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Friday, May 28, 2010

All I Do is Eat, Eat and Eat!!

Still enjoying my time here in the Philippines. The title of this post basically sums up what I've been up to since my arrival. It's been a week and I have one more to go before this little excursion ends.

Thought, I'd share a couple photos of the good eats I've been having these past few days.

 Beef Tapa with rice and egg from Jollibee. (this was my first meal upon arrival -- breakfast)

 Chicharron from one of the local shops.


'Dirty' Cheese Ice Cream



Roasted Piggy

Those are some good eats, eh? Of course, I'll write more about them later. Each day I'm stuffed with delicious goodies. I'll leave you with the following pic I took taken from my trip to Baguio City this past Wednesday. I remember coming here before I moved to the U.S. with my uncle and mom. It's great to see it again after 20+ years.

View from Mines View Park, Baguio City

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Greetings from Manila!!

We made it safely across the pacific. We arrived yesterday in Manila around 6:30am. 16-hour plane ride equals very shallow sleep. Not to mention, I staying awake for the rest of the day. I didn't really get to sleep till probably 1-o'clock in the morning (Philippine time). Catching up with relatives I haven't seen since my last trip.

Right now I'm in Nagcarlan, Laguna. My mom's home town 2-hrs south of Manila. This is where she grew up and most our family still resides. Yesterday was a great start to the trip. A slight bummer though, I developed a bad sore throat. All thanks to the extreme change in weather. Hot and humid for one then cloudy, slightly rainy and humid the next. I felt like I was losing my voice. I got some throat lonsenges (sp?) from the local pharmacy. It's getting better slightly so that's good thing.

Right now final preparations are under way for the San Rafael Fiesta. It's a town wide celebration and it will be fun. I had attended this event a couple years ago and it gets hectic. One of the photos is of my mom and I when we took a pitstop with some relatives to a market to buy some goods before our drive into the province. The other was taken today of the open market in Nagcarlan. It's huge with many different vendors/stalls selling produce, fresh meats, rice, home goods, snacks, misc items inside.

Anyway... Just wanted to let you all know that my mom and I made it here safe and sound. Been trying to capture every, if not most, of the moments happening. Got a post in the works and will be posted very soon. Hope you're well my friends.

Sent from my BlackBerry®

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

Well, today is the day, my friends. I fly home to the Philippines for the next two weeks. The country of my birth. As you read this, I'm preparing the last few things to pack in my big @$$ luggage, at the airport, or already on the plane heading towards the other side of the pacific. (Depending when you read this, of course) It'll be a LONG flight and I don't usually sleep on planes. It's that or a very very shallow sleep. Eek!! I arrive in Manila early in the morning, so...yeah...the adventure begins right when I get off that plane, get that stamp on my passport and step outside those automatic doors of Ninoy Aquino International Airport having the humid air engulfing me from minute one. 

I just hope there aren't any crying babies or annoying children near me during the flight. As much as I love kids and babies on a long journey like this, it's never fun. I'm excited to see my family and to get to spend some quality time with them. To return to the sights, sounds, smells that I remember from when I was barely a child. It always feels like no time has passed since my last trip there. It, 's as if it was just the next day.

Of course, there will lots and lots of food.

 Street Foods (some guys enjoying some BBQ on a stick)

 Soups and other delicacies

Fresh off the tree fruits

Desserts (Halo-Halo)

One of the the reasons we're traveling there is to attend a fiesta in my mom's hometown in the province. Imagine the feast for that!! Some of the things Filipinos know how to do well is cook, eat, drink and have a good time. I, for sure, will have some really great goodies to share like the many eats I'll be having at my cousin's little restaurant ('Comodor'). Sharing meals with loved ones with endless talk and laughter. And with views like this....

and this...

...who wouldn't want to go there. 

I'll still be around. I'll be posting little updates. Blogging when I have some downtime. Though, when you're with family...there's never any downtime, right? hahaha... I'll still be tweeting and facebooking, too.

I shall miss you all for these next two weeks. Advance apologies for me being M.I.A. It'll go by really fast and I intend to enjoy every minute to the fullest.  :)

Note: all photos in this post were taken from my previous trip in 2008.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Watermelon Shake

One more day!!! :) Final preparations have begun. I've managed to clean out the fridge of any and most perishables. So that's one thing I don't have to worry about when I'm gone. Constantly checking that list to make sure I've done everything I needed to do.

I sort of had a craving for some kind of shake. But I was also craving for some kind of shaved ice. Last week, the weather in LA was very summery. The last couple days has been on the slight dreary side. Don't get me wrong. I love those cloudy days. I figured I'd bring a little summer into my home with a slightly shake-shaved ice hybrid. All you need is watermelon, evaporated milk, sugar, and...of course, ice. All you have to do is blend it all together. I put about 1 tablespoon of sugar as I don't want it to be too sweet. But you can adjust it to your liking. The consistency of a milk shake, but with shaved ice.

Serves 2

Watermelon Shake

1 5oz can evaporated milk
1 c watermelon - seeded
1 dozen ice cubes
2 Tbsp sugar

Combine everything together until blended.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Porto's Brunch

Two more sleeps, two more sleeps, two more sleeps!!!! W00T! W00T!


It's one of those days when you cherish spending a couple hours with those closest to you. BFFs included. It's funny how as you grow older, our lives and schedules change. Trying to find the time to coordinate a time to get together can always be tricky. A constant back and forth of "are you free on ___?" or "How about on ____?" even "Can we reschedule for ____?" Oh life. But when an opportunity comes we take advantage of it to the fullest. Sometimes a simple brunch is all you need.

We headed to my/our favorite spots Porto's Bakery. When we arrived there is was shortly before the late morning/lunch rush. No lines at the cafe. Sweet!! So we order and grab ourselves a seat as we chat away and catch up from the last time we saw each other.

We both decide to order the chorizo and omelette on Cuban bread from their breakfast sandwich selection. Mmmm...yummy chorizo. That the one thing that sold me on the sandwich was the chorizo with the soft Cuban bread. Yum!!! Brought to the table warm and ate it all up. Oh...and look what she gave me as a souvenir from her recent trip to Hawaii.

A hula girl oven mitt. hehehe...

 It's sooo cute!!!! I love it!!! (Cue Hawaiian music) I'm almost afraid to even use it. hahaha... I truly have some of the bestest friends ever.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Maki Sushi

I've brought out my big luggage over the weekend signifying that packing has begun. Of course, the bulk of it won't really be done until the night before, but the clock is ticking away until my departure. It feels like torture having to wait just a few days. I'm way to excited right now to really think of other things besides food. No wait...I take that back. Food is the one other and constant thing I can't stop thinking about. Food and travel. There you go.

I was watching a few webisodes of the Cooking with Dog (again), where it shows the viewer how to cook Japanese dishes. I've proclaimed my interest in Japanese cuisine here many times. And my love to bentos. In this little episode it teaches you how to make maki sushi. She makes two kinds -- futomaki, which has grilled eel, and the California roll. I have plans of doing a sushi week after returning from my trip, so I'm looking for ideas on ingredients I can use for different fillings. Experiment with it a little. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. Anyway...this is probably a good way to introduce the wonderful world of sushi.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Production Eats - No. 22

This week I worked Dark Blue. It stars Dylan McDermott aka Bobby Donnell from The Practice. I haven't really seen the show, but they are filming their second season. As lunch rolls around shooting on the lot usually gives the background actors the option of eating at the commissary or at one of the cafes. But luckily we were able to have what the crew were fed at lunch. The choice was of a Mexican flair

Top clockwise: Half chicken and rice burrito, a couple cheese taquitos, some enchilada, bean salsa, spicy guacamole, tortilla chips.

I need to make me some cheese taquitos!!!! Really good with some of that spicy guacamole.  I should have taken more than two and probably less of the enchilada.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hawaiian BBQ Express

I'm not fond of going to the mall. One of the major issues is the crowds. But if I need something at a store, I'll have to deal with it either way. Glendale galleria. Located right next to Americana. I'll admit I wasn't really a teeny-bopper mallrat in my younger years. Ok, I sort of was. I was a pretty quite, shy kid and I preferred the solitude of my house than anything else. But I did venture into the walkways of this old mall on weekends with a friend or two or with my mom. I've seen many stores change in and out. But one things for sure, the food court has always been where it was. Though, I was bummed when the Orange Julius closed. I loved that place. I drowned my sorrows of that with a Cinnabun cinnamon bun.

This particular day was just an ordinary day. Errands and preparations. Luckily I went during a time when it wasn't crowded.

hmmm...where to sit?

I ventured to the Hawaiian BBQ stall. I've eaten hear many times over the years. Their portions are plenty good enough for two people. Or if your super hungry just have it for yourself and maybe save the leftovers for later. I don't know.

I order the #9 special of the day. BBQ chicken and short ribs. Underneath is a load of rice, and veggies and they pour over quite a bit of sauce on top. I love the chicken as it's nice and tender. This is the first I've tried the short ribs, which reminded me of BBQ bulgogi. There was also a side of hot sauce.

Slightly on the pricey side, $9 plus drink then again with the big portions they serve it seems to fit. This place has been around since my high school that would be, give or take, 10 years now? It's by no means a fancy place given it's location. But it's quite tasty. Tender chicken and short ribs. Nicely heated on a grill.  Just try to go there during the lull hours of the day to avoid the crowds and possible no  seating situation.

Hawaiian BBQ Express
Food Court
1135 Glendale Galleria
Glendale, CA 91210

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crispy Ravioli

A few or couple weeks ago, I received a coupon to get myself one of Buitoni's Sauces or Pasta from the new Riserva products as being a part of their Tastemaker Program. Special thanks to FoodBuzz and Buitoni. I figured I use it before my trip, so use it I did. I ventured into the grovery and picked up a pack of the Wild Mushroom Agnolotti, which look like ravioli and is "generously filled with fresh portobello & crimini mushrooms, imported grana Padano & Parmesan cheese and fresh roasted garlic." The latter part of that sentence was from what was written on the package. I've had pasta several times this week and rather than going the traditional route of drowning it in some sauce I changed it up a bit and decided make into appetizer bites. Or make it the same way you would as zucchini fries. But I didn't have the proper ingredients to use for breading.

I have no eggs in the fridge, I had no cheese. All I had was panko. Hmph! I did however have some evaporated milk that I had opened a couple days earlier. I had also gotten a bag of Pirates Booty when I purchased the pasta. Pirates Booty is a brand of cheese puffs made with aged white cheddar. Totally addicting. That gave me the idea to use the cheese puffs in place of the panko. It already had the cheese and lite saltiness. What was that saying? Kill two birds with one stone?

So I bread the ravioli by dipping in the evaporated milk, then into the crushed cheese puffs and pan-fired them lightly. And you know what. They were crispy! Serve it with some marinara or your choice of dip a perfect appetizer or meal for 2.

Makes 12 ravioli

Crispy Ravioli

1 pk Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti
2-3 c cheese puffs - Pirates Booty - crushed
1/3 c evaorated milk
 canola oil

Pre-heat on a medium to low flame, some canola oil 1/2-inch deep in a deep skillet. Place the evaorated milk and cheese puffs in two separate shallow dishes.

Dip the ravioli in the evaorated milk, then into the crushed cheese puffs and pan fry each side until golden brown. Keep an eye out as they will cool up quick. Work in batches and repeat each time.

Place the finished ravioli on some paper towel to remove excess oil.

Serve with some marinara sauce.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pasta Scramble 2.0

First things first, I switched internet providers and now it's up and running. Completely fast service I tell ya!! Plus it was way simpler to set up. It I felt like I was going through withdrawal from not being able to check blogs and emails at home even for one day. Eek! Talk about technology dependent. Anyway, still trying to clean out the fridge and pantry. It's officially one week before my trip. It's coming down to the wire to get thing done before my departure next week. My mind's filled with mental lists, checking off one item at a time. I'm really excited. A week seems so long when you know a trip is just right around the corner. 

This is another version of pasta scramble I had many some time last year. This time using some orzo pasta.  Two eggs, some dry herbs and diced tomato. I'd probably add more into it like mushrooms, or spinach, or maybe even some sausage and bacon. Mmmmm...I can think of more, but it's pretty late as I write this post and I'm hankering for a midnight snack.

Serves 1-2

Pasta Scramble 2.0

1/2 c uncooked orzo
2 eggs - lightly beaten
1/3 c diced tomato - fresh or canned
1 tsp oregano
pinch of salt

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Lightly salt the water and drizzle a little olive oil. When the water is boiling add the orzo and cook until al dente. Drain out the water well then place the orzo back into the small pot. Add the eggs and continually toss together until the eggs have fully cooked and coated the pasta. Then add in the oregano and tomato and toss together again for a few minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shrimps & Scallops with a White Wine Broth

So this was the lovely dish I wanted to post yesterday, but couldn't due to my internet fiasco. What a bummer that's been. But much like many an afternoon, i spent some quality time in my local Panera sipping on some fresh brewed coffee with my laptop on the table, answering emails messages, catching up on blogs. I swear the people that work there know me by now. haha...

Anyway... I asked my mom the day before Mother's Day what she would like to eat. I asked sometimes early in the afternoon. Several hours later...still no decision. But I waited patiently and patiently and patiently. Ain't I a loving daughter? Finally...Pasta. Scallops. Shrimp. Ok, so brain turns and what do you get? Angel hair pasta with sauteed shrimp and scallops in a white wine broth.

Delicious?'s pasta-licious. Sorry...that last bit was corny.

 Serves 3-4

Shrimps & Scallops with a White Wine Broth

1/2 box angel hair pasta
6 oz diced tomato
2 large garlic clove - rough chopped
5 oz evaporated milk
1/2 tbsp oregano
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 c white wine
1/2 lb shrimp - deveined and shelled
1 lb scallops

In a sauce pan, heat a small drizzle of olive oil and saute the garlic for 30-60 seconds. Add the shrimp and scallops and saute until the shrimp have turned a nice shade pink and the scallops are slightly whiter in color. Some of the juices will be released. Stir several times to cook all the seafood.

On a high to medium heat, add the wine and bring to a slight boil. When the wine has reduced slightly, lower the heat and add the evaporated milk. Add the tomato and oregano. Stir occasionally. Let it simmer for a good 15 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.

While that cooks, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Season with salt and cook the pasta until al dente roughly 8-10 minutes.

Place some of the paste in a large enough plate and ladle some of the shrimp, scallops and sauce over. Serve warm.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ummm...internet disconnected?!?!

I had a post all nearly ready to go. In fact it was my Mother's Day dish. I was pretty excited to share it with you all (which I still am), when the inevitable happened. My internet was disconnected. It's not the kind when it will miraculously start up again out of thin air. This is much worse. As I worked on set yesterday, I happened to check my email from my phone and I had received an email from AT&T saying that my DSL service is disconnected per my request. What request?????? I don't remember sending any request certainly not to disconnect my internet. As you can imagine the confusion, slight anger at all this. Sure enough when I got home, I couldn't even check my emails. That just added fuel to the fire. no notification of any kind was sent to let me know that this was gonna go down.

I think that was the final nail in the coffin my internet relationship with that company. Not only has trying to reach customer service a hassle, but it's just not what is used to be when I first signed up with them. That means I'll be mooching off the free wifi at Panera for the next few days. Or at least until I switch carriers and set everything up.

I apologize for the lack of food in today's post, but I promise to be back tomorrow. I promise :)
Sent from my BlackBerry®

Monday, May 10, 2010


With the frozen yogurt crave, there's been a myriad or little shops popping up around difference cities. I was invited by a couple friend of mine for a little catch up time over some froyo. Frozziyo located in Pasadena near PCC (Pasadena City College). The location of the place is sandwiched between two other large stores on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, CA. They've only been around for a year, but from the couple hours I spent chatting up with my friends a good amount of patrons walked in and out with their yogurt.

They got a nice selection of flavors. Vanilla, chocolate, plain tart, pomegranate, rev velvet, green apple...I think there's a couple other flavors there, too.

I get myself half plain and half pomegranate, which was a nice choice. I enjoyed quite a lot. Then again. I love me some froyo every now and then. My topping of choice is usually some fresh fruit like strawberries and pineapple with some granola and nuts. Today it was walnuts. A good afternoon well spent with friends and a frozen dessert.

1771 East Colorado Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91106

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hot dogs, cupcakes and a day for Mothers

Cheap eats are hard to find sometimes, but at Costco you won't have that problem. Not sure if Sam's Club has something like this. Can't say for sure as I've never been to a Sam's Club. Costco is one of those Warehouse stores that sells an endless amounts of products in bulk at decent prices. I take a trip there once a month or every couple months. I also get my contact lenses from their optical department. Been happy with the service for years. of the great things about Costco is their outdoor concession stand.

The lines can sometimes be pretty long, but they're usually worth the wait. A large slice of pizza for a dollar something. Hot dog or a polish dog for a buck-fifty and that includes a drink with free refills. Their famous chicken bake it really awesome. Chicken, bacon and cheese...yum!!!. It's a small selection, but it's definitely good eats. Pizzas...whole or by the slice are totally big, but so awesome.

Today I stuck with a traditional simple delicious hot dog. Toppings are self-serve, so I put some relish, mustard and ketchup. I would have added onions, but I didn't feel like, it this time around. Sometimes a good ol' fashioned hot dog is all you need to fill you right.

As promised here's the inside cross-section of the red velvet cupcake that I had gotten the other day from Crumbs Bake Shop.

 The photo looks a little dark, but I assure you it's a red velvet cupcake with a cream cheese frosting.  Yummy!! all the mother's out there. Here's a lovely flower for you.  :)

Happy Mother's Day!!! (I ♥ my mom!!!)

flower 1

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I want some Crumbs

It just so happens that a neighbor of mine had given us a $10 coupon good for use to a several eateries at the Americana. Hey coupons for free food, why not? One of those choices was Crumbs Bake Shop. Next to Michael Stars and Trattoria Amici. I've been there several times before and I enjoy the cupcakes quite a bit. It a nice treat after a long walk.

Plus, the cupcakes are huge! Just how huge? Oh, I'de say larger than the size of my fist. Literally!!!

I get two red velvet, one Bryant Park, and one Cookie Dough. 

Oh, delicious cuppy cakes ready to be eaten by yours truly. I didn't eat it all, of course. I did share with my mom. It is mother's day weekend after all. I ain't greedy. I share when sharing is required...when it comes to food. ;-)

Here's the descriptions of the cupcakes from their website:

Red Velvet: Authentic red velvet cake with rich cream cheese frosting and edged with red velvet crumbs

Bryant Park: A chocolate cake with chocolate mousse inside, topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake crumbs, and white chocolate shavings around the edge

Cookie Dough: Vanilla cake with chocolate fudge filling covered in our signature vanilla cream cheese frosting mixed with soft chocolate chip cookie pieces and topped with a chocolate chip cookie.

 Inside the Bryant Park

Inside cookie dough

Each cupcake has a nice blob of mouse, ganache, or frosting in the center. Mmmm... Just eating half of each is enough to fill me up some what. I'm telling you they are BIG!! They do have a cupcake that's nearly the size of a cake. I'll have to share with you how the red velvet looks inside tomorrow. It was tempting to chomp down, but I didn't want to push it and end up with massive sugar high. I mean look at how thick that frosting is one there!!! hahaha... One cup cake is already a lot. :)

I eat cupcakes the same way I do muffins. Bottom first, then the top along with the frosting after.

Crumbs Bake Shop
779 Americana Way
Glendale, Ca 91210
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