My Great Taste in 2014

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Fifteen dishes in my Cooking Diaries.
A few more unpublished recipes. Tried, tested and prevailed.
Summer holiday guests. Belgian mussels in season. Cebu lechon.
More meat and seafood, pastas and rice, cheeses and wines…

This is how I describe my cooking and food adventures in a nutshell for 2014.

Cebu & Dumaguete Food Bliss.   Mahal and I devoured over the smoky red, crispy Cebu lechon at Zubuchon.  Our first sutukil experience would have lost our appetite, but a special and sumptuous dinner buffet at Mactan Shangri-la’s Tides saved the day. Our Visayan food adventure didn’t end in Cebu. We’re lucky to spot some good restaurants in Dumaguete that were not only serving delicious dishes but also at unbelievably reasonable price.

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Alsatian cuisine. I started to get curious on la cuisine alsacienne when I fell in love with choucroute, a big dish of sour cabbage served with pork or sausage. As soon as we got there, I didn’t think twice to order one, in large servings as usual. I also tried for the first time the humongous baeckeoffe, or baker’s oven in English. It ‘s a slow-cook casserole dish with a mix of potatoes, onions, muttons, beef and pork marinated in white wine and juniper berries. Generally Alsatian dishes are substantial and served in generous  portions. It’s interesting to know too that Alsace has the most Michelin stars in France. There’s a reason for us to come back then.

My most favorite French wines, s’il vous plait? Alsace is very known for its most noted dry Reislings and very aromatic Gewürztraminer white wines.  Last spring, we also had a chance to visit my most favorite French red, Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Smakelijk!

Beyond the Belgian waffles. There’s more to Belgian cuisines than waffles and beers. This year, I was able to cook dishes like carbonnade, witloof gratin and moules frites.

Loca over Lasagnas. 2014 was the year of lasagna at home.  Here are the tried and tested recipes – tomato sausage lasagna and the classic lasagna bolognese.

Mmmeat! Of course, I blogged about some meaty dishes as well, such as (Russian) beef stroganoff, (almost) Ikea (Swedish) meatballs, Chinese Spareribs & Filipino Adobo, and Italy’s Saltimbocca alla Romana.We’ve gone global indeed.

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Under the sea.  Fish and seafood too! You can check out these recipes – fish curry, baked cod chorizoteriyaki salmon, and seafood pasta.

So…what’s up for Great Taste in 2015? My cooking skills have finally been put to the test when we started hosting dinners for our guests at home. Overall it’s a good experience, though I wouldn’t say it’s easy breezy. It does take some planning and lots of prep work. Most of the time I’d feel the jitters, as I worry if they’d like the meals, especially when I serve something more Asian. Then I’d breathed a sigh of relief for being able to pull it off. Nonetheless I look forward to some more.

For me, food and travel always come in pair. No doubt about it. Hopefully the foodie in me will also start nibbling on words that would vividly describe how my food senses come alive whenever I discover new, spectacular dishes. Call me romantic, but I just love good food. Well, we’ll see where my palate will take me next.

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