Thursday, December 06, 2007

Garlic Champignon Mushrooms

Garlic Champignon Mushrooms
Photo from the Web

This dish is inspired by the Garlic Mushrooms (a clone recipe I made) I used to have at Kahayag, a resto bar we used to frequent because of the good food and good music. So sad, it had to close down. I sure am missing the place now.

6-10 cloves of Garlic (or more, adjust according to your preference) crushed and minced
1 can of Champignon Mushrooms
Knorr Liquid Seasoning - season according to taste
Salt and Pepper - season according to taste
Olive oil (or any kind of cooking oil) - about a tablespoon
1 tbsp Butter

1. Saute garlic in butter.
2. add olive oil.
3. add mushrooms including the liquid. let it boil.
4. season with Knorr, according to taste.
5. add salt and pepper according to taste.
6. simmer the mushrooms until the desired firmness of the mushrooms is reached.

serve and enjoy. =)

I am just winging out this recipe, no exact cooking time. I followed my taste buds when I made this. =)

Buttered Oyster Mushrooms with Garlic

Buttered Oyster Mushrooms with Garlic
6 servings (1/2 cup per serving)
Preparation time: 15 minutes cooking time: 5 minutes
- recipe taken from Eat and Run Cookbook

this makes a good accompaniment to beef steak or pork chop

3 cups oyster mushrooms
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

- wash and clean mushrooms. slice and soak in water for about 10 minutes. set aside.
- in a shallow pan, melt butter and stir-fry garlic until fragrant.
drain mushrooms and pat dry with paper towels. add mushrooms to pan, stirring until well coated with butter. cover pan and reduce heat.
- cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Siakoy or Sugar Twist

One of my indulgences and my favorite snack food when I was growing up. I miss eating this treat. My cousin's nanny that sells this fave of mine has transferred to another location (sigh). Though I can buy sugar twists from the grocery or a nearby bakery, it still does not taste the same. It lacks the homemade touch. Sugar twists from the grocery or the bakery tastes too commercialized for me. I still have to try out this recipe though. Hopefully one of these days I can let the nanny come over and teach me her secret in making this sumptuous sweet. =) So that every time I have a craving I can just whip myself up a batch =D (that would be something to look forward to).

Siakoy (Sugar Twist)

4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbsp oil

Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water.
Add sugar, salt, oil, and 3 cups flour.
Mix and knead until smooth.
Use remaining flour during kneading.
Form into a ball and let rise in a greased bowl for 1 hour or until double in bulk.
Punch down and divide into 24 portions.
Roll each portion into a 10 inch cylinder and twist into a rope.
Let stand for 30 minutes or until double.
Fry in deep hot oil until golden brown.

Kangkong aka Morning Glory

Kang kong (Ipomoea aquatica or reptans) has two main varieties, one with larger leaves and stems and one with narrower leaves and stems…the latter sometimes referred to in local markets as “Chinese Kang kong.” Also known as “water spinach” – why, one wonders as it is not related to “spinach” but rather more closely related to sweet potatoes.

-from the web-

Kangkong is an ubiquituous vegetable in the Philippines. In English, it is known as swamp cabbage or swamp spinach although it is not a cabbage nor spinach. It grows everywhere in the Philippines, in ditches, in ponds, on dry land, or in cultivation. This is a very versatile green - you can use it as an ingredient for soup, stews, noodles etc. but it can also stand on its own and prepared as an adobo (adobong kangkong), with shrimp paste (binagoongang kangkong), or in this case, ginisang kangkong (sauted kangkong).

- from Manong Ken -

one of my favorite ways on how to cook kangkong


4 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons onion, sliced
6 cups kangkong stems, cut 3 inches long

½ cup tomatoes, sliced
1 cup vinegar
1½ cups water
6 tablespoons bagoong alamang (paste of salted and fermented shrimp fingerlings)

Mix vinegar and water, and heat in saucepan. As soon as mixture boils, add kangkong stems. Cook until all liquid is absorbed. Transfer kangkong to another container, and set aside.

In the same saucepan, saute garlic, onion, tomatoes, and bagoong alamang. Add the kangkong, and mix thoroughly. Remove from the stove, and serve as relish or appetizer.

Humba aka Braised Pork


Main ingredient:
1 kilo Pork (cut into chunk cubes) or 1 medium pig’s leg (pata), cleaned and cut into serving portions
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/4 cup white vinegar
1 head garlic (minced)
1 1/4 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 pieces laurel leaves
hard boiled eggs

main dish Serves: 4-6

Brown pork in oil.
In a casserole, put together pork, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, salt & pepper, sugar & laurel for 1- 2 hours.
Cook and simmer until pork is tender adding a little water every once in a while. Add the hard boiled eggs.
Serve hot.

I forgot where I got this recipe. I have been using this for years now. Another variation to this recipe that I did (found this out through experimenting):

- the ratio of vinegar to soy sauce is 2.5 or 2 parts vinegar to 1 part soy sauce. i do this when the sauce has almost evaporated and the pork is still a bit tough but sometimes i go directly to this ratio when i am just cooking a small batch.
- add 1 cup water to the soy and vinegar mixture, same as the above, always keep the water and vinegar to soy sauce ratio balance.
- use 1 small bottle of sprite or seven up instead of adding brown sugar. most importantly sweeten according to taste.

Minced Pork Wraps

Every time we go to a Chinese Restaurant I would immediately ask the waiter if they have minced pork wraps available, this is one of my favorites grin. There are times when they don't have this due to the availability of the lettuce (sigh). I got this from Healthy Chinese Recipes. I have tried making this recipe for my sister's birthday and it was quite an experience to prepare. The noodles had to be shocked with the oil to let it fluff and get its crisp, if you are not quick enough the noodles will burn. I used the canned water chestnuts, it was the one readily available. Instead of using the light soy sauce, I used fish sauce as a subsitute, the taste was just right for me =) and so as with everybody. This dish was a HIT =D

Photo from Healthy Chinese Recipes

A traditional Chinese recipe of minced pork and water chestnut wrapped with lettuce leaf - a perfect combination to serve as an appetizer. -

• 250g Minced pork
• 100g Water Chestnuts, minced (Tinned or fresh)
• 1 tsp Minced Garlic
• 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
• 1/2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
• 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
• 1 tsp Sugar
• Dash of Sesame Oil
• Dash of Pepper
• 8-12 Iceberg Lettuce Leaves, cut into 10cm circles (I did not bother in cutting the leaves, I just separated each leaf, cleansed it thoroughly and drained the excess water)

my twist to the recipe
- 1 small pack vermicelli (I added this to the recipe to give it a crunch and this also absorbs the excess oil from the minced pork and chestnut mixture)
- 2 tablespoons of char siu sauce mixed with a little water (mix according to your desired consistency, i like it not a bit runny)

1. Mix pork, water chestnuts and seasoning ingredients.
2. Lightly coat non-stick frying pan or wok with oil.
3. Stir-fry garlic until fragrant.
4. Add pork mixture and stir-fry until golden brown and cooked through.
5. Serve in individual portions in the lettuce leaf cups.

my version of layering:
- put the desired amount of vermicelli on the lettuce cup and top it with the minced pork mixture and drizzle a bit of char siu sauce and enjoy =)

How do you want your Eggs?

Photo from

This is a compilation of different ways on how to cook Eggs, tried and tested ways by different people. Try it all and find one that suits you best =D

Version 1 - Perfect Boiled Eggs every time
: Set the burner to med-high. Boil some water in the pot-- enough to cover the eggs. Place the eggs in the boiling water. By adding the eggs after the water boils, the shell won't stick to the egg, it will be easier to peel the eggs.
heat the water before you put the egg. You add the eggs after it boils. It will be much easier to peel the eggs. Use a spaghetti server or a slotted spoon, then gently place eggs one by one in the boiling water. It works. I was skeptical at first, so I experimented with a few eggs. I took one out after 5 minutes, then 10 .... and so on until I decided I like the egg after 12 minutes. If you like your egg really malasado -- boil it for 5 minutes. I you are using the eggs for garnishing, boil the eggs for 13 minutes, then let it cool before cutting it with the egg cutter.
For really soft boiled egg: boil the eggs for 5 minutes
For hard boiled egg: boil the eggs for 12 minutes

Version 2
how to cook boiled eggs in a stainless steel set: wash the eggs very well. gently but thoroughly. place eggs in the cold 3-quart sauce pan. add TWO TABLESPOONS of water. cover. let boil with LOW HEAT. let it boil for 8-10 minutes. NEVER open the lid while cooking.

after cooking time... turn off the heat then let it sit for a minute or two. take out eggs... place in cold water to stop cooking process (and avoid the nasty-looking green rings around the yolk). peel and eat! hehehe. sometimes u do not need salt anymore because the natural salt content of the egg was not drawn out.

so that peeling will be easier, gently roll the egg till the whole shell gets cracked. then peel.

Version 3 - hard boiled eggs:
i put eggs in a saucepan, fill it with water until eggs are covered and add 1 TBSP vinegar (this helps cracked eggs to coagulate faster and prevent eggs from bursting). I bring the water to a boil. From the moment the water boils, i time 10 mins and its cooked! Yolks are soft but firm and bright yellow-gold. My trick to peeling the eggs is to peel them while they are still hot. So from the pan, i shock them in water and peel them. When the egg gets too hot to handle, i dip it again in the water.

Version 4 - another technique when boiling eggs and peel it easily in probably 2 to 3 seconds is possible . After boiling it ( dont matter if prior to water boiling or the water has boiled upon placing the eggs ) , have your boiled eggs runned with cold water , faucet water is fine for about 3 minutes .
used this kind of method if the EGGS are intended for use in SALADS and APPETIZERS which is should have a warm temperature.

this is as what they say different strokes for different folks XD

Friday, October 12, 2007


Photo by: Pidz
After reading a lot of hullabaloo about abaca (nasty comments about the management, the chef, the manager, and the food… though i have also read quite a lot of promising entries that makes Abaca something to try for) my hubby and I decided to try it out for ourselves and see if there is any grain of truth to what we have read.

Upon invitation by our good friends and foodtrip buddies, Benjie Ordoñez and his charming wife Magene, we didn’t let the chance pass by. 7PM we started our long journey towards an adventure that we are used to doing… our favorite pastime…EATING!

So it begins, our adventure at Abaca… It was an experience worth the memories! Right from the gate when we entered all the way until dessert. Upon stepping into the place, one would really see and feel the exclusivity. It is not your usual garden setting of a restaurant. There are a lot of foliage that surround the area, right from the parking area up to the pathway leading to the tables. It makes you closer to nature and how i wish i could see its beauty during the daytime. Just thinking of how near we are to the beach makes me feel the breeze as it caresses my skin.

As we approached the dining area we were greeted by Glen, a very charming person. He showed us to our table. I love the cute shells used for the table napkins. The ambiance was so very relaxing, it has a homey feel to it, dim lights with jazz music, makes you think you were somewhere else special.

For the ambiance: I’d give it a 5/5. I was swept off my feet with how everything looked. It was dreamy. My Hubby gives it a 4/5, He found the music quite loud.

We were met with very courteous attendants, always with a “it’s my pleasure” after every “thank you”.

For the management and staff: My hubby and I both agreed on this aspect, 5/5. Very attentive and very charming.

For the appetizer or tapa’s, we had homemade bread with olive oil, corn chowder, chicken liver paté with vegetables and homemade bread. The homemade bread tasted like a “REAL” homemade bread that lets you feel warm inside. I love the crunchiness of the crust and the softness of the inside part (I don’t know what else to call this particular part of the bread… ^_^) of the bread, a perfect pair for the chowder. It had no “yeasty” taste as what most of the breads have. The corn chowder was creamy but the creaminess did not overpower the other ingredients. The corn was so crunchy. My verdict on the chicken liver, VERY delicious and a must try for those people who are squeamish about liver. I for one am not a liver-eating person. But when I tasted this dish, I was at a loss for words on how to describe the fusion of tastes inside my mouth. I almost missed out on this dish, but I gathered enough courage to just dip one tine of the fork and tasted it. It tasted bitter at first, without the bread and the vegetables. But when I mixed everything and piled it up on the homemade bread, the taste was a sensation! Bread with vegetables that had a hint of vinaigrette, topped of with a little mustard and a little of bignay spread which was capped with the chicken liver. One mouthful led to another and each bite had me adding the paté on the bignay spread. The experience was awesome! My husband was so surprised that I actually ate and relished the dish. He was used to me NOT eating and NOT even touching any kind of food that has a hint of liver.

We had Mesclun salad and cheese pizza after all of the fusion of tastes that I have savored. The mesclun consisted of various greens that were all fresh. It had a hint of balsamic vinegar, not overpowering the other ingredients, just right to make everything taste just right. The Cheese Pizza had fresh basil for toppings and i love the cheese and the crust, oh! so crisp and crunchy.

For the main course, we had whole roasted chicken with mashed fresh potatoes and bouillabaisse. The chicken was another experience for the taste buds. The chicken skin was crisp and had a hint of what was rubbed on it to give it its distinctive taste, salt and pepper with thyme. The meat was cooked just right, tender and moist. The chicken juices complemented well with the mashed potato. The bouillabaisse, a mixture of seafoods, salmon and shellfish. The salmon cooked just right and the soup tasted a bit spicy.

The last and most awaited part of the dinner, DESSERT, the dessert platter has 7 different kinds of sweets: tiramisu, chocolate pudding, lemon cheesecake, apple turn-over, chocolate cookie, oatmeal cookie, créme brulée. The first of seven parts of the dessert, the lemon cheesecake. It had a refreshing taste and a melt-in-your-mouth sensation. Everything on that platter had that effect to the taste buds and the palate. It was so soft and the lemon taste is really there, real lemon taste. 2nd part, the créme brulée, the caramel was flamed so perfectly. I told myself, this is the real deal, a real créme brulée at last. I have tasted a lot of créme brulée’s and nothing comes close to what i have just tasted. So creamy and with just the right sweetness. 3rd part, the tiramisu, soft cake and yummy coffee taste. 4th part, the chocolate pudding, soft with the real chocolate taste. 5th part, the apple turnover, soft puff pastry that highly complemented the apples inside. For the last 2 parts, the cookies: the oatmeal and the chocolate, soft and chewy, not so sweet. There were also 2 sticks of puff pastry on the platter, soft and it melts in your mouth.

Food: If I were to judge the food alone, I’d give it a 5/5, I enjoyed EVERYTHING. The fusion of tastes that complemented each and every ingredient of each dishes was so wonderful that I am at a loss for words. But my hubby’s taste buds has a strong bias towards the “sweet” spot and he thinks that the desserts weren’t sweet enough, he gives it a 4/5.

The Bill: Price range per person for food and drinks, around P800 to P2,000. It all depends on what you order.

We really enjoyed our dinner. Good food with good company makes everything wonderful. =D Makes us want to go back there, one of these days (if our schedule permits ^_^)

Moral lesson of the review: don’t listen or believe anything about a place until you have tried it out for yourself. let yourself be the judge =D

For more info about Abaca, visit their website at

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tom Cruise's Spaghetti Carbonara

From the show Tom Cruise

Makes 4 servings

I got this recipe from the Oprah Show.

1/2 inch of olive oil (for frying pan)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 chopped onion
8-12 thick slices of Italian bacon
4 eggs
2 packages of spaghetti
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
In a frying pan, combine 1/2 inch of olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, one chopped onion and the Italian bacon cut into small squares. Let simmer for about a half-hour, being careful not to let the oil get to a boiling point.
In a bowl, beat 4 eggs with lots of salt and fresh ground pepper.
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Cook both packages of spaghetti until al dente, drain and immediately add egg mixture to pasta. The eggs are actually cooked by the pasta. (Make sure the eggs are thoroughly cooked before proceeding.) Stir the egg mixture until it is well mixed. Pour in the mixture from the frying pan and stir. Finish with the parmesan cheese and serve!
note: i don't know how many grams the 2 packages in the US is. what i did with this recipe is that i just followed the sauce and measured 200 grams of uncooked pasta and everything went well. ^_^

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Broccoli w/ Oyster Sauce

An easy to make and prepare dish. This is what i usually do when I am pressed for time and I am already very hungry and the ingredients are readily available inside the ref.

Cooking time: 5 to 10 minutes

Oyster sauce
Olive oil or sesame oil

Wash the broccoli thoroughly before steaming.
Steam the broccoli for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how crunchy you want it to be.
Mix a tablespoon or two of the Oyster sauce with an equal amount or less of olive oil or sesame oil.
Drizzle the oyster sauce and oil mixture on top of the Broccoli.


Italianni's Angel Hair Pasta w/ Bruschetta

-Photo courtesy of Italianni's (Italianni's Pomodoro Grilled Chicken Pesto Combo)

My sister requested me to make this Pasta dish for her birthday 2 years ago. She had a taste of Italianni's Pomodoro when she was with our cousin during her stay at Manila. I got this recipe from from the now defunct site of 2 years ago.

The dish was a sure hit. I used hunts canned tomatoes with basil and oregano. instead of just using fresh basil, I combined it with fresh oregano and fresh parsley; to add more flavor and aroma to the sauce. I made bruschetta instead of the usual garlic bread.


2 Tbs. Olive oil
2 Tbs.Garlic, minced
1 can Canned tomatoes, diced and with juices
3 cups Chicken broth
2 Tbs. Fresh Basil, julienned
1/4 tsp. Salt

tsp. Black Pepper
2 cups Fresh Tomatoes Diced
5 cups Angel Hair Pasta, cooked
As needed Garlic Bread

1. Place saucepan over high heat and add olive oil, then add the garlic and the canned tomatoes and its juices, fresh basil, salt and pepper.

2. Now add the chicken broth and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes.

3. Then add half of the diced tomatoes into the sauce and reserve the other half for garnish over the pasta.

4. Place the pasta in the saucepan and toss the pasta until it is fully coated with the sauce.
Place the pasta in serving platter and top with the rest of the diced tomatoes and garnish with basil leaf.

Serves 4

just in case you would also want to try out the bruschetta. here is the recipe

1 loaf french bread or baguette
black or green olives with capers
diced fresh tomatoes
olive oil
minced garlic
julienned oregano, parsley and basil


- slice the bread 1/2 inch thick
- mix olive oil and minced garlic and spread evenly on bread slices
- grill or toast the bread
- mix the julienned herbs with the olive oil and garlic mixture
- spread evenly on bread slices the olive oil, garlic and herbs mixture
- spread diced tomatoes and olives on the bread

enjoy. happy eating. =)