Thursday, September 29, 2011


Yes I know I'm late for the Daring Bakers challenge this month...but as they say--better late than never! I actually finished them about a week ago but I went on a backpacking trip and then I came home to a fierce storm which meant my internet connection wasn't so good...etc...etc...but enough of that.

The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

I've long admired Julia Child and more so after watching the movie Julie & Julia. So I was really excited when I read this month's DB challenge. I won't be shy and admit that it wasn't easy, first of all croissants take a LOT of time to make, as in 12 hours. And then there was the issue of butter which we had to incorporate and fold into the dough, hey this is the Philippines where the average humidity is in the 80's!

I wanted to put off doing it as long as I can but I had to tackle it before I left for my backpacking trip, so I made one recipe but it didn't produce the honeycomb effect that was one of the characteristics of a good croissant. Hmmm I wonder what I could've done wrong.

But I have to tell you Julia's recipe produced delicious tasting croissants! I couldn't resist eating one croissant slathered with organic berry jam...yum! It made my day!
I wasn't going to give up easily, so I made another batch the next day. It looked a little better when sliced crosswise but it's still wasn't very honeycomb-like. It still tasted consistently good though.

Thank you Sarah for this month's challenge! Please visit the other Daring Bakers for more of these delicious croissants.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nomama Artisanal Ramen

Like what I said before, I don't really post entries about restaurants unless I really liked the food there and the whole "experience". So this is one of those few-and-far-between entries...I first saw Nomama last Saturday September 10 and I thought it looked very nice from the outside so I made a mental note to check it out, I called them the next day which was Sunday but no one was picking up so we drove to the restaurant and found out they were closed *sigh*.

Fast forward, one week of my friends was celebrating her birthday, so we decided to have lunch here. The first thing I noticed when I went in was the interiors, I really liked it, clean and simple, concrete floors and ceilings with lots of natural wood bathed in natural light.

The server approached us and gave the menu card/board which was very nicely done. The restaurant was awash in natural light thanks to the glass walls, which made the place look more airy and spacious.
It was a very simple and straightforward menu and I almost ordered one from each menu category but I wasn't too hungry, so I thought against it. We started off with a salad...the Soft Shell Crab Salad was very interesting sounding so we ordered it. I usually love crab but I didn't like this too much, I am not sure if it was really the salad or it was me. The dressing was very good though and the presentation was so pretty.

Soft Shell Crab Salad PhP 260.00

Crisp soft shell crab, dairy buttermilk dressing, tomato and cucumber, greens

Of course I had to order a bowl of healthy Edamame, one of my favorite Japanese side dishes. They are actually immature soybeans in their pods. I can finish one bowl of this all by myself but the three of us shared this.

Edamame PhP 90.00

Steamed edamame beans with lime salt

The birthday girl chose the Nomama Ramen which we had to try because this was a Ramen place after all. I wasn't too keen on the soft boiled egg which was done perfectly but the soup was delicious and she polished it off in minutes.

Nomama Ramen PhP 290.00

House pork stock, special miso sesame blend, chashu, tamago

I couldn't decide which ramen I was going to order but in the end, the Ox Tongue and Chili Tofu sounded too good to pass up so that was what I ordered. Oh boy, this one's really good! The soup was delicious and the combination of the flavors was amazing! The braised ox tongue was so tender...yum! I am still dreaming about it.
Ox Tongue and Chili Tofu Ramen PhP 290.00

Braised Ox tongue, chili tofu sauce, house pork stock

My other friend ordered the Prawn and Red Curry Noodle StirFry, it looked delicious but I'm not very fond of noodles without soup and besides...this was a ramen place. The combination of Thai and Japanese flavors are intriguing though.

Prawn and Red Curry Noodle Stir Fry PhP 290.00

Prawns, red Thai curry, fresh noodles, eggplant, mirin, sake

And finally for dessert we had the Kitkat Bar, the server was recommending the Wasabi Whoopie Pie but I was craving for chocolate. This dessert was the perfect foil for the savory lunch we just had. It was just a bit disappointing that they didn't serve coffee because it would have been perfect.

Kitkat Bar PhP 175.00

Homemade peanut butter and chocolate bar with raspberry paint

I will defintely go back to Nomama, not only because it's so near my place but also because I want to try every item on their menu (I know I sound greedy--but it's that intriguing!) So next time...I will be ordering the Thai Green Curry Ramen and the Wasabi Whoopie Pie and the....well you get the point.

Nomama Artisanal Ramen

G/F FSS Bldg 2, Scout Tuazon cor. Scout Castor Streets,

Quezon City Philippines



Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cooks September 2011 challenge, "Stock to Soup to Consomme". We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consomme if we chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!

This month's challenge has brought back sooo many memories from culinary school! I remember stressing and memorizing terms and staying up late in school waiting for the beef stock which we were cooling after cooking it for 8 hours and then properly storing it for the next day's class. Oh and how can I forget when my raft broke and I thought for sure my consomme won't clarify, but wonders of all wonders it did! Ah...those were the days! I making sense here? Stock? Raft? Consomme?

What am I talking about? According to Peta's definition "Consomme is usually and traditionally made by adding eggwhites with ground meats or fish (no bones) and/or vegetables for flavor to a base of good quality stock. These solids form a floating mass called a 'raft' which is caused by the proteins in the egg whites adhering to each other forming a fine matrix with many cavities..." Hmm but I didn't make consomme, I skipped that part of the challenge because it was optional. But you get the point...

The mandatory parts of this challenge was to make a stock which you have to make into a soup and an accompaniment for that, which could be crackers, dumplings or in my case...bread. Here in the Philippines, we don't usually eat bread with our local soups but I wanted to make a FIlipino bread to go with it so I made Pan de Sal which is THE bread here. All the bakeries sell it and almost everyone here likes it with their morning coffee slathered with butter or jam.



INSTANT YEAST 1/2 teaspoon

SUGAR 1 Tablespoon

SALT 3/4 teaspoon

VEGETABLE OIL 1 Tablespoon

WATER, room temp 3/4 cup (this is variable, you could add more or not use everything)


In a bowl combine flour, instant yeast, sugar and vegetable oil. Stir the salt into the water to dissolve. And pour it slowly into the flour mixture. Like what I said beforehand, water is plus or minus depending on the appearance or feel of the dough. Use about half of the water first and then knead your dough, if it looks dry add the rest. Sometimes you might need to add more water but you have to it carefully or you might end up with a gooey mess and start all over again. Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes until it's smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise until double in volume about 1 hour in a warm place. Punch down the dough to release the gases, and knead it, shaping it into a log. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cut the log into even sized pieces with a bench scraper or a sharp knife. Place cut dough pieces on a lightly greased baking sheet cut side up and sprinkle with more bread crumbs. Let it rest for another 15 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375 degrees farenheit oven for 20 minutes until golden brown. Best enjoyed when hot!

I chose to make a soup which in our house we call Sotanghon because of the noodles used, but when I looked it up, apparently it's actually called Almondigas. I used this recipe from The Filipino-American Kitchen cookbook written by Jennifer M. Aranas.



Shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 cup

Ground Pork 1/4 kilo

*I used ground beef

Garlic, minced 2 cloves

Japanese panko breadcrumbs 2 Tablespoons

Spring Onions, finely chopped 1

Chop the shrimp into small pieces, combine all ingredients thoroughly. Form into balls, place on a tray. This can be done a day ahead. I put the meatballs in a covered plastic container and froze it. In the morning I thawed them in the refrigerator before using them for the soup.


Olive Oil 1 Tablespoon

Shallot or Red Onion, chooped 1 piece

Red Bellpepper, sliced 1 piece

Tomato Paste 2 Tablespoons

Beef Stock 5 cups

Soy Sauce 2 tablespoons

*I also added a little bit of Salt and Pepper to taste

Bean Thread Noodles 1 bundle (soaked in warm water)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots/onions and red pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir it well. Pour in the beef stock and soy sauce. Bring soup to a simmer. Carefully drop meatballs into the pot. Simmer for another 10 minutes, the meatballs will float to the surface. Remove bean thread noodles from soaking liquid, and add to pot. Discard soaking liquid. Season soup with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with Spring Onions.

That was a long post wasn't it? But it was worth it. The meatball soup and the pan de sal went well together. Perfect for the rainy season we are now experiencing.

Thank you Peta for this wonderful challenge! For Peta's recipes click here. Oh and please do drop by the other Daring Cooks blogs, who've made all sorts of delicious soups and accompaniments.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Breakfast by the Beach and Dinner on the Roofdeck

Davao is both familiar and unfamiliar to me, I've been going there (work-related) since 2009 and I think I've sampled some of the more popular eating places there. But on a recent trip (last week, actually) I was reminded of how much I really like going there because it's a city, hey Ayala's Abreeza Mall just opened with TGIF (Fridays), Italiannis, and finally a Starbucks outlet but at the same time, it has retained a laid-back vibe, breakfast by the beach anyone? Which was what we did...the drive was about 5 minutes from the hotel to a small port where boats awaited (PhP 120.00 for a group of 8) for a 10 minute ride to Paradise Island.'s not exactly paradise (not like Pearl Farm) but after a toxic workload, it was very relaxing.
We ordered Fried Bangus, Daing with Salted Egg and Tomatoes and this Beef Tapa (above) that was so delicious!
This was my friend's little girl's haul from the sea. Sea shells!
Oh and of course we had dinner at the Polo Bistro of Marco Polo Hotel. It was almost 9:30 P.M. when we got there and I wasn't too hungry so instead of a US Angus Tendeloin steak I ordered Grilled Atlantic Salmon...yum!
I forgot to take pictures of my other favorite restaurant Marina where they serve the freshest seafood and where we had our Durian fix...which I think deserves a separate post!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pastillas de Leche

I've always liked eating pastillas de leche(milk bars) , it's a Filipino candy made from 2 kinds of milk (condensed and powdered) and rolled in sugar. I've always wanted to make my own but somehow I always forget about it...until last month's Daring Bakers' Challenge which was all about candies when I suddenly remembered about it. I added chopped walnuts and almonds to my recipe to give added crunch and flavor and I used it as filling for my chocolate bonbons--it was really delicious!
The basic recipe is easy enough just combine the 2 types of milk until dough like in consistency, cut into desired shapes and roll in refined sugar.
2 cups powdered milk
300 ml condensed milk
1/4 cup almonds, chopped finely
1/4 cup cashew, chopped finely
refined sugar, for rolling
Combine chopped walnuts and cashew and set aside. In a bowl, mix together powdered milk and condensed milk until well blended. Knead together with the chopped nuts. Shape into a flat disk, you can rest this in the chiller for about 10 minutes. Cut into desired shapes and roll in refined sugar.
So there you have it, easy peasy! I wrapped the pastillas individually in parchement paper and stored them in the chiller but this can also be stored at room temperature.