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07 December 2016

Cheesy Marble Potatoes

What you need:

2 small bags of marble potatoes (boiled)
2 small cans of tuna (spicy and regular or both spicy/regular depending on your taste)
5 small tomatoes diced
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/2 cup grated cheese

What to do:

1. After boiling the potatoes, drain it and set aside.
2. In the pot, put the oil of the tuna, simmer then add the potatoes, onions and tomatoes. Simmer for another minute or two (depending on how soft you want your potatoes)
3. Add the tuna.
4. Sprinkle basil leaves.
5. Put in the grated cheese and cook until it's melted.
Perfect for snacks or a light lunch. :)

Brightest Blessings!



28 October 2016

Spicy Menudo

In line with keeping our meals healthier, I decided to try and put a new spin on the old menudo recipe.

Normally, we saute the pork and fry the carrots and potatoes separately. This time, what I did was:

In a pot, I put the meat together with minced garlic and onions along with 1 liter of water. I brought it to a boil, waiting until the meat was really tender.

After, I put in the potatoes and carrots; cooked it until the vegetables were half done. 

Got one cup of water and dissolved a small can of liver spread. Then added it to the pot. Added the tomato sauce. 

I let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Added the peas and the bell peppers. And a dash of dried chili peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simmered for another minute. 

Serve with bread or rice. 

It still tasted like the menudo that I'm used to.

If you're asking why it doesn't have any fresh liver. Well, my mom taught me to only add ingredients to a dish that you would eat. Since hubby and I both don't eat internal organs, I decided to forego the liver and used a substitute instead. 

I hope that you try it and enjoy eating it.

Brightest Blessings!


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!


Update: 07 July 2017: Sorry for the missing photos. My images used to be hosted on Photobucket and Now I can't download them to transfer them to another site so I can show them again here.


05 August 2016

Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes

It seems like hubby and I can't get enough of the food from this homey restaurant.

We have enjoyed their food so much that we keep on coming back. 

Here are three of our new discoveries from this yummy, yet affordable establishment.

1. For Me: The Baked Creamy Cheesy Penne

The serving was big enough to share. Good thing, I didn't eat anything that day before going there. It was creamy, but not to the point of being sticky nor did it make the pasta soggy. It was still al dente and definitely a delight to the palate.

2. For Him: The Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich from their Sandwicheesy Line

Other than dripping a little, the taste was divine! Again, the serving was big enough to be shared. Yes, that's still half of his sandwich. Although, I may have to remind some that the Sandwicheesy line is only available at selected shops. The one that we went to is located in Gateway Araneta Cubao, Quezon City.

3. And what's a trip to Banapple without having a slice of their heavenly desserts? Here's their Snickers Cheesecake!

Brightest Blessings!



10 June 2016

Zark's Burger

Yeah, I know that I said we're trying to eat healthier. But, we have our cravings. Last Saturday, June 4th, we decided to give in to the temptation and enjoy a burger. Zark's was our choice since we told ourselves that we'd avoid the more popular joints.

Here are the things that we enjoyed that day:


 Their nachos are ordinary. Nothing really spectacular, but the serving was huge. What we liked: the portion was really good for sharing. What we didn't like: Too much on the drizzle which left the other chips a little soggy because they've absorbed the liquid from the dressing. The salsa, it was good, though a little heat would have been appreciated.

Next item on the menu: For him: The Zark's Ultimate Burger:

A 1/4th of a pound burger that lived up to its name. The patty was thick, but well done (is it just me or are we Filipinos more of a well-done burger eaters than medium-well or medium done?) Anyway, it was still juicy and you can still smell the freshness of the meat. The bacon though could have benefited from a little more time on the skillet as it wasn't crunchy.

And for me: The Zark's Submission Burger

The honey lemon sauce was good. It had the right amount of that tang without overpowering the entire burger. As for the garlic sauce, it seemed lacking a bit of that pungent garlic taste. Then again, if there was too much of it, I may not have been able to enjoy the burger that much. The heat on the burger leaves a little to be desired. If you say Submission burger, I was expecting a little more spiciness to it. But, there was a slice or two of finger peppers or jalapeno. 

The cons of both burgers - the bun wasn't toasted well enough. I think they only toasted one side of the bread and the rest was a little too soft. There were no sesame seeds on the bread. Really, it was plain. Nothing spectacular.

The other issue that we encountered, the veggies were almost an afterthought, a single lettuce leaf, a real thin slice of tomato were negligible. 

The pros - the size and the price, well, let's just say that you'll have a difficult time getting up after you finish your meal.

The fries, the burgers don't come with it. You need to pay a little extra to get those yummy potatoes that we so love with our burgers. They were not salty. There are salt shakers on the tables so that you can put as much, as little to none depending on your taste. We didn't put any on ours and yet, they were good.

If you're going to consider going to Zark's, I would just like to say that don't expect anything spectacular. At least from these two burgers. Who knows, they may have better tasting ones in their menu. Would I go back there? Yes! I would like to try their other offers and see if there could be a difference. 

Brightest Blessings!



08 March 2016

Garlic Pepper Porkchop on Corn Rice

In my most recent post, I said that there would be changes in this blog. I used to post yummy, but often quite unhealthy recipes. So, here I am now, trying to post better food that helped me and the hubby lose weight, as well as control his health problems. 

During the first month after his diagnosis, we decided to cut back on rice or switch to a healthier alternative to white rice. We tried the brown variety but did not like it much due to its blandness. We then switched to corn rice, we liked it and here's one of the better recipes that we developed with it.

 What you'll need:

1K porkchops
1 head of garlic
*1 teaspoon of dried crush chili
*1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
*1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
*1 teaspoon of dried basil leaves or oregano leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil (pomace)
oyster sauce to taste

cooked corn rice according to package instructions

What you need to do:

Rub the pork chop with all the herbs and spices (you can choose to lessen the amount of the peppers in order to lessen the heat or add more if you want it spicier). Add the oyster sauce to taste, olive oil and garlic. Marinade for about half an hour to an hour in room temperature before cooking on a grill basting it with the marinade you prepared. We love ours well done, so the amount of time on the grill depends on your preference.

Remove the skin and fat, chop it to bite sized or manageable pieces, top it on the corn rice and enjoy.

Brightest Blessings!



03 March 2016

A New Journey in the Kitchen

 It's been a long while since I posted something on this blog. I missed my Kitchen and I missed sharing my food adventures to all those who take time to read this blog of mine. 

Anyway, at the start of 2016, I promised myself that I will share a new adventure in the kitchen, not just recipes, food photography tips, resto reviews and the like. This year, I want to share with everyone a journey that made a huge difference not just in my life, but in my hubby's as well.

Last year around June, he was diagnosed with hypertension, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol and fatty liver. Whew! Quite a lot and was a cause of concern not just for him, but me as well. When we learned about it, we vowed to change our lifestyle and eating habits. In this kitchen, I will share with you the things that we did in order to help manage and even fight off this diagnosis.

I hope that you guys will stay with me and I hope that what you will read will eventually inspire you to do the same things that we did.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional nor am I a nutritionist. Whatever I will share in the future is mostly based on the diet that we followed and the results that we've seen over the course of the diet. If you think or know that you have the same condition, please consult your doctor and ask for guidance from a nutritionist.

Brightest Blessings!