Date Night: Tapas!

The boyfriend and I were feeling particularly antisocial one Friday night. Okay–maybe it was just  me, because I said we should try making tapas first for us before inviting other people, whereas VMB wanted to have some friends over. Anyway, after a really heavy lunch we went to the grocery (I abide by the rule never go the supermarket hungry. You’ll spend more than you need to!) and gathered a list of things we would need to make this fine, fine spread.

We really should’ve invited people over. No matter how we tried to be good with portions, this spread lasted us about three meals, including one shared with some friends the next day. We had:

Patatas Bravas, modified. It was more of fries mixed with a bit of paprika, which we had with tartar sauce.

Baked mussels. It was the first time we ever cooked mussels, so we had to google how to clean (VMB had gloves, would you believe that!). Baked in cheese and garlic

Salpicao. We both had different takes but I ended up winning the argument. I wish I didn’t. Haha. Maybe next time.

Pan con Tomate, modified. Instead of toasting the bread with tomato and garlic, I made the sauce on the side so we can dip it and use it for other things

Cold cuts. We had cheese but decided against opening it since we already had too much food!

Since we’re not big on wine, we opted for imported beer. We went crazy when we stumbled upon Rustan’s selection, which went beyond the usual Heineken-Stella-Tiger. And the prices weren’t bad either.

Not bad for a first attempt! I think we’re ready to be  “antisocial” with friends next time!

Sunday Brunch in the Land of Slippers

 

There are a few things that would get me out of bed early on a Sunday morning: an early flight (ugh), an extreme case of we-must-do-laundry-even-if-it’s-Sunday, and maybe “special” shopping cases–the ones that promise cheap (but great) merchandise or the hard-to-get-so-we-should-try-harder case.

I said no to the usual Saturday night debauchery (which is not debauchery, really) so I can wake up in time to join my folks, my aunts, and my uncle for a day trip to Liliw, Laguna. The four-hour car ride promised a good brunch/lunch upon arrival and the possibility of coming home with lots of pretty shoes and sandals in tow.

We got there in three hours and entered the packed Arabela restaurant. Luckily, my mom had made reservations 🙂

 

 

I love the pretty little details, like the Eiffel Tower spice container and the blue glasses.

 

 

Went up and chatted a bit with the owner, and saw this small balcony overlooking the street. All the scene needed was me and a cup of coffee! Someday, Sam, someday.

 

I regret to report that I was too busy shopping to take photos! I got myself two pretty pairs of flats and these pretty flowers, which my mom picked out from a sidewalk vendor.

 

Man, I should really wake up early more often.

We Live For Weekends

 

 

My weekends have adapted some sort of homage to my favorite summer memories. The food (more on the grilled/fried variety), the homemade shakes, the wholesome fun (the joys of finding perya rides in the neighborhood park!), the silly dates, and the post-drink-grubfest at your local Burger Machine.

I always wish that weekends were longer than 48 hours (or more than 54 hours if you count Friday night). But the compressed amount of time always forces you to make the most out of it. And yes, I think we’ve done a good job so far.

New Things: Lasagna Soup

I’ll take a break from writing about the trip (I KNOW, talk about super procrastination!) to share with you guys a favorite “experiment” VMB and I made last month.

It all started with the weekly visit to foodgawker. This feature on lasagna soup got me excited and VMB said it was relatively easy. He picked up the ingredients on the way to my house and we spent about an hour and a half making this dish and I swear it’s G-double O-D GOOD!

It’s just like making lasagna only that you make it soupier. We tweaked the recipe and added bechamel sauce to make it creamier and substituted cream cheese for ricotta since he couldn’t find any in the grocery.

I suggest eating this right away after serving because the pasta absorbs the soup after some time. We made some for VMB’s sister to take with her to lunch the next day and it was more pasta than soup (but she tweeted that she loved it anyway!). I look forward to making this again! 🙂

This is Why I’m Fat: Turkish edition

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Two weeks in Turkey ended with my jeans crying out for help.

First meal upon arriving in Izmir was at my sister’s in-laws’ house. Her mother-in-law made us an amazing dinner of traditional Turkish dishes–stuffed green peppers, steamed rice in grape leaves, kofte, and my new favorite–chicken with walnuts or Cerkez Tavugu. Not sure if it was meant to be an appetizer but it makes for a great meal when paired with bread.

Of course, we had the best of everything from Izmir and Istanbul. My brother-in-law made sure we had shawarma (WAY different than how we know shawarma in the Philippines), Turkish kebab, medye (which is a nice snack made up of mussels and rice MUSSELS!), fresh fish, their version of pizza called Lahmacun (really thin crust “pizza”–just meat and cheese that you roll with arugula and tomatoes), coffee, Turkish ice cream (with the matching “magic show”) and what Yigit calls “the best burger in Istanbul” over at Kizilkayalar in Taksim Square. The best burger was actually a wet burger with a tasty patty inside soft bread dipped in tomato sauce and heated on the oven before serving. Don’t believe me? Ask Anthony Bourdain.

Man I miss Turkey. I’m getting really hungry now.

A Night Spent Dreaming of Dinner

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A few weeks ago, Mike and Zee invited us to their place for dinner. Do you know what a great honor that is? I’ve been a fan of Zee’s cooking even before her blog, Dreaming of Dinner, was born so this invitation was well-received with open arms (and several hungry bellies), along with a little joke that the reason why we were being invited to dinner was because they were going to make an announcement!

She asked me a few days before if I preferred Thai or ribs, and I told her to make whatever she wanted. Okay, I really wanted to say “Can we have both?” but that was asking too much. Imagine how excited we were when we got there and she prepared both–along with smashed potatoes and my all-time favorite squash soup!

No announcements were made, but we sure went home really stuffed that night! We had Squash SoupHoney Hickory Baby Back Ribs, Beef Curry, Smashed Potatoes, and Rice! (You can click on the items below to get the recipes!)

Can’t wait for the next one (hint hint) 🙂 and yes I’m aware I used too many ! to describe the food.