Roasted Chicken A la Bicolana

I was supposed to write this article last December but the holiday rush, preparation and celebration with the family kept me from doing so.

This article though came in timely as my previous articles for this month were all about gifts (not your usual gift in a box with a ribbon) and the value of serving others through your gifts. I actually didn’t expect that last Sunday’s lecture will also be about that. Ah yes, it always is a wonder how things can be intertwined all because of God’s mysterious ways. 🙂

What is serving and how can we serve in a biblical sense?

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45

“…and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:27-28

And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ – Matthew 25:40

I believe one way of honoring God and showing our thanks to Him is by sharing that love to others too. Let’s just say that you felt how much God loves you and it is just too wonderful to keep it to yourself that’s why you wanted to let others know and feel that kind of love as well.

In doing so, they might wonder what is it that’s been fueling your actions and though they might not understand it at first, this can be your perfect response – out of love.

“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

In the aspect of serving, we do find ourselves doing that knowingly or unknowingly with our families first and foremost. So last Christmas, I thought about preparing this roasted chicken recipe which was the first in the family’s Christmas celebration tradition.

Do take note though that I am no chef. lol 😀

I was just inspired and taught by my 3 older sisters who are very good in the kitchen and have such superb cooking skills they can invent their own recipe. Yup, no kidding. They really are that good.

Being the youngest, I grew up being the dishwasher. Haha Yes, you won’t believe it but my brother and I take turns in washing the dishes when we were younger. We are the two youngest members in the family, by the way.

On a side note, I just love being in a big family. You might not get to see or talk to all of them at the same time, yet you’ll still have one sibling to bug about every week aside from your parents. 😀

Anyway, as for my roasted chicken recipe, let’s just say I combined all the roasted chicken recipes I could find over the internet and came up with a “hybrid” roasted chicken. 😉

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken A la Bicolana

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken

1 bunch of lemongrass

1 cup butter

½ cup tomato ketchup

1 cup soy sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons salt

5 cloves whole garlic

2 teaspoons slightly crushed black pepper

4 onions cut into 4 parts

Procedure:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except for butter.
  2. Place the onions, garlic and lemongrass inside the chicken and marinate overnight.
  3. Prepare the butter and remaining marinade for basting.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit and cook for about 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.
  5. Top it with garnishing, serve and enjoy!

I intend to make this a yearly tradition – out of love for God, love for family and joy in serving others. 🙂

P.S.

Oh and one mistake from the roasted chicken recipe – don’t prepare 1 roasted chicken ONLY especially when there are about 8 persons hoping to try it. lol 

I was expecting it to be served as an additional dish along with other meals but it became the main course – ooopps, my mistake. So yes, Mom wasn’t able to try it as she ate late and sadly, no roasted chicken leftover. I have this year to make up for it though. 😀

One thing more, the turbo broiler is a kitchen winner for me, nothing beats. ❤

Turbo Broiler

Turbo Broiler Moment

 

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All The Way To Tagaytay

Another long overdue article here. 😀

I did mention in my previous articles I have quite a pile of article drafts for editing and publishing and I am in a rush to publish them all (hopefully) while I am in a period of waiting and time is still on my side.

The summer escapade for me and hubby along with his family for this year was in the cool breeze of Tagaytay. We just had to take advantage of the summer season before the rainy days start to fill the last quarters of our calendar. It was a short holiday break thus the rest of the family members were all free to have this short family time and get-together.

It always is a privilege to spend some quality time with the family despite the busy schedules and varying demands of priorities in life – something that is far too precious to waste. My parents are in Bicol which is a 17-hour land travel to get directly to our hometown. Now that is something that I don’t have the privilege to do. Going to my hometown meant allotting 1 day for travel time then another day to rest which, after doing the Math, requires at least a week if you want to make the most and the best out of your family get-together. Simply put, visiting my family in Bicol is synonymous to careful planning ahead of the scheduled visit.

But well, this is the part where I need to thank God for technology. Skype made the term “homesickness” just a term. Again, family time meant quality time and this requires we set aside time for this despite the busy schedules. If most of us have the same free time, my family and I are able to Skype with one another once a week. And Skype-ing in the family means this – the minimum talking time is 4 hours starting at around 9 or 10pm.

Wuhaaat?!?! 😀

Yep, you can already hear the rooster crowing and we’re still on our “high” conversing with one another. Well, that’s for us, women in the family. For the men, 2 hours is the maximum and they bid their “goodbyes” in the middle of our conversation. The ever popular difference of men and women, eh? 😀

Anyway, going back to the Tagaytay escapade, we tried the Pamana restaurant with its awesome overlooking view of the Taal Lake and the food was superb too. I only captured shots of some dishes though, the long trip sure made us all pretty hungry.

I also loved the interiors which exude the ambiance of an old Hispanic house. Indeed, the concept of the restaurant matched with its name “Pamana,” a Tagalog term for heirloom/inheritance.

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Captivating, isn’t it?

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We also scouted for anything new in the area which includes this food park called “StrEat.” We didn’t get to try the food stalls though as it’s flocked with a huge crowd when we got there. The next day, there was no plan where we will have our summer escapade. We’ve been traveling without a destination actually and we came to that point of giving up and just head back home because all the resorts we’ve inquired were fully booked. Well, it’s summer so we kind of expected that.

When we were on the verge of turning back, voila, God gave us one resort that’s not so jam packed with visitors but the place was nice (and budget friendly) enough to bond with the family. Hotel Monticello was indeed “heaven sent”  hubby and I actually thought it’d be perfect for a wedding reception too. We couldn’t spend overnight though as we’re only geared up for a day tour. When we arrived, we had all the pool to ourselves which means this – LOTS OF SELFIES! Hahaha 😀

Nope, don’t get me wrong, I seldom take selfies. You can actually check my Instagram account for that. I just choose moments best for selfies and those moments that are not. And I only take selfies when nobody’s around, not even my hubby. 😀

Hotel Monticello

Selfie moment. My ever seldom selfie moment. 

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But really, when it comes to moments, there are just those that a camera snap isn’t enough to capture them all. I guess that’s the reason why God created our memories, an infinite storage at the back of our heads where every single memory is captured and safely stored.

So this one article is up in the memory of my head, but in case I have amnesia days or years from now, I have WordPress to retell and rewind them for me. Ah yes, the joys and perks of blogging – your online journal indeed. 🙂

P.S.

WordPress, please don’t ever shut down. Like, EVER. 😀

Oh and check out this amusing video of my hubby and sister-in-law. Reminds me of my brother and I – siblings moment, they are. 😉

 

 

Expressing The Bicolana In Me: BICOL EXPRESS

It’s been quite a while since I last posted about food (I love food but I hate gluttony thus striking the balance)  and I bet it is time I post one of my recipes. Not exactly my recipe as this is a traditional dish from my hometown in the Bicol region. Thus, where the name Bicol Express was derived.

You will commonly see this dish served during meal time in our home in Bicol. My Mom and Dad always make this as a side dish which perfectly partners with any viand. There are now a lot of variations of this recipe including the one with coconut milk which contains more meat and less green chilies.

I grew up getting used to this dish prepared and cooked having only 3 main ingredients: lots of green chilies, fresh shrimp paste, and pork meat. It’s also very easy to prepare as you’d only need to saute the pork meat along with garlic, add the fresh shrimp paste until cooked and lastly, put in the green chilies. Then wait until the aroma of the chilies come out and it’s ready to be served.

To give you a background on my cooking experience, it was only when I was 20 years old that I started learning how to cook. I am the youngest among 5 siblings and I have 3 older sisters who are amazing in the kitchen – I ended up being the dishwasher and the kitchen assistant (prep the ingredients). lol

My sisters though knew I needed to learn sooner or later as time will come we’ll all go our separate ways one by one and I need to hone my cooking skills to be able to live and survive independently.

They’ve been such great teachers who raised me to who I am now in behalf of my Mom as she and Dad stayed in our hometown in Bicol starting when I turned 16 and came here in Manila to study in college. The cooking skills I’ve acquired from them proved to be of great help now that I am married – got to please my hubby’s tummy. *wink*

It is, therefore, with such gratitude that I give back to God for blessing me with awesome siblings and to my sisters for teaching me the art of cooking and with everything else.

Bon appetit! 

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Bicol Express

Going Vegan @ Little India Healthy Cuisine

It’s been a while since I had my last gastronomic adventure. Yes, lest I might fall into acquiring gluttony. So yes, I had to say “no” to eating lots and lots of food through all the multitude of opportunities to do so lying around, healthy or not.

But of course, depriving ourselves completely is never a part of God’s plans. For He wanted us to enjoy the best that life has to offer – that is, with the right kind of discipline and attitude. 🙂

Discipline, you say? If you are like me who now have this conscious effort to stay healthy through my food intake (I am getting older), then this article is the perfect article to read. Going a bit vegan for me is eating more vegetables than meat.

Do read along what Little India Healthy Cuisine has to offer. 🙂

Little India: Superb All Vegan Indian Cuisine

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Little India Healthy Cuisine

TRES AMIGOS Boracay: A Mexican Delight

I have to apologize, yes. For this post is long overdue. But it came in timely as it is the start of summer now and beach getaways are on top of the list. 🙂

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Beach Essentials

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Pure white sand, the hot sun AND our feet. *wink*

I was supposed to write this over the holidays. But well, the holiday season is just the busiest in our calendars – vacations, getaways, dining out with families and friends. But this article is not about the holiday getaway with my fiance and his family last December 2014 at Boracay Island in Aklan, Philippines. Allow me though to post some photos of our holiday getaway there:

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Boracay 2014

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Fairways and Bluewater Resort

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Infinity pool.

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ATV fun with the Rome family.

This post will be a food review about one of our favorite type of cuisines – Mexican. We found one at the heart of Boracay inside D’ Mall exactly on our last day – Tres Amigos. Indeed, it was a nice way to cap off our island experience in Boracay.

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Tres Amigos Boracay

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Tres Amigos’ Menu

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Table centerpiece.

My fiance ordered chimichanga while his brother and I ordered beef burrito and quesadilla.

Tres Amigos’ beef burrito is one of their best sellers. And I can tell why. It has that smooth blend of Mexican spices that are not too overpowering and mixes well with the mango salsa. Of course, the perfect aroma of Mexican spices never fail to tease my palate.

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Beef Burrito

For the chimichanga, it is similar to our beef burritos except that it was fried. When I saw the crisp sides of the dish, my mouth just melted away I just went ahead and indulged myself over a good crispy, crunchy portion.

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Chimichanga

The quesadilla will surely melt your heart away. Every part of it was melted to perfect goodness and the smooth texture of the beef and cheese just complemented well with the overall texture of the pita bread.

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Quesadilla

I forgot to take a photo of the refreshing mango shake, the perfect all-natural fruit drink to pair with the tasty Mexican dishes we had.

So if you are headed towards Boracay this summer, you might want to try Tres Amigos if your appetite is craving for that Mexican delight and yes, at a very affordable price too. Bon appetit! 🙂

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The Mexican lovers. 😉

SUMO SAM’s Newest

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Edamane Gyoza

Here’s something that I love to do every now and then – gastronomical adventure. 😉

Check out this article for the newest course offerings of Sumo Sam for year 2015:

“Sumo Sam’s New Picks For The Year: A Fresh Start”

Are your chopsticks ready? I bet they are. 😀

THE BLACKBOARD Sommelier’s Selections

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Chateau Vrai Caillou

In case you are interested what is the perfect pair for wine, you might want to check out this article:

 “What’s With Wine: Bespoke Wine Tasting and Pairing at The Blackboard”.

Cheers! 🙂

Cooler Than Cool @ Abdul The Cool

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Ever heard of ox brain dish or moutabal? If not, check out the article to find out more. All I can say is that you are off to a cool food adventure. 😉

“Abdul The Cool: Not Your Ordinary Shawarmas, Kebabs and Wraps”

2nd Year Anniversary Special: Going Classic on Meat via a VINTAGE Meat Grinder

I am no sweetie pie. 

I may look like one but definitely not like one. In fact I am a “beautiful monster” as Rihanna would put it. lol Kidding of course. 😉 I am just not your ordinary sweet girl for I am very strong willed to the point of being stubborn and hard headed and someone who is always on the go. But by God’s grace, I am now learning slowly but surely how to listen, how to wait, how to be gentle and how to submit. I am a good follower especially if you are a good leader. 🙂

This post is not about me per se but about something that I was so interested to try ever since I was kid but only had the opportunity to do it now that I am in my late 20s – grinding pork’s meat in our vintage meat grinder.

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Universal Vintage Meat Grinder

3 questions:

1. Why the need to try it?

2. Why now?

3. What’s the correlation between a meat grinder and a sweetie pie? (I know this one sounds funny.) 😉

First, ever since I was a kid, I got fascinated by how it works every time Daddy would ask me to help him scrape the ground pork off the opening of the grinder where it goes out. I would usually watch how the process goes from putting the raw pork cubes inside the feeder, the one with the big opening, as you slowly turn the handle clockwise then to the slicing, cutting and grinding part when it reaches the disk until the last part where the ground meat comes out . As you continue to turn the handle, pork cubes will slowly be sucked underneath and you’ll hear a gritting sound. A sound that I find interestingly amusing. And I don’t know why. 🙂

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Universal Vintage Meat Grinder

I love anything vintage not because it’s classical but because of the story behind each of them. Mom told me that one of our great grandpas used to own it before handing it over to them. I also did my research and found out that the meat grinder is one of the inventions of German Baron Karl Drais during the mid 1880s who also invented the Laufmaschine or what we commonly now know as the bicycle (encyclopedia.com). Isn’t it amazing to still use stuff that is way, way older than you. I feel like calling it “grandpa meat grinder.”   😉

Seriously, the mechanism of the meat grinder is very simple. And neither it is that complicated to operate. All you need is a wooden plank where you can rest it on and there is a screw underneath to tighten and secure it in place. It is easy to clean as well and very portable as it can fit even on a shoe box. Except that it is a bit heavy, around 8.5 pounds since it is made of cast iron.

So if you intend on using one at home, you have to prepare your arms for some muscle workout when you turn the lever because you’ll have to pull a little harder when it gets to that part of the pork meat that’s a bit tough. Just a tip though, cover the feeder with your left hand because oftentimes pork cubes tend to fall out as they go up and down during the grinding.

Second, I got to try it just now as it requires extreme muscle strength to be able to finish the process altogether. Daddy won’t still allow me if I didn’t insist. He thought I am far too weak to finish the task. But I was up for the challenge anyway, so there went adrenaline rush. *game face on*

The handle of our meat grinder is supposed to be covered with wood but I guess it got broken a long time ago. So there’s the tendency for your grip to slip off from the handle at the middle of the grinding process as more grease are coming out from the ground meat.

And lastly, what’s between a sweetie pie and a meat grinder? 🙂

Well, it is a kitchen equipment best used by Dads or any male. I am no sexist but if you are frail, trying this out might be a bad idea. You’ve got to toughen up for you to finish an entire bowl of pork cubes. It was my passion for learning and experiencing new things that urged me to try grinding the meat myself with the help of my sister (she scrapes the ground pork for me). And another thing, we have a scarcity of males in the household. lol My Dad and my brother are the only men at home they wouldn’t be able to do all the tasks that require great strength all by themselves, thus, this is where my sisters and I come to the rescue.

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My sister (left) and I (right) doing our arm muscle workout. 😉

This was one simple experience that I have pretty much enjoyed I just can’t wait to go home and try it again. Besides, it is a fun way of working out too. So no, I don’t just sit pretty and be a sweetie pie. 😉

This article may seem a bit odd from topic to beginning to plot and ending but this is actually a tribute to something classic in celebration of my 2nd anniversary here on WordPress as a blogger. Thank you so much to all my followers and readers who have shared their wonderful adventures, ideas and experiences as well making my 2-year experience in the WordPress community worthwhile.

And definitely last but not the least, thank you to you my Father God for the gift of sharing. 🙂

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Happy 2nd Anniversary!

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Happy 2nd Anniversary!

 

 

Cheers to more blogging experiences with you my fellow WordPress writers!

Lots of love,

Tin 🙂

BAGNETO is “The Villain” Who Saves Your Tummy

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Not your ordinary villain.

We all know that Magneto is one of the greatest villains who ever grazed the world of Marvel Comics. But no, he is not coming to life in this article but another unique character who is a villain but not exactly a villain.

So without any further ado, please allow me to introduce to you…BAGNETO. Yes, the name came from bagnet (deep fried pork’s meat) and of course, Magneto, the villain.

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Bagneto

But then again, he is not your ordinary villain. For what he has to offer is a gastronomic adventure that is beyond measure. That is, in terms of being tagged as the restaurant that offers the best bagnet here in Manila.

And the reason is that the owner of Bagneto is also a bagnet lover himself. The restaurant was put up out of love and passion for bagnets. Let me then give you the meal offerings they have all having one common ingredient which is bagnet.

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Menu

First on the list is Kare Kare. I liked the consistency of the kare kare sauce. The peanut flavor is not overpowering and the vegetables are cooked just right.

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Kare Kare

Next is Bicol Express. This is not extremely spicy as typical of the original Bicol Express.

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Bicol Express

Another dish they have is the Binagoongan. The shrimp paste has that perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavors and not too salty.

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Binagoongan

Then they have the original Bagnet dish which is plain deep fried pork’s meat and it is usually paired with a sauce and vinegar. I loved the vinegar they used for this dish which is similar to that of the popular Iligan vinegar called “sukang pinakurat.”

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Bagnet

And of course, I will be saving the best for last – sisig. The first time I tasted sisig was in Bicol and the texture of their sisig is crunchy compared to the usual sisig being sold in other restaurants. And I was brought back to that first love moment when I tasted Bagneto’s sisig – it was all crunchy in every bite.

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Sisig

And what I loved about the bagnet in all their dishes is that they stayed crunchy though they’ve been exposed for quite some time already after they were served.

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Superb bagnet dishes.

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Coke on the spot.

My first dining experience at Bagneto prompted me to give it a 5 with 1 as the lowest and 5 as the highest. It was because of this that I urged my bf to accompany me when I visited the place for the second time. And his experience? He became a sisig lover instantly though he used to hate sisig. True to it’s name, Bagneto indeed offers the best bagnet in the Metro.

Bagneto is located in this cluster of restaurants set along Malingap Street called ‘D Zone.’ Each restaurant has no particular seating restrictions and you can occupy any table of your choice even if it is in front of another restaurant.

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Bagneto

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Art on the pavement.

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What I particularly loved about the place is the fact that its ambiance is so laidback which kind of reminded me of Italian restaurants at night wherein old chairs, benches and wooden tables fill a small nook lit by small yellow hanging lamps. There are also milk tea shops, Japanese restaurants, Mexican restaurants and a whole lot of various restaurants around the area.

Yes, if I can have bagnet everyday I really would. But I’ll stop here for now and let you do the judging. Head on to 33 Malingap St., UP Teachers Village, Quezon City and have a blast with Bagneto’s special bagnet. I know you’re going to call “him” your superhero afterwards. 😉

(Thanks Sheena, Becky and Jeanne for the invite, the photos and the great company!)