Krispy Kreme-y goodness

There has been much buzz about Krispy Kreme. I had tried it twice, given by officemates, and I must agree it was heavenly. And sinful.

One of the perils of my current work is that Krispy Kreme is just across the street. It is a temptation that I battle continuously, regularly. But one day, I gave in, no thanks to a friend who I had not seen in quite a while.

The Krispy Kreme at Ayala Ave. is friendly to laptop-toting sugar lovers. And there’s free WiFi also. The seats were comfy, though seating cafeteria-style at the glass window is kinda awkward, unless viewing people is your thing.

Anyway, I had ordered a Cookies and Kreme donut, plus the original Honey Glazed one. For drinks, I ordered their Original Kreme.

When eating at Krispy Kreme, always remember: moderation. You might get greedy, but trust me, on your second one, you would have enough. It’s that sweet. The donut was soft, and so nice to eat. If only it was not that sweet. I didn’t like the drink, it was sweet enough, but it reeked of chemicals. I will definitely avoid it the next time I get there.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience. Now, if only (1) it is not too sweet and (2) it is not too pricey.

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Yet Another Pork & Beans Recipe, Au Gratin

This recipe will shatter all misconceptions that everything cooked using a frying pan entails serious work. I assure you, once you have all four ingredients on hand, you’ll only spend ten minutes in your kitchen. Max.

Ever heard of pork & beans cooked with egg and topped with grated cheddar cheese? No? Ever tasted one? Then this is your lucky day! Took these shots last night while I was doing my late night dinner. Cost is under P50 if we apportion the cost of the cheese.

Here’s what you’ll need (aka, the Ingredients):

230g can of Pork & Beans1 Egg1/5 of a 180g block of cheddar cheeseground black pepper

The procedure is very simple.

Empty contents of a 230g can of Pork & Beans in a pre-heated frying pan.

Add 1 egg. Springkle mixture with a dash of ground black pepper. Stir thoroughly until egg is cooked with the sauce and the beans.

Take the pan away from heat transfer contents in a serving bowl. Top with 1/5 of a 180g block of cheddar cheese (or as much as you like) to taste.

Finished product (with more cheese than usual, I know). Best served hot. Serves one hungry bachelor. Grub away!


Question of the Day: Dealing with price increases

I know everyone is reeling from the almost daily price increases, and most of us wee office workers have to scrimp and save to make ends meet. And with salaries going nowhere (unless you go some place else), our expense lists tend to be slashed – I mean, we slash the expenses that are not really important in order to fit the important ones in our budget.

For me, it is the transportation budget that gets the biggest hit – this item is directly affected by the weekly price increases in gasoline and diesel. I am now exploring the most efficient route to take going to and from the office, while at the same time I won’t be late when I go to work and I won’t have to suffer from the stress called MRT twice a day. It is actually a tradeoff issue, but as long as the budget holds, I am OK, I guess.

The first casualty in the list is entertainment. This is not really a big issue, since for this year, I had only seen one movie (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian), and I am not big into entertaining anyway.

So I have two questions for you:

1. How do you cope with the price increases?
2. What is the cheapest way to entertain nowadays?


Renaissance food

It was my first time to be at Renaissance Hotel for the press launch of HTC Touch Diamond, and lunch was served. I think the food was great, and if you have any functions, maybe you can consider this hotel, if only for the food.

The set menu for that day was:

Freshly baked bread with butter. Nothing can go wrong with bread and butter.

Beef Goulash Soup Horseradish Potato Gnocchi. It appeared oily (look at the sides of the dish) and came from a can. The beef cubes were tender, the soup was ok despite its appearance.

Chilled Asparagus, Air-dried Ham, and Spiced Pear Chutney. I am not hot about vegetables, but this dish is good. Asparagus tastes like kamote (that’s just me), the ham was thin (heck, I first thought it was a vegetable, like a pink-colored cabbage), and the pear was sweet (tasted like sweetened white beans). I liked this dish.

Grilled and Poached Breast of Chicken on Lemon and Thyme Fondant Potatoes Spinach and Mushroom Cream Jus. The grilled chicken was heaven, and combined with the mushroom sauce, it was marvelous. It was not dry and quite tasty. If you are not a fan of spinach (it looked ugly), better eat it together with the chicken.

For the vegetarian, there was Pave of Salmon with Braised Baby Gem Lettuce, Five Spice Lentils and Bacon Sauce. Haven’t tried it; obviously you can’t have both.

Dessert is flourless chocolate cake with citrus Anglaise. As I had to go, haven’t tasted this.

If you can afford it, you should consider Renaissance Hotel. And no, this is not a sponsored post.

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Paprika Pork with Paprika

paprika pork with paprika
No, that’s not a typo. I repeat paprika because this dish uses it in two forms– powdered and fresh. We usually think of paprika as a spice made from red bell peppers, usually from Spain or Hungary. But in some European countries fresh bell peppers are also called paprika. This is an easy dish to prepare, and it tastes even better when reheated the day after.


  • 1/2 kilo pork (preferably with skin), cubed
  • 1 garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 red bell peppers, julienned
  • 2 tbsp (or more) paprika powder
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • cooking oil (preferably olive)
  • water (or white wine, if you have some extra)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • olives and ginger powder (optional)

1. Heat oil in a pan or wok over high heat (better to use a thick-walled wok for even heating). Use enough oil so that you can saute the vegetables and brown the pork. When the oil is hot throw in the chili flakes (I used a leftover packet of chili from Yellow Cab). You can also used coarsely ground black pepper.

2. Saute the onion and garlic until they start to soften. Add the bell peppers and continue sauteing for around two or three minutes, or until you get the temperature in the wok back up.

3. Add the pork and stir everything around. Continue cooking over high heat until the pork is lightly brown. Stir from time to time for even cooking.

4. After the pork browns add the salt, paprika powder, and lemon juice. Stir. This is also the time to add the ginger powder and olives. Mix well so that the spices are evenly distributed and the pork is coated.

5. Add enough water to cover everything and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and let the pork braise for about an hour, or until the water reduces to a sauce. Stir occasionally (like during commercial breaks).

As it is, this sweet-spicy stew can be served with steamed rice and some greens. Serves three to four.

This dish, however, is best served after the flavours strengthen overnight in the ref. Place enough pork, vegetables, and sauce in a deep oven-safe dish and broil on high. When the top part browns and the sauce sizzles stir the pork around for even browning. Finally, chuck in a raw egg during the last few minutes of heating and continue broiling until the egg becomes opaque. The bland egg will complement the strongly-flavoured sauce.


Galley Gear

This is my first post here, being the newest member of this group (thanks for the invite, Arbet).  I actually have a 10-month-old food blog, but this is the first time I’m collaborating with like-minded (and like-lifestyled) individuals.  So in keeping with the theme of this blog let me beef up my bachelor-cred.

I run what could be described as a typical bachelor (or bachelorette) kitchen. This would be the kitchen of a single-person household, the occupant mostly cooking for himself plus the occasional visitor. “Home” cooking (if any) is reserved for weekends, while weekday cooking mainly consists of frying, reheating, or opening packages.  Space is of a premium, so most equipment will have be stowable (thus, a galley), and a lot of the items would be hand-me-downs from family or friends. Here’s a rundown of my gear:

1. convection oven (Imarflex Turbo Broiler, c. early 80’s)
2. microwave oven (Chefmaster, 1988)
3. rice cooker (3D, c. early 90’s)
4. electric stove (Asahi, 2004)

That’s it. As you can see, my equipment is very limited and most are more than 15 years old. It’s true what they say though– the older models are sturdier. Even my electric stove is old school: all metal with three coils that turn red (one for each setting).  With these simple equipment I’ve cooked quite a few dishes, some more edible than others, but all of them satisfying.  Dishes that are a home-made break from the bachelor staples of fried cured meats (and eggs), canned goods, instant dinners, and takeaways.

All the stuff I make is bachelor friendly, sticking to dishes that can be made quickly, are amenable to storing and reheating, and don’t require a culinary arts diploma.  I already have a bunch of recipes in my other blog— 10 at last count– all of which can be made using my simple gear.  I’ll be posting similar recipes here, along with the occasional review and trivia.  Recipes to use when Spanish sardines, spam and eggs, and frozen sisig don’t quite cut it anymore.


The versatile rice

Rice is an indispensable part of Filipino cuisine. A Filipino meal is incomplete without rice. Why has it become a staple as it is now?

My theory is that rice is a versatile food. Heck, just add anything to eat and it is already eatable. Let me count the things you can do with it. We’ll concentrate on leftover rice, as most bachelors are prone to have leftovers (if they could cook at all; well, they could buy cooked rice at the corner carinderia).

Of course, there’s the stir-fry rice, which most of us eat in the mornings. It is the best way to deal with leftover rice from last night. My mom cooks rice with the mornings in mind – she makes sure there is enough leftover to stir fry the next morning.

Stir-fry rice is in itself a versatile meal. So versatile in fact that it led to a cottage industry – those tapsilog place of yore. Anyway, in its simplest form (or the base form), you have rice stir fried in oil, with garlic and salt. You will want to have at least a fried egg or hotdog to go with it. Or, you can experiment and add stuff to it; heck, you can make a complete meal of out the base form by just adding food stuff. One simple way of doing this is adding what’s on the ref. My dad usually adds hotdogs, scrambled eggs, and ham. First he fries the chopped hotdogs, then the scrambled egg (which is chopped into cubes later), and the ham (chopped into cubes also). Then he proceeds to the rice: garlic first in the wok, then the rice, some stirring, salt, more stirring, the hotdogs-egg-ham, some more stirring, and voila.

That is actually a variation of the so-called yang chow fried rice. You can make a variation out of it by adding more ingredients to it, like peas, corned beef, onions, longanisa, tapa, leftover fried pork chop, anything. Instead of using cooking oil, you can use butter or margarine. My uncle used to fry rice using Star margarine, obviously inspired by that Star Rice commercial of theirs.

If you have leftover paksiw na pata, here’s a suggestion: bring it to a simmer until it dries. Get the meat and the fat out of the bones, cut them into strips or cubes, then add it to your fried rice. Yummy. You can also do this with leftover adobo.

I used to add liquid seasoning or oyster sauce while frying rice, but this led to the rice sticking to the pan. So what you should do is to add this later, when you have turned off the stove.

Enough of fried rice and let’s proceed to what I call poor man’s rice. There are several variations to this, but there are two that I had already tried. One is adding a little cooking oil and soy sauce to the rice, then mixed thoroughly. That in itself is a variation of rice and salt that poor people eat in very hard times. (It is good to try it to get a sense of how poor people subsist on minimum wage.) There’s my kuya’s favorite: adding condensed milk to rice. Add a generous amount, and then mix. Meal and dessert all in one!

If you have cooked longanisa or tocino, you can do what my other brother does: he mashes rice into the pan where longanisa or tocino was cooked. Sweet and salty and oily, but he likes it.

That’s just for starters. There’s a lot of things you can do with rice. Do you have any quick-and-easy rice recipe? Share them in the comments.

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Question of the day: The perfect rainy day snack

As it is about to rain here in the lake called Caloocan (and I am hungry), here is a good question to ask:

What is the perfect rainy day snack?

Leave your answer at the comments.



I don’t think I’ll be eating in places BachelorFoodBlogger MLQ3 eats soon: to be honest, I have lost all sense of what qualifies for “food” these days. Here are good examples of non-food I eat on a daily basis:

  • Stuff from McDonald’s;
  • Intriguing stuff passed off as dim sum at the a’la carte “flea market” behind St. Francis Square;
  • Ingestables from the office pantry;
  • Whatever I fancy at a Happy Balls or Waffle Time at an MRT station;
  • Cigarettes (yes, it’s food if it fills your stomach).

I can pass myself off as an alcoholic. A few weeks ago during a team gathering activity at Metrowalk (read: drinking session), I ended up making “absinthe” out of a cold glass of San Miguel Super Dry and a blue Vodka Cruiser. Tasted pretty damn good. Add to that a dozen more bottles of beer and some hard cocktails, and you have a recipe for disaster. Drunk? Like heck I was: I actually asked the taxi driver to stop somewhere near Vasra on my way home just so that I could vomit.

Shows you what kind of a “food blogger” – and a person – I am.

* * *

When you need to get work done, there’s always caffeine. I’m a Baguio boy, so I should be extremely familiar with hot coffee. The only problem is that when you live in a place as hot as Manila, you want everything with ice in it. So I ended up making the old reliable Wake-Up Juice back in the days of my thesis. It’s so easy to make, too:

  • A can of Coke. Regular, not Light, not Coke Zero, and definitely not Pepsi.
  • A pack of C4 Energy Powder Drink. Twice the caffeine. Tastes like cola.

Procedure: mix together in a glass or tumbler. Quaff.

Any general-practice physician, gastroenterologist, or psychiatrist will tell you that this is 330 milliliters and four grams of caffeinated, carbonated suicide. Which is the whole point.

Corporate emo at its finest.


Tingly for Thai

I am perennially frustrated looking for Thai food in Metro Manila. At the apex of the Thai food pyramid is Benjarong at the Dusit Hotel, but you have to be a druglord/gambling lord/member of the cabinet/Meralco director to be able to afford eating there on more than a semi-annual basis. That not being the case, what’s one to do? Our memories are littered with the empty shells of once-popular Thai restaurants that have disappeared.

The world’s just waiting for someone to write a book explaining how Thai food is really, the perfect health food because there don’t seem to be many obese or even pot-bellied people in Thailand, and yet they eat out a lot. I’ve written, too, on how we could learn a thing or two from the Thais about standardizing our food and making it appealing to tourists, but that’s another story.

For cheap Thai eats, there’s Som’s in Makati which is superior to Som’s on Tomas Morato, but both have the unfortunate tendency to be uneven and keep erring on the side of putting too much sugar in their curries (perhaps this has been noticed by others, hence the debate on authenticity), though I tend to like their green curry. The prices are delightfully low, but the portions also tend to me at times, microscopic (this is particularly irritating when it comes to the catfish and green mango salad).

So about two weeks back we ate ate at Silk, the Thai restaurant in Serendra (what is it with these disease-sounding Ayala Malls lately? Serendra sounds like it’s something you get from deranged howler monkeys while TriNoMa sounds like something that requires a barium enema to cure). It’s one of the prettier restaurants, the staff are efficient, the prices mmmkay…


Tom Yum avoided the sin of being sugary, and the shrimp wasn’t tough. This was a superior Tom Yum.


Soft shell crab, deep fried, with a tamarind and mango sauce, if I recall correctly. Absolutely and unqualifiedly delicious! That was a happy bunch of molting crabs, I can tell ya. This dish alone made the restaurant visit worth it.


The cholesterol special was some sort of tamarind-infused pork rib thing. This is what inihaw, which normally leaves me cold, should aspire to. This pig must have been a happy camper, too. I generally dislike inihaw because it tends to leave the meat or fish or whatever tasting like it was incinerated on coals and I end up wondering if consuming so much charcoal will lead to colon cancer one day. But these ribs were, to start with, fatty, flavorful, tender, not too charcoal-infused, and with a delicate tamarind flavor that was quite charming.


Alas, the green curry was… uninspired.

This is a place with promise, I think it requires a second visit before a permanent verdict can be rendered. I’m not sold on the idea of Thai food being suitable for a date place (too many accidents waiting to happen) but it seemed to me the most romantic-looking restaurant in Serendra.