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. :)

French Toast Fix

Around two years ago (maybe more, but I don’t specifically remember), Alfred and I took to eating regularly at Petruss. In fact I’ve dug up two posts from the past where I mentioned the cafe (haha!), they are here and here. Petruss was a small cafe located right across our office building and we loved having brunch there after work. One of the lighter meals we’d order would be french toast, but then we’d go too for their yummy mango crepes. Hmmm I can almost smell the yummy rice meals we would order too, what were they again babe?

Another food joint we’d frequent at the time would be the Pancake House along E. Rodriguez, right beside St. Luke’s Medical Center. This one’s just walking distance from the house. Of course my favorite to order are their chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter, but we also love their potato salad and their french toast as well. Ooh their club house sandwich isn’t so bad, and the boyfriend would order all sorts of other heavier meals – most are yummy too.

(Now you get the picture why we don’t have a lot of savings? Haha. We eat too much, and not at (cheap) fast foods all the time!)

Anyway, Petruss has moved out and Ministop (a convenience store) now occupies that space (so sad), and we don’t go to the Pancake House anymore (I can’t even remember when the last time was?)

On Friday night I started fasting so I could finally get the blood work done that the doctor ordered. Last meal was at 930 in the evening. I got a very good night’s sleep (surprisingly because I had fully intended to stay up all night), and got up before 8am. I was in the hospital before 830 on Saturday morning. I thought, like all the blood work I had done in the past, that it would only take a few minutes. Boy was I wrong. I needed to wait a full two hours because of a specific test (the OGTT which I am not in the mood to discuss).

The unfortunate thing about it, is that I could neither eat nor walk around during the intervals of the blood drawing (I had to be pricked thrice). At the end of the first hour, I was already dreaming up french toasts.  Since I was already at the St. Luke’s, I decided to go for a quick brunch (with Vanilla Milkshake, another indulgence – at least it wasn’t extra thick chocolate) at Pancake House en route to the nearest drug store where I picked up my prescriptions (from the neurologist whom I visited on Friday morning).

Mind you, I intended to go for a long walk and take some photos at the same time. But the darn blood work took up more than two hours of my time and it was nearly noon when I finished. It was too hot to take a leisurely walk! I did have to do some legwork to the drugstore, and then heading home. I didn’t get to visit the camera shop though, maybe I’d just pick up UV filters after work sometime this week.

I did get to take some photos of the Pancake House window (how pathetic am I?), while I experimented with apertures. Check these out – variations of a theme, hehe:

pancake house window

S 1/2500 | A f/1.8 | ISO 200 | Focal length 50mm

S 1/2500 | A f/2.2 | ISO 400

S 1/2500 | A f/2.2 | ISO 400

S 1/1600 | A f/2.2 | ISO 400

S 1/1600 | A f/2.2 | ISO 400

S 1/3200 | A f/2.2 | ISO 400

S 1/3200 | A f/2.2 | ISO 400

Did you notice the differences between the shots? Too bad if you don’t, but that’s just me playing 🙂

Apart from the food, it is usually the feel of the place or the ambiance that keeps us coming back. I don’t need candlelight, nor candle sconces on the wall (though those would be a really nice touch) but comfortable seating and a bright and open area is something I appreciate in a restaurant. Having big open windows is also a very big plus for me. Of course if the view was something better than E.Rodriguez, that would be wonderful!

Anyway, have you been to your old favorites lately?

Baking Books

As I was Entrecard hopping today, I hopped through Pinay Backpacker’s blog about Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets. It’s a book available at the National BookStore, about the many  wonderful places to dine in and around Metro Manila. I was at the NBS Quezon Avenue branch sometime last week and I saw this on the shelves. You see, I love browsing through the baking books section, and it shares the stands with cookbooks and other books on restaurants, wining and dining.

I had been tempted to get tear this book open, and checkout the restaurants they were suggesting. It has a map somewhere there and I checked out their recommendations for QC, my city. There were only two! Is this for real? Maybe I didn’t check hard enough? But it is quite interesting. Go buy the book, then lend it to me, okay? 🙂

But I’m mentioning this today, because seeing Pinay Backpacker’s post reminded me of what was going through my mind while I was browing through that section. I had wanted so badly to learn more about baking. There were so many baking books there that looked so attractive to me. But I could not justify the cost of buying any one of them when I still have not gone through The Art & Soul of Baking, which the boyfriend gave me for Christmas last year. Only when I finish through it, I told myself, would I allow myself the pleasure of another baking book. I also have The Field Guide to Cookies, and Hello! Cupcake.

I saw these two on the racks, and I got even more inspired to devote time for baking:

the professional  chef

favorite food network recipes

The second isn’t really just about baking, but a cook book. I don’t cook. But looking at cookbooks just makes me want to start learning. Seriously.

I don’t know if anything will come out of this really, even the boyfriend sorta doubts that I’ll really learn to cook. It might seem easier to build a house, than to get me to cooking. Haha. Yeah, only if you get a manufactured home (something that also always fascinates me, think Brad Pitt and his Make It Right/The Pink Project). But who knows. It’s never too late to learn a new skill.

Cinnies 2

Finally, here are the photos of my second (and successful) attempt at making cinnamon rolls! I made these last night, and there are only about three or four pieces left. These really were perfect. The bread was soft and tasty too.

The first step was to warm the milk, sugar and vegetable oil mixture. Last week, I think I overdid this part and there was some curdling going on so I made sure I watched it closely and transferred it to a bowl to cool:


Alfred was with me at that point, but he was already growing impatient and wouldn’t agree to wait 45mins to an hour for the mixture to cool down. Next step is to mix in the yeast, and then to add in flour after a minute or so. This is how the dough looked after leaving the dough to rise for about an hour:


Doesn’t look much does it? That’s because I only made half the original recipe .

Flash back to my attempt last week. Here’s how the dough looked after mixing, and after an hour:

cinnas1 cinnas3

At that point I’d already punched it down and mixed it a bit. But take a closer look and you’ll know that the dough overflowed!


Next was a bit of kneading and then rolling out the dough. This is a challenge because we don’t have a decent countertop for this purpose. This turned out to be my work area:


I used a cookie sheet. This turned out okay but I couldn’t roll the dough thin enough because the rolling pin handles would hit the sides of the pan. Which explains why my first try is quite thick:


I knew at this point that it was a success. First time I tried this, it didn’t look this way. It was too soggy then!


Here they are before going into the oven, having had about 30-45 minutes time to rise. There were two more trays after this batch.


Here they are, straight from the oven. I had already glazed these with the coffee flavored frosting leftover from last week’s attempt. I didn’t drown them with it though.  Let’s take a closer look shall we?



If you can’t imagine how this tastes, imagine how heavenly the smell was in our kitchen. 🙂 I’d make these everyday if I could!


I am once again giving P-Dub’s Cinnamon Rolls another try. My first attempt was a semi-success. It tasted good, but I didn’t get the consistency I expected.  But it was really good.

This time, I’ve decided to make all of them in small bite size pieces and call them cinnies. Haha. I don’t have a counter top that I can use to properly roll out dough you see, so I’ve got to part the dough several times and then roll and spread some yummy goodness, cut and bake.

The boyfriend is supposed to be helping me, but he doesn’t want to wait for the hour that the dough needs to rise. He says he’s sleepy. At 7PM!

We’ll see, if he gets any sleep. If he does, then we’ll see if he gets any taste of my cinnies. He didn’t get any the first time around.

What I really should be trying to bake are the oat bran muffins that Delaney sent over a few weeks back. If I make them healthy muffins, I’d need not buy any other weight loss supplement to curb my appetite or make me flush out the excess fats in my big body. That’s my next target.

First, I gotta perfect my cinnies! Wish me luck.

I’ll post pictures later 🙂

Food and smiles brighten up a dreary day

If you’ve been following my Tweets, or my Plurks (see the widget on my sidebar), you know that I’ve been pretty much under the weather. Okay – a lot under the weather.  And today, well, the visit I’d been anticipating (read my second and third posts down) has already arrived. So there are two things causing my body aches and pains – acute upper respiratory tract infection (it’s not the flu, doc says) and menstruation. Ugh.

So after the doctor’s visit yesterday morning, I walked home. Good thing there was only a drizzle, so my teensy little umbrella gave me enough coverage. I arrived home and found my brother cooking lunch. I had thought he’d have gone by then, but his plans changed apparently. He was cooking an all-time favorite – Chicken Cola. The weather was perfect for having tinola but we didn’t have ingredients for it so kuya opted to make this other comfort food.

Yes, I consider Chicken Cola as one of my comfort foods. We all love it here. Perhaps not because of its sweetness, but because of it brings us back to our childhood. At least it does that to me. No, I don’t have images from the past going through my mind when I eat it, but the feeling is there. The simplicity of life, and the love of family. So when I don’t feel well, chicken cola can help pick me up.

chicken cola

This photo does not do chicken cola any justice. I’m guessing my brother didn’t add enough ketchup to make it redder. It looks quite pale doesn’t it?

Anyway, another comfort food I had yesterday was banana with cheese spread. Ahh. Simple pleasures.  Who does not love cheese or cheese spreads? I mean even dogs love them right? And we’ve had Cheese Whiz on bananas since we were kids. I never get tired of it.

banana with cheese spread

I realize now that the photo has some R-18 likeness to it, sorry that was never intended. Haha.

Eating gave me a temporary comfort, but the headache still came in the evening, causing me to miss out on AJ boy’s birthday dinner. I had all intentions to take photos of his well-wishers, his cake, and all his cuteness. But I slept through it.

I do have a photo of this sweet little boy from earlier that afternoon:

birthday boy

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