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11 October 2016

Ampalaya Con Carne

This is how I like my ampalaya (bitter gourd) cooked. It takes out some of the bitterness and makes it taste good.

In a pot, saute 3 cloves of minced garlic with some finely chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Once the onions have caramelized, add the pork and cook until brown. Add about half a cup of water, soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil until the meat is tender. 

Once the pork is cooked, add the carrots and bitter gourd until half cooked. Then add the sliced green bell peppers. 

Simmer for about 3 minutes, add some sugar to taste. Simmer for another minute. 

Serve with rice or eat as is. 

Brightest Blessings!



10 October 2016

Stir Fried Mixed Veggies

Something I whipped up today in my kitchen:

Just saute lean ground pork in 1 tablespoon oil, 3 cloves minced garlic and 2 small onions julienned. Add carrots, thinly sliced, broccoli, young corn, Baguio beans. When half cooked, add cabbages, green bell peppers and kinchay. Simmer for 1 minute or until vegetables are cooked to your desired texture. Serve with rice or eat as is. 

Brightest Blessings!



15 August 2016

Bellini's Italian Restaurant

We  celebrated hubby's birthday a day late since he had to go to work during his natal day. He said he wanted to try something new, this small hole-in-the-wall restaurant that we always pass by when ever we go out for errands. The name of the place: Bellini's, the location: along Shoe Avenue, Marikina City (right beside SaveMore Supermarket)

When we entered the restaurant, we found just two more tables which were occupied. One was a family, the other, just one person trying to eat in peace. 

We chose the chair next to the pianist in order to enjoy the music that he was playing a little bit more. Well, it was kinda romantic as well. And since it was his birthday celebration, why not go all out, right?

As we sat down, a member of the wait staff immediately served us with some complimentary bread sticks and he also filled our glass with water. Great start!

The menu came and while we were deciding what to eat, the wait staff left us alone and waited for our call. After we decided, we called him back and placed our orders. While I was decided on the pasta that I wanted, hubby was still trying to decide what to eat. The staff gave us polite suggestions without being too pushy. We placed our orders and we were left alone to enjoy our bread sticks. 

Waiting for the food, we got surprised when the wait staff came back with a saucer with something on it. We were informed that it was a complimentary appetizer, then were told also that we have to wait 10 minutes for our food to be served.

The complimentary appetizer was made up of a few slices of eggplant with some vinaigrette (sorry no photo) with a small serving of a potato based dish. Both of which tasted mighty fine. 

I'd say less than 5 minutes after we placed our order, our appetizer arrived. The Bruschetto.

What we liked about it was that the bread was soft, but not gummy nor chewy. The tomatoes were just right, not too ripe nor were they too raw that it would have tasted so sour.  

His dish: The Arab Pasta

It had some chili in it which gave it a mild spicy tang that would tickle your taste buds. And oh, yes! Those are chunky tomatoes in the sauce. Yummy!

Mine was a classic: Carbonara

Creamed to perfection without being too heavy on the stomach! Although, personally, I did have to add a bit of salt to it in order to enjoy it a bit more.

Now, what's pasta without pizza? We got the Bellini's Special

Thin crust pizza with sausages, meat, slices of cucumber, eggplants, onions, black olives, and bell peppers! Perfect with the pasta! Although, hubby had to be a little careful since he and eggplants don't mix.

To finish our evening, we of course did not pass up on dessert.

He had: The panna cotta

Rich and creamy custard with a hint of espresso! Heavenly!

And mine was a slice of Tiramisu

A not so sweet concoction that had a hint of rum, if I'm not mistaken. 

And to cap our evening, the staff gave us two complimentary jiggers of house wine made by Mr. Bellini himself. The wine had a fruity taste to it. Something that would definitely go well with most if not all their dishes. 

Overall, it was a wonderful evening. The wait staff were courteous and polite. The service was fast and efficient and the food was superbly done! 

Would we go back? Probably when there's an occasion to celebrate. 

By the way, if Marikina City is too far for you, you may want to visit their Cubao Branch at the Shoe Expo. Enjoy!

Brightest Blessings!