Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

For the last few years, us siblings always try to plan our Christmas and New Year's Day menus, and when my brother still lives with us, my sister and I would take care of Christmas Day menu, while brother takes care of our New Year's Day menu. Now that brother has relocated himself south of the country, it's just my sister and I taking care of what food to be served. This year, it was difficult to choose what to serve because our food preferences changed and that personally, I am not much into food as I was years ago, and with no expected visitors, not only was it hard to think what dish to serve, it was also hard to gauge the amount of food to be cooked.

For the Noche Buena, I suggested sister we just prepare some sort of finger food, as it would be midnight and we would be sleeping after two hours or so. With the help of YouTube (my go to site for all things foodish it seems), I was able to see a simple take on making Garlic Parmesan Wings, which immediately made it on our list as it wasn't spicy, a good alternative to Buffalo Chicken Wings, that might upset our tummies given that time of the day. Recipe for this dish will be shared in the days to come.

Sister prepared Nachos, her favorite finger food / appetizer. We did buy a bottled salsa because it was more convenient to go for instead of mixing different spices. The cheese sauce, she personally cooked, based on my suggestion. A bottle of cheese sauce I found expensive, and the powdered kind sold at a popular nachos snack cart I didn't find appetizing, and even if I was ready to make the cheese sauce using my own muscle power, my sister took over for me as she has made this for school project in college. A simple food to share with the family, but my gosh, we loved it so much!

The Fruity Macaroni Salad was given by our next door neighbor (and very awesome friend), and we were very thankful for it because our mom loves macaroni salad, but we were skeptic to prepare one as it would be tricky to gauge the amount of ingredients needed for a small serving.

For the cake, we first thought about baking Crema de Fruta, but my sister's friend gave us this Choco-Chip Pound Cake from S&R, so this cake saved us energy and time. The Crema de Fruta we will just prepare for New Year's Day.

For Christmas Day lunch, it became a minced meat themed one, something I never really planned initially. I did want to cook Cabbage Rolls as I wanted to try if I can recreate the dish served to us by dad's aunt one Christmas season long ago. I was happy to have created something I was happy about. The sauce I found a wee bit sour, but my mom and my sister both loved it, so I guess I did good with it.  Recipe for this, like the one for the Garlic-Parm Wings will be shared in the next days.

The pasta. We knew we wanted to serve pasta, but the thing was, we forgot to set a decision! Come Christmas morning, sister just asked me to cook the typical Pinoy Spaghetti, but while cooking the Cabbage Rolls, I realized both would use minced meat and tomato sauce, so I decided to just go for carbonara-ish like sauce, but like I said, we never had a concrete decision for this, so we didn't have bacon or ham, only minced meat! Well, in the end, we did enjoy the lunch, and adding the leftover cheese sauce from last night's Nachos, it made our Creamy Cheesy Spaghetti a lot more satisfying.

For our dessert / pastry, we just served a box of brownies given to mom by one of her friends.

Happy holidays from us!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao - #BuksanParaMalaman!

A little throwback pictures...

I am not sure how old I am here, but I am holding the bun of a siopao (the bola-bola filling we ate first), which is one of my favorites back then - I usually asked my late father to bring me home this as a pasalubong, and for a long time, I really did think I took pleasure in eating this, even when my father retired from work, he usually bought all of us a siopao each coming home from his weekly grocery shopping trips.

However, there came a time when we lost interest in eating siopao because of these few reasons -
  • There was more bun than filling
  • The asado filling was more sauce than meat
  • The bola-bola filling was more extenders than meat
  • The price no longer justifies the size of the siopao and the amount of filling.
taken using a very crappy cell phone camera, sorry for the picture quality

When my mom retired from work and started loving the benefits of being a senior citizen, especially the free movie every Mondays and Tuesdays, she also started loving the Chowking wanton noodles + siopao combination, and soon we also rekindled our love for siopao, particularly that of Chowking's. Imagine our happiness when the Chinese food chain introduced their Chunkier siopao asado!

having a Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao break after hours of painting

Not only does the bun of Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao so soft and so white... it had more filling than it used to! It has a lot of meat inside, and the sauce's flavor has elevated. It was already delicious then, but it was so much better now. So chunky and saucy and soooo good, there is actually no need for the asado sauce! The regular sized siopao is an awesome partner for soups and hot noodles, but as is, it delivers the satisfaction we all want in our asado siopao. It also now comes in a three-piece carry box, a perfect pasalubong for kids and adults alike.

If you think all affordable asado siopaos are all bun and less filling, I suggest you move and give Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao a try. I promise you, it's chunky, it's saucy, and delicious! Gaano ka-chunky? Buksan para malaman.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Nissin Souper Meal, #SouperSarap Talaga!


The humble instant noodles has been part of our lives for many, many years. For me, I consider it as one of the food that helped me go through schooling, especially during those times I had to burn the midnight oil - making projects or reviewing for an upcoming exam. There are a lot of negative connotation for the instant noodles, but the simple truth is that... it is easy to prepare (no need to cook anything), it's hot soup is comforting, and the carbohydrates is enough to fill the tummy for the next few hours.

Now that I am out of school, the instant noodles is still part of my life, and is my usual go-to food whenever I am home alone and lazy to cook. At home, we prepare a bowl for us to share whenever we cook fried dishes. Fried food and hot noodle soup sure make a good pair.

When it comes to instant noodles, one of the brands that would always come to mind is Nissin, and for a long time now, I consider their Seafood Cup Noodles my favorite. I love it because it offered a different taste (as it is often the Chicken or Beef that people go for).

Just this month, Nissin-Universal Robina Corporation (NURC) launched its latest offering - Nissin Souper Meal, through its Japanese-themed noodle festival, the Nissin Souper Food Trip at Robinson's Place Manila.

A part of the mall was transformed into a Japanese alley, complete with accents and stalls that offered different Nissin Souper Meal noodles, making it feel like guests were strolling along a Japanese street. We were given a passport, which we had to present to every stall for stamping before we were given a sample of each of the noodle flavors.

Nissin Souper Meal (Seafood)
Offers a deep-sea delight in a hefty serving. Like what I have said earlier, this has been my favorite flavor, and I was glad that even if Nissin noodles had a new look, the flavor didn't change at all. It still had it's distinct seafood flavor with the spicy kick of the ginger.

Nissin Souper Meal (Garlic Pork Tonkotsu)
Whenever we are at a Japanese restaurant, I don't really go for Ramen, but when I do, I usually go for pork-flavored ramen because of it's savory thick (and slightly creamy) broth, and I am so happy that Nissin offered this flavor. The way I described this was that of a fusion of Japanese Pork Ramen and the garlicky Batchoy. This is Nissin's first ever pork-based variant.

Nissin Souper Meal (Hot & Spicy)
I like spicy food, yes... but only as a side condiment, because I still prefer the not-spicy dish and just add a little of the spicy condiment every now and then to change the eating experience. When I reached the Hot & Spicy stall, I was apprehensive if I could appreciate it, and of the four flavors, this was the one that surprised me the most. It is spicy, but not too much that it burns the roof of your mouth, and certainly not the kind that would make you cry profusely. What I liked more was its refreshing feel in the mouth, maybe because the soup was like that of water (not creamy or thick). The hint of mushrooms in the soup also added a new flavor, making this my favorite of the three "new" flavors I tasted that day.

Nissin Souper Meal (Beef Brisket)
If one eats with the eyes first, I say we eat with our nose next. I loved how this soup smelled, and tasting it completed the whole experience.

At the end of the food tasting activity, we presented our stamped passports and we played a ball game. Unfortunately, I didn't win, but if you want to be part of this tasty event, there will be another Nissin Souper Food Trip happening next year - January 16 and 17 at the Trinoma Mall and January 30 and 31 at Glorietta Mall.

- * - * - * - * - * -

At this time and age, we are no longer settling for "pwede na." Today's go-getters look for bold, delicious, and filling noodles, and the Nissin Souper Meal offer just that. With its now bigger size compared to the usual Cup Noodles, it is guaranteed to satisfy our hungry tummies. What's better is that Nissin Souper Meal is packed with a lot of toppings, so we are no longer eating "just noodles."

Then again, if you want to elevate your noodles, you may try any of these:

1) Serve it with toasted bread. Doesn't matter if you butter it or not... doesn't matter if you add garlic bits to it or not... just toast the bread and eat it with the noodles. Yeah, it's carbo-loading food, but bread and a bowl of hot, comforting noodles just taste good together.

2) Add more vegetables. Each bowl of Nissin Souper Meal has enough vegetables and meat bits, but if you want more, you can always add thinly sliced cabbage leaves and carrots. These two vegetables can be eaten raw, so just add the veggies into the bowl, add the hot water, wait.. then eat.

3) Add protein. A lot of people criticize instant noodles as just "carbohydrates and seasoning," so why not make it a complete meal by adding vegetables AND protein? For the Seafood Flavor you may add some baby shrimps, for the Hot & Spicy you may add flaked chicken, for the Garlic Pork Tonkotsu you may add store bought siomai or any pork products, and for the Beef Brisket you may add thinly sliced beef.

However, for if you're a student or a very busy working person and you had no left over meat or you don't have the time to prepare the meat, you may add egg instead. Just take out the noodles first, and in the empty paper bowl, add the dehydrated toppings and seasonings, then add boiling water. For this, I recommend you use boiling water and NOT just hot water, because you need to cook the egg. Once you add the boiling water, add the egg and stir the broth before adding back the noodles. Leave it covered for 3-5 minutes, and enjoy your meal.

Nissin Souper Meal is now available in all supermarkets and grocery stores for only 29 pesos per bowl. A satisfying meal that's easy on the that's the way I like it!

Friday, October 30, 2015

TGIF Deserves a Jollibee Peach Mango Sundae

The week started on a not-so-good note for us; I got sore throat and flu, while my sister had sore eyes. Not the viral kind, but still, her eyes were sore and still is as of this this writing. I am feeling a little better now, and because it is already the weekend (yay, TGIF!!!), my mom and I decided to go out and eat lunch together. Our obvious choice - Jollibee, of course!

In the many times we have dined at Jollibee, we have already developed favorites, which we usually order, but we noticed a new poster for their combo meals, so we decided to go for it. I went for the Burger Steak with 3 Pieces Lumpia, while mom went for the Burger Steak Supreme - the smaller version of their Ultimate Burger Steak. My mom said this was a better option for her, because the Ultimate Burger Steak was difficult to finish, whereas this, she can have the egg and the burger steak with garlic and mushroom sauce, and it also has fries, which tasted better with the mushroom gravy. Both of these meals came with a regular size drink and is priced at 85 pesos. A very satisfying meal for less than 100 pesos!

Now, if you're the type who feels a meal is not complete with desserts, but fears eating desserts would blow the budget, fear not... Jollibee offers mini-sundaes for desserts, which you can get for only 20 pesos (if you order any of the Jollibee value meals). My mom and I tried their newest dessert - the Peach Mango Sundae, and dear me, it was so, so, good!

Since its debut, the Jollibee Peach Mango Pie has always been a well loved dessert, and is actually my favorite. I loved the combination of peaches and mangoes mixed with syrup, which gives it the sweet-tangy taste, and the pie shell was buttery and delicious, the pie was good warm or cold.

The Vanilla Sundae on the other hand has always been a versatile base for desserts - which can be paired with the chocolate hot fudge, strawberry syrup, and a number of different mix-ins.

This time, Jollibee merged this two favorite desserts, and by my first taste, I was like, "Why just now, Jollibee?" Well, no need to wallow about it, for it is now here, and I think it was one of the best sundaes they came up with.

The Peach Mango Sundae is also available a la cart for 29 pesos, perfect for those who wanted more and for those who just wanted to eat the sundae. Just like the Peach Mango Pie, the sweet and tangy flavors of the fruits went well with the vanilla sundae, which actually cuts the sweetness. Although the fruits were cooked in syrup, it actually tasted fresh (I liked chewing the chunky fruits), and would satisfy the kids and the adults as well. There was an ample amount of peach and mango, but if I were you, I suggest to stir in all the fruit with the sundae before eating, for maximum pleasure.

The next time you dine at Jollibee, I suggest you try the new Jollibee Peach Mango Sundae. It's so good, it might just become your favorite.

For updates and news, please follow @Jollibee on Twitter and Instagram, and @JollibeePhilippines on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

#QCblogventure for Quezon City at 75

I have been a Caloocan City resident for about three decades now, but Quezon City is pretty much part of my life - I was born and baptized in Quezon City, our first residence is also in this city, and I attended my pre-school here as well. I have so many fond memories in this city, so when I received an invitation to visit Quezon City attractions in celebration of the city's 75th anniversary, I immediately said yes.

Us bloggers converged in Quezon City Hall, and from there we were divided into groups. Each group had our own set of itineraries. Our group was set to visit three places - La Mesa Eco Park, Erehwon Center for the Arts, and Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Maxine's by the Sea (Hundred Islands - Alaminos, Pangasinan)

When we made the decision to travel to Hundred Islands, we listed Maxine's by the Sea as one of the choices for us to stay at because my sister wanted to stay near the beach (or the water) so we could also enjoy the view. However, off-peak season meant low prices on some accommodations, and in the end we decided to choose a transient home instead. Still, we told ourselves we would eat our lunch at Maxine's by the Sea before we travel back to Manila, and that was what we did.

Maxine's by the Sea has two dining area - this, on the ground floor and another bigger one upstairs. When we got there, it was still early (around 11:30am), so we were escorted to the ground floor dining area. Though smaller than the other area, we just loved the refreshing wind that helped eased the high noon heat.

They offer a lot of choices, but because we have been eating a lot of fish the past few days, we decided to go for these dishes instead:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Eating in Pangasinan

Last weekend has been a wonderful one for us, because we celebrate mom's birthday in her home province - Pangasinan. Initially, my sister and I were planning that us three girls would stay at a hotel somewhere and we would visit nearby interesting places... but while on the road two weeks before (Caramoan trip), our companion mentioned about us doing a Pangasinan trip and it sparked an idea between mom and I... that instead of staying at a hotel, might as well travel to Pangasinan and spend her birthday with Aunt Mary, one of her sisters. Good thing, Aunt Mary is scheduled to travel to Pangasinan as well, so a definite plan was set.

We traveled 11pm from Cubao and reached their hometown of Bolinao around 4am. Uncle Arthur met us and we took their boat going to the fish cage where there is a hut for us to stay at. We slept a little, got up at 6:30am and we then laid out our proposed plan so everything will be coordinated.

Our first destination (12 September) was in Tondol Beach, located in the town of Anda. It was our first time to see the place, and we were in awe of its beauty! I can actually compare it to Boracay - with its powdery whitish sand and clear waters that made us feel as if we were in a big swimming pool. The downside was that as time passed, the water of the beach subsides little by little, and that there weren't much water to swim on because there's a part in the beach with lots of seaweeds. We didn't wear any slippers, so we didn't dare walk on those parts in fear we might step on some sea urchins. My tip... if you want to go to this beach, be there as early as possible so you can fully enjoy the water, and I heard sunrise here is spectacular.

The next day, we traveled to Hundred Islands in the town of Alaminos. Coming from Bolinao, it was already near lunch time when we got there, so our island hopping was actually shorter than expected, because we opted to go for the "service" type of trip, which supposed to allow us to visit whatever island we wanted to visit (the regular trip will only allow visit to the three major islands in the area). Anyway, I am happy to see Hundred Islands again - it was refreshing to see the changes in the area, though part of me was sad as well, because I personally wanted to see the islands as is - and seeing a concrete kind of development sort of "ruins" the experience for me.

If there's one kind of concrete development I am grateful for, it would be this railing atop the Governor's Island. When I first traveled here in 2010, there was only a thick rope that acted as a fence, which was a little risky to put up.

Overall, I enjoyed the island hopping. We didn't get to set foot in Children's Island anymore because the rain started to fall, but we were able to enjoy the waters of Clave Island and we got to pass through Cuenco Tunnel as well. This place already earned a soft spot in our hearts, and we are sure to visit there again.

Okay, food. Hahahaha.

Prior to this trip, I got to see pictures posted by a friend on Facebook and I loved the way she chronicled all the food she ate while she was on her trip. I told myself I will do the same for this trip, but I guess I am still adjusting to owning a camera again, that I wasn't really able to do such. Still, here are some of the food I ate while I was in Pangasinan:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

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}