Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cafe Vegis

Cafe Vegis. It's that place you always just pass by that you didn't give a chance. Turns out, they serve the best vegetarian food so far. It's one up from Agico because Agico's price range is just a little too steep. There are a number of vegetarian places around, from the usual Bodhi, to the creative Pipino, to my old favorite Greens (Scout Castor), to the expensive Agico (San Juan), and then there's Corner Tree Cafe (Jupiter), too. 

It was interesting to see liempo. I'm wary of these mock meat because they all taste like Spam. Or fine, maling. The texture is a dead giveaway of how much it was trying to pretend to be good. 

I was ready to bash the liempo. However, it was dang good! From the texture to the crispy sides, it was really good! I was already suspicious about it, the strains were like real meat - at least how I remember it. 

And we also tried their Grilled Salmon and sisig. I still believe sisig at Greens is my favorite, while Bodhi's barbecue is top notch. I was able to try Agico's Bacon Burger and it was oh-mazing! Now, I want to try out other dishes from Cafe Vegis because this resto just made me want to try it again even while typing this. o___o

Cafe Vegis is located at Moomba Compound, Mother Ignacia near Don Roces Avenue.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Battle of the Brewed (Coffee)

There has been mainstream coffee shops under attack lately like Starbucks, The Coffee Bean, and Seattle's Best. The influx of "third wave" coffee shops make people more snobbish about coffee and look down on these "mainstream" giant coffee shops, but they increase coffee awareness and appreciation in return. We welcome Craft Coffee, Commune, Kuppa, Magnum Opus, Yardstick, and other places I haven't tried yet (no, Epic Cafe, it's not your time yet) with open arms and open wallets.

Well, this is not a review of those places. Yes, these coffee shops serve good coffee by means of good beans and careful handling. This is about the cheapest and most available brewed coffee your money can buy. Brewing your own batch is of course the best and cheapest approach but sometimes you just want to spend money on things like... hmmm, aside from Goody hair elastics, more like... coffee. 

Location: Fisher Mall

Items to be briefly discussed here:
Dunkin' Donuts Brewed Coffee
McDonald's Premium Roast (aka their Brewed Coffee)

DD - 8oz costs Php35; 12oz Php45
McDo - 8oz costs Php25; 12oz Php35

Obviously, McDonald's is cheaper by volume. 

Both use pre-ground coffee beans. McDo says they use 100% pure arabica beans.

(Note: McDonald's use freshly ground beans for their espresso-based drinks but that is a different topic.)

DD Brewed Coffee has thicker drinking plastic part and thicker cup holder, albeit a smaller area covered. DD also has their own creamer (5 grams) and sugar packets while McDonald's has Coffee-Mate (3 grams) for their creamer. (Note: Drinking brewed coffee in its purest form, meaning no sugar nor milk or creamer, is still the best approach.)

Oh, hi, Gus! You're the background shot!
So, what's the main difference? Aside from the price which is the ultimate factor for coffee cheapos like me, McDonald's brewed coffee is thinner and more diluted compared to Dunkin' Donuts' coffee. DD has more body and a stronger taste. What I'm not sure of is the consistency - if DD has this better coffee throughout their branches or is it hit-or-miss like McDonald's, because some branches serve okay-coffee while some branches serve colored hot water. (-.-)

Oh by the way, when you can, brew your own coffee. Invest on beans and a coffee press or drip coffee filter. But on this day, let it be known: Dunkin' Donuts wins the brewed coffee battle. And you should never buy Jollibee brewed coffee. It's just plain sad. And awful. And did I mention awful? Oh yeeeeaaaaah... Their iced coffee? It is instant coffee with ice. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Shooting Stars with a 9mm

There's always a new thing you can do but just can't because you convince yourself you've got no time for it. Well. Not really. Maybe you're just too lazy to actually try it or maybe just need a push from someone else. 

Or sometimes, all you need is a voucher or coupon from some legit groupon sites. The extra push comes with the expiration date so the mindset of "but I already paid for this sh*t!" actually works. Unless you're really into wasting money.

Stronghold Shooting Range is located at E. Rodriguez, past Tomas Morato when you're coming from St. Luke's side. You can find it on the right side. It's the new shooting range in town so they offer a beginner's course for well, duh, beginners. You get a classroom lecture and then 20 rounds of 9mm pistol fun at 5m and 10m. Plus they have a cafe at the lounge where you can load yourself up with caffeine before you go trigger-happy on the range. 

They pride themselves with being toxic-free but I don't really know about that because it's my first time firing a gun. Squeeze the trigger but before they say it, they clip your shirt first before they let you get a hold of that gun. (Why? It's because the shells might get inside your shirt and you go hysterical while holding a loaded firearm.) I really wanted to try the revolver but I don't think they allow that kind of request on beginner courses.

It was a fun (I'll admit it, it really was!) and interesting experience, so if you've got the time to drag yourself to try new things, a shooting range might prove to be a good place to visit. Another takeaway aside from the experience? Gun education. It's way better than reading about it on Wikipedia. Pew pew pew!