Thursday, December 12, 2013

Filo Dido

Remember the first time I boiled sweet potato ( Click here )? I must admit it did not go as well as I expected it to be. It was too soft for me. I guess, I must have boiled them too long than it should be. I boiled them for about 25 minutes. I only ate one sweet potato and set aside the rest. The next day, I thought I must do something with the leftover. I went to the grocery, then I saw and bought a pack of filo. Filo, phyllo or phyllo dough are paper-thin sheets of unleavened flour dough used for making pastries in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisine. It is often used in croissants, turnovers and sometimes, empanada. When I got home, I mashed two sweet potatoes and sprinkled brown sugar. I only mashed two just in case the plan would fail, at least nothing much would go to waste. And then, I gingerly laid down the filo pastry since it is too thin that it can easily rip off. I scooped the mashed sweet potato and placed it on top of the filo pastry. I rolled it and sealed it with a dab of water. I tried to brush some of it with egg as what my sister Lili suggested. I placed it in the preheated oven and waited for the pastry to brown. P1014829 P1014832 P1014830 P1014831 P1014835 Ta-da! The matte finish were the ones sealed with water while the glossy ones were brushed with egg. P1014839 I didn't really like it that much. I'm not even proud of it but, it wasn't bad for a first time. The sweet potato was sweet and the filo pastry was crunchy and tasted good too. However, I think I should have used more filo pastry in each piece to make it more thicker. The fillings breaks out after a while since the wrap is too thin. Moreover, it doesn't even look pretty. Next time, I'll wrap them in prettier designs,like a triangle perhaps or a pretty roll. More effort and luck next time.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sipping Pina Colada

I should be going to the library this afternoon and go for grocery shopping but the rain kept me home. I'm the kind of person who's not fond of bringing an umbrella, it's an extra effort for me. When in a middle of a shower, I would rather get wet than bring out my umbrella and worry after on how to store it when I arrive to wherever my destination is. Anyway, it's just rain. However, when it is really pouring hard, then I practically have no choice. Today, I wasn't in the mood to walk in the rain and embarrassingly drip rain water inside the library. I decided to stay home and listen to, Buenavista Social Club as I imagined myself in a tropical island, sipping pina colada.


 An addition to my ambitious bucket list is to see them play live ( click here ).

Passing Afternoon

A girl with a curly hair pays a bunch for a hair rebond while a girl with a straight her gets a perm. When it's pouring rain, one wishes for sunshine but when the sun is shining so bright, one misses the cold rainy day. Life is complicated as it has already been. When I was in the Philippines, I crave for Italian dishes, Japanese bento or a greasy Chinese food in a take out box. And now that I am miles from my homeland, I am missing Filipino foods.

A nearby store sells sweet potato for a $2.99 a kilo. Sweet potato or " kamote " in Filipino. For a second, I was battling with the thought whether to fry it with melted sugar on top or just boil it. It was actually a no brainer, of course I opted for the healthier option and the easiest one.    P1014820 P1014821 P1014822 P1014827

I cleaned it, drowned in water and brought it to boil. Easy peasy!

P.S. This is the first time I have actually made this in my entire life. Don't judge me.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

I'm missing the Philippines, therefore I went to an Asian store for some goodies. On the same morning of the same day, my housemates and I talked about Filipino dish and one of which is " sisig ". A popular Filipino dish made from pig's face, ears and liver seasoned with vinegar, soy sauce, calamansi, chili peppers and et cetera. Unfortunately, I never really learned how to cook "sisig" and it's one of those days that I crave for some. If I want to feel less homesick, I go to an Asian store. And so, I came, I saw and bought a canned " sisig " of Purefoods. P1014754 P1014755 zoom in! P1014753 P1014756 I'm afraid that what seem on the cover of the can does not reflect to what it really looks like inside. A clear example for " Don't judge a book by its cover" . Oh well, marketing! Whatever it takes!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Pill

My housemate was in search for the perfect stocking fit for the perfect dress to wear for a perfect party. And she dragged me to come with her to the mall. While on the verge of finding that perfect thing, a chocolate shop beacons. Koko Black. We went inside Koko Black and drooled over displays of chocolates. Then I said to myself, " No way I'm giving in. This is way way sinful ". We immediately went out from the shop but after a few steps from the doorway, we went back inside. A sudden urge to give in. The shop was too tempting to refuse.


Chocolate treats made to share as gifts.


I had Chocolate Affogato ( $8.50 ), a carafe of hot chocolate poured over a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Affogato is italian for " drowned ". From the traditional Italian dessert, gelato drowned with espresso, Koko Black created a chocolate version for the chocoholics. The whole concoction of vanilla bean ice cream and hot chocolate drink is superb making it more creamy. A perfect union of ICE cream and HOT chocolate drink. You can either eat it with a spoon or drink it from the glass. I did both. The whole serving comes with a cookie treat which tastes like the traditional Filipino baked polvoron.


She had Hot Chocolate ( $6.50 ), their signature beverage freshly brewed to a traditional Belgian recipe. I got to taste her drink too. It was rich, creamy and flavourful. It was not too hot and not too cold. For her, the temperature was just right. But I prefer my hot drink to be hot, not warm. However, taste wise, it was heaven in a cup.


And we shared a traditional platter of chocolate which includes two pralines, florentines, chocolate cake, mousse and ice cream. A Belgian spoil. The mousse was divine; scooped perfectly with a little surprise inside. The pralines were of perfect crunch. I did not get to taste everything on the platter, my gut could no longer endure another bite, the chocolate affogato left me with a heavy stomach.


Service was fast and the attendant took time to explain which one is which from the dessert platter.


You can tell a chocolate parlor serves good food when the place is packed. Good thing there were two tables available so that we need not queue outside.


Find me.


" Chocolate doesn't ask silly questions, chocolate understands. "

Koko Black 
Chadstone Shopping Center
Chadstone, VIC 03148  
Koko Black Chadstone on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hey Old Sport!

I want a man to look at me the way Gatsby looked at Daisy. And the hopeless romantic has spoken. It was just last night that I saw " The Great Gatsby " and I fell in love with it. I can watch it over and over again. It is a revealing story of what a man is capable of for love; a story of a man whose hope is high and boundless. It wowed me that there's nothing else I want to think right now but find the 1974 version of the film and look for a copy of the book. I even woke up to a dream of being born rich in the 1920's twerking with all my might in a party. No, I'm just kidding.

" So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past " - F. Fitzgerald

" I wish I had done everything on earth with you. " - Daisy

" And I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy." - Jordan

Not to mention, the soundtrack is simply beautiful. Listening to it, transports me to the 20's or the Prohibition period where drinking spirits gives an edge of danger and thrill that police can break up any moment. I can just imagine myself on a fancy dress and expensive fur coat in a speakeasy party walking in slow motion towards my gatsby.

A friend asked me whether the end was of a happily ever after. The way I see it, it is a happy ending yet a sad one. It is tragic yet joyful.

Sweet Chili Chicken

I have had lazy days. And by lazy days, I mean, lazy to prepare my own meals. It has been three days of eating bread, crackers, fruits, yogurt, oatmeal, dates along with coffee, tea and water. It has been three days that I have not eaten a real meal and now my mind and my stomach are hungry. As I was visiting Lili's blog, I browsed to the list of her recipes. Suddenly, I was hungry for something sweet and chili. Yes, I'm talking about her Sweet Chili Chicken. Coincidentally, I have chicken drumettes in the freezer waiting so long for its time to shine.




This should look better with a garnish.

Trust me, it's finger lickin' great. Just follow the recipe ( click here ) and you'll never go wrong. It is great paired with rice, beer or rounds of rum or brandy topped with juicy chit-chats ( as I would imagine. Missing my friends, my drunken-masters friends ). Apart from that, it would be good to munch on a movie night, a variation from the conventional bucket of popcorn or bags of junkies. Try it and drop me an ' amen ' on the comment box below.

Friday, September 6, 2013

One Fine Day

After attending a Christian service in Melbourne, my friends and I decided to have lunch together, also, to salute their fathers away from home and mine in heaven above on father’s day. We thought of going to Degrave Street, a narrow street with an array of dining options. But, on second thought, for sure, it is full packed knowing that it’s Father’s day here in Australia. Everyone is out celebrating father’s and the father figure day. One suggested to have lunch in St Kilda by the beach. Oh well! Why not! I haven’t been to any beach in Melbourne yet. And so we went.

As we strolled along the beach, and after approximately an hour to decide where to eat, we finally settled to dine at Stokehouse Café. The location was good with a picturesque view of the beach, the people and the seagulls. The café was packed which means, it must be a good place then. Although, we waited for 30 minutes for our table, food service was quick.

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I had "Prawn and crab lenguini with white wine and sorrel" , entree size, paired with Somersby pear cider at $19 and $9 respectively. The pasta was al dente. It was covered with savoury sauce with a slight hint of olive oil and topped extravagantly with sliced prawns and crab meats. The pear cider was like drinking carbonated juice with a tinge of alcohol ( approximately 4.5%).
My friends had " twice cooked duck leg, witlof leaves, roasted pears , candied pecans, and bacon" at $27 and "smoke roasted baby carrots, honey, burnt butter, thyme and yoghurt" at $12. Apparently. the duck leg tasted a bit bland, however the baby carrots were sweet and crunchy.

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"Smoke roasted calamari,chilli, lemon and parsley" ($15) and "chips, herb salts" ($9). I did not get to taste the calamari, the serving size was small for one person ( imho) but according to my friend, it has a smoky flavor and tender texture. It was not so bad and not so good at the same time.
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Meals were quite costly, nevertheless, it was a beautiful experience. Good view, not so bad food topped with great company.

Stokehouse Cafe
St Kilda Beach
30 Jacka Boulevard
St Kilda 3182
Victoria, Australia
Tel. No. +613 9525 5445 Stokehouse Cafe on Urbanspoon

First day of spring

Once there was a thing called spring …. After a busy week, it feels rewarding to take a breather. September one, marked the first day of spring in Melbourne and the people flocked to the beach and the park. It was bright and sunny. The view of the beach speckled with people as the seagulls scream “Mine! Mine ! Mine!” ( from the movie Finding Nemo) was rejuvenating from the stress I went through all week.

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The leisurely stroll with photo op on the side, that will remain in private, ended at Stokehouse Cafe.