8.10.2015

Yellow Cab's Make Your Own Pizza : You Had Me At Alfalfa...

There is no double that Dear Darla is my absolute favorite flavor in Yellow Cab Pizza. So imagine what a delight it was to make it myself? I was invited over to Yellow Cab Eastwood to join in their "Build Your Own Pizza" activity. I discovered all the ingredients that goes into this uh-mazing flavor (I wish I could tell you though but that's a company secret! hahaha!). 

Complete with apron and hairnet, they welcomed me to their kitchen and let me set up my base dough. Their head chef gave clearcut instructions on what ingredients to use. We had to carefully measured and weighed each ingredient to make sure we maintain the consistency and quality of the flavor. 

Trying to make my perfect Dear Darla Pizza. I wanted to make sure to spread the ingredients as evenly as possible.



Loading my pizza into their magic oven which cooks the pizza in exactly 8 minutes. 


Sporting my citibank Toque, I present to you my very first Yellow Cab Pizza which I prepared.

Pizza topped with Alfalfa and Arugula!!!

Roll it up and Devour.




Apart from this original Dear Darla flavor, Yellow Cab also now offers a new version with Ricotta Cheese and Roasted Garlic. Doesn't that sound equally awesome as well?

And here's a special treat this whole month of August,  CITIBANK cardholders can can get 2 Dear Darla Pizzas for only Php 499.00. For more details of this promo, click here ! Enjoy!


YELLOW CAB PHILIPPINES
Website : http://www.yellowcabpizza.com/orderonline
Download Menu : http://www.yellowcabpizza.com/orderonline


cheers,
Pattie




7.03.2015

Juicesabel : Vegan Cheeseburger even Kids Will Enjoy

I was on yaya and driver duties basically the whole summer and so after teaching my class a few weeks ago, I decided to take the kids out for lunch. I've been seeing a lot of posts about this place called Juicesabel on my FB page (mostly from the Vegan group I'm part of) and so I decided to try it out that day. Juicesabel is truly  a gem both for Vegans, Trying-to-be Vegans and Non-Vegans. It turned out to be a great post yoga (for me) and post-gymnastics (for my kids) dining place.


The only downside is that it's a bit tricky to get there. It actually took me 3 tries before I found it because it is so easy to miss. This all-vegan cafe is literally under the Kalayaan-Edsa bridge (at the other side of  the Ministop in Kalayaan).  You have to be extra alert!

It's a tiny and cozy joint which sits about 8-10 max with just 2 tables and a mini bar. My kids instantly felt at home in the place as seen in the photo below with S without shoes and her feet up! (Oh Sofia!)



They serve cold-pressed juices with no sugar, no water added and no preservatives which they make daily. I tried their Oh Malunggay : Kale + Malunggay + Apple + Pineapple. Php 150.00



Mac N Cheese
 Php 150.00
We ordered this pasta dish which was their Lunch Special that day. It had chunks of taste veggie "meat" and topped with plant-based cheese! The portion was huge and we even had to take out the leftovers.

Vegan Cheeseburger 
Php 80.00
Their patty is made from carrots and beets and served in a wheat pandesal bun. It actually tasted so close to eating a beef burger or at least I was able to get H to eat it! Hahaha! (sneaky sneaky!)


Little H sampling this burger. His main comment was that it tasted a bit "different". I hope by that he means different in a good way! :)


The owner Isabel (thus the name JuiceSABEL) got so entertained with the energy of these two that she treated them with a creamy cup of vegan coconut ice cream smothered in chocolate sauce! So SWEET of her!


We all enjoyed our quick plant-based and animal-approved lunch in Juicesabel. You can't go wrong with it's reasonable prices, portion size and homey ambiance. See you again Isabel!



cheers,
Pattie

JUICESABEL
3800 Kalayaan Avenue, Baranggay Pinagkaisahan, Makati
juicesabelph@gmail.com
090646VEGAN (83426)

6.03.2015

Kapeng Mainit : Comfort Food with a Twist + Good Coffee

This is the newest addition to the diverse smogasboard of amazing hole in the wall places in BF Paranaque that is worth the drive. Kapeng Mainit is the brainchild of our really good friend Chef Bryan Francisco. Kapeng Mainit as the name suggests serves good quality Barako coffee with every meal so this is perfect for breakfast or actually anytime of the day if you're the type who can take coffee any time. It's a homey and laid-back cafe which serves comfort food with a twist! 





Cozy and Relaxed Neighborhood Cafe Vibe


 Complimentary Barako Coffee

Tapa 2.0 
Php 180.00
Thin slices of well-marinated Tapa over Kimchi Rice and topped with poached egg and homemade pico de gallo (a special salsa blend past on from the chef's grandmother!) 

Fried Chicken Adobo
Php 195.00
This was the REAL winner! This was off-the menu and was their special that day so we were so lucky they offered it! First of all the serving was huge and good for sharing (talk about value for money!). Secondly, it was awesome! What a pleasant surprise : such a simple dish made extra-ordinarily special. The chicken was crispy on the outside but juicy and tasty on the inside. It also came with a special sauce (thickened adobo drippings that was just so flavorful) which you can add to the meat. Good job, Chef!


Beignets (prounounced BEN-yeyz)
Nothing like these heavenly French Doughnut fritters served warm, with crispy edges and pillowy soft dough on the inside generously dusted with powdered sugar. How can I resist!?!

The 3C's 
The chef's interpretation of the pizzokie. 3 cookies with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, how could anthing possibly go wrong?


My kids ready to attack the 3Cs :

1....

2...

 3...


 Attack! The smile on their faces says it all! Thank you Tito Bryan for spoiling us!


KAPENG MAINIT
Tropical Ave., BF Homes
Paranaque City


Cheers, 
Pattie

Bulanglang : Batangas Vegetable Soup



Bulanglang is a healthy dish consisting of different types of vegetables. There are different versions of Bulanglang; this particular recipe is the version from the province of Batangas. It's actually very simple and easy to make. All you need to do is boil water or rice washing (water used to clean rice) and put-in the vegetables according to their cooking time. Thick and hard vegetables such as squash (kalabasa) and green papaya should be boiled first, while soft green vegetables like malunggay should be added last.




This is probably the healthiest Filipino soup because of the combination of different kinds of vegetables. For this recipe I used a 16-bean mix I found in the grocery consisting of various colorful beans including lima beans, red beans, pinto, chickpea, green split peas, etc. 

 Having a serving of Bulanglang can supply most of your body’s daily needed vitamins and minerals. As for the taste, this dish has a very mild and simple taste. The flavors are derived from the vegetables alone. You can try adding a little salt to enhance the flavor.

Procedure:


1. Wash and prepare all the vegetables. Take malunggay leaves out of their stems (my kids love helping me out with this task!).
2. Boil the water/rice washings in a medium pot.
3. Add in the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Boil for another 10 minutes just to get the flavors out.
4. Remove the lemongrass. Add the squash and boil for about 5 minutes before adding in the rest of the vegetables (except for malunngay leaves).
5. Season with salt and add in malunggay. 
6. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
7. Enjoy!


5.19.2015

MENU PLANNING 101 : How It Can Save You Time and Money






I guess it's safe to say that I learned from the BEST. My late mother Corito was a very good cook and nutritionist (yes! She literally had a degree in BS Nutrition). Growing up, we were so blessed to have had experienced and tasted her cooking. I always loved coming home because I always knew there would be great food on the table. It was also from her that I developed my love for cooking and working in the kitchen which eventually led me into shifting careers and studying at one of the most prestigious culinary institutions in NYC.

I don't have a cook and cook about 80% of our meals. The remaining 20% is the reheating of the cooked meals already which I leave to my all-around helper when I'm not around. So I am always thinking of ways to structure and organize our mini kitchen operations. I learned a lot from my mother and one of the best things I apply now is MENU PLANNING. It's a very effective tool and practice that can easily save MONEY since predetermined meals but down on IMPULSE spending on the supermarket. Planning meals ahead can save you a lot of TIME as well because you won't need to go to the store for missing ingredients or you can already prep in advanced since you know what you are cooking that day. I do mine every weekend either Saturday and Sunday before I go to the wet market and grocery so it can dictate my market/grocery list. This way your grocery can be budgeted and there is minimal wastage. Here are some of my tips on how to create a successful and efficient MENU PLAN at home.

1.  MAKE THE LIST AND POST IT
The first step is to write/type it down. Some people may want to just write it on a piece of paper/whiteboard/chalkboard that you can hang somewhere in your kitchen. I personally type it up (I already have a format in MS Word that I just edit every time).

2. GROCERY LIST
Grocery shopping should be considered a skill. You have to always be smart about it. If not you will end up with a lot of spoilage and wastage or worst stack your refrigerator and pantry with things that will just expire on you.

3. FOLLOW FIFO METHOD
First In - First Out policy should always be used. This is a practice used in the professional kitchen but can also be applied at home. This simply means that the oldest inventory items should be used first. Always also check items in the ref/chiller/freezer that may be already passed their expiry date so you can create space for your new items.

4. MIX and MATCH
Variety is important when making meal combinations. You do not want your husband and kids to get sick of one viand/"ulam" unless it's really their absolute favorite. For instance, my whole family especially my 2 kids LOVE sinigang. And by this I mean they can literally eat it every other day that's why it is always in our weekly menu. What I do is change up the kind of sinigang. If on Monday, we make pork sinigang then on Thurs or Friday, I either make Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimp) or Sinigang na Bangus (milkfish). If your family is just like mine and appreciate home-cooked Filipino Food (Lutong Bahay), here are my favorite meal combinations. I'm not a huge breakfast person and usually just have a smoothie or fruit/granola to start the day but my kids can eat a full meal so I still prepare a full breakfast for them.  Here are our top WEEKLY picks; You can some of the active links for recipes I posted in the past just in case you want my recipes. :)


    photo taken from www.alllivefood.com

* Click on link for my homemade recipes :)

BREAKFAST Faves :
Overnight Oats with Bananas *
French Toast (different variations) - Banana, Banana-Nutella, Plain, Strawberry *
Pancakes with Fruit
Granola
Fruit and Yogurt
Green Smoothies *
Soft Boiled Eggs with Toasts
Bacon & Eggs
Bagel, Cream Cheese, Capers and Paprika (with smoked salmon once in a while)
Avocado on Toast and Cottage Cheese
Corned Beef and Rice
Crispy Adobo Flakes (if we have leftover adobo from the night before, I shred the meat and fry it to a crisp the next day!)
Tinapa with Red Eggs, Tomatoes and Onions with Garlic Rice
Tuyo, Creamed Eggs or Ginisang Itlog and Garlic Rice
Daing na Bangus


*photo taken from www.thedailyopium.com

LUNCH/DINNER Faves :
PINOY
Sinigang (all types - I usually do a vegetarian version for the days I want to go meatless - lots of greens, gabi, garbanzos, kamias/guava when available the souring agent),
Chicken or Pork Adobo
Chicken Tinola with Sayote and Malunggay - I also tweak this sometimes and make a "Hainanese Version of It"
Beef Nilaga
Bulanglang
Fried Fish with usually a soup as combination
Beef Kaldereta (spicy with lots of olives)
Mechado - Pork of Beef
Tinapa Rice

INTERNATIONAL
Salads (all kinds! I experiment on different toppings and dressings everytime)
Baked Rosemary and Lemon Chicken - whole chicken
Iberian Chicken *
Penne Al Telefono *
Bolognese
Cacio E Pepe (Cheese and Pepper Pasta) *
DIY Tacos
Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves
Homemade Siomai *
Homecooked Steak (and then we make the leftovers into a rice dish the next day which y husband calls Gengis Khan)
Tabbouleh *
Grilled Cheese and Spicy Tomato Soup
Roasted Rosemary Lamb and Potatoes


Let me know your thoughts! Maybe even share some of your favorite weekly dishes you make at home! I'd love to hear from all of you! E-mail me at sliceofpattie@gmail.com or drop a comment here!

cheers,
Pattie

5.15.2015

HOMEMADE SIOMAI : BEEF, KALE, MUSHROOM AND CARROTS



My son H's current food obsession is siomai and I don't blame him. It was one of my favorites growing up as well. Even in college, I would have "siomai rice" for lunch and it was a real treat. He requested me to make some so I rushed home this morning from my Barre3 class to prepare this for lunch. H and S had gymnastics class today so this was the perfect post activity lunch for them. I was also able to put in some veggies that they wouldn't normally eat (kale and spring onions!). I'm a sneaky momma that way! Haha!

HOMEMADE SIOMAI

250 grams ground lean beef
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
1 medium onions, finely chopped
1 small carrots, finely chopped
3 stems spring onion finely chopped
3- 4 leaves of Kale - shredded/finely chopped
small can of mushrooms - finely chopped
1 egg
1 pack molo wrapper


PROCEDURE:

1. In a bowl, Combine all the ingredients together except the wrapper. (beef, kale, salt, pepper, onion, carrots, spring onion, egg), Mix together.

2. Wrap the meat in wanton wrapper by placing about 1 tbsp of the mixture in the center of the wrapper then press all the sides around to the middle leaving an open space on top.

3. Place all the wrapped mixture in the steamer.

4. Steam for 20-25 minutes. (medium to high heat)

5. Serve hot with soy sauce and calamansi or lemon dip.


cheers and TGIF,
Pattie

4.29.2015

Turning Japanese : Top 10 Best Eats in Osaka 2015

We are back in foodie heaven.
I think this may be a yearly tradition for us because we just really fell in love with Osaka since our trip last Spring. Known as the  “Japan's Big Kitchen”, food critics and writers have described OSAKA as the Food Capital of not just of Japan, but of the entire world. Attracting millions of tourists annually with beloved regional dishes like okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and udon, the Osakan love for food is so legendary that it’s given rise to the saying: “Kyotoites are financially ruined by overspending on clothing, Osakans are ruined by spending on food.”  It's most definitely my kind of place! 

Here are my top 10 Cheap Eats this year;

1. Green Tea Ice Cream from Bar D Te'
   OMG actually make that OMFG!!! Excuse the language but this was really so damn AWESOME that's why it tops my list this year! I never knew green tea ice cream can taste THAT good. The green tea flavor really stands out;  it's concentrated and strong (grassy and slightly bitter) and not the usual watered down and milky ones that are widely available in every convenient store in Japan. Don't get me wrong, I love Family Mart's green tea ice cream because it's so reasonable and you can't go wrong with  "twirl all you want" for Php 25.00-Php 30.00 (In Osaka, the usual price of their soft serve is about 300 yen or roughly $3) but THIS just put green tea ice cream into a whole new level. The texture is sticky and creamy and they serve it with a long thin black teaspoon which you use to dig in the ice cream. So where is this place? It's a stall inside the Takashimaya Food Court (B1 level) in Namba Station called Bar D Te'.
 Enjoying my little piece of heaven sandwiched between the Lolas and Lolos of Osaka. Hahaha :)

Look for this stall :)

2. Kuromon Sanpei's Sushi Sets
This is our favorite place inside the Kuromon Ichiba Market. It's essentially a small marketplace that offers a variety of fresh fish and sushi. They sell pre-packaged sushi/sashimi sets you want it  are on the go or you can eat it right there. They have tables where you can enjoy the meal, use their free wifi and get complimentary hot rice tea to wash down your meal. 

My top picks are : Toro Sashimi/Sushi, Scallops (they are ginormous!) sashimi and Buri/Hamachi Sushi.

Buri/ Hamachi Sashimi


Scallops and Toro

3. Unadon Lunch Set at Takagi Suisan
This small stall can also be found inside Kuromon Ichiba market and it serves just EEL. They also make their own homemade special eel sauce made from the finest soy sauce from a long-established soy sauce  store since the Edo period. Their eel is meaty, juicy and soft and is covered in a richly simmered sweet sauce.

For 850 Yen (about $8.50) , you'll get a unagi rice topping, miso soup with clams and pickled radish. Their Unagi (eel) is so delicately cooked plus the teriyaki sauce is so rich in flavor (i like that I sense the hint of sake and mirin).

4. Kushikatsu
Kushikatsu is one of the things Osaka is known for. It's deep fried meat or veggie skewers served with a communal tonkatsu (a watered down version of it)  dipping sauce! 

 Look for this Kushikatsu Man. You'll see him all around Dotonburi and Shinsaibashi.

Complimentary Cabbage Appetizers

Our favorites : Classic Kushikatsu (Beef),  Asparagus, Okra, Shitake, Octopus, Cheese and Kushi Rice (Fried Curry Rice Ball).  Best to order their draft beer to water down all the oil (eek!). 

Remember the 4 Cardinal Kushikatsu Rules 
1. NO DOUBLE DIPPING. This is the most important rule of all. The sauce is communal so this is very VERY important. 
2. Dip Kushi (whatever item it is) once and move it to your place.
3. Eat cabbage (appetizer) with your hands. 
4. Do not soak chopsticks into the sauce.

*You'll be given this note/card when you dine in to remind you of their house rules. 

5. Takoyaki (Plain and Salted) from Amerika-Mura
This is the Takoyaki for Purist. It's not the usual Takoyaki you're familiar which is smothered with a sweet and tangy dark sauce but instead the octopus balls are simply seasoned with salt, spring onions and a generous topping of bonito flakes and Japanese mayonnaise. I understand why it's said to be the bestseller among the locals because you can really enjoy the taste of the octopus balls instead of masking them with the sauce.
Takoyaki with Rocksalt
8 pcs. for 350 Yen


How adorable is this? The takoyaki lady wearing a takoyaki hat! :)

6.  Grilled Eel Liver
Definitely not for the faint of heart but since I love Unagi this was not hard to like (and digest). It's liver in a BBQ stick that's grilled and covered in sweet teriyaki sauce.


7. Mitarashi Dango

It's a type of dango (sweet dumplings) skewered onto bamboo sticks. Mitarashi means covered in syrup made from shoyu (soy sauce), sugar and starch. These small sticky rice balls are grilled adn covered in a nice sweet dark (teriyaki-like) glaze. They sell them all over the streets of Osaka and Nara.  

8. Fresh Handmade Mochi from Nakatanidou 

BEST. MOCHI. EVER.
     I chanced upon this Mochi stall in Nara (the market strip just beside the main station) and got to try the BEST Mochi ever! Nakatanidou makes the mochi on site by having two men pound the dough with huge wooden mallots. The men usually wait until there is a crowd before the start the pounding and then they sell the mochi after it’s made. The pounding process helps soften the dough before it is filled with red bean. 1 pc for 130 yen. The rice flour dough is tinted green with yomogi (mugwort) and dusted with kinako (soy bean powder). Don't miss this when you visit Nara!

9. Curry Takeout from Coco Curry House
After our Nara day trip on our 4th day there, we came home to our apartment really exhausted.  We didn't want to walk to Dotonbori for dinner so we just decided to go for something quick and easy. We found Coco Curry House just around the corner and ordered take-out. Coco Curry House has been around since the 1970's when it first opened it's flagship restaurant in Nagoya. It has proven it's concept already and has stores/franchises all over the world. Their menu is simple...everything CURRY. You can choose a protein (mostly fried and their most popular is the tonkatsu - fried breaded pork with curry). I was in the mood for vegetables so I had the Spinach Curry Rice for 600 Yen / $6.00 . Maybe I was just so tired and hungry but I really enjoyed my plate and wiped it out clean.  



10. Family Mart Sushi and Soba 
My hubby and I are suckers for cheap eats and so when we arrived in Kansai really late on our first night, we headed to Family Mart to get dinner since it was the only one open. For the quality and the price, you can never go wrong. 
Assorted Sushi and Cold Soba, yes please!

So there you have it folks :  My top picks during our Osaka trip this year. Let me know if you have questions and comments, email me at sliceofpattie@gmail.com and I'd be happy to answer them :)

It's just been a few days since I got back but I already miss the place, the weather and the FOOD!

Turning Japanese,
Pattie