Sunday, November 29, 2009

Daring Bakers November 2009 Challenge--Cannoli

The November 2009 Daring Bakers's Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Mattichio Bastianich and the Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allan Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.
It's that time of the month again for the Daring Bakers' Challenge. We were given an option to make our cannolis stacked if we didn't have the Cannoli forms. I tried to make my own forms by wrapping barbcue sticks that were sawed-off in half with aluminum foil. They came out okay but when i filled them, I didn't like the finished product. It's a good thing I also made some shapes for the stacked cannoli. I filled them with whipped cream sweetened with muscovado sugar, sprinkled them with flaked almonds and drizzled with melted couverture chocolate.
My stacked cannolis which tasted really yummy

Thanks Lisa Michele for this wonderful challenge! I can't wait for the December Daring Bakers' Challenge :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Romulo Cafe

I have been working non-stop lately and it has taken its toll on me, I needed a breath of fresh air to clear the cobwebs. I wanted to have a short escape from the realities of my world, but I didn't have time to go on a real vacation. After checking some blogs, I learned about Romulo Cafe which had just opened. The pictures intrigued me and I wanted to see for myself it the place was as photogenic as it looked. And it was a pleasant surprise to learn that it was a stone's throw away from where I lived!

So...last Friday, I called them to reserve a table. And Saturday lunchtime, my cousin and I were parking on the side. The real thing did not disappoint. The place was really nice, it was a white structure (I think it used to be a big white house on that corner). We asked for our table and we were led to the main dining area which was in black and white. It was very nice. The placemats were also in black and white as well as the paper napkins. The food was Filipino comfort food, there was none of the usual Pinoy "fusion" cuisine and instead it was all very simple and straightforward. We ordered the Chicharon (pork skin crackling) for starters, it was served with Pinakurat vinegar-spicy vinegar made from fermented coconut. It was all wiped out within minutes. I could have sipped the vinegar on its own :) We also ordered the Monggo soup which had chicharon bits and malunggay leaves (Moringa) and ampalaya (Bitter Gourd) leaves but I detected a hint of something else--dare I say it's wansuy (coriander)?
For the main dishes, we ordered Bangus Belly in Banana Leaves (Milkfish), which was served with a special sisig sauce (I didn't like the sauce because I was expecting something else) I shuld have saved some of the Pinakurat vinegar for this.
I wanted to try their version of Beef Caldereta which was served with shavings of Quezo de Bola (Edam Cheese). I liked how the quezo de bola added its own taste to the spicy sauce. Of course we ate all this with plain pandan rice, steamed.
For dessert, we shared the Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream which was what the server recommended, washed down with hot cups of brewed coffee sweetened with muscovado sugar.
It was a very pleasant experience, and I would definitely go back soon maybe in the evening to see how it looks and try the other dishes. They also have private dining rooms which are color-themed, all of which are pretty.
And did I say that the prices are very affordable?

32 Scout Tuason Corner Scout Dr. Lazcano
Tomas Morato Quezon City

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 2009 Daring Cooks' Challenge--寿司

My Red Dragon, with tomato scales and green wasabi eyes
Spiral Rolls made with crab meat and mangoes, and the other one with hot dog, cucumber and mangoes

Nigiri made of Hot dog and Crab stick

The November 2009 Daring Cooks' Challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.
It's that time of the month again when all the Daring Cooks around the world gather (in cyberspace) and present their version of that month's challenge. This time, the challenge was sushi. I procrastinated until the last moment before I made this, and I'm sorry to say, I wasnt too happy with the end result: note to self--do not procrastinate! There was no avocado in the supermarket so I used tomatoes for the dragon's scales and made mine a Red Dragon :)
For the spiral rolls, I wasnt too imaginative and chose the safe and easy crabstick and paired it with mangoes on one version and mangoes with cucumber for the next one.
Same with the nigiri, I chose hot dog, and crabstick. I enjoyed making this but definitely next time, I'm going to start early!!