I must declare that the past three days have tried my patience very much, thanks to my site going down, with my hosting provider taking forever to fix the problem — and even notice it at the very least.
Well, I don’t think I’m in any mood to forgive such bad service anytime now. I do thank everyone for bearing with me. Nevertheless, let me just say how good it is to be writing again. I am wrapping up my busiest, yet most productive month to date.
Knowing that we are now about to enter the second quarter, I realized that it has taken me ages to write about food. Cooking for me has always been a good way to be creative and relax, especially if you are in the company of family or friends. At times, I really am amazed and surprised at what I am able to cook. It’s as if I would have my Frankenstein moments in the kitchen, when, after making a successful dish, I would exclaim, “It’s alive!!! It’s alive!”
I have been so thrilled with the dishes I’ve conjured lately. Some are dishes I’ve seen television or through a podcast, while some are pure inventions.
I made Tomato, Basil, and Cheese salad just after Christmas in December. This was inspired by Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe on the Food Network. Considering my budget and my desire to leave my own imprint on this recipe, I used kesong puti aside from the mozarella cheese. Instead of using just plain tomatoes, I added cherry tomatoes. And of course, I put fresh basil, olive oil, and pepper, just as the recipe requires.
The kesong puti, when mixed with olive oil and tomatoes perfectly complement each other.
Just last February, I made my first Roast Porkloin. I rubbed the pork it with pepper, and marinaded it in white wine overnight, I put the stuffing in between the two slices of pork — golden raisins, sliced apple, peanuts, and garlic.
I have always wanted to make ravioli. But I wasn’t content with the choices for filling in my cookbooks. So I made my own. The result was Fresh Ravioli with Cream Cheese-Cilantro Filling. I made the noodles from scratch. The filling was very simple. Aside from the cream cheese and cilantro, I added garlic, and parmesan cheese. The sauce was tomato-based, with slice carrots and hungarian sausage. This was a certified yum-o!
Of course, no lunch with friends would be complete without dessert! So I made one of my now-signature classics — Raspberry and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. This was inspired by my trip to Minnesota in 2008. I had my first bite of this at a low-profile Minneapolis parlor called Sebastian Joe’s. I never forgot the flavor ever since, and it’s been a favorite of friends and family when I made my own version here in Manila. It’s great that raspberry is available in the groceries already.
I have always loved the Banoffee Pie that a coffee chain sells here in Manila. But yes, it comes at quite a price at P105.00 per small serving. So I made my own. Imagine, I spent less that P200 for the entire 9-inch pie, which was able to serve at least 8 people. Not bad, right?
I have always been curious about Keylime Pie. They are sold for P300 a slice at an overrated resto. I used ordinary limes, and they turned out wonderfully, surprisingly delicious!
Well, I can’t wait for my next lunch at home with friends. My birthday, after all, is approaching, and this early, I am already thinking of my menu. I feel happy when I think of what I have been able to make in the kitchen. I realize lately that I get so much inspiration from personalities like Nigella Lawson and Ina Garten, who are exceptional cooks, but are not really certified chefs through education. Not that having a culinary education is bad or discouraged. And I would probably get a certificate or diploma on the arts once I do have the time for it. But for now, I’m just happy being able to cook, be happy sharing my experiments with friends, and being able to use my imagination in coming up with my own creations.