Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Eating | Cairine Mae's Baptism Party

Yesterday, us family went to our neighbor's house to celebrate Cairine Mae's baptism. We didn't attend the actual event, we just went over to eat lunch and here are the food served at the buffet table:

Breaded Fish Fillet

Breaded Fish Fillet. I am glad more and more people are serving this dish - I love cream dory fish!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu. Someday I will learn how to cook this perfectly.

Beef Caldereta

Beef Caldereta. It didn't have the spicy kick (because they invited a lot of kids at the party), but I love it so much because the beef was just so tender, but the potatoes weren't mushy at all!

Milky Chicken with Hotdogs

Milky Chicken with Hotdogs. I wasn't able to taste this one.

Lumpiang Shanghai

Lumpiang Shanghai. It was a little thicker than the usual Lumpiang Shanghai, but it was cooked good. My sister and I loved this, too!

Creamy Mixed Veggies

Creamy Mixed Veggies with Quail Eggs and Chicken Gizzards. I ate this, but I didn't scoop out any of the eggs and the gizzards.


Steamed Shrimps. Another dish I didn't taste - simply because I found it a bit tedious to peel off the shell.

Other dishes served at the party I wasn't able to take a picture of: Lechon, Vegetable Salad (I forgot what dressing they used), and Fresh Spring Rolls. They also served two native delicacies - Bibingka and Kutsinta. For desserts, they served Buco Pandan.

I ate just enough to satisfy my tummy - a little rice, a piece of the fish fillet, a piece of beef caldereta and one potato chunk, 3 pieces of Lumpiang Shanghai, and a scoop of the mixed veggies. For drinks, I just had water.

Part of my goals this week is to not eat fried food, but I did say that if I am invited to an event, I will make an exception. :) Well, I did tell my sister and my friend Ria that I won't eat/drink any of the sweetened food/drinks, and I'd like to say I did great even if they were trying so hard to tempt me to even just taste a morsel of the "prohibited" food. Taking the fried food aside, I think I am a superwoman today.

... and the lunch made me quite full that I didn't eat dinner anymore, though I had about 1/4 cup of Roasted Cashews for snacks around 5pm.

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So... what did you have last weekend? If you're new to the Weekend Eating meme, you can read the rules and get the badge codes HERE. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined last week.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Italian Dinner with K

Marikina Shoe Expo - General Romulo Ave.
Cubao, Quezon City
17 November 2010

Traveling from Baguio City, K and I directly went to our next home for the holiday: Fernandina 88 Suites Hotel along P. Tuazon in Cubao. It was our choice of home because each room had it's own living room and kitchenette, and it seemed to be near the next places we planned to visit for the next two days.

We got there around 4:30 in the afternoon, and after settling in and doing the laundry (thank heavens for the kitchenette and the balcony), it was time for us to eat dinner. I told K there are a lot of restaurants nearby, but for some reason, I only wanted to eat dinner at one restaurant - Bellini's.


pictures taken late last year - my original pictures were too dark to be recognized

Cubao has been part of my life one way or the other - when we were kids, parents would always take us to Fiesta Carnival and when I studied college, I'd always pass by Cubao because it was there I take the jeepney ride home. Years after I finished college, Cubao went to a major makeover and this part of the Marikina Shoe Expo became a little secret that not many people know about - maybe because all spotlight has been on Gateway Mall and the nearby places.

Bellini's is an authentic Italian Restaurant serving dishes since 1999. Owner Roberto Bellini is an Italian papparazzo, who met his wife Luisa while covering the EDSA Revolution. After years of living in Italy, the couple (along with their kids) went back to the Philippines to put up this restaurant.


It is quite a long restaurant, with different sections for diners to choose from. This picture above is the area closest to the main door. A good place to enjoy a bit of "restaurant life," as there is a television showing some sports, and this area is also close to the kitchen and bar.


Another section of the same area - I just wanted to show some of the couples' works (Luisa became a papparazzo, too, if I remember correctly) as well as some bottles of wine.


Middle section of the restaurant features this mural showcasing a fusion of Italy and the Philippines, and possibly some landmarks around the world.


This section is the farthest from the main door - this was where K and I decided to stay, just so we could have some peaceful dining experience, but turns out, as diners come in, they would prefer to stay here, too. :)

Staff are all friendly and nice - the waiter pulled my chair and pushed it back in as I sat, he even laid out the cloth on our laps before handing us the menu. As we make our choices, the wait staff told us to just enjoy our stay and munch on the bread sticks as we wait for our food, which will take time before serving - they prepare the dishes upon ordering.

For that dinner, we had:

Milanese Beef

Milanese Beef. Fried veal dipped in egg and breadcrumbs. K's choice. K and I both agreed - the veal was tender and the breading had a very light crisp. K enjoyed his meal as it was served with potatoes and carrots, another reason not to eat rice for him.

Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco ala Fiorentina. Bone marrow veal steak. My choice. The time we had this food trip, I was always playing "Cafe World" on Facebook, and I always "cook/serve" Osso Bucco on my restaurant, so when I saw this on the menu, I decided to go for it, just so I would know how it tasted. Fork tender beef and the sauce just had the right amount of seasoning... but somehow I didn't like it - maybe because I expected too much from the dish (well, I didn't know what the dish was before I ordered it) - to put it simply, it was like eating Beef Caldereta minus the other ingredients. Still, because it was very tender and tasty, I enjoyed my meal... with a cup of rice to go with it.

While eating my meal, I ranted about my wrong choice of dishes. Like for this food trip - this is an Italian Restaurant, yet I should've ordered for any of the pasta dishes. Oh well, maybe if given the chance to eat here again, I'd go for the pasta or pizza.

Foccacia Bread

Foccacia Bread. The wait staff asked K if he wanted to eat Foccacia Bread to go with his meal. This one's not for free (like the ones at Italianni's or at C' Italian Dining), but we both loved this bread as it was still warm, it was crispy on the outside, yet very soft inside. It comes with a dip, but eating it as is was already okay.


Cassata. I already knew K would pay a lot for this dinner, but I still asked if it was okay for us to have desserts. He said yes, but while checking the menu, K asked the wait staff if they had Cassata, as he said it's traditional Italian dessert and he wanted me to taste it. When they said they have one, we quickly placed an order for it.

Taken from Wikipedia, "The Cassata Siciliana consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese, candied peel, and a chocolate or vanilla filling similar to cannoli cream. It is covered with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel colored icing, and decorative designs. The cassata is finally topped with candied fruit depicting cherries and slices of citrus fruit characteristic of Sicily."

Tasting it, it was like eating ice cream fruit cake. I loved it so much, but I let K eat most of the chocolate part - I loved the white and the tiny red part! :)


Vino Samto. Sometime during our meal, Mr. Roberto Bellini came to chit chat with us. He talked about his life as a papparazzo and how he helps around in the kitchen to ensure good quality dishes. Towards the end of our dinner, we were served this wine, which they said was something Mr. Bellini made himself, and is something they always serve to guests as a complimentary drink. I do drink alcohol beverages, but if I can stay away from it, I would... so I just let K drink this. He said it was sweet with a slight kick of alcohol - a good way to end the dining experience.

Bill was quite expensive, but K said it was all good - the food was good, the ambiance was good, and as we walked back home, he thanked me for a wonderful dinner.

Bellini's is located at the Marikina Shoe Expo, just near SM Savemore Supermarket and the Araneta Bus Terminal.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Banana Loaf


Banana Bread Banana Bread

The Banana Bread / Loaf has been a favorite bread of mine since I was a kid. I love how it smelled and look like - and how it makes me full to carry on a long day at school. If the canteen didn't have any pansit (noodles) to sell, I always look forward to eating this during break time.

This bread was something I bought from Max's Corner Bakery. Like most of their breads and cakes, this one's lightly sweet, and what I liked most is that the bread is slightly dense - just one slice is already enough to give one a fulfilling snack or breakfast.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mung Bean Sprouts, Tofu, and Tomatoes


Second of the four recipes from Ms. Maiylah I wanted to try:

Mung Bean Sprouts, Tofu, and Tomatoes

Mung Bean Sprouts, Tofu, and Tomatoes
{Serves: 2}

  • 1 cup mung Bean Sprouts
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • a dash of pepper and paprika
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • oil for sauteeing / frying
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • sesame seeds for garnish

How to Cook:

  • Slice tofu and marinate in soy sauce, pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
  • Heat oil and fry the tofu until cooked. Place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Cut into bite size pieces after it has cooled down.
  • Heat about a tablespoon oil in another pan and saute onions and garlic. Add tomatoes slightly after.
  • After about two minutes, add the mung bean sprouts and continue to stir fry. Mung bean sprouts will render some liquid, but you may add a little water if you want to. Add the tofu pieces and mix.
  • Correct the seasoning according to your preference.
  • Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil, mix, then turn off the heat. Plate and serve.

Frying the tofu was a bit difficult for me, but after that little disaster with the first piece, I was able to finally get it done by adding more oil, making sure the tofu didn't touch the base of the pan.

I loved how it tasted. It reminded me of Kongnamul Bibimbap (minus the tomatoes), and it sure can be a full meal as is, but it can be a great side dish for any fried or grilled meat and seafood. Oh... just take it easy on the soy sauce marinade; tofu tends to absorb the liquid, so be sure you don't go over with this, or you'll end up with salty fried tofu.

To check Ms. Maiylah's original post about this recipe, please click HERE. Big thanks to you, Ms. Maiylah for giving your readers very easy recipes to follow.

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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}