Monday, May 11, 2020

[RECIPE] Tropical Chia Garden Salad with Orange Dressing

Monday, May 11, 2020 0
fruit garden salad with chia seeds
Enjoy this healthy and refreshing bowl of tropical fruits - crunchy apple, sweet watermelon and mangoes and layered with fresh lettuce. This healthy bowl is sprinkled with chia seeds and drizzled with zesty orange dressing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already stressed some sectors of the population after losing their jobs and for having no income for a couple of months now with this whole quarantine and lockdown situation.

fruit garden salad with chia seeds

I came up with this recipe, again out of whim, since the ingredients are what I currently have. This seems to be a perfect opportunity to make something beautiful out of these colorful fruits and greens.

You have to admit the bright colors of this fruit bowl with the sprinkle of black chia seems to represent what has been going on with the world. Not to be all spiritual about it, but we have to recognize that amid this pandemic, nature has finally given its time to heal after human-led activities that are detrimental to our natural ecosystem have been halted.

    Other Salad:
  • Alugbati (Spinach Vine) and Grilled Spiced Squash Salad with Soy Vinaigrette

These fruits represent the vibrancy nature regained lately - brighter clouds, greener forest, and brighter streams and oceans. The black chia seems to represent the human population - this pandemic represents the black chia.

Enjoy this recipe! Stay safe and healthy!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

[RECIPE] Tomato Tamarind Chutney Dip

Thursday, April 30, 2020 0
This chutney recipe is a simple yet appetizing Indian-inspired dip with subtle spiciness and kick of mouth-watering sourness, making it the perfect pair for flatbreads or sourdough bread. Add this to your themed parties as pica-pica relish or as a centerpiece for intimate dinner with friends and relatives.

chutney recipe

A perfect flatbread dip

I decided to make this recipe so I have a good dip to pair with the 3-day stock of flatbreads that were gifted to me. I haven't replenished my pantry since the enhanced community quarantine was implemented. Like always, I have to make use of what I already have. I also love the sustainability of using what's already in the kitchen. It also feeds the introvert in me and my insatiable appetite for creativity.

chutney dip with tomato and tamarind

Chutney is to India while we have the basic sawsawan of garlic, onions, and chili here in the Philippines. I have to admit that the flavor of Indian cuisine is more complex than Filipino cuisine. Chutney recipe can be as diverse as complex as the Indian cuisine itself. It means I have more creative room to play around and work with a chutney recipe as long as I keep its base ingredients such as chili and garlic.

chutney dip with tomato and tamarind

I initially thought that my combination of spices might be a bit subtle than I would have liked due to the unavailability of cumin in my pantry. I was surprised that with the ingredients I used, it still took that pleasant kick of spices. The tamarind gave off a fresh burst of sourness to every dip and into your mouth, making you want some more.

I can already imagine making another of this dip for pica-pica bread slices. It seems like also a good starter over beer. You should consider making this for your next get-together.

Friday, April 24, 2020

[RECIPE] Pan-fried Rice Cake Patties with Pumpkin Seeds, Cinnamon Butter Sauce

Friday, April 24, 2020 0

A pan-fried rice cake dessert recipe with crispy flour coating and crushed pumpkin seeds toppings. The rich cinnamon butter sauce merged all the flavorful textures with the delicate softness of rice in every bite.

This recipe is such a delight to make, even more so to eat. The idea to make this recipe stemmed from having a leftover cup of rice. I just happened to have a large plate of pancit and rice for lunch, so I decided to not double on carbs by not eating the rice.

I have stated in the About Kitchen Maiden page of this blog,
the best recipes are created by accident.

fried flat rice cake with cinnamon butter sauce

The philosophy of re-purposing resources

My philosophy is not waste on resources, and that goes the same with food. I have to make something out of the leftover rice before it would spoil. If you've been following my recipes, most often I have the serving sizes made only for one. Since I live alone, I only feed myself and my cat and occasionally make a bit more than I normally would whenever my boyfriend is around.

The philosophy of using the most of what you have means using the last morsel of dry ingredients to the last drop of oils or creams, and find recipes for these ingredients to come together and eventually create something new out of them.

fried flat rice cake recipe

I have to find another way to use the rice, and just as I have the last few ingredients to use up like butter and cream, this rice recipe becomes perfect for my afternoon snack. And boy how this rice cake recipe just becomes one of the best recipes I've made in a while. This surely will be added to my signature recipes.

Learning about the amylopectin in rice

The beauty of food is that one food item can become a lot of things all at once. When I created this rice cake patty, I just finished watching Flavorful Origins on Netflix. It's the episode featuring the rice cake origin of Yunnan cuisine in China. Yunnan province has a rice pounding tradition using a huge wooden mallet. In this episode, it requires 8 men for the rice pounding to be carried out. The continuous pounding of cooked rice will let this glucose unit, a component of starch called amylopectin, combine into a firm structure resulting in a rice dough that is sticky and firm as well.

flattened rice dough after being pounded

Asian rice cake inspirations

Like most Filipinos, I grew up eating these traditional rice cake recipes like palitaw, bilo-bilo, and biko. I have made these three rice cake recipes before. I understand that I need either a sticky rice or a grounded version of it should I decide to make them again. But I asked myself, what if I make rice cake by just using the same leftover rice that I have at my disposal? It's going to be a bit labor-intensive for me since I have to pound the rice, but I am always up for the challenge.

    Other Dessert Recipes:
  • Squash Tart or Mini Squash Pie (Toaster-Baked)
  • Microwave-Baked Toblerone Brownie Souffle
  • No-Bake Mango Sponge Cake Dessert
  • Banana Nutella Folded Pancakes ala Crepe

Also, I love Chowking's sesame buchi. I've had Japanese mochi. So there are a lot of Asian inspirations I can adopt just to make this rice cake recipe work with my leftover rice.

New rice cake recipe with playful textures of biko dukot and palitaw

The flour-coated crust and the crushed pumpkin seeds gave the patties a crispy crunch while the rice itself gave this rice cake dessert that soft finish in your mouth. The rich cinnamon butter sauce sweetened with brown sugar reminded me so much of the molasses-like taste of muscovado sugar in biko's latik. This cinnamon butter sauce just becomes a perfect pair for this newly invented rice cake recipe.

This rice cake recipe turned out so much better than I expected. I have this tendency to over-compensate with the number of ingredients to put when making new recipes, but for this one, my instinct tells me to keep it simple. I'm glad that I followed my instinct.

Definition of terms:

  • palitaw - traditional Filipino boiled flat rice cake made of grounded sticky rice coated with shredded coconut and sprinkled with white sugar and sesame seeds
  • bilo-bilo - similar to palitaw but is smaller and in ball form. Unlike palitaw, these balls are added as an ingredient to coconut milk stew along with bananas, yams, etc.
  • biko - traditional Filipino sticky rice dessert completely soaked and coated with latik
  • latik - a sugar syrup made from a mix of muscovado sugar, brown sugar and coconut milk
  • biko dukot - biko served with scorched portions
  • buchi - a snack or dessert of sticky rice balls coated with sesame seeds and with bean paste filling
  • mochi - is a rice ball dessert that originated in Japan

pumkin seeds crushed
crushed pumpkin seeds for rice cake patties toppings


Please do not hesitate to find alternatives should I have ingredients in the list that you do not have. My recipes are created out of the things that I currently have. Please make some adjustments so we can all follow this philosophy of using available resources. It's sustainable for the environment and cost-effective.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

[RECIPE] Banana Nutella Folded Pancakes Ala Crepe

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 0

A delicious dessert or breakfast recipe made indulgent with slices of banana and Nutella. This folded pancake recipe is inspired by French crepe paired in with banana filling, Nutella spread and rich Nutella drizzle.

I've been having fruits more often these past months and I've also been stocking on boxes of pancake mix. Pancakes craving always seem to come around every siesta and for my 3 o'clock snacks. This is a great chance to incorporate the fruits I have in my pancake recipes. But I wanted a slightly different texture for the pancake than the typically fluffy ones. This means that I have to adopt the style of crepe.

Folded pancakes ala crepe

Pancakes vs crepes

As much as I wanted it to be full-blown crepe, I just couldn't achieve that with a pre-mixed batter. It's impossible to remove the rising agent like baking soda from the pre-made batter.

Pancakes are essentially fluffier than crepes. To reduce the fluffiness and to make it closer to the consistency of crepe, more water is added to the mix. As a result, the batter becomes runnier and easier to spread thinly around the pan. Even though pancakes are fluffier and airy, they are also denser, making them impossible to be folded or rolled like crepes.

    Other Dessert Recipes:
  • Squash Tart or Mini Squash Pie (Toaster-Baked)
  • Microwave-Baked Toblerone Brownie Souffle
  • No-Bake Mango Sponge Cake Dessert

Macerating the bananas in brown sugar to remove the taste of phloem bundles

The bananas I used as a trial piece of folded pancake for this batch were not soaked in the brown sugar brine. I only decided to use this process because I can still taste the phloem bundles, those annoying fiber strings from the banana peel, in the first batch. Although the bananas I used were already ripe, the phloem bundles rubbed off the unripened taste on to the bananas. I decided to only add the brown sugar brine to fix this issue and make this batch of bananas more palatable for a dessert.

Macerating is a process of soaking fruits in liquid and sugar to soften it and release its juice, thus, improving the taste. Macerating the banana has actually improved its taste and made it perfect for Nutella.

banana nutella folded pancakes like crepe

Softening Nutella to a ganache

Nutella is not really that spreadable as I would want it. Forcibly spreading it on the delicately thin pancakes will tear the pancake apart. I only mixed all-purpose cream to make the Nutella ganache. Making a chocolate drip using a ganache will make the folded pancakes richer. The Nutella drizzles will make the dessert mouth-watering than it already is.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

[RECIPE] Squash Tart or Mini Squash Pie (Toaster-Baked)

Sunday, November 23, 2014 0

Try new ways to use squash for a dessert recipe that you can make even richer with condensed milk and marmalade. I am glad that this simple dessert recipe turned out good. It's delicious!

I used the leftover squash from Spinach and Grilled Spiced Squash Salad with Soy Vinaigrette recipe for these desserts, Squash Tart and Squash Strawberry Creme Brulee.

pumpkin tart, pumpkin pie, pumpkin recipes, pinoy recipe

Thanksgiving will be in a few days. This Squash Tart will be a new addition to your Thanksgiving dinner. (Updated 2020: That is if you want to celebrate Thanksgiving in the Philippines or you are a Filipino celebrating Thanksgiving in the US.)

Here's how you can make this delectable recipe. I never really prepared much for this so this recipe could only give me 2 pieces of squash tarts. Most of my recipes are created in a whim, depending on what's left in my pantry or fridge. At times, with a sudden spark of my creative, restless mind.

I didn't want to limit what I wanted to do by what I didn't have, which in this case, not having a real oven. So I have to use what I currently have - a toaster oven to make this pastry dessert recipe. There are difficulties but as long as it gets the job done, we should be fine.
You should give this squash recipe a try. Enjoy!

    Other Squash Recipes:
  • Squash Meatballs with Honey Garlic Sauce Budget Recipe
  • Alugbati (Spinach Vine) and Grilled Spiced Squash Salad with Soy Vinaigrette

Saturday, November 22, 2014

[RECIPE] Earthy Garlic Pasta with Banana Blossom (Puso ng Saging) and Corn Bits

Saturday, November 22, 2014 0

The infusion of banana blossom, bay leaf and garlic in this dish gives this pasta that delicious earthy flavor. If you want to cook with ingredients that are cheaper than mushrooms but more or less taste the same, banana blossom can do the job well. The corn bits toppings in this pasta dish will keep every bite interesting.

Pasta has been my staple food lately. It has also been my all-time favorite. I've been wanting to make Aglio e Olio (garlic and oil) pasta lately, but I have run out of chili flakes.

Aglio e Olio is a pasta dish that is simple to prepare, so I decided to make a pasta dish that is a bit similar. As usual, I prefer to use ingredients that I already have. That also allows me to be more creative with my dishes.

pasta recipe, pinoy recipes, pinoy food bloggers, food blog

I still have uncooked minced banana blossom left from the previous Banana Blossom Patties with Butter Sauce recipe so I will be using what was left to make this one.

Inspired by one of the dishes featured in 49 Days, a Korean drama that I've recently watched, bay leaf will be added to this dish.

I also have a large bag of Boy Bawang corn bits that I need to use up before they lose their crisp.

I know those are weird and unlikely combo to be putting in a pasta, but you'd be surprised how a pasta dish can be very versatile. If you're a real foodie, I know you will be able to appreciate this dish.

Enjoy the recipe!

    Another recipe with banana blossom or puso ng saging:
  • Banana Blossom Patties with Butter Sauce

Friday, November 21, 2014

[RECIPE] Alugbati (Spinach Vine) and Grilled Spiced Squash Salad with Soy Vinaigrette

Friday, November 21, 2014 0

Toss a bowl of this healthy salad dish made with squash and alugbati added with the nutty and smokey flavors of paprika and cumin. The spice notes play a contrast with the semi-sweetness of squash while also adding a Mediterranean twist to this unconventional recipe.

Lately I've been thinking of looking after my health a little bit more by deciding to take control of what I eat. I'm already at the age where I particularly have to block the start of the aging process.

Eating more greens and vegetables is the best way to start living healthy and to eventually lose that extra weight.

Coming up with this simple vegetable salad recipe not only helps me eat healthily but also allows me to spend less. I bought the squash a few blocks from where I live, whereas, for the spinach, I snipped a handful of them from my mini patio. This saved me energy and fare money. While for the rest of the ingredients, I already have them in my fridge.

Do take note that most of the recipes I'll be making these coming days will be good for 1-2 servings only.

    Other Squash Recipes:
  • Toaster-Baked Squash Tart Recipe
  • Squash Meatballs with Honey Garlic Sauce Budget Recipe

I enjoyed everything in this salad. I love how the semi-ripened tomatoes put the salad together, while the kick of paprika and cumin give this salad its unique flavor. If you like Greek salad, you are more likely going to enjoy the taste of this dish.
Enjoy and eat healthy!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

[RECIPE] Banana Blossom Patties with Butter Sauce

Sunday, November 09, 2014 0

This recipe is a delicious and economical vegetable fried dish made from banana blossom or puso ng saging that's paired with butter sauce. The taste of butter in every bite of this flavorful banana heart patty seduces the palate while the whiff of aroma in the air smells surprisingly gourmet.

Filipinos love bananas in classic Filipino desserts like halo-halo and turon. Bananas often make humble appearances in our well-loved Filipino dishes like bulalo and caldereta. Few Filipino dishes were made with banana heart like puso ng saging cooked with coconut milk, which is a common dish in our local carenderias.

I am not fond of putting effort into something that's been done a lot of times by a lot of people, so I've thought of different ways of creating a recipe using banana heart.

I've made Banana Blossom Patties with Butter Sauce more than once. It's one of those recipes I've made that I would always love to come back to especially for the taste and affordability.

pinoy recipe,filipino recipe,banana recipe

    Another recipe with banana blossom or puso ng saging:
  • Earthy Garlic Pasta with Banana Blossom (Puso ng Saging) and Corn Bits

I'm surprised how the butter sauce and banana heart patty altogether creates a taste similar to crab! I'm not sure whether that's a bad thing. I wouldn't mind replicating the taste of crab. It's like an alchemy of food!

Note: This recipe is good for 3-4 people.

Do share your experience if you have already tried this recipe.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

[REVIEW] Giovanni Italia Pizza in Mactan : A Taste of Naples Italy

Tuesday, November 04, 2014 0
There are a lot of good pizza places in Cebu, but I prefer to have my cravings satisfied when the price is just as good. You get the gist. These ubiquitous pizza places are admittedly cheap but not as authentic as I sometimes prefer. With my latest discovery, you can get authentic Italian pizza that your wallet is going to like.

Mexican pizza and Seafood pasta at Giovanni Italian pizza in Basak Lapu Lapu City Cebu

Authentic Italian by Giovanni of Napoli

Giovanni Italia Pizza in JNL Complex, Agus Road, Lapu-Lapu City is owned by Giovanni Dragone. He used to operate an Italian restaurant in Spain for 15 years, but he is originally from Naples, Italy. Naples is known for having the best pizza in the world. It's also known as the home of the original pizza.

According to pizza expert, Boncompagni Ludovisi in Italy Chronicles, 4 pizzerias out of 5 Best Pizza Restaurant in Italy are from Naples.

Giovanni making pizza dough in his Italian pizza restaurant in Basak Lapu Lapu

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

Giovanni's Italia Pizza provides a different dining experience, especially to locals like me. His presence in the restaurant added to the ambiance of the place. His prices are very competitive, which comes as a surprise considering his food will always pass as authentic though he sourced some of his ingredients locally.

Giovanni makes all his pizza and pasta despite juggling some of his time chatting and getting to know his customers. He has a lot of foreign patrons and his local customers are growing by a day. He eventually has to get someone who could help him prepare his sauces and make pizza and someone who could do the things he does.

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

I love herbs in food and I didn't want to miss the chance of knowing how he works with herbs and spices. Giovanni sources his cheeses from Australia while he used ripe local tomatoes. According to him, local tomatoes are good enough as long as they are in the correct ripeness. He also added that local basil doesn't work well with pasta. He has a problem with the overly lemony taste of local basil. He had his friend bring him Italian basil that he is now cultivating for his supply for the pizzeria.

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

Andiamo a Mangiare! (Let's eat!)

Getting the authentic Italian experience may have already sold you out to check out Giovanni Italia Pizza, but wait until you see the price!

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

His pizzas are excellent even for the price of just 249 pesos! It's a 9-inch medium-sized pizza with rich toppings, sauce and unbelievably yummy dough. A 249 price for pizza is a steal!

When you taste his food, you can tell from the ingredients alone, especially the cheese, that you're getting more than what you paid for.

Giovanni's red sauce is quite distinct. It plays around from strong to subtle taste of garlic.

I've probably tasted the best olives in Giovanni's. It's the softest juiciest black olives. I can taste its pleasant almost lemony brine. 

Although Giovanni did mention that his family farm olives in Naples, I wasn't able to ask if his supply came from there. He did mention that he could get good quality olives there as some will just be thrown out anyway.

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

Napoli Anchovies, Capers, Black Olives (3rd dine)

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

Mexico Ground Beef Bell Peppers, Onion, Sweetcorn, Jalapenos (2nd dine)

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

I love pasta so much that there were certain occasions in the past when I had been eating pasta the entire week. (Check out: Earthy Garlic Pasta with Banana Heart and Corn Bits Recipe)

I was jumping off from Spaghetti Factory, Old Spaghetti House, Roma Mia to Pizza Hut. Those pastas I've had from these restaurants were over P149 but Giovanni's gave me twice as much portion for the same amount.

You may think you've already saved a lot with those prices I've mentioned until you have their combo meal. It only costs 299 pesos for a pizza, pasta and 2 glasses of iced tea and good for 2-3 people. You save around P150 pesos!

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

Here's Penne Arrabbiata (tomato, garlic, bell peppers, onion, pepperoni, and hot chilli)

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

Our Ham and Mushroom and Napoli Pizza with the pastas

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

Buon appetito!

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

For this third dining occasion, I was with my Punko Panda friends and Misty the White Shihpoo. We ordered 2 combos so that makes 2 pizzas, 2 pasta and 4 glasses of iced tea.

Giovanni's Italia Pizza also serves beer and has al fresco dining. If you want an affordable place to treat your friends, I suggest that you check out Giovanni's Italia Pizza.

Foodies unite!

Follow Giovanni Italia Pizza in Facebook.

Location of Giovanni Italia Pizza

affordable authentic italian pizza restaurant in Mactan Cebu

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 Filipino Food Foreigners Find Horrifying and Halloween Buffet Ideas

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 0

Do you want to celebrate Halloween with a 100% horror factor? There is nothing more gruesome than the real thing and the fact that Filipinos and some parts of Southeast Asia have considered these foods in the list as a delicacy.

The Philippines just have the perfect delicacy that will give your Halloween Party a real spookfest.

filipino food halloween ideas

If you live abroad or if you have foreign guests for Halloween, these Filipino delicacies are scream-worthy and party-stealers.

In the Filipino street scene, every day is Halloween.

#5 Deep Fried One-Day Old Chick

filipino food halloween ideas
Photo: Clarkisit
Eating a one-day-old chick is beyond my comfort zone. I couldn't imagine these chicks living out from the eggshell only to be cooked.

One-day old chick is not that common compared to the other 4 in the list. This one, I have not tried.

#4 Adidas / Chicken Feet

Adidas or chicken feet is a common street food in the Philippines. They are simply brushed with sweetened herb sauce and grilled.

These chicken feet do look like severed human hands with missing fingers, adding to its fear factor.

filipino food halloween ideas
Photo: Burnt Lumpia

#3 Isaw / Grilled Chicken Intestines

filipino food halloween ideas
Photo: JanisCooking

Intestines anyone? If you're a non-Filipino, eating intestines will probably freak you out. That's exactly the reason why you must have it in your Halloween buffet.

I love my isaw charred and well-done. I love the crunch!

#2 Balut / Duck Embryo

filipino food halloween ideas
Photo: BizarreFood

Balut is one of the most bizarre delicacy in the world. In fact, eating balut was one of the dares in Fear Factor, an American game show.

Balut vendors in the Philippines peddle at night. Yes, at night (turn the sound effects on.) The duck eggs that these vendors carry in a basket look inconspicuous but when you get one and crack the top of the egg, that's where the hair-raising part starts.

The balut egg exposes an 18-day old chick evident with its prematurely formed beak, eyes, feet and feathers. Sometimes, you can even see it's veins, organs and bones inside its semi-transparent flesh.

If you're squeamish, you could throw the whole thing up in the air and run for your life. As though this duck embryo could chase you.

But if you have the guts, man up (it's an aphrodisiac) and suck it up (literally).

#1 Dinuguan / Pork Blood Stew

filipino food halloween ideas
Photo: Forexworld
Dinuguan is a perfect Halloween concoction for a lot of reasons. You have all the gory details in one pot of stew!

Here are the gory innards in this blood stew:

Here are the gory deets in this blood stew:

  • pork blood
  • pork stomach
  • pork intestines
  • pork heart
  • any of the pork body parts and organs

If you're a vegetarian and an animal advocate, these Filipino street foods might offend you and might make you puke in horror.

If you will be preparing these Filipino foods this Halloween, make sure to check your guests. Gauge their personalities if these foods are something they will be able to take - even just a sight of it. Some might be offended and might think they've been horribly pranked.

But for Filipinos who were born and raised in the Philippines, this is a feast.

Would you be able to enjoy the party with these Filipino food and Halloween ideas? Or you're going to run stark raving mad to the nearest exit?

Let us know which among the 5 Filipino food that we featured you find most horrifying.

Which among the 5 Filipino food that you find most horrifying? free polls

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Marketing Maven Meets Chic Chef: After Cupcake Wars and on Vegan Recipes

Saturday, October 25, 2014 0

Photo Source: Marie Forleo

I've been following Marie Forleo for months now. She's a marketing maven and a business strategist. 

Most of you probably know me just as The Kitchen Maiden, who loves food, cooking and creating food hacks. But without the apron, whisk and wand; I am also a content strategist and an entrepreneur, among other things. So I've been following the inspiring and wickedly funny Marie Forleo for some time now.

But this post is not about Marie Forleo but her awesome guest in her latest video Chef Chloe Coscarelli: Here's Her Recipe for Success. Yes, Marie rocks her own show, MarieTV.

Even though I have seen a lot of episodes of Cupcake Wars, I really don't know Chef Chloe Coscarelli well enough until now. Chloe Coscarelli, a vegan chef, won the first-ever Cupcake Wars. Imagine her beating the competition with her vegan cupcakes!

In this interview with her by Marie Forleo, I am more than just inspired.

With this handful of takeaway quotes, Chef Chloe Coscarelli is a real deal. No wonder, Marie Forleo is like obsessed with her recipes!

Here are the 5 things I learned about Chef Chloe Coscarelli in this interview, plus the fact that she's rocking it with non-vegan foodies.

#5 She won't force veganism down your throat. She likes to think of it not as an "all or nothing" approach to vegan food. Just try getting used to vegan food and start incorporating them into your diet. 
#4 She's driven to show people that vegan food can actually taste better.  
#3 She's obssessive in testing her recipes at least 50 times before putting them in her book. She wants her readers, vegan or not, to get the same result like she would make them. She wants people to get that same sense of accomplishment after recreating her recipes. Isn't that sweet?! 
#2 She wants her recipe to be easy, inviting and accessible. She wants busy people to also have time to make her recipes. 
#1 She's Italian. She loves pasta and she takes Italian family heirloom recipes but the vegan way! Need I say more?

In this interview, Marie personally loves Chloe's pesto avocado pasta and that she had already tried 3 home-run recipes in Chloe's new book Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen: 150 Pizzas, Pastas, Pestos, Risottos, & Lots of Creamy Italian Classics

I have struggled and failed a lot of times to go vegan. I tried going pescetarian instead - it took me 3 days to successfully become one only to lose it back to eating meat.

I would love to get just any of Chef Chloe Coscarelli's recipe book, anything of hers that I could get my hands on here in the Philippines. I am not sure if I could find any of her recipe books in our local bookstore. I hope so because I am not fond of spending money on international shipping.

What do you think of both Marie Forleo and vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli? Am I just in my right mind to go fangirling over these ladies?

Have you bought one of Chloe's recipe books? Have you tried any of her recipes? I'd love to know!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

10 Memorable Food Encounters in My Travels

Thursday, October 16, 2014 0
For the love of travel and for the love of food, it's about time I write this post.

More often than not, travel by itself is an adventure. It can get even more adventurous when you go all out on food. I don't mean splurge on food, but have that desire or drive to experience food through its cultural value. This allows you to connect with the people and the country itself on a different level. You leave the place with a deeper cultural understanding than you have before. This will also allow you to reflect on the culture that you have back in your home country, whereas for me, the Philippines.

Eating something different and eating in a place where certain food matters to the locals for centuries of collective history, opens you up to a channel of nostalgia in the near future. You will find yourself wanting to go back as though somewhere you made another home after tasting a piece of that place.

It's amazing how one can look back with their friends at an experience and say something like, "Did you remember that time when we had that and it was so good!"

So here's my list of 10 Memorable Food Encounters in My Travels

10. Beef Garlic Steak in Boracay Island, Philippines

food adventures in travels

My friend April and I decided to go out on our own from our hotel to have our taste of some gastronomic European cuisine in Boracay. We decided to have French cuisine for lunch. I originally ordered coq-au-vin (chicken in wine) and she had this Beef Garlic Steak. The latter was so good! One of the best dishes I've ever had in my visits to Boracay. Even to this day, we still talk about that food and we want to try it out some more if we ever go back to Boracay together. Hopefully the restaurant is still operating.

9. Lamb Curry in Singapore

lamb curry food adventures in travels

We spotted this quaint restaurant along the street when we were just coming back to Singapore from a day-trip in Malaysia. We smelled the whiff of spices that stuck on us the previous day after strolling Little India's food market. Hunger and the smell of overwhelming spices have pulled us to the restaurant. The lamb curry was delicious. I am not sure if it was the best in the area, but the fusion of spices in this curry delighted our taste buds. It was also my first time to eat lamb.

8. Sea Urchin, Pandanon Island, Bohol

sea urchin edible food adventures in travels

sea urchin edible food adventures in travels

All the spikes were already taken out when these were offered to us. It really was just like tasting a fleshy salty goo that melted in your mouth. What makes it memorable? We were cruising in an outrigger boat when we had this.

sea urchin edible food adventures in travels

7. Saramsam Pasta in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

saramsam pasta food adventures in travels

This is really an unusual pasta from Saramsam Restaurant. It's weird how that dish made me happy at that time. (Yes, I get ecstatic with certain foods.) Without the local anchovies and pasta, you would really think it's supposed to be a salad because of it's semi-ripened chopped tomatoes, chilies and ripe mangoes. But damn, it's really really good!

6. Tubbataha Salad, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

tubbataha salad food adventures in travels

It is a simple salad of tuna sashimi, mixed fruits and large lato or sea caviar. I still can't wrap my head how everything in it just works tastefully in the mouth. Anything from Ka Lui Restaurant, I'm a fan!

5. Sauteed Abuous or Red Weaver Ant Eggs in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

Unfortunately, I had no photo of this dish in Saramsam Restaurant. I had been lucky to be given this dish for free by the sister of the restaurant owner. I didn't mind eating the tiny plumpy bits of ant eggs. They tasted okay. They kind of sting your tongue a bit. The sting was gone a few seconds after munching.

4. Seafood Boodle in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

boodle food adventures in travels

Ka Lui is my favorite dinner place in Puerto Princesa, but Bilao at Palayok Restaurant is my favorite restaurant for lunch every time I chanced to travel back to Palawan. Their very affordable seafood boodle wins my heart every time. I love how we can squat/sit on the floor or even in a duyan like they do in rural areas. It adds to an awesome dining experience.

3. Tamilok / Wood Worm, Sabang, Palawan

tamilok wood worm food adventures in travels

Just imagine the taste of oyster but is more fleshy. I did enjoy it. Contrary to common belief, it's not really a worm but a type of saltwater clam.

2. Bak Kut Teh in Singapore

bak kuh teh food adventures in travels
at Song Fa Bak Kuh Teh Restaurant

Bak kut teh reminds me of our local nilagang baboy but one could definitely tell the difference. Bak kut teh has its own unique taste. I couldn't seem to put my hand on what exactly was in it. The best I could do if I were to replicate the dish is add star anise. This bone soup can be addicting.

1. Nasi Lemak in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I only had to grab this cuisine at a convenience store. It was the cheapest I could get to be able to have a full meal. It was an awesome experience eating it in a double-decker bus on my way back to Singapore. Nasi lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk. The one I had was packed with dried anchovies or dilis as we locally know it; sambal (a Malaysian shrimp paste) and some roasted peanuts.

I would love to know your awesome food encounters.

Let me know about your most memorable food adventures by leaving a comment below.