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Showing posts from July, 2008

Presto Pasta Nights #74: Salmon Vegeroni Twisties Salad

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It's a healthy, colorful pasta salad this time around. I have made a number of red sauce and cream based pasta dishes but it's very rare that I share a salad recipe for Presto Pasta Night. So, it's Salmon Vegeroni Twisties Salad for this week which, is by the way being hosted by no less than passionate food blogger Ruth Daniel's of Once Upon a Feast.

Kids common repertoire of meals definitely includes poultry and meat. But how would you encourage them to have the other essential members of the food pyramid in particular seafood and vegetables? When you have kids to entice at the dining table, you tend to be creative and adventurous. For this particular dish, colour and shapes are the elements of appeal. For the less favourite items, their flavours were made to be subtle in release. And to encourage a big mouthful, sweet, creamy and juicy are the overall top notes.

Did I say it’s healthy too? Vegeroni Pasta is made from 100% durum wheat, with no artificial colourings nor…

Tomato Basil Bruschetta and Spicy Tuna Pasta Twist (Snacks for the Meeting)

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When you were not able to perform your task and did not deliver what were expected from you, what do you normally get as a consequence? Penalty! This is what my colleagues and I got from not being able to meet the deadline for one of our KPMs (key performance measures) at work. That is, for having our report turned in late we have to face the unwanted outcome. Our punishment? We have to prepare snacks for the operations meeting. Can you really consider that as a punishment? Well to feed a bunch of foodies, to some extent for our pockets, it is going to be. But to our daring appetites, it’s a granted desire. So, with a budget at hand, we came up with the following dishes and happily shared hefty bites of these. Tomato Basil Bruschetta What you need: 1 bulb of garlic (finely chopped), 10 pcs medium sized tomatoes (cut into cubes), 3 tbps chopped fresh basil leaves, 1 pack quickmelt cheese (cut into cubes), 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing onto the bread, 2 pcs of fr…

YUMMY published my mail!

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Yesterday, a colleague excitedly showed me a copy of YUMMY magazine’s August edition. Little did I know that she’s off to break some good news? “Have you seen this?” she asked me while showing a page of the magazine. Momentarily, I got wide eyed with what was before me; my e-mail to YUMMY last June was published in their latest edition. Truly elated, more than I am! I didn’t expect that my e-mail would land into their picks. What I sent were actually words of delight for the magazine that had influenced me in many ways. I remember making a post about it here when I started buying issues of it. Thank you YUMMY! You keep on bringing genuine foodies with such gastronomic reads!

It's a Mozzarella Sunday (Tomato Basil Pasta with Mozzarella and Baked Mozzarella Chicken)

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When it comes to preparing pasta dishes, I adore how Giada de Laurentiis of Food Network does this thing seamlessly. Most of her creations had me salivating to high heavens. As a result, I almost always wanted to carry her recipes into our own platter. Recently in one of her shows, she made her favourite pasta that reminds her of her childhood in Italy. When I saw her plated it scrumptiously and avidly dig into it, I just know that this is one dish I would like to try. From the way it looked through her mouth-watering chews, the dish seemed to be healthy and appetizing. True enough, when I prepared it at home, I was more than delighted with the taste. The dish is so simple to prepare and mildly flavoured. With the subtle blend of flavour notes of garlic, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, the overall taste is so natural to savour. Truly delicioso! Likewise, the pasta complements the whole dish. It does not overpower and the size perfectly suits my kids' little sensory orifice. Wha…

Attending Pre-school... How tough is it going to be?

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Yesterday, I took my 3 year old son to a trial class in a nearby learning center here in the south. My initial desire was actually to homeschool him in his toddler years. But because there are a lot of learning centers for pre-schoolers that had mushroomed out, I was intrigued to evaluate and try if there's any that will suit my child's needs. So, after much cajoling from one of the teachers, I finally yielded and we went to try out. The program started with what they call "discovery time". Initially, the kids played freely with all kinds of educational toys available and were encouraged to mingle with their classmates. The teacher coined this as the necessary conditioning process before getting the kids into the real-deal of the class. When it comes to kids these young, things shouldn't be hurried. And I do agree that making them comfortable at first is a must. At the same time, I thought that kids once again rule here! As I watched them play, I can imagine a v…

La Paz Batchoy (in 3 Forms)

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If there's one traditional noodle dish that's been popularized and made phenomenal in the Philippines, that would be no other than Iloilo's La Paz Batchoy. It's a noodle dish made with round egg noodles or miki , pork meat and organs, crushed pork crackling, egg and vegetables in a meaty soup stock . Ted's La Paz Batchoy claims to have the original taste of this noodle soup. In fact, it brought a significant number of branches in the Metro to carry its mission of giving Filipinos "the opportunity to savor the exotic and exquisite taste of the original La Paz Batchoy". I remember heading to one of its branches sometime ago to sample all the different types of batchoy it offers. Basically, what I found is one type of broth that can be served with different kinds of noodles. Depending on your own preference you can have misua, sotanghon, bihon or miki. Among all these, I liked best the Extra Super Batchoy that uses miki as noodles. The least however, is the …

Spicy Tuna Fritters and Kangkong (Water Spinach) with Ground Pork

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I wonder how many homemakers adhere to their menu plan religiously? As, I, for one, am a usual violator of this task. Have you ever experienced visualizing a meal that’s supposed to welcome you home from work? If you're the one preparing it, you probably have played in your mind the ingredients and the best way to do it as you head home. But the moment you reached your kitchen, you suddenly changed your mind and decided to cook something unplanned. I just had that particular moment. For some reasons, I opted for these dishes which, can actually be included in Robin Miller's repertoire of Quick Fix Meals or Rachel Ray's 30 minutes meal. Hah, I think I made the reason more obvious then. But generally, whichever case it may be, either you go as planned or veer away from it, nothing compares to home-cooked meals.


Spicy Tuna Fritters:
vegetable oil for frying, wanton wrappers, 1 small can of hot & spicy tuna flakes, 1 small onion (finely chopped), 5 cloves garlic (minced), 1…

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho

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Eleven Minutes was touted as Paulo Coelho's second international best seller next to The Alchemist. According to the author, it was his boldest story ever made. Must agree, I would. It's a story about a woman who lived a life full of emotional and physical struggles in the pursuit of her dream. It's a plot enriched with love, lust, melancholy, sacrifice and hope. Maria (the protagonist), an innocent girl turned into a prostitute, instinctively took the winding road in realizing her dream. Unfortunately, her journey didn't happen the way she expected it to be. It didn't provide her a smooth run but a tougher and highly pebbled one. It even came to a point of almost losing her true self in exchange of awakening, sexual experiences.
When I bought this book, I didn’t have a slightest idea of what eleven minutes exactly means. My impulse just trusted the name Paulo Coelho in having it. Half way through the pages (more or less), I learned that it’s how Maria coined her w…

Tuna Vegeroni Pasta (Presto Pasta Night # 72)

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My Pasta story for this week started with my wandering in the kitchen. I exactly didn’t know what to prepare. I’m not craving for anything neither did my kids. I rummaged around the kitchen cabinets and drawers and found a can of tuna, Italian spaghetti sauce and vegeroni pasta spirals. Inside the refrigerator, there are carrots, cucumber and red bell pepper. I gathered all these things together on the kitchen table mulled for a while and voila! I’m cooking Tuna Vegeroni Pasta in a pan.
When I plated it, unfortunately, the pasta looked too orange-red for me that the colourful vegeroni pasta spirals were already well too hidden. Lesson learned? Vegeroni Pasta is better prepared with white sauce or practically anything but red sauce. The nice colour combinations of the pasta albeit well hidden, still provided that distinct veggie taste. Thus, I would rave about the taste more than the plating. Taste wise, there’s nothing sophisticated in here, it’s very straightforward. It’s a union of f…

MAMMA MIA, ( How can we resist you?)

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It’s been such a long time since my husband and I were able to watch a movie together in big screen. Since the arrival of the kids, time seemed to be so out of the way for this much missed leisure pursuit. So when he invited me to see the film MAMMA MIA, I didn’t hesitate to give my nod. The first time I saw the movie trailer, I was already intrigued. It gave an impression of a happy, fun-filled, feel-good movie, just my kind of taste for a film. And gladly, it did not disappoint me at all.
The story started with a girl’s dream of meeting her long lost father to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. To live this dream, she invited the three men from her mother’s past but only to find out in the end that neither of them can identify who her real father is. From there, the story will evolve into love being rekindled coupled with good laughs that maybe contagious at times, and a showcase of friendship that lasts a lifetime. All these were musically woven by no less than ABBA’s grea…

Chunky Choco-Oatmeal Cookie

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In as far as baking cookies at home is concerned, I am a newbie. I hardly make any or rather, I actually didn’t try to attempt at all. But since I have little palates to please with certain requests I can’t simply ignore, I had to endure the challenge of perfecting one. We had enough muffin and cupcake bashes in our kitchen but it seemed that our baked goods saga is bound to last for long. Only the kids know when, perhaps until the day their throat resists the sugar rush. So, it’s all about cookies the other day.

Different types of cookies exist in abundance. But the truth is, they are just combinations of flour, sugar, fat and eggs unless other variations are intended to be made, that will make a different ingredients list. At any rate, the first four are considered the foundations of the cookie. Proportions may be played around and substitution may be considered to make a cookie recipe specific to ones’ own liking.

In my case, I tend to value texture next to taste. Texture is an essen…

How to Cook by Hamlyn

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Meet my favorite companion these days, my new cookbook entitled - How to Cook by Hamlyn, a division of Octopus Publishing Group Ltd. This book has been out in the market since 2005, and I'm glad that it's still available in the local bookstores. It isn't just a kitchen companion it could also be a favorite coffee table book. There are a lot of things to learn, from the basics of cooking to the practical application. It has all the essentials on the subject of cooking such as the ingredients we normally used as well as the instruments and methods that go with it. The book is divided into 4 parts. The first chapter focuses on the basic description of the ingredients or foodstuffs that are typically used in cooking. In here, you will get to know some details about your favorite fruits, vegetables, spices, meats, seafood, poultry, noodles, pasta, rice, grains, technically everything imaginable in your kitchen. In the second part, it shows the things we have to do in mastering…

Lucky Me! Supreme LID the way, Save the Earth Supreme Lid-Design Making Contest

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Another contest in the block! Calling all moms and dads who have College and Highschool students, you might want to have your children join this worthy contest. Lucky Me! Supreme brings you its Lid-the way, Save the Earth Lid-Design Making Contest. It's a competition open to all College and Highschool students who have talent and interest in art and designs. Here's the mechanics on how to join:
1. All designs must center on the theme: "Concern for the Environment".
2. No proof of purchase is necessary. You may send in as many entries as possible.
3. WINNER gets P50,000 CASH and will be regarded as the winning design on the Supreme bowl lid. That's COOL!
4. People's Choice Online Winner gets P10,000 CASH. Log on to http://www.lidtheway.com/ for contest details and to download the Lucky Me! Supreme lid template.
Now is the chance to make the creative juices flow and our environmetal concern put into action. Let those pens and paints do the works and grab a wonderf…

Name this Dish Contest Winner

I had a nice time reviewing the entries for this contest. I didn't expect that the dishes will go a long way in as far as naming them is concerned. From "funny sounding" to "lip-smacking tone", I was impressed by the ideas thrown in. Thank you very much to everyone who participated. I hope to have you again in the next Our Taste of Life contest. I voted for the best name that I think will best describe the dish in all its authenticity. So, without further I do, I'm happy to hand over the P1000 Poquito Mas Gift Certificate to Cookie of Schroochchronicles for winning the 1st price. She gave the names that matched the ideas I have in mind while preparing them. She named the 1st dish, "Eggs Bernardo" (play on Eggs Benedict). Isn't this authentic and with personal touch? What better way to name your dish than having your name attached to it? :-) The 2nd dish, she named it "Pizztini, Pizchetta or Pinoy Pizchetta". What I particularly liked…

Soba Noodles with Vegetables in Sweet Soy Broth (Presto Pasta Night # 71)

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Last week, I had an Italian recipe. For this week’s Presto Pasta Night, I’m having Japanese. This week's event is being guest hosted by Gay of Scientist in the Kitchen. I bought a pack of Zaru Soba from the supermarket 3 weeks ago and it’s been resting in the kitchen cabinet since then. My plan to make a Japanese dish was obviously enslaved by some form of procrastination. Seeing my daughter increased her appetite for noodle dishes these past few days, pushed me to get this Japanese noodle done. I don’t know if my being a Product Development Specialist for a noodle company influenced my family’s liking for noodle dishes. In some way, probably yes. Thus, it’s typical to find any noodle or pasta dish scrumptiously sitting on our dining table.

Soba is a lightly brown colored Japanese noodle made of buckwheat flour. It is usually served hot or cold and can be prepared in soup or dry. It’s smooth and has a soft-chewy texture which, makes it a kid friendly type of noodles. Because of it…

Lemon Graham Squares

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When it comes to home-made desserts, I love those that can be easily made at home. In particular, those that shies away from hard to find ingredients and the long wait for indulging. If there’s one very flexible and easy to work on ingredient for dessert making, nothing compares to Graham Crackers. It's affordable, readily available and can be transformed into any of your favorite dessert items such as pies, floats, cakes, polvoron and so on and so forth. You can have it baked or simply chilled.

Being a cracker that is sweet rather than salty makes Grahams different from others. That is why; sometimes it is called a sweet biscuits in crackers form. The original Graham Crackers is made of coarsely ground wheat flour that makes it good for our digestive health. Hence, years ago, Grahams was touted as a health food item for its high fiber content. Today, it has remained to be a favourite snack food or dessert in many households, mine included. In my quest to have a new grahams recipe,…

Name This Dish Contest!

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Win P1000 Poquito Mas Gift Certificate by giving names to the featured dishes in this post.
I'm inviting all food enthusiasts to join our new contest entitled "Name This Dish". I'm writing my first ever food book and I've started to screen the recipes that I will include in the overall concept of the project. Last weekend, I've prepared two dishes which were inspired by my desire to go healthy these days. Apparently, I was lost for words on how to rightly call these dishes. Thus, it turned out to be an exciting contest to have here in Our Taste of Life.

To help you put a rich sensory lexicon into it, here are the recipes or the descriptions of the dishes:
Dish #1:
(from bottom layer to top)
8 pcs asparagus, (stir-fried in 1 tbsp olive oil) 2 triangle slices of loaf bread with liver pate or liver spread 1 soft-boiled or poached egg vegetable salad, (2 tbsps chopped fresh basil;2 tbsps chopped parsley;2 small tomatoes, diced and seeds removed; 1/8 cup diced cucumber; 2…

Steamed Tilapia Fillet on Sayote Tops Ensalada

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Food minus and food plus are the talks in the Food Industry now. It's either you make the bad stuffs less or fortify the food with what is lacking and claim that the addition make the food healthier. That's basically the trend in food development today. In my kitchen, I think it's about time to take this direction too. Hence, it's only apt to have steamed fish and vegetable salad on our plates came family dinner time. I would like to share these recipes in particular to those who have started to prefer healthier food alternatives. Incidentally, the meal will also make a good entry for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted by Pam of Sidewalk Shoes.

Did it already occur to you why a seafood dish is best paired with vegetables and vice versa? Whenever we take any, we always long for its partner, right? Maybe it has something to do with the dish being light for the tummy that's why we like to have some more. On to the dish, Chayote Leaves (or Sayo…

Breakfast at Mocha Blends

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I declared on my post here that Mocha Blends is now my comforting Coffee Place. I also mentioned that this coffee shop is bound to offer more. Hence, I went back to the branch near our place to sample their breakfast plates. Was I glad I did? For the taste, it’s the same notes you can duplicate (or even do better) at home. In the selections, there’s nothing unique to look for. Basically, the menu has the same breakfast plates being offered in other restaurants. With the way it has filled our tummy, the meal is value for money. For a little over a hundred bucks, it would pass a decent, substantial pick. So, what makes it a better option then? If you wake up one morning looking for a heavy, breakfast meal; longing for a strong coffee to match it with amidst relaxing ambiance and some generous servings of WiFi, this is your kind of place!