Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Erica of Erica's Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker's June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

Hmmm so what exactly is baklava? According to Erica: This month we will be making Baklava, a sweet rich pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and nuts sweetened with simple syrup. Baklava is widely knows as a Greek dessert, but it’s origin has really never been pinpointed as many Middle Eastern countries also name it as their own.

I love baklava, whenever I see it in the weekend market from the Turkish couple who make the best here in the Philippines I always make sure to buy, and keep it well hidden behind other food so I can prolong the enjoyment of eating it as much as I can. When I read this challenge, I thought about making some other things too aside from baklava but then my phyllo dough wasn't enoughh for what I wanted and I didn't have the time to make another batch of phyllo. So I just made one batch of baklava but used the trimmings to make another shape.

I wasn't able to roll out my phyllo dough as thinly as the other Daring Bakers especially Renata but I noticed that after baking it still came out crispy even until the next day.

I was quite excited to taste my homemade phyllo dough and baklava but I had to wait overnight to let it cool and allow the syrup to be absorbed. When I got up the next day, I ate a small slice after taking pictures and I have to say, it's not as good as my favorite Turkish baklava but I have been inspired to continue making and experimenting until I get it right.

Thank you Erica for the recipe of the phyllo dough. For other Daring Bakers' versions of their own baklava, please click here .

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kulinarya Cooking Club June 2011 Theme--White Food

For this "marry" month of June, our hosts Adora and Diona chose white food as our theme. Any food that is white or off-white, or white food such as rice or noodles with toppings or food with white edible wrapper will do. I have been thinking of making ginataan (cooked in coconut milk) but I've done that here on my blog, ditto for rice or noodles with toppings and same goes for white edible wrapped food (lumpia etc.) So I decided to choose an iconic Filipino dish but done in a manner that would make it white.

Adobo is usually cooked with vinegar and soy sauce which gives it the usual brown color. I came across adobo that is white or Adobong Puti when I was living in Singapore and one of my flatmates cooked white Lamb Adobo which was heavenly! And so I decided Adobong Puti would be my dish for this month's White Food theme.


Pork (adobo cut) 1/4 kilo

Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 5 pieces

Bay leaves, dried 2 pieces

Cane Vinegar 1/3 cup

Pinakurat Vinegar 1 tablespoon

Water enough to cover the meat

Ground Pepper


Patis (Fish Sauce)

Put all ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat until meat is tender. Do not stir until boiling or the vinegar will taste raw. Water may be added if it boils down too quickly and the meat is not yet tender, I did this about 2 times. I cooked my meat for 1 hour. And seasoned it with salt and patis according to taste.

I cooked the liquid to almost dry because I want my adobo to be on the oily side. Cooking the liquid down will render some of the fat from the meat to come out and give the adobo a nice golden color.

Thank you to Adora and Diona for hosting this month's Kulinarya theme. I enjoyed exploring this other side of adobo. It really tasted delicious and not at all vinegary as I was thinking it might be.

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

If you are interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our food blogs and leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Daring Cooks June 2011 Challenge-Healthy Potato Salads from Around the World

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!
For this month's challenge, I chose to make a cold potato salad with a yogurt based dressing. I wanted a lot of textures in my salad so to balance the softness of the boiled baby potatoes, so I mixed in jicama to provide crunch.

Jicama 1 piece
Baby potatoes 5 pieces
Red bellpepper 1 small
Spring Onions
Dried Cranberries

Greek Yogurt 2 tablespoons
Turmeric 1/2 teaspoon
Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Wash and boil baby potatoes (do not peel) until fork tender. Take out of water and cool. Peel jicama and dice. Dice red bellpeppers, cut spring onions (green part only). When potatoes are cold enough, cut into halves.
Mix all dressing ingredients together. A little water can be added to thin out the dressing. Pour over potatoes, jicama, red bellpeppers, spring onions and cranberries. Mix well until vegetables are coated, chill.
Serve cold.

I don't know if sweet potatoes can be added to this category but I have a current obsession, salad with raw sweet potatoes and beets! It's just a mixture of mixed greens, carrots peeled and ribboned, cubed fuji apples, raw sweet potatoes and raw beets sliced thinly with a mandoline. Some alfalfa sprouts and dried cranberries and drizzled with a simple vinaigrette. Delicious!

Thank you Jami for hosting this month's Daring Cooks' challenge! For other Daring Cooks' potato salad recipes, click here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Marcia Adams Tuscany in Tagaytay

I don't usually write about restaurants here on my blog except for places which have really impressed me. Last April, my friends and I drove all the way to Tagaytay (about 2 hours from Manila) to celebrate a birthday.We were off to a whimsical place called Marcia Adams Tuscany which I read about from another blog and I wanted to see for myself. It was just called Marcia Adams' Restaurant but people have been calling it Tuscany because it reminded them of that part of Italy. The restaurant was all the way to Alfonso, Cavite way past the usual Tagaytay row of restaurants. And as we drove through the meandering roads looking for the restaurant I was thinking if it was really worth it...I wasn't disappointed!

When I was growing up I spent most of my summer afternoons reading books instead of playing outside with my friends and one of my favorite novels was The Secret Garden, and as soon as I stepped into Marcia Adams restaurant, I felt like I was in my own secret garden. It was beautiful and I was tempted to explore the garden before we had even settled on our reserved table.

The menu at Marcia Adams changes periodically and she cooks according to what is freshly available at from the market. The Main Course price includes an appetizer, a dessert and a non-alcoholic drink. And this my friends, is a very good bargain. The main courses range from PhP 700-1650.

We wanted to order the Amalfi Prawns for our starter but we were told by Neil, Marcia's husband that they were not able to get fresh shrimps so that was not available. He asked if we wanted the soup of the day instead. But we opted for the Agean Salad which could be a starter (+PhP75). And let me say that this is one delicious and filling starter! There was a grilled pear sitting on a bed of mixed greens with roasted Pistachios, grilled Italian Ricotta cheese and Cottage cheese drizzled with a herby, tangy dressing. Really delicious and healthy!

The birthday girl chose Moroccan Chicken Tagine (PhP 755)for her Main course, which is tender chicken with lemon, olive and saffron with a tangy taste, all of us chose couscous instead of rice.

I don't usually like fish kabobs but their Fish Souvlaki (PhP 700) which is Tanguige marinated in Olive oil, Lemon and herbs was delicious! No fishy taste at all and the fish was cooked perfectly, fork tender and juicy.
I ordered their Grilled Aromatic Pork (PhP 700) which I had read in other reviews of this restaurant was really good and yes I would have to agree! According to the menu description this pork liempo was massaged with aromatic spices and herbs, moist, tender and very tasty. Yummm. I was lost in my food for a while.

There were four choices for dessert: Grilled Oranges with Vanilla Ice Cream, Panna Cotta with Lemon Sauce, Fried Bananas with Dark Chocolate Dip and Banana Split with Chocolate Ice Cream.

We were able to speak to the owners after lunch and Marcia talked about how they built this place slowly taking their time to do what they really wanted, making sure that every piece of furniture, every part of the building was really how they wanted it to be. Marcia was gracious enough to show us around the garden, letting us smell the herbs she planted all over. We left this place at almost 3 in the afternoon and felt like leaving old friends as Marcia and Neil waved to us from the entrance of their beautiful garden. We settled in the car for the drive back with full stomachs and eyes that have been refreshed by the beauty of the secret garden.

Facebook: Marcia Adams' Restaurant

Telephone: 0917-8011456