Archive | January, 2012

roasting to “rice”

30 Jan

Lately I’ve been trying to eat more veggies. With the colder weather upon us, it’s hard to convince me to eat a salad. Warm food and cold weather just go better together. With that, I’ve been roasting a lot of veggies. (By the way, I can’t wait to try Fritzie’s mushroom recipe. Yummy!) For me, when it comes to roasting, I don’t really have a specific method to the madness. I take whatever veggie I have (these days I’m into cauliflower, carrots, and brussels sprouts), drizzle some kind of fat over it (coconut oil, bacon fat, sometimes olive oil, despite what the primal/paleo people advise against), and roast for about 10-20 minutes or so depending on what I’m roasting. At best, I’ll sprinkle salt. Typically, I keep it plain because it allows me to vary it up later on. Here’s the latest in my roasting adventures:

Since moving to South San Francisco a few months ago, I’m still adjusting to the Farmers’ Markets here. When I can make it, I like going to the College of San Mateo Farmers’ Market. While I still miss the Union City and Newark markets, this one is quite nice (slightly more pricey than my usual East Bay spots, but that’s living on this side of the bridge for you). There’s one lady who has amazing organic produce. Green cauliflower! Mmmm!

She also had purple cauliflower. I couldn’t resist.  (Yes, they taste different. The green was slightly more sweet than the purple.)

While I’m trying to increase my vegetable intake, I’m also trying to decrease processed carbs. With that, I’ve been “ricing” a lot. Simply put, I take a roasted vegetable and toss it into the food processor to make vegetable “rice.” The photo above is an earlier batch of “rice” made with white cauliflower, carrots, chives, dried cranberry,  and macadamia nuts. I don’t usually make it this fancy. I was just experimenting. Typically, I make “rice,” store in the fridge and use it as I would regular rice. It’s a great way to eat your veggies. For more on “rice,” check this out.

Live deliciously!


roasted mushrooms

30 Jan

I love this quick and simple recipe for mushrooms. Perfect side dish for steak or serve as an appetizer.  I always prefer cremini mushrooms or baby portabella since they are meatier and earthier than the white ones.


Perfect with a side of toasted asiago cheese sourdough.  Feel free to dip the bread as much as you want on the sauce.

Roasted Mushrooms
Recipe from Gourmet

1 lb mushrooms such as cremini or white, halved lengthwise if large
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 450ºF with rack in middle. Toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, and 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper in a 1 1/2- to 2-qt shallow baking dish. Top with butter and roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley.



perfect ending

28 Jan

Yesterday was gorgeous. Bright, sunny, and clear. It was a perfect day to take a walk to the boardwalk and eat late lunch with a friend after a great day of teaching and a long school week.  SC, my partner in crime, and I ended up at the Picnic Basket newly opened right across the boardwalk.  Picnic Basket is actually owned and operated by the same folks at Penny Ice Creamery.

I had a chicken salad sandwich and coke.  What I love about my sandwich are the huge chunks of white meat, generous slices of avocado, and that slight crunch from the whole grain mustard.  So good.  I’m a sucker for good sandwiches, especially well-constructed sandwiches. Aside from the flavors, I judge sandwiches on how well they don’t fall apart when you take that first two bites.  And this one held pretty damn well!


The place smells of freshly baked waffle cones, how can I not resist getting one.  For dessert, I had a scoop of earl grey tea ice cream.  Yum!


Will definitely go back, the service is great and friendly, and of course love their ice cream!  Oh, and they used to have happy hour five bucks for a beer and hotdog.  Not sure if they still have happy hour but I hope so.  Make sure to stop by when you are in Santa Cruz probably one of the very few best places to eat at near the boardwalk.  Actually, it’s the only one I can think of right now.

What’s your favorite sandwich and where can I get one?


pork adobo fried rice

26 Jan

After spending most of the day grading papers, I needed a cooking fix. But I did not have the time or energy to buy ingredients, cook up a storm, and clean. I did end up taking a nice walk downtown to the Farmer’s Market but I was too indecisive of what I want to buy or eat. I got back home, opened the fridge, and voila. I have leftovers that I can turn into something quick and easy!

One can never go wrong with turning left over pork spare ribs adobo into fried rice. To make my meal a bit healthier, I opted for some leftover brown rice and quickly sauteed baby bok choy. I just love the buttery taste of the bok choy and currently cannot get enough of it.


There are too many ways to cook adobo and too many different kinds of meats or veggies to cook adobo style. I guess adobo not only refers to the marinade or what goes in it but it also pertains to the method of cooking. Some folks add coconut milk, orange juice, etc. but I love mine easy and simple, one is to one ratio of soy sauce and vinegar, bay leaf, and tons of garlic and pepper. Oh, and a little bit of oyster sauce that I learned from a friend. The key for me is to slow cook it on low fire and let the sauce thicken and all the flavors to come together. I do like adding crushed red peppers on mine sometimes for that extra bite at the end. In my opinion, the best meat to use is the bony types either country style ribs or chicken wings. Oh, and of course, how can I forget my most favorite veggie dish, adobong sitaw or long string beans, and I love it plain or with coconut milk!

What’s your favorite adobo?


P.S. I remember growing up that adobo was THE food to bring on picnics, camping, and even when taking that long drive to Manila to pick up a loved one at the airport, everyone would gather around inside the van or jeepney and eat together while waiting for someone to arrive. Picking up someone at the airport was a family and even a community outing since relatives and neighbors would sometimes come to the airport too. And it’s always cheaper to bring your own food than eat at a restaurant when you have everyone in tow! In any case, Adobo goes a long way because of its marinade particularly the vinegar. This entry just gave me an idea to write a paper on notions of “salubong” and “pasalubong.”

hot cocoa

23 Jan


I’m not sure when it was that I fell in love with hot coca. These days, when I travel or when I’m with friends, I try to look for a new hot cocoa place. I’m not talking your run-of-the-mill Swiss Miss powder that you mix with hot water. I’m talking real hot coca. The kind made with real milk and real chocolate. I prefer the stuff you have to melt. I don’t have anything against powder, as some of my favorite places such as Coco-luxe uses powder. I just find real chocolate to be incredibly delicious.

Rumor has it that my paternal lola made great tsokolate (that’s Filipino style hot coca, in case you were wondering). Perhaps my love for hot coca is my way of connecting to her.

My ideal cup of hot coca is made with dark chocolate because it cuts the sweetness. Sugary cocoa ruins it for me. Since it’s been getting colder here in the bay area, I’ve been craving hot cocoa more. When I make it at home, I make it with milk, coconut milk, a chocolate tablet, and dark cocoa powder. It’s decadent, so the serving is typically quite small. To add excitement, I’ll add spices such as cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, etc. (Not all at once, though. It depends on my mood.) It’s a real treat!

Recently, I visited Fraiche Yogurt with the Manpanion and some friends. There’s nothing like hot cocoa to warm a cold and rainy night. I like the coca there. Rich enough. Not sweet. Just right. I have a habit of taking photos of the cocoa and coffee I drink (it doesn’t matter if there’s art or not). The photo above is from that trip. I know Fraiche is a yogurt place. I’m sure the yogurt is delicious. But you’ll have to ask someone else about that. Cheers to hot coca!

Live deliciously!


date night in north beach

16 Jan

I could think of a million ways to delay this first post. Seeing that I decided to create this blog to get me in the habit of writing more, I figured that the best first post would simply be a complete post. Tonight the manpanion and I decided to celebrate the football mayhem by visiting one of our favorite restaurants, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. We discovered this gem through yelp when I was on a mad hunt to find “authentic” Italian pizza. Holy cheese! The manpanion and I have been here a number of times, so I can confidently say that this place is fantastic and I’m sure he and I will come back here again and again. Though I have a long list of recommendations, I’ll focus on tonight’s fare.

We started with the Cesar salad. The manpanion isn’t big on salad. Or veggies. But as part of my New Year’s Revolution (I’ll explain some other time.), I try to have some kind of veggie at every meal. The Cesar salad comes with a side of anchovies. It’s a touch I appreciate because 1) it tells me they know what a Cesar salad is. 2) As an island variety Filipino, I say, “My what delicious dilis you have!”


For our main meal, we split a New Yorker pizza. They bake their pizzas in wood burning ovens and their dough is heavenly: thin but chewy and slightly charred on the bottom for that hint of smokiness. This pizza was loaded with pepperoni, Italian sausage, scrumptious pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, and ricotta. For the record, ricotta makes it better:)  I can rant and rave about how awesome this pizza is. But I’ll just let the photo speak for itself.


There is a catch about eating at Tony’s: it’s always busy. The shortest wait I’ve ever experienced is about 30 minutes. The longest wait was tonight, where we waited about 90 minutes. If you’re in a larger party of over four, your wait may be even longer. Here’s a tip: only go there with people you really REALLY like. I perish the thought of sharing a Tony’s experience with a second-rate friend. (smirk) No, they don’t take reservations. With that, we visited Caffe Greco to sip on hot coca (for the manpanion) and cappuccino (for me).


Since we’ve watched way too many episodes of Cake Boss, we decided to do desserts first with cannoli. “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” (I had to add that for your Godfather fans!)


We also munched on the tartufo. Something about chocolate cake with chocolate cream filling sounded delicious.


Overall, it was a lovely and unexpected date night. By the way, I’m really loving the new Foodie SnapPack on my Hipstamatic!

Live deliciously!


welcome to academic kitchen!

11 Jan

Hello everyone! Welcome to Academic Kitchen. This is a side project of Fritzie and Joanne (and friends) – academics who share a love and passion for good food and good company. This is where we share our favorite recipes, cooking projects, and culinary adventures with you. Sit back and join us in our delicious adventures:)