Pancit Series – Bihon Guisado

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Pancit is perhaps amongst the easiest Filipino dishes that I can cook while living here in Europe for several years now. For one, it’s very easy to find noodles of different kinds – vermicelli noodles in particular – in most Asian grocery stores.

Pancit is a very traditional and popular cuisine found in majority of Filipino restaurants, and certainly at dinner tables of Filipinos everywhere. Filipina mothers would whip up pancit for family gatherings.

Most especially during birthday celebrations, it has to be sure that the pancit noodles are kept long; for it’s been superstitiously believed that it represents long life and good health. In most Chinese restaurants in the Philippines, they often have “birthday noodles” as part of their special menus. Read more

Great Taste in 2015: Soups, Pastas & Home Dinners

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great taste 2015

Since we moved here to Belgium, I’ve actually spent a good deal of time preparing dinners for family and friends at home. Then over spring and summer, I got so hooked in making soups and pasta dishes.

Go meat! A few meat dishes got my attention that I chose to share the recipes here. I always enjoyed preparing this herbed lamb with crushed potatoes; just placing everything in the oven and you get this luscious lamb dish in half a time. Bangkok’s lemongrass chicken stir-fry recipe was pretty interesting. Quite a lot of prep work but it just takes a couple of minutes of cooking everything together in the wok, then you get a delicious Asian curry dish. Then this chicken adobo with merguez was a happy experiment of sort. Read more

On the Go in 2015: At Home and A Bit Away Too

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“Marmotjes!”

My husband and I just visited their museum somewhere at the mountain top in Grossglochner.   I had already expected that I’d only see these creatures on screen or at their “most preserved” forms.

“Turn around. Look!” hubby was calling me out in a forcibly hush tone, so as not to scare them and run away.

We stopped walking, and I couldn’t believe what I saw.

“For real, I’m finally meeting my furry kinds at last!” I jokingly reacted.

Marmots are large squirrels living in mountainous areas such as the Alps.  These fluffy animals typically live in burrows and often within rock piles, and hibernate there through the winter.  Most marmots are highly social and use loud whistles to communicate with one another. Read more

A Day in Pisa and Lucca

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I got thrilled right away to see Pisa on the itinerary for our honeymoon journey in Italy.  Then my excitement waned when I began to realize one thing.

“Oh no… Am I supposed to ‘lean’ on it, like everybody does?”

‘Lean’ on the Tower of Pisa.

When we speak about Italy, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is amongst the firsts that pop in our heads.  Pizza is another, but just because this Italian delicacy and the old city sound alike, I was tickled to death when I heard somebody claiming that pizza originated from Pisa. Mamma mia!

It would have been a disgrace especially to the one who built it, purely because the Tower of Pisa is an architectural mistake. Interestingly though, this miscalculation had actually brought a symbol of civic pride.  Especially for most cheeky tourists nowadays, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the perfect muse to practice the art of ‘forced perspective.’ Read more

3 Days in Cinque Terre

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Visiting these five crazily stacked, colorful fishing villages of Cinque Terre perched on the Ligurian coast seems to be entering in a world drawn only for a storybook.  Grape terraces, lemon trees, the ocean and steep cliffs will corner you; yet still, it’s a great place to get stuck after all.

A UNESCO world heritage site since 1997, Cinque Terre consists of five villages dating from the early medieval period: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Cinque Terre’s unique feature is attributed to the carefully built houses and terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean sea.  The “five lands” form part of Italy’s most rugged coastline, isolated and inaccessible for centuries until a railway was completed in 1874. Read more

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

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It’s pretty obvious how I like pasta very much, and it’s amongst the dozens of reasons why I was eager to visit Italy.  The kind of pasta I enjoyed much as a kid however, is not as the same as the Italian’s.

Pinoy pasta is quite different.

Our version of spaghetti bolognese has the usual ingredients, yet we add some extras like hot dogs, sugar and banana ketchup that all in all, give a bit of sweet taste.  My favorite carbonara has a creamy white sauce topped with ham and bacon; a balanced mix of all-purpose cream, cream of mushroom soup and evaporated milk defines it.

Now here I get a very meaty spaghetti bolognese, sans the sweetness and the ‘tender juicy hotdogs.’  And the carbonara?  Well, it’s still as creamy as the one I would have back home.  Until my trip to Rome, I came across the real carbonara for the first time.  Less creamy, but boy oh boy, it was divine! Read more