Friday, July 25, 2014

Coffee Ain't Dead, Electricity Is!

So, typhoon Glenda blew Luzon away and NCR experienced really strong winds. The power was out by 4am and fortunately in our place, it was back by 2pm. However, coffee time can't wait until 2pm. Here's the problem: How can I grind my beans (medium-fine) for my moka pot? :(
I just can't smash them or drive over them. I want coffee. :(
I just can't soak them or chew the beans. I really want my moka pot. :(

Instead of sleeping or crying in the corner, I decided to rummage through my sealed caffeine box and found my brother's unopened Trung Nguyen coffee. Ohmyglob. Vietnamese coffee!! I got one pack that says "2" meaning it's a mix of arabica and robusta beans (my personal favorite is "S"). VN coffee are pre-ground and so I got my filter out and saw we had condensed milk to complete the experience.

Seriously. Buy a clear cup (or a mason jar, whatever floats your boat). It makes you appreciate your drinks so much more. Look at the condensed milk lying so peacefully at the bottom of the cup. 

Nyumnyum. Coffee. Condensed milk. Nyum. 

Side - have you seen my friend try out making foam art? I haven't even tried making latte art but she's proving to no one she can make foam art, too. Not sure though how to put the markings. :|

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cagbalete Island - Quezon

And you thought I have never gone elsewhere. My new friends (from the office haha) managed to sneak in a weekend trip at Quezon. It's called Cagbalete Island.

The water was clear and very swim-friendly but when we got there it was low tide. Kayaking is fine but you can just lounge idly at the sand and let the water calmly bathe you. There is no electricity in the morning and scheduled it from 6pm-6am, just in time for you to get up without feeling all sweaty from the heat yet. 

We brought hammocks (okay, our friend brought 2, set it up, and the girls took turns on it) and lounged lazily. 

How to get to Cagbalete Island?

Ride the JAC Liner bus at Kamuning going to Mauban. It's around Php275 I think and then you ride the trike to the Pantalan, tell the driver you're going to Cagbalete. From there you pay for the environmental fee and the boat rode. Boat ride to Sabang Beach is Php50 one way and the environmental fee is the same. 

The boat ride takes less than an hour and  then depending on the location of your lodging, you can choose to either walk 2kms to get there or ride a boat around the island instead. We chose the trek to Villa Cleofas and just paid the kid-guide. 

The place allows you to set up tents if you prefer and they have a food area, too, if cooking your own meal is not your type. Or basically, if you're not prepared for camping, you glamper. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Feeling of wanting to be so mad but you can't because you don't have that authority. You don't have the right because you were not part of the picture yet. 

Sariling Sikap Series Is Back

Have I told you that we were able to recreate Shakey's Mojos? And that we were able to make our own shrimp dumplings aka hakaw (next post)?

I guess not. So let's begin then!

Pepper recently released the secret formula of Shakey's ever-loved mojos. For the longest time, I have contented myself with Crispy Fry breading. And then they gave out the answer key to all the mojo-crazed potato heads. 

So what's the secret? FERNA. IT'S FREAKING FERNA. Ferna is a household name before for breading and flour. Then in the recent times, their breadings are much more difficult to find. This is probably because Shakey's swiped most of the stocks so people would take some time before they can figure out this beautiful secret. 

Of course. I rushed to all the supermarkets I know and it can be found at Unimart where hoarding has ensued. Can't find it at Rustan's or at SM. 
The answer to world domination.
Experimentation has to happen. We tried potatoes dipped in eggs then powdered with breading, also tried water mixed with breading, and water mixed with egg and breading. First approach was perfect but left too much residue in the oil. The second one, wherein you mix the water, eggs, and breading then dip the potatoes proved to be sustainable. 
Ahhhh... Junk food at its best.
Best served with Lady's Choice Ranch and our ultra favorite Vanilla Coke which we hoarded. I'm not telling where we found it. >:]

Eggs Sammy. Eggs Norwegian. Eggs Copenhagen. Well, we were able to do this before but it's just now that we tried to do it at our house! Do you eat breakfast food with wine?

So, when the power is out, all you have to do is... Eat a lot. Really. There's nothing else to do. Aside from sleeping.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Eggs Sammy in the Neighborhood

When I craved for Eggs Benedict (can someone swap bacon with something else?) and saw that all Eggs Ben costs so much, my friend Ketty was challenged to make Eggs Ben like it was as easy as juggling. It was another one of our her sariling sikap attempts in life. She should make Ketty's Kitchen and it would probably be like Van Gogh is Bipolar but this is just because the cook is plain lazy to cook today, but we'll attribute it to being bipolar.
Eggs (duh), salmon, bread, hollandaise sauce, and alfalfa sprouts.
Of course, improvisation is part of her arsenal of tricks. She made really good Eggs Sammy! She used salmon and toasted bread since we were not able to buy bagels. Then added alfalfa sprouts and you could die of cholesterol and goodness right then and there. Sigh, it was a really good day.

How come I can never attempt to do something like this is a life mystery. It's like looking for 300 year old buried treasures at underwater caves. Hopeless. -__-

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Worst Bottle Ever

Omg!! I thought I had some drafts reserved for June! I checked then saw nothing. :(
I haven't posted a single thing for June! Dang it. So what better way than to start it with a hate post. Yep.

Let's start with... Wine. 

Double Bay. Double Bay is the most putrid thing (not worthy to be called wine) I have tasted in so long. 
Photo of a big mistake.

You can't taste any distinct notes or basically you can NOT taste anything. It just had that acidic finish and everything related to wine stops there. It's supposed to be a semillon chardonnay but it forgot about itself. So, better forget this wine, too. Fair enough. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cold Brew Your Way in Summer Time

It's (still) summer. How do we deal with caffeine in this heat?

Iced coffee, of course! Brew the wonderful beans via press, pour over, or even coffee brewer, and then add ice. Voila! Instant refreshing jolt to the system!
Free Benguet coffee!
Then we have something called cold brew coffee. Cold brewing is using room temperature water to soak the ground beans for a minimum of 12 hours (others go as much as 24 hours if you can wait that much) and get coffee "concentrate" in return. You then dilute that with water or milk or ice or if you want, you can take a shot of it in its unadulterated form ala espresso shots. At this rate, patience is truly a virtue. 
It's supposed to be 18hrs for 7AM.
Was so excited I can't count properly anymore!
There are different factors that can be played with. We have grind type, hours of brewing, and of course, kind of coffee bean (and its roast). You can experiment with different combinations and try out which formula tastes best for you.
The coffee "concentrate" plus the cold brew mix with milk. Yum!!
You can also use milk instead of water to make your cold brew even more fun. Adding ice is optional. I prefer not to add ice because it dilutes the concentrate more. 

There are recommendations that say use coarse grind for your brew. I used a medium grind initially with my Bukidnon Hineleban beans (superb) while I used the pre-ground coarse beans from Benguet for my second round. My third attempt got me using a fine grind of Bag of Beans arabica coffee. Amongst all, I enjoyed my Hineleban beans the most but it's probably because I have a bias to medium roasted beans. The Benguet beans are mostly robusta and you can use this if you want a taste similar to espresso. As for the proportion, I encouraged my friends to try different ones so we can compare notes. 

So in a nutshell, iced coffee is coffee brewed with the use of hot water and then with the addition of ice while cold brew is coffee brewed with not hot (can be room or cold) water and then kept in the refrigerator or room temperature (if your place is centralized). 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cannelloni and Mushrooms

Sometimes, I just go over someone's house and try to remember how the food was prepared. Emphasis on "try" because when I taste it, I'm just so happy I can eat food I'm not sure of how to pronounce. Yes, sometimes most of the time I just leech off my friend's fascination of cooking her own food and making those items from scratch. She made pasta from scratch. I can make noodles from a packet. I just add hot water! Who's more amazing now, huh? *smug face*

*Please remember if I say "we" it means my friend as the main doer and me, as the lovely spectator.

Meet the spinach cannelloni with feta cheese drowned in more cheese. There was supposed to be tofu in here but then we were not able to get one so we're settling on feta cheese. So how do you do this? Saute the spinach and mix the cheese while it's cooling. Put it in the middle of a lasagna (lasagna sheet???) and roll your way around. Make loads of those and add tomato sauce like your pasta. Don't forget the truckloads of cheese that's waiting on the corner road.
Photo shows the first pour of tomato sauce. There are a million pours
that happened after this photo. Plus 2 kilos of cheese.
OH YEAH, then there's charbroiled mushrooms partnered with steak sauce (Worcestershire and catsup mix).
That's steak hiding underneath.
And don't forget the wine. Never ever forget the wine. :)

I know. Food is invading my blog. Flog. I want rice now. Huhu.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fisher Cafe - Cheapest Coffee So Far!

So I've been frequenting Fisher Mall lately because of my friend who has a clinic there and of course where there are people, there are coffee shops. So the in-house coffee shop here is Fisher Cafe. There's a Seattle's Best Coffee spot in their Upper Basement part but then SBC drinks are too sweet so let's not talk about them.
Heated pour over drips in the house, yo!
This place has the cheapest coffee. Their cappuccino is good and it's for Php95 only. Then after some time, I saw ceramic pour overs on top of their espresso machine. They're now offering hand brewed coffee! It's only Php85 (the cheapest hand brewed coffee I have ever encountered) and you get to choose the beans you like! I interviewed their barista and although he was gathering some time before he could answer, I saw the cheat sheet at the other side of the place. 

Fisher Cafe has two spots inside the mall.  One is near the supermarket and the other is on the 4F, near the cinemas. And I prefer the latter spot since it has an overlooking view of... Quezon Avenue. Haha. I'm so getting some coffee there the next time I visit.