Rock’s Day Late Celebration

Jack Daniel’s Steak Sauce + Phil&Rock +Rock’s drink

It’s September 7. Told you we just needed an excuse to feast and splurge. Ever since Kris’ steaks, I’ve been so excited of having my own steak party. I guess I have  been interested but I was always worried that it’s gonna be expensive. I experiment with so many items but I don’t do much when it comes to costly goods. I’m thinking of how wasteful it’s gonna be if I failed so I always postponed it for another time. It was nothing fancy. We did not worry about marinades and exotic spices. From Kris’ tip, just put on the grill/ on the stovetop and just let people deal with their own condiments. The surprise here was that Rocky also did some “cooking”. Fact was he did most of the lamb chops and I only had to cook beef.

that’s the pail that doubled as cooler + beer!

t-bone + mashed potatoes

1-rub some spices 2-put it on the grill 3-eat it

(I didn’t want to put up every shot but just so you know how much we love rock, there were 6 slices of T-bone and about 10 slices of lambchops)

I can’t wait to have another one. Maybe the next time would be all char-grilled.

Sunday Lunch c/o Kris, Oliver and Family

I really loved it that there was a generous helping of salad especially that I know of how sinful the others were gonna be.

This  actually has 2 kinds of salads mixed on a platter.


This serving of mac and cheese was so cheesy that when I brought it home, I used it as a spread. It was very good!

they use this food warmer. it’s cute and effective.

below is my first  serving (harhar)

I think sweet tooths would absolutely love this delight but I forgot to ask Kris what it’s called. I shall do that later and post it here.

Thank you for the very fulfulling Sunday morning and heavy lunch!


aside from taking home the leftovers (because they probably served for a party of 6)we also got to bring home this 6-pack of cream soda and root beer with twistable caps and pretty bottles that would end up somewhere inside my cramped room long after the soda has dried.

why did they feed us? find out by doing clicketyclick here soon —> *

The Collective: At Long Last

Let us rejoice for welcoming shopkeepers who gladly entertain questions, smile at jokes and nod in approval for taking as many pictures as you want. Cheers!

If every shop is like that, maybe I’d be a shopaholic. Yes it was weird that the hodgepodge of goodies were packed in that small space that smelled like a spa but since we stayed outside, that didn’t really matter. Phil had iced brewed coffee. I went for the usual hot cup despite the oven-like atmosphere and Evan had the old school vanilla sorbet. Nothing out of the ordinary but don’t blame them, my coffee experience has been all brewed these days.

So we went to The Collective. I am quite apologetic of the reason behind my curiosity. It’s just that the moment I saw the feature from Preview all I could think of is Cubao X. Apparently, they hate being compared to MKNA shoe expo. Well, they’re a little bit more expensive and they don’t have Bellini’s so maybe it is MKNA shoe expo that should be insulted. hahaha! Seriously though I like it that concept shops are popping up like mushrooms. It does not matter if they are cheap or expensive. rip off or not. As long as creativity is pouring, it’s all good. Pub street flashed through my mind but The Collective seemed to lack hearty restos so they should work on that. I loved atmosphere with the exception of the poor ventilation. I think they are expecting people to dress fancy granted they’re in Makati but people will melt with the level of humidity. We were perspiring like mad and my getup wasn’t even full blown. They should certainly address that unless they have been planning to keep people inside the shops in which case the warehouse feel is pointless.

I didn’t check out most of the shops though many seemed cute or mysterious enough to get me interested. It’s just me and my easily intimidated self. Each shop deserves a visit or two. Perhaps it would be a good idea to drop by around December or early next year so it would not be too hot. I’ll still try to go back for some noodles and for checking out the other shops.

this oddly looks familiar. or am I that outdated?

to be continued…

Corner Tree Cafe at Makati (Vegetarian)

Spinach Croquettes

That there is the only helping we had that is not exactly purely vegetarian. Can you believe it?

If you know Phil, you probably won’t. This appetizer, I think, would be good enough as a main dish. Loved the harissa as well. We ordered it because the brat couldn’t wait. We actually paired it with corn bread that we finished before I remembered to do that thing I do with my forefinger. That is probably what I’ll have with some potatoes/rice/pasta/bread if ever I’m brave enough to visit Makati again.

I was looking for a vegan joint because after Greens, I thought most would probably be as good if not better. I was eyeing Wabi Sabi at The Collective but I don’t really fancy noodles for a full meal. I think of that more as a snack than dinner. Just like any other web-based person, I scoured for vegan joints online and this was the closest to what I had in mind. I was shying away from these joints for the longest time because… well, before the goods were either pretending to be meat or so costly like going vegan is only for the elite. Well this joint isn’t exactly cheap but it won’t be too long before others would think of ways to make vegetarians food lovers again.

Corner Tree Cafe served wonderful meals. The service was exceptional (Did I mention I love their candleholder? -got a missing photo of that. darn! ). The place was so cozy and it seemed exactly like what it is named. I’ve yet to photograph it in the morning so that must mean I want to go back. It must be prettier but the night stole only little of its faerie dust. Of course I’m going back. So far it is the only vegetarian joint I’ve been to that has an impressive variety. The ones we ordered were different from each other so I know that many of the items won’t just be another version of the recipe or was I just lucky?

Vegan Kofta for Phil. I love it!

Tofu Asparagus Teriyaki for Evan. I love it!

African Vegetable Stew. It was okay.

We shared all three viands. I like it like that!

Ultimate Food Taste 5.0


I’ll just go back to finishing this post another time. (I don’t like me shots much)

5: Fancy Sweet Crackers

If I have a set for savory crackers, there should also be one dedicated for those who love sweets. I thought about both sets when I was planning for a little something where I needed light snacks that are cheap yet not so ordinary. This time instead of saltine crackers you can use Graham but yeah you can use it with any other bread except those that have very strong spice or taste.

5 – whipped cream + sliced strawberries/mango/banana + chocolate syrup – Layer the cracker with cream/layer with sliced fruit/drizzle with chocolate syrup (you can also use confectioner’s sugar/caramel syrup/maple syrup for variations)

4 – chocolate hazelnut spread + almonds – This does not need no explaining. Just spread and add toppings. If you want you can put a dash of cinnamon. This is a little bit expensive but you can use an alternative for the choco spread.

3 – Kaya spread + mango bits – The mango serves as a contrast to the sweetness of Kaya spread.

2 – banana + langka + leche flan – Layer slices of bananas and put in a bit of langka for flavoring. The sweetness can be from leche flan, thin caramelized sugar, muscovado and coconut shavings or sauces and syrups.

1 – marshmallow + chocolate bits + chopped nuts – Oh the wonderful word and world of s’mores. Of all the viands here, this is the only one that requires heating. First, heat the graham crackers and a piece of marshmallow so that other toppings would have something to hold them. put in more marshmallows, add chocolate bits and variety of nuts. You can also put in another piece of graham so that it looks more like a sandwich. After that, grill s’more because you won’t be able to resist it. You can also use chocolate syrup in place of chocolate bits. And you can further dress it up with nougat, caramel sauce, cinnamon and more!

There, not as simple as I have hoped but surely you can modify and make it something more suitable for your taste. Serve it with coffee, tea or milk and enjoy with family, friends or alone with a book.

5: Quick Savory Crackers

If you ever bought saltine crackers like Sky Flakes and found it a little bit too plain, then you probably have tried making spreads and toppings to make it better. Although there are many readily made spreads available in sachets, you know that everything that is good is freshly made. Besides, preparing it yourself will actually make it more appetizing. You can choose what you put in and you’ll never have to live with something that is too sour or whatever. If you plan to entertain, these would also be good as appetizers. Choose something that is kid friendly and you can do it with the help of a little one. It would be a good introduction to the kitchen or just something to do for a kid who is bored. Of course there are many others but these are my best bets.

5-tomato sauce + chopped garlic + onion (as in like pizza) – chop onion and garlic/stir in tomato sauce/add seasoning (salt+pepper+oregano+cayenne)

4-cream cheese + basil leaf + tomato (as in like Forces of Gayuma) – spread cream cheese/put a thin slice of tomato/top with basil leaf
3- mayo + apple + onion (as in like  waldorf salad) – chop apple and onion/stir in mayo/add seasoning (salt+black or white pepper+mustard)
2-mayo + cheese + wasabi (like Japan!) – chop ordinary cheese/stir in mayo with wasabi/add seasoning
1-cheese + jalapeno + apple slice (Mexican with a twist) – thinly sliced good cheese, apple & jalapeno on top of each other/drizzle olive oil/black pepper or cayenne

Vegetarian cream can be used as a substitute for mayo. Pair with juice, beer, wine or light cocktails. cheers!

5: Things you can mix with your coffee

Black coffee speaks for itself don’t you think? But shall we see how much we have yet to taste…

5- sugar
Think again if you think sugar won’t change anything. Play around with white, brown, unprocessed, muscovado, maple syrup, caramel and other syrupy sweets

4-type of milk
Do it with soya, non-dairy creamer, full cream milk, condensed milk, carabao’s milk or half and half and any other creamy goodness that you fancy)

3-flavored syrup
The great thing about coffee going mainstream is that there are now many bottles of flavored syrups. You can find those at coffee shops, gourmet markets and even supermarkets. There are smaller variations for those who have a limited budget. For those who really want to try something that does not come in cheaper helpings, they can ask their coffee loving friends to split it just so they can try it.

2-powder and spice
Choose from chocolate, mocha, white mocha and a big etc. Try salt, butter, cinnamon, cayenne, it can even be labuyo if that’s your thing. The key is a little kick and not throwing off the coffee flavor. Just a little bit and you will be good to go.

The truth is that there are no rules here. Try something classic, something minty, something exotic and something really bizaare!

Mix and match any. Try it with different kinds of coffee. Try it hot or cold. Put that cute and expensive cup or mug you bought into use.
You just might discover something that you can turn into a tradition. (I love it when I am raving. it’s like a long eureka!)

Sariaya Weekend

The trip had been a bit disappointing because I was expecting that my cousins will be there. We ended up fussing over Sikhay the entire time.

that’s Len and Sikhay in a pool, aren’t they beautiful?

3-peso capiz shells freshly grilled, tasted oh so wonderful by itself

so I thought if only we had some salt, vinegar, ginger and chilis, it would have been gastronomical!

ruins in a nearby abandoned lot

5-peso pancit habhab, starting early

phil and a burst of color

my favorite maja

another shot of the abandoned lot


It’s official. I now have 10 posts not counting the introductions. Well, I’m happy. I think it calls for a celebration. haha! It’s not like I am going to rave every after 10 entries I post here. I’m just glad that it looks like I won’t be abandoning the space any  time soon.

I do not only try food  joints. I also try my hand in whipping up this and that. I am particularly proud this year because I was finally able to try out some Filipino/Spanish dishes. I happen to think that those are the real deal. Before I experimented with a number of side dishes, grilling, pastas, soups and salads. I thought some of them were really good but I think they’re much too simple to be considered as a specialty. With the help of Tita Maxine, I got to do some hardcore homecooking! Kaldereta was the first. It is still far from Phil’s mom’s version but it is pretty close. I also added some bits so that I can call it my own.

Kaldereta: beef, potatoes, carrots, pickles, cloves, garlic, chilis, tomato sauce, liverspread, olives (optional)

This was followed by Binagoongang Baboy that basically comprised of pork, bagoong and vinegar. I also tried preparing Adobong Hilaw which is just chicken, pork, vinegar and salt. Next was the classic Bistek Tagalog with beef sirloin, soy sauce and lots of onions. I have been trying to prepare the perfect Tapa all these time and have been unsuccessful. Tita Maxine showed me once and I think it’s probably just about 3 more attempts before I can confidently say that I got it. I also learned the plain old arroz caldo, a simple cilantro salsa and eggplant and banana salad. If all else works as planned, I’m gonna learn to cook Bistek Aleman, Callos and the dreaded workout that is Morcon. Honestly, I cannot wait!

I will probably put the ingredients here one bit at a time. I plan to write it on a good looking piece of paper, take a shot of it before posting it here. Oh am I excited?!!!