Food Trip

We bond over food. We love checking out new restaurants, just for the fun of it.
Like many of our generation, we click before we eat. Sometimes though, we’re too hungry to bother.
We are not prolific food critiques, we’re just normal people who know good food. :)

Between the two of us, it’s the husband who cooks at home. Maybe someday I will too. But until then, I wouldn’t likely be sharing recipes on the blog. :)

Melty Kiss

 

Today, I stopped by SM Cubao to get some wrapping paper. Mom’s orders. As I was paying for the rolls I got, I saw this display stand of Japanese chocolate – Meiji!

Me: “No Choco Baby. Hmmm. Oooh, the Strawberry ones are there. Hello Panda! Hey, what’s this?”

Photo Dec 20, 6 59 01 PM

 

It’s available in two variants, creamy milk chocolate and Strawberry. I went with the safer variant because I wasn’t sure it was going to taste great.

I’m not sure why I ever doubted that.

It opens this way, like a gift:

Photo Dec 20, 6 56 27 PM

Inside, there are more snowflakes in the packaging. Nice touch. Festive. It’s individually packed. Doesn’t make it any harder to go through one box though. But I was driving so I only had one, or three.

Photo Dec 20, 6 54 03 PM

Photo Dec 20, 6 54 56 PM

Okay, I lost count. At least they reached the house! My mom saw them right away, and she almost finished up all that was left. Had to stop her. Smile

They’re like square chocolate truffles. Melts in your mouth.

 

Photo Dec 20, 6 49 16 PM

A box costs PhP 119.00. Not cheap. But worth it. Consider it a treat.

Chocolates like these – though hardly high end nor gourmet – these are luxuries. Like arturo fuente cigars that you would only take out of the box for special occasions. (Okay, I exaggerate). That’s how I like to think of these Meiji chocolates so I won’t buy them so much. Smile

Before you go grab a box, consider donating first to relief efforts for Typhoon Sendong victims. See my previous post, for links. Better yet, go straight to http://donate.unicef.ph/ and hit the Donate Now button. Whip out your cellphone, type RED 500 and send to 2889 if you’re a Globe user. That sends Red Cross a Php 500 donation for #Sendong.

Andes Mint Cookies

Post drafted on Sunday, December 11.

I have been staring at Becky Higgins’ Andes Mint Cookies on and off in what might be the last 24 hours.

andes-mint-cookies-766075

Photo linked to source.

Since seeing it featured in her 12 Videos of Christmas, I pulled up the recipe and it’s been there in the background while I got busy with other online activities.

I love chocolate cookies, and mint chocolate is a household favorite – Andes Mints being one of the brands I love.

It is probably not a coincidence that I saw Andes Mints the one time I accompanied my Mom for grocery shopping two weeks ago.

At the time, I successfully kept myself my buying a package or two. But this recipe is the perfect excuse to go get some.

The thing is, I haven’t baked anything in over a year. Since moving companies, in fact.

Christmas has always been a time for cooking and baking. Families would be doing so much because they have people over, or they make stuff to give and sell.

I was like that for several Christmases in the past ten years. I loved spending hours baking goodies even when I know that at the end of it all, none would be left for me to eat because they’re all orders and I only make enough to cover orders. Being so busy in the kitchen gave me sleepless days and nights because I still had my regular job to attend to.

I loved it.

Again, the thing is, I haven’t baked anything in over a year.

My stuff is all over the place. I’ve got ingredients that have likely spoiled already.

Measuring spoons and cups have been used for other purposes.

Our kitchen isn’t ready for my baking.

So in order to get baking, I first have to be organized.

Organize and declutter my baking supplies, and hopefully our entire kitchen area while I’m at it.

That’s what’s keeping me from baking.

I’m so lazy to do the work so I can get to what I love to do.

Let’s see if I can get over it today. Or this week.

Besides, it would be nice to give away some homemade cookies.

Anyway, check out Becky’s video:

Shoot. Eat. Blog.

I blog.

blog board

For years, blogging has been a central part of me.  From Tblog, to Bravejournal, then Blogger, Vox (posts are now in a Typepad blog), and ultimately, Where the Moon Shines. I am also behind The Newbie Photographer and Between the Covers.

“I should blog this” and “I want to share this” pervade my thoughts.

 

I shoot.

Photography is also important to me. These days, the iPhone 4 is my everyday camera but I’d love to spend quality time with Deena again soon.

Good photos look wonderful on blog posts. Smile

 

I eat. I love to eat.

And I realized, I love taking photos of food just as much as blogging about it.  Marrying my three loves (blogging, food, and photography) would be a dream lived in the flesh. Being the Sooo Pinoy Ultimate Food Blogger would be a giant step towards that. Smile

My recent post on Tomato Kick is one of my favorites. The photos are ? (click a tomato for post):

And remember when I first baked Tres Leches Cake? Another favorite:

three-milks-1280x850

The everyday food is also worth showcasing, it ain’t just special cakes or restaurant food that deserve air time after all. Simple convenience store Japanese chocolate deserve spotlight too:

Check out my Food archive for more yumminess.

Time for a new set of photos from an old-time favorite restaurant, The Pancake House along E. Rodriguez.

picstitch

Mom ordered the Grilled Maple Chicken with Fruity Salad. I’ve had this before and love the fruity combination with the honey mustard dressing.

grilled chicken fruity salad

Chicken with Mushroom and Asparagus Linguine for me.

photo

The top photo is what it looks like on the menu. The bottom is what I got.

Before I proceed, let me say this: I love Pancake House and will go back again and again. Maybe not on a Sunday night because it was packed with families. But I will never order this pasta dish again. The description on the menu said nothing about being spicy. It was too hot for my tastes. I realized too late that the red stuff generously sprinkled on top was chili powder.

I couldn’t eat it. I ended up ordering another dish that they could serve in 10 minutes. The maldita in me wanted to return the dish and refuse to pay for it, but my Mom said to just bring it home for Alfred and order a different one (he liked it, by the way). I complained about the misinformation and settled for the unexciting Carbonara.

Still, it was a good meal. We capped it by sharing regular sized frozen yoghurt, topped with bananas and Honey and Almond Crispies.

Oh how I would love be the Sooo Pinoy Ultimate Food Blogger. The thought of 101 restaurants in 10 destinations in 30 days is just so exciting! Where do I sign up?

———————————–

The Pancake House

E. RODRIGUEZ
275 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Quezon City (beside St. Luke’s Medical Center)
411-1411 / 411-1413 / 411-1417

Tomato Kick

We had an interesting lunch. Drove all the way to Maginhawa Street at the UP Village for this. On the way, we passed the old ECPAT Philippines Office, where I had spent so much of my younger days. The place looks so different! The gate and the fence are no longer there. And it looks like it’s now a Café or a specialty store (I did a quick search and it IS a restaurant, Gayuma ni Maria).

Today, we had Shanti dining with us. She was kind enough to agree to take my wallet to the office so I wouldn’t have to drive home without a license (and penniless). The least I could do was treat her out to lunch. I hope she enjoyed it as much as we did.

Shanti ordered Salsa Pork:

Salsa Pork                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

It’s grilled liempo, with Salsa on the side. We all liked it. The fat and skin on the pork was crispy. There’s enough to share.

Here’s a closer look at the salsa:

Salsa

Alfred had Sisig, with three cups of rice!

Sisig

This dish was spicy, it had a lot of sili, but also maybe because Alfred put a lot more chili sauce on it. It’s also good to share, but the boyfriend had all of it. Smile

I chose a healthier plate, Tuna with Egg Sauce topped with Asparagus:

Tuna

I don’t know why, but I was somehow imagining tuna flakes ala Century Tuna. So I was pleasantly surprised to see two huge chunks of tuna on my plate. The sauce was tasty, I really liked it! Even this was good enough to share as well.

Close up:

Tuna close up

The tuna tended to be a little dry near the center, but it was still good.

My order came last, and this was the last to be served, Stuffed Tomatoes:

Stuffed Tomatoes

One plate has four of these. Stuffed with seasoned ground beef and topped with mozzarella cheese. It also has vinaigrette dressing. I absolutely love this dish. I will go back for more.

For drinks we had two glasses of home brew iced tea, and water. The bill was Php 765, and it was worth it. If I wanted to save, I’d skip the iced tea and just have water. Sharing would be a good idea too.

Tomato Kick has an artsy vibe, the whole place does, actually. The tables on the balcony is a nice spot to just hangout, specially with this afternoon’s weather (cloudy w/ rain showers). There’s a used bookshop next door (Bookay Ukay) and took a lot of willpower to stay away from it. A tattoo place was also next door, and a spa, among others. If I remember correctly, that whole space (old house) used to be the offices of World Vision in the Philippines, before they moved to their own building in Quezon Avenue.

The only downside? The ladies room. Tomato Kick doesn’t have its own CR, but there’s a common one shared by the tenants of the establishment. It’s clean, in the way that CRs in gas stations could be clean (no, don’t imagine the worst). There’s tissue, and there’s water. You will have to use a dipper to flush the toilet though. Even at its present state though, I wouldn’t be discouraged to go back.

**All photos are mine. Copy and use but always credit back to this blog.

Tomato Kick

55 Maginhawa Street, UP Village

Quezon City

02-4895503

Free Popcorn

Maybe that’s the key – free popcorn! Key to what? Well, employee satisfaction!

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Of course free popcorn is just the symbol. Unless you have something specific against popcorn, you will generally have thoughts of fun and leisure associated with it. After all, you mostly eat it while watching a movie. Eating popcorn is almost synonymous to kicking back, relaxing, and seeing a movie. Free flowing popcorn in the office may elicit positive feelings and may actually usher in the fun!

And it’s relatively inexpensive right? A commercial popcorn machine might have to be purchased, yes, but most offices already have microwaves in their pantries so that’s a good start if there’s no budget for additional equipment.

I’ve been thinking of ways to bring the fun back at work and somehow popcorn just popped in my head. It is comfort food, like chocolate. And it can be healthy granted there’s not much salt OR sugar thrown in. Or oil.

This site gives one a good idea on how much popcorn machine supplies cost. I wonder if it’s the same locally. I’m sure that if I raise this at work I will be asked about costs and ROI. Smile Seriously, we’ve been coming up with so many different things just to hype the floor and drive the vibe.

Maybe I’ll bring some popcorn to the next brainstorming session.

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