May 2014 Favourites and Kitchen Discoveries

Hello and welcome to a new segment on the blog I’m hoping to turn into a monthly/bi-monthly routine! I think I am a little bit late in posting this since it’s mid-June already but I guess we’re going with the better-late-than-never route. I decided to do this little round-up because I found a surprising lot of things I’ve been loving and discovering for May and I thought it would be nice to share it with you!

May 2014

Last month’s favourites are a mishmash of things, as probably all my future favourites posts will be, only this month’s list coincidentally involves a number of bottled fish… But let’s start with the books, shall we?

1. Yummy Magazine May 2014

I’ve been a long-time fan of this magazine, but I honestly can’t get enough of this particular issue. I really think it’s the best Yummy has put out in a while because I find myself wanting to make absolutely EVERY SINGLE RECIPE in here. I recommend getting this one in the stores where they sell back issues. 🙂

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The styling and photography are gorgeous as usual but the recipes are what really sold me. The egg tarts are making an appearance on the blog really soon! 🙂

2. The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon.

What an absolutely fantastic cookbook this is in terms of scope and variety. It’s not “complete” of course, but there is an astounding amount of recipes from so many different Asian countries that can actually teach you a thing or two about the different cuisines in this vast continent. I’m looking forward to cooking through this, especially the Indian section and the other sections containing more exotic dishes.

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The cookbook also features a section about Philippine cuisine which I’m looking forward to trying. I want to see if it is well-researched and/or tested enough to be considered authentic. 😉

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3. Rubbermaid Red Push Release Cookie Scoop from Landmark Department Store.

Isn’t this thing interesting? I saw it in the department store and it was on sale so I thought what they hey, why not try if this will make things easier? It’s a cookie scoop that has a bottom you can push in to pop the cookie dough out. I haven’t had the chance to use it yet though since I haven’t made scoop-cookies recently, but I will make sure to mention how well it works once I do. 

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4. Cupcake cake tester from Landmark Department Store.

This is a completely random buy on my part because I found it super cute! And since I don’t have a cake tester yet and again this was on sale, I decided to pick one up. Sure beats using tons of toothpicks every time I bake, right?

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5. Libbey County Fair Drinking Jar.

Mason jars are all the rage lately, aren’t they? Every hipster establishment has begun using them to serve drinks! I bought a couple for storing jam but decided to get this drinking jar too because I thought it would make an awesome prop for food styling. But it’s actually good for drinking too, and very nice to look at.

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6 & 7. Victoria’s Gourmet Spicy Garlic Tinapa and Seaking Spanish-Style Bangus.

I’ve heard enough to know that the tinapa is going to be the undoing of many a person’s diet. Often people who we’ve given this to as gifts talk about enjoying it so much they can’t help but eat a bit more rice, a bit more bread, a bit more carbs just so they can eat more of the tinapa. We have used this to make pasta with just basil and tomatoes tons of times and my brothers end up gobbling more than their usual share. It is a bit saltier though so I don’t recommend eating it right out of the bottle, but with rice and bread and pasta it is pretty good. 

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As you may or may not be aware, the Philippines has a national fish called bangus, internationally known as the milkfish. I love this fish, especially when marinated with garlic and pepper and then served with super spicy vinegar; but there are days I want to just have my milkfish without needing to go through all that. This, I find, is a very good alternative. It also comes in a slew of flavours aside from the usual Spanish-style (eat this right out of the bottle!), like Binagoongan, Bicol Express (love this!), and Adobo. And I do believe it is widely available in most supermarkets in Manila.

8. Spicy Dulong by Nenen.

A family favourite! You know, I have seen dulong on local supermarket shelves and the ones I saw were pretty pitiful compared to this. Just by looking you can already tell from the colour of the dulong that that this is made fresh and is of high-quality. Not to mention it’s very garlick-y and delicious!

This is great with corn chips and plenty of other things, but I find it phenomenal with pan de sal. Absolutely phenomenal. (Just thinking about it makes me crave since we’ve run out.) Awesome way to start the day, methinks.

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It’s always nice to have a  bottle of this stored in your fridge or pantry, especially when you’re one to have many spur of the moment cravings and hunger pangs. You can contact this number for orders: 0917- 7040830. You won’t regret it! 🙂

9. Pastel blue cake stand from Regalong Pambahay.

This is sooo pretty. I have used this for three shoots already and I can honestly say that investing in props for food styling does a great deal in elevating photographs! This was one of my first buys when I decided to be more dynamic with my food photos from this point forward. 🙂

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I will probably collect all the colours they have for this!

10. Coco Natura Premium Coco Jam.

This was a very random discovery for me because I opened the pantry door one day and this was just there. Well I used to have a special love for Coco Jam but since developing this sensitive sweet tooth (sweet tongue?) I have stopped eating it. Most commercial coconut jams are sweet, and as the years went by they became too sweet for me. Not this though.

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If you have eaten other coco jams before you would notice they are lighter in colour and super syrupy– almost like caramel in texture. (Corn syrup was probably used as an artificial filler and sweetener.) This one has a more gel-like consistency and according to the label is made with 100% coco sugar, and I am inclined to believe it because looking at the dark colouring of the jam it does seem to be true.

11. Fave thing I ate: Beef Souvlaki from Greeka Kouzina

You can read about my Greeka Kouzina experience on the link I shared above. All I can say is this Beef Souvlaki is definitely something I am going back for!

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12. Fave thing I cooked: Chicken Inasal

I never thought it was this easy to make this favourite Filipino dish. Click on the link above to find out how! 🙂

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13. Fave new blogs discovered: The Tart Tart

Amazing blog that is inspiring me with its content and photography. Can’t believe I just found it now! <3


Well that concludes my round-up. ‘Till next month! (I hope!)

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