Tuesday, April 26, 2016

McCormick Noodle and Seasoning Mix: Real Flavors for Real Moments

The noodles has always been a Filipino favorite. Old Filipino movies often have a scene of someone carrying a paper bag or plastic of pansit as pasalubong, and then and now, we Filipinos associate the pansit as our comfort food, the instant kind a staple in most tables during breakfast, or something to serve during study sessions.

It is true, that people love expanding their horizons. Now, we don't just settle for something convenient, we want convenient, delicious... and yes, social media sites worthy. Innovations and fusion between cuisines are aplenty, but for some (like me), the taste of the classic noodle dish is still the best of all.

Taking all of these into consideration, McCormick, the brand synonymous to flavor is now offering a new innovation - the Noodle and Seasoning Mix. These new product, takes away the pressures of cooking, as it already had half of the things needed to create that "instant" noodles with the "authentic" flavor.

Each pack contains noodles and a separate pack for seasoning. All we have to do now is prepare the fresh ingredients as needed, follow the easy steps, and then eat. Or maybe take a picture of it first and share it on social media sites. :)

McCormick Noodle and Seasoning Mix offers five different variants -

Birthday Noodles
Chinese noodle dish usually served during birthdays to represent long life. Usually uses wheat noodles seasoned with savory soy based sauce, with leafy greens, meat, and quail noodles.

Chap Chae
Korean noodle dish using sweet potato noodles, stir fried with beef, mushrooms and leafy greens, and is usually flavored with sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar.

Peranakan noodle soup dish (a combination of Malay and Chinese), that is popular in Malaysia and Singapore. It uses rice noodles, coconut cream, tofu, shrimps, and bean sprouts, and spiced up by sambal paste.

Filipino noodle dish using vermicelli noodles, topped with an orange sauce made from shrimp broth, fish sauce and annatto seeds, garnished with boiled eggs, smoked fish, shrimps, and garlic.

Pad Thai
Thai noodle dish using rice noodles, stir fried in sauce made with tamarind pulp, palm sugar, and fish sauce, and garnished with greens, bean sprouts, shrimps, chicken, peanuts, and chilies.

It really is surprising how something instant could turn out to be a winning dish your family or friends would surely love. Of course, it is recommended you use fresh ingredients, which you can prepare while boiling the noodles, to maximize your time. Each pack serves 4 people, perfect to serve when you have unexpected guests coming over.

For innovative offerings and meal inspirations, visit http://www.mccormick.com.ph and follow McCormick Philippines on Facebook http://facebook.com/friendsandflavor.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bagnet 80605 (Vito Cruz, Manila)

Last Friday, I met up with bookish friends Eunice and Cath to pick up our books from Gie. Before we went to Gie's work place, we had lunch at Bagnet Eighty Sixty Five first.

Located near De La Salle University, this house-cum-restaurant mainly offers Bagnet dishes (obviously), but they also offer a few fish and chicken dishes.

The place is small, but I like the vibe inside - it felt like eating at home. Also, the noises of the diners made eating more fun and pleasant, in my opinion.

*photo grabbed from eunice*

We settled for a table near the window, and because both Cath and Eunice have already eaten here before, it was I who had to really choose what to eat. Truth be told, it was difficult to choose which to order because even if their menu was short, they seem to have chosen good dishes to pair with bagnet.

Original Bagnet (budget meal)
Cath's meal. First impression was the amount of food on the plate. This may be a "budget" meal, but it sure was more than what I expected.

Kare - Kare Bagnet (budget meal)
Eunice and I chose the same meal. At first I wanted to try the Bagnet Dinuguan, but I didn't bring anything to clean my teeth, and the idea of having vegetables to pair with bagnet seemed to lessen the guilt.

At 120 pesos, this sure was a good meal to satisfy one's tummy. Though the kare - kare sauce was a little sweet for my taste and that I found it weird that there was okra and bell pepper on my plate (most of the vegetables were under the bagnet), it was a good dish overall. The bagnet was very satisfying - it was cut into big chunks and had a good proportion of meat and fat. Also, the meat was tender and easy to chew, and the pork skin was crunchy, much to my delight. It was a little sad that I am very unsure when to eat here again, but should my feet take me to this side of Manila again, I might probably try their dinuguan or their Bagnet Sinigang.

This food trip made me think about cooking my own bagnet dish. Biggest problem would be the guilt of cooking and eating Bagnet for everybody knows it is high in calories and cholesterol, but maybe a few months from now, I might indulge myself and the family with a Bagnet dish.

The only negative thing I could say about the place was that the smell of the kitchen clings to the clothes, but a splash of cologne is enough to cover it up.

Bagnet 80605 is located in Leon Guinto corner Estrada Streets in Manila.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Recipe | Choco-Banana Cupcakes

If you follow this blog for sometime now, you might already know that I into cupcakes as they are big enough to satisfy the sweet tooth, but small enough to ease the guilt. It's been a while since I last shared a cupcake recipe here, so here is a very easy one you can try making.

Of course, this isn't my own recipe, but another I learned from my favorite educational channel on earth - YouTube. Hehehehe. This particular recipe is by Joy of Baking.

Choco-Banana Cupcakes
makes: 12 regular sized cupcakes

  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1 medium sized banana)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) warm water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) canola, corn, or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 350*F and line your cupcake / muffin tin with your choice of paper liners, or just butter or oil the surface if you don't have any paper lines or if you are opting not to use any.  
  •  In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, mashed banana, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined.
  • Pour or scoop the batter into the muffin cups, about 3/4 full
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. 
Things to know - choose very ripe bananas as they are softer and sweeter. The milk, you can use any liquid milk you want - be it full cream milk or skim milk. Personally, I used evaporated milk for this and it came out well.

It is good enough to eat as is, or you can add frosting of your choice.

Joy of Baking used chocolate frosting, but I tend to prefer the white and dark brown contrast, so I went for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting, which I did here for the first time. It was good way to frost cake without too much sugar, and I think this will be my go-to frosting from here on out.

Though easy, this is a tricky one to make, so I suggest you check different videos on YouTube to find different techniques. I used Bake Like a Pro's recipe for this. We don't own a standing mixer, but I was able to create the frosting using our handheld mixer.

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}