Category Archives: breakfast

Roasted Eggplant And Feta Spread

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Next to manchego cheese, feta is my ultimate comfort cheese. A brined curd cheese, I use it best as topping on melba toasts, pesto or sundried sauces or as the final touch to my moussaka. Let’s put it this way, I can simply gobble up feta with NOTHING. Yes, eat it like I do with Chippy. I LOVE feta— enough said.

This weekend had me making some spread made of some roasted eggplant and red bell peppers smothered generously with crumbled feta cheese. It was to be the ‘crowning glory’ of my grilled whole wheat pandesal round. I was amused at the combo of this cheese and the medley of eggplant and peppers that I threw into it. The creamy-soury nature of the feta just did some kick to the almost neutral-tasting but smokey qualities of my veggie roasts. Ahhh, how I devoured this spread on my open-faced pandesal rounds! It’s a must-try, absolutely.

Roasted eggplant with feta spread

2 medium-sized eggplants. cut vertically

2 medium-sized red bell pepper, seeded and cut vertically

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsps balsamic vinegar

Season eggplant and bell peppers with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle with some olive oil. Grill until they’re cooked or bellpeppers’ skin can peel easily.

On a plate, scrape the flesh of the eggplant discarding the skin. Do the same with the bell pepper. Cube the bell peppers, cut the flesh of the eggplant into bite size pieces and mix them together. Toss in feta cheese.

Use as topping for your favorite toast.

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Sonya’s Garden In Tagaytay

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My family hied off to good old Tagaytay over the weekend. Our mission was to scratch the itch to go back and experience Sonya’s garden once again.

We so like  the concept of the ‘eat-all-you want’ for P600 per person for all the fantastic eats  we could gobble up.  Excellent food, a picture-perfect  garden, great company– totally priceless.

Met the owner, Sonia.

The service is always excellent. You and your food almost arrive on the table together! Haha! Yes, that fast! The mixed greens and the bread along with  the other sauces, sidings and condiments get to you as soon as you are seated. The pasta is served as soon as you request for them.

The fun part is when you make  your own concoction using the ingredients/sidings  they serve you with. For those who don’t cook, it shouldn’t be a problem because the choices are simple, healthy, all good and ready to eat.

Everything they put on your table are all organic and homegrown– yes, including the uber tasty and tender bread which they bake.

The greens are usually a mega combination of romaine, iceberg and other varieties of lettuces, arugula leaves plus a host of other greens I don’t usually see in many restaurants here in Manila.

I am always overwhelmed by the flavors and varieties they offer their customers.I particularly like their pesto sauce, coarsely chopped, thick but moist and smothered with cubed feta cheese. The black olive pate is also a favorite, the play of sour and salty just hits my taste so suitably. Other choices include: sundried tomatoes, grilled bellpeppers, boiled eggs,jackfruit, ripe mangoes, capers, olives, etc.

All these with their excellent bread or as salad toppers or even tossed in the pasta along with the two pasta sauces to choose from– white chicken sauce or the sundried tomato sauce.

The dessert is made of a super moist slice of chocolate cake and a plate of some baby turons with langka. I just have to warn you to save some space for the sweet ending. The meal  prior to it may be totally crazy.

Of course the sight seeing around Sonya’s garden after the meal is always a treat as well. We were marvelling at the very opulent and sometimes whimsical interiors of the place. It just spelled MAJESTIC!

The interiors of each dining are were all sights to behold!

At the garden adjacent to where we dined

Awesome toilets

I was obsessing with their chandeliers!

Sam with her big, big smile!

 *With additional Photos from my Brother-in-law, Oliver Garcia.

Ham and Cheese Waffle ‘Sandwich’

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Lifted from the recipe pages of FOODIE magazine, I literally dished out three exciting  food treats from leftovers during the taping of Studio 23’s “US Girls”.

Ahh, how I embraced the challenge of having to revv up an otherwise dull, unappetizing, ex-yummy-now-eecky leftover dish! My magic wand/sandok just had me do some quick but yummy dishes.

Okay, the first dish was the ham and cheese waffle sandwich. The leftover ingredient was the waffle (waffle recipe courtesy of FOODIE magazine). The challenge for me was how to tweak the waffle and transform it into a mega breakfast. And so, I did this:

Nice? Nothing easier than this, really. I just put a piece of salami and cheese in between two waffles and toasted them using a lightly greased pan, a minute on each side. There. Shockingly easy! I cut them into bite sizes and placed a dipping bowl of maple syrup. Dipping your waffle bites into it should be a great idea.

I thought allowing the citrus fruits to join my waffle ensemble was a good idea, too. There. Shockingly easy.

The next two leftover ‘wonders’ on my next blog, stay tuned!

Spanish Chorizo And Cheddar Cheese Omelette

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The original version of this dish uses scrap ham. Those hams that come from Excelente in Quiapo or Adelina’s Ham are certainly  the ones that garner  adulation and patronage from foodies like me. However, last I checked our fridge for Adelina’s, what greeted me, in one of my food containers, was a lonesome long stick of Spanish chorizo that seemed to have begged me with the, “Eat me! eat me!” appeal.

Chorizos always have that effect on me. It just makes me bite and devour it  selfishly with my eyes closed. To the point of addiction. To the point of gluttony. Ah, to the point where I mechanically eat and eat and eat these chorizos some more. And, to couple it with cheddar cheese? Arg, holy cow! Deadly combination, I must say.

Last week saw me dishing out this mean Spanish chorizo and cheddar cheese omelette. Used my new baby, my non-stick greenpan that’s eco-friendly and amazingly efficient. Wow, if you’re serious in your cooking, this pan is a MUST-have!!!

The bed of egg from the omelette  just flipped so perfectly from the pan to the serving plate!

Anyway, let me share with you my omelette  experience in the company of my Spanish chorizos. Here goes:

3 whole eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 cup all-purpose cream

1 long stick of chorizos, sliced

1 red bell pepper, minced

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1 tomato, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp worcestershire sauce (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

canola oil

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1. Saute garlic, tomato, onion and bell pepper in oil. Add chorizos. Season with salt and pepper. Add worcestershire sauce (optional).  Add cheese.

2. Mix beaten eggs and all purpose-cream together.  Pour eggs on a buttered skillet to form a round bed of egg. Distribute the chorizo mixture over one half of the egg. Fold egg with the chorizo filling inside. Serve with  your favorite toast.

TOUCHDOWN!

Hearty Cream Of Spinach Soup

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Having Popeye as spinach’s biggest endorser to date, this veggie has gained immense popularity from all four corners of the globe. It is, hands down,  universally acclaimed as one of the biggest providers of calcium and iron. It’s flavorful, versatile and physically appealing to the naked eye.  That’s  why I love giving this green leaf some interesting twists and turns when I get the chance.

The other night I got my hands working on this cream of spinach soup. It’s simple, rich and elegant. So, who says those three can’t go well together? 

To cut to the chase, here goes the recipe:

Hearty Cream Of  Spinach Soup

1 pack of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

1 box all-purpose cream

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1  small onion, chopped

1 and 1/2 cup chicken or beef stock

salt and pepper to taste

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1. In a skillet, saute garlic and onion. Throw in spinach and mix in stock. Bring down to a simmer. Never overcook the spinach.

2. Meantime, transfer this mixture into a food processor or blender.

3. Pulse until semi smooth.

4. Put back on the skillet. Switch heat to medium. Add cream. Season with salt and pepper. Stir. Serve.

Coming up next…

Spanish Chorizo With Cheddar Cheese  Omelet