Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chef WannaBe Recipe #2-Dane's Sinful Graham Cake

One of the easiest yet best desserts famous to every party is the Graham Cake. Now let me share with you a recipe that we've long been using and is a sure hit. You may be thinking why is it sinful? Simply because it's ingredients are high in calories...but as we say, sinful things are really enticing right? So give yourself a break and try this!

RECIPE NAME: Dane's Sinful Graham Cake
UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC/FLAVOR: A kick of coffee in the crust, and creamy fine goodness of the cream&milk layer.

2 packs chilled Nestle Cream (250 ml per pack)(Put in refrigerator for at least 2 hours)
1/2 can Condensed milk
1 big pack Graham crackers
1 tbsp black coffee
Kitkat and Crunch for toppings (or mango and peaches for healthier alternative)

rectangle tupperware
spoons (for mixing)
mixing bowl
egg beater

(1) Mix the chilled cream and condensed milk in a bowl. Use egg beater to add volume or a hand mixer with low setting. Set aside in the refrigerator.
(2) On the other hand, place the Graham crackers in the tupperware -ensuring that it covers the whole base. 
(3) Mix the black coffee with hot water-just enough to make it slightly bitter in taste. 
(4) Pour the coffee mixture in the graham crackers-not too much-just the right amount for damping the crackers and soften them. if you want stronger coffee taste, then add more coffee mixture.
(5) Get the cream mixture from refrigerator, and pour it onto the first graham layer.
(6) Alternately place graham and cream layers up to 3 or 4 iterations to for a thicker, flavorful taste.
(7) On the top layer, put some chopped Kitkat and Crunch chocolates.
(8) Put in the freezer, if you want the graham crackers to soften and form a blended melt in your mouth goodness cake, place it for a minimum of 4 hours.

**HEALTHY TIP:  If you want a healthier, fruity alternative, use mangoes and peaches as toppings. You can also place fruits in the middle layers for more fruity flavor. Yummy!

And now, here's the final product---

Chef WannaBe Recipe #2 - Dane's Sinful Graham Cake

This is just a slice of it. You can be creative in creating your own Dane's Sinful Graham Cake. Just think outside the box....

And here's another one, for a mini version...

Go and try to create your own! Feel free to comment and give your feedback on how to improve this recipe.

Captain Food

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chef WannaBe Recipe #1 - OREO TRUFFLES

So do you wanna be a Chef? Me too! Join me in my adventures to be the ultimate chef in our dreams! Here's a series of easy-to-do recipes you can follow and do at home.

For my first post, let me share with you a quick dessert recipe that will be loved by everyone!-- Oreo Truffles. For the ingredients, you need the following:

RECIPE NAME: Oreo Truffles
PREPARATION TIME: 15-30 minutes

2 packs Oreo
1 pack cream cheese 
1 pack white chocolate (for coating)

Forks (for mixing)
Double Broiler (or you can just use a pan of hot water, and pyrex for the 2nd container)

(1) Crush the oreo cookies until smooth and fine. Do not remove the cream because it adds taste to your truffles.
Finely crushed Oreos
(2) Mix the cream cheese with crushed oreos until they are blended and smooth

Mix the cream cheese and Oreos together
(3) Form the mixture into balls using your hands
(4) Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 15 minutes
(5) For the mean time, melt the white chocolate chips
Fresh white chocolate chips
Make sure not to put the white chocolate chips in direct heat. Use only boiling water in the bottom pan to melt it. 

Melted white chocolate
(6) Take the chocolate cream balls in the ref, and dip it one by one in the melted chocolate mixture. The chocolate will stick into the frozen balls because of temperature difference.
(7) Put some crushed oreos or any other toppings you want in the truffles
(8) Place in refrigerator for chilling/ freezing for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Oreo Truffles placed in ref *Excited*

(9) Indulge!
Finished Product- Oreo Truffles-*Drool*
Super easy recipe right? Try to make it at home! 


These Oreo Truffles are easy to make and are really delicious! It's not super sweet, so you can definitely enjoy several pieces after a heavy meal. For an added creaminess, you can add more cream cheese.

How about you? Did you try it? What's your rating?

Captain Food

Kulinarya Kitchen Part 3 - Desserts - Rockwell's Finest

After reading the first two parts of this series,
(Kulinarya Kitchen Part 1 - Starters) click here >>> PART1
(Kulinarya Kitchen Part 2- Main Course) click here>>>PART2

Here we are on the third installment post, about Kulinarya's desserts. For sure, I indeed saved the BEST for last... thanks again to Eat's a Date event of Openrice and Kulinarya Kitchen's Management

First in the trilogy combination is the Suman Latik Fritters and Mango Flambe, 180 pesos - 

Suman Latik Fritters with Mango Flambe
The suman in this dish is composed of crispy coated rice cake  with coco jam. The coating taste like creamy caramel so you will love it. Also, the vanilla ice cream topping adds a creamy and cold touch. Never forget the spooned mangoes on the side for the Filipino feeling and also adds a vibrant yellow sunny feeling.

 Even though it's raining hard outside today, I can still feel the craving inside me for this dessert! Oh! I nearly forgot to complement the very nice and adorable caramel design topping! Super thumbs up!

Rating for Suman Latik Fritters: 5/5

Next is the Choco Lava Cake, 160 pesos

Choco Lava Cake, 160 pesos
The Choco Lava Cake is a local version of Greek's Skolatina. It is a moist chocolate cake with oozing fudge inside with a Vanilla ice cream on the side. Kulinarya's rendition is indeed perfect. If you are a chocolate-lover, you will fall in love with this dessert not once, but twice, and even thrice.

It is slightly bittersweet, and super moist (love love love!). For an unparalleled bite of goodness, make sure to combine cake, ice cream, and strawberry topping on your spoon... Here's a close up shot of what's inside..

Choco Lava Cake....deadly moist chocolatey goodness
Come to think of it, 160 pesos is super worth it considering that this dessert has a very high quality in terms of taste and presentation.

Rating for Choco Lava Cake: 5/5

The last and definitely the finest of them all... is the Buco Pandan Panacotta, 135 pesos

Buco Pandan Panacotta. The true serving is about 3-4 times as many as this one in the picture.
Simple yet heavenly right? The Green and White colors create a serene balance in the picture (side comment from a frustrated photographer inside me).

This is our favorite dessert in Kulinarya. Upon taking my first spoonful of buco pandan, it all melted in my mouth. There's a sudden burst of creamy panacotta + local buko and pandan flavors and the rest was history. Never ever ever forget to order this when you dine at Kulinarya. If you don't like it, I owe you an order :)

Rating for Buco Pandan Panacotta: 5/5 (can we have 10/5 ?hahaha. )

So, that's our Kulinarya Kitchen food experience. Overall, we are very thankful that we didn't miss this experience. Thank you very much to the owners Mr. and Mrs. Mesina. Because of too much joy over their food, I instantly became a fan! Here's a souvenir photo...

Yours truly with Mr. and Mrs. Mesina
Kudos to your great food ( can't say more. when I hear Kulinarya, I instantly have cravings!), very good service (the staff is attentive, and polite), and place (ambiance is clean, classy, and comfy).

And of course, thank you very much to Openrice for this wonderful experience...definitely...more Eat's a Date events to come right? Here's a groupshot-

That's it. Have  a good day! Are you hungry- well drop Kulinarya Kitchen a visit!

G/F Power Plant Mall, Estrella St. cor Rockwell Dr.Poblacion, Makati(02) 898-1738

Captain Food

Kulinarya Kitchen Part 2 - Main Course - Rockwell's Finest

So as you can see from my other posts, 
(Kulinarya Kitchen Part1- Starters-Rockwell's Finest) click here >>> PART 1
(Kulinarya Kitchen Part3- Desserts-Rockwell's Finest) click here >>> PART 3

We are able to try so many many many dishes in Kulinarya (thanks to Openrice and of course, Kulinarya management). So here is the continuation...

We were served with this big and mouthwatering U.S Top Blade Steak (995 pesos). The moment it was placed in our table, we had a chorus of "W-O-W", not just because of the very good presentation, but also due to the big serving, and appetizing aroma.

U.S Top Blade Steak, one of the famous main courses in Kulinarya
One tip that I can give when eating this is never forget to drizzle red wine sauce all over your meat and get a portion of the mashed potato paired with it. if you want you can also get some corn for a sweet kick.

Oh! the juicy and flavorful looking steak is indeed mouthwatering...
 This dish is affordable considering its quality and quantity, and is already enough as a main course for 3-4 people. The steak though is not that tender contrary to what I expected. Its probably due to the fact that it is medium well. Nonetheless, it's still steak, and its yummy, so no problem right?

Mashed Potato. 5 stars for this side dish alone! Perfect for Potato lovers!
Here is the shot of the mashed potato that comes with the steak. Honestly, this is the best mashed potato I've tasted, and believe it or not...I was able to consume 1/3 of this even though I'm on a "diet" (haha). It is not super mashed, since it has potato bits, so in terms if texture it is indeed gratifying. Also, it is smothered too much with butter, yet flavorful. Best served when topped with the red wine sauce.

Rating for U.S Top Blade Steak: 4.6/5

Next in line is Kulinarya's pride-- Beef Salpicao, 350 pesos

Beef Salpicao-Kulinarya's specialty
So, Is Kulinarya believable in claiming this as one of their specialties? Definitely... YES! Compared with the usual Salpicao (dried, and full of garlic), this one is saucy, and is also full of garlic. (Tip: Never forget to put sauce onto your meat since it is the sauce that contains most of the flavors).  I can't add more because it is good. I can imagine that this goes perfect with freshly steamed rice...

Rating for Salpicao: 4.5/5

Of course, my favorite main course, Grilled Asian Salmon (~300-400 pesos)

Grilled Asian Salmon- one great catch!
This dish is perfect for health conscious or fish lovers. The Salmon is perfectly cooked- tender, juicy, and slightly roasted. What makes it double perfect is the sauce (oyster with hint of butter). You can definitely eat this full dish alone! When I come back with my friends and family, I'll definitely order this. Lovely Lovely fish dish.

Rating for Grilled Asian Salmon: 5/5

Our last main course is the Gamberi Pasta, Solo 250 / Sharing 460 pesos-

Gamberi Pasta- seafoods anyone?
This pasta is nearly similar with other Marinara type pasta out there. I just liked that the pasta is Al Dente, and the sauce is tasty, healthy, and loaded with seafoods!

Rating for Gamberi Pasta: 4.2/5

There goes our main dishes adventure in Kulinarya. Are you tired of reading?  You must not! for the next part is the DESSERTS! Yes, desserts! delicious desserts- so continue reading about it here >>> Kulinarya Kitchen Part 3- Desserts-Rockwell's Finest.

Kulinarya Kitchen Part 1- Starters - Rockwell's finest

Last June 30, 2012, we got a chance to have a dinner at Kulinarya Kitchen @ Rockwell, thanks a lot to Eat's a Date event of Openrice (click HERE)   and Kulinarya.  Overall, the whole experience is very fun and worth the time -all because of their great food, service, and place.

Kulinarya Kitchen @ Rockwell
Before, I thought that Kulinarya is a restaurant featuring Filipino food because the name itself sounds like Filipino-Spanish. But after a quick overview from the owner, I was able to know that it combines Asian and European flavors, plus giving it a unique twist. And now, let's go to the food. Be prepared..for these pictures are surely hungry-fying! 

First on the table is the Seafood Salad Maki, 215 pesos
Seafood Salad Maki, 215 pesos. A perfect appetizer

The Seafood Salad Maki is a new addition in their menu. It is basically shrimp and crabstick salad maki deep fried plus all the other  usual maki ingredients. So what makes this Maki different from the others? Let me give you 3 good reasons: 

(a)You don't need to dip it in Maki and Wasabi sauce. Why? It's mixed inside the salad creating a burst of flavor on your first bite.
(b) First ever deep fried Maki that I've tried- and it's perfect. The crunchy outside texture complements the soft salad inside.
(c) The taste is simple amazing. it's delicious. yummy. addicting. just like my own personal brand of heroine (like what bold shirts say haha). If you are curious, just try it. I'm marking it as the BEST MAKI EVER :)

Here's a close-up picture
Seafood Salad Maki- i want you! now! :)Rati
Rating for Seafood Salad Maki: 5/5

Next, is the White Cheese Pizza, 295 pesos-

White Cheese Pizza, topped with my local favorite Kesong Puti
This pizza is a combination of mozzarella, parmesan, and cream cheese topped with local kesong puti. If you are a certified cheese lover (like me), you can surely eat up a whole of this. It's thin crust by the way, so it's light yet super delicious.

Rating for White Cheese Pizza: 5/5

The ever-famous Buffalo Wings, (with a Pinoy twist)-

Buffalo Wings in focus. It is flavorful and not oily 
Their Buffalo Wings is not too spicy, and has a slightly sweet flavor-so it is surely a hit for Filipinos. Also the skin still remains crunchy even with the sauce on it. It may not be the best out there, but it's still ok. Thumbs Up!

Rating for Buffalo Chicken: 4.5/5

Next in line, Fresh Mushroom Soup, 165 pesos
Fresh Mushroom Soup with Bread on the side
This is the first Mushroom soup that I've tried- honestly, it is quite like Gravy, but has a cleaner and simpler flavor so it doesn't really feel like eating sauce. It goes perfect with the freshly baked bread ( I love their bread! soft and tasty! ) on the side. Dip and dunk in your mouth.

Rating for Fresh Mushroom Soup: 4/5

Here are the healthy dishes...Salads! First is the Crab and Mango Salad, 220 pesos for Solo/415 sharing
Sweet and Delicious Salad- Crab and Salad Maki
The Crab and Salad Maki is like a bigger and bolder version of the Japanese Kani Salad. It has a sweet and comforting taste. Even non-veggie lovers will eat this because of the perfect blending of flavors.

Rating for Crab and Salad Maki: 4/5

Next is the Harvest Salad (Solo/250 Sharing/475 pesos),

Harvest Salad- see those pistachio nuts, grapes, and feta cheese? 
This is one of their specialties, and combines salad greens, grapes, feta cheese, apples, nuts drizzled with Italian and balsamic vinaigrette. Personally, I like this, since it is quite sour and classy in taste-just my type.  Light and tasty, so it is a perfect salad side for meat dishes, or if you are on veggie mode, then eat it alone, and it's still perfect.

Rating for Harvest Salad: 4.8/5

Wonder what's next? Of course, we now go to the main courses, meat dishes, and desserts! Continue to my next Kulinarya Posts...
 (Kulinarya Kitchen Part2- Main Course-Rockwell's Finest) click here >>> PART 2

 (Kulinarya Kitchen Part3- Desserts-Rockwell's Finest) click here >>> PART 3

Captain Food

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Empanada Nation- Vigan, Bagnet, etc.

As you all know..I'm a super lover of Vigan Empanada. When we visited Vigan-Pagudpud last Holy Week 2012, we ate empanada for breakfast...lunch...dinner...and oh, I almost forgot, even midnight snack.

Fortunately, while strolling around South Triangle Quezon City, we found Empanada Nation. The place is home-nature-themed combined so it really feels comfortable to dine especially with the cold breeze of August air.

We ordered, Special Vigan Empanada (egg, vigan longganisa, papaya, mongo), 55 pesos
Freshly Cooked Empanada! Pair it with Spicy Vinegar.... Boom!
This empanada is the best I've tried here in Manila! The crust is perfect- crunchy, comes with the right thickness (not too thin), has the Laoag empanada texture (looks powdery on the outside, and not oily), and is very tasty (not too salty, and has a kick of pepper.) For the filling- the authentic Vigan Longganisa empowers the overall mixture of egg, papaya and mongo sprouts.

if you are wondering about the insides, here it is...

Egg, Vigan Longganisa, Papaya, Mongo wrapped in special crust...Yummy! I want this now!
To share a trivia- the good thing about Empanada Nation's rendition is that it uses the original filling " grated papaya + mongo". Some versions just use  cabbage as an alternative but it doesn't give the full flavor. So if you are curious about the difference then try it! For 55 pesos, you surely get your money's worth.

Ratings: 10/10

Also, we ordered King's meal, for 145 pesos. According to the staff, this is their bestseller among all rice meals...

Eat like a king! , king's meal, 145 pesos

I wasn't able to try this, but according to Jon (well, i trust his food judgement :) , this meal is complete in the sense that it has Bagnet, Salted egg (itlog na maalat in Filipino), and Vigan Longganisa- a full cast of Vigan's specialties right! Also it comes with the special KBL sauce (Kamatis, Bagoong, and Lasuna-red onion). If you are hungry, then order this! A bonus point is that it has unlimited fried rice! Indeed... as quoted by him, " You can eat like a King. .. "

Ratings: 8.7 / 10

That's our Vigan Foodtrip experience in Quezon City... Will we come back in Empanada Nation? definitely YES!...again..and again...and again!

Captain Food