Posted in Food, Lifestyle, Reviews

Review: Latin Food Restaurant In West Monroe

A few days ago, my friend, Helen, called me and invited me for breakfast to this Latin restaurant just a few miles from where we both live. I always passed this place whenever I am driving around the area. However, I didn’t get the chance to stop by and try their food until this day.

It looks so small outside, but this restaurant has pretty good space inside. The place has a relaxing atmosphere, and it’s pretty clean too! The only downside is the parking area. The parking area is too small. You have to either park to the next building’s parking lot, or to the other side, which is a gas station.

I had a great time eating breakfast with my friends, Hele and Mishelle. They told me that the coffee is excellent. So I did have a coffee, and yes, it was good! I may have found a place to get a good coffee, after all. I also had an omelet for breakfast, and it goes with purple rice with beans in it. It’s called Morocco rice. It was pretty good. It reminded me of the purple rice back home (Philippines), we called it “Tapul,” meaning “Purple” in our region.

Later on that very same day, I told Sean about the place when he came home from work, and we decided to dine there for dinner. We had a good experience there. The food was excellent, and their menu prices are very reasonable. This place is worth checking out if you live in the West Monroe area and haven’t been to this place, you need to check this place out.

This coffee is really good!
This serving shocked us. This looks like an order for two ♥♥♥. Sean couldn’t finish his order. It was a lot!
Yummy!

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Posted in Food, Lifestyle

Review: 2Dudes Brew & Que Barbecue Restaurant in Monroe

I can’t believe we haven’t been to this restaurant before because this place is incredible! This place is very clean. The food was tasty, and the service was outstanding. This place is by far the only restaurant (from all the restaurants we dined in) in the Twin Cities that has the best sausage, in my opinion. Their menu prices are very affordable, as well. I’m so glad Sean was able to find this place while randomly searching for restaurants in Monroe. We had a great time, and the food we ordered was fantastic! If you haven’t been to this place yet, be sure to give them a visit. The only thing I don’t like is the parking space. We had to park a little farther. However, if you don’t mind walking for a little bit, then it shouldn’t be a big deal. So, go ahead and visit this restaurant. ♥♥♥

Posted in Food

Mustard and Mayonnaise Baked Chicken Breast + Sauteed Vegetables

As of today, I may have found a new favorite dish to add to my recipe book list. It’s a baked chicken recipe. By the way, I purchased the recipe book from a thrift store a couple of months ago. Yes, you read it right from a #thrifstore. The recipe book was in excellent condition and was only $2.00! One of my favorite things to do is collecting recipe books. Today, I chose to try this recipe for lunch. I was also curious about how it would taste. I added a little twist to it. Well, it was excellent! I’m so glad I tried.♥♥♥

I also cooked a Filipino dish called “Ginisang Kalabasa, Chayote and Carrots” to go with the baked chicken. The term “Ginisa” in English is called “Saute,” and yes, it’s delicious!

FOR THE CHICKEN

Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken breast
  • Mustard
  • Nonfat mayonnaise
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Black pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Cooking spray

HOW TO COOK THE CHICKEN:

  • Preheat oven 350 degrees
  • In a small bowl, combine the mustard, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, pepper, salt and garlic.
  • Place a foil on a baking pan and then coat it with cooking spray.
  • Place the chicken on the baking pan.
  • Place the chicken inside the oven and bake it for 45 minutes.
  • Let the juice cook the chicken.
  • Once cook, slice the chicken and serve hot.
  • Enjoy!

FOR THE SAUTEED VEGGIES

Ingredients:

  • Squash (peeled, sliced and cubed).
  • Chayote squash (peeled, sliced and cubed)
  • Sliced carrots
  • 1 Onion (sliced)
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup water

HOW TO COOK THE SAUTEED VEGGIES:

  • On a heated pan, saute onion first. When onion turns transparent add the minced garlic.
  • Add in carrots. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Then, add both yellow squash and chayote squash. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Let it simmer until the veggies are soft.
  • Enjoy!

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Posted in Food

Pancakes + Hot Chocolate Milk On This Chilly Friday Morning

I learned when I moved here to the United States in 2008 that this is what they called pancakes. Back in the Philippines, we called this “hotcake.” My grandma made the best hotcakes. There was no one else from our or village who make hotcakes or pancakes back then. Her hotcakes were famous in the whole village at that time. My grandma would make layers and layers of hotcakes. Then, she would spread margarine on top of each hotcake and sprinkle white sugar on top for finishing. It was fantastic! People often asked her if she will bake the following day again. Oh yes, she cooked every single day! My siblings and I, and our cousins were always on alert mode, waiting for our grandma to call our names. When she does, it means time to go out selling. We love everything that grandma cooked. For every five pesos total of food that we sold (each of us), we earned one peso in commission. Back then, when I was 8 to 12-year-old, having 5 pesos or 10 pesos in my pocket was a big deal. So many good memories with my grandma, I don’t even know where to begin when sharing you about it.

By the way, It was freezing early this morning. All I could think of is going back to sleep after dropping my boys to their school, but I got to do some errands today, and I needed a quick breakfast. Hmmmm….it was good! Have a beautiful and blessed Friday, everyone!

Posted in Food

HAN’S ATCHARA

It has been fifteen years since the last time I had Atchara. Growing up, my family always had Atchara made by my grandmother. For me, my grandma was and always be the best cook ever! I missed all her cookings. She was always busy preparing food every day when she was still healthy and was able to do all those stuff. If you want something, just name it, and she will cook it. When my siblings and I were kids, we go door to door and sell the food that grandma cooked. It could be Pancit, Siopao, Donut, Shakoy, slices of Chocolate Cake, Atchara, and etc. There’s no day that I don’t miss and crave for my grandma’s cooking.

So, when a close friend of mine told me days ago that Han is selling Atchara, and asked me if I want to order. I quickly replied, YES! I was so excited, and couldn’t wait to get my hand on that jar, open and eat the Atchara salad inside it. Thanks, Ate Melanie, for letting me know about Han’s Atchara. Also, thank you, Han, your Atchara satisfied my cravings. Though, I can’t help but compared it to my grandma’s Atchara. However, you also did a great job!

TO ORDER HAN’S ATCHARA: Feel free to contact her here.

WHAT IS ATCHARA?

In the Philippines, Atchara is a pickle made from grated unripe papaya. Back in the Philippines, my family used this as a side dish, and it’s so good!

HOW TO MAKE ATCHARA?

Posted in Food, Lifestyle

Dinner With Friends: Melanie & Elvie

Thank God, after six days straight work, finally, it’s my day off. Good thing, it’s my friend – ate Melanie’s day off as well. Also, Elvie was out of work a little early. So, we had the chance for a quick get together dinner at our place. I used to work with them before, and we frequently had Filipino dinner on our days off. However, since I’m working now in a different place, it’s so hard for us to do this frequently because of our different work schedules. Finally, we did it yesterday! Besides, it was my sister’s 41st birthday yesterday (November 5th – Philippines time).

Thank you, Ate Melanie and Elvie, for coming over in such short notice. We appreciate your company. Thanks to little Gwyneth for entertaining us all!

Thanks, Elvie for the Key Lime Pie.
Thanks, El, for the ice cream.
Thanks to Helen Paragas for the shrimp.
Atchara by Hanadi
Posted in Food, Reviews

HELEN’S DELICIOUSLY SAVOURY SIOPAO WITH PORK FILLING (Steam Bun With Pork Filling)

Good Wednesday morning, everyone! How’s your Wednesday morning going so far? This morning, I’m thankful I rechecked my work schedule. Somehow, I kept thinking that I have to work this morning, but when I rechecked my schedule, I was like, “oh gosh, I’m closing again.” However, that’s what we call #itslife ☺


At this moment, right now, I am just going to enjoy another Siopao that I bought from my friend (Steam Bun with Pork Filling) to go with my morning coffee. I bought one dozen of it, and if you’re an Asian like me, a dozen steam bun really won’t last long, hehe. Shoutout to my friend, Helen. She did a great job! I will definitely buy SIOPAO from her again ☺.

If you want to order, don’t hesitate to send her a message (◄◄).

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Posted in Food, Lifestyle

Scrumptious Lunch Date at El Paso Mexican Grill

My family loves El Paso Mexican Grill. This restaurant is one of our go-to restaurants to dine. They have two locations in the Twin Cities. One is located in West Monroe and the other one (bigger one) is located on Highway 165 in the Monroe area.

Every time we dine at El Paso I always order my most preferred meal, it’s called Beef Arrachera. Trust me, this one is so good! Also, my first-line refreshment is the non-alcoholic Mango Daiquiri. So tasty!

Mango Daiquiri (non-alcoholic)
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Beef Arrachera:

If you choose Beef Arrachera you’ll get: Grilled Sirloin Steak served over Onions with Rice, Charro Beans, Guacamole and Flour or Corn Tortillas. The Charro Beans are so amazing with the good sized ratio of bacon and sausage to beans and the savory broth! And the steak? I always cut the steak in half because it’s a little too much for me, that being said, I always take the rest home with me to devour when I get hungry.

Chicken Fajitas
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Sean usually always orders the Chicken Fajitas. We called it “A.K.A deliciousness.” It’s very delicious and it’s a lot of chicken for such an affordable price (presyo).

So, if you happen to know one in your area but haven’t tried their food yet, you probably need to give it a try and let me know what you think. I would love to hear your feedback too.

What is your go-to restaurant?

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Posted in Food, Lifestyle

WHEN CRAVING FOR FILIPINO FOOD

Being away from home and not able to eat your favorite Filipino dishes is not easy. Now and then I crave for Filipino dishes. Yes, I’m not kidding! I’m sure many of you can relate to this. Lately, my friends and I decided to have a Filipino dinner together at my place after their work is done. Guess what we had?

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Fried Marinated Bangus
Bangus ( Milkfish )

This fried, seasoned marinated Bangus (Milkfish) is so good! We called this Daing na Bangus in the Philippines. Daing are usually split open, gutted, salted and air-dried. This is a preservation technique. For others, I’m sure this doesn’t look appealing at all. However, for us-Filipinos, we could eat lots of rice with this dish.

Grilled Skipjack Tuna
Inihaw Na Tulingan

Inihaw Na Tulingan is one of our native dish in the Philippines. This is one of my most favorite dish growing up. I love eating this fish when it’s grilled, friend, or stewed.

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Fried Galunggong

Galunggong when crispy fried is the best! You’ll never see even bones on my plate. My friends, Melanie and Odette both love the crispy friend as well.

Ginisang Ampalaya na may Itlog
( Sauteed Bitter Melon with Egg )

Now, when it comes to cooking bitter melon you need to make sure you know the technique on how to lessen the bitter taste of it before cooking.

Steps:

  1. Cut melons in halves. Remove all the seeds and slice it thinly.
  2. Soak the thin slices of bitter melons in a bowl with warm water and plenty of salt for 30 minutes. The salt helps the bitter juice to come out.
  3. After 30 minutes, wash the slices really good and give it a squeeze to help get the bitter juice out more.
  4. Now, it’s ready for cooking.

Pancit ( Stir Fried Noodle )

There are numerous variants of Pancit in the Philippines. This savory dish is very easy to prepare and ready in less than 30 minutes. In this one, I added fried slices of chicken breast and fried shrimp and mixed in the noodles before I seasoned it all together.

Halo-halo

The word “halo-halo” means mixed. This cold dessert is a mixture of crushed ice, evaporated milk, enough sugar, and other various ingredients including fruits, sweetened beans, topped with ice cream.

Puto ( Steamed Rice Muffin/cake )
My Friends are hungry 😉

Now, who’s hungry? We are going to do it again soon and we are going to cook another Filipino dishes. Stay tuned!

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Posted in Food

Filipino Dish: Pork Sinigang [ Pork Sour Stew ]

There are many variations amongst Filipinos when it comes to Sinigang (Sour Stew). This is my version of Pork Sinigang. Sinigang is served as a main dish for Filipinos. The ingredients of my version are listed below. This dish is usually served with rice and it is the perfect dish during chilly/cooler days.

Filipino Pork Sour Stew
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INGREDIENTS:

2 Pounds Pork ( cut into half inch thick squares )

4-5 cups of water ( depends on your preferences )

4 Potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes)

3 corn on the cob (cut in halves)

4 Carrots ( peeled and cut into cubes)

1 Onion ( peeled and chopped )

1 pack of Tamarind Soup Base Mix

Easy Pork Sinigang Recipe
Tamarind Soup Base Mix

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pot, combine pork and water.
  2. In a medium heat, bring pot with the water and pork to a boil. Skim off scum until it’s all clear.
  3. Add the Tamarind Soup Base Mix. Continue on skimming off scum until it’s all clear.
  4. Add chopped onions.
  5. Let is simmer until the meat is a little tender.
  6. Now, add the potatoes and carrots.
  7. Let is simmer for another few minutes or until the meat is completely tender, also the carrots and potatoes are soft.
  8. Now, if you want to add a little kick to it. You can add at least 2 small hot chili peppers into it. ( I love it though ).
  9. SERVE HOT! (Serve it with rice ).

ENJOY! Hope you will give this a try and let me know what you think. I’ll be very happy to hear your feedback.

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