Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta

Hello Guys! Let us take a momentary break from the USA Trip series and talk about food first. 馃槤 I always love a good pesto pasta and have seen numerous recipes online. It just so happened that yesterday, I have remembered that we still have plenty of avocados and I thought of making a pesto pasta. Now, I know that pesto is an Italian sauce made out of basil, garlic, olive oil and parmesan. Some add nuts and some add good ole avocado for that creamy kick.

But like the usual, our kitchen pantry had some ingredients missing. The first would be basil and the second was parmesan cheese. So let me tell you how I made my creamy avocado pesto pasta using avocado as the main ingredient and in replacement of fresh basil is dried up basil spice.

Creamy Avocado Pesto

2 whole ripe avocado
1-2 tablespoon of dried basil spice
2-4 garlic cloves (depending on your preference)
1/4 cup of olive oil or more
1/4 cup of nuts (preferably almonds or walnuts or any nuts of your choice)
1/4 block of cheddar cheese (1 cup or more of parmesan cheese)
500g of penne pasta or any pasta of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Chili flakes for added spice
In a food processor or blender, blend the avocados, garlic cloves, olive oil, nuts, cheese, dash of salt and pepper. Add oil to make your sauce a bit runny. Set aside. On a separate pot, cook your pasta according to the package instructions. Spare a half a cup of your pasta water in case your sauce is still too thick. Drain and add in your sauce. Mix well and add the dried basil spice, some salt and chili flakes. Serve and enjoy!

 

#Avocado Pesto pasta. A success! 馃馃馃

A post shared by Nica Gerona (@nicagerona) on

Here is the pesto version of my vlogger friend Lasea from @thefooodiefeed. Do check out her Youtube channel and IG feed for more food recipes to enjoy!

My pesto was a brighter green because the main ingredient was avocado, Lasea used fresh basil and I hope to make one using fresh basil as well in my next cooking sesh. For now, use whatever you have. Lol.

Merci beaucoup et 谩 bient么t!

Nadai Fujisoba

Hello there! I said I would try to post more book reviews and yet here I am posting about food again. Haha! Well, well, but who wouldn’t love a good soba noodle soup right? So we gave out Nadai Fujisoba (SM Megamall branch) a try. Just to give you a heads up, my brother聽was not much of a big fan of Japanese food and I would prefer sushis and sashimis over ramen bowls. But somehow, Nadai Fujisoba truly was a savory treat for our family.

Before we jump into the food pictures and drool once again, let us look into the story of Nadai Fujisoba which I copied at the site (fujisoba.ph):

Nadai Fujisoba is the oldest 24/7 soba restaurant in Japan. In 1966, we built our first soba noodle store in Shibuya, which also serves as our flagship store.

During Japan鈥檚 economic boom, we built our stores to cater to on-the-run businessmen, and the community has continued to support us ever since. We serve more than 58,000 meals per day by opening our stores 24-hours.

You can find Nadai Fujisoba when you come to the bustling areas in Tokyo, like Asakusa, Ueno Akihabara, Roppongi, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro.

In 2014, we also started our first store in Taiwan, and it has went on to become a great success for our brand.

We believe that customers in Philippines will like our signature Japanese buckwheat noodle. It is our pleasure to bring to you the best soba noodle Japan has to offer!

There you have it, authentic Japanese soba noodle bowls at it’s finest! So here we go with the pictures that both you and I love to stare.

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Felt like we entered into Japan.

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One of their best sellers.聽

My dad and brother chose this same meal and dad had the extra plain soba noodles.

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Potato Croquette

It had tiny meat pieces in it, it was okay but better if you dip it in the sauce.

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The extra plain soba noodles
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Chicken, Egg and Rice donburi

My brother never gets full without rice.

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Mixed vegetables. Yum!

My mom and I had this meal. We both were full and satisfied.

Overall, it was certainly a heavy meal for our family and we quite enjoyed it. The broth was really tasty and complements every ingredient in it. I specifically love the egg, that is half cooked and makes the soup taste a bit creamier when I popped its yolk. We truly had an enjoyable meal and not bad for Japanese food.

Merci beaucoup et 谩 bient么t!

Bingeing at Shinsen

Salut! It’s April and the summer heat is finally here in Manila. In a way to beat the heat here, most Filipinos go swimming at the beach or at pools. I set Wednesdays for my swimming days where I exercise and beat the heat as well together with my swimming buddy/boyfriend Sunny. But this particular Wednesday evening was a bit cold and we both were shivering at the pool and even after our swim. Good thing, there was a near Japanese restaurant called Shinsen at the Hampton Garden’s Arcade and to heat ourselves, we decided to get some hot soup for dinner!

It was a quaint and cozy place, plus the servers are so polite and assistive. We chose to seat on the sushi bar so we can seat beside each other. #cheesy Hahaha! We ordered California Maki, a bowl of Spicy Miso Soup and a bowl of Seafood Udon Soup. I forget to jot down the prices, really sorry about that. But here are the photos!

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All time fave! But I have to cut off the rice. 
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It wasn’t as spicy as I expected but it was good!
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Sunny had this and he sure did enjoyed it.
 

Overall:

We enjoyed our dinner that night. I loved the Spicy Miso it had a mild spice which is suitable for those who don’t really like spicy foods. Although, I wish they really lived up to the name of the meal. Nevertheless, it was a yummy meal. Sunny’s seafood udon soup was a bit sweet to taste but is balanced. He enjoyed his meal and finished it all up. It was well packed with seafood goodies too! The California Maki is pure joy for me, or is it I just love all California Maki. Hahaha. I hope you guys get to try Shinsen and enjoy yummy Japanese meals.

 

Merci beaucoup et 谩 bient么t!

 

First Taste: Taco Bell

Hello there! This is a two days late post from last Sunday’s family lunch. Usually, when we don’t have any viand left at home, we eat out and this time we wanted to try out the new mall near SM Megamall called the Ayala Malls the 30th.

It was quite a huge place as compared to how it looks on the outside. Oh well, at least we have a new place to gallivant in case we get bored at Megamall. But this post is definitely not about the mall rather about a well known fast food chain in the US that I saw for the first time in the PH! 馃槏 聽TACO BELL *drools*

I was really ecstatic that we should try it out. Haha! Apparently on their site they have 4 stores already. Guess, I was a bit late. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t stop me since I saw their burrito menu and that sold me out to give it a try!

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You wait for the number on the receipt to flash on the mini screen at the counter. Also clean your own table.聽

We tried out their burrito with rice, hard tacos and quesadillas.

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The tacos were a bit bland for my taste
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Quesadillas are two thumbs up!

I love love love the burritos. 鉂わ笍

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Yup, a bitten burrito.聽

Overall: It wasn’t a bad experience. In fact we had a take out burrito and got a free one because we did the survey online. Haha. I’ll definitely go back for those burritos. 馃い

Merci beaucoup et 谩 bient么t!

Garlic Aglio Olio Pasta

It seems that all of my posts this week are about food. Huehue. Well, who wouldn’t love food? It is the way to almost everyone’s hearts. Heehee. Though, I am no chef or culinary student, if there is one thing consistent that I know is that聽practice makes it perfect. I am truly thankful for the recipes posted online and they are truly helpful for people like me. Haha.

I followed this recipe from Youtube when I was just really hungry and craving for easy to make pasta recipes. I chanced on this video, looked for the ingredients on our kitchen, tweaked some of the ingredients not available to my own. Ta da! My own aglio olio recipe:

Garlic Aglio Olio Pasta

1 pound dry spaghetti

 

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

6 cloves garlic, sliced thin

 

1/2 cup olive oil

 

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

 

1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (but I don’t have that so I used cheddar instead)

 

Spices of basil, thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary

 

Infuse your garlic with the olive oil and set aside. Cook your pasta lightly salted on boiling water according to the instructions on the label.聽Save at least a cup of the boiled pasta water and drain. Set aside.

On a separate cool pan, pour your garlic and infused oil and cook on low medium heat for 10 minutes. You will want to slowly brown your garlic, so keep a watchful eye. When the olive oil bubbles, lower the heat until your garlic becomes golden brown. Turn off the heat and add the pasta water so the garlic won’t burn.

On your pasta add the spices, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Mix well then add the garlic olive oil. Toss until well coated then add half of the grated cheese. Serve with additional spices on top and more cheese.

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I used extra virgin olive oil
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Spices! This is not sponsored by McCormick btw.

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Cheddar Cheese
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This is what I meant when infusing the garlic with olive oil
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I really tried to thinly slice them though.
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Ta da!!

And there you go peeps! I am glad my dad loved it. For other variations you may add spanish style sardines and olives. Here below is the video where I got the recipe.

 

Merci beaucoup et 谩 bient么t!

Avocado + Chocolate

Hello loves! Sorry for such a long overdue post of the Avocado preview I posted on my Instagram account. It has been a crazy, hectic, stressful week in church/school. The Theology classes were assigned with the Malaysia Booth to showcase during the World Missions Conference. We started early but I tell you, there was a lot to do and only a few were willing to help. Still all by His grace and mercies, we finished on time and we even won first place! All the hard work and tiredness faded with cheers and resounding shouts of joy. But, before I blabber nonstop about that let me focus on the recipe I learned.

Avocado Love 馃 soon on nicacanwrite.wordpress.com

A post shared by Nica Gerona (@nicagerona) on

I forgot exactly where I got this recipe, but it is a simple one to make.

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"Avocado

One whole avocado mashed
1 1/2 tbsp of honey`
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder (use more if you prefer a bitter taste) or half a bar of dark chocolate melted (use the bain-marie method or double boiler)

 

Simply mix all ingredients. Let it chill on the refrigerator for 15 minutes then serve with a drizzle of condensed milk.

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There you have it! A less than guilty pleasure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Huehue. I hope you give it a try and lemme know how you like it!

Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!

 

One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta

Hello everyone! I’m back for another recipe I remade from 聽Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos. I was encouraged to cook once again after my cousin posted her cooking. I am not quite a cook, if you all have noticed. Haha. But I do try my best. Thankfully at this age, you can simply search, click and look on the internet of the various recipes to follow from both simple to complicated ones. Of course, like any beginning cook, I start with the simple ones.

I chose the One Pot Chicken Fajita. All because I love chicken, I love fajitas, I love pasta and I love easy one pot recipes! Haha, it’s like 4 birds in one stone! Now I made that up. But anyway here is the recipe and some alterations I made. I will also post at the end the original video from Buzzfeed.

One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta

3-5 tbsp of olive oil
3 Chicken breast sliced
3 bell peppers (any color of choice) diced
1 whole white onion diced
500g Penne Pasta or any pasta of choice
5-6 cups of whole fresh milk
1 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1-2 tbsp of chopped parsley聽(optional)
1-2 tsp of paprika
1-2 tsp of cayenne pepper
1-2 tsp of cumin
1-2 tbsp of all purpose cream (for creaminess but this is optional)
Dash of salt and pepper for seasoning

In a deep non stick casserole, heat your oil and cook chicken until there is no pink seen. Then remove chicken and set aside. Cook bell peppers and onions until translucent. Put back the chicken and add the salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir well until all is coated.

Pour the whole milk and the penne pasta. Stir so the pasta noodles won’t stick. Cover for about 8-10 minutes to cook the pasta and until the sauce is reduced and thickened. Add the all purpose cream for extra creaminess, then add the cup of grated cheese until melted. Serve and garnish with the remaining half cup of grated cheese and parsley.

Here is my IG Post of it:

Now, since it was my first to cook pasta in one pot. I did have some mishaps and ended with the pasta half-cooked but still edible. I didn’t cover it in the first place 聽which made it that way. However, I am glad that my family and boyfriend enjoyed my cooking. Though they did mention it was a bit spicy. Well, we love spicy still and I am pretty sure this won’t be my last cooking. I do hope y’all give this a try!

Merci beaucoup et 谩 bient么t!

Arakawa

Hello there! Before November ends, I would like to share another blog post about food. Hehe. This time is about a Japanese restaurant near our place called, Arakawa. I have passes by this place numerous times every day and often wondered when will I be able to try theirs. I am quite glad that my kuya treated me for an early dinner here. The moment he saw Arakawa, he immediately asked if I wanted to eat and like any unashamed, food loving girl :-P, I obliged. 馃檪

When we entered the restaurant, there were no other customers, so we had the place to ourselves. 馃檪 The whole restaurant was filled with Japanese paintings and even had tiny Japanese figurine dolls above the counter. It was cool and quaint. 馃檪 The staff were also all smiles and handed us the menu immediately. I scoured for the usual “no pork” ramen and ordered their Kaiso Ramen. My two other kuyas ordered differently, but I wasn’t able to take photos of it.

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Yummy!!
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Aside from the ramen, my kuya made me try sashimi. I never really liked sashimi or the thought of eating sashimi. But as soon as I dipped it on wasabi and soy sauce, it was yummy! I never thought that my perception on sashimi would change. I’m glad they made me try it. 馃檪 Overall, I like the sashimi best, I still like ramen but not the seafood kind though. Perhaps I should try their donburis next time. ^_^ In case you have Japanese cravings, try Arakawa which is just along C. Raymundo, Pasig City!

Merci beaucoup et 谩 bient么t!

General Tso Style Tofu

First of, the original recipe of this is from Olivia of Liv’s Healthy Life Channel on Youtube. You may want to check out her recipes and bento boxes especially if you happen to be a vegetarian. She makes simple vegan recipes that looks sumptuous for everyone’s consumption. When I encountered this recipe, I wanted to do it and improvise on some parts of the recipe where I don’t have any in our kitchen cupboard.

Here is how I did it and at the end of this blog is the video of Liv’s version of the recipe.

General-Tso-Style-Tofu

1 tomato, sliced
1 green chili, diced
1 whole cut of tofu (sliced into small cubes)
Handful of basil leaves

Sauce:
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey (for vegans use maple syrup)
1/2 tbsp of hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
1/2 tbsp of ketchup
2 small cloves of garlic, diced or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 small strips of ginger, diced or 1/4 tsp grated ginger

Simply combine all sauce ingredients and set aside. In a pan stir fry your cubed tofu with either water or oil. Add in the tomato and chili and stir fry for a minute or two. Add water to sauce it up and flour to thicken it. Then add the Tso Sauce you set aside. Season with some salt and pepper. Then add the basil leaves. Stir until cooked then serve on top of a cup of white rice while hot.

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If you would be watching Liv’s version, she used bell peppers, snow peas and bean sprouts. But sadly, I don’t have those available at the cupboard when I decided to cook this. So I had to replace it with tomatoes, chili, and basil. I also replaced the maple syrup with honey making this not a completely vegan recipe. Another is that I used fresh diced ginger and garlic instead of the powdered and grated version. But all in all, my family did enjoy the meal and fully satisfied with it. I hope to cook more and learn more in the days to come.

Liv’s version of the recipe:

 

Merci beaucoup et 谩 bient么t!