Category Archives: Food

Officially Satisfied: Max’s Tocilog and Unofficially Yours

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I finally got the chance to eat what I’ve been craving the past week or so – tocilog (tocino, sinangag, itlog)! I was browsing through Max’s online menu yesterday, and saw that they offered all-day breakfast meals which of course, included my favorite tocino rice meal. If you’re wondering why I was browsing Max’s online menu, let’s just say that it’s my way of virtually going on a food trip, without actually getting myself bloated with all those calories and cholesterol. 😀

Here’s what we had for lunch… or our post-Valentine’s date?—

My husband’s Fiesta Plate Meal – 1/4 Max’s fried chicken, steamed rice, fresh lumpiang ubod, and a cute heart-shaped caramel bar.

Lumpiang Shanghai – loved this, the lumpia wrapper was thin and crunchy – you can enjoy the meaty goodness with every single bite. The photos I took don’t do justice to these bite-sized goodies.

And here comes… my Tocilog! I opted for the garlic rice (you can have the rice plain, or cooked with garlic/the sinangag style), and I was impressed with the generous tocino serving. The meat was tasty, very tender, and juicy. I think I was smiling while savoring every spoonful of the tocilog.I ate only one of the sunny-side up eggs, though.

After satisfying my tocilog craving, we set out to satisfy my curiosity about the movie, Unofficially Yours. Sobrang sulit ang bayad sa sinehan! 😉 I will not go into detail about what made the movie such an entertaining one (yeheyy for my hubby, he didn’t doze off even once during the entire film!)… but I will say that the movie:

  • made me laugh out loud (lots of times) in the most wa-poise ways possible;
  • made me cry and ask for my husband’s handkerchief, so I can wipe away my tears;
  • effortlessly made me feel the “kilig” – and not just because of John Lloyd Cruz; and
  • succeeded in my developing a girl crush on Angel Locsin LOL. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Good food, cravings satisfied, great company, and a movie about the power of trusting someone to love you the way you deserve to be loved – I’d say, what a great way to start the weekend! 🙂

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A Dark Chocolatey Afternoon

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I apologize for the poor photo quality, as I just used my (non-high end but still very reliable) phone’s camera to take the picture. I’ve been doing some changes to my newly-resurrected blog almost the whole afternoon, and I decided to reward myself by indulging in the dark chocolatey goodness of KitKat Dark chocolates. I’ve managed to stay away from the stash of chocolates in the ref (thanks, Ate! 😉 ) for a few days now, but I can’t resist their call any longer.

I’m more than halfway through The Throne of Fire, the second book on the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan (author of the Percy Jackson series). I love the fast-paced and entertaining material of Mr. Riordan’s books – perfect for those times when you just want to read something light while relaxing in a quiet room.

Oh, and those Riordan books are also my sister’s. I’m so lucky to have an Ate who has an impressive book collection (because I don’t need to buy books, I can just borrow from her hehehe 😀 ) – a sister who also knows the infinite power of chocolates and other sweet goodies 😉

A Cake Lovingly Made for Valentine’s Day

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My sister baked this red velvet cake for Valentine’s Day, and I “sort of” helped her while she lovingly prepared the frosting, and set out the cake’s decorations/design (okay, I actually just stood by her side and made comments whenever she asked for my opinion – but that’s helping too, right? 😀 ). My hubby and I didn’t have anything special planned for today, as we rarely celebrate Valentine’s day. But this cake symbolizes the things that are most important to me – love, family, simple pleasures, and of course – FOOD! =)

Hope you all had a lovely Valentine celebration, regardless of what your love life “status” is 😉

Bad Service Can Ruin a Good Restaurant

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I’m sorry to say that I’ve totally neglected this blog; those who know me will understand, given the events that happened a couple of months ago – specifically the death of my Mama (which warrants a separate blog entry) and how the whole family has coped so far. This post, however, is for my sister’s experience last night at a posh, much-talked-about restaurant south of the Metro – and the bad experience they had because of really bad (read: snooty!) service they were given.

I’ll just paste the post I also wrote on one of the forums I belong to:

 

My sis and bro-in-law, who work for one of the Big Three petroleum companies in the Philippines, had a chance to try Antonio’s (in Tagaytay) last night. They were with their colleagues, 18 lahat sila na kumain in Antonio’s. They were disappointed because the service was quite bad! The server assigned to them was really snooty (feeling ba nya porke he’s working for a high-end establishment e clients are beneath him na?), and here are examples of his bad attitude:


— One of sis’ colleagues did not receive a serving of bread; when they asked (politely) the server, he apparently said in a snooty way – “Eh kasi naman, yung bread yung nasa right side. So dapat hindi siya ang walang bread” or something to that effect. Bottom line was, he was actually blaming the clients! —


— Main course items arrived; the one given to bro-in-law wasn’t the one he ordered (of course he’ll remember what he ordered in the first place di ba?). Server said, “Hindi ba ito ang order nyo?” and proceeded on insisting on it for a while. BIL nicely insisted that he ordered a different item…after a while, nabigay din sa kanya yung correct main dish.


Come dessert time, funny because yung nabigay kay bro in law seemed to lack presentation, compared to the others. Siguro napagdiskitahan na sya (though sis said he was actually very nice, maybe because he was in such a good mood). While everyone had some sort of ice cream/gelato with a sprinkling of pistachios on top, kay BIL parang latak na very small nuts ang inilagay.The whole group was still good-natured about it, even joking that “Hindi lang galit ang meron sila for you, poot na ito!” 😛


The good thing was that last night, most of the group seemed to be in a very good mood – they were celebrating the birthdays of two of their colleagues, and most of them were I guess just enjoying their time away from work. Kaya tinawanan na lang nila ang actions ni “Koya” (the server) — or else, the restaurant would’ve gotten a really big complaint from that big group of diners.

 

Bottom line? I don’t think this is a good image for Antonio’s – having snooty servers/staff, that is. People are paying really good money to go to their place, and this is what they’re treated like? My sis’ group was a big one, and the business they brought in was considerable — what would’ve happened if the snooty server was assigned to a small group of friends, or even a couple celebrating a milestone? Would he be much snootier? Or would he be more thankful that he had to deal with “just” a couple of people, as opposed to a large group?

I asked my sister if he considered Antonio’s worth revisiting, and she said no – mainly because of the really BAD SERVICE they encountered last night. And I agree wholeheartedly – no matter how good the food is, or how well-known the restaurant is – it’s just not worth going to if the staff treats paying customers like something they’ve scraped from the bottom of their shoes.

Super Simple Baked Macaroni Recipe

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For my GT sisters… 😉

BAKED MAC (serves 3-4)

1. Cook 200g (smallest package) of elbow macaroni (I used Del Monte Pasta Italiana) according to instructions on the package – don’t forget to add a little salt and oil to the water; drain then set aside.

2. Saute chopped garlic, onions (the amount depends on your preference) for about 2 minutes or until soft. Add 1 can Century Tuna Light, then saute for an additional 2-3 minutes. If you want a chunkier pasta dish, don’t break the tuna chunks/flakes into small pieces

3. Add 2 packs of Clara Ole 3-Cheese Pasta Sauce. Stir until well-combined.

4. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. I added some sugar, half a chicken cube, and a pinch of ground black pepper to bring the flavors together.
**Another version would be to add cheese spread (Chiz Whiz, Magnolia cheese spread, etc.) directly to the sauce, to thicken it and add more flavor. My sister does this and her baked mac is a hit with both kids and grown ups!

5. When you think you have achieved the taste you want, combine the sauce with the cooked macaroni. Mix well.

6. Transfer the mixture to an oven-proof dish (glass, Pyrex, aluminum). Top generously with grated quick-melt cheese (make sure to pre-heat the oven before placing the pasta inside). Pop it into the oven for about 5-10minutes, or just until you see the browned and bubbling cheese topping.

7. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a while – this would be around 5-10 minutes so the cheese has enough time to cool (very hot cheese can burn your tongue/mouth! you won’t be able to taste anything for days :O ). Serve with garlic bread on the side.

You can always adjust the ingredients according to your taste; I believe the secret to good cooking is knowing what tastes awesome to you (and to those you cook for), rather than following recipes to the letter. Don’t be afraid to have fun while cooking!:)

Chicken Burger Steak with Gravy…with a Scary Movie on the Side

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I didn’t have any idea what I was going to cook for lunch today; after getting up late (yes, again!), I saw the chicken burger patties in the freezer. The patties looked so lonely, I just had to cook them so they can be with their perfect partner – thick gravy with lots of garlic and onions. Yum!!!

The burger and gravy should be enough; however, I wanted to incorporate some veggies into the dish as well so I mixed Baguio beans, giving the whole dish a welcome crunch. The beans also helped minimize the guilt of not being able to prepare vegetable dishes more often (I’m trying my best to do more of those, promise!).

As I was preparing the chicken burger steak, I chanced upon the local horror movie “Ouija” on TV. My husband clearly didn’t want to watch it, as he’s not fond of watching scary movies. But I reasoned that we can watch it without getting too scared, since it was such a sunny day anyway. My powers of persuasion won, and we finished the movie without scaring each other too much:D

In making the gravy, I used the same pan where I fried the chicken burger patties in. I used about 1 tablespoon of butter, then sauteed lots of chopped garlic and onions, scraping the sides of the pan for the bits left from the patties (the burger bits added to the nice color and texture of the gravy). I then added chicken broth, then flour dissolved in water (to thicken the gravy). After a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, I added the beans, and let the whole thing simmer for a while. The gravy was poured on top of the patties (nicely plated a few minutes earlier).

After serving this, we forgot all about the scary movie for a few minutes.
A lazy Sunday at home, spent with the man I love, enjoying the perfect easy-to-prepare-but-still-sumptuous dish for lunch…I couldn’t ask for more =)

 

Breakfast Fare for Dinner

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I suddenly had a craving for tocino(Wikipedia definition: a cured meat product native to the Philippines. It is usually made out of pork and is similar to ham and bacon although beef is also used. It is often reddish in color and has a sweetish taste. Its name is derived from the Spanish word tocino, which is used to describe bacon or cured meat.) earlier today. I decided to prepare one of my favorite breakfast items for dinner – this might be a weird idea to some, but a novel and much-appreciated one by my husband (and by me, of course!)

We still had leftover rice from lunch, so I went all-out and made fried rice too! I made sure there were lots of crunchy garlic bits on top to give the rice an interesting kick and texture (yummm). And what the heck – I threw in a sunny-side up egg with the package as well!

This is what a plate of my tocilog looked like, before two hungry people attacked:

After a few minutes of eating, with only the empty plates in front of us, my husband and I had one thing to say to each other…

“Good morning!” =)