Friday, October 23, 2009

Me, Guilty? No Way!



Late September, the family decided to meet for dinner at the mall so we also could do our grocery. Normally, whenever we would meet up to eat out, we would eat first before doing the grocery so we could walk off the foods we ate.

Our food place of choice was Chef d'Angelo. We rarely eat here, but whenever we do, I always eat their Chef's Sampler with a slice of Sweet Porky Pizza, a small serving of Spaghetti with White Sauce, and a piece of Fried Chicken. And of course, it has a habit of ours to take pictures of the food before we eat it. I took several pictures of my plate, and when I saw my sister eating her plate of Caesar Salad, I thought of giving more depth to the food plate, but after I shot this picture, I felt a bit bad... because I was having a plate filled with food and my sister was having a plate of salad. Ouch.

Nah.... on second thought, why would I be guilty? One picture doesn't tell the whole story anyway. Did you know that my sister had a plate of pasta good for two people after she had this salad? Yeah... I am not guilty, at all!

*** Jenn ***

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

N - Nutmeg

From the Food Lover's Companion, "When Columbus sailed from Spain looking for the East Indies, nutmeg was one of the spices for which he was searching. Native to the Spice Islands, this seed from the nutmeg tree (a tropical evergreen) was extremely popular throughout much of the world from the 15th to the 19th century. When the fruit of the tree is picked, it is split to reveal the nutmeg seed surrounded by a lacy membrane that, when dried and ground, becomes the spice mace. The hard, egg-shaped nutmeg seed is grayish-brown and about 1 inch long. The flavor and aroma are delicately warm, spicy and sweet. Nutmeg is sold ground or whole. Whole nutmeg freshly ground with a nutmeg grater or grinder is superior to that which is commercially ground and packaged. Nutmeg is excellent when used in baked goods, milk- or cream-based preparations like custards, white sauces or eggnog and on fruits and vegetables-particularly potatoes, spinach and squash."

156/365 - Wasted Nutmeg

Although not my favorite spice, I love sprinkling nutmeg in my dairy based foods like soups and carbonara sauce. It does make the dish a bit sweet, but in general, I love the taste of it. I think dairy and nutmeg make a perfect couple. =)

This picture was taken sometime this year, when my sister and I were cooking some spaghetti carbonara. After she sprinkled some nutmeg in the pot, she placed the bottle in the counter, but our cat was trying to see what we were doing, and when the cat climbed the counter and walked, the cat knocked out the bottle and it resulted to this. Well, a bottle of nutmeg isn't really cheap - we were quite angry at the cat, but of course we didn't scold the cat. Looking at the bright side of things, this scene made the kitchen smelled good.

We now have a new bottle of nutmeg. Yey for that!

*** Jenn ***

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Strawberry Super Shake


Strawberry Super Shake

And so I am back once again after some absence from LaPiS.

The theme this week is strawberry. Last Monday, when we docked in Manila from a 14-hour ferry trip from Coron, Palawan, the six of us decided to have snacks first. Our feet took us to Shakey's, and just a way of comforting myself, I had their strawberry super shake. It tasted like melted strawberry ice cream - very rich, heavenly, and comforting. Dianne and I both had this as our drink, Kei had the coffee flavored one, and Lei had the chocolate.

*** Jenn ***

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

M - Mangosteen



272/365 - Mangosteen

Copying what was written in Wikipedia - The Purple Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), colloquially known simply as "the mangosteen", is a tropical evergreen tree, believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia. The tree grows from 7 to 25 m (20–80 ft) tall. The rind (exocarp) of the edible fruit is deep reddish purple when ripe. Botanically an aril, the fragrant edible flesh can be described as sweet and tangy, citrusy with peach flavor and texture.

Mangosteen is typically advertised and marketed as part of an emerging category of novel functional foods sometimes called "superfruits" presumed to have a combination of 1) appealing subjective characteristics, such as taste, fragrance and visual qualities, 2) nutrient richness, 3) antioxidant strength and 4) potential impact for lowering risk against human diseases.

Mangosteen is sometimes known as "The Queen of fruits" in parts of southeast Asia, notably Singapore and Malaysia. It is believed to have "cooling" properties that counteract the "heat" of durians, the so-called "King of fruits".

These mangosteen fruits were from my mom. I loved eating this fruit because of its tangy sweet taste, but sometimes I feel it's not worth the price (this fruit is quite expensive) because only the arils can be eaten, and the fruit is sold by weight. I always feel that the inedible part of the fruit was the heaviest part of it, thus making me "throw" essential part of my money. =)

A little trivia from a blogging friend, to know how many segments of arils inside the fruit, check the bottom part. The number of petal-like crown indicates the number of arils inside.

*** Jenn ***

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

L = Lumpia



The Lumpia (Spring Rolls) is just one of the many Chinese foods that is now also classified as part of the Filipino Cuisine. Many Filipinos consider this as one of their favorite foods, and is often served during celebrations. There are so many ways of cooking and serving lumpia - others use a combination of mung bean sprouts, shredded green beans and julienned carrots; but my most favorite is this one on the picture - the lumpiang shanghai. Typically, it has ground pork, grated carrots, and chopped water chestnuts as its filling. Compared to the one that has vegetables, this one is slightly slimmer and is the one being served in celebrations. As for the dip, others use sweet-chili sauce, but ketchup would be okay. There is also a different kind of lumpia - which is more like a crepe and has a vegetable filling, topped with a slightly thick sauce made from water, cornstarch, and other seasonings.

This lumpia was served as part of our lunch at Chicken Ati-Atihan, a food place in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental.

*** Jenn ***

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pancit Malabon

It's been a while since I last posted here on Cultural Connections. New month calls for new theme, and this month I will post pancit pictures! Although pancit (noodles) may have been from the Chinese, over the years, it has also became part of the Filipino cuisine.

CC small

Pancit Malabon

The Pancit Malabon was (I believe) derived from Pancit Luglog, and is native to Malabon, a city in Metro Manila. With is thick noodles made from rice, It's basically cooked the same way as the Pancit Palabok, although aside from the difference in the noodles used, the Pancit Malabon also has seafoods and other toppings different to its counterpart. The city of Malabon celebrates their annual Pancit Malabon festival every December.

The Pancit Malabon is my all time favorite pancit. I love its thick noodles and the mix of flavors from the vegetables and the seafoods. This one in the picture was bought from a food shop in Market One. It used mussels instead of the traditional squid, but it was still delicious. I just didn't like the big chunks of toasted garlic that were a little burnt, but overall this one was a great dish to eat.

*** Jenn ***

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Marty's Cracklin'

I don't always get to update this blog every Saturday, so I decided to come up with a theme each month, so I could have something to share every Saturday. This month, I decided to post entries about my favorite junk foods, concentrating more on chips, or what we call "chicherya" here in the Philippines.

220/365 - It's in the Mind

The first time I saw this in a supermarket in Cebu City February of this year, it instantly caught my attention. The chicharon (pork skin cracklings) is one of my favorite foods, and seeing a vegetarian version really made me raise an eyebrow. How can a vegetable mimick something like chicharon? Needless to say, I bought one small pack. Initially, it didn't really create an impact on me, but one thing was for sure. It really tasted like the real thing. Even the feeling of eating it was the same.

It took a few months before I got to eat one again, and it was more of a love the second time around. I was able to appreciate it more, and now I consider this as my favorite junk food. It comes with two flavors - plain salted (blue pack) and salt & vinegar (white pack), and among the two, I loved the plain salted more. Anyway, for someone who has had problems with weight and cholesterol, I think eating this one kind of satisfies my craving for chicharon. Of course, like most junk foods, this one has salt, and is recommended to be eaten in moderation.

*** Jenn ***

ps - this food is made from green peas. Green peas tasting like pork skin cracklings? Try it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Merced Pineapple Pie


Merced Pineapple Pie

The pineapple pie of Merced Bakeshop is my favorite pie. I have already tasted this pie since I was a kid, and up until now, I still loved eating it. Nearly a decade ago, a very nice woman would go to mom's office to give some pastries from the said bakeshop, but not too long ago, she stopped going to mom's office. It was also the end of pineapple pie days for me.

Last June, sister and I went to SSS Main Building (in East Avenue) to take a picture of their wall. Mom said her picture was on the wall, and as her kids, we wanted to see her picture. We cannot find the picture in the wall, but on that day, we found something else. As we went to the canteen to eat lunch, we saw a kiosk of Merced Bakeshop, and when sister asked me if I wanted a pineapple pie, I quickly said yes, with a glow in my eyes. =)

The taste of the pie changes from time to time (depends on the pineapples used), but this one just tasted right. The tangy taste of the fruit and the yummy crust just made me happy to eat this one again. Now I know where to buy this pie when I crave for it.

*** Jenn ***

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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}