Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Coffee Shop

It's not actually new new for they started doing business for several months now.  It's just recently that I was able to check out their shop at IT Park.  Just like the CoffeeCat shop in Davao, it also has the yogurt shop.  Ambiance is ok but quite dark for me.  It must have been that they were saving on electricity bills bit they only turned on the lights inside the shop when it was starting to get dark outside. I was only able to try out a slice of their chocolate Kahlua walnut cake.  It's downright chocolatey and surely hits the spot for me.  I would go back just for another piece of this cake.

Chocolate Kahlua Walnut Cake
The shop has free wifi access. Just ask for the password from the barista at the counter.  They do allow plugging in of laptops for charging however I only saw 1 outlet.  They do have other pastries, sandwiches and pasta dishes available.  I will have to go back to try it out.

Coffee Cat
G/F JP Morgan & Chase Center
Asiatown IT Park

Trip up North

A backlog post of our trip up north of Cebu.  Unlike the roads down south, the ones going north needs a lot of improvement.  The stretch of road from San Remegio down to the towns on the western side of the island are in need of repairs.  We even passed by some parts that were flooded. Paging Gov. Gwen!  If you want to reclaim Cebu's status as the best island destination in the Philippines, please please please improve this part of the province and aside from the roads, please install street lights too so that people will not hesitate traveling at night.

View on the new bridge going to Consolacion

I forgot which town this was
an old house in the middle of sugar cane fields

San Remegio

 Not a lot of nice old houses and scenery can be seen in this western part of the island.  A lot of the areas is undeveloped.  There is a potential for ecotourism in this area so hopefully something will be done about it.  But then, the infrastructure must be fixed first in order to attract more people to go and visit this part of Cebu. 

Sunset over San Remegio

Not a lot of pictures for this trip.  Hopefully we will be able to go back there next time and spend some time enjoying the beach.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trip down south

Some pictures of our road trip to see the southern part of Cebu.  Pictures were only taken by a phone camera hence the low quality.  Good thing I found out that my point and shoot camera is still in good condition despite the broken LCD display.  I will have better pictures on our next road trip.  The highway hugs the coastline of the province which provides for picturesque views and amazing scenery.  We were blessed that day as the weather was really nice so we were able to see clearly the shoreline and mountains of the neighboring province of Negros Oriental.

Going up the mountains via Carcar-Barili Highway

Old church

nice cloud formations 

Sumilond Island at the back

Viewpoint in Santander with Sumilon Island in the background

Sumilon Island

Next up, northern exposure....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Roadtrip

It was an impromptu one. We just grabbed a Tupperware-full of oatmeal cookies, an adequate supply of milk and water for the kiddos, extra diapers and shirts, a few toys and we were off.  We really did not have anything in mind as to where we were supposed to go. It was a toss-up between San Remegio, which is north of the city and Moalboal, which is in the southern part.  In the end, it was the trip down south that won. We took the Carcar-Barili-Moalboal route which was a blessing in disguise because we passed by this small roadside stand that I have been reading about in many blogs.

Since it was almost lunch time, we decided to eat lunch there as well.  Their food offering was limited as they only had, longaniza, ngohiong, chicken adobo, and puso.  They had however a lechon stall where you can buy by the kilo.

The place had several wooden tables and chairs where you can sit down, eat and watch the cars and buses go by.  We were lucky because the weather was cool so it was a nice experience eating outside.  The kiddos were distracted by the metal slide that was near our table so the husband and I had to take turns eating so that someone will be watching over the kids as they play.

We reserved the dessert for later. I believe this roadside stall is well known for their fresh milk, fresh milk ice cream and frozen yogurt.  We had mango and chocolate ice cream and a cup of frozen yogurt. Their goodies are already packed in small plastic cups including the frozen yogurt. The flavors available for their ice cream that day was chocolate, mango, buko pandan, and vanilla.

Frozen Yogurt


The chocolate lacked the full chocolate flavor and the mango had that fake mango taste.  But both were creamy and milky.  The winner of the bunch was the frozen yogurt.  It was creamy, tangy and had the perfect sweet and tangy balance. I would come back to this place just for it. We were not able to taste their fresh milk so we really have a reason to go back. 

Molave Milk Station
Carcar-Barili Highway

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Potato Croquettes

After reading this blog entry made by La Fuji Mama, I was reminded of a similar thing I do whenever I have several potatoes in the vegetable bin.  This is a very versatile dish wherein you can put anything.  I already made it with ground beef flavored with taco seasoning and it came out really great!  I have not tried it with cheese though like the one made by La Fuji Mama but I think I will soon.  Looks tasty eh?  It bet it is.

Potato Croquettes with Corned Tuna

3 medium sized potatoes
1 can Corned Tuna
Panko bread crumbs
Pinch of Curry Powder
2 eggs
seasoned flour (flour+salt+pepper)

1.  Boil potatoes in water until they are tender.  Drain and peel. Mash with a fork or a potato masher.  Set aside to cool
2.  Add the corned tuna to the potatoes and mix well
3. Season with salt, pepper and the curry powder.
4.  Add about 1/4 cup of dry breadcrumbs to the mixture
5.  Shape into small patties and refrigerate.
6.  Place seasoned flour, beaten egg, and panko bread crumbs in three separate bowls.  
7.  Dredge in flour, dip in egg, coat with bread crumbs. Repeat this step until all patties are done.
8.  Refrigerate or place in freezer for about 15 to 30 minutes
9.  Heat oil till it's hot, about 370F.  Make sure you have enough oil to deep fry or not to fry the patties on one side.
10.  Fry the patties by batches till it's golden brown on one side then flip to do the other side. 
11.Drain on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oils.
12. Serve while it's hot.

Potato Croquettes

*as always, I do not endorse a particular tuna brand. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cheesy Tuna Paella Balls

This is another experiment that turned out to be a hit.  I had a can of the San Marino Tuna Paella sitting in my pantry for quite some time now.  I figured it would be boring to eat it straight out of the can so I thought of a way to enhance it.  Just to clear things out, I am not an endorser of this brand nor was I paid to write about it.

Cheesy Tuna Paella Balls

1 Can San Marino Tuna Paella
Cheese (I used Eden Filled Cheese)
1 Egg
1/2 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Oil for frying

1.  Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plate. Set aside
2.  Slice cheese into cubes
3.  Place tuna paella in a bowl
4.  Beat egg in a bowl
5.  Prepare dredging station by placing the plate of the seasoned flour, bowl of eggs and plate of breadcrumbs side by side.
6.  Get a spoonful of tuna paella and put cheese in the center covering it entirely with the rice.
7.  Dredge in flour then in eggs then in breadcrumbs.  Repeat this step until all of the tuna paella is consumed.
8. Put in freezer for about 10m minutes to help the breadcrumbs set.
9.  Heat oil in a deep pan. Make sure it is enough to deep fry the rice balls.
10.  When the oil is hot enough, fry the tuna paella balls until golden brown.
11.  Drain excess oil by placing the fried ones in a plate lined with a paper towel.
12.  Serve while hot.

Tuna Paella Balls

* I served this with sweet chili sauce on the side.

Creamy Corned Tuna Pasta

This is one of those pasta experiments that I did.  It was a spur of the moment thing as I just had to satisfy my craving for pasta.  It is very easy to make and the ingredients are readily available.

Creamy Corned Tuna Pasta

200g Uncooked Pasta (Spaghetti/Linguine/Fettuccine/Zitti - whatever you prefer)
1 can Corned Tuna (Century or San Marino - whatever brand you prefer)
1 small can button mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tetrapack cream
pasta water

1. Boil pasta according to package directions.  Set aside
2. Saute button mushrooms. 
3.  Add onions and garlic
4.  Add bell peppers and saute till fragrant
5. Add corned tuna.  
6.  Add cream
7.  Thin the mixture out a bit with the pasta water.  Add the water a little at a time till it reaches your desired      consistency.
8.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9.  Add cooked pasta and mix with the sauce.
10.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.
11.  Serve while it's hot.

Creamy Corned Tuna Pasta

*To make it a bit spicy, sprinkle a bit (or a lot) of crushed red pepper to the sauce before adding the pasta.  I added it after it was cooked as the kids are not yet used to spicy foods.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yummy Happy Food

These were the exact words the husband used to describe the food of this nondescript restaurant he was bringing me to.  He was always talking about it and promised to bring me there when the opportunity arises.  That day finally came so we headed out immediately as lunchtime was always a busy time for the restaurant and we might have finding a free table if we came in later.

The Facade
You will clearly see that this is a no-frills restaurant.  No airconditioning, mono-bloc chairs, no uniformed waiters serving you.  Its all self-service.
The Grill
This is what will greet you before you enter the restaurant.  You have to choose the food that you want to eat from what is available on the grill.  Their specialty is Tasik which is a white-flesh fish.  Almost like tuna but lighter and for the lack of a better term "malinamnam".  The price depends on the part of the fish as well as the size.  You can choose to have a huge chunk of the belly or a steak-cut size of the tail end.  Squid is also available.  For the meat-lovers, sorry but they only have seafood here.  You then go to the counter to get your rice and you may opt to order Tinola which is a clear fish soup flavored with lemongrass, onion leaves.  Kamias and tomatoes are used as souring agents.  

Grilled Fish
It looks small in the picture but it was a huge slab of fish about 2 inches thick. Perfectly grilled:  slightly charred on the outside but cooked through yet still moist and soft on the inside.  

Side Dishes
Each person gets a small saucer with sliced tomatoes.  You can add soy sauce, vinegar, calamansi and chili depending on your favorite combination for your dipping sauce.  For me, grilled food has always have to have a dipping sauce.  There is also a small serving of papaya atchara or shredded pickled papaya which was a nice addition to the meal.
Free soup
If you do not order the Tinola, you can actually ask for a bowl of the soup.  Its free of charge! Clear fish broth slightly sour but not overpowering.  
lunch crowd

Total cost for all that? PhP 200. Not bad at all!  the husband and I did not even order another serving of rice so that we could finish the fish yet we were so full after finishing off everything including the atchara and the soup.  And to think we were planning of having halo-halo for dessert!  There was no room left after eating that fish. 

We will definitely go back there again although not with the kids though.  It would be hard to chase them around in a crowded restaurant.  But if you are thinking of experiencing an honest to goodness sutukil restaurant here in Cebu, this place is definitely worth the try.

Parttebelle Tinola
Cebu North Reclamation Area
Across SM City Cebu 
Near Razon's Halo Halo


Monday, September 6, 2010

Durian Pie

I had a stash of frozen durian.  I had to think of other ways to eat it as eating fresh durian was becoming too common for us. The husband suggested that I make a pie.  It's been ages since I last made a pie.  It was my one and only attempt in making one.  So I had no recipe for a pie crust that I could use.  Of course, the Internet being my source of all information, I immediately searched for a pie crust recipe that is easy and no fuss.

I found one in allrecipes.com that said no-roll pie crust.  It seemed easy to do and the ingredients were all on hand.  I was out of butter so it was the perfect recipe for me to try out.   I pre-baked the crust first as recommended by some of those who have tried the recipe.  I always check on the comments whenever I use a recipe from the Internet.  The information you get from reading the comments will really help you get the perfect recipe.

For the filling I used 3 ingredients: durian flesh, sugar and cream.  I only eyeballed the proportions that is why I had some extra filling after filling the pie crust.

This went to the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Durian Pie

A Slice of Pie

Not bad for my second try in making pie eh? :D  

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Nope. Not the herb but the restaurant. BIL treated us to dinner after getting promoted to manager level.  It was my first time to eat there so I asked them to order for us.  I just had a request - Pad Thai.  I was missing Som's Pad Thai so I was hoping to cure that feeling by ordering it.  But I digress, this restaurant obviously serves Asian cuisine.  It's a mix of Malay, Thai and Vietnamese but with Filipino flavors. Fusion flavors as most would describe.  But to me, the flavors was too 'Filipinize" if there is such a term.  The interplay of the sweet, sour, salty, spicy flavors was lost.  However, it still tasted great.  servings are good for 2-3 people and most of the dishes are for sharing.

For starters:  Pomelo Salad.

Pomelo Salad
This was good. The pomelo was sweet and juicy.  It had a bit of shredded carrots and the dressing was the usual fish sauce with vinegar and shallots.  I had to ask for an extra serving of coriander.

Main Course: Beef in Red Curry Sauce
Beef in Red Curry Sauce
The curry sauce was good. Sweet, rich curry taste with the right hint of spice and the beef was tender.  My only complain about this dish is that I think they cooked the beef and the sauce separately and only assembled it when someone orders it.  So the beef has not soaked up the flavors of the curry sauce plus the fact that there was too little of the sauce in the dish.  Not enough to spoon on top of your rice.  O how I miss Ate Eva's cooking.

Pad Thai
This was kind of a disappointment for me.  It lacked the flavor that I was looking for.  Probably because we requested for it to be not spicy because we had kids with us who might want to eat it.  Although the mung bean sprouts were fresh and nutty which added an interesting flavor and texture to an otherwise ho-hum dish.
Vietnamese Grilled Pork Belly

The meat was tender and well cooked.  Flavor-wise it was OK.  Nothing spectacular to rave about.  The cucumber relish that it came it was the one that I could not forget.  It was spicy, sweet and crunchy.  Too bad you could not order it separately.  It would have been a great starter to open up your taste buds.

Pandan Chicken
This dish can be considered a staple entry in Asian restaurants.  The menu is not complete without it.  The serving is good for 2 people.  They used thigh fillets for the dish which was flavored well. I like this dish because my kid liked it.  He was able to finish one packet in one sitting.  He liked it so I like it too. 

Bagoong Rice
Of course, a meal would not be complete without rice.  We ordered this as the other option was a no-no for the husband.  He does not like pineapple in savory dishes so Bagoong Rice it is. The serving was enough for 2-3 people.  The bagoong flavor was not too overpowering making it a great accompaniment to the main dishes.  
Plain Rice
I just had to post a picture of the way they served their plain rice.  Isn't it cute?  This unique presentation was very useful in convincing the kid to eat.  =)

Something Cooler
I totally forgot what they call this drink.  It's basically a pitcher of water with crushed mint leaves with a mix of cucumber, lemon, orange and lime slices.  It's really refreshing. We were able to finish 2 pitchers of this during our meal.  

Ground Floor, The Terraces
Ayala Center Cebu


Thursday, August 26, 2010

What's Keeping Me Busy

Family, kids and work are the things that has been keeping be busy lately.  That's why I have not been able to update this blog for a few days now.  Being a full time stay at home mom or SAHM as I call it can be as demanding as having a 9-5 job. How can it not be when I have 3 bosses demanding equal if not more time and attention. Sigh... Sometimes I just have to shout it out to let the stress out.

But things might change soon although nothing final yet.  I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed though.  I think this change will help all of us. =)

Here are some pictures of some of my food finds here in Cebu.  This is from a small bakeshop downtown.  Their best sellers are the mango cream pie, chicken pie and sylvannas.
Chicken Pie

Mango Cream Pie
I have tasted both pies but not the sylvannas. I'd choose the chicken pie over the mango cream pie.  The crust is more buttery and flaky and its more filling too.  You can really see and taste the chunks of chicken, potatoes, raisins and corn and with the hint of curry to bind it altogether. I could eat a couple of the pies in one sitting!  Thinking about it makes me hungry.  The shop has other goodies too like moist chocolate cake, brazo de mercedes, cupcakes, breads and many more.  Although some of the items I think you have to order in advance.  Sorry for the crappy photo. It was taken by my camera phone.

display case
Kamuning Street 
(at the back of Cebu Doctors Hospital Parking Lot)
Cebu City

Friday, August 20, 2010

pictures of past dinners

Inihaw na Chorizo & Beef Satay

Peanut Sauce for the Satay

Chicken Arroz Caldo

I was not able to take pictures of the Pork with Spinach Odong Noodle Soup as well as the Chicken with Spinach Misua Soup. 

Will be leaving you with these pictures for the moment.  I have to take care of my two kiddos first.