Sunday, October 26, 2008

Portugese Restaurant in bantayan island, cebu

my friends posing at the beachfront of Marlin Beach Resort while waiting for dinner

i had a light dinner since i did not like the food that we ordered at the resort's restaurant. so after we took a shower, we then head off to explore the nightlife of the island. we rode a trisicad and slowly went by the place...someone suggested Balikbayan's Restaurant. and so we headed to the unfamiliar place, unfortunately the place was packed because of a birthday celebration...even the governor of Cebu was there. so we cruised around until we found Portuguese Restaurant...we asked if they serve pizza and luckily they said they are...we took a table and ordered our pizza and drinks only to find out later on that they ran out of mozarella (oh, brother!) we have no choice since our drinks are already served so we just ordered sandwiches...clubhouse and chicken sandwich

pineapple vodka, pineapple juice, margarita and chicken sandwich
the clubhouse sandwich tastes good especially the filling...but the bread was just so plain and ordinary costs 160.00

this chicken sandwich costs 110.00

my margarita...i have to be honest has a quite strong mix of alcohol...

baked scallop...YUMMY!!! with butter and mozarealla (i thought they ran out of mozarella!)

this costs 150.00...not bad compared to the rest of their menu which is quite expensive

i felt sorry i was not able to take a pic of the restaurant but it's made of a native hut with different flags of the world attached around the walls of the place...they have a buffet dinner with a mix of Europian figures a lot of foreigners are dining at that place. well, for a start, the owner is a foreigner...goes to show the name of the restro..Portugese is side by side with other restaurants as well...just near the resorts. There was a live band in another resort but it was quite far from our place so after we finished everything we head back to our room and called it a day!

a day in bantayan island, cebu

i had an overnight trip to bantayan island, north of cebu. my friend wanted me to come with her to find the seashells she's looking for her wedding. a 3 hour drive from the city to hagnaya wharf in san remegio where you will take an hour trip in a ferry to the island of beautiful white sand was a pleasant trip even with the overcrowded ferry with so many passengers at that time. We arrived at Sta Fe port a little past 10 and directly went to the resort i have booked Marlin Beach Resort.

we had lunch at Sta. Fe Beach Club, a place that i frequent to whenever i come to this island. i have tested and proven their dishes...a mix of Filipino, Chinese and Thai cuisine. i super love this place and aside from their dishes they also have a good supply of drinks...cocktails, wine, whisky, vodka and most especially soju (my fave!). it is only in this place of the entire island which offers soju and korean ramen.

this is stuffed pineapple rice with a little meat, mushroom, green peas which cost 140.00, small serving...
chao pa chin...a chinese dish with mixed veges, young corn, mushroom, shrimp, meat and squid...costs fave!
this is stir fry noodles with meat and veges...a Chinese dish that is so Filipino...popularly known as Pansit Canton. my son loves this!!! only 155.00

this is my ultimate favorite...Lemon Chicken. Buttered chicken breast fillet with lemon sauce...with a tangy sweet flavor...super yummy. there is never a meal in this restaurant without this dish...costs 175.00

my favorite appetizer...Chinese sausage with century egg...a definite must-try!!!

we had a full ready to search and find the sea shells that my friend, cindy, is looking for. i'll blog another post entirely for this place Sta Fe Beach Club on my next visit.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

chicken shepherd's pie

this is my very first attempt of making a shepherd's pie...thanks to jenny of picky palate one of the many great food blogs that i admire. i have read several recipes for this dish but it was in her post that made it sound so easy. although i have made several replacements for her ingredients since i want to make use of what's available in my pantry. i'm just so happy with the result...oozing creaminess and've got to try it!!!

oozing with from the oven....yummmm goodiness!!!!

Mashed Potato Topping

4 pcs large peeled cubed potatoes

½ stick butter

1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¾ Cup warm milk

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Meat and Vegetable Layer

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

500 gms cubed chicken breast

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1 225 gms can green beans, drained

1 225 gms garbanzos, drained

1 415 gms corn kernel, drained

1 250 gms tomato sauce

1 140g chorizo bilbao

1 green and red bell pepper, cubed

1. Place potatoes in a pot with enough water. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until fork-tender. Mash in a blender and add all the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

2. Heat pan with olive oil and saute onions. Stir-fry the chicken breast. Season with salt, pepper and add the chorizo bilbao. Mix the green beans and garbanzos. Cook for 5 minutes before adding the tomato sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Blend in the red and green bell pepper. Lastly the corn kernel. Taste and adjust seasoning according to your preference.

3. Pour chicken mixture in a baking dish. Topped with mashed potaotes and bake for 15-20 minutes.

grilled porkchop with sweet and spicy hollandaise sauce

this has got to be the easiest grilled porkchop i ever made. just marinate the porkchop with kalamansi juice (lemon) and kosher salt. although i tend to be big on marinades mixing different sauces but i remembered my brother suggesting with simply using these two ingredients brings out the natural taste of the i gave it a shot...he was right!...the simplicity of this dish made me appreciate the true flavor of the pork although i made a quick hollandaise sauce with sweet and spicy ketchup on the sides to give it an extra kick~

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


this is again a classic filipino recipe. my mom absolutely love this. there is never an ocassion in our home without this mom just wouldn't allow it. i guess this dish was influenced by the spanish colonizers in the philippines a decade ago?hmmm i'm not sure when exactly i'm not so good with memorizing history and stuff. Well anyway, spanish regime brings a lot of very good influences in this country. among the many is this menudo which has evolved from a simple stew into this rich and colorful dish that we have today.
my mom specifically marinates the cubed pork in kalamansi juice (lemon juice) and soy sauce for an a hour or so before cooking. and you can really tell the difference when you take a bite there's this citrusy taste in the pork with the sweet and a little bit of tangy flavor from the sauce~a definite must try!

500 gms pork
200 gms pork liver
2 pcs potatoes,cubed
2 pcs carrots, cubed
2 pcs water chestnuts, cubed
250 gms. tomato sauce
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
2tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped

Saute onions and garlic in a saucepan. Add the marinated pork. Stir-fry for 5-10 minutes before adding the liver. Add the pineapple juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add all together the rest of the veges. Simmer. Add the tomato sauce, red and green bell pepper, raisins and hotdog. Add the sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning according to your taste. Simmer until the sauce has become syrupy in consistency.
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fruit salad in creamy mango sauce

Last Sunday was my son's family day in school and we had a potluck lunch. I was assigned to bring in the dessert and since i was informed on a very short noticed, i went over our pantry and decided to go with fruit salad, a dessert that is very common in filipino household whenever we have special occasions. it's very easy to make just toss in any fruits (mangoes, apples, grapes, pears,banana, name it!) but popularly we use fruit cocktails found in cans. I also added cheese, raisins and coconut gel. Blend in with the condensed milk and all-purpose cream. however, with this dessert i wanted to make a difference and instead of just adding sliced mangoes (that's very sweet!) i had it mashed in a food processor so i get to have a creamy mango sauce to blend well with the salad. it's so delicious!

what can get better than these creamy and absolutely yummy salad!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

lunch at SENRYU

doing what we like best...dine out!!!

my bestfriend who lives in the states, aisha
meet the gang: mitzie, jenny and aisha
ebi tempura, my favorite

grilled squid
ubagi someting...(i forgot!)
yellow tail sashimi
senryo maki

i had a great lunch yesterday with the company of my friends~my best buddies whom i haven't seen for years~~way back in our uni days it has always been our thing to dine out and explore new and superb cuisines to satisfy our palate...and so this time, among the growing culinary arena and endless choices of restaurants in cebu, philippines we chose to dine at Senryu, a japanese restaurant located at Lahug, Cebu City...i guess we ordered around 9 dishes but i took only a few pics (sorry!). we were so famished that we couldn't wait to dig in...the food was great and slightly cheaper compared to other japanese restaurants that we have been to...only that the ambiance and service is not something that i expected it to's ok was a superb lunch anyway...what could go wrong with these kind of friends around^^*~welcome back van!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

cheese-less baked penne!

first of all it's not that i don't like cheese~i love them but i just don't have one available when making this *tsk* but i really wanted to have this for lunch so i just forgo with the cheese and instead have the bechamel sauce...still sooooo yummy!!! ^^*

500 gms penne cooked al dente
1 pc. white onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
400 gms ground pork
400 gms ground beef
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dried rosemary
750 gms italian spaghetti sauce
2 tbsp. corn syrup, or just plain brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
chopped celery

bechamel sauce:
5 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp all purpose flour
4 cups milk, scalded
nutmeg, salt and black pepper
* whisk butter and flour over low heat. gradually add the milk until creamy. add nutmeg, salt and black pepper*

preheat oven 375 F
Saute garlic and onions in butter and olive oil. add in the ground beef first, then the ground pork. cover for 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked. add in worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add in the italian spaghetti sauce and dried rosemary. blend in the corn syrup or brown sugar and chopped celery. Simmer for 15 minutes. In a baking pan, coat the base with meat mixture, add in, half of the cooked penne, add on top with the meat mixture...repeat layering until the baking pan is almost full enough with the bechamel sauce on top...bake for 30 minutes.

spicy pork tenderloin~korean style!

this is the second dish that i have prepared for lunch...i was suddenly inspired to eat something korean and i wanted something new that i can post here *grin* i was browsing stuff from my fave korean food blogs to check out what possible dish i can replicate but just couldn't decide which one since i don't have the ingredients required. so i just went on with what's in my pantry...what could go wrong as long as i have the gochujang and sesame oil, right? well, i made this pork tenderloin...spicy and hot~korean style!!!

250 grms pork tenderloin, cut into strips (marinated in fish sauce for 15mins.)
2 tbsp. gochujang
1 tbsp doenjang
1 yellow onions, minced
5 cloves garlic, mincec
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
olive oil
2 potatoes, strips
1 carrots, strips
spring onions

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the marinated prok, stir fry for 5 minutes.
Mix in the gochujang and doenjang. Add the carrots and pototoes. Blend well until everything is covered with the sauce. Add the brown sugar and sesame oil. Stir fry for another 5-8 minutes. Add the spring onions. SERVE.

beef ribs stew

it's a beautiful sunday morning...i've been feeling quite tired for some days now but woke up today with renewed vigor and strength. so i prepared an early lunch ( i skipped breakfast so i was in a hurry to get into lunch). beef rib stew or what we call in filipino "nilagang baka" is a hearty meal . growing up i fondly remember that we almost have this every sunday. it's a one pot meal and very easy to prepare. Just wash the beef ribs thoroughly and put in a pot with enough water to cover the ribs, add 2 red onions, ginger (sliced and crushed) and simmer in medium fire. when it's boiling, add cubed sweet potatoes, salt, fish sauce..let it simmer until cooked or when the meat starts to pull off from the ribs. add the cabbage or chinese pechay a minute before turning the fire off. i eat the beef with a dipping mixture of soysauce, lemon juice(kalamansi), and crushed chili peppers (siling labuyo)...just the way filipinos loved it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

bobby flay's mesa grill cookbook

i must admit that i have one too many food magazines, cookbooks and anything alike~some of it i admit i still haven't read but i just can't get enough of adding from time to time my collection of books. well, aside from cooking though reading is my favorite top 2 pastime (even before kdrama came into my life). i thought of starting out this blogging thing with the focus on food but later on realizing that i wanted to add a personal i am sharing not just food but things and persons that i am passionate about...that have lead me to this wonderful and amazing realm of cooking...

i am sharing bobby flay's mesa grill cookbook (im still currently reading it). what makes it even more extraordinary than being a bobby flay book is the way he shared these precious dishes created with so much passion. the introduction brings you to his beginnings as a dishwasher. a truly great inspiration to all those who eagerly wants to jump start their careers in the culinary world. the photos just wanna make you go running into his restaurants...^^ i can't wait to make a version of these recipes.

adobo to the next level!

this is a dish with "filipino" written all over it... what is a celebration without adobo?...naturally this is a mainstay in philippine cuisine~basically, adobo makes up for pork belly, soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns and a little sugar. however there are lots of variations you can make depends on your creativity...i make mine simply, stew style, like putting all the ingredients all together and simmer until done. that's it. no fuss and very convenient. however, if i want it really special...i marinate the pork belly overnight with coarse peppercorns, balsamic vinegar and a little soy sauce. i then deep fry the pork belly with enough oil until it's done. next i put the cooked pork belly in a pot added again with balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, pineapple chunks with juice (reserve some for garnishing), a little gin, onions, garlic, bay leaf ( lately i've been using morton & bassett bay leaves which is 100% organic), and star anise.simmer over low fire for 30 minutes and add spring onions. garnish with pineapples. this method really intensifies the flavor of this dish. and the smell is just oh so heavenly!...i have to admit that using morton & bassett herbs and spices took it up the notch. for those of you who is watching out for their weight like me this is totally a comfort food...i told myself im just going to have a bite but ended up with more than a few *groan* how the heck will i lose weight when i'm making dishes like this...well, might just as well enjoy it!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

beef strips with red and green bell peppers

finally a bright sunny day for some change. my mind is totally overwhelmed with the various recipes i've read from really awesome food blogs~i couldn't wait to try out the recipes like this quick stir fry beef with red and green bell peppers~i swear i'd follow everything step by step but the inner chef in me just took over and eventually i just go on with my instinct~ my style...and the way my parent's would want their beef to be~i marinated the beef strips with soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, overnight. then i sauteed the sliced onions, minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil and butter for about 4 minutes before i added the beef strips...simmer in medium fire until tender...i added a dash of cayenne pepper and ground black pepper. Season with salt. Blend in well. Just about the juice extracts from the beef comes to half i added oyster sauce, red and green bell peppers...simmer until oils are starting to come out...serve hot!

Monday, October 6, 2008

grilled stuffed squid

i think squid is as versatile as pasta..i mean you can make various dishes with far this is the simplest for me...just clean the insides (or you can opt to just stay it that way), put on the minced tomatoes, ginger and onions with soy sauce, brush with butter, and turn on the grill...and another yummy dish! thanks to my brother who made the hollandaise sauce!

sundown by the beach

for a tropical country such as the philippines, we either have rain or no rain ^^* we never get to appreciate the beauty of spring, autumn, fall and winter...however, what we don't experience we never miss...well, i love our rains anyway( as long as it don't turn into a storm causing blackouts)!!! yesterday was no exception since we are in the BER months, rains are expected anytime of the day until december...but it didn't stop my nephews from going to the beach...thankfully, it didn't rain much at noontime as much as it did in the morning... and so off they go leaving me behind to watch over our family business *grunt* well, i eventually went after them after work which is close to sundown...just in time to have a little fun with  little josh...throwing little rocks in the sea, searching for seashells, running in the's amazing how these simple things can make you feel happy... josh had a lot of fun and i'm glad that i was there with him to share that moment...