My Top 5 Chicken Delivery Restaurants

Sometimes I get really lazy to cook and so Arianna and I opt for delivery instead, and given all the news articles about how fast food beef isn’t really beef, and instead is full of extenders and whatnot, my go to choice is always chicken, because in my mind, it’s the healthier choice. One could argue that the chicken is also engineered or genetically modified, but this is me so bleh.

Here are my top 5 fast food chicken choices, in no particular order.

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For a pizza place, Shakey’s has some pretty awesome chicken. And it comes with Mojo’s! And they recently released a spicy version, although in my opinion, it could use a bit more kick to it. My usual order, 3 piece with 2-3 orders of rice.

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I don’t know if this actually counts as fast food, but hey they deliver so I’m adding it to my list. If you’re pinoy, you’re bound to have eaten at Max’s. Coupled with garlic rice and banana ketchup and I add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. My usual order, 1 whole spring or regular chicken (not chopped and well done), and 2 orders of garlic rice. And it lives up to its slogan, sarap to the bones! (because that’s all I leave)

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I was only recently introduced to their chicken fairly recently, hot darn it’s pretty good, their gravy is delicious too! It’s a bit on the pricey side, and you don’t get to choose what part of the chicken you get.

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Of course KFC is on here. While some like the original recipe, I prefer the Hot and Crispy chicken. No minimum amount for delivery is win! My usual order, 2 piece hot and crispy, extra gravy and extra rice.

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And last but definitely not least, Jollibee. 24 hour delivery and affordable. 200 peso minimum for delivery. My usual order, 2 piece with extra rice and gravy.

Yes. I love rice. And chicken. If Andok’s delivered, this would be a single choice blog post. Because Andok’s is the freaking best.

Man. Now I’m hungry. I don’t know how those food bloggers do these kinds of things without getting major food cravings afterward.

Pan Seared Salmon with Basil Cream Cheese

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I was recently on PopTalk as a guest judge, and one of the restaurants we went to was Dulcelin, over at the second floor of UP Town Center.

One of the main dishes they served us was a Baked Salmon with some sort of creamy sauce on top. It was so good!

This is the one from Dulcelin, looks amazing doesn’t it?

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So a few days later I wanted to surprise Arianna with a yummy dinner so I got some salmon steaks and tried to make my own version of it. Thankfully, it turned out good! But the one at Dulcelin was way better! If you guys ever find yourselves in that area, it’s a nice place to have a meal with your family and friends and their mango tort is superb!

Here’s the recipe for how I made my salmon.

Ingredients:
2 salmon steaks (fillets would be better)
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the salmon (be careful of the bones, they’re quite sharp and can hurt). When picking salmon, the pinker it is, the fresher it is, which means it will taste better.

Then in a small container add the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, cover with cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 30minutes. Fish absorbs flavor quickly, no need to marinate it for long. Make sure to flip the fish at the halfway mark.

To make the Basil cream cheese:
2 tablespoons basil (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon milk
1 small cream cheese block
Pepper to taste

Put softened cream cheese in a bowl, add the milk, and mix until it reaches a whipped consistency. Add the garlic, pepper and basil.

Mix until incorporated and then taste it, then add more garlic or basil depending on how you want it to taste.

Has it been 15 minutes yet? If yes, flip your fish. 🙂

Once you’re happy with the cream cheese, put it in a container, cover and put it in the fridge.

After this, your 30 minutes should be nearly done and you can bring out your fish so that it starts making it’s way to room temperature.

Once the fish is at room temperature, lightly coat your frying pan with olive oil, set your flame to low, and when the pan is hot, put your salmon in, cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, serve with the basil cream cheese and rice or mashed potatoes.

I’ve discovered that I love cooking for people I care about, it’s one way that I express my love. Until my next entry! 🙂

Cream of Mushroom Soup Pasta

Living alone means you have to cook and clean alone. Assuming you don’t have a maid. So I came up with this recipe which takes about 30-45 minutes to prepare, it’s made from very simple ingredients, and very easy to do.

Ingredients

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup (I used Campbell’s)
5 cloves garlic (minced) (I say minced but I don’t know how to mince so I just try and chop them into small pieces)
Half a stick of butter (unsalted) (and I mean half of the 100 peso butter not the 50 peso one)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (recommend freshly grated, but the grocery one is just fine)
6 strips of bacon (sliced opposite of how they look so you get bacon with meat and fat on them)
Pasta noodles (pick whatever you want, or whatever you have)
Salt and pepper (as much as you’d like)
Rock salt as much as you can pinch with your thumb and two fingers

Medium heat and non stick pan.
Melt butter in pan.
When it’s melted toss in garlic and sauté. (I think sauté means move everything around so it doesn’t burn)
When garlic starts to brown, toss in bacon and sauté. (I really hope I’m using that word right)
When the fat of the bacon starts looking clear and/or the bacon looks somewhat crispy, pour in the can of soup.
In the now empty can, fill it up with water and pour that into the pan as well.
Lower fire to a simmer (which I think means the fire is slightly above keeping it warm), add the parmesan cheese, and stir occasionally.

While you keep the sauce simmering, prep a big pot with water, I’d guess maybe 2-3 cups.
Put pot on the burner, and the burner on high.
Toss in the 3 finger pinch of rock salt into the pot of water. (I don’t know why you add salt. I really don’t)
(Did you stir the sauce? If yes, good job! If no, go do it now!)
Is your water pot covered? If it is, it should help bring it to a boil faster. If it’s not, put your face nearby and enjoy the steam. Then cover the pot.
Are you wondering how much noodles you should cook? Make the “okay” sign with your fingers. That ring should be the right amount of noodles if you’re feeding just you.
So. Is the water boiling yet? If yes, toss in the noodles and set your timer to count down from 9-10 minutes.
Have you stirred the sauce recently? If yes, good job! If no, go do it now!
Stir the noodles every now and then so they don’t stick together.

Stir sauce every now and then while waiting for the pasta to finish.
Prepare strainer for the water and noodles.
When noodles are done, strain noodles.
Kill burners.
Put noodles back in big pot.
Pour sauce in big pot.
Mix.
Serve.
Add Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt as you so desire.

Yay you! Good job!

Kalookies Update

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So Kalookies is almost a year old now. I had a blog entry at around this time last year thanking God because I was baking almost 4 dozen a day. Now it’s grown to 5 times that a day, and I still can’t believe that this has become my full time job.

My friend Paolo Bonifacio recently called me and mentioned that a decade ago, I couldn’t even cook rice nor fry an egg, and now he buys cookies from me.

I have no formal culinary education, everything I’ve learned is through trial and error, with research done on google. Honestly I find it completely mind boggling that I’m a baker. It’s absurd.

Sometimes I find myself thinking “Lord, I’m an actor. Why am I in the kitchen?” Over a year ago, I was praying and praying for work, and what I had in mind was acting work. But I guess He had other ideas. Kinda funny now that I connect the dots backwards.

I bake because it’s therapeutic. It relaxes me and it makes me happy. I love hosting dinners and cooking for my friends and family. Feeding people makes me happy. If I had a choice I wouldn’t be selling Kalookies, I’d be giving them away. I’d be dead broke in a week though but yeah if I could I would. But we all have to survive and the bills don’t pay themselves.

I started baking my own cookies because no one had cookies with the flavors I wanted. I like Reese’s, kit Kat, Ferrero, toblerone, and all those other chocolates. The reason why I added Nutella is because it gives the kalookies that special something that a normal cookie just doesn’t have. And people who have tried it seem to agree with me. So I use ingredients that are already established as having a certain standard and I incorporate that into Kalookies. Because I trust those brands.

I bake because I love doing it. I bake because it makes me happy, because I like making people happy. And when I bake, I use ingredients that I trust, with skills that I’ve learned through trial and error and google, to make Kalookies.

Everyone deserves to be happy, I can help them achieve that, even for a moment, and that’s why I make Kalookies.

Kalookies

Thanks to Andy Sermonia for the awesome pics. 🙂

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Quick Shoutout

Thank you God for the progress of Kalookies. I’m now baking at least 4 dozen almost everyday.

Thank you family for being so supportive and buying cookies from me, especially my brothers and sisters.

Thank you friends for letting me feed you my experiments.

Thank you Basagan Ballers!

Thank you Thespians friends for ordering!

And thank you to my beautiful girlfriend for pushing me to sell cookies regularly.

I have a list of all your names and will thank you all soon.

I love you all!

Cookie Troubleshooting

Helpful Tips for Baking Cookies, thank you http://www.preparedpantry.com/printable2.html

Cookie Troubleshooting Guide

If your cookies are too tough . . .
You may have used too much flour or a flour with too high of a protein content. Unless you want a chewy cookie, do not use bread flour. Check your measurements–the cookies may not have enough fat or the amount of sugar may be wrong.

If your cookies are too crumbly . . .

They may have too much sugar, shortening, or leavening or may not be thoroughly mixed. Try adding more eggs.

If your cookies are too hard . . .

They may have been baked too long or at a temperature that was too low. Too much flour or not enough shortening or liquid will make them hard also.

If your cookies are too dry . . .

The same elements that make cookies too hard, may make them too dry. Try baking them at a higher temperature for a shorter period. Substitute brown sugar (with its higher moisture content) for part of the granulated sugar.

If your cookies are too brown . . .

The cookies were most likely baked too long or at too high of a temperature. Too much sugar may make a cookie brown too readily.

If your cookies are not browned enough . . .

The baking temperature was too low, they were not baked long enough, or there was too little sugar.

If your cookies spread too much . . .

The baking temperature may be too low. Too much sugar, shortening, or leavening will cause spread. If pans are greased with too much shortening, spread may occur. Add a little more flour or chill your dough before forming the cookies.

If your cookies don’t spread enough . . .

The opposite conditions that create too much spread may cause your cookies not to spread enough. There may not be enough sugar, shortening, or leavening, or the temperature is too high. Try adding more grease to the pan and baking at a lower temperature.

If the edges or crust turns out sugary . . .

The cookies probably have too much sugar. The dough may have been inadequately mixed.

If your cookies have a poor flavor . . .

Make sure all the flavoring ingredients were added. Dated or low quality ingredients may not impart strong enough flavors. Improperly washed baking pans will sometimes cause a cookie to taste bad.

If your cookies stick to the pans . . .
The pans probably weren’t greased adequately. Too much sugar will make cookies stick. Cookies are usually easier
to remove from their pans immediately after coming from the oven.