The best “heat and eat”

28 01 2013
The Farm Organics - Store 02

Finally, I have it in my hands – The Farm Organics Ready-to-Eat Roast Beef!

MY LAST vacation back home was totally devoted to staying home and catching up with my family.  The only things that I had managed to squeeze into this tight schedule was a trip to Bonifacio High Street and another to The Landmark Supermarket to pick up a few packs of The Farm Organics Ready-to-Eat Roast Beef.

I first read about this on Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez’s blog.  The combination of the photos and the words whet my appetite into overdrive that I just had to text one of my brothers to go get it and have it ready and waiting for me for when I would’ve finally come home.

The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 10 SMS

I read about The Farm Organics Ready-to-Eat Roast Beef on Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez’s blog and that very moment, I had to ask home to get it for me. Haha!

 

The Farm Organics - Store 00

The Farm Organics counter at The Landmark boasts a host of many products that include beef jerky…

 

The Farm Organics - Store 01

…and meats in various cuts for various purposes. What I wouldn’t give for pots and pans and stovetops at that very moment!

I got a text back that it was sold out, hoarded by “society’s doyennes” in time for New Year’s.  Haha!

So when I finally got home, I just had to have it.  They promised that the supply would be replenished by January, and it was.

It was everything I expected it to be – so flavorful and oh so tender!  With just a couple of slices, I finished one rice cooker’s worth of steamed white jasmine rice.

The Farm Organics is now on my own favorites list and I can’t wait to try my family recipes using their “free-range, no antibiotics, no added hormones” beef.

It’s another reason to get me excited to come home.

The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 00

My very first pack of The Farm Organics Ready-to-Eat Roast Beef! I was so excited for all the scrumptioud promises it holds!

 

The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 01

Each pack comes with mushroom gravy for free! On it are the really easy-to-follow instructions. I opted for the stove-top.

 

The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 02

As instructed, I places the roast beef slices neatly on a pan.

 

The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 06

Three to five minutes after, I have the most perfect meal of flavorful, tender beef slices, smothered in delicious mushroom gravy and served with perfectly cooked, steamed plump grains of white jasmine rice.

 

The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 09

I started with a modest portion of rice. But I ended up finishing one rice cooker’s worth. Haha!

 

The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 08

This has got to be one of the best meals I have had in years. The meat, aside from the flavor and the texture, had the best marbling, owing to its provenance. Organic. Free-range, No antibiotics. No added hormones. I shall recommend this to my best friends. Brother (Edu) and Mark are on the top of that list!

 

Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Send for Sendong

23 12 2011

Text messages from new friends alerted me of what was happening back home. I felt like I was living under a rock. (Photo by TY, taken with my brand new SONY NEX-5D)

IT TOOK a text message from a new friend, a Malaysian, for me to realize that another typhoon had hit the Philippines.  And hit it real damn hard.

I heard your country was hit by a storm.  So sorry to know about this.  Is your house affected?

Glad to hear your home is alright.  But the storm, it’s quite depressing.  Take it positively, at least it reminds us not to take anything for granted and (learn to) appreciate.

The following morning, I bumped into another new friend, a Singaporean, and he too asked about how my family was doing.  He was quick to add though that, “the typhoon is in Mindanao.  You live in the north?”

Then he said something like, “I don’t know how to say this, but I’m glad your family is alright.”  I got what he meant.  It’s all about feeling grateful you were “spared” because it’s just unimaginable for all of those affected.  And it’s even more unimaginable to think of all those lives that were lost.

International efforts are still well on their way to help the victims of this natural disaster.  I hope we could all do our share.  Here’s a link to Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez’s post on UNICEF’s emergency appeal.

I want to say THANK YOU to all my Malaysian, Chinese, American, and Singaporean friends who did express their concern.  It means a lot.

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Celebrity moments while in SG

23 03 2011

Ion on Orchard at night

THE LONG escalator ride at Ion on Orchard allowed me just enough time to foist upon Friendship a pressing question I’ve had in mind, “Which Filipino celebrity will make you stop on your tracks (here in Singapore) and go full-on jologs – photos, autograph and all?”

The answer was exactly what I expected:  Kris Aquino.  It’s one of those things I share in common with Friendship.

But unlike Friendship, my list is quite longer.  Actually, unlike her, I have a list.  (I think her consideration stops at Kris Aquino.)

And by today, my eleventh day here, I’ve chalked up a couple of celebrity moments already.  I rarely use the expression “thrilled beyond words” because I do have my way with words.  But these couple of instances?  Words (almost) fail me.

The first one is actually not the photo op-and-autograph kind.  It happened by way of an e-Mail I sent.  March 15 marks the birthday of one of my most admired personalities, the Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez.  A few days later, I e-Mailed my belated greetings which were accompanied by a few photos I took especially for her.  I didn’t expect her to be thrilled enough to post it on her blog.  Now, I think I’m thrilled even more.

The second one happened at the Food Hall of Ion on Orchard.  Whenever I’m there for all the noodles my heart, soul and tummy can handle, the world around me melts into a series of chiaroscuros.  I couldn’t care less about the people I’m sharing breathing space with.  But as it is the case with personalities larger-than-life, their mere presence could permeate whatever force field my being immersed in my gastronomic adventure had surrounded me with.  Last Monday, for some reason, I had to lift my head up from being slumped into my huge bowl of beef noodle soup.  And within arm’s length was the force – the Maria Ressa!  I couldn’t help it that I had to stand up, disturb her peaceful meal, and introduce myself.  And oh, rave about her work and how much I’ve admired her.  She gave me her card.  Gosh, I’m so thrilled.

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





100 twice over

2 06 2010

Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez on the cover of 100's "DISTINCT: The Philippines' List of 100 Distinct Styles"

I FIND lists to be fascinating.  There’s something about a hodgepodge or motley crew of things or people that are bound by a unifying quality, theme or significance that captivates and holds my attention.  Apparently, when you have a distinct style, you will make it to a list.  And, if you influence other people enough, you make it to another.  Me?  I guess I’ve only made the cut for a list of the most difficult people.  Hahaha!

Eversince I’ve read about Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez’s cover-making turn for the magazine “100,” I’ve waited for it to hit the stands.  Unfortunately, it took a while.  Actually, to the point of having to put my name on a waitlist at Powerbooks.  So, there’s a waitlist to wait for a list.  Ms. Oseña Paez is gorgeous on the cover, to say the least.  And she deserves to top any list for individual style.  100 was right to put such a maverick maven on their cover.

A closer look at Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez

Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” edition was something I waited for as well.  I’ve loved it from way back that they’d ask other well-known people to write about the 100 well-known people they are featuring.  My favorite write-up turned out to be Cyndi Lauper’s for Lady Gaga.  I mean, I kept gushing to friends about how succinctly she put into a proper perspective the kind of influence Lady Gaga has wielded upon her worldwide audience.  Just how influential was Cyndi Lauper’s words?  I finally searched Lady Gaga on YouTube and sat through the whole “Bad Romance” video – for the first time.

I guess somebody stylish and influential enough can make you do things.

The cover of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World"

 

Didier, Lady Gaga, and Bill share the cover.

 

Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah...

 

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





eNTeNG’s 25

10 04 2009
enteng-outback-atc

Totally unrelated to this post. Haha! Just dug this up during the week-long break. Taken on a dinner-out with Friendship and Mother.

 

UPON MY friends’ prodding, I signed up for a Facebook account.  But it didn’t take a long while for me to figure out one thing – I couldn’t keep up with Facebook!  To my friends, I’m almost always the one they will name when asked as to who among they know is the most relentless – nagging even!  But when I got on Facebook, I realized I couldn’t really stand being on the receiving end of a “poke” or a “tag.”  Talk about getting a dose of my own medicine!

 

But if there’s one thing I think I could succumb to, it’s making this random list of 25.  (I’ve been told that being “tagged” to do this on Facebook has spread like forest fire in the dry Outback.)  Things “random” appeal to me.  I even made a category here just for my own “random musings.”  Hahaha!

 

So here it is, my list of 25 random things – yes, 25 things I love! – mostly about food.  They are in no particular order (again, “random”!).  I just have to sort of count them down from 25.

 

25.    I have a very weird snacking habit.  I can devour a whole pound of cooked ziti pasta.  Yes, you read it right – just cooked pasta WITHOUT any sauce.  On other days, I would munch on bunches of fresh coriander.  Clearly, popcorn is not my idea of snacking while watching my favorite TV shows.

 

24.    Unlike, most people, I adore in-flight cuisine!  I particularly love Singapore Airlines’, especially whenever they have their chef specials right around the holidays.  Air India still makes the best curry for me (I had second helpings!).  And Philippine Airlines will always be memorable to me.  I gained appreciation of – and long-standing romance with – enoki (winter) mushrooms on board one of their flights.

enteng-in-flight-menu-00

Some of the in-flight menus I have saved through the years.

 

23.    I collect in-flight menus.  But I politely ask the attendants first if I could keep a copy before I stash it away.  Another would be room service menus.  Again, I’d ask first before I keep anything!  And oh, I keep all my restaurant receipts too!

enteng-in-flight-menu-01

Yet another shot of the in-flight menus.

 

22.    My favorite salad green is arugula.  I like its slightly bitter, peppery taste and its succulent, slightly thick fleshy leaves.  So I always get SaladTime’s “Arugula & Mixed Greens.”  For some reason, I couldn’t find what is commonly known in the U.S. as “garden rocket” or even what Chef Jessie Sinsioco refers to as “micro-arugula.”

 

21.     When I read somewhere that Aga Muhlach’s personal chef would make him an all-eggwhite omelet as part of his diet, I started to make the same – my own version, my own recipe! – for one of my best friends who happens to be a health buff.  Mine would call for provolone cheese and fresh white button mushrooms.  Unfortunately, I still couldn’t find provolone locally!  So I’d settle for the next best thing – the Australian COON Light & Tasty 25% Less Fat Shredded Natural Cheddar Cheese!

enteng_mushroom-cheese-04

For my all-eggwhite omelet, I first saute the sliced Tuscan Fields fresh white (or Swiss Brown) button mushrooms in 100% pure canola oil (or light extra virgin olive oil).

 

enteng_mushroom-cheese-03

I couldn't find provolone. But this does just fine!

 

20.    My dream all-eggwhite omelet recipe would be made out of, of course, eggwhites, fontina cheese, chives, and shaved fresh truffles (from Italy)!  Yummy!

 

19.     Growing up, my favorite local chocolates were Serg’s “Mocca” bars, Goya’s block chocolate, and Ricoa Flat Tops!  Too bad, I don’t think they make Serg’s anymore.

 

18.     Among imported chocolates, I intensely love Godiva (their boxed sets are really pretty); Leonidas for their pralines and truffles; and, ROYCE’   for so many things!  Among their variants – that I have tried and shared with Superman – I particularly love the NAMA CHOCOLATE CHAMPANGE PIERRE MIGNON, NAMA CHOCOLATE AU LAIT, NAMA CHOCOLATE MILD COCOA, NAMA CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY, Pure Chocolate (Venezuela Bitter & Ghana Sweet), Coffee Chocolate, Prafeuille Chocolat Coffee Chocolate, and PotatoChip Chocolate.

greenbelt-5-royce-store

All the way from the Greenbelt 5 store...

 

supermans-desk-royce-goodies

...to a superhero's desk!

 

enteng-royce-pure-chocolate

For sentimental reasons, I've kept the wrapper of my very first Royce' chocolates, handcarried from Singapore!

 

17.      I’m particularly proud of my chicken tinola.  I make my chicken broth the same way chefs Jessie Sinsioco, Gordon Ramsay, and Tyler Florence would make theirs.  Friendship calls me the “sabaw” king!  If I don’t have the time or the ingredients to make my chicken broth fresh, there’s always Swanson.

enteng-chicken-tinola-01

My chicken tinola up close. Postscript: I just had to cook this right after I made this post! Haha!

 

16.     Like Superman, I love macarons de Paris from BIZU PATISSERIE, in pistachio, coffee and caramel flavors!

 

15.     Of all media personalities, Daphne Osena Paez is the best food “critic.”  I mean, I trust her.  For me, nobody has come close to how she would account, describe, or share her gastronomical experiences on the now-defunct show “F.”  I guess it’s in the combination of her (palpable) sincerity, facial expressions and enunciation.  Oh, and the fact that she has got to be one of the smartest personalities to grace the boob tube ever.

 

14.     The best “spice” I’ve ever put on a bowl of Chinese noodles is ground green tea leaves.  I forgot the name of the dimsun place.  It’s a kiosk inside the Hong Kong International Airport, near a big book store.  From where I would sit, I’d see Starbucks directly below.

 

13.     I love New York Cheesecake from KRISPY KREME DOUGHNUTS®.  It’s their doughnut shell loaded with cheesecake filling and topped off with cream cheese icing and a very generous “dusting” of graham cracker crunch.  Spider-man loves it too, as well as the blueberry cheesecake.

krispy-kreme-supermans-box-00

A box of six Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The one on the bottom left is the New York Cheesecake I love so much!

 

12.     The Good Earth Tea Room makes the best chicken chow mein and black mushrooms with beancurd casserole.  Their duckquitos (roast peking duck with onion leeks and hoisin sauce in taco shells) are so worth coming back for!

 

11.      I get my tom yum goong (hot and sour shrimp soup) fix at tHAI AT SILK at the Serendra Piazza.

thai-at-silk-place-setting-00

The elegant place setting at Thai At Silk.

 

10.     I’m not a huge sandwich fan.  But whenever I would decide to have one, it would only be one of three.  The roast beef sandwich at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (first had at the Alabang Town Center branch).  The crabstick sandwich at The Soup Kitchen (first at Glorietta 5).  And, the farmer’s ham ciabatta at Delifrance (first at the NAIA Terminal 2).  Superman finds the last one particularly fancy when I described it to him.  It’s actually slices of ham and brie cheese with an iceberg lettuce leaf in ciabatta bread spread with a raspberry dressing!

the-soup-kitchen-05-crabstick-sandwich-resized1

One of my (so far) three favorite sandwiches – the crabstick sandwich at The Soup Kitchen.

 

9.       The Danish butter cookies that I’ve never forgotten were of a brand called “Oxford.”  It was a gift.  I wasn’t able to find it anywhere.

 

8.       Brother and I would often pretend that we had officical business at our apartment’s admin office in the U.S. just so we could get our hands on the free Otis Spunkmeyer oatmeal cookies.  We’d shamelessly swipe off everything in sight (Haha!).  They later caught on.  Talk about being caught with our hands in the cookie jar.  Haha!

 

7.        Other people’s signature dishes that I love to bits are Mother’s adobo, Sister’s tortang talong, Therese’s barbecued baby back ribs, and (again) Therese’s pot roast.

 

6.       The one recipe I’ve been  meaning to try – for the longest time – is Rachael Ray’s Boeuf Bourguignon (“Beef Burgundy” or simply, beef in red wine).

 

5.        My most memorable past-midnight cravings were for Hainanese chicken rice.  I’ve had it twice at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, and once at the Diamond Hotel Manila.  Makati Shangri-La’s was way better.  And more special too as they didn’t really have it on their coffee shop menu.  I wrote the chef a thank you note.

enteng-hainanese-makati-shang

One of the Makati Shangri-La receipts. Hainanese Chicken Rice at 11:39PM! They punched it in as "open food" because the lobby lounge / coffee shop menu didn't really carry it! I wrote the chef a thank you note! To date, it has got to be the best I've ever had!

 

enteng-hainanese-diamond-hotel

Room service for Hainanese Chicken Rice at 11:51PM at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.

 

4.       I get my cupcake fix only at – wherelse?! – Cupcakes BY SONJA.  Here in the Philippines, Sonja L. Ocampo is still the one and only cupcake rockstar!  Of her creations, my favorites are Bunny Huggers Carrot Cake, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Valrhona Flourless Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Vixen, Choco Cream Cheese Swirl, and Pumpkin Sweet Spice (seasonal).  Spider-man adores the Bunny Huggers.  Superman likes them a lot too!

cupcakes_boxes

A stack of Sonja's pretty cupcake boxes. When Sonja learned I was blogging, she had her staff put this out, and even told me it was okay to style the cupcakes for my pictures. Such a nice lady!

 

cupcakes_superman-box-00

This box of four went to Superman. A serious chocolate lover like this superhero likes the melt-in-your-mouth flourless Valrhona chocolate cake cupcake a lot!

 

3.       I still mourn the demise of the cookie dough flavor of HÄAGEN-DAZS®.  I love BEN&JERRY’S cookie dough too.  I’m just not sure if it is available locally.

enteng-benjerrys-01

I've kept these through the years – the boxes of the first (ice cream) snacks I've ever had in a moviehouse abroad! See – Ben&Jerry's!

 

enteng-benjerrys-00

Cookie dough is really my favorite. But on that first night, this had to do. Not bad at all really!

 

2.       I make the time to cook for someone.

 

1.        I still eat Cerelac!