Another first. I do just barge into things, don’t I? Even the ingredients, I only had as basis my very few memories of eating at Japanese restaurants and this one time some childhood friends made some for us what must have been 11 summers ago now.
With the state of our pantry all I could think of was a california maki. Japanese rice, cucumber, mango (our avocados needed a couple of days to be tender enough) and some turkey spam and wasabidized mayonnaise.
The nori I bought were all small sheets so I that was an added brain teaser. I didn’t know if miniature sushi rolls with 3 inch nori sheets was possible, normal sized sushi rolls seemed tedious enough so I decided to pin my hopes on the stickiness of Japanese rice to stick the nori sheets I patched in place together.
I think it’s something you can figure out for yourself along the way but I found this cute illustrated tutorial for you!
The family had nice suggestions. Dad says bigger mango chunks. My sister says next time I should try substituting rice with spam. Perfect sense.
I made Pesto!
I decided to make some homemade pesto this morning. I came by some basil in the supermarket yesterday and made an awful mistake of chucking it in the chiller when we got home late last night. I didn’t want to crouch down to stow it in the vegetable bin and so I had to learn what vegetable bins were for the hard way. The basil turned into kangkong overnight in there.
Good thing I was lazy enough not to unpack the other box of groceries because I found the surviving pack of salvageable-green basil in it! I made it my sole mission this morning to help it realize its true potentials, the pack was destined for greater things.
I don’t know how to make pesto, actually, so I looked up recipes on the internet. I took care to chose the one with the best title of course: How to Make Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother. The recipe doesn’t use exact measurements for the most part:
1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil>
Special equipment: large mezzaluna for chopping
and there’s a homey feel to the instructions that I like. I chopped by hand like in the article for full effect (my hands smelled very sexy) but made a mental note of using a food processor the next time after this episode of me having to take of my glasses with cheesy fingers because I was sweating like mad, I felt like an adult Julia Child practicing her chopping with a sack of onions during her Le Cordon Bleu days. It was getting in my eyes (as pictured), look at that bead of sweat !
Anyway I didn’t actually even follow the recipe on the blog. I just applied that technique of chopping a batch then adding in another batch and rechopping and pounding the whole thing together to get different sized pieces of everything. Quick Trivia: The word pesto is from the Genoese word pestâ which means to crush or to pound as was done in its original preparation. I suspect that’s also where the English word pestle comes from too.
I ended up using romano cheese for Parmigiano Reggiano (fanceh!) and walnuts for pine nuts because we don’t have any and I’ve read in other recipes that walnuts works just as well. I also added some cashews because I remember reading “cashews” on the label of this Italian brand pesto at Rustan’s. I don’t know. It worked great, I think.
Ah, if you’re going to head out and make your own pesto in the future, make sure to use your sharpest knife if you’re chopping it manually too. I ended up with darker than intended pesto because I manage to bruise the leaves with our bad knife before the actual chopping gets done.
Labor of love. I’m not kidding when I stress that word out in italics.
I was supposed to take my mom out for a walk this morning. She’s just been diagnosed with diabetes just this month — dad, the sister and I have been easing her into this lifestyle change. We cut back on sweets too and exercise to somehow encourage her. I seem to be bad at that so far.
I was up still pretty early so I walked to the market to buy soy beans. This is my third time making soy milk over the past month and I’ve been trying to document the process since my first time. From the quantity of my photos, it’s fair to say that making it is as intimidating as turning a hard round bean into milk sounds.
The process is all beans,water and heat, essentially, (sugar and salt to taste) but you’ll have to squeeze the life out of those pulped beans and they somehow manage to do the same to you. It’s fair to say as well I’d rather milk a cow.
I had my little cousin tail after me in the kitchen as I made it. She and dad make up my cult following for my homemade soy milk since my first batch. They’re both very lactose intolerant.
If you ever find yourself curious enough about soy milk that you actually find yourself making it yourself, hit me up. I’d love for us to chat about how we’d rather buy a bottle for
4-6 times the at whatever cost.
Last post for the day and funnily enough, it’ll be about my breakfast a few days ago.
Due to @wheresburger’s post about cold brew coffee, I had to try it for myself. I’ve always prefered cold coffee over hot so why not?
Then she had to mention the sexy pb&j’s that she talked about a few months ago (which I’ve already made before. oh, what sweet heaven). So why not try them together?
This decision was both good and oh-dear-sweet-baby-jesus-this-is-good.
Let’s start with the good. I basically died from the pure deliciousness of the two. The warm, sweet-saltiness of the sandwich with the cool, smooth taste of the coffee. Insane. Now the oh-dear-sweet-baby-jesus-this-is-good. What really won me over was the smell of the coffee. Seriously one of the best smelling things ever. It really sets the whole thing off and gives the flavor of the coffee a little more kick.
Needless to say, I’ve been making a cup’s worth of the stuff everynight before bed for 3 days now. This is all your fault Tzaddi :))
I never thought I’ll ever have reason to say such a thing but I’m glad you died :) I’m yet to try them together pa. AAH!
Something about this photo that makes me think it’s a second helping. haha. Nobody ever has enough determination not to sip na nagsiswirl pa yung milk sa coffee.
This particular McDonald’s branch reminds me so much of the 90’s. From when we used to pick relatives up from the airport and have really early breakfasts. Then, when I’d be busy pestering everybody into turning their orders into Happy Meals so I’d get the rest of the collectibles that were “for my cousins”.
We sat at a booth there last Saturday after taking my aunt to the airport. I had a McMuffin and I don’t know if you know but I think you should know maple syrup makes it three times happier. Makes a lot of things happier judging from the windows in the fourth picture. Someone must have left their kid with the maple syrup.
I find it charming that they still have that old drive through intercom machine and the same old floor tiles, Ronald with the enamel of his lap worn by 20 years worth of kids. And that old playhouse where I growled back at two American kids in the ball pit, around my age then but a lot bigger, when I was around 6. I reckon they were trying to make the ball pit their den. Hm. Cute.
I hope they manage to keep the place this way a while longer.
Things I like about my life at the moment.
Our fridge has never kept walnuts, sliced almonds, blueberry jam and fancy-schmancy ready made pesto all at the same time before. Thus the photo. Some bottles of half-eaten Spanish Sardines and some olives more and I’d have to frame this.
Tzaddi Esguerra 2012
Le Tour de Eiffel. Damn, I sound sexy reading that in my head. Made them from two packs of graham crackers - half of which actually made it to the tower and half I had to eat to destroy all evidence of wastage. Else mum would stare me down with judging eyes.
I’d been watching dad tinker about with something I had him build for me this morning. That amused me for a while, watching him figure out ways of doing things then I got tired and decided I wanted to tinker with something myself.
This afternoon I decided to go with something a little mentally challenging. I’d been putting together a little french inspired playlist earlier in the morning so my first thought was doing Le Tour de Eiffel.
I’m obviously too stoked to get a decent picture of it. It’s still setting in the cake fridge and I haven’t decided whether to go ahead and overdo the details or just leave it be.
I was Mrs. Lovett yesterday and I made nasty “cake” pops if you know what I mean. I kid. hahaha. No, really, I’m kidding. Please, do still eat at our diner.
That’s red velvet cake and a little butter cake (to make them look like meat balls) and some dollops of custard to bind the cake. Most cake pop recipes use fruit jam but I don’t think it goes well with red velvet cake. I’d have used cream cheese too.
It’s a fun little project. I didn’t mean to kill off Varys but he was just so easy to do.
Borough: The Restaurant That Never Sleeps
After our pitch at McKinley Town Center last Wednesday, my team mates and I went out to see my bald dearie before leaving for home the following day. We decided to meet halfway at Ortigas for a late bite after her training and I was more than delighted finding this place open in the dead of night.
And I realized my new favorite thing about Manila - 24/7 comfort food. From the same people who brought you Ponti and Fiamma, here’s Borough!
I don’t know if it’s just the name but a lot about the aesthetics of its humble facade that told me point blank that it serves New York style food. The dark and damp alley, the dim light, the podium and the sharp looking bouncer from the adjacent establishment, the lone signage - looks ripped right from an episode of Sex and the City.
Inside, it looks just like a rustic bachelor’s pad but the floral print couches and bar stools will confuse you… with how well it seems to work with everything else.
(clickthrough for source of above photo)
I love chancing upon going on a Wednesday because it’s their busy night. The ambiance is great. The place was packed and the other tables’ appropriately modulated murmur against the DJ’s music made me feel alive and relaxed. It was almost soothing. I read there’s a smoke area upstairs with mafia-inspired seats.
Now, the fun part! Here’s a look at some of the food we ate. Lights, please.
I honestly forgot what they were called but we ordered chips, fries, grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup which I think was imported… from heaven and my glorious sandwich. I remember it had grilled chicken, generous slices of Brie cheese, sundried tomatoes, basil, lettuce, and mushrooms.
Down to business: prices are relatively high. The least you’ll prolly get a way with for a bite and a drink is around Php300 and they have service charges on top of that. But they serve big portions and the flavors are just lovely.
But if you’re passionate about fresh bread and cheeses other than cheddar and mozzarella, and tomatoes and don’t spend on much else other than food when on a splurge, it’s definitely worth one’s salt.
Ground Floor, The Podium Mall
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel. No. 570-8906
Cupcakes I made today. Finally got to use the butterscotch caramel that scalded my right arm last week. I was too keen on not burning it, I didn’t even mind the spatter of boiling sugar burning my own arm.
That batch of caramel came out perfect, mind you, but that, I regret now. Sugar is cheap, scar removing creams aren’t.
Chocolate Salted Caramel cupcake. It’s a moist chocolate cupcake, with butterscotch caramel filling. A little bit of fudge in there too. And rock salt! Then topped with caramel flavored cream. And more caramel. And I don’t know why I sprinkled on some dessicated coconut but it seemed to make sense when I made it.