What's keeping me busy....

The interior decor of Pasta Box

Hello to all!

I know it's been a while and I'm so sorry for this long hiatus. If you have been following up my blog you know the reason of my absence is the restaurant that I was putting up. And now I cannot wait to share with you my baby project; the Pasta Box. I credit all these wonderful photos to Ms. Tricia de Ocampo and her wonderful blog who recently organized a birthday party at our pasta bar.

Our take-away boxes for pasta thus the name pasta box......

One of our best-seller Popeye's favorite; spinach, sundried tomato in a creamy basil pesto sauce

Some nachos to keep you busy while waiting for our pasta

Another favorite in our pasta bar, Seafood Pomodoro with mozzarella cheese

The celebrant who looks very happy.....

To know more about my pasta bar add us in your FB account :-)...more stories and cooking to come up!!!



Weekend Herb Blogging # 222 Round-up

Yiiiiiiha!! I'm finally up here to do this sumptuous round-up for Weekend Herb Blogging! #222 Believe me I thought I will never make it! A big hug and thanks to Haalo for her support. And again to the Food Blogging community for all your undying patience and generosity. The thruth is my schedule the past weeks was really kinda tight: imagine the cross country move and very soon I'll be opening my very own restaurant..oops. I'll be spilling the beans on my next post but in the meantime enjoy this delicious concoctions of our talented bloggers:

Our first entry comes from Janet the Saveur of Taste Space she send us freshly baked Wild blueberries and Banana Oatmeal Muffin. These are healthy snacks that's loaded with wonderful flavors of fruits. And don't tell me I didn't warn you here photos are as yummy as her recipes!!

Next on the list comes from the talented Tigerfish of Teczcape he prepared to us this mouth-watering Blackfungus Chayote. If you want to know more about interesting vegetable combo recipes or just want to enjoy delicious blog reading Teczcape is the place to hang out!

Third on the list is one of my favorite appetizer recipe: Tapenade. This is a savory olive spread made from fresh olives, garlic, olive oil and anchovies. But hey Graziana concocted to us a very interesting twist of this recipe. So If you want to know more about this satisfying recipe go check Graziana from Erbe in Cucina.

And to beat the summer heat (well I mean here in the Philippines :-) ) try this refreshing salad recipe made to us by Rachel of Crispy Cook; Jicama Orange Salad. Jicama is one of my favorite vegetable snack. If you are curious to know more about this veggie I'm talking about head on to Crispy cook and learn more about this.

Next on our list, this vitamin packed dish prepared to us by Christine of Kits Chow. I know that there are some people that doesn't like very much onion. But after seeing this yummy salad I'm sure you'll be heading to the market to buy some to make this recipe.

I know you are all still hungry, so give some room for this sweet, light and healthy dessert of Longan Tropical Fruit Salad concocted by none other than Haalo of Cook Almost Anything. You better check out her post to know more about this refreshing fruit.

The talented Muneeba of An Edible Symphony whip us up this savory dish of Fenugreek chicken curry. If you are not familiar with this vegetable just like me, I suggest you check out her post to know more about. In meantime, enjoy this green curry over some rice! Yum!

And for home-made recipe lovers out there, enjoy this handy recipe made to us by charming Brii all the way from beautiful Italy; Crunchy Musli. Truly perfect for breakfast!

And the last, but definitely not the least is Winnie's entry Healthy Green Kitchen. She made us this salad recipe of Roasted Beet Salad with Mint and Feta bursting with lots of flavor. This is a very easy to make and yet gorgeous salad recipe to bookmark. Another yummy reason to love beets :-)

That's it I hope I didn't forget anyone. I hope you enjoy reading them and inspired you to cook something tonight! Thanks again and see you all for the next edition of WHB, this week's host is Susan of Well Seasoned Cook. Have a great day everyone!!

WHB #222 Hosting Announcement

Hi everyone :-) Mea culpa..I almost forgot that I am this week's WHB host (well unfortunately I had some minor explosion problem with my laptop :-) )

As usual it is always my honor and pride to host Weekend Herb Blogging ,this mouthwatering event that puts vegetables, herbs, plants and fruits into the limelight. WHB as we all know is the brainchild of Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. It is now under the caring wings of Haalo of Cook Almost Anything but it still brings us the same aroma and passion for anything green. The rules are simple, post about any herb, fruit, vegetable, flower or plant. The post can be informative, a spotlight of a particular ingredient and/or a recipe where your chosen produce is one of the primary ingredients in the recipe. The post should include about the event "Weekend Herb Blogging" with appropriate links and a link to this announcement. I will be posting the roundup next week :-)

In the meantime enjoy some shots of the Chinese New Year Celebration I took in Binondo Manila. We wanted so much to stay longer and enjoy the event but Mayumi got scared of the dragon :-)

From South to South

Hello to all! I know know , there is no excuse for my long hiatus and I apologize for that. Well you know cross country moving is not that easy imagine that it took me almost a month before being back on my foot again. And it feels so great.

I know you are all dying to hear some updates on me, my family and my kitchen so here it is. My daughter is still vibrant and jolly as ever, she's still having a difficult time though coping up with the very hot weather but is glad to have found so many friends to play with and it proved that language for children has never been a barrier. I know that you will ask me in the end, why the "hell" I accepted to change the simplicity and quietness of life in my beautiful Provencal city. I hear no more the singing cicadas but cars honking all the time. The scent of lavander is now replaced by the bustling city. And despite that I am "acrophobia" I am dwelling now on the place touches that sky. The blue Mediterranean sea is now a refreshing olympic size swimming pool. Well you know sometimes change is different. I''ll be bringing you soon my city-life cooking ;-)

I'm really glad to be back!

Perigordine Walnut Chocolate Mousse Cake

Time flies at "damn" accelerating rate since the day hubby and I decided to leave France for our adventure in the tropics. It's just hard to imagine that in few days will be flying to Philippines to start our totally new thrilling venture. I can still remember few years back when we both agreed to leave Tokyo for my complete immersion of French culture. It was so hard for me to leave Japan back then for my job and friends and I really love that country . Right now, I have no regrets bidding goodbye to France (maybe just for a moment ) , for it was a totally a fullfilling experience. In a way I have mastered their language and understood more their philosophy and their thinking. France has awakened my passion too for food and has contributed a lot in influencing me to venture into blogging. And now to finally have the courage to take a plunge into the world of food industry . I know it's not easy but after all life is all about taking risk. I can't wait to share with you what it will be but for the moment I need to keep my lips close until everything is in place.

My next post will be definitely 100% published from the archipelago of the Philippines.See you then!

This was the cake I bake for our December birthday celebrants. Perigord is the region in France famous for their foie gras, duck and walnuts. This is a very easy cake to do that you can prepare for birthday or other celebration by adding some "entrements" like mousse or ganache.

Perigordine Walnut Chocolate Mousse Cake

for the cake
250 g of coarsely chopped walnuts
120 g of butter
4 eggs separate the white from the yolks
250 g of brown sugar

Preheat the oven at 150° celsius. Melt the butter, then whisk in the sugar, 4 yolks and the chopped walnuts. Whisk the white egg and gently fold into the mixture. Bake roughly for an hour or less. You should check it from time to time by inserting a knife if it comes clean then its ready.

Chocolate Entrement

75 g of sugar
half a glass of water
4 egg yolks
200 g of dark chocolate
20 cl of heavy cream

In a casserole make a light syrup of water and sugar. Whisk the egg yolks with this mixture until they become creamy. Add your melted chocolate slowly and mix well. Pour gently your cold heavy cream and continue mixing.
Chocolate Ganache
200 g of dark chocolate
20 cl of heavy cream
50 g of butter

Melt your chocolate in bain marie. Add in the melted butter and heavy cream. Reserve

Assembly of the cake:
You need to have a big ring the size of your walnut cake. If you don't have one you can make one using a carton wrapped with parchment paper. Pour the chocolate entrement let it stand for about thirty minutes before adding your last layer of chocolate ganache. Put it in the fridge overnight. Decorate it next mornign with some chocolate butter cream, or cookies around.

Cheese Puffs (Gougère au Gruyere)

"We need to push ourselves to make as many reductions as possible in our own energy use first.. and that takes time. But we must do this quickly.. the climate will not wait for us. - Rupert Murdoch"

When we woke up this morning, my daughter and I were dazzled at a beautiful scenery that greeted us. An imaculate white snow blankets our entire garden and all around our area. I tell you this thing happens rarely in Provence. The old granny who lives next door swear that the last time she saw this kind of snow in region was about fifty years ago. All the kids in the neihborhood were glad to play outside to enjoy this rare moment. It's not that I'm being an "Auntie Scrooge" while everyone else are having fun but I can't help and wonder what more alarming global changes is in store for us. Will it snow in Africa in the future or how about if all the ice in the north pole melts? Are we really prepared for this?

I still remember back then when I was still learning French, the very first essay I wrote was how we human beings could turn like Dinosaurs in the near future if we won't take drastic measures in protecting our environment. Already much has been said about "global warning", massive campaigns all over the world has been donen it about time we take those words into real action.

I am sending some of these cheese puffs over at Maninas at Food Matters, this weeks host of Weekend Herb Blogging. This is one of my favorite weekly blogging event were you can enjoy an array of delectable herb dishes and desserts. This even was created by Kalyn but is now in the caring hands of Haalo of Cook Almost Anything.

Gougere are French cheese puffs that are very easy to make and yet delicious. They are perfect entrée that you can serve with some salad. This is the basic recipe that you can modify to add up your favorite cheeses like goat cheese, mozzarella and others.

Basic Gougere Recipe
for about 30 pieces

125 ml of water
40 g of butter
1 teaspoon of salt
70 g of flour
2 large eggs
100 g of gruyere cheese grated
some herbs and chopped chives

Preheat the oven at 220° celsius. In a casserole put your water, salt and butter. Let it melt but not boiling the water. Wait until there's little bubble in the water. Cut the fire. Add the flour gently. Mix well. Put it back on a low fire to dry up the mixture. You just need to see that the mixture doesn't stick to the casserole anymore. Out of fire, add your eggs one by one. Continue mixing. If it's too wet you can put it back in fire to dry it up a little. Once the mixture is ready put your grated cheese, chives and thyme. Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough making each about the size of a small cherry tomato. Bake for ten minutes. Then lower the temperature at 190° celsius and bake for another twenty minutes.

white new year

My New Year celebration was white, but not cold. We've been busy with long chit chat over non-stop dinner flooded with "I swear to God" I'll only eat once a year filled with lots of calories and guilt food and alcohol of course. I hope yours was a fantastic one too.

Come January in France Gallete de Roi (King's Gallette) is a typical dessert we eat in family or with friends. A tradition to honor the Three Kings visit to the holy manger. In the Southern France we boast of our Brioche de Roi (Kings Brioche), a fluffy brioche perfumed with orange flower that is topped with candied fruits.

I maybe a little bit busy for awhile for our big move to the tropics but I'll try to catch up on you guys. Happy Happy New Year to all! May this new year be filled with lots of hope and peace for everyone else!

Photos above are taken at Villard de lans in the region of Isere in France.

Kings Brioche

330 g of flour
1 tsp of yeast
20 g of sugar
6 g of salt
4 eggs
24 cl of milk
170 g of butter
1 tablespoon of water of orange flower (eau de fleur d'oranger)
1 teaspoon of rhum
zest of one lemon
100 g of chopped orange confit

For the decoration:
30 g of fruit confits (candied fruit) chopped
1 tablespoon of crystallized sugar
1 tablespoon of apricot jam mixed with 2 tablespoons of water

In a bowl put the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and egg yolks and add the milk little by little and continue mixing until they become homogenous. Add the butter and continue kneading the dough until they dont stick to the hands. Let this dough stand for an hour. Flatten the dough to release the air and add the fleur d'oranger, rhum and chopped fruit confit. Continue kneading again and let it raise for another hour. Butter your brioche mold and put the dough inside. Brush it with egg yolk and egg mixture. Pre heat the oven and bake it for 20 minutes at 200° celsius. In microwave oven heat up the apricot jam with water. Using a brush glaze the top of your brioche. Decorate it with sugar and fruit confit.