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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.”