Pardon the dust. The blog is undergoing some much-needed renovation. ^_^

Fun Times, Good Food at Detalle Bar + Kitchen

Because we’re food bloggers, Ken and I are usually our friends’ go-to resource persons when it comes to restaurant recommendations. We have many favorite places (we haven’t written about most of them yet though), and so we have an arsenal of personal recommendations. One place that has been on top of my list since we went there a few months ago is Detalle Bar + Kitchen in Ortigas.

Detalle Bar and Kitchen in Ortigas Center, Pasig

Detalle is sort of a hidden hangout. They don’t have a huge sign that’ll help you pinpoint their place, but that’s one of the reasons why I love them. The thing that’ll help you locate this restobar is the Century Tuna billboard at the corner of Meralco Avenue and Doña Julia Vargas Avenue – they’re right below it. :D

The Century Tuna billboard right above detalle bar and kitchen in Ortigas Center[2]

Detalle is owned by sisters Bernice and Denise Lim, with cousins as partners who also happen to be their friends, which is why you’ll get that friendly vibe as soon as you enter their restaurant. Detalle has this particularly chill environment where you can spend time catching up with friends or even getting to know someone new… and special. ;) It’s the perfect venue to enjoy their cool drinks, a relaxing ambiance and delicious food.

Detalle in Ortigas Center[2]

My favorite spot is on the second floor lounge where you’ll find big couches and coffee tables. They also have a bar there so you can easily order food and drinks whenever. Their staff has been quick in attending to our orders or needs the 2 times we’ve been there. :)

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Getting Creative with Menu Bingo

Anyone who likes to experiment in the kitchen will tell you that having so many recipes under their belt can be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, you have so many recipes to choose from when it’s time to prep your meals; on the other, making the choice can be quite difficult when you have too many options. An article on the New York Times goes as far as calling the problem of having too many choices “a paralyzing problem”.

You’re bound to experience these paralyzing choices more often with the Yuletide Season rolling in, but luckily, you can use a fun bingo game to create meal plans and menus, eliminating the hassles of having to rifle through the hundreds of recipes you’ve mastered to be able to prepare something new for your family every day. Bingo has helped many households in surprising ways, with the UK Food Standards Agency even using it to promote healthy eating with Eatwell Bingo, and even Iceland Foods has been unable to resist the charms of the industry, launching Iceland Bingo in 2012. Now bingo can help you and your family too, all while making meal planning much more fun and interactive.

Menu Bingo

To play Menu Bingo, go through your recipe books for five recipes for each of the following categories: Main, Side 1, Side 2, and Dessert. Once you have these twenty recipes, you can then plot them out on a bingo card template, with one column standing for each category. Label each item in the columns a number from 1-5. You could also fill out there boxes by asking the members of the family what they feel like having and taking those down. Once you’ve made your bingo card, it’s time to roll a die, with the number that you roll corresponding to the dish that you’ll be cooking. Take turns rolling the die for each category, and when someone rolls a six, they get to choose which of the items to have. Once an item has been picked already, make sure to mark it off, and then proceed to roll for the rest of the days of the week.

You can have many variations of this game, such as a bingo card with seven items in each category – one for each day of the week – or even a bingo card each for breakfast, lunch and dinner. By taking some time out of the start of the week, you can cut back on your cooking prep time!

See You At The 12th Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell

The much-awaited food event of the year – the 12th Ultimate Taste Test – is happening this coming Saturday, September 27th, at the Rockwell Tent. And if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you still got time! :)

2014 Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell Tent at the Power Plant Mall

This year, there are over 40 food purveyors who will be there, so just imagine how much food you get to taste and discover in this 1-day event. You can see the full list of Ultimate Taste Test 12 concessionaires here.

Last time we were at the Ultimate Taste Test, here were our favorites:

Premium Roast Angus Corned Beef from The Plaza

The Plaza Premium Roast Angus Corned Beef

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Microwave Mango Buttercream Cake Recipe

After two grueling move-ins, we were finally successful in bringing my baking equipment and ingredients to Makati. Sadly, my beloved oven was left behind in Malabon since gas ovens and ranges are not allowed in the building that we’re staying at. Most baking addicts will lose their minds over not having an oven and go into baking withdrawal. Luckily for me, I found this unfortunate circumstance more of a challenge to be resourceful than anything else. Who says I need a gas oven to bake a decent cake? It’s time you meet the underrated baking power of  the Microwave Oven! :D

Microwave oven recipes

Now that it’s settled that we’ll be baking using the microwave oven, another dilemma has presented itself — I have no idea what to bake! So I scoured our pantry and realized I have all the basic ingredients to make a plain vanilla cake. But who wants that, right? Then I remembered we still have a kilo of mangoes, slowly rotting in the refrigerator, that my Nanay has brought us when she visited last week. Now we’re all ready to make my favorite Microwave Mango Buttercream Cake.

Mangoes for the Cake

The first thing we need to do is the cake. We’ll be using the microwave, so our cake ingredients require some adjustment. To be honest, it’s not the best cake, texture-wise, but it can do the job if you want a quick, no-sweat dessert for lunch or dinner.

Mango Buttercream Cake made using a microwave oven

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