Wednesday, 9 November 2011

SM Hypermarket Bulalo Cook Off

When one speaks of beef and Bulalo, only one place comes to mind: Batangas. Bulalo seemed to be Batangas' specialty that there are so many restaurants - even small-scale eateries in the province that serves this dish, and one's trip in Batangas is incomplete without eating Beef Bulalo. Now that it the weather's starting to get cooler, one's choice for rainy day comfort foods is Bulalo.

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Last November 4, 2011 SM Hypermarket Batangas, set a new record for The Best Tasting and The Most Number of bowls to be served.  There were 10 groups that participated in the event namely: Le Elegancia, Ginazel Catering, Siemen’s Canteen, Hot and Cold Cafe, El Torro, Joel Arceo, Madelyn dela Pena/Lutong Bahay, Tapa Kalderate Atbp., Karlos Place, Place of Mine Catering Restaurant.


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Each team's Bulalo dish were judge by Chefs Aries Cueto and JunJun Borlan Jr. from Lyceum of the Philippines, Batangas and Mr. Jun Lozada, Assistant Manager of SM Hypermarket, Batangas. All of the participating teams needed to produce a Bulalo dish that is not only tasty and delicious, but creative as well. They also had to serve samples of their dish (not below 50 servings), with each bowl weighing at least 100 grams each - complete with meat, vegetables and broth.


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The typical Bulalo dish consisted of Beef Shanks (with marrow), green beans, bok choy and/or wombok, and corn. Some participants went with that, but others opted to go the creative way - by preparing Bulalo Kaldereta, Sizzling Bulalo, and Bulalo Pasta.

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This is a cooking challenge, and each participants had 30 minutes to cook thier dish and plate it as presentable as possible. I got to sample some of the dishes, and I was really thankful I wasn't part of the judging panel as it was really difficult to judge which among the dishes was the best tasting. In the end Le Elegancia won The Best Tasting Dish and Madelyn dela Pena/Lutong Bahay won The Most Number of Bowls, having served 165 bowls. Both teams won 25,000 each. After declaring the winners, members of the audience got the chance to sample the dishes, and I personally agree with the results. Le Elegancia truly served the best dish - it was so comforting and heavenly.

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I was super happy to be a part of this event. Having to taste authentic Bulalo and witness how talented Filipinos are and sharing this day with other bloggers really made this day a fun-filled and knowledge-filled and yes, tummy-filling day. This Cook-off is part of the SM Hypermarket Master Chef which began last July 2011. I know you still remember the marathon that made up weekly cooking demos for three months, and the kitchen makeovers that have 5 lucky winners redesigned by PSID graduates and SM Hypermarket.

Jesz

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Day I Met Ms. Shamcey Supsup

It was really fortunate that we were able to see an update on Pizza Hut Philippines' Facebook page asking bloggers to leave their URLs for an upcoming meet and greet with Ms. Shamcey Supsup, the newest endorser for Pizza Hut. When my sister and I received the formal invitation, we were very happy that both of us will get to be a part of the event.

We arrived at the Pizza Hut Bistro in Glorietta 4 earlier than the call time. Living far away, anticipating the traffic do have its perks, because being first to arrive gave us more reasons to enjoy Pizza Hut's food more in the future, as we were rewarded some GCs. Lesson? Do arrive early. :)



This meet and greet is for Pizza Hut's newest product - the Tuscani pizza. Pizza Hut may be known for their Pan Pizza, but because the Filipinos' preferences for food constantly evolves, they decided to create a pizza that is neither too thin nor too thick - just enough for people to enjoy both the crust and the toppings.

Ms. Shamcey Supsup went around the area to serve our pizza slices. Amazing, eh? Along with the Supremo Tuscani pizza, we were also served this for dinner:



Pasta Carbonara and another slice of the Tuscani pizza (All Meat). If my sister weren't able to finish her food (because she's currently on a weight loss journey), I could say that I was able to actually all my food. All were so delicious!

As for the Tuscani pizza, I appreciated that the crust weren't like crackers. One downside of thin crust pizza is that the crust gets too crunchy. The Tuscani, although the outer crust is quite firm, it was still chewy on the inside, so the whole pizza eating experience was actually more fun.



While all of us were enjoying our food, there was a Q&A portion, and Ms. Shamcey Supsup answered questions about the Tuscani pizza, and some questions about Ms. Universe and her plans for the future. Bloggers also took part of the Q&A, and two bloggers with the best answers were given some GCs.

Fancy a giveaway? Well, if you have a Facebook and / or a Tumblr account, you stand a chance to win awesome goodness from Pizza Hut.



For Facebook users, all you have to do is take a picture of yourself enjoying the Tuscani pizza. It can be a very simple picture, or something wacky like what I did here... let your imagination lead you. Then, check out the Pizza Hut Philippines' Facebook Page and click the "Like" button, and upload your picture using the "Flavor Your Life" app. They just picked the first winner, but this will run until December 8, so you still have more time to upload your picture.

For Tumblr users,  here's what you have to do: The Pizza Hut Tuscani comes in different flavors and each flavor has its own corresponding prize: Supremo (iPad2), All Meat (iPhone 4), Roast Beef (DSLR Camera), 3 Cheese Bacon & Spinach (Trip for 2 to Boracay), and BBQ Chicken (20,000 worth of GCs from Araneta Center).
  • First up, choose what you want to win. If you're already certain about this, next thing to do is to blog about it, centering on the topic: What would make winning this prize add "Flavor to Your Life." The post has to have 500 words (or more), and must be accompanied with a picture and / or a video that features the Tuscani flavor of your choice (if you chose the iPad 2, your picture should have a picture / video of the Supremo Tuscani). 
  • Go to http://pizzahutflavoryourlife.tumblr.com/ and submit your entry (there is a "Submit" button at the given address), making sure you follow all the prompts in submitting your entry.
  • Ask your friends to "Like" your post, because the number of likes counts to the 10% of the overall criteria. Of course, you also have to take into consideration the creativity, grammar, and use of media.
There will be one winner for each of the prizes. Tumblr bloggers can make as much posts as they can, but the blogger can only win once. Deadline of submission will be on December 8, so do write those posts as early as possible so you can get more likes.

For more details about these promos, check out Pizza Hut Philippines' Facebook Page and Tumblr Page. I am contemplating of joining the Facebook promo... so good luck to all of us who will join.

Big thanks to my sister Jenn of Tara, Let's Eat! for providing the pictures for this post.

Jesz

Saturday, 15 October 2011

My Favorite McDonald's Meal

I still remember my first visit at Mcdonald's, I was 7 years old then and wanted to own even just one 101 Dalmatians Happy Meal. I really bugged my dad to eat there just so I could have a toy. Cheese Burger was my  first meal at the Mcdonald's, and as time passed, I would try different McDonald's food. When I was in college, there was a time that I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonald's! Needless to say, I really love the food here, and in my four years in college, I would often drop by a McDo branch to order the double cheeseburger with large fries and drink before I travel home.

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This year, McDonald's is celebrating its 30th year of providing good fast food to the Filipino. We weren't able to check out the celebrations happening two weeks ago, but last week, my sister and I visited one of the newly renovated Mcdonald's store here in Quezon City - the McDonald’s Commonwealth branch, just outside Ever Commonwealth. Interestingly, this was also the same store where I had my very first McDo meal. 

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I really loved the ambiance of the new store, the place was so bright and spacious, the new uniforms of the staff looked so neat. What I really loved the most was how they presented the menu - giving customers a choice whether they like their meals to be in L or XL sizes (kinda like a shirt, eh?),  giving customers choices what to eat depending on their budget. From the counter, I was also able to take a peek at their kitchen and how the staff prepare the food. Seeing the neat and orderly kitchen gave me an assurance that my meal was prepared in a hygienic way. 

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It's been past lunch and we haven't eaten our lunch yet so we decided to stop at Mcdonald's for a while before going home. I ordered my current favorite- the Chicken McDO meal with Medium Fries and additional barbeque sauce for my fries (I already lost interest interest with the ketchup since I tried dipping my fries in their barbeque sauce when I once ordered their chicken nuggets).

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I really love the crispiness and the saltiness of the chicken and the meat was really juicy. Today seemed to be a lucky day for me, I got my favorite chicken part! I am thankful local fast food now offers unlimited gravy, and since I am a gravy person, I just drowned my chicken in gravy!

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French Fries of Mcdonalds is one of my comfort foods, my fast food meal is not complete without these. Since I discovered that fries go well with their McChicken Nuggets barbeque sauce, I don't think I will go back with the fries and ketchup thingy, but of course I would gladly accept the ketchup sachets given at the counter for me to take home. Of course, we do cook fries at home, too, and since we don't have the barbeque sauce at home, I can use the sachets of ketchup, since we use banana ketchup at home. Why do I love the barbeque sauce? Well, the fries are salty and the sauce has this sweet/sour taste. Perfect combination! Now I am starting to wonder where they get the sauce... I should order a gallon! Hahaha.

Well, no need to put what my sister ate that day - she's currently on her "journey to become slenderella," and she went for Chicken McSavers meal, and it looked funny as her chicken piece was so small compared to my chicken. For 50 pesos, sister said it was worth it.

It's been awhile since sister and I went to a fast food to eat. Come to think of it, she couldn't recall the last time she ate at McDonald's and she found it nice to catch up with the flavors of their food. We do eat together everyday at home, but it was just so different eating outside - savoring food, having a girly talk, and sometimes we would watch people, too.

Eating my favorite McDonald's meal and being with my sister... it sure was a fine day.

Jesz

Friday, 14 October 2011

Lee Kum Kee Cook with the Masters


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We all know that Lee Kum Kee is known as one of the manufactures of the best sauces. However, what most people don't know (me included - before, of course) is that it was in 1888 when they invented the oyster sauce, and in time, more and more sauces were added to their long list of quality products, which made cooking easier for us. Celebrating its 123rd anniversary of giving superior quality products to every home, they conducted four cooking demos around the metro featuring celebrity chefs - Chef Sau del Rosario, Chef Sandy Daza, Chef Eugene Raymundo, Chef Him Uy De Baron and Chef Ernest Gala.

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Last October 9, 2011 Lee Kum Kee sets the biggest and one of a kind cooking demo called the Cook with the Masters Grand Cooking Demo featuring Lee Kum Kee’s brand ambassador for Southeast Asia and true culinary expert, Chef Bruce Lim at Glorietta Activity Center. Many mall goers and attendees had fun at the activity area while waiting for the cooking show to start. They first had to read about Lee Kum Kee's rich history, then they had to  proceed to the “tasting area” where they will experience the exquisite flavors of Lee Kum Kee sauces (others were combination of different sauces creating another new awesome taste) and finally, the had to drop by “Lee’s Kitchen" to have a picture taken with the Lee Kum Kee products. Completing all steps not only gave them the chance to take home a souvenir picture, they were also given chance to take home some goodies. People also had the chance to shop for Lee Kum Kee products, and for every 300 pesos of LKK products, they can take home an eco-bag, which they can use (and re-use) whenever they shop.

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Brigada (a percussion band) opened the program and host Ms. Issa Litton welcomed the guests and audience for the grand cooking demo.

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For the first round of cooking, some members of the audience (which they picked before the show started) cooked alongside Chef Bruce. They cooked two dishes - 3 Cups Chicken and Oyster Chicken with Mushrooms.  Both dishes were very easy to cook and are perfect for busy persons. Though both were easy to cook, both tasted really good. 

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The second round were participated by the culinary students from CCA and MICAH. They cooked Spicy Seaside Prawns, another easy dish to whip up. for this they used Lee Kum Kee Chili Garlic, Premium Oyster Sauce and Seasoned Soy Sauce for Seafood. It’s a little bit sweet maybe because of the oyster sauce, but it had a wee bit hint of spice, which anyone can tolerate. Of course, if you plan to cook this, you will just have to adjust its level of spiciness.

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The third and final round of cooking was participated by the celebrities namely Baron Geisler, Phoemela Barranda, Desiree del Valle, Enzo Pineda, Rocco Nocino, Steven Silva and Djanin Cruz. They cooked Braised Pork Belly, which sounded a bit tedious and time-demanding, but the beauty of the dish was that it was another easy dish to prepare. Come to think of it, we all know that celebrities have busy schedule, but I guess them preparing this dish just testifies that anyone can cook an awesome dish despite their schedules. I do love this dish because it allows people to multi-task - cook and do other house chores. The combination of mustasa and pork blended well, I thought mustasa can only be used for fish sinigang, but thanks to this recipe I can allow myself to eat more mustasa.

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Aside from just listening and watching how they prepared the dishes, Ms. Issa Liton threw in some questions to the audience and they will win a Lee Kum Kee products if they answered correctly. Since this is the grand demo, they also introduced the other chefs who demoed from the past cooking shows.

All of us got to take home a mini booklet of all the recipes they demoed from past cooking shows until the grand showdown. All of the dishes were so easy to do and I think the family will get to try almost all of the dishes. 

Jesz

* Beautifully plated pictures of the dishes were scanned from the recipe booklet we took home; all other pictures were taken by my ever dearest sister Jenn of Tara, Let's Eat!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Celebrating Mommy's 62nd

Papa  John’s Pizza
Unit 107-108 Annex 2, Ground Floor
SM City Fairview


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Last September 13, our family celebrated the 62nd birthday of my mom.  We celebrated it at the newly opened pizza house in SM Fairview which is Papa John Pizza. Finally the long wait is over to taste their pizza. Many people said that they have a good pizza. I'm a Pizza Pasta lover and this is one of my long lists that I want to taste.


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My mom always want a soup when we go dine out, so we ordered their two soups, the cream of chicken and corn (above) and the cream of mushroom (below), which the family shared.  Both soups are tasty but I love the cream of mushrooms, for me it’s already a full meal because of the croutons and bits of mushrooms.


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My sister ordered Garden Fresh Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing.  My sister said that it’s a little bit sour because of the mustard (this wasn't her first choice for salad dressing, but they ran out of Italian Vinaigrette), but she finished it so I think she loves it.

We want to order all of their pizza but instead of ordering one big pizza, we decided to go for 2 smaller size of pizza ( the 9” pizza) with different flavors. We try the Super PAPA Classic Pizza and the Grilled Chicken Deluxe Specialty Pizza.


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Super Papa is a combination of Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Ham, Mushroom, Green Peppers and Black Olives.  Toppings were typical for a pizza, but I did find this one really tasty, the crust was so soft and I loved dipping it in their garlic butter sauce.


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Grilled Chicken Deluxe Specialty Pizza had Grilled Chicken (of course) as well as ham, bacon, and mushroom in Carbonara Sauce. This was my favorite that night, I felt the taste of all flavors and even my mom loved this too. Good thing mom pushed with this flavor... when we were deciding which two flavors to try, my sister was suggesting their seafood pizza, but mom really wanted this. I guess moms do know best. :) Maybe we can try the seafood pizza next time.

Their pizzas come in three sizes. Their 9" pizzas were normally sliced into six parts, but since we were only four, sister suggested our pizza to be cut in 4, so we could have equal portions. Her salad already made her full, so she only got to eat one pizza slice, the other one she took home and ate it the next day.


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I will really be going back to this place, all our food serves hot  and that was the most important to me because you feel the freshness of the food, and their pizzas are not oily. I love the ambiance and their server was friendly and I felt that they were happy to assist us.

For more information about Papa John’s Pizza you may see their website at http://www.papajohns.com.ph

Jesz
FTFBadge

*photos on this post credited to http://www.agent112778.com/. Thanks brother!

Friday, 30 September 2011

My Burger Food Trip

I really love burgers and love to try new burgers here in manila. When The Food Scout had a raffle with the prize being 200 pesos GC for Boulevard Diner, I didn’t hesitate to join (as sister and I have been trying our luck joining contests with GCs for Boulevard Diner as prizes), and lucky was I to be one of the winners for Jill's contest.

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The GC will expire on 15 August, and despite several factors hindering me to do this food trip, I was able to use it on its last day. Entering the shop, I found it so simple, cozy, and has this '80s ambiance. Not only that, the had a friendly staff.  When she gave the menu, I was so amazed to see the photographs of their burgers that I want to try it all. As what was written on the menu, all of their burgers are made in 1/3 pound beef patties and the price was ranges from 150  to 270 pesos, and for just an additional 45 pesos, the burgers will be upgraded to a full meal with Freedom Fries and a glass of  Iced Tea.

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I decided to go for their newest burger, which consisted of double bacon, Swiss brown mushroom cheeseburger with pan gravy. It was so new that the time I had it, it still has no name, and that the costumers had to guess or think what the name of the burger will be. Now that this burger is officially on the menu, it is now called, Luigi Meltdown. Why Luigi? I surely don't know, but seeing the lettuce, maybe it had something to do with Luigi, Mario's brother (Mario Bros.).

Anyway, their burger was huge for me that I needed to use a fork and a knife to eat it. I felt that I was eating steak that time because the patty was cooked medium done, and I was really able to savor the juiciness of the beef. The Freedom Fries was different to the other kinds I have eaten, theirs had longer cuts and slightly thicker, which was able to give me the potato goodness I wanted.

Aside from the burgers, Boulevard Diner also serves buffalo wings called “wingerangs” that have heat-o-meter ranges (Hickory, Lust, Fury, Love, Smoked, Death and Better than Hell) so it depends to the costumer how spicy their wings will be. Costumers also have their choice to make their own burger from the base, topping to the sauces and dressings, in case they didn't fancy any of the burgers on the menu.

Since I was alone for this food trip (sister didn't have enough money to go on a food trip that day), I really want to eat  there again with my family. I'm pretty sure they will also love this place (especially my siblings who are "certified" meatatarians), and personally,  I also want to try their Wingerangs because it is a big hit to their customers and that even kids love it.

If you're a burger and wings lover, go check out Boulevard Diner. It is located at 91 Xavierville Ave. Loyola Heights Quezon City,they just in front of Regina Bldg. Call them at 504-5634. The diner  is open Mondays to Fridays at 11am to 11pm and Saturdays to Sundays 11am to 10pm.

How to get there?
  • From Cubao, take Aurora Blvd the turn left to Anonas street then turn right at Chico street then just straight ahead until to Xavierville Ave.
  • From Katipunan, turn right when you see McDonald's at Rosa Alvero St.), then turn left at the first corner (Esteban Abad st.). Go straight until Xavierville Ave. then turn right.
Jesz
FTFBadge

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Gerry's Grill - Ginataang Kuhol

I really love eating at Gerry’s Grill because of the ambiance and their affordable foods. In college, my friends and I always hang out at Gerry’s Grill Ali Mall branch because of one dish: the Ginataang Kuhol. At first I was hesitant to try it, but when I did try it, I was instantly hooked.




This serving of Ginataang Kuhol was something a friend and I shared. Both of us are now out of school, but whenever we meet, we sometimes go to our favorite branch just to eat this. Actually, even if I am with the family or some other friends and we would eat at any Gerry's Grill branch, I would always order this (with special request to the wait staff to serve this first - as quick as possible), so we could eat it while waiting for the other dishes to be served.

I guess there was something about how they cook this that made me love it a lot. The blend of all the flavors - coconut milk (or cream), shrimp paste and the ginger was just so good... plus, the slurping sounds add to the fun of eating it, too. Well, they do provide toothpicks to help take out the meat inside the shell, but sometimes, a little slurping sound makes the eating more enjoyable.

Jesz
FTFBadge