Fab French Fungi

Before all of you let out a collective “Eeeeewwww!” at the title of my post, please do read on… I’m sure most of you will hopefully see how close to reality this “claim” is later on …¬† ūüėČ

As mentioned in my previous entry, thanks to my sister’s good friend (our fave French monsieur also known as “Louis Pierre”), we got over our initial biases and¬†were pleasantly acquainted with traditional French cuisine.

Although admittedly a bit pricier than the usual “plate of the day”¬† in Spain¬†or in Portugal, our gastronomic adventure led us to a quaint and cozy restaurant in the heart of Paris – Truffes¬†Folies – where, you guessed it – the specialty is the so-called “diamond of the kitchen” – the fab fungus that is the truffle.

Sure, I’ve heard of truffles before –¬†why, I’ve even tasted its chocolatey¬†version! ūüė≥ ¬†Little did I¬†realize though how chocolate truffles were in a totally different league till I tasted the delicate flavor of the “real thing” – that¬†I too would inevitably fall prey to the charms of this “fungal fruit”- especially after sampling these savory truffle-ized culinary creations…

Too bad I never got around asking the chef what the creamy, sorbet-like scoop was… ūüė¶ It was delicious nonetheless!

How’s this for upping the status of the lowly omelette? ūüėČ

My order. Y-U-M-M-Y.

Hubby’s order. Y-U-M-M-I-E-R!

And for those of us (i.e., my brother) who weren’t huge truffle fans that adventurous with their food, there’s always this…

Still tasty and delish!

Of course, if, for some weird reason, you feel that¬†flavor was still wanting, you can always have¬†dashes of these…

or this¬† – to ultimately “level up” the “delish factor” of your dish!

Needless to say, our¬†traditional French lunch that day will set the bar¬†“way up” for our future foodie adventures.

And if only for this, I can¬†definitely say, “Vive la France!” ūüėé

Ooh-la-la-Laduree! :D

Being perpetual foodies-at-heart, the many fabulous sights we saw during our recent family holiday¬†still seemed wanting¬†to render us fully satisfied insofar as the “full sensory experience” is concerned.¬† Good thing¬† an undeniable highlight¬†happened – ¬†our oh-so-pleasant introduction to traditional French food! ūüėÜ

Admittedly, we were at first reluctant to try this particular cuisine as visions of small portions, exhorbitant¬†prices and snooty maitre d’s came to mind everytime ¬†(*shudder*) …

Thank goodness we were proven wrong!

And to shake things up a bit – I will not start my post with appetizers nor mains (expect those in later posts ūüėČ ) but, you guessed it – with dessert! ūüė≥

So please, sit back, relax and let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away (Versailles, in France, to be exact), there was a family who visited a grand museum which was a royal palace once before.¬† Among the many paintings, sculptures, and fancy things one would expect from a palace were there, of course, but they were certainly intrigued to see this…

“Secrets?”, they wondered, as these tempting delights flashed before their eyes…¬† “What could they be?”¬† And, needless to say, curiosity got the better of them and they explored some more… they wanted to unlock whatever this “secret” was… and these seemed to hold the elusive key!

“Hmmm… too fancy!”

“Too plain…”

“Perfect match!” They all agreed. Just right.

And so, excited at having unlocked a sweet secret, they hurriedly grabbed this…

They opened¬†the bag¬†excitedly and found exactly what they were looking for…

Secrets that were just too sweet not to share…

For who could certainly resist treats as delectable as these? ūüėȬ† They all decided it would be best for everyone to be in on these “precious secrets”.

 The secret is out Рsinfully sweet and calorie-laden  almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling Рpremium double-decker macarons from Laduree!

That night, they all slept happily ever after Рwith that unmistakeable silly macaron-triggered smile painted on their faces. They had been to macaron-heaven and back Рthe secret has been unlocked and they want the whole world to know.

The End.

 

Walking for a Cause

Hubby may have mentioned in his blog that we have recently taken to brisk walking most mornings to help keep us fit.¬† Except that there seems to be a teeny-weeny problem…

After burning all those calories, we do seem to have the uncanny ability to gain them all back pretty quickly – especially since¬†anything which closely resembles exercise ¬†manages to work up our monster appetites! ūüė•

Let’s just say that until we get over these “post-workout cravings”, we definitely remain works-in-progress… ūüėČ

Guess we really do have to keep a safe distance from our favorite neighborhood “(ku)mare” if we are to be successful in our goal of shedding off some pounds … Via Mare, why is it just so hard to stay away? ūüė≥

When Ex-Easterners Meet…and Eat!

A few evenings ago, we had the pleasure of having dinner at John&Yoko’s again… and apart from the fun exchange of stories from our ex-kingdom-based friends (read hubby’s account of it here), we were also thrilled to be introduced to¬†some “new treats” (aka items from the menu that we do not usually order) this cool resto has to offer. ūüôā

Get a load of these “yummies”…

Delectable sea urchin (uni) sushi – will definitely have an “encore” during our next visit :mrgreen:

Chicken teriyaki pizza with mango chunks and fish roe (tobiko) drizzled with Japanese mayo Рdelicious!

It was a pity that we didn’t have the chance to take photos of the other foodie finds we had that night – Wagyu Rice and Salmon Teriyaki Belly.¬† Well, there’s always a next time, right? ūüėČ

In the meantime, we have to make do with these yummy foodie memories until we find ourselves in this part of the metro again.

A repeat favorite from our first visit Рthe Spider Roll Рsoft-shelled crab sushi  with Japanese mayo and fish roe

 

Mr Cool

If you were to ask hubby the best way to beat the heat and humidity in Manila, his¬†surefire¬†“prescription”¬†(at least to us who know him well) would be…

Take at least one of these (be it Quickly, Zagu, Ice Monster… name it, he’s had it!) :mrgreen: per day (now you know why it’s just so hard to lose weight!) to chase the uncomfortable heat (and stickiness too…eeewwww!!!!) away!

The photo above is actually two glasses of the all-too-familiar pink Pinoy¬†“samalamig” I remember being¬†¬†sold by street vendors with rolling wooden carts¬† when I was a kid staying at my grandparents’ ¬†house over the summer.¬† Back then, this was usually ladled into glasses from¬†plastic jars with red lids… I never actually knew what it was called and how it tasted¬†till fairly recently when – you guessed it – hubby was “enticed” to purchase some for a (ahem) “taste test”.

Except that these particular ones actually came from a food stall – in a mall! What can I say? “Ice scramble” has come a long way indeed! ūüėÄ

And as for hubby, all I can say is that he’s definitely…

PS Excuse the poor picture quality as I took these photos from my phone cam only.

Afternoon Delight

It’s the second day of summer break.¬† School’s out, the kids are home and my fridge and pantry contents badly need to be emptied (yes, our “official exodus” from the desert happens in 14 days! ūüėÄ )…

Win-win solution? Make a yummy snack (something sweet, preferably, to please the kiddos) that use up as much ingredients as possible both from the fridge and the pantry (to please me – hahaha! ūüėÜ ).

Guess what I came up with?

Still can’t figure it out? ūüė≥ How about if I show you this?

Yes, you’re getting there… it is a favorite Pinoy¬†merienda¬†(snack) fare and it is a form of rice cake… ūüėȬ† What else could it be but…

Though I would’ve preferred a more caramelized¬†top with the cheese melting (notes to self – get those mini blowtorch thingamajigs¬†soon – and use the “melty” kind of cheddar cheese next time), the taste of this finished product definitely did not disappoint. It was D-E-L-I-S-H!¬†¬† More importantly, hubby (when he got back from work) and the gremlins gave it their unanimous seal of approval (*clap, clap, clap!!*).¬†

Many thanks to my “co-desert diva”¬† Toni for the simple yet very tasty cassava cake recipe!¬† Hope to do an encore of this in Manila soon!

PS Here’s the easy recipe for anyone who may be interested.

WHAT YOU NEED:

For Cake: 2 packs grated cassava (available in most Asian stores), 1 can coconut milk, small can evaporated milk, 2 pcs raw egg, 1/4 cup butter (melted), 6 tbsp grated cheese (I used cheddar), 1/2 cup condensed milk, 14 tbsp sugar (I just used 10)

For Topping: 1 can coconut milk, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/2 cup condensed milk, 2 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp grated cheese, 1 pc raw egg

HOW TO:

For Cake: Combine all ingredients (except coconut milk) in bowl and mix well.  Add coconut milk until well incorporated.  Pour batter in greased baking tray and bake in pre-heated oven (10 mins prior to actual baking time) at 350F (or 176C) for 1 hour.  Set aside.

For Topping: Combine sugar and flour in heated sauce pan.  Pour in condensed milk and mix thoroughly.  Add cheese while stirring constantly.  Pour in coconut milk in mixture and stir continuously for 10 mins or until mixture thickens.

Pour topping over cake and spread evenly.  Separate egg and set aside yolk.  Glaze topping with egg white.  Broil cassava cake until color turns light brown.  Garnish with grated cheese and serve.  Share and enjoy! :mrgreen:

 

Birthday Boy’s Blessed Bash

Unlike the “bigger” celebrations (in terms of venue and number of guests) of previous years, hubby’s birthday this year was much simpler – yet, if I may say, more personal and intimate. ūüėÄ

We just celebrated at home with me cooking/baking…

Fresh from the oven, savory goodness…

Chicken ala King – for the “king of the house” ūüėČ

And what better way to say, “Long live, the ‘king’!” than with this long-life pasta dish – Baked Spaghetti!

Hmmm… something missing from your simple spread?

…and him going to our newest favorite bakeshop, Saadedin, to grab the requisite cake(s).

Oh yes, the birthday boy had Рnot one, not two Рbut  5 different kinds of birthday cake! :mrgreen:

Yum, yum!

Since he was spoilt for choice for his birthday cake(s),¬† wonder which cake will he choose to blow? ūüė≥¬† It came down to these two “finalists”…

Caramel?

Or chocolate? ūüôĄ

Whatever the party or wherever we may be, I’ve always believed that birthdays are meant to be “grateful days” – a perfect time to take stock of what has happened in¬†one’s life thus far, to count blessings and to look hopefully to the future… And if¬†we could do this¬†with the ones¬†we love,¬† then all the better, right? ūüėČ

 

Incidentally, he chose both! After all, birthday boy knows best! ūüėÜ

Belated happy birthday, Hon! Your life is truly a blessing. Looking forward to spending more blessed birthdays with you and the gremlins. Love you!