Category: Food Blog & Review

34452 Mask – Clicks Global Research

43352 Mask, photo by JMorton

34452 Mask – Clicks Global Research

Ok, I have joined Clicks Global Research with the intention of getting products to review on my website.

This 34452 Mask is the very first product that I have received.  I got it just now 9 September 2017.

I have to start it immediately as I have to complete questionnaire no 1.

I hope this mask will make my ageing skin brighter!

….

Day 1

I have just applied the mask at 12:21pm after I have cleanse my face thoroughly with Simple foaming cleanser followed by Nivea gentle Exfoliating scrub.

I applied the mask generously as now I am beginning to feel a little tightening to my face and a little itching between my nose and lips.

It is 12:31, I rinsed off the mask with warm water.  I don’t see much difference, except I feel refreshed and I can still feel a nice tingling to my face.  Nice.

Day 2

Noticed that my face was itchy and had a two or three pimples overnight but surprisingly my skin is brighter.

Apply another coat of the mask.

Yeah, my face is brighter and thank goodness, the pimples did not bother to stay.  They just vanished as quickly as they appeared.

Hotdogs – Philippines Favourite Sausage

Hotdogs, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Hotdogs – Philippines Favourite Sausage

I have to say of all sausages, I love the Philippine hotdog of all. I love its bright matt red colour as it promises a sure succulent delight, extra juicy, especially smothered in tangy spicy banana ketchup.

I have tasted a lot of sausages.  British supermarkets stock quite a variety from around the world.  There are the Brits’ very own Cumberland, Gloucester, Lincolnshire, Pork & Leek, Pork and apple, black pudding,etc.  There are other Europeans ones such as chipolatas, chorizo, saveloy, Vienna sausage, Toulouse, Lyon, Bierwurst, salami, kabanos, just to mention a few.

If you happen to go to the Philippines and find street food vender, why not dry a freshly grilled or lightly fried hotdog.  They are delicious!

 

Salted Caramel Milkshake Recipe

Salted Caramel Milk Shake, Photo by JMorton

Salted Caramel Milkshake Recipe

I had a salted caramel milkshake when we last went to Gourmet Burgers in Brent Cross.  I absolutely loved it.  The slight saltiness greatly compliment the sweetness of the caramel.  It was really refreshing.

I wanted to make it at home and found a very easy recipe to follow which I have posted below.

Enjoy, kindly let me know how yours went! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 300 ml cold milk
  • 1 ½ tsp caramel sauce
  • sprinkling of sea salt

Directions

Tip the ice cream, milk, caramel sauce with a little sprinkling of sea salt into a food processor.  Blend until smooth and frothy.

Pour into tall glasses and share.

Max’s Fried Chicken Recipe

Max’s Signature Chicken, photo by JMorton

Max’s Fried Chicken Recipe

During a recent holiday in the Philippines, we visited Max’s Restaurant a lot as we were staying in a hotel nearby.

I have to say, Max’s fried chicken is really something.  It is soft and moist in the inside and it is crispy at the outside.  Simply tasty.  If you happened to go to the Philippines, be sure to try one of Max’s chicken. 🙂

I thought since we eat a lot of chicken in the UK, how can I make it taste like Max’s?!!!

So I trawled the internet and this is the recipe that I got.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size whole corn-fed or organic chicken
  • 4  dried bay leaves
  • 2 heaped tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves, garlic, minced finely
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • oil
Instructions
  1. Use a large steamer; if the steamer is not large enough to contain the whole chicken then cut the chicken in half.
  2. Add the water to the steamer and bring to a boil.
  3. Drop in the bay leaves and chopped parsley into the boiling water
  4. Arrange the chicken into the steamer and cook for 50 minutes.
  5. Take out the chicken from the steamer to let any excess liquid drip out.  Set it aside for half an hour.
  6. Rub minced garlic, salt and pepper all over the chicken and the inside cavities.
  7. In a deep-fryer or large casserole pan, heat the cooking oil.
  8. Deep-fry the chicken.  If the oil does not cover the whole chicken, carefully turn the chicken round until it is golden all over.
  9. Remove the chicken and let it drip and cool down a little.
  10. Serve hot with gravy or choice of sauces.

 

Congee With Dried Anchovies

Congee with Dried Anchovies, photo by PH Morton

Congee With Dried Anchovies

When we stayed at the Armada Hotel, in Malate, Philippines for almost a whole week, everyday, I started by breakfast with congee or lugaw topped with crispily fried dried anchovies or dilis.

It was strange at first as I have never had dili in my lugaw before but I quickly developed a taste for it.  It sets the day right.

Now back in London, I am missing this little treat.  Thank goodness it is pretty easy to make at home.

Here is the recipe –

Ingredients:

Congee
  1. 3 tsp sesame oil
  2. 1 small onion, chopped finely
  3. 1/2 cup long-grain rice (uncooked)
  4. 4 cups vegetable stock or 3 vegetable cubes dissolved in 4 cups of hot water
  5. 1/2 ” piece of ginger (grated finely)
Toppings
  1. 2 tbsp chili oil
  2. 2 tbsp dried anchovies, fried until golden and crispy
  3. 1 egg (boiled)
  4. 6 cloves garlic, chopped finely and then fried until golden brown
  5. 1 stalk spring onion, chopped
  6. Fish sauce
  7. Calamansi or lemon, juiced

Preparation:

Congee

  1. Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan over high heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and fry until translucent.
  3. Stir in the rice and cook for a couple of minutes until well covered with the oil.
  4. Pour in vegetable stock, add the ginger and bring to a boil.
  5. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer but ensure to give it a stir once in a while.
  6. When the rice had softened and absorbed most of the liquid and has a porridge-like thickness, then it is cooked but if a more runny consistency is wished, add more hot water.

Toppings

  1. Fry the anchovies in wok or frying pan with a little oil.  Stir for 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy all over.
  2. Ladle a good portion for one in a bowl. Add a bit of fish sauce to the congee.  Sprinkle with the fried garlic and chopped spring onion then add the chopped boiled egg and dried anchovies.
  3. Finally drizzle with the juice of calamansi or lemon according to taste.

Enjoy!

Max Restaurant Vs Aristocrat Restaurant

Max Restaurant Vs Aristocrat Restaurant

Before we left the Philippines we held von voyage parties and treated our family to a couple of dinners.

Prior to Marilou’s departure for Los Angeles, on 7th July, we went to Max Restaurant in Malate.  We thoroughly enjoyed the meal, the service was good and the venue was family-friendly.

The food was so good.  We had sinigang na hipon (there were lots of shrimps on the two pots provided, Max’ signature dish of fried chicken was delicious.  It was soft and moist in the inside and crispy at the outside.

The kare-kare was to die for.  It was so delicious in itself, the bagoong that went with it was almost redundant.

The fried pork bellies were so  crunchy and good portion.

The fried bangus came with the most sour vinegar I have ever tasted that it send me coughing for a little bit.  It was delicious though.

The glasses of pineapple juices were very much appreciated.

For afters we had a very cooling, very colourful buko pandan.

The amount of the food was too much for the nine of us that we had to have doggie bags for some of the leftovers.

Anyway fun and full stomachs were had by all.

On the eve of our own departure for London on the 12, we decided to bring the family we were living behind in the Philippines to Aristocrats Restaurant, also in Malate an adjacent to Max Restaurant.

I was feeling unwell then so I was unable to go.  Instead Peter went with the Family.

After the meal they came to the hotel full of negative comments about Aristocrats.

They said it was so different from Max.

The service was atrocious.  They had to remind the restaurant staff about their orders a few times.  The food was okay to be fair but nothing special.

I think Aristocrat has become a victim of its own success.  Once upon a time, it used to be the haunt of the moneyed class.

But due to Filipinos having more disposable income, there are more customers and potential customer wanting a bit of the Aristocrat’s reputation of long ago.  Unfortunately the staff can’t cope with the increase demand, thus the service is  now rudimentary.  The waiting staff appear rather indifferent.

Peter was so annoyed that he wished now that he did not leave any trip, as the waiters did not deserve any. 🙂 🙂 🙂

So if I have to choose which restaurant to go to?  I would definitely go for Max!

Tuyo – [Genus Sardinella]

Tuyo, photo by PH Morton

Tuyo – [Genus Sardinella]

Tuyo and eggs, photo by Bess Mercado

Times had changed, it certainly had.

Once upon a time, tuyo is food for the poor.  And many a television dramas had been made of poor families often grumbling about having tuyo again for every breakfast.  Only the poor ate it, tuyo was very inexpensive then.

These dramas influenced me.  There was a time when I would have fainted if my mother had offered to feed me tuyo when I was in my teens.  🙂 🙂 🙂 LOL

She remembered that time too, because when I went back home after so many years living in London, I requested fried tuyo with sinagag (garlic fried rice) for breakfast.

“Since when do you eat tuyo?” my mother asked me.

“he he he … from now!”

And I made good of that statement.  For some reason, I missed tuyo whilst in London.

Almost everyday of a month-long stay in the Philippines, I had fried tuyo for breakfast.  I just love it.

Apparently tuyo had cross-over the social divide in the Philippines.  Even the elite had taken to dining on tuyo, perhaps better presented in a silver platter! 🙂

Tuyo has a very distinctive smell.  It is rather pungent.  If you are frying it, the whole neighourhood would know! If you were the cook, you would smell of it and if you had eaten it, well you have to brush your teeth thoroughly.

Tuyo are sardines which are salted and dried.

It is so easy to cook it.  Just fry both sides until crispy.

Best eaten with runny fried eggs and tonnes of fried rice.

Sarap.

Ginataang Kuhol (Escargot in Coconut Milk)

Escargot in Coconut Milk, Photo by Rosie Reyes-Barrera

Ginataang Kuhol (Escargot in Coconut Milk)

I love and miss eating snails!  That doesn’t sound right!  That sounded too full-on with too much yucky factor 🙂 .  I think I would call it with the more exotic French word for snail, escargot, instead.

When I was a young girl living in Marag, we used to eat a lot of escargots, which are called bisukol in Ilocano `(and kuhol in Tagalog).

My memories of bisukol (escargot) is deeply embedded into my happy family nostalgia.  Eating these little critters bring back memories of strong family bonding.

In our province of Marag in Kalinga-Apayao, Philippines, dining with bisukol involves both hand and arms actions.  To prepare the bisukol, prior to cooking, get a fairly heavy ladle or metal spoon and tap to break the bottom of each snail.  This will allow the snail flesh to come out easily.  And the most fun way of eating a bisukol is to pick one up with your right hand ensuring that the snail opening is facing down onto your plate, then banging your right wrist into your slightly extended left wrist a la Psy Gangnam Style (the horsey bit) until the snail meat comes out and drops on your plate.  It was very satisfying watching everyone doing the arm action at the dining table.  LOL

In the West, every paraphernalia seems to be available for most food, exotic or otherwise.  Like with escargot, when eaten in fine restaurant, you will get a snail tong (like the ones with Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman) and a two-prong snail fork.

Snail fork or arms action, escargot is exotically delicious!  Below is a very satisfying recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs escargot (kuhol)
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoon ginger, cut into fine strips
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp shrimp paste (1½ tbsp fish sauce)
  • 2 green long chilli pepper
  • Kangkong leaves (Swamp cabbage/ water spinach), cut and trimmed into manageable size for comfortable dining 😉
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Cooking procedure:
  1. Tap each of the snails’ bottom to break, then wash the escargot thoroughly, removing all the grits.  Did you know if you live in the UK, those pesky snails in your garden are edible.  According to Gordon Ramsey,  intrepid gourmets can go to the garden to gather up the snails. As an added bonus, these wild garden snails taste far better than those which are farmed.  However you cannot just put garden snails directly to the pot and eat them.  There are steps to be taken first for health, taste and safety reasons.  First leave the snails watered but without food for two days to get rid of any toxin they might have ingested.  On the third day, give them carrots; watch their droppings.  If they start to poop orange substance, wash them again and put them in a sealed container into your fridge.  when they are soporific, they are ready to cook.  Thank goodness you can get snails, which have been purged and ready to cook.
  2. Heat up the cooking oil in a large pan or better yet a wok (kawali),
  3. Saute the garlic, onion  and ginger.
  4. Drop in the escargots followed by the coconut milk.
  5. Bring to a boil and then lower down the heat and continue to simmer until the coconut milk turns slightly creamy.
  6. Stir in the shrimp paste or fish sauce.
  7.  Add the Long chilli peppers and Kangkong ( water spinach) and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Check and adjust the seasoning by adding more fish sauce or salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Serve with freshly boiled or steamed rice.  Arm wrestle your way to a delicious escargot.  It is fun.
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