7.20.2017

The Healthcare Game Changer of the Philippines : AIDE APP


I've been experiencing a weird kind of chronic left knee pain for months now which would come and go (mostly after running/cycling and in some static stretches like the pigeon on the floor) plus my sporadic low back problem that always haunts me but because of my super busy momma schedule, I brushed these aside many times. I couldn't find "time" to have it checked because well... let's admit LIFE (work, teaching, travel, household, etc) always gets in the way. Mommies, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. 



Last night, I was FINALLY able to get my issues checked by a PT in the convenience of my HOME! Yes, I had a specialist come to our house to check my knee and my back. The hubby also had his long list of complaints (ankle, wrist and upper back) which were also assessed last night. No long queues/waiting time, no hospital, nothing... It was done in our house and while I was reviewing my son for his Mastery Test. How did I do it? Through this app called AIDE. It allows you to connect to get medical care from qualified medical practitioners straight from your phone! 


Ivan, the PT, was able to isolate that my knee pain was actually being caused by my super tight IT bands. I have to really allot time to stretch it out and was given specific exercises for these target areas. As for my low back, we did a short hot compress session and some core strengthening exercises. It felt good to know how I can manage my body issues to prevent further injury and it felt even better that I did without leaving the house! Awesome AIDE!

7.13.2017

Turning Japanese: Tuna Anatomy and The Uh-mazing TORO

Oh Toro, why do I love thee?

Toro is my weakness. It was love at first sight when my Dad first introduced me to it. And at that time I cared less and had no idea whatsoever that it was more than just "Tuna Belly Sashimi" until I became a chef and a serious foodie. 
Toro literally means "to melt" and as the name suggest it literally feels like butter in your mouth. You could vividly see layers of fat and marbling which gives it an extra unexplainable umami flavor and texture. Sharing with you some interesting trivia about it.

bluefin tuna sushi anatomy

TORO is not taken light but a damn SERIOUS business in Japan. Throughout the country, all of the blue fin tuna happen to be graded from the quality of the slices of oily meat which are extracted from them, especially the highly valued toro, typically the oily belly from the tuna. Tuna for the purpose of sushi happens to be meticulously taken care of, to make certain that the entire flesh will not be bruised or harmed. Once the raw tuna gets to the actual seafood marketplace, center examples of the tissue are generally obtained using a unique instrument in order for the pigment, consistency, and flavor from the meat to be evaluated prior to the tuna being valued. Although sushi includes many various tuna types such as yellow tail as well as big eye, excellent quality otoro is simply obtained from only the blue fin tuna.

 Sushi at 6 am? HELL Yeah! This was the OTORO I had for breakfast at the famous Tsukiji Market during our last trip to Tokyo.


 OTORO that you can get from the grocery....*sigh* Only in Japan


Drool, drool, drool....
Otoro is taken from the actual under-belly inside the tuna, and it is by itself separated into grades which happen to be recognized according to the marbling through out the steak, very similar to inside grading beef. By far the most precious o-toro or otoro, comes from the lower belly of the fish towards the head. Chutoro, a lower top quality, derives from the tuna belly at the center and rear through the tuna, which is not as much marbled when compared with otoro sushi.
There is a unique taste to it. The amazing sirloin feel of raw tuna fuses together with the fatty tissue from the belly to generate a rich and creamy experiencing inside the mouth, along with the flesh from the tuna evaporating while you indulge in it.
An exceptional part of otoro is going to be soft pink together with vibrant white colored lines. Otoro comes with a lot of delicious oily lines, which typically give it that distinctive and magnificent tastiness. Chutoro is normally much less veined by means of fat, even though it remains a lot more oily compared with pieces from the higher area from the fish, including akami. Otoro is definitely most tasty throughout the winter months, once tuna acquire additional body fat, and might not be as incredibly tasty when out of season. It needs to always be consumed fresh, mainly because it doesn't last lengthy amounts of frozen periods.
Amazingly, o-toro sushi is not commonly consumed outside of Japan, even though it is oftentimes accessible in specialized Japanese dining establishments along the shorelines of America as well as in certain parts associated with Countries in Europe. Otoro represents a most enjoyable part of dining found in Japan, and a large number of blue fin tuna farmed all over the world land in typically the fish marketplaces linked to Japan, exactly where the o-toro will undoubtedly receive a more expensive price tag amongst sushi enthusiasts.

I can't wait until I get to taste this precious tuna part again. A few more weeks to go.... woohoo!



until then,
Pattie

7.11.2017

Breakfast Delight : Onsen Tamago

ONSEN TAMAGO. This literally means "hot spring eggs) in Japanese. It refers to eggs that were originally prepared in hot spring waters to create silky egg whites and custard-like eggyolks.  I fell in love with this egg the first time I ever tried it in one of my trips to Japan. I remember having it in Fuji-sawa which is a place surrounded by a lot of onsens.
The egg is perfectly poached inside the shell. The whites are still soft, delicate and silky while the yolk is a bit firm versus a regular soft boiled egg which has a firm egg but runny center. It is served with a special sauce - a mixture of dashi and kaeshi sauce. 


Total time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
4 eggs

Broth:
  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½  cup dashi stock 

 Garnish:
  • finishing salt (e.g. Maldon or Himalayan Pink Salt) and black sesame seeds – optional
Procedure

  1. Cook eggs using stovetop: In a small saucepan, bring to boil enough water to cover eggs. Gently lower eggs into water and cook for 6 minutes for soft- or 8 minutes for medium-boiled eggs. 
  2. Shock in ice bath.
  3. Make kaeshi (soy mirin broth): In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to simmer soy sauce, mirin, and sugar until dissolved, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Let cool to room temp or chill as desired. I like to serve it slightly warm.
  4. To serve, stir together kaeshi and dashi broth. Peel eggs and arrange one in each bowl with optional scallions or sesame seeds. 
  5. Pour approx 4 ozs broth into bowls and season with finishing salt.

Good morning! Happy Wednesday!

Cheers,
Pattie

Imahan : Sukiyaki Porn

*** Warning : This is life-changing because you will definitely never eat Sukiyaki the same way again after having it this way.

Sukiyaki is one of the most popular and quintessential Japanese dishes that the world is familiar with. Classic as it is, they say that just very few people have actually had the "real thing". It is not until you've tried it from a Japanese person's home for dinner or have gone to a traditional inn or ryoutei (high-end traditional restaurant) where it is cooked for you at the table. This is because it is meant to be cooked at the table at home to at the table. We may all have encountered "sukiyaki" on some restaurant but if it's been cooked in advance inside the kitchen, it really isn't sukiyaki. That said, this was my first  REAL sukiyaki experience. This is already my 5th trip to Japan and it is only now that I had a chance to have Sukiyaki.

IMAHAN inside the Takashimaya Times Square building had been recommended by friends and so I felt complacent that the indulgence would be worth it because it's a bit pricey. The cheapest standard Sukiyaki Beef Set is 4,650 Yen, about Php 2,100/ person and the full course with the highest quality of beef goes up to 13,500 Yen, a whooping Php 5,900/person * Big gulp*

No, I was not ready to go all out yet and wanted to test the waters on this one so we got the most basic Sukiyaki set and it was enough...

Get ready to drool....


It is an art to cook sukiyaki table side. Everything is carefully set and prepared before the ritual starts.

The glorious thinly sliced wagyu is placed in the center together with raw egg which will serve as your dipping sauce. Can you see the marbling? Gaaah! At this point, I could already taste the buttery richness of the tender meat inside my mouth.

They also served a small plate of neatly placed vegetables and noodles; negi (a type of scallion), bamboo shoots, shitake, shungiku (garland chrysanthemum leaves), fish cake, tofu, and shiratake noodles.

When the whole mis-en-place was done, our server started by lightly beating the eggs with a small wooden whisk. He then placed just a small amount of sauce on the flat pan and started searing the 2 pieces of the prized wagyu. He made sure it was only cooked medium rare and immediately dropped the meat in the raw egg dipping sauce before serving it to us.

OMFG! The first bite was bliss. The tender, buttery, fatty and rich meat combined with the creaminess of the raw egg was just over the top... orgasmic! Paired with tender and sticky japanese rice, it was a match made in heaven. *Sigh*

I can't wait to go back to Japan in a few weeks to find yet another place to enjoy Sukiyaki as life-changing as this!


Sayonara,

Pattie


4.11.2017

Breakfast and Snack Staple: BASIC HONEY & NUT GRANOLA



It's no secret that I loooove granola! I've been baking my own for many years now and in fact have given it away as gifts (Christmases and birthdays!). It is so simple and really delish (give it a try and you'll me amazed how easy peasy it is!).

Here are some of my granola pics through the years... *taken from my past IG posts




I have shared my tried and tested recipe to a lot of family and friends already and they've discovered and made their own versions (modifying the nuts, seeds and dried fruits!).



Every time I post about this in IG and most recently IG stories, I get a lot of recipe requests so I am (finally) sharing it here on my blog for everyone's reference! 



HONEY NUT GRANOLA

Ingredients:
1 cup almonds (or assored nuts of your choice - have fun and be creative!), divided
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3  cup honey
3 tablespoons coconut oil 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
*optional : dried fruit/berries/etc. - my fave seeds are sunflower and pumpkin which are available in Healthy Options and some local groceries (i.e. SM Aura)
Directions:
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2. In a food processor or blender, pulse the almonds and other nuts of your choice if you want them in smaller pieces OR simply keep them whole. I personally like them WHOLE! Pour them into a large bowl. Pour the oats, cinnamon and salt into the bowl with all the nuts and stir to combine.
  3. 2. In a small pan, combine honey and coconut oil, and heat for 40 seconds. Stir to dissolve the coconut oil, and add the vanilla extract.
  4. 3. Pour the honey mixture over the oats, and stir so that they are evenly coated. Add your goji berries/raisins/etc.
  5. 4. Pour the oats evenly onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet (helpful if it has sides).
  6. 5. Bake the oats for 5 minutes, and then stir them around. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
  7. 6. Pour the granola and onto a piece of wax paper to cool. Spread it out into a thin layer.
  8. 7. After it cools completely, break the granola into clusters and store in an airtight container.


You're Welcome Guys! Please tag me @sliceofpattie on your granola adventures. I'd love to hear from you and learn from your combinations!


Have a Blessed Holy Week.


Cheers,
Pattie

3.13.2017

Kusina ni Tito Ernie : Comfort Food in Palawan

We visited Palawan trip a fews ago to visit one of our bestest couple friends who moved back to the island recently. Though our trip was rather short (I tell you, 3 days is NOT enough to go around), they took us to some of their favorite foodie spots. Kusina ni Tito Ernie (Uncle Ernie's Kitchen) was on of them.

It was a bit tricky to get to this small Bahay kubo-type gem but it was so worth the travel from where we were staying. We were greeted by Pablo, the son of Tito Ernie himself who served us with a smile all throughout.

Kusina ni Tito Ernie gives a modern twist to everyday home-cooked comfort food. JP and Kate love going to this place so they really made sure we made a pitstop here during our short trip. And I completely understood why. The place is downright homey, in an open breezy set-up and most importantly is that they prepare all their meals fresh (mostly made from scratch) and even bake their own bread (their kamote bread is a MUST!).

So here's how our meal went...
THIS. Their signature Sampaloc Drink (Php 70.00) which was a real winner for me. It's served with ice and in a glass lined with sugar to add to the sweet-sour and distinct sampaloc juice. I would come back just for this alone.  

Another thing you don't want to miss is their freshly baked homemade Kamote Bread (Php 100.00) with cheese pimiento and pate! The kamote bread is delicately soft and goes well with the duo spreads.


This is JP's favorite, their Home Smoked Bacon Sandwich (Php 200.00 for the small and Php 250.00 for the large) which is one of their best sellers. Too bad I didn't get to eat it but based on my friend's reaction and how fast he inhaled it, I think it is worth a try!

 This was my order because I always feel nostalgic about Tortang Talong with Tinapa (Php 250.00) . I loved it ever since I discovered to eat it with sweet catsup (haha!). It is served with mountain rice, atchara and catsup, ofcourse!

 Pablo made us sample the dried chilis they made so I added some to my torta dish as well.

 And even if we were stuffed from our main lunch meals, we couldn't resist dessert. In fact, we ordered two. First is this "Champ" O Rado (Php 90.00)  chocolate rice porridge that came with fried dilis. I've always loved this combination, classic play of sweet and salty so this was needless to say a CHAMP for me.

This was their Pan de Churro (Php 130.00) which is their kamote bread dipped in a light batter, fried, rolled in a sugar-cinnamon mixture and served hot with a rich Malagos chocolate dip. What a way to end our meal! Two thumbs up!

Check out their Full Menu Here:







If you do find yourself in the island, do yourself a favor and enjoy a comfort meal (or two) in this place.


take it easy,
Pattie



* Below is a useful map to help you find your way there (it's a bit tricky!)


KUSINA NI TITO ERNIE
Abanico Road, Brgy. San Pedro
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
+63 917 5532728