Antonio’s

Found an hour away from the city, Antonio serves organic gourmet food. The place is also famous for its homey feel that best describes the kind of dining we wish to achieve when we wish to talk and celebrate work, life and love.

Surely, this isn’t like your typical loud mouthed commercial-whore-of-a-restaurant like what we are accustomed to in the city. This one is quiet, unpretentious and literally off the beaten path.

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Heat

Me and some friends had dinner at Heat Shangri-La a few days ago and I was lucky enough to be allowed by the chef to take a few pictures to take for memory.

Heat offers international cuisines that are utterly delectable. This, hands down, is my new favorite restaurant; something that will be frequented for celebrations.

Come main course I could not take snaps anymore, not that I was not allowed, I was just too darn hungry. Here have a look …

A Dish And (Perhaps) His Heart

He brought me food today; something he prepared from grocery to microwavable container. And indeed, it was the sweetest thing by far.

He told me that he was cooking and I shrugged it off like any common errand that he might be doing for the day. I had no idea that it was for me. He took his dish to the office and left it at the fridge – in case I got hungry. With the kind of schedule we keep, squeezing this task may mean cutting on sleep and adding to the already cumbersome day. Surely, it was an acknowledged effort. However, close to seven hours within my shift, with work up to my nose and lunch so out of sight, I haven’t touched the thing. So he reheated it and took it to me to be reminded that I’m already hungry.

I sure was and I ate his Pasta on White Sauce with such appreciation – mushroom cooked just right. While I perfectly understand that people cook when they wish to, I felt the need to ask why.  To my surprise he was brave enough to tell me that he has not cooked for anyone for a long time … until now and I was his reason. So succinctly explained over a text message – something that was just right or we’ d be plagued with awkwardness usually reserved for high schoolers – I could not help but think and blush. There was no occasion or any trivial cause, save perhaps the motivation to prepare me something. Oh spontaneity, bless you.

No one has ever cooked for me before, except perhaps the maid or mom. It was indeed the sweetest thing. Plus, his cooking is awesome.

Before Kick-Off

Today is Sunday and I’m watching Oprah while typing this. To my side is my planner.

I haven’t really looked at it as close as I should, save for certain days that dictates an activity or an appointment. While answering some emails and organizing files, I took a peek at what I’ll be having for the week and this is  what I saw:

So before I even get to some fun stuff, I have a handful of things to do. I had no idea that I packed what seems like a little more than what I can focus on. Oh well it’s just a light impasse, no biggie.

***

Was out with a friend last Thursday. And for the first time in a very long time, I ate once again at Cabalen. After getting my fill, we trudged for shopping. I took home a new top and a tankini -with its back completely void of any material save for two strings (for the neck and the bust area) to tie the whole thing together.

I can’t wait to launch it with my new boardshorts.

***

I ate a lot today, something that I did not intend to do but managed to achieve without so much as a second thought. How wrong was I? Very. But buttered mussels and adobo squid (cooked just right, it was so soft and not gummy) can make my knees go weak; specially when I haven’t had any for quite sometime.

For dessert: something that helps with any possible feeling of bloated-ness, banana.

Dinner Italian

I went grocery shopping today.

I’m cooking dinner for  old friends visiting this week. I’m preparing something I saw over Everyday Italian – tried and tested – so I’m confident I can deliver again. Plus, it’s super easy.

There won’t be dessert but instead I’m serving some good Earl Grey Tea  (alfresco style) and invite  them out for a long drive to Tagaytay soon after. Then drive back again. I prepared a mixed CD that I’m sure we’ll enjoy.

But in case they push for something sweet, I’ll have a tub of ice cream at the ready.

Arugula Endive Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette


For the salad:

2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

4 ounces arugula
2 heads of endive, chopped
1/3 cup toasted walnuts

For the vinaigrette:

Put together your wine, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:

Put together all your dry ingredients not mentioned under “For the vinaigrette”.

Chicken Cacciatore


4 chicken thighs
2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
large red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can of button mushroom
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Salt and pepper your chicken. Lightly coat chicken with flour and put it in a  pan with medium high heat. Brown your chicken per side then set aside.

At the same pan where you fried your chicken soutee, the following: bell pepper,  mushroom, onion and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the wine, simmer for 5 minutes, put your  tomatoes (with juice), broth, capers and oregano.

Add the chicken to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the entire ensemble to a simmer, until chicken is completely cooked. You will know this once the sauce thickens.

Top with basil (or parsley) and serve with rice or bread.