Monday, October 12, 2009

Lay Back, Relax, and Kebab

Chicken Kebabs

So you're going on vacation with friends out of town for the weekend. You plan to cook there. Nothing complicated but great tasting food would be nice. Maybe something that goes really well with beer, would fill the room with appetizing aroma and mouthwatering sizzle while it's cooking, and would inspire praises from your friends after the first bite.

My answer? Kebabs!

You can have everything pre-marinated the night before. Stuff the marinated meat in the freezer so that when you leave the next day, it'll be nicely thawed and ready to hit the grill when you get to your destination. Lovely with garlic cream sauce (Thanks, RJ, for the recipe!) or, if you want to be extra healthy, yogurt garlic sauce (classic!).

Chicken Kebabs
with grilled tomato and onion


1 kilo chicken breast fillets cut in strips (if you prefer, you can also use tenderloin, cut in 1 inch cubes)
1/2 c. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. rock salt
4 tsp. lime juice
1 small red bell pepper, minced
1 big red onion, minced
1/2 head of garlic, minced

whole tomatoes
whole onions


Prepare the marinade by combining last 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the chicken and make sure to coat well with marinade. Press down plastic wrap on the chicken to make sure even the top is covered with marinade. Keep overnight in the refrigerator.

Grill marinated chicken over a stove top cast iron grill until well done. (If you're using tenderloin, grill to desired doneness.)

Grill tomatoes until tender, and onions until translucent.

Serve with pita bread or rice and garlic cream sauce (recipe below) or yogurt garlic sauce (recipe here).

Serves 8

Garlic Cream Sauce

Garlic Cream Sauce


1 brick all-purpose cream
1/2 head of garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients and mix well. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving to let the flavor of the garlic infuse well into the cream.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Grilled Seafood at The Reef

The Reef Restaurant and Bar

Upon the prodding of friends, on our last day in Subic last September, we decided to check out the area where Zoobic Zafari, Ocean Adventure, and Camayan Beach Resort is located. It was a long drive but it was worth it. While we did not go to Zoobic Zafari or Ocean Adventure, we did take our time at Camayan Beach Resort where we lunched at The Reef Restaurant and Bar. Located right on Subic's Camayan Beach, The Reef is the resident restaurant and bar of Camayan Beach Resort.

Camayan Beach

At The Reef we ordered grilled squid and shrimps for our main meal and Oyster Tempura for appetizer. Nothing like seafood and a spectacular view of Subic Bay to whet anybody's appetite. Don't expect air-conditioning here but the fresh sea breeze more than makes up for it.

Grilled Squid and Shrimps

Oyster Tempura

Another good reason to visit Subic is its abundant wildlife. When we were about ten minutes away from Camayan Beach, we caught a glimpse of monkeys by the road side. And on the way back to Manila, specifically in the area where FedEx used to be, we were able to see the magnificent giant bats of Subic, Golden Crowned Flying Fox, hanging from the towering trees, resting until it's time to feed again come sunset.

Golden Crowned Flying Fox

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Subic's Meat Plus Cafe

Subic International Race Way

We went to Subic to support a friend during the third leg of the Philippine Production Car Championships last September. It was our second time at the Subic International Raceway but it was our third time in Subic. The first time, we stayed there at a friend's house, but the last two times, we stayed in the Venezia Hotel. So far, we are very satisfied with our stay there. The rooms are always clean and cozy, the rates are affordable, the staff is very accommodating, and they have a secure parking area for guests.

Meat Plus Cafe

When in Subic we make it a point to visit our favorite resident steakhouse, Meat Plus Cafe. As the name suggests, you can get your healthy serving of meat here... and more. You can choose your preferred cut of U.S. Angus steak from their refrigerated showcase and have it grilled to your desired doneness for an additional cooking charge of Php100. Once cooked, your steak is served with rice and steamed vegetables.

Burger and spaghetti combo

If beef is not your thing, they also have menu offerings from chicken to vegetables. Desserts-wise, they have fantastic rum cake, which I always order with my meal, normally requesting to have it served while I wait for my steak. My brother, on the other hand, swears by their apple pie.

Grilled beef belly

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Living Well - MOA Anniversary Sale and the Gourdo's Passport

Living Well at the SM Mall of Asia is holding an anniversary sale for the whole month of October. So if you've had an eye on anything on their shelves and you're just waiting for the next sale, then here's your chance. They have discounts on Calphalon, Lodge Logic, Wilton, Microplane, Green Pan, Mario Batali kitchen implements, Wustof, and selected white wares.

I enjoy visiting Living Well because I always find new and unique, not to mention high-quality home and kitchen stuff on their shelves. Great for gift-giving, even better as personal treats. You can also get your Gourdo's products here. I love Gourdo's cutlery and ceramic wares! Their staff is friendly and very helpful which guarantees stress-free shopping. And it gets better. They have introduced Gourdo's Passport, which gives its holder access to:
  • Members Kit with numerous discounts and freebies.
  • Passport Member Exclusive Events: Cooking Classes, Product Launches and Food Tastings.
  • Special Discounts on Monthly Promotions.
  • Shop with Points at Gourdo's webstore -

Application is easy!
  • Purchase a minimum of php3,000.00 net on a single receipt at any participating Gourdo's, Inc. store.
  • Fill-up a Gourdo's Passport Application Form.
  • Pay a processing fee of Php 200.00 and receive your temporary Guordo's Passport.
  • Receive your Gourdo's Passport Kit in 3 weeks.

I reserved a red 4 quart Mario Batali pot to make sure it was still there when my Gourdo's Passport arrived. So when I got my Gourdo's Passport Kit yesterday, I immediately got my pot at 10% off with one of my Gourdo's Passport Boarding Pass coupon. It was definitely worth the wait.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pasta and more from Cookbook Kitchen

In an unscheduled detour to San Fernando, Pampanga on our way back from Subic, we found ourselves in a quiet and cozy roadside restaurant called Cookbook Kitchen. We planned to order just coffee and maybe some dessert, but I was kind of hungry from all the traveling when we got there plus the menu looked so inviting so I went ahead and got myself a plate of pasta.

We loved the shrimp pasta with cream sauce (forgot what it's called). The shrimps were succulent, and, to my delight, there were a lot in there. As with all their pasta dishes, ours was served with a mini ciabatta. It was a generous serving, and it could easily serve two people looking for a light snack.

When we left, I regretted not ordering the chocolate rum cake, what with my recent obsession with rum cakes and all. It's not like I could go back to Pampanga on a whim. So imagine my delight when I found out they have a branch in Mandaluyong City. I guess I'll be getting my chocolate rum cake soon enough.

Visit Cook Book Kitchen at:


Greenfields Square, Km 76 McArthur Highway, Sindalan, City of San Fernando, Pampanga; Tel. (045) 4551252 or 4551259


8 Socorro Fernandez Street, Mandaluyong City 1550; Tel. 7243595 or 3815935

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