Archive for February, 2010

Tomato Chorizo Pasta

Pasta dishes are probably the fastest meals you can whip up in the kitchen. All you really need is some garlic and olive oil, and you’re done. Fortunately for our hungry bellies, we had more than that last Monday night when Mister M came over.

I tossed whatever I found in the ref into the pan and came up with a pretty good dinner. Red, ripe tomatoes, chorizo, onions, garlic, fresh basil, chili flakes and lots of olive oil. I must have had three servings of pasta but was only slightly remorseful. This was too good! Thinking about it now is making me want to cook it again. Mmmmm.

Tomato Chorizo Pasta

  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • about 7 (very ripe) tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. chorizo, minced
  • 1 tsp. pepper flakes
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • any kind of pasta, cooked

In a pan, heat olive oil and saute’ onion and tomatoes until tender. Add chorizo and garlic and saute’ for another 5 minutes.  Add chili flakes, salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Add basil. Toss in the pasta and serve.

How fast was that?!

No wonder the scale said I gained three pounds. Tee hee. Oh, well.


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The Best Filipino Side Dish

Growing up, I would always eat kamias.  I remember picking this extremely sour fruit from our backyard and running to the house for some rock salt so I could enjoy it’s extreme sourness.  I never knew how else to eat this fruit until I was introduced to an amazing side dish at my Tita’s beach house in Batangas. This kamias side dish was always served with grilled fish or limepo and it just made people eat twice as much as they normally would.

This morning, as I went for my morning run, I noticed that our kamias tree had a lot of fruit. So using my shirt as my basket, I picked as much as I could and excitedly planned on making this side dish for dinner.

Fresh ingredients, all (except for the onions) from our garden

To make this side dish, you will need tomatoes, onions , ginger, green chili and bagoong balayan. The original recipe didn’t have this but since they’re in season, I decided to throw in some indian mangoes as well. Saute the onions, tomatoes and ginger in some oil until tender. Pour about 1/4 cup of bagoon balayan and simmer for 10 minutes. You can actually put less since the bagoong is extremely salty and can be overpowering. I made the mistake of pouring the contents of the whole bottle and I am now drinking as much water as possible to flush away the salt.  After simmering the bagoong, add the indian mangoes, kamias, chilies and turn the heat off. This dish is best served at room temperature.

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What’s For Lunch?

Penne with roasted garlic and pancetta is what’s for lunch.

I love recipes that use simple and few ingredients but still manage to produce a wonderfully flavored dish. I guess that’s the art of cooking – being able to maximize an ingredient’s full potential.

This dish is so easy to make that anyone can probably make it under 3o minutes.

Ahhhh. I love non-working holidays 🙂

Penne with Roasted Garlic and Pancetta

  • 3 heads of garlic, roasted (how to prepare roasted garlic)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. all purpose cream
  • 1/4 c. sliced pancetta or bacon
  • chili flakes
  • flat leaf parsley (or any herb you prefer, like basil)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/8 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. penne

Using one garlic first, remove it from the skin and mash with a fork.  Set aside.  Remove the garlic from the two remaining heads and set aside.

In a non-stick pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until transparent and soft.  Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown.  Add the mashed garlic and simmer for about 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle the chili flakes, parsley and add the rest of the garlic. Add sauce to the pasta while hot.

If the sauce gets too thick, you can always add a few tablespoons of  water or chicken stock then simmer for a few minutes

*It’s always best to work with fresh ingredients so feel free to add whatever you might have in your kitchen or garden.  Tomatoes and mushrooms will work wonderfully with this recipe, too.

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Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

A few weeks ago, a co-teacher of mine brought orange chocolate oatmeal cookies to school and they were absolutely scrumptious.  I haven’t stopped thinking of those cookies and have been bugging my co-teacher for the recipe. While I patently wait for that precious recipe, I tried to look for a quick fix to appease my craving. This is what I found.

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • 2 sticks of butter, room temp.
  • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (for the orange flavor, I used 1 tsp. orange extract and 1/2 tsp vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. quick or old fashioned oats (I find that old fashioned oats have a nicer texture)
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips (I didn’t have dark chocolate chips so I used 1/2 c. Hershey’s dark cocoa powder)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add combined flour mixture gradually to sugar mixture. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Make cookie balls the size of quarters and place them one inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake 8-12 minutes (I baked mine for 10 minutes and they were slightly chewy on the inside).

You will be very happy to know that these are low calorie cookies, having only 66 calories per serving. Thank you, Spark Recipes.

These went perfectly well with my Sunday morning coffee 🙂

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My First Trail Run and the Best Recovery Meal

It was hard for me to work today. My mind was still my recent weekend getaway where Mister M and I stayed overnight in Sta. Rosa for the Northface Nuvali Trail Run. It was my first trail run and I couldn’t be more excited.

Day 1

Things already started on the right note when we arrived at our home base for the night, El Cielito Inn. I am really not finicky about where I sleep. All I want are clean sheets, a clean bathroom, and preferably an air conditioner. For the price of P2,512 (discounted rate for race participants), we got what we wanted with good service too boot. We were so happy with the place that we were already thinking of staying there again for my first marathon (TBR marathon).

We were at Sta. Rosa for a full afternoon so we decided to look around for a nice place where we could have dinner and load up on carbs. The plan was to hit Kanin Club at Paseo de Sta. Rosa, but we got side tracked when I remembered what someone told me that there was a good Japanese restaurant in the vicinity. Nothing excited Mister M more than Japanese food so we went and looked for the place. Much to our surprise, there was a whole lane of Japanese restaurants, almost like a Little Tokyo. We chose from about four restaurants but gravitated towards the one with simple interiors and what seemed like an authentic Japanese menu, Ichi.

Ichi at Pase de Sta. Rosa

I have to say that their menu was quite overwhelming. They had a plethora of dishes to choose from but I suppose if you know what you want, you should be ok.  There was also a menu available in Japanese and one Pinoy friendly version with pictures on it.

reasonable prices at Ichi

We ordered a lot on our first visit – sushi mix, soba, chicken terriyaki with rice, salmon sushi, eggplant tempura and beer and our bill was almost exactly P1000. Not bad at all for the quality and the servings were just right.

Sushi Mix

Pork Soba proved to be unforgettable since Mister M was still thinking about it until the next day.

Eggplant Tempura

Chicken Terriyaki

Salmon Sushi, like butter.

the white rice was actually my favorite part of the meal. sooooper sarap!

ever present beer

Again, all that for P1000.

Day 2

Race organizers were spot on when they called the even Thrill of the Race. Nuvali was buzzing with excitement and anticipation people were at the assembly area as early as 4:00 am. I was overwhelmed with good vibes.

The race was an absolute success. Nuvali provided a scenic and serene route that left all of us happily challenged.  It was a great first for me! But I think I was also quite elated to have Mister M waiting for me by the finish line 🙂

Catching the sunrise during the run was an amazing experience

good job, Northface!

Despite the horror stories of some participants who got lost during the trail run, I think it was a memorable experience for everyone. After the race, we headed back to El Cielito to wash up and rest then headed back to Ichi for our lunch/recovery meal.

Sashimi sampler

Chicken Fried rice

Tempura Soba

Gyoza goodness (although I think it had MSG)

Ichi's interiors

I can’t help but still gush over such a good weekend. Everything about it was perfect and I’m already looking forward to my next Sta. Rosa visit.

*Food pictures courtesy of Mister M and his LX3.

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Gratitude Post

Today, I am grateful for so many things – an amazing first trail run, ample rest, excellent food and an awesome time with friends and the man who makes my heart do triple somersaults. It seems like the world conspired to make up for all the lousy Valentine’s Days that I experienced in the past.

So Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Chinese New Year, everyone. Hope your day was as awesome as mine.

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