Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Quarantine Eats: Part One

Featuring ten of our favorite food items this quarantine!

Hey guys, this week's update is all about food! I mentioned in my previous posts that we've been staying in the province since early April and if you ask me what's something I miss about Manila, well, it's the food. Before, we could just order whatever and have it delivered to us in a matter of hours, but here, the options are very limited. It's okay though, we've been making do by cooking instead! Well, Tim mostly cooks, I just help taste stuff. Haha!

From time to time, we're still able to enjoy our pre-ECQ favorites (I have my orders picked up at home when the company truck heads out for deliveries), but overall, cooking has been a really fun bonding experience for us! 

Here are some of the things we've tried the past weeks:

1. Carmela's Banana Cake
 This one was a little tricky to acquire since they're located all the way in Parañaque.. but I've been wanting to try them since our trip to Taal Vista Hotel a week before quarantine started, so I made sure to find a way! I ordered two loaves - the Signature Banana Crunch and Choco Walnut Banana Cake (in photo) - both were really good, but I loved the choco walnut a lot more, especially after a few seconds in the microwave! Get yours through this link.

2. Bhest Lasagna
I first discovered Bhest Lasagna at the KTG party two years ago.. it was really, really good and I remember going back for seconds. Fast forward to April this year, my mother-in-law brings up the brand, apparently, the owner is her friend! Tita Rossini was even present at our wedding (such a small world!), so I got in touch and ordered pans of their beef and chicken lasagna! The beef had the perfect meat-cheese-tomato sauce ratio, while the chicken had a more a la king vibe, which I also enjoyed! I sent my family a pan of the beef lasagna for my sister's birthday last May 7 and they really loved it, too! P.S. They also offer LAING Lasagna, can't wait to try that next! Message @BhestLasagna for orders :)

3. Quarter Label
I'm all about supporting local, but more than that, I love supporting friends in their ventures! Quarter Label is owned by Alex Lotereña who I met through a common friend. He's a photographer/food stylist who also bakes really yummy pastries! My favorite is the one in the photo, the Strawberry Linzer Cookies. His offerings change per season, and just recently, he baked muffins to donate to frontliners! Super nice guy! Check out his page @QuarterLabel / @AlexLoterena27 :)

4. Beef Gyudon
This one was prepared by my dear husband who's been trying his hand at cooking the past weeks. I'm really glad he's enjoying it because, to be honest, he's a lot better at it than I am. Haha. We got a kilo of pre-sliced beef with (separate) gyudon sauce from his cousin, added mushrooms and egg.. and voila! My only contribution here was the photo :))

5. Sugar High Bakery
Two nights before leaving for the province, I sent Sugar High Bakery a message on Instagram asking what cookies were available for delivery the following morning. They sent a pretty extensive list of their extras (for last minute orders like mine) and though it took me a while, I eventually settled on six flavors I wanted to try. My top picks are the Classic S'mores (above) and Guilt-free Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Cookie. I don't have a photo of the latter, but you can check out their page for one. It's so good! They're really the chewiest, chunkiest, and most loaded cookies ever! Price starts at Php 100.

6. Rustic Mornings
Technically, this doesn't fall under food but who cares? I just thought I'd share with you the only reason I ever go to Marikina and that's Rustic Mornings. I absolutely love their Churros Waffle and Tinapa Burrito (both of which are available for takeout and delivery!) In photo is their limited edition Coffee Cup and Dripper set with their House Blend Coffee which I was lucky to have gotten my hands on! Frozen packs of their bestsellers are available as well - you can see their menu here.

7. Lydia's Lechon
Lechon in a Box, anyone? You can now have your lechon (and more) delivered straight to your doorstep with Lydia's Lechon! They're offering ALL their family boxes at promo price until June 15, 2020. Family Box A was originally Php 1,100, but we got it for only Php 900. And since it serves 5-6 persons, that comes out to only Php 150 per person. Not bad, right? Full details are on their Facebook page or you can head straight to their website here.

8. Beef Noodles with Wonton
Last week, Tim and I had to go to Manila to do some errands. I took the opportunity to look for a noodle joint since it's something I've been craving, and luckily, we found one that was open! I ordered their Beef Noodles with Wonton for Php 190, which I thought was pretty sulit since I was able to make two meals out of it. Just to note though, none of the staff at that restaurant wore masks. Should've said something, but we had to rush to the drugstore across the street to buy some last-minute essentials. Tim picked up the noodles while I was ordering milk tea for my sister, so I completely forgot about the whole thing. Don't worry, we made sure to sanitize the package (as well as our hands) and reheat the noodles when we got back home. I'm really hoping someone called them out on it already. Will try to reach out soon.

9. Homemade Picha-Pay
Here's something that's really easy to prepare - picha-pay or pizza made with tinapay! My mom always made this for us at home, so I thought I'd make some for merienda one afternoon! Just add some tomato sauce, mushrooms, and easy melt cheese on top of a piece of bread, put in the oven for 10-15 minutes, and it's good to go! Definitely trying a different version of this soon, maybe with ham or bacon (and more mushrooms, of course!) 

10. Rayden's Sweet Shop
My favorite bittersweet brownies are from Tim's niece, Rayden's Sweet Shop. If you love your brownies crunchy on the outside and gooey and fudgy on the inside, then this is for you! This stuff's highly addicting, so prepare yourself! In the photo, I topped my brownie with some Coffee Crumble ice cream and Corn Flakes for that added crunch. They make cookies and marshmallows as well - everything's posted on their Instagram, so make sure to follow their account!
Hope this list helps satisfy some of your cravings. Let's support small businesses and help them survive this pandemic! Also, over the weekend, the government has adjusted the quarantine guidelines in certain areas to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), but it doesn't mean that the virus has magically disappeared. Under 1% of the population has been tested, so there's probably a number of the general population (that's going to be out and about with you) who are carriers. So if you have to go out in public (to work/run errands/buy essentials), please follow all safety protocols like wearing of masks, observing social distancing, etc. Otherwise, please stay at home and help flatten the curve! May God bless us all :) 
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