrible and parking in commercial places is always a nightmare. City Golf on Julia Vargas used to be the default setting for impromptu dates, but the influx of bars and restaurants in that tiny area have made it almost impossible to visit on weekends.  So out of desperation and desire to escape the chaotic watering holes, I suggested to Mister M that we head for Kapitolyo and try our luck at the newly opened delicatessen slash wine bar.  Much to my delight, it was open. It was almost 12mn when we got there and it seemed like they were about to close. Luckily enough, the accommodating owners were there and allowed us to enjoy a bottle of wine.

Poco Deli offers the usual delicatessen fare of cold cuts,sausages and cheese (some coming from Mickey’s Deli) along with pizzas and pasta dishes.  They had a pretty decent wine selection that can satisfy the occasional craving for a sophisticated buzz. The place was quiet with a very relaxing ambience.  That night, it also offered the respite that I needed.

Sausage Platter (P280)

Sausage Platter (P280)

My visit to Poco Deli was short but sweet and certainly made my drive to Pasig worth it. It’s good to know that I now have a new place to go to for my vino fix, and far away from the maddening crowd.

Poco Deli is located at East Kapitolyo Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig (a few meters from Charlie’s)

*all photos taken with a Nokia 6700 Classic

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There’s a brand new BUTTER in town

And it’s called Dairy Magic.

I’ve only seen at SM Supermarket where it was being sold at about P23.  It caught my attention because it was priced lower than my usual brand of baking butter, Bakers Best. So I gave it a try and am quite happy with it.

I’m no butter connoisseur so I won’t even attempt to compare the taste with the leading brands. All I can say is that I like the taste, sort of like buttermilk.

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Laura Calder

First there was Nigela. Then came Ina. Now there’s Laura.

Laura Calder is my new favorite chef to watch. I started catching her on the AFC and was instantly mesmerized by her French cooking, casually confident demeanor and calming voice that seems to hypnotize me.  Why this sounds like a Fatal Attraction post, I don’t know. Laura Calder makes French cooking look terribly easy. How I wish her show was on in the mornings so I could start my days better.

Tonight, I will attempt to stay up late and will try to catch French Food at Home I am particularly excited as tonight’s episode is supposed to highlight her relationship with her mentor.

Tomorrow, I wander into the nearest bookstore and BROWSE (not buy, as I am on a shopping diet) through her cookbooks.

Sigh.


P.S. I like her even more because her website is also green-ish 🙂

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All About Jars

 

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I am currently obsessing over jars. What can I say? I’m a sucker for simple and functional objects.

These mason jars could have a number of uses.

1. Storage. Clear jars are perfect containers for spices, herbs, baking ingredients, homemade jams, sauces, salad dressing and chutneys.  What’s also great is that these are see through so you can easily identify and grab what you need. If displayed properly, these could also serve an aesthetic purpose in your kitchen.

2. Shakers. These jars can also come in handy when making home made salad dressings. All you need to do is pour all your ingredients in the bottle and shake away.

3.  Glasses.  My friend came up with the idea of turning these jars into party glasses. They worked perfectly with cocktails since all we had to do was pour, cover, shake and drink.

4. Gifts items. These make for very good gifts. Just fill them with your favorite homemade sauce, tie a ribbon around it and you have instant Christmas gift that will be much appreciated, especially since these are reusable jars.

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Air tight jars that I found at the Robinsons Department Store

I used to have a problem with finding these jars so I am quite happy that they are a lot more accessible nowadays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Of Gourmet Paos and Good Friends

Yesterday, two of my closest friends H and M, opened up their new home to us. The text invite said, ” Gourmet Siopao and beer for lunch.” Sounded just like my kind of Saturday, and it sure was.  It was such a treat to be among wonderful people, in a beautiful yet cozy environment where all we did was eat, drink, talk and laugh.

LUNCH

The siopaos by Gourmet Pao were hard to miss. At approximately 6-7 inches in diameter, these steamed   buns looked like they would be a challenge to finish because they were really massive. Deciding on what flavor was also tricky just because there were so much to choose from. I ended up having the Chucho, which issiopao filled with ham, cheese and chorizo.  This one didn’t veer so far away from your regular bola-bola siopaobecause of the similarities inpork flavor, except this one is oozing with melted cheese. I also tried the Tuna Dekada, which is filled with tuna, capers, egg and cheese – my instant favorite.  There were probably five other flavors to try but I was just too stuffed to venture that far. Simple food like Gourmet Paos are perfect for entertaining. They are hassle-free to serve and are definitely crowd pleasers.

Gourmet Pao

Gourmet Pao

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Chucho, chorizo with cheese

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M also served this eggplant dish. I’m guessing is was sauteed in onions, garlic, tomatoes and the best part – daing. This was so delicious, I was eating it until late that evening.

Eggplat with Daing

MERIENDA

bar

The beginning of what promises to be a well stocked bar. Looks pretty complete to me.

DINNER

Since we had planned to go to the nearby mall for a while, I suggested that we do the groceries and that I cook dinner. We decided to go with a simple pasta dish with shitake mushrooms, basil, tomato and cream paired with a tuna Nicoise salad.  And because it was supposed to be a hassle-free evening, we chose to just grab one whole rotisserie chicken.

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Tuna Salad Nicoise with Lemon Vinaigrette


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Shitake with tomato and basil cream pasta

We ended that day unbelievably stuffed but mostly glad to be among good friends.

Thank you, H and M for welcoming us into your beautiful home and for giving us the honor of being your first guests.

Shitake Mushrooms with Basil and Tomato Pasta

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 small red bell peppers, minced

3 tomatoes, diced

2 packs of shitake mushrooms, sliced

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup all purpose cream

a handful of fresh basil

1/4 cup water or chicken stock

salt and pepper

your choice of pasta

In a nonstick pan, heat butter and olive oil.  Saute’ garlic until fragrant, then add bell peppers. Saute’ for another 3 minutes or until bell peppers are tender.  Add shitake mushrooms and 1/4 cup liquid. Cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes, remembering to stir once in a while.  Add cream, salt and pepper. Mix with pasta and serve.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

IMG_7125What was supposed to be a 3-day weekend was extended another day, and I think we were all secretly thankful for this prolonged vacation.  My co-teachers and I just got over the first term crunch and got our much needed break (maybe even too much of it).

Last night, Mr. and Mrs. PM decided to host a Mexican dinner in lieu of a Halloween party.  I honestly thought that was a better idea since I’ve never been a fan of this festival.  Yes, I am the Halloween scrooge 😛 Mrs. PM was set to cook all the food so I volunteered to bring dessert – Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes. Basically, the cupcake version of hot chocolate with a dash of cayenne. I was very excited to make these.

After reading different variations of this recipe, I finally decided on my own. I was going to take my chocolate cupcake recipe and just add 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne and chai spices to it. I also substituted the regular cow’s milk with coconut milk which was quite typical for this recipe. I was very curious to see if the coconut milk would affect the taste of the cupcake, but it didn’t. To top it all of, I made orange chocolate buttercream frosting. Mmmmmmm. This cupcake recipe is perfect for a cold night because of the hint of heat and all the spices that warm you up inside. This is definitely not your regular chocolate cupcake and my absolute new favorite.

I’d share my recipe with you but then I’d have to hunt you down after. But check this one out, a recipe from Love and Olive Oil which is very similar to the one I used.

Happy baking everyone and I hope you all had a safe weekend.

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