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December 22, 2012

Seasons Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year

It has been 13 years since my last Filipino Christmas. Today, I will be flying to Philippines to spend  the holidays and will be returning to the blogosphere after New Year. I wish everyone love, peace, joy and good health in 2013. God bless us all!

December 19, 2012

Soft and Moist Banana Muffins

I was surprised when my sister came home from work last week with a bunch of overripe bananas. There's no way I would eat bananas with black spots but I would feel guilty if they go to waste. I wanted to get rid of them before they go bad. My sister suggested  banana bread so she could eat it for breakfast. I searched for a quick and easy banana bread recipe on the web. I found one that required an hour to bake. I wanted to reduce the baking time to save energy so I baked them in muffin tins. My sister and I couldn't resist  when I took them out of the oven so we both ate one piece after dinner. We ate them again the next day and sis brought the rest to her school to share.

December 16, 2012

Healthy Desserts at Vista Cafe - Verasu

My first encounter with cakes made from spelt flour was three years ago when I was doing a course on pastry. A friend took me to Verasu  so I could get a break from  fattening cakes. For those of you who might not know, Verasu is a store which especializes in home and kitchen appliances and products. It also has cafe/bakery called Vista Cafe that serves healthy meals and desserts at reasonable prices. I was there recently with the girlfriends and another friend to celebrate Father's Day.We had just came back from a party and decided to go to Verasu for desserts.

Brownie cheesecake

December 14, 2012

My Version of Black Forest Cake

Only seventeen more days before New Year and I decided to clean out my computer of unwanted files and programs and copy the photos I took this year to a cd so I can free space on my hard drive. As I was  browsing through old pictures  I stumbled upon this black forest cake photo. I made it for someone months ago. I meant to blog about it but due to my heavy workload, I had forgotten all about it. I'm sorry to say I won't be sharing a step by step picture of how I made it. I also don't remember where I kept the recipe. Once I find it, I will share it with you. 

December 11, 2012

A Rather Unique Belated Thanksgiving Dinner

Wonder what's all these random food? My friend Kath wanted to have a Thanksgiving dinner  before she returned to the US. Her mom made a special vegetarian menu exclusively for the occasion.  My family were invited. Saturday came, I went to see her and found the whole house full of smoke. The oven  gas pipe leaked when her mom turned the oven on  and spew massive black smoke. Long story short,  Kath's mom was unable to cook anything that day. Despite of what happened we still wanted to stick around. My sister brought food from the cafeteria. Kath went out to get some vegetarian dishes. It was not something we anticipated but we were just thankful that the house did not burn down. Thank God!

December 9, 2012

Carrot Cake

Last week had been pretty hectic for me. I ran errands for my sister. I went Christmas shopping with friends. I made three orders of carrot cake. One for a friend's friend who recently turned 30ish, one for a belated Thanksgiving dinner with family friends, and another one for a friend's son's birthday.

I have tried a few carrot cake recipes in the past and this is my favorite.  I followed the recipe for the carrot cake but made a little modification on the frosting. If you want a moist and delicious carrot cake which will wow the crowd, try this.

December 7, 2012

Mongo with Sotanghon (Mung Bean Soup with Glass Noodles)

It was Friday. I knew the girlfriends were waiting for my text message about dinner. I was planning to cancel it as I didn't have a dish in mind. Also, I hadn't gone grocery shopping. I composed a quick message but before pressing the "send" button, I hurried over to the kitchen to check the fridge and see if I could find  any thing to cook. There's nothing else but a head of cabbage, tomatoes and 5 pieces of mackerel. I saw a small pack of vermicelli. If I could find mung beans in the cabinet, then dinner would push through. I was so happy I did. Two hours before the appointed time, I sent a text message to the girls.

I fried the mackerel. I cooked  mung beans soup with cabbage and vermicelli. The girls arrived  when I was setting the table. We enjoyed a simple yet  delicious Filipino meal.

December 5, 2012

Ve-G-Choplets Adobo with Potatoes

Yesterday when I woke up from a quick siesta, I felt a little pain in my right shoulder. I changed my dress and went to get a massage nearby. When I arrived at the massage parlor, only two massage therapist were working. I was asked to wait for a few minutes. I informed my sister of my whereabouts in case I couldn't come back early to cook for dinner. Twenty minutes had passed before my name was called. At least I didn't have to wait  forever but I knew I would be late.

When I opened the door to my apartment, I saw my sister in the kitchen  preparing dinner. I asked her what she's cooking. She told me she's cooking adobo. I told her I hadn't blog about it so she waited until I came back to get my camera.

 Adobo is considered as the national dish of the Philippines. The stew can be made with either chicken, pork or both cooked in vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, black peppercorn and soy sauce. In my family, both mom and sister are vegetarian so we use soy protein in place of meat whenever we cook adobo. We cook it the easy way too!

December 2, 2012

Chocolate Overload - A bribe to see more of the Azkals

Two weeks ago, I had this chance to see a qualifying match between Thailand and Philippines for Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2012.  I'm not a crazy sports fanatic but when I found out that the AZKALS were playing, I bought a ticket. The team's soaring popularity got me intrigued. Is their good physique the reason for them being famous? Well, they're in Bangkok to play. I would not miss it for the world.

Fast forward to the night I watched the game.When the AZKALS came out for the first time to do some warm up, I was standing one hop away from them.Yeah boys! I got starstruck  but I made sure I click my camera as they walk past me. I was not able to take good pictures of some and I didn't want to go home without getting a better shot. I made a promise to  the girls  (sister, cousin and friends) that  if they  let me stay a bit longer to meet the AZKALS "backstage" I  would make them a nice dinner. Well, they did but imagine how I felt when I found out that the "backstage" was off-limits to fans. Bummer!

Anyway, a promise is a promise. I cooked an awesome dinner on Friday. I baked brownies loaded with dark chocolate chips. I served it with double dutch ice cream and drizzled them with chocolate syrup. Yum Yum!

November 30, 2012

Loy Krathong Festival at NIVA International Kindergarten

Thailand celebrates Loy Krathong annually. It is celebrated on  the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in Thai Lunar Calendar. People make their krathongs (lotus-shaped lanterns) and float (loy) them in the river to pay respect to the Buddha and to ask for forgiveness from the water goddess Ganga for polluting the rivers.

On Wednesday, NIVA International Kindergarten celebrated Loy Krathong. I was invited by my sister mainly because she knew there would be a lot of different types of Thai dessert that I could blog about. Here are some of them.

Look choop is Thai sweet candy made from steamed green mung beans, coconut and sugar. When the mixture is cooked, it is then molded into the shape of vegetables and fruits and dyed with food color.

November 29, 2012

Ainsley Quinn's Minnie Mouse Themed Party

Last weekend I got invited to a relative's birthday party. I made  Minnie Mouse cake for the little girl. The venue was at a clubhouse outside Bangkok. My sister, my cousin, her daughter and I left home late due to heavy rain. The party was about to start when we got there. As soon as we entered the building, the aroma of Filipino food caught my attention. I walked straight to the table full of food and started clicking my camera.

Chicken sausage and marshmallow

November 28, 2012

Minnie Mouse Cake for Ainsley Quinn's 6th Birthday

Ainsley Quinn turned six. Her mother Joy requested me to make Ainsley's favorite Minnie Mouse cake as she was going to have a Minnie Mouse themed birthday party.

November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner at Mark's and AFF Suzuki Cup 2012

My weekend was full of food, fun and laughter. I had never been this busy on a weekend for ages. I attended two events on Saturday. One was the Thanksgiving dinner a friend hosted. The other one was the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup 2012 held at Rajamangala National Stadium.

On Saturday I went to a Thanksgiving celebration at a friend's house.  Mark's family has the tradition to throw a Thanksgiving potluck for all their friends, former Thai students and colleagues every year.  He invited me a few weeks back. It's been a while since my last Thanksgiving so I did not refuse the invitation.

It was a potluck dinner held at Mark's residence. Every one/group showed up with a dish or dessert. My two friends and I brought pumpkin pie. Mark roasted  turkey. He also prepared bean salsa and a cabbage dish. His former Thai students had never had roast turkey so they were all excited to try it. When the turkey was served , the irresistible aroma filled the air and his former students were the first to gather round the dining table to get their share.

November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving's Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving dinner is incomplete without pumpkin pie. This dessert is considered by many to be the most important dish on the table during Thanksgiving. I brought this to a Thanksgiving potluck a friend hosted this weekend. Although the traditional pumpkin pie is round, mine is rectangular. I was told a lot of people were attending so I doubled the recipe to make sure there's enough for everyone.

Because commuting is such a hassle in Bangkok, it's inconvenient to take two smaller pie pans. I combined the recipes and baked them in a bigger rectangular pan. The same flavor, same color, same taste in  a rectangular or square-shaped pie.

In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Add 1/8 cup (about 2 tablespoons) water and process just until the dough holds together when pinched. If necessary, add the remaining water.

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November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Just sending my love and best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!

Cooking Japanese Udon Noodles ala Chinese style

Yesterday I felt like having noodles for dinner. I checked the cabinet and  found a pack of udon stashed in the back of the cabinet. I'd never cooked udon at home so I  cooked it ala cu mian style. It turned out the way I expected.

So what is Udon? Udon is thick wheat-flour noodle of Japanese cuisine (Wikipedia). It is likely derived from similar Chinese noodles called cu mian. How? According to history of Asian noodles, Japanese Buddhist monks brought the udon noodles back from China in the 800s. In Japan, udon noodles are usually served hot as noodle soup. In China, as far as I know, cu mian noodles are either stir-fried or cooked in soup.

November 21, 2012

Street Food on Khao San Road

Traveling on a budget in Thailand? If you are looking for a  place to sleep, eat, drink and party,
 Khao San Road in Bangkok is a great option. It is popular among budget travelers for its cheap accommodations,  lively nightlife  and street stalls serving light bites and meals.

Here are some of affordable food Khao San road has to offer.

Pad Thai is a dish of stir-fried Thai noodles cooked with egg, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper and bean sprout. Serve it with either chicken, tofu or shrimp to suit your taste.

November 18, 2012

Banana Spring Roll (Turon)

Bananas can be made into satisfying snacks. In the Philippines where bananas are readily available all year round, people have invented ingenious ways of turning these fruit into something delicious.Take this turon for example. Turon or banana spring roll is a popular Filipino snack. The bananas are cut lengthwise, sugar is sprinkled over a piece of banana, then wrapped in spring roll wrappers and  deep fried.

Turon is a favorite afternoon snack of my family. Last night as I was wrapping the bananas, I had the childhood flashbacks to when  my aunt cooked this so often while there  were abundance of bananas at my grandparents farm. I remember feasting on turon with my sister and cousins after siesta.  How I wish to turn back time when I could eat them without laboring over it :)

November 16, 2012

Red Kidney Beans with Tortilla Chips

Church potluck when I was young was a memorable one. It was a regular part of  Sabbath program in Philippines. The good fellowship during meal made Saturday a special day and the home made dishes  brought by each family were something I would look forward to.

One of my mom's favorite dishes to share at potluck was red kidney beans with tortilla chips and topped with shredded cabbage. The dish was a complete meal. Yesterday I made the exact same recipe  for dinner. I opted  to top it with shredded cheddar cheese and the result was even better.

November 14, 2012

Carrot-Wheat Germ Muffins

A great way to start a day is to have a delicious and healthy breakfast. And nothing beats eating freshly baked muffins in the morning. I made these for my sister to take to work and none of her colleagues rejected them. Who would say no to such a delicious treat?

The recipe was adapted from but I made a slight tweak here and there.

November 11, 2012

Stir-fried Cabbage

I took a 2-month long hiatus from hosting Friday night dinner.  The complaints from girlfriends were never-ending so last week, I made a last minute decision to resume my Friday task. I texted the girls to come over for dinner and they were ecstatic.

Although I was low on supplies, I managed to cook a tasty  fish sarciado and served it with this veggie dish. The recipe is derived from the classic Chinese stir-fried cabbage.

November 10, 2012

Sarciado Red Tilapia

I was born and raised on the island. I grew up on a diet which consisted mostly of rice and fish, loads and loads of fish.  One of my family's homemade favorites is fish sarciado, a delicious recipe that has tomato-based sauce.

Fish sarciado is uniquely Filipino. The dish was invented as a way to give leftover fish a new twist.  The thick, rich tomato sauce and the eggs when added rehydrate the leftover fish and give this dish a boost of flavor.

I served this during our Friday night dinner.  I didn't have leftover fish. I used a freshly fried red tilapia instead. The sauce works  great with both.

November 7, 2012

Eggless Banana Pancake

One of the best, safest and cheapest places to stay when traveling in China is hostels. I did quite a lot of winter backpacking and all those times I stayed in hostels. What I loved the most about hostels was the home-styled food they offer their customers. Here's one that I looked forward to eating when I'd gone back to my hostel after a long day outside - banana pancake.  Simple yet very satisfying.

When I woke up the other day and saw the banana on the table, a thought came to me. Make a banana pancake similar to the ones I used to order in hostels in China.

November 6, 2012

Eggplant Pizza with Cheddar Cheese

Remember the tuna sauce I made last weekend. Because I was in a rush to whip up something for dinner, I really didn't notice the sauce I made was more than what we needed for our pasta. I had pizza craving and it came out in a timely manner. I made pizza using the leftover tuna sauce. It felt good that the sauce had not gone to waste.

I only had a little all-purpose flour left, not enough to make pizza crust so I added cake flour . I did some research about using cake flour in pizza dough and made an important discovery. It said that cake flour is the secret to a crust. There's only one way to find out.

November 5, 2012

Tortiglioni With Tuna Sauce and Fried Garlic

Pasta with tuna sauce -  a delicious comfort food. Sprinkle fried garlic on top and you get an amazing flavorful dish. Last weekend my sister and I were both busy doing our thing that we lost track of time. She and I just noticed that the sun had gone down when our stomach growled.

The hunger growls made us take a quick break. I went to the kitchen. I checked the cabinet. I found a can of tuna, tomato sauce, tomato paste and pasta. I have 2 big packs of  tortiglioni so I have been thinking how to use them up. I came up with this simple dish and it turned out to be tasty meal.

November 4, 2012

Hello Kitty Cake For Parsley's 4th Birthday

A few weeks ago, my niece Parsley paid me and my sister a visit. It was three weeks before her birthday so  it was just the right time to ask her what cake she wanted on her birthday. Her mom and three aunties -
big sis, my cousin Joy and I  - let her choose her design and she picked Hello Kitty. She  specifically said she wanted a brown cake. She loves chocolate so I knew what she meant by it.

Her mom decided to have an early birthday celebration after church on Saturday.  I planned the baking and decorating in advance because I had limited time to do it as I had a lot of orders to make at the bakery. Four days before the planned celebration, some friends I hadn't seen for a long time came to Bangkok for a conference. I went to meet them at the hotel. To make the story short, I volunteered to show them around Bangkok and take them shopping on my day off. When I got home I felt so drained of energy. I knew I wouldn't have the strength to make Parsley's cake. I asked my cousin if we could cancel her daughter's  get together. Since Parsley's birthday was not til October 30, she agreed. I was relieved!

November 3, 2012

Kath's Nutritious Homemade Almond Milk

I slept over at a friend's house after my Halloween adventure on Khao San Road.  When I was having my breakfast the next day, I  noticed Kath getting busy in the kitchen. I was almost done eating when she informed me she's making almond milk. She asked if I wanted to see how she does it.. I did not want to miss the action. I grabbed my camera and sprinted to the kitchen.

November 2, 2012

Halloween on Khao San Road

It's Halloween. I was with my friends on Khao San Road to dine. The place was crazy packed for whole night's drinking and partying to celebrate the festival. My friends and I walked elbow-to-elbow with strangers. We managed to escape from the feasting crowds, went to an adjacent street where the celebration was less crazy and rested at an open air resto-bar.

November 1, 2012

My Farewell Dinner at Ethos, Khao San Road

Another chapter of my life is over. Yesterday was my last day at the bakery. As I look back over the past 22 months, I can truly say that I focused my time to advancing  my new career. Though I met a lot of struggles and hardships in my first few months, my big boss and the supervisor at Mission Bakery have my undying gratitude for their continued support during those trying times. I will surely miss working at the bakery but it is time for me to move on, to soar higher. In the meantime, I will take a  break from my monotonous daily routine,  catch up on a lot of things and concentrate on this blog. 

And to celebrate my leaving, a family friend took me out for dinner at Ethos Vegetarian Restaurant on Khao San Road.

October 29, 2012

Ranu's 11th Birthday Cakes

Two Sundays ago, a friend from church called me to order cakes for her daughter's birthday. She loves chocolate but her daughter specifically requested vanilla cake. To meet both requests, my friend asked me to make 2 cakes,  chocolate and vanilla.  She told me to make big chocolate cake because she's bringing it to the church potluck and a small vanilla cake which her daughter can enjoy all by herself.

October 26, 2012

My Birthday Dinner at Pizzeria Limoncello on Sukhumvit 11

This is a delayed post. I had been meaning to post this since yesterday but I couldn't as I was busy. Friends are in Bangkok for a conference. I went to meet them at their hotel last night and came home really late. Today is their last day in the country. They wanted to buy  gifts for family and friends back home. Since it's my day-off  I volunteered to take them shopping.

My birthday was on Tuesday.  I had nothing special planned. Originally, my plan was to host dinner at home. I have been working overtime since the supervisor resigned. (No, I am not the replacement but we have more work now that we have less staff). I have been making a lot of orders. In fact I  worked 6 days the week before to make the cakes a friend ordered.  A break from laborious work was all I needed -even for just one day-  so I cancelled my initial plan. Besides, it's my birthday so I deserve to relax.

October 23, 2012

Thank God for another year added to my life

My cousin once asked if I make my own birthday cake. I don't. I bake a lot in my 9-hour, 5-day work week.I don't get a vacation. The only time I can rest is during my two- day off  which is Friday and Saturday and Thai Holidays which is a total of 13 days a year. It just so happens that today, October 23 is also Chulalongkorn Day,  a national holiday in Thailand. Otherwise I would still be working. It is my birthday. I don't want to do anything but pamper myself.

I don't really have much planned for my birthday. I so wanted to get away from the city but I can't . There's a lot to do at work, so many orders to make. I will probably just eat out with my family and friends. For now let me enjoy this blueberry muffin and green tea.

October 21, 2012

Thailand Vegetarian Festival 2012

Thailand's ten-day vegetarian festival  kicked off with culinary extravaganza in many areas in Bangkok like China Town, Platinum Mall and The Mall Bangkapi. The festival  is widely observed across the nation especially by  Thai- Chinese population. Last week, I dropped by Platinum Mall on the way home.  I didn't want to miss out on the fun so I took a few moments to join in the celebration.  My eyes and nose feasted on the wide array of extremely tempting vegetarian dishes they offer.

October 19, 2012

I'm not a big fan of ice cream but I do eat it once in a while

The restaurant where Jaeng took us for her birthday celebration was right in front of a shopping mall. While having dinner we all agreed to get dessert at the mall.  We left the restaurant, went straight to the mall and did a little shopping.  Few minutes had passed M and  sis  asked what do we feel like having. The other girls and I  couldn't make up our minds so the two girls suggested ice cream. There's no other ice cream  place in the area like Swensen's where we can fit in one table, relax and enjoy  ice cream so that's where we went.

October 18, 2012

Jaeng's Birthday Dinner at Aroi NaeNon

Thai cuisine can be classified into four different types- the Northern and Northeast (Isan), Central and Southern cuisine. Food and cooking techniques from these four regions are influenced by the neighboring countries and regions.

Isan Food is the most popular among those regional cuisine. It is also my favorite. My colleagues are all from the Northern region of Thailand. We literally eat Isan food three to four times a week. They are amazed at how well  my stomach has adapted to Isan food.

Last night, I was invited to a birthday dinner of a friend. It's not her birthday til tomorrow but we had an early celebration as she's going back to her hometown in Chiang Mai for the school break. She took us to Aroi Nae non (Surely Delicious) on Ladprao 1. Guess what we had? Isan food!! Everyone was happy.

October 15, 2012

My failed attempt to reconstruct gan bian si ji dou has given birth to a new dish

I have an endless list of Chinese dishes that I love. One dish in particular had undoubtedly left me mesmerized.Gan bian si ji dou (Dry Fried String Beans) is a popular Sichuan vegetable dish but can be found anywhere in China.I remember eating it a lot in Chinese open air restaurants right across from my workplace. I had been searching for the recipe for so long  but was unsuccessful. A few months ago, I signed up to follow a blog by an American who is a Professor of  Chinese and now in China traveling.  Last month, he  blogged about this string beans dish with the name in Chinese and English. Boy, I was so happy I was able to find the recipe online.

I cooked the dish but  it yield a different result as I lack the right ingredients. The new dish turned out good though.

October 14, 2012

Delicious Cake Pudding

If you have so much bad cake, one of the many ways to use them all up is to make them as cake pudding. I have loads of them. I got orders for cake but I was not satisfied with the result of the little modification I did in the original recipe so I baked another cake. I don't feel good tossing them away. When big sis informed me about the children's potluck at church I thought of bringing cake pudding. It was a right decision as it was a big hit not just with kids but with adults as well.

October 11, 2012

Apple Pie

In Asian culture, gift giving is a common practice. If you are a teacher,  you get never-ending gifts from doting parents of your students. My sister is a kindergarten teacher. Last week, she brought home  2 kilograms of apples, a gift from a generous parent. We are enjoying the abundance of the fruit.  Big sis is juicing them with carrots. So we have fresh carrot-apple juice to drink.  I made apple pie.

October 10, 2012

Spiderman Cake for Joshua's Fourth Birthday

During the entire month of September, Joshua could not make up his mind what cake he wanted on his birthday.  Last week, he had finally made a decision. He wanted Spiderman Cake.

This is only my second attempt at a fondant covered cake. The whole process intimidated me.It took me 2 days to make this. I made a quick trip to the supermarket after work to get the ingredients on Monday. I baked the cake as soon as I got home. I decorated it last night when I arrived home from work. The decoration is not my idea. I just followed the one I saw from Google gallery.

October 7, 2012

Tuna and Potato Patties

The wet weather in Bangkok is depressing.  Food supplies at home are rather low but my sister and I are feeling lazy and unmotivated to go out. I do get stuff from the market  and 7-11 from time to time but she and I haven't done a proper food shopping for a while now. The last time I went to the market was last week and I bought a kilo of potatoes. How did I utilize all of them? I haven't. Well, I used 400 g to make patties and the rest I still need to figure out what to make with them.

October 3, 2012

Baked Fusilli Topped with Sliced Potatoes

The experimental cook in me has inspired me to make this dish from scratch. I was supposed to make dumplings but was unable to buy the ingredients for the fillings so I postponed it. There's a major downpour and the last thing I wanted to do was leave the comforts of my home and go out in the rain. With the limited ingredients I had I was glad I was able to whip up something delicious before my sister came home from work.

September 30, 2012

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all my Chinese Friends!

I was at Siam Paragon to meet my relatives who were visiting Bangkok today when I chanced upon  a big sign for Moon Cake Festival. I saw  customers queuing up in different shops selling  moon cakes. I am not Chinese. I don't celebrate the festival but I love these Chinese delicacy so I was one to line up to sample these delicious mooncakes.

A Mid-Autumn Festival Dinner

September 28, 2012

Vegetarian Honey and Nut Cupcake

The Vegetarian Festival is upon us. This means there will be many festivities in the nine-day long celebration all throughout Thailand. As for me, the best part of the festival is having a lot of vegetarian dishes to choose from. I am not vegetarian but my diet consists of protein and vegetables eighty percent of the time.

I know this post is too early for the October Vegetarian Festival. I  got up early a few days ago and I was in the mood for these healthy cupcakes.

September 26, 2012

Ginataang Mongo (Mung Beans in Coconut Milk)

There was a time during my childhood years when mung beans in coconut milk was part of my staple diet. Mom was assigned to work in another town. As mommy's little girl, I would always tag along on weekends and holidays. Sometimes, my vacay would fall on the time when  mung beans were in season. During those times, the caretaker of mom's office  would bring kilos of newly harvested mung beans from the farm her family owned. She would cook them once a day until our stocks last. I tell you, I had never gotten tired of it. In fact, I would always look forward to meal time as I knew there's mung bean dish on the table waiting.

For Friday night dinner last week, my sis and friends requested mung beans in coconut milk. Being the obedient personal chef, I cooked this dish and served it with fried fish and  tofu as  side dishes.

September 24, 2012

Japanese Cha Soba with Garlic and Olive Oil

Who would have thought that Japanese noodles are also good with garlic and olive oil? I had a pack of Japanese green tea noodles which I bought at the trade fair and I didn't know what to do with them. I didn't have the ingredients to make the sauce. It's my last day of work that week. I was starving and exhausted.  All I wanted was to have a delicious and healthy comfort food which I could whip up in a short time. An idea struck me when I saw the bottle of olive oil.

September 21, 2012

The Aston Gastro Bar at Crystal Design Center, Bangkapi

Aston Gastro Bar has been featured several times in food magazine and on TV. The restaurant is considered to be one of the best in Thailand. The owner who is also the chef, is a friend and former classmate at Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School. Eating at Aston was at the top of my  to-do list for months. Since most of us live in the suburb, my friends and I will always hit  the city center every time we  dine out. So my chances of experiencing fine dining food which Aston offers are slim.

This week, a friend was in town for business. I proposed taking her out to dinner. I suggested we check out my friend's restaurant at CDC. Imagine how big my smile was when they all agreed! I couldn't wait!

September 18, 2012

The Convenience of Pancake and Waffle Mix

When I attended the Food and Hotel Trade Show, I'd  met and talked to many bakery suppliers in the city. As a baker, I have to establish contact with these people to gain more information about their products and compare their prices and services. One company representative I met had given me a sample of pancake and waffle mix. I love cooking and baking from scratch so it was left sitting in the cabinet for many days. 

Last Saturday, the Children's Ministry Department was scheduled to lead out in the Sabbath School Program. My sister being the one in-charge of the program had to be in church  before 8. I didn't want to miss the kids' program so I got up just a few minutes after  she got  up. I headed to the kitchen to start cooking breakfast.  The moment I saw the pancake mix, I knew what  I had do.

September 15, 2012

My favorite morning and evening drink

One of the many loots I took home from  the Food and Hotel Trade Show last week was this roasted grain with lactobacillus powdered drink. I was looking for a soy milk powder but instead found this. It instantly caught my attention. The Korean lady at the counter asked me if I wanted to try it. I nodded. There were three flavors available - Yam, Ginkgo and Mixed Grains. I chose the latter. My friend chose Ginkgo. She asked me how do I prefer it, hot or cold. I chose cold. She put a teaspoon of the powdered drink into a small plastic cup, poured cold milk and stirred. I drank it. Ahhh, it's mash-eet-da (informal way of saying delicious in Korean). I was immediately smitten. I took a little sip of Ginkgo and I didn't like it.  There's more to see at the trade show so I didn't buy it right away. I don't like having to carry heavy stuff as I walk around.I promised to come back. And before leaving the trade show, I bought Mixed Grains Powdered Drink.

September 14, 2012

Bei Otto German Restaurant on Sukhumvit 20

Weeks back, a friend gave me an assignment to find a place for his birthday celebration.  His birthday had long  since passed but he wanted to treat the group anyway. Due to our busy schedule, my friends and I couldn't find the time to meet together so  dinner had been postponed several times.

While the others were doing their business, I was busy searching for a restaurant. As I was contemplating, Bei Otto German Restaurant came to mind. I was there with my "adoptive" family for some occasion 13 years ago. I don't remember the dishes but what I remember was the food being good. We've had Mexican, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai and Indian food together but never German. I suggested it to them and everyone seemed okay with it.

Last weekend, everyone was able to spare some time to meet up for dinner, finally!

September 10, 2012

The 20th Food and Hospitality Event, BITEC Bangna - Chocolate and Sugar Work Competition Entries

These are  pictures of  some entries to the chocolate and sugar showpiece competition held during the 20th International Food and Hospitality Trade Show. I was lucky to snap before they were taken away.

Assembled Chocolate Showpiece. Will I ever get to make chocolate showpiece this beautiful and stunning? I wonder.